Saturday, July 31, 2010


Back to the shadows, baby

Thank goodness all that color is yesterday's business. Now for the good stuff. Everyone, give a big sigh of relief. Things are back to their proper order. And guess what's coming? Abstract images and reflections.

And, if you're well=behaved, wasps.

And eyeballs!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

New York Colors, pt. 5

Ummm....I'm kinda running low here.

New York Colors, pt. 4

And two bonus pics for my dear readers. The first isn't my fault. The music to Inception made me do it.

And here's the Ellsworth Kelly as I originally took the photo. I'm really surprised my software could turn this, below, into the third shot above. Unsettling in a way.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New York Colors, pt. 1

It's not all shadows and form, you know.

(Man, based on the comments inside, I feel like I must have been starving you poor people of color. Like a drenching rain after a drought. I'm so sorry!)


And yes yes yes!!!

Well, if I was disappointed with how I couldn't manage to line up all the elements of the last shot, I am giddily happy with how these photos turned out (after massive manipulation, natch). Because as you can see from this photo below of Jean Baptiste Carpeaux's Ugolino and His Sons--extracted by me from someone else's photo on the the web--the hands don't line up in any kind of intuitive way at first glance. Still, I was convinced a hands-centric shot was mine for the taking! I was really lucky to sneak in the shots I took, crouched way low and at an odd angle, before the security guard politely asked me to stop taking photos. In my defense, I didn't know the room I was in was off-limits to photography.

SO tempting to label this a self-portrait. But, at last, I resisted.

public art

Mobile, too. Graffit on the side of a truck in NYC.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Two Christs Suffering

The beauty of the cathedral largely did the work for me. Still I failed to accomplish what I was aiming for, which was a shot of both crucifixes, near and far, together with the single blue stained glass window acting as a halo for both Christs. I just couldn't line up all the pieces. I could either capture the two Christs without the blue halo, or one Christ and the halo.

Believe it or not I showed a little restraint. Out of respect for the holy nature of the spot, I declined from standing on a pew to capture a better a shot. It certainly felt like a sacrifice.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Red Door with a CREEPY vibe.

Guess what word comes to mind when I look at this photo?

I'll give you a hint: It's one of my favorite words and, according to Justcurious, the word I use most often on this blog.

And maybe more generally. It's creepy, baby.

That being said, I like the photo because, well, of its creepy qualities.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Shadow. An incomplete body.

What else could one want?

Da Bard

Sometimes when you're in Chicago you happen to run across William Shakespeare at the train station.

Is what you do.

You don't have to know why. You just accept it.

Is what you do.

And you love Chicago all the more for it.

Is what you do.


Nora running up a hill, chattering away, as always, like a monkey.

Oh just always.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

At the pool

Orange under bubble wrap

And the same image warped into what I think looks like a human ear.

Okay, not a human ear.

Or an ear.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New York City

Caution: The song contains profanity, most egregiously the N-word and one that starts with "sh." But no other song would do. Nothing else comes close.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Elements redux

This version is a much better marriage of music and imagery. If nothing else, it captures the, um, hallucinatory, vibe I was aiming for. Old Ludwig let me down there, I fear. I added on a surprise ending that I hope makes you smile.

Note: I changed the name of the blog back. Another victorious moment of oppression for Whitey--for all of you whities. My tiny white readership was grumbling, and though my very sizable non-white readership was remaining loyal to me (because they see my heart, my inner color, not my skin pigmentation), once again The Man gets what he wants. Frankly, I'm tired in my bones of The Man.

Makes me sing That Lucky Old Sun.

Good Lord, up above/
can't you hear me crying?
Tears all in my eyes?
Send down that cloud with your silvery lining.
Lift me to paradise!
Oh show me that river, take me across.
Wash all my troubles away.
Like that lucky old sun, give me nothing to do/
but roll around Heaven all day.



I confess the narrative arc of the video is fairly straight forward.

A penny in the mail from me to you if you guess correctly (on your first guess) where I filmed this.

And a penny in the mail from me to you if you guess correctly what the music is. No, you may not use one of those stupid apps to identify it for you. (And by "stupid" I mean "oh blessed music identifying app, I need you. Please enter my life right now.")

Ms. Wanda's Cat's Eyes

She looks kinda sorta a little eensy weensy bit devilish, but really she's very sweet.

I'm guessing.

I took this with a zoom. I'm not crazy, you know.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


This is a rain drenched cigarette urn. I really like this photo quite a lot, mostly for the composition. Of course I'm a terrible colorist; I have no idea what I'm doing that way. To me it's all about shape and shadow. The reason I took this, however, is because I noticed the cloudy sky in the reflection of the icky water. It looked like the cigarettes were floating in the sky.

Do you like the song, "Apologize" by Timbaland? Yeah, me too.

Chinatown, NYC

A good friend from high school, Kim, encouraged me to visit Ichiban in Chinatown while in NYC. I did so and bought some freaky fish candy and took a few photos, one or two of which I'll probably post soon. Across the street from Ichiban was a food store that sold all manner of Chinese produce and dried foods in crates and barrels.

