Thursday, August 10, 2006

Had a gig that drug me into the Middling City Museum of Science this fine morning, to document a team of scientific types setting into motion the forlorn Foucault pendulum there, an unloved item one can spy when going up and down the terrazzo steps in lieu of the vintage elevator that does not instill confidence.
On my way out I decided I must have a look around as it's been a while since my last visit.
This, Yours Truly believes, is a sad sad building whose architectural magnificence has been stolen in the name of progress - and, obvious lack of funds. The grand entrance reminiscent of The Met in the Shiney Apple, AKAG in this city, and on, is not used. Instead an entrance has been fashioned between the old portion of things scientific and a new build which features a science magnet school. Displays are unloved, dishevelled. There was a good photo exhibit of Tibetan images made at the dawn of the twentieth century when it took about a year to get to this place that no longer exists, really. YT is seeing a parallel. But this exhibit is to coincide with the Dalai Lama visit next month, the nineteenth of September, a grand event.
I spent time with the Marchand wild flower models, and an overview of the dioramas nearby, encased in oak with untouched floors and a gravitas that is precious, elicits memories of Sugimoto work documenting similar showcases. These showcases need some cleaning and some had (I stress had) names of flora and fauna taped to the glass for those who could not make the leap from wall note to showcase easily. Moth. Raccoon. Bear. And more. YT ripped off these small print-outs sometimes taped right in front of a taxidermied face - it seemed disrespectful, not to mention idiotic.
On the way out (mind You I have only passed a small group of children making crafts and some very suspicious handlers, in addition to the scientific types I documented) I noted with special special interest the showcase devoted to two beloved MC primates - Jonesie and Eddie.
I remember them both. There was no showcase devoted to Sampson, who terrorized my dreams when I was very young. Jonesie, I learned, was named for a local milk company. There was the photo documentation of each of them and in front there were their taxidermied selves. Eddie's nameplate had fallen but from the photos behind him you just knew - EDDIE.
One photograph showed Eddie Doing his part for the war effort and shaving a man who appeared to be very dead in a wheelchair. His face was not only lathered but contorted.
Alongside Eddie's memorabilia was a large drywalled area where folks could jot down a fond memory of Eddie and affix it to the wall. From the scribbled penmanship it was obvious that most of the memories were being left by the very young who only knew taxidermied Eddie, not the banana-munching ape so beloved by the freakin' city.
One child wrote this, my favourite.
I don't trust Eddie.
Another wrote
I am looking at Eddie and his eyes are following me.
Your homework assignment is obvious.

Eddie, Sampson, Jonesie Love.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Really not thee biggest question at hand but Yours Truly is rolling in deep procrastination and was distracted by the pretty header on the letterhead - LEADERSHIP BUFFALO. Their Class of 2007 Application. This org's been on my tail annually since a client pal handed over my namely goods about six years ago. I have hemmed, I have hawed. I asked hipster congressman Brian Higgins, who I saw out and about this week, if he'd ever done it. Always searching for signs YT says to herself and not aloud Hey, if the congressman's done it, so shall I. Well, he did not. But I am still hemming, hawing.
*sidebar: NYT ran a very bouncey piece on young Belgian-born designer Olivier Theyskens, and it did include one quotable quote, it goes something like this and has been added to my Smart Words folder.
“I’m forced to think ahead, to imagine what a girl should look like in a year from now. That makes your mind sensitive to signs. And looking for signs makes life more logical in a way: you are always ready for the future.” *
In the poo poo column of Leadership Buffalo is that there's tuition and said tuition hovers over $3K. Also there are sleep-overs. And there's homework.
Lately YT has been the imperfect IT Girl. And I do not mean It girl, I mean IT girl, helping others with their computer glitches, improvements, transitions. A bit of my own laptop issues tossed into the chaotic salad but let's just say that I am getting to know the guys at the Genius Bar out in the mall in the former wetlands well. But not as well as a few distressed iPod users who always seem to be facing one of two raging problems - heat surges, and drop-related fiascoes. YT is happy to report that my own iPod, like my PalmPilot, is safely nestled onto the non-virtual desktop, unused and unloved. The iPod has twelve songs imported by the X and there they remain. And not even my favoured selections to boot.
Listening to the new Sonic Youth, again. It's good and I float along with it but really, with a gun to my head, could I name any track titles, could I say (yet) Oh, yes, this is blankety-blank, not blinkety-blink. I think not. Plus this is a copy made by Bandmate Scott so, in my defense, I have no liner notes to make any of the list more stickable.
Speaking of sticking, today is the death anniversary of Jerry (jeez, Garcia, get like so with it), as opposed to his birth anniversary on the first of this month. Told Kennedy I'm making a cake for Jerry, a nice vegan recipe supplied by Vegan Queen Amy Beeman.
Came out of Liz's house with a supersized glass of white and found that I was standing right next to a guy reporting his name and status amid the circle of gathered freelancers and scant staffers for the Shiney Happy Mag Idea Toss. Tossed in several fine ones of my own of varying degrees of servitude (funny how certain words just pop out on their own), seriousness, irreverence. We splintered off into smaller groups where the ideas were bandied about and me and Lawyer Bill did our usual good-natured sparring. One '07 story idea I'm rather excited about is a piece on pool-hopping which I fear may be a lost (or waning) art.
I deemed it oso necessary to have an illustration tracing our (Lawyer Bill and I said we'd co-write this) steps and dives, just like those endearing "Billy's Path of Ruination" illustrations in Family Circus that, as a child, one could get lost in for possibly a whole fifteen minutes.

Fifteen minutes of Love.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Usually grandmothers are the seers and/or the saints, the family members who've crawled on their bellies through raging fires of personal experiences, put some out with a handful of flour onhand in the larder, held most of the adults in the room when they were newbies. My own beloved grandmother, Victoria, I felt, looked in upon my soul as nobody else could for this lady not only knew me from the first hours, but was a wisdom conduit. If you asked, if you listened.
But yesterday, shooting an ultra-country wedding, the grandmother in the room was like so wrong. And I didn't want her to be wrong, going along with the beliefs outlined above. But when Country Gram wandered about, telling everyone that the wedding cake collapsed because of the wedge the couple removed for that choice photo op, I tried to reason with her frail self. Yours Truly said No, they cut the wedge here (gesturing) while the collapsing is here (gesturing again). She would not look, nor see the truth. It was that the base (not visible under what appears to be seaweed) was not level itself, sending all tiers into a dramatic and slow-motion whump. YT was seated nearby, as luck had it, with a divorcé whose wedding I shot several years ago, her dairy farmer date (who I peppered with questions about his transformation to the world of organics. . . and expressing my unfettered negative reaction when he told me about the lifespan of machine-pumped/chem-addled cows who yield an excessive six years as opposed to happier, organic cows who can live about four times longer), a woman I knew from Darien Lake's rock & roll venue, and some exurban tavern owners. Someone muttered that the cake was collapsing and I turned most quickly as my camera happened to be resting near the cake on the very same table. As it were, the collapse happened at six o'clock whereas the d2x was at 10 o'clock and it was not necessary to lick sugared shortening out of its delicate crevices. I documented the minimal wedding-day debacle and even assisted a youngster with his cell phone with getting the best shot until the caterer said We would prefer as few photographs of this as possible. To which YT stifled a gut-wrenching guffaw. Scouted out some fab locations for going off the grid as I wended to and fro the Middling City. And, lest You are unaware, all this happened, and this landscape may be gleaned, in under fifty miles from currently sani-wrapped City Hall.

Landscape Love.