Word and Image

Food

Film

Kodak’s fate was sealed when I got my first digital DSLR Nikon D70. It took a bit but not too long. Film? Slides? Gone. Like VHS tape. Gone. Film and slide scanning has gone through many iterations. There are cheap ways to get the job done. And then there is Nikon scan at 4000dpi. It is good? I guess. It has reached cult status. There are a few mavens who know and repair scanners in need. I was in contact with a couple. Characters? Yes, in the nicest sense there is a community of people out there who scan. I didn’t know how enthusiastic and will probably not know. I’m not on Facebook. I daresay everyone has their own workaround and solution to getting the job done. I have pictured here two scanners and two bulk loaders running day and night to get the task completed. No one in my family will ever care or be able to do this. Fine! Madness! Me. Yeah, I’m nuts.

The doughnut? Entenmann’s chocolate. If you live in NY or thereabouts, this is what you grew up with. My kids loved them. We kept them in the freezer (out of reach). When they could reach, I camouflaged them in a chocolate raspberry box (they hated raspberry). As the father there were ingenious strategies to keep one’s treats. My kids would raid my den for candy when they were desperate. I hid them well too. The doughnut – it happened to be in proximity to the scan photos. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.


Likes beer…

…a lot! She told me when we first emailed, before we ever met. The fact sailed over my head. Men! Then we met and she drank beer – dark beer! It tasted awful to me. I’m non-alcoholic. I indulged her. We bought beer. Recently I found a stash of empty cartons. ??? … we hoard. Who knows when you need an empty? (Actually, I put in bottles of coffee, juice, etc in the back seat while we travel. They are handy containers.) It’s another collection of clutter. Yeah… likes beer. I love her to pieces! Me? I downsized by photographing the collection…

This photo was from years back. Who knew it would be relevant. … and that I could find it. I have an eye for strange humor. Colleen indulges me. We laugh. We love. I would never make fun of her. Never! It’s just plain fun to be with her. She’s probably giggling right now while she hunts me down….


Jackpot

I have been on the hunt for a good NY style cheesecake since Jeddah (years). No, they don’t make cheesecake in Jeddah. There was a Cheesecake Factory; it was not good at all. I made (recently) a Jello instant cheesecake; it was worse by far. Yuck! I finally assembled the “real” Philly cream cheese and made one; it was spectacular! I decided to try again. I did a few things wrong – like I turned off the oven instead of simply lowering the heat. After an hour the cheesecake had obviously not baked up. I survived this calamity. There was a crack on the top. Heavens!! My waterbath! Nope, the crack disappeared as the cake cooled. We didn’t eat it for days – circumstance. It only got better! – the top was shiny- glazed – just like a NY cheesecake should look.  No, we are not social distancing so much now. We’re (smartly) vetting our guests. The beer? – Colleen did it – shaken but not stirred, The cheesecake? – heaven on a plate – with cherry sauce!


Green

The first time I visited Jules in California she ordered up a kale smoothie. It was green. I would add colorful adjectives to describe the drink – green, yuck! Suffice to say, I was horrified. My daughter! She wouldn’t eat anything green growing up. Her daughter, my granddaughter, drank from Grandma’s cup. Colleen drinks green juice. It’s good for you. Right!? And she liked it! OMG. Somehow green reminds me of a swamp. You are what you eat??? Not by my hand… Colleen’s not green either.


Over! Done!

Yeah! Right! No!!! But it surely feels different. For the very first time since the TP shortage of 2020! We turned the aisle in our supermarket – the entire aisle was stocked again! Yeah, you could fall down laughing. Normal! There was hand sanitizer in three places! Three choices, all for good money. There’s sanitizer for your fruits and veggies. Ok! Get a grip! It’s good to find that supply has exceeded demand. Never in my wildest nightmares did I ever think I would be celebrating the return of TP to my local market. It could all go south. But, for now, I feel like we turned a corner.


Don’t do this at….

You’re gonna plotz – use the Yiddish definition. In this photo you see one – exploded egg. My dear wife did this! Yes, she can cook! It was my stupid suggestion and she listened. (It’s all about trust.) She should know better. Ha ha. She soft boiled an egg meant to be hard boiled. (You can see this coming…) Cringe! She put a hole in the shell. It didn’t help. The picture cannot tell the story. The mess?!?! Egg, all over the six (insides) sides of the microwave. See: that burn mark in the enamel finish?!!! That was me. One Thanksgiving, I attempted to shell whole chestnuts. Don’t ask?? (don’t advise!!!) The burn mark was made when one unruly chestnut caught (fully, with flames!!!) on fire in the microwave. Maybe, we should be told we are not allowed to use a microwave. All privileges canceled!!


