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  • Week 22

    May 30, 2020

    224.6 lbs

    https://vimeo.com/424383567
    2020-05-30

    7:08 AM – 9D, Mt Beacon Trail Entry

    … annoying morning, dogs, computer, you name it, nothing cooperating, except the joyous birds, still hoping they can pull me over to their point of view… as i left, Fiona complaining about being crated, H won’t be happy with me, i will tell her i have had my own struggles this AM, hopefully I will be on the bird singing end of things when i return…

    5:00 AM – My Studio

    … computer rebooted, looking like it will crash again, bird joy continues, which sort of day is it?

    4:48 AM – My Studio

    … computer crash in here, bird joy out there, which sort of day will it be?

    May 29, 2020

    224.4 lbs

    https://vimeo.com/424383317

    8:14 AM – walking

    … lining up a shot, woman jogging in the distance, “don’t take a picture of me!” she shouts, i had no intention of doing so , she makes me angry, not sure why…

    7:00 AM – memorial park

    … watched a hawk end the life of another creature… watched a hawk end the life of another man… watched a hawk end the life of another woman… watched a hawk end the life of another one… watched a hawk end the life of another… interesting iphone word offerings…

    7:27 AM – Beacon Roundhouse Falls

    … continue to pursue video clips, video stills, slide shows with videos, stills, the video equivalent of stills… i watch an insect struggle in the water on its way to the edge of the falls, a small-as-it piece of debris collides, insect tries it on as life raft, not big enough, debris and insect separate go over the edge one at a time, i wonder, will insect survive?… solitude, amplitude, gratitude… free word association, train the mind to free associate… i wonder if my video/still efforts are, will always be, crude, am i reaching beyond my capabilities and time to master?…

    May 28, 2020

    224.6 lbs

    https://vimeo.com/423972294

    7:43 AM – Clara Sauer Trail

    … sitting on a root, listening to wavelets breaking on the shore… thinking about the still videos, capturing the moment, the sound having little to do with the moment that grabs attention except that it is present with the thing, sound and image, what is the relationship?…

    7:04 AM – Long Dock Park

    … i stop under park shelter as it is supposed to rain in a few minutes for a few minutes… S unable to view video, frustration, oh well, his lo-tech the issue?…

    6:28 AM – Walking

    … annoying exchange with H as i leave the house…

    6:02 AM – My Studio

    … really annoyed, dogs up and active, too early, my quiet time gone…

    5:23 AM – My Studio

    … i have watched my video several times and it is so interesting the way the sounds of the video clip echo down the canyons of the still images…

    5:04 AM – My Studio

    … looking through Feedly, an article about a woman photographer’s quarantine project, a photo of her from the back, looking out a window, an opened pomegranate fruit beside her, i see this fruit often with women in photographs and it is not hard to imagine it as a symbol of fertility, i decide to research it’s symbolism, fertility is among the most frequent associations across cultures, not surprising…

    4:48 AM – My Studio

    … the sound of the birds singing madly brings me to open up my journal and write, the sound breaking through my attention paid to the computer screen… i have viewed the slide video i made yesterday twice now and generally like it, though i need to extend the slide duration… i am wondering about making these and posting them in lieu of the still photos and, now, occasional video i make… this morning i was wondering about making only still videos, anything i might have made a still photo of, video, maybe…

    May 27, 2020

    225.2 lbs

    https://vimeo.com/423966069

    7:37 AM – walking

    … pleasant walk, collecting more video, will probably overdo it now… a couple, hand in hand , walking by… peace and quiet, social distancing… I wonder what the elephant ear plants are?… the sound of a jet, powering down to land… birds twittering all over the place, the creek burbling by behind me…

    6:17 AM – walking

    … out of the corner of my eye, a fat opossum scurries away…

    5:29 AM – My Studio

    … an interesting thing happened when i played the slide show… two videos popped up and played, breaking the silence of the still pictures, it had a strong effect of reinforcing the silence of the stills, especially the ones immediately following, wondering if i can use that for a photo essay on line…

    5:13 AM – My Studio

    … i prefer the sounds of the birds to either Bach or Gregorian chants this morning… dawn chorus, silence around the house otherwise, dogs and H asleep, a blessing, Fiona is in heat and Chas spends all day trying to hump her…

