Tags: self-absorbed rambling

pilchuck, glass

The Wedding [Singer] [Planner] Filter

For those of you with your heads in the sand, chachicat and I are planning a wedding. I'm almost certainly going to post about it. Wedding planning is a topic that tends to overwhelm those other than the soliloquizing, oblivious miscreants currently engaged (ha!) in the pursuit.

In an effort to appear less self-absorbed than you all know me to be, I thought I'd set up a filter to spare (most of) you the details.

Anyone even mildly curious is more than welcome, of course. The filter is just a public service.

I'll screen the comments, feel free to make them snarky.
dive, for hire, cyprus, job

Today Was All Peter, Paul & Mary

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

...and written by John Denver. How apropos.

First the answers to the riddle:

Barry Manilow
Astrud Gilberto
"The Girl from Ipanema"
a bit of Duran Duran
Geoff & Maria Muldaur
"Aquarela do Brasil"
Peter, Paul, & Mary
"Leaving on a Jet Plane"

(Ok, Barry was singing about the nightclub in New York, Duran Duran about a woman, and I really mean the English version, "Brazil.")

All of that was stuck in my head because, [info]cfox74 and Kate teaching in Rio de Janeiro, while Bryan (Kate's husband) and I are just along for the ride. I've never been to South America, and I'm rather giddy.

See you in a week!

pilchuck, glass


[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

Ok, yesterday was an anniversary. And every year it's something different. Yesterday, I spent the day just a huge ball of misplaced emotion, some of which ended up in a rant in this space. Fortunately, I deleted the specifics of it.

In response, here are some good things about the baseball fans yesterday:

  1. They were using public transit, really that's commendable
  2. They don't generally take the train. They don't know the drill. Yes, that was part of what I was railing at, and they ignored the prompting of the conductor (a rare treat, a conductor conducting folks out of the bike car), but I shouldn't assume they understand the implications of them taking spaces in the bike car
  3. They were a lot more orderly and pleasant than the drunk fucktards I used to have to deal with going home from the game (on the nights they didn't send my train early, running a special train with no bike car, stranding me until midnight)

The "sport" of baseball, however, can still suck my left one.

pilchuck, glass

#include <stddisclaim.h>

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

I should go back and count the number of times I've written this entry in one form or another. On the other hand, it would probably just depress me.

I have a whole bunch of entries rolling around in my head (and opening my blog stash file I found a few more), friends have posted things that I'd very much like to reply to, but as of yet, none of that has happened. The trouble is, I generally only write such things on the train anymore, and though I head for the train with the best of intentions ("Yeah! I'm going to write THAT entry when I get there!") by the time I get on the train, nothing could be further from my desire at that moment. The same is pretty much true now, but let's see if I can get any of them done now.

Edit: This was actually written yesterday morning, just to show that I still suck.

shadow, halo, maui

Coming Up For Air (Sorta . . .)

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

. . . Ok, not really

[ed.: per usual, I started writing this over a week (and a half, I think) ago. I know, [info]avocado_tom, fire & forget. Unfortunately I write much too slowly for that.]

I have withdrawn again. It doesn't feel like my normal "going to ground." I went to the Massive Attack/DJ Shadow show (I could say "more later" but between us we know the liklihood of that, so let's leave it at wheeeeee!) on Friday.

Tuesday Matt, Dwight & I had a fantastic time at the Millenium Beer & Chiles Festival. The pairings were perfect, sublime, and everything I'd expect from Millenium. I also learned that:

  1. Belgain soured ales are quite tasty. They're right up my alley, and you'd think I would have tried them before. I need to find out which one came with my entrée, because it was by far my favorite beer of the evening (and they were ALL tasty)
  2. My weight-loss continues to make me a complete lightweight. I have no tolerance anymore.

Also, I did something really cool on Sunday that I will be blogging about, once I come back for more than a gasp of air before submerging again.

It's not my normal withdrawl, "going to ground." And yet . . . I haven't done more than (barely) skim LJ in weeks, I've stopped looking at Flickr, and worst of all, I've all but quit the 365 Days challenge. (I plan to pick that up again, but reset the clock)

I'd been thinking that I'd just withdrawn from my "virtual" life, and quite frankly, I wouldn't be all that upset about that. But I haven't taken a photo, I haven't really had a social engagement (except those planned in advance of this withdrawl), I haven't really done anything. It's hard enough to write this stupid little missive.

Recently I realized work may be a large contributing factor in this slump/funk. The Project From Hell™ (which was supposed to be over in July) was just extended until November. It is sucking my will to live. I may say more than that in a non-open forum. (But probably not, see above.)

