Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Tale of Two Carters


MensHealth, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Despite the fact that he took risks, was a proud member of the South African "bang bang" club, and had recently won a Pulitzer Prize for an image of famine from the Sudan, photographer Kevin Carter committed suicide in the summer of 1994, just months after winning the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.

He was also the subject of a documentary film/photography installation called "The Sounds of Silence" at FotoFest.

Prior to his death, he had traveled to the Sudan to document the horrific conditions of starvation among refugees there. He photographed a young girl (not more than 2 years old) starving while a vulture flew down and landed beside her. He was quoted as saying that he "waited for the vulture to spread it's wings but it never did." Nobody knows what happened to the girl in the image, although she probably starved to death in the summer of 1994 (best guess.)

(You can see the image in question if you follow the link to his site.)

After taking this image, and before winning such acclaim for it, Kevin Carter traveled to New York City where he was vilified in the press (by the media as well as the casual observer.) New York, it seemed, was overflowing with cries of "why didn't he help the girl?" and he was greeted with a "why didn't you try to feed her?" where ever he went, until he ultimately took his own life just months after winning the Pulitzer, currently the highest award given to a photojournalist.

Keith Carter also had an exhibition at FotoFest. I've met Keith before-he's a nice guy, hailing from Beaumont, TX, a small town not too far from Austin, situated on the Texas coast, outside of Houston.

To be brutally honest, Keith has never been on the short list of my "favorite" photographers. In fact, at the risk of sounding petty, I always thought the adulation paid to him a bit unwarranted. Sure, his work is good but, frankly, I know a lot of really good Texas photographers whose work goes unnoticed, many of whom I feel are more deserving of praise. Austin, in fact, is filled with photographers who are really good, yet often unnoticed. (I could rattle off names and may choose to do so at some point but, without naming names, Austin has more than it's share of fantastic photographers, despite it being nationally recognized for music more than photography.)

I can't say for certain if seeing the Kevin Carter exhibition (documentary) softened me up and made me more receptive to the Keith Carter show.

I can say I thought the Keith Carter show to be the best Keith Carter show I have ever attended. The work wasn't perfect (at one point, I said to Kathy, "Look, that horizon's crooked," to which she replied, "Snap out of it! You've been lurking in 'Score Me!' too long.") But, it was good. It was moving and "pretty," and contemporary, filled with images of horses, family, Venice, clowns, and flowers and all kinds of interesting subjects.

Photographers work hard enough. Often it goes unnoticed. Sometimes, I guess, it gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes too, I guess, it kills us. The world doesn't need more critics-it's harsh enough as it is. I'm not going to stick my hat into that mess, fold my arms, and speak in "theory" about why Keith Carter is not my favorite photographer. Instead, I choose to enjoy the work I saw in Houston, the work I thought was good, the work that moved me at the time

Life's too short. We have to learn to take the good with the bad. If you see something in a gallery you can't stand, what's wrong with just walking away?

Sometimes, it's a hard choice to walk away, even if your last name doesn't happen to be "Carter."

Until next time...

Famous


GangsAllHere, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

I once met a guy named Riley. I did not like him very much. He pulled my pigtails and made me cry. Of course, I was about 5 years old at the time, but still, anybody who pulled my pigtails was pretty mean in my book.

A million and one alligator tears later, I met some guy named Eric in a far away land. He had a friend named Bonnie, who grew up 'round the way where I used to live. Of course, Eric had many friends. He was quite a charming fellow who, most folks said, had a bit of a talent about him. Seems he might be able to play a few tunes on some old guitar every once in a while, when the mood struck him right, he fancied and all.

This is a picture of that chap named Eric, who once invited a few of his friends to come visit him in his far away land, to play some old tunes on old guitars.

This also happens to be a photograph of three of the greatest guitar players who ever lived.

Famous? Yes. But I'll still remember them as the fellow who pulled my pigtails and made me cry when I was five, a polite British chap, and a funky lady from Westchester.

Until next time...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Spring


DiasySpinningAndKicking, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is about as close to Spring as I can get. A kicking daisy. A Rockette flower. A whirling, twirling landing pad for Mr. BumbleBee.

So now you know the answer, what's the question?

