Friday, June 30, 2006

Czeslaw Milosz

Happy Birthday!

(Who is your favorite translator of his? I am still looking for a great one.)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Oh No, Am I Normal Now?

Found out the other day that I am capable of love. Freakiest thing in the world man. I'm going to hole myself up in my apartment for a couple days now. I think I even miss a couple of my friends, but I'm too shell-shocked to tell. I mean, I've always loved mountains and trees and outdoorsy things, but people? Come on!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Recent TIME Article

"When the aliens who have monitored our broadcast signals invade, they will demand to negotiate the terms of our surrender with Regis. By one objective measure, he is TV's most successful host ever: he holds the Guinness record for most hours on camera (15,188, and counting). 'Every demographic loves him,' says Talent executive producer Ken Warwick. 'When we bring him onstage, the audience absolutely erupts. He can ask exactly the question that everyone is dying to know and wring as much humor out of it as possible.' Likewise, Philbin's carefully crafted irascibility is what allows the wealthy superstar to double as your crotchety 74-year-old uncle. There is, finally a Zen paradox to hosting. A host must subordinate his or her identity in service of the larger work—what poet John Keats referred to as 'negative capability,' although he was talking about verse, not wearing pinstripes and doing product placement for Coke."

Because success on TV is measured in how many hours and seasons. Therefore Dave Chapell was a terrible host, Conan O’Brien is no better, and Jon Stewart should give it up. But after numerous references to Ellen Degeneres, Katie Lee Joel, Dr. Phil, Chris Harrison, Tyra Banks, Jeff Probst, Ricki Lake, Alex Trebek, Meredith Vieira, Rosie O’Donnell, Bill Cullen, Gordon Ramsay, Howie Mandel, Oprah, Merv Griffin, Ryan Seacrest, Roseanne, Kelly Ripa, Donald Trump, Simon Cowell, and many other producers, network executives, and actors, Keats gets thrown in to the final paragraphs for a sinle line. I must say that one threw me a bit.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Story of Dustin Robertson, As I Know It

Today I watched my favorite erotic artist turn off Third Street, right onto Main, and ride out of town on South 95. 95 is the only freeway running North-South through all of Idaho. I can tell you where he was going, away, but to say where he has been is more difficult. I don’t know all the moments he’s forgotten and I don't know any of the moments he remembers.

He grew up a redneck on the Eastern Seaboard. He made surfboards and hot rods through high school. He started painting at age fourteen. I have no idea when he was born. These are the things I could tell you. These are the meaningless truths I could say formed him. A normal person might say of him, his mom is a big-shot Buddhist, and expect the statement’s meaning to Dustin’s life to be evident when really it is beyond all of our grasps. He is both beyond it all and not yet to it all.

I met him December 10th, 2005. He was wearing a spacesuit with a blue-lightning doo-rag. Another artist friend, Bruce Sykes, had asked me to help pour some aluminum pieces he hoped to sell. I had signed up for Dustin’s sculpture class knowing simply that I didn’t want to take the other one that started at 8:30 AM. Bruce introduced us. Dustin’s space suit was for the heat, and the flames. He and Landon did the pouring. Bruce and I did everything else.

After Christmas break my first class was Sculpture. Dustin came in white painter’s pants, black polishable shoes, a grey thermal undershirt, and a black suit jacket. His hair was frosted. He rode in on his Hornet. By the end, his jacket had plaster dust on it. My first project went well, I called it "My Vagina". I went to the hospital a month and a half later with a closed throat. Dustin was out of town or he would have visited. Two months later I came back to class. He let me finish with two more assignments. Our final assignment was an inflatable sculpture due on Cinco de Mayo. My group made a Margarita glass that promptly exploded, then two abstract forms that writhed on the ground so the kids in the playground could play with them. The 8:30 class made the front page of the newspaper on the 5th, they had displayed the day before us. We didn’t make the newspaper at all. Dustin was pissed so he called Student Photographic Services, and we ended up making the Idaho magazine.

Dustin hasn’t always been an erotic artist. He has been surrealistic and realistic too. Marriot tried to pay him 12 million for a few hundred copies of one of his pre-erotic pieces, he turned them down and left for Idaho a week later. About two years ago he “decided to fuck all internal censors and go for it man.” This was shortly after he left Natashya. She was a Russian beauty he had been engaged to for about a year. He was in love. Dustin has thirty day relationships, “I know, it’s like a fucking schedule man,” but this one lasted until he finally had enough of her cheating on him. He found out she was a prostitute at large and had been Gorbachev’s mistress a little late to avoid a broken heart. I watched him cry when David G. reprimanded him at his MFA thesis defense. We all saw pain in his work after Natashya. I never once heard him talk of his father.

A child in a car driving past once yelled, "Hi Dustin!" at us smoking outside the sculpture lab. "Hey buddy!" he waved before turning back. "That was awkward," he said, "the ex's ex husband's child with the new husband driving the car."

