Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Song of the Day: The State I Am in, by Belle and Sebastian

I was surprised, I was happy for a day in 1975
I was puzzled by a dream, stayed with me all day in 1995
My brother had confessed that he was gay
It took the heat off me for a while
He stood up with a sailor friend
Made it known upon my sisters wedding day

I got married in a rush to save a kid from being deported
Now shes in love
I was so touched, I was moved to kick the crutches
From my crippled friend
She was not impressed that I cured her on the sabbath
So I went to confess
When she saw the funny side, we introduced my child bride
To whisky and gin

The priest in the booth had a photographic memory
For all he had heard
He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called
The state I am in

So I gave myself to god
There was a pregnant pause before he said ok
Now I spend my day turning tables round in marks & spencers
They dont seem to mind

I gave myself to sin
I gave myself to providence
And Ive been there and back again
The state that I am in

Oh love of mine, would you condescend to help me
Cause Im stupid and blind
Desperation is the devils work, it is the folly of a boys empty mind
Now Im feeling dangerous, riding on city buses for a hobby is sad
Lead me to a living end
I promised that Id entertain my crippled friend
My crippled friend

CD of the Day: Grandaddy, The Sophtware Slump

A delight, with strangely wonderful lyrics. Buy it here.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Trashball 072608: Best of Class

I think the young man who created this did an outstanding job of telling an important story. I forgot to check which particular class he won for, but I suspect it was for Graphic Novels. In any case, it was my favorite thing at the Southeast Alaska State Fair.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Still in Alaska

I'm in Alaska still, longer than I planned on being here, but enjoying it, especially now that my brother, Mom and I have finished building Mom's rental property, which she calls Mountain Greenery Chalet and is a hell of a deal considering that tiny motel rooms in Haines cost at least $100.00.

For my few stalwart readers, please forgive my infrequent postings lately. Internet is spotty at best.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Trashball 061208: Kings Highway

I dunno, but when all other options are depleted, it might just be time to fork over the clams for a brand-new 1977 Kings Highway Motor Home and hit the ol' road. That's my view.

Trashball 061208: Your Future Wife: A "Gertie Gimmie" or a "Merry Widow"?

Pick a circa 1935 card, any circa 1935 card...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Trashball 060908: Howard Johnson's Brunswick

While I always appreciate an effort at artistry, this 1960-something ad for a Howard Johnson's in Brunswick really does disappoint, even if they are located on Pleasant Street. A bit. The font, of course, is just as it should be. But does the drawing really make one want to delight in the amenities? By which I mean to say, I could probably do no better, although I do enjoy painting motels.

Trashball 060908: The Rambler American Lure

Sometimes, I must confess, I really miss my 1968 Rambler American, even with its leaky windshield and underpowered straight-6 engine.
For truly, it was a classic motorcar that not only propelled me down the crumbling road infrastructure, but also drove me—I must say—into the heart of at least one very pretty lady. Okay, just one pretty lady, probably.
Still, though my current car (a '99 Mercury Cougar) has its charms, nothing comes across like the Rambler did, especially when the steering and brakes would go out and I careened across boulevards and ditches and medians and newspaper boxes and shrubs and retirement communities and unfortunate squirrels and UPS guys laboring with their dollies and smitten lovers and frustrated artists (although I think I did the latter a favor, despite all the litigation).

Trashball 060908: Salt Tang

Why, may I ask, are these seemingly delicious snack sticks no longer on the market? Glaedelig Jul! That sounds yummy. Damn you, Nabisco (National Biscuit Company), damn you!
From a 1960 ad.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Barack Obama 2008

I just watched an amazing, history-making speech from Sen. Obama. I am SO proud of my country, and especially my fellow Democrats. Viva Obama!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Trashball 053108: I Have to Go Buy Some Socks

Fun graphic from the bottom of a 1940s G. R. Kinney Co. receipt.

Trashball 053108: Beeratorium

Front and back of oldie biz card for the ingeniously named "Grable's Hotsie Totsie Beeratorium." I wanna go there! Let go of my finger!

