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Hungry Turtle Helps Us Heal

July 15th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

I didn’t used to understand why BoingBoing posted unicorn chasers and cute stuff after high controversy, but now I totally get it. There’s been far, far more outrage over this whole coffee incident than the incident merited. Sure, I behaved badly and stirred the pot, and for a little while I thought it was funny. Now that everyone involved’s completely embarassed themselves, it’s time to move on and just look at something cute before getting back to work:

Turtle Attacks Strawberry!

The photo comes from Gwen Turner Juarez’s Flickr stream, and it’s far from the only good one on there.

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Murky Coffee, Arlington: Hold That Espresso Between Your Knees

July 13th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

**UPDATE** It’s 2013 now, and it’s been a long time since this all happened. I’ve since gotten to where I’m talking about this post and the ensuing media hemorrhage onstage, and after refining the story for a few years I’ve finally got a version I’m happy with sharing. You can see it here if you like, performed at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC in March. **/UPDATE**

Maybe condescending service from a patronizing millenial at a DC coffee shop isn’t news to anyone else. But the only way I’m ever coming back to Murky Coffee in Arlington is if I’m carrying matches and a can of kerosene.

I just ordered my usual summertime pick-me-up: a triple shot of espresso dumped over ice. And the guy at the counter looked me in the eye with a straight face and said “I’m sorry, we can’t serve iced espresso here. It’s against our policy.”

The whole world turned brown and chunky for a second. Flecks of corn floated past my pupils, and it took me a second to blink it all away.

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Self-Portrait as Batman

July 10th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

I was wasting my time in middle school trying to be friends with this kid who was mean and ugly but had a lot of cool skater gear and one of those haircuts that’s short all over apart from long hair-tentacles that covered his face. Aaron something. I’m sure he’s happily married now and teaches homeless kids to read in his spare time.

But back then, shit was different.

It was the year that Tim Burton’s “Batman” was coming out and I was believing ALL the hype — still got the t-shirt, too. I gave up on Aaron when he smacked some comics out of my hands in front of some girls and said to the whole hallway “what’s so cool about Batman?”

Nothing sounds dumber than trying to answer a rhetorical question, especially when you’re mad. This photo pretty much sums it up the answer:


Taken from Ashlee’s Flickr page, via The Daily Batman.

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New Deputy In Town

July 8th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

“Who the hell is D.Billy?,” a number of you have asked over the past month or two. Well, I’ll tell you: D.Billy is the new deputy in this here town. And by “new deputy in town,” I mean that he’s got the keys to the blog and can pretty much do what he wants.

He wouldn’t be here with passwords and access if he wasn’t an awesome new friend, for starters. But beyond that, D.Billy (short for David William) brings energy, excitement and passion to this blog that I’ve really been missing.

I’ve been writing this thing for 4 years, and I’ve gotten pretty burned out.

Or, rather, I thought I had.

I started this thing because I wanted to write stories and essays, which I still do, very much. But it takes a lot of creative energy to do that, and doing it five days a week year in and year out will grind you to whiny little pulp that bitches about traffic and generally mopes and carps. After four years of brain-dumping, I’m ready to strip-mine the pile, seperate the stories from the ore, polish them, get them off the screen and into someone’s hands.

So much of what passes for quality writing online these days is little more than lurid typing, and I’m not into that. I had hoped the blogosphere would be a great literary groundswell, an electronic distillation of art and beauty for the 21st century. Turns out that generation blog just Google-maps the contours of our own navels, and the greatest oversharers get the biggest prize.

Fuck that.
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D.Billy: Street Interventions

July 8th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

You may have noticed D.Billy’s name on a number of posts over the past few months. He’s not only a friend of mine, but a pretty awesome artist.

From the artist’s statement on his website:

Using colorful media such as twisting balloons, party streamers, and artist tape, I have begun to add visual representations of sound effects to public spaces as a sort of dimensional graffiti. After embellishing the found scenes and photographing the results, I leave my additions in place to engage passers-by for as long as the materials hold up. For me, this process encourages a reexamination of surroundings and objects that are usually taken for granted, and injects a hint of the fantastical surreality that I have established in my other work. Buy generic Lasix from India online at high quality guaranteed.

