Road Trip

painted desert

‘Tis the season to wax nostalgic – this one is dedicated to my maternal grandparents and their annual journey across the Painted Desert during a time when not many thought doing such things prudent.

Life imitates Art imitates Art imitates Life

gazoo graffiti

I’m always fascinated by the elements that make up some of the larger murals splashed around Montreal. In this three-story high piece, there’s a very literate and informed conversation going on between artist and viewer but I’m not actually sure how many people are picking up the thread, how many passers-by are aware of the references (age, interest and culture probably being a deciding factor) and how such iconic images are woven together in a greater commentary.

Walk on by or stop and think about it for awhile.

Carrying on a fine Tradition

gourd

On a recent arrival home from some time away, one of the first things I noticed was an arrangement of decorative seasonal gourds on the dining room table. Miss Z was following in my footsteps, discovering the joys of the local market and had brought home a colourful harvest for the family to share. Each one is unique and riotous in its markings, much like our tribe, and worthy of joining the painterly edits that I have been amassing over the last few years.

This particular edit brought to mind a post about the etiquette of food photography where the ongoing conversations in the comments had led to much reflection on how I wound up with so many shots of ordinary fruit and veg in my own archives.

Twenty odd years ago as my son and I were zooming up a street, I saw a kid outside of his garage selling large canvases of close-ups of the most magnificent mangoes and plums, odd veg and seafood in the most brilliant colours and rendered in an energetic impressionist style. It was just that flash of something extraordinary that made me pull up the car and go and have a look – I should have bought them right then and there, but could ill afford it and so I went to visit his other works in a few cafes and a gallery, later looked for his stuff online, googled them years after and always regretted not having deprived myself of something else to have been able to look upon that luscious fruit every day.

It marked me in much the same way that Wayne Thiebaud had an influence on how I see the ordinary. It is that driving need to tell the story of the very basic stuff of life, the things that go unnoticed, the colours and shapes we ignore in the busyness of it all – that is what keeps me taking food photos. Photography is all about the way we transform what we see so that we can give others a glimpse and get them thinking, remembering, wondering, engaging and even taking part in keeping the creative process dynamic.

So yes, I do take pictures of my food: I can revel in them at will, remember exactly what I was thinking or doing, ascribe circumstance or tradition, have them stand out as markers in that timeline of life. They are mine… and now they are yours.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Improvise

improvise

Don’t judge a book by its cover

Someone on another social media site recently said that when they were in their teens being twenty-something meant joining the ranks of adulthood (choke) but now that they were in their 20s it was pretty much alot of flailing about looking for food. I’m not actually sure that ever changes – the arm-spinning, whirlwind chaos of being, I mean. It seems that no matter how much knowledge we amass, how much life experience, on-the-job-training, travel and leisure put it in the scrapbook, document that memory stuff we cram into our brains, we are just basically winging it.

Are we that far removed from our dawn-of-time ancestors? Not really. Some of our best solutions come when we have to think fast, on the run, now or never: not so different from figuring out which end of the mastodon is going to be the least dangerous when your spear is broken and Erg has run for the hills with a panic attack.

Life can often be one big improv scene and the things it throws at us aren’t always solved with tried and true remedies or by the book formulas. Take a chance. Play. Listen. Learn by doing something new.

The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge suspects that everyone can and does. “How do you jump to it?” – jerry-rig, duct-tape big, blurt out or ponder, ignite or ignore. Feel free to put your two cents about how you Improvise in the comments…

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

Out of the Earth comes my Pleasure

turnips

An acquaintance has a keen eye for produce (among other things) and has been kind enough to encourage my painterly treatment of his photographs. What thrills me the most is that we seem to see the natural in much the same way. This bounty of turnips could not be any more glorious for their story of early mornings, simpler times, hands pulling the harvest from the dark fragrant soil to send to market. When the divine took a brush to this humble vegetable, it was for us to look upon such things with renewed wonder and breathe in with gratitude the overlooked beauty that surrounds us.

Going Nuts

nuts

Walking a lovely tree-lined avenue can be a dangerous proposition these days. The squirrels have no appetite for these thorny projectiles and perch high in the branches laughing while pedestrians jump at narrow misses. The ravens, however, are thrilled and gather to pick through the debris for choice bits: those they cannot crack in their bills are dropped from a height to shatter against the sidewalks. I suspect they choose their moments.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Comfort Food

jellomore please!

