Thursday, March 18, 2010

Big A, little m...

Newest fixation... he's the cutest baby ever. ever.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I still do this:

Breakfast is my favorite meal. I have my reasons. One day, I would like to have taken enough thoughtful photos of delicious breakfasts to make a little gallery of them. I have so few currently because they are usually consumed before that can happen, as it should be. Yes, that's fake bacon. I have my reasons.

Ever since the dentist cleared all the stuff out of her side of the garage, I look like the one with a bit more of a stuff-collection. Granted, I live there. She just stores her printer paper and outdated machinery in there.

Fred's fur is iridescent in the sun.

Really, Mario? Really? That's clever...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Holiday photo-blogging:

My little "christmas miracle" (the 18 year-old, sweetheart kitty with no clue of her age) had some minor surgery but immediately recovered for her usual games of undercover-marimekko-eskimo in her follow-up role in "the world is not enough"... Wait what..? Didn't the ice castle set get destroyed..?

I did this for Christmas. It was fun/funny... lots of hilarious moments. I manned the beverage station.

When I got home from volunteering on Christmas, Fred was so happy about my decision to take the rare nap that she sat on me and purred... she's been doing this as she gets older because she's cold a lot... she weighs less than 6lbs now.

After the (non)nap, I headed to Dockweiler Beach for a bonfire, and my good friend's birthday... which is on Christmas... so his parents named him Jesus... he doesn't go by that...

I pet-sat for these little buddies over the holidays. Not together - the dog (Julie) for my cousin's family and the cats (Fat Boy and White Boy) for a friend. Every time I went to visit the cats, I would get the song "Waiting for my Man" by the Velvet Underground in my head. "hey white boy, whatcha doing uptown..?" It was hard to imagine Lou Reed was talking about this cat though...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"You ain't lost, you just on this side of town."

I had to try hard to keep the sheer glee to myself when I heard this and just listen to the man's directions. In my mind, though, I could picture myself bubbling out the ears with joy at the gem that had just been uttered before me. I knew I wouldn't have to write it down and I knew I would never forget it. At the time, I had a mere inkling of the statement's potential complexity, but over the next couple days I spent working and getting lost in Austin, Texas, I realized how little the 7-11 clerk's words had to do with my geographic location and how very much it described my transcendental state.

The next three days were the first time since April that I had worked more than one day at a time. I had a few jobs throughout the summer, and things have picked up a little this fall, just like I knew they would. Until now though, even if I had more than a one day contract, they were never consecutive days. Still, I kept a positive attitude and was frequently being told just how encouraging it was that, despite having never been unemployed before, I just never stopped trying to find work and stay busy. Hell, it wasn't that much of a challenge.

Recently, after almost seven months of unemployment, for about a week I thought it had finally happened - I was bored. When I mentioned this to a friend, Grace, she said to me without even thinking about it, "Yeah but bored for you is like most people's normal." And just because of that, I was ecstatic again. I realized what a gift this time off has been for me and how much I have changed from the time I stopped working at my corporate job in April. I've also noticed how many people have sort of been following my little transformation, whether because they too are unemployed and haven't quite had the time to approach it the same way, or because they are still unhappily employed at a time when pay increases have been frozen and morale is at an all time low.

During this time, I've been purging my apartment of everything I just don't need and have made room for a tiny home-office in the form of an Ikea desk by a bedroom window where my cat sometimes sits on my lap as I write or process images. I remember what I eat now that I'm not too busy too cook the healthy, fresh food I love and I've had time for enough exercise to have lost at least 15 pounds. Over the summer, I was giving my grandmother rides to her weekly card games. It was nice to have a reason to just slow down and do something for this amazing woman who has done so much for me. I bought, not only my first digital SLR, but my first new camera ever! (Pro SLR anyway) All my other cameras have either belonged to my former employer, been handed down from my dad (Canon AE-1 which I still love and use) or otherwise second-hand-gifted awesome-film-relics, or were a point and shoot or a Holga. I got a tan this summer and here, at the end of November, I still haven't let it fade.

