Monday, November 30, 2009

Say good-bye to my self-respect

Yes, I've gone soft. I know it will shock you to hear this, but I just couldn't keep up the hard-hitting and incessant pace of Satan and eyeballs. Will you still respect me in the morning?

Steve Taylor, I just dare you to tell me these are "pretty." You're only a four hours drive away, you know.

The toes of genius?

The other day I visited the High Museum's exhibit on Lenoardo da Vinci. It's called, "Hand of the Genius," and it's mostly sketches of sculptures he worked on.

At the end of the exhibit there is a cork board displaying patron's responses to this posed question: "Can Anybody be a Genius?"

Great question. And my very easy and emphatic answer of "What the cuss, are you freakin' kidding me? Oh, HEY no!!" began to soften a bit the more I thought of it, and now I'm not so sure. It obviously turns on what one means by "genius." IQ is a stupid definition of genius. Yawn. There's lots of high IQ morons out there, and there's plenty of folks who may not test high on IQs who are or were geniuses in their own right. (C.S. Lewis, for example, had zero mathematical aptitude. John Lennon basically flunked out of every school he went to.)

I didn't read many of the patrons' answers, but one of them caught my attention--and fancy. I wish I had taken a photo of it, so you'd have it verbatim, but I'll do the best I can to create it. It said something like this.

"No. Not anybody can be insanely smart. Some people are just insane. Not everybody has it within themselves to set step away from the crowd and to do great things, but there are a few individuals like Helen Keller, Snoop Dogg, and Halle Berry who can change society and should be considered geniuses."

Geniuses: Helen Keller; Snoop Dogg; Halle Berry. You gotta love our culture. Ain't it the best?

My wife accuses me of overusing the word "genius." I have unapologetically used the word to describe any number of folks, and continue to think of these folks as geniuses.

So your job is to let me know whether you think these celebrities are geniuses. This is just a small sample of celebrity-type persons who I have dubbed as geniuses. Altogether without irony, I consider each and every last one of these to be geniuses in the fullest (or at least in a true) sense of the word.

* Marlon Brando (Hint: Oh, yeah, baby.)
* Meryl Streep.
* The dreamy Montgomery Clift, of course.
* And the brilliant Daniel Day-Lewis
* Scorcese (natch). Also, Scorcese. I also think Martin Scorcese is a genius as well.
* Mel Blanc
* Mel Brooks
* Three of The Beatles (Oh, you know which one didn't make the grade.)
* Jimi Hendrix
* Michael Jordan
* Magic Johnson
* Larry Bird
* Tiger Woods
* Greg Maddox
* Prince
* Larry David
* Woody Allen
* Peter Sellers
* Jim Carrey
* Gary Shandling
* Jon Stewart
* Al Franken
* Steve Martin
* Johnny Depp
* Cait Blanchett
* Bill O'Reilly
* David Byrne
* Dick Cheney (hey, evil geniuses are still geniuses.)
* Matt Groening

So what do you think?

(I'm undecided on whether Paris Hilton is a genius. I think there's a chance she's, shall we say, as folks make her out to be. But I'm not so sure. My suspicion is she's perfectly bright but has adopted a personae that has brought her fame and money.)

Guidelines for discussion: Say what want, but consider yourself warned that if you mention either their political inclinations or sexual proclivities as criteria for whether they deserve to be geniuses then you will receive a sloppy blown raspberry--pbpbth!!--as well as being designated officially as a pod person by me!

No good. Don't do it. These things don't enter the equation, thank you.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Twenty-four reflections on Satan

So as you can tell, there aren't twenty-four reflections. I had written twenty-four thoughts (loose construction of the word "thought"), many of them, um, well, semi-sacrilegious if one were especially uptight about it all, and as I was giving one last look over, I pushed a combination of buttons that erased everything.


I called a friend who I thought might make me be able to resurrect the lost material, but he said he wasn't a miracle worker.

All of this is true. Steven Taylor, vouch for me, my friend.

