Saturday, February 23, 2019

They do

Just the parts to fix the seatbelts in my car are a thousand dollars. You read that correctly - $1000 USD. For the parts. I'm trying to be stoic about the damage the pup has done in my car and elsewhere, because she has proven herself to be amenable to training, but the stoicism could give way any moment to panicked desperation. The dealership said that the parts are expensive because there is a small explosive device within them that goes off in the event of an accident, and they emphasized that the parts must come from Germany, as if that would help me better understand their true worth. I then requested the non-military option. They explained that there is none. There is only the explosions in your seat option or freedom from safety. 

So, there goes another grand.

She has also chewed the legs of one of the chairs in the living room, the front door, and the molding around the front door.

All chew damage aside, though, the little girl-pup is adjusting nicely and she is very sweet. Sweetness goes a long way. It's a mystery why anybody ever forgets that. But they do. 

(The eyes of destruction)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The best thing ever

(Pic by Rhys)

Dad, what's the best thing that's ever happened to you?

Probably being your dad.

No, I mean, what's the best thing that happened at one time?

Oh, then maybe going to Disney with you and Mom for my 50th birthday.

Mine is getting Akira.


Things To Be Hyperbolic About

There are always lists of things that I would like to do - one for work and one for personal matters - if they can be called that. It is more a catalog of nonsense that I need to do for Rhys, and now for Akira. Each week I scratch through a few of the items on the list, whether completed, partially done, or abandoned. There is never a week in which the lists are finished. They never get thrown away, only lost or rewritten. I am terrible at setting and maintaining goals. I didn't used to be, but something changed. I'm not sure when, or how, or why. I put myself through college, and graduated.

I just had to move into my bedroom because Rhys had his screen time revoked yesterday and now he's trying to punish me for it. So, the clock's ticking on this post. It's not on my list of things I need to do, but there is a pre-school morning with a 7 year old waiting to happen.

I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return 
W.H. Auden

Well, if you go in for either evil or that poetry stuff. 


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Equality is an arithmetical concept

Where did I ever get the time to take a photograph of anything. Thousands of them, days apart, for years and years. The one above showed up as an online reminder. Of course I knew that such things would begin to feel creepy. They have. 

The day is a true beauty here, more so than the rains had previously let.  

As soon as can, am going to take the dogs for a nice, big, outdoor run.

Okay, I took a minute and snapped this with my phone. 

We were playing around with some new instant film last night.


Saturday, February 16, 2019

What's the fun in that?


She is one of my favorite people to photograph. It's because she is young and beautiful and has a naturally pleasant demeanor. Those qualities do very well in photography, though they are not requirements. I have known her since she was a girl. The little sister of two close friends who became a close friend herself. She just reached out to me because she and her husband are celebrating their 10th anniversary and she wanted higher res images of some of the pics I've taken of them along the way. I sent her hundreds of candid shots. The one below was of special interest to her, pre-children, when their love was in its initial bloom. 

If my own life's trajectory had been entirely up to me then I would now be famous for photographing women I know and would have become rich and famous in the process. Not as rich and famous as the women I photograph, but you get the idea. 

I was chatting through text with a friend yesterday, one who works as a professional photographer in Orlando. He just got a repeat assignment to do the Daytona 500, so he had rented a telephoto lens and was sending me pics that he had taken from the previous year. I was envious of that life, though I suspect that along the way he has lost some of his passion for photography by working in the field. There is a trade-off for so many things. If you truly love music, then avoid its industry, etc. When other people are going to pay you to take images then you must discover what they wish to see. 

What's the fucking fun in that?

I coulda' been a sun flare....

I want to take a road trip in which the sole purpose would be photography. Everywhere I go it is always a secondary activity, and the results tend to capture that. I travel and happen to have cameras with me. I almost exclusively shoot Rachel, Rhys, and Barkley. Now, Akira also, I must assume. But it has been three decades since I have taken a trip with the intention of only taking photographs, and even then I was the driver. It was my friend that was doing all the photography. I want to see if I can develop a certain kind of eye for rural roads and landscapes. Looking at pictures is easy, making them is endless. You can look at these images for minutes or hours and many of them seem entirely unscripted, as if the photographer barely cared when he was pressing the shutter and with where the camera was pointed. Then, go out and try to imitate it. I have no idea why I would aspire to doing something that must seem to others as if it is evidently no special skill at all. But everybody gets to look at things, so there is always so much more to be seen that what can ever possibly be readily apparent to all. 
Instagram proves that same point much better than the above paragraph could ever hope to. 

Looks like Rhys and I will drive into the city today to meet up with a family of friends from NYC. Rachel will stay home with Akira the Destroyer. She has some things to do and the pup is nowhere close to being able to be left alone yet, certainly not for an entire day.

Today will be a long and exhausting one, but I will bring cameras with me. Now I feel obligated to bring my best one.

The best looking people I know, Ben and Helena:

Shit. I just realized that the lead image of Helena is one I've already used here. 

I'm slippin'.



