Monday, June 30, 2008

The Dread of the Popular


Lady Praying, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

There's this song that's been playing on the radio a lot, and I do mean a lot lately. It's called "Apologize" and I absolutely love it. I love the song, I love the band who recorded the song (they are called "One Republic" for the curious) and I absolutely can't get enough of the whole entire package. Now, most of you who have heard that song probably loathe it due to the fact that it became extremely popular and subsequently overplayed on popular radio stations across the country. I get that, I really do. It seems like nowadays, nobody wants to admit to liking the popular. Anything that becomes popular, instantly recognizable in fact, risks being labeled a "sell out" and we all hate sell outs. Or, even worse, if it's a popular song, it gets played to death on conventional radio stations. It's like we get beat about the head with the popular so often we've all grown to collectively hate it so much. Everybody wants the cult, the clan, the inside joke, nobody wants to be mainstream anymore.

There's something about the popular, everybody's always trying to be slightly different, everybody wants to be unique. We've become a culture, a socity of the "not me, I'm slightly off" for better or worse, and that leaves the popular, the pedestrian, the normal out in the lurch. Nobody knows what to do with it anymore. It's like a giant pig on the front lawn and we don't even have enough lipstick for it anymore (to use a "popular" analogy.)

Ok, so shoot me. I sometimes like things that are popular. I love that One Republic song, I get excited every time it comes on the radio (still) and I listen to it like it's going out of style (it is, actually.) I wear "normal" jeans a lot and I've seen Cats. I liked Die Hard and I prefer pasta to polenta. I sometimes take expected photography. I've seen The Stones in concert. I enjoy paintings and plays that everybody else does. What's so wrong about that? I mean, it had to get popular somehow, right? Why can't I contribute too? Do we have to start hating things just because everybody else started liking them?

In the spirit of all things popular, this is perhaps one of the most photographed statues in Santa Fe. Why is it so photographed? It's not that it's anything special (well, actually, I do like it. It's pretty. And, pretty isn't always all bad, is it?) It's just that, well, something you might not notice from the start is how convenient it is. This figure is actually located in the dorm rooms at the Santa Fe Phootographer's Workshops, and that, more than anything else, makes it very, very, very popular to photograph. (Very popular, I tell you.) Take a million photographers, all with gear, sitting waiting on a cab, and the law of averages dictates that they will turn their cameras to anything in the immediate vicinity that's even slightly photogenic. And that, more than anything else, makes this figure very, very popular. Does that make her bad somehow? Do we not like her anymore, simply because she was there? Is it suddenly uncool to even appreciate her, just because so many photographers have had a go at her? I can't say that for sure, but I can say I did photograph her when I had the chance-she was there and I thought she was pretty with the afternoon light on her, so I did it too. It's a great statue and I'm not sorry i took a photograph of it too. In fact, I rather like mine, I'm fond of the pretty light and I'm glad that statue was there for me to photograph. It's a beautiful statue actually. If it moved, I tell you, she'd be suddenly hip once again.

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Greetings, Mr. Stig


FlyingtoTaos, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

(I know, I know, he's actually supposed to be "Lord Stig" but I'm 'Merican and don't really believe in all of those "Lord" and "Lady" like titles-especially since Stig's gotten his through the mail and such.)

This weekend, Sunday actually, was the premier of the latest season of Top Gear. Oh happy happy joy joy. BBC America, in it's infinite wisdom will probably air these episodes in 2020 so, in typical "I'm screwed yet again" news, I didn't get to watch it (no spoilers, please! I already know about the police cars and have had more than my fair share of fun, as of late, in traffic court, so like, until 2020 rolls around, and I actually get to watch it, I don't want to hear about it.)

A few of my alert readers (you know who you are, thank you!) have actually taken to mailing me this link where you too can "Be a star in [Top Gear's] reasonably priced car." Yes, yes, it's true, my obsession with all things Top Gear is actually driving some people to the point where they have to point and click in a feeble attempt at snapping me out of it. Oh the horror. What's next? Will I get PDF's of user guides for my Tivo again? (Thank you very much for that, by the way, it was most helpful. I do believe Nicolas Cage actually no longer exists or, at least, he's no longer trapped in a Tivo anymore. He's free to once again go make movies or do whatever it is that Nicolas Cage actually does do, without having to worry about a happy little thumb getting stuck up his....ok, so back to Top Gear...)