I do feel a bit self-conscious whining about my work situation when so many people I know are in worse situations than I. But that doesn't change the fact that it appears to be sucking my will to live, and I need to figure out how work that out, at the current rate I will be little more than a husk by November.

pilchuck, glass


[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

Note: This was actually written last week, but there were issues posting it. I should also compose a wrap-up of this weekend (and perhaps I will on the train)

[...It would appear that this has devolved into a recap of the weekend. C'est la vie. At least it's something.]

I've gone and done it again. I've withdrawn from the outside world. I've had a few entries rolling around in my head for a while now. They fall into major and minor categories. The major ones I'll continue procrastinating for a while longer, as they'll take much longer to get out (though I may hammer on one or two of them some more after I finish here).

That leaves the minor (minutæ) entries of no import. I've collected them all into one entry to make them easier to ignore. They themselves fall into a few broad subcategories.


Simple Pleasures For Simple Minds

I had forgotten the pure joy that could be had with something as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich. Maybe not quite "simple," a dear, dear epicure and I once had the following exchange:

Y: "Do you want mustard?"

My ignorant self: [incredulous] "Mustard!? On a grilled cheese? Why would I want that?"

Y: [patiently] "Well, have you ever tried it?"

MiS: "Well, not as such, no..." [finally opening my mind a bit] "Ok, let me try just a bit..."

Two words: "pure inspiration!" And yet another (albeit relatively small) testament to how much I owe to her. It's a long list.

And not quite so simple in any case, as this grilled cheese a nice, creamy havarti on Trader Joe's Sprouted Rye (the virtues of which I've extolled many times before) with a cognac & pepper mustard, prepared on a non-stick surface with a touch of olive oil. The cheese melted down to the pan and got nice & brown (I love it that way) Yum!

Though, if I'm going to be completely honest, this mustard is too strong for a cheese as delicate as Havarti, and I can't really enjoy the bread either for that matter. This recipe needs some tweaking.

Almost Perfect

I drew upon lessons learned from (or with) that epicure several times this weekend. On Saturday we had a dinner party, and I koshered and dry rubbed (with cumin and black pepper, of course) some pork tenderloins. I blew out another meat thermometer probe (grn) and ended up resorting to mercury (well, alcohol from the looks of it) and got side-tracked and ended up over-cooking the tenderloin. Everyone said they loved it, but it wasn't as tender & juicy as I knew it could be.

Collapse )

iTunes is (once again) in an odd mood: it's alternating Queen (mostly Live at Wembly and A Night at the Opera) with Violent Femmes (nothing from the first (eponymous) album). Every few tracks it throws in Frank Zappa (mostly Sheik Yerbouti with a touch of Joe's Garage). I guess it's time to tweak the "how random do you want it?" slider (thanks to Tom for pointing it out!)

Edit: drunk wing-nut on the train just asked if I'm in anger management, he said I looked like I was...Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? (Emphasis on the whiskey)

pilchuck, glass

Greetings and Salutations!

I just noticed a bunch of people have added me as LJ friends in the who-knows-how-long timeframe. I don't know why LJ doesn't inform me of that event. (Ok, the new "My LJ" page might have some indicator, but I never use it) I don't have time to actively poll my user profile page (or the Edit Friends page). I should write a script to do it nightly or something.

I mention this mostly in case any of you were curious (perturbed?) as to why I hadn't reciprocated.

In any case, greetings. Very, very few of my posts are filtered (except the Motivate filter, something I intend to resuscitate after last night (more later)) and fewer of those are really of interest to anyone but me. Trust me.)

"Brought to you here on the Sub-Etha waveband, broadcasting around the galaxy, around the clock. And we'll be saying a big 'hello' to all intelligent life-forms everywhere. And to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys."

(The astute among you will point out that I just tweaked one of my own major pet-peeves: public posts directed at one reader (or a very small subset of the readership). Your complaint has been noted.)
California, bike, Los Angeles, AIDSride

Commute (pt.4)

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

Not so good this morning. I missed not one, but two trains looking for my %$#@%$ing shoes. This is why I hate cleaning up. The next train didn't stop at 22nd St, so I booked it to 4th & King. I made it with plenty of time, so at least that was good.

A bunch of bikes got on with me, carried by too-cool-for-it-all hipsters (Including one who could very well be Jen Besemer's doppelgänger except that she's, you know, outside). I asked them all where they were going. Need I say? Palo Alto. So it also goes without saying that they took up 4 different racks (half of the total), in spite of going less than half the distance this train is travelling. And the doppelgänger gave me the "oh, puhleeze" look when I suggested she double up with one of the other two.

