Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Late Afternoon Sun

Amid all the gray yesterday afternoon,
 I was nearly blinded by the sun's reflection 
off a nearby building. The clouds were filled 
with snow, so I must've gotten the last few 
of the rays allotted for the day.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Little Frosty Around the Edges

Along with most of my family, I started a cold 
Christmas day. While mine is mild, the younger ones 
and their mamas are suffering with flu 
and sinus infections. Bleh! and all that to this
seasonal assault on people's daily lives,
especially to the moms who, ill themselves,
must also see to the timely meds of their babies.
I spent the weekend curled up on the couch,
watching movies, doing crossword puzzles,
and working on a drawing/painting.
On Monday, I went out for breakfast and
to buy groceries. After being in a coolish apartment,
then the cold outdoors, I nearly fainted when
I went into the too-warm atmosphere of the
restaurant. I ate my breakfast, savored my coffee, 
then returned outside where, unbelieveably, 
I enjoyed the chill air of the morning.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Feeling Icky

I am rarely ill. I don't know what's brought on 
my current bout with aches, pains, couching and runny nose. 
I definitely have them, though. All I want to do 
is to curl up in a fetal position under a quilt,
watching Downton Abbey reruns and a Clint Eastwood 
Harry Callahan movie. One odd bit that interested
me was a program called The Great British Bake Off.
Oh, yum. Even though I couldn't have eaten the offerings,
the anticipation of the numerous cakes
was wonderfully devine.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Joys (or Not) of Commuting, Part II

Not having a car definitely has its drawbacks.
The bus system in this city has always been inefficient 
and inconvenient; planning an outing means knowing 
it will be a safari requiring time and patience.
On the other hand, because I've always walked 
or taken a bus I know and see this city
in an entirely different way than do the people
who drive everywhere, texting and talking on cell phones
as they go. On foot, Wednesday morning, I saw
raindrops trembling on the curls of a bare vine.
And as I entered the dressing room to change for practice,
I was greeted by a half dozen snowmen, peeping
around the locker doors to see the reactions of the girls
to the presents left for them on the bench.
I see small beauties in the cracks in sidewalks,
the cracked and peeling paint on pavements.
It's a different world for me, even though I share
the same space as drivers.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Joys (or Not) of Commuting

The above picture was taken Wednesday, 
Christmas Eve, at about 7:30 a.m.
I was half way to a morning swim practice 
on the far east side of Indy, a trip that spanned 
nearly the entire metro area, west to east.
I've commuted by bus to work and to just about
everything I want to do, every event I want
to attend, for virtually my entire working life.
Of those, only the first job involved just
one bus ride from home to work and back.
Everything else has involved two rides, taking about
two hours one way. In that amount of time, 
I could drive to just about any one of the state borders.
"Get a car," you say?
Well, when I was more naive, I believed that success,
like that of folks who worked in Manhattan,
involved having your own apartment and taking
the subways to work. I got that part of my dream.
However, here in Indiana, having an apartment 
and taking the bus relegates you to the category 
of "poor life decisions."  While I knew early on
I didn't want an over-priced mini-McMansion
or a gas-guzzling SUV, I didn't realize just how much
I was denying myself opportunities to enjoy this city 
by not having a car.  However, earning enough money 
to support said car also seemed a thankless task, 
one eternally beyond my means.

When I joined Indy Masters about eighteen 
months ago, I did so with trepidation, just wanting
to improve my swimming skills to help me lose weight.
I had no idea that it would become such a part
of my identity, not only helping with weight loss,
but with issues of confidence and self-esteem that
have plagued me my entire life. Participation
in the practice sessions has led me to 
the thresholds of other places I want to enter;
at a point in my life where most would think 
I should be kicking back to enjoy my "idle time," 
I am trying to to achieve my biggest, 
most illusive dream, to become a "working artist," 
with gallery exhibitions added to my resume 
with embarrassing regularity. 
I would also like to become a really
good swimmer, one who can look at a span of water 
and know she can swim across it successfully.
And I want a car.

I missed the IAM Holiday Party last weekend, 
only to find the Head Coach, Dean Hawks,
had inaugurated a new award, the Wyoming Award, 
which I found I'd earned because of my near-daily
commutes to practice. Coach Dean migrated
to Indy from Wyoming a couple years ago.
I guess he thought my bus rides were nearly
the equivalent of driving across Wyoming to get,
well, anywhere. I joked it should become a 
"traveling trophy," but I think I will put it
on the front bumper of my first car, and I will take
both trophies to practice with pride.
Thank you, Dean. Thank you, George. Thank you, Mel.
Thank you, Brian, the only person who knew
the details of "two buses and a half-mile walk."

