Category Archives: Ephemera

Set dressing

Before me and Miss dog were movie extras I had no idea what actually went into making a movie. The movie we were in (we were sort of in, our scene was cut) was set in present day, so we just dressed in a tidier form of normal wear. But the movie that M’s uncle was in was a period piece, dust bowl 1930’s so the town had to get a few additions to make it look the part. It did not need much to make the town appear old and decrepit.

This is actually the window of the old post office, they built a new one about 15 years ago. Perhaps there was once a barber shop in town, but not in living memory.

An elderly resident remembered when this was a general store, but of course the window sign is new. I don’t ever remember this being open for business in the past 43 years.

The set designers stuck up a few posters to give some atmosphere, I guess this sort of thing might have played in small towns. Maybe?

A faded circus poster for an imaginary circus. I suppose that elephants could have got here on the train (back when it stopped in town).

And here’s another poster for a competing circus, they were certainly popular, I guess. The other addition to the town, a dirt street, was removed after filming. Only these signs and posters show that they were ever here.

All of this flotsam of moviemaking has piqued my curiosity about this movie. I did check and it has only been released at a film festival and in Russia (?). But I expect that one day, sooner or later the movie will be released on Netflix or Amazon Prime and I will be able to satisfy my curiosity (or the scene will have been cut). 🙂

Fate

I think that most people wish that they knew what Fate has in store for them. And there are different ways to try and find this out.

When I was a young woman I did go with a friend to see a palm reader once. We were driving around aimlessly with a guy when we passed the fortune teller’s house, and my friend suddenly needed to know her fate. So she got the guy to pay the five dollars, and was told the usual sort of vague promises, while me and the guy giggled in the corner. I can’t remember if any of the predictions came true, but surely after all these years at least one of them must have. (You will meet a stranger, you will come into money, you will marry a guy, etc. etc.)

For a much more impersonal reading than from a live person, this machine would give your fate based on one’s astrological sign. And for only a penny! Surely the machine would know one’s fate.

Then there was this palm reader, which will work for only a quarter. The image shown is wearing a turban, so one can count on this reading being accurate.

Or would a yak be a more trustworthy fortune teller?

This guy has the crystal ball, tarot cards and the turban, so I assume this machine would be the most reliable predictor of one’s future. But I don’t know for sure because I put my quarters in the horse racing machine (I lost).

So I leave you, dear reader, with a few quotes about fate saved in my commonplace book: “there’s fate at the end of every story” and “knowing too much of your future is never a good thing”. Both are possibly true.

Or maybe this is the machine with the answers? (Your actual mileage may vary).

Clouds

A little gale will soon disperse that cloud.

For every cloud engenders not a storm.

Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short.

Many thanks to our old friend Bill Shakespeare for once again writing a guest column on this blog.

Truckin’

Food trucks have become a popular choice for dining out. It’s a phenomenon that started in big cities and it is a trend that has even become popular here. I was driving down the street on the way to the dentist (driving very slowly) when I saw this group of food trucks in a parking lot. And as I was hungry after the dentist visit, I decided to stop in and see what’s cooking.

Well this guy is my favorite and I have often patronized his truck. He makes a delicious lobster roll (lobster meat held together with a little mayonnaise on a special grilled bun) and other things I have never tried, but I wasn’t quite in the mood for lobster today.

There was a wide variety of vehicles serving food. This is obviously a converted school bus. (It would be more fun to ride to school if they also served hot dogs on the way). 😉

I liked this truck because it was brightly colored, but this truck doesn’t serve any food, just treats.

One doesn’t need to have a truck at this food rendezvous. These folks were unconventional in their vehicle and unconventional in their menu, a vegan po-boy indeed! (No such thing exists).

I liked this trailer, a miniaturized version of a food truck. I assume it had the essential bits for serving food, it didn’t take up any excess space, and was just a cute little thing.

So what did I choose to eat on this occasion? I got a grilled Cuban sandwich (roasted pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickle and mustard) from “Lucy, I’m home” and I was so busy eating that I forgot to take a picture. There were so many other delicious looking choices I shall have to go back and try them all (except the vegan po-boy).

Shadows again

I don’t know why I am obsessed with shadows, but I am. My dictionary (yes an actual physical book which sits next to my computer) first defines a shadow as: A comparative darkness within an illuminated area, especially that caused by the interruption of light by a body or object. Further down the listing it defines shadow as, A mirrored image: to see one’s shadow in a pool (this one does not seem to be as familiar a usage).

So there was another free day at the local museum, and as usual I popped in to see what’s new. And there was an abundance of shadows to be seen in the newest show.

This artist had used found bits of the detritus of life to make art. While the artwork itself was only mildly interesting, the works cast fabulous shadows.

Definitely an interruption of light going on here.

And here as well.

All of the pieces are made of similar stuff, bits and pieces of flotsam wired together, but each casting a lovely shadow of comparative darkness thanks to the illumination of the museum lighting.

Here was my favorite reflection of the day, it features multiple mirrorings of the original thanks to it’s plexiglass box. Repetition and enigma, these are things that add an extra bit of interest to the art, and were probably never intended or anticipated by the artist. But it’s what I see and appreciate when I look at these works.

