Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Day 10

Yup, I'm still in the hospital. But I'm doing OK. I feel pretty good all things considered. I'm back to answering e-mail, teaching on-line. I'll let you know when I bust out. Perhaps you will visit when I get home!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Visual Statements

What does your personal vehicle say about you? Does it compensate for some short-comings in life?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Who Are You?

Once a week I get an e-mail from the company that does the site meters on my website and blog. It provides me with some information as to if and how people are referred, where they are from, what time they visited, yadda, yadda yadda. Now with some people I can guess. If they comment then I know. (People rarely post comments and I'm not sure what that says about this good or bad)
But I'd love to know who is posting from:

NJ - Orange, East Orange, Montclair,

St Paul Minn, Strawberry Plains Tenn, (Lots of fans in Tenn apparently)

C'mon, give it up, show me some love!

Material Things

Call it eccentric. Many of us have relationships with material things. Some of those are love/hate relationships. Sailors sometimes assign gender to such objects as vessels. I've had a relationship with my personal vehicle for the last 16 years. In popular culture your mode of transportation is a statement of sorts. Vehicles get personalized with style, color, plates, even bumper stickers. When I was a kid, I grew up in a poor neighborhood and those who could afford vehicles treated them like they were members of the family. Acquiring a new car, even a used car was like the arrival of a new child. Born to or adopted to excited relatives. A lot of effort went into cleaning, waxing and general caring for the vehicle. No such celebration here.
My personal vehicle, a 1989 Ford Econoline 150 (Cargo van) in a midnight blue offered little to the observer in the way of clues about me. Handicapped plates, easy-pass, WPU Alumni parking sticker and BCC faculty parking sticker, oh and yes, a faded NJ PBA shield. (Badge Americard, don't leave home without it) 2009,000 miles fades the finish on the van but it owes me nothing.
The interior was bare bones, no creature comforts, weak heating/air-conditioning, noisy and without insulation. Mind you I'm not regretting any of my decisions about purchasing it. I never assigned a gender to it but if I had it would have been male. Rugged, no frills, cold and solid.
On Friday I took possession of a new van. A 2005 Ford Econoline 250 (Conversion Van) brushed gold. Not so noticeable to the observer is the creature comforts. Tinted windows, 8 cylinders as opposed to six, fuel injection 15 inch tires, insulation, carpeting, front and rear air conditioning/heating, remote Key-less remote entry and ignition. The ride is so smooth, the temperature so comfortable, the sound system. I can go on and on. If I had to assign a gender to it it would be female. "She" is sleek, fast and oh so smooth.
Now don't get me wrong, I was not seeking a luxury vehicle. Not looking to make a statement, but you no longer can get a wheelchair accessible van without these options. Regrettably you also have to pay for them.
But I never thought I get sentimental about the old van, but I do recognize it has taken me to my wedding, to gainful employment, and a master's degree. Vacations, photo shoots, and new home, it's been dependable, inexpensive and has provided me with so many opportunities.
It's next life will no doubt be recycled. I'm donating it to charity.
I'm hoping this next relationship is even half as good as the last

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Critters and Driving Noah's Ark

I was coming home yesterday and began a series of encounters with nature: As I hit Stag Hill Rd, a snapper turtle was crossing the roadway. I gave him a wide berth and then about a 1/4 mile in, I slow down for a turn and there is a raccoon, I stop and we stare at each other for a moment and then I toss him a piece of my bagel. He picks it up and for a moment looks like he is going to throw it back at me. The little ingrate instead drops it. I move on up the hill. Up near the top I see my neighbor cleaning up his front yard. It looks like a bomb went off. Apparently a bear got into his garbage. The small shed he keeps it in was in splinters. (Got to be one big assed bear) As I turn onto Maple a deer runs into the woods behind my house. As I exit the van in my driveway, I'm welcomed by a rabbit. I get in the house and look out back and the cats are glued to the windows. A bunch of wild turkey teasing them. I was tempted to get the camera out, but... Well I just wasn't moved to shoot. As much as I love seeing these critters, I have absolutely no ambition to photograph them. It made me think of a comment by one of my students about photographing a fox that frequents the area. Honestly the only foxes I'm interested in shooting ate the two legged variety.
I slept all day and go to work that night and it's pouring out. As I pass the lake, there is a migration of tree frogs crossing the road. I do my best not to squish them. Then it gets real interesting. I've never seen such heavy rain up there. About halfway down the hill, (The really steep part) the road starts to look funny. That's because it's not there anymore. It's under an inch or two of water, mud and rocks. I begin to skid and head towards the woods. I've had some experience with snow and ice and even fog but never streaming water and what I can only call a mud slide. But it works the same way, pump the brakes really easy and steer into the skid. The van shuddered and groaned a bit but stayed on what appeared to be the road. It took me a while to descend, but I got to the highwaywithout further incident.
I love living on the mountain. But got to refine my respect for mother nature.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Good Advice

You get advice all day long. From your television, computer, the government, lawyers, doctors, employers, colleagues, mentors (If you are so fortunate to have one) friends and even sometimes from your students. And depending on whether or not you believe you are on the right track, you take everyone's advice, analyze, weigh, hash, rehash and eventually come up with a plan. There are some things that I want to do in my life. Some come with strings attached. Some come with high costs not only to one's pocket, but to one's self respect. So it comes down to this; a fork in the road, so to speak. The road on the right leads all the things I want to do. It is the shortest route to where I want to get. On a clear day you can just about see your destination. But there is a toll booth, an expensive one. The road on the left leads to only the things I'm willing to do. It is long and somewhat uphill. It's end is nowhere in sight. And while there is no toll, there is no guarantee you will get to your destination either. The sign on the side of the road reads "uncompromising." And then I hear a voice, my wife, she takes my hand and whispers "I'll be at your side no matter which route you take." I ask her, what she thinks but she need not answer and we turn left. The best advice is right at home.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sensory Overload - Yellow Bra

If I saw you at the artist reception at Ruth Ann's on Friday evening, I'm sorry we did not get a chance to spend some time together. If I didn't see you, I'm sorry we did not get a chance to spend some time together!
Good food/drink, art, friends, colleagues, students, (Former and current) and family but in such volume that one could not really get some quality time. Hence the sensory overload.
I had a couple pieces in the show, the reaction was pretty good. I got to start doing that, more food/drink, friends and the like! Let's work on that!