Sure enough, the crowd that arrives just before the train leaves just got here, and they're forced to move bikes around in the back because the 4 up front are for Palo Alto. GRN. Situational awareness, people! It's NOT THAT HARD! (yes, yes, kettle, meet pot. So if I'm complaining about it, it has to be bad.)

And yes, for those who were about to ask, I HAVE had breakfast already.

Update: Doppelgänger is now having a very loud cellphone conversation. The voice is wrong. But maybe it'd get closer if I shoved that phone up her ASS!

shadow, halo, maui


[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

Yesterday hit me harder than it has in recent years. I ended up stepping out of the office and just bawling for while. This lead to a catharsis stronger than I have felt in a VERY long time.

It also posed a bit of a dilemma. I realized that sitting home in the dark, sipping Oban might be a perfect way to remember him, but it probably wasn't the best thing for my mental state at the moment. But at 4:50, I was going to have a hard time finding some way to avoid doing that. Especially without a vehicle in the South Bay.

Fortunately, Salim, Jim, & Dawn were going out to dinner to celebrate Jim's new job and they invited me along. Synchronicity was with me as I somehow managed to make every connection from VTA (I think the driver waited for me) to Caltrain to Muni to Muni. I wasn't sure if I'd mention my own reason for seeking social interaction, and as it turned out, it never really came up.

We went to Magnolia (Haight & Masonic) I'd been there for beer before, and always liked it. I don't know how I never looked at the menu! Everything looked fantastic!

In the end, I had a very nice evening out with good friends. I can think of few better way to remember the dearly departed.

Oh, and I got DRENCHED on my way back home.

Here's to my little brother. He's never far from my thoughts.

Update: I just got mail (sent yesterday) from Yojo (stealthymonkey) that said (among other things):

You forgot a really fucking bad date. Not a really fucking awesome person.

please remember that.

She always has had an uncanny ability to put things in perspective. Thanks, dear!

shadow, halo, maui

Photographic [RD]evolution

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

[It's official. I suck at this whole "blog" thing. The genesis for this entry is exactly one year old. It's been rolling around in my head since I was in Maui. It's a big topic, and one that's very important to me, so I wanted to be sure that I captured it. Invariably, that meant I'd put it off. -ed.]

For some time, I've been yearning to produce/get "something more" out of the pictures I take. A year ago, I started down the path toward figuring out what that really meant.

While I was in Maui, taking and processing 1900 photos, I had two distinct (and, in fact, conflicting) epiphanies. The first was that with some thought, planning, and work I could automate much of my workflow.

The second epiphany was the real start of the revolution, and may have been jiggled loose by the first. I think the mechanical nature of automating my workflow (and having some time to dwell on that fact) was the straw that broke the camel's back. I realized that for some time I haven't been completely satisfied with much of the fruits of my labor. Exploring that dissatisfaction led me to an awakening.

Over the . . . nearly 20 (eep!) years that I've been taking and developing my own photographs, I've become quite adept at the technical aspects of creating a photograph[*]. Without that, granted, the clearest vision in the world will be unrealized, but there's more to photography than making a print.

My style (and it still feels weird to call it that) has been firmly planted in what I've taken to calling a "photo-journalist" mode — a near-neurotic attempt to capture "la scène vraie" as closely and as accurately as I can. I had a better term than "photo-journalistic" for it at some point (after rejecting "hyper-real" since I am not worthy^Wevoking what Baudrillard (or even my beloved Eco) was (and yet, there IS an element of that . . . )), but I have lost it (much to my chagrin).

It is easy to see how I got there: my formative photographic experiences were mostly spent getting lost in the perfect balance of one Ansel Adams print or another. I ingested the Group f/64 Manifesto, and their "photography of the West." It nourished my youthful exuberance and skepticism of all that had come before.

(end first cut. LJ'ers, if you want to take a break, you can come back to the second cut)

Collapse )

So where do I go from here? More inspiration, more practice, more experimentation. To that end, I'm getting very excited about the UCSC Extension Field Study I'm doing next week in Death Valley. (Thanks, mom!) I'm really looking forward to having four days in the wilderness to do nothing but think, compose, shoot, and evaluate. Particularly, I want to spend a lot of time working at night and more in the abstract realm (both together and separately).

But as with any experimentation, I must be open to mistakes, they often lead to the most profound breakthroughs. For those of you subscribed to my Flickr stream, things are likely to get worse before they get better...

And this is what happens when I don't post things, but let them percolate for a year, and end up rolling up what should have been 3 or 4 different entries into a single entry. 1300 words. Yeesh. If you read the whole thing, my hat is off to you.

EDIT: Screw it. I can't seem to make automatic formatting do what I want. Time to beat it with a stick.