July 28, 2008
Taking an outside photography class is not the best of circumstances, but it is a thing I must do. This class will push me, I can tell. Also, it's such a large class that I get lost in the mix of things as I'm likely to do given an opportunity.
We went downtown yesterday - something I asked for, but who knew that 95 degrees translated into 950 degrees on the black asphalt? I should have. I wandered for a while but was overcome by nausea and exhaustion. So, my shots were few ... but I think my time wandering back to my car were the best because I didn't point my camera where everyone else was pointing. The Alabama is a grand old theater and there are hundreds of photographs of it over the years.
My eye was drawn by a handdrawn love note on frosted abandoned glass - "David hearts Britney". I wonder if it is still true. I gathered my story about a stranger - well, if a classmate counts as a stranger but I didn't get her picture. I think I was shy to ask because she is a class mate. I will practice this more as it's not to the place yet I want to share.
July 27, 2008
July 25, 2008
I made several changes to my blog page, including putting up a slide show of my lastest uploads to flickr. I feel so freaking fancy. I like the new green layout....it feels more serene.
I would totally adore a huge fountain coke right now with that pellet ice and a slice lemon. Doesn't that sound refreshing? There is nothing like that bite of acid in a cold coke when it hits the back of your throat. It's one of those painful pleasure things. I would also like a massage. (can't blame a girl for dreaming)
This weekend I'm going to go some place strange (to me anyway) and sit next to someone and let them tell me their life story - as long as its not too gross. Or weird. I don't really care for full out weird until Flannery O'Connor is writing the story. This is the beginning of a new project if it works out. I've seen that one project where you post a shot that you took each day - but I think this one is meet a stranger a week for me. Unless I chicken out....or something.
We have this guy named Tom at our office. He's in change of the management team that operates our company's nursing homes. He wears a headset all day because he's constantly on the phone. His voice naturally carries because, well, that seems to be his personality but, wow, he really talks LOUD. When he had a health scare last week, I knew all the details before he told the big boss - I heard his discussion with my boss. Our offices have a glass wall and I think he talks loud because of the headset. So the reverb is overwhelming. Maybe it's that whole deaf thing that he can't hear how loud he is....who knows, but damn.
Over the course of writing this I've decided I'm leaving the office at 4:00. I've had all the fun that I can have at the office this week and have wrung that dishrag dry. It will put me in a good mood to leave - like I'm getting away with something sort of naughty. Maybe I will stop and get that fountain soda and instead of lemon, get cherries. Do they still make paper straws?
July 24, 2008
To love and to be loved is the greatest feeling in the world.
Ahhh, yes it is. Then why is it so difficult to remain in love with the one person that should love you for the rest of your life? Yourself? Constantly we pick and nag at ourselves and in projecting outward, we are amazed that anyone else in the world would stoop to love us. And if no one loves us....are we loveable?
Balderdash! Of course we are loveable....well, except him...and possibly her? No....if we reach in and know ourselves - love is possible. So, what about love? That inner delight? That place of "ahhhhhhhh"?
So many negative messages bombard us from all sides...it's easy to lose sight of what is loveable about ourselves. We're too fat, we're too skinny, we're too tall, we're too short. Your skin is too black, too white, too yellow, too red, too light, too dark, too.....just too damn too.
We blame it on our heritage.....I know I've pulled that card before. And trust me - being raised in Alabama is a heavy burden to bear sometimes...I'm told by the public that I'm the stupidest, the fattest, the most prejudice....not me personally of course...but it builds up after a while. Soon, the public messages become a private monologue. "Why did I say that, man, I must sound like a hick."
....and on the battle goes. And heaven help us if we develop a bit of confidence and fly that flag. Then, we're arrogant, overbearing, a bitch, a bastard....vain....attention seeking...well, you get the picture right? "It's hard to be humble when you're as great as I am."
Well damn...more power to you. I wish you all greatness....now let me go scoop up some of that for myself.
July 23, 2008
Inside the door is a tiny little pool table the boss "gave" us in lieu of a Christmas bonsus the year we moved into this building. Prior to our ownership, the building was a notorious pool hall. Renovations of the original building started with the sulfurous odor of eggs baked over two years when the original business closed. The building was gutted to the steel beams and remolded into the staid lines of a financial gnome. But....the pool heritage remains. After six years the owner's wife insists on decorating the tree in a pool hall theme and the conference room has many kitschy items related to pool and such. So, instant karma and photo ops abound.
As I left for school, the rain began. In fits and starts before finally settling in for the night. Somewhere in the night a hurricane dipped south and missed us so early in the season. Today, the sun cannot decide what to do. It is dancing inbetween banks of grumpy clouds, trying to beat them back with its brillance. About 20 minutes ago, the clouds declared a brief victory as small, tiny pails of water overflowed onto the pavement....now, the sun is laughing hysterically at this pitiful breach.