When I do work now, it's just the part of the job I love and none of the work that bored the crap out of me while sitting in an office, working for someone else. For the first time, almost ever, I don't feel the need to think so far ahead about how the job I'm doing now will get me to the job I want after this one, or in 5 years. I am really just doing what I love and enjoying both every minute of it and every minute in between.

So when an acquaintance I haven't seen in a while Facebook-asked "when did you get a positive attitude?" after my last day on the Austin shoot and I status-wished every day could be that good (partly because I saved-the-day! by convincing the hero to take off his shirt for the photos and scans, despite the fact that the scene for which they were needed was weeks away from being filmed - no, these skills do not work with real men), I was able to really see how much I had changed over the last seven months. All the contempt for my inability to leave a job I liked most of the time yet needed to be laid off from is gone. All of my self deprecating sense of humor seems to have melted away when I stopped working with people who always thought they could do/improve my job (because every one's a photographer these days!) and now I just get hired by their bosses and never have to deal with them because they mostly lack the social skills needed to function in the places I work. The cynicism and sarcasm I used so much in the past? What's the point? (see above) But I've lightened up quite a bit and can't help but see humor in new places - like the oldies station at the laundromat when I forget my iPod and it feels like Elton John is always playing, like people who mispronounce words or use the wrong ones entirely (Star Track vs Star Trek, kitchen vs chicken!), and like those people in a hurry at the supermarket and want to know if they'll open another register when (clearly) no one else is around.

No, I ain't lost, I'm just on this side of town. Life is good over here. I'm not going back.

Some photos from this side of town:

light bulb shop

studio parking lot, still daylight

Well than I must be the richest woman alive!

New dres, anyone?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

mind control in modern society...

Humans have an electric charge - this is not news. And we are affected by all kinds of things in the natural world because of it like the sun and the moon, the way other people smell and feel, plus all the chemicals and electrical junk inside our own minds.

During the cold war, the US and our friends the Soviets found out that we are also affected by external sources of electric influences. And once we realized we were all brainwashing each other, it became clear that the tiny batteries inside our skulls which are spent doing very little (besides deciding what to eat or who to fuck) can be greatly influenced by things such as light, color, shape (or form), along with more complicated influences like sonic frequency, magnetic forcefields, and other things that sound like something out of the movie Weird Science.

Having grown up in a planned community where much of the city's electrical infrastructure is underground, I became very interested once I left in what seemed to me like an elevated skeletal structure in bigger cities. When I eventually moved back to Los Angeles, where I was born and my family lives, and when I started traveling somewhat locally, I was able to observe the way the electricity and it's support structures connected cities and states to one another. Even in the small suburban city where I grew up, I was able to see, in retrospect, evidence of a society saturated in light, color and shape in it's lamp posts, traffic signals, and in the simplest forms like stop signs.

And it all made me wonder, who designed all this? Who was the architect/engineer in charge of the very first street lamp? Who decided that traffic signals would flash red green and yellow lights? If we know that certain colors have specific effects on people in fast food restaurants, and we know that flashing colored lights have either helpful influences on children with ADD (phototherapy) or negative effects on epileptics, who's to say that the flashing red light signaling an approaching train has no effect on drivers? How do we know that the red octagon with the white letters "STOP" doesn't somehow limit us - isn't part of the reason that humans use a supposed 7% of their brain, or some equally embarrassing statistic? How do we know that the white street signs in Beverly Hills vs the blue street signs in Los Angeles don't cause different emotions towards these different cities or their authorities? (Yes, I realize the obvious hole in my hypothesis being location - if I were right - people in remote locations with no electricity or semiotic influence would be geniuses, but just for the sake of argument, let's just pretend...)

Obviously, I'm just posing questions which have probably been brought up and left unanswered by countless nuts before. However, before I get to my photo-point, I just want to note that the Japanese are on to this too, despite their passive approach:
Also, it's not an accident that Hello Kitty has no mouth. The fact that she says nothing or has nothing to say was a very careful DESIGN decision. If Hello Kitty had even a line for a mouth, Japanese girls would grow up thinking they could do something besides just pose pretty for pictures and would run their mouths like us American women. See? Mind control through form.

