Saturday, July 30, 2005

Mr. Dimesteakdinner

Back around the time we first were married, my wife and I used to have a small antiques business operating out of the corner of a primarily vintage clothing store. On Saturday mornings we would get up early and hit garage sales looking for antiques, pop culture collectibles and vintage clothing that we could later resell in our space.
At the time we lived on the West Side, which was a prime location as most of the people were old, their children grown up and moved out, leaving behind a treasure trove of sixties and seveties items. The ethnic make up of the neighborhoods were changing, from predominately Polish to a Latino populace, as the younger residents fled to suburbia and their parents headed for nursing homes.
There were a lot of characters we would run into, pickers for antiques dealers, collectors, and people just looking for a deal. There was Baldy and her husband(so named as her hair was thinning out), Larry (who looked like one of the Three Stooges), and Mr. Pushy.
There was another guy, who always wore a white T-shirt and blue double knit slacks. He had a black trucker cap and large framed glasses. He was always looking to haggle for the best price.
At one sale, when he asked a price on an item, the seller told him it was a dime.
"A dime," he bellowed, "Why, that's like a steak dinner to me!" We took this to mean that a dime was a steep price for something. He was always always buying crap and junk, passing up good items as they were just too high priced. Anyway, we started calling him Mr. Dimesteakdinner when ever we saw him at a sale.
"Oh no, "one of us would say as we pulled up to the sale,"It's Mr. Dimesteakdinner!"

Later, we moved to the other side of town, started spending weekends at my wife's folks place up north and doing our junking up there. But occasionally, we would venture back to the West Side, and there he would be, Mr. Dimesteakdinner.

Ebay has now replaced vintage clothing and antique stores, we're now divorced, and weekends are spent with my kids. And I'm sure that Mr. Dimesteakdinner has gone on to that great flea market in the sky.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Mystery Friend JHK (MJK)

Back when I was in art school, I stayed for a while in the basement of my brother's duplex(years later, I would move back there to start my painting) which made it hard for my friends and I to party with chicks, as I wouldn't dream of imposing on my bother and his wife.
One friend, Rick, stayed at the dorm of a local Catholic College. My buddy, Rob, stayed with his dad and step mom shared a room with a guy who was running up his long distance bill. So Brian and I decided to get an apartment together.
The place we found, was an upstairs apartment with 2 possibly three bedrooms. The front room, which faced the street, had a small room to the right that was missing the french doors. Brian said he'd take that and hang curtains. The room at the top of the stairs, facing the door, was mine.
As you walked in to the left, before you crossed the hall to my room, was another room we thought of renting out or turning in to a dining room, as beyond that was the kitchen. Across the hall was the bathroom. At the back of the hall was a small room where the stairs used to come up when it used to be a single family home. between that space and the bathroom was a small shelfless pantry with a closet big enough to put a matress in.
"Maybe we can find some one who'd want to rent that out," Brian and I reasoned. Rob, my buddy from Jersey said he might know of somebody.
His name was Jim but he had another name he preferred you called him. He was the talk of our class and all the girls wanted to do him. He had a Flock Of Seagulls type hair style, except that one whole side of his head was shaved from the part on down. He wore faded jeans, ripped (artfully) tee shirts and had studded leather bracelets.
I first encountered him in the student lounge. His dollar was all crumpled, and the change machine wouldn't except it,so he pantomimed to me he wished for a new dollar. Which I gave him.
As soon as he moved in, it was really cool, as he had met a lot of people on the punk rock scene in town. But Brian, the other roommate, wanted to party every night, where I had to work and Jim had aline of females who wanted to sleep with him waiting. By Friday, Brian was bored and would go back to his home town to hang out with his friends, while wild parties after punk rock shows went on all weekend at the apartment and all kinds of people were having sex in Brian's bed. Then Sunday afternoon, everybody'd clear out, I'd go to work and Brian would come back not knowing what transpired that weekend. Once again he would bitch all week about how lame Grand Rapids was (compared to PawPaw) and clear out Friday and the whole thing would start again.
Jim was okay, but you never felt he was being honest with you, that he was agreeing with you so you'd like him. So there were all these different sides to him. Later, the Rollins Band did a song about him.
But I liked him. I got to meet a lot of interesting people through him. He hooked me up with some guys to form my first band. He introduced me to the woman I married (fuckin' bastard)
But he will always remain amystery because you're never really sure who he is.