Seriously, though, doesn't this little guy look like The Stig? I mean, if you think about it, they actually have a lot in common. Let's see...um, they both travel at lightning speed in unusually shaped vehicles. Yes, they do. They both are tame yet anonymous-nobody really knows what either one actually looks like under the garb, right? And, they both have oddly shaped heads. The resemblance is uncanny. So much so that I've actually started to think of The Stig as a bit of an alien. Yes, it's true snowflakes. You can say what you want about Lord Stig (titanium nipples? Please!?!) but, at the end of the day, he really is nothing more than a strange man in a strange land. Just like our little friend here, he's a traveler through time and space, complete with his own handy dandy crash helmet.

So now that we've established that The Stig is actually an alien creature, what's next? Will we make a case for Jeremy Clakrson actually being American or something?

Hold onto your hats, Top Gear fans, I've got one of those coming up too, and you're not going to believe the proof I've got to back it up. (No, it's true. You really aren't going to believe the proof I've got to back it up. :~)

Until next time...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Take 5 and Spew Me in the Morning


5Spew, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Ok, I admit it. I'm grumpy. Why am I grumpy?

Well, let's see. I didn't get very much done this weekend. It's hot, I'm tired and I didn't eat. I hate it when I don't get to eat. I didn't do my laundry yet either, it's getting late and, did I mention I didn't eat yet? Yeah, thought I did. I didn't get any work done on the house, I didn't even go grocery shopping this weekend. No laundry, no food, no work getting done, makes for a grumpy me.

Last weekend, I was all nice and angelical-I was Super Errand Woman getting things done at record pace...able to leap over tall laudry piles in a single bound...you know, all that and more. This weekend? I'm a house slug of dubious proportions. Really. Just puttered about the house all weekend long. Waiting for my head to explode or maybe like the laundry to jump up and do itself. (You laugh but, hey, it could happen.)

Well, at least I had the decency to blog. I did upload a few new images to the website too-that's always a task, and I'm glad it's done. Though, I still have the 60 mph images to upload (all images taken while driving.) I'm so looking forward to seeing those.

I missed the damn cutoff date for JPEG's Polaroid issue. I soooo was going to submit something to that. Damn, I hate it when I'm lazy.

Kathy has made contact and is in Kansas, tracing wheat fields. Go, Kathy, go! (Hey, somebody has to have some energy and move around here, even if the "here" is really in Kansas, right?)

Until next...did I mention I didn't eat yet? Yeah, thought I did.....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Y'all Rise Court is now in Session


ParallelPark, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

I think it's high time I've told you what fun I had in court the other day.

For starters, I never knew that "Y'all Rise" was an acceptable judiciary greeting (I swear I never thought I'd hear a judge say that) but, hey, this is Texas so, I guess, we must fit our "y'alls" in wherever we can take them. The case I was summoned to hear involved a man driving in the suicide lane (you should never drive in the suicide lane, snowflakes, it's bad form) in an attempt at cutting off rush hour traffic. A lady in an SUV pulled out to make a left turn, inching into bumper to bumper traffic, only to be smacked back into place by the suicide lane driver. I really hate it when two cars try to mate-it never works, we never get like roller skates or anything-and somebody usually gets hurt. This time though, we were lucky, as nobody was injured, except for a stray Honda Civic or so and everybody was seeking the rare, elusive beast known as "damages." So much for court being important. No murder, rape, or anything juicy for me, snowflakes, I was instead summoned and got stuck in traffic court. (Better to be stuck, I suppose, in traffic court this way than, say, being like The Stig and getting stuck there "the hard way." What me without my safety helment and all.)

The nice thing about traffic court is that, well, it's usually short. The trial actually lasted a mere few hours (hey, that's short in trial terms) and I was free once again (sprung! Sprung from the shackles of my civic duty) to reek havoc on the unsuspecting suburb of Round Rock.

