Wednesday, August 31, 2005

New Orleans-The Plucking Continues

PresHallBanjo3, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Unfortunately, they appear to be plucking people out of flood waters and off of rooftops. Hopefully, one day soon, the only plucking to do in town will once again be of the banjo variety.

This was taken inside of Preservation Hall which, unfortunately by now, is probably covered mostly in water.

I have to stop watching the news. I have to, I have to, I have to. I keep feeling like I want to watch, but I shouldn't, and I do anyway. I'm addicted to the coverage. This one's really "gotten me."

So, I was thinking yesterday, while I was watching some poor folks being plucked from the rooftops on my TV (as I have been, unfortunately, for the past few days) "What if...what if everybody who has been watching TV for 3 days straight were to donate $10 to the Red Cross. Would that help?" $10, you see, is about the price of a movie these days and, as much as I hate to admit it, the news coverage has been a main source of "entertainment" for many folks over the course of the storm. Why not pay, just as you would, for a "normal" movie? This is, of course, just a suggestion from the bowels of the back of my mind, which is flooded with too much storm coverage at the moment.

I was talking to Steve about the storm the other day and he raised an interesting question. So, we're all hearing about how the levees have been breaking, and we know that they keep the waters at bay but, the big 20 foot water-wall question of the day is, how exactly do you fix a levee? I mean, once it breaks and all, how do you fix it?

I just have visions of scuba divers chewing gum and sticking it on with their thumbs or something, but I'm sure that this isn't right.

I know that the Army Corps of Engineers is down there helping. If anybody, in the history of the universe, would know how to fix a levee, it would probably be those guys. They know how to fix a lot of stuff.

Usually, the army sends them in to build bridges and stuff while they are being shot at, deep behind enemy lines. Oh, and like, they have to get out right away before being spotted. This is just a little floating fun for them. Almost like a walk in the park.

Ok, maybe actually a walk in the lake.

But, back to my original question, it appears, unfortunately, that they don't know either. Latest word is that they have tried dumping sand and this didn't work so now they are resorting to "plan b" which consists of loading up barges with rocks and pushing them next to the existing levee bottom, in the hopes that this will control the water.

A beached barge full of rocks? So that's how you fix a levee. Who knew?

Until next cinaburst...

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Preservation Hall Has Been Preserved

PresHallOut3, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

So, I was watching the news yesteday, to find out about the hurricane in the Gulf, as I have been for the past three days (I've been glued to the set actually) when I saw one of the news casters reporting from the French Quarter. "It's surprisingly intact," was the summation of the report. "A few bars have started to re-open."

Ok, so let me get this straight. You have a mighty hurricane that rips through the entire city, no actually STATE, category 4 and all, blowing off part of the roof of the Superdome, flooding over half the city, breaking levees and inundating parts with 15 feet walls of water, while, at the very same time, drinking on Bourbon Street stops for a FULL 24 HOURS. Wow. That was quite a storm. (It takes a lot to keep those folks from drinking, let me tell you.)

Actually, I think it's really good news that people have started to drink again. It's the first sign of "normal" in a place that, well, isn't on a good day.

Phew! I'm so glad the liquor's running again. For a moment there, I was actually frightened.

Until next Cat 5...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Preservation Hall Jazz

PresHallOut4, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This was taken in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It's an historic jazz club called Preservation Hall. The next series of shots I'll be posing here will consist of images taken in, around, and outside of this venue.

I wish I could say something funny and clever about the big storm. I wish I could laugh about it. I wish I could be sitting here, writing to you, "I'm so glad all the voodoo saved the French Quarter." Unfortunately, I cannot. As I write this, the hurricane is still barreling down on New Orleans, and tens of thousands of lives are at risk. Probably most of the French Quarter is under water. The roof of the Superdome, now home to tens of thousands of refugees seeking shelter from the storm, has been partially blown off. The levee has broken (or been compromised) and the storm surge is just starting to crest. It's a dire situation.

The only consolation that we have is that folks who live near the coast are kind of "used to" hurricanes and we had a little bit of warning-enough for the first 800,000 or so "lucky few" to escape harm's way.