Monday, May 26, 2008

New Painting: "Quiet Party"

New painting called "Quiet Party". Mixed media on canvas, 12" x 18". $256.00. To purchase, contact me at chris[at]

Sunday, May 11, 2008

New Painting: "A Disservice, PG"

"A Disservice, PG", 20x16", mixed media, $372. To purchase, email me at chris[at]

Friday, May 02, 2008

Video of the Day: Stereolab: Cybele's Reverie

Well, I tried and I failed to find a video for Stereolab's song "Mass Riff". But in my search I came across this very Bunuelian video for Cybele's Reverie.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Official Correspondence of the President of the Republic of Estonia (a Reply to an Octogenarian American)

Irv Rastin
4884 M---------- Blvd., NW, Apt ---
Washington, DC 20007

President His Excellency Lennart Meri
Republic of Estonia
Weizenbergi 39, EE-0100
Tallinn, ESTONIA

24 November 1997

Dear Mr. President, Sir:

I recently spent two weeks fly-fishing in the Gulf of Finland (all I caught was a bad cold) and realized upon my return to these United States that I was missing my lucky bottle cap. Has it turned up?
It could’ve been lost at sea, but I suspect it may have fallen out of my pocket while I was visiting Tallinn. I vaguely remember hearing a metallic plink when I pulled some money out of my pocket to pay for some laxatives at the airport (I don’t know what it is, but I always, without fail, get plugged up when I travel). Perhaps what I heard was the sound of my lucky bottlecap falling to the floor, but I didn’t bother to check because all I could think about was moving my bowels, if you’ll forgive me.
Allow me to describe the bottle cap for you, should you have one in some sort of Estonian Lost and Found box. It has a golden hue and has “Blatz” printed on it in black ink, although the “atz” portion is mostly worn off since I rub it when I’m nervous or plugged up.

Why, you may ask, is this bottle cap considered lucky? Well, I’ll tell you why:
It was September of 1944. My country was at war (I couldn’t go because, sadly, I was born without a lap). I was an otherwise strapping young man who spent considerable time whiling away the hours at Mickey’s Bar in Dayton, Ohio. One night, there was a heavy-set lady sitting at the end of the bar, nursing a beer. She and I had been exchanging glances across the crowded room for several hours and, finally, I had the nerve to approach her.
I sidled up to her and ordered two Boilermakers. I winked at her and took the liberty of pinching her ample thigh, which I thought would be fine with her since, as far as I knew, we had made a “love connection.” She promptly gave me a sharp slap on my cheek. (I later realized that what I took to be her glancing over at me was merely her lazy eye. She came to forgive this misapprehension.) She stood up and wheeled round, heading for the door. A glint of light caught my eye. A bottle cap— the bottle cap— was impressed upon her rear end. She had sat upon it for so long that it had become stuck to her. It fell off her fanny just as she exited the bar. I stooped to pick it up as I pursued her into the parking lot.
The heavy-set woman, of course, is now my wife. Poppy and I have been married for 53 years, and I always treasured that bottle cap as a souvenir of our first, auspicious meeting.
As you can imagine, I’m keen to have it back. I’m enclosing US$2.00 for your assistance in tracking it down.

Drink and be Meri,



Mr. Irv Rastin
4884 M------------ blvd
NW #---

30 April 1998, No. 4-5.4/K-4100

Dear Mr. Rastin.

Thank you for your letter dated 24 November 1997.

We are very sorry that you have lost your lucky cork, but as you noted yourself, it is not clear where it could have happened. Unfortunately, the Office of the President of Estonia has no good news for you either, as it is impossible to find such an object after such a long time.

Hereby I return to you the 2 US dollars enclosed with your letter. I believe that your wedded happiness does not reside in this cork but rather in you and your wife Poppy.

We wish you long years with days filled with success, happiness and love.

Yours sincerely,
Andres Johannson
Deputy Director

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Trashball 041808: Earth to Bob Dole Campaign (Irv Rastin Again for a Day)

In case anybody from the 1996 Dole for President campaign is reading this, for 12 hardscrabble years now I've been trying, without success, to correct the problem with the credit card you sent me. NO ONE ACCEPTS IT! (So far.)
I slide it through the thingamajig at the millet-supply store, hand it to the surly clerk at the local wig shoppe, and try to buy tickets for Pan Am airlines, all to no avail and—as usual—wind up having to pay with pennies from the big jar I wheel around with me along with my oxygen tank.
And while I hate to prattle on about it, I have politely asked many times that you issue a new card with the correct spelling of my name; it should read IRV RASTIN, not IN RASTIN. Holy mother church.
Thanks &c.,
Your Humble Sv't,
IRV Rastin
P.S.--Do them Viagra pills still pitch tents for you after all these years? My long-suffering wife, Poppy, won't let me near them.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Trashball 041608: Early Drag?

