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#a435 :: Mash note from my daughter

April 27, 2009

She sidles up to me. Very small voice: “Here, Daddy.” I unfold it. I give her a huge bearhug and a sloppy kiss on the forehead. She smiles. Mission accomplished. She’s 7.

Filed under: Content, Ephemera, Paper | Comments (2)

#a432 :: Message launcher

April 24, 2009

A wonderful little creation – the kids brought these home from school one day. They folded sheets of paper to form these taut, shallow cones that pop outward when squeezed the right way. The *pop* ejects a tiny drawing – in this case, our daughter’s drawing of us. The message is “Happy 15th Anaversery.”

Filed under: Art, Content, Ephemera | Comments (0)

#a430 Spun aluminum pillbox

April 22, 2009

I’m at the far end of the wire. The warmth of the crowd rises up into the moldy canvas peak of the tent here. It pours from their eyes, their upturned, open mouths. I toss the balance pole into the air, pivot the other way, catch the pole and head back across the wire. Their […]

Filed under: Aluminum, Container, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Microfiction, Model, Objet | Comments (0)

#a428 :: Undesirable keychain tag

April 20, 2009

At some point last month, my mother-in-law gave my daughter (age 7) a little keyring with a big fob that spelled out “Love” in lurid gold-chromed script. It was schwag from some utterly-too-grownup movie, as evidenced by the little stamped-metal tag proclaiming the brand. Here’s what ensued the moment I laid eyes on it: Me: […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Fetish, Jetsam, Part, symbol | Comments (0)

# a426 :: CD opener keychain

April 18, 2009

To someone who uses knives as much as I do, this thing is about as useful as Truck Balls. You press it against the side of a sealed CD or DVD, depressing a spring-loaded cap to reveal a tiny steel blade that slices open the shrink-wrap. They were giving them away today at Amoeba for […]

Filed under: Artifact, Blue, Ephemera, Jetsam, Tool | Comments (0)

#a425 :: Gilette Shaving Cream cap

April 17, 2009

The fetish of packaging, the gloss of the new. Plastic lids for shaving cream come in two sizes – the simple quarter-sized button protector found on Barbasol or this full-bloat blowmolded cylindrical monster, which covered the can of Gilette I bought last week. With the earth’s carbon load trending toward the toxic, I worry about […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Green, Jetsam, Part | Comments (0)

#a421 :: Paper sculpture

April 13, 2009

I delight in finding the delight my children find in simple acts of creation. Paper is an adventure. Fold it and make a city, a castle, a world. A couple of these things have been floating around the house this week. I have no idea what they are. All I know is that my son […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Found Object, Toy | Comments (0)

#a417 :: Diffraction foil

April 9, 2009

Fifteen years ago today – at 4:49 p.m. on 04/09/94, I married the love of my life. Tonight, we drove up to a romantic dinner overlooking Los Angeles, and exchanged lovely gifts and the sort of bedazzled soliloquies to each other that come only from hearts truly and fully in love with each other. The […]

Filed under: Adornment, Ephemera | Comments (0)

#a412 :: Nerf one-shot pistol

April 3, 2009

Stuff a foam dart down its hazard-orange bore, pump up the air chamber with the piston slide and blow the captured pressure with the thumb valve. And piff you’ve fired what probably amounts to the most reprehensibly disposable and insulting form of non-lethal ammunition known to man: the rubber dart. It’s got a belt clip […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Toy, weapon | Comments (0)

#a405 :: Qee by Jeff Soto

March 27, 2009

I’ve been a huge, drooling fan of Jeff Soto for years but couldn’t afford his work until I spotted this fine fellow in a little toy store the other side of the reservoir. Yes, he’s mass produced. No, it doesn’t matter. Done and done.

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Objet, Tool, Toy | Comments (0)

#a404 :: Plastic box

March 26, 2009

This thing came from this box. What the hell should be done with it? A little tableau? A photo cube? Hood ornament for an art car? C’mon, folks. The mighty packaging industry worked mighty hard to conjure this up just to hold a toy on store shelves until sale. It doesn’t appear to be recyclable. […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Jetsam | Comments (0)

#a402 :: “B.O.B.” toy

March 24, 2009

Since my wife is a member of ASIFA we got passes to a pre-release screening of Monsters vs. Aliens tonight. Verdict: It’s no Kung Fu Panda or Bolt, but it’s got enough yuks and snappy design to make an honest buck, and I might even see it again. They were giving away McDonald’s toys in […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Miniature, Model, Toy | Comments (0)

#a401 :: Lime fruit pop

March 23, 2009

Me: Aw, crap, I don’t know what I’m going to shoot tonight, I don’t have any good objects. Daughter: How about my popsicle, Daddy?

