Sunday, March 30, 2008


i received this message while attempting to post at a friend's blog:

You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.

the message was not rendered in the giant font, but that's how it felt. jeez.
another possible version -- spokenverysoftly: "what are you doing?. bonnie."
i would not have enjoyed that, either.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

ekphrastic hope, continued . . .

"Pour faire le portrait d'un oiseau" de J. Prévert
Uploaded by paupiettebiz

l'oiseau, l'image . . . ("pour faire le portrait d'un oiseau"), or, (ekphrastic) hope

Peindre d'abord une cage
avec une porte ouverte
peindre ensuite
quelque chose de joli
quelque chose de simple
quelque chose de beau
quelque chose d'utile
pour l'oiseau
placer ensuite la toile contre un arbre
dans un jardin
dans un bois
ou dans une forêt
se cacher derrière l'arbre
sans rien dire
sans bouger...

Parfois l'oiseau arrive vite
mais il peut aussi bien mettre de longues années
avant de se décider

Ne pas se décourager
attendre s'il faut pendant des années
la vitesse ou la lenteur de l'arrivée de l'oiseau
n'ayant aucun rapport
avec la réussite du tableau
Quand l'oiseau arrive
s'il arrive
observer le plus profond silence
attendre que l'oiseau entre dans la cage
et quand il est entré
fermer doucement la porte avec le pinceau
effacer un à un tous les barreaux
en ayant soin de ne toucher aucune des plumes de l'oiseau
Faire ensuite le portrait de l'arbre
en choisissant la plus belle de ses branches
pour l'oiseau
peindre aussi le vert feuillage et la fraîcheur du vent
la poussière du soleil
et le bruit des bêtes de l'herbe dans la chaleur de l'été
et puis attendre que l'oiseau se décide à chanter
Si l'oiseau ne chante pas
c'est mauvais signe
signe que le tableau est mauvais
mais s'il chante c'est bon signe
signe que vous pouvez signer
Alors vous arrachez tout doucement
une des plumes de l'oiseau
et vous écrivez votre nom dans un coin du tableau.

"to paint a bird's portrait"

Paint first a cage
with the door open
next paint
something pretty
something simple
something lovely
something of use
to the bird
then put the canvas near a tree
in a garden
in the woods
or in a forest
hide behind the tree
say nothing
don’t move…
Sometimes the bird comes quickly
but it can just as well take many years
before deciding
Don’t be disheartened
wait years if need be
the pace of the bird’s arrival
bearing no relation
to the success of the painting
When the bird comes
if it comes
keep very still
wait for the bird to enter the cage
and once it has
gently shut the door with the brush
paint out the bars one by one
taking care not to touch any of the bird’s feathers
Next paint the tree’s portrait
choosing the loveliest of its branches
for the bird
paint likewise the green leaves and fresh breeze
the sun’s scintillation
and the clamor of crickets in the heat of summer
and then wait until the bird decides to sing
If the bird does not sing
that’s a bad sign
A sign the painting is no good
but if it sings that’s a good sign
a sign you can sign
then tear off gently one of the feathers of the bird
and write your name in a corner of the painting

Jacques Prévert (1900-1977)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

c's soiree matrix (re-updated)

here's the latest:

note: i'm now through the E sessions. but please let me know if there is something i simply cannot miss. a party, a session, a book event . . . i'm serious. i can't keep up, and i'm still trying to finish my film and do enough laundry to have something to wear. help out?

final cut pro studio 2

i will not complain about my job. i will not complain about my job. why? after hearing about my tech difficulties -- i explained what tech support had told me, that i simply needed to upgrade, that the old program would not run -- my department chair plunked down the big money so that i could purchase final cut studio 2.

no complaints.

tech freakshow ##@#@!!!

can't. go. back . . . working on my C's visual presentation (paper's nearly ready), and final cut pro is not opening. some hideous problem. every solution tech support suggests fails, so far. last night, i even started to prepare in . . . gasp! . . . powerpoint (sshhhhhhh) . . . but no. i can't go there after fcp . . . it's too awful, too static, no cool widescreen option . . . i mean, it can be done. ppt isn't the worst i could do. imovie is like fcp on sedatives. oh, lordy, this is no fun. so, today, i'll be working on it around my classes and probably late into the night.

send all good tech vibes into the ether for me?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

hoppy (thank you refrain)

thank you for reading here.
thank you for encouraging me to spend time here (C.D.).
thank you for being supportive (of me & my nutty ideas :)

hoppy . . .

