Archive | February 2012

Photo of the Day – My Grandma or A Witch in Daylight

 

I could hear her from 200 feet away, crystal clear.

Sometimes is odd running into the stereotypical image of what some people think of a place in the flesh. When many people think of Russia, an image of this lady appears. She is bent over, she is kerchiefed, she has a few teeth here and there. This is in Kiev, Ukraine and from this distance, this woman did look like either my grandmother, a small, Jewish woman who would feed you until your stomach would burst, never taking no as an answer, or a witch, who….oddly would do the same thing to your stomach, except cook you and eat you before it got to the bursting point. There were many ladies like this in the Ukraine and you could tell from a single glance that they were the backbones of their families. Hard worked, constantly aware, and with voices to conquer all banshee wails, these old school woman demanded your attention, deserved your respected, and ignited your imagination. I couldn’t help but thinking of Fiddler on the Roof the entire time I was there. I felt that I was returning to my roots, my past, and even if I couldn’t communicate with it, I could look to it to see what these old black and white photos of strangers who were related by blood looked like in color and in motion and in sound. Truly a place I would want to take my children to see, not just for the buildings, or the rustic country, but for the well endowed culture and past that I feel very connected to.

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Photo of the Day – Chimney Sweep

Apologies for the delay…working on a few new films had me on a twitter/blog/photo of the day hiatus. No more! New Episode next week! And of course…a photo of the day.

Really. He looks friendly enough. What's the beef?

Really needs an explanation, but I don’t have one. Posted on the entrance to a park in Moscow. I presume it means no homeless people, but maybe they have a stigma about chimney sweeps. Possibly that when they band together they tend to put on terrible cockney accents and dance and sing late into the evening on people’s roofs.

 

Photo of the Day – Taking a Picture of Something Jewish for Mom

Venice Beach - Where Senior Citizens Come to Fit In?

 

Yessiree. I am a Jew. Through and through. What that means is that my family can make you feel guilty for committing atrocities that you didn’t commit, let alone weren’t born in the same decade that they happened in, so that even if you had an inkling of wanting to kill us all, which, God, if you meet some of my family members…..(holds breath and exhales sooo very slowly). So anyways, my mom, also, just so happens to be a Jew as well. But like an American who thinks they’re flag is also a fashion statement and something to plaster all over your house and lawn, my mom finds it hard to not mention the fact that something in the conversation is Jewish, or was Jewish, or once she gets through with it, will be Jewish. I am a Jew by culture and food. Nothing more. But, I love my mother dearly and am also still and yes, I am still in a wee bit of awe when I see something Jewish. It’s kind of like seeing Canadian Geese in another country, I mean, they exist there, but in your head, the image doesn’t sit right. Canadian Geese in Mexico, really? Maybe it’s the opposite situation as it is with humans.

Anyways. So I took this picture to make my mom happy. Was she happy with this picture? Welp, she hasn’t seen it yet, so hopefully it will garner the admiration, which I so seek out by appeasing the little old yente in her. Love you mom. Whoopi Goldberg is still not Jewish, but don’t worry your gaspritzin punim, Drake is.

 

Photo of the Day – This Way to the Stereotype

Near Mexico, can you tell?

 

Southern California, near the Mexican border. That’s Mexico on the horizon, I could feel the sweltering heat hit earth then, evaporate, upwards, smacking me constantly in my red, red face, making every pore of my body produce enough persperation to fill an Olympic size swimming pool for all the population of India. What I wouldn’t have given for a pool right now. Fact is, my camel like body, made it possible for me to go long stretches without drinking, or noticing, that I was utterly parched and dehydrated.

Why did I take this picture? Was it the goal in sight? Take a closer look. The heat brought out the illest sense of humor.

