Got Milk?

Two flights of stairs, a guard, and a disgruntled customer, my only obstacles as I fly through neon lights and downpour. Questions came down like the rain, thick and fast, but my priority was putting distance between them and me. They were already tight on my trail, and wouldn’t mind if I was breathing or not. Weaving through the emptying streets, the oblivion of passerby kept my grim scowl locked. Perhaps if they knew, they wouldn’t be complaining about the drizzle and gloom that was keeping me alive. Scattered thoughts come and go as my trenchcoat flaps around each corner and alleyway. What lengths would they go? Who was running the show behind all this? I stop, a drop of sweat rolling off my brow and joining the endless rain pooling about in the gutters. The glow of the bar casts a dim light on the alley, the city’s cheap thrills shut out. A low din warms my ears, a lively edge to it. Maybe it was the company of people, an inviting barstool, the gentle glow of the bartender, or the promise of a hard drink that lured me in. I always did need a drink.

The broad-shouldered men down the line eyed me surreptitiously behind their half empty glasses, curious at the new meat, as I settled at the counter. Sitting on a stiff stool and remembering why people and me never got along, the bartender’s long stare matched my own for a moment too long. Young, fearless, and broke, a fiend behind the counter and a venomous cobra with the men, her rebellious swagger leaves no room for the time of day. But I knew better. The rest of the joint was a tired collection of nine to fivers, lonely drifters, and older women slipping rings into their pockets. The wooden floors complained often, and the well-worn booths had stories to tell. Low flickering lights revealed shadows low and far, secrets and lies best kept in the dark. Everyone knew everyone, and no one knew me. Home sweet home.

After sending another hopeful crashing and burning, the bartender finally looks my way and rips, “What are ya having, stranger?” I don’t answer immediately, noticing the glances I had been getting from the bar may not be for my dashing looks. The baseball bat leaning on the stool put the pieces together. I slowly rise from the bar, my hand making it’s way to my 9mm friend, when the fireworks start. Ugly knocks my hand away from my jacket, while Brainless acquaints me with his fists. They play me like an accordion, only it’s my lungs and spine making the music. As popping white lights fade to black, I feel something hot and stale against my ear: “You shoulda had that drink earlier, stranger”. Then, nothing.

I wake up bound and gagged, alarm bells still clanging around in my head. The dusty floor stretched on for a few echoes. In front of me was Ugly and some new friends of his. One of them, or rather, a few people combined together in size and weight, approached me with big lumbering steps. Small beady eyes, a squashed nose, and his own gravitational pull to boot, the man looked me up and down while circling me.

I muster what little energy I have and spit, “Looking’s for free, but touching’s gonna cost you, chubs.”

The man erupts in a deep rumbling laugh, looking like Santa’s degenerate cousin. “Such bravado for a man at another’s mercy”, he booms, a smile making his face even more gruesome in the harsh light. “You know why you’re here, stranger, and we’re not gonna play nice until you return what’s ours.”

It was my turn to laugh, a low chuckle escaping past my bruised lip. “I don’t have it anymore. It’s safe and out of your reach, and by tomorrow night, for good.”

The big man froze, and growled to one of his guys, “Is he for real?”

I hear another man’s reedy voice mutter, “Yeah, he ain’t lyin’ ”. A low hiss of relief escapes me; Gaetano came through yet again, the kid. My contacts keep a low profile and know how to make friends with right people, or the wrong people rather. One of these days I’ll be looking at the wrong end of a gun, but not quite yet. I still need that drink.

The big man, satisfied with the report, walks away into the blackness. Before he was swallowed up by the black, he ordered, “Show our friend the door”. I had a second to brace myself before the curtains closed yet again with a sharp crack of a bat and a up-close visit with the floor.

For the second time that night, I woke up battered and bruised, this time with a few trash cans and some fellow rats. Getting to my feet was like being on a merry-go-round, but I staggered up and walked towards the street. Right by the bar again, what good friends. I keep my head down low, bloody and swelling, and sit back down where I was a few lifetimes ago. The bartender, noticing the walking corpse, asks, “What will it be now, stranger?”, only biting now instead of cold. I can’t help but smile as I lean in and ask, “Got milk?”.

