Am I correct to assume that new technology is generally supposed to improve upon old technology?  I'd like to take this time to complain about one example of technology falling flat on its face and sucking.  I'm talking about fluorescent light bulbs.  Not the long tubes, but the ones that are supposed to be super energy efficient replacements for the normal incandescent light bulbs that we've been using in our houses for the past 100 years.  Since normal light bulbs are getting harder and harder to find (in the Netherlands, anyway) we've purchased a few lately.  One is in our bedroom, and one is in a desk lamp in the computer room/office/whatever you want to call it.  The one in the office buzzes.  Originally this one was in the bedroom, but we moved it to the office because the buzzing was highly annoying.  The buzzing is still annoying, but now it's drowned out by the annoying buzz of the computer, so it is not noticed as much.  The bulb that we put in the bedroom is a different brand.  It does not buzz, but it takes  5 minutes to get up to a reasonable brightness.  When you flip the light switch, nothing happens.
Thomas freaking Edison's light went on immediately, and that was over 100 years ago.  Some green scientist needs to get his ass in gear, and fix this shit.

Another thing that I'm not keen on about fluorescent lights is that they use mercury.  Yeah, they are more energy efficient, but mercury is poisonous, and almost no one disposes of their fluorescent bulbs properly.  

I will be sad when my beloved incandescents are no longer available. 



The pain.
In a few short weeks I will be visiting the U.S.  Specifically, I will be visiting CT.  Unfortunately, I will not be spending much time anywhere except for Winsted, CT.  I'd like to hang out in Boston a bit, and I'd also like to go to NYC, but that will not happen on this trip.  ( here's the painful part)  Since I will be flying into Boston, my plan is to rent a car, and drive to Winsted or have my sister pick me up.  On the way home I plan on stopping at Blue Ribbon Barbecue to feast on glorious beef brisket.  I can almost smell it.  I've been thinking about it all day.  Do you know what it is like to be a mail man who can't get his mind off of brisket?  I can't imagine that you have any idea how painful it is.  There are some nice things to eat here, but nothing that the dutch have to offer compares to delicious beef brisket (they do have fantastic cheese though, and oliebollen!!!  So good.).  The worst part is that I have to make dinner now, and I know that nothing I make will compare to the treacherous thoughts in my head.
The pain.
I also want to get good hamburgers and steaks while I am home.  Maybe some Mexican food.

That brings me to the next thought in my head.  It is a far less torturous thought, and it doesn't (necessarily) involve food.  I'll be in Winsted from December 4 until December 14.  If you grew up with me, and are currently living in Winsted or the surrounding area, would you let me know if you are interested in being a part of a photo project?  Even if you didn't grow up with me, and somehow stubbled upon this blog, feel free to contact me as well.  That would be awesome.

Best wishes,
Jim Turbert


I guess this post is going to be about the immune system.  I read an article the other day suggesting that having symptoms and getting colds is the sign of a strong immune system.  The logic is that if your system is working properly it is actively fighting off contaminants, thus producing symptoms; sneezes; runny noses; sore throats.  I guess that makes sense, but I have always considered my immune system to be rock solid.  I made this assumption because I don't get sick.  While working in a school for 7 years I had a few colds, but I only got really sick once.  Since living in the Netherlands (for two years) I didn't get sick at all until a few nights ago.  I'm not even sure the sickness from last week counts because I'm certain it was food poisoning.  Could someone with a medical background give me an answer?  Is my seldom having cold or flu symptoms a sign that my immune system is not doing what it is supposed to be doing?  Why is the logic of my initial assumption about the strength of my immune system false?  Is my overall health based on luck?  If it is based on luck, could I transfer some of that luck to other areas of my life, like say, buying lottery tickets?  Perhaps the article I read was designed to make people who often get sick to feel better about themselves.  Do you have any thoughts?