I don't know what this is. Do you?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gandhi and the orange

In Union Square I came across this statue of Gandhi in a little garden enclosed by a fence. Though there were thousands of people milling around the surrounding park, no one was inside this little enclosure. Perhaps that should have served as evidence that I oughtn't have entered. But to no avail, however. Photos were to be had.

Because how often does one encounter a statue of Gandhi holding a brightly colored orange? I don't know whether the orange was real or plastic, but it seemed to me a lovely gift to give this moral exemplar and blessed martyr of the 20th century--indeed, one of my heroes and undeniably one of the most beautiful souls of modernity. Certainly placing a hamburger in his hand would have been bad form if not just horribly offensive. Though it would have been richly ironic had the cow from which the hamburger had been churned actually once held the soul of Gandhi himself. Then there would have been a kind of poetic symmetry. Or perhaps just more Western imperial oppression. Really it's your call. In either case, oranges--plastic or otherwise--were the way to go.

Ghostly building-sized blouses

Keep or remove? I'm undecided.

Self-portrait in response to Andy D's latest comment

Also happens to be my Facebook portrait. I posted it preemptively, knowing it was merely time before I was described as an mfn moron sadist.

A sad (if inevitable) day.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cubism? Or child cruelty?

A while back, Juli was down at the Alabama coast with some friends, catching the last tar ball and oil free gulf beach for a few years. Naturally I took the girls on an outing. This time we visited the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, a very funky museum that's really an assemblage of three completely separate buildings, each with its own distinct architecture. The museum is a little like a tuxedo with running shoes and a tie-dye cummerbund. Bizarre and odd but lovable.

One of the "wings" has a sitting room with some art books and pads of paper and drawing instruments. Each of us decided to draw something. I sketched my three civilized and mother-reared good little children while they were drawing. And since it turns out that my kids instinctively know to shield themselves from my pernicious influence, they accept all my shortcomings as charming or, at least, basically harmless because also dad-ish. This, I think, is a privilege dads hold with daughters not afforded them by sons. So rather than being horribly insulted that I drew them as little deformed monsters, they instantly noted the drawing's cubist features and were thrilled by it. They begged that I not throw it out but take it home to show their mother when she returned. Nora, my youngest, placed it on the refrigerator door.

My corruption is nearly complete.

I'm proud.

Very proud.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blue Jonbon

Alas, a metaphorically true pic, I fear. At least for now. Jon's a little blue right now.

I don't remember where he posed. It's a reflection, obviously, and the original photo was blue as can be. Mostly I just (over)cropped it.

My daughters hang on to Jonbon like he's a rock star. Which, in my mind, he is, of course. A robot-dancing rock star.

self-portrait and wine

My daughters don't know what to make of a father with less sense than them. A curse. They reel and fret and call upon their mother to intervene on behalf of all things good and sensible.

But to no effect.

A while back I poured myself a glass of wine and brought it to the living room, which was brilliantly illuminated with evening summer light streaming in through the windows. Contrasts were sharp and dramatic. I set the glass of wine on the rug and grabbed my camera to take photos.

DAD!!! You're going to spill the wine and ruin the rug!!!

A warning which, naturally, led to my absolutely horrible on-the-spot rendition of Eric Burdon and War's Spill the Wine, a song which takes me back to high school. I was at Stevy Shanker's house preparing for an upcoming debate tournament. I didn't know Stevie all that well, but he had an older brother, which was kind of cool. We worked in the basement, and Sammy, the older brother came downstairs and put on this song. Then he made some cracks about reefer or weed and reggae. At that time I had tried neither weed nor wine, and I'm sure I thought reggae was a rated-R style of music. So it was all bells and whistles to me, but I did know that he was talking about something exotic and out-of-bounds, and that was cool. From a safe distance, of course. It was an adult moment, a rare one for me in high school.

Back to being an adult and exasperating my children. I brought my camera and took some photos of the wine being lit up by the light, but my mojo wasn't flowing. Probably because the wine was in the glass and not in my veins. So to jump-start the mojo, I decided to capture both the wine and eyeballs. I put the camera on the ground pointing up on the other side of the glass. I peered just over the edge the the glass so I could see the lens. I tried to position one of my eyes to capture the evening light. Once these pieces of the puzzles fit into place, I clicked. So you gots your wine and your eyeballs. Throughout it all, poor Eleanor was practically besides herself now, just convinced I'm going to spill the wine everywhere. I kind of ignored her and cooed and reassured her that there's no way I'd spill the wine ("I'm a pro," I said), without believing it myself.

I don't blame her; her concern makes perfect sense. Wine glasses should remain on tables or in the hand. We once hosted a sizable party and one of our guests put her glass of wine on the floor. I sort of fixated on that glass, just waiting for it to to fall.

It did.

Which leads me to note my only form of premonition. At least three times now in my life I have had had a premonition of a drink falling. Once wine, once diet coke, and once milk. The premonitions were vivid, realistic, and followed-up by the real thing within a few seconds of the premonition. There wasn't even time to worry about whether the vision would transpire. It's like it's already occured, and when the real thing happened it was nearly anti-climactic.

A different shot, this one converted to black and white.

Why don't I have premonitions about, say, what stocks will do in the future? A shame, really.

Bugs of summer, pt. 1

Alternative titles welcome.