I'll come back to these twenty-four thoughts another day. What you have here is a photo of what looks like to me to be Satan on a wolf's head. It's cropped from another photo that, when I looked at it very closely, clearly revealed a clear capture of the king of lies. I'll post that other photo soon.

Let me know what you think. Creepy, eh?

I mean, why can't I capture images of Jesus Christ? Or Mary? Or even Moses. Heck, I'd settle for David. Apparently he was quite the looker. I'd like to see an image of David. But I don't want Satan haunting my porch.

This is the original shot.

And below is the altered shot where I first saw Satan. You see him, right? A colleauge said simply, "No, I don't see Satan. I see a bat on a wolf, and the bat is wearing a Pilgrim hat."

Any suggestions about what to do?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

title please

Thus far here are the entries, below. Explanations and/or humorous commentary and/or apologies for these can be found inside the comments section.

From Anonymous: 'Weapon of Choice'.

From Technoprairie: "Oompa Loompa on Slide"

From Mr. Steven Taylor: "Life on Mars"

And: "A Totally Normal Day with Mike B."

From CEBC: 'Life Is Just A Bowl Of Jello.'

From Shinigami-Sidhe: "Trapped in amber."

From Justcurious: "Glassine Dreams"

From Andy D: "Shaking the Sand Out of My Top After a Long Afternoon in the Sun"

"For Sale: Single Frame Cell from 1985 'New Order' Music Video"

"First Impression of an Oopma Loompa, If You've Never Seen Five Minutes of the Much Better and Significantly More Awesome Version by Timothy Burton Starring Johnny Depp Channeling Michael Jackson"

"Life On Mars, or On The Equally Claylike and Foreign Land of Oklahoma"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

shoes and cracked mud

I'm thankful today for loads of things. But for this blog on this day, I thank my photo muse for bringing me to images like this. Happy.


Guess what? Oh boy, now I've gone and done it. I accidentally deleted a comment by Justcurious, and, oh man, it was so nice. She said something to the effect--and I'm not making this up--that she's glad for this happy (and goofy) blog family. (I'm paraphrasing.) Awww...and that made me feel badly that I didn't tell y'all, my loyal blog readers (eighty-thousand strong!) that I'm grateful for all of your funny and witty and generous comments.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Little blue halo

NOT a weird freaky hand (with ring) reaching for the sky

This is a photo of a most excellent hand (with ring) reaching for the sky. It belongs a most excellent man, Mr. Donald Lindholm, softball slugger (and right fielder) and overall fantastic man extraordinaire. But here's the thing. This photo simly blows!! It blows for three reasons.

1. It's all fuzzy, out of focus, and without color. (Technically, that's two reasons; out of focus and fuzzy are kind of the same.)
2. It doesn't even say anything about it being Don's hand.
3. If Don were to show this photo to his softball buddies, they'd just make fun of him (a) for his fuzzy colorless hand, and (b) for the fact his youngest daughter married a loser like me.

This is all most unfortunate. So let's do something to correct as much of it as we can. The photo below can't unmarry his daughter from me, and it doesn't make me any less a loser, but it is clear, in color, and does specify whose hand it is. I think his softball friends would remain proud of Don were they to see this photo below.

I know I am. I'm a lucky guy to have him as my father-in-law.

Fo sho!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Man with gorgeous thick dark brown hair.

I like the shot above because it clearly reveals my head of thick dark brown hair. Get that, family? THICK. DARK BROWN. HAIR.

Guh! The shots below were a pain to capture. The dang thing was, well, pendulating, so to speak, and getting it in focus was a challenge. Plus, I didn't want to touch the sand (yet again breaking another institutional rule) or bump into the pendulum itself. So that that meant I had to anticipate the pendulum coming, quickly thrust my camera out there just above the sand right as the pendulum was passing. True, that challenge doesn't altogether compare with some of the challenges of Darfur right now, but...



okay, there's no decent way to finish that sentence without sounding like a jerk. Actually, there's no way to commence that sentence without sounding like a jerk.

I like this photo because it looks like an eyeball. Which is always a plus. A space eyeball is even better. "I'm stepping through the door/And I'm floating in a most a pe-cu-liar way/And the stars look very different to-day-ee-aay."

