And hello Everyone!!!

It's good to have you. get comfy. Imagine we're in the same room, imagine I'm handing you a cup of coffee, or a beer, or cigarette.
Or soft, fuzzy slippers.
Peruse. enjoy yourselves.
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good to have you. Stay awhile.
love, world wide dirt

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'm a dog, you're a dog. Lets all eat the same breakfast.

If you banned me from the earth, would it be forever?

or would there be some way, I could climb my way back in?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


The morning spread out forever. You could check your watch and click your heels at the time you were making. And it was beautiful outside but no hurry to get there. A gentle hum of breeze on the windowpane. The last bite of the last pancake that never cooled. The coffee was good. You both laughed. There were flowers in the vase. You yawned and went out. The park. An errand wearing laughter and cigarette smoke. Orange juice at the convenient store. Not even one yet. Stopped by to see so and so. How is he doing? You don't say. I never would have guessed. And on the trip back you saw the Wiener Mobile. Out of the blue you stopped and bought a new shirt. It's now your favorite. Hungry. Pizza, perfect. Sat around awhile, mffhahaha. The movies? Yeah. Almost dark when you got out. Pasta, root beer. Come here, come here. Mwa, mwa. Something sweet on, no commercials. I like you. Mwa. Come here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"the university of houston," or just "uh"

have a shot, chit-chat, pat on back, make eyes, do drugs, drive to bar without clear plan on how to get back sans drunk driving, have a drink bought for you, have a shot, another shot, another drink, harass the bartender for buying your drinks, another shot, another drink, flirt, pat on back, smoke, feed your last stray dollars into a jukebox, be surprised by every one of your songs when it plays, another drink, two more drinks, shot, get a drunk ride halfway home, walk other half, vomit

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don't You Want to Go Out And Play, Teddy Range, Teddy?

An Aulstralian Shephard sniffed its way home over a winter and spring from Colorado to Oklahoma. Write it up, Ted, my producer said.  My neighbor also had an Australian Shephard. He brought it over last 4th of July. I took pics at the party. I looked for the picture on my hard drive to use for the story. I saw a file I'd never looked at, pictures from the going away party for thirty-year anchor Garth Jones. There was a picture of Pam and I kissing. I've never kissed Pam. She doesn't look like that. I don't like that. She's made of wax. I'm made of Play-Doh. When I'm on camera I look like a glazed pot.

In the picture we crash into each other, hooked like Siamese. We look at the other like we both know someting no one alive on earth knows. We found the location of the ark of the convenatnt and it's our secret. So secret I don't even remember it now. It was there, right in front of us. I'm pre-mustache, post-gray, about four years ago. I don't even talk to Pam, didn't even think to invite her to my July 4th party. I shared something with her I don't even know about.

She walks past my office window. There are cracks in her makeup. Her eyes meet mine and neither of us so much as nods or opens our apertures. She's gone. I close the picture. The dog. The dog taversed mountains, survived a winter, something... I need a cup of coffee before I can finish the story.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I had a dream that Conan O'Brien sat down in a diner booth with me and fired me from his show. I wasn't contributing enough, he said. But I'd forgotten that I even worked for him and I felt like an idiot, like I'd blown such a huge opportunity. I was so busy I forgot I worked for Conan O'Brien. He was really nice about it.

Salt & Pepper Squid and the Steamed Dumplings

Busyness is the opposite of contentment. Maybe that's not true because it's not discontentment. To be busy is to be alone, to be strung tightly from point to point and there's more joy in a snapped line drooping at both ends than in a taut one. The best moments I can think of are ones with a drifty quality, waking up in bed with nothing to do and nowhere to go, not because I enjoy slothfulness but because I lie there entertaining thoughts I don't have time for when I'm chasing the next moment. Busyness is all time and you may forget your troubles in your busyness, though that's rare enough, but you won't forget time. To live outside of time...
 "Let's quit our lives for 3 days, only 3, and be together, and then we'll get new lives."
"But we'd still have to write."
I beat the shit out of myself for feeling time, but treat myself well when I forget it. Forgetting it, though, makes it all the worse when you remember again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Photo by Erik Ljung

You think new things every day - like going to college is a waste of time or not - that we spend all this time worshipping other people who may know nothing, who had ideas thousands of years ago - that you should watch what you eat, or get new glasses - that lifes worth living - that we are big like peas and tiny like mountains - that families and cars and garages and basketball hoops are waiting, are all waiting for us - So stop cigarettes and whisky drinks and cheese sticks and get a yourself a new car - something nicer than necessary - or a beat down truck that tells some lies about you - act like birthdays are worth it - like waking is worth it - think that dominos don’t fall.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

For Tina

there are two moments that

come to mind,

calming my heart & then

pushing it aside

and yet,

I feel energized.

