She's a dear.
I will take this time to share with you some of the things that I have learned in the past few days.
1) Almost everything Ruby does is adorable. The only things that aren't adorable are crying and pooping. The pooping wouldn't be so bad if she didn't often make a fresh one immediately after I change the diaper. She's really good at that. Besides that she moves her little arms and makes all kinds of great faces. She looks cuter everyday. I'm not sure if there is a cuteness apex that we are approaching, but if she just keeps getting cuter and cuter I might die.
2) When you have a baby people give you piles of baby clothes that you wouldn't necessarily choose yourself. I'm not complaining. It's great to get free stuff, and no one really cares what a baby is wearing, but we now have piles of baby clothes and most of them are just ridiculous.
3) Speaking of baby clothes, I've discovered that babies wear lots of them, all the time. It's September, and my baby is always wearing a hat. It looks totally dumb. She also wears a little trap door butt thingy that is called a rompertje or onesie. I kind of like the onesie. In fact, I bought a few myself before she was born, but we always end up covering them up with dumb footy pants that fit awkwardly and other bigger shirts. I guess babies aren't so good at regulating their body temperatures, so they have to dress like retarded Jedi. She's super cute in whatever she wears, but I assure you, there is a direct correlation between level of cuteness and level of nudeness.* Also, from a functional standpoint, stripping a baby out of three layers of clothing just to see if she peed her pants is super time and labor intensive. If you are a clever designer, could you please make some size adjustable baby suits with dampness sensors? That would be super.
4) Babies are time consuming. We haven't even left the house with her yet, but I can tell that when we do, we'll have to leave an hour before whenever we would usually leave. It's just a fact. Ruby is not on my schedule, and she appears to be calling the shots now.
I'm sure there is other stuff, but I can't think at the moment. There are other things gnawing at me...
Sorry if the next section bums you all out, but I can't resist sharing this as well. Ruby was born on Thursday, so I have not ridden my bike since then. I keep my bikes and my motorcycle in a locked inside space. The space is shared, but I still considered my stuff safe from any vandalism or theft.
I was wrong.
This morning I went to get my bike so I could go do some errands, and I noticed that my motorcycle had been moved. Then I noticed that it was not only moved, but leaning against the wall. I went to pick it up, and I noticed that the tail light was smashed, one of the signals was ripped off, as was my license plate. The plate wasn't only removed and taken, but ripped entirely off the bike. This was not even close to an accident. Someone spent time damaging my stuff. The left rear signal is attached to a chrome rack on the back of the bike. This person ripped the whole thing off, so the entire rack will either need to be replaced or welded. Welding it on is going to be cheaper, but ugly as shit. I don't know how much a new rack costs, and I don't really care. That is not the point. The bike is old and mostly original. I'm the second owner, and I don't want to be responsible for destroying this thing after my uncle owned it since 1978. I'm really upset about this. I'm more than upset. I'm sad. I feel violated. I'm also incredibly angry. I know it's only an object, but I am still very angry. Although I don't regularly ride it, the motorcycle means a lot to me, and I don't understand why people have to be so shitty. I must move out of this neighborhood. First, I have to move the bike to a new location. I'm tired of living amongst the savages. Someone flicked a cigarette at Marleen and me from an open apartment window a few nights ago. Before that, a guy tried to spit on me after I went for a run late at night. I must get away from these cowardly animals. If you're going to spit on someone, at least have the sack to spit in his face. No character. I don't think Ruby likes them either.
I'll post a baby picture or two soon. Maybe tomorrow.
*Fully nude babies are so cute that the weak minded explode in their presence. Fortunately, Marleen and I have a super cute cat, so we built up an immunity to cute overload.
If the audio clip didn't show up for you, let me know.
-the clip is the intro to Sweet Loaf by Butthole Surfers. I did not get their permission to post it.
