Iconic irony

A couple of days ago, I posted this photo showing several icons of Kansas City:

Five Kansas City Icons

Five Kansas City Icons

Ironically, yesterday Halls announced that it would close this store on the Country Club Plaza and consolidate it with its store in Crown Center. Halls had been an anchor on the Plaza for nearly fifty years. Rumor has it that the space will become a food court with all the Yum! Brand products you know and love: Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut.

Yum!

Updates, updates, updates…

It may seem like I’m picking on LinkedIn, but I’m really not.  It’s just that some things about it strike me as funny/odd/incongruous now and then.  For example, just a few minutes ago, I went to my LinkedIn page and there was a message saying there were three new updates.  OK, so what have my connections been up to?  Well, I suddenly had one of those “deja vu all over” moments when I heard the voice of Chevy Chase on Saturday Night Live (for those of you under forty, he was the original news person on the show; I know it seems impossible that such an old guy could have actually been on SNL, but…) saying, “I’m Chevy Chase… and you’re not.”

What I actually heard was a voice saying “… has a new connection”; “… has a new connection”; “…has a new connection… and you don’t.”  Sometimes, seeing all my connections connecting makes me feel like I must be stuck on a desert island somewhere without an Internet… connection.  Why don’t people want to connect with me?  I’m a pretty interesting person, for the most part.  I don’t post unpleasant things on my profile, for the most part.  I think I have a nice photo, for the most part.

Well, I suppose it’s really up to me. LinkedIn says that my 147 connections link me to 2,514,713+ professionals and there are 3,728 new people in my network, just since May 10, yesterday!  Let’s see, if I sent an invitation to connect to those 3,728 people and they all accepted, there would be 63,774,490+ professionals I could then link with.  I’ll get started right after dinner.

Three Wishes

Chapter 1

If I had intended to break the amphora, I certainly wouldn’t have done it right in front of the museum guard; I’m not that stupid.  He, it appeared, wasn’t convinced of that.  At least at first.  Perhaps it had something to do with the cloud of dust that arose from the shards of pottery on the floor.

Chapter 2

“You’ll have to come with me,” the guard said, but looking around, he seemed confused about where he would be taking me.  “I think I need to lie down,” which is exactly what he did, crumpling into a heap on the floor.
When I looked back at the broken vessel, I was astonished to see that the dust cloud had coalesced into something resembling a human form, dressed as the stereotypical Aladdin from Disney movie fame.

Chapter 3

“I know it’s a cliche, but just wait till you see what people in the future imagine ‘60s fashions were like.”  The genie dusted himself off and got right down to business.
“You have three wishes.  The first wish can be anything you want, but the second wish has to relate to the first and the third wish has to be connected to the second.  You can’t wish for additional wishes and I know all the tricks, so don’t try to be clever.  Well, get on with it.”

Chapter 4

“This has to be a dream,” I thought.
“It’s not.  It’s real.” the genie said.
“Great, he reads minds, too.  I wish I could do that.”  I thought again.
“You have two wishes left,” the genie said.

Chapter 5

“OK, genie, you got me there.  I’m sure that will come in handy some day.  But now my second wish has to fit with the first one somehow, is that correct?”
“That’s right and if it doesn’t, you lose the first wish,” he explained.
“You forgot to mention that in your earlier explanation,” I said, annoyed.
“What do you expect?  I’m four thousand years old.  I forget details occasionally.”

Chapter 6

What could I possibly wish for that would be related to mind-reading?  Perhaps a good lawyer to get me out of jail when I have a look on my face that says “I know what you are thinking”?
At that instant, a man in an impeccable dark suit, white shirt, blue tie and carrying a briefcase appeared.
“Wait, I didn’t ask for him.”  It was clear that the genie had read my mind again and had given me a high-priced attorney for my very own.

Chapter 7

“I can tell that you are the type that will need this fellow.  Say ‘hello’ to R. Bradley Ashton, III, of the firm of  Higgins, Ashton, Harrow and Walls.”
“Terrific, my very own legal team.  I suppose I should wish for enough money to pay their retainer in perpetuity,” I said hoping that genie wouldn’t considered that to be my third wish.

Chapter 8

“As a matter of fact, Mr. Ashton is working pro bono, so you don’t have to worry about his fee.  Now, what’s your third wish?”  The genie seemed a bit impatient, like he had a date to play squash or have drinks at the Blue Room.
“This is getting way too complicated.  I wish I’d never broken that amphora.”

Chapter 9

And with that, the genie disappeared back in his cloud of dust, the amphora, magically repaired, flew back to its pedestal and the museum guard picked himself up off the ground, looking around again in bewilderment.
“I just had the strangest dream,” he said.  “Must have been that falafel I had for lunch.”
“They do the same thing to me,” I said as I headed for the museum exit, making sure I kept a good distance between myself and the breakables.