State ments

I love to see a personalized car, and to find out where a person considers home. (I was always baffled by a friend who had lived here for 40 years, which was well over half their life, refer to another state as “home”).

So sometimes one chooses a rather abstract image of their favorite place, like the invisible Michigan mitten, surrounded by the Great Lakes to show their affinity.

This person also chose a somewhat abstract image, it’s the symbol from the Wyoming license plate of a cowboy on a bucking bronco (a male horse).

This sticker features just the outline of the state of Texas, and of course it’s on a pickup truck with a huge tool box (no gun rack, though).

This one has the logo and colors of the major college in the state, perhaps this person is an alumni, or perhaps they just follow the sports team.

Our state flag often appears as a symbol mixed with one’s favorite obsessions. Here is the Colorado alien (from the movie ‘Alien’), ready to attack any humans that stray across it’s path.

The elk perhaps indicates that this person is a hunter (elk is unfortunately delicious) or maybe it’s a sign that they just enjoy the outdoors and the native wildlife.

This person identifies with Denver, the wonky curved building is a symbol of the city, with stylized mountains forming a backdrop. (So what are they doing in this town?)

This person likes Colorado like they like their cat, but their love is for New Mexico (and I certainly share some of this love too).

Still More Windows

I love that people use stickers to personalize their cars. One can go completely insane and personalize one’s car with chrome plating, a custom paint job, an upgraded motor, but all of this runs to serious money. Or one can somehow acquire a little sticker that lets people know what one finds interesting. It’s a little bit of one’s personality on display. Of course I see lots of them as I am driving along, but it is hard to get the traffic to stop so that I might take a picture. So these are various stickers that I noticed as I strolled along in parking lots.

Friends are important, even if they are part of the evil empire.

Nobody here in this car but the chickens. (How do they reach the foot pedals)?

Now wait a minute, I really don’t think the Beatles are members of this family. For one thing, I am fairly certain that the Beatles would be driving a much, much nicer car.

This person has a rather negative attitude about showing one’s family connections. But at the same time, they obviously have a love of stickers. Hmmm, what a conundrum.

Okay, now this person is more on my wavelength. And at this point you are probably wondering what sort of sticker have I put on my car? None. So I remain an enigma.

Still More Shadows

I’m sure that management of the local art museum would be appalled that I often like the shadows cast by art better that some of the art they display. It’s just that the shadows are ephemeral (and sometimes more interesting). In truth most things in life are ephemeral, we just don’t realize it at the time.

I thought this piece was fabulous, as it has not just one, but two of my obsessions: shadows and reflections. I didn’t read the label, so I have no idea why this piece was displayed. So the theme of the room was art by Red Indians (also known as Native Americans, Indigenous Peoples, etc), so it was probably made by an Indian artist.

I considered saving this picture for the series that I have called “What a knob”, but I decided that I really like the shadow version better. And what is so special about this knob? Well, it came from the mansion of the city founder. I suppose that at some point they found a more interesting knob, so this one was consigned to the trash heap, until now.

I love this shadow cast by a Chihuly glass sculpture. It always makes me think of the worms that they put in the bottom of bottles of tequila. But this bit of shadow put me in mind of a pterodactyl (so you know where this post is going next).

Yes, here is a shadow cast by an actual pterodactyl. The painting is supposed to show the ghost of an early miner, hoping to make his fortune in gold or silver (doesn’t look like he was successful). And of course I think the painting is much improved with the addition of the shadow of a pterodactyl, courtesy of the fabulous museum lighting.

Friends

Everyone needs friends. It’s nice to have someone sympathetic to chat with, or just chill with and enjoy their company. Pteri is no exception.

Brontosaurus are always going on about how delicious the vegetarian lifestyle is and how everyone should adopt this.

And this friend couldn’t agree more, yes plants are delicious. (Pteri has heard this all before.)

T-rex likes to go on about the joys of being a carnivore and great places to eat when not whining about the problems of having very short arms (although it means you never have to pick up a check). It’s interesting for a bit, still it is pleasant to be able to hang with one’s fellow dinos, whatever the topic.

But for real enjoyment it is great to hang out with the locals, wear silly hats, and send out a Christmas wish to all the distant friends.

Reflections

It is always interesting to see what turns out when one takes a photograph (although nowadays with digital photography one can quickly check the image).   Your brain sees the thing in front of you, and what the camera sees is what’s actually there.  And what’s there is often a reflection of the nearby buildings, cast upon the window glass.   I sometimes like the reflection better, because it is two images in one.

This reflection was taken deliberately as I liked the juxtaposition of the clashing styles.  The imposing classical dome of the V & A is reflected against the 60’s architectural add-on of the Natural History museum.

I liked the contrast of the smoothly modern shop selling Italian design, reflecting the townhouses that rise above shop fronts tacked on at street level.

This cow is well on her way to jumping over the moon, as she is already about to soar over this tall building.

Although the sky looks plain and formless ahead, the glass in this modern office block shows that somewhere quite near there is blue sky and fluffy clouds.  Lost in the concrete canyons of a city, it is lovely to be reminded of this.