Now on to my point. When CVS took over Longs Drugs, as soon as I saw this new CVS sign, all I could think about was the sign it reminded me of: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. I've spent about two months wondering how similar they were since there isn't a Krispy Kreme THAT close to me and I really didn't feel like looking the logo up online or searching out Krispy Kremes in a store - I just don't care that much. I even had a dream that my brother made us all (the sister, his wife, and I) stop at the Albertson's nearby to purchase some because they used to sell them there. Today, I finally was near a Krispy Kreme and got both a doughnut and a photo. Not as close as I remember but it still makes me question a) what company made these signs? Was it the same company? Is there a trend in polygonal shaped signs these days? and b) was it simply my hungry-little-mind that made the connection or was this really a case of subliminal mind control achieved through similar shape choice by the same sign-design company? I know... it ALMOST seems like a completely useless quandary but what if I'm... right...?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The men in my life, boss edition...

Sometimes I wonder how different my life would be if I had to rely completely on the kindness of women who knew nothing of me, nor me of them. I have to admit, while my entire adult life has been meticulously engineered by no one other than myself, the only people outside of my family to come through for me, to offer me any kind of opportunity with no previous example on my part indicating my aptitude or abilities have been men. That is not to say that there haven't been numerous women who have come through for me, who have given me chances and job opportunities beyond my wildest imagination - it's just that they've never done it intuitively. They've never done it without overwhelming proof of my competence and I can't say that I blame them - it's taken me years to develop what I consider to be some "pretty decent" people-reading skills and I don't know that I would completely trust another person either (man or woman) without knowing much about them.

For some reason, in high school, I was one of those "chicks" that just got along with mostly dudes. I always had other chick friends but the guys I hung out with were predominantly either my buddies from the (almost) all guys water polo team on which I played or the sweetheart-burn-outs I had been friends with since elementary school. As I got older, I am pleased to report, it became easier to relate to other girls who (like myself) weren't exactly tom-boys but always seemed to find ourselves to be one of the very few girls in the boys' club. Photography is notoriously a "gentleman's hobby"; visual effects and film production even more so at times, as I came to learn. But, man, do I love a challenge!

When I interviewed for my last job on the recommendation of a shared former professor, the boss and I mainly just talked about photography for a good while. At the time, it was probably funny that we had opposite methods for arriving at the same conclusion - I loaded my 4x5 film holders with the notch in the upper right-hand corner, him with the notch in the lower left. Over the seven years we worked together, these polar opposites would punctuate our differences, much like our fixed cardinal birth signs - his mirroring my mom's (of all people!) and provoking some heated verbal exchange from time to time. (hilarious in retrospect!)

Over the years, on occasion, I've almost accidentally called him a variety names - dad, Fred (the 17-year-old cat's name!), my pimp (he's called me everything from baby to bitch) and I think he or his wife once decided that if he had an evil twin, that would somehow describe our relationship. Once, for what felt like almost a year (though it was probably just 3-4 months) I was in such pain from a shoulder injury that I was just the most horrible person to him on a daily basis. When I eventually started feeling better, I felt so awful that I sent him cookies on location which was immediately reciprocated with a charmed, drunken, free-postcard he penned from our little visual effects team while in a bar. I was just relieved to be exonerated so easily...

And now, after all of this, after finally being set free of any work-related obligation to me, this saint of a guy (and his entire brilliant family, I should add) still puts up with me for absolutely no other reason I can think of besides our shared taste in food, espresso, tea, gin and beer. I'm sure that must be it. That and photography... oh and fresh, local produce. Maybe gardening and exercise too but that's it. I always try my best to make it a reciprocal relationship but the truth is that there is nothing even close in my material life that could make the kind of impact on him that he has on me. There are old walls, deep within my core, that make it hard for me to accept even the kindness of family let alone close friends - I know if he gave me the choice rather than just being himself, I wouldn't allow such a person in my life and would lose out. Perhaps one day I will be fortunate enough to repay the favor but for now, all I can do is be grateful.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Neighbors: the gift that keeps on giving...