Last night I was kneeling on the floor of an empty retail space in a mall scraping double sided tape residue that had been soaking in some petroleum based substance.  While I was doing this hundreds of people were walking by.  Some of them stopped to stare.  Children pressed their faces up against the glass to see what I was doing, but most people just ignored me and walked by.  I felt like a zoo animal.  Seriously, this is what I did last night.  It wasn't a dream.
Spending Friday night engaged in menial tasks involving toxic materials is the sort of thing that makes one take stock of his life.  Clearly, I am not doing as well as I could or should be, and clearly I have made some questionable decisions.  I am not an unintelligent man, and I have a reasonable skill set, so why do I find myself in my current situation.  I'd like to know how far back I'd have to go to answer the question, "How did I get to where I am?"
The easiest answer is that I moved to a country where I am not a native speaker, and my language skills are far less than perfect.  In fact, they are unacceptable for most forms of work dealing with other people.  Most toddlers speak Dutch better than I do.  So, why did I move here?  The best answer I have is that I wanted a change of scenery.  I had been working my old job for seven years, and I was sick of it.  As good as the job was, I was just not into it anymore.  I thought that changing things up a bit would reinvigorate my brain, and make me a happier person.  2008 was a difficult year for me.  My uncle whom I was very close with was diagnosed with lung cancer in late 2007 and died in early 2008.  This really messed my head up.  I think I'm still messed up from it, but that's another story.  His death made me think of all the normal cliche stuff about how you never know when you are going to die.  You know, stuff like, "You could get hit by a bus tomorrow!"  It also made me thing about exactly what the hell I was doing with myself.
Sometime leading up to the summer of 2008 I got it into my head that I did not want to work at the school anymore.   I can't remember if it was before or during our vacation that I told Marleen that I was not going to go back to Wellesley in the fall.  She was surprised.  She had heard me bitch about my issues with work a million times, but I had never insisted that I didn't want to go back.  As luck would have it, Marleen was able to set up a job interview in Holland during our summer vacation.  She got the job, thus enabling us to financially support our relocation, and the decision was made.  I felt good about it.  Things seemed to be falling into place in an orderly and fortuitous pattern.  I envisioned a fresh version of myself taking a little time off, and then stepping into a new position as a photo assistant or a technical advisor for someone who does interesting work.  Alas, that was not to be, and here I am, again asking the question, "How did I get to where I am?"
Should I have not gone to art school?  Should I have been more assertive in high school?  Should I have gone left instead of right?  What was the decision I made that sent my life hurtling toward the dismal present?  I know I should not have jumped as eagerly into the international move as I did, but I thought that such adventure was one of the things my life (that could end at any second) was missing.  If I were more rational, I would have started searching for a new job instead of looking for an international escape hatch.  Since it is impossible for me to go back in time to view the critical moments in my life, I will end this trifle with the conclusion that my current situation is largely due to a lapse in rationality that started around the spring of 2008.

So yeah, I have a ton of work ahead of me because I may have made a bad decision or two.  The good news is that I have a knack for fixing things.  I've never tried to fix a broken life before, but I enjoy  challenges.  The other good thing is that I am not too proud to do shitty jobs if I have to.  I am willing to do almost anything, barring sexual favors and nudity, for money.  If you have a shitty job for me, let me know.  I'll do it.  If you have an awesome job for me, let me know.  I'll do that, too.  I'm a good employee.  Real good.



until last weekend i had never been to paris before.  i had made a few brief stops in paris on the train to provence, but i had never been in the city.  now that i have spent a whopping three days in the city of lights i can report that i liked it.  it's beautiful and the food is delicious.  well, much of the food is delicious.  on our first night i ordered something called an andouillette.  i knew it was a sausage, but i was not aware of the details.  since the french are obviously known for their cuisine, i was certain that i wanted something decidedly french.  when i took my first bite i was shocked and surprised by how strong the flavor was.  it wasn't bad.  it was smokey, rich, and very distinct.  then i chewed.  and chewed.  and chewed.  you see, andouillette is a sausage made from coarsely chopped bits of stomach and intestine.  wikipedia says, "their strong smell can be reminiscent of feces and may offend people unaccustomed to the dish."  mine didn't smell like feces, but i got sick of it very quickly.  marleen suggested that i order something else, but i insisted on not being a wuss, and i ate the whole thing.  i didn't want to be the foolish tourist who couldn't handle the local cuisine.  instead i was the foolish tourist who forced himself to eat what was paid for.  it was quite a chore, but no one was injured.

