I never used Kodak papers (always preferred Ilford and Agfa), but this is still kind of a bummer, no matter what the creeps at Gizmodo might say.
[It's Fugazi Month at rotorglow.com/blog. For the month of July, for no particular reason other than I've been listening to them a lot, each post's title will be a Fugazi lyric. I'll try to make it vaguely topical.]
Cindy, Tim, Kat and I went to see Sunburned Hand of the Man and Four Tet at the MFA last week. It was supposed to be outdoors in the courtyard, but the weather didn't cooperate. So it was inside the big auditorium--Note to Malcolm Rogers: It's great that you're doing these events, and I know you don't have many options if the weather goes bad, but that's a terrible place to see music.
I have no pix of SHOTM, but I got a few of Four Tet in action. (Not that there's much to see.) Initially, I wasn't really sure what I though of his set. It was notably free of the beats and melodies that make his records so interesting (to me), so it was more of a noise set than I was expecting.
Over the last few days I've been remembering it more fondly, though, and I'll probably go see him at the Middle East when Sept rolls around.
Played softball yesterday (for the first time in forever) with Tim, Kat, Sam and the rest of the (un)usual suspects. I didn't hurt anything or anyone, so that's pretty good. Had a few hits, a few RBIs, a few putouts and a few errors. So all that's pretty good too.
I'm in the process of moving a bunch of pix up onto Flickr from the viewer page because it doesn't make any sense to have 3 pages of photos all over the place. The first mass attempt at this is some shots I did a couple of years ago in Ireland. It was the first I'd left the country and shot 100% digital. No film. Worked ok (I guess), thanks for asking, though I was glad there was a laptop I could dump the cards onto.
I rescued this as they were removing it from the HMV store in Harvard Square a couple years ago. It's sat propped in the corner of my apartment since. The idea was to hang it on my wall, like some sort of trophy. Or I thought maybe it'd look cool over all my CD shelves. It has a sharp, perforated metal backing, so the floor was variously protected by a Boston Globe from 2003, and an extra copy of the SARS disclosure form I had to sign when I flew through Toronto.
(The form was in English, Chinese, and French, naturelment: "Avez-vous de la fièvre? [Oui|Non] Avez-vous un ou plusieurs des symptômes suivants: tous, essouflement OU difficulté à respirer? [Oui|Non]" Do we even care about SARS anymore, or has everyone moved on to avian flu?)
A year or so ago I made one attempt to remove the concrete moly bolts, so I could mount the damn thing on the wall. But at the time I couldn't find the pair of vice grips I thought I had, and was stymied by the final, most-corroded bolt. So back in the corner the sign went for another year or so.
I just threw it out tonight. (The sign, I mean, though the extra SARS form has gotten the heave-ho too.) One of those things that needs to go, and not stay. I mean, it's sort of a cool objet d'art, and it's retro, or something. But that was then (if ever). Now it's just "junk."
Besides, I think I need a new chair.
My friend Brian had a birthday this past Sunday, and we've known each other long enough that I feel comfortable (not to say "eager") posting this picture of him from our "college days," ready to "hit the town." I have no idea what the occasion was, but I'm sure that whatever ensued was ragin'.
Hapy Birthday, B.
(This pic barely scratches the surface, so if you need more proof of his greatness check out my Flickr set that attempts to document a particular weekend this April when he played a rock show and married Carolyn the most fair.
When (and just before) I was born, my parents and I lived in Rochester, NY. After we moved to MN and then PA, some friends of my parents from wayback still lived there, and taught at UR. Since my grandparents lived in Geneva, NY, we'd go back and visit them whenever we were in the area. They had a pair of Ford Capris from the early 70s, which were the immediate ancestor of my father's Capri II. Originally, the Capri was kind of a European take on the Mustang; smallish, sporty, vaguely exotic. I don't think the Obrechts' cars were what got that particular fascination revved up; I rather think it was seeing the revamped model on a trip through Europe to or from India in 74 or 75.
Ok. Fast-forward 25 years.
