30 June 2005


photo.bin When you bring up the subject of ghosts my friend Jon will talk about how a couple of years ago he went out with some ghost hunters. He'll tell you about how he learned that ghosts are actually just memories absorbed by the environment. Emotionally charged into our surroundings. He'll go on about how wood is better for absorbing memories than concrete because of it's fibrous nature. He'll say every human being has it's own electromagnetic field and these fields are what trigger the memories dormant in the environment. That if someone with the right frequency field were to walk into the right place it would be like pressing 'play' on the past.

And if you think about it, he's right.


It's noon by the time Tom, Katie and I make it into Philadelphia and take the first steps into Eastern State Penitentiary. It's been about five years since I was last here. A lot has changed. Areas have been cleaned up and restored. There is a big production audio tour now and the once abandoned prison is again full of people.

We had to sign waivers in the gift shop next to where they sell DVD's and t-shirts. Five years ago where they're selling pens and pencils used to be carcasses of dead birds, lead paint flakes, broken glass, and enough dust, dirt and asbestos to last your entire life.

Now they have a full-time staff and pictures on the walls.

It used to be my photo instructor Tom was one of the only people to have access to this place. He knew the crazy old grounds keeper and could get us in on the down low. Back when there was no tour, no signs, no people. Back when it was just you, the prison, and the memories.

It was Tom who brought me here 5 years ago and it's Tom who I'm with today.

After we've signed our waivers and gone to the bathroom Tom shows us the combinations to some of the locks. This is so we can go into some of the places where the general public can't. It wasn't full access but it was better than nothing.

We split up. I headed toward one of my favorite cell blocks only to find it's been renovated. People are walking up and down the corridors with headphones, they're traipsing in and out of cells talking to each other, snapping pictures with cell phones. It used to be if you heard voices you had something to be alarmed about. Not now, not in this section at least.

After about an hour of taking pictures around the people on tour I went looking for Tom and Kate. I wanted to get into some of the really locked places, the places with locks that needed keys, not combinations.

I met up with them in the main Rotunda area, Tom was just about to head up to one of the guard towers to get some shots of the courtyard. I was eager to tag along. I missed my old prison, the one only me and a couple other people knew about. I wanted to get off the Disney tour and on to something a little more real.

We unlocked the door that took us up to the tower. The darkness was blinding. I could just barely see a spiral staircase in the center of the room. It stretched like a spine out of the shadows up to an open maw of faint daylight. Outside you could see the entire grounds. We must have been 200 feet up.

After getting some shots I stepped back down into the dark.

Yes, the darkness, I had forgotten about it. In this place the dark is it's own thing entirely. It's so thick it's almost tangible. Murky, and in some places you can't see your hand two inches from your face. It's oppressive and once you're inside, it suffocates you.

After shooting for another hour or so in Cell Block 3, the infirmary block and "non-tour" area, I got a phone call from Scott. He wanted advice on getting a PSP. I talked to him for a couple of minutes and when I came back Tom and Kate said they were going into another cell block. I told them I wanted to get one more shot here and I'd meet them over there. By the time I was done, I turned around and they were gone. I didn't see which way they went.

I called out for Tom. No answer. They couldn't have gone far, it had only been a minute. I called out again. Dead silence.

I decided I'd get some more shots while I was here and in a couple of minutes, when they realized I wasn't behind them, they'd come back.

Ten minutes passed and nobody showed. Silence. I paced up and down the cell block trying to find where they had gone. Suddenly the hair on the back of my neck was standing straight up and out of no where I got chills. I called out for Tom again. I heard someone walking around and some faint voices. I called out again. Nothing.

Then something. A very loud, pronounced voice. One that didn't sound like anyone I know. Coming from down the empty corridor it said, "Here's Johnny."

I shit you not.

I ran through one of the locked doors we had come through and saw Kate down the hall on the complete opposite side of where I had just been. I called to them and they showed me how to get over to where they were.

Later, I told Tom about what happened. I told him to stop fucking with me, it had to be him playing a joke. He said he was no where near me when it happened and that I was no where even near the tour. He was right, I wasn't.

At about 4:00pm we all entered Cell Block 12, said to be the more violent of the cell blocks. These were not solitary confinement cells like in the rest of the prison. Steel rods span each floor level, which were installed to discourage inmates from throwing each other from the catwalk.

Kate decided to go upstairs alone while Tom and I took a picture of a door that had been rent from it's hinges. A minute later she came down white as a sheet.

At first she wouldn't talk about it but finally we got it out of her. She told us she was upstairs taking a picture of one of the cells when she felt wind on the back of her neck. Like someone was standing behind her, breathing, heavily.

Around 5:30 we wrapped up, put away our gear and headed next door to a BBQ place for some dinner. Oddly enough it was an old firehouse that had been converted into a restaurant. The whole time I was eating I was thinking about the Ghostbusters headquarters. There is indeed something strange in your neighborhood.

