Monday, February 28, 2011

Yes, Divine Portents CAN Be Unambiguous


I stepped out the door, saw this, and I had to laugh. It looked like God posted up the answer to somebody's prayers; and the answer is...

a big fat 'NO!'.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cool Tattoo Et Le Petit Prince

A mystical-looking image on a pretty girl at the market. The Etz Chaim, the Tree of Life -- or possibly it's Yggdrasil, the World Tree? But with those lower branches spread like arms the tree looks curiously anthropomorphic. I think it's a Mandrake Tree.

Which reminds me of something that happened years ago. I was at the Tower Records on Sunset Blvd. (it's no longer there -- the store I mean, not the boulevard), standing in line to pay for my purchase. The young woman in front of me was wearing a tank top, and I recognized the tattoo on her back as the last illustration from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, the one that shows a lone star shining above an empty desert.

I said, to the back of her head, "That, to me, is the saddest and the most beautiful landscape in the world", nearly-quoting the memorable first line from the last page of the fable.

She turned and looked at me with surprise on her face, obviously delighted to have run into a kindred spirit, and said "Yes, but to me the stars are laughing" -- not quoting so much as encapsulating another passage

Thus we began a whole little discussion about The Little Prince and Saint-Exupéry, feeling so cool and literate (well, I was -- don't know about her; for all I knew, she spent her evenings engaging writers in highfalutin' discussions in chic, slightly-shabby cafés frequented by unpublished professional poets). I was actually beginning to think: Hey, we've maybe got something going here... Then she asked what CD I was buying. I showed her my Luscious Jackson album with the sticker stating "Includes the hit, 'Naked Eye'". She wasn't impressed.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Another Blustery Day

Today we finally had sunny weather after several days of dampness with occasional sprinkles. It was, however, quite windy, and the sky was the clearest and bluest I'd seen in some time, with very dense, pristine white clouds. While driving to Mom's for our weekend lunch together I observed a huge, very solid-looking mass of whiteness over the horizon to the northwest and could not resist snapping off several shots.

Checking out the photos later, I came across this striking image.

I took the shot through the front windshield, and the bright spots at the top are actually spots left behind by raindrops, lit by oblique sunlight. They sure look like snowflakes, though -- or, against the dark, intense blue of the sky they could be stars, despite the sunlit road and facades. I love how the conjunction of the night-in-the-day-with-snow illusion with the stark, high-contrast light and nearly flat colors has resulted in a surreal, magical image, like something out of a storybook (you really should expand the image to appreciate it properly).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Today's Hummingbird Photo

Check out the first photo (no zoom) -- can you spot the birdie without expanding the image?

Zoom 0

Zoom 1

Zoom 2

Zoom 3

Zoom 4

Monday, February 21, 2011

An Almost-Story


Sometimes I'll come across a cloud formation that's tantalizingly suggestive -- clouds whose shapes seem just on the verge of being recognizable, like a half-remembered memory. Maybe they look as if I should recognize them from a tale I read or heard long ago, if only I could remember which one -- or maybe the shapes suggest a story being acted out in the sky, except it's not quite clear enough for me to articulate the plot. Call it The Secret Language of Clouds.

Sometimes it's as though I were vaguely remembering something of my former life; not specific memories as such, but more like a feeling, of what it was like in a different life, in a different world.

In Korean folklore each person's soul is a star that's come down from the sky to dwell for a time on earth. When they die the soul returns to its true home in the heavens.

When I die, perhaps I, too, will go back to dwell above the clouds again.

Precognition Again? (#2)


I was going through my old dream journal when I found the following passage buried inside the entry dated January 27/28, 1997:

"A precognitive dream: In the afternoon I told Diane about the apparent precognitive image I had a few days before, when I imagined a simple experiment in physics [Edit: clearly, what is meant is that I observed/conducted this experiment in a dream]. A heavy weight suspended by a chain would be started swinging like a pendulum, with exactly the right amount of energy to swing right up to a person’s face without smashing into it. Next morning, on Crook & Chase, the talk show, Bill Nye the Science Guy was a guest, doing the exact same stunt with the show’s hosts".

