seldom updated online journal

December 20, 2008

Christmas on my birthday

Santa Picks, from 1957 [ + zoom ]

For all the joy of the holiday, there is an underlying reflective melancholy.

I think Merlin captures this well as he writes about Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." He points out some great history in the lyric of that song. A fine read in which he says that Judy owns that song.

I agree, and Burl Ives owns Have a Holly Jolly Christmas and Bing Crosby embodies A White Christmas.

But I'm digressing from reflection, of which I've been doing lots lately, and a little extra today.

It goes with the territory of the season and getting old.

On the matter of aging, I'm constantly losing things. Then I spend half of the waking hour mentally replaying scenes to figure out when and where I lost something in particular. I'm even shaking my fist at the thought that these things aren't lost, but stolen.

Oh, and my joints are creaky.

And for every hair that falls off my head a gray one appears in my beard.

And that's just me. When I consider the rest of the world on any matter or level, there are lots of creaky joints.

But all this thinking without considering the good stuff would be terribly vexing—and though I'm not one to espouse that happiness has a price tag, I will relay this bright spot:

Dan and I decided that we're giving ourselves a dining room table for Christmas. No other gifts, just a table. Trouble is, we couldn't find one. Nothing fit what we had in mind or our budget. It had to be round, and tall, and seat 6, and be under $250.00.

We finally gave up and agreed that a table from Target would be not only fine, but potentially awesome.

When I was at work, Dan went out, bought it and set it up to my surprise.

Indeed, it does look awesome, and feels awesome.

So as midnight struck and we reveled in what turns out to be a whole new room for our house, I realized that it always seemed I got my birthday presents at Christmas. This year? I got Christmas on my birthday.

And the day continued to be fantastic, but I'll save that for another journal entry.

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December 15, 2008

reindeer is not amused

decor found at "The Greene" shopping center thing in Dayton

Before another day goes by and I fail to update my journal.

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December 10, 2008

At night, in December

kinda, technically the first snow

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December 08, 2008

Curve

The bend before the Wyoming Exit #13 on I-75

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December 06, 2008

it's snowing

These aren't Christmas lights, they are year round decor [ View the whole photo ]

If I was hankering for a project while the snow falls outside, I might experiment with this project to customize the shapes of bokeh. (The Flickr Blog has some fine examples)

But there's lots to do that I didn't quite squeeze into the earlier part of the week, and if I get all that finished and the roads look good, I'm driving south for the first holiday party of the season.

Current music: My Morning Jacket "One Big Holiday"

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December 04, 2008

Teeth

Trubyte Bioform Shades

I have no idea, but I thought these were too neat to disregard.

In other news, the days are packed, absolutely packed with stuff, be it meetings or work or eating. Not enough chill time, not enough sleep, but lots logs on the fire.

Current music: T.I. "Whatever You Like"

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December 03, 2008

From screen to magazine

Making the cover

Cincinnati Magazine just released their annual "Best of the City" issue for 2008 (on newsstands now).

In it they list 110 of their favorite things around town, from restaurants and shops to services and activities (including kilt rental and clogging lessons.) They not only gave a shout out to Wire & Twine for our shirts, but they had us print up a batch for the cover along with a tee for every winner on the list.

This is the type of thing we file under 'awesome' around the studio. A great reward as we approach our anniversary and look forward to 2009 and lots of new projects.

(Related link: The "Open for business" post.)

This appreciation would not be complete without tipping our collective hats to everyone who filled up a cart and checked out of our virtual store, 'blogged about a product, emailed a friend with a link, or even sent us good vibes.

Thank you thank you thank you.

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December 02, 2008

The Kiwanis Club Christmas tree checkout trailer

Our third visit (previously)

So we're there on the first day trees are for sale and they only have one variety in-stock—Fraser firs—same kind we had last year, but I can't remember for sure.

I google the variety on the spot to check and see if they're any good.

Search results prove favorable.

Back when I was a kid, you had to rely on personal knowledge, memory and experience to make such decisions.

Thank goodness that's over.

Hauled the thing home and gravely accepted that two strands of lights were half-blown. We made do with them and went about the business of decorating. Been on this planet for 30-some-odd years and it hasn't gotten old yet.

