Saturday, May 01, 2010

Moderating Posts + Life These Days + iPhone Drawings

I hate to be forced to go this route, but I'm going to have to moderate comments (few though they be), because Blogger, one of Google's many arms, has fallen prey to aggressive spammers and malware that signal to each other which blogs are good targets. I hadn't realized how much of a problem this was until I saw that composer and critic Greg Sandow's blog, like all the Arts Journal blogs, had to disable comments because of the torrent of spam. I'm starting to get it too. According Sandow, the spammers play people to type in the "captchas" (the letter-number combos that had served to prevent autobot spammers). As I said, I hate to go this route, but for now I'll have to.  I will strive to approve comments, if any come in and they aren't spam, in a timely manner.


As a review of my April posts shows, I wasn't too successful this year with my Poetry Month posts. I still have not had an opportunity blog the photos from this year's AWP conference in Denver, some of which I really like, though I did upload them to Flickr. (Blogger now automatically saves computer-uploated photos to Picasa, which I suppose is another Google tentacle.) I was thinking yesterday, how did I manage even to post poems and commentary while in Cuba last spring, and then I recalled that I wasn't here for our wonderful Writing Festival (I just need to finish those posts, really), and my workload, while always very heavy, wasn't what it is right now. I won't begin a lamentation, but I realized I was feeling something akin to mental whiplash yesterday when talking to C--as I was about to go meet with one of my grad students to discuss his novel-in-progress--because I kept thinking that half the tasks or events I participated in this past week had occurred several weeks ago.  It can get a bit...crazy-making, to put it mildly.

And so, if anything has to go, it's the blogging.  I rarely Facebook, but even my tweeting has diminished to occasional squeaks, as the update at right make clear. Given all the major public events unfolding right now, from the horrificly racist new anti-immigrant laws in Arizona to the unfolding oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico to the British election campaign to debates over financial reform, it's been tough not to be able to post. But such is life, at least right now....


On a brighter note, here are a few iPhone sketches I've worked on since returning to Chicago (I already posted the one of Marina Abramovic). Enjoy!

Man in Starbucks, Chicago
Man in Starbucks
Young man on train, Chicago
Man on train, Chicago
Young woman in library cafe (Evanston)
Woman in library cafe, Evanston
Young woman on PATH train, New York
Woman on PATH train, NYC (her Rihanna-esque hairstyle immediately made me want to draw her)


  1. Love the Rihanna-haired woman! I'm curious; how long does it take you to do these sketches? Do you finish them all at once, or do a rough sketch that you work on later? I'm amazed that you seem to pull off so many good drawings on public transportation, I imagine starting a sketch of someone only to have them get off at the next stop. Being me, if that happened, I'd probably be tempted to follow them, so it's a good thing I cannot draw to save my life.

  2. Love these John! As always, it's such a pleasure reading your blog.