Earlier this summer, while I was on my epic journey with Dave, we spent an evening in Portland, Oregon. Since both Dave and I had chums in the area, we parted ways. He spent the evening with his pal Chris, and I caught up with Jason and Shawn Kelley in Jason's glorious new home that he shares with his lady. The three of us have known each other since high school. Actually, Shawn and I have known each other since well before high school, but that doesn't matter. My point is that we have been friends with varying degrees of closeness for at least 20 years. Since both of them have been living in Portland for quite awhile, and I lived in Boston or Rotterdam, we haven't been hanging out much, and it was really cool to see them. One of the "catching up" things we talked about was my feelings about living abroad. Jason mentioned that he looked at my Flickr photo stream, and he asked me if I was lonely. My Flickr stream consists almost entirely of silly pictures taken with my cell phone. There are a few exceptions (notably the self portraits, some of the Japan pictures, and "fan" pictures), but the vast majority are pictures of the Netherlands made with an iPhone. Most of the pictures have no people in them. The subjects are objects rather than scenery or the good times that are often photographed by peoples' cell phones. I had never really thought about how others would react to them, and I was surprised by his reaction. I had to think about it for a second. Am I lonely?
I'm going to go on a bit of tangent before I answer any questions about the levels of my loneliness or any other states of my mind, but I promise that I will get back to that before this post is over.
Jason's comment made me think about one of the reasons that I became interested in photography. I used to look at my grandmother's photo albums all the time. They weren't artful or archival. They were quite the opposite. The pictures were bound in those crappy old albums with the cellophane over the gluey pages that you could probably buy in 5 packs at CVS or someplace like it. Most of the images were totally average snapshots with very little thought put into the composition, but meticulously labeled so any viewer would know precisely what was happening in each picture (This reminds me of a possible subject for a future Scott Wiener inspired post about the importance of titles, but I digress.). I liked seeing my parents and their friends as young people. I liked that everyone looked happy, and they made me look forward to a future when I could have good times, and take pictures with my friends. Soon, I will be a father. I can only assume that working title Babycakes will someday go through my photographs wondering why his dad spent so much time photographing himself and dumb shit around Rotterdam. Babycakes may approach me much the same way Jason did, asking, "Dad, Are you lonely?" (Since Babycakes will be a Dutchling, the question may be, "Ben je eenzaam?" I'm not sure I want to be called Papa, but that seems to be what Dutch kids call their fathers. More digression. Sorry.)
So, the answer to the question, "Am I lonely" is (drumroll...), I don't think so. Perhaps I am. I have plenty of other emotions we can discuss another time, but if I am lonely I'm not really thinking about it. When I think about lonely times, I recall my first year in Boston. I worked with people who were way older than me, and they thought I was a freak. I couldn't go to school for various reasons, so I worked in restaurants and tourist venues, but I didn't meet close friends there. I was so young, and I had a long list of mental trauma in the immediate past that I had no idea how to deal with. I remember how desperate I was for friendship, and how hard it was to find. I recall wondering if my move there was worth it, and why I didn't move back to Winsted where everyone seemed to be stuck in a perpetual good-times machine. My current situation is totally different. Yes, I occasionally want to move back to the US, but I live with Marleen. She's my best friend. She's also easy on the eyes, and we hang out out all the time, especially now that she is off work for the next 16 weeks. We are social as a couple and individually, and to be quite frank, I truly enjoy solitude. I get it where I can, and it is awesome. The fact remains that I don't have a particularly fun photo album for future generations who are curious about their family history to look at. Long ago, my immediate family stopped asking me to take pictures of them after too many fiery rants about not wanting to do such things in a more turbulent past. Blame it on art school beating the family album out of me. Blame it on my own pretentiousness. Blame it on me being an ass. Whatever the reason, I've been making an effort to take more pictures of friends and good times, so get ready for a serious explosion of fun. In your face.
