Well gentle readers we made it safe and sound – but it was a journey fraught with the usual hiccups – nothing that us seasoned travelers couldn’t handle though. The biggest debacle happened in our transfer to our plane in Atlanta. The atlanta airport had weather problems so it grounded all the planes coming in and going out – so you think no problem right? Wrong – we had a 50 minute lay over – the planes were all grounded for 1 hour, leaving us like 10 minutes to get to our plane. Ray had the foresight to call Mark Schultz -whom was on the plane in Atlanta – and had them ask the stewardess to hold the plane for us – they gave us 10 min. Thank you Delta – and we ran from the A concourse to the E concourse which is like a mile with luggage. But we made it. I was thinking the whole time – well I guess our luggage is lost for sure – Nope that came through as well. So despite the adversity – we have triumphed and the gods have shined on us. I’m taking it as a sign that the trip is gonna be really special, because nothing worth while is ever gained without a little risk and effort.
I can’t believe I’m back. It is amazing how much I’ve missed this place. The sights, sounds and smells. I’m simply giddy. I’m going to be updating the blog pretty religously over the next 15 days. Will post photos and some experiments – I am going to be doing some timelapse and pixelation style animations with the students. I’ll also be putting up some of their sketches via photos of them for your viewing pleasure so stayed tuned!!!
So the fall quarter has wrapped, Delgo is looming large, I’ve moved to a new apartment in downtown savannah and I’m prepping for the trip to Japan. It has been two very packed intense weeks. It has been one of those times where you’re not sure if you got it all done, you’ve checked your lists you made in your notebook, you’ve gone over your plans twenty times in your head and yet still you’re sure you’ve forgotten something. The business of living has been so busy that what I forgot to do was to live.
Ok sure I’m alive -but not really living, not the enjoy the tree living. So today has really been the first day in a while where I’ve had that chance to breathe. I’ve still alot to do but at least it is now manageable and not this giant imposing flying monkey that was hovering over me tossing random apples at my head.
And today is Thanksgiving – how appropriate. I’m not going to spend time writing here the usual “what I am thankful for this year” I’m not gonna tell you the cliche stuff, or the stuff that everyone is “duh” thankful for every year. Instead I’m gonna tell you a family story about my Grandma Maurer.
Every year we would all gather at my Grandma and Grandpa Maurer’s house in little New Bremen Ohio for the feast of thanksgiving. Grandma would make her famous oyster dressing and we would eat, eat, eat. It was the classic family thanksgiving, all the family -great aunts, uncles, grandkids etc – something like 25 or 30 people. Well this kind of gathering happened only once in awhile and when you got my Grandma together with her sisters and the drink started flowing -things tended to get a bit nutty.
Well I was probably only 7 or so -and to be honest – I’m not exactly sure if this is how it all happened, but a similar story was told at my grandmothers funeral last year so I’m sure there is some validity to it all. Anyway… it was a cold snowy thanksgiving, the adults were drinking after the meal, the kids were running about the house and me I was stalking grandma and her sisters. They snuck outside apparently for a cigarette -when I noticed a odd occurrence happening on the side lawn. There in the cold and the snow were my Aunt Toot, Grandma, and I think Aunt Bernice – Aunt Toot had her pants down, Grandma was behind her with a cigarette in her mouth and a lighter placed carefully behind Toot’s butt, Bernice was laughing and holding their drinks. Now let’s just take that image in for a second – I’m 37 now -so grandma and her sisters were probably in their 50′s when this happened – 3 older ladies, drunk, half naked in the snow -about to set fire to their own farts.
Well Toot between laughs says – Here she comes Jen… and suddenly a 2 or 3 foot blue flame launches out of Toots butt right at Grandma’s head. Grandma falls back on her behind into the snow with smoking singed eyebrows laughing in her grizzly heady laugh, while Bernice drops the drinks cuz she is laughing so hard. Toot grabs her pants and spins around laughing… they help Grandma up and the moment is over, as they laugh together arm in arm and head back into the house.
They never knew I saw them – never told them about it but that crazy moment, that moment in the snow has stuck with me. Every thanksgiving I think of it and I smile. All our lives are full of tiny secret moments that define us all, I got to witness one of these moments between three sisters. A private joke. Something I wasn’t supposed to see. And for that I was and am thankful.
This year I won’t have the oyster dressing, or the deviled eggs she always made especially for me. But I will have that memory of her laughing in the snow and that will be enough.
I have never been accused of being the type of person who is shy, or holds back opinions on touchy subjects. Who is afraid of talking about sex, religion, or politics in public. I don’t believe in sheltering the world – I believe in knowledge. I believe in understanding. I believe in talking, and thinking about things which we don’t understand or that make us afraid.
This video of Keith Olbermann discussing his opinions on Prop 8 in California is probably one of the most thoughtful commentaries on this subject I’ve heard to date. I have always been a believer in same sex marriage, and think that we all as people deserve to share in a emotional, physical, spiritual and practical bond that is recognized by our government.
Keith points this out quiet nicey that religion should be embracing this with the “do unto others as you would have them do to you” bit. It has often seem to me that the whole issue of same-sex marriage and the problems with it stems from religion, or some religions. There are plenty of paradoxes in religion so to spend my time spouting off about it would be a waste. Let me just summarize in that I think because we view marriage as not just a civil union, but a spiritual union as well, most of the people who are against it are against it because it is not natural. It is not what God intended, it goes against the law of nature – procreation. My own father is against it, which surprised me. He is fine with the idea of civil union – but not calling it a marriage. It is an argument of the meaning/value of a word.
I would be very curious to hear an argument from an atheist who was against it and why? I’m curious also if it is purely the western religions/cultures that are reacting to this.
Well here’s the video brought to you via mcnbc via youtube –
A couple months ago I came across the really great website – www.blurb.com. That has software that helps you layout and publish your own work. So I after starting and stopping it I have finally finished my first photo book on the great state of Colorado and my traveling there in the summers of 2006 and 2007.
You can purchase it in soft-cover, hardcover or imagewrap – the softcover will cost you only 34.95 – making it a perfect holiday gift for the coffee table book lover in you! Or you can just buy it to support a budding photographer who could use some extra cash.
Check out the link in the sidebar it will take you there!!!
After my next trip to Japan I plan on making a larger volume that includes my photos from the three years I’ve journeyed there. Till then enjoy Colorado… I know I did.
Well folks here is the first composite image for my next short – it is rough, but the look is there. The white figures are there simply for scale purposes – eventually they will be removed and the characterized figure of myself will be walking into this shot.
I’m pretty pleased with the overall look and welcome your thoughts and suggestions.
Here area few new shots from the past couple weeks. Some camera tossing, some random wierdness, and such
Well I’ve been searching for a place in Savannah that has good, no great BBQ and I have finally found it. Now I’ve not been to every tin shack, or sketchy roadside booth but I have been to all of the major players. I’ve ventured into some places and been pleasantly surprised and walked into others and left in horror.
Well just the other day I came upon – The Pit Stop Bar BQ and catering express – out on Hwy 80 in Garden City. As with most things like this I just happened to see it as I was driving by on another errand and stopped in on my way back.
It was an amazing experience. The food is real top notch dry rub BBQ with a succulent greenish brown sauce served on the side. The ribs were large and full of flavor, and the collard greens were simply divine. I choose the No. 11 dinner so I could try a little of everything and I was rewarded by a full happy stomach. It was love on a plate.
If the food wasn’t enough to get you there -then the owners would be the other. Friendly, talkative folk with warm southern hearts and a real talent for cookin’. I highly recommend this place if you are ever in Savannah or if you have a party and you want some amazing BBQ these cats are it!