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October 2009 Archives

October 1, 2009

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I remember when I was in my twenties, a stranger asked me. "What do you want to do in life?" I forgot what I said exactly, but I remember that my answer was earnest and sincere. Then minutes later he asked another: "So what do you really want to do in life?"

September passes. How do you feel today?


Currently listening:
Michael Andrews - The Artifact & Living

October 4, 2009

No Place Like Home


It's true isn't it? There is no place like home. My grandmother was brought home yesterday by my sister and I. I got there at around 8.30am in the morning, read my book and talked to her 'til around lunch time. I fed her a bit of mashed potatoes and some Ensure, watched TV and then told her I'm going to pick up my sister to help take her home. Anyway, grandma's been very 'obedient' at the home. All she's been doing was lie in bed quietly, propped up when moved, lied down when placed... like a little rag doll. In her situation there, she was given some liquid medication to stimulate her appetite, but still, she ate very little. If she could finish a can of Ensure that day, we call it a good day. The home also provide sedative medication. I shudder to think...

My mum was reluctant to place her mother there, but her two sisters concurred that this is the best choice given the situation at hand. My mum and dad ending up spending about 6-7 hours each day visiting grandma. Mum told me that was even more work and stress for them. A couple of occasions when my mum was visiting, grandma was wheeled out in the main room with others, which was good, but they didn't put much clothing on her so that she ended up all clammy and cold. She just sits there whether passed out or awake. My mum said grandma was so cold her fingers were in different shades of purple. She could also be exaggerating a bit, too. My grandmother is tough but also shy, in a place where she knows no one, she wouldn't say a word. She also says very little to us these days. We put up a written sign next to her bed saying to please put extra clothing on her whenever she's up and on her wheelchair, but to no avail. One can see that she has so much to say from her eyes, and without her dentures, half-dazed, she only tries...

My mum decided to bring her mother home was right after her last visit. She got there one morning and the first thing that my grandma said to her was that she wanted to go home... My mother was crushed. Grandma was just out from taking a sponge bath. While she was checking the bedding, she noticed that somehow the undershirt that grandma was wearing got all damp?! I'm not sure if my mother asked the staff there what had happened or not. Mum was so hurt to see her mother like this. She called and told me everything while crying on the phone that evening.

UPDATE: Mum just called and she sounded different I told her. She's much happier now and the lady was hired and started today. A live-in caretaker who will be staying in my grandmother's room as well. My mum didn't do that before because of money issues but we've got that taken care of. She said the lady is watching TV with grandmother in the room right now. My brother went to visit with his kids and grandmother even wanted to sit out in the living room in her wheelchair. Mum said that grandmother didn't even recognize the kids at first until she saw my brother... Mum told me she sat out for about 10-15 minutes. It was a good day today. It's so nice to hear something is happy just from their voice, especially you're mother's. Again, I thank everyone's for your kind words and concern. There is no place like the comfort of one's home.

October 5, 2009

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Chillin'. I think autumn is my favorite season of all. I hope everyone is having a good start of the week.


Currently listening:
Cary Brothers - If You Were Here

October 6, 2009

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Currently listening:
Harold Budd - Balthus Bemused By Color [Mix 2]

October 7, 2009

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Fujimahara. Start of something different.


Currently listening:
Arturo Stalteri - Another Green World

October 8, 2009

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Breathe. I bought this plant for three dollars and fifty cents from this ├╝ber fauna flora shop near my neighborhood. I think I will go get another one today. I wish I could take you there. Let's go. I could use some company.


Currently listening:
Cocteau Twins - Aikea-Guinea

October 10, 2009

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Blue Day.

Blue Day. Old photo: New colors.

I rather like this. Looks a bit ambiguous and me singing to one of my favorite songs...


Currently listening:
Lush - I Have The Moon

October 11, 2009

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Flora. What inspires you? Any one thing more so than others?


Currently listening:
John Foxx & Harold Budd - Spoken Roses

October 15, 2009

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At the Park.

