Monday, February 28, 2011

Some days

The lady who walks the Irish Setters every day. The same two old dogs are a perfect match for her, and the three of them well-synchronized. Then last week, four, another younger along. Today, down to three, but you know the arrangement. Her countenance, her constancy, each day of the routine these many years, she knew and prepared.

She walks past the guy with the "Work Wanted" sign. Has to. Every day. I should have been 90 seconds longer leaving the house to know much more.

A young woman, maybe an older girl, stands on the corner surrounded by posters decrying abortion. She has grisly blow-ups. The teriaki place behind her is closed today. I've browsed their reading material while waiting for service. Not too much of a leap for me to put it all together.

And these kids walking hand in hand. Why does she look at each passing car? I've seen the same in rougher parts of the city. Same with the gas station attendant on break, smoking her menthol. Prettier than the cashier but doesn't need the competition. (Practical Math was her favorite subject in school.)

Four boys piles out of a small Honda, hats cocked and speaking in a dialect foreign to their heritage, menthol smokers themselves, but here for energy drinks, so they are yet un-couraged to return the attendant's gaze.

I've some road to cover.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

This is my brain on

I have a big day ahead. 100 or so young artists wait with night-crawlered breath for a decision made by a panel of three, myself included. I have no idea how many will make the cut, but hope those on the losing end can find their way to regeneration. Something like that, but I'm a bit pressed for time. It will be I who chooses best for a small cash prize.

 Yesterday, while waiting for calls to be returned, I neglected to make another more important than the others. 
That, and other things.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Second Study

We had six more inches of snow last night. I had already told DW that the ready access to the waterfall I visited yesterday would merit multiple trips throughout the year as the water level drops and increases, and the foliage changes. So, the snow gave me a reason to head over again. I wasn't the first person to visit it today.

No real mystery here, though. I had submitted last week's waterfall to the local photo blog, and being locally situated, the site at which I took the photos was known to a guy who lived up the road and commented as much. He contacted the photo blogger, who in turn contacted me with his contact information, and we have since corresponded, he with his own point-and-shoot of yesterday's falls. The very same falls for today. A man's and a woman's footprints showed in and out from the falls. No tire tracks.

Yesterday's falls made it to the same photo blog, which I imagine inspired their visit. Yet, I suppose if I lived as close, I would visit often, and indeed the gentleman corresponded that he took frequent walks through the woods along that creek, so the desire may have instead been nothing more than habit.

Speaking of close reminds me of detail, part of yesterday's comment section after mentioning it at the end of the posted photo series. How to give some idea of the clarity of a 48" x 72" format I now have available? I hope this works.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jay Steensma at Pulliam Gallery

My latest review is up. In it, I deal with a fairly complex issue, that being mental illness and the artist, and where such a person fits into culture. I could have written more.

Snow and a different waterfall

I wish I could share the large-format, full resolution shots with you. My lord, the definition!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ahead on time

Cathy and Becky were sniping at each other at last night’s pub freeroll. Cathy, trying to get a clue, and Becky wholly lost were it not for a certain unreflective bravura. Exercise in contrast, when I think about it more, their men perfect matches and with parallel (de)merits. Couldn’t tell you their names because I don’t pay that much attention with all of the noise. It’s all I can do to push with the Aces and get two-outed.

Cathy asks, “Aren’t you going to rebuy?” And when my response is in the negative, “I can’t blame you.” It may have been imprudent to earlier acknowledge an allegiance, and may necessitate another prolonged absence, for a cycle known as a willing ear could get nasty. Own counsel and such, I’m sure you understand.

But it’s a small town, and a neighborliness sometimes forced, like giving the lady-tweaker $2 even though you don’t believe for one minute that her cat is without food or litter. What cat? Or calling the mayor about the paraphernalia still being sold at a local convenience store. It evens out, kinda. You do what you can.

So, when Cathy tells me her daughter is interested in going to an art college for photography, and she happens to be at the game, I offer insight, referrals and, apparently not knowing when to leave well enough alone, advice.  Privy, Becky pulls out her point-and-shoot to find something we just won’t believe, but loses it in her tall rum and Coke and discussion of another player’s lineage.