speaking of cuisine, i watched a BBC program about the normans last night.  i sought this program out because i was told by another bloke named jim turbert (i know of three including myself) that turbert is a norman name.  anyway, it is because of the normans that the english language is so diverse.  in 1066 england was conquered by normans who had settled in northern france (normandy) for a long time, and they brought the french language with them.  when they took over, thousands of french derived words were added to the english language.  interesting, eh?  i thought so.

our paris goals were not to see as much as we could in a short period of time.  we wanted to relax, and see some stuff, and not stress out if we couldn't see all of the splendors of the city.  so , we did not go into the louvre.  we thought that would not be relaxing.  we did hit several of the outdoor attractions including the eiffel freaking tower.  i've wanted to see the eiffel tower forever, and it was not disappointing.  we went inside to enjoy the fantastic view, but walking around it and staring at it from different angles was more rewarding.  its awesomeness is magnified by the fact that there is nothing remotely as large in its proximity.  giant skyscrapers are impressive, but imagine how insane it would be to see the empire state building standing alone in a field rather than in a city block surrounded by other large buildings.  shit is crazy.  the eiffel tower is super cool.

so yeah, we'll probably go back to paris sometime.  i suppose i have to go inside the louvre to do battle with the masses of crazies who want to snap digital pictures of the mona lisa.  i suppose i should also go inside notre dame.  there are lots of things we didn't do, but our trip was relaxed, and everything we did was quality except for the andouillette.



goddamn.  while delivering mail a few weeks ago i was both rained on and hailed on.  it was not awesome, but i was invited in for a cup of tea.  the hail started, and i ducked into someones bike shed to cover myself (and the mail).  i figured it would last a few minutes, and i would continue.  kids inside the house saw me, and started pointing.  then their mom invited me in for tea.  it was lovely.  we conversed in dutch as much as i could, and then i went back out into the rain once the hail subsided.  fortunately, the sun came out for the last part of my route, so i warmed up a bit.

another postman related note, one of the people on my route is named hermanus hoogendonk.  i know it is juvenile to make of someones name, and it is not my intention to make mister hoogendonk feel bad, but to me (and probably most americans) hermanus hoogendonk sounds like the hapless victim of a villain in a fairy tale.  i wonder what jim turbert sounds like to him.

when i was a child i was made fun of because of my last name.  i got into quite a bit of trouble because of it.  older kids would tease me, and i got to the point where i didn't want to take it anymore, so i attacked them.  i was a pretty big kid, so the older kids weren't much bigger than me, but i was waaaay less coordinated than them.  it wasn't pretty.  fortunately, by the time my reflexes caught up with my large body i wasn't in the habit of attacking people for teasing me any longer, otherwise i would have gotten into far more trouble.  so please, hermanus, don't attack me.  i am not making fun of you.   my intention is to make my readership, as small as it is, aware of your name so they can better appreciate naming diversity.

tomorrow i'll tell you about my recent trip to paris.  it was delightful.