As some of you may know, I recently joined Facebook. I never wanted to join FB. I thought it would be a huge waste of time. Whenever someone asked me why I never joined, my standard response was something along the lines of, "I have a difficult enough time maintaining relationships with the people I see on a daily basis." Now that I've joined, I kind of like it. Yeah, it is weird to get friend requests from people I haven't seen since 8th grade, but generally FB does not intrude in my life as much as I though it would. That said, last night I had a really weird dream involving Facebook. People were posting criticisms of everything that I do or have ever done on my wall. Not just one or two people, but a hundred. I didn't care at first. They were reasonable criticisms for the most part, but then they started avalanching. They became more and more negative and personal, and I got totally freaked out.
Fortunately, I woke up before I melted down. Shit was crazy.
That's all for now.
I don't understand. Is everyone else happy ALL of the time? It can't be so.
I haven't decided if I want to stop posting, or if I want to post more. I realize that I don't have a ton of readers, but if you could drop me a line with your thoughts on the matter, that would be grand. Perhaps your input will help me make a decision.
By the way, I'm doing pretty well. Things are slow after my epic journey earlier this summer. I had to quit my postal job before the trip, so I am searching for employment, and getting other stuff done. It is super cool to be at home hanging out with Marleen. We're preparing for the imminent arrival of Babycakes (the working title of our future child). When I say imminent, I mean in less than 2 months. The Baby is due on August 30. I hope we have a name by then, because I'm pretty sure anyone with the name Babycakes will be teased by their peers even though many Dutch names sound far funnier than Babycakes does.
So yeah, I'm going to go. Try not to let the bastards get you down.
food or an unlimited quantity of low grade good, I recommend quality
In unrelated news the van is back in the road, though somewhat
shakily. It was repaired in Las Vegas, and we made it to Oklahoma
City before it started to go wonky again, but the Aamco guys found the
issue. They also broke the speedometer, but that won't slow us down -
he he. Now we're driving, but it not smooth. I'm not saying I have
doubts, but I think it will be a long night.
supposed to be repaired by tomorrow, but due to bureaucratic
warranties and technicalities, it now looks like Monday will be the
day of our departure.
LV gets a bit depressing the more you see of it. Just one block from
the strip you can find scores of empty apartments. Signs on the sides
of the buildings read things like, "Live here. Eat for free," and,
"first month free. Some of the windows in the occupied dwellings are
covered with aluminum foil. I realize that the people who live in the
aluminum foil covered places may work all night, and sleep all day,
but it only ends up adding to the, "what the he'll goes on in this
place" vibe. Walking back and forth from the garage where the van is
further cements the notion that the strip is a shiny veneer on the
otherwise grey and run down desert city. It is not uplifting.
Anyway, we're getting away from that for awhile. We're in a rental car
moving swiftly towards the grand canyon where we'll shoot some more
video for Dave's project. Morale is a bit low at the moment. Driving
is not the same without the rally wagon. It is true that our rental is
both reliable and comfortable, but it lacks character. I, perhaps we,
feel as if we've left a man behind. Sorry Rally.
I leave you with this question. Has our being stranded in Las Vegas
been a blessing or a curse?
There is plenty to see.
It looks like our return home will be more of a race across the country than a leisurely southern experience. That is too bad. I was looking forward to the slow southern journey.
overlooked pleasure. We don't have anything on the agenda today
except for cleaning and lubricating the bearings in the steadycam
device. It got kind of messed up in the sand storm. Maybe I'll make
some pancakes this morning. Oh, the joys.
My mind is sort of blank right now. I must go.
for the traditional beginning of summer weather that it would be hot.
With the exception of Chicago, it has not been hot. Overall, we have
been very lucky. We seem to miss major rain on all the days that we
shoot, and that has kept us more or less on schedule. Still, it is
colder than I expected. When we rolled into Pyramid Lake it was warm,
and from the road I could see a camper swimming. I thought for sure
that we would be swimming after our day of shooting. Instead, there
was a dust storm, temperature dropped 15 degrees (Fahrenheit), and the
wind became oppressive. That day we saw the weather go from a light
rain, to a blizzard, to mid seventies (Fahrenheit - Low 20's C), to
a cold and rainy dust storm in the desert. Crazy.
