We are here on Earth to fart around

I was reminded of this quote by Kurt Vonnegut from this interview, so I share it here:

I work at home, and if I wanted to, I could have a computer right by my bed, and I’d never have to leave it. But I use a typewriter, and afterward I mark up the pages with a pencil. Then I call up this woman named Carol out in Woodstock and say, “Are you still doing typing?” Sure she is, and her husband is trying to track bluebirds out there and not having much luck, and so we chitchat back and forth, and I say, “Okay, I’ll send you the pages.”

Then I go down the steps and my wife calls, “Where are you going?” “Well,” I say, “I’m going to buy an envelope.” And she says, “You’re not a poor man. Why don’t you buy a thousand envelopes? They’ll deliver them, and you can put them in the closet.” And I say, “Hush.” So I go to this newsstand across the street where they sell magazines and lottery tickets and stationery. I have to get in line because there are people buying candy and all that sort of thing, and I talk to them. The woman behind the counter has a jewel between her eyes, and when it’s my turn, I ask her if there have been any big winners lately. I get my envelope and seal it up and go to the postal convenience center down the block at the corner of Forty-seventh Street and Second Avenue, where I’m secretly in love with the woman behind the counter. I keep absolutely poker-faced; I never let her know how I feel about her. One time I had my pocket picked in there and got to meet a cop and tell him about it. Anyway, I address the envelope to Carol in Woodstock. I stamp the envelope and mail it in a mailbox in front of the post office, and I go home. And I’ve had a hell of a good time. I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you any different.

Electronic communities build nothing. You wind up with nothing. We’re dancing animals. How beautiful it is to get up and go do something. [Gets up and dances a jig.]

Balls Balls Balls

Balls Balls Balls

Balls Balls Balls

Our hawk (Kristen Droke photos)

Early in June we got some new visitors to our back yard, a pair of juvenile Red-Shouldered Hawks (I thought they were Cooper’s Hawks, since they had not a trace of the red I was looking for). These birds, and one in particular, have cawing long and loud every day for about three weeks, as they perch on a few trees in our yard, and a big dead tree next door.

Trees attract birds, and birds attract photographers, so we were happy to have a visit from our friend Kristen Droke, who combines a keen eye with a long lens and a lot of patience. Enjoy our hawk as he fights with corvids, has a light (grey) meal, and generally sits around looking cool.

I think I will call him Yells at Crows.

Ricki’s Trio, “One Winter’s Night”

Here’s my 4:24 of fame on Sunday, June 11, 2017.

Ricki’s Trio, “One Winter’s Night”

Ricki Shore, fiddle
Steve Edlen, guitar
Scott Underwood, bass
Ricki is  in my bluegrass class, and she asked me to accompany her for a single song at the Manning Music student concert at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. This is my favorite place to see music, so I was thrilled to be onstage. I played with another group three songs after this, but I don’t think there’s a video.

UIO

Unidentified Israeli Object: my mother-in-law had this amongst her stuff. She travelled a lot, but never to Israel, though her husband one did.

In any event, my Israeli friend tells me Arad is a town in the south of Israel and it was a former Roman site. This thing appears to be a tourist geegaw, but I’m not sure if the coin is real — were there so many, they sold them as keepsakes? Is it Roman, or Byzantine, or just what?

   

Leon in Lima

My friend and partner Leon Segal decided to greet the crowd outside our hotel in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru.

 

Okay, they were being nice. The reason all these young girls are here is because the hotel is also hosting the star of Soy Luna, a popular kids show on Disney Latino.

Mapchart maps & My USA

Here’s a pretty easy site to make custom maps, Mapcharts. Below is a quick map I made.

My USA is a map of my travel history in the US. Many of course are just a single city I flew to for a workshop or something.

my-usa

 

 

Jokichi-schmokichi

This is a still from Trail of Blood, the first movie in the Mikogami Trilogy. Jokichi is a feared samurai, who is off-camera. These are two bad guys, and the one in the rear has just said, “Don’t you know who this is? It’s Jokichi of Mikogami!”  to which the bad guy in front says, “Jokichi-schmokichi.”

 

jokichi

 

Someone in the subtitle department had a small laugh.

Kansas City museum walk

I had a short trip to Kansas City (KCMO, not KCK! There’s a difference!), and spent a short time visiting two museums. I went to the inside of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, which was showing an exhibit of Hung Liu, a Chinese-born American artist whose powerful paintings mix Red China propaganda and children’s literature, political statement, expressionist elements, and physical elements that accompany the image.

I also visited the outside of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, because the inside was closed. I hope to go back, because it is enormous and looks to be quite extensive. It was a beautiful clear day, so I walked the perimeter or the grounds. I saw several of its many Henry Moores, as well as Claes Oldenburg’s excellent Shuttlecocks, a set of four giant birdies caught just as they landed on either side of the main building, as if it were a badminton net. An exhibition on the Plains Indians included some modern large tipis on the lawn. But my favorite piece to experience was Robert Morris’s Glass Labyrinth, a triangular path of glass walls.

I made a movie of my walk through Glass Labyrinth, and a few pictures follow.

It’s a labyrinth rather than a maze: you follow a single path into the center, then turn around to follow the same path out. The glass walls are quite clean, so there are few visible clues to show you where to turn; it was common to see people bang into a wall, which is why you are warned to walk slowly. (I don’t bump into anything, but you can see the expectant looks on the faces of the people I meet inside.)

The buzzing is from a drone someone was operating nearby.

labyrinth

shuttlecock2sm

tipis2sm

 

 

The Dying Art of Neon

This 11-minute video on the neon craftsmen of Hong Kong has a lot to recommend it; for instance, how to bend Chinese ideograms so as not to burn your hands. I visited Hong Kong a couple years ago, and the neons signs are over the top.

 

I was reminded of this recently when I was in Philadelphia. We had dinner in Chinatown, which had several excellent multicolor signs. But also, I was inside the Center for Architecture, whose walls are adorned with some fine animated signs, like this excellent sign for Greyhound: