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Because I skipped a few too many days of posting and now I have all sorts of random everything to get down.


1. I stayed home sick from work on Friday. I got this weird cold from Joel that seemed to go in reverse, starting with a nasty cough and winding up with stifling head congestion. I felt like somebody had switched my head with a cinder block overnight. Luckily it was a pretty swiftly moving bug, so I started feeling shitty on Thursday, but was basically functional by Saturday.

2. Which is good, because on Saturday, we had the first spell of nice weather in a good two or three weeks, and I really hoped to get outside and take a few pictures. After the Truman Rd. photoshoot and a neighborhood side-street ride that Joel and I had done together, I had scouted out some potentially cool places I wanted to take pictures of, and had been just chafing at not being able to get out and do that. I’ve uploaded most of Saturday’s pictures in the set called 12th-14th, Euclid to Spruce 1-28-08 which is part of the Urban Photo Highlight Rides project. Saturday’s weather was perfect for that, and perfect for the ACME afternoon ride, so I spent most of the day outside. Consequently, the fresh, cool air helped clear my head, and I felt pretty damn good come evening.

3. Which is good, because we’d been planning to have friends over to dinner over at Joel’s house for some while, and I meant to get over there early and do a bunch of prep so that when folks showed up, we could get dinner together quick and have a nice, hot, fresh meal together. We did an Indian themed meal, and I made Paneer for Saag-Paneer, and three different chutneys: a cucumber-yogurt one, a cilantro-mint-and-onion one, and an onion and paprika one. I also prepped the vegetables for a Madras curry that Joel cooked and got my stuff together for actually cooking the Saag Paneer. Joel fried up a mess of papadoms, and we all sat down to quite a feast. Justin & Steph had brought vanilla icecream and frozen mango, but by the time we got through with the chutney, papadoms, and curry, nobody was up for dessert. We learned that three-year-olds really dig papadoms. And are not so interested in saag-paneer.

4. By the way, the chutneys were freakin’ awesome and I will have to share the recipes. The recipes are bookmarked on Joel’s computer, so I’ll have to link them the next time I’m at his house.

5. I cut my hair this weekend, and it’s pretty dreadful. I’ll share pictures soon. It’s shocking! I did this to myself about three years ago once, and should have learned my lesson, but no. I’m not going to be even vaguely presentable for a good two to three months. I hope I will never do something like this to my head again. It sucks to have to go around with a head that looks like a woodchuck’s ass.

6. Today was one of those days that had me cursing everything that Adobe had ever created, and most specifically Illustrator and Acrobat. Illustrator’s a goddamn pain in the ass and having to copy-and-paste stuff from a Word document into an Illustrator document is kind of like trying to build a retaining wall out of live rodents. It’s inhumane, doesn’t work well, and ends up looking pretty dreadful.

7. I’m pretty proud of my new profile over at Flickr:

I am a complete hack and utter barbarian.

My camera is way smarter than I am.

Any pictures that I’ve taken that came out looking pretty good are not indicative of any skill on my part.

I don’t have any pretensions of being a fine artist, or even a capable photographer.

I take pictures for my own amusement and share them just in case anyone else might enjoy them.

With that in mind, I hope you find something to enjoy about one or another of my pictures.

8. One of my friends recently wrote about her son’s creative endeavors at pre-school. He’s an imaginative and mischievous child who definitely does things his own way, and he interpreted the class project of making styro-snowmen in a totally different way from his schoolmates. His snowman’s body was entirely covered in buttons instead of having a few down its middle for “coat-buttons.” His snowman’s face was on the top of its head. The explanation for these unusual features were sensible. The kid liked the look of buttons, so he used as many as he could. The snowman’s face was on top of his head because he was looking straight up at the sky, warily noting the sun coming along to melt him.

I wish I’d had such good backstories to the gruesome artwork I produced as a child, but as the fact of the matter is, most of what I produced as a schoolkid was the product of caprice, boredom, and just being a little shit. I also had strange aesthetic ideals involving color.

This last is in high evidence in a Christmas ornament I made in Kindergarten. We fashioned bead-strung snowflakes by first making an asterisk out of three pipecleaners twisted together, then stringing plastic beads on the arms of this star-shaped armature. Children who had any aesthetic sensibility chose white pipecleaners and clear, silver, or blue beads, or some combination thereof. I, however, had chosen red pipecleaners and every color of beads that was in the bead-box. Pink, orange, yellow, lime-green, even coffee-brown were in evidence. If I wanted to make something “pretty,” it had to involve every color available.

Well, I take that back. I didn’t generally use brown, black, or that uninspiring grey-blue that Crayola called “cadet blue.” But whenever I drew a picture or broke out with the paintbox, just about every color I had was represented.

I didn’t think I liked art classes much. I didn’t take direction very gracefully, and we were usually given explicit, step-by-step instructions for what we were supposed to do, without a lot of wiggle room for interpretation. I didn’t take art very seriously – I considered it akin to indoors recess time – a sort of playtime with supplies. I tended to get very silly with my creations and amused myself, if nobody else. Therefore I manufactured a six-legged clothespin lamb with eyes on either end and a Valentines box in yellow, purple, and green, decorated with oragami spiders and pipecleaner willyworms.

9. Find below my favorite photos from Saturday:

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