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everything new

School begins -- 7th grade and 1st grade


She's only two inches shorter than me. At 12. (12 1/2)

Totally photoshopped picture - she has to leave for school before 7am while his bus doesn't pick him up until almost 9. Set up the tripod and took their photos individually (no need to wake up the boy at the crack of dawn just for a photo) and then merged the two together.

6 a.m. - this is going to take getting used to. I'm not a morning person at all, I usually turn out the light around 2 in the morning. Waking up and functioning at 6 requires some adjustment.

today

things learned today while shooting for the Sunflower Project:

1) While very cool and intense, the red sunflower petals are too dark and show up almost black in photos. Either re shoot using the yellow or orange flowers or fiddle in Photoshop to lighten. Or crop 'em out altogether.

2) The glue took a minute or two to hold - much longer than the 30 seconds as promised - and while easy to apply removal was not so much. Even though created to be used on flesh the delicate skin around my eyes is quite pissed off at me at the moment. Perhaps I won't be reshooting those particular shots.

3) Improvising all day trying to get a certain look and feel for a photo while waiting for the mailman (who usually shows up by 1, what's the deal today?) - resorting to scotch tape, various bar glasses and the assistance of a six-year-old - only means that mere moments after I've shut up shop for the night the new distortion lens I ordered a week ago finally arrives.


Also received a package i…

The End is Near

Tonight was the last Ft Reno 2007 signaling the beginning of the end of summer, and time to get back to work. Fun's over.

Duncan had a blast, he practically ran the entire two hours until he was completely soaked in sweat. He liked the music but he enjoyed the wide open space a lot more. Sound asleep before I hit the bridge to home.

I thought I'd experiment and do something different with the camera tonight, have some fun with a distortion lens, see what I could come up with.

Translation required

Just when I think I have it figured out... Contemporary Art turns around and bites me on the ass.

While I do not hold an MFA or a PhD I did have some art schooling and think I know at least a little bit about art. A little. More than the average everyday person to be sure. I'm certainly not an expert on anything but I try to keep up.

And yet I came out of a gallery opening feeling feeling like an idiot.

I.
Just.
Didn't.
Get.
It.

A very respected gallery with a highly intelligent and schooled curator - these people know what they are talking about, I trust them, they have impressed me with their knowledge. But what they see in the art and what I see... well, I don't see it, that's the problem.

Lack of background information is one thing - artwork taken completely out of context, I had nothing except the artist's name (no titles, no statement) to help give me some clues. The artwork had to stand alone. I stared at it. It stared back.

Nothing. Really. Half an hour in a v…

reality

A hundred years ago (or so it seems), back when the internet was a small puddle and you had to code everything by hand I was interviewed by a California radio show.

It was to be part of the promoting we were trying to do for the book "Torn Shapes of Desire" in which I had 10-15 of my photos. The photos which had the original publisher pull the plug on the deal at the very last moment and let the editor scrambling to find someone willing to print a book of erotica with nude photos. The stories weren't the problem, the appearance of nipples were. After much stress and scrambling and way too much money the book was published and all involved set out to sell it best we could.

And so an interview. About the book, and censorship, and my photos. Sounded great, I was up to the challenge.

Except they didn't want to talk about any of that. They wanted to know about my online journal and my sex life. Neither of which I wanted to talk about or was prepared to discuss. The book,…

Couldn't Resist

Dragged the young'un back to the water gardens today. He cooperation was purchased with a chocolate donut and chocolate milk (he works cheap - and sweet). By noon we were both just dripping in sweat and ended the trip standing in their sprinklers. That was really nice.


As we were leaving another photographer type was just arriving and his arms were overloaded with equipment: camera bags, tripod, and reflectors. Good god man - reflectors? Is it common practice for "nature photographers" to fiddle with the lighting as such? It hadn't occurred to me to set up a mini studio. Wading boots were more what I was thinking about in order to get closer and different shots. (Somehow I'm thinking the park rangers would frown on that.) I'd love to take some of the seed pods home for further, in-depth photo studies but the huge "We Will Make You Pay, Don't Even THINK ABOUT IT" signs warning about disturbing and/or removing any of the animals or plant life kee…

you know you're old when

I'm here in the AC doing some much needed clean up and organization of my office while in the background I am being serenaded by Duncan, pretending to be a monk from Monty Python, chanting in Latin. Repeatedly.

I should be at the Virgin Music Festival covering the event for Pancake Mountain. Enjoying the brutal heat, the bad air quality and the severe lack of any air conditioning. Obviously I'm not. Lollapalooza happens to be going on in Chicago this very weekend - it is the Battle of the Summer Music Festivals.

