Monday, May 12, 2014

Seen This Morning



Another curiously sicence fiction-looking one, I think.  Like one of those 'mother ship' type spacecraft beloved by UFO conspiracists everywhere.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Two Evenings Last Week

Hmm-- ads are invading the blog, even though I've never asked for sponsors.  Is this just happening to me, or do others see them?  I regard this blog as a kind of artwork, both a record of certain aspects of my life and a creative project, and would never consider cluttering it up with advertising messages.  How annoying...


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Some Recent Acquisitions

(Not all from the junk shop across from the office)


Not everything is represented in this photo, which shows a very old American movie (silent!), a pretty old Italian movie, a so-so old Japanese movie and a recent Korean one.  Plus an ornament which puzzled me at first, because I thought it must have a function other than looking pretty.  And I made a conscious decision to pick up an old bad habit I quit years ago.

Anyway, I didn't know anything about the plot of the Chaplin movie 'City Lights' other than that it involved a blind flower girl who mistakenly believes Chaplin's character -- yet another incarnation of the Tramp that he made famous -- to be a wealthy man.  [HERE COMES A SPOILER -- SKIP THE REST OF THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU WANT TO FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF WHAT HAPPENS;  BUT IF, LIKE ME, YOU DON'T MIND HAVING PLOTS SPOILED, READ ON]  For some reason I thought the movie would end without the girl -- now able to see thanks to the Tramp's sacrifice -- ever discovering the true identity of her benefactor;  I was gratified to find that she does indeed learn it was the Tramp who was responsible for her regaining her sight.  And as I watched that ending scene, my eyes welled up with tears... whaddayagonna do, I'm just an old softie that way.

One more thing -- I also bought a new hat today.  A derby, similar to the one the Tramp always wore.  I don't know if this qualifies as one of those 'degrees of separation' things, but the reason I became interested in the Chaplin movie is that I am something of a fan of the Korean singer IU (yes, that's her name, pronounced Eye-You), whose last album featured a song titled 'Modern Times', which is a tribute to Chaplin in his guise as the Tramp (and by all means check it out on YouTube -- it's a pretty good song, promise^).  In looking up the Chaplin movie the song is named after, I came across 'City Lights', with which I was vaguely familiar, and impulsively ordered it online.  Once it arrived though, I let it sit on my coffee table for weeks without opening it, and then just a few hours ago I finally watched it.  Maybe it was the derby sitting on my head that gave me a subliminal cue.


MAYBE I'LL GET A FEDORA NEXT

[Here's my other hat:  Selfie With New Glasses And Bad Haircut]

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Five-Egg Day

The other day my lunch at work included an egg.  It had been a while since I'd tasted egg, and I really enjoyed it;  so when I came home I decided to make a three-egg omelet (with ham, mushroom and cheese -- my favorite kind).  Except I prepared too much of the stuffing -- so I ended up adding a fourth egg.  I really hadn't intended to eat so many eggs in one day, but it was delicious^^.  Also this time I was successful in plating the omelet completely intact (to be fair, it was somewhat overcooked, which probably helped to keep it from breaking up).


Related Posts:  The Ugly OmeletAnother Omelet

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Success, Sort Of

BUT AT LEAST IT'S PRETTY

Finally caught a hummer in mid-flight in a relatively clear shot, except that dang branch happened to intrude itself, making the birdie look sort of like it's attached to the branch by the head^^  So this is actually another one of those "Oddly-Timed" images.


Related Posts:  Patience Pays Off!Another 'Just Looks Odd',  Another Well-Timed Shot

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Selbstbildnis"

WILLIAM BLAKE'S GIFT/PROPENSITY/MADNESS

If there are godlike beings who see all of humanity in their 'true' form, to them I imagine I look something like this when I am experiencing a mild panic attack -- as I did while taking a math exam in 4th grade.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Odd Little Dreamlet

Strange -- it cannot have been more than 2 days since I had this dream, yet I cannot recall whether it occurred during a night's sleep or an early-evening nap.  Anyhow, what makes it intriguing and somewhat humorous is that the dream was about this blog, or more specifically one of its running themes, the 'Verbal Synchronicity' series (it's a collection of memorable coincidents, particularly the kind that happened to include a linguistic element -- where I happened to read or see a certain word and simultaneously heard someone speak it next to me -- if you haven't come across these posts before, check out the link at the bottom of this post).