My point is that I didn't bring as much warm clothing as I should
have. I'm not in danger of freezing or anything, but most nights I
find myself layered to the max, and sometimes I'm still uncomfortable,
especially my feet. So, if you are going camping, do not
underestimate the power of elevation, and save some weight by not
including swimming shorts.
Not Bear Grylls
They gave us $5 or $10 of free plays, so we went in. I put $1 into a
penny slot machine. It was easily the most boring thing I've ever
done. $1 is 100 plays, and all you do is push a button for each play.
The worst part about it is that every so often you win a round.
Typically when you win a round you get between 5 and 15 credits or
plays. I found that it was difficult to get under 50 credits or plays.
Every time I went under 50 I would win 15 more credits. I won the
privilege of pushing the button 15 more times. Im convinced that this
would have gone on forever if I didn't raise the bet. I just wanted
the inanity to end. On top of the repetitive button pushing, it is
loud, the music sucks, and there are scores of sad and desperate
looking people inside. I am dumbfounded that people find this
It's hard to sleep when it's freaking freezing outside. I expected to
be a little cold on this trip, but I underestimated the extent of the
late spring chill. I actually thought I'd be swimming in mountain
streams. Boy, was I wrong. There is still a ton of snow in the
Anyway, we're going up to Crater Lake tomorrow. There will be a ton
of snow there. I will not swim.
By the way, I just joined Facebook. I feel weird about doing this,
but I think it's cool that Dave gets instant feedback after he posts
about our trip. It makes me think that FB is a good thing, and not
(only) a waste of time. I wont be able to post much or set shit up
yet, but add me as a chum, and I'll get into it eventually.
found my old dog robot." We're at Dave's cabin. The cabin is not
really in a town, but it's sort of nestled between two towns called
Index and Gold Bar in Washington. I have no desire to write at length
about the days sagas because I am typing this on my phone, and also
I'm a little worn out, but let's just say that the characters involved
are zombies who may or may not be meth addicts (I'm pretty sure they
are), park rangers, the sheriff, and delinquent
To counteract a morning that was both enraging and depressing we hiked
and filmed in terrain that was rich in both glory and splendor. I'll
post a few pictures that will not do it any justice later. Now I'm
sitting in front of a burning pile of garbage at Dave's cabin. Dave's
friend Eric is on the way, and I understand he is bringing butter for
our potatoes, and root beer for me to drink. Tomorrow the three of us
will hike mount Baker. It's gonna be awesome, and hopefully everyone
we deal with will have teeth and body fat.
grueling half day of video taping. I'm not certain this has been
clear, but Dave's project involves the use of a specially designed 5
camera video rig. It is supposed to function similarly to a
professional steady-cam, and it does, big with none of the creature
comforts. While using it one must hold 5 video cameras in front
oneself while walking on rough terrain. It is challenging. Also, the
sun is beating down on you further depleting your energy. We started
taping at around 12 today, and we finished a little before 6. I was
totally wiped out.
If you think this sounds easy, I suggest you get a 15 pound (7 kilo)
weight, and hold it directly in front of you while you walk around.
Tell me how you feel after about 15 minutes. Now do it for a few
hours in dirt, mud, and on big ass hills. It will drain you.
So yeah, I'm feeling pretty mellow right now. Dave cooked some steak
up on our little propane stove, and we ate in the company of the
bison. The bison love us, or perhaps we camped near their favorite
grass. Either way, their presence is welcome. Today was the sixth
day of the trip. We may shoot some more in the morning if the weather
is nice, but if it isn't we'll have breakfast with the bison, and move
on to Seattle with an evening spent camping somewhere in Idaho.
I'll try to post more pictures and videos, but most of my pictures are
on either my fancy dSLR or my super 8 camera. I'll show you some more
when I get home and edit a decent selection.
iPhone. If anyone knows a good way to embed video to blogger via
iPhone, let me know.