Lollapaloza won.

The majority of the crew and gear are in Chicago interviewing bands and doing what Pancake Mountain usually does at these things. The skeleton crew left behind here in DC had the task of covering the Virgin fest if we wanted to. Except... the main folks are up north. Including all the people that actually do the interviews. Which left two of us to cover Virgin, and a photographer and sound guy don't make for very interesting footage. As it got c…

Photo Safari

Ms Mean Louise posted photos last week of lotus blossoms. Big, gorgeous lotus blossoms. I immediately asked her "WHERE IS THIS?" not wanting to miss an opportunity to descend on them with my camera and hoping these were photos taken around Washington DC.

And yet again, despite living in the DC area for over 15 years I was enlightened to an attraction that I not only had never visited before but never even heard of.Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

Timing is important but when lotus blossoms are concerned temperature is everything. They don't like the hot, hazy and humid days of DC August. Checking out the forecast for the week it showed each day hotter than the next. It had to be today!

Unfortunately my "assistant" got bored with the park long before I did (which is always the case whenever I take the kids and my camera somewhere) but I managed to get enough shots that I hope encompass the experience.Posted to my Flickr account.

HP #7 Complete

I finished the 7th book last night around 3 am, Charlotte finished hers this evening before dinner. Overall an enjoyable read, one of my three predictions was correct, and now I can go online and not worry about spoilers :)

Our pre-ordered Amazon copies arrived at our local UPS office on Thursday night. I was watching, tracking online. Here I thought I was going to be ahead of the game and get them delivered on Friday but nooo.... the books sat there. When the box arrived on Saturday I discovered that Amazon was ready for this - the books shipped in a special Harry Potter box with a "do not deliver before July 21" message emblazoned across it. Foiled again!

Nitpick about the writing style of JK Rowling: she has this build up and build up.... and then there is the climatic moment.... but then more build up and build up and more action. It gets lost, too much going on, sticking a very important event or action in the middle of a paragraph in the middle of a chapter and then…

we now return you to...

Vacation's over, back to the real world.

Two weeks in the UK. We started off with a few days in London and then took a train to Glasgow, picked up a rental car and then spent ten days driving around the highlands. Ended up at Edinburgh, trained back to South East England to visit my grandmother and then back to London and Heathrow to home.

Notes:

British Air - very nice flight. Having individual tvs was great for the kids (me too, caught a triple feature for the seven hour flight home.) The option of ordering a "kids meal" sounded wonderful but I'm not sure where they get their idea of what foods children will eat as the choices of an egg salad sandwich or the cheese & chutney sandwich were not made any more agreeable because they had the crusts cut off. (The morning flight over had Duncan receiving a breakfast meal of spaghetti and meatballs while we all had bacon, sausage and eggs. How strange.)

Craig logged in 947 miles on the rental car. We saw a lot. Unfortun…

wildlife

There is a chipmunk hiding behind my desk. He either needs to run back outside through the open door or at least move into a better position so I can take his picture.

There is a nest of yellow jackets in one of my flower pots. As I was watering all my plants yesterday I noticed this rather large hole in the dirt of one of them. "Hmmmm," I thought, "I wonder what made that? Here, I'll fill it with water and see what happens. Oh. Angry wasps fly out." I escaped without injury but Daisy proceeded to stick her nose in to see what the fuss was about. Silly dog. Luckily she can run fast, and knows to come inside when wasps are chasing her.

There is a small wren nest in a hanging basket of flowers. Hopefully they will vacate soon otherwise the plants will die of thirst. (I know not to water them, don't want to waterlog baby birds.)

silly

My Canon DSLR 30D is 8.5 megapixels.

My new Canon Powershot A640 point&shoot thingy has 10 megapixels.

The 30D - while no contest the better camera - knocked me back about $1,500 with body and lens, and my LowePro camera back-pack weighs in at 13.5 pounds with all my gear.

The Powershot came in just under $300 and fits in my purse.

I can't believe they squeezed a 10 megapixel processor into this little thing.

Big Deer in My Front Yard

I was sitting at my desk trying to get some research taken care of and Daisy was just going ballistic outside. I finally went out after her to get her to stop barking but she was so focused I got down to her level to see what had her attention.Deer in the neighbor's yard. Eating their hostas.We usually only see deer at dusk - unless it is a rainy or cloudy day like it is today. Shove the dog back inside, grab the camera and scamper off to see how close I can get. How close? Pretty damn. I don't own a telephoto, these were taken with my macro lens. (who has time to change lenses?)I eventually got close enough that it decided to move on. It casually walked through the yard and decimated the plant life along the way. Those things can eat. The neighbors are going to come home and wonder what happened to all their lilies.



