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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window


cropActually today's piece is just fine, it's the links that are, to put it mildly, fugly. (I'm writing this on the 5th...) While I don't think our 41st president was as incompetent as his son proved, (let alone the current office holder) nor as mundanely bad as ole Raygun, I still think he should have been up crimes charges. (I'm beginning to believe that just about every president during my lifetime, possibly with the exception of Carter, should've been up on war crimes. Seems to come with the job. This sort of awareness is, I think, why people “seem less enchanted with democracy.” It's not the ideal —it's dealing with the reality.



cropContinuing on with holiday giftwrapping done in warm-weather appropriate colours & themes—pastel flowers:)

The NYT has an article—actually from a while back, but it popped up in their feed for me—about Judy Chicago. I read about her most famous piece, The Dinner Table, in a used book about it, picked up on a whim at a library sale, some years (though decades after it was published) before I actually got to see the piece last summer, pleased it had finally landed a permanent home at the Brooklyn Museum. I liked the installation (especially the embroidery), which we had nearly to ourselves, though I was sad more people weren't there to enjoy it; but couldn't help wondering how it would've affected me, if I'd seen it 30 odd years ago, when it first came out.



cropContinuing on with stuff from the archives...

Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife was, oddly enough not in the library's sf&f section, but general fiction (our library divides fiction into mysteries, manga/comics [which of course is a medium containing both fiction & non], sf&f and everything else, including romance), which, since, as the title implies, the story is about time-travel, was kind of annoying to me. On the other hand, it's definitely a romance, and from that viewpoint, it was shelved correctly. I guess. Since romance is shelved with mainstream, presumably to make it easier for nervous men and others too constrained by toxic masculinity to check out such books.

This book is 15 years old (though apparently still popular, as the library still has 5 copies, and they're pretty vigilant about unread stuff) and I certainly recall having heard some of the hype when it came out; however, ISTR having decided that even though it was a well-written love story it would probably irritate me. However, I wanted something to read (elsewise I was gonna have to actually work so I decided to fetch it along, when Madeleine Albright's Fascism got too heavy (which how could it not...?) and on a whim grabbed a 2.5 volume series called Orange, which it just so happens also has time travel elements.



cropI read Tara Westover's Educated: A Memoirin one day, I found it so riveting. No surprise it's made some impressive ‘best of’ lists for 2018.

I don't know that I have much to say that other reviewers haven't already, better. The sheer determination awes me. ‘I could never do that, I simply haven't the physical stamina, let alone the fire’. If I had been born into this woman's situation, I'm [pretty sure I] would've fallen into the gravity well of young marriage, lots of kids and abuse.

Yet, 3 of out of the 7 children, using education as their pitons—to the Ph.D. level—to make it out. The other 4 never even got a GED (they were ‘home’ schooled, which is to say, made to help with chores.) They're part of a family empire now, scamming millions (I presume, if they're building a 40 room compound) with herbal supplements. Say what you will, they all seem to have a lot of grit and go-to-it-ness.



cropOooooh, it's been awhile. Sorry about that, I've had a lot of projects this Fall (not to mention some things I truly meant to post, like the rest of the stuff from the Maria Richmond class, but my crappy image editing skills have been holding those projects up) not least of which has been the repeat of the studio photography class I took 15 or 20 years ago.

So many of the students in the local film department are absolutely fascinated with the idea of shooting film. Having lived through the era when it was the only option, I was—and remain—absolutely thrilled never, ever to have to deal with film, processing, slide mounts, etc again.

It's a matter of not having to rely upon a technology much less amenable to corrections than the current digital age, I imagine. If you're using photography in a way that its limitations become part of the artistic process itself, as opposed to problems to be got around (usually through the application of a lot of time, aggravation & cash) I can totally see it. But since for me photography is mostly a recording medium, I want the least friction between what I see & what I'm trying to get: representative, reproducible & transmissible images.



cropHey, it's my 3001st page! (The prior intro was the 3000th, but I didn't notice.)

This doesn't mean there are 3000 pages on the site—some are unfinished, or duplicates or otherwise not visible, because the site increments by one every time I create a page, whether I end up using it, let alone posting it. But there's a lot of them.)

Anyway, apologies for not posting the ‘Riffing on a Zipper’ project yesterday. I decided, because I'm so bad at RAW, just to use the .jpgs. Then I borked those, so I'm gonna have to go figure out the RAWs after all. Protip: when cropping multiple images in layers, be sure the ‘crop only layer’ box is ticked.

Eventually I'll get it fixed, but in the meantime, here's Hook, Line and Sinker which gets my vote for cutest title. Enjoy:)


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