In the smoke room the other day, a friend of mine who rides was talking about his Hornet. I mentioned Dustin’s and he said he had been trying to get a hold of Dustin for a month. I saw Dustin the next morning in painting class. The first day of class was the first day he’d picked up a brush in a couple of years.

Did I worship him? Probably.

Bruce and Dustin were close. Bruce jumps into everything headfirst. Dustin slides down synaptic gaps further and further without wondering whether that first was good to pass. After Bruce left on the 18th, a month ago, Dustin said he probably wouldn’t call him. I asked him if he would miss Moscow. He told me when he walked for his diploma, he wore a blond wig and had a Barbie pinned to his cap. When the president asked him about it he told him, “for twelve fucking years I’ve been in school, focused on school, only thinking about school, now this is all I’m thinking about for the next six months man.”

I watched him ride out of town. I was late for work because of it. I felt like a great moment had passed, and I do not know why. He wore a white T-shirt, his black matte helmet, jeans, his riding boots; his bike was weighed down with six months worth of life. He was gone. He will never come back to Moscow. He saved up, sold a few pieces, and is now riding cross-country to his studio in North Carolina. He will visit California first, but the ocean on this side is too violent for him. He will not stay.

He painted his precious Hornet black last month because he got bored of silver. He put a big silver bunny’s head on the back. His Idaho license plate says PLABOY. While I watched him leave I said, “Goodbye Dustin, have a good trip man.” Had he heard me, he would’ve said, “finally man, about fucking time.”


Sunday, June 25, 2006

My Name Was Once Tyler.

Things I have always hidden from myself are forming into words. No phrases yet, except the above, which is a lie. But I am hoping the hot weather helps me find inspiration. And a getaway.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Gallery Show

It went well this morning. I took the corner across from the door in the red room. Thanks to everyone who stopped by! The show has ceased already.

Le Mans

Starting at 2000: Audi, Audi, Audi, Audi, Bentley, Audi, Audi, and as of Sunday, Audi.

I am calling this year the Year of Firsts. Already passed firsts include an LMP2 one-two by Porsche, over Audi and Lola, the longest streak in GT1 ever, and Diesel power winning a big race (Sebring). This Weekend (Le Mans) had record crowds, first lap with Diesel in the lead, speeds, and intervals between pits (16 laps for Audi).

Diesel is the new black - I swear it. And with America finally going to a high grade diesel last January, it is much more efficient, economical, and ecologicaly safe than gasoline. Not to mention quieter with more torque and faster engine response.

Le Mans:

LMP1: No surprises here except Tom Kristenson did not win as he has every year since 2000. Pescarolo could not compete. Audi was kept from a 1-2 finish by a needed rear left quarter of the car replacement. Amazing that this car got tires for the first time 200 days ago, nobody having tried diesel before, and now it is 1st and 3rd at Le Mans. Bravo.

LMP2: Intersport had troubles and pulled a stunning effort to get to forth. RML took it all, while Binnie and Miracle showed American strength in 2nd and 3rd.

GT1: Hands down the most exciting racing this year. At minute 17 a privateer Aston slipped on the oil of the 007 works Aston and brought out a safety car. The oil leak turned into a six-lap, engine pulling problem for Aston. Meanwhile the 64 Corvette got into the lead. The 009 was close and they battled for a couple hours. At the end, the 009 was up a bit before running into trouble, letting the 64 take the win. 007 took 2nd. Privateer Luc Alphand in a Corvette took third. Aston privateers Russian Age took a hard fought fourth followed by the 009. And a great sixth place finish for the Saleen ahead of the 63 Corvette.

GT2: Pole sitter IMSA Performance Matmut started dead last and lead within the first five laps before retiring. Multimatic led then retired. Spyker led then retired. White Lightning led then retired. Out of 14 cars, six finished. Team LNT put a Panoz on the top spot. It has been a long time since an American developed car has won anything but GT1 so this is very exciting. Seikel put a Porsche 2nd. Scuderia Ecosse took third. Flying Lizard had serious troubles, but fought their way back to fourth late in the race. I was definately surprised by how many Porsches dropped out broken or wrecked.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Busy With:

Celebrations over the Weekend:

1. Anniversary with my girlfriend.
2. Uncle's 60th Wedding Anniversary.
3. Father's day.
4. Belated Mother's day.
5. Uncle's 80-something Birthday.
6. Aunt's 80-something Birthday.

Race Weekend:

1. Le Mans - the second oldest race in the world and the father of my racing addiction.


1. Getting projects finished as classes end tomorrow.
2. Setting up my show at the Ridenbaugh Gallery on UI campus. It will be 9:30 to 12:30 Tuesday, June 20th. Public welcome. I will be showing four paintings.


1. I fucking hate mono.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

My Le Mans Picks

It started at 5:00PM local time, 8:00 AM here on the West Coast. Live timing and web radio here.