(What's yellow in the center, white around the edges and spins round and round?)

Until summer...

Gods of War


SheLooksDown, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

One of the exhibitions at FotoFest was called "Gods of War" and it featured collaged works consisting of images of death, destruction, and war alongside images of the leaders responsible for propagating the violence.

An interesting tidbit about FotoFest, especially the work housed at the headquarters, is that most of it (perhaps a strong percentage) was created by women. It was very feminine.

If you stop and think about it, this makes a lot of sense. The "Gods of War" as they are-Colombian drug lords, global dictators, political party leaders, South American and Eastern European gun runners, mobsters, even Presidents and Congressmen are predominately male. Taliban? Almost all men. Spanish Inquisition? Male again. When you think about those who propagate violence, it's really a synonym for the testerone poisoned of the world-male, male, male, male, male. Even serial killers like Jeffrey Dahmer, sure there have been a few females here and there but, for the most part, it's a man's world out there.

When you think about victims of violence, and about those who live in fear from it, only then do you start to include the ladies. Women are more often victimized by violence. The work in these exhibitions was mostly an attempt at showing that world, at telling their story (however "untellable") from a woman's point of view. It was, in essence, a feminine response, even when gender neutral.

Sure, there are male victims of violence and female perpetrators but, seeing this exhibit, seeing all that "feminine" work made me stop to re-examine my own approach to photography a little bit.

I've been so "soft" and "feminine," unapologetically, for the past year or so. What if, instead, I were to focus on the "Gods of War?" What if I paid tribute to the male perspective? (What if I pretended to be "testerone poisoned" just for one day?)

Would I be out photographing cars, guns, or bombs? Would I see things in a completely different perspective? Would I even be a photographer at all? Should I even bother trying? Could I even do it if I were to try? (Is it even possible for a woman who's very "feminine" in her approach to abandon that and get in touch with her "masculine side" as it were?) Should I try to see things from a male perspective to prove I can even think that way? Should I try to take a "male" photograph to see if I can even do it?

By forcing me to examine questions like these, which lead to more questions and not really answers, the "feminine" exhibition at FotoFest was significant.

I've been so "feminine" in my photographic approach that, in some ways, I neglected these considerations. Maybe it's time for me to re-think that a bit.

It can be said that a "pretty" exhibition is one that you enjoy looking at, but a "memorable" one is one that changes you-makes you think and invokes real change in the viewer.

In this way, the "Gods of War" exhibition at FotoFest, I would have to admit, was "pretty memorable," as I left with a inquisitive response that's sure to stay with me for quite some time.

Until next time...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Reflections on being Left-Handed


DancingReflectionNo1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Are you left-handed? Know somebody who is? (Any "southpaws" out there?)

Perhaps it wasn't obvious from looking at my series of reflections but, I am.

Left-handed people are used to reversing everything. We naturally see everything "backwards" from the way "ordinary" folks see things. Our entire lives, from early childhood-the time we first grasp out baby spoons in our left hands-through adolescence, when we learn how to work "right handed" tools-common items you take for granted, like can openers, scissors, and the like-all the way through adulthood, when we learn to drive "right handed" cars-we've learned to accommodate, to adjust, to reverse. We're the mirrors of society who often go overlooked. (Sure, the world and history is filled with famous left-handed people but you never seem to think your neighbor, your friend, or anyone important like that would be one of *them* now, would you?)

It dawned on me today that this series of reflections is my opportunity to showcase things left-handed. Reflections, you see, are naturally "backwards," just like me. Sometimes, they look quite fluid, sometimes, they resemble paintings more than photography, sometimes, they just don't make any sense at all but they are, each and every one, a little piece of my left-handed world.

It's a mixed up, crazy, upside down, backside front kind of a world in which we live. I hope you enjoy peeking into the mirror as much as I do.

Until next time...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

All's Quiet on the Homefront


PaintedVistaNo2, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

I had a wonderfully quiet weekend, spending time snoozing, resting, napping, and otherwise participating in full-contact sleeping between my bedsheets. Ah. I feel so refreshed. And, just in time for Monday too.

I've been so tired lately, and I don't know why. I keep thinking it's because I'm getting old, and just can't do as much as I used to, but, somehow, I doubt that's it. (Well, I mean, I am, but...)

