Friday, May 30, 2008

Shooting Hoops-Now That Would Be Telling


MinimalHoopNo1, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

This is my photo friday entry for "minimal." Now, a true "minimal" image would have very few lines and would be a bit difficult to figure out. They're the type of images you look at and almost go, "huh?" at, right? And this one, well, it's sort of that way. You probably can't tell exactly what it is at first glance. In fact, it might take you a minute or two to figure out what the heck is going on here. And, me being the snarky one is not about to help any. Yes, you read that right, I'm going to sit back, all high and mighty and say, "that would be telling!" and....Oh, who am I kidding? I can't keep a secret. I went to a carnival at night.

Yes, you read that right. In between all the trips to New Mexico, all the bad Fox reality TV shows ("When Good Tumbleweeds Attack!" Film at 11.) In between the rental cars with oil lights that glow, the sand dunes, the back alleys of Santa Fe, I went to a carnival at night.

I'm so excited because, well, I went to a carnival at night. Ok, so now you found out my dirty little secret.

I WENT TO A CARNIVAL AT NIGHT! I WENT TO A CARNIVAL AT NIGHT! OH GLORY BE, I WENT TO A CARNIVAL AT NIGHT!

(Eh, so much for all that "minimal" stuff, I guess.)

Until next, did I mention I went to a carnival at night? Yup, thought I might have....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Notes from the Road-White Sands, NM


DriversSeatView, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

I was once again attacked by a tumbleweed. I'm starting to get some kind of a complex. Every time I visit New Mexico, do I have to get waylaid by another rolling bush? What is it about that state anyway? At one point, Kathy said to me, "You do realize that you were just attacked by a tumbleweed, don't you?"

"Yes, yes, I do," I replied. "It's probably the same one too. Just migrated south for the season and was all happy to see me again. 'Look! Here she is. She's back and I love her-let's cling!' Oh great. I have a stalker tumbleweed." (Of course, that's probably what Nicolas Cage might say about this point, but, hey, at least now I know how it feels. It's never too late to spread the love and all.)

El Paso drivers are insane, but you can get drunk as hell on margaritas in the airport, while waiting for your plane, which has been delayed for hours. Not like I would know or anything (Ok, so maybe I would.)

My rental car was that marvel of Korean engineering-the Hyundai Elantra. What a rice eating bucket of bolts if I ever drove one. (The oil light came on in less than 100 miles.) It almost made my "luxuriuos" Crapanese hatchback seem posh and sturdy. (Hey, I do have a sliding tray/cup holder thing. That's the "luxury," now stop playing with it before you break it.)

The rental car company gave me no less than 6 (count 'em, 6!) keys too, by the way. I don't know why, seeing as nobody in their right mind would actually want one of these Korean crap buckets but, hey, I had no less than six keys to protect me from those big, bad, wild free roaming Korean crap car thieves. (Get away! Go get your own crap bucket wtih an oil light that comes on in less than 100 miles. This one's locked. Harumph!)

At one point, on the way to the dunes, I got lost and thought, "Hmm. I don't really know which state I'm in, New Mexico or Texas." (I know this is hard for my European readers, who routinely pass through no less than sixteen countries for nothing more than a good latte but, believe me, Texas is BIG and hard to drive out of on a good day. Think of it as a sort of southern US mental asylum-they don't let us out easily.) Then, I saw a sign that read, "Slow Border Checkpoint Ahead" and I thought, "Oh just ducky. Nevermind the state, I don't know which country I'm in anymore." Juarez is not all that far away and it suddenly felt a whole lot closer, let me tell you. (By the way, I think it was actually New Mexico, north of the border, but, at this point, your guess might be as good as mine. Parts of El Paso are indistinguishable from Juarez and New Mexico looks a lot like old Mexico-hence the name.)

The rental car survived the trip 'round the border and made it to the Sands, by the pretty glow of the oil light, and I survived the trip back into the dunes. I had to parallel park that thing next to a giant sand dune (pictures to follow) too, which is no easy feat, not even for this New Yorker. Them dunes are bigger than Tonka Trucks, trust me.

Speaking of the dunes, they have odd traffic signs there. They have signs that say things like, "Slow Congested Area." Yeah right, and monkeys fly out of my butt. Reality check folks! There's nothing there but sand, sand, and, just in case you do get bored, lots more sand. Sand that sticks to your shoes, sand that gets into your eyes, sand that gets into crevices you'd rather not mention in mixed company. Everything is just either covered in sand, about to be covered in sand, or a tumbleweed thats blows across, you guessed it, sand covered landscapes (long enough to hug me and cling to my front bumper anyway.)

Driving across the dunes themselves is smooth. It looks like snow, it feels like snow but it's not cold and not slippery to drive across. It's actually smooth and easy to drive on, though it does sort of "kick up" a bit, almost like loose gravel. You leave a trail of small white pebbles in your wake but can drive quite comfortably across the White Sands.