Some high points for me, if you could call them that, were when the lawyer was describing the location of the accident. "Do y'all know where....is?" and she'd rattle off song Round Rock-based street name. "No," was our unimous response. "How about....?" Again, another street name we didn't recognize. "It feeds into....?" Nope, sorry, yet again. Eventually, we got to, "Well this is the access road for I35..."

"Oh! Ok, we know where that is!" was the response.

Then, some lady sitting next to me said, "I live in Brushy Creek."

I looked at her and responded, "Now I know where that is."

And some other person said, "I live in Georgetown but I know where Brushy Creek is too. Can we maybe like move the accident or something?"

That's what you get when you have a petite Petit court in Round Rock that calls jurors from across the county: a bunch of people who don't know where they are. The directions to the courthouse didn't help either. We were told to go to the appliance store, take a left, go down a small back alley type of street, past an auto body place, and the road would dead end at the courthouse. Great, I always thought it would be a grand idea to have a petite Petit court at the end of a road I never knew existed so I could go try a case in a city in which I do not live. Ah, justice. Glad to see that it's blind as a bat but still somehow working.

Now that traffic court is behind me (you should never drive in the suicide lane) I can get back to my usual posting.

In other "traffic related" news, they announced this week the hosts of the American Top Gear show (you really should never drive in the suicide lane, trust me on that.) In a clever plot to keep us perpetually uninformed and uniformly surprised, they have yet to announce the true identity of the American Stig however (I bet he wouldn't be caught dead driving in the suicide lane no matter how anonymous, yet somehow tame, a suicide lane it was.)

Speaking of all things Stig, I have it on good authority (ok, so actually, I made it up) this is where Stig goes to change his helmet on laundry day. He can sleep soundly, however, knowing full well and good that his one true identity (not to be confused with that of his soon-to-be American counter part) can remain anonymous. I mean, who would find him out in this place? Except for maybe some guy who likes to drive in the suicide lane, and he's now been conveniently imprisioned by some stupid jury from the petite Petit Court in Round Rock, Texas (you know the one-left at the appliance store, past the auto body shop, wave at The Stig changing helmets as you drive to the dead end? Yeah, it would be *that* one.)

Stuff this in your helmet: justice is sweet so long as you don't get caught driving in the suicide lane.

Until next "Y'all May be Seated...."

Monday, June 16, 2008

When I good, I'm very very good


AngelOntheHighway, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

I was good this weekend. I moved the bookcase (finally!) got the rugs put back, cleaned the floor, started getting rid of the boxes. Man, I hate cardboard boxes. One of the little "down sides" of having wonderful internet shopping is that you get attacked by cardboard boxes and those uber-annoying styrofoam peanuts. Man, I hate those little styrofoam peanuts. They just get all over the place and you can't seem to ever pick them up, not even with the Dyson. (One of our little mottos, here at Carol's Little World is that, if a Dyson can't clean it, it must be really freaking dirty. You're screwed-get a hose, lots of holy water, and start to pray.)

But, it's all behind me now. My house, well, at least the front of it, is sort of put together now. My extra room now has a comfy chair in it, my hallway is nice and clear, and it looks almost kind of pretty when you come in. I like pretty, pretty is good.

When I was out in New Mexico, I bought this vase-like object d'art. It's very pretty, it has a neat looking face on it. I like neat looking faces-neat looking faces are good. So, I decided to put it on my front table, because, well because my front table is clean (now.) But that's not all I decided.

I'm going to photograph it. Yes, snowflakes, at some point, I'm going to photograph my vase-like object d'art with a neat looking face on it, so you can see it too. Of course, by the time I get done photographing it, it's going to look, well, like I photographed it (scary.) And that will make me not want to come into the front of my house, not want to look at my clean (styrofoam peanut free!) table, and go run and hide. But, for now anway, it's just a neat looking face, on a vase, on my front table, that's now sorta clean and sorta pretty-looking (well, at least it doesn't have any styrofoam peanuts on it.)

