As seen in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. After a long day of educational training and a train ride and then a wait in the airport before my plane took off, this restaurant served as a source of amusement and innuendo.
Just be careful how you read this post…
What keeps us apart from each other? Some people think it’s 21st century technology, pushing us to distance ourselves from each other, relegated to text and Facebook and tweet our way through relationships.
Me? I think it’s doors. Just walk through. Then we can be together.
I like the ferris wheel. I like the merry-go-round. I like the roller coaster. I like skyshot rides.
I don’t like 1001 nachts (nights – why is this ride German?). Nor do I like any of the rides like it. Anything that spins? Blech.
It makes a nice photo, though.
I was marking Provincial Exams at Simon Fraser University today and the weather was insultingly beautiful. Insulting because it was beautiful and I was contractually obligated to sit in a room and watch the sun pass across the sky through our classroom window.
I got out during lunch and shot some of the area and managed to get some wonderful candids. The one above is a photomerge of two captures taken one after the other. He was really moving, apparently. I was just playing around but it seemed kind of fun so I’m posting it. It’s about the most obviously manufactured photo I’ve ever posted here. I hope you find it amusing.
“This is the last time I let Robin choose my mode of transportation. I guess it’s payback for all those years in green tights.”
It was my birthday today and my family, who loves me so much, got me a Batman Lego set. I stole the bike from another one of my son’s sets of Lego. Wouldn’t you love to see Batman on a mountain bike?
The Mayans’ calendar ends on December 21, 2012. Theorists, conspirators, paranoids have played around with the idea that there’s “No Exit” for us after this date. There will be no 2013. We’ve got less than a year and then…well…sorry. Apocalypse. Doomsday! The end of all things. Ha!
I can’t take this stuff too seriously.
On a serious note, I wish all of you a Happy New Year! I have spent most of the year, from last January 13 until today, posting a photo every day. You, the viewers and subscribers of this blog, have been incredibly nice to me. I’ve been Freshly Pressed twice and have had more than 40000 page views. It’s been a great year. I feel strongly that 2012 will be just as great, probably greater.
So, thanks, and have a great year.
This is, in fact, how all Canadians swim. You should see us at the swimming pool. It’s hilariously cute. It is a Canadian telepathic thing. Weird, I know, but fun.
I missed you, with all of your analog functions and manual focus. With your amazingly basic light meter and super hot manual wind and rewind. Mmm…where have you been all my life?
Oh yeah, in my camera bag. I’m sorry I’ve been ignoring you. I’m on holidays right now…so…I promise we’ll go hit the town soon. Sound good?
This photograph is the cause of probably one of my happiest school-based moments in the past few weeks.
I went to discuss something with my colleague who is in charge of our IT department. He wasn’t in the room – sick day or something – so I went through to the back room where old, dead monitors and computer towers go to die. The room had served as a graveyard of sorts for all of the defunct computers and accessories from the entire school. They were being collected to be properly recycled. Due to the more immediate technological problems in our school system, many of our dead monitors had not been picked up, so my colleague decided to build an igloo out of them.
I laughed. I guffawed. I chuckled. The only thing I wish was that it was hollow and that I could have climbed inside. Instead, I went out to my car, grabbed my camera and snapped some shots.
This is pretty. Really pretty. They (whoever “they” are) say that smog causes pretty sunsets. Is it politically, morally, ethically, environmentally, logically incorrect to say that at least smog has one aesthetic upside? Seriously, let’s clean up the earth, but keep the pretty sunsets.
Welcome to the bottom deck of a BC Ferry. We had the pleasure of attending my brother-in-law’s wedding in Victoria, BC last weekend. I hadn’t been to Victoria since the last time we attended a wedding there, back in 1995. I forgot what it’s like to travel on the ferry to get to Vancouver Island.
The ride over, from Tsawassen to the island, was on the upper deck of the Coastal Celebration. We stayed in the car and watched the Gulf Islands slide by. I got out and took some shots of some of the islands and vistas. It was quite nice.
We ended up on the lower deck on the way home. Once the ferry is full, the doors close and the bottom deck is completely closed up. And…that’s when the claustrophobia settled in. I’m not claustrophobic, normally, but my mind flashed back to one of the most insipid movies I’ve ever seen: Titanic. I was sitting on the lower deck thinking of the steerage passengers who had no chance of survival once the water started in and none of them had a clue that it was coming. Oh sure, my mind could have traveled back to the beauty of Kate Winslet, or a certain sweaty moment…in a car…on the lower deck of the ship. I was in a car on the lower deck of a boat with my wife. That’s where my mind could have gone.
