Broken: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is BROKEN:

  • Capture something broken:  broken windows and tools, an old window, a toy never fixed, and so on.

Each of the pictures below depicts something “broken” — whether it’s Anthony Burgess’s disturbing novel of social dysfunction in an England of the future ruled by thugs, A Clockwork Orange (the book was in a visual art exhibit at the Walter Phillips Gallery here in Banff), a preserved dinosaur head, or an installation representing America’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan:

Anthony Burgess's CLOCKWORK ANGEL

Anthony Burgess’s CLOCKWORK ANGEL — Ooops! Self means A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Self’s got too much Infernal Devices on the brain, dear blog readers!

Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum at Drumheller, Alberta

Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum at Drumheller, Alberta

Harriet Bart, American:

Harriet Bart: “Enduring Afghanistan” – map of Afghanistan rendered in dog tags, at the Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Intricate! Dinosaur Bones

The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week is INTRICATE.  Self will focus on fossils. Something about these long-lost creatures fascinates her.

Alberta has a great dinosaur musem in Drumheller. Cousins took her there, a few weeks ago.

Dinosaur Fossil, in the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum, about an hour north of Calgary, in Denheller.

Dinosaur Fossil, in the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum, about an hour north of Calgary, in Drumheller.

Tiny dinosaur on rock faces stiff competition

Tiny dinosaur on rock faces stiff competition

These little dinosaurs fascinate self.

These little dinosaurs fascinate self.

Quite an interesting display of dinosaur fossils at the Royal Tyrrell Museum. It’s astonishing how scientists can stumble across fragments of dinosaur bones, then painstakingly piece them together to come up with real facsimiles of what the creatures must have looked like.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Intricate 4: A Walk

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is INTRICATE:

What does the word “intricate” mean to you? It could be the deep, fibrous bark on the ancient oak tree in your yard. Maybe it’s the robin’s nest under construction near your window — that ornithological engineering marvel of mud and twigs.

It was another gorgeous day in Banff. Self took a walk, and here’s what she found.

Each thing is intricate in its own way. What’s important is to gaze. To pay attention to the smallest detail.

There are two of these things in front of the Kinnear Centre.

There are two of these things in front of the Kinnear Centre.

Strange things. Don't know what they are.

Strange things. Don’t know what they are.

Self also dropped by the Walter Phillips Gallery to explore the current show, Séance Fiction, a multi-media installation.

In a dark room, there were two huge screens, showing clips from old movies featuring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Self took a quick snap of one screen. It’s layered with other images (accidentally, but self kinda likes the effect):

A Still from

A Still from “The Time That Remains,” which consists of found footage from old Bette Davis and Joan Crawford movies. The work is by the Australian duo Soda_Jerk.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Afloat 4: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

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Self went to the Walker Art Center today. It was a beautiful day — warm! When she was reaching for her wallet to pay the entrance fee, the woman stopped her and said people attending the AWP writing conference received free museum admission.

!!!!

Unfortunately, she doesn’t know the name of the artist who was responsible for this particular installation. She’ll look through the Walker Art Center website when she has a little more time.

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Look carefully: each bubble has a different design.

Robert Motherwell, "Untitled"

Robert Motherwell, “Untitled”

Self took a picture of this Motherwell painting because it really does seem to float out from the white wall. There is something so inscrutable about Motherwell’s paintings. It’s as if he’s constantly challenging the viewers to say: “What’s this about?” Motherwell cheekily left a corner of the painting white.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Blur 4: Self’s Head Is Still in Winter

It had been decades since self had ridden on Amtrak. But when she lived in New York City, and her sister was still taking her MBA in Wharton, she used to take trains all the time.

Last month, she visited one of her sister’s closest friends, Kathleen Burkhalter, who is now Mrs. David Bell and lives in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It was officially spring, but the landscape was still snowy.

View From the Train Heading from New York (Penn Station) to Providence, RI

View From the Train Heading from New York (Penn Station) to Providence, RI

When self lived in New York, she started out sharing the basement of a house in Flushing, then moved to a sublet on 8th and First. She loved New York with a passion.

Returning last month, she saw her first heavy snowfall in decades. The snow coated the sidewalks, the streets, the trees in Central Park.

Trees, Central Park, March 2015

Trees, Central Park, March 2015

Finally, Bjork’s Swan Dress.

Self managed to catch the Bjork retrospective at the NY Museum of Modern Art.

What.A.Fascinating.Exhibit.

Self took many pictures of the dress. But since this week’s Photo Challenge theme is BLUR, she picked one of the blurry ones:

The Infamous Swan Dress, the Bjork Retrospective at the New York Museum of Modern Art, March 2015

The Infamous Swan Dress, the Bjork Retrospective at the New York Museum of Modern Art, March 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Wall 3: New York City

From the WordPress Daily Post site:

Walls are “where stories are read, voices are heard, ideas are shared.”

Below are a few pictures of walls from self’s peregrinations today, St. Patrick’s Day, in the great, ever-inspiring city of New York.

It was a blustery, chilly day. Self overheard this conversation, while sitting on the steps of the Metropolitan having a lunch of shish kebab and lemonade from one of the truck vendors on Fifth (And it was a pretty good shish kebab!)

Young Woman (wearing a dress, leggings, boots, and an absolutely radiant smile): “I just flashed everyone.”

Friend (seated behind self on the steps): “I know. It’s such a fucking windy day. Love the outfit, though.”

Chinese Courtyard, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

Chinese Courtyard, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

St. Patrick's Day Parade Wall of Flags! Viewed from the steps of the Metropolitan Museum

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Wall of Flags! Viewed from the steps of the Metropolitan Museum

Wall of People? We're all waiting for the parade!

