Monthly Archives: March 2015

FIRST GREEN in the natural world (Photo 101-Day 9)

BIG (Photo 101-Day 8)

Map by Tim Kinson, North Fourth Art Center artist. A world BIG FRAGMENTED AND A LITTLE RAGGED.

Map by Tim Kinson, North Fourth Art Center artist. A world BIG FRAGMENTED AND A LITTLE RAGGED.

BIG isn’t really easy to take a picture of if it’s an ordinary day and you don’t have very much time and there are NO BIG buildings or sculptures around. Oh sure, there are the Sandia and Manzano Mountains just east of town but they’re not BIG mountains and this is BIG Sky Country but mountain and sky shots are best taken someplace other than my parking lot at work.

Maybe the perfect photo op will come to mind if I make a list of a few of the words we’ve turned into iconic phrases by putting the word BIG in front of them: deal, man, picture, time, Apple, Gulp, Mac and two of my favorites, freakin’ deal, wide world.

I can see there still might be a problem. I am not going out for a Big Gulp or a Big Mac just for today’s photo. Nope, no way. BIG? Hmmm….

I know!  My Big 2015 Trip. BIG2015TRIP. B15T. From Bergen, Norway on the Atlantic Ocean across the Eurasian Continent to Beijing, China on the Pacific Ocean. By land and sea. Just me.

BIG.

Beyond BIG, today’s assignment/challenge is to consider point-of-view.

So here it is. Something Big—as in the world. Shot from the POV of me gazing at its whole or various parts with longing, excitement and maybe a little fear!

 

CONNECTED! (Photo 101-Day 7)

Fear of Being Connected is a State of Mind, baby! Whatever makes you feel as in touch with people and places as you want to be is what you should do. You want one or 5000 Facebook Friends? Pick. You want to blog, tweet, other stuff? Do it. You do not want to do any of that. Do not do any of that. You want to limit your connections to real live human beings and animals? No animals, just grandchildren? No neighbors, just your work comrades? IT. IS. YOUR. CHOICE.

That’s what I love about right now in this time and this world. Soon every single thing will be electronically connected–my computer to my car to buying and eating my cereal to wiping my butt. And every single person you have ever known will just be sitting there in the Cloud waiting to drop onto your shoulder for a chat about your attitude.

Back then, we wrote letters and had different physical things called keys for doors and drawers and cars and cabinets.

But right now, lucky us, there’s a moment of choice. So get over it. Enjoy…

 

 

SOLITUDE Approaching Dusk at Tingley Beach, Albuquerque NM USA: DAY FIVE/PHOTO101

Tingley Beach and the Bosque along the Rio Grande make up for Albuquerque’s many less desirable traits. Love this place. It is my place for outdoor solitude, thinking, liking where I live. It’s best at dawn in the summer but right now isn’t bad either! Used both my Nikon CoolPix and Galaxy 5 Smartphone. Not surprisingly Galaxy doesn’t really work as well for getting up close and personal from a distance. Did that make sense? No, after Photograph 101 with WordPress I’m hoping to be able to talk ‘photography.’

DAY FOUR/PHOTO 101: BLISS=BOOKS

My definition of Bliss: The moments, hours, occasionally more than a day, when I have this sense that there’s plenty in my life; that I’m doing exactly what I want to do for this time in time, and that I have the means to make it last a little longer. Sensations of sufficiency elation harmony anticipation; separately good—all at once…blissful.

Easiest path to bliss in my life. Books. Always. Here, to tell you that story is a picture book.

The First Book I Remember.

The First Book I Remember.

When I was four, I had a Geography Book. Couldn’t really read much of it but I dreamed through those pictures of the world outside.

Dreaming. Then.

Dreaming. Then.

Dreams are still dreams. Just answered more quickly these days.

