The Ypsilanti Underground Micro Gallery is now open for business

    It took almost the entire day, but the new gallery is now open.

    galleryintheground

    Posted in Art and Culture, Ypsilanti | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

    The Quote of the Day…. by Ben Connor Barrie

    I’m not exactly sure what it was in reference to, but I turned a corner this evening and heard Ben Connor Barrie, the editor of Damn Arbor, make the following statement…

    BenSemenquote

    I know I should have stuck around and found out what in the hell he was talking about. Instead, though, I ran home and took a scalding hot shower.

    Posted in Other, Uncategorized, Ypsilanti | Tagged , | 10 Comments

      The underground micro-gallery is almost done

      That little art project I told you about a few days ago is coming along nicely.

      I could have probably done a better job with the construction of the box, but I imagine that it’ll support the weight of people walking over it once it’s in the ground, which is all that really matters.

      BoxProject1

      I’d purchased a decorative porthole window for the top of the box. The more I looked at it, though, the more I knew that it wouldn’t be sturdy enough. Thankfully, after a little calling around, I was able to procure a 6″ section of pipe…

      BoxProject2

      …and my friends at Maker Works were able to help me out by firing up their incredibly beautiful Cincinnati lathe.

      BoxProject3

      It took about half an hour, but, by the time we were done, we’d cut a 3/4″ deep notch along the inside lip of the pipe…

      BoxProject5

      …perfect for holding the plexiglass disk we’d just cut with the Maker Works laser.

      BoxProject4

      With the addition of some clear silicone caulk, the pieces came together beautifully.

      BoxProject6

      All that was left to do was epoxy the pipe to the top panel, which held the solar-powered LED spotlight.

      BoxProject7

      Damn! Isn’t that incredible? I can’t wait to see it in the ground, glowing.

      [None of this could have happened without Dale Grover and the folks at Maker Works, who are just incredible. If you've never been, you should definitely check them out. They're awesome.]

      Posted in Art and Culture, Mark's Life, Special Projects, Ypsilanti | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

      Republicans turn their back on the disastrous Terri Lynn Land, concede Michigan Senate race to Gary Peters

      terrilynland2

      It’s being reported today that the Republican party is pulling their financial support for Michigan Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land, and reallocating their dollars to other races around the country which are felt to be more winnable. This decision, not coincidentally, follows Land’s disastrous appearance on a Michigan Radio call-in show by just a few days. Apparently, even if you happen to be the wealthiest Republican running for Senate, there’s a limit as to how far you can rise in American politics with a single catchphrase (“I’m a mom”).

      By the way, I don’t think it’s a bad thing that Land is a mom. I think that’s a good thing. I think we need more moms in the Senate. I’d just prefer that said moms would be able to articulate a thought without first stating, “Well, as a mom…” I get that it’s probably the one thing about Land that polls well, and that she’s likely been told by numerous consultants to keep bringing it up, but it just comes across as laughable when everything she says, whether it’s about ISIS or the condition of Michigan’s roads, is preceded by a reminder that two little human beings traveled through her birth canal. I don’t know if he’s kidding or not, but a friend who suffered through Land’s entire Michigan Radio segment said that she used the phrase “I’m a mom” twenty times. And maybe that wouldn’t be so bad if everything else that she said wasn’t incomprehensible gobbledygook. But it was… It was so bad that even the Republicans knew that it was bad. And that’s really saying something, given how tone-deaf the Republicans have been lately.

      Speaking of Republican tone-deafness, I have a question for those of you reading this right now who are women. Which of the following ads resonates most strongly with you, the one where Rick Snyder is presented as a stylish wedding dress, or the one where you’re asked to choose your leaders (who are always male) as though you were choosing a future husband?

      I know the ads sucks, but at least, in the top one, they found a real black person to be in it, and didn’t just use stock photos, which is a step in the right direction.

      I’d love to see the ad ideas that they didn’t go with… Rick Snyder as a new mop? Rick Snyder as a pair of control-top pantyhose? Rick Snyder as a box of bon bons and an episode of Days of our Lives?

      The whole thing makes me sick… not just the fact that they think women are stupid, but the fact that, in spite of things like this, women continue to vote Republican. But I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise. If women were willing to stick with them when they started closing down reproductive health centers, why would they stop supporting them now, right?

