Yearly Archives: 2003

Week Two at MASS MoCA

I am sleeping a lot, hopefully I will get over it soon. I remember this same thing happening when I moved to Chicago. Regardless it is ridiculous.

The big event last week was this bratwurst cookout one of the supervisors here threw. I guess New England types don’t eat a lot of bratwurst so this was a novelty to most people. The whole thing was done very proper–marinating the meat for 5 hrs in beer and onions… drinking a lot of beer, etc. I had a pleasant time, a couple of my roommates thought it was lame. There was a little campfire, so I just sat and stared at it, drank my beer, thought about how full of brat I was, while everyone else jabber jawed on about art or something. Now I want to eat bratwurst everyday.

Saturday night was this girl Jessica (one of my roommates) 19th birthday, so we got some booze and people together at our house. It was nice to have people over. I skipped out around 10:30 with a couple kids to go to this “dance party” in Williamstown. I guess I had my hopes set high, but it wasn’t the dance party I had hoped for. The bar was real nice, except you can’t smoke in bars in this town. It is kind of snotty b/c they have some snotty private school, some people refer to them as “rich pricks” but they seem ok to me. At the dance party this local 4 man hip hop group performed. They had a Jurassic 4 thing going on, I couldn’t understand the words, but they had the crowd of about a dozen going strong. “What’s up Williamstown.” They had good energy, I will give them that.

It rains a lot here. My only quasi-revelation came about this weekend while at “The Laundry Club” doing my laundry. I am reading this book, Blue Highway, which is about a dude travelling the back roads of America. He goes to all these small towns and finds all of these interesting people to talk to and focuses on the quaint aspects of the life there. It occurred to me that I am in that small town, but I only focus on the negative/cynical things about it. For instance, scratch-off lottery tickets. I am always thinking about the obsession so many seem to have with them. I thought about writing my own version of Blue Highway that was cynical and bitched about stupid people. There would be this big metaphor explaining how all the losing tickets are a symbol of all the losers that live here. I am sure it has been done before though. The only writing I do is this journal and lists. I write a lot of lists, then I don’t refer to them. Then I write more lists. Then I throw some other ones away that are like 4 lists back. I suppose I should get to work now.

Go to and click “shop grip” I made the 2 black shirts on there!

Week One is Over

BITCHING AND MOANING: Work isn’t all I had hoped it would be. Basically I feel like I am a sucker and overqualified. I don’t mind the idea of “paying my dues”–but I feel like I am in a time warp back to two years ago when I was doing the same thing in college, and actually getting paid. Another problem is that I am not sure this will lead to anything.

This dinky town is in the valley of a bunch of hills (one of them named Mt. Graylock) and it kind of makes me feel trapped. I just don’t think that anything exists on the other side of them. Most of this anxiety comes from just moving here and not really being settled in yet. I feel like I have too many unproductive minutes, but logically that is because I have so much more freetime that I am not riding the subway or doing other daily tasks that I don’t have to worry about here. Hopefully this coming week I will get into my groove and feel better about all of this. I have a pretty good list of goals to complete:
Self promo mailer, hmbl site, study design history, work, father’s day, expirement, make house a home, write, go to nyc and boston

IN OTHER NEWS: I switched from the nun’s room to a different room. It is bigger and has a better bed. I had originally taken the nun room b/c I thought someone else was going to move in, and since I don’t have any stuff to store up here I might as well. But as it turns out we are going to have an extra room to spare.

We had a little BBQ Friday night. We grilled Italian sausage and ate them on hoagie buns with peppers, very Chicago. And tasty. Afterwords we went to these other kid’s house, they are called Andy and Victoria. They are pretty cool artist-types, who I think just moved here for the artist-atmosphere. I think it is a funny idea for young people to move to a small town like this and make the best of it. They seem to have a pretty good social schedule, including an event they and some other people are planning–Under the Sea prom at the Masonic Temple, not your Grandmother’s Under the Sea prom. I am going to help promote it with my graphic skills. There is also this girl Kathyrn they hang with, the way she talks is great, not sure how to explain it, like an author maybe.

I got a call from this dude at the Kansan doing an interview regarding the Humble Empire, I’ll post it when it runs.

THINGS I MISS: Cell phone and 24-hr internet access (I can’t believe it), Friends (of course), Stuff to look at, city wise, Ease of eating ou,t Fast computer (mine is slow and loud), Nice apartment, Decent drinking wate,r Music
*this list makes me feel like I am getting soft

Day One

I am at my second day of work, an hour early because I can’t sleep. A lot has happened: Mostly food related.