Today's hurricane was, in many ways, a "perfect" storm. It was not only perfectly formed, as far as hurricanes go-it was broad and wide across, with a well-defined eye, but it got a lot of media attention. It made us all realize how vulnerable we all are. Even if you don't live near the coast, you live near snow, or tornadoes, or earthquakes or, well, something.

Nobody can escape the wrath of mother nature, should she set her sights on you. She's got more tricks up her sleeve than a voodoo queen and, when she unleashes her power, you best hope for her mercy because, from what I can see, Hell hath no fury like a Gulf Coast storm.

Until next time...

Friday, August 26, 2005

It's Friday, Don't Forget Your Hat

HatShopAtNightNo1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Yeah, it's finally Friday, TGIF and all. Today is also my Mom's birthday. I won't reveal how old she is but, suffice it to say, she's 21 plus. Go, Mom!

She's going out for dinner tonight and I've volunteered to stay at home and watch Austin. He's such a baby, he needs watching, but he's kind of fun to peek at, so it's all good.

Speaking of going out, last night I went to the Heart Gallery opening. It was a Gala opening to celebrate the Heart Gallery of Central Texas. This is where photographers volunteer to take pictures of children up for adoption, in an attempt at finding them a "forever home."

It was a wonderful opening. The work was presented very well-they had it in a furniture store with all kinds of modern ("mod") furniture. They had valet parking. I don't think that I've been to an art show in Austin that had valet parking before, so it was definately a first. Olga Campos was there from the news as was some state senator dude, who gave a little speech. At some point, it was so crowded that the gang I was standing with was happy to find a place with a breeze (I guess we found the underneath of a lone air conditioner vent or some such thing.)

The coolest part is that some of the kids actually got adopted from it all.

Now, that's something you can really take your hat off to.

Until next time...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Locked Out and Trapped

TwoBlackDoorsP, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Ok, would somebody please explain to me why a city the size of Austin does not have a traffic channel? I thought that, as part of the FCC regulations, each station had to do like traffic and weather each morning?

So, I got stuck in traffic *again* this morning and it took me over an hour to get to work. Once again, I'm not really sure what caused it. It took me more than a half an hour to get to Avery Ranch, which is like, normally, 2 minutes from my house, so I'm guessing it was some kind of wreck but, who knows?

During this time, I heard on the radio (I swear I'm not making this up):
* Scarlett Johansen's 911 call after she got into a car wreck (this would be nice if I knew who Scarlett Johansen was or, even better, if the 911 call revealed that she was on Avery Ranch Boulevard, but, alas, from what I could hear, she was in Disneyland being chased by paparazzi. I'm thinking she's some kind of actress or model but that's just a hunch.)
* Eric Clapton's new song (was cool, actually. I liked it. A little Curtis Mayfield vibe, with, what sounded like a Jimmy Vaughn twist.)
* Some lady called in to say that she was allergic to tomatoes and that, after eating one, her tongue becomes numb all day. I believe she lives in Round Rock, somewhere, although, again, this is only a guess, I'm thinking a swollen tongue did not blocked off Avery Ranch Boulevard. But I could be wrong. She sounded really anti-tomatoe on the radio to me.
* Somewhere, in South Austin, a truck overturned. This actually happened about 2 hours from my house, probably a lot longer had you tried to drive there by way of Avery Ranch Boulevard.

So, what station do I listen to when I want to know that Parmer Lane is clogged? I think I need satellite radio or something.

Beam me up, Scotty, this planet sucks.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Creole Man in Leaves

CreoleManInLeavesP, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Last night I printed some of the work that I want to enter into some upcoming shows (in September.) I actually had some better luck using the Epson Scrapbook paper that Kathy recommended, than I did with the Velvet Fine Art. I think that the Velvet Fine Art has a really nice name but that the paper actually sucks. I'm so glad that Kathy has tried out so many papers and can give me advice.

I think too that Kathy and I both have "paper fetishes" and get really picky about the type of paper that we use. At least there's a wider choices of paper available now, since I got a newer printer. They even make a, gasp! Ilford Pearl for my printer.

I love that paper. I have always loved Pearl. It was my favorite paper when I worked in the darkroom and, I suspect, it will be at or near the top of the list when I use the Epson printers (now that it's avaiable for them.) It's just so shiny but soft, it punches colors but it's still dreamy. It's got all the "good" qualities of glossy paper but none of the bad (fingerprints aren't the end of the world.)

