Hope Is A Diamond

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It sure is.






The San Francisco Giants 2012 baseball season begins tomorrow at 4:10 Pacific time.

With 162 games stretched out in front of us, hope is something I have heavily stocked up.

Oh yeah. I have hope.

Welcome back baseball, my love. Oh how I’ve missed you.






Top image of AT&T Park is Copyright 2011, Karen Fayeth, and subject to Creative Commons, found in the far right column of this page.

Bottom image is from the MLB Facebook feed and all rights belong to Major League Baseball and Mr Bud Selig.

Today’s Theme Thursday is: Hope



Misspelled, in Any Language

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Ok, I gotta vent out a beef I have with the internet.

While it’s a wild and wonderful place, it’s also hell on the English language.

Ok, let me step back, I do enjoy a good LOL Speak as much as the next guy.

But that’s all in jest, right? I like to torture the English language once in a while myself. I love words and putting them together in different ways and seeing what happens.

I can make fun of the language because I respect it so much.

Here’s the cranky part…over the past week, I’ve seen five, yes honestly five different misapplications of the word voilà.

Now, someone might quibble with me that the word voilà is French and not English so what’s the big deal? Who cares if it gets misued?

I do.

Like avant-guarde, bon voyage, cul-de-sac, critique, and faux pas before it, the word voilà has been adopted into the English language.

And so when I see it spelled wah la, walla, wall ah, waalaa, whala and other variations, I end up grinding my back molars into dust.*

I don’t know why, of all the poor grammar and misspellings out there in the wild web, this one bothers me so much. But it does.

So for those who wish to use the word voilà but can’t seem to sort the spelling and that little accent thing over the a, might I suggest the following internet meme words for your use:

Bam
Badabing!
Blammo
Bazinga
(ok, moving out of b expressions….)
Shazam
Ta-da
Zoiks

And many others. Or hell, make something up. I respect something made up so much more than a gross misspelling of an innocent word.

Suffer the little letters, come unto correctly spelled words.






*A phrase liberally borrowed from my rock star cousin and used without his permission



The Opposite End of the Spectrum

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Yesterday I wrote about my mind bending, artifying, very inspiring trip to the museum. To prove I’m no snobby snobberson, let me tell you about the other thing I did this weekend.

Roller Derby.

Yeah. I know! Roller Derby!!

To be precise, I took in an event featuring the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls, a flat track league comprised of five teams.

On this night, the match was the San Francisco ShEvil Dead versus the Berkeley Resistance.

The event went down at the Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason in San Francisco.

Tamales were served.

It was AWESOME!

Of course I toted along my camera gear so I could catch all the action.

Indoors, crap florescent light, and people moving very fast.

My exposure triangle collapsed under its own weight.

I don’t know much about derby, but what I know is this: there is one lady designated as the jammer. She is the only one who can put points on the board. Her goal is to lap the opposing team. Her teammates assist by keeping the opposing team from blocking her progress and they also help try to hold back the opposing jammer.

It’s a lot of knees and elbows and flying females.

In other words: AWESOME!

You know who the jammer is by the star on her helmet.

Like this:





The jammer for San Francisco goes by the name Trixie Pixie. She must be about 90 pounds soaking wet. There would be a big clump of women duking it out, and then *boop* Trixie would pop out from the mass and go flying around the track.

By the end of the night she was my favorite player by far as the ShEvil Dead soundly beat the Resistance.

I came home with about 150 pretty useless photos. That blurry, noisy, streaky photo above is among the best of what I could get.

It may not look like much to you, but to me it’s a happy reminder of AWESOME!



Everything Old is New Again

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Take a look at this photo. It’s not my photo. I came across it yesterday and I kind of liked it.




It’s got that color saturation and green tinge that you see in a lot of these new square format apps for the iPhone and Android (my personal favorite is Hipstamatic).

Actually, I like this photo a lot. But I didn’t heart it on Instagram. I didn’t like it on Facebook. I didn’t re-Tweet it either.

