Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011


, originally uploaded by diamond.teeth.


Sunday, June 12, 2011


It's been a minute. Some very high high's and some unprecedented low's. It's how it goes, right?

An example:
Last night, after getting some terrible news while at work featuring two hospitalizations and a death, I got free baseball tickets before rushing to make a dear friend's opening of his phenomenal solo show.  How can all this happen at once?

I am going to go to the Giants' game tonight. And after go see the Slowmotions and Shitty Limits at the knockout. IT IS GOING TO BE GREAT.

You should come to the show. It is not everyday a fantastic Japanese punk band plays in your neighborhood bar for six dollars. Plus, it'll be nice to see you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Planet Earth is the Lunatic Asylum of the Galaxy

I have GOT to see this movie. Teen revelry, euphoric destruction, madness, and maybe even a touch of critique!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Future is bleak

If these are the kind of role models we give kids, the best jokes we can hope for are saying unfunny misogynist things in a repetitive voice. And that is a future I do not want to be a part of. Except, then I found this website by an Adam Sandler:

I have no idea if this is actually Adam Sandler's official website. It seems entirely too good to be true. Like any good piece of cyberia, there are gifs, broken links, and weekly updates that haven't been touched in years. Not since Gilbert Gottfried's blog (RIP) have I encountered such a failed foray into the internet. He offers such gems as the Guide to safe fax and a list of things to do to piss people off as opposed to his separate list of things to do to annoy people. He even has an X-Files drinking game.

It is just perfect.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Feel Good Party Duck

I'm obsessed with this picture of Donald Duck. It is from a commercial I saw no less than four times while watching the season premiere of Make It or Break It (review forthcoming). I think it is from a clip of the famous Main Street Electric Parade. Disco Donald seems to have lost that irascible nature in favor a light-up bow tie. An icon of our times.

Donald's full name is Donald Fauntleroy Duck. He was born on Friday the 13th. He is colorblind and has Nazi-parody nightmares.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Pleasures of Hassan: A 1000 year old Top Ten List.

I have been reading all this Abbasid poetry lately. Woweewoo, did those 10th century Arabs know how to party! Here's an example: Attending a dinner party, Hassan was asked what he liked most about being alive. I couldn't agree more with the list the rattled off.

The Pleasures of Hassan, a 10th century fool, as reported by wandering historian 'Ali ibn Muhammad Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi

-feeling smooth, shiny and round forms
-scratching myself when I itch
-eating pomegranates in summer
-sleeping with wild women and beardless boys
-walking without trousers among people who have no shame
-seeking a quarrel with sullen people
-finding no resistance on the part of those I love
-associating with idiots
-frequenting faithful fellows like brothers and not seeking the company of vile souls

[This is quoted directly and in its entirety from Robert Irwin’s Night and Horses and the Desert (p173), which cites Abdelwahab Boudiba's Sexuality in Islam (London, 1985; translated from French by Alan Sheridan), p 128 as the source of this quote.  This isn't twitter. Here is a context that allows any reader to further their interest in this topic.]

The list moves from general conditions to simple bodily pleasures to a sense of the relational and intimate. Maybe it is an unfounded sense of importance or self-centeredness about the present that makes me marvel at how 1000 years hasn't changed a thing. Pomegranate drips from a chin in sunshine, pestering the pouty and somber to get a rise, a palmed pebble are all as satisfying to me as they were to Hassan.  I'm not trying to say there is some human condition that links us. (GAG) Rather, I am just impressed with Hassan's excellent selection of ideas. The variety of pleasures and the perfect icons that represent them are what makes this recipe for happiness so great. It's like he reached out from his tent near Baghdad to give a shaka.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Living Bell

HOLA! Long time, no see. I've been very busy lately. I started interning at McSweeney's. It's going great. You can keep your eyes peeled for a few things in the May issue of the Believer by yours truly. You'd think getting back into a reading and writing mode would really up the output on here -in both quality and content. And, hopefully, it will. Heretofore, I've just been too busy. Until it does, help yourself to some jamz by Melanie Safka. She was a weirdo babe with a guru.

