Saturday, June 05, 2004


On rotation

Da Brat - In Love Wit You
New York

JPennant: hey little brother, how tings.
lilbro: i'm aight . u?
JPennant: doin fine pa.
JPennant: worn out, eh
lilbro: yeh.
lilbro: MOVIN IS HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!
lilbro: LOL
JPennant: heheh
JPennant: thas why its bettah to travel light ;-)
JPennant: but you dont know nuttin bout dat :-D
JPennant: you still got more stuff to move, eh
lilbro: YEH SON
JPennant: where you movin to?
lilbro: *******, N.J.
JPennant: heheh
JPennant: well, good luck wit dat :-)
lilbro: gotta move my fridge and sand down the floors
JPennant: renting a house eh
lilbro: nah
lilbro: bought
lilbro: not renting to buy
JPennant: oh, right on. congrats :-)
lilbro: thx black man
JPennant: you get the lawnmower for that suburban feel yet? :-)
JPennant: heheh
lilbro: nah not yet
JPennant: how does it feel?
lilbro: lonely
JPennant: eh, that'll change
JPennant: you aint exactly the hermit type
JPennant: good to hear it tho
JPennant: I did my show, went well
JPennant: sold some prints
lilbro: glad to hear it son.
JPennant: City of Berkeley is buying one to put in City Hall :-)
lilbro: and u right i aint a hermit, but women have let me down so very much lately
lilbro: WOW!!!!!!!!!!
JPennant: :-)
lilbro: dats big
JPennant: it is
lilbro: they spent a grip?
JPennant: nah
JPennant: *** bux
lilbro: f*ck
lilbro: dat aint bad. u can get some batteries
JPennant: LoL
JPennant: I decided that Im gonna put down some roots out here
lilbro: why out there?
JPennant: Good place as any
JPennant: as expensive and as cold it is out here
JPennant: bungalows out here go for around half a mill to start
JPennant: I'll still be travelling tho
lilbro: where u livin at?
JPennant: Im still in Berkeley, looking for a place in Oakland
lilbro: u got enough for downpayment?
JPennant: nah, I dont want to buy a house
JPennant: not here
lilbro: nah talkin bout a apartment
JPennant: nope, not yet
JPennant: no rush, Im just looking for a room right now
JPennant: Im still a starving artist, and no matter how much money I have, Im gonna live like one
JPennant: Plus, the prices for places have dropped about a third since I first got here
JPennant: apartments that were swinging for 1300 are now around 750 -950
lilbro: why did they drop down?
JPennant: they went up in the first place because of all the dot-com shit
JPennant: the economy has collapsed out here
JPennant: so a lot of people have left
lilbro: true.
lilbro: can u still afford it on a permanent basis freelancing like u do?
JPennant: barely
JPennant: I got a lot of work and hustle ahead of me
lilbro: den get a perm job and do this on the side
JPennant: yup
JPennant: until Im ready for the business to go full bore
lilbro: filled out applications yet?
JPennant: of course. :-)
JPennant: I dont have much time
lilbro: take one hustle at a time, get the j o b first
JPennant: yup yup

JPennant: we'll see how it goes. first things first. get a place
lilbro: nooooooooooooo
lilbro: get a j o b
lilbro: focus
JPennant: :-)
JPennant: right on
JPennant: its actually.. get money :-)
JPennant: and spend as little as I can
JPennant: the job is to provide a consistent cash flow
JPennant: As I said, the economy is rough out here, so a j o b isnt a sure thing
lilbro: ?
JPennant: yeah
JPennant: Lotta folk sleepin in their RV's out here
lilbro: yeh no doubt
lilbro: tryin to buy one?
JPennant: nah, I decided I couldnt live in one
JPennant: Id use one if I were out shooting, but thas it
JPennant: Id rather have a minivan, volvo or chevy suburban :-)
JPennant: its gotta support the business, otherwise it aint worth it
lilbro: hmm sounds like car insurance
JPennant: that too
lilbro: yo son gotta roll and finish up the movin. oy
lilbro: talk latah?
JPennant: absolutely
JPennant: stay safe and congrats :-)
lilbro: thx bro, luv yah
JPennant: ditto little brother


