Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Greenwood Auto Show's self acknowledged unofficial photographer


The Show: thirteen blocks of vintage, tricked out cars notable for the love lavished on their voluptuous, streamlined forms. Weather perfect. Garlic fries, tattoos and strollers.

The layers of paint and lacquer give incredibly saturated color. Geometry of many of the shapes is high art. Notice the same angles used in the yellow 'Vette and red Ferrari vents.

If American automakers want to compete, model these forms in a high mileage machine. Like the PT Cruiser, Chevy HHR and SSR.

I easily lose myself taking and editing photos. I made this collage using Picasa and sent a low resolution jpeg to the auto show's creators, asking them to contact me if they wanted to look at individual pictures. Maybe something work like this could work into a source of downstream bohemia income???

Friday, June 26, 2009

Work and Play



Screenshots showing the two activities in which I have been most engaged the past week...and now SCHOOL'S OVER!! I will remember this year as the one in which the good days finally outnumbered the bad. The one when I had not 1--which would be joy enough--but 2 students who absolutely loved learning. I had not one kid--but zero kids with a sneering attitude. When I took the class outside for an unsanctioned break they expressed their gratitude with a dash back to the room ahead of me. There they greeted me with their impression of every teacher's dream--all students sitting erect in their chair, smiling, hands folded on the desktop, "Thank you, Mr Dailey," said in unison upon my arrival. I got hugs. I got mash notes extolling me as the "Greatest Teacher Ever." I got lots of more-or-less appropriate jokesters. What's not to love?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yikes

Impassive face dull copper, he was dressed in white with bright embroidery trim. I read that his people come to the fishing village from their home in the mountains about fifty miles northeast, above Puerto Vallarta. I don’t know. His mask is a little scary, though, pulling away from it quickly at low shutter speed.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

We hardly knew ye


On Sunday, May 31, I put up a post about the activity of a nearby nest of alleged wrens. A week later I questioned the accuracy of our identification and put forward the blackcap chickadee as a more accurate choice (since, conclusively confirmed).

Mid-week we realized the inordinate amount of cheeping we had been hearing was undoubtedly due to the erstwhile presence of Squad Car [pictured above], our name for next door’s cat, at a window not 5 feet away from the nest. Although we regretted the wee birds' distress, it had been months since we had last seen Squad Car so it was good to know he was still around. That was 3 or 4 days ago.

This morning at breakfast I commented to BFF that I was just then seeing an awfully lot of chickadees flying around. Roaming the front pavement a few minutes ago I slunk up to the nest box and heard nothing. Rushing back inside I related this latest news and BFF said I should Google to find out when the babies fledge: “On about day 16 the young chickadees leave the nest,” I read; that's what I had seen at our morning meal!

They're gone, now, just like the baby chickadees raised by Bird--BFF's name--four years ago inside a wooden mask hanging in the carport of our old house in Wedgwood. We had grown so accustomed to Bird and her brood--the mask was right next to a much-used side door--that it was a shock when they all seemed to suddenly disappear. It took us a while to realize they hadn't died untimely, rather just abandoned their home.

"We hardly knew ye, wee chickadees," Squad Car says for all of us.

Doing a weekend chore while stoned


I was just sucking up dirt from the living room’s landlord-bought-Home-Depot rug, thinking of the timelessness of this homely activity when I realized what a marvelous, even revolutionary! machine is the portable electric vacuum cleaner. It practically makes possible the wall-to-wall carpet and totally obviates the need for a rug beater…Except among those Eastern cultures where one takes off one’s clogs, or whatever they’re called, upon entering the house...Which thought led me to images of several friends’ heaped and sprawling entryway collections of shoes, boots, slippers, et cetera.

Is there some constellation of behaviors, I wonder, more often engaged in by those who do, as opposed to those who don’t, have a household rule about taking off one’s shoes? What would they include? Separating the recycling from the trash?...insufficiently predictive; we separate our waste but don’t do the shoe thing…Having at least one item of clothing in a Guatemalan design? Maybe.

Which thought probably reveals in an unattractive way my own attitude toward these shoe-eschewers. They’re basically un-American, I think tendentiously. Lacking the pioneer spirit, left-coast-yoga-ish. Obviously new age. Poseurs. No-longer-radical chic...Now I've worked myself up into a state. So I relax...