1. it is the layer of molasses in the deep summer

about a month more to go before

we can sit in school & thank

God for the air conditioning

& the rain doesn't wash

it doesn't cool

and at the bus stop my mind

runs through constant thoughts of

"did i miss it?" & "it won't be long."

and you, Tina, are that instant I see

the top of the Milwaukee Transit Chariot read

"you will be on your way shortly."

2. many men, I imagine, stood on

the plank of a rotting pirate ship

in an unmarked sea somewhere east of me

and when they were asked for their last words

of remorse they stumbled because a thought

of your timeless wit, the poise and brilliance of a

dancing porpoise, stole their breath &

they were thankful (over & over) because

when they think about you they,

for the first time in their memory,

forgot their fear of death.

- Suzanne Jones

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Just Win Baby!

RIP - Al Davis - You Beautiful fucking nutcase.

Monday, October 3, 2011

MFF - On Tour

I saw loads of movies at the Milwaukee Film Fest, met even greater loads of people, had a few very memorable experiences, and On Tour, the closing night film shown at The Oriental last night, was an emotionally appropriate film to end on. It's a film that's in some ways about movement and change and I think that's what a lot of us were feeling on the last day of the festival.

The film ends with it's troupe of neo-burlesque performers and their producer, after touring through city after strange city, settling into a hotel on the shore that has no other occupants, no staff. It's quiet and still like no other place they've visited. They say that maybe they could stay there, though we know they won't. "Let's keep moving," one of the characters says. "That's what we're doing, right?" Homeless and in some strange place none of them know, they're at home for a moment.

Maybe that's how some of us felt after the week-and-a-half long fest, just getting used to seeing the same people at screenings and after parties, just learning everyone's names, cozy for the tenth or twentieth or thirtieth time in the Oriental's chairs, knowing that when the lights came up it would all be over. Some of the visiting filmmakers would hit the road home or to the next festival, the Milwaukee people would go back to their Monday morning grind, face the welcome but contrastingly bright sunshine we got today. Oh, well.

Maybe I'm confusing my emotions with what was on the screen, but On Tour might have been the best movie I saw at the festival. It was shot and acted naturalistic. The effect wasn't so much as if we were a fly on the wall, but as if we were one of them. As if these were our friends we had gotten to love and hate simultaneously over the journey. Anyone who's traveled a good deal knows unexpected moments of strife and the even more unexpected ones of comfort. You find it in little things, a drink, a cigarette, a joke, a shared bed, then it's gone and you keep moving.

I couldn't say enough good things about the movie and if you catch me in person I probably would say a lot more, but I don't want to tell you about the plot or the style too much. The point is to experience it and you really, really should.

Looking forward to 2012 MFF already.
Yours Truly,

MFF - Work In Progress Forum

The wonderful thing about Milwaukee film is that there is no Milwaukee film industry, there are just people. Nothing is greenlighted, very little is debated. If a movie wants to get made then people throw their whole lives into making it. There are organizations and grants and schools that help a lot, but they're just groups of people trying to make a movie too. No one's trying to get rich, it's about movies.

At the Work in Progress Forum in Kenilworth Saturday I saw a huge variety crazy stuff that's being made in Milwaukee right now. In a little over an hour, I saw filmmakers talk about and show clips from their movies which include a slasher baseball movie, a film about a single woman giving unassisted birth in a remote Northern Wisconsin cabin, a movie that combines interviews of the people surrounding the Jeffrey Dahmer murders with a dramatization of Jeffrey Dahmer shopping and riding the bus and doing everything but kill people, a documentary about the last remaining member of a half-century dead religion and the high school sweetheart he reunited with in his eighties, and an a green screen adaptation of Hamlet that spans 400 years and features Dustin Diamond from Saved By The Bell. It was insane.