Until I'm bad once again.....
(Hey, you and I both know, it's only a matter of time.)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Photo Friday Entry: Motion


DashboardLights, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Since almost everything that I do involves motion these days, I thought it best to enter something where I was actually moving. I was sitting in a moving car, the subject was moving, there's motion all around me. And so, I present to you, one blurry out-of-focus photo Friday entry. Happy moves to all!

And, speaking of happy, it's also Father's Day, so this might be a great opportunity to wish all the Dads out there a Happy Father's Day.

Until next time...

Friday, June 13, 2008

View from my Dashboard


ViewFromMyDashboard, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Zoom Zoom. This just in from the "quick somebody call the folks at Top Gear" department (I so want to see The Stig tooling around in one of these.) As it turns out, even though I still might drive a "luxurious" Crapanese hatchback and live miles away from Detroit (these 101 degree days of spring make the cool north of Detroit seem really far away, believe me) I'm actually closer to a supercar than you might think. Turns out the folks at Ronn Motor Company are secretly building a hydrogen powered supercar right here in my own backyard (Ah Ha! So that's what that funny smell was. Living in Texas for so long, by now I should learn to recognize the smell of fresh petroleum in the morning. [Wrinkles nose]) Not only are they building a stealth supercar and a secret hidden factory and showroom right here in the Texas Hill Country (take highway 1431 west, turn left at highway 281, look for the signs as you approach Johnson City-it's on the right, you can't miss it) but the car is really quite HOT looking too. Running on hydrogen fuel cells, don't let its big bad supercar good looking exterior fool you, turns out this tiger actually turns into a pussycat at the pump-it sips a mere 40 mpg at the famed Texaco star. Of course, with a whopping price tag of $150,000 it's still out of reach for most folks like me, who can't afford to shell out those kind of clams to help save the environment and all. But still, for those in the market for a supercharged supercar, it might be just the ticket (um, er, excuse the pun. And watch out for those Hill Country cops, man, they sure do deliver in the "just your ticket" department.)

I so want to see The Stig drive one. I so want to see The Stig drive one. Oh, do you think the famed Top Gear production office takes bribes? Nevermind that, how do I get myself closer to the car itself? Maybe I should volunteer my services as a fine art photographer for all of this. I mean, I'm sure they must need blurry out-of-focus "artsy" pictures for their brochure, right?

Yeah yeah, well, like you had a shot at getting any closer to the belly of the beast either. Pfffft.

Ah, to be The Stig if only for one day.....

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Surfacing


WildLightOnDunes, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

It's alive! It's alive!

What's alive? You might ask. And, this time anyway, I might just tell you. I finished a new website for my photography this weekend and it's gone live. For more details, check out my new happy home on the web: House of Carol. Yes, it's true, I've given in, given up, gone on, and got myself a new home on the web.

What does this all mean? Will I stop blogging? Oh, no. I love you guys (and the blog format) way too much to quit now. All that it means is that I have a real "front" to my photography now. I've decided to put a sort of front door onto the "kitchen table" we've all quietly enjoyed for years. I'm not going to change a thing about Carol's Little World, don't you worry. I just decided to add a front, a "home base" of sorts because, well, because I kind of wanted something static, something firm, something a bit more fixed and planted than this site so that I could like make up little business cards and such. You know, a "presence" on the web that's sort of "real" and not "back door-ish" like a blog.

Don't get me wrong, the blog has served me well and I've loved doing it. It's just that, well, after all these years, I don't want to keep handing out cards or telling folks I meet about my blog only to have them come here and read my latest diatribe about TiVo, or Top Gear, or the price of light bulbs in Wal-Mart. I kind of want to ease them into it, you know? Sort of guide them into the madness that we have all come to know and grown to love that is Carol's Little World.

So, don't fret, I'm not going anywhere. Just adding a bit, making up a front page as it were, putting a bit of lipstick on the old pig (or, um, if you want to be more polite, "new drapes on the front window panes." Yeah, that sounds much better.) We'll resume with our regularly scheduled madness, including my upcoming stint in jury duty (anybody got a cake? Maybe like one with a file in it? Anybody?!?) soon enough.

Until next time...

Friday, June 06, 2008

Blogger Fodder Alert! Blogger Fodder Alert!