But it didn’t. It went to, “Hey! If this thing starts to sink, we won’t even know.”
Thanks, stupid brain. Thanks a lot.
Click on the photo above, btw, if you want to see it in more detail.
This is the British Columbia Parliament Building, home of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. It is…affectionately (?) known as “The Leg”. This is not, however, pronounced “leg”, as in the appendages of your body attached to the hip, extending down to your feet. It is pronounced “ledge”, as in legislature, legislative, jump off the ledge.
This is one of my favorite pieces of street art. It’s some kind of “anti-consumerist” comment that I’m not even sure I understand, but I don’t know that exact comprehension is important when it comes to art.
This piece might be about the consumption of native art and the fact that the real meaning of aboriginal painting is lost when it’s purchased by ignorant people. Maybe it’s about aboriginal artists no longer making their art for community and are now making it for the highest bidder. Maybe it’s about raccoons holding people hostage by sitting on their heads. I don’t know.
What I do know? It looks cool.
Photo Friday’s challenge this week is Animal. Spirit raccoon seemed to fit.
I’m not talking about zombies, although I do love them a lot.
I’m talking about those things that grow on you, those things that take on a life of their own. Those things that you have and wear and keep for a long time and when it comes time to retire them you’re not sure if you want to get rid of them or bronze them.
It’s pretty stupid, really. They are just things, after all. It is a solid reminder of the consumption-driven lives most of us lead. It is a symptom of a society that is becoming enamored of things and not people, of virtual relationships rather than actual relationships. It’s the purse you can’t part with, the iPod that finally charged one last time, the VCR that still plays but not well. In my case, it’s a pair of ASICS Fortitudes that have almost given up the ghost. They hug me in just the right way. They support me. They…
…are inanimate. And they will have to go soon.
If I write a little more will you be satisfied to let me go to sleep? Actually, Big Bang Theory is on right now and I’m kind of liking how Sheldon just freaked out and hallucinated bugs crawling all over him. Hee hee.
Now can I go to sleep?
…and no, brown cows do not produce chocolate milk, despite what your dad used to tell you. If brown cows produced chocolate milk, then black and white cows (Holsteins, for the uninitiated) would produce what? Grey milk? And depending on the ratio of black to white on the given cow, you’d have everything from charcoal milk to smoke grey, so that color theory makes no sense whatsoever.
This photo is from my drive home. Today, the cows seemed to want their photo taken. Every time I raised my camera, one of the cows outside the shot would give a little snort and raise her head, as though saying, “Hey! What about me?” As soon as I changed angles, she’d put her head down and another somewhere else would give me the diva treatment.
…and other times you stop your car along the side of the road, put the hazard lights on, run around to the passenger side of the car to get your camera to take “that” photo of a hazelnut orchard because the light is catching it just right. All the while, wearing a solid wall of black (shoes, pants, belt, button-front shirt) and a hot pink tie, thereby weirding out all drivers passing by.
Or does that just happen to me? Just me? Oh…well then…carry on.
This is a little reminder from me to…me. It’s been a while since I senselessly bought flowers. By senselessly, I mean the part of my brain that is not part of the brain – the irrational part of the brain, is what I’m trying to say.
Yes, there are reasons why I love my wife. Yes, there are occasions to buy flowers. Yes, there are aesthetic reasons to purchase these aromatic and visually stimulating florae. But it’s time to do it for no reason whatever.
Because isn’t that what love is? A momentary stupidity in the face of all things logical that creates a blankness in the brain and a smile on the face? Well, it’s time to get stupid for love again.
Of course, me, the person for whom I might be gettin’ all stupid might read this, so maybe not tomorrow, or the next day, but soon. Soon.
When my daughter was little, my wife let her watch Teletubbies. I thought it was like Sesame Street on LSD, but my daughter, in all her toddler glory, loved the show. Plus, my wife was a full-time, first-time mother and needed a bit of downtime and the Teletubbies were there to rescue her from having to chase my daughter. I should also note that my daughter decided at the age of 17 months that she was no longer napping at all and that we’d all pay a price if we didn’t take heed of her demands, so sleep and rest during the day was not happening around the Bergen household.