Melanie Safka

Look! She even makes that same stupid face that I do when I am happy.

Plus, my grandparents are in town. Now, I get to go slide around on those library ladders at Britex.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dear Friends,

Happy Valentines.

get moody

After a month of warm and bright weather that shamed me for waking up past 11,  I am looking forward to hunkering down a little. More movies, more reading. Hell, let it rain.

And way more DIRTY BEACHES

I love how this one looks and sounds like a David Lynch movie. So affective in the same lonesome,  yearning, and dark-fuzzy way.

He is playing on Wednesday with Dum Dum Girls. If I wasn't busy opening many bottles of pink champagne for other people's (belated) Valentines, I would really like to be my own valentine, pop my own sparkling and go there.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rest easy, old friend

This was my dog, Gwen. She died today. When I was ten, I picked her out of a stripmall pet store based on her spotted blue coat for $99. She was a fantastic, difficult, and loving companion. Her quality of life had reached a point where it longer seemed reasonable to watch her slip and slide across linoleum floors, loose control of her bladder or be unable to find her food bowl. I didn't make the decision, but I understand it.

She is missed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Get To That

A recipe for happiness:

Jam this goofy/smooth jam this all day and night.

Hang in a paddleboat with your friend on a sunny day.
Paddle Boatin

Eat roasted butternut squash.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bay Area - Consent Discussion

This Saturday at the Berkeley Public Library (South Branch) there will be a community discussion about defining and understanding consent. Please come! We need you there!


Feel free to let others know. Email me with concerns and questions!!

Monday, January 24, 2011


New York Times home delivery starts today. 2011: Upping the ante.

Excited for:
Enraged rants triggered Maureen Dowd and Thomas L. Friedman's misguided faux-left op-eds!
The Ethicist! The Science Times on Tuesday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ponzo defined

This is a PONZO ILLUSION. It's the name of my blog and I've never really talked about why I chose that name. Matin Ponzo, an Italian psychologist, came up with the phenomenon when trying to illustrate how an object's size is judged relative to its background. Check it out. These three elephants are all the same size. You can measure them. The converging lines cause them to look different. It is the background that determines our relative perception of an object. It is precisely in that spirit that I began this blog.

Today, when I went to surprise Hannah at work with some tiramisu from Cafe Gratitude, she mentioned that she is rereading Susan Sontag's On Photography. We got really revved up talking about Sontag getting unfairly kicked around the canon since her death, the overemphasis on her relation to Barthes, and other hot topics (the streak!). Hannah mentioned feeling really comforted by the experience of rereading a book that was so vital to our respective intellectual development. I first came to Sontag through a New York Times article about Abu Ghraib, "Regarding the Torture of Others." More that my first introduction to Sontag, it was the first time I had read a deeply philosophic treatment of art and form that was invested in the politics I am committed to. What I mean is, in that article I found a model for a political writing that engaged form. I remember the spring day that I read it at my dad's kitchen table. I brought to high school that following day and talked endlessly about it. I had written a paper a little before then about a popular political poster from the 1960's made by a group called Another Mother for Peace.

At the tender age of 17, I was very frustrated by what I understood to be a weak argument by a group of women who didn't understand the necessity of extremism in the face of violence and war. BAMN. More, I was irritated that a antiwar feminist stance had to be articulated through a concern for children and relied on a sense of the maternal for its pathos -I had just heard about rhetoric. I was offended that the furthest they were willing to go was to suggest war is unhealthy, as if hygiene were more important than clear ethical and moral imperatives not to senselessly murder people. Sontag couldn't have shown up at a better moment. With a fantastically deadpan and methodical argument, her essay calls into question the photographs, the events depicted in them and their reception. And it turns out she hates Dazed and Confused too! Anyway, it was nice to remember a pivotal moment in my development as a thinker. As often happens when recollecting how one's changed, I felt a desire to recommit to the practice I found so inspiring in that article and in the spirit of what I was already doing at 17. I want to think harder about the images and ideas that populate this world. I want to think about them rigorously and with respect to the context and discourse in which they are situated. This is a critical task, but it can also be a fun one and I hope an interesting one.
In thinking about the rise of twitter and tumblr, I've often said that what I hate is the decontextualization. The images on tumblr are stripped of all meaning, context, or way to learn anything about their origin. It is a form that allows as little information as possible so as to be just a slick, floating image. With twitter, ideas are capped before even being able to be formed. It's an echochamber of boring bullshit. That ipad bus ad really nails it.

is this what Apple thinks of social media?