It's been just over two years now since I moved into my charming one bedroom apartment. My blog is punctuated with little details about the place that allude to it's many perks despite its small size: the backyard space that houses (what I used to think was) a lime tree; the front courtyard that came with a little doggy I don't have to take care of but who still sits on my porch and warns me of possible danger, joggers, and old ladies (as if the bars on my windows weren't enough); and the spacious two-car gar garage/studio which I share with a dentist (not mine!!) who doesn't care/know when I discover some new horror she's got back there, photograph it and post it online! Is anybody else thinking of the movie "The Host" right now? Any number of other movies coming to mind..?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the things you keep when that's not your thing...

It was pointed out to me recently that Libras (people born between September 23 and October 22) are generally pack-rats. Being a Libra myself, and not possessing this characteristic forced me to examine the types of things I hold on to. Since I am a photographer, almost all of my collectibles are flat - negatives, prints, digital files and storage media. Even when I think back to my childhood, the only thing I ever remember collecting (Bazooka Joe comics that came with the gum which I eventually saved up for a glow-in-the-dark, scratch-n-sniff Trix t-shirt) was also flat.

With the exception of a lifelong t-shirt collection stored under my bed and a couple of gold necklace charms given to me by my dad and maternal grandmother, these smallish items are the only artifacts I've deemed worthy enough to make it through my frequent apartment purging every time I decide that I either have too much crap for a single gal or that there's no way I can travel light when my place is weighed down by too much useless material baggage:

Matchbooks remind me of the places I've been without taking up much space, plus they're functional and often unique.

Foreign currency from a few of the countries I've traveled to - sometimes I'll throw one into a bag to use as a screwdriver and then find it much later only to get pleasantly lost in my memories.

Some things I once believed in enough to support, vote for, consume. These things remind me that I was once 18, once and still am an artist, once a very different person who's lived a very good life so far.

It always surprises me how little I've kept from seven years on nearly 20 films. In the end, there's only a handful of items that really stand out and the memorabilia that means the most (jar of sand, tin of pate from the CZ with an image of a man choking down a sausage) weren't exactly crew gifts. Which reminds me, I forgot to photograph a Lenin candle that was purchased for me in a bar in Prague by a student from Australia on holiday - amazing how some of these things make it home.

Also, when you've had a black cat as long as I have, people start giving you little black cat things and suddenly, you're a collector.

A piece of candy symbolizing the weight of one of my favorite conceptual artists as he was dying of AIDS. Felix Gonzales Torres left instructions that every day, a gallery or museum was to display his weight in candy and his audience was encouraged to take a piece of him with them. He was long gone by the time I was able to participate in any of his work but it gives me goose-bumps just to have this piece of candy and the poster of his that is rolled up in my garage awaiting proper wall space. His "perfect lovers" series are my favorites in which strings of light bulbs all burn out at different rates or identical school clocks with fresh batteries slowly start to tick out of sync.

More flat things: fliers from events I've attended and postcards from friends.

Shells and beach glass from the other side of the world.

One of very few tangible things I have left from my dad's mom.

Shell shaped sandwich press and electric mixer - both were my mom's which I remember fondly from my childhood and her mother's flour sifter, all of which I still use.

A few of my favorite fortunes and an old Polaroid from a time and place in my life that was the very beginning of where I'm at now.

Looking over these things even now, they're still just material possessions. They decorate my apartment a little bit and make it feel (along with the photos I've got up on my walls) like someone with a rich and diverse personal life occupies this little space here. But I suppose I have a hard time really attaching myself to objects, hence the reason for this little exercise. Pack rat? Hardly! If I had to leave it all behind, the thing I'd actually miss is my photos - my life's work but I'd just make more. I can't say that I've ever collected anything besides those Bazooka Joe comics, and though I'm not always the MOST sociable person (though never the least either!) there is nothing more important to me than the relationships and personal experience one accrues over time. And how, really, do you catalog that?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

back to normal(ish)...

