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My Robot Is Pregnant theme song!

tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

August 31, 2007

I’m on vacation, getting ideas…

hezbollah lebanon lebanese. mercury dimes and morgan dollars. “i took a swing and lost my balance, fell over and caught my chin on the pool table. almost knocked myself out. the guy tried punching me on the ground, but i managed to grab his fist and break it.” shard hunting in the low tide muck of portmouth harbor, josh found a clay marble fom a hundred years ago. the homeless sit-com. tomato bug. alaskan personals.

August 27, 2007

new hampshire scratchers


I played moose money this morning and won ten bucks! $@#%!!!! The first three in the picture could probably be grounds for a lawsuit. There is some creativity going on at the lottery commision in the granite state. California needs to catch up.

August 26, 2007

like father like son?

Metal detecting, like most things, gets more complicated as you study it. There are factions, divisions, camps , schools of thought. I got into the sport through my father, who has always had a metal detector. So, like father like son, I also own a metal detector.

Can we agree on anything? No. He is a coin shooter, I am a relic hunter. From the outside looking in, we are the same. We could stand in a parking lot with our detectors in hand, earphones plugged in, digging tool strapped to our waist, bug spray applied, empty treasure bag ready to receive our finds, but the truth is, we can’t be further apart. He has his machine set to a shallow depth, he refines his detector to discriminate against iron. My father is going to the beach to look for common coins, pocket change, perhaps a mid-century silver quarter or half dollar, and jewelry. A broken charm bracelet or silver toe rings, gold wedding bands that slip off shriveled swim fingers.

I have my machine set for relics, any type of metal, deep in the earth. A foot or more down. I’m looking to find a puritan’s blunderbuss, a colonist’s shoe buckle, a silver goblet stuffed with Viking loot. So we argue in the car about where we’ll go. We’ve been known to cut holes in the bottom of treasure pouches so all the other guys finds fall back on the ground. Putting battery packs in backwards is another great way to spoil your dad’s trip. Or calling the police on your son for trespassing. That turns an afternoon out into a very costly hobby.

But he’s my dad, and I’m his son. We still love each other.

August 24, 2007

New Hampshire

I’m heading back in an hour, if I don’t post everyday, it’s because Boston is the nearest place with the internet, and that’s a two hour drive.

August 23, 2007


I put this jacket together with some odds and ends. The bee is hand stitched – she came framed from Community Thrift, the rose came off another framed picture. Someone had glued machine stitched appliqués to black velvet to create a bouquet. I peeled the rose off the velvet and sewed it on the jacket. To bring it all together on a cool old jean jacket, I embroidered “Sex Workers” in the color and style of the Sex Pistols. Having a back patch on your jean jacket in high school was very important.

Bees could be considered sex workers, or perhaps more genteelly, midwives, for flowers. They are pollinators, carrying flower semen (aka pollen) to the females.

“That’s a lot of work for a punchline,” one guy told me. He wasn’t real impressed with the finished product. Oh well. I liked it.

I also considered calling it Sex Pistils, playing off the sex organ of the flowers. I still don’t know if that would have been better…

there’s a big head in golden gate


not sure why this giant head is in the park. but i like it.

your mom is a white lady slam poet

“Your mom is a white lady slam poet who went to a liberal arts college”

It takes a literary city to have this kind of graffiti on the bathroom towel dispenser. Go S.F.!!!


Every five years PG&E (pacific gas and electric) comes by and hoses down the insulators to keep a clean contact for the wires. Every single pole has these ceramic insulators that cradle the wires. Look out your window at the cross arm at the top of the pole and you will see them, they look like little UFO’s. When I was little my father walked the railroad tracks by our house and collected the old ones that were used for the decomissioned telegraph lines. He then sold them at the flea market.

original photo
These are old glass insulators like my Dad had. Nowadays they are made of ceramic.

August 22, 2007

documentary sculptor


This man is Pepin Segesvary. He is a Hungarian documentary sculptor. Which may sound funny – most people consider filmmakers to control documentary work. Economic repercussions of the Soviet era left Mr. Segasvary with no access to film, cameras, lights or microphones. However, he burned to tell the story of the forgotten. So he turned to sculpture.

“This piece is a documentary sculpture concerning my divorce. As you can see, it is a floor to ceiling pile of paper. The single root, or trunk, is comprised of love letters between my wife and I, paperwork from our marriage, rent receipts from our first apartment together, all the ephemera of our courtship, nuptials and early years of marriage.”

Indeed, there is an impressive compressed stack of paperwork, mostly white, but splashes of pink, yellow and green tucked in. These are often thin receipts, or pretty stationary Segasvary tells us. The edges are bent, sheets hang over here and there, enough so that one can read a phrase or two, the total paid, the street address, or “Love, Alina” – Segasvary’s ex wife and half of the subject of this documentary.