I had a good week’s worth of send-off parties and packing in Chicago. The highlight was last Saturday night. We started at Sam’s, where we enjoyed a delicious grilled salmon meal. Then to Danny’s (ranked Chicago’s #1 bar) for a dance party that was started by none other than Kate E and myself. There was some intense dance offs between us and Danny’s patrons, and I am sure you know who came out the victor. Next stop–Green Mill. Where the house band called Sabertooth spews jazz all night long. I was pretty krunked at that time, luckily Kate E had her sketchbook, so it is all documented in writing. The sun came up and we went home.

For some reason I had a sharp headache Sunday morning… so after I recovered I had to do some serious packing which isn’t a topic people want to read about (moving sucks). Mark, Kate E and I had a great carribean dinner in the ‘hood. I have had lots of great food recently.

Monday. Time to fly out, the plane was packed, got to Massachusetts. My boss picked me up and we went straight to a pub called Man of Kent, I am guessing the propieter is from Kent, somewhere in GB. The place was coverd with Soccer jerseys and British memoriablia and we watched cricket or some messed up looking sport that isn’t baseball. I was surprised to see an establishment like this until I realized I was in New England. That is basically how everything here works, it is just like England, only newer. Where Old England is stale and crusty, our New England is fresh and polished to a shine.

Toured the facilities here after that. It is pretty crazy. It really is like they dropped this museum in the middle of nowhere. The art is amazing and everything is very relaxed compared to Chicago. There is really no formalities about the museum at all. The town is super po-dunk, way beyond what I had imagined. Possibly there is some non-po-dunk areas, but I haven’t seen them. The locals seem to enjoy scratch-off lottery tickets. People really do say “wicked.” Speaking of, that is a good segway to my living quarters. It is big old dumpy house, very similiar to old 1109 Tennessee in Lawrence, except not nice at all. It is yellow. My room looks like a room a nun or a mental patient would have lived in once, mostly because of the sketched out bed and bare hanging lightbulb. There are many different kinds of wallpapers throughout the house. So far I have 3 roommates who are all nice enough. Two little girls and this other dude. We spent the first night drinking wine and Keystones.

The first day at work was alright, no training, just straight to work. I don’t think I will have any problems or confidence issues here. Everyone knows my name, but I don’t know theirs. My boss took me out to lunch (because it was my birthday–thanks to everyone for the rash of e-mails!). I think I had fried clam or something, basically it was a platter of fried things that all tasted the same. Everyone kept going on about how good it tasted. While it was good food, there was little distinction between the french fries, fried fish and fried onion rings. For my birthday we went to the bar at the Holiday Inn for a couple drinks and food, then to this place called the Homestead. The Homestead is the type of place you want to go into, but you are a little afraid. All in all it is pretty sweet. Me and Shea (the other dude mentioned above) waltzed in like we owned the place and ordered a couple of Buds–pounders, none of that bottled piss. The barista delivers them with quickness and says “dolla feefty each” at that point I was hooked on the Homestead. Immediately this dude started talking to us, (mostly Shea, because I suck at small talk and don’t know anything about the Red Sox except the Nomar sketch on SNL, which I doubt they find funny) his name was Sloober, or Sluber (he isn’t sure on the spelling of his nickname, I think you can just pick the one you like better if it’s your nickname, Sloober/Sluber seems to think the givers of the nickname, his brothers (crazy sons-a-bitches), determine the spelling (Sloober is also unsure of the reason he earned the nickname, I thought maybe a combination to words that descrive a personality trait, but it didn’t seem to fit.)). Sloober had a lot to say. It was a great conversation, however I was cautious not to say anything at all that would challenge his beliefs as he seemed like he could fly off the handle pretty easily, especially when he would wave his empty drink around to gesture a point in his story, then take a sip from it.

Since I have been here, I have spent a total of about $10.00, all on booze or Gatorade. I buy the Gatorade when I drink too much booze. Sometimes I think I am going to die of boredom out here, other times I think it is alright. It should go by pretty fast though.

Leaving Chicago

I can tell you one thing I am haven’t done for a while — buy groceries. I just eat out every meal (cheaply) it is kind of liberating and leads to a lot of free time. I don’t have to think, “what do I have to eat…what do I want to make?” I always know the answer—I have flavor-ice and spaghetti (no sauce). It also makes me fell like a local. For the next week at least.