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

I'm really digging this quote this week. It really applies to my non-existent work life and somewhat to the home life as well. For with everything that's changed these past few months (employment status, the State of the Courtyard apartments and it's inhabitants, the coming and going of new and old friends), I realize how concrete certain people and things are becoming in my seemingly "unattached" lifestyle. It's hard to put into photos in a simple yet convoluted manner the minute flux of life over time without revealing to much about myself, since I haven't been taking as many photos lately, just thinking about them...

Things that haven't changed much:

I'm still cooking a lot. This was a veggie and Mahi coconut curry. It was delicious.

The garden's been kind of on and off sucky lately since I haven't had time to build the planter boxes for organic veggies like I wanted to. In the mean time, I have these tiny burgundy beans and some vines that will hopefully someday produce cantaloupe. I'm fascinated by the way the send out little "grabber" shoots to help propel themselves upward!

Some serious changes:

My 17-year-old cat with the recent kidney disease? SO MUCH BETTER! It's insane - with no treatment other than some new food, this sweet little buddy is back to her old antics. Excited about her new office assistant job, here she is expressing her boredom with my line of work and then attempting to engage me in a game of "knock over the wacom pen" - an afternoon favorite.

Remember the gutter cat that showed up shortly after my 30th birthday? It managed to adopt the only family in the courtyard with a little kid. The dad managed somehow to tame the ferile thing just enough to feed it and name it Jonsey. That neighbor is English and I think they have a certain obligation to naming things Jonsey, male or (even in this case) female. Even the little neighbor-dog has made peace with gutter cat, knowing to keep his distance from the little thing that's gone up against racoons and won. Everyone in the complex, however (human and animal), are doing their best to adjust to the new neighbor. Well, maybe not the animals. Neighbor-dog barks like a crazy chihuaua every time he sees the guy and gutter cat just runs and hides. Too bad it doesn't work that easy for people!

I think the biggest change, though, is the thing I can't express in images, really. Or just really wouldn't here, I suppose. It started a while ago as the unemployment rate rose and friends within the industry started moving away for better work opportunities. It's weird when you realize that you've spent all this time trying to keep from getting comfortable with your job or your surroundings, only to have to admit that it's the people and the interactions that have become so familiar. With or without the corporate or social structure, the relationships we've built are still very much in tact. Months after working with my former boss, I'm still stopping by his house to exchange camera gear the night before he sets off for location; and months after tossing back a last beer on some balcony at work, I'm still at a bar on a weeknight saying good bye to more and more colleagues that will always be more than just people I once worked with.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

photos from my past: boyfriend edition

I've admittedly been a very bad little photo-blogger lately. Mostly because I've been extremely busy working on a portfolio website and trying to find work but also because facebook makes it so darn easy to post photos these days that a photo-blog seems kind of redundant. So as an apology, and since most of my "readers" here are my sister's, I thought a personal offering along the lines of Georgia's "stories from my past" would be a nice gesture and help to explain why so many times, you end up here after one of her poignant personal stories only to find macro photos of bugs and flowers instead of evidence of the life of an equally deep and complex, emotional person.

* I usually hate it when a chick has to define herself by the guys she's dated, even much more so when there's been a whole movie made about the subject; though for some reason it's just slightly more tolerable if it's some dude's story and he has a funny fat friend (see: High Fidelity). I promise not to define myself by these little photo-blurbs, K?

I found this photo recently of high school BF #1 and I at a school dance. The photo was from our senior year and we were really just good friends at that point - he had turned out to be one of my best friends throughout high school even though we had dated for not much more than a month our freshman year. We met on the first day of high school and I thought he was a drug dealer because he had a pager. I completely tripped out when I saw this photo because it wasn't really that long ago, yet so much has changed for both of us. I went to his wedding a few years ago and he and his wife have a little girl now. I am so happy for him because his life was kind of a mess in high school but he's probably the happiest of all of our old friends now and completely deserves it.

