Sunday, February 25, 2007

I'm back from New York.

The Louise Brooks exhibition is tiny- about 20 photos from her private collection consisting mostly of movie stills from Diary of a Lost Girl and Pandora's Box, with a couple from Metropolis thrown in. They are also running the film Pandora's Box. The Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit is much larger. The prints are contact-sized (about 2x4") so you have to get reeeeeally close to see the detail. Great stuff, though.

The best part was an exhibition on Martin Munkacsi. According to the notes, it was Munkacsi's photo of three boys running into the African surf that inspired Cartier-Bresson to take up photography. The photos were stunning! There is one photo in the exhibit that shows a soccer (football) goalie stopping a shot with his head. The shot was taken at the exact moment the ball impacts his head and you can see the way the ball smushes itself against his skull. Wow. Then I read the caption which said this photo was taken with a large format camera*. My jaw dropped open. WOW.

But you know the best part? Mr. Brewguy hadn't heard of him. I brought back the exhibition book and he loved it, enough that he's thinking of traveling up to see the exhibit. I introduced BREWGUY to a PHOTOGRAPHER. Ha!

*the skill necessary to get this photo is just awe-inspiring.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Help me Rhonda

I need help. Help, help me Rhonda.

I am not an idiot. I am a highly trained, possibly overeducated, slightly absent-minded, pun-loving working mother but I cannot FOR THE LIFE OF ME figure out why the sidebar links to my patterns are not working. ARRGH. Is there someone out there with basic HTML knowledge who can help me fix them or at least point me in the right direction?


In other news, I came across this super cool webring for Knitting Scientists. Now here is the dilemma. Brewgal *is* in fact a scientist but does not blog about her job. Blogging about her job will get Brewgal fired quicker than ... than... heck, it's so fast I can't even come up with a good analogy!

I shall be forced to admire the webring from afar.

I'm off to New York next week for a 2-day conference. I'm taking the early train from Baltimore so I should have about a total of 8 hours in the city around mandatory conference stuff. I'm planning to go to the International Center for Photography to see this exhibit on Louise Brooks Cinema, this exhibit on Henri Cartier Bresson , eat here and here and possibly here, give my presentation, hopefully not get too many hard questions, and jump back on the train. Trains! Knitting time!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The weather’s been chilly lately. Brewgal knew it was cold when she came home to find this on Mr. Brewguy’s dresser:

Yes, that’s yeast in the bedroom. Apparently it was so cold in the basement for the yeasties they weren’t growing properly.

Love those little yeasties, love them in my beer

In addition, the fermenter showed up in the powder room.

Yes, it’s been cold at Lincoln Street. But you know what Pedro says…
Chili today,
Hot tamale

South of the Border
My mother grew up in Florida. OLD Florida circa 1942. She ended up in DC working for NIH, married my father and settled in Maryland. But every year we’d make the pilgrimage back to Gainesville to visit my grandparents.

These experiences are seared into my mind, mostly because of the heat. There’s nothing like driving a gazillion miles in an un-air-conditioned Plymouth Valiant during the month of August. My father knew this. He would bundle the four of us into the car well before sunrise so as to “beat the traffic” on the Beltway. The goal was to make it as far as South Carolina before having to stop for the night.

My brother and I would be piled in the back, stretched out on pillows (seat belt laws were more lax back then). I used to lay back and watch the stars move through the back window. I’d get that funny floaty feeling in the pit of my stomach, the way you feel when you’re at the top of the arc on a swing, ready to head back down with gravity.

It was awesome.

My mother made these trips with a large thermos of sweetened iced tea sitting on the floorboard of the car, sandwiched between her legs. I don’t know how she did it. Brewgal gets all freaky when there’s anything on the floor near her feet, much less impeding her legroom. Mom would hand out little cups of tea and lifesavers to make the trip more interesting.

Are we there yet?
Going south on 95 the mile markers count down so it was easy to know how far one had to go in each state. Every state had its own character. Virginia went on forever. The pine trees started in North Carolina. Georgia had that enormous peach. Orange juice at the Florida State Line and the stench of the paper mills near Jacksonville. The best part were the South of the Border billboards: Burma Shave of the 1970’s. They were tackiness incarnate; bad puns (see quote above), stereotypical depictions (giant sombrero-wearing Latinos), animal abuse (that poor donkey!) No amount of begging on our part could convince my parents to stop there on our journey southward.

Like many things subject to denial, the place began to take on mythical proportions. The billboards were placed closer and closer together as you approached the South Carolina border. Some had moving parts! Every car seemed to have a South of the Border bumper sticker.

Except us. We never stopped.
I hear the old place is still there, still tempting the weary and the unwary with Pedro's promises.
Someday, when we make the journey southward with the little Brewers we may stop. Maybe.
Or maybe it's a place best left to my imagination.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Rude Haiku

Brewgal has a long commute. Not as long as the 144-mile round trips between Rockville and Gettysburg Mr. Brewguy and I used to make on a daily basis.

I miss the cows and the horses I used to see on those trips up to Pennsylvania. I guess that's why I love Bohemian's photos. It reminds me of those days when I could drive out into the orchards of Adams County, park the car up on a mountain in Ortanna and sit listening to the sounds of birds.

But I digress.

My commute is long enough to allow my mind to wander. I have a few minutes of nice scenery, punctuated by insane Maryland drivers whose time is CLEARLY MORE IMPORTANT than Brewgal's. *deep breaths*

Ahem. Anyway, yesterday, as I was driving home to the dulcet sounds of
DC101,* I came up with the following haikus.

For most of you this will be tame stuff. However, I warn those of tremulous sensibility that what follows is rather rude. Naughty bits are referenced. Bodily functions are discussed. Proceed on your own recognizance and don't send me nasty emails because you feel post-hoc offense.

In parenting books
Not once did I read the words
"projectile pooping"

Empire State needle.
Old Doc Big Apple, pricking
the ass of the sky

*Yes, I realize "dulcet" and "DC101" are rarely mentioned in the same context. It's SARCASM, people!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Quote of the day

"Get me a scientist!" -- Tommy Lee Jones in Volcano.

As if we're all on retainer and can be called up at a moment's notice like The Geek Squad (TM). Imagine it: huge bands of scientists, roving the countryside, looking for problems to be solved. We could wear badges!*

Cat up a tree? Call a scientist! (a tall one)
That missing sock? Call a scientist!
Global warming? Call a scientist! Oops, did that already. Inspectors general at two agencies have begun an investigation into whether the Bush administration has suppressed government scientists' research on global warming, officials at NASA and the Commerce Department confirmed yesterday.

*Ok, FINE. Everyone repeat after me: "Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!" Then if you haven't already, go rent Treasure of the Sierra Madre so you can know whereof you speak.