I know if I step outside, the sun's punishment of humidity will instead envelope me in blanket of sweaty mittens that smell like Molly's bedding. It's the price of peas and cornbread in the summer. So like Ignacious writing his wisdom, I fan myself and know...this is a breakdown in the system that peas don't grow in the winter.
July 18, 2008
--- coffee with vanilla and caramel coffeemate - yum
--- leftover birthday cake - filling but unsatisfying
--- knowing it's Friday - yay...and oh, yay
A friend talked recently about milestones - what they are and how we mark then. The first year after anything significant ends because something is always the first something after....you know... after. So we struggle through, marking events after a disaster. Actually I don't think of those as milestones. Anyway - it's funny what runs through your mind at times like those. Now I'm firmly into my next decade....It feels, well weird.
I started back to photography class on Tuesday night. It feels so comfortable there - knowing a group of people and meeting some more addicted personalities. For my birthday, I bought myself a 50mm lens and I'm looking forward to playing with it this weekend. How I wish Villi & GSG were here to do a photowalk together. Though I have photography friends, none of them seem to be as into the urban stuff as I am.
Have you ever just sat down somewhere and started a conversation with a total stranger? I like doing that. Seeing where their life has taken them and at those interesting times I wish I had my camera with me. In my life I've talked to many. Last weekend I talked to the gardner in the botanical gardens and as we chatted my sister and then her friends joined in. This hard working woman, her face stamped by years in the sun and dedication to something she loves, sweat pouring from her brow - my fingers itched to take her picture but I didn't want to make her uncomfortable. Everything we touched she had a story about - if she couldn't name it, she knew where it originated. This reminds me that I need to write a letter to the paper. Have you ever written a letter to the editor to thank someone instead of complaining? It's one of my new things over the past two years. Too often we complain and never stop to say, "thank you."
So....thank you. The times you've bolstered and held me up when I was drowning. Thank you for the times you made me laugh when I was crying. Thank you for listening when I felt the most alone. Thank you for good times and bad. Thank you for kicking my ass when I needed it.
July 12, 2008
Off in the distance, as the sky darkened, I saw splashes of lightening bouncing angrily through the clouds. Grumpy and strong, it fought to break free of its bounds to lash out before burning out in an instant.
Rolling on to the east the plane droned its constant hum as pieces of conversation drifted in and out of my mind. A vacation, a business trip, a harried mother of three, a baseball team coming home from defeat, and unaccompanied children off to visit grandparents - happiness, weariness, and just working to get through the day. In front of me the guy with long legs decides to push his seat into my lap. I never get that but decide not to let it interfere with my musings.
The flight attendants pass out sodas with mechanical precision. The guy by me has already slipped one attendant some green to get his beer early. Tiny envelopes of pretzels are dispensed along with brights smiles selling chips for three bucks. I pass on the chips.
We land and I'm runover by the guy that had to get to the baggage claim 30 seconds before me to wait five additional minutes. My bright pink tag beckons as I grab and then leave the airport. Another trip behind me. I always learn something on the road - like the possibilities of round rainbows, Little Rock has a beautiful river bluff and that the sky is an endless place of wonder for me.
Today, my sister JM will be here and though I'm exhausted I will rejoice. She is a light in my life and makes my world brighter when we hang out. She's bringing two friends and we're going to some of my favorite places. I am happy.
July 11, 2008
Yesterday, I saw the most amazing thing while I was flying. A round rainbow. A circle of rainbow and it was so beautiful. The clouds below me were whisps of clouds and who knows why I choose those moments to stare out the window instead of burying my head in my work. But as I stared, I saw a round rainbow following me. The sun was sharp cutting through the clouds and the angle created beautiful pinks and yellows as the plane cut through the dawn air. The rainbow danced along with the plane, peeking in and out as the clouds would thin and then build back up too thick to refract the light. It only lasted five minutes before the plane altered the course enough that I could no longer see the rainbows. It seemed like a dance just for me.
I've always loved rainbows as a child - a reminder of happy puddles of rain and loud thunderstorm tea parties. I miss the screened in porch we had when I was in second grade. My mom would make tea and would let Becky and I make peanut butter crackers to have with our tea. We would sit out on the porch while torrents of rain would bend the trees and misty bits would make our hair damp.
But...I turned my head back to financial spreads and correcting the document before me. But with a lighter heart.