"When I Grow Up, I Want To Be Just Like You. Daddy"

Tim was a talented musician who could play damn near any instrument by ear and play it well. He was also a gifted artist with a sharp intellect.
Unfortunately for Tim, his parents divorced, his daddy remarried and emotionally disowned Tim by telling him "I never wanted to have you in the first place". His dad told him this when he was drunk, he would get drunk and mean.
Tim had problems of his own, as do most talented people, he abused every substance that came along.
One time, I had a "showing" of my work at local "coffee house". One of the pieces in it was the aforementioned "Devour By Convenience", which I was asking $500.00 for, as I really didn't want to sell it as I had just made it and was quite proud of it.
One day, I went to said place to find that the piece was missing, somebody stole it. I was pissed as the only witness to the theft was a certifiable nut case with green teeth who slept in a garbage heap in the back of the coffee house. I took all my paintings home and vowed never to darken their door again.
A couple days later, I went outside to find that it was mysteriously returned to me. Half an hour later, Tim's roommate Larry stopped by. I could tell the way that he was measuring my reactions, Tim had sent him over to observe. So I acted all relieved that 'someone' had returned it.
"But, I just wondered, how did they know where I live?" I wondered out loud, all naive-like.
"Maybe, someone took at as a joke, " offered Larry." Like maybe they thought you were asking too much for it."
Tim later apologized for it, drunk at a punk rock bar one night, but I had already painted this picture. I saw Tim very much like the dad he hated so. Last year, in the spring, Tim's dad passed on, leaving Tim a couple hundred thousand dollars. So he bought a house. One night, the heroin dealer came over with some good stuff and warned Tim, don't too much, it hasn't been stomped on too many times. Tim went in the bedroom to split it up for he and his friend. Instead he did it all. Not more than six months after his father died, Tim was gone , too. What a waste!

The Ballad Of Ron Nasty

(unfinished project)
The Guru sleeps in a crumbled up heap, clutching a bottle of gin at the top of the stairs
A puddle of vomit, he uses as a pillow, this is what it's like when no one cares, yeah
This is what it's like when no one cares at all
Another brick in a wall
All through school we always were cool, growing up in the same neighborhood
Rich and I and them Weavers kids, seems like we were up to no good, yeah
Seems like we were up to no good at all
Another brick in a wall
Got hit so hard his head spun around
Started falling for the ground
Burst a vein going to his head
Now, Ron Nasty is dead
Thinking back to that old Pontiac, teaching me to drive so he could get drunk
Remembering the days when we had to part ways,he was rock and roll and I was punk, yeah
He was rock and roll and I was punk, that's all
Another brick in a wall
He joined the service, but he made them nervous, so he moved in to a room down the hall from mine
My new friends laughed at him behind his back from fear he'd join the party any time, yeah
From fear he'd join the party, anytime at all
Another brick in a wall
Got hit so hard, his head spun around
Started falling for the ground
Burst a vein going to his head
Now, Ron Nasty is dead
He used to love getting into a fight
Even if he knew he couldn't win
I had to kick his ass a couple of times
But I never could do him in
The Guru thinks it's okay if he drinks, it makes him feel better than his doctor's pills
Not so great to self medicate, when the cure to the problem is the cause of your ills, yeah
The cure to your problems is the cause of your ills, alcohol
Another brick in a wall
Got hit so hard, his head spun around
Started falling for the ground
Burst a vein going to jhis head
Now, Ron Nasty is dead

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Sugar Buzz HFE

HFE- for hideous folk art eyesore, or is it head f**king exploding, I don't remember, maybe it was either or both. Folk art lacks any depth and it's charm lays in the extent of the brain damage by the folk artisan themselves. I find folk art enthusiasts to be patronizing towards these damaged souls, a reaction against the perversity and arrogance of "fine artists". The point is to appreciate this painting, one must do fifty bong hits, eat half a box of Pop Tarts, a half a bag of Reese's peanut butter cup miniatures, drink half a liter of NutraSweet laced "diet" soda, then not only will the painting start to vibrate, but your stomach will feel as the guy in the foreground's stomach does.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Still Life # 1:Devoured By Convenience