Epson makes a semi-gloss that I have tried and liked as well. I may pickup a box of each and have a "print off" to see which is better.

Yeah, ok, I'm buying and trying all different kinds of paper for my wide body printer, and having a blast doing it.

"Hello, my name is Carol and I'm addicted to...paper...?"

Until next jam...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Flying Demons

VoodooCrossesAndSkullP, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This one sort of goes with the darkness goat so, here it is.

I've been tossing around the idea of going to Mexico in the fall. I really wanted to go to Oxacha in November, for the day of the dead, now I'm not certain that I will do it. I have been checking out (thanks to Kathy) some other photo workshops, thinking about where I want to go. I would like to do a workshop at some point, just because it's been years since I've had any formal training, and I don't want to get all stale and all.

I have been wanting to get back into some nature photography, doing it the way I do (of course.) I started, once (a long time ago) a series of patterns in nature, and really enjoyed working on that. I'll have to continue that again, at some point, when it's not so hot outside.

If anybody knows what's with the fluffy crosses, please do let me know. I'm not quite certain of their significance in voodoo culture, although they do make for really intesesting photographs. Much more 3-D than a regular, "plain," flat cross, I suppose.

It's been really hot in River City, but I've managed to "play" inside this summer, with the Polaroids and the computer a bit. Coming up to speed with Photoshop, and getting to the point where I can "paint" with it, is one of my major goals. I almost have my studio (digital studio, that is) to the point where it's right where I want it.

Until next time...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Darkness Goat

DarknessGoatP, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Ok, so it's time for some half-man, half-beast entries in the ole' blogger. What can I say about this one that is already painfully clear? It's scary. It's the kind of stuff nightmares are make of. It's the kind of stuff your mother warned you about. It's really scary. Oh, and, they had a really pretty little foil "Darkness Goat" banner hanging underneath it all (hence the name.)

To continue my rantings and ravings from last week, the TPS workshop information came in this week and I noticed that some of them are quite expensive. I guess they aren't that expensive as compared to the Santa Fe photo workshops or some such thing. Still, $350 for a three day workshop sounds a bit high for me. They used to be all the information that you could use for like $35 but then, I suppose, I haven't been to them in a while.

I do plan on taking one or two but, in true Carol fashion, all the one's that I want to take are at the same time so now, instead of taking them ALL, I have to pick and choose, which makes it difficult to say the least. Not to mention the fact that they fill up pretty quickly, so I have to decide soon which ones I want to take.

I didn't do any Polaroids this weekend, I was busy catching some sleep and cleaning up the house a bit. It still is rather dirty, but it's getting better (which is better than getting worse, I suppose.)

Until nex time...

Friday, August 19, 2005

Ranting and Raving

GlassMojoHandP, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Today, on the way to work, I got stuck in traffic for about an hour. It was really frustrating, to say the least, being stuck like that. I ended up making a U turn in the middle of 183 and taking Palmer Lane the rest of the way into work. I don't know what was causing the traffic but, for the amount of delay, there had better have been a huge pile-up at the front of all of that. I'm talking, I want to see some real blood here, not the usual rube morons, answering to Tex-DOT, who decide to dig in the middle of the day without telling anybody (they like move freaking major highways on a moment's notice around here. Simply because "Bubba likes it over there instead." Grrrr.)

To continue my rant, I get into work, and start reading email about all the computer virus crap that's been going around the internet. Do you remember that kid, the one they caught last year, who was responsible for netsky or one of those viruses? I started to rant about a suitable punishment for him to somebody in the break room at work. My co-worker suggested, "this sounds like a rant for your blog" and now, well, you get to read all about my Grrr's for the day.

OK, so today' entry has a poll for you. What do you think is a suitable punishment for a hacker, one who's responsible for virus assults on computers the world over?