Walking, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

We interrupt the normal day to day musings of this blog with a special blogger fodder alert! It would appear that Carol, the former "world leader" who is now resident numero uno in her "own little world" will make a public appearance. No, she's not winning any awards (no one would be that stupid) nor is she running for office (she's a self-appointed world leader and, as such, is a bit of a dictator, though completely immune to public elections.)

No, my snowflakes, it would appear that Carol, queen flake, has succumed to none other than that great big ball of red tape colored bureaucracy known as "jury duty." Yes, you read that right, Carol has received a juror summons and is, in fact, juror number 308 in the Petit Court of Round Rock, Texas (I don't know why, she doesn't live in Round Rock, Texas, but, hey, who am I to argue with bureaucracy? It moves at a lightning pace in completely the wrong direction when taking out innocent logical folks all the time. Quick, duck!)

Yes, you read it here first, Yesterday, I had to be impaneled (not impaled, as I initially read it, thank goodness!) and I received a juror summons in what looked like junk mail. I almost trashed it, and would have completely thrown it in the trash heap, it if weren't for the tiny little "justice of the peace" stamp in the upper left-hand corner. My curiosity got the better of me though, as I thought to myself, "what did I get married and not know about it or something?" as I opened it and discovered, "oh phew! It's just a jury duty notice."

With the impending threat of a wedding aside, I googled and found out that the "Petit" Court in this case is both, well, petite and Petit. Round Rock, it would appear is a small offshoot of the Williamson County (where I actually do live) court system, and so I will be serving there, should my number happen to be up, as it were.

I was talking with some folks at work about all of this and it turns out that Austin has several things that make it unique with regards to jury duty. It's a state capitol, it's a town with a lot of college students, and a sort of "high turnover" rate-all factoids that, when combined, make this a sort of "jury duty capitol of the world" as it were. Everybody in Austin has either been called for jury duty, has already served, or is about to be called, as they appear to be particularly low on logical people who can read and write and have lived in the city, country, and area for more than 30 days (oh and, those who don't have a felony conviction themselves.) Go figure. (It's not too late, I could show up like the drunk man and down a six back before 8:30 am.)

As far as I can tell, it's some case involving a traffic accident of some kind. It's probably a civil case, based upon the questions they asked me. Somebody's insurance company done them wrong and I can hardly wait to hand out a big fat check. Sign me up, sign me up! (Sorry, snowflakes, I have to write that, just in case, you know, somebody from the petite Petit Court should happen to read all of this someday.) I'm actually thinking about all of the T-shirts I could break out of my stash. "Walk the Plank" comes to mind, as does "Hang 'Em High" and my old New Hampshire logo clothing, "Live Free or Die-" all apropos garments at this particular time.

Maybe I'll get out of t, maybe I won't. Maybe I'll be sequestered with only bad cheap sandwiches and old magazines. Who knows? All I know now is that I'm juror number 308 awaiting further instructions.

Until next court date with destiny...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Top 10 List - White Sands, New Mexico



ThreeDunesAndSky, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.
Here it is, folks, my top 10 list for White Sands, New Mexico, including Alamogordo, New Mexico, the White Sands National Monument, and anything headed west out of the El Paso Airport

Number 10: Snow discs are not just for snow anymore. Yes, that's right, my snowflakes, you can sled down parts of the giant white sand dunes using one of these.

Number 9: The great big White Sand dunes are...well...white. Now this may sound like Captain Obvious calling in for a report, but what you might not realize is that the sands are white, the skies are white, everything is, well, white. And this can lead to small disasters. Allow me to explain. You see, some of the sand dunes are, in fact, 20 feet high (or so) and, standing atop a 20 foot high mountain of "white" surrounded by white skies and white winds and white, well, everything, can screw with your depth perception. Yes, there have actually been people who inadvertantly walked right off a sand dune because, well, because everything was white. This translates into a big "be careful out there" from me to you.

Number 8: You get kicked out of the park at precisely 9 pm by a ranger who drives around in a pick-up truck sporting loud speakers on top. "Good evening," he will say to you over his built in personal PA system, "the time is now...[insert actual time here] and you are currently located [ditto] minutes from the exit gate." He's polite enough to tell you how far away the front door is, but not wise enough to point in which direction it might be. But, he'll make sure you get out of the park unless you hide or get totally lost, either of which can happen pretty easily.