I don't particularly enjoy the act of baking, but I truly enjoy the end product.  Eating delicious baked goods is one of the greatest things in life.  I realize that pancakes aren't really baked goods, but since living in Holland, I've been making pancakes every weekend.  I have only baked one pie, but two cakes have been baked, a few batches of cupcakes, a handful of banana breads, and countless batches of cookies.  Seriously, I've baked so many cookies since living here, I could open a bakery.  It is entirely unhealthy.  
For awhile I was obsessed with pudding as well.  My first batch was banana, then I made several batches of butterscotch.  I ate some really great butterscotch pudding while visiting my friend Ed in Minneapolis a few years ago.  It was so good.  My butterscotch pudding was good, but not as good as the stuff from Minneapolis.  I was using the recipe from "The Joy of Cooking."  It was bit more jelly than I wanted it to be.  I wanted smoother and creamier pudding.  My banana pudding was pretty creamy, but Marleen is not as partial to bananas as I am, so I didn't revisit that one.  My friend Ronan is both lactose intolerant and allergic to gluten, so I made him a coconut milk based pudding with a corn starch thickener once.  It was quite good, though a bit rich, and more jelly than I would have liked.  As I mentioned before, I prefer a creamier pudding.
If I were asked, I would say that my best pudding was a rich, creamy, and delicious chocolate pudding.  I've made it a few times, and the texture is perfect, and it is super tasty.  Each time I made pudding I was hoping for a giddy excited reaction, but instead my creations were met with indifference.  This isn't a direct quote, but once Marleen said something along the lines of, "Chocolate mousse is so much better than pudding."  
Despite the somewhat uncalled for and ungrateful chocolate mousse remark, my baked goods are typically well received.  Marleen always eats them.  Other visitors seem pleased when eating them.  Most importantly, I always enjoy eating them.  Life is much better with delicious baked goods or other desserts.  I'm not sure if I'm going to make anything this evening,  but I assure you that I want to.  



This is an AP photograph.  I don't know who the photographer is, and I'm using it without permission.  I assure you that I am making no money by posting this here.

I was watching the news last night, and I saw clip of Fidel Castro.  The first thing I thought was, "Shit, he looks old."  The second thing I thought was, "Shit, he's wearing a Nike tracksuit.  That is awesome."  I find it quite amusing that the president of a nation that is not allowed to trade with the US is flaunting the fact that he can buy any damn tracksuit he wants.  He's a saucy bastard.  

I'm feeling pretty saucy too.  Actually, it's more smokey than saucy.  I grilled food on our porch tonight, and now I smell like delicious barbecued chicken.  I assume the entire apartment will smell this way for days.  It was worth it.  

We just had our first American visitor (some of you readers may know G. Funkhouser).  It was fun.  I'd do it again.  While she was here, I learned that it costs €6.50/day to rent a bike in Rotterdam.  I would have lent her one of our bikes, but she is significantly smaller than Marleen and I.  I also learned that Magnum Gold is both tasty and shiny.  We will be having more American visitors throughout the month of August.  By the end of the summer Marleen and I plan on being the hostesses with the mostest.  Maybe you should come visit in the fall.

Yours truly, 
Jim Turbert


when i am on, i am on.  when i am on, i am generally successful in all endeavors, and i feel unstoppable.  my biggest problem is that i love down time.  i fully embrace it, and once i'm in it i never want it to end.  if i am not fully involved with a project, sitting around and doing nothing becomes very appealing to me, and thus i become the opposite of unstoppable.  well, the opposite of unstoppable is stoppable, so i guess i just become stopped, halted, frozen, numbed.  i've been stopped for awhile now.  i'm working quite hard to get the ball rolling again, but it is a very heavy ball, and i am out of shape.  

when i moved here, i had expectations that were not met.  historically, i've always been able to quickly and easily find work.  this was not the case when i came here.  i've had a few insignificant small jobs, but the best thing i can say about all of them is that they were better than nothing.  i never assumed that i would not be able to find a good job doing something interesting, but i underestimated the importance of having the right connections, having a degree other than a bfa, and speaking the dutch language.  the system seems to work a bit differently here, and my stellar recommendations from home seem to be worthless.  in fact, no one ever asks to see them.  as far as art is concerned, my ideas have not been overflowing.  i didn't know what to do for many months.  occasionally i made some attempts, but the results were unremarkable.  lack of meaningful employment coupled with repeated rejections and an artistic block nurtured a feeling of despondency that i haven't felt for many years.  this despondency still has sway over me, but i am fighting.  i must revitalize the juggernaut.    

i'll keep you posted about my progress, and like i said before, i'm going to post some new photos very soon.  very soon.


p.s.  if you are in ro-town, go look at the olafur eliasson exhibition at the boijmans.  i could sit there and look at it for hours.  seriously.        


