22 May 2009

I was blind and now I see

Whoa. Okay, so you know how everybody tells you that red bell peppers are like, great sources of antioxidants? (Whatever that means.) And vitamin a and what have you? Well, get THIS: red peppers also have THREE TIMES the vitamin C content of an orange. THREE TIMES! Apparently just half of one of these guys is your daily dose! What I want to know is, why aren't they blending THESE into smoothies?? Seriously, next time I'm sick, forget the o.j. I'm making fajitas, and that is THAT.

While we're on the subject, I had a delicious baked red pepper today with melted halloumi and pesto on top, served on a bed of olive-oil drenched basil leaves. HOLY DELICIOUS, BATMAN. I feel healthier already.

I think that I shall never see / a poem lovely as a tree

One of the things that struck me most in Greece were the olive trees. Notably, their color. They're silver. I know what you’re thinking: ‘No effing way.’ Or maybe, because you don’t really care about trees, you’re thinking, ‘That’s probably the ouzo talking.’ But SERIOUSLY. I can’t make this stuff up. I’m not Garcia-Marquez. Take THIS, for example:

Look at the tree on the left. All nice and yellow and sunset-y. Look at the tree in the middle, happy and gay and green. Now look at the one on the right. Holy. Crazy. SILVER TREE. This is the olive. It’s un-buh-leevuble. You should see a whole grove of them. It’s pretty much the most unphotogenic thing in the world, or I’d post a photo of one here. Aw, heck. I will anyway. Just so you know, this is NOT under-exposed. I took about a kazillion of these photos trying to find one that worked (less sky! more grass! less grass! more leaves! more sky!), but apparently trying to make a grove of olive trees look good is like trying to put a leprechaun in your pocket. Something else I've tried on a number of occasions.

Check out this netting. Apparently when the olives are in season, they just roll the nets out to cover the ground and catch them. And when olives aren't in season, they roll them up like you see above (and below).

I liked the mystical look of all these black shrouds draping down the mountainside. The gravelike aura they gave was wonderfully spooky. It also made me glad that I had a leprechaun in my pocket.

20 May 2009

Little Shop of Horrors

I have to go buy some art supplies for my mom today. This is a very dangerous thing for me, as art stores are my kryptonite. Not because I am an artist--no, no, then it wouldn't be so bad--but because as soon as I step foot into an art store, I'm convinced I'm THISCLOSE to my life's fulfillment in the creative arts. That maybe, if I just had the right tools, all of that latent talent would reveal itself, and my new paints will fly from my new brush onto my new canvas, and galleries will seek my magnificent works, and in only a few short weeks, the SFMoMA will call to interview this Fresh Young Talent, demanding to know where I've been hiding all these years. Or if I don't feel like painting on canvas, I can tackle my new textiles that I will stamp with my new rubber pads, on which I will carve designs with my new knife, after squirting my new textile paint onto my new piece of glass, rolled out with my new brayer roller. I'll be the next Lotta Jansdotter! I think as I survey the colors in the shop and imagine hand-stamped leaves adorning the corners of the new pillowcases I'd buy that afternoon.

And then I come home, arms overflowing with supplies, brimming with enthusiasm and ideas. Supplies that will never be touched more than once every six months, when I need to decorate a postcard.

This is why I can't go in art stores and have forbidden myself more than passing entry. But maybe a little bit of stationery can't hurt? Maybe some vellum, with glassine envelopes? That will inspire me to write more letters! I NEED it...But NO! No, today, I will be strong. Oh, yes. I will be strong.

15 May 2009

'Boats on Water,' or 'My Recent Trip to Greece.'

I was originally going set up an online photo album of the recent shots I took in Greece* and just provide a link to it, but then I realized that I am TERRIBLE at looking at other people's online photo albums, no matter how matter how much I want to see pictures from their vacations to Egypt**, so why should I expect you to go to the effort to look through mine? So instead I will FORCE you to look at them by posting some of the shots right HERE:

The first couple of days there were stormy, which was great for two reasons: one, it made the sky so much more dynamic than a sunny day can ever do, and two, it made me nostalgic for my childhood spent in the heart of tornado alley, Oklahoma. I didn't realize how much I missed the wall-shaking rumbles and room-lighting flashes and the black-and-orange sky of a good, honest springtime tempest until our mountaintop villa started shaking during dinner on our second night. I've got to start planning my vacations back home better. If I don't sprint through hail on the way to a tornado cellar at least once on my next family visit, then I haven't planned properly.

'Boat on water.'

'Men playing cards.'
Seeing these two playing cards in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, in a taverna on the water, made me realize that somewhere along the career path, I made a wrong turn.

'Another Boat on Water.'
I know what you're thinking: 'Did you photoshop that boat into the photo?' No. No, I did not. But I DID make it appear using the power of my mind, so I still cheated.
*Sidebar: I recently had the pleasure of spending ten days in Corfu and got back a week ago. It was rad. I am now dog-sitting in Kensington, which I dare say is as much a leap in lifestyle as Greece was. I would post photos from this, too, except I'm spending most of my time at Whole Foods.

**I'm actually lying. I don't at ALL want to see your vacation photos of Egypt. But your wedding album, now THAT would be a treat.