PhotosThis is how it turned out

Current music: Frightened Rabbit "Old Old Fashioned"

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November 30, 2008

There are moments

I don't believe this is lens distortion throwing curves, it's just that our blinds are wonky

There are mere moments while gray light spreads across the morning sky, yet hasn't enough power to shut off the sensor in the electric holiday candle.

We placed these decorations in the windows this weekend. There is no ecological justification, I'm sure. They're probably as bad as an inflatable Santa on a motorcycle. But we did it anyway and in return we'll set the thermostat extra low and wear thick socks to offset the energy consumed.

In bed this morning (procrastinating a trip to the bathroom) I made mental note to leave camera bedside sometime, hoping to catch this play of cool and warm light.

Then I realized if I didn't do it right then, that very moment, I might not remember.

On the matter of time, today is my brother's birthday. I owe him a howdy.

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November 28, 2008

On Black Friday I learned how to make colorful scarves

Now I just have to learn how to use a sewing machine

Video of the whole process coming soon.

(The how-to-make-a-scarf bit, not the me-trying-to-sew bit).

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November 27, 2008

thankful

I can still smell and taste everything from the awesome meal from yesterday

THE MENU
- Seared scallops with wasabi (appetizer)
- Roast turkey (brined and cooked perfectly from a Good Eats recipe)
- Blue cheese and bacon mashed potatoes
- Brussels sprouts with lemon
- Corn pudding
- Mulled wine cranberry sauce
- Ginger squash pie (for dessert)

Yum is not a big enough word to describe the delight.

Thank you Chris and Inger.

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November 25, 2008

The "new" guy

cuttin it up

This is Joel.

You may have noticed him modeling some of the new shirts over at the shop. Well maybe not, since I'm always cropping off everyone's heads.

Anyway, Joel has been with us for like a year now, so he's technically not the new guy, but he is the newest. He comes in a few days of the week and can jump into darn near any project we've got going. That alone makes him valuable, but the real bonus is that he's a bright and fun guy, with a passionate (and yes, maybe quirky) taste for music; whether he's picking out an album to play, or talking about his own creations.

The only thing we disagree on is how to say Appalachia.

All in all, we lucked out finding him.

Current music: Thao & The Get Down, Stay Down "Yes, So On And So On"

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November 23, 2008

cold cuts

a tiny slice of the much larger spread

Birthday party / early holiday get-together with Dan's family today, somewhere up north where harvested fields give way to elaborate churches or grain silos on every horizon.

No one left with a black eye and I don't think any wills were re-written, so I'm considering it a success.

I had brownies and cake!

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November 22, 2008

A trip to the mall

Using Elmo to bribe the boy to look at the camera

After OSU's win (yay), I went to several box stores and the mall to torture myself trying to find something that only exists in my imagination: sea-foam colored ornaments for our Christmas tree. Because nothing goes better with football than shopping.

I believe a consortium controls the color schemes of holiday decor across most retail outlets. While this might make it easy to mix and match between stores, it doesn't offer much diversity, or in my case: sea-foam.

I need to look off the beaten path or simply let it go and decorate with scarlet and silver gray.

Oh, the photo? I was carrying the point and shoot. To spice up the scene I tried some of that fancy fake "tilt-shift" effect. It looks more interesting un-cropped and bigger, I think. Not sold on the technique, but it was fun.

Current music: Patsy Cline "Faded Love"

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November 21, 2008

Rivalry

on the tube

Apparently I'm unhappy because I watch TV, but I'm actually MORE unhappy when there is nothing good to watch on TV.

I decided to upgrade my XBOX account in order to get Netflix on demand but that turned out to be the single biggest entertainment let-down of my entire life. True.

But all is not bad. Case in point: The Rivalry on HBO gives an in-depth look at the history of football between Michigan and Ohio State.

Now I am a Buckeye by degree, but I only went to one football game in the entire four years of my education. We lost (thanks John Cooper), and on a sidenote: no one wanted to work those days and I was anti-establishment so I took up the extra hours.

After seeing this show (twice! Even taking a shoddy photo of the screen above), I have grown nostalgic for a spirit I never allowed.

I'll now be rooting with newfound vigor.

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November 20, 2008

At last my arm is complete again

Leaving the studio at sunset [ + zoom ]

My camera died.

