Monthly Archives: October 2004

Well Past its sell-by date…

“We are denied our language, culture and history in school,” said Dunbar. “The so-called United Kingdom is well past its sell-by date.”

Why not after nearly 300 years? If the United States, Southern Irish, Indians, Zimbabwe-ians, etc., rebelled and went their own ways, why not have the Cornish, Welsh, and Scottish be next?
What will happen to the hardcore Orangemen royalists in Northern Ireland if the English decide that devolution of all the parts of the United Kingdom is an excellent idea? Or if the U.K. devolves the monarchy? What has N.I. done for the home counties (London, Kent, Essex, Sussex, et al) lately? In the 21st century of the European Union, smaller unified states under the larger federal whole may make more sense.
Go Cornwall. Go Wales. Go Scotland. Go California.

Driving to Work in the Rain

Twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, I get in my car to make the 16 mile drive from Orange to La Mirada to teach Web Design at Biola. It is a straight shoot up the 5 fwy that sometimes takes less than 20 mins. from door to door and sometimes 45 mins., all depending on traffic.
Yesterday the 6 o’clock hour was a time of the night falling and a time between two storms. The car was still wet with rain drops, the road was semi-dry, and the clouds were roiling in the sky.
That afternoon I had been thinking about photography, light, and capturing random moments. I had also been on the phone with Meg discussing art theorists Chris Miles, Raphael Rubenstein, and Libby Lumpkin’s post-modernism. I would not consider myself a post-modernist nor do I see myself as a modernist, but if I had to choose I would rather set up camp before a Rothko or a Diebenkorn than a Vegas show.
I am an unabashed lover of Abstract Expressionism and color field painting, as well as the California school. My own painting, photography, and webdesign reflect this love of color and single or minimal figure/object compositions. I much prefer a painting or photo a person or place in a quick moment to a carefully composed study or a controlled shot with the “right” lighting or lens. Maybe I ought to buy a Lomo, as I love the thrill and surprise of just taking pictures and finding out after how many turned out and if one or two or three sing.
As I drove over the Santa Ana river that was full of rain water, I was struck by the drops of rain on my car windows, the gray light filtering through the clouds, and how the taillights of cars and trucks illuminated the dusk. The traffic was slow-ish, so I pulled out my camera and just took random photos of the freeway, the other cars, all the familiar buildings and signs all the way to work.


Photo Friday’s challenge this week is “Unexpected“. The unexpected things that occurred in the last 24 hours did not include me having my camera on or taking a picture.
Number #1 best unexpected thing: I was watering yesterday afternoon, when I went to move the sprinker a few birds flushed from their bathing in the fountain of water and flew into a tree above my head. One of them was a warbler that I had never seen before: the black-throated gray warbler. I ran back into the house to get my camera and when I returned he was too high in the tree for my camera to take anything other than a small speck of a blur. Yeah! First sighting!
Number #2 maybe ok unexpected thing: The return of the dualing junior high misfits competition. Last evening at sound check, Gabby of the Cadillac Tramps was giving me the guest list, when he mentioned a name that made me gasp. Gabby said, “_______ is doing great and is on the road to recovery.” “Oh,” I said, “I went to junior high with that kid.”
Later that night, the former junior high classmate of mine walked in looking 10 years older than 30-something and said he was on the list. I said, “What name would that be?”
He said, “You know it.”
I said, “Well, if you can’t say hi, I can’t remember your name.”
He begrudgingly said his name and did not say hi.
Today, I was reading the Sunday LA Times Calendar section when I noticed a name, flipped open to page 40 to see a FULL page article on my junior high’s biggest misfit, the kid who turned me onto punk rock in 1981 as we listened to records in his room, the kid who was kicked out of the seventh grade and sent to another school, the kid who mocked me when I had my fling with LA neo-pyschodelic bands such as the Salvation Army, Green on Red, and the Three O’Clock. This kid is now, according to the LA Times, the savior of Indie rock due to his infusing 60s pyschodelia into his genius music. I laughed hard. Dang it is good to live long enough to see what goes around comes around.
All hail mighty little junior high schools on the eastside of Costa Mesa whose former misfits now make art, music and consternation worldwide….
Number #3 pretty cool unexpected thing: The first real rain storm of the season happened after 11pm last night. As I drove home from Alex’s at 2:30am, the storm threw rain down so hard that cars pulled off the side of the road. The only other time I have been in a downpour so prolific was during a hurricane on the east coast. There was a point whilst driving east down the 22 fwy. that I out ran the downpour and less than 10 mins. later it caught up with me in Orange. A fast moving storm. It may very well be true that we are going to have an El Nino this year if the rain has started before November…

The Odd Thing about Duran Duran is…

they sound MUCH better now than they did in 1982 & 1983.
When I was a small high school chicken, Duran Duran was the biggest band ever amongst the preppies who dominated my school in their pink Polo shirts, even more than U2 or Bruce Springsteen… I hated them.
Now “Girls on Film” sounds fresh and bouncy in a good way. Amazing what 22 years will do for a song.

The Warblers are Back!

The sure sign that my favorite season of the year has come again: The return of the wood warblers to their SoCal wintering grounds.
I just went out on my walk and debated about should I take my camera, but left it at home to my regret. As I turned the last corner before arriving home, I heard a familiar winter call, I looked up and had to wait a bit before the local wintering warbler gem came into view: the Townsend’s Warbler. The bird hopped around the branches of a magnolia tree picking off insects and came within seven feet of me. Dang for leaving my camera at home, but joy in the turning of the season and such a delightful little fellow(ess).