Word and Image

Posts tagged “Family

Jumbled

I’m spinning the photo catalog today. Originally, I had intended to publish one picture a day of “ooh and ah!” quality along with a story. Lately, it’s been about the stories triggered by the images. Technically, it still fits the title of the blog, but we are a long way off. I’ve been on a lot of planes. The middle top pic is instantly recognizable. Colleen hates to fly. She goes because she does not trust me alone? ?? Dunno? Ha! The first thing we did upon arrival was seek a vegetarian restaurant. It’s very appetizing – if you’re a rabbit. And she got a bottle of organic beer. Isn’t all that beer vegetarian and organic to begin with? I think maybe I would have rather been in the pakora place next door. But, it is now revealed Colleen doesn’t care for Indian. Damn, so far and yet so close. Figuratively, literally, you do the math and take your pick of the choices here in my words. The truth: We have fun. Anywhere is good as long as I’m with Colleen. Happiness is…


Did you ever?

… eat in a restaurant called Ketchup? Would you? We did. It was in Jeddah. Why? The name, of course. It was a Middle Eastern restaurant. Of course, it was. Good? I have no recollection. So, I guess, forgettable.

… eat, deep fried kale? Preserve, Annapolis. It was a restaurant recommendation at another store. Spectacular! And messy! I tried it at home. Kale splatters oil all over the place. It is the quintessential poster child for “Don’t try this at home!” Good? Spectacular! Have we been back? No, it is, alas, (it’s) bad for you. But boy oh boy, was it good!


Belonging

I belong to Feather. It started in the pet store when her paw snaked out and grabbed me as we walked past. She was going home with me and was simply being emphatic about it. Since then, she hangs out with me wherever I am in the house. She follows me to be sure of where I am. She will come and snuggle up on me when I nap. Clearly, I belong to her. I am her human. It’s important to belong. I belong to her. Ha ha. Confused? That is Colleen hugging Feather’s twin, Spice.


Nuts

I Photoshop… because, I can. Don’t you wish you could too? We have fun. It’s always about fun. And we have plenty. This the part of the collection from our Maine trip. It’s not our first time. Humor? Irreverence? Who knows? We laugh a lot. Colleen thinks I’m nuts. She’s not alone. But, she is tolerant. And, so, we laugh some more.


I debated

I love my wife. She may not love me so much… after this. Everyone looks funny while eating. It’s a fact. You look silly eating. And, an eating photo more often demonstrates your teeth or your mouth open. I’m editing. I’m laughing. I’m probably dead by now (about the time Colleen sees this). Well, I did say I love Colleen. I’ll also say again… Bye. Come on, kids, who else plays with their spaghetti?


A year ago

3/11/21 – this year, designated the “one year anniversary”

57 million vaccinated – have had one shot or more

Vaccine – an actual one was developed in less than a year

Speech – a national address by our (real) leader on the 1st anniversary. trump???? who????

Covid relief American rescue package – it passed. Not a single republican voted for it. Traitors.

Eve of 2nd shot – I got mine the next day.

“If somebody said ‘N95’ to you one year ago, you’d think they were a bingo caller.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

They talk about a year ago. 3/11/20. Anniversary of corona. Where were you? Memorable? No, it just came and went as an ordinary day. I can note it/did note it, because I have a photo diary. The news and late night shows were full of the “anniversary.” The “event” (last year) was marked by the shutdown of Delaware by the governor. For us it was the evening/night of 3/16/20. All business was shut. A year later, the library opened for the first time. We did a little victory dance. Anniversary Day +1 is my second shot. I’m old. For most the first shot is months away. For others, they will be foolish, ignore the science, and decline the vaccine. What a world? What a time? The “former guy” is out of office. Sanity, truth, and science have returned. If you commit a crime, you do not get a free pass – see Gov Cuomo. Yeah, it’s been a hell of a f’n year!

