Sunday, November 29, 2009

More birdy neighbors

I do love crows.
These bad boys kept an eye on me and the dog the other day on our raindrop-dodging walk. Mostly silent, uttering the occasional disdainful caw.
I like to think the same birds keep a watchful eye up above but who knows? Maybe it doesn't matter, because I have this idea that they're there, this kingdom of birds, observing the oblivious humans, all of us wrapped up in dancing with stars and a good price on a refurbished iPod when really the beauty and the magic is in the view just beyond our fingertips.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Overheard around town, part bleorgh

College students on the 31 headed to Fremont:
Girl#1: So you're going to Mario's for dinner?
Girl#2: Yeah, I'm so excited. We were supposed to finalize the plan today but he wasn't in class.
Girl#1: Yeah he was probably cooking.
Girl#2: Yeah probably. He invited me and Charles over, for whiskey and manicotti.
Girl#1: That's so Mario.
Girl#2: That's soooo Mario.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Graffiti NYC

More graffiti from my trip last month.
1) Chelsea mural in black and white--love the stark simplicity
2) Brick wall in Chelsea near the Piers--here I love the random raggedy layers
3) En route to Moma--love love love

Monday, November 16, 2009

The peeling and the rust, they speak to me

Yes they speak, I only wonder what it is they're saying.
It's why I love thrift stops, I guess, and can barely stand to walk through a Nordstrom. I like the old, the unique, the cast off and the authentic. This rusting light pole caught my eye in Port Angeles not long ago. The base once painted a rowdy turquoise, the pole sporting a surprisingly graceful silvery scallop detail. Rain added dark wet freckles to everything.
Are old things any more authentic than new ones? They have a history, anyway--like my treasured liquor cabinet, which started out life as a hardwood radio console. Kids must have sat in its oaky shadow many years ago, listening to the Howdy Doody Show, and later, Elvis Presley 45's. Then the velvety turntable stopped working. The tuner dial fell off and rolled away. The console was relegated to the basement, where the varnish darkened and the brass fittings tarnished. And now it dwells in my house, stripped and sanded down to its sturdy bones. I fell in love with the rich burled wood, the brass as silky and glowing now as gold. Now it holds what passes for music in my life--vodka, gin, and a handful of pink plastic monkey cocktail skewers.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I got my first ink the other day, something I've always wanted to do. My youngest sis and I had discussed getting it done together. She's got a couple of tattoos and was thinking about another. I thought about what image to get, and where.
Something classic but not trite, I decided--which ruled out Chinese characters, roses, skulls, the Jolly Roger or the old paw print on the boobs--and also not something I'd see on my flapping middle-aged bicep a few years hence and wish I'd spent the money on a spa day or a nice dinner or a lifetime supply of temporary tats. A native moon, I thought, a Haida design. But I couldn't find one simple enough to translate onto skin.
But this I liked, the fleur-de-lis, the elegant, classic symbol of New Orleans. So, $80 later it's mine forever, tattooed into my left ankle. I won't lie, getting it hurt like the dickens. But there is something cleansing in pain that penetrates to your bones. It focuses you, clarifies your thoughts. How much in life is permanent? the artist said, as she was setting up to get started. And when it was over: Welcome to the club.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On decay, aging and sunburn

I ran across these bad boys in Port Angeles a few weeks ago, big heavy rollers with rusted out rims. The grit and decay is beautiful against the wet cement, the moss, the fallen leaves.
They reminded me of Thiebaud cakes, a little bit. Or vintage buttons.
I really like the rims, the way the design varies, how they have rusted and crumbled and deteriorated in different ways. A recently published study of twins (scroll down) and aging had an interesting photo accompaniment, showing how sun exposure and smoking, among other things, made people age differently.
Now I'm wishing I hadn't spent all those summer afternoons in my teens basting my bare arms and legs with baby oil.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Graffitifever--catch it

Check out my sister's blog by lynn krestel for photos of Canadian graffiti. My sis is as creative as they come but until now her interests hadn't extended to street art. (You might remember my memento pendant, which is her handiwork.)

Then I saw in last Sunday's paper that a new edition of Graffiti World was out. My treehugger self debated for all of seven seconds before I ran down to University Bookstore and handed over my $35. A big glossy book featuring street art from around the world--a treasure, and worth every penny (sorry trees).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

They call me smirkee

I don't care for pictures of myself.
They're either smirky or gawky or I look half asleep.
A few months ago I decided to take on my image and see what I could make of it--a close up of my eye, my profile, a three quarters shot in hat and sunglasses, or drenched and laughing after a mad dash in the rain from the bus stop.
How do others see me? I have no idea.
I think I'd like to know. I wish I cared less. And sometimes, when my hem is raggedy and there's a toast shard in my teeth, I wish I cared more.
This picture feels stylized and warholian, yet unguarded. I don't hate it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

More overheard around town

At a Port Angeles coffee shop yesterday, a half dozen women in their fifties talked about doing headstands and gossiped about an acquaintance who was shacking up with a younger man. She's a predator, one said, to universal nods. Men should be warned about her man-acquiring, marrying ways. And then someone noted that the predator (Predatress?) had been divorced and single for twenty years.
The conversation moved on to canola oil. Don't use it, it's poison, one woman said. It's made from rapeseed.
Rapeseed--that's where crop circles are formed, another said.
Now it all made sense. The circles were a warning, they agreed. About canola oil.

bsp videos don't sleep on 'em