Notice the bison in the background. The Badlands is (are?) rad, and so are the bison. Today we did a lot of work. Shooting Dave's film is way more fun than driving all freaking day long. Unfortunately, the movie probably wont be ready for a year or so, but it is off to a good start. We spent the afternoon scouting locations to shoot tomorrow. We'll probably leave for Seattle on Thursday.
Boston to South Dakota. We just woke up in The Badlands, and we'll be
here for a few days.
Here are a few things I've learned on this trip so far:
1) Just because something is uncomfortable and appears to be a piece
of shit does not mean that it should be dismissed outright. Rally,
aka Dave's shitty van, is not so shitty. Yes, it is primer gray. Yes,
it gets less than 12 miles to the gallon. No, its seats are not very
comfortable. Will it survive this trip? Fuck yes. That thing is
solid. And LOUD.
2) I kind of knew this already, but EVERYONE is nicer than people from
the northeastern US. I'm not talking shit here. I am from the
northeast, and I am included in this ridiculous generalization.
3) Free wifi is important. During the next presidential election cycle
we should make sure that whichever yahoo is on the winning end is
dedicated to serving that shit up everywhere. Communicating with
everyone has been a supreme challenge during this trip, mostly because
I would have to sell my first child to pay the cellular roaming
charges on my Dutch iPhone.
4) Things that go bump in the night are probably bison. We got to the
Badlands last night, and it took us forever to navigate to the free
camping area. We set up our tent, and then the growling, and
grunting, and cud chewing began. Not knowing how a freaking bison
sounds, we assumed it was an aggressive hunter looking for man flesh.
Dave left the tent to see what was making the sound, and the sound
seemed to disappear, only to return after the tent was zipped up again
. The return of the noise further cemented the idea that we were
being hunted. Slowly. Inefficiently.
Long story slightly shorter, there were a ton of bison chilling
outside our tent when we woke up this morning. They were making the
sounds we heard last night.
You should check out my friend Tomasz's video project fund drive, and give him a few bucks.
Even if you don't agree with his politics, you should check him out. He's a very sensible guy, and I'm sure he would gladly address any issues you may have with his point of view if you send him an email.
Okay, I have to go catch a train.
on the bright side, the previously mentioned children seem to have no problems with their collective body image. i suppose that is refreshing. they strut around the streets, "energy" drinks in hand, dressed in tight fitting and brightly colored clothing. they look like fleshy beach balls. beach balls that spit.
their moms and dads spit, too. it's really charming.
hi. the opening went pretty well. it is true that almost no one showed up, but we had cookies and milk. i'm told that more people will go due to the fast approaching museum weekend, or cultural weekend (i'm on page 13), or some shit. it feels good to know that i spent an assload of money on printing and mounting so a handful of people could look at my work. i truly enjoy spending as much money as possible. thanks to all the people who came.
these are hectic times. i'm still a mailman, but i'm also trying to complete a growing number of freelance jobs. i know this doesn't sound challenging, but my postal shift is right in the middle of the day, so it kind of screws up a lot of other stuff, especially if i need to take long train rides. it's all about time management.
okay, that's all for now. like i said, i'm trying to manage my time better, and blogging is not in my time management plan.
until next time,
Should I post about the days getting longer?
- It is the time of the year when one begins to notice the days getting longer. Spring is approaching. I find this time of year to be particularly frustrating because we get glimpses of what warmer weather could be like, only to have the door slammed in our collective faces the next day.
Should I post about my upcoming exhibition?
- I have my first solo show next month. It wasn't supposed to be a solo show. The other person who was supposed to exhibit with me decided she didn't want to do it, so now I have to prepare more work. It's a mixed blessing, really. I'm into the whole solo show thing, but preparing more work costs more money that I should be spending on other things. If you are free on March 27, you should come by the opening. It's at the Transformatorhuis in Enschede. I will have more info to share with you in the future.
Should I post about other big news?
