Sunday, June 23, 2013

So, Why Blog Anymore?

In the hospital waiting room, there was a magazine feature on author Paul Auster. I was there waiting to find out whether the blood I'd been pissing out meant my time was up.

The piece on Auster was to promote his latest book -- a memoir on the topic of growing old. How fitting. In an earlier memoir of his professional and financial struggles as a young-adult, Auster told the story of my life up to that point.

And here we were again. Me, possibly aged out too fast and trying to make sense of it, reading Auster's thoughts on the topic.

Alas, I only read a couple pages before my name was called. Good news, the doc said. It turned out the bleeding (which had stopped the day before) was likely caused by my two-year-old daughter headbutting me in the crotch. That happened the night the bleeding began. The doc said I was otherwise perfectly healthy, that the injury likely healed itself. After a battery of tests spanning three days, there were no signs of disease. When I told my wife the news, she teared up with relief.


Which brings me back to the blog. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever, you'd think that a general-topic blog like this one would shrivel up. Not quite. If anything, lately, I've been feeling compelled to nourish it more.

The more we engage our lives with hyper-media, the more it becomes fragmented. An image is posted over there. A thought is posted someplace else. Each different channel has its own audience expectations. Then there's the natural popularity arc of social sites. Over time, it all becomes increasingly out of context. Things get lost and forgotten then re-found. It becomes easy to take all these snippets and re-assemble them like a bad translation.

Blogging, or old-fashioned journal writing, is an attempt to de-frag all of it. To fit our scattered bits into a narrative that makes sense -- if not for the NSA bots, but for ourselves.

So do I wish this blog to be more substansive? I don't know. I thought I could get away with a bunch more photos. But they still don't say enough. I used to write more. Lately, I've been thinking I need to do that again. Reading certain authors do that for me. Some of Auster, Henry Miller, The Haights' own August Kleinzahler.

So much of life is internal. So much of life is spent in auto-pilot.

What occurred to me at the hospital was that if my time had indeed come, I would've left my two small children with too little to remember me by. I would be a stranger. A man who disappeared to work for most of most days, and was distracted with projects and chores when home.

If, in truth, I was concerned about leaving some kind of legacy, foremost it was to fill their young hearts with warmth and comfort. "Snuggles," Rowan calls them as she crawls into our bed in the middle of the night. How much of it do we absorb as infants and toddlers and take with us into adulthood? All of it, I want to believe.

Maybe the gravitational force of the routine can't be helped. But before I settle back into it, I want to commit to writing more and sharing it more.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cabin... Fever...

A weekend stuck around the house convalescing from an owie. Spent more time with the Olympus 790. It suffered one drop and shrugged it off. Pic-quality wise, it doesn't compare to the Cannon (or even our smartphone cameras). But the camera that's easily stowed is the one that gets used.

Parker likes the new backyard space. He's learning that the hill is now off-limits with its gardening projects. And when he has gone on the hill (eg, to chase a squirrel), he comes right back when called.

 RoRo had enough of the yard.

 So we enjoyed the neighborhood's gardens.

And a neighborhood cat walked along with us for a few blocks.
 There is an amateur astronomer's group headquartered nearby.

 More garden highlights!

 We spotted the elusive neighborhood egret. (We live near a nature preserve.) Maybe I should figure out the zoom feature on the Olympus.

 Back at home, revitalized.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Point & Shoot Trial & Error

Lisa scored one of those bomb-proof pocket cameras (Olympus 790 SW) for my birthday. Below was from the first outing in the neighborhood -- completely ignorant of how to use it.

Then these are from playing with low-light settings and image-stabilization. I also added a grainy effect (via phixr) on a couple pics. Kinda neat. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Scenes From the Yard

Trying out the new smart phone's camera.

This Crape Myrtle plant that Parker chewed to a stump is growing new leaves.

New concrete walkway drying in a really fascinating pattern after a plant-watering.

 RoRo practicing her three-point turns.

Parker re-learning not to go up the hill.

Vinca Major coming over from our neighbor has taken took over the north-west corner of the hill.

Square-foot veggie garden in effect.

5 Days of Fits, 1303

Thought it'd be fun to document a work-week's worth of outfits. These are from late-winter.

For different reasons, after returning to work after Naomi's birth, it felt like it was time to dress like a grown-up more often.