McClint: hey
McClint: i rode out to wrigley
McClint: WOW
JPennant: :-)
McClint: you'd think it was a playoff game or something
JPennant: what was it like? :-)
McClint: sold out
JPennant: thats the Cubs for ya
McClint: and i think all the rooftop bleachers were sold out too
JPennant: pity you werent able to go into the park
McClint: i ALMOST got a foul ball though
JPennant: oh yeah? :-)
JPennant: mmm, actually - that was *prolly* a home run ball
McClint: i was walking around the outside of the park and a ball just falls from the sky and bounces 10 feet away from me and these guys ran over and grabbed it before i could think
JPennant: heee
McClint: no it was a foul. i was over by the 3rd base line i think
JPennant: yeah, it was a home run ball
JPennant: foul balls rarely leave the park
McClint: hmm i dunno. coulda been
JPennant: cool
JPennant: then you were PROBABLY on TV :-)
McClint: i dunno about that. hehehe
JPennant: seriously, they have cameras trained on the sreets to catch people getting the balls that leave the park
JPennant: sometimes they crash thru windows
McClint: it bounced away from me and hit the front of a truck that was driving down the street. then bounced toward the guys who got it. a woman got out of the truck a little way down and looked for tha ball and was sad when i told her these guys already got it
JPennant: so, at least you got a taste of the Wrigley Exprience :-)

McClint: oh.. i took a picture of teh harry carrey statue in front of the park. tacky tacky tacky. but the fans sure loved the guy :-)
JPennant: he's a CHicago institution
McClint: yeah
JPennant: He was a White SOx announcer for 13 years before that
McClint: yeah i thought i had heard that before
JPennant: yup
JPennant: yeah. did you go to the Billy Goat?
McClint: i couldnt find it

JPennant: Next time you go, go to a game. You wont regret it
JPennant: If youre gonna go to the lakefront, go now
JPennant: take a light jjacket
McClint: why is that?
McClint: yeah it's been chilly all day
JPennant: you wanna be there just before sunset
McClint: oh i got a couple hours
JPennant: before the sky starts turning gold
JPennant: youve got about an hour :-)
McClint: when i went to white castle it was about 8:30 and there was still plenty of daylight
JPennant: go out there anyway
JPennant: relax, enjoy the lakefront
McClint: :-)
JPennant: the waterfont at this time of year is about 10 degrees cooler, specially with the wind
McClint: yeah when i went to the navy pier i felt the nip in the air
JPennant: the water about now is 58 degrees
JPennant: I figure
JPennant: prolly a little warmer
McClint: i had no intention of taking a dip in the frigid waters of lake michigan ehhehe
JPennant: its not for the faint of heart, but its surprisingly refreshing swimming in the lake
JPennant: specially when your heart starts beating again. ;-)
JPennant: it feels like jumping into the ocean, and expecting the salt water, but its clean and fresh. But COLD.
McClint: hehehe
JPennant: aight gottsta go. enjoy the rest o chicago :-)
McClint: okie

Friday, June 04, 2004

I was standing in the back of the auditorium today, hearing the speeches of the graduates, when someone came from behind and squeezed a hug.

"Thanks, Man."
"Hey, Matt. Congratulations."

10 months ago, give or take, I had pulled him to the side and told him that he needed to check into a drug program. This was the graduation of the Options Recovery Program.

He was one of the recovery graduates I was there for.

He smiled and hugged me again.

Im starting to feel like Im a part of this place.

And this is where Im supposed to be.

At 5:15am this morn, I was wide awake..

It was dawn
already, the sky already a bouncing blue inspite of the fog cover and no sign of the sun.