Boats, originally uploaded by jimturbert.

i have so much to say, yet i write so few blog entries.

i'm a mail man now, and believe me it's not as glamorous as is sounds. in the US, you have to take a test to become a mail man, and they reward postal workers pretty well. in the netherlands, postbezorgers are barely paid, but the prerequisites are easily attainable.
1) one must possess the ability to understand an address.
2) you need a bicycle that is sturdy enough to carry mail.
3) you must be able to lift 25 kilograms.
check, check, and check.
for the past three weeks i've been walking around in the sun listening to music, and passing some time. sure, i make very little money, but it is far better than nothing, and it hasn't substantially rained here for my entire postal career. does this mean that i am getting lucky? should i buy a lottery ticket?
i think i'll just apply for some more jobs.


p.s. i will be posting some new pictures SOON. not this week, but maybe next. stay tuned.


Mt. Ventoux, originally uploaded by jimturbert.

I know a lot about many aspects of photography. If you asked me a question I could probably answer it. Last weekend I was France photographing a charity event. If you are reading this, then you have obviously looked at my website, and you know that there are no event photographs on the site. The reason for that is that I don't normally take photographs of events. In fact, I don't think that event photography is my strong suit. Does the fact that I am good at one or some aspects of photography and less skilled in other make me less of a photographer, OR does engaging in fine arts projects that end up costing me money rather that earning it make me less of a professional?

I am asked by non-photo/art people all time if photography is my profession or if it is a hobby. I find myself in a bit of a quandary because I make no money with photography, but it certainly isn't a hobby. Calling it a hobby insinuates that i am a dilettante, and that is not the case. My knowledge and experience in most aspects of photography is top shelf, but put me up against a news photographer, a product photographer, or a wedding photographer in their respective areas of expertise, and I am at the very least inefficient. While writing this it occurs to me that photographers are like athletes (especially me - hehe). Most athletes will possess general physical fitness, but most of them excel in one area or another. Take Michael Jordan as an example. He is arguably the best basketball player of all time. He's also a good baseball player and golfer, but he's not really a threat to the pros in any sport other than basketball. Okay, Jordan is not the best example. Maybe pro athletes aren't the best example either, but I think you get my point. Just because someone is a photographer, it doesn't mean that they want to take pictures of blenders, or buildings, or weddings, or whatever. I suppose that after the proper practice and training some people have become photographic decathletes. I'm not there yet. I just think that like doctors and athletes, photographers can have specialties, and that doesn't make them unprofessional or less than adequate - even if their specialties are not lucrative and confusing to their families and acquaintances.

Do any of you know of any texts that discuss the nature of photographers rather than the nature of photography. I think I'd like to read them.

Okay. Bye,


I wouldn't use the word hate to describe how I feel about 3D movies. In fact, going to a 3D movie can be fun, but I just read this article entitled "Why I Hate 3D (and You Should Too)" by Roger Ebert. It is awesome, and accurately (and better) expresses many of my own opinions and concerns about the shift of the motion picture industry towards 3D.
Don't give your money to the man. While there are notable exceptions, most 3D movies are shoddy conversions of work that has no business being in 3D. Read the article. Rog lays it down for you. He's the man.



Broken iPhone Screen., originally uploaded by jimturbert.

after a grueling flight from narita airport to schiphol, and a short and boring train ride from schiphol to rotterdam centraal, i dropped my iphone on the pavement while waiting for a tram to my house. i was not happy, but i accepted it, and i moved on without tears.
when i got home i searched online for iphone repairs. the cheapest i could find was in the area of $180 or € or whatever your currency of choice is. that is unacceptable for a phone that could be replaced for €200 or for free if i signed up for two more years. so, i looked for replacement parts online. i found them on amazon.co.uk, but they wouldn't ship to my dutch address (sometimes amazon will ship to me, other times they won't.). next i tried ebay, and i found a screen replacement for around €21. i got the screen yesterday, and with the guidance of ifixit.com i was able to bring my iphone back to it's former glory. i am pleased with the results.