The shutter fires repeatedly whenever a battery is present, on or off. It's a mess, and I'm a mess without it, it seems.

I'll try and find a repair joint and save up for a new one, but until then I have Wendy's mom to thank as she's letting me borrow hers.

Thank you Janet.

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A recital, a Chamber Orchestra concert

I doubt I will ever be able to spell embouchure without a dictionary.

This is the busy season when it comes to music. With multiple performances each week and the tizzy of the quarter ending at school, I'm lucky to see Dan for large chunks of time.

He had his faculty recital last month—a quite enjoyable affair followed by reception.

This year we were able to comfortably entertain colleagues, students, friends and family at the house, which is proving to be a fine setting for such events.

And last week there was a performance by the university's Chamber Orchestra in which Dan was a featured soloist. I'm sharing two of the movements for your enjoyment. They blend together at 9 minutes in length. New word (for me) bonus: attacca means no pause between movements.

MP3Neruda: Trumpet Concerto In E Flat, (Movement II. and III.) MP3

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November 18, 2008

SPECIAL

an excuse to use the font Avant Garde

Been wanting to make this shirt for a long, long time.

Tom figured it out with some creative screening and a hit of white underneath to help intensify the colors. (Had we gone with a white shirt, this would have been a lot easier).

Printed up a batch today while the sun kept hidin' and the temperature dipped—reminding us that the holidays are right around the corner. And soon? The inspiration for this shirt might make the rounds on the 'tube. Right before Frosty, Rudolph and all those other kick ass specials.

For sale here: SPECIAL, at Wire & Twine.

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November 17, 2008

organizing

screens stacked in the darkroom

Joel (the "new" guy at the studio) has been getting things in order.

We're gearing up for the holidays.

No time to type!

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November 16, 2008

I just saw Synecdoche, New York with my brother and mom

I bought these old glasses because I thought they were neat and funny.
Every once in a while, they are, but most of the time they're just sad.

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November 14, 2008

This would have a been a great image for yesterday's post

The compression artifacts here kinda make a moiré pattern

Tom was making something in the studio the other week and this print out of a field and blue sky was almost bound for the trash can.

He saved it with additional doodle and brightened my day.

This would have a been a great alternative image to yesterday's post.

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November 12, 2008

3

carved in wood

Last night was our made-up anniversary. Arbitrary might be a better word, because we didn't have a date that made things official.

For three years I've been sharing my life with Dan, and its still exciting and awesome and good.

I have a bunch of mushy stuff I could say, but this isn't the place.

Some things you write on a postcard knowing full well anyone can read it.

Other times, I figure it's best to skip the postage, shut down the computer, and deliver the message directly.

Current music: Rufus Wainwright "11:11"

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November 10, 2008

Hi/Bye

From Wilhelm Staehle

I'm quite enjoying reasonable and excellent artwork to hang on the wall.

This is a new and likely forever favorite from The Bazaarium brings the silhouette masterpiece theatre series home quite attractively.

In other news, I'd new brakes put on the car today, and this gives me great comfort.

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Soon there will be nothing left to rake

This season

In other news, the weekend was quiet and cool.

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November 07, 2008

that moment

As the sun sets and the light is golden

I'm still processing this week.

On the backside, catching up and welcoming the return of creative energy.

Lots of work to be done.

This photo? My mom's house—a retreat where I can always count on an ever changing exhibit of inspiration, and very likely a solid meal.

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November 06, 2008

A bright day

The view from our hotel on the morning of November 5th (see the same vantage during the summer of 2005)

So much to say but no time to write.

Must get busy.

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November 04, 2008

the leaf collectors

with camera reflected

Getting ready to leave yesterday morning, we heard some rumbling out front.

The township had sent around the leaf collecting crew. Luckily Dan had caught this detail online and made appropriate arrangements with the leaves.

Something small to mention is the reflection of camera in this photo. Again, it's the point and shoot.

As far as I can tell, my Canon 20D is near dead. I've determined that it has something to do with the card slot. (The shutter fires repeatedly when a memory card is simply inserted into the body). So while this is sad, I am very satisfied with the performance of the camera. I've had it since February of 2005 and taken over 13,000 photos. Many of those were bad, some I've liked.