A few years ago, my uncle was cleaning out his fridge in NYC, and he found a Ziploc bag of both exposed and unexposed film from the ages. Now, every photographer in my family has one of these bags, pushed way back on the bottom or 2nd-from-bottom shelf of the fridge, near the baking soda, pickles and skunked Heineken. Film ages and degrade over time, and refrigeration slows that process down. So we keep partially-shot rolls in the fridge till we can use the unexposed frames. Or keep the one or two odball rolls of special film like HIE, Kodachrome 25 or tungsten-balanced Ektachrome that you can't use for birthday parties or anything other than perfect/special conditions. But, you know, they cost money, so you hate to throw them out, even though they're a decade or more (and counting) out of date.
So, my uncle's cleaning out his fridge one day, and comes across The Film Bag. He opens it up, and there's an unidentified roll of exposed 120 in there. So he takes it to a lab to have it processed, and damned if it isn't a roll of film that (he deduces) was shot by little Christopher in 1976 (or MAYBE 1977, though I doubt it), from waist high (on him, which at the time was, like, knee-high on a grownup person) of his parents' friends fleet of early 1970s Ford Capris. The camera had a waist-level viewfinder, and you can tell I was short at the time because all of the shots of the backs of the cars are looking UP at the underside of the bumper.
That explains the curious composition. I don't really know what to say about the blurriness.
My friend John recounted a recent trip through Chelsea, and ended thusly:
outside of one gallery on 25th or 26th street, there was a low window and inside you could see a guy working in his shop below ground. he was repairing pinball machines. it was one of those moments, fantastic and unrepeatable, when you wish you had a camera, and i instantly thought that if you were there you would have taken a picture. i don't think i can describe the sight well. it was past dusk outside and inside it was very well lit, with tons of old pinball machines and tools in various stages of repair and disrepair, the craftsman was holding a rag, wiping something, seemingly unaware that we could see him. probably most days, he has the shades drawn.
Tim and Kat had some people over to watch the first 12 episodes of R. Kelly's masterpiece "Trapped in the Closet." The absurdity of that will have to wait for another post.
At any rate, many of us had seen a couple of episodes a few months ago. Thus when Tim, Billy and I headed to the New England Auto Show a couple weeks ago, I was all primed to recreate a scene where R. Kelly races home in his Cadillac XLR.
And here is the result.
These are the warning labels on the back of a mobile electronic traffic sign--the kind that usually says something like, "Mass Ave under constr until 2019. Expect Delays. Seek Alt Route" or "Be Safe. Enjoy The Prom. Belmont PD."
I was struck by the strange regularity of the decreasing size of the labels. At first I hoped they were just different translations of the same "do not stop cooling fan with face" warning. But they were actually different warnings, of varying severity.
This one is currently on Garden St. near Harvard Square. Inactive, for now, but still dangerous.
I'm very happy to report that Joe and Leah brought my camera back safe and sound. Big ups to them for that, because without their help (and their wedding reception, for that matter) we all wouldn't be able to see this picture of Tim, caught in the act of catching people in the act.
More to come.
Tim has done a genius mashup of Li'l Kim and a pamphlet of exercises for "labor and birth." It's beyond compare.
A bunch of us went up to Lake Winnipesaukee for a weekend at Annie's family's sumptuous estate. There was awesome food, dogs, a billion billion stars (at night), and sun. Lots of sun. I spent rather too much time out on a dock collecting rays and breezes this morning before I drove back...also in the sun. So I'm singed in several places.
But I sure am calm.
Separately, the trip up there began in torrential walls of water, with vivid
lightnight [wtf?] lightning stabbing all around. I waited for the rain to let up a little, and for the flooding to go down, then picked my way to the interstate. It was rainy and slow well into NH, but soon the sun was shining low, yellow beams under the black clouds but above the distant mountains. It was all misty and damp, and quite a contrast from the biblical rains that came before.
It was a beautiful weekend (for a change) in E. MA, and on Saturday I headed over to Miata Day at the Museum of Transportation. A bunch of nice cars, of course, but I wasn't feeling photographically inspired.
