Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Idée d’jour

The more talking and thinking, the farther from the truth.
— Seng-Ts’an

Photo details: ISO 400, 1/13, f5.6

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Street Phantom

Ink stains on the pillow where dreams turned to rust
phantoms on fog streets walk over broken grass
thunderous brows open kitchen sink coffee grounds
counting the rest stops alone your life lines
counting the diversions in your tea leaves
opening blue evening closing your eyes
loving the calendar like a waitress
where dreams turn to rust and collections are untrue
where you open your hand and the rest stops are closed
where you open the central line and the heart beats faster
where the ink stains burn holes into your pillow


This is one of three "Midtown" markers I have noticed in my travels. This is on NW 10th Street, half a block east of Robinson.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Idée d’jour

We boil at different degrees.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Idée d’jour

Our heads are round so that thoughts can change direction.
— Francis Picabia, painter and poet (1879-1953)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Idée d’jour

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
— Leonardo da Vinci

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Original First Christian Church

The south entrance of the original First Christian Church, on the corner of NW 10th and Robinson.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Idée d’jour

When you've got it,there's no place for it but a poem.
— Wu Pen

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Idée d’jour

Open your mouth and you're wrong.
— Zen Saying

Monday, January 14, 2008

1st Baptist Church

A fine example of "Okie Gothic" near down town OKC. What strikes me as odd is the fact that it is a Baptist church.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Idée d’jour

Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.
— Oscar Wilde

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Composite Jonah

Not quite Warhol, but still different.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


This is the first picture I've taken using the RAW format. [GEEK ALERT].

I took a Photoshop class year before last, and the first thing the instructor did was write the following equation on the board:
“JPG = E V I L”
The instructor extolled the virtues of RAW. He claimed it was as good as film quality. The learned user certainly has more control than over a JPG, and the quality of the original file is never comprised. I've read that a JPG file loses quality each time the user opens it – even if s/he does not edit the file; the explanation has to do with the compression/decompression method.

Anyway, the colors in this image do seem to "pop", don't they?

By the way — this shrub is scheduled to get a trim this Saturday.

Perusing Inspiration

One way to become a better photographer is to study the work of the masters. Here, your correspondent is flipping through a Christmas present from a friend, a collection of photographs from the National Geographic. It's possible I'm also concentrating on the radio-controlled shutter release in my right hand.

Ideé d’jour

I need someone to protect me from all the measures they take in order to protect me. — Banksy, street artist (b. 1974)
Take the Patriot Act ... PLEASE.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Idée d’jour

Faith which does not doubt is dead faith.
— Miguel de Unamuno, philosopher and writer (1864-1936)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Idée d’jour

When I play from my mind I get in trouble.
— Stevie Ray Vaughan

Saturday, January 05, 2008

1st Christian

The facade of the original First Christian Church in Oklahoma City. This building is now home to "City Church," and the First Christian community has been meeting in "the dome church" since sometime in the 1950s.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday Five: New Year's Resolutions

This week's series of questions is offered by Sally:
  1. Do you make New Year resolutions?
    Yes, but rarely more than one or two. In middle age, I try to aim for what I perceive to be reasonably attainable goal.
  2. Is this something you take seriously, or is it a bit of fun?
    Mostly fun. Though I'd be unaccountably pleased with myself if I accomplished even one resolution.
  3. Share one goal for 2008.
    Less TV; more time with living folk. I already missed one chance, yesterday evening. My justification was the fact that it was quite chilly, and I need to protect my vocal folds; I'm performing this evening. So - perhaps I should give myself a dispensation.
  4. Money is no barrier, share one wild/ impossible dream for 2008
    Travel to Ireland. I recently received a sum of money which could cover this trip, and I have plenty of vacation time accrued. However, my practical side is lobbying for using the money to return to school, with the goal of finally earning my Bachelor's.
       I watched "Once" this past weekend (highly recommended), and it re-ignited my desire to spend a week in Ireland. I even developed the fantasy of buying a guitar in a second-hand shop once I arrived, and busking from town to town. I've got the tenor voice for it.
  5. Someone wants to publish a story of your year in 2008, what will the title of that book be?
    Jonah Learns to Love the Whale, one man's discovery of romance and quotidian love

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Review: A Short History of Myth, by Karen Armstrong

Published by Canongate as an introductory volume to their "The Myths", Short History of Myth is about the length of a pamphlet (176 pgs). Canongate's "Myth" series are retellings of classic myths by modern authors. Ms. Armstrong's volume is a digested introduction of theories put forward more compellingly by Joseph Campbell, Mircea Eliade, and others.

It is possibly unfair to compare Ms. Armstrong's pamphlet to these others. It is intended as nothing more than a brief introduction, which leads her to make pronouncements with little documentation. She is, in effect, attempting to cover the same material in 176 pages that Joseph Campbell attempted to cover in The Masks of God, which covers four volumes; any one of which is three times longer than Ms. Armstrong's book.

Most of Ms. Armstrong's history corresponds with Campbell's work. However, she does not clearly demark opinion from fact or generally accepted theory, which I see as a flaw. Coupled with the lack of citations, this flaw rates the work as a very slight monograph at best.

I think it likely these flaws result from the book's brevity. The other books in "The Myths" series are about the same length, and could reasonably be called "novellas" rather than novels. My suspicion is that Ms. Armstrong was asked to write an introduction less than 200 pages long, so the book would be about the same size as the other books in the series.

I suppose the book works as a simplistic and very general introduction. It might be useful for a high school student who couldn't read Joseph Campbell.

There is one final flaw, which I find the most disappointing: the last chapter attempts to argue that new myths are being created in books. The problem with this argument is that most of the monograph has approached myth-making as a communal event. Reading is a strikingly individual pursuit. I think a stronger argument can be made that movies are the new mythology (Joseph Campbell actually made this argument) because groups of people typically share movies in a pseudo-cave.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Idée d’jour

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it — and stop there — lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more.
— Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


This continues a series of photographs I began at Jonah 365. The penultimate picture there was of the south-west corner of this building, the original location of the 1st Christian Church. There is a plaque on the facade which lists 1911.