- No. It's top secret shit.
Should I post about my burgeoning freelance career?
- Burgeoning would be a bit of an overstatement. I've had a few jobs, and I am grateful for them, but it is a seriously crowded field, and I'm not sure how long it will take me to get enough work to sustain myself.
Should I post about my plans for tonight?
- Tonight I will be going to Theater Zuidplein to was a video made by Erik van Lieshout. I have done a bit of work for him, and I am a fan of his work. You should go if you don't have anything to do. Here is a link to the information.
I need to eat something. I'll talk to you later.
do you like your new cookies?
you were eating them before. they're in a can in your room.
they are dutch. like marlane (*sic)
she's a good egg.
*marleen's name is spelled M A R L E E N, but it would have taken too much energy to explain that E is pronounced differently in Dutch. Also, she would forget that I explained it, and would keep asking me over and over and over again.
if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
you're doing it again.
tell me about it.
no, but we will have a daughter named florence.
it's going to be awesome.
F L O R E N C E
yes, that is me in one of the pictures.
i made pumpkin pie this weekend. i also made pancakes. i also made some really great macaroni and cheese.
speaking of delicious and rich food, i decided to go back to the gym today. jesus, i felt like i was going to have a heart attack. i went a few times in early january, but i wasn't feeling so hot, so i took it easy. before that i hadn't been there since... the end of october. i am bad. i do run a bit though. not great distances, but a few miles a pop. you know, to keep the blood flowing. if i'm going to keep eating cookies and pumpkin pie, i'm going to have to go to the gym more often, or i'm going to get large. at the moment i'm not large. despite some increased grayness and a smattering of age, i look pretty much the same as i've looked for the past several years. i'm just a bit softer. kind of like my brother in baking, the pilsbury dough boy. under the beard, poppin' fresh and i share a similar complexion as well. it's easy to remain pasty and white during the long wet and dreary dutch winter. genetics helps with that, too.
i think that is all i should say.
1) Christmas at the Bos household.
It started a bit rough with a shitty train ride, and then got a little rougher when I had a confrontation with an asocial dutchman in the street in front of the Bos residence. After that it was all gravy. I let all my frustration flow into that horrible dutch guy driving the Mercedes, and I felt like $1,000,000 for the rest of the week.
2) Early December trip to US/Winsted.
It's nice to go home. It was also nice to see my crazy old Grandma, even though she's wicked senile and is not nice to Marleen. I started a new photo project while I was there, too. Part of that project involved getting in touch with old friends. It was quite enjoyable. On top of that, Dave, Kassie, Andrew, Sarah, and Sandra came to visit us there. It was super cool, though a little weird.
3) Paris trip.
Marleen and I went to Paris in late August. I had never been there before. I'm glad we went. The city is beautiful, and shockingly enough, I was not mistreated by the French people. I had been unfairly discriminated against in France before, but now the people of France have redeemed themselves. I'm sure they'll be pleased to hear that I have forgiven them.
4) Our first American visitors came.
Giuliana Funkhouser was the first to visit in July. In August, Sarah and Andrew visited.
I was beginning to think no one would ever come here to see us. I was wrong.
Marleen and I went to Japan in April. It was a full on crazy vacation. I found it exhausting, but I would totally do it again.
Look, I'll show you >>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimturbert/sets/72157624529602108/
I'm sure there were a few more notable moments, but that's all i can come up with right now. Next year the list will be much larger. It's gonna be awesome.
Yeah, I know, it's a bit late for well wishing, but it's still early in a new year. I can guarantee that this year is going to be better than last year, for me at least. 2010 was a fat ball of shit, and 2011 is going to be like fresh pancakes on Sunday morning. Speaking of fresh pancakes on Sunday morning, I just ate some. I make good pancakes. You should come over for breakfast sometime.
Marleen is doing pilates in the other room. I can hear the lady on her DVD telling her to use her powerhouse. I'm going to go use my powerhouse in the shower.