Just after I found the last photo, a friend posted one from this night of just the girls on facebook with a joke about us liking that one more than the ones with our dates. I joked, "my date is dead now..." not realizing that many people either didn't know this or didn't know why. High school BF#1 was the one to call me and tell me the news about 5 years ago. At the time, I thought I didn't care. I thought I had spent so much time after our 2 year high school relationship making him dead in my mind that it was the same either way. I thought I was just pissed that I never got the chance to properly tell him off for all the shit I put up with or what a strong person I am now but years later, when the impact of his life and his death are still evident in my dreams, it is obvious to me that THIS GUY is one of the reasons I have these HUGE personal walls that are so obvious in the distinction I make between my public and private lives - no matter how much I reveal about myself it will only scratch the surface. It's only now, 14 years after our "relationship", that I can allow my closest friends to get to know me without making them feel completely shut out.

Nice rack even as a 16 year old, right?

Two years of *not* dating (seriously anyway!), and I met the guy in the next photo. I had actually met him years before and since then had been "the girl of his dreams", unbeknownst to me. At the time it was flattering and though contrary to my belief/requirement for a relationship (the chemistry should be obvious/undeniable from the very start), we were like best friends so it seemed right. I know it sounds odd but I think, in retrospect I've become somewhat detached from the whole 6 years we were together since I was so young when it started and changed so much throughout. Add to that all the experimentation with various substances, a career I know I always put before him and the friends we always called ours (but I never really felt were mine), and the fact that I just didn't know how to separate the life we had made together straight out of our parent's homes so it probably lasted a lot longer than it should have. When it comes down to it though, once you know you're unhappy, nothing matters anymore - all I wanted was my cat and my clothes. That and the refrigerator (because, for some reason, you can not rent an apartment with a refrigerator in LA) is all I took from that relationship.

It was quite the opposite with this next one. I was lugging two pelican cases along a pathway at my former job and about to intersect with another pathway when our eyes met and I almost tripped and tried to cover it up with an equally messed-up hello. We spoke maybe 5 or so times in the next year and a half that he worked there but did a lot of eyeing each other in various hallways and elevators. That's my favorite kind of chemistry - when a guy is so intimidating-hot that you can't even talk to him. (Except for this one time when I didn't realize how cute a guy was right away but liked his sense of humor. Once I realized how incredibly good looking he was, I completely lost my funny and all ability to talk to him! Bummer.) About 6 months after this guy stopped working at the former job, we started emailing and eventually got together.

Sounds ideal, right? Oh wait, did I mention our lives existed in 2 separate places? Or that he moved back to LA to be with me and it still wasn't perfect? Right after he made some huge decision to stay here/get into huge amounts of debt going to a very expensive law school, yours truly set off for a two month location job leaving him to watch my 16 year old cat in a city where he was kind of alone. Selfish? I still don't know. I still really believe that everyone (except for parents) should put themselves first. This isn't what killed it for us, this was just the beginning of the end and I obviously realize this was not a one person relationship - I didn't fuck it up all by myself but I'm not going to air his dirty laundry all over the internets because the best part about this is that I got to keep this one. As a friend, at least. He went back to his city and I stayed in mine but what we both learned about ourselves has been invaluable to each of us.

Now I promised this wouldn't be a "define yourself by the men you've dated" blog and it isn't. I'm going straight back to my bread and butter - the "unhealthy obsessions" that made me start this thing in the first place: the cat and the garden and my cooking and the intricacies of my own little microcosm of a life here on earth. It's not because I'm shallow nor because I lack the capability for the deep emotional connection that my sister so eloquently writes about in her stories but because I'm a photographer and I have been since the day I was born. It is my job to simply "point" to things (as I once heard a wise man say, possibly quoting his favorite photographer, Paul Strand, but I can't remember), which I would rather do as quietly as possible so as not to fuck up the vision with language. As much as I love language, it tends to be too ambiguous and not open to interpretation in the same way that imagery is. This is already hard for me to do because I am opinionated and chatty, not because anyone made me this way or as a reaction to some experience I had when I was younger. I neither bottle it up inside nor do I go looking for conflicts, I simply choose to keep my art and my life somewhat compartmentalized until such a point when I need to combine them (see: above), at which point I believe I excel.

Anyway, that was my long winded apology for not posting more photos recently. So are we cool? ...and that's why I stick to photos!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

favorite things blogpost #5

I bought my "degree" a few years ago while walking past an antique store with my sister. She is a notorious aficionado and collector of all things pertaining to any historical war-era, and of any personal belongings important enough for a person to have kept until death.