Number 7: Speaking of getting lost, it's very hard to orient yourself in the dunes. Stay on the trails if you prefer easy markers and I'd recommend carrying a compass. There was once a band of photographers who got lost and got stuck in the dunes already (why does this not surprise me? By now, I know firsthand how there's always a band of photographers up to something and that something is usually not what park rangers prefer we be doing. Well, in this case, maybe just not without a compass.)

Number 6: The full moon over the dunes is wild. The dunes sort of "glow" by the moonlight in strange odd ways. It's very haunting and something everybody who visits the dunes should get to see (if they can avoid those pesky park rangers from number 8, that is.)

Number 5: There's actually wildlife in the dunes. I saw a coyote there-actually heard him a howling three dunes away, and a lizard. There were also wild free roaming humans sliding down snow discs (see number 10.) In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's a wild, wild, white sandy happening party spot out there, cleverly disguised as a national monument.

Number 4: The Waffle and Pancake House in beautiful, sunny downtown Alamogordo is actually the highest rated restaurant in the area, and for good reason. The food was great there, the people friendly, the service fast. No kidding. Eat there and you'll be a happy camper, even if you should happen to sleep at the Holiday Inn Express.

Number 3: There are strange road signs up in the sand dunes. Signs that read things like "Slow Congested Area" and "Caution Stop Ahead." Maybe number 5 actually explains that a bit but I found the roadside signs to be quite odd, especially considering the fact that, well, there really aren't any roads out in back by the dunes (they plow the stuff, like snow, and make paths for us to plop through, but no actual pavement by the dunes.)

Number 2: The white sand dunes are not actually sand.They are gypsum, or something you might call alabaster, calcium sulfate, or selenite. They're also not always white, reflections from the sun and sky can make then change color and they can form naturally in oddball sorts of colors (pinkish is pretty common, or so I'm told.) Because the dunes are not actually "sand" the properties of "sand" do not apply to them (they don't get hot in the summertime, for example.)

Number 1: And the number 1 factoid about White Sands, New Mexico is: be careful, they have tumbleweeds out there. Tumbleweeds and giant missile launch sites. Not to mention it's not too far from Roswell, New Mexico, home to Area 51. The truth is out there, you are paranoid, they are out to get you, and the world is a very strange place so do pack lots of sunscreen. (You read it here first.) All that and, well, they make for interesting images from what I've seen so far.

Until next time...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Look! It's my Kitchen Table


PaintedTornadoNo1-1, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

This weekend, I cleared off my kitchen table.

Now, for most of you, this probably doesn't amount to a whole bunch of "Ooooh's" and "Aaaaaah's" but, since the flood in my house, I've been living without a ktichen table. Oh, I mean, like it's been there, it's just been more than slightly buried under a flood of crap I had to move suddenly in the high water.

So, for a long time, I've lived without a kitchen table. I've been eating in odd places, yes, it's true. Not only that, but I've felt just an overall sort of "clutter" about myself. Like there was just no order around the joint. And now, I'm happy to say, I've regained a bit of sanity, as this weekend I saw fit to unearth the table.

After I finished moving everything off the table, I took a look at the tablecloth and thought, "Hmmm. I really should wash that. I mean, it's getting more than a bit dingy." And, it was. But then, I thought, "I really don't have the energy right now. I mean, crap, I just exerted myself clearing off the table and all." But then, I recoonsidered. I mean, how many times in the next year might I be able to see that tablecloth again? It's anybody's guess as to how long it will be until it's covered again but, heck, I thought, since I can see it now, why not go all the way and clean it as well as clear it? I went though all of that trouble clearing it off, why not clean it too? (And so I did.)

It's sort of like procrastination in reverse, only now I'm actually getting something done. Quick, don't tell the lazy police, or they'll be out to get me. I mean, I am a card-carrying member and all.

Speaking of lazy police, I do still have to post a top 10 from White Sands. I will do it too, I promise. But, not before I can see the table once again.

Until next time...