This old cabinet photo has been among my motley possessions for a while now, and I've always thought there was something fake-looking about that moustache and something soft about the subject's features.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Trashball 040808: U293

122 years ago, Ulysses S Grant (or his portrait) suffered the indignity of having his face smashed with a tiny, inky football. "U293" is the Scott stamp catalog number for this specimen.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Trashball 040108: Three Mysterious Boulders Float off Chile's Coast

(SANTIAGO, Apr. 1, 2008) The above photo was recently taken by a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) droning off the coast of Chile, purportedly doing "oceanographic" research for the government of Peru. It is widely believed, however, that Peru was conducting surveillance of the Chilean naval force when it came across this most extraordinary grouping of floating boulders. While Chile and Peru engage in a diplomatic row over the UAV—during already tense international times on the South American continent—scientists the world over are at a loss to explain the passing strange phenomenon of the floating boulders which, despite their almost fluorescent coloration, are estimated to comprise the area of Piqua, Ohio. "I just don't get it," said Sanji Mehta, a geological administrative assistant somewhat near Le Sorbonne in Paris. Equally flummoxed was Stan Greenly, an evolutionary janitor several miles from Harvard. "I always thought rocks and stuff sank."

The rocks, of course, came from a construction site on Davis Avenue in Las Cruces, New Mexico (a.ka., "The Land of Go Fuck Yourself"), and were photographed on the back of my woefully underused passport.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The New Studio

Quite a departure from the sere and dowdy digs I had in New Mexico. If I can't get some work done here then I should really just hang it up.

Large Hard-On Collider

There's an alarming article in today's New York Times about the possibility that the Large Hadron Collider, a massive physics experiment being constructed in Switzerland, could very well create mini black holes that would swallow the Earth. Still, there was a bit of levity in the article—at least for my inner 12-year old—when, in the print version (it's been corrected online), they misspelled "Hadron", giving us the "Large Hardon Collider". This should make for a nice "Corrections" entry in the paper.
Illustration from

Friday, March 28, 2008

Zippy the Pinhead Gets the Local-News-Team Treatment

The news-team banter is fairly cringe-inducing, but Bill Griffith acquits himself well in the interview. Get the daily Zippy strip here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Trashball 032308: Mid-Century Modern

I prised this off of a discarded air-conditioning unit dumped in an arroyo somewhere near Tucumcari, NM.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

New Painting: "Curazepam"

"Curazepam". 24x18 inches, mixed media on canvas. $470. Click on price to purchase.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Trashball 031908: Pay for It, and It's Free!

"Free Pre-Paid Cremation!" Gosh, that sounds terrific! This landed in the mailbox of an over-60 individual very dear to me. Is this the kind of junk mail I can expect in 22 years?

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Was Client Number 10

It's all a really terribly sordid business, this whole deal with New York's Eliot Spitzer and the prostitutes. It grieves me to tell you I was Client Number 10, right behind Governor Spitzer (at Number 9, he was). No case of sloppy seconds, though, I assure you; I can't recall the name of the escort he was involved with (and whom he often described to me in beatific terms), but I'm certain it was not my dear old Jolene (which was her handle; I do not know her real name, but I understand she once modeled for Teen Vogue).

Anywho, what was initially distressing but ultimately edifying about my "session" with Jolene was her insistence that, rather than have sex, we discuss the merits of her favorite novel. While I'm usually first in line to talk literature, particularly of the 19th-century kind, I was troubled to think that I might be paying $2,200 for an hour-long lecture on a seminal Decadent novel.

Still, when all was said and done, I was glad for the experience. At least Jolene revealed a breast to me, even if it was just to illustrate a point she was making about Theophile Gautier's Mademoiselle de Maupin, which, by the way, is a really good book.

Friday, March 07, 2008

New Painting: "Tarry (nr. Ft. Davis, Texas)"

New painting, acrylic on formica table extender, 11.75 inches by 35.75 inches. $490 (click on price to purchase).