Like the past several weeks, I maintained my new weekly tradition and got completely crunked Friday night. I went out to dinner with Mark, Kate E, and the cute show folks at a Greek place (good). Then met up with Sam and friends to drink at multiple bars. The best was the last place. It was a crowded, half underground place called the Raven. We were standing there talking about cell phones or something, and this guy at a nearby table just falls over backwards flat on the floor. It was like a stuntman or a cartoon type of action. Then he just lay there flat and motionless on the floor. I was standing inches from his landing spot, staring at him, I seriously thought that something had happened to him. There was just no way in my mind that someone could be that drunk. Some other people picked him up, Kate E pointed and laughed, and Sam bought him a shot.

The worst part of moving is people asking you if you are excited to move, or if you are ready to move, are you packed yet…all that shit. I am not the type of person that anticipates things, I just wait until it comes and deal with it accordingly. My departure date is Monday, June 2nd. I will be traveling by airplane and no, I am not ready.

You will share a bedroom with another intern and common space (living room, kitchen, bathrooms) with the other interns in your house.

Phone numbers and email addresses will be assigned after you arrive.

As I mentioned last week, I am done at the museum and they gave me my daily journals from when I worked there and it was really cool to look back six months ago and see what you were up to, so I tried to get back into journaling again:

I took a cab to work today and I don’t want to get on the train again! I swore I to myself that I wouldn’t be the cliché/stereotype complain about public transportation, but I really am sick of the train — going underground is the worst. However, I took the bus home and drew in my sketchbook the whole way. A lady said “that’s good” and laughed, even though it wasn’t that good. The drawing was actually a joke, that I am not convinced she was privy to. I talked on the phone all night and doodled on the computer. I am thinking about making these doodles into my first flash project, as I have been meaning to learn flash.

I have this fake e-mail address that I use whenever I have to sign up for anything on the web (in order to avoid spam to my real e-mail). A long time ago, when I first got the internet at home I would write e-mails to people whose names I found randomly listed on web sites. Most of the time people would write back saying “Who the hell are you? Do I know you?” I wouldn’t really address that issue and keep writing them as normal. This took a lot of time to maintain, so I quit doing it, however one of my best corresponders actually wrote me the other day! I was sure surprised…

Whatever happened to you?

I got lots of cool things in the mail this week. People love getting packages. Don’t ever let anyone say otherwise.

One of my most faithful readers asked about my many web sites and if they could somehow get a web site of their own. It is true, you to can have your very own spot on the world wide web. If you are interested, just ask.

Hi party people,

This one is again delayed after a trip to Kansas. “What is going on there?” you may ask. Well Saturday night we celebrated the engagement of Jake Pugh and Allison Scott at the Abe & Jakes drinking establishment. Sunday was graduation at KU. It was great to see everyone and made me wish we could all live in a huge mansion together like Wu Tang.

The Friday previous to that I got really drunk and regretted it the next morning.

I am done working at the museum and I will miss my co-workers there.

I am real tired now, so I can’t type any more.

Monday – Whirlwind Heat, Estelle’s

Tuesday – Laundry

Wednesday – Winged Migration

Thursday – Vernissage

Friday – MCA Staff Show closing, Danny’s

Saturday – SNL

Sunday – PBS

– – – – – – – – – – –

Who else besides me wants to go to Branson?

What Is Up

I am a little late on this issue, a lot going on this weekend and didn’t spend too many hours at home. Here is the play by play:

Wednesday night I went to see this band the Postal Service. They are the the hottest thing out there right now. Their first album came out just a few months ago and the concert sold out. Pretty crazy. The crowd was just as I had pictured emo, indie, scenesters, hipsters one after another…very few, if any, normal people. The antictipation was high and crowd response was great. The band must have been impressed with how well they were recieved. Some chick ordered shots for the band which the waitress brought on stage between songs, the singers was like “I’ve done a lot of rock shows, but this is a first.” The girl who sent the shots up was wasted and thought she was a celebrity or something. The only other annoying thing was the people who watched the show through the viewfinder of their digital cameras. All in all a great show.

Friday was the MCA staff art show. If you work at the museum and make art you were eligible to be in this gallery show. I think about 50 people were in it total. I was impressed with the talent, it was wierd to see this stuff and try and imagine these people making it at home, especially people you thought sucked. I got a lot of comments and positivity for my work and even sold a piece right there on the spot. There was a lot of free beer, so I got fairly krunked. Afterwards we went out with the usual crew and some people from the musuem. Around 2am my boss from the musuem didn’t think we should stop partying and invited us back to her apartment, but it was so late and I had been drinking for around 9 hours, so I had to decline. I was pissed because she lives in Marina City, which are those 2 towers in downtown Chicago that look like corncobs:


After all of that I had to get up and go to work Saturday. I was a tired one. I was planning on meeting my friend Grant at Midway airport at 7:45. I had a couple hours to kill so I went to go see ‘A Mighty Wind’ –the new Christoper Guest movie (same people as Best in Show). I didn’t really think it was funny, definitely no Waiting for Guffman. After I met up with Grant, we went on a quick pub crawl of Wicker Park and went home. The next morning we got up at 7 am to go help his sister and brother-in-law move. We got done at 1pm and went for some lunch and ended up drinking for 4 hours and getting completely faced. So there I was, it was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon in Chicago and I was hammered riding the bus home alone. It was fun.