All this and I'm happy to report the oil light finally stopped glowing, just in time for me to return the Korean crap bucket and wait hours (getting drunk) for my flight back to Austin. I did manage to sneak a couple of drive-by night shots (pictures to follow) including possibly my favorite of the trip-a shot taken after dusk, with the sand dunes lit only by my headlights and the moonlight glowing. (We enjoyed a full moon and actually got to shoot a little in the moonlight glow, which is quite eerie. Again, pictures to follow.)

All in all, it was a wonderful trip, though I'd hardly recommend a Hyundai, unless, of course, you are a paranoid driver who demands six keys and loves to bask in the glow of a "your engine needs attention" diagnostic light.

Until next time...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Speed Limit 45


SpeedLimit45, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Well, ok, maybe not really. It's hard to do anything more than 45 when you're driving across the desert sands. Sure, this part looks fine but the place where the pavement ends and the dunes begin? Don't try speeding across that mess of gypsum, trust me.

I've finally started uploading from New Mexico, so I intend to keep this very short today. Thanks to all the men and women out on the front lines, making the world a safer place. Today is your day, I hope you get to enjoy it whereever you are-sit back, have a cold beer, and realize we are thinking of you.

Speaking of beer, I'm about the fourth person today who's been craving a beer. I don't know what it is but, the other day, while shopping, I happened upon some beer in the supermarket from that fine maker of T-shirts and volcanic liquid aloha, better known the world over as "the Kona Brewing Company." (You remember them, right? The people who's motto is, Kona Brewing Company: a mountain of brews from the mountain that spews!?!) I had to get a six pack because, well, just because. There's a cold one sitting in my 'fridge right now that's just begging me to drink it. Begging me, I tell you, begging me.

Top Gear's almost on and, well, who am I to put up a fight? Liquid lava longboard lager, anyone? Aloha!

Until next time...

She's Back


TwigSandPatternNo1, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Yes, it's true. I'm back from the dunes. Oh, what dunes they are too. I've discovered a lot about the dunes, learned a lot about the desert, and actually come to find myself a bit out there in the sand.

It's amazing how a vast expanse of empty nothingness can teach us a lot about ourselves. It's amazing how being out there on the dunes can help you lose youself. It's amazing how you can find so much something in all of that nothing. It's just a big white expanse of sand-empty nothingness really, yet, like a blank canvas, how we choose to fill it tells a lot about ourselves.

Bob Dylan once said, "in the fury of the moment I can see the Master's hand. In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand." It all adds up to a lot of little stolen moments if you ask me. There's a lot of fury out on those dunes, strewn together one tiny grain of sand at a time.

Until next time.....

PS Top 10-ish list from White Sands coming soon!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday Round Up-Really Really Boring


2-WallAndSky, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

It's Sunday and that means, yes, I'm afraid to say it but it's time for another round up (well, you must admit, it's better than a round down, isn't it?)

This weekend, I made some great progress in moving some furniture. Now, I know that sounds really really boring and it is, in fact, really really boring (maybe it's worse than that-maybe it's actually "really really really boring?") but, I must admit, it makes me happy. It makes me happy that things are finally starting to get back together, that I can start to reclaim and tidy up my living quarters after the great flood of 2007 and all, it makes me entirely less "grumpy" on oh-so-many levels. And, as you should have come to realize by now, when I'm less grumpy, I post more often. When I post more often, you get to read much more interesting stuff, and much more silliness ensues. So, given all of that, everybody should be happy that I got a lot of really really boring work done this weekend, right? (Well, maybe everybody except those who like it when "really really boring" work kind of just piles up in the corner, waiting for me to do it. And, I don't know who those people are, exactly, except to call them unnamed really really boring people who like to watch really really boring things. You wouldn't be one of those people now, would you? I mean, you don't sound "really really boring" to me.)

'Course, I still haven't quite moved the bookcase to finish the photo book library, and I didn't watch any Top Gear this weekend, I'm only getting around to laundry and more really really boring stuff right about now, but still, I've moved some furniture and that's a good thing. I've declared "It's a Good Thing!" and you can't take that away from me. (Get your own "good thing," so sorry, you can't have mine.) I have claimed a good thing and now it's mine, even though it's really really boring, it's mine all mine. Yes, you read that right. The biggest news in this Sunday round up, is that I've gotten my own "really really boring but somehow it's a good thing," thing and where, oh where would we all be if we just didn't know this kind of information? (Oh the horror, we could be stuck in that previously mentioned yet somehow still "really really boring" pile of unnamed "really really boring" people who like to watch "really really boring" things. Want some vanilla? It's the finest of the flavors!)

In other more "really really boring" news, Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there. You know who you are, you're the nice folks who answer to really really boring names like "Maaaaaa," "Mum," and, well just really really boring, "Mom." Today is your "really really boring" day, so I hope you enjoyed every last little "really really boring" bit of it.

Until next really really boring time...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Suddenly Enchanted


5-ChurchTopTreeSky, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Ok, so I just came back from New Mexico. Haven't even finished uploading all of the compact flash from the trip. Barely over the laundry, in fact. So, what's a girl to do?

