We don’t. We don’t July 4th. Not much anymore. I have mixed feeling, since living in Saudi and having gone thru the Trump years. For us the flag is now associated with the conservative “big lie” Republicans. Sure enough, we ran into a bunch in our conservative town on this day back years ago. Frankly, it’s sickening. Rah rah. Democracy is demonized and the flag never felt more like the connotation of “love it or leave it.” I don’t feel much like a part of that “gang.” When did America stop opening its arms to the “tired, poor, and huddled masses? It’s just so hard to cling to any hope. Colleen is an optimist. She will never give up believing in “good.” I will do so because she is my hope.
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.
I would never say, “We won. You lost!” (The trump presidency is still raw. We’re in DC together – a few years back.) Ginny never lets me forget her birthday. She always calls a few days ahead. Ha ha. So, Happy!! She’s one of my only remaining Republican friends. She knows that too. We speak infrequently of politics. This is not the closest Colleen has been to a Republican. Colleen lived in rural West Virginia. But since she no longer lives there, her encounters have been fewer. Colleen allows me to stay in touch. But, nowadays I wear a mask and sanitize after every encounter outside the family.
The Amish are odd because of their habits – no buttons or zippers on their clothes. And they do not use electricity or machine power. The hay baler is not powered, I guess. We all live amonst one another in peace. No pictures please. You know me. There’s never been a rule I didn’t try to break. Sorry. The rule in “Street photography” is that in “public” you are fair game for photography. It doesn’t mean I will photograph if you are in an embarrassing position. But otherwise…. that weaving device was one of the few I did not buy. What is it? Dunno. It would’ve been a good conversation starter.
Fuzzy lampshades. We bought a Hoosier cabinet from a couple – the guy looks like “Bernie.” It was eerie. We had so much in common. The husband and I came from NYC and swam on the high school team – different teams but NYC! Colleen and the wife were from DE with common experiences up and down the state. Hoosier cabinet – 2 million were made in the day – in Indiana, of course! They are valued by collectors. I did not know we were collecting… at least I did not end up with fuzzy lampshades. The Hoosier was something I did not think we needed. Wrong! What do I know?
Friends – not any more. I’m too lazy to seek out another pic. We went to the Tyler Place in Vermont for a bunch of years when the kids were small. This group hung in and persisted as fast friends for more than 25 years later. Two of four couples are divorced now. The end ladies, one a liberal democrat and the other a conservative republican are no longer friends (of mine). One chose my wife over me in the divorce. The other did not like my liberal rants against trump. She defended herself saying she watched the news – Fox news. Oh! Times change and old republican friends just get older…. and fewer. Yes, and they sold the house (in the background) too. Everyone one is on another path. Better? Worse? Was the split because of politics? We all met at the Tyler Place a long long time ago. No regrets. Friends. Republican friends in a time when it was ok.
I could use an alternate brain. It’s simply amazing the number of things I have forgotten. I don’t throw things away. I simply put them away… in places… and then promptly forget until… here’s an example. Back in 2007 Carol gave me a gift that I kept safe and never used. I found the card, box, and all, the other day. We are still in touch, so I thanked her again. … yup! It’s back in the box. I’ll find it in another ten years… and thank her once again.
Fettuccine Alfredo. Maybe you’ve had it, maybe not. There are two restaurants in Rome that claim to be the original. At least that was the case many decades ago. We tried both restaurants on that trip long ago. This is the restaurant where they put on a show as they served. It’s the original! The showmanship makes me smile even now. That’s Alfredo in the picture, Of course!