July 9, 2008
Relationships have been on my mind lately - the whys and whynots of how they work out (or don't). I read a quote by Pearl Buck where she basically says every mistake has a halfway point where one is capable of calling it back before the mistake happens. I wonder about that. When we are barreling along that traintrack - can we really call it back? Even if the thought runs through my mind ('shit! this is a bad idea.') I rarely stop and assess the situation. Usually I grab the nearest umbrella and dive off that cliff anyway. Sometimes I think the situation can be repaired if it doesn't go well - sometimes, well - I have this bad habit of thinking I know best. Yes, I know - the perils of being an oldest child. (We're bossy and think we're sometimes smarter than we really are.)
Is making the bad choice really better than making no choice? There is that old adage about loving and losing - blah, freaking blah. But in that losing - does it gradually build up until we have enough of loss totally? And we give it up - loss that is. I don't know - these are just thoughts in my mind and nothing and no one in particular.
I know that no one can enter into a relationship with the idea or attitude that it could end tomorrow because, it probably will if you send that message throughout the time together. Look hard enough and you will find enough wrong with someone to push them away. And, an unforgiving heart usually dumps the whole shabang over the cliff.
So, I sit and I think. I go and I do. I ponder and sigh. Relationships will always be a great mystery to me - a puzzle solver. And...that's okay with me.
July 2, 2008
One of his(her?) articles discusses the recent Rolling Stone article about 40 songs that changed the world. I've posted the list here - as Mr./Ms. Listie explains - the magazine has reasons....but I formed my own. Like them, love them, hate them - I'm sure everyone has an opinion. (I thought it was tres cool that Dylan made the list TWICE)
1. Elvis Presley - "That's All Right"
2. Ray Charles - "I Got A Woman"
3. Chuck Berry - "Maybelline"
4. Bob Dylan - "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"
5. The Kingsmen - "Louie Louie"
6. The Ronettes - "Be My Baby"
7. The Beatles - "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"
8. Martha and the Vandellas - "Dancing In The Street"
9. The Rolling Stones - "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
10. Bob Dylan - "Like A Rolling Stone"
11. The Beatles - "Strawberry Fields Forever"
12. The Velvet Underground - "Heroin"
13. Aretha Franklin - "Respect"
14. Jimi Hendrix - "Purple Haze"
15. Led Zeppelin - "Whole Lotta Love"
16. James Brown - "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine"
17. Marvin Gaye - "What's Going On"
18. John Lennon - "Imagine"
19. David Bowie - "Ziggy Stardust"
20. Bob Marley - "I Shot The Sheriff"
21. Joni Mitchell - "Help Me"
22. Bruce Springsteen - "Born To Run"
23. Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody"
24. The Ramones - "Blitzkrieg Bop"
25. The Sex Pistols - "Anarchy in the UK"
26. Donna Summer - "I Feel Love"
27. The Sugarhill Gang - "Rappers Delight"
28. Black Flag - "TV Party"
29. Michael Jackson - "Billie Jean"
30. Prince - "When Doves Cry"
31. U2 - "Pride (In The Name Of Love)"
32. Madonna - "Like A Virgin"
33. Run DMC and Aerosmith - "Walk This Way"
34. The Cure - "Just Like Heaven"
35. Guns N Roses - "Sweet Child O' Mine"
36. Public Enemy - "Bring The Noise"
37. Dr. Dre - "Nuthin' But A G Thang"
38. Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
39. Britney Spears - "Baby One More Time"
40. The White Stripes - "Fell In Love With A Girl"
Personally, I think the list fizzles when it lists Britney over some other bubble gum pop...well, the list really fizzles because it allows bubble gum pop (period). And maybe Kurt is rolling over in his grave being just above Britney. There are some glaring omissions to me. Say, hmmmm - Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding, Blondie. I'm sure I could come up with some others. But these songs changed the face of music for their times.
Songs that changed my world?
1. Bridge Over Troubled Waters - Simon & Garfunkel
2. Suspicious Minds - Elvis
3. I Wanna Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
4. Maggie May - Rod Stewart
5. Pride (in the Name of Love) - U2
6. Respect - Aretha Franklin
7. All Along the Watchtower/Knockin' on Heaven's Door/Lay Lady Lay
8. Sweet Home Alabama - Lynard Skynard
9. Don't You (Forget About Me) - Simple Minds
10. These Arms of Mine - Otis Redding
11. What's Going On/Sexual Healing - Marvin Gaye (I couldn't decide, sue me)
12. Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots
13. Heart Shaped Box - Nirvana
14. Everlong - The Foo Fighters
15. So Far Away - Carole King
16. Rain - Patty Griffin
17. Hurt - Johnny Cash's cover of NIN
18. Under the Bridge - RHCP
19. Low - Cracker
20. One - U2 (yes, I had to close with them too!!!!)
....A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked. ~Anais Nin
To which I replied.... nothing because it was perfect just as it was quoted.
Have a beautiful day.