    4:37 AM – My Studio

    … no alcohol last night, feel better this AM… i am pandemic and politics exhausted…

    May 26, 2020

    226.8 lbs

    2:45 PM – Friendly Honda

    … car arrived at the service bay, hoisted into the air, maybe new tires are on and they are doing alignment, why would it be so high off the ground otherwise?… hoping they are done soon… a pleasant enough day to wait outside… when i called i was told there was a tent to wait under, that doesn’t seem true, maybe there was and now is not?… reading about the virus in Scientific American, a vaccine eventually, different ideas about effectiveness, longevity, depends on how fast it mutates… car is down now…

    1:13 PM – Friendly Honda

    … getting new tires for the BI trip, been anxious about the tires since i was told there was dry rot in the winter… my first foray into interaction with a store or service department, car hand off went reasonably well, will see how the rest of it goes… picnic table in the shade to sit at, only my but will touch, should i change pants when i get home?… two men approach and sit at the table on the opposite side, the upwind side, they have more tolerance for closeness to others than i do, i get up and amble across the road to shade in front of a couple of billboards, i won’t be bothered here…

    https://vimeo.com/423780490

    7:10 AM – Fishkill Creek by the dam

    … a return to the scene of duckling sorrow, ducklings not in evidence, I thought maybe, but knew better, are they alive?… A likened the mama duck to the Trump administration, we have a choice, unlike the ducklings, he said, our ability to choose kindness, empathy, pitch in and work together, sets us apart when we allow them to the fore, i wonder why we don’t more often…

    4:56 AM – My Studio

    … i pull my headphones off, the birds are singing, I decide to listen to them instead of Bach…

    3:52 AM – Home

    … the tea kettle whistles, i am reading a poem, i let it whistle, when done, i walk to the kitchen, turn off the flame, the whistle subsides, i pull the whistle cap off, catch my reflection in the polished dome of the kettle, lift, then pour the hot water into the coffee press, the smell of coffee rises with a cloud of steam, i stir the floating grounds down into the coffee, wait, wait, wait, then, settle the plunger into the pot and push down, little resistance, i take down a cup, put a teaspoon of sugar in it, sugar always before coffee, and a little cinnamon too, then pour, the smell of coffee and, this time, cinnamon rise in a smaller cloud of steam, i raise cup to lips, inhale then sip, the day has begun…

    May 25, 2020

    227.2 lbs

    8:19 AM – Beacon Falls

    … lots of pictures, thinking i may have enough to do a pandemic set, that i should try to assemble it for Photography Now and see how it goes. I have a backup set if it doesn’t come together… moma duck and ducklings swimming into falls she leaves them behind, abandons them they are trying to get to her, she is swimming off upstream, just leaving them, i am heart broken… they are trying so valiantly to follow and can not… i wonder if they will survive?, is it time for them to be on their own?…

    6:36 AM – My Studio

    … the sound of the triplets getting ready for their father’s run/walk… a shower, shaved and clean…

    4:56 AM – My Studio

    … trying to return to old habits, meditation, stretching, Gregorian chants while i work, trying to regain concentration and patience…

    May 24, 2020

    226.8 lbs

    4:59 PM – Home

    … getting ready to grill a merlot steak, a new cut to me, the affordable fillet mignon, or so i read, family call done, happy birthday J… rebuilt compost bin today, my major chore done…

    8:06 AM – Walking

    … walking, making pictures, trying to be thoughtful, questioning my practice, what does it mean?, does it add up to some thing?, or is it banal, misguided, unfocused?… the refrain returns, make the work, some thing will come of it, so i persist, thinking maybe the longevity of it is the thing… trying some video, learning video on all my cameras, present the moving image when the image is moving…

  • Bucatini with Salt Cod Tomato Sauce

    Ingredients

    • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds center-cut skinless boneless salt cod (baccalà), rinsed well
    • 1 pound dried bucatini (preferred) or linguine
    • 2 tablespoons salt-packed capers
    • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
    • 1/2 – 4 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes depending on preferred degree of hotness. I used 3 (H loves it hot) which was pretty spicy. I think 4 1/2 would likely be too much unless you really like it hot.
    • 1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes in juice
    • 1 1/2 cups Spanish Olives stuffed with pimentos
    • Salt to taste
    • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

    Directions

    In large bowl, combine cod with water to cover by 2 inches. Cover and refrigerate, changing water 2 – 3 times a day, 1 to 3 days (I find it takes the full 3 days with any salt cod I have purchased).