One of the things Im not quite used to out here in the west, is having the sun rise in the east over the mountains. You cant see the sun, but the sun has obviously risen.


First tho, it has to burn off the fog.

Then warm the maritime chill that seeps in off the North Pacific Ocean.

And then we get the famed California sunshine and azure skies...

Which is not so bad.

Until the sun disappears...

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Dont sweat tha routine *

*(w/apologies to Erik B & Rakim's 'Dont Sweat Tha Technique')*

Im back to a familiar routine, staying in downtown Berkeley.

Except not. Without coffee, I have a big gaping hole in that routine.

I was reflexively looking to get a cup, then realized.. err, no.. I dont HAVE to.

I dont, dont I. I dont drink coffee anymore, I said to myself. Ok.

So, I thought, I could go to Berkeley Espresso, and get a cuppa tea then (ginseg peppermint).. but no..I dont need to replace one habit with another.

Hm. Its ironic. One of the reasons for the coffee and donut routine was practical. It gave me a quick sugar boost, filled my belly and got me through the day.

Then it became a routine.

With that routine gone, do I need another?


I guess its hard, when a routine of familiarity changes in a world of change.. but its necessary to move on.


Soon, they'll be opening a new Peet's coffee in downtown Berkeley.

I must be strong..

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Its Da' Pie

In the
DawgSpam I sent out today, was a NY Daily News article about the high price of milk causing Pizza prices to rise.

My friend, Kate in Philly (as opposed to Kate in NY - who is from Philly, but.. anyways)weighed in on this vital issue..
I always pay more than 2 bux a slice for pizza because I pick gourmet
toppings. Blargh. But you can still get a plain slice for less than 2
dollars in Philly. At least for now...

>>> "Joe Pennant" wrote back>>>
Hell, I cant even afford A slice of pizza right now..

Its funny, I remember back in my starving student days
(starving student, starving artist.. theres a theme
going here) having to subsist on a greasy slice and a
soda from Gigio's Pizza in Evanston.

If I were REALLY flush, Id get TWO slices. Lessee..
that was a buck 15 apiece. I wonder how much they are

To get more bang for the buck, I'd pour a crapload of grated parmesan cheese and a shitload of pepper flakes to feel like I was getting more.

WHat it really did was sop up the grease. ;-)

But, when I had money.. I abandoned Gigio's for Giordano's.

No guilt. :-)

JPennant: There's a place called Giordano's
JPennant: the pies are BIG and they taste sublime
JPennant: I guess they DO call them stuffed pizzas now
McClint680:: yeah i heard that name thrown around and saw a sign for it somewhere
JPennant: great stuff, man
JPennant: very rich, but delicate
McClint680:: kissimmee and lake buena vista? golly.
JPennant: LOL
McClint680:: must be a transplant
JPennant: I guess theyre trying to be like Pizzeria UNO

Pizzeria UNO is ok, but eh since theyve become a TGI Fridays kinda chain.

Other good excellent Chicago pizza spots are

Carmen's in Evanston.
Gino's (they moved from downtown on Superior, I hear theyre glitzier, but they still have the tables carved into by the customers..)

oooh, and Barnaby's on West Touhy. A neighborhood joint, they make the most sublime of creations.. like a broccoli deep dish.

If it can make me, a guy who hates broccoli, eat it.. you KNOW its the shit.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

My buddy Clint is in Chi-town for a Mac conference.

He took this picture..

Looking from the Sears Tower, east over Lake Michigan. I can see my bank and several of the towers Ive worked or visited in.

Great picture. :-)

Makes me kinda homesick.
Good news. My fiddling finally paid off.

I though I had lost most of my images from my cross country trip from the unreadable CD's produced by my unlamented G3 Powerbook ... but hey, my technical expertise was supposed to be crossplatform administration.

My skills are beyond rusty, but I was finally able to scan the unreadable CD's and extract most (not all) of the images.

