Friday, September 28, 2007

Pre-Weekend Doodlefest

I gots a whole lotta nothing today. No random musings, no psuedo philosophical expositions, no coupons for a free Big Mac at the golden arches. Just this doodle, which I found on the kitchen table. Clearly the work of doodle elves who, I suspect, live under the stairs and enjoy an egalitarian society masterminded by a former megalomaniacal despot who got his/her comeuppance one fateful day after being outbid on ebay in the final seconds of an auction for a collection of rare Hello Kitty figurines not manufactured in China. After that, the clouds parted, the sun shone, and angels sang, you know the drill.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8

My fondness for comic books borders on the obsessive and I'm ok with that. And when it was first announced that Joss Whedon was resurrecting Buffy and the Scoobies for a season 8 comic book series I took notice, and heart. Of course I'm a HUGE BtVS fan. I don't trust anyone who isn't. It's the finest show ever conceptualized and rendered, perfectly structured and brilliantly written. The manner in which the characters were fleshed out and fully realized, while at the same time remaining true to their own mythologies (think Anya, and of course Faith) and still remaining infinitely complex and embodying any myriad of human failings (even Spike the vampire), rivals Shakespeare. Yes, I really did just say that. And mean it.

When the show ended after season 7 and the gang slouched toward an uncertain future, a part of me fell into the blackhole that was Sunnydale. Apparently I wasn't alone, either literally or figuratively, as the Buffy comic can attest. It's impossible to heap enough praise on the comic. You absolutely have to read it for yourself. But be forewarned, it demands a lot from you. What might otherwise seem like a throw away line, in typical Whedon fashion, isn't. And now with the Brian K. Vaughn-penned Faith arc hitting it's stride, BKV proves to be an apt pupil of all things Buffy. He perfectly grasps the inherent problematic nature of Faith, Faith easily being the most complex *hero* ever imagined, and writes her dialog with an eye, and an ear, toward the pragmatic smarty pants that Faith has always been. But more importantly, BKV delves into the Buffy-Faith dynamic from Faith's perspective. In the upcoming issue #7 Faith muses about finally meeting someone (Buffy) that she digs. Wha? Huh? Are we getting subtexty here? I believe so, yes indeedy. Legions of B/F fan fiction writers the blogoshpere over are tattooing "I told you so" on their foreheads. I'm not entirely convinced that Faith does have a sexual crush on Buffy, it could just be idle idol worship, but how exciting is it to entertain the possibilities? Very. Way very exciting!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I wanted a Leica, but while perusing cameras on ebay I got seduced (self deluded) into thinking that a Soviet-era Russian Fed-5 was just as good at a fraction of the price. Tiny wee insane fraction. So, I bid on it and was lucky enough to win. I sent off a money order for $40 to (the) Ukraine and waited by the mailbox with the cat and a can of Schlitz.
All things not being equal, and my cheapness being the bane of my existence, I soon discovered what legions of former Soviets must've already known. The camera is, how shall I say, lacking. It is just this side of junk. But me, being stubborn beyond all reason, decided to make the best of it. What you see in this image is actually one of the 'good' quality pics taken with that demon camera. Notice how the frames overlap on the negative, how the colors are less than sharp, and how the subjects bleed into the background. Is it genius or bullshit? Both! Say I, trying desperately to hold onto the tattered vestiges of my self esteem and credibility.

Ah well. At least I've resisted the urge to buy Chinese farm raised fish on sale at Bi-Lo.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Reflections in a Mud Puddle

This morning I found myself driving through a pre-dawn fog. Traffic was light leaving the city and heading north, NPR was on, but I wasn't listening. Resting on the passenger seat was a camera and I started thinking about how things, images, photographs, are defined, how the meaning is ascribed to it by whatever response it elicits from the viewer. Which is as it should be. Meaning should come all on its own.

Aesthetic and form are what they are, regardless of intention. But then I thought of the New Leipzig School of painting, a painstaking method blending the figurative with the narrative on a usually mute-hued canvas. Haven't they taken aesthetic and form and redefined them? Perhaps. Either way, I thought that I would try and apply the techniques of the NLS to photography. Or, the reworked print since the image included here differs vastly from the original photograph and negative.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What I did on my summer vacation...

Look! It's the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in beautiful downtown Jamestown, NY (below)! Yes, Miss Kitty and I spent our vacation on the fringe of civilization in a cabin in the wilderness that is the western NY/PA border. We hiked, we kayaked, we collected fossils along the shoreline of the Kinzua Reservoir (Kinzua Dam, above) (elevation 1332'), and we made a pilgrimage to Jamestown to pay homage to the first lady of comedy, Lucy. Jamestown is Lucy's hometown, and she's buried there in the family plot at Lakeside Cemetery, which we visited.

Apart from the disasterous kayaking trip we took down the Allegheny River (and thereby had to paddle back up) , it was the most relaxing vacation imaginable. No running through airports in my socks because I didn't have time to put my boots back on. Here's a good traveling tip: Avoid wearing steel-toe boots when flying. Live and learn, brave little toaster, live and learn.