jim turbert


originally uploaded by jimturbert.

i think the jet lag is gone. the first day back i was awake and out of bed at 4:30am. now i'm getting up at a more reasonable 7:30/8. it's strange to be back in rotterdam. before going to japan i was an out of place foreigner. when in japan i was way out of place, and when i returned home i thought i was supposed to feel settled and comfortable. instead, i'm back to my limbo position in the world where nothing is quite right.
japan was very cool, but also very frustrating and tiring both physically and mentally. we walked a lot, and i was dumb enough to bring a giant heavy camera with me, so i had to carry it everywhere. finding our way on the subway system was challenging, and trying to figure out where we were on a map was also problematic due to the fact that there are no street signs.  aside from those difficulties, it was a good time, and i'd do it again. the food was great, the retail experiences were bizarre and interesting, the temples were old, and the people were super nice. they were nice, but most of them spoke very little if any english, and my japanese is limited to good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and thank you. at one point we were in a restaurant, and we couldn't make it clear that we wanted to drink water. we ended up pointing at the stuff in the aquarium. even after that it took a few minutes.

we went to both tokyo and kyoto. tokyo was a mind-blowing sensory overload while kyoto was a far more manageable experience. kyoto is laid out in a grid, and most streets have some kind of street sign, thus making it easy to find yourself on a map. tokyo had lights everywhere, no street signs, and 8 bazillion residents. it was like times square on steroids minus (most of) the disney. if you plan on going to either of these cities in the future do not assume that two weeks is enough time to see everything. it is not. but that is okay. you don't need to see everything. the ride is part of what is appealing about visiting, if you know what i'm saying. if you don't know, let me know, and i'll try to explain it better.

oh, and don't bring an ancient pentax 6x7 with you.  bring something smaller.



I'm not sure I've mentioned this before, but I feel out of place in
the Netherlands, sort of like E.T. Well, I'm in Japan right now, and
I really don't fit in here.
It is fun to visit though.
We're in Tokyo at the moment, but we'll be moving along to Kyoto on
Monday. If you ever plan a trip to Tokyo, do not assume you can do it
in a week.
I don't think I'll post again until I return to Rotterdam, so try to
remember that I am here and alive.



hi.  i want to remind you about the films i'll be presenting tomorrow.  if you are going to be in rotterdam and are curious about some early films of andy warhol, go to ADA at 7pm.  it will be fun.

ok then, i'll see you at ADA.



hi.  today marleen and i went to the booimans van beuningen to look at carsten holler.  his work, not him.
i mostly liked what i saw, but exhibitions there are sometimes kind of weird.  the space is huge, but the art always manages to look like it belongs someplace else in the space.  i don't know if that is the fault of the institution, the artist, me, or marleen's influence over me.

thank you for your time,


All I can say is, "Holy Shit!"

That is serious business.



recently i have learned that supplies related to 35mm slides are difficult to locate in rotterdam. you may ask why i need supplies related to 35mm slides. my response to you is, "Mind your own business!" it is not your concern if a man wants silver mylar masking tape. i do what i want.

another thing that i recently learned is that trying to find free lodging in tokyo via couchsurfing.com is difficult. either that or marleen and i are scary (okay, if one of us is scary, it is not marleen.). it looks like we're going to have to pay for all of our accommodations. it's not the end of the world, but it may be the end of our savings.

some of you may be wondering why i haven't put any great new photos up since moving to rotterdam. let me address that here. it is because while i have made a few good ones in my time in ro-town, i am not incredibly excited about most of them, and i am not sure how they fit in to the jim turbert photo universe. this is a time of change. long slow change. i'm trying to find my way, yet my way (the way?) has proven to be elusive. look for sweet new jams in june. i think i'll have some good stuff by then. i want to believe.