On the other hand, for the more enlightened it might just be a matter of comfort and cleanliness in one's own home...Of course. That's what it is. It's just that I have an attitude, and now I feel defensive and embarrassed about bringing this whole thing up...One thing, though: the portable electric vacuum cleaner--widely believed invented in 1907 in Chicago by a janitor named James Spangler whose cousin married William Hoover--really is AWESOME.

Hope

I have the sweetest kids in my class this year. More third graders than fifth, still, in their attitude. But a smart, fun-loving group. Sometimes their earnestness trumps even my mildest sarcasm. We are winding up the year and our Medieval Times unit of study with a readers' theater production of Laura Schlitz's great Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! It's a series of 19 monologues and 2 dialogues delivered by the children from all social strata in a medieval manor. Because of their good nature and sense of responsibility I've been able to involve my students in half a dozen productions before both life audiences and the camera. After the inauguration of President Obama I spliced together a video of each of them reading their hopes for the future. Here is a clip from one of my sweeties: video

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Significant behavior infraction

Quoting verbatim from the second notice of an Incident Report filed recently by a supervisor at our school on a second grade girl [names redacted and substituted with "Girl" or "Boy"]:

Other children at the lunchroom table complained that Boy and Girl were not talking appropriately to each other. Girl told Boy that he "invented the fart;" she told him to "shut his piehole" and "talk to the foot." Boy told Girl that "there was a butt on the back of her head." When I talked to both of them about this, they were giggling and not taking the issue seriously."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lush Life



This is what we currently imagine as the Downstream Bohemia of mobile home living: our Airstream on a narrow lot that's fenced in (like all the others) and looks just like our rented patio. It's paved with old bricks and occasional concrete chunks. That's a 6' high fence you see, with two 2X6 horizontal pieces at 8'. These timbers support a flowering clematis vine trained to also cover an arbor in the back corner where I work and la-de-da and sometimes relax on a really funky couch. Party lights. For music--a Cuban son. Laughter.

Ooooooooooo


My sweetheart emails me today at work with a link to Cape Town's swank Grand Daddy Hotel that features seven vintage Airstream trailers, each with a different decorating theme. "The two-person Airstreams are situated neatly around the rooftop bar [emphasis added]." I guess said bar may, or may not, resemble this establishment: the Apollo Lounge at South France's Belrepayre Airstream & Retro Trailerpark "nested in the foothills of the Pyrenees [emphasis added]."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rela-a-a-x

I've heard there is, or used to be, a cable TV show around Christmas time that consisted entirely of hours of a fire crackling in a hearth. video

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wren or Chickadee?

Another stakeout for the Bewicks Wren and this time it doesn't take long for the payoff. There must have been some kind of food in her beak because as soon as it shows inside the round opening I hear a chorus of tiny cheeps. Wife and I examine the photo and she isn't convinced it is a wren, thinks it's a blackcap chickadee. I can't tell.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Birthday Date Night


At a restaurant named Cactus in a part of town where everyone, even our age, has perfect teeth. The food is great, like Mexican culture: vibrant, earthy.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Nasal Shoutout


To all my allergic compadres, especially those for whom the horror is pollen. So far the number of incapacitating days this spring is three. Only lying comotose on my back with a cold washcloth over my eyes and nose offers any relief. Is there a geographic solution?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pre-Photoshop


This business card was made about 16-17 years ago. I argued with the trolly guy who was in charge of graphics. And he had a hell of a time with the script. I wonder: is their* space in Downstream Bohemia for a traveling theater?

*[sic. I mean "there," of course. Before I took up my current occupation, I never confused these homophones. I guess it's called reverse-teaching...of course I didn't used to know what a homophone was either.]

Monday, June 1, 2009

Livin' Largely



My sweet wife told me about pictures and an article on MSN.com tonight (with links to other small spaces sites) featuring a freestanding $6000 8X10 studio. We're both moving in that direction, but she is much better than I am at living simply. "I personally am going to move into an Airstream trailer which you, with your difficulty in giving things up, are going to have a hard time moving into," she warns me. I don't think "Livin' Large" and living simply are necessarily mutually exclusive if you splash the sides with color and put some jolly tropical sculptures on the roof. Although it's gotten less over the years, I still do accumulate.