Bathroom humor

So you want to see the bathroom photos, huh, Andy D? I'm sure you're disappointed. You wanted to see something, er, more substantial?

The original below.

Three things you need to know this morning.

1. Reader, depending upon which one of us you ask, Andy D and I have been either best friends (my opinion) for the past thirty years or at least tolerably decent casual acquaintances (his). Really the only thing that binds us is bathroom humor. He deprecates on me all the time.


2. I love mash up music. I want you to send me some. I'm a needy needy man.

3. Here's a conversation I had the other day with a co-worker. (I used to say "colleague," but she lost that title in my book. You'll soon see why.)

Her schtick is zombies. (That and betting on college games, but maybe a gambling addiction isn't exactly a "schtick.") Anyway, she does know a ridiculous amount about how to survive the inevitable (and imminent) zombie attack. She doesn't really care about "human beings" per se, but she does occasionally post useful links to zombie survival web sites. I don't read them, of course, because part of zombie survival means being willing to cast away your loved ones to delay the zombies. Given this, why would I trust a zombie survival website? It's all a big trap to put me (and my delicious brains) in the hands (and mouths) of the zombies.

But, alas, you digress, reader.

As I was saying, my wife told me that she thinks it's great that Christy has this schtick. Thus in a warm spirit of sharing I told my "friend" that Juli had said this, that she approves. And here's the conversation that ensued.

Christy: "Oh really? That's nice. Well, you have your schtick, too."

Me: "My schtick??"

Christy: "You know...."

Me: "No. What?"

Christy: "Oh...I don't know. Well, not exactly...'self-absorbed' isn't exactly right, but...well, you know.

Me: "No."

Christy: "Fine. That you're emotionally crippled."

Me: "Wait, are you describing my personality?! Or is that a schtick?"

Christy: "I wasn't making a distinction."

Yeah, Christy will survive the zombie attack fo sho.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

out the blue

This image is derived from the one taken below. Our family went to the Booth Museum of Western Art a month or so ago. They hold a "no photos" policy that's consistent with the policy of art museums everywhere, especially for exhibits (as opposed to permanent holdings) and new acquisitions. I intended to honor the policy because I generally think it best to respect people's requests, especially when one is in their own home, so to speak. I also know, however, that the purpose of the policy is to maintain the integrity of the art and to control how images of the art are managed to make the art-going experience as unique and attractive as possible. (And obviously to make sure no one else profits from their unique exhibit.) Got it. Sensible and perfectly fair. So I stuffed my camera in my front jeans pocket (creating a look that may well have startled other patrons). I wandered about the museum looking at some perfectly marvelous art, untempted (or minimally tempted) to bust out my camera. But then I saw this shadow of a statue of a cowboy on the wooden floor, and a conversation ensued between an angel and a devil on my shoulders.

And really is it my fault if the angel was a poor rhetorician and lost hands down?

Plus did I mention that there was a shadow involved? How am I supposed to resist that? Really. How?

So I pulled out the camera, kept it waist high and to my side, pointed it in the area of the shadow, and clicked. Then off I went to the restroom to see whether the photo turned out. It did. I was pleased.

And while inside the bathroom, liberated from the law and flush with sin, as it were, I took a few more photos. I'll show you at least one of them another time.

Sounds like all the trappings of a problem, doesn't it? A real problem. An intervention-worthy problem.

But save yourself the trouble. Instead, buy me a new high-octane camera. Preferably one that can be stuffed inside the front pocket of my jeans.

This is the original photo, untouched.

The thing that drives me to madness about this photo is that awful electrical outlet, so I cropped the photo closer it to get rid of that. Below.

This is better, but I was still curious about what the shadow would look like without contextualing or orienting markers. Boom. And you get this below.

I liked this ok, but it wasn't as haunting or as disorienting as what I saw implicit in this shot. I played around with the image some more until I settled on the photo at the top.

Three more things.