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

vintage hair ads

oh, how happy i was to discover this website featuring hundreds of vintage hair ads. i had been looking because of my recent reflection regarding my earliest memory of image pleasure. i'm referring to recognition of bodily sensation associated with reception of an image that has been clearly designed to perform a paritcular kind of rhetorical work.

at left (is that Kelly LeBrock?) is one of the ads. i've not had luck finding the ad yet, but it was an ad for a hair product that drew me in. i ripped it from the mag and took it to Vegas with me when we travelled there to pick up the $50,000 my dad won when he bet that the Bucs would win the division championship (for the first time -- in the '70's). we stayed at the MGM grand, and i got my perm there. in the salon, they styled it just as in the picture, but little did i know that perms sort of "shrink" your hair, so i had a very short version of what i'd wanted, which was a longer, looser version, like this (right). i was crushed with my short mom-do.

so i ran back to the room to wash my hair and style it myself, thinking i could fix it. but, the horror -- unfamiliar with permed hair, i felt a crunchy web of prickly wire and beheld in the mirror my new look, Anne Wilson (Heart). i was sad because i'd wanted that supersmoothe look, and my Vegas vacation was ruined (i've never liked Vegas, ever; think it's connected, Paul*?), but i learned to live with it and even grew into the bad-girl image it inspired.

there is much more to say, including some stuff about how my first Barbie came with 3 packets of hair color. you would dip her updside down -- hold her by her crippled ankles -- into a cup into which you'd mixed one of the packets' contents with water. out she'd come, a brunette or redhead or whatever. fabulous (not really; it was actually pretty scary because, well, Barbie is a blonde, and the quality of the color product was pretty low).

there is no conclusion. i'm still captivated by hair ads. and today's digitally-enhanced supershinyhair is actually frightening but fabulous at the same time. siliconiscious, it is.

* shoutout to Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

new champagne fav

i've told you that i love the Dom. the Dom is very loveable. kind of like laughing gas, not exactly like any other wine or champagne. but. over break, i had the chance to drink 2 glasses of Cristal. oh my. it's beyond laughing gas. it's goofy hallucinatory fun. and delish . . . like sweet buttery cake. encroyable!

so now you know.

"taking" images

is Composition's reluctance to encourage student-produced images vs. study of existing ones a function of our notion of images as "stolen," . . .
"taken," a form of "fraud" or "plagiarism"?

in "Intention and Artifice," William J. Mitchell (MIT . . . not WJT Mitchell) writes of the near-criminal status of photographers, comparing them with painters, who are, rather, Aristotelean "fabricators."Mitchell explains:

The painter, the photographer, and the digital imager have different social and cultural roles to play. A painter, firstly, is traditionally seen as an artificer, a patient maker, an urbanized craftsperson who transmutes formless raw materials into images. We naturally use the language of personal intention--reference, comment, expression, irony, conviction, truthfulness, and deception--to describe this process. There seems a comfortable fit with the Aristotelian conception of a fabricator, impelled by an anticipatory idea, who imposes form on matter. But photography evokes predatory metaphors: a picture is "taken," the photographer operates in a ruthlessly competitive economy of image hunting and gathering. Photographs are trophies--won by skill and cunning and luck, by being in the right place at the right time, and by knowing how to aim and when to shoot. [62] Form is out there to be discovered, then impressed on matter by means of a swift, automatic process.

i wonder if we imagine "writers" alongside Mitchell's painters and thereby sideline work in image-production as though such work were about enabling fraud or criminal behavior. i don't, but i still see a lot of image work as a kind of threshold to "writing" about a thing, concept, phenom, which is often useful and important, but maybe not all there is. it could be simpler (and more complex; don't you hate it when people do that?!).

Monday, March 17, 2008

inventing "c's"

i'm still inventing my visual pedagogy because i'm still figuring out why i so enjoy working with image(s). i'm discovering that this is my conference presentation theme: we are doing a lot of stuff with images, but maybe we haven't thought too critically about how and why, and maybe this is why so much image work involves writing about images rather than simply producing them. and i get it. we are teaching "writing." but come on. anymore (ever), what does this mean?

so, for now, i'll work to show my pleasure with images in the visual aspect of the presentation. i'll read the paper . . . and by now i have about 20 pages, so good luck to me on paring it down. i'd rather just show you some stuff, but okay, okay . . .

matilda's baptism

i cried like a baby. and it was lovely. and i did not wear black. and the priest was groovy & progressive. and we drank champagne w/ chambord at the dinner.

i do love my rituals :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

saint matilda's day

today, we celebrate the feast of saint matilda. saint matilda is the patron saint of misbehaving children. today is the day of my goddaughter and niece, matilda's, baptism. we are holding it at st. francis of assisi church is chicago (my church in utah is also s.f. of a.; saint francis just wants to love everything, especially animals, so it's a good thing they'll have delish eggplant parm at the reception!).

matilda has changed a lot since i saw her at christmas. she smiles non-stop. i have been sleeping with her in the nursery, . . . giving her parents, um, . . . a break? no need, really. she sleeps through the night. i wake in the morning with her and pull her into my bed for a little snuggling and a bottle.

emily, my sister and m's mom, is out getting a mexican tres leches cake, and the reception is at maggiano's (did i mention the eggplant parm?!).

so, this is not academic, but come on . . . you know me by now . . . i gotta share the babies :)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

new link (you. can't. miss it.)

i've added a link @ right to our UV Writing Program space (seriously, i can't say "blog"). if you want to see how we are continuing to develop our program, have a look. the space is relatively new, so i've got much to do. look now for a simple sketch, and/or check back now and again if you're interested.

