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Sunday, June 12, 2011

4:30 am Sunday: Miscellany

Max has taken to needing "out" at 4:00 or 4:30 in the morning. I can usually outwait Husband and he tells me stories of the wonders he has seen while he waits for Max to come back inside. This morning I woke, without the Max Alarm, at 4:00am, and since it's Sunday and therefore a Nappable Day, I got up. I snugged Max under one arm (so as to get him downstairs before he felt urgency and let loose) and came downstairs, clicked the coffeemaker's ON button as I passed, and got the dog out the door. 
There were no unusual sights out there this morning. Aside from the overwhelming lush greenness and the lively happy sounds of waking birds, nothing. No deer, no rabbits, no weasels skinnily undulating across the driveway. Husband wouldn't lie to me about that stuff, would he? ...just to get me to get up with Max...?

I did finish reading Man in the Middle. The ending did not justify the struggle. I don't know much about publishing, but the whole book had the feel of something written in a hurry, perhaps to sell while he was hot. There were failures of copy editing, a bĂȘte noire of mine. They made me want to write a letter to somebody, upbraiding him/her for his/her lapses.
I am now stuck in the middle of A Plague of Secrets. Maybe I'm just not in a reading mood. I plucked yet another book (The Genius, Jesse Kellerman) off the shelf yesterday.  The first forty pages sound familiar: I think I've read it before but I can't remember what happened, which means that it was not memorable or more likely I read it with half my mind. Half my mind might be all I have left (memory of a coworker muttering "If I had half a brain I'd be a half-wit"), but the book might go back on the shelf.

It rained most of yesterday and was chilly unto fleece apparel in the morning. In the afternoon I couldn't stand being indoors anymore and went out to wander around for a while. I took a bunch of pictures, uploaded and deleted most of them. Things that look so gorgeous in person go into my camera as undefined blobs of color, or lose their mysterious thrilling come-hitherness in one-dimensionality. (See Ill. A below)

Illustration A
This, in person, is a lush, densely green and shadowed hidey-hole in the hedgerow. There is a flattened-out, fallen-down stone wall at the bottom . . . a floor for a wild playhouse, sheltered and half-hidden by overhead branches and hanging wild grapevines. I photograph it, and it becomes "brush." 
More wild grapevine holds a broken branch waving in the breeze fifteen feet above my head: a perfect Halloween prop. On the computer, it looks like . . . "hanging brush."
I guess you had to be there.
Maybe if I worked at it, or had a more sophisticated camera, or knew how to manipulate photos with Photoshop, I could capture what I saw and felt, but I don't want to work that hard. My memory serves me well enough.
I have a friend who politely and rationally takes issue with anything that she suspects is computer-enhanced photography. To me those images are all beautiful shapes and colors: she wants Real, with all Reality's flaws and idiosyncrasies. The world is certainly interesting enough in its reality, but I can't photograph it worth beans.

This weather provides the best of both worlds: I can have the drowsy indoor coziness of a winter day with Spring's exuberant Life charging, lilting, rustling, burgeoning, all around me. 

Husband told me yesterday about an article he read in a woodworking magazine about a master carpenter who, in the 1970s, began making roach clips and sending them out to head shops. Eventually the operation grew to require seventy employees. As I placed my glass of ice water back onto its coaster, I said, "I think you should make a gazillion of these things and sell them." 
"What things?"
"These." I picked up the 3/8"-thick slice of unfinished wood that Husband created while testing a saw. I flipped it back and forth in the air between us. It is The Perfect Drink Coaster. It absorbs water and the wet darkness reveals pretty patterns that hide in the dry wood. I see that several somebodies are selling similar things on eBay, but they're all finished so as to be non-absorbent and remain pristinely beautiful, tiny little objets d'art. What good is a coaster that doesn't absorb water and lets my icy beverage glass drip condensation all over my warm body? Package them greenly, with raffia ribbon, or drill holes and tie them with a piece of twine, and he'd sell millions of them as gifts for ungiftable people. I think Husband was not truly taken with the idea. So now I have given it away, and somebody else will make a bazillion dollars on my idea. 
I'm going to feel sad about giving that up, but I'll be drifting back to sleep shortly,  so I won't suffer for too long.
If you do it, and make your fortune, all I ask is that you send me a five-dollar check to acknowledge my inspiration.


rachel said...

