Friday, April 30, 2021

Danger Current On
Douglas, Georgia
September 27, 2002

* * * * *

I don't get to do this as often as I would like anymore, but years ago I would grab my camera, hop in the car, and go for meandering drives down the back roads of Georgia, stopping often to take pictures of whatever interested me along the way.

For the next few weeks I'll be posting some of my favorites of the images I made back then.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Last night, while scouring a 2GB external hard drive for one specific image out of the twenty-two years worth of stuff I have archived there, I stumbled on this picture I made eighteen years ago.

Holy heck! Who is that young(ish), not-gray-hair-having guy pretending to read Homer?

It's me!

It WAS me, anyway--eighteen years ago. *sigh* I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now. I WISH! (With apologies to Bob Dylan, and the Byrds too, since I'm more familiar with their version of that song.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Receding Statues and Columns
Vines Park
Loganville, GA
April 28, 2021

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Story Shop III

The Story Shop III
Monroe, GA
March 23, 2019

Friday, April 23, 2021

The Father is a Puppy

Taking the Coronavirus pandemic as an excuse not to, I haven't gotten my hair cut in close to a year. I like having long hair and am going to let it grow for at least couple more months (even if it is driving me crazy), but I admit it is kind of wild and sometimes floppy. This afternoon Jessica looked at me and said, "I hate to say it, but you look like a poodle."

I laughed and said, "Yeah, I know. When I push my hair back over my ears like this, it does kind of flop around like doggy ears, doesn't it? It either needs to grow out enough so I can get it in a pony tail, or I need to get a haircut."

Without missing a beat, Elyse said, "You need to get a haircut."

(Below is a "selfie" I took this morning at Stone Mountain. As soon as I looked at it--hours before Jessica informed me of the fact--I recognized that I looked a little dog-like. I wasn't wearing the hat when Jessica saw me; I think the hat adds even more to the Shaggy Dog appearance.)

Thursday, April 22, 2021

My Anxieties Have Anxieties: Another Book Post

I don't know how old I was when I first read Peanuts. I'm pretty sure it was sometime back in fourth grade, maybe even third, when I started my relationship with these books.

And for me, Peanuts was always about books. I'm sure that for years I was not even aware it was a daily comic strip, probably didn't even know what that meant—but I knew the books. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was on TV for the first time two years before I was born and had become a seasonal staple by the time I was in fourth grade, but I don't remember seeing it when I was a kid, or seeing any of the other Peanuts TV specials that had been produced by the time I was in fourth grade—but I knew the books.

I've been collecting them, the books, for more than forty-five years. I don't actually have that many—forty-two: I just turned around and counted them—but they are precious to me.

Not everyone cared for Peanuts as much as I do, of course. Al Capp, creator of the "Li'l Abner" comic strip and a generation older than Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, once famously characterized the kids in Peanuts as "...mean little b*stards. Eager to hurt each other." Maybe Capp had a point, but he didn't seem to appreciate the fact that this made them all the more real as kids and as human beings, and that it made the moments of truth and beauty they revealed, either by transcending the inherent melancholy of life or by accepting it, all the more beautiful.

"Life is rarely one way, Charlie Brown," Linus says to his friend as the two lean against the brick wall where they do all their philosophizing, "You win a few, and you lose a few."

"Really?" says Charlie Brown, who—at least in his own perception—has never won a thing in his life, and—again, at least in his own perception—probably never will. "Gee," he says in the last panel, his mouth in the beginnings of a hopeful smile, "that'd be neat!!"

That hopeful smile makes Peanuts wonderful.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Saturday, April 17, 2021

The Cats in Jessica's Room

Jessica just texted me this picture of Halle-Bop and Nosfuratu on the flowery reading chair in Jessica's room:

Friday, April 16, 2021

In the Therapist's Waiting Room

In the Therapist's Waiting Room
Lawrenceville, GA
April 16, 2021

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Story Shop

The Story Shop
Monroe, GA
March 23, 2019

Friday, April 9, 2021

Cats on the Downstairs Sofa


Cats on the Downstairs Sofa
Grayson, GA
April 9, 2021

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Elyse and Mom Camping at Stone Mountain

Our trip to the State Botanical Gardens in Athens wasn't quite satisfying enough for Elyse, so she convinced Anna to take her camping at Stone Mountain Wednesday night.

Here are some of the pictures Anna texted me during their trip:

(These pictures are from Wednesday night's laser show on the lawn.)

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The State Botanical Gardens of Georgia in Athens

This week is Spring Break for all of us. Because of the continuing pandemic, we didn't plan any overnight trips or far-away excursions, but we did want to go somewhere exciting, so went to the State Botanical Gardens in Athens--a pretty interesting place less than an hour's drive away.

Here are a few of the pictures I took:

We couldn't quite muster the energy to see the whole thing--but that does mean we have more left to see another day!--so after walking around for only about an hour and a half, we left and got some food to take home from Subway.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Self Portrait

Self Portrait, Vines Park
Loganville, GA
April 3, 2021

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Books I Have Lost: Another Book Post

Not everyone who loves to read values books as physical objects; plenty of people love reading but don't need, or even want, to be surrounded by bookcases filled with books.

But I do. I value books as physical objects, and I want, maybe even need, to be surrounded by bookcases filled with books. It makes me happy.

And it really bothers me when I lose a book. Three years ago when we moved into our current house, I had boxes and boxes of books to move and unpack, and at some point--several months, actually--after I was done, I realized there were some books I couldn't find. It's possible I got rid of those books in a fit of downsizing, but I doubt it--the books in question I don’t think I would ever have wanted to get rid of, and one of them, Thomas Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain, is a book I did get rid of once, and then bought another copy of some months later when I found that I wanted it back. I'm afraid that somehow amidst all the hubbub of our move I lost or misplaced a whole box. (And what else may have been in that box that I haven't missed yet?)

Whenever I get rid of books I regret it. Oh, I don't miss every single book I've ever gotten rid of, but I'm never sure which books I'll miss and want back. About twenty-five years ago I read The Magus by John Fowles; it was brilliant and compelling, but also long and challenging, so at some point I got rid of it. I wish I hadn't. I doubt I'd re-read the whole thing again--though I might--but it would mean something to me to have it on my shelves. I also used to have a great hardback Modern Library edition of Emerson's essays, but I got rid of it because Emerson's work has long been in the public domain and is readily available online if I want to read it on my tablet, and the book was taking up valuable shelf space...

The next time I get the idea to purge some of my books, I'm going to box them up and put them in the attic instead of getting rid of them. That will make it easier to get them back three months later when I decide I do want them after all, and will give me the pleasure of going through the box and finding some things I'd forgotten about.