Friday, March 7, 2008

just couture

did anyone doubt that Christian Siriano would win Project Runway? and whose noiresque lip-quivering vulnerability made us love him more and more?

i mean, ew -- the show's producers manipulated footage in order to cause us to doubt, to imagine Rami the winner. and, oh Lord, another draped gown . . . day-dress or formal . . . all Grecian Goddess-countryclublunches mode. whatever. i mean, they take him to The Met and . . . *again* . . . against every gift basket of advice he's recieved, he chooses Aphrodite as his muse? "inspiration" or confirmation of his existing aesthetic (when, um, we got it)? there was no other form of inspiration? it seemed a p-r-i-t-t-y lazy choice.

so but. Christian, forget Posh Spice (too easy. too obvious). make me a gown. really. i'm serious. call me.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

not so fast . . .

the shoot (see previous post) is on tuesday (i teach all day), so maybe next time.

a working "actor"

finally. again. if the timing works our right, i'll be extra'ing for a Disney film called "Hatching Pete." i don't care. i mean, i want a PART, but i do love being on sets. i love to see how it works. the drama. the non-drama. the total drag-*ss down time. the horrible conditions for extras . . . which recalls the time i extra'ed for The World's Fastest Indian, on the set of which, Sir Anthony Hopkins approached me on a break, and asked "what's you name?" and then intro'd himself, and we chatted. lovely. but also, on that set, the extra's "holding pen" was in an arched tin-shack-type of "building" at an ancient and crusty downtown SLC motel in which they ran the laundry and also kept all of the OLD, USED MATTRESSES from their sleaze operation. rain literally poured through the "roof," falling into buckets placed all about and very near the many space heaters they ran to keep us, um, "warm." it was a nightmare, and i'm pretty sure that had the film been a SAG operation, someone could have filed some sort of suit. but i just did my thing. i probably didn't do myself any favors by telling the head of our agency, (who had decided to play a "madam" as an extra because she wanted to work with Sir Anthony), that, for me, this kind of work? . . . "never again," i said. stupid, because, well, i have this idea about martyrdom and karmic payoff . . . we'll see . . .

oh, i did see "myself" when we went to the screening of WFI, but it was more like a blur of a green dress i knew i'd worn, and i recognized the vintage handbag i'd brought (my own) to the set. so there's that little moment of sharing the screen w/ Sir Anthony Hopkins :)

so but anyhow. i hope they will start sending me out again soon. i need to drop by to show them that i haven't gained 100 pounds or radically changed my look. whatever. so i'm extra'ing, at least (again, if the scheduling's right; at least, i've been asked). i'll let you know how that goes.

in the meantime, i *desperately* need a new head shot (mine is kinda sad). these days, headshots are moving to color instead of black and white, which is a shame because b/w seems to cover a lot of flaws. see above (not my actual headshot). whatever. color, okay. it's honest. and i'm into acting for the honesty (that sounds way more ironic than it is).

and Laura Linney should have won the Oscar. see The Savages. go. now. PSH and LL? actors' paradise.

(and no, my nose is not that big nor my forehead that shiny).

Saturday, March 1, 2008

salon "rhetiquette"

does it bother you when you're paying a LOT for a (insert particular salon service here) salon service (i.e., haircut) and your stylist seems to be constantly distracted? it bothers me. a lot. to varying degrees and on different occasions, my stylist does all of the following terrifically annoying things, none of which should be included in the cost of my service (imho):

1.) he takes phone calls.

2.) he talks with contractors about the new sink design.

3.) he consults with other stylists about their clients.

4.) he takes "breaks," in the middle of my haircut, to do God knows what.

5.) he talks with other stylists about other clients (in a derogatory manner. and they laugh WAY too loud).

6.) he walks away to change the CD.

7.) he provokes me into talking politics because he thinks it's quaint to hear "the liberal side," and then he gets all puffed up and scary and mad (not inspiring much confidence).

i find these things unnerving, especially so as my stylist spends a LOT of time talking about all of the professional training seminars he attends in exotic locations (i.e., NYC, San Francisco). i mean, i'm all for "keeping up," but "professional" means, to me, in addition to training that may or may not be necessary but maybe keeps one charged up, well, it means something so elemental: listening, paying attention, "being there" (nod to Chauncey Gardiner).

and here's another troubling thing: i worked as a hairdresser for 8 years (and still have a current license). i go to a salon because there are things i cannot do for myself (ahem). and so i'm v-e-r-y nice to stylists. i know it's complicated work. egos and emotions are ragged as a bleached-to-a-level-10 cuticle. so i'm very nice. i put up with a lot. and, because in my town, there are so few stylists who can actually cut a straight weight line (which is what makes the haircut appear "clean" as opposed to scattered and just plain wrong) that i pretty much have to go to my guy. because he can cut a straight line.

so, do i say something next time? do i risk losing him or invoking his scorn (which can't be good, hair-wise)? more and more, i find it so disenchanting that i contemplate getting a.) bad haircuts elsewhere, and, b.) cutting it myself in avant-disaster mode.

it seems trivial. it is. i'm sure of it. but it's just. so. annoying.

stand up straight & let me get a look at you

It's awards show Sunday, so i'm giving Margot. I'm through with the wishfulness and angst and regret, and Margot, more than an...