Still hoarding

… after all these months. I liken it to Paul Simon’s – Still Crazy After All These Years… hum it, if you know it. I still buy TP whenever I see it. Who knows when you’ll see it again. The shelves remain empty except when they are not. Bastards! I buy at any price. At some point we’ll learn the scandal behind the shortage. No yeast, either. Get it if you can. Do you read labels? The drink pictured here is flavored water with vitamins. Little Hug Fruit Barrels. Just vitamin water. 8 ounces, artificially flavored. Ah! The power of advertising! Why the empty shelves? Empty makes the demand greater or is it the other way ‘round?

Note: When I composed this post months ago, we seemed in dire straits. The shortages are less now. There is no real normal as every excursion is done with caution. We eat out rarely. We cook. Colleen has become semi-vegetarian once more. I cannot say good or bad. Different.


Butt face

I hate it, when they change things. WordPress, the sponsor of this blog site has changed the format for creating and editing a post. Yay! By now everyone has had a chance to try it. I hate change. I just got used to editing and creating…. What if one had to change wives every…. Oh shit! I’m in deep shit….. Please forgive me honey, I don’t know what came over me. I’m so terribly sorry! 🙂

Butt soap – for Ginny, or Emma – there’s a side for your face and one for your ass. Don’t get mixed up? Please. (You know who you are.)


Yum

There’s a TV show: The Best Thing I Ever Ate. The title is apropos. It’s too simple: a lobster shooter. Add lobster to a glass of butter in a shot glass. But memorable!! Colleen still talks about it. We were passing thru town past another lobster restaurant. Maine, there are lots of lobster. Do ya think? Colleen still talks about it. I had the old wedding standard – scallops wrapped in bacon.

Do you embarrass your spouse before or after lunch? Before she’s officially your spouse? Guess? Did I say Lincolnville, Maine?


What’s on your phone?

I use a camera. On my iPhone it’s an odd potpourri of images. It’s rarely of great import. I just don’t think that dinky lens is better than real glass. Snob! Right! I document things that I need to remember. I take a pic that I can send instantly to someone. I photo things I plan to buy. I photograph recipes. It is a portable walking memory for me to remember items like a book to borrow. Otherwise, I have a camera on me nearly every time I carry my phone. It’s my system and my thinking. It works for me.


Guilty pleasure

During the corona lockdown I have begun eating pop corn. I like to eat it in the movies. We don’t go. We didn’t before the virus. But suddenly we have found pop corn again! And borosilicate glass. ?? It’s double walled insulated glass. I was slow to adapt to this too. Colleen knew of it and loved it for the fact that hot or cold stays because of excellent insulation. Ice just doesn’t melt. You’d try it but where to get it. That was the trick. Now, I’m hooked.


Still…

… life. Because I have too much time on my hands. Peppers with a background of watermelon. Some famous – Pepper No. 30, Edward Weston – photographer made peppers a famous subject. Yawn?! Ho hum. Life’s been pretty slow around here for me to start taking pics of peppers. Or, was that pick a peck of pickled peppers?


What’s in your grocery

Are there so few photo ops these days…” Am I food obsessed… do I live to eat? Fascinated? Curious? Nosey? It’s interesting. I don’t/wouldn’t carry my big old DSLR into a grocery. I am above using iPhone for my pics. Camera snob, that would be me. So, it’s a point and shoot. No so much a toy any longer, they are quite sophisticated and damn good. I always thought that big glass (lens) made for a better image. Nope. And so, I pull the camera from my pocket and surreptitiously shoot. I got the shot. Do/did you? No need to be too obvious.

Oh, a shout out to Barber stuffed raw chicken. It’s good. I don’t say that about frozen food. I don’t eat frozen. Why? Snob as much as anything. We have access to fresh. No frozen. Not pizza! Ever! Ha! We buy frozen cauliflower pizza all the time now. My point? You can’t find Barber for love of money since I got this one time shot.

It will be two months before this post is published. I’m wondering out loud how it all evolved. Will there be TP once more? Can I go to the grocery without trepidation and feeling like it’s threatening to my life? I predict not much will have changed. … and what the hell are all the TP manufacturers doing? Supply, demand, and profit? Gas was $1.71 yesterday (two months back).

– gas is now $2.23. Toilet paper came back. And, just now, yeast appeared on the shelves. The great Amazon could not deliver in all that four months.


