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Week 33

August 15, 2020

225.4 lbs

08:28 AM – walking, Beacon Falls

… J sends message about biblical prophecy coming true, the agreement between Israel and UAE… i don’t believe in biblical prophecy, the cosmos unfolds… weekend stirrings, people seem more relaxed, i am out later, seeing more of them…

07:54 AM – walking, Memorial Park

… cool, quiet, late start due to having slept in… Chas seeming chipper, pain med helping, best theory at the moment is he strained something wrestling with Fiona… my digital frame arrives tomorrow, looking forward to experimenting with it…

06:12 AM – dining room

an article on herd immunity in Sweden, suggesting it is possible we will achieve it in many places around the world by end of year, very preliminary, i expect that if this is well underway by election, it will impact positively on 45’s prospects which gives me the devil’s bargain, what do i hope for, continued misery of COVID-19, long enough to unseat 45?, yes, maybe so, since i think continued misery under four more years of 45 would be worse… an article on UFO’s that is unsettling…

August 14, 2020

224.8 lbs

01:48 – dining room

… something up with Chas… in pain, avoiding contact… going to get meds for Chas and Parmesan cheese for the pesto i will make… 45 bloviating on tv, makes me angry…

07:49 – walking, 9D, near Bob’s

… what motivates you?, this will be the weekend question… we will see what answers we get… cool this AM, going to reach 90, then it cools down… crickets when the cars are not passing, the sound of a distant train… an elderly couple approaches, walking the sidewalk, i hear them before i see them… not sure i mentioned this fear already, but what if justice department moves to indict Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, Obama?, something is coming, we just don’t know what it is or when it will launch, probably soon with 45 crowing about it in the news…

05:05 – dining room

… how my weight can swing by three pounds is a mystery, i hope to hold on to at least some of the gain… 45 has openly confessed to strangling the postal service to depress the vote, this should be criminal, but it isn’t until Senate Republicans say it is, and they won’t… H is hearing from reliable sources that local Republicans are gearing up to disqualify as many mail in votes as possible, which leads us to decide we will have to vote in person, one way or another… a dust up with a cousin, we are still talking…

August 13, 2020

227.8 lbs

07:20 AM – walking, beacon falls

… black man who walks his dogs at the same time i go for photo walks says good morning, my back is turned, i did not see him coming… feeling a little hot and physically not quite right, gut centered, lots of flatulence last night, continued gut unhappiness this AM… i ordered a digital picture frame for the installation of my still video, i am excited and hoping it works the way i anticipate, thinking about the various possibilities, wondering if i can develop a subscriber series… need to research more…

04:40 AM – dining room

… a little frustrated with my weight, counting calories, should be loosing, but not, at least not gaining… Biden/Harris has launched… sparse in photo land this morning, not much that is inspiring, i like the title An Unexpected Lesson in Joy, by Nick Hannes, a book which seems to focus on childhood, family life, not all families are joyous but this one seems to be… i read a bit about the book, life in lockdown, diary, i wish i could do the same, but i can’t photograph wife and dogs and cat so much, and food we make, the results always seem a bit banal in ways that don’t appeal to me… maybe if i had children i could do it… exciting news, H wants to talk to me about showing my work, she says she is very interested, it sounds a bit beyond the framed and ready interest she has already expressed, trying not to get my hopes up, we will likely talk today… Atlanta Made Us Famous, Hajar Benjida, catches my attention because pretty women baring their breasts, hip-hop music club with strippers, legendary in Atlanta, the black and brown skin women are presented frankly, breasts beaming like car headlights in enough photos to make it the dominant aspect, at least for heterosexual men, yet that these images are made by a woman of women changes the dynamic, it doesn’t shy away from the sexuality, meets it head on, but then I notice there are just as many photos of the women pregnant or with their children, one particularly compelling photo showing a woman staring dead pan into the camera, breast feeding her child, yo, you looking at me?, the focus on motherhood, alongside woman as sexual object, is what makes this different from straight objectifying photographs… an article in Hyperallergic about black woman photographer Alexis Hunley, pictures of the BLM protests, none of the pictures shows a face, i think i know why, i look for an explanation of that, intentional?, don’t want to provide identification material to the surveillance state?, i look for that explanation in the article, it isn’t there, i am left to wonder, it’s a small selection of photos and text at one point suggests faces would appear in a broader mix, the photos are good… an article, How Boomers Changed American Family Life (By Getting Divorced), Jill Filipovic, about the sexual revolution that largely unfolded during the Boomer generation, as did a growth in divorce rates, as i skim it, i realize that apart of some anti-abortion proponents real anguish about fetal death, the subtext is that we need to cram the genie back in the bottle, i.e. women should go back to being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, both abortion and birth control are under attack by the right, still, that genie is not going back into the bottle unless we get an authoritarian state, which hopefully will not happen, ugh, the book, OK Boomer, Let’s Talk, a complaint book about Boomer generation, their children and children’s children are angry, i would be angry too, but lets wait until they are our age and see where they stand with their hopes and dreams… The Grim World Our Grandchildren Will Inherit, Tom Engelhardt, the apocalypse is not only coming, it is upon us…