A lot of these filmmakers are also helping on each other's really diverse films. Everyone at the table and most of the people in the audience were all into doing whatever we can to make it all happen. It's a struggle, but it's not in vain. These movies are actually getting made because of all the work people in this city are putting in and, frankly, that's good enough, but they also happen to look like really good movies.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

MFF - Gandu & Karate-Robo Zaborgar (funny how the night moves)

I was zonked Friday night after finishing my shift but I went to meet a friend and congratulate him on his birthday and the premiere of his movie at the festival. I was going home, I wanted to go home, I needed to go home. I ran into one of the festival programmers. "Are you staying for Gandu?" she said. "Oh... I don't know," I said. "You have to. It will fuck your head in the best possible way." "Fuck," I said. "Now I have to go."

Gandu is crazy. It's hero is a 20-year-old named Gandu (which means, according to the film, Loser, Fucker, Stupid, and Moron). He determinedly lives in his own world in a way that reminds me of a Wes Anderson character. The walls of his room are covered in his scribbled lyrics, he has his own gang symbol that he tags all over town, but no gang. No one can tell him anything to change his mind, which is funny because he doesn't have a mind to change. The style of the film reminds me of a souped-up American independent from the 80's. It lives in the cheap aesthetic of handheld black and white, but it breaks out of that style as it progresses into fantasy, meta-fiction, sub-plots so brief and tangential they're like stinging feedback bursts from a busted-out amplifier, color sequences, and musical numbers.

You could almost call the film a punk-rock musical, and not in a Rock And Roll High School kind of way (though I love that movie), but in a dramatized listening to Black Flag or Minor Threat early album in a musty basement. The story is often interrupted jarringly with a cut to Gandu singing crazy lyrics like, "I shine my teeth with borrowed meat." It's sort a stream of consciousness movie, a stream of noisy, distorted, fucked consciousness. It's a movie that spins around drunkenly like a lopsided top, but never falls.

Karate-Robo Zaborgar played last night's midnight show. I had a discussion with a friend early in the night about seeing it. "I saw the trailer," he said. "I don't want to see that." I said, "I know. It looks like a Power Rangers movie, but they programmed it and I've liked almost everything I've seen at the festival." "That's true," he said. He still went home and I saw it by myself.

Fuckin' A. That was a good movie. The experience that I hope for when I walk into a movie theater, that is what that movie was. The movie was, in a word: free. Now, Gandu was free, other movies I've seen at the festival were free, but they were either arthouse movies or documentaries. Karate-Robo Zaborgar is a free action-adventure movie and that is a rare bird. The narrative gets on the floor and does it. It's a comedy and a funny one and it is the opposite of realistic, but it cares about its characters more than most of the movies I've seen this week, or ever. The fact that it does care, that you know characters as ludicrous as Miss Borg, Zaborgar, and the League of Smiles are going to get a fair shake dramatically, is what grounds the movie through its out-of-control mine-cart plot.

The film starts as a simple story of good and evil that could be a children's cartoon and then curves into a story of love, betrayal, and loss without ever slowing down its explosions or jokes. When the hero Diamen turns on the police and his robot (and motorcycle and best friend) Zaborgar develops free will for the first time in order to fight him, the joke is how compelling it is. In the second half, when the film takes a twist on par with Psycho's in it's surprise and effectiveness, I said to myself, I think audibly, "Yes." The special effects are awesome, not because they are realistic, which they aren't, but because the filmmakers didn't give a shit that they weren't realistic. They look cool and they facilitate the movie to do anything it wants at any time, which is exactly what it needs to do.

Bravo, Film Fest programmers. I am going to kiss all of you.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

MFF - Milwaukee Show

We had not one but two World Wide Dirt correspondents at the Milwaukee Show, Milwaukee Film Fest's locally made shorts program. With utmost journalistic integrity they sat together in the balcony cracking stupid jokes to each other between films, then went to Landmark Lanes afterward to exploit their press passes for free beer and got drunk with most of the people who made the movies. There was free cigarettes, movie talk, pats on the back, flirtations, someone sang "Georgia On My Mind" in the Karaoke corner, someone put a half dozen Yes songs on the jukebox. WWD correspondents Dirt and Guy gritted their teeth and observed the films and the party through cool observational glares. This is their story.