Go back to New Mexico.

You read that right. I've plotted (with copious help from KathyV I might add-thanks, Kathy!) another trip to New Mexico-White Sands, in fact-next weekend.

Yes, my snowflakes, this Friday, this coming Friday, I'm going to make my escape, get out of allergy season, get back into the mountains, climb the high sand dunes in the Land of Enchantment.

Now, since this is merely a weekend excursion, and not a 10 day trek, I should point out that I am going to the 'Sands, only to the 'Sands, and noplace other than the 'Sands. I'll be flying into El Paso, TX and driving up to the 'Sands on Friday, shooting Saturday and early Sunday, and returning late Sunday evening.

Hey, it beats staying in Austin and sneezing all week long, that's for sure. See you in the land of the peppers. Before too long, anyway.

Until next time...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mouth Agape


Fish, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Don't just stand there with your mouth open...do something! Oh wait, ha ha, you can't. Sorry 'bout that. These are some fish I took somewhere along my travels. My guess is, right about now, they really regret latching onto that hook. But, you know, I could be wrong about that.

In other news, political primary season is really heating up and it's getting crazy out there. There are pundits on my television who are super (actually "over") analyzing the voting habits of rural counties in Indiana. How weird is that? I mean, it's not that I have anything against Indiana but, come on, they voted, it's over, can't we just count the damned ballots and be done with it already? Geesh. Makes me almost wish I could swim away.

Well, I'd swim away so long as I didn't have to worry about that pesky "hook" and all.

Bouillabaisse, anyone?

Until next itme...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Reflections of the Good Life


ViewThroughChandelier, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

It's been a great season for photo books. Unfortunately, since I've setup my shelf (which isn't quite yet in place yet, btw) I've been going crazy with photobooks.

After going to Santa Fe, visiting Twin Palms, Photoeye, and all of those other cool places, I've really been bitten by the photobook bug. Coupled with Photofest, a place where you can get out-of-print hard-to-find and otherwise hyphenated books, which as you know are, of course, of much higher quality than those lacking dashes, I've been a photo book buying machine. All that and I just got my tax refund too (which doesn't help these matters any, believe me.)

One of the problems I'm struggling with now is that, since I've started to acquire this mass of photo books, since I've been (literally) pouring over all of this work, I'm starting to get a sort of photographer's "analysis paralysis." I've started to think that I cannot take a picture anymore. I keep looking at all of this "good stuff" and think how mine just doesn't (excuse the pun) stack up.

I'm sure I'll get over this at some point-as I've gotten over all of the "little slumps" I've been in, but, somehow, it just feels like I want to look and not touch right now. It leaves me in an odd state, actually. I've been shooting but just sort of letting it pile up, not uploading, not editing, just shooting and pouring over photo books.

I can already see how this is going to end though. I mean, at some point, I'm going to run out of compact flash (ya think?!? Yes, it happens to the best of us-and even the likes of me) and I'll have to, literally be forced to, upload and critique and edit and do all of that "other stuff." Who knows, there just might be some interesting "crap" in all of that new, untouched stuff that I've just let pile up like yesterday's laundry.

Oh, the challenges of being. The sweet joys of life are stored in little 2G memory cards, stacked high yet somehow still small and compact, left to wither into some noexistant digital recycling bucket. How dare we even think of formatting that recollection away into obscurity? (Yeah, yeah, I know it's easy. It comes and goes at the touch of a little black button.)

Until next little card to add to that pile of hot trash...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Not Your Mama's Taxi


Yellow Car, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Ok, so maybe it is a bit, well, yellow but, you must admit, this is not really your Mama's taxi. Actually, come to think of it, it's more like an Uta Barth mobile but, hey, it's a car, and cars have been on my mind lately so, like, you should know how it works by now-if it's on my mind, you're going to get a picture.

For my weekend round up, I am going to actually give you some news this week. I've decided to give myself a challenge. In the true spirit of, well, nothing really, but I'm going to do it anyway, I've decided to challenge myself to not upload anything new for two weeks. Yes, you read that right, snowflakes. For two weeks, the next two weeks in fact, you're going to get no new photos-only stuff from the archives.

Now, for most photographers, that sounds quite scary because, well, because they tend to "skim off the top," that is, upload the best stuff first. Naturally, it follows that, if you put this into practice, you'd actually be digging through a pile of crap (if you were me.) But, for me, it doesn't work that way. You see, I have time constraints and I shoot way too much when I travel, and it's hard to keep up, and yada yada. Given all of that, there's actually some "good stuff" in the bottom of that pile. Stuff you haven't seen yet because, well, because I haven't seen it yet. There's night work from NOLA, architecture from Italy, reflections from the sunshine, people in odd costumes doing peculiar things. Realy, there's a whole buncha "stuff" in the bottom of that "crap pile" and, well, some of it might be interesting.

So, needless to say, instead of a round up, you're getting the start of what promises to be different. I mean, just think about it. If I'm "weird" on a good day, imagine what's at the bottom of that crap pile.

Until next time...