August 12, 2020

227.2 lbs

07:57 AM – moral equivocation of the highest order: he’s (45, Hitler, Sadam Husain, Mussolini, Putin, Stalin, Kim Jong Un, take your pick) not perfect.

06:53 AM – walking, Long Dock Park

… peaceful, bird song, crickets, traffic in the distance, my walk yielding a mild joy, hope… i am here for the grasses today, love photographing them, sounds of footsteps on cinder pathways, potato leak soup for dinner, grilled cheese, salad, no alcohol until the weekend… the heat will break soon, do the creatures know it?…

04:15 AM – dining room

another article on Yurie Nagashima’s Self-Portraits book… i read a letter to the future by Kurt Vonnegut in an article by Emily Temple, this, the final paragraph:

Am I too pessimistic about life a hundred years from now? Maybe I have spent too much time with scientists and not enough time with speechwriters for politicians. For all I know, even bag ladies and bag gentlemen will have their own personal helicopters or rocket belts in A.D. 2088. Nobody will have to leave home to go to work or school, or even stop watching television. Everybody will sit around all day punching the keys of computer terminals connected to everything there is, and sip orange drink through straws like the astronauts.1

… reading lots of post selection of VP articles on the pros/cons of Kamala Harris, the most important being the one in The Nation Magazine, very progressive, supporting the decision and encouraging progressives to do the same… Belarus exploding… a beguiling morning of reading and review, chaos reigns, though hope hopes change is just around the corner, change for the better… a thought just came into my head, i have been having it intermittently in last 24 hours, my conspiracy theory is that 45 is lining up the justice department to do something big to influence the election in the next month or two, i previously assumed it would be something directed at Hunter Biden and, by implication, Joe Biden, but 45 is blathering about the scandal of the Obama Administration, spying on his campaign, starting the Russia hoax investigation, he is hinting at a charge of criminality in the Obama administration and i wonder, fear, the possibility of arresting Obama?, hmmm, i’ve learned to expect the unthinkable from 45…

August 11, 2020

No weigh in

05:00 PM – living room

… Kamala Harris gets the nod…

04:06 PM – living room

… Joe Biden has made decision on VP, we wait with “baited breath,” for the announcement…

07:20 AM – walking, Beacon Falls

… feeling pretty good this morning… pleasant walk with pleasant thoughts, for the most part, some annoyance with H, i am under appreciated… Joe Biden VP pick, any day now, bit tired of waiting… watched a Beaver eating for a period of time, made pictures, not sure they will turn out, only 50mm lens…

