Friday, July 31, 2009

An Underbelly of Nature Moment

Moon snail
Originally uploaded by The-Milkshake
You may not know this about me, but I love the crawly, slimy, weird and wonderful bits of nature, what I like to refer to as the Underbelly. If there is a rock to turn over, I'm there. Got a week dead old possum on your street? I'm there. Poking it. With a stick.

So when I stumbled across The-Milkshake's photograph of a moon snail, I fell in love. She says she's holding it upside down so it doesn't SAG! Gasp! From Wikipedia:

The powerful foot enables this gastropod to plow under the sand in search of other mollusks. Upon finding one, it "drills" a hole into the shell with its radula, releases digestive enzymes, and sucks out the somewhat predigested contents.

Think on that while you eat your lunch!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The story of the ducks, for Polestar

Originally uploaded by bnelle
So. Nobody knows how to get down and celebrate something like the Vietnamese. For the Kienando (the Vietnamese KF that I do) Festival that we put on every year, the parents and community provide a feast of Banh Mi (Vietnamese sammies,) roast pig, noodle dishes, rice dishes, agar (Asian style Jell-O,) fuits, cakes, and my absolute favorite, roast duck. In many Asian cultures the head of the animal is served with the rest of it. I've seen this withe pig, chicken, ducks, doves... Most of the time, the head doesn't get eaten. On the birds, there's very little meat, you know? If anyone does eat them, it's gonna be the little old Vietnamese grandmas and grandpas. The kids are way too American. They won't touch anything that reminds them of where the meal actually came from.

Anyway, at the end of the festival the masters and teachers who planned the whole thing take home the leftovers. I got a huge tray of duck bits. I ate duck every day for a week. Yum! And both the heads were in there, looking at me every time I pulled some out of the fridge... I've been interested for a long time in how inherently violent the act of eating can really be. Preparation to mastication. And how we get together for feasts and dinner parties and family dinners and eat things together. How food can be an emblem of human socialization. And I'm also interested in still lifes with food and how food can be a symbol in art for other things. So these duck heads seemed like a good starting off point to start to play with all of these ideas in a series of photographic images.

So that's the story. Expect more slightly gross food photographs in the future, and bon appetit!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dream Job

I'm starting to think that there may be a fault in my logic about this whole unemployed thing. If there is one thing I learned in grad school, it's that my strength lies in unconventional solutions. Well, that and that there's no postmodern Romantic paradigm anymore. That's another story entirely, however. My point is, I've been seeing my skill set as fitting only three jobs: receptionist, photographer teacher, and, of course, photographer. In this troubled economy, the market for these jobs is CUTTHROAT. Literally. Watch out. So I'm trying to see myself from other angles, to develop an idea of what other, unconventional, career paths I should be looking into. Heres the short list:

1. Professional Killer/Assassin. This may seem like an obvious choice. I am, after all, a kung fu master. Add to that my wily feminine wiles, and I'm basically Elektra. All I need is a weapon of choice and a sexy, skin tight costume. Of course, actually killing people may be challenging - I do have a small, wizened heart in there somewhere - but I have grown more callous about it since I dispatched Bob this spring. Besides, I could be like a John Woo-esque kind of killer and really only take out bad guys. That's a public service, really.

2. Muse. I've actually been doing this one for a number of years as a volunteer/hobby kind of thing. So why shouldn't I get paid for it? What I do: Look winsomely into the distance, all backlit by the sun; have spirited and whimsical conversations about intellectual topics that stimulate ideas; throw passionate little fits which help your work to gain some of that angsty depth that is so hip right now. What I don't do: windows, or fall into bad lighting. A number of photographers and painters have already utilized my services. References provided upon request.

3. Witch. The post of a really serious, black hat wearing, cackling witch is hard to come by - there isn't as much call for them. Not like the old days, when curses and love potions were both held in much higher esteem. But trust me, I can do this. I have a stare that can make the blood run cold, enough cats to familiarize a whole coven, and a penchant for speaking in rhyme. Plus, I have a tremendous store of esoteric and occult knowledge. For instance, this is a real recipe for an invisibility spell: Boil a black cat so that the flesh falls from the bone. After the bones have cooled, place them, one at a time, in the mouth while looking in a mirror. When you have put the right one in your mouth, you will turn invisible. (Please note, this wisdom was collected centuries ago and is repeated in many sources. I never condone the harming of any animals. Except maybe for really nasty roosters. But never a cat. Catliness is next to Godliness, in my book.) Plus, my great great great great great grand something or other was burned as a witch in the Salem Witch Hunts. So I have serious street cred. Need a cave haunted? I'm your gal. Curses cursed? Potions brewed? Fortunes told? Cunningly pointed hats tried on? I'm also a blast at parties.

If you are interested in having someone fill one of these positions for you, please contact me for an interview. Resume furnished upon request. Serious inquiries only, please.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

This is what it feels like to be a kung fu master:

Bruised. Top of head, back of head, right shoulder, right scapula, spine (near the centerish of my back, and also near the small,) right breast, both elbows, both forearms, the center of left palm, both pinkies, right thigh, both knees (quite badly, actually,) right shin near the ankle, both insteps.

Friday, July 03, 2009

In the lap of luxury

My third straight month of being unable to find a full time job has got me rethinking my favorite luxuries. What's out? The expensive anti wrinkle cream I used to buy for slightly less expensive on ebay, new shoes, and travel to anywhere. And my new top five "poor girl" luxuries:

1. Sleeping in. Where have you been all my adult life?
2. Foot and hand massages from a friend.
3. Perfectly cooked over medium eggs.
4. All the free time to organize my itunes collection that I could. ever. need.
5. Laying in bed all day on sunday, watching tv. (At his house. I still don't have tv.)

That being said, I'd still really really like a job.

Anyway, if you've a mind to, leave me a comment with one little luxury you think I should indulge in.