When I first began to paint, I felt I needed to improve my skills as a painter. I have had some training, attending art school for one year, but when I took up the brush again, I was not that good. So I set up a still life in the basement of the duplex I lived in at the time with my wife. Using items aquired at garage sales, I set up a display, using left over halloween skull fabric for the background. I also wanted to include lighting, so I could better render it on, well, not canvas but old screen print wall hangings. I put a devil mask on a Spiderman Halloween bucket that I had converted to a lamp by sticking a low watt bulb in. The skull was something I picked up at a sale, a fake one of course. The tv was part of my vintage television collection.
The guitar is a piece I had made earlier. At a flea market, I picked up a beautiful vintage Harmony Monterrey for fifteen dollars thinking I was getting the deal of the century. All it needed was a new set of strings. That day as I tightened the strings on the guitar to tune it, I saw why I had gotten such a bargain. The neck snapped off and I was left feeling like such an idiot for not checking it out better when I bought it.

I became angry with myself and so I created a piece by running the strings of the guitar through a skeleton model. I then glued the skeleton to the body of the guitar using copious amounts soit would resemble melted fat when dried, as well as forming a skin over the bones, which I then painted flesh tone. Some boiled spinach fettucine serves as the intestines, and you get an idea of how I felt that fateful day when I bought the damn guitar. I called the piece
"Devour By Convenience" .

Any of these paintings may be purchased if you wish, just contact me at I also am willing to do commissioned work as well.

Coulda Had That Job At Wal-Mart, But..

One difference between men and women is the way we express our vanity. Women's vanity is expressed in their beauty, or lack thereof, men's vanity is pegged to their self-importance.
Back at the contractor bar there's always that one guy on unemployment who, self importance inflated by alcohol consumption, tries to make it sound if he's just too good for any job. Most self-respecting people wouldn't even think of applying at McDonald's or Wal-Mart, but if they turn you down , how are you supposed to feel good about yourself. Well, you make it seem as if you turned them down. Then you can sit at the bar, confident in knowing that you're just so much better than the guy next to you who actually has to wait until three o'clock before he can start drinking.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Big McGaffle

They say "he won't know what hit him". Sometimes you know what hit you, you just don't know who it was as they put out a false front. Sometimes you don't know why they hit you, or you hide behind a facade of innocent ignorance.
The only truth is, you got hot by something

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

No Significant Meaning

Being a creative person, sometimes you get a lot of ideas. And I've found that sometimes you have to work out an idea, no matter how bad it may seem at the time. If the idea gets stuck in your head, it may block other ideas that may seem better.
I write songs as well as paint and last summer had a song in my head that I thought was not good, it had no meaning. I was struggling on another song at the time, a ballad for my departed friend Ron Nasty. But this other song kept getting in the way. So I started working on it. As it turns out, I found I liked the song. And it did have a special meaning. Then, a couple more songs popped out and I was able to finish the ballad for my friend.
I don't know what this picture means, or if it has one. But the idea was in my head, so I followed through. I really like it, though, even though it has no significant meaning.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Farewell To The Mating Ritual

Chris the Clown lost his parents to a drunk driver and began swimming in a pool of drugs, alcohol and self-pity. That would only numb the pain, the next day nothing had changed, so the whole thing began again. Eventually, the buzz was all that was important to him, more important than his only child, who now was also losing a parent. But it was harder for his son as his dad was still alive, just choosing to live under a viaduct rather than remaining a productive member of society.
Choosing homelessness and substance abuse is not very attractive to the opposite sex, in order for one to live this existential lifestyle one must give up on going through the rituals of attraction that unite two souls united in the pleasure of the flesh. Pity is not a healthy way to have a relationship, it leads to frustration on the part of the pitier, and is negative reinforcement for the pitied.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

White Trash Day Care Center

Back at the contractor bar, most these guys got an old lady, legal or not, and they got a kid or two before he ties up his nuts in a vain attempt to get more action because they cannot afford nor do they want more kids. Now a steady working contractor makes okay, he ain't rich, but he likes to spend like he is. So he's got a new truck decked out in all the most pointless of truck accessories, plus a car for the wife and kid(s). His house is a fixer-upper that rarely gets fixed up as most of his free time is spent drinking, or recovering from drinking. And if wifey works, they have a couple wave runners or other useless waste of machinery that occupies their time as well.