    In a small bowl, combine capers with water to cover by 1 inch. Cover and refrigerate 1 day, changing water 3 times (I rinsed and soaked for about an hour, which was fine, but the overnight procedure will reduce the salt content and between the salt cod, capers and olives, there is the potential for a lot of salt in the recipe).

    Drain and rinse capers, then squeeze dry and set aside. Drain cod then add to a medium size pot with water to cover plus one inch. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cod, cool enough to handle, then flake the cod and set aside.

    In heavy 6- to 8-quart pot over moderate heat, heat 3 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add onion and sauté until softened and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add red pepper flakes, capers, tomatoes and juice. Using a wooden spoon, gently crush the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, then add flaked cod and olives. Add parsley. Simmer, uncovered, until cod is tender and heated through, about 10 – 15 minutes minutes.

    While sauce is simmering, in a large pot, bring salted (a tablespoon or two) water to boil for the pasta. Cook a little short of the classic el dente stage. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water for thinning the sauce. Drain. Add the pasta to the simmering sauce, mixing pasta with the sauce, and cook until el dente is reached, 2-3 minutes. Add reserved pasta water as needed to thin the sauce. It should not be runny, but luxuriously creamy, clinging to the pasta and other ingredients.

    Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl or to individual bowls/plates for serving. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve with grated Parmesan on the side for those who can’t imagine pasta without cheese. Personally, I don’t think it needs it.

    A note on Salt Cod: Salt cod was a staple of long sea voyages back when ships were powered by wind. It lasted well for long periods of time. It must be soaked for at least 24 hours, with several changes of water, to several days, with once twice or thrice daily changes of water. The goal is a pleasantly, not overwhelmingly, salty taste. How long it needs to be soaked depends on the particular piece of cod at hand. Taste a little piece after the first day and each subsequent day until desired saltiness is reached. I find it is usually two to three days.

    This recipe is based on an Epicurious.com recipe, and is very much like this recipe which I found after making this dish.

  • Week 21

    A map of my walks during the week. I will be playing with mapping as I go forward.

    May 23, 2020

    225.6 lbs

    8:37 AM – Home

    … rain starting to fall, the sound of it draining from roof to ground, splattering, continuous, soothing…

    7:45 AM – Walking

    … 2, 3 nights ago, there was a wasp in the bed, under the covers, stung me twice when i got in, grabbed it off my leg and threw it into the dark void of the room, kept thinking I should write this down, now i have…

    7:33 AM – Walking

    … a pickup truck pulls up, 4 teenage boys get out of the bed, no masks, no social distancing, they disperse, one drags his gear into the park, where have they been?, where are they going?…

    7:11 AM – Walking

    … run into R, we exchange greetings across the road, share gratitude that we seem well positioned to weather the pandemic…

    6:24 AM – My Studio

    a Brain Pickings article on writing environments and rituals…

    6:14 AM – My Studio

    … the triplets next door up and vocalizing, out for a walk with their dad i think, what will they remember from the pandemic?…

    6:10 AM – My Studio

    a book review by Jonathan Blaustein, i am more intrigued by his description of his Step Grandfather than the book, which he thinks flawed, about which i write: “The step grandfather description intrigued me, that there are people that some, even me, might consider tacky, misguided, and yet there is something about them that is utterly American, the glory and the rot at the center of it all.”, article saved in my common book so i can go back and find it later…

    5:54 AM – My Studio

    … exhausted yesterday, initially attributed to having drunk too much alcohol the night before, but it was more than that, perhaps the wear and tear of the pandemic, perhaps i am struggling, i don’t know, in bed at 8 PM, early, even for me… H was not happy, she felt abandoned… Fiona is in heat, Chas won’t leave her alone, poor fellow, neutered, can’t really complete nature’s mission, it hasn’t stopped him from noticing and instinctively trying, Fiona is tolerant, her back is wet from drool, the indignity and the glory of it…