Milestone

1st Tooth

Sopranos Final Episode

David Chase = Cock Tease

After throwing a barrel of red herrings at us in this episode he runs off laughing with our money while we're still standing there with our pants down wondering what the hell just happened.

Disappointing. Feh.

Six Feet Under still reigns supreme for Best Ending Evar.

Woke Up Dis Mo'nan

The ziti is ready to hit the oven.

(The one with the meatballs? Carmela's recipe?
Oh hell yes, the one with meatballs of course. Who do you think I am, Janice? please.)

Bread, fresh basil, really good olive oil and balsamic vinegar, big red tomatoes, a nice hunk of Romano, even some Capicolli (gabagool) and - what Italian dinner would be complete without some cannoli rounding it off?

Top it all off with a couple bottles of Italian red and we're all set for The Sopranos. Eight years ends tonight.




photos

Duncan was hanging out with me this weekend while I was working at my desk, I turned around to check on what he was doing and found him quite comfortably writing in his notebook, with Daisy's tail going a mile a minute.

various

The summer schedule for the Fort Reno concert series is out. Now I can plan my calendar.

-
Ginger is in her new home and the reports are that she's doing quite well. Which I'm glad about. It is a little odd that they are changing her name... (?) and she doesn't have a yard (boo, condo living) but - she's getting lots of attention and will be well taken care of. So I can't complain. She's not my dog anymore anyway.

-
Reading Neal Stephensen's Cryptonomicon and really enjoying it. The largeness of his work always scared me off (this one weighs in with 1,168 pages) and it is dense reading (slow going, no skimming here) but it's quite good and very interesting. Even with all the math :) So that's saying something right there. And - happy to report- he seems to have a very Vonnegut-eshness about him. And not in the way that the book jackets of Christopher Moore compare him to Vonnegut (which I assume is in reference to his goofy, off-the-cuff style of writi…

print sale

I was hoping to not take home so many of the prints I framed for Artomatic... I honestly don't have the storage space for them.

So - yeah - sale

Framed 5x7 print (8x10 frame size) with shipping: $50 through Paypal. Metal frames, glass, acid-free mats - wired and ready to hang.

Buy 2 = $90
Buy 3 = $125

better view of the prints available here:

email me at tracytracy at gmail dot com


random

signed off on Artomatic - over and done, time to gear up for the next go around.

Some serious introspection regarding my work and my direction started before Artomatic but - not having time to create anything new in time to exhibit there - it has been milling around in my head, no real answers yet. What's the Point being the big one - because I really want there to be a Point. A meaning. Something more than what I've been doing. What am I trying to say?

Was commented to me recently that in this day and age of everyone having access to a gazillion megapixel "Anyone can take a great photo" digital camera makes the CONCEPT of the photograph so much more important in the art world. Which is a very interesting idea to me. Just how does an artist photographer break off from the rest of the world that owns the same camera? How to stand out? I was getting there anyway, working more on the IDEA just follows. Anyone can take a snapshot.

So, Pinky, I've been pondering. Wha…

judge not...

I hate people.

There should be some sort of electrical device that is implanted between the brain and the mouth that forces you to think about the stupid thing you are about to say before it actually comes out. A delay system if you will. Will an electro-shock metering to gauge the inappropriateness of a comment.

Because while you probably meant no harm in inquiring after my dog this morning in my vet's office - who obviously had issues being partially shaved and covered with wounds - it is really none of your damn business.

"What are you going to do about it?"


"Oh, I could never do that."


Well, I hope you never do have to give up your dog. I hope to hell you never have to deal with this horrible situation. I hope you don't have to deal with your kids being traumatized from seeing their pets trying to repeatedly kill each other. I hope you don't have to spend the time and the money trying to come up with a solution only to be left with the heartbreakin…

what a long, strange trip it's been

Artomatic bids fond farewell tomorrow night - 2007 shuts down for good at 10pm. It has been a right raucous ride and I expect it to go out with a bang. 400+ artists all celebrating the last night? If there isn't mad chaos then I shall be sorely disappointed. (and somebody better be taking photos, I don't want to miss any of it!) Met so many great people - I am so glad that I got involved with this, won't miss another one.Having said that I must admit that I have overextended myself with Artomatic events and home responsibilities plus kid projects plus helping out at schools. And most of the time doing all of this solo (I think that was the proverbial straw that crippled that camel). Good christ I'm tired. I had just gathered together all the supplies and equipment to start a new art project when the call came that Artomatic was a go - and since then they have been gathering dust. I don't expect there to be much down-time between when this Artomatic ends and we be…

Good start to the weekend

The Lawyer showed up this morning bright and early thanks to a very short break in his trial and a ticket on the red eye. It is only for a couple of days but it is nice to have him home. I don't really sleep when he's gone and two weeks is about all of that I can take. I didn't tell the kids he was coming home in case something happened and he had to stay in LA for the weekend so they were very happy this morning to wake up to him.

