Category Archives: Teresa

Spirit Pumps

Just thought I would jot down a few quick thoughts.

First of all, I would like to share the fruits of my labors from Craft Night!!


Restore Blog - Spirit Pumps - 01-24-2007

Okay . . . so one could make the case that painting a frame and matting a picture hardly constitutes a “craft”.

I’m not the craft police, but I did do this on Craft Night. I even finally decided on a name for this picture: “Last, Loveliest Smile”

This picture will soon be displayed in Salon 908. You could say that it will be on “Public Display”. I won’t because I’m not that pretentious. I’ll just say that it is hanging on a wall where people I don’t know might gaze upon it lovingly or in disgust.

I have to give credit to my sister Teresa. She was right about something. A few weeks ago at Supper Club we ate at Es Tas! It was terrible. Teresa recommended that we go to the West Street Deli instead. We ignored her sage advice and paid a pretty hefty price. Namely the worst french fries I have ever forced down in my life. Yesterday I met Teresa for lunch and we hit the West Street Deli. I ordered a club sandwich. It was tremendous. I don’t have the words to describe the greatness of this sandwich. Instead, I will steal a poem from Coleridge to encapsulate my feelings about this sandwich.

Desire

Where true Love burns Desire is Love’s pure flame;
It is the reflex of our earthly frame,
That takes its meaning from the nobler part,
And but translates the language of the heart.

That pretty much says it. One tasty sandwich!!! As some of you may or may not know, I bowl (very poorly) in a Monday night league. Even by my abysmally low standards I have been in a bit of a slump lately. In fact, going into Monday night I had not won a single game since before Christmas.

On Monday night I found myself matched up with Shaun Wirtz. Is he better than me? Certainly, but this is not an insurmountable task. Yet, he thoroughly thrashed me in the first 2 games, extending my losing streak to 9 games. I stood on the threshold of a double digit losing streak. So I dug deep inside and told myself: “You can not lose this third game. If you do . . . eh, whatever.”

With my new personal “whatever” mantra fueling me, I powered my way to a 10 pin victory. Of course, he won the series, but I left the bowling alley a winner. A winner of 1 of my last 11 points, but a winner nonetheless. Well maybe a little “theless”.

Tuesday night I went to see “Running with Scissors” with Stephanie and her friend Maggie. Let me tell you something about art films. For every “Little Miss Sunshine” or “Memento” there sure are a lot of “Pieces of April”. Actually I don’t hate “Pieces of April” that much, it is just the first movie to come to mind. “Running with Scissors” was a big time disappointment. They changed the focus of the book from Augusten Burroughs adolescence to his relationship with his mom. They eliminated about 10 characters, which is okay, but they twisted the other characters just enough to entirely screw up the essence of the book. I was particularly bothered by the way that pretty much left Dr. Finch off the hook for being responsible for almost all the misery in all the other characters lives. Rather than being grossly incompetent and extremely unethical; he came off as merely eccentric. Plus, there were at least two scenes in the movie that were so poor that they made you a little uncomfortable when watching them. Similar to when your friend shows you something that they are really emotionally invested in, but it blows and you’re not really sure how to react. Do you tell them: “Dude, this sucks.” Or do you try to change the subject quickly? Or do you feign enthusiasm? Whatever you do decide to do, you are still uncomfortable while you consider your options.

In “Running with Scissors” I was uncomfortable with the incredible lameness in particular of the scene where Annette Bening’s character hallucinates that she is seeing snowflakes falling from her ceiling while the soundtrack blares: “Blinded by the Light”. Normally I would laugh out loud at such a horrific sequence, but because I wanted to like this movie, I had to look away. Similar to Nader during the sex scenes of “BrokebackMountain”. Although Nader just felt a little squeamish around those scenes. I felt embarrassment for the filmmakers.

Tonight would be movie night with Scott. It would be my turn to choose the movie. Last time it was his choice and he chose “Clerks II”. I should make him watch a French New Wave Film or something by Fellini as punishment for making me sit through one long scatological joke trying to thinly masquerade itself as a morality tale. Although he does deserve to be punished in such a way, I do not wish to make his brain explode in head. I am making him watch an independent art picture. I do not know how good this movie is because I missed it when it was at the Varsity. I am making him watch “Brick” which I know is better than “Clerks II” without breaking its plastic seal; I just hope that it is exponentially better. Although no movie is that bad on a 106 inch screen, except maybe “Clerks II”.

I would just close by saying that I am currently reading what might be the best book I’ve ever read. I won’t tell you any more about this book at this time, but I would reiterate that it is phenomenal. It also taught me this fun little fact: “Presbyterians” is an anagram for Britney Spears.

