Friday, February 26, 2010

Ice on a shining spotlight

Here's what I find bewildering. There is a correct answer to the poll question, and it's the third option--that you should feel insulted I haven't posted a photo of you on the blog. The only reasons for not chooseing this option are:

1) I have, in fact, posted a photo of you on the blog.

2) You're grateful I haven't put your photo on the blog.

Let me tell you how this makes me feel:

It hurts. It hurts real bad. You, readers, have hurt me.

Let me hit you with you an analogy to explain how your response makes me feel. Imagine a child standing at the top of a ginormous twisty helter-skelter slide. At the bottom of the slide is a hot-tar pool of despair and self-doubt and, for lack of a better word, a heightened sense of failure and what one of my cruel female colleagues (described before in an earlier post) bizarrely calls my "schtick" of being emotionally crippled. So the child stands at the top, naturally terrified to go down the slide. Just as he chooses to back away, a big bully (I picture Nelson from the Simpsons yelling "HA-HA!!") shoves the child, who then plummets backwards and screaming, arms flailing, to his fate.

By not picking the third option, you are the bully. And I am the victim.

Friends, I am always respectful of my photography subjects. Respect is my credo. While it is true that occasionally I will chain them to a dungeon wall (sorry Stephen) or place them in a setting that evokes Hell (sorry Harvey) or digitally distort them to look either starving or insane or monstrous (, everyone) you must understand that it's not personal. I do this for art. So long as you do exactly as I say for as long as I say without grumble or protest while I photograph you, I will quite enjoy the photo shoot, and you can take great pleasure in my satisfaction. Almost by definition, this you will find rewarding.

So please don't be a bully. And please don't be so hurtful.

Let me take your photo. Let me alter it. Let me post it. It makes me happy, and that is warrant enough for everyone.

Thank you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The kids' first real snow


An embarrassing moment for my poor daughter. This was taken at the city forum. Lydia and I were taking a walk, and I wanted to get in from the cold. The city forum is a cavernous multipurpose auuditorium. The door to the building was open, surprisingly, but no one was at the counter. So I decided to explore the building. Lydia questioned whether this was wise. I told her, "oh sure, the is a city building. It's public. It's just like a park with a roof. Of course we can explore." So we went inside the auditorium. Within ten minutes or so a visibly shaken and frightened man came to talk with me. I was read the riot act and for the sake of Lydia I was very calm and agreeable if not altogether contrite. If she was mortified, she didn't act it. I later explained that the man was doing his job and that we were in the wrong. Except what I told the man was that I was blind and this girl (pointing to Lydia) told me that it was okay to enter.

No, I didn't.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spider and the lock

Beloved, I don't know what a spider does with its day. Does it get bored? Does it secretly rejoice when its web is destroyed so it can show off its special skills again?

Spiders are happy. Spiders aren't happy. I don't know. It makes my head spin. Oh hey, here's a photo of a spider with my daughter.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Giant horse statue and wasp on glass pane

My beloved readers, you have no idea how happy it makes me to see a wasp on a window at the High Museum so I can take a photo of the wasp together with the ginormous pony. So so happy. Can heaven be happier than this? Maybe. Yes, maybe. But how? You tell me that, huh. Tell me.

For a little clearer perspective on the enormity of this pony.

All taken at the High Museum of Art. The pony was originally designed by Leonarado.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Leaves and shadows

I admit how I'm loving how someone (or several someones) has answered the poll with "daily." Very very sweet.

This was simple enough. The late afternoon winter sun was casting shadows of these leaves against a tan wall. The shadows are actually of another tree, however, though.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Zen Garden

A special guest photo from Professor Whitey. There I am on the left doing my thing apparently with absolutely no regard for the actual boundaries of the garden. Yes, I am ashamed. But the nice thing is that I made the rock in the middle of my photo look enormous when, as you can see with Steven's shot, it's actually quite small.

Gash and reflection

This is a marble sculpture at the Birmingham Museum of Art. On the left it reflects some of the collection. The middle is a gash the allows the viewer to look through the marble. On the right is a vague image, nearly a shadow of a certain white full professor.

BLUE BLUe BLue Blue blue

I derived the image above from this image below, a shot I took at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Groovy stuff hanging from a sunlit wall. I didn't improve the image, but I certainly made it more blue. I dare you to contradict me.

So blue. It's almost as blue as Cleveland is gray. Not quite, but close.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thug life

Peep this, yo.

Here's how I keep it hood when I'm with my white boy full professor homie. First you start with the whitest white boy full professor that you know. Natch. Then, well, here's what you DON'T do: You don't keep it hood. It's hopeless. It stays white bread no matter what you do. But after you say good-bye to Whitey, you can upload his white boy photo, then work to turn Professor Whitey into something slightly less whitey. For his own damn good.

Most def.

I'm not making this up. You get crunk on juice, then you crank up the hip-hop on your headphones, and then you go urban digital manipulation all over his white a**.

Feel me?

Make it all gritty and s**t, and then skew and pinch the photo to give it more lean. And here's what you get: My white boy lookin all jaunty and whats**t.


Taylor below.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's time to eliminate a photo

Get rid of one of these photos. Do it! Here's what you do:

1. Tell me which one should go.

2. Explain why.

I'll consider both votes and reasons. If we're having lots of fun with if--and what could be more fun than giving you a chance to tear down my blog?--we might not stop with one photo but just keep eliminating the rest of the photos. And then we can eliminate past posts until we end up with only a poll.

About Andy.

NOOO!!!! That won't happen.