Finally talked to the Animal Behaviorist and they'll be coming out next week to evaluate the dog situation. It sounded promising on the phone (as optimistic as one can be without actually meeting any of the hounds involved) and it is, of course, expensive but this could be the solution to the fighting. I'm willing to go with their recommendation being that they are the professionals in such matters and are more knowledgeable than I am. In the meantime I'm keeping a sharp eye on the dogs when I'm home and keeping them separate…

F i r e !

1987

I was contacted yesterday by someone from my high school class. It's time for our 20th reunion.

20 years.

I'm not sure I'll go, I haven't spoken to anyone from there in a very long time. I'll wait and see how I feel closer to the date, they are still trying to track everyone down. (A grand total of 107 people in my senior class. One deceased. )

I was trying to find a recent family photo to send her but couldn't find anything newer than our last St Martin trip.

I look a little different now. No tan. No hair. But you get the basic idea.


Compare to this taken in Spring, 1986:



That's me and The Lawyer at prom - I'm 16, he's 23. (it's okay, I married him.) My school was small enough that we had a joint JR/SR prom so I got to go *twice* - whoo boy. Didn't dance at either one of them. Craig took me to this one - he spent a good portion of the evening in the hotel bar smoking and drinking gin&tonics, probably wondering what in gods name was he doing…

blood and hair...

and a 3 am trip to the emergency vet.

Daisy and Ginger got into it last night and for what seemed like forever I couldn't break them up. My living room is wreck. I finally managed to beat Daisy hard enough on her head that she let go.

Stupid fucking dogs, jesus.

Ginger is torn up. I'm sure it would have been a lot worse if she hadn't had the thick mane of hair around her neck. (She was scheduled to be groomed on Friday - a "summer" cut with all of it cut off. Thankfully not done last week when I tried to get her an appointment.)

So it's antibiotics and pain pills for all. Poor Ginger feels awful with open wounds (bleeding) and she's whining because I'm sure it hurts like hell and she doesn't understand why. If that wasn't enough she looks awful too: head and neck are shaved, she's covered in bites, one ear is torn up - she really is this tiny little dog, no one would ever know under all that hair. Such a sad, pathetic sight.

So, yeah, a little…

Could it be? yes! Another artomatic post

Was at Artomatic this afternoon for a couple of hours. Town Hall Meeting (for the participants) plus there was an Art Market on the 8th floor. I managed to attend the meeting, get lots of information, and then wander the Market and hand over $100 for art goodies. I had to leave then, I was out of cash!

Before all of that though I was in my room putting in some much needed additional lighting. The Office Space florescent aren't exactly the best for viewing art anyway and the ones in my room are dying off one by one. A rule of the space is that we aren't allowed to do anything with the ceiling so one has to get creative when adding any lighting. (Don't even get me started on the crazy electrical issues). But I also have the added problem of not wanting to do any damage to the wall itself - nor can I just add a couple of floor lamps for those will block the wall.

Yeah Ikea! They have a solution for everything. Quite a few artists strung halogen spotlights from Ikea in their …

my "Top Ten" for artomatic

The Artomatic website has a "picks" section where you can make a list of your favorite works. I can do it, you can do it, anybody can do it. And you can read everyone else's - which is cool because you will find things that you might have missed and make note to go back and see those.

However the interface isn't exactly what I'd call ideal - through no fault of its own but because quite a few artists (myself included) haven't uploaded artwork to their catalog entry. (I have a photo of my space so you know it's me but with everything of mine posted here I didn't see the point in doing it all again. I mean, haven't we seen that all enough?)

Big Artist Pet Peeve - what the hell is it with artists and websites? Christ, it's the 21st century, get thee to a web designer and FTP that sucker now! Ouch!

I've come across rooms of art where
no name or business cards anywhere I could find. I liked the art, would like to let the artist know this but I can…

photo update

(something besides artomatic for a change)


Field trip with three classes of kindergartners to Frying Pan Park in Fairfax, VA. Baby farm animals galore! And while we didn't get to milk a real cow we have a standing date to return so my kids will get a crack at it. Interesting little place - a very small farm located in an area that not too long ago was all farms and is now surrounded by McMansions. Must be somewhat surreal to go pick up your morning paper from your driveway and get to call out greetings to the cows across the street.