 

7/7/14 - Neon Trees Live at SummerStage ‘14 Central Park NYC

Tyler Glenn crowd surfing while belting out “Sleeping With a Friend”

Camera: iPhone 5

A17: Alive 2017 Design Concept Series

image
A17 is a celebration of Daft Punk, and the fervent anticipation of their next worldwide tour. All images were crafted by myself, only using the album covers, a few downloaded fonts, and trusty Pixelmator. Enjoy the images, and please feel free to leave a comment with questions, comments, requests, or fun Daft Punk trivia. 
P.S. Favorite Track: Prime Time Of Your Life / Brainwasher / Rollin’ and Scratchin’ / Alive

Phoenix
image
a minimalist combination of the iconic pyramid against a vivid setting sun, inspired by the Get Lucky single album cover.
UFO
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an attempt at Alive ’07’s tribute to representing the venue, or basically trying to predict what the stage could possibly look like in 2017. I imagine the duo being in an enclosure, but with a platform for live artists to jam, given RAM’s nature. the extended platforms are also for the musicians singing, playing guitar, etc. the back would likely be large screens for clips, colors, effects, etc. also, the stage roughly resembled a UFO opening (extended platforms are legs, stage is the body, circular background screen the lid), fitting for RAM’s space themes (there’s no way Contact isn’t a spaceship taking off). also, Grammy ’14 colors!
Delta
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my rendition of someone’s flatter design of the robots’ snazzy necklaces (I want one badly). I spent a while considering which robot would be in front of the other (went with height difference: more of Thomas IRL, more of him on cover)
Hex
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a very vague representation of a possible stage design. the robots would be in an elevated circular pod, with featured artists like Pharrell or Nile Rodgers in separate pods at different heights and sides of the main pod. also, the central pod is indeed a nod to the Grammy ’14 helmets.
TurnTable
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I was entranced by the RAM Unboxing promo, and given the overall message of RAM and its making, I thought a simple vinyl icon would be fitting.
SplitStrum
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this one I’m rather fond of, a RAM-eqsue split design with some guitar thrown in. given the frequently guitar strumming of the latest album, and “hey, maybe it’ll look cool”, I thought this design was worth trying.
Bonus: Four
image

simply a tribute. the font chosen is Kabana Bold, the same used in a lot of the marketing and ads for the album. some of the covers had to be simplified to fit the entire image, and plus because I’m not terribly skilled with the software :)
good to be back, guys
-M

Project TWO: @SearchingBigData

Workflow - this independent science research project required a design, or diagram, and I couldn’t resist. Check out our site here, I created the entire thing with Weebly, calling the design shots. I also wrote some of the boring stuff as well. 

Psst. You. Yeah, you. If you go to our site’s profile screen, and try clicking a few things, something cool might happen. Hint: Mr. Reader

-M

Project ONE: Robotics

imageGear - based on one of my earliest creations, this classy logo will grace a particular Robotics Team in their endeavors

imageGear-MouseOver - a little iOS 7 shoutout if the mouse happens to hover over the logo in the site (being finalized)

Do I know how to be quiet. Life is way too messy, but I haven’t been idle. I worked on two fairly major projects, one being designing the logo and graphical UI of a high school’s robotics site. I’ll share the fruits of the other sometime this week.

If I had things my way, I’d be on this site way more, but alas, things are how they are. I’m going to try some more literature, don’t know if you guys like mine, but I have some material ready to go. 

Lastly, feel free to hit me up on my site’s email. Comments, questions, requests, whatever. Stay classy.

-M

"Purple Dreams" - still couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the glorious sunset out my door. I saw, I snapped, I savored (and still savor).

iPhone 5, stock camera

"Glowing Hill" - simple, a cool gradient, and just a touch of something extra…kinda similar to my icons, maybe? the comet makes things interesting, but if your prefer it plain, I retouched the area a bit

iPhone 5, stock camera

"Colors" - sweet detail of this awesome leaf, with a lovely green blur
iPhone 5, stock camera

"Colors" - sweet detail of this awesome leaf, with a lovely green blur

iPhone 5, stock camera

I make stuff. I post it here. Enjoy.


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