Then below it I found this rather amusing entry dated April 22/23:

"Waking Memory Intrusion: 1. Before going to sleep I had finally made it through the final chapter of Doom. In a dream I physically went through the part of the maze that leads to the last gate. 2. I had put the vacuum cleaner out on the balcony during the day, and the possibility of rain had briefly bothered me, but it was a scorching hot day and rain was extremely unlikely, so I left the vacuum cleaner outside overnight. I dreamt it did rain. Possibly the rain-like sound of trees in the (very)strong wind outside helped to bring on the dream. When I went to retrieve the vacuum cleaner(in the dream) I found that I had already put it away. This anomaly should have been a *cue*, but I did not recognize it as such".

**At this time I was experimenting with lucid dreaming. I was trying to cue myself within the dream to become conscious without waking.

Sam's Digs: Northeast Corner

An island of calm amidst the chaotic crunch

Sam's Digs: Room Divider (Southward)

Actually, I think it's stuff that spilled out of my brain.

Sam's Digs: Western Wall

With part of the northern wall

Sam's Digs: Northern Window

Middle window of three

Corner of northern window

Saturday, February 19, 2011

More Old Art


Among the comments I probably overheard at the opening of this group show:

#1. "Men tend to eroticize the anima"

#2, "Are those organs?"

#3. "Wonder if his girlfriend posed for it (giggle)"

#4. "It's too busy; too many things going on"

#5. "Ha ha, I love it"

#6. "Why did he paint her on book pages?"


#1. Yes, we do.

#2. Yes, they are.

#3. Yes and no;  someone I was in a relationship with did serve as the model, but I had to change some things because she didn't want to be recognized by her family.

#4. Yes, it's true.

#5. Yes, it's lovely.

#6. So that it would look intellectual instead of pornographic.

Cloud Creature In Travel Mode

Cloud creatures are not limited to fixed forms, that much we know already. They have shown that they can adopt different shapes to suit their purpose, including--apparently--the invocation of particular psychological responses in observing humans (to be sure though, more often than not they seem to take on shapes that connect to the more atavistic and primitive parts of the human psyche). It stands to reason, then, that when these creatures need to travel at speed, they would naturally adopt a functional, streamlined shape to minimize air resistance.

It is believed that this rather eerie image shows a cloud creature in just such a state of metamorphosis.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Emergent Moon



I was leaving work, and just as I stepped outside I was transfixed by the arresting sight above(well, by a slightly earlier version of it). If I had come out half a minute later, or if I had left by the back door as usual instead of the front door, I would have missed it. I shot several more frames, but due to the quick movement of the cloud and the slowness of my little point-and-shoot camera, these two are the only ones to capture the Moon in the process of emerging from behind the solid-looking, glowing cloud.

One of my favorite painters, eccentric loner Albert Pinkham Ryder, painted a number of scenes showing the Moon as a pale, glowing disc amidst thick dark clouds. I think Ryder would have liked these.

3 Totally Random Images

This was taken on the aforementioned trip to Seoul, South Korea, in the fall of 2008. My cousin Tami/태미 (who is an artist herself) took me to this gallery that was filled with two thousand hand-painted wood cut-outs of dogs; each one unique, and all made by a single woman. It had taken her 5 years to make them all -- 400 a year on average, and since she probably didn't work on them every single day there must have been days when she made several; now that's fast work! [and dedication -- it took me a decade, working off and on, to make 1,200 little faces...] I wish I could remember the artist's name..! I will for sure amend this entry later to include her name.

Edit: I have been informed by Tami that the artist is Yoon SeokNam/윤석남 (hope I got the English spelling right), a well-respected figure in the S. Korean art scene.

