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Monthly Archives: February 2009

“I’ll take ‘What are perfect cruisin’ conditions’ for 1000″.

Driving is very therapeutic. I like driving when I am happy. I like driving when I am sad. I especially like driving when I am pissed off. There is just something deeply satisfying about occasionally grinding first..second..third.. [maybe more depending on traffic conditions] rather aggressively. Oh yes.

And I like driving alone. Except for the radio, of course. The radio is funny. The radio makes me laugh. Sometimes I get fixated on a song – I’ll either pull out the CD or go buy it. And play it repeatedly. It’s a good thing I drive alone – I think it would drive most people nuts.

I don’t mind being a passenger – as long as the driver doesn’t talk much. Seriously. It’s not that I’m anti-social. It’s just that most of the time I enjoy thinking more than I enjoy talking. Hmm. OK. Maybe I’m a BIT anti-social. Whatever. What makes a good road trip? Fast car. Open highway. Awesome tunes. Yup.

later dawg… 🙂

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There’s not much these three things have in common. Not directly anyway. I don’t own a ferret. I never did. But a friend of a friend did. Two, actually, if I remember correctly. I remember visiting once, and being told “Check your shoes when you leave. They like to sleep in shoes.”

At that time in my life, academics and studying consumed the majority of my time. I didn’t go out much – which didn’t bother me much. I had “clumps” of friends – as different from each other as dusk, dark, daybreak and day. One was a small group of friends – people I hung out with on more of a casual than a social basis. I was getting restless and bored – I was due for a change. I’d been invited out with this group before, but had always declined. However, this particular evening, I was in the mental mood for something different. And different is what it was. It was like someone was holding a mirror up to my life and everything was happening backwards. If it had been an aerial view, it would have been 180 degrees off course.

We went to places I didn’t normally go. I met people I wouldn’t normally meet. I think I drank too much. Much of the detail of that night and the next morning are dim. Foggy. There are fragments which are tucked away just below the surface – little pieces that connect somehow – a seemingly unrelated collection of emotional moments as varied in intensity as Freddy and the boys belting out “Bohemian Rhapsody”. And I met a forgotten friend. Time has passed. Names and faces have gently faded. But I clearly remember making an odd emotional connection with someone. Perhaps his life had a mirror held up to it at the same time. I don’t know why we didn’t keep in touch. We should have. So somewhere out there, I have a forgotten friend. Perhaps one day we’ll bump into each other again. Would we even know it if we did? I’d like to think so.

I used to really dislike black-and-white photography. I don’t know why. It was boring. Old fashioned. When your thoughts are traveling a million miles a second, the flash and splash of color provide an anticipated sort of framework for shaping your interpretation. Most of it is deliberately placed to highlight a face, a place, a product, a logo. Even though the message may not be immediately clear, it is crisp and controlled. Precise. Designed to capture and provoke a thought.

Recently though, I have been trying to slow down my thought process. Every once in a while, things seem to get too busy. Too chaotic. I lose focus. So I doodle. Usually in pencil. I like the way the graphite seems to absorb itself into the paper with each stroke of the pencil tip. Firmer pressure for a darker crisper line – a finger-tip smudge to add some depth and dimension. When I look back at my creations later, they seem to give back to me the same emotion I was feeling at the time. It’s almost like a tiny bit of myself got absorbed into the paper along with the graphite shadows. I’ve started to see this same depth and dimension in certain black-and-white images.

I never could figure out why they called it “black-and-white”. It’s not. It’s “Shades of Grey”. Without the blaring distraction of glossy color, the photographs seem to offer up the most subtle hint of emotion. Some stronger than others. Crisp contrast blends into subtle silky textures. Instead of boldly declaring it’s message, it whispers. Rather than constructing a thought for you, it invites you to explore the thought it is trying to portray. It’s almost sensual. But you have to slow yourself down enough to hear it. Feel it. Sometimes it is as subtle as a warm breath.