May you all have a good night.


Currently listening:
Air - The Dream of Yi

October 19, 2009

Woman Waiting To Take A Photograph

The woman is a young woman. She wants to make a living as a photographer, but at the moment she is temping at a company that publishes books about wetlands preservation. On her days off she takes pictures, and today she is sitting in her car, across the street from a small grocery store called "The Go-Getters Market." The store is located in a very poor neighborhood of her city--the windows are barred and at night a roll-down steel door covers the storefront. The woman thus finds the name "Go-Getters" an interesting one, because it is clear that the customers of the market are anything but go-getters. They are drunkards and prostitutes and transients, and the young photographer thinks that if she can get the right picture of some of these people entering the store, she will make a picture that would be considered trenchant, or even poignant--either way the product of a sharp and observant eye. So she sits in her Toyota Camry, which her parents gave her because it was two years old and they wanted something new, and the waits for the right poor person to enter or leave the store. She has her window closed, but will open it when the right person appears, and then shoot that person under the sign that says "Go-Getters." This, for the viewer of her photograph when it is displayed--first in a gallery, then in the hallway of a collector's home, and later in a museum when she has her retrospective--will prove that she, the photographer, has a good eye for irony and hypocrisy, for the inequities and injustices of life, its perfect and unmitigated absurdity.

Text: Dave Eggers

October 20, 2009

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The Face.


Currently listening:
Colder - Crazy Love [Luke Innes Mix]

October 21, 2009

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Self Portrait.

I borrowed these lights from my friend Bridie over the weekend and am still toying with them. During the day, I have no one to take photos of, so it might as well be me. It's a bit of a hassle running back and forth to see how they turn out. Lighting isn't easy, but it isn't too difficult either. I guess I'm not much of a 'conventional' kinda guy. I don't take 'happy' photos. I try to smile in front of the camera, but the end results always look fake [and forced]. I only look decent when I'm not smiling.

Looking at my last photo, I like the tight cropping and not much else. It was an awkward stare. I like this one much better. I still look [happy]sad.


Currently listening:
The Hope Blister - Sideways Seven [Happiness Strings]

October 23, 2009

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The pocket in your hand.

The Pocket in Your Hand.


Currently listening:
Philip Glass - Opening

October 24, 2009

The Dos And Don'ts of Graduate Studies:
Maxims from the Chair

The Dos
Do something old in a new way
Do something new in an old way
Do something new in a new way; whatever works, works
Do it sharp--if you can't, call it art
Do it in the computer--if it can be done there
Do fifty of them--you will definitely get a show
Do it big--if you can't do it big, do it red
If all else fails, turn it upside down--if it looks good, it might work
Do bend your knees
If you don't know what to do, look up or down--but continue looking
Do celebrities--if you do a lot of them, you'll get a book
Connect with others--network
Edit it yourself
Design it yourself
Publish it yourself
Edit--when in doubt, shoot more
Edit again
Read Darwin, Marx, Joyce, Freud, Einstein, Benjamin, McLuhan, and Barthes
See Citizen Kane ten times
Look at everything--stare
Construct your images from the edge inward
If it's the "real world," do it in color
If it can be done digitally, do it
Be self-centered, self-involved, and generally entitled and always pushing--and damned to hell for doing it
Break all rules, except the chairman's

The Don'ts
Don't do it about yourself--or your friend--or your family
Don't dare photograph yourself nude
Don't look at old family albums
Don't hand-color it
Don't write on it
Don't use alternative processes--if it ain't straight, do it in the computer
Don't gild the lily--a.k.a. less is more
Don't go to video when you don't know what else to do
Don't photograph indigent people, particularly in foreign lands
Don't whine, just produce

The Truisms
Good work sooner or later gets recognized
There are a lot of good photographers who need it before they are dead

If you walk the walk, sooner or later you'll learn to talk the talk
If you talk the talk too much, sooner or later you are probably not walking the walk (don't bullshit)

