The Irish were born for leaving...

The Irish were born for leaving...

...otherwise the world would have no pubs.

It's a line in the trailer for Belfast, and I might have misquoted it. The movie looks fantastic, and I can't wait to see it. Black and white, incredible actors, and fantastic music. At least two of the actors were in The Fall (content warning - an intense show about murder). I loved that series, even though I worry about our obsession with predatorial violence. It often feels as though we celebrate it.

I watched the new Dune the other night. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to the next installment, but I thought the David Lynch version was more fun. I want to re-watch the Lynch version now. He was able to cover the book in one movie. The Denis Villeneuve version, which clocks in at 156 minutes (according to Wikipedia), is part 1 of 2.

Chuck, you're on to something with your zine builds. I've been using Blurb for the photo zines I've made. I like their software, I like the product, but they're starting to feel expensive. They're not unreasonably priced, especially if you're selling them (I wonder how many photo books and zines actually sell) or you're sponsored. But they cost enough that I've been saying yikes at checkout. It might be an irrational yikes given the countless ways I waste money.

Still, the costs add up. I'm an amateur at making photo zines. I've only ever printed a few copies at a time because I know I'll want to change things. Blurb even recommends printing only one copy in the first run for this very reason. The base price is very reasonable, but the shipping is expensive. I uploaded a zine today, ordered a few copies, and tried to order copies of previous photo zines. Blurb wouldn't let me combine the orders. I had to do a separate checkout for each, with separate shipping costs. My guess is it's because they use multiple printers to fill orders. Pro Tip: you can usually find Blurb promotions or coupons that help with those shipping gut punches.

Here's a photo of the zine I'm updating.  

Zine making.

It was definitely a test print. I made a bunch of stupid mistakes. I liked the concept. I wanted to focus on the bar and restaurant industry folks I know who were making their way through the pandemic. All shot on Instax.

Not surprisingly, the Instax shots didn't show up all that well on the pages. I anticipated that and didn't mind. It was a mix of old Instax cameras shot in low light. In the version I uploaded/ordered today, I added some new photos and used Bookwright's "enhance photo" for most of the photos. It will be interesting to compare the two versions. I also added some borders here and there to see how they look.

Zine-making is challenging, and this zine falls a little flat. It doesn't capture what the industry workers are experiencing. I know this from conversations across the bar and from overheard conversations. For example, a friend of mine owns a bar in South Lake Union. He got punched by a guy who didn't appreciate having to show his vaccination card. That was a bad move. There were a lot of regulars on hand. My guess is that idiot was grateful when the police arrived. How do you get so deranged that you punch someone asking for proof of vaccination? Just move on and get a beer at the grocery store.

I love my neighborhood. My friend Chris is a bartender at Nacho Borracho. They're in a kitchen transition, so he stepped in to do some popup nights. Tacos, nachos, bone broth consummé, tortas, etc. Amazing. Absolutely delicious. I knew he could cook, but how do you go from cooking at home to feeding 25 - 100 people on a busy night at a bar? He did it, and people ate it up. I sat next to one guy who brought in his own hot sauce. He's been in every night Chris has been in the kitchen. I think Chris has got one more week of pop ups. If you're in the neighborhood, I recommend stopping in or getting some takeout.

Technology is frustrating. I like that the iPhone serves up photos. I clicked on that feature tonight, and it was portraits over the years, with a focus on my friend Faith. It was great seeing that collection of images. There's a narrative to them. Well, maybe more a continuity, or a cohesiveness. I wish I could have clicked an "add to blog" button. Maybe there's an easy way of doing that. I don't know it. The only way I could think of doing it was to go through my Lightroom archive and find those images. I thought I might be able to do it by posting from my phone, but the Ghost app kept locking up. Not good.


I'm still making my way through The Sheltering Sky. I had another nice discussion with my friend Vi about re-reading old books. When I first read The Sheltering Sky in my 20s, I was captivated by the adventure and the romance. I recognized that the characters were pretty awful to everyone around them, but I assumed everyone recognized that. The author is showing me some sad, empty characters trying to avoid looking into the mirror. I dreamed about bumping into Kit and Port in North Africa, holding my own, and later writing in my journal about the wealthy, unhappy people I'd met. Re-reading it later in life, I keep thinking about trying to avoid them entirely. How much of the author is in the characters? Does it matter? It's late, and I'm not making much sense. I've discussed something similar with respect to Kerouac, and there were some good comments. I'll go back and re-read those.

This post has gone on too long. Disjointed. I'll leave you with a couple of links. The first one is a wonderful love letter to New York City, Midtown, and food. The second one is a thought-provoking look at Israel. I've only read about half of the Israel article, but I'm hooked. The photos are incredible.