rik-rat corn pile

Thursday, September 29, 2011

smashed pennies.

Obsession runs deep in this kid. I can't get enough of these smashed pennies. Its gotten to the point where weekend trips will revolve around whether or not a smashed penny machine exists at the location. Unfortunately for me, both of the penny machines at the Blank Park Zoo were out of order (it didn't stop me from trying, I lost two bucks. Damnit)...I was a little disappointed.

But the the Botanical Center had a machine. Thank goodness. I bought all four and couldn't be happier with the beautiful penny designs. But it gets even better. You may notice the penny on the top right has no design. Trevor made me a smashed penny...he laid some pennies on a train track and went back the next day to collect the cool objects. Old school smashed penny, not too shabby.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Highlight of my trip to the Blank Park Zoo: the carp pond. Holy hell was that pond packed with gigantic goldfish. These things had to be 10 pounds a piece and were hungry as hell. I'm kind of scared of fish so I decided to do something bold....I stuck my finger in a carp mouth! It bit me! But it made me laugh so hard I almost fell into the stinky fish pond.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Check out this beastly caterpillar. Regular sized spoon...gigantic caterpillar.

Friday, September 23, 2011

animal photos from vacation-time!

1. An afternoon jaunt turned into a rare animal sighting. Apparently, albino squirrels are fairly common around the Minneapolis area and every local has several albino squirrel sighting stories. It's lucky Rachel spotted one, now we have a story as well.

2. I found a fuzzy and hilarious caterpillar at the Springdale Cemetary in Peoria. Poor buddy, we harassed him for a full ten minute photo session before releasing him on a nearby tree. (identification: the Banded Tussock Moth, Halysidota tessellaris.)
3. The sheep donned fancy outfits at the Minnesota State Fair. I can't decide if I think the outfits are adorable or clannish.
4. I almost stepped on this gnarly fellow.
5. Suckling pigs! They're cute but those teets are kind of grossing me out. Have a nice Friday, guys

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

end of summer haiku.

farmers combine corn.

the fields are empty, leaves fall.

Goodbye summer birds.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the mall of america.

We left Peoria and drove to see Matt in Minneapolis. Minneapolis is a great city for smashed penny collectors mostly because of the Mall of America...sort of because of the State Fair. Before I left on the trip I went to www.pennycollector.com and looked up all of the pennies available at the Mall of America...I was hell bent on collecting all of them. We walked around the mall for hours...we went through a mirror maze (baffling ordeal), rode a roller coaster (horrifying) and a mechanical bull (i stayed on for 11 seconds), all the while collecting smashed pennies. I ended up with well over 25 and for some reason they had a "I love Canada" machine. I know Minnesota is close to Canada but Minneapolis isn't...what's the deal? Mostly, there are a lot of Rainforest Cafe pennies. That place sucks.

As for the fair, it boasted something I've never seen. A free, FREE smashed penny machine. The only problem with that is the line. A huge line full of children, inept at smashing, stood behind the machine. Of course I waited, they were free.

Friday, September 16, 2011

vacation pt.2

Good morning world! It's a beautiful Monday morning, the grass is wet, the birds are cold, and I didn't hit any horses on the way to work. Good deal. I'm content with all of these facts.

I'm still rolling along with the vacation blogs but am realizing that I'm not doing it very diligently. I didn't write at all last week, I blame stress and diet. But, I kept a sketchbook the entire trip and it's filled with a bunch of narrative. I plan on scanning in a few choice entries for a blog. But until then,


Rachel and I were in Peoria for a few days. We had some adventures and were ridiculously social.
Some highlights include: a visit with Juice and her puppy, letterboxing jaunts in various historic graveyards, lots of salivating over really nice road bikes. Steve worried about sewage in a basement, we all ate way too much ice cream (and Avanti's cheap Italian food, delicious), and rachel and I found a hilarious caterpillar.
Some Peoria Hot Spot Stops include: Avanti's, One world, Emo's, Co op Records, Mexican food, country road driving, pool, Blue, The Peoria Art Guild, Art Show, etc
Some people I saw: Rik, Juice, Erica, Gabe, Gabe, Bruce, Drew, Steve, Chris, Shannon, Christian, Bethany, Rachel's mom, Oscar, Ann, Sarah, Heather, Dave, Sarah, Eliz, Beth, Christy, Janet, oh man and the list goes on, I'll add to it...if I forgot your name it's because it's early and I still love you.

And in case you're wondering about the clown photograph, let me explain. This clown is the face of Peoria as far as I'm concerned. It's the Emo's ice cream shack marquee. I have countless memories of friends and I sitting on colorful parking lot benches while we munched on coney island dogs. Their ice cream is fabulous and the place does all it's math by hand. No fancy registers at that place (a math teacher opened up the icecream place many years ago. To encourage his young employees to be diligent at basic math he eliminated the register).