I think I drank about 50 beers last weekend.

The only other notable event of last week I can think of right now was when I was visiting the other art musuem Thursday afternoon. I was standing in a hallway looking at the map on the wall, this girl comes up to me and says “can I ask you a question?” Since a lot of people ask me questions at work I graciously replied yes. “What’s your name?” Matt. “Oh really?” Yeah. “Cause I thought you were kinda cute” Okay, thank you (embarrassed and quickly looked away). This would have been totally cool had she not been 15 years old. My love knows no age.

Unti next time.

Two Week Recap

I doubt that my readership is keeping up. Since I last wrote there has been some ups and downs with KU basketball, I traveled to Kansas and back, Kate E. went to London, beers were drank, etc…

Kansas was a good time. I chilled in Wamego mostly went to a play at the historic Columbian Theatre. The play featured one Shawn Gregory Lane. Me and my mom have been bitten by the theatre bug.

Went to the Kallide show. It was reallly cool. A good feeling to walk into the Granada, see all these people there and a ton of activity and know that your friends are responsible for it. They said it couldn’t be done! Everyone was beat from a long weekend.

Took down the cute show stuff today.

No big philosophical thoughts these last two weeks. Mostly my thoughts are about plans to move and what is coming up in my immediate future. I feel like I have a lot of activities to cram into one month. Starting to get caught up in the “go to work, go home” routine, which kind of scares me. Getting sick of working 6 days a week.

As I had predicted the journaling is on halt. I really don’t use my computer too much at home now, and like I said—no revelations lately.

Bought some new shoes, they look like this but, more blue. Kate E. came back from London with the same model of shoe, but different colors. Can you believe that!


I am trying to get rid of all the stuff I haven’t looked at or used in the last year since I moved to Chicago. Maybe I will sell some of it on eBay.

Sorry this one is kind of boring.

Weekly Roundup

Got that internship in Massachusetts. I will be moving there at the end of May most likely, I still haven’t figured that part out yet… I am excited, I feel like I am just going to sit around waiting to move. I will probably try and pack as much big city fun in as I can before I leave. I will miss my people here.

This weekends guests included Peter Heffner and Darren Finnigan. We had a swell time that included drinking beer, talking, riding in cabs, eating, and shopping.

the cute show was last night. I think it was a moderate success, as a show everything had a graphic nature to it, and seemed to work well together. I think over a 100 people were there in all, mostly art kids who don’t buy art. I got a lot of compliments and many were puzzled.

KU basketball is out of control.

I am excited to go back to Kansas next weekend. I will see the folks and go to the mega-event called KALLIDE Tell all of the Lawerence area people you know to go. It is Monday, April 14 at the Granada, starting at 10pm. I designed the web site! I just realized that I won’t be able to post the weekly column next week though as I don’t get back until Tuesday night.

Not sure what else to write about, I am exhausted… here is what I typed in my jounal last week:

31 Mar 2003
No big revelations in the past couple of days. My mom visited over the weekend and it was nice. I got to show her around, the bus and train were a hassle. She is addicted to Diet Coke and wanted to spend money while she was here. Consumption = entertainment. She got some placemats, which I can at least see some use for.

I appeared on some web site and the caption was a “sad, sad boy” I am rather sad looking I guess. I wonder if I will ever be depressed in the future.


Turns out I may spend well over $700 on this little art project of mine. Beginning to doubt it’s value. I could do a lot of other more useful things with that money. I would rather spend it on something that I could easily have a multiple of, like a print. That is the graphic designer mentality, which I like. Hopefully I can sell a couple of these deals and make my money back. I don’t really want to deal with moving them, especially if I go to Mass. I seriously doubt anyone will buy one.

1 Apr 2003
Everything I can do for the cute show is out of my hands at least for now. I am starting to work on the piece for the staff show–unmotivated though — partly because of money. I am forcing myself to do it. Hopefully it will be worth it. My confidence is really lacking right now.