A bunch of garbage where people can report their minutia without saying a single interesting thing about it. If I am going to participate in the internet at all (pre-wingnut freakout future), I want to at least think about my contributions and what sort of exchanges it engenders. Of course, I still want to creep on my crush's flickr. Of course, I look at something on wikipedia everyday. But, that doesn't mean I have to act like a the precursor to a common weather phenomenon like a rainbow is an event whose specialness needs to be echoed forever. I don't think every sandwich deserves an archive. Say something interesting about that very same thing and I'm fine with it. Generate an idea, offer it to the world in the form of a very small readership and call it a day. But, the idea part is key. Seriously though, I can't believe they put the thing in about the sandwich. It's like I don't even have to make a parody it's so stupid already.


 Not to worry, though, for all this highfaluting talk about theoretical commitments, this blog will still have as many dog photos as ever. Especially since next weekend is the SAN FRANCISCO DOG SHOW.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Oh, San Francisco!
Went on a cool vacation to visit buddies across our great nation. It was so great to party with the punks. In Chattanooga, right before New Years, I was so struck by how genuinely nice everyone was. Like, huge smiles and crushing, full-torso hugs are the norm. This warmth was in Athens and -to a lesser extent- Gainesville too. I'm only qualifying the friendliness of Gainesville because I spent most of my time with two fantastic friends who are really grumpy dudes, Daniel and Ryan. (WASSUP GRUMPS? When is Weak Dollar gonna happen?) and this lady was really mean to me at a party for no reason. But, across my trip from Amy and Eric Nelson's hugs in the Pickle Barrel to Sunshine SS giving me a ride to Florida which made their cramped ride certainly less comfortable, I found myself being nicer in response to this punk geniality and goodwill. Is it stupid in 2011 to want to recommit to niceness? Given the shitty state of things, my own justified rage at the political climate, further infringements on basic living, does being nicer make sense? I THINK IT DOES. In an urban environment, alienation abounds. Why make being a man in the crowd worse? At home in SF,  I find myself walking around scowling when I actually feel totally fine. I don't acknowledge other humans on the street, even though I am constantly putting myself in peril staring at babes while biking or crossing the street. I had a great day yesterday. Ate a bahn-mi in the dogpark with Hannah. Wore a tanktop in January. A dude wearing a Minor Threat tee working in a pizza place gave me 'wazzup' eyebrow wiggles. A gray-eyed puppy frantically kissed me on the inside of my mouth. Painted my nails a Carribean-sea turquois. I walked around smiling all day. I tried to be just a little friendlier to the people I spoke to, a little more polite. I left no dangling 'thank you's left unsaid. It feels better, enforces that PMA.

Ironically, being nicer is probably the change I make in 2011 that will effect me the most. I'm trying to take a roll of photos a week and write 500 words a day. You're looking at the outcomes of both right now. I'm trying to have more consistency about normal things like drinking enough water and reading as much as I'd like to. I rearranged my room today to have two separate workspaces. One for art. One for writing. PRODUCTIVITY THRU ARCHITECTURE. I'm the Le Corbosier of my bedroom.

Here's to a new urban friendliness! I don't wanna feel cattiness as I walk down Valencia. WE'RE MORE THAN PIGEONS. There are plenty of flannels for all of us in Thrift Town! Let's make comments in line at Four Barrel. I'll tell you I like your shoes and you mention the weather and we'll all be a pinch happier.

It's like that Times New Viking song "Teenage Lust." A corrective to the MC5 song by the same name, the chorus of the TNV version layers itself with "I don't wanna die in the city alone."  And, if craigslist missed connections are any indication, I think that is a widely held sentiment.

(apologies for this horrendously ugly player)