What were/where were you? We learned to make Nantucket baskets and ate Thai as they announced all business was closed. The flowers were in bloom. (Not yet this year.) I was in my fake flowers/vases phase. Colleen made a “Giovanni” burger for me. The groceries were suddenly without TP! Toilet paper!?!? Patch was sleeping soundly through it all on our bed. It’s not an anniversary. That would impart more of a celebration. This was more like – “yeah, I was there. Ain’t it amazing when you look back?” Life, as we knew it, changed right afterward.


Postcards

Happy birthday Dave. You have had some grand adventures. I have to admit he has gotten his money’s worth with that iPhone. If you travel with a backpack, there is not much room to spare. I am happy to say his photography puts mine to shame. Keep finding new adventures. I’m proud of you.


Giddy

It’s done. We have both completed two doses of the covid vaccine. It’s a relief! I feel bad for everyone still waiting. I am bewildered by those who believe the vaccine is not necessary. Our appointments were days apart. We celebrated the same way – a meal in a restaurant, distanced. Safe. I feel safer. Indeed, “safer” is s very good feeling.


Art – again

We’re at it again. Art! It started with a snide comment about museums from a family member. We don’t see art. (Literally? Figuratively? It’s an oil on water kind of thing. Ooooo, there’s a pun?!) They see more. And it’s much better art (that they see). Snide? Unintentional? Our museum is quite tolerant. Don’t touch. Otherwise, do as you will. So, I jumped. Collen was beside herself. Again. And we had a wee bit of fun.

I say that I cannot draw, nor paint – well, I can paint a house. But, art? We can do art. It’s fun! …. sometimes, a bit better than just looking.


After you move

Ha ha! You never see the sights until you move away. I lived in NYC for the better part of my adult life. I have/had never been to the main branch of the NYC Public Library – you know, the one with the lions outside the entrance. Colleen came to visit from WV and off to the library we went. It was absolutely the first time for me too. It was my first and only visit. Who would have thunk that would be the case?


Do-over

We ate in this restaurant the night we were married. It was pre-Covid. But, we sort of eloped. Not even our hosts joined us to celebrate with dinner. Luckily, restrictions are not so tight now. We returned to a splendid evening out and had another excellent meal. Crab, lamb, and creme brulee – have you gotten the idea Colleen likes crab? Happy? More than ever. Given my tendency to nuttiness, that’s saying a lot for Colleen’s patience. Saintly!! – her, not me!


Happily married

What do you do on a day you’d like to celebrate in an understated way? Head to the bookstore, antique store, and on to the favorite restaurant. Someone got a very nice day out of the deal. Pardon the out of focus shots – low/dim lighting. That would be crab imperial – pretty much straight lump crab meat. We got a teacher discount at Apple. And, “one thing” at Barnes and Noble – that’s the rule, just one thing. Happily married? I joke. But, it is not an oxymoron in our little house.


If I died tomorrow…

Key: 1. We met in the third grade in Elkins, WV. 2. Our first trip: Maine. It was Colleen’s life long wish to visit. Pemaquid called to her. 3. Dancing at my cousin’s wedding. 4. Photography, but, of course, in a museum, no less. 5. The Olsen house, Wyeth, Maine, dream, happiness! 6. Loving. Yes, we do! 7. Imagine this! Art! “A la Dali.” It’s Scotland!

I don’t believe in God. I wish that I did. I’m a doubter. That way I can have a foot in both camps. But, the science in me says, “No God.” It will be eternally black, as though sleeping a dreamless sleep, forever after. I’m ok with that. I guess. The death of Patch, and the Pandemic of 2020, and reading all the obituaries; my time is coming. Some, a few, will miss me. Things on the internet last a long time, forever? No matter. I will not be around to lament. So, I shall do so prematurely. Bad karma? I have had a good life. There were many opportunities afforded to me. I am thankful. My blessings are too numerous to mention. At the top of my list of gratitudes is Colleen. It is epic and, oh so fragile; we almost never met again. But, we did. Life is ephemeral. In a short time, no one will recall our loving and my memories. In the short/long time we have had, it has been a wonderful life! And, we will “be” for as long as this post survives the “internet.”