Panic buying

I don’t want to call it hoarding. We ordinarily have bottled water on hand. It’s not for me. The cats throw up from the chlorine in tap water. And the coffee maker will sludge up from the minerals. So, we use distilled. Hey! It’s not me. I don’t drink coffee. TP? Why has everyone bought it up? The shelves are bare since lockdown began. We’re not out. We are flush. (Sorry.) I buy it anytime I see it. So far, we are a long way from resorting to Plan B. But, why? It’s all a fat hoax! And, I live in a Republican county. Did thy not believe in the “fearless leader,” and they bought anyway. It’s like they put their money on/where their…. I hope it’s over soon. I got no where to put all the extra TP we’ve been buying.


Chicken parm

I have been chasing this dish since I left Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). The Filippos could cook it like no one else. Romano’s Macaroni Grill opened an outpost there shortly before I left. The chicken was thin breaded crisp and perfect accompanied by piping hot angel hair pasta covered with marinara. Ok, no big deal?! But I disagree; the dish in Jeddah was the best I ever had. I’ve since tried many attempts that fell woefully short. I have been to several Romano’s places in the US. Nope, their poor attempt was disappointing. I have mentioned this before. Lately I was in Touch of Italy. They are funny. Their signature dish features chicken as large as a large dinner plate. It’s American – too large to eat. I suppose that has an appeal but the chicken lacks tender moist taste. Oh well, I had given up. Then, I cooked up a batch during the Corona lockdown. It’s a work in progress. Good? Yes! Very! It just doesn’t look good. It’s not photo-worthy. Yet. However, I also learned on this occasion that hiding the dish under red sauce and lots of cheese will hide many cooking sins. And I know what to do to make the next try a winner. That’s progress!


Seeing into the past, now

Since I post about once a day but I have way too many more thoughts and pictures… I tend to get ahead in composing posts. I remain about two months ahead. It’s May and this will publish in July. Pictures? I cheat by posting multiples in my daily. Too many pictures, too many thoughts…

I wonder how things will have changed and when next I read this I will know my muddled thoughts on this day about two months ago. Yeah, it’s convoluted.

Last year I shot about 88 thousand images. To date I have about 8,800. We’re not having a banner year for subjects. I shoot empty grocery shelves, baskets, food, and of course the cats. There are icky shots. My cat Feather has allergies that persist from kitten age. I treat it. But it remains a constant problem. Food doesn’t look too appetizing next to a cat with allergies. It’s a fine juxtaposition on such a fine day.

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The news dominates our thoughts and dictates our movement. And there’s plenty misleading in the headlines. For instance, the restaurant did not open in defiance of the shutdown order. It had just “opened” as in newly launched. It’s a whole ‘nother side to the pandemic and a testament to “bad (extremely) bad timing.

David once asked, when he was about 3 years old, “When is tomorrow?” Think about it, and, it’s always today…. It’s a simple abstract that stopped me in my tracks and I continue to laugh at how simply he befuddled me.


Unrelated

Unrelated to the fact that Nutley is stealing the bowl from under Willow’s nose, I have just accomplished a marathon backup. Thing can go missing so easily. My problem? Multiple backup drives all over the house. Sorry. They are in places which changed regularly as I moved around the past couple decades. Shifting sand. It’s always nice to do something you have not done. In this case I lost a folder of files, about a thousand images, from 2007, my Nikon D70. What’s a thousand in the scheme of nearly a million images. Not much. I have the OCD. And I don’t lose anything because I never throw anything away. Laugh. I’m not sure what to do. I began with the external hard drives within reach. There were nearly a dozen within ten feet. (slap forehead with hand for emphasis) Nope! I had made a redundant mistake across a dozen drives. That folder was missing in each and every. I have a database tracking my images. The missing folder was for real. Quit, give up, a lesser man with less OCD might. I made a trip to the basement fully expecting to paw through storage bins all day. Third bin, and I found a group of drives. About four tries later, the missing folder! See! OCD works! It’s a bad precedent. Any other missing folders? And how would I know? … I’m not losing any sleep. There comes a time when you have to stop worrying.

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Nutley is a porker. He’s gained weight steadily since he came to live with us. He’s probably the heaviest now. And the other cats are all good natured. They allow Nutley to invade their bowls and defer to him. He’s not aggressive. He just noses in. His hearing is uncanny. I swear he can hear the others licking their bowl. Ha! This last pic is Ray. Twins. But I’m sure it’s Nutley who’s getting extra. Ha! It’s all unrelated. And one cannot effectively image the sweat on my brow to locate that missing folder. How’d I know anyway?


