:: Kudzu ::    A tangle of green thoughts taking over the landscape of my mind.

» 7.30.2004

bird on a wire...

{ Photo Friday : Sunset }

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [5]   ]

» 7.29.2004

fresh fruit...

I found this watermelon in the garden of Jennifer's grandfather.  (Athens, AL)
{ Theme Thursday : Found }

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» 7.28.2004

{ Guest Writer : Sarah Hatter }

We didn't know each other well. We'd never met, only exchanged emails and instant messages. When I admit to people that I didn't even know him at the time, that we'd only "IMed" and hadn't even had a phone conversation, there is a part of me that's pretty embarrassed by it. Even in today's modern world of technology infused intimacy, it was still a weird relationship. We hadn't even met. But I was drawn to him. And at the time I suppose I wasn't really thinking logically.

That's what happens, you know. Logic is tossed aside for late night phone calls when you've got to work in the morning, logic has nothing to do with your heart swooning when you see a photograph of someone you want to touch and smell and know deeply. Logic isn't a primary concern when you think you've met someone you were meant to meet all along. Logic is the last thing that matters.

What mattered then was getting his attention. Something had to be done to tell him in an incredibly non-threatening way that I thought about him, not just in the way you think of a person when something jogs your memory but in the way where you're thinking about a person all the time. Even someone you don't know well, someone you've just conjured up fantastic dreamy assumptions about their lives and how perfect they are. At this point, we hadn't even met, so "perfect" was all I knew of him.

And I knew he liked hot sauce. And I also happened to know of a restaurant in my city that sold world-renowned hot sauce, the kind drizzled with all sorts of awards and ribbons and accolades from big fat men in overalls. It's damn good sauce, and it was the kind of surprise gift that revealed I knew something about him, something subtle but slightly meaningful, and I was acting on that knowledge to get his attention. Maybe my way of analyzing what I was about to do was logical, but doing it was pure infatuation.

I sent him a box of hot sauce. It was a romantic gesture, it was thoughtful, but it was very, very strange. Imagine a package arrives to your door, addressed to you from someone you've never met, and inside is *hot sauce.* Surely he was taken aback, not in the way that makes him think, "Wow, this girl is incredible!" but more in the way that might make him say, "Wow. This girl is...uh..." And I was, truly, I was. I was more "...uh..." at the time than anything, which is just how I am. Especially when it comes to someone like him.

That was a year ago. And much to my surprise, the sauce actually worked for a while. Just the other day we remembered that I had sent it with such romantic hopefulness, and the swell of memories of what seems like was so long ago overcame me. Romance and it's cohorts always work, at least until logic sets in.

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» 7.27.2004

two'fer tuesday: hot stuff...

{ The Kiss : 8 votes}

{ The Heat : 9 votes}

[ Voting closed. ]

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [21]   ]

» 7.26.2004

the new neighbor [part 2]...

[ part 1 ]

The car ride was relatively quick and oppressively quiet. We neither one spoke more than a few words, though I was curious as to the identity and purpose of the two suited gentlemen in the rear seat of George's car. They looked like prototypical body guards, so I refrained from vocalizing my curiosity beyond an obvious expression of puzzlement on my face.

The restaurant was not the sort of establishment I expected. It was more an homage to a half remembered "Mel's Dinner" from TV, more rustic than dirty. Not pretentious like the Peach Pit from 90210. It was original. It didn't need to be hip or trendy.

As we entered, an older, yet good natured waitress greeted us and left us to find our own seats. The only customers, we took a pair of stools at the counter near the register. Our two mysterious companions took a booth strategically situated in the corner, with a good view of the entire establishment and easy access to the rear door.

"I take it they get paid to be suspicious," I finally said. George just laughed. An unqualified confirmation, to be sure.

After ordering, we resumed the conversation from earlier in the evening. I told him of my new work that prompted our move into his neighborhood and explained the delay of my wife and child in joining me, all before the waitress had time to return with our coffee. He seemed interested, though I couldn't quite tell if was simple politeness.

I quickly turned to his work, which was far more interesting. He humbly and quickly dismissed his latest project as unimportant. Typical. Disappointed, we moved on to other topics, slowly marking out conversational territory of mutual interest. Work was obviously a bust, politics failed us, and music was a completely non-starter. Somehow the conversation worked back around to movie adaptations of Philip K. Dick short stories.