Split Screen:

DUI: IS DEAD TO US ALL. Good riddance, and don't come back, *%(&!

Millipede Spiral:

Monday, February 08, 2010

Oh looky, my most voyeuristic photo yet!

So as I've posted many times, I'm troubled by this photo gig. It's intrusive, and who besides weirdos likes their photos taken? (Self-portraits don't count. Sane normal rational healthy virtuous model citizens adore self-portraits.)

So the theme you've probably detected over the past year or so is how my photo ethical standards have slowly eroded. And by "eroded" I mean disappeared altogether.

Reader, I love you and I do this for you. I love you with all my squishy and gushing wine-warmed heart, and I put my own conscience and integrity at risk for the good of the blog. Even at the cost of prison. And excommunication. Or, worse, a freakin' intervention. (In one of life's rich ironies, an intervention surely to be led almost exclusively by readers of the blog.)

I was walking down Broad Street, whistling "Little Piggies," trailed yet again by a police cruiser. And why? No, not because of the crystal meth convictions. Those were overturned. Six words, my friend: Fruit of the bloody poison tree. HA!! No, not because of the meth. But because of the camera. I pretended to walk into a store, and that lost the cruiser, and on I went with my stealthy search for the perfect candid photo.

And here they were, two women alone in a vast beauty salon. The sun was down, and this was surely the last customer of the day. It's clear they were good friends sharing private jokes, probably about the ridiculous men in their lives and the lives of their friends. The shades to the salon were already drawn, and the only opening was the glass door. I zoomed in with my camera, focused, and click.

Voila! Perfect.

Yet my heart raced and my stomach churned with guilt. What a horrible horrible invasion of privacy. My sweet lord, what is wrong with me? So I vowed to never ever ever EVER post this photo. Just ever. What kind of sick animal am I?

Anyway, I hope you like it.

For what it's worth, this is Timekeeper's most dreaded kind of post--the over-the-top confession enmeshed in a great big yarn.

"Mike, why do you do this? You know people will believe you about the police cruiser. What's the point? It's not funny, and it's not necessary. I don't even get it."

"Really? You think they'll believe that? Cool. Do you think they'll believe me about the crystal meth conviction?"

"Good grief, no. You're the retard, not them."

"Oh, right. I forgot."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Poor wittle wabbit!

I've probably shared this story on the blog before. As evidenced by the painting above, my mother-in-law is a wonderful watercolor painter.

Violent, too.

True, you sometimes have to look for the violence, but it's there. Well, it's not always there. But sometimes it is. Okay, it's there only in one particular painting. This one. When my m-i-l (shorthand courtesy of Justcurious) first displayed this painting years and years ago, I was thunderstruck that she would paint something so violent--here a wounded bloody bunny hiding in the bushes, waiting out its last few minutes alive on this planet with a quiet dignity. Normally she paints landscapes and western wooden fences and flowers and waterfalls. She brings an original eye and hand to these themes, and most people find her paintings artistically skillful and morally very uplifting. As she says, the world is plenty busy with ugliness; she wants to contribute beauty.

And that's admirable even if it's not exactly my own personal credo. My credo is more like this: Make your viewer cry--if from beauty, fine, but if not from beauty than from whatever is at hand. Which often means eyeballs, hands, and bees.

Okay, that's ridiculous. That's not my credo. Please.

(It is.)

I didn't see my interpretation of the bloody rabbit painting as much as an interpretation per se as a statement of the obvious--the painting clearly depicts a bloody dying rabbit dying with dignity. As a result, I didn't hesitate to share my take of the painting with my mother-in-law. After all, she's the one who chose to bring such carnage into the world.

Me: "Mom, all I can say I confess to being astonished with your artistic departure here. It's a real stretch, and I'm just blown away that you'd depict suffering so purely, so unapologetically, and without blinking. I am MOST impressed. Bravo."

Her: "Blood? What blood? Where? No no. That's not blood! That's just the red clay dirt in the snow. The rabbit is in the woods resting, looking out, ready to explore the world. This is a painting about adventure!"

Me: "But the bloody rabbit is surely dying, right?"

Her: "That's not blood! It's a perfectly healthy and happy little rabbit. I'm the artist, right?"

Me: "But the artist doesn't have the final say on its meaning once it's in the public domain. The painting must speak for itself, finally. The rabbit is dying. Let it be a poor dying rabbit. Please. For me?"

Her: "You silly guy."

Me: "Anyway, I'd like to own it this painting, if that's okay with you. I want this, health and happiness in our home. Yes, that's what I want."

Her: "Sure, it's yours."

And so we do own it.

When the family visited the Cleveland Museum of Art last summer, I saw this painting (below) and took a photo of it to show to my mother-in-law.

I don't know its real name. I call it "The healthy and happy bunny taking a little snooze and getting ready for its next adventure!"

I'm such a good son-in-law.

I take the silence on the poll to be utter condemnation of my horrible cruelty. My low low no-good meanness. My petty twisted stunted stinkfoot stump of a soul.

I am so ashamed. So very ashamed. You remember Elmer Fudd at the end of "What's Opera, Doc?" after he has slain happy ol' clever lovable Bugs Bunny?

"What have I done….??

I’ve killed the Wabbit.

Poor wittle bunny…

Poor wittle wabbit!!!"

(Here he collapses and bursts into uncontrollable tears of remorse and regret.)

That's me.

Oh Andy, what have I done. Forgive me???

The most underused button of my inner mental keyboard?


The most overused button of my inner mental keyboard?