“This must be what it felt like watching the moon landing. It was a historic scientific achievement that you just know a bunch of idiot jabronis are going to say was faked.” — SETH MEYERS
“You know that 2020 has been weird because I’m looking at a person in a face mask getting injected and I’m thinking, ‘I cannot wait for that to be me.’” — JAMES CORDEN
“This is a relief. I would hate to start another week of shows without talking about the same election results we’ve all known for the last month and a half.” — JAMES CORDEN
“At this point, Joe Biden has won the election so many times, he’s our 46th through 51st president.” — STEPHEN COLBERT
“This is also big news because this means after six agonizing weeks, the election is finally over. Stick a fork in the president; he’s done. Also, keep that fork handy because poking him in the butt might be the only way to get him out of the White House.” — STEPHEN COLBERT
SantaCon. I was there once. Look it up. It’s an enormous bar crawl. It sure is colorful. Halloween style costuming in December. It’s a guerilla event, a pop-up. Everyone knows but no one does. It’s quite the thing. I went once. Yeah, yeah, I (famously) don’t/can’t drink. I went for the pictures.
One and only. This is the one and only image. Once. We never spoke, I don’t even know how I knew her name. This lady sat in this doorway for years while we lived in NYC. She would always smile at my kids when we came out of our building. One day I snapped her picture. Finally! Her demeanor changed in an instant. It was clear she did not want her picture taken. She was a “character” in my neighborhood. The doorway? I do not know if it was a home or storefront. I never saw beyond the darkened entrance. One day she was gone. … but not forgotten.
I made the ultimate marriage faux pas. I called Colleen, Lisa (former wife) by mistake. There can be no excuse, but, I believe I was overtired. Colleen was gracious enough to wait to scold me. I am mortified. (I think I am still alive to tell the tale?) Susan took this group pic 9 years ago. (Shutterfly sometimes sends past memories that…) Four couples were friends together for more than a quarter century. I don’t quite remember when Bob and Kathy split. They aren’t pictured. And I (unofficially officially) split from the group in 2014. I’m forced to look back on my subconscious mistake that seems only to have been caught by Colleen. She will forgive me. She always does. It’s not enough for me to accept her forgiveness. I have committed myself to following a new path for us. Some things can’t be unsaid. But, I can go forward different than I was yesterday. Regret? Yup, I got a big one.
Colleen says, “Where are four couples?” Ok, my bad? A remote control and one tripod later, voila!
“Drive by… shooting” came to mind as the title. Humorous? …perhaps in another time. “Shooting,” as in photography. Not today. We rode by to say “hi” and to check on the cousins. There was plenty of yard work and planting going on. Biking. It’s good for you.
I was on the hunt for a hard drive that held missing image files from 2007. Right?! Things disappear. Certainly, memory fades. I am always appreciative that computer memory is forever. GIGO – garbage in garbage out and all that. And, hard drives fail – always. But, until they go bad, what’s stored is there. My memory decays and degrades and I forget. I wonder what the memory of the human brain…. 2.5 million gigabytes.
Which brings me to – stored in a random storage bin: surgical telescope? I never called them that. “Loops.” It was magnifying lens through which you operated with a magnified surgical field. So, it was binocular magnified vision that was soon supplanted the operating microscope. They were popular just before the microscope took over neurosurgery as the go-to instrument. Dr. Fred Epstein, my pediatric neurosurgery mentor bought every resident a pair. It was his kind gift to us all. I just want to remember his kindness and remember him today as I look at the glasses I hardly used. They were a significant expense and much appreciated. When I graduated the program Fred also gave me the latest (at that time) six volume set of Youman’s second edition (now 6th). He was a brilliant surgeon, teacher, and mentor. In my own career I never forgot his kindness and often I gave back in small ways to people who worked and trained under me.
The story goes like this. I remember Susan’s birthday because she told me and I made this post on the spot back in May. Otherwise I’m a lost cause. Of course, I can/could write birthdays in a list somewhere. I didn’t/don’t. My bad!
The pic? Susan’s husband and his buddy are making out in a hot tub….. we were staying in a rental. Apres ski, the boys walked in on my (former) wife and Susan in the hot tub. You do the math…. I’m just sayin’ I wasn’t there. No harm no foul. It was a few decades ago. Thank goodness memory fades. Happy Birthday! My odds are not good to remember next year’s date.