    5:21 AM – My Studio

    … editing photographs from yesterday, a rock formation in Fishkill Creek seems the supine body of woman, above the knees to below the breasts, a crotch shot… not the first time i looked at the photograph, but the first time the figure of a woman presented itself to me, did i make the photograph with this attraction i was not conscious of?, hard to know, but now it seems obvious, there is even a tuft of green moss where pubic hair would be, sex is always on the mind, or rather submerged beneath the conscious mind, revealing itself intermittently as driver of life, intent, action…

    May 22, 2020

    5:43 AM – My Studio

    … i thought to do some work on J’s website, but then said to my self, “no!, damn it!, the mornings, up to the middle of the day are mine for creative work, for my work, J will have to wait”… and so i happily do things that are about me, about my creativity, i changed my email signature to include Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook links, i reviewed my Feedly feed, i am now writing, as the light comes up outside, the birds sing or make a fuss, depending on kind of bird, cat comes up to remind me about his food, dogs and H sleep quietly… not feeling great this morning, sort of drugged, the pandemic has me consuming more wine at night, restless sleep, hungover in the morning… the political situation, the pandemic, a perfect storm of awful, the full awful yet to unfold, we are rafts on this raging sea, we hold on, trying to weather the storm, trying to survive, trying to have stories to tell when it is past…

    May 21, 2020

    226.6 lbs

    8:26 AM – Memorial Park

    … sitting in the shade of trees, a moment to release my back which gets stiff when i walk distances… i read an Heather Cox Richardson email H posted on FB, vile Cheeto-in-chief stirring up shit whenever he tweets… i make pictures according to what catches my eye, as themes emerge, i collect them together, focus on them… later on, some of them have meaning in the context of my life…

    8:01 AM – Walking

    … i am near the high school where i think it is strange to be next door to a prison…

    6:05 AM – My Studio

    … feeling a little annoyed that i am behind on photo processing and posting, will devote the day to getting caught up… garbage trucks coming down the street, got my garbage out in time, what is the sound they make?, i can’t think of a word or two for it, not a whine, but high pitched, rev’d up… we will head out to BI in a little over a week, should start getting ready, inertia about going but will probably be glad once there… work on garden progresses, another two self watering stock tank planters in progress, will complete them next week, using up a lot of wood that has been laying around for endless time… feels good to make progress…

    May 20, 2019

    225.4 lbs

    7:27 AM – Walking

    … ongoing thoughts about garden configuration… i love Tractor Supply, COVID19 retail done right, businesses must adapt to making people feel safe, those that won’t or can’t will perish… heron lifts off and flies away… woman walking dog ahead on the trail… crows harassing vulture… waiting for a rainy day so i can be more art focused… dodging down an alleyway to avoid non mask wearing person… watch a man using the mailbox, he leaves his mail dangling out to avoid touching the box itself…

    May 19, 2020

    226.2 lbs

    1:11 PM – Lowes

    … trying curbside pickup to see how it goes, lots of people grabbing carts, are they sanitizing them?, lots of masks, it seems most are doing just what’s required, are they sanitizing hands before carts?, after?, it looks a little pandemic chaotic… when I call to announce presence i am told they will be with me as soon as they can, i guess this does not mean quickly… some people with gloves, most without, two people chatting, not social distanced no mask on one… hoping everyone has hand sanitizer, guessing many do not… an hour of waiting, i give up, a number of others give up and go into the store to get what they came for, i did not, curb side should be curbside or you don’t get my business…

    7:42 AM – Walking

    … bald eagle flapping across the inlet, second time i have seen one in the last couple of weeks, we definitely have eagles in residence on Denning’s Point… birds singing, chattering, a heron croaks as it flies away over the water…

    7:15 AM – Walking

    … 8 people, 2 masks, 1 shirt pulled up, all social distancing, 6 men, 2 women

    4:42 AM – My Studio

    … managed to restrict myself to couple glasses of wine, got the dishes done last night, slept better, feel better this AM, will try for the same tonight… the vegetables are planted, need to acquire a few things to complete the planters, have decided we will set up a compost bin, we’ve never been very successful at that, maybe this time…

    May 18, 2020

    227.2 lbs

    Made a fabulous salt cod and tomato sauce for pasta last night. Here is the recipe.