I do know that, every now and again, it feels great to just sleep, sleep, sleep. Like a drunk without any wine, I needed to just sleep it off a little bit, right?

I was thinking today how I would like to travel again but I just don't have enough energy to get out there right now. I think I need some serious quiet, at home "down time" to kind of re-charge my battery and all.

Hey, I should be entitled to wear sweats and eat ice cream straight out of the container with a spoon, shouldn't I?

Don't I get a day off? Time off for good behavior and all? I mean, they give it to prisioners, why shouldn't I have some too, right?

(I'd say I was going to stay at home and watch TV but we all know how that'd turn out.)

Until next time...

Friday, April 21, 2006

13th Floor Elevators and Possessed Podlings


BirdhouseAndBranches, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Just to keep you up to date with my recent ipod possession (this TiVo is, in fact, acting "normal" on me while this is going on, mind you. Well, about as "normal" as my TiVo could be acting, I suppose) Thursday's shuffle selection was *gasp* "Better Make it Through Today" (I miss disco already. While completely campy, at least it was fun. Thursday was just plain *scary* man.) Friday's shuffle, in honor of the recent storms, rain, hail, tornado (!) and the like, was "Misty." Yes, *that* 'Misty' (as in "Play 'Misty' for me.")

So, it's official. My ipod can predict the weather! What's next? Please don't tell me it'll start free roaming because, then, well, I'd have to hide in the closet, along with all those folks trying to escape the Texas tornado, the Trail of the Dead, and all.

While we're on the subject of music, the other day on the car radio (a device Nicolas Cage has yet to invade!) I heard some sweet Roky Erickson ("Starry Eyes.")

For those of you who don't know the "story" behind Roky Erickson (where oh where is Hollywood when you need it? Nevermind, we all know they'd be first in the closet if they weren't already hiding in the TiVo and they wouldn't know good material if it bit them in their collective liposuctions) Roky used to play with the almost popular, ever quirky, critically acclaimed 60's psychedelic band, The 13th Floor Elevators.

There's also a story behind Roky Erickson (you knew this was going *somewhere* didn't you?) You see, back in 1969, Roky Erickson was arrested for possession of a single marijuana cigarette, which led to his being committed for three years to an insane asylum where he was subject to Thorazine and forced to undergo electroshock therapy (kind of like "One Flew Over's the Cuckoo's Nest" only without the benefit of Jack Nicholson's bad attitude and funny faces) and Roky has never really been the same since. I guess, unlike the movies, land of the happy endings, in "real life" shock therapy is not very "therapeutic."

It's been a long road back for Roky Erickson, as he still suffers from the lasting effects of the 60's and the psychedelic aftermath and all. He was part of the first band to legitimately call themselves "psychedelic" and he ended up paying the ultimate price, being forced to live up to that tag. I've had the pleasure of seeing him live and I'm happy to hear his music on the radio again.

Makes me wish my ipod went to the 13th floor instead of hiding in the basement with all the disco dancers, fortune tellers, and jazz standards.

Until next "going up?"

Antiques, Soda Bottles, and Old Photos


AntiquesAndSodaBottles, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is my entry for the challenge "valuable." I know, it's not what most people would think of, but it's what I did.

You see, antiques are valuables from a bygone era. Years ago, somebody valued that clock, those shoes, that drink, and that picture is probably somebody's long gone (but missed) great grandfather by now.

Antiques have value all their own because they are so old. Too bad they often smell funny, right?

Until next time...

Golden


MaskWithFaceAndBody, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

She's all golden, done up in jewels, velvet, and even a crown. Too bad she's not real, right?

This is my entry for this week's photo Friday challenge: Golden.

Ah yes, golden. It's a bit more than yellow but not quite green, don't you think?

Until next time...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Six Hundred Down, How Many More to Go?


BlowingLarkspurNo1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is my 600th journal entry, according to blogger.com.

Wow. What can I say? I yap a lot, don't I? (I sure do "talk" a lot for somebody who really can't "speak." I mean, it's not like I have audio on this site or anything. Crap, I don't even have a sound card in my cruddy little home PC.)