I'm sure things would have been different on Sunday. It was Italian Car Day, and fellow Coupe-Brougham teammate David made an expedition and took some amazing pix. I'm simply agog, and next year, I'm going. That's all there is to it.
I've been in a generally shitty mood for a couple of weeks. Since I was a kid I've felt angsty about the end of summer, but recently it's gone beyond that for reasons I'm just now starting to understand, and will write more about soon.
But sometimes things break through.
As I was walking from the T to my office, I went past the semi-permanent greenish puddle on Beach Street (though it's much larger than an "puddle" might lead you to believe. And there was a carved wooden duck, floating, next to the waterlogged cardboard the trash guys refused to haul away. It was just floating there, not even bobbing because there were no waves on the puddle, no breath of air in the damp morning. And it made me smile.
Before I even got there, things hadn't been going well. I'd managed to lose my T pass between the staircase of my building (where I was when I double-checked that I had it with me) and the T stop, not 7 minutes away at a slow trudge. I stood outside the turnstile, checking and re-checking all of my pockets, my wallet, other stacks of bills, etc. I debated retracing my steps, even all the way back home, but was super late, and on some level couldn't even believe that I'd really lost it.
So I decided to just forget about it, and headed to the token booth to buy a token. One please, I said, putting a couple of bills through the slot. You look like you lost some money, said the agent with a bit of a smile, pulling the bills toward him. Well, I said, actually it seems I lost my T pass. Oh, he said, smile disappearing. He pushed my money back through the slot toward me, and I looked up. Go on through, he said, and hooked a thumb at the open gate. I was really shocked, and even more touched. Such a small gesture (that doesn't even affect him personally), but it really struck me. And I really needed it. I sat on the train, weirdly dazed, simultaneously feeling wretched and reassured all out of proportion to the cause and resolution of the whole thing.
My dear friends Tim and Kat had a baby this morning. His name is Miles, and he's a big one, as babies go. He's a tiny person--a whole person!--not very useful or convenient, or maybe even all that much fun at this point, but with stuff to learn and teach. Which is all a pretty big thing, for such a little...thing...to be facing and causing. And even from all the way over here, I'm a little awed.
"Awed." Yeah. That'll have to do for now.
Life's been pretty weird in Rotorland. I've been working a lot, for one thing, which always unbalances me a little. Hence (more or less) the radio-silence.
This is kind of allegorical, and kind of not, but:
I (re)connected (with) an old friend this week. I rewired the switch on the neon sign I got for Xmas in 1994. I'd been running it every evening for about 10 years when the switch broke. Since then, it's been dark, and I've moved it around my apartment, trying to keep it visible and in the way so I'd take the time to to find the right replacement switch.
Kept not happening, though. Freud, please call your office.
But last weekend, on one of my ever-more common trips to Home Depot, I finally found a switch that would work, and rewired the light. The switch doesn't fit perfectly, and I can't fit the cover plate back on over the hole. But the sign works (and hasn't caught fire), and I guess I'd forgotten how much I'd missed it. It's one of those things that always always made me happy.
Here the allegory breaks down a bit.
In other news, I'm finished with answering the telemarketers' batphone. Lesson learned. Yeah, I'm in the book, but the people who need to reach me (or by whom I want to be reached) have a different number.
"Take me off your list. If you have something to send me through the mail, I'll consider it, but I don't respond to telephone solicitations."
On my recent trip to PA, my mom gave me some old pix I shot in 1974 or 1975 with a cheapo plastic-lens camera. I think it shot 120 roll film (roughly 2 inches square), my first encounter with medium format. But the plastic lens (with fixed focus, no less) didn't really do the big frame justice.
Anyway, here's another 12-frame mosaic, this time with actual people in it. More here.
So, it's December. Snow. "Holidays." Parties. Etc.
Got our first bit of snow today (which didn't stick). And the first party of the year (for me) was this past Saturday: Aileen and Melissa's annual rager. I took my new ax, blew through an entire 2 gig SD card, and posted the good stuff....