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sometimes technology baffles me.  sometimes it enrages me.  generally i embrace it, and enjoy manipulating it for my personal use.

that's all i've got for you now.


p.s.  i have yet to see a 3d tv.  my initial thought is that i'm not sure it is necessary.  that was my initial thought about the ipod, too.  that changed when my friend bought one, and i actually used it.  i believe my exact words were, "I need to get one of these."


I’ve always thought of myself as a good judge of character.  I also thoroughly enjoy being right.

When I was a teenager I worked at a resort condo development near my hometown.  Growing up in northwestern Connecticut, I took the lakes and trees for granted, but apparently rich New Yorkers were willing to spend top dollar on shitty little bungalows in Torrington (T-town), CT.  I worked in the recreational lodges there.  We rented out canoes and there were swimming pools.  Working there was a lot of fun, but the residents were often disrespectful to the employees.  They thought of us as bumpkins.  To be fair, we were bumpkins, but that isn’t a good reason to disresect someone, especially a teenager who hasn’t had a chance to go out into the world yet.  Anyway, there were lots of moms with lots of kids, and they would all come to the lodges to swim, eat, socialize, and shit on the employees.  If you’ve spent any time with kids between the ages of 3 and 9, you know that they are little bastards.  Well, these kids were no exception.  They may have been worse after observing and adopting their parents’ sense of entitlement.  I dealt with this by trying to do as little as possible while there, and talking with the residents and their children as infrequently as possible. 
The queen of the social scene at this place was a resident who ran the snack shop in one of the lodges. She was there everyday running her snack shop, and as far as she was concerned, that was the 2nd most important thing in the world.  The most important thing, and the only thing that could possibly trump the snackbar was her son “Damien.”  I’ve changed his name.  Have you ever seen the movie The Omen?  Well, it’s not a coincidence that I chose the name Damien as his alias.  This kid had a glint of evil, or at least malice in his eyes.  He was a bright kid for his age, and he was well on his way to becoming a master manipulator.  He was mean to the other kids, and I suspect that he used to kill small animals.  I’m not trying to be funny, I truly found this kid disturbing.  Not only were his interactions with the other children anti-social, but he wasn’t much better with his mother.  He lied, hit, stole, you name it.  I know that lots of kids do stuff like this, but sometimes you get a feeling about someone.  I got a feeling about Damien, and I was not alone.  When the employees sat around gossiping about the residents we all agreed that young Damien was the most obnoxious and disturbed little fucker we had ever encountered.  In fact, I asserted that he would grow up to be a date rapist. 
So many years have passed, and for some reason I thought of my old job the other day, and I started googling people I worked with there.  Then I remembered Damien.  When I googled him I found very odd results.  I found six pages of self-promotional blogs and websites, all of them singing his praises and listing his accomplishments.  It was eerie.  Every one of the blogs said the same thing in slightly different words, and there were only one or two entries in each of them.  It wasn’t right.  I immediately thought that it was a cover up of something.  After browsing through six pages, I got to the meat. 

This is from dailynewstribune.com:
"Damien brought merchandise into a fitting room, and broke an ink-filled security tag when he tried to remove it, according to a police report.  ‘(The blue ink) covered his hands and one of the sweaters,’ an officer wrote in the report. ‘Damien ... cleaned his hands with the already damaged sweater and then concealed two shirts in the back of his pants and then exited the fitting room.’  He then received cash back for a sweater he returned, though the sweater did not have the correct price tag on it, according to the report."

Then I found this on the Boston Herald website:
"Bar security told cops the suspect had been swearing at wait staff and threw a glass after being asked to leave Wednesday night, police reported. Cops said the suspect also spat blood at an officer as he was placed in a patrol wagon outside the Commonwealth Avenue bar. Damien was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a police officer and disorderly conduct."