Or, at the very least, I hope someone thinks these things are kind of funny.

Here’s some of his work:

Clown Graffiti


More after the jump …
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Os Gemeos at Deitch Projects… and in Greenpoint?

July 3rd, 2008 by D.Billy

In the Northernmost part of Greenpoint, just about as far up as you can go in Brooklyn without falling in Newtown Creek and drifting across the sludge-channel to Queens, there is an ever-changing graffiti mural on the corner of Clay and McGuinness, on the walls of the Power Brake Service shop. We’ve seen employees on site while artists are laying it down, and even saw an NYPD cruiser stop by for a short chat with a tagger before rolling along without so much as a finger-wagging, so we reckon the building owner either approves of the paint job, or at least isn’t bothered by it.

404 McGuinness

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Great Big Public Error Message: Busted Billboard in Times Square

July 3rd, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

I love it when things slip off the rails a little, just enough to let you see the smoking gears behind the face of a public machine. It’s part of what I love about the city — people get hot, they get tired, they speak their freaking minds and then EVERYONE knows what’s really going on.

Apparently the computer that powers a billboard at the Port Authority Bus Terminal just sat right down on the subway steps and cracked a beer open about a month ago. Me and David saw this billboard last night at 8th and 42nd just showing the biggest error message in the world in one of the world’s busiest intersection — it’s the digital equivalent of rocking into the office in sweatpants and a yellowing wife-beater.

I didn’t take these photos, but I saw this last night. And gauging by the dates on teh photos on Flickr, this billboard’s been phoning it in for over a month:

Times Square Billboard Error

Times Square Billboard Error
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Fireworks Safety

July 3rd, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

Here’s some Happy Fourth wishes from my old college friend Meredith Bragg, part of the creative force behind the Defenders of Stan:

Hope your holidays are full of booze and explosives — safe enough that nobody gets too injured, but not so safe you don’t get a good story out of it …

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Get Used To Us

June 29th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

Hooray 4 Gay

“Hey, are you gay?” the man asked, grinning wide enough to give his gums a sunburn. I’m not, but it was a fair enough question — I was walking through the East Village in a white linen jacket on the Friday before the Pride parade.

“Uh, no, not yet,” I responded. He wore an large navy blazer over a spectacularly filthy t-shirt. Scabs adorned the corners of his smile. He held an overstuffed shopping bag in his arms, cradling it like an infant.

“Want to give it a chance?” he asked, stepping closer.

“What, now? With you?”

“Well, yeah, I mean, I’ve got all these condoms here,” he said, and tipped the shopping bag towards me. It was bulging, brimming, boiling over with condoms in every color of the rainbow. “We could …”

I cut him off. “Look, dude, we’re not gonna go off and use all those condoms together. Even if I was curious, I just don’t have that kind of time. As it stands, it’s been 32 years and I think I’m all set as a straight guy.”

“Hey, okay!” he said, real chipper, and rolled on down the street to find someone else to share his enormous latex bounty.

This photo was taken in my kitchen — my roommate started celebrating Pride a little early this weekend, and left a display for me. I wish I could have gone to the parade with him, but this little diorama sums it up nicely.

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Climbing Out Of the Sea to Win the Belt and the Girl: Kalamari Wrestler

June 25th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

By the mid-’80s, there were two types of kids: kids who got hurt by imitating pro wrestling in the yard, and kids who hurt other kids by imitating pro wrestlers in the back yard. No matter how hard it is to pull off a Camel Clutch without injuring someone in real life, imitating the Kalamari Wrestler’s even tougher — he’s got eight arms and a giant bulbous head.

There’s not a lot else to say about this trailer for Japan’s Kalamari Wrestler, except what everyone already knows — as a people, the Japanese are out of their freaking minds. Every last one of ‘em:

Found via

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