The first time I went to Emo's a girl named Dani brought her rabbit with us. The rabbit's name was Yishi Spudnick and I wanted to hold her while I ate my ice cream. Bad idea. The rabbit peed all over me and I dropped my cone. I learned two things that day: rabbits pee way more then you think they do and giant flying bugs like to land in cheese dip. Oh, I forgot to mention that right after a rabbit urinated on me a giant bug flew into my cheese fry cheese dip...rendering it useless. You'd think an experience like that would turn me off to Emo's but nope.

Needless to say (which I say a lot needlessly), I had to come back to Emo's at some point during my stay in Peoria. Rachel and I hiked over and were pleased to find out that they had lemon flavored ice cream...it tasted like a girl scout cookie. I got a cherry dipped cone and some cheese fries. It was good times.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Check out what I almost Hit on the way to work.

Its 6:30am and I'm heading to my car and I'm mad. I've got to go to work. I've got a bunch of deadlines. I need to exercise. I'm hungry. I'm in a bad mood and when I'm in a bad mood I like to drive faster then necessary.

I slam my car door, buckle up, turn on the engine, drive down the alley and turn onto the country road that heads towards work. Driving 80 feels great at the moment. I'm living dangerously and crack the windows to feel the morning air. My mood improves.

At the bottom of a hill I can see large shadows loitering in the road. I have no idea what they are. I'm going 80 mph and these shadowss are huge! I brake as hard as I can, the car begins to swerve and there are SEVEN horses right in front of me. I finally stop and need a paper bag to breathe into. I'm 10 feet away from the horses that almost did me in. Jittery as hell and barely able to hold the steering wheel I try to gain composure but all I can smell is burning rubber.

I honk at those stupid horses until they start running, I follow them with my car into the area where I assume they came from. And I drive to work.

Stupid fucking morning. I was so happy I didn't hit them I brought doughnuts to work.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

That was Quite a Vacation. Day ONE!

Hey guys. My blog hiatus is over and, unfortunately, so is my time off from work . However, it was whirlwind of a vacation and it felt like Rachel, Matt and I didn't stop moving the entire time.
The trip began with a lovely jaunt to the Des Moines airport where Rachel landed at the ungodly hour of 11:15pm. It was too late to drive to Peoria and too early to settle down. We decided to have a couple coronas at a nearly abandoned bar then get a room at the Super 8. We made the mistake of ordering Papa John's when we got there. I haven't eaten that stuff in well over a year...I remember why. The horrible food coma and ridiculous BLOATING.

The morning came soon enough and we hit the road hard. Peoria was only 4 hours away but I had a lot to do. The reason being...2 freakin' art shows! The second we got into town we were greeted by Steve, Chris, Shannon and their entire gang. Steve and Chris live in a home that houses traveling musicians, wayward bike riders, and good people all around. It almost feels like a hostel. But it was a quick Hello followed by a quick goodbye. Shannon, Rachel and I had some errands to run

1. Hang the salon style show at Blue
2. Buy 90 beers and drag them to the Peoria Art Guild
3. Set up the cheese tray.

And I don't like to brag but the show looked amazing. Ryan Nelson, of the Peoria Art Guild, totally rehabbed the first floor gallery. It was a beautiful flowing space and all of the artist's work hung together like it was always supposed to hang together. Jillian's work was immaculately beautiful and delicate, Chris's work was humerus, complicated and multi-layered, and mine...my work looked OK too. Shit, it must have looked good because someone bought two pieces at the show. They wanted to remain anonymous and I'll never get to know who they are (but I hope they know me and Chris appreciate their generosity)

There was a constant flow of people through the gallery. I saw my old professors, my old school mates, Erica came in from St. Louis, Brian came in from Chicago, even Rachel's mom was there (i was worried she thought I was drunk but I was really just nervous). It warmed the heart to see so many close friends in the same room together for the first time in a dog's age. As a matter of fact, I felt warm and fuzzy the whole night...or maybe it was that cooler of 90 beers that helped everyone feel warm and fuzzy that night.

The evening continued until 2am... the after party was at the Peoria bar called Blue. My friend, Shannon was nice enough to help me plan the whole event. Damn, it was a party and I smoked too many cigarettes and drank too many beers but at least I got some quality time with quality people. I even sold some t-shirts (with my drawings on them) and wow did that help pay for my trip. Eventually, the night ended with Erica and I in Steve's basement...we talked about art and boys.

Tomorrow, Day 2.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We Interrupt This Hiatus

This is Jane's old pal Rishika. Hop on over to my blog I am in South Korea to read about my recent travels to Shanghai!

Happy reading! ^^

Thursday, September 1, 2011

one week hiatus.

Can you see the shells in the limestone fossil? Not quite as fabulous as the last fossil-find but a find none the less. Its humble and looks like it would break easily.

As for me, I'm going on vacation today. I'm excited. My buddy Rachel is flying in from Eugene, Oregon to join me this evening. we'll order some Chinese food, bullshit, and leave for Illinois in the morning.

...And if you happen to be in Illinois tomorrow, I curated and am participating in a show at the Peoria Art Guild (along with Christoper Hutson and Jillian Ludwig. Its on 203 Harrison street in downtown Peoria. Free beer and handshakes for all who come and are of age...so, I guess handshakes for everyone!