A little behind in my work

I don’t remember jokes.  For some reason, neither the set-ups nor the punchlines stick in my mind for any length of time.  A friend of mine, who has since moved on to that big comedy club in the sky (I’m assuming that’s where he went, though that’s not a given), used to be able to rattle off joke after joke.  I was always in awe of his ability to find just the right combination of funny stories for any occasion.

One of the few jokes I do remember, for some reason, involves the butcher who backed into his meat-grinder and got a little behind in his work.  That’s the way I’ve been feeling for the last few days; my contribution to my “photo-a-day” project has lagged.  Oh, I’ve been shooting; I just haven’t been posting.  Well, today, there are three new photos taken over the last couple of days.

  • I got a shot of Abby, our Old English Sheepdog, in an unusually calm pose.
  • The sun was streaming through the window and caught our Christmas poinsettia in a colorful pose.
  • Last night, about midnight, we had nine deer in our front yard foraging for acorns.  I processed and processed one of the photos to give the scene (of one of the deer feeding alone) a mysterious feel.

All the photos are under the tab 365 at the top.

Miracle on 18th Art Show

Hello Art, a local arts organization, is hosting its first member’s show at the Kansas City Arts Incubator.  It’s being called a “creative shopping experience” because all the art in the show will be for sale at reasonable prices; most pieces will be priced under $100.  The show and shopping opportunity will be this Friday, December 3 from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Arts Incubator, 18th and Baltimore.  If you are looking for a unique gift for that special someone, come down to the show.  It’s also First Friday in the Crossroads, so there will be lots of activity, with galleries open late.

Here are a few of the pieces I will be showing Friday.

I shot this magnolia bud a couple of years ago in color, but the structure lends itself to a high resolution black and white treatment.

A daisy shot in very low light and rendered in black and white.

This railroad bridge near Liberty has interesting lines and provides a variety of textures.

A couple of years ago, Suzanne had a conference in Atlanta, and I took this shot inside the hotel we were staying in.  I liked the contrast of light and dark… and the cleaning cart in the hall.

Be careful what you ask for…

When I titled this blog “Let the waters come…” I wasn’t requesting that that happen.  But over the last few days, I’ve discovered what that phrase can mean in the real world.  Since last Tuesday, I’ve had over 13 inches of rain at my house, a good portion of it in my basement.  I suppose it’s partially my fault for not taking care of the crack in the basement wall that I always suspected was there.  The rain, and resulting mess, kept me from getting started on my latest organic sculpture, which I am hoping will be ready for unveiling on the 4th of July.  Stay tuned and ask the rain gods to hold off a little bit while I get my piece completed and installed.

Are you where you are right now?

Quantum mechanics, in coveralls smelling of grease,
say it is possible to be in two places at once.

They would know; no one ever answers the phone
when I call about my car.  Later: “Hey, man, I’ve been here
all day.”  Of course, the questions is:  where is here?

The secret to being in two places at once
is being poorly coupled to the environment,
which Roy certainly is.  How many times have I heard him say
“Man, I just don’t feel coupled today.”

Each of us must choose where he wants to be;
that’s the key.  Two places at once?  No problem, but choose wisely
so you are there to answer the phone when I call.

Checking out and checking up

The cover of the monthly magazine
displayed at the counter
along with gum and candy
breath mints and tape
has a photo of someone of whom I’ve never heard
but I’m now privy to intimate details
of her marriage, divorce, children and
most important
the secrets of her diet and health

Each month brings a new celebrity
who had been just an ordinary person
the month before
well, ordinary is a word
that may not apply exactly to these
fungible beings

Upon what does fame these days rest?
not intellect, of course,
though there are those
who show a blaze in unexpected ways;
not good deeds done out of sight
of camera crews, discovered reluctantly
and owned the same;
not gentle souls that teach
our hidden thoughts to sing

Fame’s the same as yesterday
in Wilde(r) days when
truth was only told in merriment
and gossip was the currency of choice

Self-awareness and communication of personal identity through tattoos, piercings and the photo you choose for your credit card: a latitudinal investigation

forty-seven times (or was it 48?
I lost count after 23)
the Police sing “ee yo o”
but never bother to explain.
we all know what they mean, though
we’ve all been there
walking down the street ready
to break into song

just yesterday crisp and clear
like every other cliched autumn day
if you listened very carefully
you could hear six or seven different
people singing, humming, whistling
or was it just a car’s stereo passing by?
that thump thump thump isn’t a sound
that normal people make on their own