31 August 2009

tonka tower

tonka tower

Not really the type of setting you'd picture outside a place called Sweet Cakes Bakery, but then they aren't asking you to lick the sculpture. We didn't eat there, but after viewing their website, I'm wondering why the hell not. Their patio was this dark and surreal space full of unique sculptures like this one, and void of people which made me think they weren't even open. I felt a bit like I was trespassing even though it was a public place with it's door open. I don't know why I'm so shy about being seen behind the camera. You may have noticed my photostream sorely lacks portraits. I'm perfectly fine if someone asks me to take their photo, but a total dork when it comes to asking if I can.

Perfect example of a missed opportunity?

The most amazing part of our day was meeting Tony Fitzpatrick. We had absolutely no idea when we spied through his open door we were about to be invited into the art studio of a local icon. He asked where we were from (noting our lack of Chicago accents), which lead to our explaining what we were doing in Bucktown. "It's the weekend of the art fair? I wasn't invited." We were admiring his amazing work hanging on the walls and reached the back of the room where two people were busy cutting out selected work for his collages. Um, assistants? My first clue this was no dog and pony show. One assistant then showed us a few pieces in flat files and the book showing the piece purchased by MoMA. Clue number two.

Honestly though, Tony was terribly hospitable to a couple of no bodies, describing his techniques, shooting the shit about other artists, and somehow arriving upon our equal admiration of Anthony Bourdain. He mentioned he had an upcoming show in New Orleans this fall. We said we'd be there in October and he handed us an invitation. (We won't be there for the opening, unfortunately.) He then personally autographed a book of his etchings for us.

And there I stood, with my camera around my neck, too shy to ask for a photograph. Pitiful.

Meanwhile, here's a tower of Tonka trunks. Not so fucking impressive now, is it?

30 August 2009

a tavern, as opposed to, a bar

a tavern, as opposed to, a bar

Great looking vintage sign hanging in Bucktown. Didn't think to check the name of the bar, but it's near the corner of N. Damen and W. Dickens.

I took another shitload of photos this weekend. I'll try to get them processed while it's still fresh in my mind where they were taken. I try to add the placement of each on the map in flickr. So, if you're ever curious to stall me in a past-tense sort of way, that'd be one way of going about it. Then I'll remain safety two steps ahead of you.


28 August 2009

i thought there'd be some beaches up here!

i thought there'd be some beaches up here!

Messing with a Joe Chiodo figurine.

I'm audi for the weekend. Heading to Chicago for the Bucktown Arts Fest tomorrow. May need to wear my wool socks. The weather has been ridiculously cool the past few days. Hopefully, there'll be some sun, at least.

Then Sunday it's up to Madison for Ride the Drive! Six miles of city streets will be closed to motorized traffic. Tons of family-friendly activities are planned throughout the route. Haven't sold you yet? The Weinermobile will be on East Washington from 11-1pm! Yeah. I knew that would get you. You seem the big weiner-type.

27 August 2009

mango salsa

mango salsa

This is just about our favorite summer food. I make it every few weeks all summer long. It lasts about three or four days here, and it's actually even better the next day when the flavors have a little time to meld. But honestly, who can wait? I'd simply eat it with a spoon if that were socially acceptable. I never drink from the milk carton either, if you believe those lies.

Here' s the recipe. Enjoy!

• 5 oz. (half a jar) pepper jelly
• juice of one lime
—Pulse those together in a food processor, then add in any order:
• one red pepper
• half a red onion (or more if you like onion)
• one jalapeno, finely diced (it's best to chop by hand so you don't bite into a big chunk)
• two ripe mangoes
• fistful of cilantro (again to your taste)
—I like to add the second mango after other ingredients are processed a bit, as you DO want to bite into a big chunk of mango! Yum!!
• salt and pepper (ditto...)

Ta da! Excellent on grilled fish, chicken, steak, chips, etc. Best stuff you'll ever eat! I guarantee it. Unless your name is Luke and you hate cilantro. Then I can do nothing for you.

26 August 2009

where i end and you begin

where i end and you begin

This is the last of the rustic road shots I took Sunday.

If you're curious about the tobacco field? Yes, south-central Wisconsin has an abundance of them. I believe they grow more chewing tobacco here than that for cigarettes. I'm not really one to ask though. I was just as surprised as anyone when I first moved to this area years ago. Edgerton has a historic marker on the edge of town proudly displaying it's efforts of promoting mouth cancer. Actually, it's trying to put that behind and has thus, changed the name of their annual celebration from "tobacco days" to "heritage days". If your heritage IS tobacco though, it seems a little difficult to skirt.

I'm told the tobacco spitting contest has been changed to watermelon seed spitting.

And just like that, a new heritage is born.

25 August 2009

this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

e.e. cummings

24 August 2009

sunday morning rushless hour

sunday morning rushless hour

Last week, I started a flickr group called Wisconsin Rustic Roads. I thought there were no groups left to create but considering there are a few Wisconsinites that aren't even aware of this unique state feature of ours, I shouldn't be surprised a group didn't exist.

I always thought it'd be cool to try to photograph all of them. Quite an undertaking since there are over one hundred now. Maybe in my retirement. There are several photography books out there already on the subject but they're already out of date. Glenn and I have some film shots from years back too, but a quick scan of our photo albums simply forced me to lose an hour's time that I could've been out there shooting! So, Sunday morning, that's what I did. We took a leisure drive on road #68 about eight miles from our house. Weather was about 60ยบ. Absolutely gorgeous. We were wishing we'd have brought our bikes instead, but the road is six miles long and I didn't want to lose the morning light either. We'll pick a shorter route for our next excursion.