 

 

Photo of the Day – San Clemente Pier

San Clemente Pier

Of all the piers in California that I had encountered, San Clemente’s main wooden pier stood out, quite literally and also quite figuratively. It is where my camera finally bit the bullet (and the dirt, mud and small granules of yellow sand) where I took pictures of random lovers staring out into the expanse of the sea, hoping their future would have a never ending horizon as well, watched three hoola hoops swing in fast succession around a smiling girl in a euphoric dance and met two awesome people in my life, couch surfer Jitka and my good friend Claire Bush. A wonderful soul, good hearted, would uproot the very foundations of her life in a brash, spontaneous leap upwards, expecting never to touch the ground again. She is one of the most talented people I have ever met and cannot do anything but succeed. She really has no choice in that matter. We shared some good, deep laughs on this pier, the daylight, IV slow drips into a darker, more night sky, stars glimmering as daylight remembered. It was considerably cold for people of So Cal, but for me the night brought with it a warm breeze, swaying the palm trees, frozen as fuzzy thoughts, looking like watercolored postcards from somewhere tropical and that people only send to make those who see it, envious. Pretty much how I felt when I was staring at them, if only my camera had not R I Ped. Then again, like this picture, my words and descriptions, of moons and breezes, is taste to a heavy smoker, more an presumption than a filler in.

Photo of the Day – San Clemente Pier

San Clemente Pier

Of all the piers in California that I had encountered, San Clemente’s main wooden pier stood out, quite literally and also quite figuratively. It is where my camera finally bit the bullet (and the dirt, mud and small granules of yellow sand) where I took pictures of random lovers staring out into the expanse of the sea, hoping their future would have a never ending horizon as well, watched three hoola hoops swing in fast succession around a smiling girl in a euphoric dance and met two awesome people in my life, couch surfer Jitka and my good friend Claire Bush. A wonderful soul, good hearted, would uproot the very foundations of her life in a brash, spontaneous leap upwards, expecting never to touch the ground again. She is one of the most talented people I have ever met and cannot do anything but succeed. She really has no choice in that matter. We shared some good, deep laughs on this pier, the daylight, IV slow drips into a darker, more night sky, stars glimmering as daylight remembered. It was considerably cold for people of So Cal, but for me the night brought with it a warm breeze, swaying the palm trees, frozen as fuzzy thoughts, looking like watercolored postcards from somewhere tropical and that people only send to make those who see it, envious. Pretty much how I felt when I was staring at them, if only my camera had not R I Ped. Then again, like this picture, my words and descriptions, of moons and breezes, is taste to a heavy smoker, more an presumption than a filler in.

Episode 5 – Our Secret Tree House

Surprise, surprise. Aberdeen has a decent lookin' theatre.

 

Reading my posts, I realized that I don’t need to mention what is in the video to to much. In fact, I read one post after watching a video, just to see how it felt and it actual felt very condescending, as if you didn’t get what you were watching. Well, the films are Salvador Dali and the reading isn’t James Joyce, so I shall only add in the post, what is unseen. Plus, posts will be more frequent, as I have completed the another round, of the funnest standardized test that I know, the LSATS. Yes, my beloved followers, Ira wants a law degree, mainly to dress the part, and by the part, I mean the early 19th century English counterpart, with the white wigs and the black gowns and such. I am in it for the regality, the name on the door and the right to point at accused person and gesticulate brashly and upwardly.

My night in Aberdeen was wonderful. Couchsurfer Stephen met me at his place, a wonderful little apartment, that he had wallpapered with his favourite movie posters. I lover of the theatre and film, I knew we would have no problem making conversation. After a bit of a walk around Aberdeen’s core (one street with a few stores on it selling fun things like cowboy hats and skateboards, all, in one store), I was whisked away in Stephen’s auto to meet his friend’s a the local hangout: Denny’s. I had already eaten at The Lighthouse Drive Inn, so what could one more round of fast food do to my system that had not already been accomplished many times before from all the burgers I had eaten during that stint from when I was about 10 to about 25, and I was thought of myself as somewhat as a hamburger connoisseur. After a big ass hung off meat held prison by a glob of mayo and ridiculously thick kaiser, it was off to the bar.

“Question.”

I stared at Stephen, waiting for the question. One doesn’t usually say question before they ask a question, unless they are not sure if they should ask it. The air felt a tad tenser.

“You’re queerer than a three dollar bill, aren’t you?”