“About six feet up, at year six, you see the paper stream split into two distinct branches. That crotch marks the divorce.”

The paperwork here is laced together like a deck of cards shuffled but yet to be edged, each page landing across the one below it, until they have widened into their own separate stack.

The genre of documentary sculpture most likely will begin and end with Segasvary, thanks to the proliferation of cheap and accessible video technology.

“I don’t really see myself getting a camera, I have been able to capture reality, tell important stories, very well with line, volume and shape. But this next generation, I don’t think they will be interested.”

August 21, 2007

I’m too good for a cardboard truck

This is a cardboard truck…not what I’m talking about at all. I’m talking about trucks that collect cardboard. They have an unmistakable look, empty or full. Very high walls made of thin plywood…quarter inch, and a portion that comes over the cab and has walls as well. They are old pick-ups of any manufacture, full size or little toyotas, S-10s, rangers, with dirty ropes tied in criss cross patterns holding the broken down boxes in. The trucks often have been entirely covered in graffiti throw ups. The leaf springs are shot, so they ride low in the ass end. Often it is a two person team, sometimes man and woman (presumably a couple) or two men (presumably friends). They work late at night, after business’s have closed up and set their cardboard on the curb.

I’ve considered collecting cardboard myself. I have a truck. Just need to build up some support over the cab so a pile of Cisco boxes three feet thick doesn’t crush my roof. No problem. But that is below my class. It’s bad enough I stand in line to recycle my cans. The guy who weighs them hardly speaks english, and last time I went, we got into an argument where I should park.

An older man, spanish speaking, white eyebrows, looked at me and said, “come on, he working hard.”

I was the bad guy.

The old asian women and mexican men all knew I was above him in the class struggle and expected me to be a gentleman. A young white guy in his own vehicle, recycling cans. They resented me, resented the fact I didn’t have big bags stuffed with cans jammed into a baby stroller or the two wheeled carts you see in the asian markets, the ones made of thin wire dipped in blue or red plastic coating. Some people came on foot with sacks tied at each end of a long stick balanced across their shoulders. As though they’d walked from Mongolia. I fuckin’ drove to the recyclers? And wanted to argue about parking?

No matter how hard I try to remain salt of the earth, there is always some broke dick immigrant just a little bit saltier. You can’t get behind for trying in this country. I’ll always be big time to them. If I showed up at the cardboard buyer without any grafitti on my truck, those guys would hate me too. I don’t live in a shitty neighborhood where everything gets tagged. Sorry. I just want to sell a ton and a half of cardboard and get on my way.

Poor people expect more of me. I’ll never be able to just live my life. Too much pressure. I can read little thought balloons in cantonese and thai as married couples in their vehicles at the scale stare at me.

“What is that weird looking round eye doing here? He’s stealing our job.”
“Why isn’t he married yet?”
“He should work in computers.”

The fact is, there is a class system in america. Everyone loves to see someone work their way up, but even the lowest of the low resent someone who settles downward. The American dream has no room for contentment. The american dream is one of struggle. A dream that requires restless leg syndrome, keep moving, kick and roll, never rest as you claw your way to the top of the nearest hill, so you can get a better view of the next hill. Keep believing that where you are is not pretty enough, not high enough, not rich enough. Keep climbing hills. Befriend those going up, ignore those coming down.

So I’ll brave the murmurs and dirty looks at the CRV* trailer that sits in the Safeway parking lot out by the ocean. But I’m not getting into cardboard.

* California Redemtion Value


they spoke spanish. she handed the boxes up to him.

August 19, 2007

If you are looking for something to do this afternoon, try giving yourself one of these

Spears on old magazine cover


Sean came by and we played photoshop, like two geeks drawing comics. It was fun.

August 17, 2007

you have just received junk mail.

ten inch balloon whisk, white ceramic sauce boat, bulb baster, cusinart 11 cup food processor white, all clad stainless steel brushed large roaster with rack and lifters, saladine horn carving set, stainless steel strainer ladle, rolling pin with silicone mat, wustoff ikon paring knife 3.5 inches.

I’ve owned hundreds of cars and light trucks.

Sean’s my friend. We used to tear around this country in shitboxes. Beaters with body rot and bald tires. Kids in Oakland have sideshows, but they’ll never know the thrill of 720’s on the freeway in an icestorm.
I’m a driver. I drove unbelievable illegal wrecks across this whole country with just enough knowledge to add oil and swap out the spare. I never had a vehicle give up, I’d just get tired of the color and buy another one.
typical condition of tire on a beater

August 16, 2007

film school

Dave Dupuis plays guitar and this rack of pedals concurrently at a show at Bottom Of The Hill last night.
Film School has a new album out, and my friend from New Hampshire is playing guitar on it. Check out Dave Dupuis, a Dover boy done good, over at Film School’s myspace page.

Yes, this Dave Dupuis

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