Don’t Go explores the complexities of loneliness. Very few actors, meticulously shot, it gave a lot in a short amount of time.

Lisa Danker was my teacher for one of my classes last year. Naturally I was a shitty student and hardly went. When I did go I always noticed how thoughtful she was, it’s no surprise that her film Please Remember Me, a family memory tale told through old letters and photos, was thoughtful, well put together, and nostalgic.

Secrets Of Animal Navigation was a pretty zany magazine cutout animation.

Missed Connections was a beautifully shot, stylistic short film. I’m excited to see what these ladies do in the future. Side note: the ladies that directed this film helped out on pretty much everything at the showcase. bam!

Anima Mundi - I was worried that i might have a seizure. I didn't though.

Everyday was actually my favorite piece at the Milwaukee Showcase. At first there was a lot of tension because I didn't want to be surprised by seeing some wound I wasn't expecting, I didn't want to be that close to someone I didn't know. After a little while however I realized the subject was trying to save their own life through a course of medical adjustments. By the end I wasn't afraid of what was coming next, I was rooting for someone who was paying attention to things that most people take for granted, the function of their body. This one will have ole Sean thinking for a long time.

Documenting Westphal - You know the old phrase “You made your bed now lay in it”? Well, lay man, lay.

Momento Mori - Some day the two Sean Williamsons and Max Williamson will all get together and have a non family Williamson party. Max is a great actor collecting a lot work around these parts. Keep an eye on that curly headed maniac.


I couldn't believe the ambition of the fiction narrative shorts. They all looked amazing and they all tried something daring. The Tim Burton-esque style of The Wheel, the special effects, and art direction and just the gall to introduce and then dramatize a whole fantasy world in 13 minutes, is all evidence of insanity and extreme talent on the part of the filmmakers. Missed Connections and Memento Mori were also tiny fantasy epics.  Connections was something like an experimental romantic comedy/musical with about a dozen lead characters in as many minutes, just frenetic but paced with Busby Berkley dance numbers. Memento Mori did what anyone with limited resources for a film would do, a turn of the century period fable about black magic. A kid wrote it, for real. Only in America.

My favorite fiction short, though, was the least extravagant.  Don't Go was simple and genuine. It was the only one of the fiction pieces that could have been made without everyone in Milwaukee film hearing about it. It felt like someone just up and did it, which probably isn't the case. Two actors, one apartment, original story. Novel. See it if ever you can.

UWM has probably the best experimental film school in the country and you could tell from the two experimental shorts shown, Anima Mundi and Secrets of Animal Navigation.  Mundi was a 4 minute kaleidoscopic montage of thousands and thousands of flower photographs and my eyes felt like Dave Bowman's at the end of 2001. Secrets of Animal Navigation was a wild mix of puppetry, found art, collage, and animation. It had probably my favorite score of the night, a non-stop jazz drum solo from the drummer of The Fatty Acids.

All the docs were good, of course. Documenting Westphal was painful in a way that I'm not sure I've ever seen in another movie, in a way that is only possible in the documentary field, where a piece relies on the relationship between author and subject.

Everyday was so close to it's subject she felt both intimate and alien. It seems in recollection to be almost all close-up on parts of her body, long shots in which the mind is allowed to wander, to compare this body with the ones you know, the pump in her chest to other cancer treatments you may have seen in your life.

Please Remember Me was the most journalistic of the documentaries, concerning the political imprisonment of filmmaker Lisa Danker's grandfather that began in revolutionary Cuba and lasted almost thirty years. It's investigative, but most of the investigation concerns the emotions of the family involved and they are thoroughly unearthed. Silly note: I loved the photographs placed on a tablecloth (maybe a dress?) backdrop, it's so easy and so cool to do the slow zoom or pan on a scanned photo, but refreshing to see photos that are real, concrete artifacts.