Photographers are the only creative people who don't pay attention to their predecessors' work--if you imitate something good, you are more likely to succeed
Whoever originated the idea will surely be forgotten until he or she's dead--corollary: steal someone else's idea before they die
If you have to imitate, at least imitate something good
Know the difference

Critics never know what they really like
Critics are the first to recognize the importance of that which is already known in the community at large
The best critics are the ones who like your work

Theoreticians don't like to look--they're generally too busy writing about themselves
Given enough time, theoreticians will contradict and reverse themselves
Practice does not follow theory
Theory follows practice

All artists think they're self-taught
All artists lie, particularly about their dates and who taught them
No artist has ever seen the work of another artist (the exception being the post-modernests, who've adapted appropriation as another means of reinventing the history)
The curator or the director is the one in black
The artist is the messy one in black
The owner is the one with the Prada bag
The gallery director is the one who recently uncovered the work of a forgotten person from his or her late spouse
Every gallerist has to discover someone
Every curator has to rediscover someone
The best of them is the one who shows your work

Every generation rediscovers the art of photography
Photography history gets reinvented every ten years
New galleries discover old photographers

Galleries need to fill their walls--corollary: thus new talents will always be found
Gallerists say hanging pictures is an art

There are no collectors, only people with money
Anyone who buys your work is a collector--your parents don't count

All photographers are voyeurs
Admit it and get on with looking
Everyone is narcissistic--anyone can be photographed

Photography is about looking
Learning how to look takes practice

All photography, in the right context at the right time, is valuable
It is always a historical document
Sooner or later someone will say it is art

Any photographer can call himself an artist,
But no every artist can call himself a photographer

Compulsiveness helps
Neatness helps too
Hard work helps the most

The style is felt--fashion is fad

Remember, it's usually about who, what, where, when, why, and how
It is who you know

Many a good idea is found in garbage can
But darkrooms are dark... and dank, fuhgeddaboudit

The best exposure is the one that works
Expose for the shadows, and develop for the highlights
Or better yet, shoot digitally

Cameras don't think, they don't have memories
But digitals have something called memory
Lean to see as the camera sees--don't try to make it see as the human eye
Remember, digital point-and-shoots are faster than Leicas

Though the computer can correct anything, a bad image is a bad image
If all else fails, you can remember, again, to either do it large or red
Or, tear it up and tape it together
It always looks better framed on the wall

If they don't sell, raise your price
Self-importance rises with the prices of your images on the wall

The work of a dead artist is always more valuable than the work of a live one
You can always pretend to kill yourself and start all over.

Text: Charles H. Traub

October 26, 2009

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The Path
If I were to have a thought...

I would go back to being around 11 years of age, wearing my favourite tee shirt and shorts, white socks and dirty sneakers, riding my bike... without a worry in my head!

A pleasant day, on a trail to nowhere... with high trees around me... birds singing, a sunny day, breathing the air... smiling...

As I ride along the trail, I would see different scenarios of people... families, friends, strangers... and hey, there you are!!! Doing the things they love: Enjoying life... talking, playing, laughing, caring for one other, being alone, in contentment, and in love... at times saying hello or waving at me as I pass by...

Don't know where I'm heading... I take my time; aiming forward, yet looking back every now and then as I keep riding on my trusty ol' bike... Maybe to find the end of my trail, maybe not...

The above entry was written back in December of 2003 from my previous blog. How time slips by like water running through one's hand. Have I changed? Indeed I have, but not by much. My spirit is high. As for the path, the scenery is still good and the weather is usually fair. My clothes and shoes are a bit tattered, but am happy for I'm still able to ride my bike, moving forward in time while taking in this so-called life...

Have a great week everyone.

xo, r


Currently listening:
Robin Guthrie - Fireflies

October 30, 2009

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Have a fun-filled and safe night tomorrow. After that, welcome November.


Currently listening:
Budd & Guthrie - Halloween

About October 2009

This page contains all entries posted to The Beauty of All Things in October 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

September 2009 is the previous archive.

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