    2:26 PM – My Studio

    … from walk, to breakfast, to picking up plants from A’s house, to planting plants, to doing some carpentry, to doing some weed whacking, to lunch, to doing some more yard clean up, looking better every day, lots getting done, thinking I can use another four of the stock tank planters, possibly seven more, six footers, we will do over time…

    Planted tomatoes and herbs. Kept hoping I would see them grow, like right before my eyes. Kept hoping for the magic of growth, rejuvenation. So many people creating or expanding food gardens, victory gardens, survival gardens. Insurance against food supply disruptions. Not having to sanitize produce, priceless.

    8:45 AM – Home

    … i sit down and realize i forgot to track my walk, f___ me, i will get in the habit, i will!…

    8:07 AM – Walking

    … waiting for H who has stopped to do some communication… a visit with A in her garden, properly social distanced, well, most of the time…

    May 17, 2020

    225.4 lbs

    8:45 AM – Walking

    … stranger, woman, anxious to talk, we exchange greetings, this is happening with increasing frequency, hello, anybody there?…

    7:23 AM – Walking

    … dead squirrel in the backyard, wondering if the dogs did it, hoping it is the one that was living in the garage…

    6:23 AM – My Studio

    … cool spring morning, birds singing… watched the national HS graduation, wanted a little more from Obama, but understood keeping it short and simple for HS students, wonder if the one billion watched… glad that Obama is getting back in the fray… more work in the garden today, food logistics, Instacart… unexplained rashes lately, is that a COVID symptom?, H too, she thinks insect bites, mine are not, just rashes, what could be triggering?… health worries, always health worries, is this a nervous reaction?… a tension reaction?… i like to think i have things well managed, maybe not… Fiona slept in our bed last night, two dog night, we used to have three dogs, then there were three dog nights… family zoom today, i look/don’t look forward, mostly it’s the things i have to do that bother me, when i get to them, it’s ok…

  • Houses of People We Know

    I am photographing the houses of friends I can’t visit during the pandemic, other than to pass their homes on my walks in the morning.

  • Week 20

    May 16, 2020

    226.2 lbs

    Our walk was shortened this morning. We brought Fiona. She is learning to walk on leash. She needs improvement. She is exhausting. We circled back home and got on with the day.

    6:07 AM – My Studio

    … after a night of storms, cool air, birds singing… severity of storms possible never became actual, not for us, house, yard… today we fill stock tanks with dirt and plant, P will bring us plants from the Master Gardener sale… H is up early, she will likely come for the walk then… thinking about J, wishing for things to be better there, not likely… we will grow cardoon in the garden, a thistle vegetable i did not know before it appeared at Adams Christmas last year, seems a lifetime ago… Cheeto-in-Chief weaponizing the justice department against enemies and truth tellers, expectation of intensification as the election approaches, guaranteed to be a mess, filled with hatred, the results not trusted by at least half the population no matter what they are… Obama will address the nation’s high school students tonight, commencement address, one billion will attend?, take that! Cheeto-In-Chief… googled Cheeto-In-Chief and discoverd it’s a thing, not the only one to come up with it… no original ideas, maybe original assemblages of ideas?, who knows… i cried when i heard Obama would address the nation’s students, will watch and will no doubt cry then too… remember i say to me, this country has been in bad places before, J. Edgar Hoover, Eugene McCarthy, yeah, it’s been bad and we got through it, we’ll get through it again…

    May 15, 2020

    226.2 lbs

    H and I are settling into a walking routine. Today, Chas came along. Tomorrow, Fiona? We can’t walk both because this would be too distracting to me. I wouldn’t get any pictures. It’s enough that I have incorporated H and one dog.

    6:07 AM – My Studio

    … when i wake up, rain dripping outside the window, birds singing happily, i feel slow, bloated, like i drank a little too much, a common feeling during this pandemic… just now, i read in the Paris Review about Bernadette Mayer, Memories, the similarity of my daybook project seems uncanny, though i won’t begin to claim that my work is an equal in quality, it is validation of doing the work, of the idea of it, if not the execution of it…

    May 14, 2020

    226.8 lbs

    A pretty morning filled with sunlight. We walked Main Street from one end to the other.

    4:43 AM – My Studio

    … weight going steadily up, today i begin to reverse that trend… read an article on Kayleigh McEnany, it makes the point that she is very smart and accomplished, and so i wonder why her smarts and accomplishments don’t make working for the Trump administration a non starter?… what does she believe, not believe that makes it possible, it certainly wouldn’t be possible for me, i could never, so i wonder, is she venal?, is it resume above all else?, does she actually believe there is anything good to the administration?, is she amoral?, is this what the country produces?, individuals for whom power is everything?, doing right by the people they serve nothing?…

    May 13, 2020

    225.2 lbs

    H came with me on my walk again this morning. I am learning to walk, talk and make pictures at the same time. I am glad we are walking together, even if it diverts my attention somewhat. We have nice conversations about what’s going on. She gets out a bit. it’s all good.

    4:44 AM – My Studio

    … Salon last night, twenty attendees, plus or minus, A came and stayed the whole time… good to see her… K a little tough on several, including me, almost angry and indignant, which perhaps means I was on to something, i wasn’t withered though, i offered a more in depth explanation, and as i think this morning, i realize that different pandemic response themes are developing, the signage, the reflections, the cartoon monster, lurking corona virus in a window, and even the dark matter series work which takes on a new sort of meaning in this current context, the photos of gloves and masks, judiciously sprinkled, i have the thought that i should photograph the various news briefings about…

    May 12, 2020

    226.2 lbs

    H came along on the walk today, she isn’t usually up when I leave. I wondered if it would change the work, it didn’t, and we had a nice chat along the way.

    … 4:41 AM – My Studio

    … my note to BF answered quickly… H irritable yesterday, we need to plan the trip up to her cousin’s chicken farm to get some chickens and have an outing… i am up early, dogs up early, H up early, a cascade, i neglected to leave bedroom door open so dogs could come out if they wanted, instead Chas whined until H got up and let him down, coming down to check on me herself, sorry… diving more deeply into BF’s newsletters and process i begin to see possibilities for my own work… i have begun mapping my walks and had the stroke that i should create maps by the week as i am doing for my images and words, then publish the map as part of the weekly daybook publication… i want to start incorporating some short videos in my practice, i have to teach myself to use the video functions on all my cameras… that will be my job this morning, learn to use the Lumix 100 video function… i got no notification that i will share my work tonight at Salon, which is fine, but i am curious about signup and what we will do for follow up salon which i assume i will be part of, i guess i will hear from H and K soon, today?… i am exhausted by the news, i scan every morning but haven’t been able to engage with articles, it’s all the same shit every day, H had TV on last night with the Cheeto-In-Chief giving a briefing, bragging about himself and his admin as usual, best presidency every, according to him, so many of us think not, die hard supporters take him at his word…

    May 11, 2020

    226 lbs

    A selection from my walk, I continue to be interested in reflections for their upside-down/backwards world allusions, also, small odd moments/imperfections.

    5:47 AM – Home

    … slept in a bit this morning, made a lovely meal of braised beef shank, roasted rutabaga, roasted asparagus, martinis, red wine, over indulgence… in a happy mood i wrote some sappy things on FB… i wrote that i am not interested in exceptional stories, only ordinary stories which is where most of humanity lives… i live in a society that holds out the exceptional tale of triumph with our without adversity, rising to the pinnacle, conquering Mt. Everest, is the standard for a life well lived, exceptional, a story everyone wants to read about, this is not where 99 percent of the population lives, most of us live in the ordinary, the quotidian, within the margins… that’s not so sappy, its true, and its true that those stories interest me the most… no word from CPW about Salon being overrun with submissions or being chosen to present work, wondering how it went, how many wishing to show work we have to deal with… we spent most of the weekend catching up on laundry, three was so much… need to vacuum the house today, or tomorrow, the animal hair dust bunnies are building up to threatening proportions…

    May 10, 2020

    H and the dogs came with me on this walk, resulting in fewer pictures.