Wall of People? We’re all waiting for the parade!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Wall: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is WALL.

As the prompt on The Daily Post states:

Share an image of a wall that reveals something about a place, or a people, or you.

Here are some examples of notable walls self has taken pictures of in the recent past:

Mural, Egghead's Restaurant, Fort Bragg

A few days ago: Had breakfast in Egghead’s Restaurant, Fort Bragg, and took a picture of this wall mural.

This is Bones, a graffiti artist. He's standing in front of his latest creation, in a gallery on Laurel Street in Fort Bragg.

Karen Bowers of the Mendocino Art Center invited self to go gallery-hopping in Fort Bragg, a monthly ritual called “First Friday.” This is Bones, a graffiti artist. He’s standing in front of his latest creation, in a gallery on Laurel Street.

One other mural by graffiti artist Bones.

One other mural by graffiti artist Bones.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Angular 2: Cantor Art Center, Stanford Campus

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is ANGULAR.

Since self really enjoys taking pictures of buildings and such, she has many that she thinks fit the theme. Such as these that she took during a visit to the Cantor Art Center on the Stanford campus, a month or so ago.

Behind the Cantor Art Center, Stanford Campus

Behind the Cantor Art Center, Stanford Campus

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The current exhibit (through Jan. 15, 2015) of Robert Frank’s photographs, Robert Frank in America, is — WOW. Just. Wow.

Frank’s journey across America took place in 1955-56.

The exhibit includes a map of the United States that shows the locations where each set of photographs was taken. These include: Ann Arbor, Daytona Beach, Chicago, Des Moines, Detroit, Denver, Flagstaff, Hoover Dam, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, and Salt Lake City.

The book in the first two photographs is the exhibit catalogue (the book that can be seen in the first two photographs). It is well worth the purchase price, because the photographs capture a moment in America and their power builds cumulatively.

Robert Frank himself flew in to see the exhibit. The famed photographer turned 90 this month.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Foolish Things

  • As a result of dropping by the Robert Frank exhibit at the Cantor Art Center on the Stanford Campus yesterday, self got it into her head that she would very much like to own a Leica.
  • After leaving the Robert Frank exhibit, self fully intended to go to Aquarius in Palo Alto and watch Rory Kennedy’s “Last Days in Vietnam.” But she did not.  Instead, after filling up with gas, she went home.  And today — alas! — that film is no longer showing.
  • Self hasn’t looked at her story “The Peacock.”  Not once.  Not since it was workshopped at Squaw. She has no idea what to do with that story. It just sits there, like a lump on a log. Taking up space in her computer. In her store of unfulfilled projects. She wanted it to be a memoir about her and Dear Departed Sister-in-Law Ying. She wanted it to be desperate and lonely, the voice of a soul lost in the Cambodian wilderness after failing to connect with the splendor that is Angkor Wat (Dear blog readers, do you know that there’s a RAFFLES HOTEL IN SIEM REAP???)
  • Self has wanted to replace the desert of the front lawn with trees — perhaps olive trees — to screen her house from the busy street. But she’s remained staring at that patch of bare, weed-choked dirt for 10 years. It sounds really lame to keep bringing up the drought.

Ugh, ugh, girl. Why can’t you just do? Why must you always be re-hashing the old, or rehearsing for the future? To what end?

How quickly you forget: just yesterday, you got word from Witness that a piece you sent them eight months ago is going to be in their Translation issue.

As for somehow missing “Last Days in Vietnam,” “Gone, Girl” is showing in the Redwood City Century 20 and she heard from a friend who read the book that it’s actually pretty good. Self is not a Ben Affleck fan — seems he is pretty much a control freak with his wife, and no doubt he took care to present himself in the best possible light in this new role — but what the heck? Maybe she just wasn’t in the mood for another hard-hitting documentary yesterday, maybe she should just try and ignite a new respect for Ben Affleck? She did like “Argo” a lot. He’s not a bad director.

And if she’d managed to watch “Last Days in Vietnam” yesterday, she would have missed seeing the San Francisco Giants’ nail-biting victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. She would have missed seeing the way the two teams went head to head all the way to the 9th inning. She would have missed that sweet, game-ending homer.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Today, in the Huntington Library

The moment you step into the Huntington Gardens, you are surrounded by the heady scent of roses. The path from the parking lot to the visitors entrance is lined with rose bushes.

Here is a list of things self saw in The Huntington Library (San Marino, CA) today:

  • The Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, opened to the monk’s tale, with eight red wax seals lining the bottom of the page
  • An early edition of one of Shakespeare’s Folios.  On the wall, directly above it, a quote which ended with “Doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love.”
  • A copy of Missions in the New World by Francesco Severio Clavigero, published in Venice, 1789
  • the “elephant edition” of John James Audubon’s Birds of America (This book was almost as tall as herself; she’s not kidding)
  • Henry David Thoreau’s journal, which became the basis for Walden. The quote above it:  “I wished to live deliberately.”
  • Jack London’s manuscript for White Fang, 1905. The quote above it:  “He was a silent fury.”

Can self tell you how moved she was to see handwritten letters by Charles Dickens, displayed in the same room as Thoreau’s journal and Jack London’s handwritten manuscripts? She imagines the writers’ hands moving across the paper in methodical fashion.  Knowing that these keepsakes survived makes her feel very worship-ful. Also, the fact that she’s seeing them on 9/11, and most of the paper that got blown about that day (retrieved from as far away as Long Island — how they made it across the water is a mystery) were office memos, scrawled-over office calendars, graphs, worksheets — ordinary, human things.

Paper is fragile; thoughts aren’t.

Where is she going with this?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

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