Friday, February 15, 2019

"She thinks crossin' her legs is funny"

Geezus Krinkles, my fucking head hurt this morning. I've become a lightweight. I had maybe 3-4 glasses of wine last night and then woke up this morning with a headache that didn't go away until I had drank two beers. Rachel and I went to a sushi thing. It was like a hundred bucks a ticket, for Valentine's Day. For fools. Meh. 

The new pup is slowly learning stuff and adjusting to not being around me at all times, but it is only happening slowly. I haven't been able to ride my bike since getting her because she can't be left alone for that long yet. I've only left her alone and in her crate for about 10-15 minutes when I'm not here. Her howls of anguish and loneliness are too much for me. I'm a pussy. See previous paragraph.


Thursday, February 14, 2019


What is the sensation called when your undergo some sort of a life change and it distorts your sense of time, causes you to panic slightly most of the time, thinking that you might not ever return to a place of normalcy. That's what happens when you get a puppy. Especially a puppy that appears to be suffering from separation anxiety, one that leaves fur everywhere in its wake. 

There are other possible changes going on in my life, also. 

All day I have thought that it was Friday. I just looked up at my clock on my computer, waiting for the day to come to a close so the weekend would start, and noticed that it's Thursday. That's a shitty feeling. If the present isn't enough to cause me to stop living in the future then how will the past ever help anything.


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

It's hard to be mad at her, but getting easier

She ate the driver's seatbelt this morning. You must think that I am joking - because no one would let a dog stay in the car after eating the first one - but I was only gone for less than 5 minutes, dropping the boy off at school. She had been fine with 5-10 minute car abandonments before. 

But now that she's had a taste for seatbelt....

I have no idea how much it will cost to have them replaced. We have a trip to Tahoe planned for the middle of March. I'm pretty sure mom will require them to be replaced before then. She's like a cop with these things. Like a cop that turns in other cops - internal affairs, special units detective. 

Akira is in her crate now, whining and lightly howling. I have been trying to get her acclimated to being crated - which mom has told me to stop calling a cage - but this is a new process for me and one that does not feel entirely natural. She seems to experience pretty severe separation anxiety when I am not very close to her. I am running out of ideas and things for her to destroy. I do not wish to treat a pup cruelly and a crate does feel that way to me a bit, but there must be some middle ground that can be struck between her happiness and mine, her jaws and my stuff.

I have read that when done properly the canine might not ever love the crate but that they will grow to feel safe and calm there. It's very true for Barkley. He seems to prefer his carrier at times of increased confusion or stress, and sleeps very well with the front portion zippered up. He will retreat into it and fall asleep fairly often, especially now that there is a roaming husky pup in the vicinity.

I believed that being here all day would make this a little bit easier. It's like having to satisfy the emotional needs of a super quick infant that has the jaws of a crocodile and the eyes of an Estonian. 

I've run out of any new pictures of her. I took several at the dog park the other day. 

I did not want you to think that everything had been eaten. Only the things that we can not keep from being in front of her face.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019


She ate the front door frame and the front door and the passenger side seat belt in my car. There is fur everywhere. Our Dyson vacuum cleaner died yesterday. It is becoming challenging, taking on a puppy that suffers severe separation anxiety. I feel bad crating her, but that can't possibly stay that way much longer. I have no idea how much a seat belt costs to replace, or a front door. 

We love her and she is very sweet, but it's becoming a real challenge. 

The hour that I was at Rhys' school volunteering was the hour that she ate the seat belt. It was the first hour that I have had away from her since we adopted her last Sunday, pretty much. And by away, I mean that she was in the car. The crate is seeming more and more sensible each moment. I'm just trying to get her used to being in it without it seeming like punishment. This is possible, but it takes time. I don't know how much more time I have. I need the driver's side seat belt. I've even started to like wearing it.


Monday, February 11, 2019

What else is there?

I am adopting a new disposition, again. My old one - non-intervening disinterestedness - is failing me slowly. We'll see how my new policy of strategic contractual retreat will pan out.

I have taken a sick day from work. I am in bed and this is where I'll likely stay.

It's true that I invited him CS to take a road trip. I neglected to tell him that it would have been in a stolen ambulance, where he could relax a bit. Take a load off with one morphine drip at a time. 

Perhaps I will drive up or down the California coast and look for things to point a camera at. Things that make me feel, or think, or provide me some glimpse into their solitary nature, into their trapped beauty. 


Sunday, February 10, 2019

The business of being

What I meant is only that there is another truth inside of the one you may know, the one you have embraced especially. So many people that I have loved seem to have given up, recognizing that there also seems to be a lie mixed up deeply within the business of being. There are too many to count.


The presentness of the past

Don't let the picture fool you much, she was having fun. The editor just liked that picture. Cameras capture all sorts of mysteries, lets you glimpse a portion of the innuendo and suggestion that occurs along the continuum of the visible. Shuttering the eye reveals some other, strange truth. The enigma of the evident. Several versions of everything, all the time, for every viewer, from a few different views. Always there is the presentness of the past.


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Some of it

Disabused of the past by those who never bothered with it.

Life meteoric; laughter and suffering, some celestial.
Everything now suddenly effervescent.