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas (and Whatever Else Is Celebrated)

On my way to Christmas Eve swim practice, 
I stopped to take a few early morning pictures 
outside the Indiana State House. 
Here, the statue of Governor Morton, 
flanked by two Union soldiers, looks east towards 
the lighted Monument Circle.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Portrait of a Bus Driver: About the Sixth

I spent Monday at workshops meant to assist me 
to develop my job hunting skills.
The first had one sentence of value to me,
the second was of more use. The work force in this
city is geared more towards the insurance, medical,
technical businesses. My skills are more specialized, 
meant more as support for all of the above -
design for advertising and promotional pieces,
so work is going to be more difficult to find.
I finished the first workshop, then took a bus
back into town to get lunch. 
The bus driver was a picture of concentration 
as she wove through the work day traffic.

Earlier that morning I'd stood at the corner 
of 10th Street and White River Parkway 
to make the connection to get to the workshops.
The structures are storage silos for grain 
storage, specifically corn that the farmers bring
to be dried. On some days the breeze smells like
popcorn, wafting across the river and through
the neighborhoods.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Splash of Red

Sort of.
A work man has been turned loose near the Natatorium,
 marking utilities for future projects.
Scrub the gravel around a bit and the sprayed
blotches would be disrupted, and who knows what
to make of the markings in the plants?
They'll die off long before the project is started.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Staying Connected

The title of this show in the Marsh Gallery
Connection: Exploring Interpersonal Communication.
I had seen some of the artists installing the exhibit
a few days earlier and was glad I returned.

The theme of their work was based in their attempts 
to gain an understanding of the ways people 
interact with each other, specifically through 
social media, e-mail and text messaging. 
What I found fascinating, and ironic,
was much of the exhibit was hand-made.
While the artists definitely used electronic imaging
and printing for elements of their exhibit,
a lot of the pieces were hand-cut, the colored thread
used to create connections was pinned by
industrious hands, and the notes left by visitors
were virtually all hand-written.

The immediacy of the hand-made conveys 
an intimacy that is lost in the electronic media. 
While we may communicate with thousands 
of folks each day, people tend to feel
a certain safety, an anonymity in e-messages
that has proven to be illusory: people write 
mean and hurtful things on the social media, 
things they would not think of writing on paper.
Conversely, folks who develop on-line ties
very often exist in comparative isolation, unable to engage in 
actual interpersonal action, a lonely existence, for sure.
I wonder, however, whether anyone will read
all of the notes that have been left?
Will they be able to categorize and form
any conclusions from the little pieces of paper?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Yellow Triangle

To get the picture I want, one showing the geometry 
and perspective in this entryway,
I'd have to move the trash can. 
That means I'd have to touch it. Then touch my camera. 
Then put the camera back in my coat pocket. 
Then touch the trash can. Again.
Please, just imagine the nice point on the triangle 
so I don't have to ever touch the trash can.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Leaf in Blue Light

The leaves lay in a sidewalk light, 
illuminating the area 
outside a downtown restaurant.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tawdry Elegance

After swimming, I sometimes go to Starbucks 
on the Circle to wait between buses. 
During the holidays, the florist's windows
in the Chase Tower are filled with glitzy ornaments,
gauzy bright ribbons, and various stems
encrusted with glitter.
These windows provide a cheerful spot
along the cold, gray sidewalks.
I love them.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

In the Stacks

Before swimming on Monday night, 
I stopped in to visit the Herron School of Art library.
Would you be surprised to know that I was looking at books 
on the use of patterns as design elements?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fine Vines

While the hospital was completed and opened 
just under a year ago, planting for the plaza 
and water features at Eskenazi Health did not begin 
until this past spring. Grasses and reeds were
placed in the water features, while sod
was laid and numerous flowering plants dug
in and around the huge trellis/arcade,
flowers that will provide color and aroma for 
visitors who will relax within and under its shade.
For now, all we have are hints of what is to come.
Colored lights bounce off the trellis framework
and the few vines that grew up into
the supports over the summer. 
Underneath, the little Duos deli provides
lunch and snacks for its guests,
while the water features give peaceful
background noise for people sitting around them.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dunno, Just Lichen Pictures

I walked to the grocery this afternoon, 
not expecting to find anything to photograph.
I happened by a couple trees, dotted with lichen. 
I liked the green-y brown leaves paired 
with the gray bark and lichen on their surface.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Lobbying for Christmas Cheer

The performance is copyrighted and, 
as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is performing 
numbers from the soundtrack of "Frozen," 
photos may not be taken of the performance.
 I can tell you that Angela Brown,
soprano with the Metropolitan Opera,
Ben Crawford, who sang on the soundtrack
of "Frozen" and performed as Shrek
in the Broadway musical, are featured performers
in the ISO's annual Yuletide Celebration.