Dave’s been in one location for too long now. Kathleen’s sister had a child – Gio. I won’t comment upon the name. You look it up. “Noa” is pretty rare to hear too. On the go… Dave’s traveling again. Restless? Maybe west? There are a lot of options and there aren’t. But, as the country reopens, the possibilities are endless. And, he’s had Corona, we think; we can’t get him tested, but probably. No social distance if you are living with someone. I get to kiss Colleen but not hug Dave. No handshakes. They came to say good-bye. They’re headed to see the new baby. Risk? There are choices. Relaxing?
Have you ever had a day when everything came together – light, smiles, background…?
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.
Post office. We have two nearby. We chose the one less frequented. There was no one inside when we pulled up. Two other cars came while I waited in the car. Colleen got the local news – free. The beaches are officially closed. The police patrol to keep it that way. People walk and exercise. Blue sky on one side and storm clouds from the other. We got a drenching downpour complete with thunder and lightning about an hour later. It’s just another exciting day in lockdown.
The dichotomy of the view – you chose – Corona or death – hoax? or real? – Republican? or – One could speculate a storm is coming or, it has passed.
…two months have passed since I scheduled this post. Corona came and never left. The beach opened. Corona is worse around us. Danger! There are folks everywhere. …follow the money.
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.
What can I say? Skate around the streets of Manhattan in practically no clothes. It might not stand out on the beach. But, really! Killer outfit!. I was stopped at the traffic light. My camera was on the seat. I lifted it and got off a single shot. Somehow, she sensed I was there. She rolled on past the van and took refuge in the doorway of the next apartment building. She looked warily at my car but my camera was already down on the seat once more. Spooky. Some weird guy shooting you while you exercise (in practically no clothes). How weird?
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind but now I see…..
Look it up… our fearless leader is golfing.
Summer market, famer’s market, teeming with people out to get fresh produce or a good meal. Ya gotta love the kids. There’s nothing better than a hot ear of corn on the cob! And beer? We settled in at BBQ joint and Colleen got a flight (of beer). San Luis Obispo was such an exotic faraway city when I first came across the name back in the early ‘70’s while working in a publishing house. My niece later married here. And now, Colleen and I have dined. I never actually thought I’d ever be here. Funny how life intersects with my reality.
After the initial run – on water and toilet paper – it seems that the gods laughed. It couldn’t be the Republicans. It was all a hoax to them… Indeed, it was science fiction of my youth. You know, the disbelieving folks, laughing, till the monster ate their car. Folks were out and about in at least six states completely in denial as I write this about a couple month before posting. By now, I hope there is free access to TP. Come to think of it, maybe the Republicans made this sh*t up? Nah? It was short people. The last rolls were on the top shelf. Water? My cats throw up when they drink tap water. Dunno? So, we had to find bottled water. Crazy. Yup.
(Note: Meat, or, TP. YOU, choose. It ain’t over by a long shot. People are out and about. Armed protesters have been encouraged by our fearless leadership to stand in state capitals. What the f’k are you worried about. Remember when Bush Sr said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” No, it was Clinton’s campaign who coined the phrase against one term President Bush. It ain’t over and it’s not better. At all! Be afraid. Be….)
Throwback. Here’s an interesting piece of history. Historical? It dates back a few decades. Lisa was drunk. Rare to say, but, she’s not driving either. MA – Maryanne – no longer speaks to me. She chose Lisa in the divorce. Bob, stopped talking with me. He perceived some insult when he got divorced (to Kathy, not me). Susan, I apologize. Last time we emailed, I insulted her Republican values and support for T(rump) – would that be asshole? – in this time of corona. I never remember the date of her birthday. Sorry. Both. I never remember your birthday and I never should question your beliefs. My bad. It’s been on my mind lately. And, when I did a search on my hard drive, this photo popped at the top of my search.
The skirt does not do this young lady justice. We awaited the lecture to start. This poor gal could not get the overhead projector to project. Oh well, been there, done that. Tech, media, it always fails when you need it – right now! Anyway, see the reflection. She was standing perfectly. I used this to get Colleen into position later.