I've come a long way since declaring myself a "blogger girl" in January of 2002. (Back then, hardly anybody was blogging. And, you guessed it, we didn't have photoblogs either.)

Look at me now. Uploading. Flickering. Blogging. Photoblogging. Talking about art like I'm some kind of expert. Emailing famous authors and getting into exhibitions juried by famous artists. I feel so blessed and lucky.

And, I could not have done it without you all (or y'all for those Texans out there.) You, yes you, the folks who drop by every day, point your fingers at your computer monitors, and giggle. So, in case I don't say it enough, thanks for stopping by when you can, leaving comments, and just reading along for the ride.

When I started this madness, I wanted to improve my writing skills and I thought it would be fun to use a new "toy" to make a website. Six hundred entries later, I can't say if I'm any better a writer for it but, I can say it's been fun. (I hope you've enjoyed your giggles.)

Just think, if the first six hundred entries were this fun, imagine what the future holds.

Until next six hundred...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Possession, It's not just for TiVo's Anymore


DiasySpinningAndKicking, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

In the "help! My podling is taking lessons from my TiVo" department, it would appear that my cutest uber-cool electronic device to go berserk is, in fact, my podling.

For the past few days, I've been plopping myself down at my desk, opening up email, sorting papers, thinking about prints I should be making, wondering how far I have to crawl to get a fresh cup of coffee, when my world starts to rise thanks in part to my little "pocket" podling. I snap to, I wake up, I, ok, I still ignore emails but, the point is, my ipod helps keep my keel even. And, every day, for the past few weeks, I've been hitting the "shuffle" button, rather than the typical playlists because, well, just because (do I really need a reason? Hey, I can randomize with the best of 'em, right?)

The past few days, that shuffle has really shocked me. The other day it was some wild soundtrack music I'd long since forgotten. After that, it was some fresh Nine Inch Nails (ok, no surprise there) but today, wow, watch out. Today brought me the shock of shocks. I swear, I started to think somebody stole poor podling and implanted it with this mornings tunage, just to get my goat. (I was really thinking "bad/late April fool's day joke here" folks.)

Today's morning wake up? Thanks in part to Barry White and the Love Unlimited Orchestra. Whew! Disco, I hardly knew ya! One minute, I'm sitting, going over emails, reports, and the like, and the next, I've got visions of mirror balls spinning in my head.

I went into the lab, to get something, and told one of my co-workers, "Wow. I'm pretty shocked. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear somebody stole my podling and implanted it with somebody else's juju juice. Phew!" Ian responded, "I smell a blog coming on." (He was right, of course. Wish he could predict wild disco coming on like that. "Run! It's a white jumpsuit, chest hair, and gold chains!")

I'm just all warm, fuzzy, and especially happy knowing that Nicolas Cage doesn't peddle MP3's because, well, if he were buried somehow, in the bowels of itunes, I'm guessing my podling would fish him out and stick him on infinite repeat, taking lessons from that damned, possessed TiVo and all. I just hope podling doesn't start blasting murder mystery music at like 3 am because, well, I'm not quite sure even what that would sound like, let alone feel up for a listen.

Barry White and the Love Unlimited Orchestra? How'd that even get onto my ipod? I can't even push this one off to Steve since, well, the whole damned world knows about my ipod engraving and all (who else would have the world "piddle" inscribed on the butt of their podling? Not you, would you? Nope, didn't think so. Rats!)

I guess I just can't get enough of your love, baby.

Until next spinning mirror ball in the sky...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Death By Taxes and, um, TiVo


YellowFlowerInnards, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

I did my taxes today.

I was going to do them yesterday but I came down with some God awful disease and was stuck in bed all day, alternating between a cold sweat and a hot one. Gosh, I just hate having a fever-and I tend to get really high ones when I'm sick like that. I tried to eat and, well, that was just a mistake. (I hate hugging my toilet even more than, perhaps, running a high fever and the tax man, although the juries still out on the whole "tax man" thing.)

Must have been allergies. I'm allergic to the IRS, what can I say?

I did get to watch some movies while cooped up. I saw Collateral which, I can probably safely say, can go down in history as the only interesting movie starring Tom Cruise (sorry, it was "bring your own couch" day on HBO or something.)