The problem with digital photography is that film is cheap.
Crazy weekend. Really busy, really fun, really sad (this last is on account of a friend's mom's memorial service) and thus/somehow lots of thinking. I have this deep mental fatigue that's preventing me from stringing anything together about it, so I'll write about that later.
But one thing must go remarked-upon, and right now:
Seems I just crossed 10000 views of my photostream. Which seems like a lot, considering there are more pictures of vans than naked women.
I visited Simone and the Rocket this past Sunday afternoon, and shot some pix (actually, quite a lot) of Rocky tearing around in the snow and exploring the ice. I think this is my favorite. I'll explain why (and post other shots) a little later.
I just got back from a weekend in PA, and will be mumbling something about that before too long.
In the meantime, please enjoy these pix from the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance that David took over the weekend. Seems like it was an amazing show. My faves?
The Lincoln pictured above.
The Bugatti Veyron
These Aston Martins
And this Jaguar
Spectacular! All I've got is an Oldsmobile station wagon and a Dodge Aries.
You always hear about these things happening, but.....
An air conditioner fell out of a 5th floor window in my building this morning, right before I walked out the side door. My story and picture are on Flickr.
Also, like everyone else today, I made a couple of Simpsons avatars.
I've got all kinds of crap rattling around in the noggin relating to the last month or so (trips to Phila and NYC, expatiations on image editing/management software, the nature of haze vs smoke, how many cars are too many, general textual navel-gazing), but I just haven't sat down to write it yet.
But I've been organizing some photos.
Still to come: Photosets of Darcy's birthday and the houses moving up Mass Ave (in addition to the aforementioned navel-gazing).
You wouldn't believe how many photos--photos much happier than this one--from the last 3 or 4 weeks I need to post on Flickr. I'm still sorting through them all, thinking up stuff to blog about and not following through, etc.
Until I get around to all that, please enjoy this crutch, chained to a bike rack.
I found this Flash widget to pull photos from a Flickr tag, set or group, and thought I'd give it a try.
These are from the Codman House Auto Show I went to in July.
I grabbed a screenshot of this (strange) weather statement posted back in August.
This weekend Deb took me west to North Adams, MA, for some time in the country and a visit to Mass MoCA as an early birthday present. She made all the arrangements, and all I had to do was drive us out there and back. We were going to lounge around at The Porches, an inn owned by or connected with Mass MoCA, hang out at the museum, maybe do some hiking, and head to Lenox for dinner.
Well, we ended up doing most of that stuff, but we (by which I mean "I") were hampered a bit after I sprained my ankle after taking a bad step on Friday night. I heard something snap, but was able to drive us back to the hotel. Deb's sister (a physical therapist) prescribed ice and elevation, and a trip to the ER in the AM.
Long story short, I did that, got some crutches, and we still managed to have nice weekend. Mass MoCA is awesome, even (especially?) from a wheelchair. Cafe Latino is a great restaurant within the museum grounds, and The Porches has a fantastic ambience combining weathered-wood charm with pristine white Ian Schrager-like modernity. And it's got a year-round heated outdoor pool, sauna, DSL, DVDs and inexplicably generous pours of Scotch in the sitting room of the main building.
Special shout-out to Deb for putting the whole thing together, and for driving Veloce all weekend (including the trip home). Zoom zoom.
This is a placeholder. On here, it's supposed to tide you over until I get to writing about what's been going on the last two weeks. On Flickr, it's supposed to whet your appetite for 60+ pix of old Ferraris, Alfa Romeos and Maseratis that have been languishing, unposted, for 4 months.
It'd be nice to have a game, let alone be at the top of it.
It's funny how much (and how often) I look forward to getting out of town.
I'm going to be pissed if today's cortisone shot doesn't end up doing anything
Meanwhile, this is Tucson, shot in 2002.
No Tucson trips on the horizon, but hopefully my W. NY expedition happens this weekend. I should just stay around and continue unpacking and sorting and getting organized. But when an opportunity to get away presents itself, I'm more and more likely to do it.