Nice.  Rich kids acting out even after they aren’t kids anymore is classic.  It looks to me like he or his parents shelled out a ton of money so someone would bury his police record so he would be able to use his fancy BU business degree to get a high paying job somewhere.  That makes me laugh.  If I was smart enough to realize that all of the bullshit blogs about Damien were covering something up, then any company who doesn’t want to hire a sociopath is going to spot it as well. 
So, it turns out I was right.  He has some issues.  At the end of the day, he’ll probably end up doing alright for himself.  His family has money after all, and he probably has a good job as i write this.  I on the other hand have nothing, and no prospects.   Ah, life. 



hey, remember me?
if you are in rotterdam, you should go to this event at ADA. it's going to be awesome, or boring, or interesting, or not. seriously though, i'm not sure how it's going to go. i'm going to be presenting a bunch of long silent films in which nothing really happens. i think they are interesting and beautiful, but they are kind of boring. you should come, and decide for yourself.

did i mention that marleen and i are going to japan in april? well, we are. that's going to be interesting as well. i'm not exactly sure what we're doing yet, but we will be starting out in tokyo, and going to a few other places after that. i am looking forward to it.

another recent development is that i have given up my hopes of going to school in the netherlands. as of this year, tuition for non-EU students has risen to around €15,000 at most institutions. shit is crazy. for that kind of money, i'll go to school in the US. basically, this means that my formal education is over. i already have a tremendous amount of debt for an education that is considered useless by most employers. i don't need to accumulate more debt so i can effectively make myself more qualified to be unemployed. i feel sad, and defeated, and it's raining. at least i'm going to japan.

so yeah, what are you up to? if you have any suggestions for things to do in japan, please send them along so i can do them.



sometimes i get obsessed with the idea of starting little projects, and it's all i can think about.  a few months ago, i really want to build up and customize an old schwinn cruiser.  i killed that one in the womb because there are no schwinn cruiser frames in holland, and it is not my goal to spend a fuckload of money shipping an old bike here so i can tinker with it.  my most recent idea is to build a speaker docking system for my iphone.  i hook my pod/phone up to et stereo all the time, but that is in the living room.  i currently have no way to broadcast sonic goodness in  my bedroom.  i want a small speaker system that delivers quality audio and is not ugly.  i looked around on the internet to find a solution to this, but the ones that i like are crazy expensive.  thus, my new obsession began.

I began researching small full range drivers and cabinet designs.  should i vent the cabinet?  should i pack it with sound baffling material?  how should it be amplified?  should i use solid wood or mdf?  these questions and many more have been flowing through my feeble mind, and a solution is beginning to take shape.  i truly enjoy challenges such as this, but it is rather disappointing to learn that it's going to cost almost as much (more in some cases) as it would to buy one of the ones i originally saw on the internet.  to make matters worse, time is not factored into that cost.  i haven't done anything yet, and i've already spent a ton of time thinking, sketching, and researching.  i cannot compete with companies which buy all their parts in bulk, and probably have machines to do much of the assembly.  so, i'm faced with the dilemma; do i take a few weeks to build a homemade cabinet that costs me a lot of time (that i have) and money (that is rather scarce), or do i spend a smaller amount of money and get something that will provide me with decent sound in my bedroom while taking up almost none of my time?

i'll take your responses off the air.



hey gang, happy 2010!  it's going to be a good year.
if you are in the chicago area, you should go to Co Prosperity Sphere tonight.  i won't be there, but one of my photos will be (yes, it's a self-portrait.  no, you haven't seen it before).  there will also be lots of other interesting work for you and your loved ones to look at.  i wish i could be there.  i think it would be tons of fun.

the rotterdam film festival is coming up.  i haven't perused their listings yet, but i look forward to going to a couple of films.  additionally, i will be working at a satellite venue during the festival.  if you are in rotterdam you should check it out.  it sounds like it could be interesting.  >>>  http://www.sculptureinternationalrotterdam.nl/new/index.php?lang=en

marleen and i watched Heathers a few days ago.  i loved that movie when i was a lad.  after watching it again i discovered that i still love it.  it is chock full of darkness and comedy, which are, in my opinion, two great tastes that taste great together.  if you were born in the later portion of the 80s, you may not find it as funny as i do.  likewise, you may not find it funny if you were born in the early portion of the 1900s.  if you don't think murder and high school are funny, you may not enjoy it either, but i am certain that you will react to it in some way.