The car ride home seemed longer than the car ride up. We talked about what happened. About ghosts and strange things that we had heard and seen before within the walls of that prison. I told them about Jon's theory. About how they're just memories.

From there on the car ride was pretty quiet.
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27 June 2005


Eastern State Penitentiary. Check the photo.bin. I'll blog about the weird shit that happened to me while I was there later. For now I must go to bed.

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23 June 2005

The Misfits of Science

It was long past dark outside by the time we got started. A late night it was going to be for sure. Driving into the city, the street lights shot laser beams across the night sky. It was after 10:30 but we indeed made it out on Friday night.

Let me say this, it's been a while since I've gone out. I've missed it.

My head was already reeling from what we had at Scott's house. Conversation mixed rum and diet coke with lime. Jon was pouring and by the time I got in the car I knew I was already halfway there. I must remember to never drink anything Jon makes on an empty stomach.

Baltimore in a flash, we're out and it's the best weather we've had in weeks. Stars flickered between broken leaves in tree branches, clouds were transparent vapor mist. Not too cold, not too hot.

We would hang around Brewers Art for a while and wait for Kevin to show. The art college crew was out for the semester and in it's place was a fair share of would-be hipsters and jocks. An eclectic mix to say the least. Studded belts, emo hair and football jerseys. This is the fashion Twilight Zone submitted for your approval.

And there we were in the middle, Baltimore City's lunar mare. Not fitting in with either side. We go against the grain, wear our geek on the outside. We stick out. Well, Jon and I do anyways. Though admittedly, neither of us were dressed nerdy tonight. A twisted 2 Live Crew song in the making: Nerdy As We Wanna Be.

Sometimes we wear it with pride, other times we tuck it in, it all depends on the setting. Tonight, for the most part, we were tucked in. Still though, I didn't feel we fit. I don't really feel we fit anywhere.

We settled in at Dionysus, a little hole-in-the-wall bar down the street. It was quiet and had places to sit. Digable Planets was playing over the speakers while a heavily tattooed girl tended bar. We all grabbed some drinks, sat and proceeded to talk for a while. About what, I honestly couldn't tell you. I was pretty wrecked and trying to sober up.

I remember in a haze Jon wrote some funny stuff on the bathroom chalkboard. Yes, the walls were made out of slate. The bathroom was a chalkboard. A novel idea as I'm sure it saves them from having to paint every Monday.

The trip home was quiet. We parted ways with Kevin on the way back to the car, Scott passed out in the back seat and Jon and I tuned out to some music. The road in front of us was damp and everything had that newborn shine.

Back at the house Scott and I cooked up some mini eggos and stuffed our faces while Jon retreated to his gaming den upstairs. I drove home shortly after.

Friday was good, it was a good time, though I still haven't found where in Baltimore I fit exactly.
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22 June 2005

The clipboard

It's something you never see. It exists somewhere in the ethereal plain of the computer macrocosm.

You highlight some text, maybe copy a picture and it's out there, floating in the netherworld, between the screen and somewhere unknown.

With the swift strike of Ctrl+V you summon the contents of the clipboard to do your bidding and think nothing of where they've been. The horrors they must have endured sitting in random access memory, the purgatory of your personal computer.

The clipboard hints at something going on off-camera, something unseen that exists somewhere else. Something you cant touch or feel until you rip it's contents through the screen's surface tension and resuscitate the bloated, twisted corpse that now lies before you.

This, to a geek, is the closest thing we can relate to the afterlife.

Copy and paste.
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21 June 2005

Out there

I almost did something really stupid tonight and the old me came out. The old me who thinks everyone is out to hurt him. I don't much care for the old self, he rarely rears his head these days. It was odd to see him tonight. It reminded me how much I didn't miss him.

I'm fearful he overstayed his welcome and may have done something irreversible. And for what? Because I dont get to see her enough? That's something easily fixed. All that takes is time, something I'm in short measure of lately. But that's no excuse for how I acted.

That's what happens when you put yourself out there. The first gut punch can buffet you right over. Out on that ledge, the wind in your face so hard you can't breathe. It's fear and you know it, but still you fight, when inside who you really want to fight is yourself.
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Puerile Entertainment

Isn't it the greatest?

God I love Gmail!
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Hits from the blog

Honestly, I just wanted to use that title. :)

But seriously, HOLY COW! People musta really dug the pics I uploaded yesterday. These numbers are insane. Nice to see the petyonuggets server held up. It gives me hope for things I want to host in the future.
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19 June 2005

In the photo.bin

Just spent 3 hours uploading an ass-ton of images to the photo-bin. I'll blog about all the events that went down this weekend tomorrow.

If you want to comment you can do so here. I eventually want people to be able to slap a comment on the page with the actual image on it but so far I haven't found a method that I like. I'm kinda new to this intertron programming thingy.