Anyway, there’s a Teletubby (or is it “ie”?) whose name is Tinky Winky. I’m not sure if he…she…it was the start of the furor back about a decade ago. The furor was around the fact that Tinky Winky, who was mistaken by conservative, right-wing media and parents’ groups as being a human male, was carrying around a big bag that resembled a purse. Parents’ groups were worried that Tinky Winky was sending the wrong message about what it meant to be male. Really? Go look at Tinky Winky. Does it look male, let alone human? It looks bipedal with a head and arms, but that’s about where the comparison ends. I don’t think it even has genitals, although I’m not looking it up to check. Maybe that’s what that thing is on top, although it could be a communication device to talk to the saucer people. Whatever. Now, almost every grown male I know has a “satchel” or “shoulder bag” or “man-bag” and none of us are worried that we’re sending the wrong message to our kids.
So what does this have to do with the photo? When I told my friends Josh and Karina that we had planted Pinky Winky Hydrangeas in the back yard, Josh looked at me and said, “You planted a Teletubbie in your backyard?” Yup, we planted Tinky Winky.
Here’s the deal. Some of you know that I have action figures; some of you do not. Here’s the confirmation that I have more collectibles that many of you have not seen. And, again, it’s Batman. I just love that guy.
And, yes, I know he’s not real.
“In spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything. You just need a lot of love and luck – and, of course, courage. ” – Bill Cosby
Above are my two beautiful children. I love them more than my own life. But they have spawned in me some complete confusion and inspired love. Let me give you a couple of examples:
1. When we were traveling to Oregon only a scant two weeks ago, my children made me so proud. The happily dealt with a full day of traveling, followed by five days of bliss. They got along. They saved small aquatic animals from death. They found utter joy in throwing a stick in the ocean, only to chase it down the beach, rescue it from the surf and throw it right back in. They comforted me when, in a fit of stupidity I thought I was younger than I am, I hurled myself into and over a railing, leaving a sizable dent in my shin. They were stupendous. And for a brief and amazing moment, I thought, “We’re amazing parents. We should write books.”
2. My children decided last night that they wanted to sleep in our basement in our original three-man tent. At 10:00, my wife found them lying in the tent with the lights out but their Nintendo DS’s fully engaged when they were supposed to be fast asleep. After a stern, but amused, talking-to, they went to sleep. At 2:00 in the morning, my daughter came upstairs to the living room, where my wife chose to sleep so she could “hear the children”, to inform my wife that she could not sleep. My wife made her way to the basement, where she slept in the tent on the floor so that the children could continue their adventure. This morning, after a dearth of sleep, my children proceeded to fight with each other at such a volume that even I could not ignore it. And for a brief and groggy moment, I thought, “What were we thinking when we thought we could be parents?”
In the span of two weeks I’ve gone from proud and maybe a little arrogant parent to a bewildered and short-fused parent. I love my children, but this parenting thing? Well, I can’t have one without the other.
This is beauty in car form. This is the headlight of a 1957 Oldsmobile car. It makes me smile. The little rocket ships above the headlight on the fender make me smile even more. I’m sure that some salesman back in 1957 used the line that these little babies make the car more aerodynamic, but I’m also sure they do nothing but look cool.
I bought my car in 2004. As I drove it home, I thought I saw many other drivers driving the same car as I had just purchased. It turned out that they all looked the same, but were made by other manufacturers. They were all grey and boxy. No curves. No sex appeal.
The ’57 Olds? Tons of sexiness. The fenders. The chrome. The curve of the bumper. The people who designed this car wanted Marilyn Monroe in car form: lots of curves and big…uh… headlights. I think they succeeded.
I learned something about how my photographic habits have changed since switching from film to digital. I took my Pentax K1000 with me to Oregon and snapped off a roll and a half. I took my film camera up onto the dune and down onto the beach and snapped off some lovely photos. And then there was this sad moment…
I snapped off my first photo and felt the familiar “chunk” of the camera’s mirror snapping back in place and then I pulled the camera from my eye and looked at the back of it to see how the photo turned out. On the LCD screen. That doesn’t exist on the back of the camera that was produced in 1976. Hmm…that was an unforeseen stupidity on my part. I chastised myself for having become reliant on technology to tell me that my photo was good.
I snapped another photo and once again looked at the back of the camera. Twice stupid. Yeesh…
Another photo. Another look. Oh, for crying out loud.
Over the next few days I snapped off the rest of the roll and must have looked at the back of the camera at least ten more times.
Oh. The photo above was snapped on one of the evenings on my K1000. Nice sunset, I think. And below, that’s what I kept looking at expecting to see an LCD screen. Ha.
Inside this rose is a little bee. You can see him in the middle where it’s black instead of yellow. He was in and out of this flower, back and forth, making sweet love to it (birds and bees and all that) but I couldn’t get a clear shot of him. Maybe he’s a bit shy of having relationships in front of a camera and I was beeing a little intrusive. Sorry, bee. I’ll try to be more discreet in the future.