It was especially fascinating since it was shot in LA at night and, lately anyway, I seem to have this strange interest with LA and all things nocturnal. As you may know, I'm a closeted nocturne (well, ok, after that Utata project, maybe not so closeted.) I also saw the sequel to The Princess Diaries. It was a really cute movie, especially since I was hallucinating. I swear I saw Julie Andrews on my TV set and that she was singing. What a trip.

Speaking of movies, TV's, and the like, my tax refund this year netted me the largest refund in Carol tax history (which, admittedly, isn't all that long.) Yes, my friends, despite paying enough in taxes to finance my own personal banana republic (complete with chino pants!) I am getting a whopper of a tax refund.

It's enough to buy a TiVo for the bedroom. It's enough to buy a new TV. It's enough to buy me one of them "flat screened" plasma TV's, a spare TiVo for the bedroom, and a new bedroom set to boot.

Wow. What can I say?

Anybody up for a good murder in the bedroom? (Please don't get any blood on that bedroom set.)

Until next (new) TiVo...

Death By Daisy


DeathByDaisy, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Ok, so maybe it wasn't murder but, you get the idea. This is my entry for the challenge "filled." I picked it because the scale of the image pretty much fills the frame with daisy droppings. There's a sense of infinity about it, I suppose. Lots and lots of daisy flowers popping up here anyway.

Until next blossom...

Confusion


MySurrealWindowNo3, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is my entry for the Venice School of Photography's monthly challenge "confusion."

I think this image fits the bill because the majority of the comments I've received about it start with the words, "what the..." I will defend my selection only by saying it's not a product of Adobe Photoshp (as some have suggested) but rather a casual observation of a strange surrounding.

This image is also a by-product of my recent foray into the surreal. Over the course of the past few weeks, for whatever reason, I have stumbled upon some very surreal vistas and have chosen to upload a few of them for sharing.

Fear not, my friends, I'm certain this movement will stop sometime soon (just how many windows can you find hanging out and loitering like this these days?) and I'll be back to my, ahem, "usual" odd lot of blurry, moving, out of focus shots in no time. Just you wait and see.

Until next oddly hanging confusing outdoor portal...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Round


RoundFlowerInnards, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is my entry for this week's "Round" challenge. Not much to say about this one, except that, maybe, "well, it ain't square."

This is the innards of a hibiscus flower which, apart from being wonderful flowers, make really great iced tea.

Until next time...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

That's Just Nuts

The other day, I was talking to somebody and I said, "that's just nuts." This got me to thinking. How did the crazy euphemism fall to the "nuts" of the world? Where did we get the substitute "nuts" for crazy anyway? I mean, who dictates that insanity tastes like almonds? It wasn't me, that's for sure.

Other foods seem much more appropriately crazy, don't you think? Black eyed peas look more deviant, avocados, well, you must admit, they are a bit "off" looking. And we all know the first person to drink cows milk was just slightly to the left of "Michael Jackson" on the whack-o-meter, right? (I mean, we're talking just a few llamas and a Ferris wheel shy of "Neverland" here.)

In Texas, we have some crazy food. There's "chicken fried steak" which is, technically, steak dipped in batter normally reserved for fried chicken, not to be confused with "chicken fried chicken" which, as far as I can tell, is really just fried chicken with an extra "chicken" stuck on the front of it for good measure-so as not to confuse the good folks from Oklahoma.

Pomegranates have more seeds than a reasonably sane fruit should have. And, then there's lobster. Frankly, I think lobster is the king of the crazies, rising up from the depths of the sea. I mean, come on, any animal that you have to "freshly kill" by bludgeoning while wearing a bib-well, that entire experience sounds downright whacko to me (somehow, I bet Michael Jackson loves lobster.)

But, no, we reserve the "crazies" for "nuts." It doesn't make any sense to me, really. I mean, what else goes with beer, comes in it's own special shell, can substitute for a meat but also be a garnish?

Let's see lobster try that! Pistachio, anyone?