Chrysanthemum Struggles

Having a new pup that eats her own bed when left alone for fifteen minutes has magically solved all of my problems. It's an honest blue-eyed miracle, and just what I needed. I needed someone to feed.

Well, there is that sort of stuff going on but she is also an enormously sweet-hearted puppy, which goes a very long way with me. In fact, I insist that you can measure the approximate time of death of the human heart by noting how unswayed it is by innocent love, and how equally averse to communal laughter.

She looks at me like she's in love. I like that, a lot. I look at her the same way.

She loves everyone, but you'd never know it by staring at her. It's those steely Auschwitz eyes she has. She scares me a little bit with her seemingly calculated calmness. 

She is adjusting to being around all of us, and us her. She keeps putting her rather significant paw on Barkley's head in an apparent offer to play, to which he has not yet learned to respond in kind. As you can imagine, the older Shitzu is nonplused. The old Chinese palace dog still knows how to bark and growl when the intruders arrive at the temple.

I'm trying to have a sense of hack humor about this stuff.


Thursday, February 7, 2019


She is very sweet, and makes me smile. We're so happy when we're together. You should see us. We love to walk, and look into each other's eyes, and touch noses, and kiss. 

She seems to love listening to my singing and is tolerant of most of the guitar stuff. 


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Snow Day

The car was covered in ice this morning. I had already walked the new puppy in just a t-shirt, and didn't think it was that cold, but it was. I had to scrape the windshield and defrost the other windows. Out of pure chance we all decided to give the boy a ride to school this morning. On the way, we saw something we had never seen: all of the mountain tops in the valley above a certain altitude were covered in snow, lots of it. Well, lots of it for Sonoma, California.

We decided to not take the boy right to class, and instead to drive up to Sugarloaf Park and have a look around. Of course the husky pup loved it, as did Barkley and the boy. They all ran into it and rolled down it and frolicked. That seems like a legitimate reason to use that word.

Akira - which has been our working name for her - broke loose of her harness and ran off up the hill into the snow with another pup. We were able to retrieve her but there were a few minutes in which it was an open question.

Everyone seemed to share the same idea.


Monday, February 4, 2019

Akira - puppies have a right to children

Well, we did it and have expanded our numbers by one. Pets Lifeline finally deemed us worthy. We adopted her yesterday. I learned to play Love Rescue Me on the guitar to celebrate. Leave me alone about U2... Dylan co-wrote that one with them, so I feel like I get a free pass, or a co-pass. I was going to learn Emotional Rescue, but it just doesn't sound right on an acoustic guitar, and me singing. 

Any fool can ape Bono. 

What? Don't look at me like that. I've been playing the guitar a lot lately, am looking for song themes. 

So, rescue it is.

Out tentative name for her is Akira, but we're discussing a few options. She's a sweetheart. Barkley seems mildly traumatized by her presence, we're all making adjustments as needed. She is recovering from being spayed still, so we can not quite play with her as we would normally, but hopefully y this upcoming weekend we'll be able to at least let her run and hopefully chase a few catapulted tennis balls. The boy is ready.

We have been warned that she is an "escape artist" and I believe it. I just walked Barkley for maybe 5-7 minutes and she freaked out, destroyed some of the front door and the trim. She had eaten the wood trim away from the door frame and scratched some of the wood off the door. I could hear her howling as I approached.

So, new things to learn, a few modifications needed in lifestyle. 

All of that.

But also all of this:


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Two things in life are certain

Super Bowl Sunday. My dad passed away four years ago. I was in a bad place when it happened. Rachel and I were apart. She was dating somebody. Her call to me consisted of two sentences: I'm very sorry and I have to go. After the call at least one of those sentences seemed true. It is not a slight against her, only the recognition that at that time I no longer mattered to her. That was clear. I was in Colorado at the time. That's where he lived, though about four hours away, in Grand Junction. I did not see him before he went. After, there was only the urn.

I do not need to re-live either of those feelings. I was trying to remember something from long ago, and thought that maybe this site would help me. I stumbled across an old post about my mother, Stella. Rachel reminds me of my mother, sometimes. They are both only-children, and they share some of their demeanor and mannerisms. There has never been a time in which I have consciously confused or interchanged the two, believing one to be a substitute for the other. 

That is perhaps sufficient reminiscing for the day. 

So much more than two things in life are certain.


Saturday, February 2, 2019

Snapped Shots

I should stop buying books on photography. They are depressing; how good they can be. Saul Leiter has been the most recent long-deceased photographer to vex me. His images are really something. They seem like very lucky accidents, except that he is able to produce them at will. I'm still stuck at the interesting accident phase, or so I hope to be. Harnessing accidents will require more time and patience. 

In some ways it is like writing. It requires some tolerance and restraint, a recognition that you only have so much control over a given thing, over how the light will hit the film. Some attributes of the result occur only because you are there and you allow them to be. Then there are some that will never quite be yours. Trying too hard will make it yours, of course, but not in the manner that you may have hoped.

Then there are others that seem to only require composure. Still, I can feel them struggling to settle, to be something else. The below image is one I found that seems to evoke Sergio Larraine, though I would not have known that when I took the image. At the time I was openly struggling with the enigma of what is evident.