Who could have imagined we would be in a folk dance group picture together at eight years old and never realize the significance of “forever.” It picked up decades later and, indeed, became, “happily ever after.”


We got one

Have I told you I hate needles? Ha ha, coming from a surgeon, you might laugh. But, I follow the rule: it’s better to give than receive. So!? When it came time to scheduling our Covid vaccines, it was a no-brainer (ha, ha, I was a brain surgeon too), that Colleen would be scheduled first. I could not get our appointments on the same day. This set off controversy and argument: How chivalrous it was of me to get Colleen’s appointment first! Andy got his second appointment and did not get one for Kathy. Lee got her own without help from me.

And when my (first) vaccination was canceled/delayed, I thought I was in the clear and off-the-hook. No such luck. I got another appointment a week later. (Mike got it for me.) After each vaccination we celebrated in a restaurant. The second was an Indian buffet. Interesting times, the buffet was served. We pointed at each dish we wished to sample. Done! That was interesting indeed. Meanwhile, we have appointments for the second shot. I am not looking forward to the dates.

They got a name! Vaccine selfie! Elvis in 1956 at the Ed Sullivan Theater. Polio vaccine. I’ve had one!


More Art

Salvador Dali: A weird guy/artist who loved publicity and attention. There was an exhibition of his work in our local museum. Nowadays I am less reverent. We view art. We do art. It’s fun. We have fun. Well, at least, I do. Colleen goes along. It’s easier on her. And, yes, I am shameless. We are usually alone in this particular museum. I get to stage my shots. Dali would be proud? Alas, I am not as weird as I would like to be, despite Colleen’s protest to the contrary. Dali was strange. I am merely a pretender.


Confusion reigns

It was just a joke in the beginning. Back in 2015, I did a Photoshop mash-up of our three cats. Crude, would be too kind a criticism. But then again, it was an “in your face” mash-up. The sisters arrived in January, 2017 and the twins came in July, 2018. Sometime in July 2018 we did a family portrait. And, in December, 2019 we followed up once more – a picture, not more cats.

In November, 2020 we did two takes on the same day. The ladies at CVS were amazed when (with a straight face) I told them that all my seven cats just lined up on the table upon my command to do this group shot.

Confused? It feels like a history test on which general won what battle on which date? Yeah! I went back to find dates. My vaunted file system failed until it was successful in tracking down the photo shoots and their dates. There was no group shot in 2016 or 2017. I don’t suppose you care too much for the dates or my search of a catalog holding hundreds of thousands of images. Our family continues to expand and contract. I will be more diligent of keeping track of family groupings. But, as of this post we are up to date. Alas, Patch passed away in February. That will change my next shot.

Make no mistake, you don’t simply go out and replace a pet. Patch’s recent death has left a hole in our hearts. And, you may continue to shake your head and think we are nuts. Somehow the chaos of cats all about is an acquired taste. And, I didn’t do it correctly – see – two new kittens, not one, Tillie & Peas (in 2021). Patch fly with the snow geese; we miss you.


Victor 6… and Feather

Fun with a tripod. I bet it’s easy to do with an iPhone…  Every tool is specific for its job. When I play with group shots there is planning involved. But as you can readily see, I am fast! Zzzzzt…. I simply raced around the table to snap the picture all the while leaving the shutter open. Superhero, Superman fast? No, I’m not. I simply had a little help from myself. After all, who would cooperate with me better than myself? There are those of you who will believe I did this in one sitting (with or without pun?). Indeed! I did. My beloved wife laughs. She thinks I’m a nut. Would that be in a social context or medical diagnosis? Two computers, different models; one cat, my beloved favorite (cat). This time herding cats was not needed. Call me anything you like, but, never call me late for dinner.


Art? Rockwell? Or fun with cats?

It’s near April and I’m still on Xmas. We grabbed the nearest cats for a selfie. They did not volunteer. And when you aren’t looking, they wander into the picture.

