Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The skinny of late. And pictures.

1) In the running for a creative nonfiction prize. If I could ask for you to go somewhere and vote for me, I would.

2) Won a fellowship to the Summer Literary Series for Creative Nonfiction in Lithuania. Only goes toward tuition, so between room & board and airfare (and double it because I'd have to/demand on/want to take my kid with me), there's no way I can go. But they gave me something, and I'm focusing on the compliment of that.

4) Had a run in with a crazy in a green pickup truck today. He cut me off (he was in a left-turn-only lane at a light, I was in the go-straight land, but he went straight instead left, directly into the path of my straight-going car), and when I slammed on the breaks and the horn, he stopped his car, got out, came over to my car yelling at me to "Slow it down, bitch!" (I was doing about 12 miles an hour at the most, having just pulled out from a red light.) "Slow it down! I'm an undercover cop and I'm looking for an address! So back off!" Took pictures of the back of his car, drove a couple blocks away and called the police.

5) Working on trying to find Clifford Irving, the author of Fake! and the controversial/hoaxed Howard Hughes biography that's the basis of the film Hoax. Anybody out there conveniently his cousin or niece or something?

6) Have apparently forgotten how to count.

Ohio Turnpike
I've been goofing around with tilt shift and and old photos. I don't have a camera that's capable of creating the effect, or Photoshop (which has a great process for doing tilt shift), but I found an (extremely, thoroughly, utterly, completely) simplified version for free that does an okay job. I wouldn't have been opposed to spending a couple of bucks on a decent program, but they all seem to be modules or attachments or whatever to big, fat programs (read: expensive) like Photoshop, so there you go.

Pektor's Hill, looking down at Pektor's farm.
(refuses to click to larger image, for some reason)
Train in Duluth
These are a couple of snaps. I think they're okay - not as good as some I've seen - and I know some things I can do to get better ones out of the freeware (like go snap some pictures from heights and better angles). 
South Bethelem, looking down at Bethlehem Steel.
Plaza outside by Shedd Aquarium, Chicago.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Getting work out there.

Thank you, Hotel Amerika, for taking my prose poem, Woof, and my whatever-it-is-lyric-essay(?), Exclusions. Can't wait to see them in the special spring issue, "Aphorisms."

Fresnel lens + eyeballs = weird.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Blog Coming Soon?

I helped Rachel set up a new blog site just for her. It's called Travel with Daleks and will probably be mostly a photo journal of the house Daleks doing various things and going various places. We're going to work on it over her spring break (she needs to find her way around, figure out how it all works, where things are, etc.) and hopefully get some photos up soon. A lot of her photos are damn hilarious - will probably be worth checking out.

Dalek Zar tries an apple.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Nothing of much substance happening this week. Been plenty busy and plenty productive: newly remastered CV and resume, plenty work on Phoenix class and with Phoenix students, etc. No energy being channeled into housework, however, and the place looks more like somewhere you might want to house zoo animals than anything. Well, maybe it's not that bad. You can still see sections of the surface of the living room library table, after all.

I was hoping to spend some time writing this week, but it just hasn't happened. I think next week is looking fairly likely for that kind of business, at least I hope so. I'm semi-itching to finish a semi-started essay that could satisfy an item on the Artifice wishlist. My choice would be to make something like a Schrodinger's box, but I haven't yet come up with the solution/idea/design for that one.

In lieu of an essay to talk about, since the semi-started pieces aren't quite started enough to know that they're going to remain what they're beginning to be, so discussing "what they are" seems a little presumptuous at this point, here are some pictures of stuff I've made.

Eddie Izzard has this bit about the Pope and Batman being the only individuals who go around in -mobiles that then segues into the Pope fighting crime with his Jesus Disks (makes arm motions like he's flinging Chinese throwing stars). That seemed like a good Christmas present for a couple of friends who are big-time Eddie Izzard fans - Jesus Disks - and the papal miter and disc followed.

The disc was burned with Gregorian chants before it was covered in religious and religious-looking images. Seems like crime fighting discs would have inherently more crime-stopping power if they carried beautifully sung prayers on their obverses. The papal miter is a little more "swinging sixties" than "St. Peter's," but I wanted to use fabric I already had, if possible. The flowered lamé is quite a lot louder than is evidenced by the picture, which makes me love it and which also makes it very difficult to find a use for.

I like needle felting. It's satisfyingly organically sculptural. You build up from nothing, or from a central mass (like a balled up and tied old wool sock), like sculpting with clay. It's possible to blend colors, add delicate nuances, create subtle shaping. Fixing mistakes or weirdnesses is just a matter of compacting the wool roving down until the problem disappears and then covering it up with more material. Plus, the actual felting process is all about being stabby, and that's pretty fun, too.

I made this little guy a couple/three months ago after I had my old garage door opening button replaced with one that wasn't a broken piece of crap. The board that came out was kind of cool, and I'd been thinking about trying to make some creatures/things with a mix of wool and other junk, and it seemed like a decent piece of junk to make a first try with.

I think he's pretty cute. (I just wish I had some decent lights/photo area/box for snapping objects. I *think* about making one, but have yet to do so.) His plug (the white end - it's the cord from a broken pair of old eighties-style headphones) comes out in case he feels like wrapping it around his "neck" for warmth or style.

The fat cat, Alexandra (also: Moose, Chubbadub, Wide Load, Fatso, Tub-o-Guts, etc.) likes him too, enough that I have to keep him on the higher table under the windows so she can't grab him off the library table and kick the crap out of him. Cat claws are pretty much the antimatter to the needle-felting needle's matter - they undo the very fabric of needle-felting existence and one's monsters are left loose and fuzzy and dis/decomposed.