Jeff Norton Inspired Me

I was a quasi punk teenager when I first traveled to Hyde Park to experience “art”. Sure, I’d done the Ybor thing, but this was high end stuff as far as I had experienced it. A live performance of actors was way more than seeing Black Flag do 3 songs then run off stage. This was School of Night. I honestly don’t remember the skits, but I do remember Jeff and another actor doing a scene from a Sam Shepard piece ( I think it was from True West).

As I grew older, I took advantage of the opportunities to experience Jeff’s larger performances with troupes like American Stage. During this time, I was introduced to Jeff through a mutual acquaintance. He was humble, brooding. Everything I had pictured an artist to be. I was jealous.

I thought him an older but kindred spirit, not a celebrity. He was an artist. I got a glimpse of a genius. Someone who was so comfortable with his art; perhaps tortured in the fact that he was such a craftsman of his art that he could perform it in a burgh such as Tampa. He trusted that there were like minded souls who also parked their tent in this god-forsaken mosquito ridden peninsula of peninsulas a genuine art scene would evolve. I know I cooked food with that same passion. I regret I didn’t stay true to my own passion…

I for one apologize for being so shortsighted I didn’t realize it sooner–yes, I wanted a dynamic, brilliant local scene. And there is one. Theatre, food, dance… it’s all there. Maybe not how I envisioned it because I wanted brilliance such as Jeff’s to be national news, and in my youth I lost my vision.

However, in the twilight of my own perspective, and in the sunset of the passing of Jeff Norton, I reflect on that first night in a little corner bistro at Howard and Azeele, and pray that the baton of pure passion and art will continued to be passed.

God speed Jeff Norton, god speed.

Austin: Why don’t you just try another neighborhood, all right?
Lee: What’sa’ matta with this neighborhood? This is a great neighborhood. Lush. Good class a’ people…”

From True West

(ed. note) This post contained two videos of Jeff, which have since been removed from Youtube. I respect their decision

Beard Poster

beard posterLast week I came across an interesting site, Beard Revue, and for the site’s 1 year anniversary, the author had created a print based on the classic Milton Glaser Dylan print. Something about the print spoke to me. Maybe I was caught in a melancholy mood thinking about my father, and how significant his beard was to me. I’m not sure, but I ordered the print in one of those 2am browsing the web moments. I got an email from the author middle of the week saying the print had been shipped, and low and behold, today it arrived in the mail. I’d like to start buying more original art like this. I’ve been keeping my eye on 20×200 for something to capture me, but a site with larger, affordable prints such as the beard revue would be a great find. There’s something about opening the tube and smelling the ink that creates a much more personal connection to the artist. I’d also add the little touch of using stamps on the tube also lends a personal touch, particularly in this case, where several different stamps are used.

Oh, and if you are a beard aficionado, you definitely want to check out Michael’s blog.

This One is for Dr Bacchus

zippyLately I’ve spent a fair amount of time on Habari’s IRC channel, mostly because some really smart people are there, and because Dr Bacchus has a bot on the channel that if you type “yow”, will randomly quote Zippy the Pinhead. I first discovered Zippy while living in Denver in the early 90’s. it was a daily comic in the (I think)Rocky Mountain News. Not long after, being a casual fan of alt-comics, I discovered Fantagraphics, and then soon after they published several collections of Zippy comics. I still own the first 3 issues of the collection somehow (the time soon after moving back from Colorado can be a bit hazy, to say the least).

zippyI don’t even begin to consider myself a Zippy fanatic, and have barely kept up with the comic since those days, but I can’t help but laugh out loud when ever I type those three letters on IRC. No matter how bored, frustrated, or confused I might be with my situation at hand, good ol’ mzuri and his Zippy quotes pick me up, and break the ice just enough to keep going. So the next time you are having a rough time just think of your Zippy, and quotes like:

“Wouldn’t it be great, Zip, if th’ spirit of Halloween could last all year long?”

“Yow! A never ending orgy of apple-bobbing and miniature mars bars!”

Not as Painful as I Thought

So if anyone has an “old school” flickr account, they too received an email a while back saying that as of March 15th, they needed to merge with a yahoo id. I had a yahoo id, which I never really use. And like most people, they are probably a bit attached to their online identities. Obviously, I use miklb where ever I can. I was a bit upset at the prospect of losing my flickr account of /miklb. Granted, the yahoo account I have is miklb.online, but somehow that just isn’t what I wanted. So I procrastinated in making the switch. Finally, today, I went about looking into it, as I didn’t want to get locked out of my moblog images. (Currently, I do not have a cell service with a camera phone, but not all of those images are still on my old phone, anyway…) I went to the flickr account, and saw the “merge” accounts option. I went to merge miklb with yahoo id miklb.online. No go. miklb.online was already associated with flickr. Ugh. When did I do that?

So looking at that account, I hadn’t actually uploaded any images, so I saw I could delete the flickr account for that ID. I didn’t know if I could then re-associate it, but what the heck, I figured I’d give it a shot. I deleted the yahoo id from flickr, and tried again to merge, still thinking I’d become miklb.online. In the meantime, I found a flickr export app for the Mac, Flickrbackup, grabbed my images just in case, and then made the association between the old school account and the yahoo id. All went smooth, and to my surprise, I get to keep the miklb account, I simply now log in with the yahoo id. Excellent. Perhaps this will move me to use flickr a bit more, I know I’d love to get a friend of mine to use it, but he’s a myspacer, and I don’t even know what he’s using to host his images. (Goody Goody, I’ll even set you up with a blog if you make the switch from myspace).
So, long story short, it was far less painful to make the switch, and if you haven’t done so, fret not, if you have to be pumpkinpatch6969 instead of your favorite handle, you’ll not loose your flickr name.

Hunter S. Thompson Photographs

hunter_thompson_nixon_mask.jpghunter_thompson_nixon_mask.jpgUsually, I just wait for my buddy over at Tiny Little Dots to post stuff like this, but since he’s still rehabbing a broken collar bone, remodeling a kitchen, and working on redoing his blog, I figured I’d take the lead and do a little art gallery show and tell. This pic in particular gave me a great big chuckle, especially after the day I had dealing with a down server. Gallery Home Page

Farewell Gonzo

From the Washington Post
A farewell bang is set this evening for Hunter S Thompson’s remains.

Hope it’s a blast. To have friends like that, he had to have been everything we think him to be. I even forgive him for his pathetic bashing of the Bucs before the Superbowl. But what better team than the Raiders, the perennial bad boys, for Thompson to be a fan of.

No man is so foolish but he may sometimes give another good counsel, and no man so wise that he may not easily err if he takes no other counsel than his own. He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.

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