This'll do for now.


EDIT: Looks like Jen Wildcat got some good pics of the BBQ as well. Check em out, they're equally amusing.
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15 June 2005

Ahem... on to something different

Doing some side stuff for a music production company called Dodge City Entertainment, my buddy Kendrick's baby. So far it's going pretty well so I thought I'd share.

I personally dig the snot out of this design but I don't know if zombie rappers is the kind of feel they're going for in a logo. Oh well, I still plan on getting him some other ideas so he can have a choice in the matter.

Anyways here's what I've been up to.
Click the image for all 4 ideas:

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08 June 2005


Let me first clarify what I am about to write with this brief introduction.

I am not a fan of sports. Baseball stats and football drafts don’t do it for me. I couldn’t tell you the first rule of soccer or how to hit a golf ball. However, this doesn’t make me any less of a man. I enjoy playing videogames, working on computers, fast cars and movies with explosions. I like fights and violence, swords and ninjas.

I dig having sex with women.

That out of the way I can safely say, without doubt in my mind, Cirque du Soleil: Varekai is the most amazing thing I’ve ever bared witness with my own eyes.

Kelly’s mom had two extra tickets and after a bit of corralling I said I‘d go. I had to cancel some plans. Reschedule. Reconfigure a little but reluctantly, on short notice, I could go.

I’ll tell you a secret. I’m glad I did.

I sat there for three hours with my jaw slacked open. It was goddamn beautiful.

If I were to make an attempt at explaining the things I saw in that tent here in these pages I’m most assured you’d find me quite mad. There were men and beasts, women and children, angels and devils, all flipping and contorting through the air with the kind of grace one hears about only in myth. Light and color filled my pupils till I thought them full. Sound and music swelled from my insides out. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house.

I checked out the soundtrack only to find that there are tracks remixed by Thievery Corporation and Christopher Goze. It’s astounding. How did I not know?

It’s in town, in Baltimore MD until the 19th of this month. If you’re on the fence about it, just go. You’ll thank me.

Kelly’s mom got us the regular tickets. She hooked us with what would normally cost about $75.00 a piece. She got the VIP tickets for herself, which I’m told included “out front” parking and access to the VIP section. The latter said to hold something wondrous called a Chocolate Fountain. I can only assume one dips a diamond encrusted chalice to it’s rippling stream and partakes what must be a gift of the gods. I have no idea what those tickets cost but rest assured next year I’ll pay for the full treatment.

Yes, next year. I’m going again. And after that, again.
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03 June 2005

Since sliced bread?

It appears that Jon has started a blog entirely about the things he eats and it's every bit as great as the connotations that notion brings.

Food I Eat.

I'm sure that future posts will make me hungry and thusly make me want to kill him.
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Let me put on my creativity socks

When I was little it took me forever to put on my socks. For the life of me I couldn't get them to go on correctly. There would always be these lumps in the material. They'd get bunched up in the arch of my foot or the seam that runs across the toes would be crooked and produce a knot of fabric I could feel with my pinky toe.

When I was little I was a chronic sock smoother. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in its humble beginnings. My mom could recite volumes about this ritual I went through every morning. She even wrote a poem about it in the vein of Shel Silverstein.

This procedure continued for years. I'd put on my socks two, three, twenty times before I actually got it right. Even then I'd put my foot in my shoe only to find that I'd missed a lump that was directly under my middle toe and have to start all over again. From the beginning. I'm sure this made me late on more than one occasion.

Then one day, for no apparent reason, it stopped. Something in me just didn't care anymore. I grew out of it. I'd go to school with three, four, five lumps in my socks and be totally fine. This is right around the time I started being creative. Right around the time I started drawing. When I found my outlet.

Two days ago I had what you'd call a relapse. I was a good twenty minutes late for work because the lumps simply wouldn't go away. My socks wouldn't go on straight and every time I put my foot in my shoe there would be the little bunches of material of my youth, mocking me, keeping me from going about my life. There might as well have been mountains in my shoes.

I guess what this is really about is being creative. Lately, I don’t know, I feel like I’ve lost touch with that side of myself. Sure, I still occasionally do little things that keep the spark, but I haven’t done anything on a really grand scale in over a year. This needs to be remedied.

I had a conversation with a friend and came to the conclusion that being creative is a lot like working out. It’s a lot easier if you have someone there to spot you. This is my plan over the course of the next year. To form a creative group that we can all bounce ideas off. A system of checks and balances. A system of inspiration.

I understand that one cannot always be creative. There has to be breaks. Imagine a chocolate chip cookie without the crumbly cookie matrix. A cookie only comprised of chips. It wouldn’t be a cookie at all, just a wad of chocolate. Without balance things get old very quickly.

On the other side of that argument though, I feel like I haven’t bitten into a chip in so long I’ve forgotten what one tastes like.
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