Here are my suggestions:
* Cut off his fingers-that way he can't type anymore.
* Force him to watch Pauley Shore re-runs on TV while composing hand written apologies to ALL of the people impacted by his virus. Note that, for this exercise, he would have to use the "world's oldest pointing device:" a pencil. And he wouldn't get one of those fancy, newfangled sharpeners either (you know, the ones with the crank on the side? Like you used to have in school?) No, no, he'd get one of those little ones you have to "twirl" by hand and he'd be forced to sit in all the shavings (or maybe, like, do something constructive with them as well-like build a house for the homeless or something.)
* Nothing shy of the death penalty would do.
* He'd have to refinance his house, enlarge his penis, grow hair overnight, lose 10 pounds, and help out some guy in Tajickastan who's father's cousin's wife has just inherited a sum not less than $1,000,000.00 but who, somehow, can't manage to work an ATM card long enough to get the actual money, so he's asking for $50,000.00 and a new Ford Focus until, of course, his inheritance kicks in.

Oh, and, it goes without saying, he'd have to stick a pin in a voodoo doll (like this one) while standing on one foot, reciting the pledge of allegiance backwards and sending a blessing to all the people he ended up cursing with his annoying, pesky, juvenille little virus (just because.)

Until next rant...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Balcony in Black and White

BalconyInBlackandwhiteP, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This one really reminds me of the French Quarter.

I was thinking yesterday that I need to get my hair trimmed. In a funny way, this reminded me of New Orleans, since, the last time I got my hair cut, it was just before I left. I can remember being crazy busy, trying to clean my house and all before my trip, but still happy because I had time to cut my hair, and it had been many months since I had gotten it cut before that.

Now, I need a hair cut again, and it has me thinking that it's been way too long since I've been in the French Quarter. I wish I could sneak away for a weekend, but I probably can't. (I'll still check the prices on expedia, all full of hope and anticipation, just to make sure, but, and this is just a hunch here, the airfares have gone up, so I don't think I can swing it now.)

I think I would like to go again, so long as it's not so hot, just because I enjoyed being there. It's a nice place to visit and I really want to get my butt back into that French Market, to take more pics of masks and such.

I love the French Quarter Masks and wish we had some around Austin. I could see myself doing an entire series of masks. They look really cool.

Funny thing, I thought that I would get a lot of architecture shots and I actually got very few. Good thing I have Mr. Polaroid here, to "fix up" some of the "almosts" (and make them whole again.)

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Two Faces and a Cross

TwoFacesAndCrossP, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Ok, this one even scares me a little bit. What's with the big circles around that guy's eyes? I do like doing the Polaroids though, as they are quite expressive. I sort of feel like I'm painting when I do them because it matters which way you move the little stick. It's directional-sort of like an actual paintbrush.

Charlie has not done any additional street walking as of late, which is a good thing. Well, not any that has him off his leash anyway. He was so funny, just trotting along huffing and woofing away, his little ears flying in the breeze.

Speaking of scary things, walking the street, and all, I happened across this website which, I guess, is a death row dining guide. At this site, you can buy (I swear I'm not making this up) a thong that says "Looking for a killer meal?"

Wow. What more can I say about that one? Between the weird image on flickr of a giant cat made out of flowers, and the death row eating guide, I'm starting to think that the net is not a very safe place anymore.

Maybe I'll stay indoors and look at some masks hanging on my walls instead.

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Street walking Lady Statue with Tree

LadyStatuewTreeP, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

On Friday, the Geoscapes people came to cut my lawn. Usually, this is not much of a big deal, but not this time.

This time, you see, they left the gate open. I have a little dog who's about 16, deaf, dumb, and blind. He managed to get out. He didn't just "get out," no, he actually got out and ran around for like 20 minutes before I noticed that he was gone. Poor Charlie. Lucky he did not get hit by a car or something.

I found him over by the, I swear I'm not making this up, cemetary in my subdivision. He was staking out a plot or something. (I've since learned that there are, in fact, opossum that hang out in there-that's probably what he was smelling around for.) He was huffing along at a pretty good trot too, especially for an old guy. Go, Charlie, go!

I'm just glad that I got him back and that he's ok. I would have felt horrible if something happened to him. Now, I'll have to remember to keep that gate locked, and remember that, when they come to cut the grass anyway, they don't seem to remember to close the gate.

Charlie has a new nickname. I now call him "my little streetwalker" (and with good reason too.)