04:15 AM – dining room

… no alcohol = up extra early, at least i slept through the night… HCR daily brief speaks to 45’s fading ability to shock and distract, he apparently is serious about wanting to add himself to the Mt. Rushmore presidential sculpture, his executive orders apparently also fell flat… back to negotiations… a shocking article in Hyperallergic, a young woman protestor being charged with gang behavior, a crime in Utah that carries a life in prison max, scare tactics?, pretty outrageous that it is even possible… an article in The Millions about a guy who gets books signed by Authors and asks for one line of advice as part of the signature, Zadie Smith apparently wrote, Don’t confuse honors with achievement., to which i want to add the corollary, don’t confuse lack of honors with lack of achievement, which brings me to note that i yet again did not make it into the finalists of Critical Mass, not unexpected, though it was desired and would have been nice, K has been there twice, his work is good, mine is too, his has people, it seems harder to make it if you don’t photograph people in some way or another, i like to think i photograph the presence of people, people by their effects, rather than the people themselves… i am disappointed by another article with the headline The Time My Grandma was in Playboy, i of course fell for the bait and switch, hoping to see grandma as a center fold, silly male me… i, read that college football has been cancelled in several places, this is big news apparently… The Ravings of Mad King Trump, an epic take down piece, thought i suspect it will only preach to the converted… a review of Hans-Christian Schink’s book Hinterland, in which i am informed that a large format camera has been used, that this is part of the process of slowing down and looking, i think about using a tripod myself, as a means to slow down, the pictures are a kind i can imagine myself making… a review of The Living Mountain, by Jorg Colberg, i want to buy it…

August 10, 2020

227.4 lbs

08:01 AM – unusual amount of activity by the creek, father son fishing, man smoking weed…

07:15 AM – walking, Sargent Downing School

… something wrong with the internet H texts, yes, i know, i reply, probably an Optimum problem… quick research on camera harness and sling, thinking about ditching neck strap which even with smallest lens fatigues my neck… i am sitting near a tree, nuts falling constantly…

04:16 AM – dining room

… glad to see weight down, discipline and calorie counting this week… visit with J went well, exhausting, but good to see her… family visit good too… the work of Laura Stevens, nude photos of men, many of the poses seem quite feminine in a masculine way, if that makes sense, it certainly isn’t that the men seem gay or otherwise womanly, it just seems that the poses she has them assume are associated in my mind with how women might pose in a nude shot, and one shot of a hair armpit seems clitoral, it takes me a long time to figure out it is an armpit, my male tendency to find all things remotely feminine sexual?, interesting… an interesting but ultimately without an aha moment article on pig production for food and science…

August 09, 2020

229.2 lbs

08:19 AM – walking, Madam Brett Trail

… back release break… three old time Beaconites, two with masks, one without, friendship stronger than safety concerns, most people out this morning wearing masks or willing to cover up… strange scraping noise heading down the tracks in the distance, someone walks by, light footed, woman perhaps, i don’t look… wondering what the Sunday talk show circuit will look like…

07:28 AM – walking

… a strange high pitched sound, like running a finger around a glass rim, but coming across the landscape, so, bigger…

06:29 AM – dining room

… did not have much to review in Feedly feed, so did some photo chores, starting the day caught up, won’t be able to process photos today, but won’t be too far behind tomorrow… ordered a new track ball mouse, old one bit the dust when i dumped a glass of water on it, why is everything trying to go kaput lately?, serious rift in the universe, that’s for sure…

04:47 AM – dining room

… Heather Cox Richardson is thoroughly depressing this AM, Republican inability to act in the Senate has morphed into 45 riding into save the day in ways he does not have the authority to do, but he dares the Dems to challenge him on it, which will allow him to paint them as villains, what say you Nancy Pelosi, how do you deal with this?… on top of it are the extreme threats to the social safety net at state and federal level… these are really sad times we live in and i desperately hope the Dems can pull off a victory in November, though it looks like 45 is clawing his way back to popular enough to make the election close, which would be a disaster… i move past all the disturbing news, and there is so much, to my other feeds, a book catches my eye because it is the kind of book i might make if i could get my book making act together, Landfall by Sal Taylor Kydd, expensive, $100, not sure what makes it worth that though most likely it is, just out of my price range, i will wait to see if it gets good reviews elsewhere… another book catches my eye, Patrick Sansone, 100 Polaroids, good photographs, no people or people from a distance in the images presented, it is becoming something of a thing with me, work largely without people, the evidence of people only, because, of course, that is what i do, i aim to turn inability to photograph people into a virtue and love any example of photography that does the same…

  1. Kurt Vonnegut, via Literary Hub, August 11, 2020

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