went out to a graduation party today, a celebration of a friend who, now 18, made it all the way through high school, and had family out there, from around illinois and wisconsin, to celebrate. it was out on a windy country road, with steep dropoffs, shawnee forest on both sides, stunningly beautiful, yet dangerous, and a starkly clear-blue sky for most of it too. the graduate had some friends there, also graduating, a little nervous, i think, as i would be, at such a big moment. if only because you are standing on the precipice, able to go each way, and it's a long fall, don't get dizzy. my daughter slouched a little when she went up to get her diploma (this was many years ago); i'd always had bad posture, so when her mom jumped on her (verbally) for slouching, i was naturally defensive on her behalf, but i also felt like saying, hey, if you consider all that adulthood holds for us, after eighteen, after graduation, it's enough to make anyone slouch. and it's a surprise more of them don't get into car wrecks on graduation night- as that could be as good as it's ever going to get.
artistically got into two new directions recently- one being that the camera at work does a "pop art" picture automatically, thus making one able to create pop art classics out of whatever one puts in front of the camera. after doing this a few times i came up with what i thought were a couple of good ones (see iowa
, top one, and starbucks lady
among others) then started thinking- what am i doing? falling into line behind marilyn, and the campbell's soup can? so i looked up andy warhol- so many links i couldn't begin to bring them to you- and he was from pittsburgh, by the way, where there is a museum to him even now. so what is this "pop art" movement- and, more to the point- now that our computers can just make this stuff out of everything in our environment, does a pop-art aficionado now go looking at the world, and making pop-art silkscreens out of every icon one encounters? consider the starbucks lady to be my marilyn- the map of iowa, my campbell's soup can. then, the next question, how does one turn these back around, so they are not mirror images? how does one not
make a statement about iowa, that it is, artistically, the reverse
of, say, marilyn, or, maybe, campbell's soup?
then, tonight, i watched 8 Mile
, a good movie, about eminem, and rap, and culture, namely detroit culture (with 8 Mile itself, obviously, itself a line between cultures). i spent time growing up in that area, toledo to be exact, (as well as pittsburgh) so some of the street scenes were hauntingly familiar- and, for example, i felt that when they did the arson (and they got away with it, apparently) they were bringing detroit to us, as any good movie does- it gets right down in the center of the feeling. about rap, i can only say, it seems that if it has a tune at all, it's a crossover piece, intended to get us tuneheads hooked and drawn in, as the beat is really all there is. and the f- words everywhere- at every junction, said in every imaginable way- i could only be grateful that i don't live around that so much- as i was sick of it quickly, yet when it's your life, it's a lot harder to just walk out. good movie, i thought, powerful- good music too.
finally, in a week that was, technically, vacation, where i became engrossed in coding
of arcane research interests (see also my linguistics cave
, where i at least thought about restoring old and fascinating material)- in a week with lots of kids but not much sleep, wife out of town, when we spent thousands on pounding on our roof, and i had time to notice it- and went and insured it, down at the corner that flooded not too long ago, near the drug store- a week that started with mother's day and siuc graduation, and ended with h.s. graduation (above)- in the middle of this week, some poor guy on a wheelchair was hit by a train- right in the center of town, and it took a few days to find out that it was, in fact, someone i didn't know, and that, no, as far as they could tell, the wheelchair was not stuck, and, yes, it was right in the center of town, right at lunch hour. it rattled everyone, and upset them, and someone i talked to even got very angry, at the people in the cars, who were presumably there as they always are, and surely should have seen it coming and could have done something about it. but i could scarcely imagine even seeing it, don't know if i would have thought of the right thing, seeing as my mind drifts every time the white railroad crossing bar comes down in front of me. and then, if he wasn't
stuck, as was originally reported, then what? no, i'm not mad at the drivers, & don't want to say much about someone i didn't actually know, though in a town this small, one actually kind of knows just about everyone, when you get right down to it, and that's why we're all just a little unbalanced by the whole thing. it reminded me that, at one time, i'd actually made an entire blog about that very spot- and it's still there, called boxcars on walnut
- and it's primarily a site about living in a small town, when the train comes by, and, though one's mind is free, to count boxcars or whatever, well, who knows, anything can happen. and a person can cross a set of tracks, maybe a dozen times a day, and still feel a little nervous, a twinge of apprehension, every single time, and these days a prayer, for a soul, for my own balance, with the big weight of life, on a narrow rail, and a clear summer sun reflecting off the metal...pay the insurance, get some sleep, grab the kids, tight, & don't let on why i'm nervous, or even short-tempered. it's just that summer's coming, and it gets a little hot around here, a little steamy, usually before you know it. but it's ok, these things pass, too, and tomorrow's another day.