Until next time...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Voodoo Store Window

VooDooStoreNo1P, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

I saw this one in a store window and couldn't resist. It almost reminds me of Hatian art or some such thing. Some of the shop windows in New Orleans are very cool-I could see somebody doing an entire series (or even, maybe, a book) on the shop windows of New Orleans. I guess having a concentration of voodoo stores, T-shirt parlors, and, ahem, "fine" drinking establishments, makes for interesting store windows. Don't you think?

I had a nothing weekend this weekend. I didn't get around to doing anymore Polaroids, and I didn't do much of anything, except mostly sleep. It felt kind of nice to get in a hard days sleep though. It makes for a less grumpy Carol come Monday morning, I suppose.

I so need to clean my house now, it's not even funny. It's dirtier than a pig pen and smells kind of funky. Maybe tonight.

Lately, I've been in this sort of "holding pattern" where I set out to do a lot of stuff over the weekend, don't get all (or any) of it done, and end up doing it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night(s) of the following week. I suppose I should not complain, so long as I'm getting stuff finished. Still, it feels rather odd, almost as if my entire week is shifted left or something.

So, maybe I'll do some Polaroids this week, after work. We'll see.

Until next time...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Happy Friday

PurpleMaskP, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

I just tried a new frozen lunch. It was pretty cool actually. It had asparagus, pasta, and chicken in it. Now, I'm quite full.

What, it's Friday, were you expecting a diatribe regarding the social economic impact of ragweed on current monetary trends? Pppft.

Oh, and, it goes without saying, screw that, it's almost the freaking weekend.

This weekend, I intend to get some sleep and maybe finish off more Polaroids. I love doing Polaroids. They have turned into a lot of fun, what with the summertime heat and all. I do have to work a little bit on printing them but making them has been quite pleasant. I have jerryrigged up my own little system to print them, rephotograph them, print them again, copy them, and the like. I feel like a stale fortune cookie: "Help, I'm trapped in a Polaroid factory and I can't get out."

Speaking of fortunes, cookies, and the like, Matt and I went the other day to Firebowl. Man, I love that place. We got the strangest of fortunes though. Mine was: "To forgive others one more time is to create one more blessing for yourself." I really hope that my blessings are not tied in any way, directly or indirectly, to my ability to forgive.

Damn, I must be cursed. Good thing I got a cookie.

Until next time...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Fountain in the Sun

NewOrleansFountainNo1P, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Ok, so in finally stopped raining and, they say, it's going to be like 99 degrees today. Like I said yesterday, I thought that the rain made for a nice change of pace and I really enjoyed it while it lasted (as did my yard, I'm sure.)

Kathy has posted some of her New Orleans images on flickr, I just logged in and was pleasantly surprised to find them in my "New From Your Contacts!" list. I had a grand time looking at a slideshow of the first of her images off the press (and onto the net.) I almost felt like I was back in the Big Easy for a few minutes there and it made an otherwise boring day a bit brighter (well, that and the 99 degree hot Texas sun, right?)

Flickr has this new, odd thing called "Interestingness" which they claim is some kind of their very own "special sauce" cooked up to rate and rank your image. I guess they use this to determine a factor about each of the images that you upload. I can't quite figure it out, but I love the fact that they've gone off and made their own benchmark and all.

It's making me want to go off and rank EVERYTHING in terms of it's "interestingness." Stopped on Friday to get gas-interestingness factor of 2. Met some weird guy cleaning his windshield-interestingness: 4. He had mud flaps with neekid women on them-interestingness: 7.

You get the idea.

Oh and, it probably goes without saying but, mud flaps after all the rain we've had? Not too interesting (without the neekid women) but probably not a bad idea.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Fountain by the Pool

NewOrleansFountainNo2, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Anybody have a spare arc? And maybe like a boat orr or two I can borrow for a bit?

It's raining very heavily in Austin today-like sheets of water coming down out of the sky. Sheets of water that make my normally brown and dry lawn open up and say, "Ahhhhhhh."

I don't much mind the rain, usually. In August especially, it's kind of a nice change. It's not the usual hot, hot, hot that we have and, instead, it's a cooler, wetter, newfangled August. It's just a little hard to drive in it, that's all.