Now I'm going to research the slew of new cameras on the market and work with what I've got for the time being.

Current music: The Welcome Wagon "Half a Person" [ mp3 ]

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November 02, 2008

Make sure you have room in your heart for absolutely everybody

On August 18, Dan and Chris (no not me and Dan) got married in San Diego

I'm standing there in California, which in itself is a fresh batch of cookies for the soul.

The garden is packed with smiling people—each face trained on handsome grooms.

I'd known the couple to wed for years. We met for the first time in the spring of 2003 and liked another well enough to travel to Europe that autumn.

In the time we've known each other, Chris and Dan have taught me how to appreciate wine, the joy of British humour, hardiness zones for plants, and a host of other things that enriched my world view.

When I heard that after 14 years together they were getting married, I marked my calendar and hung the invitation on our fridge.

--

So there I was, back at the ceremony on that August afternoon.

A fella named Austin officiated with particular charm, telling the story of how Dan and Chris met. He spoke of their love for one another and for everyone that stood before them to witness that day. I don't remember all the words but I will say that I stole the title of this journal entry from Austin's recollection of the day:

"Make sure you have room in your heart for absolutely everybody."

I'm not going to try and butch it up folks. I cried at the apex of the ceremony.

These were tears for not only my friends, but for the very experience and possibility of their union.

As election day looms, I'm reminded that this marriage might be revoked if Proposition 8 is passed in California. And even though this is all going on with seven states between us, it's heartbreaking to see the news and advertisements from the opposition.

I'm reminded of words by Robert F. Kennedy,

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanish it with a program, nor with a resolution. But we can perhaps remember – even if only for a time – that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short movement of life, that they seek – as we do – nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness.
On that afternoon, in that backyard garden in San Diego, I shared some of that happiness, and I'm very grateful.

PhotosHere are some images from the day

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November 01, 2008

our first trick or treaters

at our home

Pardon the photo, it's from my little point and shoot and I wasn't prepared and they were walking too fast, and and and...

The good part is that this family were the first trick or treaters at our house. The kids were all dressed up, the mom liked our yard sign, and Dan gave out a bunch of chocolates.

They turned out to be our only visitors this year, which left us with way too many leftover candies.

We've had lots of firsts over the months. First fire (in the fireplace), first plants (planted in the ground), first storm (with first loss of electricity for a week), first incident requiring a plunger, first lawnmowing and raking, and soon? Our first Christmas tree and first snow. Our first spring.

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October 30, 2008

most

a statistics meme for Flickr photos

From L to R
My most viewed photo : Ajax on Rails
Most favorited photo : Pantone Autumn
Most comments : Wee Wii

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October 29, 2008

a handmade envelope

just because

A friend sent a handwritten letter in a nice homemade envelope the other day, and I've been carrying it with me ever since.

Slipping it between the screen and keyboard of my laptop.

Sometimes I'll put it in my pocket and find it again just before bed, setting it by my glasses for pick-up the next morning.

Soon? It will likely serve time as a bookmark.

I even updated my homepage with more artwork from this scan.

I'm not obsessing, really. (Trust me, I spend way too much time on political websites of late to have time to be obsessed about anything else).

It's just that I wanted to remember to make note of this note.

I want to write one back.

Then write dozens more.

In lieu of doing just that, I'm writing this journal entry.

It's not the same—I know—but it is a reminder.

Virtual string around the finger.

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October 28, 2008

33°F



A bit of chill in the morning air

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October 24, 2008

a little bit of color

pardon the image quality, it's a snapshot made with a mobile phone camera

If this week was a piece of clothing, it would be a flannel shirt that's too short in the arms with a few stray threads peeking out here and there.

Easy enough to roll up the sleeves and not look a fool, and comfortable in the cooling air.

What does this mean? I have no idea... but there's a nice ring to it and was easier to type than anything coherent.

Current music: The Mountain Goats "Gojam Province 1968"

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October 23, 2008

No shoes with wheels

Shirts were optional

No, I don't just wander around and shop every day. I was trying to get some supplies for the studio and I thought I could simply get them at the local Hobby Lobby.

I was wrong.

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October 22, 2008

Domo (domo)

Domo (domo) [ +zoom ]

The mascot of Japan's NHK television station, now at a Target near you pimping Halloween.

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