Because this photo was found inside a frame and mounted to a wall at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University.

This photo is part of their Walker Evans show.

This weekend, my photography group took a field trip to check out the exhibit. Going in, I knew very little about Walker Evans other than he had captured a lot of powerful black and white images from the Depression. I purposefully didn’t study up before my trip because I wanted to learn about the photographer through his photos.

Well. Knock me over. I was really, seriously and deeply educated by the time all was said and done.

First of all, Walker was a writer, and then moved into photography. He did both for most of his life. So take that you scallywags who say an artist should pick a medium and not dabble. Feh! Also, I really came to appreciate Walker’s sense of irony. You have to get up close and look around the frame of his photos to find it, but it’s always in there.

That said, the part of the exhibit that gave me the “holy crap!” moment of connection was at the very end when I saw the photos tucked away on the back wall.

It seems that in his early seventies, Walker Evans was left tired and uninspired and found himself unwilling or perhaps unable to create.

And then he got himself a Polaroid SX-70 camera and an unlimited supply of film.

“I bought that thing as a toy, and I took it as a kind of challenge,” Evans explained. “It was this gadget and I decided that I might be able to do something serious with it. So I got to work to try to prove that. I think I’ve done something with it.”


As I stood there looking at the photos, I was at first jealous. Jealous of that “unlimited supply” of Polaroid film. I am completely devoted to the Polaroid camera and used several different versions growing up and well into adulthood. I shot Polaroid until the film was no longer available.

Thanks to the Impossible Project, it’s still possible to buy Polaroid film, but at almost $24 a pack, that easy carefree snap-whatever-you-feel-like and just buy another pack mentality has to be reined in.

So I stood there feeling jealous about having all that free film on hand.

And then…my hands came up and framed either side of my whaaaat? face as I realized…

I have access to an instant camera and unlimited film. But in a different format. Sames tools, different age.

I have Hipstamatic on my iPhone. And Instagram. And a bunch of other toy camera apps.

All of these beautiful color saturated photos. They can still be made! I can still snap with reckless abandon! Oh dear god I have this gadget and I might actually be able to do something serious with it.

Oh my goodness. Oh. My. Goodness!

This realization left me dazed and confused and happy. So happy.

And inspired.







Top photo, “Untitled, 1974 Unique Polaroid” by Walker Evans and used here under Fair Use.

Quote from The Ongoing Moment by Geoff Dyer.

Bottom photo, “Power” Copyright 2012 Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license found in the far right column of this page. Taken with Hipstamatic app for iPhone.



On The Grid

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I love this article simply because of the headline:

How Your Brain Is Like Manhattan

The Good Man and I have long debates about cities set on a grid. The very town where I grew up, Albuquerque, has a beautiful easy to navigate grid. I always figured it was due to the city’s start as a military town that roads are well organized into either north/south or east/west.

So simple. Easy. Really tough to get lost.

I gripe about the Bay Area and these roads that are all angled off to Joneses, changing directions midway and stopping suddenly. For example, there is an exit off of 101 where you have to choose the north or south bound exit. However…the road actually runs east west.

Combine this with California’s lack of mile markers and only sporadic use of street signs and I can go from zero to bonkers in about three seconds.

One of the many reasons I love Manhattan is that it’s set up on a grid. Navigating makes sense! A hayseed like me had zero trouble in the big city knowing where to go and how to get there. I never, not once, got lost while in Manhattan. And if I’m not worried about how to get there, then I relax and enjoy the journey.

The Good Man, on the other hand, has a brain that’s a lot more fluid than mine. Where I’ll draw a straight line, he’ll make expressionist art. He don’t need no stinking grid roads, he has a powerful innate sense of direction and an even stronger sense of joie de vivre when it comes to getting lost. He sees getting lost as a fun adventure. I see it as a teeth gritting bit of fear and misery.

Meanwhile both my brain and my road preferences tend to be a little more like the gorgeous city of Manhattan.






Image from Grush Hour.