      One last thing… For what it’s worth, I have a piece of advice for Terri Lynn Land. The next time you’re introducing yourself, Terri, stop when you get to the part where you say, “I grew up in a trailer park.” That next part, where you say, “…owned by my millionaire grandparents,” doesn’t really resonate with regular Michiganders.

      Oh, and one good thing about the Land campaign… While the Republicans may have finally cut her off, they’ve already wasted a lot of their money in Michigan, trying to get her into office. In fact, the Koch brothers, though their front organization, Americans for Prosperity, have already spent $3.6 million in support of her campaign. And that’s money that they could have spent in other races… Thank you, Terri!

      Another last thing… As polls show Gary Peters up by over 7% in the polls, with a 92% chance of taking Michigan’s open Senate seat, I’d like to suggest that now might be a good time for use to start moving our money as well, either to other races in Michigan, or out of state. At present, there are at least 7 winnable Senate races that are leaning Republican, most notably the races in Colorado and Iowa, where it really could go either way. (The way things look right now, the Republicans, after this election, will control 52 seats and the Democrats will control 48. If we could just swing back Iowa and Colorado, it would make an incredible difference.)

      [If you like the drawing of Land at the top of the page, it was done by our friend Pete Sickman-Garner, and, if you want more, he's got you covered.]

      Posted in Michigan, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

      That show you loved is back in style… The return of Twin Peaks

      I know I should be writing about something other than Twin Peaks tonight, as everyone else in the world is posting their thoughts about today’s big announcement right now, but there’s really nothing else I want to write about. I mean, I sat here, trying to write about Naomi Wolf’s descent into madness, but my mind keeps coming back to David Lynch, and how absolutely poetic it is that Twin Peaks will be coming back on the air after 25 years… One wonders if this was Lynch’s plan all along, given what Laura Palmer promised Agent Cooper that time in the red room. [See the video below.]

      25yearsLaura

      For the five or six of you who may not have already heard… According published reports today, Showtime has committed for 9 episodes, to be set in the present day Twin Peaks, and following plot lines established during the show’s somewhat frustrating, yet still occasionally brilliant second season. And, best of all, all 9 episodes are to be directed by Lynch. While no official statements have been made relative to casting, word is that Kyle MacLachlan will be reprising his role as FBI Agent Dale Cooper, and I would imagine that almost everyone else on the original cast would love to join him. (Sadly, Jack Nance (Pete), Frank Silva (Bob), and Don Sinclair Davis (Major Briggs) have all passed away.)

      Coincidentally, I had just started re-watching Twin Peaks on Netflix last weekend, a few days before Lynch started dropping coded messages by way of Twitter, hinting at the return.

      Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 2.30.43 PM

      [Trying to keep from getting hurt, I suppose, many Lynch fans were setting their sites low, not allowing themselves to get too worked up, for fear that the show might not really be coming back, despite the talk of our favorite gum coming back in style. One of my favorite theories floating around the internet was that Lynch was planning to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the show by launching a Twin Peaks brand of chewing gun.]

      Maybe it’s because Twin Peaks came onto the scene at a time when I was craving something that challenged me more than Matlock, or maybe it’s just because, when I lived in LA, I used to spend a lot of time in the Bob’s Big Boy where Lynch did so much of his writing, but, to this day, I have a lot of love in my heart for the man, and the incredibly ambitious series that he was somehow able to sell to ABC. It’s impossible for me to imagine a world without Twin Peaks, as it kind of reverberates through everything around us these days.

      And I know that the whole thing could very well suck. I know it’s probably very unlikely that anything made today could ever hit me as hard as Twin Peaks did when it first aired. But I’m extremely thankful that Lynch is being given an opportunity to once again work his way inside the minds of the American public, even if it means that, after over a decade without television, I may have to break my vow and go crawling back.

      As for potential plot lines, I don’t want to speculate. I am hoping, however, that there’s at least passing mention of the the Twin Peaks breastaraunt chain

      Now here are those video clips that I promised.

      Laura Palmer, “I’ll See You In 25 Years”:

      Today’s announcement from Lynch and Showtime:

      And it still amazes me that something like this was ever allowed to air on commercial television:

      Posted in Art and Culture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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