Archive for September, 2010




It was somewhere down State, while we were filming the last portion of our film project, that my group witnessed the car accident. Following one of the crew members cut through a busy crosswalk, our attention was diverted to the sounds of the accident. Have you ever seen a car accident? It’s a bit of something surreal and you can’t look away. It stands perhaps as an idiom to the question of destruction as beauty.

The accident was small and no one appeared to be hurt. Minutes later, one could hear the sirens from the fire truck as it approached. I thought about all of the sirens I’ve heard since I’ve been in Chicago. How many car accidents happen in a day within the city? How severe are they? I thought about the fact that most car accidents happen in areas that you’re used to driving in. And I thought about the two accidents I’ve been in. The first one when I was seven. I was in the car with my brother in law and we were driving to see my sister at work. The car that hit us went on a red light and nearly pushed our minivan off into the freeway traffic below. The second one was when I was 19. I was leaving my school to drop off a package for my mother when I accidentally hit another car at a stop sign. In both accidents, no one was hurt.

Months later, when I met my boyfriend, he text me asking me if I had been in an accident near the college. I found out his coworker was the guy I hit. That has to be one of the strangest coincidences of my life. I think about all the strange coincidences that dotted our relationship, that dotted my life, and the accidents that dot the streets of Chicago everyday. Continue reading


Adrian Tomine (born May 31, 1974), a popular contemporary cartoonist, is best known for his ongoing graphic novel series Optic Nerve and his periodical illustrations in The New Yorker.

Adrian Tomine was born May 31, 1974 in Sacramento, California. His parents divorced when he was two years old. His father is Dr. Chris Tomine, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus Environmental Engineering at California State University Sacramento’s Department of Civil Engineering. His mother is Dr. Satsuki Ina, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus at California State University Sacramento’s School of Education. Tomine is fourth-generation Japanese American, and both of his parents spent part of their childhoods in Japanese internment camps in the U.S. during World War II.[3]. He also has a brother, Dylan, who is eight years his senior.

After his parents divorced, Tomine moved frequently, accompanying his mother to Fresno, Oregon, Germany, and Belgium, while spending summers with his father in Sacramento. He attended high school at Rio Americano in Sacramento, where he started writing, drawing and self-publishing his comic Optic Nerve.

He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Sarah Brennan, a longtime New Yorker. On October 31, 2009, Tomine and Brennan welcomed their first child, Nora Emiko Tomine. As a young child, Tomine enjoyed Spider-Man and Indiana Jones comics. In an interview, Tomine said that “something about the medium just transfixed me at an early age”[4] and that his influences include Jaime Hernandez and Daniel Clowes. He is also a fan of contemporary Chris Ware. Continue reading



Walking around in the Chicago night with the friends I’ve made, I notice the smoke wafting through our group. I watch it draw out from the cigarette held between fingers and passed from one to another. I watch the smoke, how it dances on everyone’s shoulders and hair before vanishing into the warm air. It dawns on me then, nearly everyone that I’ve made friends with smokes. In my group of friends back home, almost no one smoke, and some are are even against smoking. They dislike the taste, the smell, how its scent clings onto thread, and how unhealthy it is.

A few blocks later, another cigarette is lit and passed around. I don’t smoke for all the obvious reasons. I find it unhealthy, expensive, and unnecessary. But then I can’t seem to explain those moments where in great stress, I think to myself about how I want to drop everything and get a pack. How in the heat of a moment, in the frustration of an argument, I just want a cigarette. I think that goes to show what kind of thoughts cigarette companies and the media have placed into my head. My boyfriend jokingly predicts I’ll start smoking in Chicago. I deny his claims but it does make me ponder on how an environment and its inhabitants can change a person and their habits. I start to wonder what kind of things Chicago will do to me and I wonder if any of these changes will be permanent.

We jay walk across the street to get to the train station. Two people linger behind, taking the final puffs before stomping the cigarette out. Where do all the stomped cigarettes roll to? At the party, everyone is smoking. I take a long time finishing my only can of PBR.

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Miranda July (February 15, 1974) is a filmmaker, artist, and writer. Born Miranda Jennifer Grossinger,  she works under the surname of “July,” which can be traced to a character from a “girlzine” Miranda created with high school friend Johanna Fateman, called “Snarla”.  Miranda July was born in Barre, Vermont, the daughter of Lindy Hough and Richard Grossinger. Her parents, who taught at Goddard College at the time, are both writers. In 1974 they founded North Atlantic Books, a publisher of alternative health, martial arts, and spiritual titles. Miranda was encouraged to work on her short fiction by author and friend of a friend, Rick Moody. Miranda grew up in Berkeley, California, where she first began writing plays and staging them at the all-ages club 924 Gilman. She later attended UC Santa Cruz, dropping out in her sophomore year. After leaving college, she moved to Portland, Oregon and took up performance art. Her performances were successful; she has been quoted as saying she has not worked a day job since she was 23 years old.

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