Oh yeah, one last thing: Rodin is tomorrow. Still time to signup for the field trip!!

State Fair and Ledges

I have spent a few days planning for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. I need six images for the contest. My goal is to have 6 entirely new images. I believe I have 4 of the images ready. Which those with basic math skills can tell you leaves 2 images left to create. I know what the first image will be. That will be a fairly easy image to create. I’m a little undecided on the final image. Although I have a basic concept in my head.

The first image is from a recent trip I made to a wildflower area in Ledges State Park. I am fortunate to reside so near a park with as many photographic possibilities as Ledges. Anybody that has loitered around the galleries of this website knows that I spend a lot of time on the Lost Lake Trail taking pictures of frogs and dragonflies. I also spend a tremendous amount of time trying to get a halfway decent picture of a turtle. That venture continues to be a complete and utter failure. I just don’t have a long enough lens at this time to get a good turtle picture. Couple that fact with the well known cowardice of turtles, you can see the predicament I am in. I am considering buying a 500mm mirror lens for the upcoming Iowa State season and that may help me with my turtle problem. The mirror lens is attractive for budgetary reasons, but it has its limitations. It loses image quality in the corners of the images and it is manual focus. There are times that I am scared of how reliant I have become on autofocus, but then autofocus lenses were not built for manual focus and therefore their focusing rings are usually a bit loose. My future mirror lens should have a nice tight focusing ring and allow me to focus quickly and get some decent close up shots of the Cyclones this season. Of course all of that is off topic.

In upper Ledges there are many lovely patches of wildflowers. I have frequented one on a couple of days recently to get a picture of some flowers from underneath framed against a stark blue sky. My first trip actually ended in total failure. There are times when I get lazy and don’t really check the settings on my camera. There are times I just compose and fire away.

At I accidentally adjusted the ISO setting on my camera to 3200 without noticing. The result was disastrous. Most of the images were worthless. Thank you “digital noise”.

The second trip was much more successful, despite the presence of a bird that despised me as much as is avian possible. This bird stalked me and swooped at me. I ignored it to the best of my ability and got an amazing amount of shots of butterflies with which this patch is blessed. Plus, I got the flower picture that I wanted. However, the picture is not on the website yet.

The second image is a picture of Derrick walking down the alley behind Rieman’s Music with his guitar on his back. I have taken that picture and changed everything but his guitar to black and white. I have yet to create an acceptable title for this picture, but it is on the website under the temporary moniker: “Guitar Slinger”.

The third picture is a close-up picture of my goatee. It is a little bit difficult to take a picture of one’s own goatee. This would have been much easier to do with somebody else’s goatee, but sadly none of my friend’s have a goatee that is quite as impressive on so many levels. This picture is a riff on an earlier image I did when I was at work taking pictures of myself for a MySpace journal entry that never came to fruition. The original image was sepia toned. Which I do actually prefer, but there are only two categories in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest: “color” and “black and white”. I’m not sure where sepia toned fits.

I experimented with the new image. I took some pictures using the “Blue Steel” pose from “Zoolander”. I took a few pictures with my tongue sticking out. I took a few while eating a Star Bar. I look a few while leaking water out of my mouth, but I am currently leaning towards just a standard shot of pursed lips.

The experience has made me consider doing a series of these pictures trying to convey different emotions. I don’t know how that will work out, but if any thing comes of it, you’ll find out about it from this journal.

The current images aren’t currently on the website, but the original sepia toned image is on the website under the title: “Facial Hair Self-Portrait”.

The fourth picture in the hopper is a picture of an ostrich’s head. This picture was the best image from a wonderful day spent at the State Fair with Ernie, Monica, Tim, Robert, Liz, and Teresa.

I have a very large amount of objects I need to see at the State Fair. One of my favorites is a visit to the “Avenue of the Breeds”. While we were there I was able to get some wonderful pictures of an ostrich. I have to admit to not being completely satisfied with the ostrich picture because of some red in the background. As fate would have it, I am going down to the Fair tomorrow to retrieve my pictures from the Photography Salon. So there is a chance I can get another picture of the ostrich with a better background or perhaps a picture of the emus from the petting zoo. Although the ostrich had a wonderful dome, the emus has an amazingly creepy eye. Fortunately I still have a couple of days to decide which one is better.

The fifth image is simply going to be a picture of a cross in a hand. It will be a black and white image. It has yet to be taken.

The sixth image is still in the mulling over stage. Perhaps something will strike my fancy in the next couple of days. Perhaps nothing will and I’ll end up entering a retread from somewhere else.

One thing is for sure, the clock is ticking.