Filed under: Edible, Ephemera | Comments (0)

#a399 :: Teeth-whitening strips

March 21, 2009

When your diet brings a steady stream of these as well as iced tea, coffee and the occasional cigar, you wind up with a mouthful of yellowed bone. It ain’t attractive. These seem to be wax strips backed with a miracle goop that is one part peroxide, one part dentifrice and one part glue. They […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Tool | Comments (0)

#a398 :: Ritter Sport chocolate

March 20, 2009

One of the richest, purest narcotics known to the confectionery sciences. It’s legal crack. Full stop.     

Filed under: Edible, Ephemera, Fetish | Comments (1)

#a395 :: Apple stickers

March 17, 2009

These pile up like autumn leaves in any die-hard Mac household. White on white, stuffed into a drawer, swiftly becomes white on blotchy grey because, well, you don’t want to over-use the things. I have one of the larger ones on my car, but I decided that putting a line of smaller ones after it […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Fetish, symbol | Comments (0)

#a392 :: Old Rohrshach pin

March 14, 2009

Twenty-two years after Watchmen changed my psychotopography and appreciation for the nuances of fiction forever, they finally got it completely right. We saw it again this afternoon, and fell even deeper into it than we had at the midnight premiere at the Dome a week earlier. The movie is an extraordinarily accomplished telling of the […]

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Artifact, Ephemera, Fetish, symbol | Comments (2)

#a388 :: Chinese traveling hare

March 10, 2009

Where is he going? What is he carrying? Why is he important? Chinese factory workers so beautifully aped the luster of carved coral with cast, burnished and “age”-dusted red plastic resin that I’m left wishing I had the answers to these questions. In lesser hands, he would have been a child’s plaything, a little knicknack […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Fetish, Miniature, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a386 :: Promotional chalk

March 8, 2009

So, I got to ride bikes last night with Lance Armstrong, who was doing a commemorative group ride down Sunset to launch a big, fund-raising touring art exhibit. They gave out chalk to the 100 t-shirted riders and the other several hundred of us tagalongs, who promptly took to graffiti’ing up the street in a […]

Filed under: Ephemera, symbol, Tool | Comments (0)

#a385 :: Girl Scout Cookie

March 7, 2009

The cookies we bought from my Brownie daughter arrived this week. New flavor: Dulce de Leche. Dulce de Leche: New for 2009, and inspired by the classic confections of Latin America, these sweet, indulgent cookies are rich with milk caramel chips and stripes. They come in a turquoise box, and are made by Little Brownie […]

Filed under: Edible, Ephemera, Fetish | Comments (0)

#a383 :: Foreign mystery parcel

March 5, 2009

Oh, the wonder and menace of an unopened package from a foreign land. I know exactly what’s inside (I’ll blog it tomorrow) but it’s the promise of what it might contain that always spins me up. It bears all the markers of a Macguffin from a Hitchcock film – the lurid green packing paper, the […]

Filed under: Ephemera, symbol, Tool | Comments (0)

#a381 :: Flexplay DVD

March 3, 2009

This is one of those freaks of science that will have completely obsolesced within 10 years. I weep at the sheer volume and depth of technological experimentation and collaboration that culminated in its manufacture – all of it doomed to the landfill and a fascinating footnote in Wikipedia because of FlexPlay‘s very wizardry: A Flexplay […]

Filed under: Artifact, Ephemera, Jetsam | Comments (0)

#a380 :: Brass dingus

March 2, 2009

I should be smarter. I should be able to classify and categorize based on Google findings if nothing else. But this one eludes me. Dad sent it along, and it seems to be machine-turned brass from India – maybe even with spiritual or religious symbolic significance. But I’ll be damned if I can figure out […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, My father's HLOs, symbol | Comments (0)

#a379 :: Las Vegas tiki culture artifact

March 1, 2009

The Aku-Aku Restaurant opened in 1960 inside the much-fabled Stardust Casino in Las Vegas. When the Stardust was imploded in 2007, mob-culture journalist Nick Pileggi called it “the Bellagio of its day, the most dazzling casino out there.” The Aku Aku ran for 20 years.=, a veritable temple of tiki culture (Here’s its appetizer menu). […]

Filed under: Art, Artifact, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, symbol | Comments (0)

#a377 :: Floss capsule

February 27, 2009

My mother once began one of her wonderful short stories with the line, “Harry Farmer loved his teeth.” If I’ve gotten that wrong, I’m sure she’ll correct me here, as she will remind me of its title and which volume to find it in, and remember with me our many misadventures with our (own, not […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Tool | Comments (0)