Then there's this one, from the same trip. It was a drizzly afternoon and I was wandering around Cheonggyecheon/청계천, the small but beautifully sculpted river that flows through the northern part of Seoul/서울. Passing by an office building I observed this scene of office workers taking a cig-'n-coffee break. They kind of remind me of a flock of birds for some reason... penguins, maybe?

Speaking of birds, I also came across this cafe/bakery with a birdie(dinosaur?) in the display window near Insadong/인사동, the arts and crafts neighborhood.

Anyway, so here's the real point of today's post: earthworm rescue update! It's been a rainy night and morning, and just a little while ago I repatriated another worm/지렁이 from the sidewalk. There's been a dearth of worm strandings lately for some reason, and I had actually come to miss the tactile intimacy of holding the little creatures in my hand (I'm weird, eh); well, this one was big and I was actually a little afraid to touch it! And forgot to take a photo until the operation was complete, so no photo this time.

Number of worms rescued so far: 24

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Today's Thrift Shop Purchase

Proof that there exists/existed at least one hen that lays/laid brass eggs.

Wonder if her husband the rooster had 'balls of brass'? (come on, you knew it was coming).

And any chick that cracked its way out of this egg would have been totally awesome.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Black Rainbow

First, the cloud creature with the dark beam of un-light (January 11 entry).

Now, an un-rainbow of darkness over downtown Los Angeles.

The signs are there. The Apocalypse really is upon us.

Edit: Hahaha, just noticed that skywriting message off to the side looks like a partially completed (partially erased?^) 'HELP'! Can you say "serendipitous"?.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Cloud Found!


About two weeks ago, I noticed this unusually regular hole in the clouds.

It looked hauntingly familiar, but I couldn't remember where I'd seen it before. It kept bothering me ever since, and this morning I finally started going through all my old photos. I have A LOT of old photos and it was a fairly daunting task. Fortunately, before long it occurred to me to search my blog entries first. Good thing, too, because et voilà! look what I found under July 6, 2010!

I'd stumbled across the original home of that lozenge-cloud! Apparently the mother-cloud has been staying around all this time, keeping its shape! Perhaps it was hoping and waiting for the return of its peregrine progeny...

I love, love, love it when a cloud stays around.

I remember another cloud from about four(?) years ago. It looked just like a big wild goose flying south for the winter. I still find myself scanning the horizon now and then, half-expecting to see it flying back from the opposite direction.

Edit: I was kind of wishing that the mother and child clouds would get back together and become whole again... but then it occurred to me that if they did reunite, I would never know it -- the hole in the cloud would be filled, and I would not recognize it any more. Not only that, it also occurred to me that perhaps the mother cloud has lasted so long only because it misses the little cloudlet. Once they reunited, the happy cloud would then go the way of all clouds and fade away forever...

I hope the mother cloud never gets its wish. I hope mother and child clouds will remain apart and live forever.

Urban Fossil I

Mysterious creature with black head and transparent tail

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Moon Over Parking Lot

Good To Know

Always give high-voltage power lines wide berth -- electricity flows through them under extremely high pressure; if a line were to spring a leak, this is what would happens:

Anyone caught in that jet of pure electricity would have been fried.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Today's Thrift Shop Purchase

To paraphrase Freud:

"Sometimes, it really is just an old, stained ashtray".

However, it does remind me of a certain someone -- an exquisite, beautiful someone I felt very close to, despite the differences in our respective circumstances -- because she understood my needs, and I understood hers.

Our families would not have undertstood; we had to meet in secret, away from disapproving eyes -- and cop a smoke together.

I've quit since then, but she never did -- wonder whose cigarettes she's lighting now...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Disaster Averted

Today a band of terrorists hijacked an advertising blimp (actually a dirigible) and flew it into a building.

What they didn't know is that a blimp is, of course, a kind of balloon, an empty shell filled with helium. Despite its size it possesses very little mass and, with its limited speed, is completely useless as a missile.

The blimp bumped, sort of clumped, into the building and crumpled, sprang a leak and began to sink slowly. There was no fire, since helium, a noble gas, does not burn. By the time the blimp reached the ground the police were waiting.