Eating out

I would alternatively title this post – “GLOP!” We can’t eat in restaurants. They are closed. Corona. I say that a lot these days. They ask if we are fatigued, and, I say better fatigue than the alternative. Eating out? Well, we lived out there on the edge. Frozen food, it’s the closest to something you don’t otherwise eat. Something new and different! Dispel the boredom! Eh! My cookin’ is OK but sometimes you want something out of the ordinary. This was a testimony to food photography! Yes, the picture was way better than the awful product inside. Let me give a shout out to Nestle. They made eating a hot pocket into something I shall never do again. Can you say thick crust and no chicken? Awful!!! And the stuffed shells? Can you say rip-off? The package was heavy enough to completely deceive me. See the picture? Well, there were three small shells in the box. The rest was sauce. Bang for you buck? Hardly! If I paid 25 cents like I did in high school for a cafeteria lunch, then this combined glop might have been appreciated. Since we paid $$ for it, it was memorably awful! If you eat out in the frozen food section of your grocer, you might be attracted to the pictures. And, sometimes you are duly rewarded for being stupid enough to drawn in by a pretty picture.


Covet

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A picture tells a thousand words. My cats gather as we eat. They don’t like most of what it is. Too bad. It’s my lunch. Nonetheless, don’t turn your back. Personally, I do not favor having my sandwich licked by cats.


Grocery

It’s not always empty. There are people about. The shelves are not bare. There are. But not every aisle sold out. Things I find are spontaneous purchase. A few things are planned. Mostly it is food association. We associate food to my appetite. I have discovered the frozen food aisle. Who knew you could photograph so much appetizing food to appeal to your imagination? The picture is usually better. But I have to give a shout out to Barber raw stuffed chicken breasts. Get ‘em. They were good. We can’t find them again.


The last time…oops

It looks like I have already published this post a few days ago. We’ve been kind of distracted. I didn’t notice my error till now. Oh well, stuff happens.

The last time… we ate out, we had dinner guests, our house was clean. Well, now might be the time to look back. Ha ha! I compose posts long before published. I am trying to stick to the one/day rule Jules imposed. This is/was being written in early May. Poignant! Literally the day/same evening we ate our last meal out as DE closed all restaurants.

We only clean up when we invite dinner guests. This was the last clean up before Jen and Mike came for St Pat’s corned beef. And the very next day… no toilet paper to be had. It’s been a while. No, no, no, there’s a new normal. Little did I know. Our house will not be tidy again, for a long long time. It’s a good thing. I do so love my life and my wife. Eh? What did I say? … I can’t remember when I last saw TP on the shelves! …  and I love my wife.


Diary

Dearest. It’s a slow day on quarantine. Good? You bet. Boring is good. No disease. It’s abstract. I choose to believe so. The map is abstract. Unfortunately, no. But, we talked of reading fantasy. Everyone has gone back to comfort foods – junk, but childhood security. Campbell’s soup? It does feel like Alice n Wonderland. Cheshire anyone? Sleeping cats, ours have a routine oblivious to the chaotic world outside. Innocence! Social distance. But, of course! Beer and spirits? Yes, to that too. We finished off the last of our personally imported Scotch straight from the distillery in Scotland. How’s that for dropping names? The beer? From Belgium imported and plucked from the sale bin at the local liquor store. Good stuff! Yes, indeed! This recalls the only French drinking song I ever learned in class: Chevalier de la table ronde. Gouton voir si le vin est bon? And so it goes… Pretty amazing! Seventh grade French -Msr. Steindler.

Note: I originally composed this post nearly two months ago. Not too much changed. It’s still apropos. What’s worse, we are now embarking on the second wave. This post is as though two months passed like it was merely yesterday. Damn!


Mealtime

This is gonna skeeve out some folks. Ha! It’s an actual word. Skeevy. We are clean folk; brush teeth, bathe every day…. Mealtime, well, the cats consider us “staff.” They gather. It’s not as though I can chase them off. It depends (on what’s for eats). Don’t laugh. Colleen keeps projects going… and mail, magazines, newspapers…oh bother! Why clean? You simply clear a cat, sit, eat, and hope they don’t swipe more than 10%. Indulgent? I would say so. Me? I’m good. Somewhere it says that germs are good for you. And, cats take up the empty space allotted.


Pprep

“Prepper” Term used to describe those who store goods in anticipation of a disaster. I am a natural hoarder. I was never hungry as a child; we were solidly middle class. But, somewhere along the way from childhood, I got to feeling that I needed to have ample supplies on hand. It’s no wonder the first thing I was sure to stock was junk food. Man’s gotta eat.