Overall: Audi. I don't think an LMP2 will end up on the podium unless both Pescarolos drops out.
Update: Audi Team Joest/Champion Racing is pulling two seconds a lap with better fuel mileage. Race Pace (3:33.933) is scorching this year! That's almost qualifying speed! These Audi's are quiet, and FAST! Confusion with safety cars as I publish this.

LMP1: See above.
Update: See above. The Listers having trouble. Beautiful car.

LMP2: Intersport Racing.
Update: Liz Halliday has two pit stops in the first 15 minutes. They are not talking, but an ongoing problem is never good. Sounds like a misfire.

GT1: Corvette.
Update: Our first wreck of the night is here, at 5:17 (8:17), a privateer Aston brought out a safety car 17 minutes into the race, hitting both sides of the Porsche curve after slipping on oil. Aston Factory Team is ahead of Corvette, both Astons were ahead until the Corvettes got out of the pits first during the open pits after the safety car came out.
Update at First 1/2 Hour: Aston 007 drops their sump pump under rookie Daren Turner when he hit the curbing coming into the pits and didn't realize it was so high. Both Corvettes have got ahead now. They're doing an engine change in pit row. The 007 oil leak could have dropped the privateer Aston off earlier.

GT2: Flying Lizard.
Update: Peterson White Lightning is just ahead of Flying Lizard who is just ahead of Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I Have Become the Storm

I finally get it. No longer am I the weather chaser I have been for years. No longer am I desperately trying to start lightning. No longer am I seeking fire. Now, six months later, I realize that I am capable of it. Not out of boredom.

Thank you babe.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

King Of The Mountain

Congratulations to the craziest of them all.

John McGuiness wins it.

(For those unfamiliar with the Isle of Man TT, it is raced at an average speed of over 125 mph. Six laps cover 226 miles of racing. They race entirely on public roads. The course is lined by mud, barbed wire, trees, houses, stone walls, telephone poles, and sidewalks - hardly the ideal racing surface and not a place I would want to zip through at over 230mph on a bike. )

It is said the crowd went crazy when he again broke his own record for fastest lap with an average of 129.451 seconds one lap after setting the fastest standing start lap on record.

Now, with the week of racing over, John McGuiness is only behind Mike Hailwood and Joey Dunlop in overall wins at the TT. He has eleven.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My Uncle Likes a Party

To me he is just Uncle Bob. Not Robert Tiffany. Not Great Uncle Robert. Just the WWII hero Uncle Bob. Next weekend he is belatedly celebrating his 60th Wedding anniversary, 80-something-ith birthday, and his wife's 80-something-ith birthday.

They met while Bob was on leave. A friend had asked Bob to drive to Spokane with him. However, Bob had less shore-leave than the friend so he had to take a train back. He only had the uniform on his back with him so all he needed was a ride. On his way to the station he got lost, saw a girl, asked directions, started talking, and got married five days later, AWOL. The Navy found him two days after that. He was in the brig for 60 days. After his Pacific Tour he went back to his new bride, who didn't recognize him in civilian clothes. She insists, to this day, that the reason there are so many divorces is people knowing each other before marriage.

In December they had their 60th wedding anniversary.

I once wrote a poem about his trips to Nagasaki and Hiroshima a month after the war ended. I read it twice. I have a hard time looking at, reading, or editing that poem.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

First Official Le Mans Test Day

Good results for US teams.
Check it out on my new racing site here.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I Smoke Chicha Alone

I was hoping you would come down today. I was hoping to drive home and find your pale-blue Buick parked in the gravel. I was hoping to listen to your message and hear you say I’m coming home. I was hoping to see you sitting atop my stairs in linen pants and a tank-top. I wished dearly to take both off of you. I was hoping to feel your fist on my back. I was hoping to make you mad. I was hoping to take you out to the smoke room down my hill, to sit there for hours blowing circles, mushrooms, dollars.

I was hoping to not miss you anymore. I was hoping to be okay with summer. I was hoping that the rule stating Don’t think about that would be easy to follow. I was hoping to at the least call you and talk all day.

But no. I am out of cell phone minutes so I cannot call. And last night you sent me a picture of the guys you were with. But no, you were only out with a bunch of old high school friends, you crashed a wedding for free alchohol. But no, when I called this morning at 11 you were still in bed. But no, you insist he is just a friend - you gave him cigars for Christmas, he gave you lingerie. But no, I'm not jealous, I understand, he's in the Navy, he's like a brother. Can I ask you something? Is it okay for me to be happy he's shipping out to Iraq soon? But no, of course I was only joking. But no, I understand, you're exhausted. I'll just go now.

Damn: This Thing Is Spot On

Thanks to Peter.

ATY is Oscar the Grouch

Grumpy and grouchy, he isn't just pessimistic -he revels in his pessimism.

He is usually feeling unhappy, unless it's rainy outside, and even then he knows the foul weather won't last.

He is famous for being mean yet loveable, and he hates the loveable part.

He live's life as a slob, but it's not repelling as many people as he'd like.