A couple things running through my mind this morning. A bit reflective, a tad anticipatory, as this here is post number 999. I’ve done the math. July 18, 2008. And I know I’ve taken a couple week-long breaks in there, which, of course, brings into question quality. Not that I’m fishing, mind you. We’ve known each other too  long. Nor doesit bother me too much that we might — just might — be able to muster a couple tables for a sit ‘n’ go.  And the best thing I can think of at the moment is what a game that would be!

But that’s only one of the ruminations. In fact, I have to recant “a couple,” for that’s simply not the way I spin, but I’ll try to keep as on-subject as I can.

I have given some thought (and is, in one aspect, where poker is similar to posting here) to shelving this project, try new approaches, breech my butt, so to speak and illustrate, into something purely autonomous. But I know me too well, raised properly appreciative and alienated, and now with a taste for it. Way back when there was a subtitle to this thing, I will confess that only poker held out its hand to me. I could leave it at that and not mention that working the soil — but not love of the land — had already lost its allure. Or that in the transition and preoccupation, an enthusiasm was lost; yet hope remained for a better time to find it again. What this blog has since become.

Now that I’ve found it, if infinitively so, at the same time I am aware that I run some short-handed danger, I beg not celebration but endurance, for it does matter alone that I sat down to write, but along the way came a little community.

Now who’s intrepid?

Five paragraphs

Monday, February 21, 2011

Well, I ain't the only paranoid one out here. Of course, my machinations are less founded than some.

I received a phone call this morning just as the sun was cresting. Didn't get the callers name right but knew who it was. I had left a note.

My head —not my voice — cleared in time to find a pen and paper to take down the needed specifics, and then waited for a more a respectable hour.

Access granted.

And this is what all the fuss was about. Just another waterfall. Or rather, just another picture of a waterfall.

I had problems: Suspicion at the gate, but soon cleared with assurances of limited publication of the site and not of the location. And I am certain a recognizable drawl in discussions of specific crops and their dwindling markets helped. The climb down was steep through blackberries, but manageable at a fifteen minutes per fifteen feet clip. The spray, for there was quite a bit, messed with the light and my lens, and the sun was all wrong. Intrepid, I am, yet forty photos or so, for the most part panned out poorly.

I now regret assurances that I would not be a bother in the future.

Still, sow's ear and such, there is always Photoshop. You see, as with most photography of this ilk, the place where one seeks a firm footing offers much more inspiration than the disembodied product. Yes, a more proficient photographer might have stopped up or down, and someone more adventurous may have disregarded a soaking for a better vantage. So much of life is spent in the better light of after-the-fact, in a fantasy world of sorts, which, sometimes, is not all that bad.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Suffice it

My mind and body are in accord today, which is not saying much in that both seemed to require eleven hours prone. I could give specifics, but as symptoms, clear reasons still elude; nevertheless, my conclusion remains, and so comforted, I can manage to attend to some matters at hand.

That mis-named road, as it turns out, contains a story:

Unsure of my memory upon return from the drive yesterday, I went to the Eye-in-the-Sky for clarification. Following along to find exactly where the transport folks determined to make the sign change, I saw something rather surprising: a little gold castle icon with a name unmistakably religious, even if suspiciously fringe. To make matters more interesting, it's placement was in close proximity to a geographical site in which I have shown interest in photographing, but without permission from the heretofore unknown owners of the property, have restricted myself to the adjacent pavement. Now, with perhaps a clue, I made further inquiry with the aforementioned Powers.


Or perhaps lordyish, for the trail I followed found many paths converging upon one straight and narrow precept of alienation and superiority close to home. So close that I dare not instigate with specifics. Persecution does funny things in the abstract.

News items state that the property in question has been confiscated by those unrecognized by the previous owners (for as we all know, there are no required alms or records to keep beyond the Pearlies, and that also holds for those gates in a physical form herein), yet I am of a sufficiently cautious mind that should I approach, current tenants may still hold the fort, so to speak. The news, after all, precedes the icon.

All of this after leaving my business card with a request for information at a house across the road. As of this writing, I have received no answer.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Back on the clock

The cat has a persistent fascination with a bundle of cables and my cameras. He wants to lay on and amongst them, even though a pad has been laid not eight inches away specifically for his rest.

Back out at the pond, skimmers, water beetles, and camouflaged fly larvae are in abundance. I wait for the salamander newts to make a show.