In the dream I was talking to someone about red beans (the kind that's also known in English-speaking countries by the Japanese name 'azuki'), with the radio playing in the background.  It was probably an echo of one of the movies I watched last weekend with my friend Ev at one of our 'Korean Movie Night' get-togethers;  red bean porridge was featured prominently as part of the plot.  Anyhow, just as I said "red beans" in the dream, someone on the radio said "adzuki" (as I heard the word I simultaneously saw the word in my dream head, and it was spelled with a 'd').  I immediately made a mental note to my dream self to post it on this blog as the latest Verbal Synchronicity incident^^

Related posts:  Synchronistic Incidents

Friday, April 11, 2014

Airliner Hummingbird


Big Phone Doodle

I call these free-associative figures "phone doodles" because they owe their origins in part to the little meandering doodles I used to absently draw while talking on the phone.  Then I began to draw them deliberately sometimes, when I was bored.  Like today, when I had a lot of free time at work.  I just kept making more marks and this one grew and grew, putting out buds and pseudopods like some  monster plant, and I had to tape on extra pieces of paper to accommodate the growth.  It ended up being 17 inches high, and I did not want to just chuck it in the trash after using up so much graphite.


The eye of hindsight notes the vaguely fractal-like character of this figure, its thematic spiky shape being repeated at ever decreasing scale.


Also, I find it interesting that the maze-like construction and multiple outlines bear more than a passing resemblance to certain automatic drawings that I've seen,


 and also to some of the products turned out by psychiatric patients in art therapy, perhaps most famously represented by the cat paintings of Louis Wain, who is believed to have suffered from schizophrenia.  Check out these samples of his work for comparison:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Patience Pays Off !

IN AN UNEXPECTED BUT DELIGHTFUL WAY

For a long time now I've been trying to catch a hummingbird in the midst of free flight, close-up.  Which is pretty much impossible -- the critters move so fast and so suddenly that a lumbering human with a cheap hand-held camera could never hope to move quickly enough.  The most one can do is to find a bird in repose, aim the camera and wait -- zoomed in halfway so that the partial shrinkage of the visual field, which decreases the chances of snapping an image before the subject flies off-frame, is balanced out by the increase in the size of the image if one somehow manages to click the shutter in time.  A compromise of compromises, but that is all I could come up with.


And that is what I was doing today with this hummingbird, when it suddenly spread its wings, leapt off the branch, then quickly returned to its perch, only to take off again immediately, this time not to return.  I pressed the shutter convulsively, certain it was useless -- and sure enough, when I checked the image there was no flying bird silhouetted against the sky.  Foiled again..!


But then, I noticed something, and when I zoomed in, I realized I had inadvertently caught the bird at a truly unique moment -- the very instant it was launching itself off the branch!


I love this image!  And I'll wager there are no other hummingbird photographs like this on the internet.  In this "shoving off" position it looks so odd and awkward, so out of kilter with the usual, dragonfly-like grace of its kind;  makes me think of a child making like a flying superhero with its arms stretched forth^^.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sun Tree Iridescence



Another Well-Timed Shot (On My New Computer)

MORE RANDOM ASSOCIATIONS

My computer crashed a while back.  It's been almost two weeks since the last post, but finally my new computer is hooked up!


Anyway,

this image reminded me of:  #1. the old naval tradition of marking the crossing of the International Date Line with a ceremony;  and #2. the Relativistic effect of different observers experiencing the same event as occurring at different times, depending on their frame of reference (^^).

Related post:  A Well-Timed Shot

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pair Of Crows

This slightly odd chance image made me think of technical illustrations showing objects in different views^

And inversion layers and heat mirages.

Perhaps a crow haunted by her freefloating shadow...



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Parking Lot Cracks

Two weeks ago I had occasion to visit the County library at Montebello.  While walking up the parking lot I noticed numerous cracks in the asphalt that had been filled in.  They made for some very interesting designs, so naturally I took out my camera and photographed the best ones.  Some look like mysterious writing, others rather resemble humorous cartoons, and some have been 'enhanced' with little whimsies of my design, to complete the picture.