Dreams are still dreams. Just answered more quickly these days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as I could read there was a wall of books at school to which I had unlimited access and a library in town. I dreamed books. Literally. In my dreams the books I wanted would be lying next to me on my pillow and I would, literally, reach for them when I awoke, only sad to find they were’t there until the next trip to library.

There's a tiny part of me that is always blissful as long as I have books.

There’s a tiny part of me that is always blissful as long as I have books.

Through my life as a perpetual student I’ve studied history and literature and writing (even when I was supposed to be focusing on education and social work). It seems I immerse in a genre and then move on, but only sort of, because I never leave my previous literary infatuations—I just make them share with the next love.

History, literary fiction, travel adventure, travel literature, political and social commentary are always just a shelf away but the competition for my attention is pretty intense.

First, because there are always newbies, virginal in their Barnes and Nobel bags— without dog ears or creased covers—stirring stories to be lived vicariously. Secondly…

There is no end to the dastardly deeds committed right here. Mostly by Scandinavians.

There is no end to the dastardly deeds committed right here. Mostly by Scandinavians.

Then there’s the main competition, the kind of book that never leaves my bedside table or bed. Crime Fiction, generally of the international kind. More specifically of the Nordic Noir branch of the big bad crime family. It’s my go-to remedy for melancholy and tedium; it is both escape and companion for wanna-be outsiders like me.

My favorite Swede and my favorite Norwegian and my Whole Foods Christmas Tree to remind us of northern forests.

My favorite Swede and my favorite Norwegian and my Whole Foods Christmas Tree to remind us of northern forests.

My obsession with Nordic Noir and present desire for semi-immersion in Norwegian literary fiction come together right here. It is indeed blissful to contemplate the past, present and future in this photo. My somber Scandinavian soul has had many chilly adventures with that dour Swede, Kurt Wallander, and Kurt’s entire life is always only an arm’s length away for me to revisit at will. Past and future bliss assured.

Present. This weekend. Late winter/early spring 2015. I am experiencing many hours of bliss with Karl Ove Knausgaard, Norwegian writer of recent fame. To admit that moments of annoyance interrupt this bliss is okay isn’t it? After all bliss would not be a special state if we weren’t constantly reminded that most of life is otherwise.

Before and After he started smoking.

 Come to think of it. Knausgaard can account for the past present future components of bliss all by himself. The books are ever so appealing; it took a long time to read the first; now a long time to read the second; and there are three more to go. The pleasure of now coupled with eagerness to finish one day. Bliss and anticipation. All rolled into one. Wow.

DAY THREE/PHOTO101: Water Water Everywhere and … well, not really!

 

GOLDEN LIGHT FROM FLASH...OKAY!

GOLDEN LIGHT FROM FLASH…OKAY!

A water theme for today. Not easy in New Mexico. I thought about driving down to the Rio Grande before work for an early morning photo op but I probably have a thousand shots of my poky brown river already. Water? It would be a rare day to see any sign of water on my way to work so won’t rely on that approach…not this bright sunny morning. Each day must be a new photo; I think that’s a rule, or at least it’s my rule. Can’t go back in the files to the Mississippi or Niger or creek up home. That was all then, this is right NOW.

The morning’s weather email says ZERO chance of moisture for next seven days. No waiting until later in the week for this photo.

Here goes then—6AM to Noon for water—waiting for water. It’s 10:02am. No new ideas.

CONTINUING WITH THE ONLY WATER I HAVE SEEN TODAY…Except brushing my teeth and in the shower…and it is way way past a time in my life when a selfie in the shower would have been interesting.

COULD HAVE TAKEN A PICTURE OF MY COFFEE BUT THAT WASN'T PURE ENOUGH FOR THIS "WATER" POST.

COULD HAVE TAKEN A PICTURE OF MY COFFEE BUT THAT WASN’T PURE ENOUGH FOR THIS “WATER” POST.

LET A ROAST FINISH ITS BAKING ON THIS POOR DECREPIT PAN. NOW HAS TO SOAK FOR AWHILE. YES, THAT'S WATER.