Until next cashew...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mobile Urban Jungle


PaintedBridgeWRed, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

The other day, after work, I decided to go to Target, because they were having a sale on floor lamps ($25) and I needed one for my office (they gave me a $150 budget to "decorate" it.) While I was at my local "super Target," I noticed that, next door, Michael's was having a sale too, on fake silk plants. It wasn't just a sale, it was like 40% off or something and, being a lover of silk plants (I kill the real ones) as well as somebody with money (not mine!) to burn, I happened to know that Michael's has some really fine silk plants and that they were soon to be mine for the plucking (or picking? What do you do to silk plants to make them yours, exactly?)

So, I grabbed a little shopping cart (don't you just hate those little ones? They make me feel so short) and waded through aisle upon aisle of fake bamboo, faux ficus trees, and other odd assorted fabric variants of plants probably long since extinct (has anybody ever seen a "real" ficus tree recently?)

After all of my plucking (or, um, whatever) I managed to steer my mini-cart up to the front of the store.

By the time I paid for my plants, fake flowers, and such (one has to wonder really, do rhododendrons come in that color in "real life?" One also has to wonder, if one were me, how to actually spell "rhododendron" because, well, it's really one of those spelling bee words, you know the ones-it's one of those words you never hear anybody actually use in a grammatically correct sentence unless it's coming from some old spelling bee judge and it's making some six year old sweat little beads on his forehead because he's not exactly sure what to do with an extra "D" and all) it was time to fit the flowers into the hatchback.

As you can imagine, I could barely fit all of them in there. I kind of felt like I was driving a hippie mobile on the way home. Even now, as I write this, there are still some flowers in there and, that night, if you were to open my hatch, you would have found an explosion of fake flowers, flying rhododendrons, and faux bamboo the likes of which, I'm sure, you've never seen before.

So, the next day, I get into work, dragging pot after pot of faux goodies, and meet up with one of my co-workers, Melissa, who tells me that my office smells like Michael's now which is kind of interesting if you think about it. I mean, I never knew that fake flowers could really stink up the joint but, they do and, I suppose, now so does my car.

The million dollar question becomes, do I now have to go buy some fake perfume to cover up the stench?

Until next rhododendron...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

My Hair Looks Like This


GrassBlowingNo3, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Ok, so I'm still on that patterns in nature kick I started a few years back. Sorry but, I just can't help myself. I love "pffty" grass like this, especially when it blows in the wind. And, it's been really windy in Texas as of late so, what's a girl to do?

This weekend, I had the opportunity to skip town and go out to Fredricksburg, Texas, where the grass was blowing, the sky was blue, the flowers were (almost) blooming, and I even caught a butterfly or two. Tune in this week to see more of some old "patterns" that have become new again.

Steve has informed me that his TiVo now works. He doesn't yet have walls in his house, as far as I know, or like a working TV that he can plug in somewhere but, hey, the TiVo works now.

That's a start, right?

Until next time...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Patterns


PineNeedlesNo1-1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

There are patterns in nature. Things in nature repeat. Each snowflake is different yet every one, somehow, looks the same. Seasons change, tides roll in and out yet again.

There are patterns exploding right under our noses all the time. We seldome stop to notice them but they are there. Hiding, waiting, lurking, watching us back perhaps.

Makes you wonder what they see, doesn't it?

Until next time...

Organized


TripleArborNo1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Ok, so maybe I'm not so organized. Maybe I actually like being cluttered, messy, and confused most of the time. (Where did I leave my car keys? Have you seen them?)

That doesn't mean I can't take photographs of neat stuff. That doesn't mean I can't, on occasion, find some order in a world of chaos. That doesn't mean, when the cosmos aligns, the horizon's straight, and the bushes are trimmed back, that I can't find some semblance of unity and order in a land of confusion.

No, it just means I can't drive to the store to pickup groceries because, well, I can't zoom zoom without the keys to the kingdom (as it were.)

Take that, you neat freaks.

Until next time...

Monday, April 03, 2006

Horror of Horrors/What the tide Dredged Up


SurfsUpOnTheWall, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

As if the horror of "The Book of Days" were not enough, I come home tonight, after a quick dash to Fry's to replace a card reader that was (quite literally!) smoking, only to find a message from my TiVo. (My TiVo is, I suppose, "smart" enough to actually send me messages, when it's not busy recording gobs of murders and a Nicolas Cage flick or forty nine.)