The new batch of a dozen piglets were kept warm under heat lamps. Insert your own bacon joke here.

The lambs were really cute. The sheep needed some serious shearing. Or a bath. Maybe a little conditioner.


When we adopted Bonnie and Clyde we couldn't imagine any dog could be more affectionate than either of these two. Then Daisy came along. Not only will she lick you to death (while not officially proven yet it is only a matter of time) but she's…

Documenting Artomatic

Last Tuesday I worked the morning shift at Artomatic - and before I left for the day I made the rounds with my camera to try to document all of the Brash poems I could find.

Brash is an anonymous poet that leaves a single poem for an artist inspired by their art. Not for every artist, just the select, lucky few. So far I have found 25 poems. When I went back on Friday night quite a few of those had been removed so I'm glad I got them when I did.

See the poems and the artwork that inspired them here on Flickr.

Friday night my goal was to document the different ways the artists had personalized their spaces. After two hours and less than half of the 6th floor I called it quits. It seems when one starts really looking there are very few participants that went with the plain white wall look. I've started putting artist names with the photos but it is taking quite awhile. It seems the more time I spend at Artomatic the more I find, it's like I'm not making any progress. My he…

some initial thoughts on Artomatic

The opening night of Artomatic went very well - over 3,500 people came out. I worked the event that day from 9:30 am to help out with the press conference (which was fun but tiring) and stayed until about 9:30 pm when my feet made me call it quits. Despite changing from my high-heel pointy boots into the rough and tumble converse hi-tops the concrete floors and standing all day took its toll.

Got to see and chat with Lenny at the Press conference - haven't seen him in ages, he seems his usual jovial self and he gave me some advice about my work which is always appreciated and helpful. He introduced me to Tim Tate and I was very impressed with his down-to-earth demeanor and instantly liked him. I've seen his glasswork for (what seems like) years now at the Fraser Gallery and online, it was really nice to put a face with the art.

Frank Warren from Post Secret is also a super nice guy, very humble and unassuming. We chatted quite a bit about the Post Secret project wh…

Vonnegut

There can be no god or justice in a world where the passing of a brilliant mind like Kurt Vonnegut is already off the news feed and yet the insipid and waste of space Anna Nicole Smith fiasco continues to make headlines.

It just ain't right.

Craig pointed out a quote of Vonnegut's that epitomized his power to take our feelings (at least "ours" meaning his and mine) and put them into razor sharp words. To say it better than anything we could come up with.

I agreed and thought it worthy of repeating.

From Cold Turkey, published May 12, 2004 in In These Times.


"But I know now that there is not a chance in hell of America’s becoming humane and reasonable. Because power corrupts us, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies…

Installation = Complete

Room 6B40

This is BEFORE



Lovely, isn't it? Typical government office space.

Though I am really curious as to what happened to that carpet.

Looks like they had a HUGE coffee accident. Or it's a crime scene they never cleaned up. Either way = Ick.

Here is DURING



That's Nate from FastSigns installing my wall mural made from a photoshop image I gave him. He hooked me bigtime up so props out to him!

And here is AFTER




We are all done. (and there was much rejoicing.)

Well, we have to be done because the Opening is tomorrow and last night was the deadline for finishing installation. Today is general clean up and prep - getting ready to present the show to the Press Friday morning and then open to the public at 3 p.m.

Mal Jones is the painter with the fish wall, and the other wall is another photographer - Camille Mosley-Pasley - who is showing a series of B&W portraits.

I'm pleased with how it turned out, I like our space. Having another week would have been great to work on thing…

artomatic... artomatic... artomatic.. is almost here!

Tomorrow will be my final day of installation. Judging by how many spaces were still blank today I'm not going to be the only one working right up to the deadline. I believe (as I go over my list) I've got all the pieces I need for my room, I just need to put them in place.

I was out of town last week and since I returned I have been living and breathing ARTOMATIC. Matting, framing, printing, assembling, copying, painting, nailing... and lots of shopping. Boy, lots of shopping. Home Depot now rivals B&H for top number of entries in my checking account.

(iow: haven't been reading email, or surfing, or doing much of anything save for getting organized for this show. Talk to me next week, I should be more coherent then.)

Opening Day/Night should be wild - but there are also events happening just about every night that the show is open. So if you can't make it down this Friday you will have plenty of other opportunities to see the art as well as experience the event.

I'…