Today I met with the design director for the museum. I dropped off my portfolio for him last week to get his feedback and plant the seed in case a job comes up there. He really liked everything, gave me some good criticism, and lent me the Megg’s design history textbook (he saw the glassy-eyed look when he was dropping names). Then he went into this 30-plus minute monologue about the state of graphic design and how much he doubts it’s purpose, it was pretty interesting and I didn’t have much to add since I am pretty inexperienced compared to him. It was an ego boost to hear that he likes my work, but that was all balanced out when he was talking about how worthless a lot of our efforts are in the end. In regards to that I am wondering what is the best/most worthwhile way to apply my skills.

2 Apr 2003
Huge drop in confidence today. Felt like I wasted almost the entire day, mainly because I tried to take advice that I didn’t believe in or understand. I nearly always regret the outcome when I don’t trust my gut feeling, be it design or life decisions. As far as design goes I am becoming a bit of a style-whore, relying on the same old tricks for my work. I don’t know what I need to do to fix this.

Very anxious about the Massachusetts internship. I think I am just going to intern for the rest of my life. No money — no worries. I am also anxious about this weekend. I have one goal for the art show–don’t look like an idiot. I think I will achieve this goal by not getting drunk and smiling a lot.

Welcome back faithful fans and friends! Still pretty busy, after a nonstop weekend with special guest Matt Blume, I have been trying to wrap up my work for the cute show as well as adjust to my new job. The new job/internship is going well, my confidence is growing slowly.

I am trying to land another internship for the summer at an art museum in Massachusetts — I am pretty sure I have it, but I will know for sure this week. It will be fun if I get it, like camp with art and design.

I read this diary by rock star graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, realized he is kind of a loser, nonetheless it inspired me to type out my thoughts, just for record’s sake. It is hard not to try and sound smart and write what you are actually thinking… I started, but doubt I will keep it up:

27 Mar 2003
Read the Sagmeister diary twice today, which has in turn inspired me to do this more often. I have anxieties about writing my thoughts down, mainly that I will regret my thoughts in the future. I don’t think anyone ever looks back on the past and says “wow, I was so much wiser then.”

The positives are that I will force myself to articulate my thoughts. I think doing that should help me work through them and create new solutions. Also I want to be honest and share my thoughts with others, mainly my friends.

Sagmeister has regular thoughts…he wrote about art a lot, yet he doesn’t ever refer to himself as an artist, nor mentions attempting art. In that sense I don’t think he is all he is made out to be.

28 Mar 2003
I need to make a list of what material items I essentially need. I like to think that I don’t have an excess of things. As I look around my room I see a lot of shit that I haven’t touched since I moved in — most notably art supplies. My most profound thought today was that I wished that when my pee splits, it would stay split, rather than come back into one stream. It is a goal that I will probably never attain without surgical alteration.

I am glad that I have attainable goals though. I have been thinking about people who don’t know what their goals are, not because they aren’t motivated, but because they don’t know what their passion is, or how to apply their passion to a specific career or role in life. Artists seem to have it easy in that respect. I know what I want to do — make meaningful art and design.

My mom is in town right now, we have been out to eat a lot, did some shopping, and we went to a Neil Simone play.

“It was awesome.” —Ruth Cassity

Some commentary about KU’s win from David Jaklevic:

Wee’s was all down at O’dells watching the game and getting krukity krunk off beer. Everywhere was packed like a porn star in a gang bang. When we won the place went ape shit, like an orangutan tossing its shit at a passing by goose. People just poured out onto mass street and everyone was driving up and down the street honking and drinking. People running through the streets jumping in and out of cars, madness, fucking madness and the cops seemed to enjoy the whole scene, no problems. This went on until two in the morning. As the girls got more drunk they started showing off their chests. I have seen my fair share of boobies, but I probably !!!QUADRUPLED!!! (emphasis on quadrupled) that amount last night.

I’m coming back to Kansas in a couple weeks. Namely to see a show that Matt Blume is organizing with about 20 other people. It is called Kallide. It is an expirement in music, video, and art. It is Monday, April 14th at the Granada. You should be there if you can. e-mail Matt Blume for more info.

Fan Mail

I just wanted to let you know that your weekly email is the only thing I have to look forward to in my life….if I didn’t have it, I’m not sure what I’d do, but it would probably require more self abuse. By self abuse I mean the kind with lotion that’s done in the privacy of your family bathroom, with the faucet running and when people knock on the door you tell them ‘just a minute’ and make some excuse as to how difficult acrylic paint is to get off your hands.
– Josh Lake