The Inscrutable Dr. Fu is taking full advantage of the freedom to experiment in my kitchen and likes to put her own twist on what she jokingly refers to as “white people” food. Who am I to complain when presented with these little treats?

This week’s culinary foray is NSFKids homemade Jello made from fresh strawberry-raspberry juice and a liberal splash of vodka topped with a lovely little strawberry mint garnish straight from the garden.

The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge just knows that there are tasty tidbits and go-to dishes that make you go aaaahhhh …

“Do you have a favourite childhood treat?”  Feel free to leave your two cents about the most delicious of your Comfort Foods in the comments…

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

It’s Complicated

complicated

James Burke and his late 1970s series Connections must be to blame for why the Professor and I always feel compelled to link up random comments about small seemingly innocuous “things” with their place in the far larger scheme of things. All those little bits of our world that we have become accustomed to, that we attribute or ascribe, that we deny or decry, sometimes have far different origins and infinitely more complex backstories than we take the time to consider.

Bringing such thoughts to others’ attention inevitably gets us into trouble. There seems to be a really fine line between revelation and lecture where offering up an alternate explanation for why things are often comes off as just plain pedantic. In real life, physical or verbal indications give one a relatively good idea of which direction the conversation will be going but in the virtual world context is variable and tone is highly subjective. Sometimes we are left unsure of just how much more to say or even whether to pursue the thread.

Our interactions on social media can be problematic for no good reason and bring to mind that uncontrollable kid with no censorship filters at the luau running around arms flailing, screaming “Why? Look at that! NO!” and then crawling under the table howling “Impossible!” when you offer an answer. Entering into such “discussions” becomes a fire-walk of promethean proportions. Meanwhile, his parents are otherwise occupied or (un)concerned and the guests are casting sideways glances at each other. We are left with the impression that maybe it is better just to drop it and help ourselves to some of the better libations. But doesn’t someone have to say something?

What to do, what to do…

Harvest

painterly mushrooms, lettuce and cabbage

An acquaintance’s photograph of some veg from their garden a few weeks back got the foodie in me salivating for a collaboration. He was kind enough to agree – just wish I had been able to get a taste of the resulting stew.

Share something tasty with someone you love – even better, share with a stranger.

Howl

bloodmoon

My inner werewolfette was left baying at the moon, pawing at the earth for the cosmic, the glorious, the fiery orange of those harvest orbs buried deep in memory. It was not to be – city haunts were found wanting: I should have headed for higher ground where the hunting was better…

Wish you were Here

airplane wing over rockies

Winging my way west, this is the first time I’ve noticed the gentle curve of the horizon quite this way. Can’t help but think of all the pioneers and prospectors, settlers and safe-haven seekers, making their way across this vast wasteland of rock and ice more than a century ago. Their strong spirit sings clear no matter how often I gaze down upon this vista.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Cities

the a and p

Sherbrooke Street: no edit, no filter, no cropping – just like real life

I can’t number the times I’ve walked this stretch, watching it change with the seasons and the years, taking on the vibrancy of the good times and the pall of the bad, rush hour busy or Sunday morning sweet and quiet. It always calls to me of my own embedded past, reminds of a very fluid present and whispers that it will still be here even if I am not.

I owed someone a photo of my city and while this one may not be the first thing a tourist would think of, it does say much for what the island has come to represent. Mark Twain, who visited in 1881seeking a copyright for his literary works, is often quoted as saying that it was the first time he was ever in “a city where you couldn’t throw a brick without breaking a church window”.

Very much a City of Spires, today despite what detractors might say, it has grown to be more representative of the multitude of languages, religions and ethnicities than ever in its colonial incarnations. The banner on the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul (or the A&P as some of us nick-named it) above says it all: College, Church, School, Faith, Nursery, Friendship, Worship, Tradition. No matter who you are, you can come to Montreal and make something of yourself, find a place for your family. It won’t be easy but it will be interesting.

The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge puts forward that this is what makes it home to many, opens our eyes to the wide world, and keeps us discovering just what it is that makes us stay. Even just for a little while…

“What is your corner of the world like?”  Feel free to leave your two cents about one or many of your favourite Cities in the comments…

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.