But mostly what they got is a lot of bills and sometimes that paycheck don't stretch so far. And, they all have a tab at some bar (maybe a couple) so when bills get tight and they want to feed the kids and get out as well, they bring them to the Snug and put it on their tab.

Since this is a contractor bar, same rules apply, you run into a reg or a friend, start talking, the kids finish their chicken strips and fries and become bored with NASCAR and begin wanderingm around the dank and smoke filled bar in search of amusement. Maybe they'll start rolling the pool balls on the tables in the middle of a game, maybe they'll hover over some poor soul trying to play pinball.

And this goes on for a couple hours until the kids start whining, then mom or dad yell at the kids and they all leave pissed off.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Yahoo Guy

I used to work in a contractor bar about ten years ago. I call it a contractor bar because when you hire a contractor, and he disappears in the afternoons, this is where he goes. He might have every intention of coming back when he leaves to the hardware store to get that one thing he needs, but on every road to every hardware store, is a contractor bar.
So your contractor will drive by, say The Snug, which was the name of the place I worked, and see, oh, I don't know, Joe's truck in the lot. Maybe Joe owes him money, maybe Joe owes him a beer, Whatever reason, he stops to see Joe. They shoot pool, drink some beers, bitch about their old ladies, next thing you know, it's quitting time. Now they stick around until their old ladies find them by phone, all pissed off because they missed dinner. Then it's time to go home to a cold dinner and a colder wife pissed off because she had to watch the kids all day.
Unless it's the Yahoo guy. He was too young to be married and too unlucky with the ladies to knock one up. He worked 7 to 3 laying carpeting as an independent contractor with a local carpeting store. Everyday, the Yahoo guy would stop by on his way home from work for a beer and stay all night. Well, not all night, just until he was reelin', then he would stumble drive the three or four blocks home.
I think his personal record was nine-thirty. He'd start out the evening, well late afternoon, boisterous, but not imposing. Then beer by beer he would transform into the Yahoo Guy. Garth Brooks on the jukebox (especially singing "I Got Friends In Low Places") Yahoo! "Bad To The Bone"? Yahoo! Home Run? Touchdown? NASCAR? Yahoo! with his vigor returning each time he came out of the bathroom rubbing his nose and sniffing. Usually by nine, they would have to ask him to leave or be barred, and there was nothing worse you could do these guys than bar them.
One night, the local beer salesman, he was also a reg, told the other regs that he was bringing the Bud Girls next Friday. Well, not the Bud Girls, just local talent that fit the dress. These clowns didn't know this and so they all started buzzing about it. The Bud Girls are coming, the Bud Girls are coming, next Friday night. The Bud Girls are coming the Bud Girls are coming this Friday night.

Well, Friday evening, or late afternoon if you prefer, ol' Yahoo shows up. Now usually, every day he wears an old flannel shirt, and a dirty pair of jeans and his big old clodhopping workboots. But this evening, after actually taken the time to clean up before he goes there, it's a different story. He's wearing his cowboy boots, and his good jeans, has a button down shirt on and a sport coat. His face is shaved and his hair is washed and combed. Yahoo is going to get him some Bud Girl tonight. The problem is, the Bud Girls are coming at nine.

And Yahoo, primed for action hits the beer a little too fast, by eight is barely able to stay awake at the bar and is asked to leave and never gets to see one of the Bud Girls.

Story and picture copyright 2005 E S Toledo


Ron Nasty was a friend of mine, chemically imbalanced and inconsistently self-medicated. The world of the female was a mystery to him, with no entry, and certainly no pity for a man in his condition. Alcohol killed the pain, by making him angry and prone to starting fights. This led to his eventual demise as he was struck so hard in the face that his head spun around fast enough to burst a vein going to his brain, and he died.

Most anti-feminist males are disconnected from that world adrift on a sea of confusion fueled by mass media disinformation and pornography. Unable to make any connections, their frustration turns to anger and the targets of that hate, gays, minorities and others that they feel have "cut them off", become part of their political agenda