1. I imagine, reader, that you won't like the top image most. That's okay. I still love you.

2. The Booth Museum is truly wonderful--and quite remarkable for a small town like Cartersville, GA. Go to it, pay admission, and enjoy the wonderful exhibits and holdings. Refrain from outside-the-bathroom picture taking. Even more importantly, refrain from inside-the-bathroom picture taking.

Okay, a third thing.

3. Fistful of Love by Antony & The Johnsons (with Lou Reed) is an amazing song. Just thought you'd like to know. Currently it's my favorite photo/blogging song.

Oh, and let's throw a fourth in there.

4. The Beatles continue to blow my mind. More on which later. A lot more. Also just thought you'd want to know.

And fifth.

5. Out the Blue is a title of a John Lennon song. Oh, the things you learn on this blog.

Or not.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Detail from American Gothic, in three dimensions

Title courtesy of Shinigami-Sidh, talent extraordinaire.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You talkin' to me?

You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the h*ll else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one here. Who the ____ do you think you're talking to?

nephew and bro-in-law; nephew and sis-in-law

A well-loved boy, this one. It'd be a much better world were all children to receive the love this boy does.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spiraling down

Where are my pants??

Seriously, smart guy, tell me this: Where in the hell are my pants?! As my students are probably all-too-eager to share with you (and probably have), it's not like my pants wardrobe is endless. Basically I own five pairs of pants that I wear to work. My brown pants with the ridiculously saggy crotch; my three-inches-too-short blue pants; the khakis with the coffee stains in all the wrong places; my Clinton-era black jeans.

And my magic trousers that are olive in the light and brown in dim light.

That's not a lot of material to work with, right. We can be honest with one another. I'm not fooling anyone. So to lose a pair--and my favorite magic khaki-green pair at that--is just too much. Something has to give.

Where are they?

Check my closet, you say? Oh, I hadn't thought of that. Oh good, I'll check it out right away. My closet! No, I would have never thought of looking there. Please. Show me a a little respect. No, not my closet, fool.

Ahhh....well don't I play basketball sometimes and change into my gym clothes in my office? You are correct, sir. So perhaps they're in my office. That's true; they could be.

But on second thought, um, no they're not in my office.


Where exactly in my office would they be? Yes, please tell me. In my filing cabinets? Nope. I've checked. In my book shelves? I think someone would have noticed, don't you? Perhaps they are in the Happy Bowl that Brad DeMarea made in high school over twenty years ago? No, not there. I put neither my magic nor my non-magic trousers in the happy bowl. I put candies for students in the happy bowl. Why in the world would I put trousers, socks, boxers or mittens in the Happy Bowl? WHY?

I wouldn't, that's why.

You disappoint me.


Oh, here's an idea. I could just go trousers shopping. Yeah, like that's going to happen any time soon. Oh, I know, let me go to the store and find out that, holy crap, the way my waist is expanding I'm a month or two away from shopping exclusively in the Marlon Brando-size sections of the department store.

No, I don't think so. Reader, you're trying my patience.

Anyway, the spiral staircase is of a lighthouse. Like you needed to be told. Maybe I lost my pants there.


Thursday, November 12, 2009


Slave as a I am to fashion and public opinion, I took the third pic down. Then slave as I am to the owner of the magic blue table, I put it up, this time uncropped.

Rome has a fountain that creates a perfect sheet of water. I stuck my camera behind the sheet of falling water and took my own picture.

A number of years ago Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves starred in a horrid movie called
The Devil's Advocate. Just dreadful.

Except it had one feature I found terribly powerful. Some characters were agents of the devil, and they presented themselves as perfectly lovely people. Outwardly. But Keanu (and the movie viewer) had the ability to see their ugly evil insides, their looks as representative of their true characters.

I've often wondered what I'd look like were my outward appearance to reveal my inner thoughts.



I was walking the mean streets of Rome when I happened by a newspaper stand with a shattered window. Which, of course, I naturally took to be the perfect opportunity to stick my camera inside the box to take a picture of myself through the jagged glass.

Shattered glass, partial concealment--all in the name of self-disclosure. I mean, how much metaphor do you need?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 09, 2009

Your wish is my command, Justcurious

One must be careful for what one wishes. Bwaaha ha haaaa!!