LET A ROAST FINISH ITS BAKING ON THIS POOR DECREPIT PAN. NOW HAS TO SOAK FOR AWHILE. YES, THAT’S WATER.

DAY TWO/PHOTO101: STREETscene

I like the busy composition of street lights, utility poles, oval of birds...

I like the busy composition of street lights, utility poles, oval of birds…

No idea what I'm doing with editing but pretty no?

No idea what I’m doing with editing but pretty no?

Beauty is only Skin-Deep, Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder, Pretty is as Pretty Does…All quotes we need to remember when we talk about Albuquerque.

If you’ve been to Albuquerque, New Mexico you know it will never be on one of those HuffPost lists of the 10 Most… In this case… Beautiful Cities. Or. If you watch for Albuquerque, New Mexico in the news you also know it will never be on that list of the 10 Cities where you are Least Likely to Get Shot by the Cops. Finally…if you look on a last week’s New York Times map at Albuquerque, Mexico we still aren’t beautiful but at least it makes us feel international and exotic.

But Albuquerque is home. I have lived here a long time. I love it. Sort of.

Our assignment for Photo101 today is “Street.” So I paused this morning on my way to work for a shot here or there of the streets in front of my work and near my house. Mostly big picture…a few a little closer up.

Think I’ll try my Smartphone camera tomorrow.

MY FIRST BIG PHOTO-BLOG PROBLEM is figuring out how to post photos in different arrangement in my blogs. I guess this isn’t directly about photography so maybe I should be going to a different source for this info. Suggestions are always appreciated.

Continuing to play with street scene, big picture.

Continuing to play with street scene, big picture.

And closer.

And closer.

And CLOSE.

And CLOSE.

 

 

DAY ONE/PHOTO101: HOME IS WHERE THE GENES ARE

DSCN8299

First Photography 101 post. Since I’m already at work I couldn’t take any cozy apartment photos but I thought starting at the beginning of me could count as HOME.

I’m full-blooded Scandinavian: 7/8 Norwegian/1/8 Swede—family fact. According to Ancestry that’s mostly true (93%) except for the 7% Russian, Irish, English—The Northern People. Those Vikings did get around, didn’t they? This map is my world, where my DNA originated. HOME.

Map too faded. Wrong angle I guess.

Map too faded. Wrong angle I guess.

If it seems like cheating to begin with a map, I have actually discovered one of the hardest things to do with my little Nikon Coolpix is to take photos of indoor art of any kind without getting glare from a lamp or flash. Even going out of doors didn’t resolve the problem of angle with the map all faded and the pipes brighter. I did fool around with settings a bit but to no avail.

I suppose if I read all of the instructions that accompany the camera there might be a resolution for this!

So tried in my darkened office, lit office and outdoors. Only outdoors worked. And it turns out I like the idea of my gene’s home propped up on the gas or water pipes or whatever they are out back of our building.

 

SUNDAYS

So yesterday (Sunday) while cooking and drinking beer and watching Fareed and crime I made a post. A silly post. Here it is, even sillier on Monday morning.

And on the Seventh Day or Whenever She Had Time…. Fareed Zakaria with the King of Jordan. Strong milky coffee. Times. Fly in the Ointment—tax-related docs papers bills receipts spread all about. It’s not that hard to get my papers ready for the accountant since I don’t make a lot of money, own nothing except an aging car, second-hand and IKEA furniture and trinkets from around the world—oh yeah and my new North Face jacket!

Fleece-lined Tights Support Creative Sloth, Slow Cooking, and Rampant Anglophilia. Love Sundays. Never go to work-work unless it is critical on Sundays. Never depart my pleasant apartment on Sundays. Never take off my pajamas on Sundays.

