Thursday, April 30, 2009

reflection of headstone in water collected in an urn

How's that for a descriptive title? So here's what you need to know this morning (3:30 am).

1. I woke up at 2:30 this morning and made three-bean salad. It's for a department picnic today. I didn't have celery powder. Strike one. Also, because I was tired, I accidentally poured cooking wine rather than red wine vinegar into it. Not too much, though; probably only a bottle or two. (Or a couple of tablespoons worth.) Strike two. And I can't think of strike three, so it'll probably be fine.

2. You will all be relieved to know that I'm almost finished posting creepy photos. Let me be more specific. Creepy photos from my trip to NOLA. Maybe one or two more. And they aren't creepy.

3. This is one of those photos that was much better in idea than execution. In this cemetery there were urns in front of some of the tombs. I got the idea of getting close to the urn (or whatever it was; probably not an urn but a bird bath or something) and wanted to get a nice photo of the words on the headstone in the reflection. But I could never find a decent angle and the lighting was bad and, worse, the water was icky and had leaves in it. So I couldn't make it work. But I loved the idea so much that I couldn't bring myself to delete the darn thing. Not only that, I decided to post the photo to torture you with it as well.

Please don't be ashamed of me. Really, I need the mercy. I know the picture stinks. And maybe in the fullness of time I'll delete it.

4. No one likes the fishmouth photo. I've been told as much. To which I respond: Suffer.

I probably shouldn't have made that "point 4." After asking for mercy from you and all. Sometimes I show bad judgment that way. I should have switched points 3 and 4. Dang.

5. Here's some fun news. I found out who "Formerstudent" was, and I'm way flattered because it's a former communication major who is a very fine photographer and an all-around multimedia savvy guy. He produced some cute videos/movies that a former pastor and I acted in for a Vacation Bible School program. Not only acted but also wrote the dialogue for. Basically that meant that he and I goofed around in front of the camera in four different locations. It turns out I'm a really bad actor. An entertaining one, true, but not a good one. Anyway, Formerstudent filmed and directed the skits, and then he edited it and produced it. He did a great job. For the longest time I thought that Formerstudent was a female, because I assume that some 79,000 of my 83,000 readers are female. Mostly because men are heartless and they don't care for me welfare. But after Formerstudent started acting unforgiving on the blog--telling me to get off my ass, for instance, and start posting again--I began to suspect that maybe Formerstudent was a dude.

I'm good that way. Just ask Justcurious. I'm simply terrific at guessing my pseudonymous followers.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Most of my photos disappoint me at some level.

This is an exception. This is a very rare symmetrical (or near-symmetrical) photo of mine. Very still. Balanced. Quiet. Lonely. I like this shot. The eyes virtually trace the sign of the cross while following its vertical and horizontal lines.

crypt's midnight visitor

Monday, April 27, 2009

twisted morbid photo-taking freak-o

beads in the tree

One finds beads in NOLA everywhere one looks. Including up. In the trees. I thought several strands were pretty as they tangled with the branches of the blossoming tree. I crop this for no other reason than to highlight the beads which otherwise might be overlooked.

This photos is one of that just barely made the cut, a mercy cut. Let me know whether to go the justice route instead and axe it.


At our friends' friends' barn

JL in a reflection of a painting

JB on the stairs:

the girl in the room

shadows on tombs

And below is the original from which I made the alien hand. You can see the obvious thing I did, but the subtle thing I did was make the arm a touch more curvillinear. (Yeah, I'm proud of that touch.)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The winner: "Eating that last beignet NOT recommended!"

Taken in NOLA. I won't tell you what it's for. You're going to tell ME what it's for.

Have at it!
From Minivan Chronicles:

* Vortex in Basement

From Julia L. (Age 11)

* Automatic doors closing!

From Jake L. (Age 6)

*Watch where you're going! Do not crash into a wall and fall into an area with only boxes and doors surrounding you!

(NOTE from me, "Mr. Michael," to Julia and Jake: Julia and Jake, you have both offered wonderful interpretations of this warning sign and, more importantly, you've offered very good advice for life. I have often crashed into walls, and I've had automatic doors close on me. And when those things happen it makes life a little rougher for me, though it sometimes makes other people laugh a fair bit. And here's something else: I almost never watch where I am going; just ask your father because he's played basketball with me. He knows. And I can confirm that you're right. It's not good when those things happen. Sadly, though, I work in an office with two doors and many boxes, so I can't follow your advice, Jake, about not going into an area with boxes and doors surrounding me. Maybe that's one reason I post so many sad photos on this blog.)

From Timekeeper:

From Justcurious:

* Disgruntled moving men zone!
* Asymmetry kills!
* Fast moving ice floes ahead!
* Finally...If you think you can just ignore the "door closing" announcements while you take a few more death, doom, and shadow shots, you will be crushed and fined!!!
* Stark realities of morning after may hit you like a ton of bricks!
* No walking on conveyor belt!
From Andy D:

* Eating that last beignet NOT recommended!
* Train coupling imminent! Train CANNOT be stopped by flailing arms! Turn and run!
* Swinging wrecking ball may be any shape, including trapezoidal or rhombal!
* Swarming bees in this park have the combined strength of a falling safe!
From Technoprairie:

* When we say "Doors are closing. Do not enter the tram" - WE MEAN IT!
From Formerstudent:

*WARNING: The YMCA dance is not permitted in this area. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

blossom in the spring sun

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tomb for Mom and Dad

Father and Mother. Suppose they had never met and fallen in love and kissed and made love and had their kid put them up in this gothic and dilapidated resting place.