I know that disappointment when your lovely photo-opportunity turns into a heap of something nondescript! But cameras are great for pointing out defects in your home; just take a snapshot of your lovely flowers on the mantelpiece, and then, when viewed on the PC, you find the trailing lamp wire, the tissue box, the missing kitchen scissors.... Very useful, I found, when staging your house for sale!

Hilary said...

I know a few areas which I photograph often.. always hoping to capture the depth and beauty of the place but always failing. That's the magic of those areas. Perhaps they're just not meant to be captured. And Rachel makes a fine point about seeing the sad reality of your indoor surroundings. It's like seeing your home through another person's eyes.

Grandmother Mary said...

I occasionally like being the only one up and seeing the world wake up as the birds chirp their greetings to the new day but only occasionally. I just had the photo experience you described- I was in Ireland and attempted to catch the lively brook running along the trail I was on. I couldn't believe the unidentifiable mish- mash that I got instead. Guess it will remain in my heart only. It was so lovely.

Linda Myers said...

It sounds like you had a fascinating morning. The only time I get up that early is when I have to be at the airport for a 7 a.m. flight. I know I'm missing out.

MTWaggin said...

Sometimes you just cannot make 3D into flat photographs with the same effect. Enjoyed your misc.

Friko said...

rain rarely makes a good photo. it's sunlight that does it.

Anyway, you had a lovely time out, thought a few thoughts, meandered, cogitated, blogged a bit; in other words, you spent your time to your own benefit.

If anybody copies your ideas I think you should ask for more than $5. I'll bear witness that it was your idea first.

I love the half-wit quote.

Barb said...

If it's a rainy day, you do need a good book - I've read some I enjoyed the past few months (have a look on my lower sidebar). As you know, my camera is always at hand, but sometimes I see something so memorable and startling that I don't raise it to my eye (not often though...). Your idea sounds perfect - why don't you suggest he make a few test sets and see if you can sell them?

Wanda..... said...

I can never seem to show the deft of a ravine or the cave like appearance of an area of fallen trees and grapevine!

A few years ago, my son-in-law, who works a little with wood, made me a set of unfinished wood coasters, but he did trim just edges with a bit of gold paint. I like your idea of packaging greenly!

Tom said...

I'm always looking for a new thriller writer. John Lescroart (A Plague of Secrets) any good? I like Robert Crais, Michael Connelly, Philip Kerr, Lee Child, even Sue Grafton.

I think your coaster idea is brilliant! You're absolutely right -- you want your coaster to be thirsty.

Vicki Lane said...

Reading depends so much on mood -- Many a book that I'd laid aside, I've gone back to at a later date and enjoyed.

I know what you mean about photos sometimes turning out disappointing. My favorite tool is the cropping tool on Picasa (I don't have Photoshop but would like too...)

Midlife Roadtripper said...

"I can usually outwait Husband"

Hahaha! I can appreciate that. Photoshop - I probably need to investigate that as well. Everyone seems a better photographer than me.

As to thinking you've read a book before? I'd go to the library, get 40 pages into a book and say the same thing. Began a book journal listing the titles and a brief summary. However, about a year behind in recording.

Enjoyed your post. Hope you got your nap.

Carolynn Anctil said...

I've seen similar coasters in hoity toity shops. Tied with raffia, and perhaps with a sprig of dried heather tucked into the knot. Definitely a great idea.

I no longer force myself to read a book that doesn't hold my interest. Life's too short and I love reading too much to invest my time in something I'm not enjoying.

That said, since meeting The Frenchman I've next to no time to read at all. It used to be a huge pleasure for me. *sigh* We've had conversations about it, however, nothing has changed, yet. I have to figure out how to carve out time for all the myriad of things I want to/need to do in a day. Exhausts me just thinking about it.