I shook my head, no. I asked him where he got that assumption from, brushing a wisp of flush off my skinny jeans with my fingerless purple striped gloves. He told me that in Aberdeen if you were into theatre, like me, you were automatically gay and if you played sports, you were straight. I was amazed by how stereotypical this notion of America was actually playing out in real time. Men were still masogynstic pigs who enjoyed red meat and shooting guns into the air and women were still men’s good little wives and nurses. Stepping into the sticky black and white, red lit bar, I realized I was in Moe’s Tavern, Aberdeen style. A drunk sat at the bar, burping to himself and laughing at his own sorry state that he could see in the metallic faucet in the sink at the back of the bar. A woman, in leopard print, too old and far gone to realize her kids have all grown up and moved to the fringes of the landmass to keep their distances, sings a wordless, flat tune. The bar and streets reminded me that this town once had it, the children, the future, the lumber, the jobs, the cash, but all wood things come to an end, and with the last cut, came the first cut, but not of bark or branch or rings anymore, but of livelihoods, of a good reason to stay sober on a Wednesday. But I was in good spirits, I think, cuz like those kids who saw the impending doom and scurried away, I saw it too, in Vancouver and that’s why I was where I was right now. In a bar, drinking Red Stripe, attempting to play shuffleboard, proud not because I had good accuracy or aim, just that I did not once hurl the disk off the table, setting off a chain of events, that would end in a Dukes of Hazard style car chase, minus the voice overs and freeze frames.

After Aberdeen, proud, futuristic sounding Cosmopolis

The next morning was a sloooooow start. Sweet things always throws me off course, kind of like dogs and tennis balls. So Stephen inviting me to his favourite bakery to meet a friend who may want to fund my future film travel endeavours was double sweet. I don’t remember exactly what I munched on, but I remember the coffee was great and something I needed on this grey sky morning. After a bit of regaling with Stephen’s friends, I bid adieu, and started to pedal Klalita onwards to South Bend.

To answer Shakespeare, in a name, sometimes, there is letdown. A town named Cosmopolis sounded pretty cool. And yet, much to my chagrin, it was not. Not even remotely cool. And in fact, bad things had happened in this George Jetson theme named town. An act between the Natives and the Americans was signed here, with, to no surprise, forcing the Natives off their land, onto reserves, into reform schools later on. Rather than to create a memorial for this dark moment in American history, they commemorate it. It’s almost like that uncle that everyone hated, and yet in his eulogy, he sounds like a saint…or more closely related to jaded Americana, Vietnam. And even the commemoration is all wrong. Not a statue, not an imposing arch or a colonnaded structure or building….no…a depiction of the event and an explanation are painted on the side of rusting water tower, which looks like was commissioned to an elementary school to complete. Thumbs up, major, major thumbs up to Miss Wilma’s art class.

Mudflats of Raymond

Through mountain passes, forests, nothingness, and a lot of deep, self motivated conversations, I finally made it to Raymond/South Bend, home of the world famous carriage museum and resident artist who makes wild life 2d statues in sheet metal and places them all around town, to scare the shit out of you. Worse than lawn gnomes…possible yes. At least gnomes are 3D and aren’t just shadow representations of themselves. Animal shadows are just creepy, especially when they pop up in the middle of meridian on unsuspecting drivers or cyclists. Not cool sheet metal moose, not cool at all.

Laser Cut Wildlife

By the time I rolled into town the rain had drenched my soul, my clothing and my feet. The streets were empty. People huddled in their homes and chimneys belted out black and white smoke signals, screaming to the skies to stop, stop, please stop, to no avail. A small cafe on the corner, with frilly red and white checkered curtains looked inviting. I entered, looking like a drenched animal. They were closing, but after a second look at me, they opened the kitchen up and placed me beside a large, industrial strength heater. Feeling in my feet slowly returned. I ate quickly and without taste. I paid with cash and merciful thank yous. I may have even bowed once.

Even the carriage museum needed some laser cut wildlife. Ghost horses.

And there I was. A new couch surfing experience. A film screening for the locals. An odd lady screeching at me, claiming to want to be Jewish and how was she suppose to get in my “club”. A regular day on the road.