Today is one of those "snuggle up" days. Since it's raining, and I can hear thunder as I sit and type at work, I don't really want to leave the building. I feel like I'm all tucked in for a nice winter's nap. It's very cozy at my desk today-I have a nice cup of coffee, a light jacket in case the a/c should happen to (crazily) kick in, and enough reading to keep me busy. I've brought my lunch, so I don't have to leave the building at all. Armageddon could be outside and I'd hardly notice. Once I fire up the podling, I'll be like uber comfortable, at least for a spell.

Hey, it beats the heat anyday.

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Two Cherubs in a Fountain

TwoCherubFountainP, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Everybody always writes songs about the "sound of distant thunder" so I suspect it's some kind of poetic notion, or some such thing. I do know that, this morning anyway, there was quite a lot of it around, and it was making me really sleepy. Did you ever have one of those days when you're not quite awake yet, not quite asleep, but certain you don't want to get up and face the world? Earlier today, I so wanted to just stay in bed all morning. Today, I got off to a very lazy start.

I've since had my coffee, it's starting to kick in, and so I'm on my way back to being my usual self. Thank goodness for vitamin caffeine and all it can do for me. Yeah, yeah, I know, breakfast of champions and all. Yada yada. (Decaf can go screw itself for all I care.)

Yesterday, I also went through a big pile of junk mail. I get a lot of mail, most of which I throw away, but I usually only clear it out once a week or so. I'm thinking about getting a small-ish cabinet, to put near the door to the garage, into which I could just dump the mail, to kind of hide it up a bit. It would look better than what I have now (which is a small stool, piled high with crap, and I've started to putting the "overflow" on various tables, which is even uglier.) A cabinet would certainly hide a lot of that junk. (Man, if Bed, Bath, and Freaking Beyond sent me one more catalog, I think my little stool would have konked over under all that weight.)

Trouble is, it takes energy to go out shopping and, lately anyway, I've been extending all my spare energy on photo-related stuff, trying to get my digital darkroom into the final stages of completion, mastering all my workflows, and exhibiting my work again. That last one is the real doozy of the bunch, as I haven't seem to been having a lot of luck with it.

Oh well, as they say. I'm happy (and experienced) enough to know that my time in the exhibition spotlight will come and, any rejections I pile up now, will only result in bigger, better shows on the horizon. I know how these things work, you see. (Once, I was in six shows at the same time, in several different states. Now I honestly don't know how I had the energy, let alone the artwork, to do all that.)

I do wish I knew what this little cherub thing is. I think it's some kind of a fountain, but, like, don't really quote me on that. It could just be a sleepy little wall plaque.

Did I just say sleepy? Man, I have to stop doing that.

Until next yawn...

Monday, August 08, 2005

Sailboat in Storm

SailboatInStormP, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This weekend was very eventful photographically for me.

For one thing, I made my very first greeting card. It didn't come out the greatest but then it took me only about 5 minutes. I thought, actually, that it looked ok. I plan to do some additional ones in the future, and had just bought the kit as a "trial" sort of a thing. I've decided that I like doing cards. It's easy enough to do and they come out looking pretty enough.

For now, I'm leaving the inside blank and just writing by hand in there. At some point, I'll have to come up with some clever sayings. (This, of course, will be the extra tricky part.)

My other big "first" was that I picked, prepped, printed, matted, and framed a photo all in one day. Yesterday, I was invited to a house warning dinner for a friend and former neighbor (they've moved across town to get a bigger house) and so I decided that I would take over a picture. I decided which one I wanted to give her, printed it, matted, and framed it all in one afternoon. Before going digital, this would not have been possible.

So, now I'm starting to enjoy the fruits of my digital darkroom investment. Saving $$$ on greeting cards and being able to make my very own wall art without having to throw myself at the mercy of a photo lab.

Sometimes I feel like it's a rocky, bumpy road, and that I'll never get anything done, or get to a state where all my devices are working but, lately anyway, the winds are starting to turn in my favor.

(Of course, right after I say that, I realize that I still have that dreaded hockey puck of a monitor calibrator to hook up. And we all know how Steve's cursed it...)

It does feel really good and rewarding when something just starts "working."

Until next time...