If you’ve been our house you know there is no space – nada, none! – for another loom. Ray (the cat):  Oh! A little loom. Action? (See the paper being tossed by Colleen.) The cats love the boxes Amazon delivers. And they love the tissue paper. It’s their best treat ever. Sweet. Everyone goes away happy. Now, to round up all the other stray kitties….


I made this

Ha ha. We are in a puzzle stage. Puzzle? Yes, we are making puzzles to pass the time. And after the last one – not pictured – (ha ha) I decided to design one myself. Online, they do everything. I found a website. They made a picture into a puzzle. It worked out as well as any other puzzle we have. Yes, it’s a flock of yellow sheep. We came across this group while traveling in Scotland. I’m not name dropping or bragging. It’s just: this is not something you see every day. In the background (did you peek?) there’s my nutty cat. He climbed to the top of the bookcase and leaped down. Ha ha, I made you peek.


Seen this?

iPhone 12. It’s not an advertisement. Jeff took this of Jules and Noa. Perfect. Pretty perfect. That darn iPhone took a great one. Would my camera do as well? That’s the great debate. If it would, (not), then why don’t professionals shoot with iPhone 12? Ha! There are pros (pun) and cons to the argument. But professionals use cameras because…. Maybe someday my spiffy camera will make phone calls.


Good

What’s good? Photoshop enhanced? Is it good straight out of the camera? Do you allow major or minor manipulation? When is does it cross the line into being art instead of photography? Purist? The algorithm in the camera already dictates so much. Shoot raw? The manipulation you do, is it to recreate the image you saw. Or are you creating the image you imagined? What’s good? I’m glad I don’t have to care about all that. I have never competed in a photo contest. Well, once, and, I lost. Sour grapes? Nope. It was expected on my part. I’m good. But I am not in the same league with award winning photographers. I’m not dedicated to perfection. I could do a good job given the responsibility. Sure, but it was never my day job. So, I am content. I have a catalog with hundreds of thousands of images. Some good. On the whole there are too many good images to possibly ever post. That’s good.


Family pic

As they said in the movie “Jaws,” We’re gonna need a bigger (boat) table.” Ha ha. After Patch passed away in February, it just wasn’t quite as chaotic as we are used to at feeding time. We held tryouts. It wasn’t that hard. Cat’s just gotta snuggle in your arms and dig her claws in – she’s going home with you! Tillie (black cat) is on double secret probation – ala “Animal House.” She snarled and growled at me. Me? Have you ever played, ‘spin the cat?’ Ha ha. I think Tillie has an opinion. Meanwhile, Dave said, “No more cats!” What can I say? Tillie and Peas are sisters – from different mothers? And, the pet store ladies laugh when they see me come in. They even asked if I wanted another, “Please?” when we came in today for more food. Colleen does higher math: that would be 3 1/2 sets of twins and a single (Elle).


St Pat

Gotta have green beer. Don’t forget the beads.  Why mess around with a perfectly good beer? It’s food coloring. It doesn’t change the taste. Ok?! Shamrock? Shamrock teapot? We did the usual: corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, soda bread, potato salad, and apple sauce. It got to be a little bigger than I intended. As you can see, we had a grand time. There was even enough for two more (guests). We are still being cautious. The pandemic is not quite over. We’re taking no chances, still.


On the ground

Practical reality. Schools opened for face to face teaching. What’s going on? School. Is there social distancing? Who’s it for? To protect the teacher, or student, or both? It turns out there is no social distance in school. The kids are all over each other and all over the teacher. Enforce it? Hardly? You’d spend the day just reminding them to be distant, Distance is just not how little kids roll. Jules has 5th graders. They are naturally social. It’s just not happening (distancing). Words? Action? Practical? The reality is that everyone is mashed together again. So far it is working. No disaster to report. Pfewff!! As a general, (principal) you may order your teachers to do anything. On the ground chaos reigns and choices are made. You are given lemons, you make lemonade.