Meanwhile, I'll got about half a dozen more shots picked out I need to process. Although, I'm afraid I've still got shots from June I haven't gotten around to. But that's what those long Wisconsin winter evenings are for, right?

20 August 2009

two olivers

oliver 2

oliver 1

Spent last Saturday with a couple of Olivers! The hairier one being much more active.

18 August 2009

is it the eyes or the cheeks

is it the eyes or the cheeks

Wally and Nancy's little girl, Erin.

Resistance is futile.

I went a little wild giving her an anime look. Hope her parents don't freak out.

17 August 2009

chill baby chill

chill baby chill

Not sure how Cub's gonna feel about this b.a.p. of him on my blog. I'll lay some motherly guilt about "all I do for him". I think that's in the manual somewhere.

This shot turned out better than any of the photos I was setting up to take as this one was shot at a reasonable hour, as the party in question didn't arrive until 1:30 p.m. On a sunny day. A bit of a worst-case scenario situation. I've got a few dark shadows to remove from the underside of this infant's...um, everything. On the plus side, the little guy needs another month to get his smile perfected. All I was really getting was gas.

14 August 2009

check out those sexy gams

check out those sexy gams

Kensi often sits like this. One rear leg extending out from between her front legs like some odd birth deformity. Or an under developed twin. She accepts my ribbing as all in good fun. It is attention, after all.

13 August 2009

as i was just reminded...

Cub & I arrived in NYC hours before the blackout hit. We reached our hotel room just in time, because minutes later electronic keys were worthless. We had to explore the area separately that first night (because someone had to stay in the room to let the other back in). We had seventeen flights(!) to contend with and dined on vendor-cart hot dogs, but I would not give up the experience of witnessing the camaraderie that this city hides under it's tough, dirty core.

I would've climbed 34 flights for it.

12 August 2009

true blue

true blue

Our Canon 50D has arrived! Yippeeeee!! Still need some practice, as you can see, but here's my first attempt anyway. Hazzah!

Now I just have to clear all our compact flash cards so I can get more shooting in. This camera shoots raw images of 43mb! Holy crap! Although looking at them in Bridge, the thumbs are smaller than the Rebel's image sizes, so they must automatically compress. Also the Photoshop preview window doesn't open. Which is fine by me. I like a little more control fine tuning things.

I've still got a shitload of Rebel pix to backup, so you haven't seen the last chapter in that book yet. Not the most suspenseful read, I know. Feel free to consider my photos as cheap romance paperbacks.

"That's stupid. What else you got?"

11 August 2009

trying on a helmet

trying on a helmet

Boba Fett here was kind enough to let my nephew Cade try on one of the helmets at the 501st booth, at Chicago—Comic-Com this weekend. See the whole set here including shots taken in 2007. I set the pix of Cade to family and friends only because how many images of some little kid in a storm trooper costume standing next to another star wars character, do you care to see really?

And incase you're wondering, according to Cade, "It's roomy!"

07 August 2009

all my boys like trabampoleens!

all my boys like trabampoleens!

Taken last weekend in my folk's yard. Luke getting a free ride while Cub provides momentum.

Check out Nigel's wide stance. He actually likes you to bounce him using your hands. Better get that tongue in your mouth so you don't bite it off, little man!

06 August 2009

i was meant for the stage

i was meant for the stage

Colin Maloy about to preform a laying of the hands at the Decemberists concert last night. I scored third row center, bitches! We were strictly told "no photos", but the moment the opening act came out I saw a dozen cameras. Throughout the show, I could see people standing just six feet from security boldly snapping away. Of course, this meant I too threw caution to the wind. I didn't take any until the encore, so I only got a couple. I pulled out the flip camera and captured a few small video clips too. I'm so naughty.

Click the photo to go to my flickr shots. I'll load a video tomorrow. I need to get to bed for now, internet.

Sweet dreams...I love you.

04 August 2009

all cheese considered

all cheese considered

I don't discuss cheese nearly enough on this blog. Therefore, I'll go the route of Sesame Street and make up a little song about how cheese is made...

Stirring curds, stirring curds, see them float around.
Press and pack and age those curds, then take that cheese to town.

Did that on the spot. Impressed? Yeah. I thought you might be.

03 August 2009

70 years ago this summer...

70 years ago this summer...

We headed up to central Wisconsin this weekend to visit with my Gramma who turned 87. She already had two types of cake served when we walked in the door as people had been coming and going throughout the day. She uses a walker to get around because her knees have been replaced, but I hope to God my mind it as sharp at that age. She can beat pretty much anyone in a game of Scrabble, and gets all the one-liners that tend to fly when my family gets together. Always a smile on her face and simply a joy to be around!

We brought her this canvas print of her and Grampa, and half a dozen gladiolas, to which she aclaimed "my favorite!" I grew up right next door (across the garden actually) and I remember her always having three or four rows of glads growing. When we gave her the print, she shared how they didn't have an official photo taken. This is just a snapshot a relative got. In the original you can see that they are in motion, arms reaching behind each other to embrace. She also said that her parents' house had burned down just two weeks before the wedding and she lost her dress and hope chest in the fire. Something I had never heard before.

I'm sure that Gramma was a glass-half-full type of gal even then.

Happy birthday Gramma. We love you!

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fly over country, United States
this blog is my "live" photo album of sorts. occasionally, i'll throw in some art i've done or some work of my husband's as he's an artist as well. we have a nice yard in a quiet neighborhood with two pugs and a cat, all black. which most of my photos will attest too. ;) i'd love to hear from you, but happy for you to just browse. hope you find something to make you smile. b.