Sunday, August 27, 2006

Mill Avenue on

Don't know what that is? Don't worry about it. Just take thy mouse and click it for the movie. Click it hard, baby.

The best part about this entire thing is that Lawrence is in it. I love that man.

I am so going to go to the Graffiti Shop to see if Israel's name is still there on the floor. This had to be rather recent. Excuse the girl, I think that she's just barely getting into this or something, she's hamming it up way too much, and it sounds forced.

However, for anyone who really wants a visit and a look at Mill Avenue who hasn't had a chance—and hasn't had to sit through me babbling about it—can get a look at some of the sights and sounds. Mind, only one of the best sights and sounds (that'd be Lawrence) but enough to give a little bit of a feel for the place.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Vexations Updates

I figure that it has come to a time to give a little bit of an update on how Vexations is doing. I have three things in the works right now and they are all on the timeline, which is a little slow at the moment.

Volume 4, as people can see, hasn't yet been titled. I'm sure that I'll come up with something by the time that I hit that juncture. The artwork for The Legend of Sleepy Phoenix is still being worked on by Luis Boisvert, I expect that he'll have something soon hopefully. And finally, The Byzantium Outast, which is already published in Vex's Myspace blog, is being sent to my copy editor friend to clean it up so that I can turn it into the book.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Dennnis and the Internet

After discovering just yesterday about our beloved landmark's demise, I decided that I would spend a little time and look at the reactions that the rest of the blogosphere had generated about the event. Undoubtedly, this is only the beginning, the first few ripples, but I'm going to relate them now with this post.

It would appear that the first on the scene, a creature of Mill Avenue whom I don't know of personally, posted about finding Dennnis dead--slumped and non-responsive--in his still-running vehicle. A Mistress Kristen of left a stirring and well written post about her experiences. I am only linking it here and not quoting it because I feel that she deserves at least to speak in her own words in her own domain.

GRTaylor2 on Blogspot gives his own impressions of Dennnis and hits on some points that I myself instantly cling to.

People wanted him off Mill Ave. in the attempt to remove the grass roots feel from Tempe as the Bamboo Clubs (an upscale Asian restaurant), Abercrombes and Borders Books went in. Tempe is losing its character by losing its cast of characters.

One thing that I will always love Dennnis for: his unrelenting grip on the reality that was Mill Avenue culture, undying zeal for the wonders that Tempe is, even in the face of the plastic-import-culture that has been creeping onto our street.

And a small clip from one Nico H from

 7 a.m.  My friend Jason Parker calls me: 
Nico: (groggy) "hey man."...
Jason: "Dennnis is dead."  
  WIDE awake now.  Dennnis Skolnick was unanimously Tempe's Most Annoying Character.  So I liked him. I was one of perhaps 9 of the 60,000 Tempe residents who did. I Liked him enough to cast him in a major role in Dante's Arizona.
Dennnis's untimely passing makes the Dante's death toll at SIX, in 4 years.
I fall back asleep somehow.  And OverFuckingSleep til 9...

 And finally, I noticed another goodbye post by user suchahotmess on

He was such a funny guy.. weird, but funny. I remember the first time I met him, at the launch of one of Nick's stores in downtown Phoenix. He was taking pictures, for his magazine and we had a long chat about traveling, restaurants and life. He tried to get me to go out to dinner with him, after telling me how my little black dress "fit like a glove". He was eccentric, weird and different... but at the same time sweet, funny and interesting. He had lived a crazy life.

Dennnis, thou will be missed by many.

Another Azcentral article has also come to my attention, a piece opineing about his life and times, - Skolnick's life showed freedom's fragility.

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The Obituary of a Landmark - Dennnis of Mill Avenue

A landmark has died.

Dennnis (yes, three n’s) was found dead in his car last weekend. According to the AZCentral article, he was 51 years old.

I know that I don’t have time for a proper eulogy—but this is my small tribute, small and meager to the life of a man who really meant something to me because he meant something to Mill Ave.