I'll keep fiddling.

Another frustrating aspect of the mac was the fact that I couldnt find a graphic viewer tool as fast and as intuitive as IrfanView, and it took forever to process a few images.

A year and a half later, Ive only now been able to process the images.

Like this one:

This is the arsehole who took my wallet and ID's from my backpack. He would quickly turn to hide his face when my camera was pointed in his direction. Unfortunately, when I took this picture, I was blissfuly unaware that he had already taken my wallet, that had been buried deep in my backpack - ironically, to deter pickpockets :-/.

And Im STILL having to deal with that shit.


I do want to wring that fuckers neck every time I see this.

*sigh* Anyway..

(Urg.. I hate how an intricately drafted post evaporates as soon as hit the "Create" button....)

Lessee.. summat summat summat.

Oh yeah. How a seemingly minor decision has far reaching consequences.

Now that Ive decided to put down roots in the Bay (or - 'in the Yay'), the expected consequences are happening, fast and heavy.

TO most, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Ive decided to commit to here, considering how long Ive been here now.

Eh, no.. not unless youve clocked on to my amazingly commitment-phobic mentality, contrary to my stolid exterior. It was never a sure thing I would consider this, the Bay Area, a home base.

Im still too suspicious of this place. But for the forseeable, yeah.
Im moving from where Ive been since the start of the year.

A) I HATE moving.
B) Jaysus, Ive got a lot of shytte. Big backpack, big bag, laptop bag.

No, still too much stuff.

What it is I actually hate, is the transition between states of change.

What Im thankful for is that it doesnt un-nerve me as it wouldve a year ago.

I am tired tho. I'd like some sleep.

But Im too charged up right now.
I was talking to a dear friend the other day, catching up.

It takes awhile before she worries and nags me about my living situation. Where Im living, how Im survivng, and will I go get a job.

Her natural state is to take care of the people she loves and cares about. Unfortunately, she surrounds herself with stubbornly independent folk, who bristle at anyone thinking we're weak and need help.

The irony.. Ive gotten fat here. Berkeley has taken care of me.
She has lost weight, as she is unemployed, has to pay NY rent and skimp on food.

And she is worrying about me. Oy vey.

Still, my friends.. have taken care of me.

I should be able to take care of them.
At the Berkeley jobs center that I volunteer at (speaking of ironies), Im overhearing a client on one of the phones, essesentially calling and begging for a room to rent or stay with.

Begging in her british accent. Near tears.

Im feeling superior, because the same situation doesnt engender fear with me.

I should stop that and increase the amount of compassion Im supposed to feel.

Er, yeah.

The economy around here is still toxic and there are people suffering.

There are, as there always have, of people surviving.

So, compassion.

For what goes around comes around.
By and large, the folk I know in Berkeley and Oakland are glad Im hanging around.

Now they want to see what happens when I get serious.

So do I.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

To sleep, perchance to dream

Slept well
last night. REALLY well. Havent slept like this in a year.

Went to bed early, dreamt. Xleared my head.

Had all the answers even.

I guess once the decision was made about "should I stay or go", my subconscious mind could work on the rest of it.

Most of it was stuff I had planned to do anyway, just unencumbered by the extraneous bullshit I was worrying about.

But, one conclusion surprised me:

I have to go back to Jamaica and photograph where i grew up. Honestly, this thought had NEVER occured to me before.

THAT should be cool.

I had a shoot list even before I rolled outta bed.

Ok, its on the list.

The list?

The American (and Canadian) West. Hawai'i. Japan. New Zealand. Tahiti. Chile. Belize. Venuzuela. Trinidad. West Africa. Wales. Scotland. The Alps (and the countries therein). Hong Kong. India. Saudi Arabia. Egypt.Australia.

And a few others in between.

If I dont get to it all before I croak, at least I will have seen some pretty cool shit before I go...
NY on the random revisit tip..