Friday, August 05, 2005

Duct Tape and a Prayer

VooDooDollP, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

While I was home in bed, as I have been for the past three days (what with my stomache bug and all,) I happened upon a news story about the Shuttle Discovery. The nice man on the news, came on my TV all serious and stern, dressed in his nice blue uniform, talking about how they were going to schedule a space walk in an attempt to repair the shuttle with a makeshift hacksaw fashioned out of, among other things, duct tape.

(You can read more about this here.)

Yes, it's true. We've been reduced to duct tapping the space shuttle back together so that it can land.

This just has my mind going like mad (not that it's hard to do this mind you but, I'm just repeating this fact here for those who couldn't, by chance, guess.)

Duct tape. Duct tape. What else do they have up in that shuttle? Is it like some kind of a flying Home Depot up there? Duct tape. Did they spring for the really good kind? Like is it military grade? Or just get the cheap stuff like the rest of us? Duct tape. Do they even have a military standard for things like duct tape? Duct tape. Maybe they really do have a duct on the space shuttle so that's why they need duct tape? Duct tape. Does anybody really use duct tape for actual ducts? I thought we all just collectively used it to patch up whatever holes we couldn't fill? Duct tape. Does this mean, for certain, it's official, and that it, in fact, comes in light and dark and really does hold all of the universe together, since it's now officially like up in space and all?

Duct tape. It's not just for breakfast anymore.

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Behind the Mask

MaskedLadyP, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is my favorite mask from New Orleans (a city known for its masks.)

I kept shooting and shooting this mask, without any luck at first, but I didn't give up. The first day, I got a horrible glare, probably from the sun and the angle of the light, but I got an otherwise ok shot off. The second time I tried it, I got a window curtain that was almost in the way. I ended up getting something workable but not totally great.

The last day I was there, among some of the last shots I took, I *finally* got the damn mask, the way I wanted it. I was so happy, I decided that I would try to push my suerte and go for a Polaroid and that, my friends, is what you are looking at here.

She's a pretty mask but, honestly, I don't know that she was worth all that much trouble.

The thing about New Orleans is that it's a self-indulgent city and I took a self-indulgent trip. It seems like I wanted to shoot a little mask, a little voodoo, a little French Quarter, and a little courtyard stuff, and that's exactly what I shot.

It's better than crack, if you can get it.

Until next time...

Monday, August 01, 2005


EndPortal, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

It's riveting, if you know what I mean. (Sorry, but I just could not resist that one. It was way too easy.)

I've been doing a lot of Polaroids so expect to see some of these over the next few days. I think that this will be the last of the fishies. It was a fun series while it lasted but it's time to move on.

Who knows? Maybe I'll end up doing Polaroids of fishies someday soon.

It's going to get hot again this week in River City. They are anticipating another 100 degree day today. We had a nice, cool, rainy spell for a while and it was almost long enough for us to forget that it was summer. But, alas, we're not off the "summertime" hook as of yet. We've still got August to go and, this year anyway, it promises to come in like a tiger and go out like a fireball.

That is, unless we get some serious storm action down in the gulf, which is also entirely possible. Then we'll just get rain and clouds, much like July (only a month later and we'll be all that much more sick of the heat.)

A lot of folks at work are vacationing. It makes me want to plot what I'm going to do next, and where I'm going to go. It's hard even thinking about it. I just can't seem to get my butt into gear to get anything booked.

I want to do Mexico but just can't quite pull the trigger. I keep looking at flights and dreading the notion of changing planes in La Ciudad.

There's something really horrible about Mexcio City. It's a horrible place-much like a sewer that people live in. Don't get me wrong, I've been to impoverished places before, and I do know that they can be dirty and upsetting to somebody more used to a "higher" cleaner, richer ground. Go ahead, call me a bigot, a racist, whatever. There's just something extra special-extra dirty-about Mexico City that makes me want to avoid the entire place, and not even risk changing planes there.

And, I know that makes it wrong and me bad for saying it but, man, I just hate that place.

Maybe, if I'm lucky, I can get to Oaxaca without going through La Ciudad. Rumor has it that there's transport directly from Houston, although this has yet to be verified.

(It's either that or hitching a ride with one of these guys, and watching out for high swiming fins.)

Until next time...