The dog has alerted us to a pile of feathers under a shelving unit near the storage shed.

It was a good day for a drive. I discovered something about road names that may have caused some confusion in the past and sought a remedy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The frogs either have not noticed or care a
light dusting of snowline begins at our pond.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The 23rd floor

Off in the distance, and through a forest of high-rises, lay the ocean. It was much closer than the view but still a hoof. The canal was much closer, just across the street, and somewhat beyond that, jungle.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Finally home

I have always said that one pays for time off before and afterward. I have a bunch of work that awaits, yet, as one might imagine, there is a period of adjustment. I will ease my way back with a few final photos from the trip.

I say "final." Surely some things will linger.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I have been informed that I should expect some snow Wednesday. I shall instead concentrate on the comforts of the familiar. A fire in the wood stove will do me well.

Two words dominate this tourist destination: a greeting and a gratitude. I even asked: What is the word for 'please'? The former, of course. It is a curious linguistic dynamic.

I had a little unfinished business to attend tonight. First, I must change tense and thank those of you who have bothered to follow along on this adventure. Your hits and comments have been most welcome and I thank you. Second and fair warning, I have more. Third, I will now address a certain subject.

I saw this guy the first night here.

Bells, I tell you, frikkin clarion bells. I imagined that I would walk up and ask him how much he charged for a portrait. Upon naming his price, I would offer him the same amount to allow me to take a series of photos, close-ups, action shots, those sort of things. And tonight, as I told DM, I went out with that expressed purpose. Except he had a client, the massage hawker's girlfriend.

And then I saw something — something for you astute observers — that made me leave him to his story.

As I have been writing this, someone in a facing room has been putting on a show, purposefully back lit. Now it is over.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Something to do with those photos that just don't cut it

I'm taking a lot of shots on the run, digital fun. On-the-fly sly. In other words that don't rhyme, hoping for the best with pre-chosen settings that  means it's often literally and figuratively a crap shoot. A lot of blur, which had me thinking about why we take photos, and that reason is often to be able to capture a moment we care to embrace against the vagaries of time and otherwise threaten to become more elusive memories. Just a fancy way to say so we don't forget. I got nuthin'.

But yeah, fading. Some of it not worth keeping but stored nonetheless. So, with a nod to the artist Hans Wijninga, I made postcards to be sent from the future as the forgettable moments.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Photo dump!

A little Johnnie Red to soften the edges, and the car battery taking just so much of a drain in a state of perpetual alarm, sleep eventually came. But not before I hatched a plan. The camera may be the passive/aggressive's best friend.

 This knowing full well that I share something in common with the above fellows.

 These sandwiched fellows are everywhere. Some talk to themselves. Others, when speaking to another, are unintelligible. I shall refrain from extrapolating.

Holy shit!

Car alarms, sirens, televisions heard in the adjacent rooms, hookers, hawkers, never-ending traffic, a Las Vegas without the gambling or escapist fa├žades. Who in their right mind would ever come here for vacation? More importantly, how the fuck am I going to sleep?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Change of scenery

For some reason I am turned around. I know the sun sets in the west, and I know that we headed south today. Yet for some reason I think I am on the east side of the island, and to make matters worse, I just now had to call up a map to finally figure out not only where I where I had gone wrong, but also where we went today. It's a little embarrassing, and a bit more difficult to explain how exactly I envisioned my current location before arrival or how I remained oblivious as to the name our final destination, so in the end, I must apologize to the entire Pacific Rim. I just have to.

The Ring of Fire, right? Well, I might not have known I was smack dab in the middle of it aside from the type of rock everywhere unless I saw for myself some activity. OK, I'm overstating, to what end I haven't a clue. Comedic effect, maybe. I really just want to show you some pictures. But first, I have to find a map.

The two pictures above are of the Kilauea caldera.

The below building met its demise at the hand of Mauna Loa. Had the particular flow been 100 feet further to its north, it might be more than a photo op. (We weren't the only ones to stop.)

 Today I learned that the below flower is found on the `ohi`a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha), what is referred to as a pioneer plant, as it id one of the first plants to establish itself in an area of recent volcanic activity. It matures into a sizable tree that is also found within the islands jungles.
Tomorrow we leave for Oahu.

I won't miss the roosters crowing at 2222hrs.