Sorry for the lousy photograph of the painting; I'll try to get a better one up there.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Made it to Florida on Friday last, although it rained so hard and relentlessly from Houston to Pensacola it was like driving through 525-mile-long carwash at 65 mph. Now all I have to do is find a job, find an apartment, pay off my multitudinous creditors, and forestall car reposession. Then I can really throw myself back into the blog.

Monday, February 18, 2008

On the Road (or Side Thereof)

Tuesday morning I head back east in my mechanically imperfect car, pulling a heavy trailer. Destination: Florida. (As my first wife was fond of saying, "All trash eventually blows south to Florida.") Anyhow, I have no laptop, so expect no posts for a few days.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Help Barack Obama and Yours Truly at the Same Time

Particularly useful for those who have already donated the legal maximum to Obama's campaign, I'm pledging to donate half of the final sale price (up to the allowable maximum) of this painting (click to go to eBay auction) I'm auctioning on eBay. And I'm throwing in free shipping!
An erstwhile John Edwards supporter, I'm now fully backing Sen. Obama.

Just About My Favorite Postcard Ever

The cocktail lounge at Hotel Ojibway in Sault Ste. Marie, overlooking the Soo Locks from a distance of only 150 feet. This card was published in 1955; I'm pleased to learn the property still exists. Now it's owned by Ramada.

Trashball 021108: Chew Honest Scrap

So, another 1913 Dayton, Ohio, flood postcard, but this time I noticed a strange little detail. There's an ad on the side of a building that reads "Chew Honest Scrap". I'm guessing "scrap" was probably the leftovers from cigar/cigarette manufacture or something, but I'm going to try to find out.
UPDATE: Yep, googling proves it was a cheap chewing tobacco.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Trashball 021008: Don't Be Such a Gloomy Gus

Hey, pal. I know you're not exactly with a fresh-faced debutante, but you gotta dance with what brung you.
Found at a Washington, DC, estate.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Trashball 020808: Santa Fluid

Every child's dream. Or maybe every shopping-mall Santa's dream. Update

So, I have finally gone into my website and done some administration. Everything is updated, meaning that things that have a price are available for purchase and everything else has been correctly marked as in private hands. Go exploring! By the way, most everything available is in the non-objective gallery.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Phone, Again

For those unlucky enough to receive an email earlier suggesting that my phone would be cut off on Sunday, I have bad/good news. Il telefono e' morto.

Think I'll go test my airbags now. Maybe.

Hello Pittsford, Hello Jeffersonville, Hello NYC, Hello Salina, Hello Old Trafford

I'm experiencing a near-constant paucity of cigarettes. My preferred brand is ANYTHING menthol. Send donations to:

Christ. Goodwin
1015 Davis Ave 4
Las Crucible NM 88005

With advance thanks,
I remain,
Yrs &c.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Trashball 020608: First in the Short Line

Well, I seem to be in a 1980s (or, as someone once put it, "nineteen-haties") mood today. I wonder why. Here's M, the first in a short—and hopefully ended—line of unglued Chinese women. And no: I don't have a "thing" for Asians. In this photo, I believe she's looking at me and thinking, "Did you know I'm going stand over you with a butcher knife while you sleep tonight?"

Trashball 020608: 1968 Volkswagen Beetle

My first car and dear old Mom paid $200 for it (by the way, did I ever repay her?). This photo was taken going downhill somewhere along the Pennsylvania Turnpike, when I got the car up to 80 mph by coasting down a long hill. My co-pilot, whoever it was (no, it wasn't Him), snapped the pic in the shiny wheel of a passed semi.

Trashball 020608: Vacuum Cleaner, 1986

But who was really doing all the sucking? I suppose she might've been cuter. But I might have been, too. And yes, I was cutting my own hair at the time.
Found among my personal effects.

Deconstructing The Smiths' "This Charming Man"

Really pretty interesting.

Trashball 020608: Choices, Choices

I never can decide.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

America's First $2.00 Bill, and a Funny Story

Funny to me at least, because I often get strange looks when spending $2.00 bills. The story is at the bottom of this eBay listing. Anybody got a spare $1,250,000 lying around?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Trashball 020408: Retirement Home

Now here's a place I can imagine living out my final days. The fact that it's a room at McKay's Motel in Gatlinburg, TN, about 40 years ago makes it that much more appealing. Dude, they have a wall-mounted TV and knotty-pine paneling!