My TiVo service now provides a "handy" little feature where it keeps a folder of "Recently Deleted" movies and I can now, in the "boop" of a button, move items into this soon-to-be-trash bucket without having to provide confirmation (So long, Nic! Goodbye, Mr. Manson! Adios, Jeffrey Dahmer! *Boop*)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, so that's all well and good but, buried deep within the already almost entirely hidden message was this little gem: "We have also recently changed the way TiVo makes suggestions."

Oh joy! Good Lord, hide the children, stash lots of drinking water and, um, stock up on vitamins and defense attorneys because, well, TiVo's gone berserk. (They even *admit* it in their friendly, animated, little messages. *GASP*)

(They *changed* the way they make suggestions, eh? So, what now? Even *more* murder and mayhem? Or, perhaps, Lassie Come Home 24-7? Maybe hookers who don't wash *or* comb their hair? Oh the horror of it. I can't even begin to imagine what this twisted algorithm is going to come up with now. So much for American Idol and Law and Order. Hide me!)
In more TiVo news, my friend Steve is, *gulp* actually attempting to *fix* his formerly cursed and now just broken unit. (What's broken you might ask? Well, my friends, when it comes to TiVo, I've learned not to ask. Trust me, you don't want to know. And, making me use the word "unit" is just plain wrong, so there.)

Animate this. If you really want to get in touch with me, for the next few days, I'll be hiding under the couch waiting for the world to blow up, one little happy animated, "booping" thumb at a time.


Until next,
"Oh CRAP!"

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Book of Days


FullFrontalHouse4204, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is another in a series of very typical "Austin-y" homes. Note the (now colorful) mid-50's architecture, typical of that period, when the majority of the Austin area was actually "developed."

Speaking of Austin, when I first moved to town ('92 or so) a lot of the local talk centered around what we now know as "the yogurt shop murders." It was a case involving four teenage girls killed in a TCBY store (for those who don't know, it's like an ice cream parlor that sells frozen yogurt rather than ice cream.)

Today, the paper ran a large article about a photography-related murder that happened in Austin some 20+ years ago. Called "The Book of Days Murder" after the fine photographic publication coming from Austin during that time.

When I first moved to Austin, it was an honor to have a photographic image included in "The Book of Days." It was a small, black and white publication, calendar like really, that featured some very fine artsy photography, and not just work emanating from the local art scene either. Some prominent photographers had work published in "The Book of Days," which itself ran it's course and was shutdown mid-1990's.

The publication has since shut down, the memories faded, the pictures and photographers all scattered to the wind, but one thing remains. That was what was written about in the paper today. That was what has haunted the Austin photographic scene for quite some time. That was the related murder.

You see somebody, knowledgeable about photography, perhaps a photographer himself, started breaking into the homes, apartments, and dorm rooms of the photographers featured in "The Book of Days." The police know it was somebody who knew a lot about photography because they would steal, for example, all the Leica cameras, but leave behind Pentax, Nikon, or anything that might not be not so obviously expensive, yet steal only photography related items (typically.)

In one such break-in, the apartment of a local musician was targeted, perhaps by mistake (he lived in a four-plex with Austin's own Ave Bonar and the police think the suspect might have simply picked the wrong door once he got to the address.) The thief made off with a guitar, was chased by the inhabitant of the apartment, who was later gunned down in a alley, very near the UT Campus and the publication home of "The Book of Days."

The case was never solved. The murder stands as one of Austin's cold cases, dating back 20 something years. The players in the drama have all gone on to bigger and "better" things. Several police officers, a neighbor who is now a superior court judge, another who became a famous cartoonist, and a backup singer living in LA all, somehow, some little way, have ties to this "Book of Days" murder. The singer/songwriter had a lot of promise, had already recorded an album of material in a home studio, and was pursuing an active music career so the Austin arts scene perpetually wonders "what if?" about this case.

My only question, apart from the obvious "whodunit" is why hasn't Hollywood jumped all over this one yet? I mean, this has the makings of a Law and Order episode if not an entire murder mystery movie, right?

Perhaps, we should be happy they haven't, although I can't help but wonder if the recent media attention will focus new eyes on this old mystery.

Until next time...