What then?

Maybe nothing. And maybe everything.

How can we know? And is that heartbreaking, or what? Or is it a pretty good joke?

It works like this:

Some were little babies who could never clear out their lungs to take a single clear breath. Some were old. Some fit. Some sickly. Some praying to go. Some terrified and holding on until their bodies betrayed their spirits. Some lonely bastards. Some lousy in love. Some joined to their doomed Siamese twin, who joined them about seven awkward minutes later. Some pregnant, with their child trying like hell to join the world of the living. Some lost in the desert a quarter-mile from a highway. Some buried under an avalanche. Some in a closet with a homemade noose, a dirty magazine, and their pants down. (RIP, T.) Some on the way to the hospital. Some showing off for their girlfriends. Some hit by an airplane in their driveways.

La de da de da.

La de da de dead.

La de da dead dead.

La dead da dead dead.

Dead dead da dead dead.

Dead dead dead dead dead.

It works like that.

Between the headstones

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

yeah, so we you gots here is your classic pink bananas is what you gots here.

I don't know what these things are. I took this--where else?--in NOLA, and the original shot is below. Those plants are funky, and their fruit--if fruit is what they be--didn't hang, so to speak, the way I would have guessed. It sort of stood up straight; it didn't make sense to me. So it was a shot begging to be flipped upside down, cropped, warped and rendered pink. Natch.

And what do you get? Pink bananas is what you gets.

You're welcome.

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's that time of the year!!


I'm back, baby, and it feels so good.

I'm drawn to bees the way monkeys are drawn to tricycles.

The way hurricanes are drawn to lesbians and Wiccans.

The way botox is drawn to Vanessa Williams' forehead.

The way grandparents are drawn to death on the eve of their grandchildren's college final exams.

The way thinness is drawn to Michael Jackson's nose.

It's in the order of things.

It's all good.

And it feels good.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

worldless without end. amen.

when i told one of my peeps at work (jt) that when i was in chi-town i had visited both the museum of contemporary art as well as the art institute of chicago, she asked me whether i had gone to check out the photography. i replied, "no, i usually don't look at the photography at museums." "why's that?!" "because i find it so less interesting than the paintings. if i could be a painter, i would. i photograph because i can't paint. i look at the paintings to make my photographs more painterly." so here you have example of before (below) and after (above). i took the image and merged it twice, once as a negative, with another photo--one of a battery, believe it or not. i then selectively blurred it, added lights and turned the lights negative, and then i stretched out those markings.

my goal was to create a haunted image of dislocation. when i saw that statue of that poor lonely girl (woman??) on the bench, i felt so sorry for her. she was so lonely. so what do i do? i make her lonelier.

i'm so sorry. just so so sorry.

i'm so sorry, poor statue lady.

i hope you find your home someday.

i really really do. that would be nice.

takin it and makin mine

That is is what I did to (how I violated?) this funky mural/sculpture by Cafe du Monde:

And these are the beignets that I ordered at Cafe du Monde. My children want to go to NOLA--desperately--and all on account of these beignets. Or, more precisely, for the powdered sugar on the beignets. My oldest child in particular becomes downright frantic when she eats her powdered sugar-covered pancakes. As the meal progresses, the atmosphere around her becomes a cloud, as though a confectionery cavalry came trampling into a graham cracker village of powdered sugar streets.

Three beignets per order. Cafe du Monde: that's how they do. They're good that way. True, the beignets hasten death, and quickly, but they're worth it. Life isn't just about quantity, you know. (Unless you're quantifying beignets.) I think an order is intended for 2-3 people, but seeing how I visited the cafe by myself, I thought it a sin to see such earthly sweetness go to waste. So I sinned as little as possible.

The damage:

I've been to NOLA three times, and each time I've gone to Cafe du Monde and ordered the beignets along with a cup or two of chicory. It's a combination that makes for quite the buzz. The first time I left the restaurant I was dizzy and frighteningly wired for a good half-hour. Beignets plus chicory may induce a stronger high than cocaine. True, I speculate, but my uncanny post-beignet resemblance to Pacino's Scarface suggests otherwise.

iron and shadow

Statue and St. Louis Cathedral

The Inn on Bourbon

Dear readers:

I've been shamed by you, my blog audience. Or as I like to call you, my "blog-ience." In emails. In person. And now on a post. I haven't forgotten about you dear reader, it's simply that my non-virtual relations and obligations have unfortunately taken higher priority. Not because they're more important than you--for how could they be?!--but merely because they can do more to harm me than you all can.

But here's my pledge: I will soon offer you my theory of translations and conversions of one thing to another. Okay, it's not really a theory. Yet. But it is "things I've thought about" and therefore worthy of your consideration (and endorsement and, let's be honest, praise).

It's coming.

I also pledge lots of photos I've taken recently in NYC and Chicago. But until I have time to look at them myself, we'll have to make do with more photos from my NOLA trip.

I know, I know. You're sick of the NOLA. Of course. And how can I blame you?

I can't.