"Dick's stories were absolute genius!" George exclaimed, slapping the table with the palm of his hand to mark his point.

"Absolutely," I quickly agreed. "Though a his pacing can be erratic at times." I wasn't exactly sure I knew what I meant by that statement, but maybe it would make me sound intellectual.

"It could be, I suppose, but that's no excuse for what Hollywood has done to them on film. Abominations. All of them."

"I don't know," I interjected timidly. "I mean... It's true they've never done a true adaptation, and several have been miserable. But with a few, they have taken Dick's story and used it as a solid foundation to build a really good movie. Blade Runner, for instance. Or Minority Report. Not even my dislike of Tom Cruise hurt that movie."

George mumbled a weak agreement but his face had soured. "Stephen really is a jerk. He's just so darn hard to work with," he griped.

"Guess you shouldn't let him direct Indiana 4," I suggested, taking a long sip of coffee. I watched the waitress take orders from the two suits, then move back around to the kitchen. George stirred his coffee in long, slow circles and didn't reply.

The awkward silence was interrupted by a loud buzzing. I tried looking past the counter to see if it was coming from the kitchen. George seemed unaffected by it. I felt a sudden and sharp elbow in my side. It was my wife's elbow. I reached out blindly with my arm, hit the snooze, and stole nine more minutes of sleep before work.

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» 7.23.2004

mommy's sillly...

Taken at a store down on Beale St. in Memphis, TN
{ Photo Friday : Mother }

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» 7.22.2004

leaving grandma's house...

{ Theme Thursday : Sadness }

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» 7.20.2004

two'fer tuesday: rose of sharon...

{ Two : 6 votes }

{ Too Many : 11 votes }

[ Voting is closed... ]

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [20]   ]

» 7.19.2004

the new neighbor [part 1]...

The place was huge. I couldn't get over that. Couldn't seem to escape the thought, the reality, of it. I stood staring at the control unit for the thermostat bewildered. Who needs this many separate climate zones, really? I found the right combinations of buttons and commands and the compressor spun quietly to life, sending cool air to the upper rooms. Now, maybe the movers would quit complaining about the heat.

"You have a visitor at the door, sir." I was startled by the voice. Who has a butler these days. I mean, really? Who? Certainly not me. Not sure if I'll ever get used to strangers in my house. "I believe it's one of your neighbors, sir."

"Uh... Thanks. Send him on in" I stammered in reply. Friendly neighbors. A good sign. "Maybe he'll have a cake," I mumbled. "I'm hungry."

I turned back to the thermostat intent on learning the controls. I'll be darned if I'm living in a house where I can't even set the temperature.

Fixated as I was, I nearly missed the voice behind me "Hi. George" he said, hand extended towards me. "I live just next door."

I swung around to face him and gasped inwardly. "Of course you are." I said unconsciously, grasping at his hand. "I'm Shane. Nice to meet you."

Eventually remembering my manners, I offered him a drink. "Rum and coke, hold the rum," he replied. A teetotaler and a bad comic. 'We should get along great,' I thought.

We sipped at our sodas and made small talk as I showed him around the new home. He casually admitted to never liking the privious owner, quickly sharing a small list of the former occupant's grivious sins, likely in hopes that I would refrain from similar behavior. Fair enough, though there's little chance I will end a drunking shout fest with my wife by driving the new Hummer through his front gate.

At the conclusion of the nickel tour, He suggested we continue our conversation over dinner; his treat. Since it was late and I was still hungry, I accepted. Sure sounded better than unpacking boxes.

"Great. I'll drive," he said. "Wait here and I'll pull around and pick you up."

[ to be continued... ]

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» 7.16.2004

coleman's first beach trip...

{ Photo Friday : Ocean }

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» 7.14.2004

green, white, and blue...

In case you missed it, the clouds look like cotton balls over this field of cotton plants...
{ Theme Thursday : Cotton }

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [6]   ]


Fireworks on 7.3.04 in Navarre, FL

I've said before that I'm not interesting in being an expert at any one thing, but I do want to be good at a lot of things and knowledgeable regarding just about everything else. The idea of the renaissance man appeals to me. Is it a product of my nature, my hardwiring, whatever? Or is it a product of my gypsy youth? A question I can't answer, though I'm not sure I care what the answer really is.

I've been called a "quitter" before, but it really doesn't frame the issue completely. Sure, I'll start something, get excited about it, then drop it completely from my radar a short time later. Sure, you could call that "quitting", but I see it differently. I see it as fulfilling the desire. I've scratched that itch, satisfied the urge, and now it's gone. Done that. Move on. Next subject.