When I bought it, it immediately went up on the door of my office at my big corporate job because, who else besides doctors and lawyers can hang a real degree on their wall? This, I felt much more than my actual college degree, expressed exactly why I held that position.

Lately I've been curious about it's origin, however. Of course I've noticed all of it's oddities and inconsistencies before, I've just never thought to look the place up until now. The Far East Academy of Photography Ltd. in Yokohama-Atsugi, Japan? Nothing. The best I can surmise from the English names and writing, and the former military men involved is that it was just some US military school set up in Japan during World War II to train soldiers to "shoot" photos?

Well alright then...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

apartment for rent: masochist a plus

I first started photo-fixating on these church marquees maybe five years ago when I noticed just how many there were in my local area. I stopped almost a year ago when I tried to edit, print and exhibit them and instead realized how void the images were of any real sentiment.

The irony was clear - the historic purpose of the marquee is to announce or advertise the featured event or performer. Some of these church signs simply do just that, stating the time and leader of the upcoming Sunday's sermon. The others, however, usually try to use humor to do what - lure the unaffiliated or perhaps wayward soul into a specific denomination through comic relief? "Let's meet at my house Sunday before the big game! - GOD", "Swallow your pride, it contains no calories", "Trouble sleeping? Try counting... your blessings", "God answers knee-mail", etc.

Like many of my fine art photo projects, I went to the same churches, week after week as the signs changed so I could photograph them at different times of the day - the same thing only slightly different, over and over again in still photographs throughout an indefinite period of time. Just writing that long, run-on sentence-fragment makes me excited.

Early one morning, I stopped at the store between churches to grab a package of cashews and as I sat in my car munching on them, I barely noticed a man coming out of the store with a chrysanthemum plant. He got into his car and drove off. I did the same and when I arrived at my next church, I saw the same man walking from his car with the plant. As he set it down in front of the church before that Sunday's service, I realized it was the actor Morgan Freeman looking (in my opinion) a little annoyed at being (accidentally, in my own neighborhood, mind you) followed. I wanted to get out of my car and calmly explain to him the coincidence; that this was my church too and I had been photographing it, not him, for some time. Instead, I drove away without taking my photo nor explaining to him the difference between me and the paparazzi.

There is one of these signs across the street from where I live now, across from where a neighbor of mine is raising a fresh baby boy. I can't help wondering each time when I see a new message, "A wise child hears his Father's instructions", "A child brought up in church is seldom brought up in court", "In the dark? Follow the Son", "Christians are not perfect and innocent but guilty and forgiven", what kind of impact these suggestions will have on this young, impressionable fella.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

the real deal...

Animate-blanket waits for you to fall asleep to snuggle with you...


homegrown ways to make yourself happy...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the kind of thing you just can't make up...

A while back, I expressed some overzealous excitement about all the crazy old junk on the other side of my shared garage belonging to the dentist, who uses it just for storage. Well, I discovered another "treasure" yesterday while cleaning out my side of the garage for another project. This must be new because how could I have never noticed until now the DECONTAMINATED SOLID MEDICAL WASTE sitting right in front of the old box of syringes??

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

the thing I use it most for...

My point and shoot, that is. Sorry, what I meant to say was, my Canon PowerShot SD 850 IS Digital Elph (wink wink!).

Yes, it obviously shoots good macro photos of the bugs in my garden, and it certainly is much more convenient for sneaking photos of my cat under the covers or throwing in my pocket to capture random oddities than, say my Canon AE1 35mm film camera (love you Canon! Mama needs a 5D ok?), but the thing I've come to use it most for is shopping lists.

I got this $1 "The Office" themed dry-erase board from Target a while back and now when I need to go to the store, I just take a photo of the list on my fridge and head out. I know it sounds smart but you end up paying the price when you find yourself wandering around Trader Joe's, staring at your hand, wondering how stupid you must look to other people.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The rise and fall of Ziggy Grasshopper... one garden's almost unnoticeable example of birth, progress, change and evolution, and the breakdown of life over time.