Born on Christmas Day, 1970, in Kokomo, Indiana, Ray “R.” Speen has always felt a certain affinity with the Prince of Peace, most significantly where hairstyles are concerned. After being expelled from the U. of Notre Dame, Speen spent many years washing dishes before he finally found adventure and fortune delivering recreational vehicles (manufactured in Elkhart, Indiana) to the yuppie scum who purchased them throughout the continental US, and thus satisfied his longing for travel, exploration, and gas station coffee. With the outlaw motorcycle craze making that line of work too dangerous, Speen retired to the Pacific Northwest with a sizable nest-egg. It was in Portland, Oregon that he began a decade-long odyssey to complete has magnum opus, the 6 hour film, Seafood, hailed by critics as “legendary,” “epic,” and “a virtual magnet for rotting fruit.” Soon after, Speen's career as an author of counter-culture publications came to an end when he was sued for misrepresenting the lack of shark activity in his visitor's guide to Key West. In spite of good times, bad times, and times he can't remember, R. Speen has soldered on with the motto: “Sure things suck, but at least it's always pretty much coffee time, or soon!”
Contact R. Speen by email:
RaySpeen at gmail dot com
(Please note: Mr. Speen is a busy man and should only be contacted with serious inquiries that involve cash payment, preferably.)
Randy Russell has kept journals since the age of 12 (now available to read on the Memoir page of this site). His handwriting has not improved. After studying at Kent State with filmmaker Richard Myers, and Myers's Rum at Ohio State, Russell worked in over 40 unglamorous jobs. He is the author of over 40 zines and chapbooks, but with the demise of the copy-counter scam at Kinko's was forced online where he initiated and wrote for over 40 blogs and websites. A veteran of nearly 40 bands (some which admittedly didn't get past that barstool band naming session), Russell was also honored as one of “40 Kickers Over 40” in a 2002 feature in Modern Fertilizer magazine. Hollywood called, and stints as actor and screenwriter followed, including work on the legendarily hard to find American Job (1996) and a genre-shattering performance in Modus Operandi (2009) as he graced the silver screen with his idiosyncratic acting style (a conglomeration of Method, non-Method, and Ligneous). Russell's artwork takes the form of transforming his old socks into beloved animal-like objects, and converting the remainder of his recycling into his unique “Semioabstractique” collages, a form which has yet to be emulated. His e-available book, Nine Lies (2013), is considered by some as the best example of whatever it is. Watch for him in the upcoming film China Test Girls, or wish for his upcoming novel, The Doughnuts (that he is “putting the finishing touches on.”). An inveterate gourmand, Russell divides his time between Hollywood, Montana, Milwaukee, and Gstaad.
Contact Randy Russell by email:
RandySRussell at gmail dot com
(Please note: the "S" between Randy and Russell stands for "Shit-outta-luck" – which is what you'll be if you don't include the "S" in the email address between Randy and Russell!)
The newest member of the RSpeen teem, Richard “Dick” Skiller, originally hails from Santa Rosa, California but now hails cabs to and from his Times Square home, the Hotel Edison, where he has resided since moving to The City That Never Sleeps on assignment to cover the dining scene for the, at the time, up-and-coming website, ConspicuousChow (dot something). Things, to put it mildly, didn't go swimmingly, and many of you may remember the high-profile lawsuit that compromised Skiller's ability to work anonymously. For some time, then, he was forced to take a job at Hale and Hearty Soup, where he claimed to learn more about the culinary world than from his multiple, advanced degrees. The next traumatic event in Dick's life was the closing, three some years ago, of the Cafe Edison which had served as his dining room, meeting place, office, and breakfast nook. Having now soured on The Big Apple, Dick has agreed to make an extended visit to the Midwest (while still managing to keep a pied-a-terre in “New Amsterdam”), where his fish-out-of-waterness should bolster the talent at Rspeen (dot) com. His focus here will be dining—with an emphasis on the Half & Half City's “cheap eats,” and massive, extensive cafe scene, which you will happily find in this website's LUNCH section. Smakelijk!
Contact Richard Skiller by email:
RichardSkiller (at) Gmail (dot) com
(Please note: Dick rarely answers an email, unless it's to threaten a lawsuit, so the most effective means of contact is to speak in person, if you can figure out which dude out there is him!)