I still remember when he used to stand across the street from Coffee, on 5th avenue, selling those newspapers that the homeless people could pass out. The days when he graduated to become the Mill Avenue Food Critic and how he would go out in front of the City Council and actually make something of himself. There are more than enough naysayers out there who are going to speak ill of his repute, but I don’t care. He may have been dirty and no-small-part trying in his personality, but Dennnis was a person that I equated strongly with the zeitgeist that is Mill Avenue.

Skolnick was a man of contradictions. Some saw him as a nuisance who harassed pedestrians from the sidewalk intersections of Mill Avenue and Fifth Street. He was also regarded as a much-needed bit of color in the increasingly corporate downtown Tempe.

His shtick, first selling freepapers and in more recent years his “Mill Ave. Guide” for money, was both loved and hated. Either way his outgoing, outspoken personality was hard to miss if anywhere in his vicinity.

“He was very forward andvery brash, and you know, he went through a lot of problems,” said Lisa Cugudda of Uni-Print & Designs, where Skolnick printed the booklets and signs he posted at restaurants throughout the city. “Really, he was always just trying to make himself a better person.”

Skolnick was one of Tempe's biggest cheerleaders. He often referred to the downtown district as the “Greenwich Village of the West.”

'Mill Ave. Food Critic' found dead in his car

That is all. Go on about thy business.

No elegy today—but I will find a way to make sure he’s remembered. He has a bit-part in Vexations, but he deserves something a lot more than that.

Dennnis. Thy enemies are my enemies. Sleep, o'sleep without sorrow — and I am going to freaking miss thee.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Internet Restored, but Server Still Inscrutable

Due to the malign stupidity of Covad our DSL line was not installed on schedule which was supposed to be the 9th of this month, August. Instead, we were told, that it was bumped forward to the 18th! A date now about six days away.

However, Comcast has been kind enough to jump to our rescue and instantly install both digital cable and Internet access to our house on extremely short notice. This is the one time that Comcast has actually been such a good provider. And they deserve props for that--I hope they keep it up.

Meanwhile Mill Avenue Vexations is being parked on a hosting site with a splash page. At least, it will after the DNS propagates around the world. People who visit may also be treated to a preview of an up-and-coming tribute...

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Amazing Screw-On Head!

Slinking around the SciFi channel last night, as usual, I ran across an intensely interseting, but subtly weird cartoon. Not used to seeing cartoons on SciFi, I stopped to watch--and discovered an absolutely amazing new artform. Nearly 2 a.m. and I was entranced the entire time. Took me a little while to get working and online to discover the name of this strange gem.

And then today, while slinking around the Internet, I discovered it on

Steampunk cartoon from SciFi channel: Amazing Screw-On is hosting the entire pilot of a proposed new animated steampunk toon called "The Amazing Screw-On Head," based on the comics of the same name. They're asking for feedback from the net about the show, and if it's positive enough, they've promised to commission and air the rest of the series. I'm watching it now and loving it.

Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things

Thou can visit the SciFi channel website dedicated to this and watch the pilot, they even have a survey, if the response to this is highly positive... well, thou've already read that part. So what art thou waiting for, a link to the Amazing Screw-On Head page?

Here is the teaser summary from the above-mentioned page:

In this hilarious send-up of Lovecraftian horror and steampunk adventure, President Abraham Lincoln's top spy is a bodyless head known only as Screw-On Head.

When arch-fiend Emperor Zombie steals an artifact that will enable him to threaten all life on Earth, the task of stopping him is assigned to Screw-on Head. Fortunately, Screw-On Head is not alone on this perilous quest. He is aided by his multitalented manservant, Mr. Groin, and by his talking canine cohort, Mr. Dog.

Can this unorthodox trio stop Emperor Zombie in time? Does Screw-On Head have a body awesome enough to stop the horrors that have been unleashed? Where can we get a talking dog?

All these questions (O.K., maybe not that last one) will be answered when you watch the thrilling tale of The Amazing Screw-On Head!

SCIFI.COM | The Amazing Screw-On Head

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