"What does this have to do with fireworks," you ask? Well, it isn't so much the fireworks but the capture of fireworks photographically. My obsession with pictures is relatively new. Photography has only been on my radar for the last year or so, and is therefore just reaching it's adolescence in terms of a hobby.

I guess it makes sense, here, to stop and give you some sense of the typical life cycle of a hobby. First, there's the Accidental Beginning. Then we move on to the Rabid Evangelical Stage. Next is the Awkward Development Stage. The final stage brings us to one of two possible conclusions: Casual Enjoyment or Outright Boredom. ( Obviously, these stages can, and generally do, overlap.)

My photography is currently in the beginnings of the Awkward Development Stage. This is the point where I realize I could be better if I actually understood more. Play becomes Study. Accident becomes Intention. Make sense? (Back to the fireworks...)

With photography, occasion is important. Each new trip, each new experience, gives you an opportunity to capture something new and unique. This is why I carry my camera everywhere I go these days. A severe lack of pride and brazen willingness to stop on the side of the road are also helpful.

The trip to the gulf for the 4th of July weekend opened up a relatively rare opportunity to photography fireworks. Not knowing the best method for capturing the display, I consulted the newsgroups about the proper settings for firework photography. With a good starting point (f/10 with about a 3 second shutter seemed to work quite well) and a bit of experimentation, I got a few of the shots that I wanted.

Was I then happy? Satiated? Content? No, not really. It only made me realize what I did wrong (should have used raw mode, tweaked the settings a little more, etc...) and how weak my resolve to get good shots truly was (should have gotten to the site earlier and gotten a better angle, etc...).

As with any hobby, though, it's cumulative. What I didn't do this time, I'll remember for next time. What knowledge I gained this time, I will add to with each successive opportunity. Provided I don't hit Outright Boredom before the next opportunity rolls around...

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» 7.13.2004

two'fer tuesday: liberty...

{ Stars Spangled Banner : 6 votes}

{ Rockets Red Glare : 7 votes}

[ we're back... sorry this one is a week late. voting has ended... story on it's way... ]

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [18]   ]

» 7.12.2004

excuses, excuses, excuses...

What? Sure I said I'd put up extra photos over the weekend since I've been such a clod and not written in so long, but how many of you, by show of hands, actually thought I'd keep that promise. Ok, three of you, but you three are new and arn't yet accustomed to the frequency with which I despense disapointment. Now the obligitory and might i add genuine, apology: Sorry.

That behind us, I'll give you my lame excuse: We went house hunting on Sunday. Woohoo, right? Watching paint dry is more fun than house shopping. Take everything guys h.a.t.e. about shopping and multiply by a factor of 5 or so... Not my idea of a good time, especially in the current heat. As you can see from the photo above, I spent as much time photographing the plants as I did debating floor plans.

However... we were quite productive and today put in an offer on a house. We're keeping our expectations a bit low because it's already under a conditional contract. Our offer forces the other buyers to finalize their offer or move along. Piss or get off the pot, is the proper southern expression, I do believe... We're praying it works out though, because it would be rather perfect for us and was right in the range we were hoping to spend. (It has a room that would make an absolute perfect office/studio.)

Finally (since it's well past my bed time), Here's a bonus photo I got today. It's a rainbow that formed along the leading edge of a tall cloud over Memphis. I've never seen a rainbow like that. Very cool...

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» 7.9.2004

took the long way home...

Well... after a long weekend with the family in Florida, we returned to find that Coleman's web host was hit by lightening. Since the web host for Kudzu is still not letting me post, I've been posting to Coleman's server and moving files over manually. With his down, I had no way of posting. Sigh.

Oh well. We're back in action now. I'll try to post some extra photos and such this weekend to make it up to you...

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jennifer by moonlight...

Jennifer relaxing at Navarre Beach, FL just after moonrise...
{ Photo Friday : Cool }

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» 7.8.2004

i can fly higher...

These two birds were flying high over a golf course in Destin, Fl...
{ Theme Thursday : Wings }

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» 7.2.2004

dad and coleman...

{ Photo Friday : Father }

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» 7.1.2004

i'd like to teach the world to sing...

The side of a building down on Beale St. here in Memphis, TN...
{ Theme Thursday : Cliché }

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