So. Honestly. Do Sows Have Souls? Does Bill O’Reilly? There are cooking Sundays. My favorites. Usually my life is media-saturated. Books, Classes, Netflix, Aljazeera, CNN, PBS, WordPress, Facebook. My media purveyors always at hand—Surfy on my lap, TV a few feet away, books all around, newspapers piling up. It’s all good except when it’s not.

But Not On Cooking Sundays. For awhile I divest. I just chop and brown and pour and taste. I drink a little wine or beer. Sometimes, like now, I write or read a little between tasks. But the point is I don’t have to. Today is for fun. I’m going to incorporate some writing prompts from my current class into this post-for fun. All between that chopping, slicing, browning stuff. And between sips of Alaskan Amber Ale.

Today, I am preparing Roast Pork with Milk and Sautéed Kale with Alliteration. Here are all of the writing techniques we are learning to use more effectively in my Lyric Essay class:  Image, Prose as Poem versus Essay; Metaphor, Line Break-Paragraph Bread, Spelunking with Diction, Rhetorical Questions, Assonance, Alliteration and Repetition, Apostrophe as Entry and Exit, Isolating the Senses. I want all of these wonderful devices to become second nature in my writing. Is that possible while cooking and drinking?

Once I Worked in a Restaurant. I Was Not Very Good At It. I Quit Before I Got Fired. Into the kitchen. Rub roast with salt and pepper really robustly. No spare sprinkles, rub dammit rub. Into the hot oil. Ouch. Splattery browning hot. Won’t really smell like a Sunday roast until the onions get tossed in…close bedroom door. Don’t want to be someone whose clothes tell the tale of the tastily tantalizing but powerfully potent treat you’ve just prepared.

Never Relinquish Your Right to Reorder the Day. I did not read the recipe carefully. After the 1 ½ hours of cooking with lid on pot, there is another 1 ½ hours of lidless time. Hmmm. There’s the beer, the food, the nap, the shower before Downton Abbey. Always the joy of life is overwhelmed by decisions.

Kale is Not My Friend and I Cannot Cross Enough Lines to Make It So. Afternoon. Crossing Lines on TV. Little bit high from my two bottles of Alaskan beer. Pork roast smells. That rich smell of bloody meat browned onioned oiled salted simmering. I’ve left the house heat on because it’s a chilly day, sunny of course—New Mexico after all—and the doors and windows open. Just for a little while. I’m sautéing the kale with garlic and olive oil, add pepper flakes and wine, how can this be bad? Awful. I hate it. My last attempt to learn to love kale. I am finished with you oh green curly vegetable so popular, so beloved of foodies. In fact I hate you. I’ll never be a real foodie, will I? But Crossing Lines is a great international crime adventure. Netflix. Makes me forget kale.

The End.  Except for the album of glorious cooking photos.

IT ALWAYS STARTS OUT LOOKING GREAT DOESN'T IT?

IT ALWAYS STARTS OUT LOOKING GREAT DOESN’T IT?

A FORMERLY HAPPY WHOLE FOODS PIG.

A FORMERLY HAPPY WHOLE FOODS PIG.

THE RECIPE CALLS FOR PEARL ONIONS--WOULD HAVE LOOKED CLASSIER...BUT THE STORE WAS OUT.

THE RECIPE CALLS FOR PEARL ONIONS–WOULD HAVE LOOKED CLASSIER…BUT THE STORE WAS OUT.

I WILL NEVER COOK OR EAT OR BUY OR CONSIDER KALE AGAIN. PRETTY IN PICTURES THOUGH.

I WILL NEVER COOK OR EAT OR BUY OR CONSIDER KALE AGAIN. PRETTY IN PICTURES THOUGH.

OKAY. WELL THE MILK CURDLED. WHY DOES THAT HAPPEN. SO NO GRAVY BUT THE MEAT WAS SUPERB.

OKAY. WELL THE MILK CURDLED. WHY DOES THAT HAPPEN. SO NO GRAVY BUT THE MEAT WAS SUPERB.

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