Science Girl’s dormant interest in photography has been re-awakened. She used to do it all, down to developing the film herself. Then the pressures of time and money got in the way, as they will do, and it sorta went by the wayside. Now she’s getting back into it, one step at a time.
She started going on photography expeditions with Matildaben, who encouraged her to attend a Flickr meet-up in October. SG went and had a really good time. When Matildaben started the Greenlake Flickr group, SG signed right up. (As did I.) The first Greenlake photo stroll was this weekend. SG and I were there – here with her digital camera AND the film camera she’d just busted out of mothballs, and me with my little toy digital that I use to take snapshots.
It was fun, even if I was in a bit over my head. Any excuse to get out and walk around during the winter is a good one, and if it includes going around Greenlake, (or even just halfway, as we did yesterday – it was a fairly sizeable group that quickly spread out, and we got something of a late start, given that the sun sets so early these days), so much the better.
Since I knew that for the most part I wouldn’t be able to get the art shots that everybody else was going for, I concentrated on getting pictures of dogs. Greenlake on a weekend is probably one of the best spots in Seattle for dog watching. (Back before we got Lucy, I used to go there specifically to get a dog fix.) Some of my subjects were too wiggly to sit for a portrait, but I got a couple that aren’t too bad. Yay dogs!
I’m afraid that I might not have left the best impression on SG’s photo buddies, though. I tend to be shy meeting strangers, and doubly so groups of them. Plus, given my hearing loss in my right ear, it’s really hard to track conversation when there are so many people talking at once. The upshot is that I can often seems standoffish and anti-social – which isn’t always entirely inaccurate, to be honest. In this case, though, everyone seemed really nice and agreeable, so I hope I didn’t accidentally blow anyone off by not hearing them when they were speaking to me.
I’m not really a nuts & bolts photography guy. I can appreciate it when someone pulls together a great image; honestly, I do try to do the same, to the best of my ability. I don’t really have the patience required to learn all the tech stuff, though, nor the inclination to spend on new and better equipment and training when there are so many CDs I don’t yet have.
That said, I’m quite happy to see SG picking it back up again. I think she’s got a really goodeye for it, for one thing, and of course anything that makes her happy is OK by me. Don’t take my word for it, though; check out her Flickr stream. And, by way of comedic relief,here’s mine.
Science Girl and I were talking about post-modern theory yesterday… no, really, we were. Any way, she came up with the most wonderfully snarky phrase I’ve heard in donkey’s years: the arrogance of the recently-educated. It’s the dogmatic insistence that whatever violently fashionable theory is currently making the rounds is, in fact, The True and Only Gospel. Any theory pre-dating it is utterly discredited and those who still adhere to it are either fools or hopelessly antiquated, and sometimes both. Sound at all familiar? Cast your mind back to when you were in college (or, if you’re still in college, stare at the wall for a moment) and see if it doesn’t resonate for you.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not claiming that everyone who qualifies as being recently educated does this, no more than I’m saying that anyone whose ideas don’t match mine does it. It’s just that I instantly recognized what she was talking about, and had a good long laugh over it – partially at my own expense, if I’m honest about it.
OK, the big news is that I’ve got a streaming webcast now, Radio Lethargico. There’s an actual page for it, which I have added to the sidebar. The initial broadcast will be from 12:30 am – 2:30 am, give or take, tonight/tomorrow morning. The idea is to eventually have music playing all the time, but for now there will just be the occasional broadcast – mostly during the 12:30 -2:30 window, or 11:30 am – 2 pm. All times are Pacific, as if I need to tell you.
This article in today’s P-I got me thinking about my own small foray into mail art. It was the early 80’s. I was living in Monterey, while my girlfriend of the time was living in Sacramento. We sent letters to each other all the time – probably three or four a week, if we were feeling especially prolific. Since she was a fine art major, she used to draw stuff on the envelopes. I was very impressed, and felt the need to respond in kind. Since I’m not terribly, um, gifted with a pen in my hand, I took to assembling collages on the exterior of my envelopes. (Actually, I think I may have sent off a couple of doodles in crayon at some point.) In the late 80’s, I carried on a similar correspondence with another girlfriend in another town – this time I was in Sacramento and she was in Palo Alto. She was a better writer than she was an artist, but she made a few collages herself. And while the content of the letters was very important at the time, as I think back on that time I have to admit that at least half the excitement was in seeing what they’d come up with for the envelope. I know I put as much time into creating my mail art as I did in writing the actual letter, and I suspect that it was the same for my correspondents.
It was a lot of fun. I do miss getting letters in the mail. Email is very efficient and speedy, of course, but it does seem to lacking a certain something. Turning on the computer and logging on to my email site, I don’t really get that same sense of anticipation I used to get from going out to the mailbox to see what might be waiting.
As Summer drags out its extended conclusion and Autumn waits in the wings for its cue, I’m finding myself itching to create… something. I don’t really know what just yet. I suppose that one could consider what I do here creative, but only just. When I was dating the Sacramento art student, a friend of hers once told me, “If it takes more than an hour to do it, it’s art”. Well, OK. I’ve never studied art much beyond the Art History course I took way back when, but I’ll accept that theory. I can usually knock out a basic blog post in about 45 minutes, I guess – I’ve never actually timed it, but that sounds about right. So, if we go by the one hour rule, this ain’t art.
Now Science Girl, she paints. Not very often, but she does do it from time to time. I wish she would paint more often, because she’s really quite good. Both her parents were talented, so she comes by it honestly. Her father made some outstanding ceramic pieces, which we have on display throughout Science Manor. Science Mom works in the textile arts. Here’s a link to a gallery of some of her tapestries. Those thumbnails really don’t do her work justice; for one thing, her pieces tend to be on the large side. She also employs a lot of very intricate beadwork that doesn’t really photograph well. On my side of the family… well, let’s be kind and say that we’re appreciators rather than artists. Hey, somebody’s gotta be in the audience, right?
So I can’t draw or paint. I mean, I could, of course, but I’m not proficient enough to get whatever ideas I might have into a recognizable shape. I can sorta write, a little, and I’m not a terrible cook. Those seem to be my creative outlets at the moment. We’ll see if I actually get off my ass and do something about any of this, but the urge is there. I just need to act on it now.