There are dancers and singers in beautiful,
sparkly gowns, an aerialist performing to
"Do You Want to Build a Snowman,"
played by Time for Three, and a rousing 
chorus line of tap dancing Santas,
all backed by members of the 
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Hot chocolate, wassail, and other drinks,
as well as iced sugar cookies, were popular
sellers during the intermission.
Everybody marveled at the music and dancing,
cheered and applauded the performers,
then left happily to continue shopping, return home, 
and to have dinner, hearts lifted by the
very fine performance they had experienced.

Please, come yourself.
If you can get tickets.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Curve and Linear

Patterns created by the night, lights 
and misty rain at the Plaza
outside Eskenazi Health.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

White at Night

"Slow Food Done Fast" is the motto of the little deli 
just outside Eskenazi Health.
The menu posted in the window shows a lot
of vegan and gluten free options.
However, they keep short hours, opening
only for the lunch crowd, so I haven't been able
to try this little store's offerings.
I see it only at night, when it's clean, white
interior gleams softly in the night lights.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Questions from the Author Fair

Saturday afternoon, seventy Hoosier authors 
met visitors to the Indiana Historical Society's 
12th Annual Holiday Author Fair. 
From noon until four o'clock people streamed 
into Eli Lilly Hall, browsing the varied offerings, 
talking with the authors, and buying books.
Among the more popular authors present was
Bobby "Slick" Leonard, Hoosier basketball legend,
who happily met his many admirers and signed
their copies of his book.
In this case, it's a pleasure to say that the
sports books outsold the offerings from a couple
of the more strident representatives of
a radically conservative leaning, by about two to one.
You go, Slick!

I spent the afternoon seated between a man 
who had written a book about Hoosier prisoners 
at Andersonville, one of the largest of the 
Confederate military prisons of the Civil War, 
and Ed Wenck, whose book
sold out long before the event concluded.
What I found most interesting was the number of 
people who spoke to him who told of murders
in their families, one recounting the slaughter
of an entire household of relatives.
We read every day of random shootings,
of brutalities visited in almost routine fashion
upon people we regard as "others," "not us."
These people, all white, all middle class,
were also carrying around this terrible burden.
Isn't it about time we acknowledged this horror is
just below the surface of our existences,
that we share unspeakable sorrows?
Maybe then we could come together for a way
to lessen the number of these tragedies. 

Most of the visitors were adults, which led me 
to also wonder if we were seeing the last of a generation 
that uses shredded trees as a reading device. 
Myself, I love the smell of ink, the feel of paper 
in my hand, and the look and rhythm 
of a well-designed page. How will it be 
for the ones coming along with e-devices?

Sunday, December 7, 2014


As I left the Holiday Author Fair on Saturday 
at the Indianapolis Historical Society,
I paused at the living room setting in the lobby. 
Meant to represent the home from "A Christmas Story,"
the set includes presents under the tree - 
Dad's blue bowling ball, a Flexible Flyer sled, 
and the infamous Red Ryder BB gun.
Visitors can dress up in the awful, humiliating
pink bunny PJs and have their picture taken with
the wondrously ugly leg lamp.

In the top picture, a visitor takes a picture of her daughter 
for Instagram while my sister-in-law, Fran,
watches in the background. 
The father in the easy chair beside leg lamp 
waits patiently for his family to don pink pajamas.
The leg lamp is fondly gazed upon by just about
everyone who's seen the movie, recalling Darren McGavin 
as the Dad and his pride in the "important prize,"
totally oblivious to his wife's dismay.

And lastly, here is SDP, resplendent in Ralphie's 
bunny ears and glasses, posing with the carton 
for a Red Ryder BB gun, the gift 
most coveted by Ralphie.
Rest assured, I will abide by my own
quirky Christmas tradition: I will
watch A Christmas Story at least once during
its Christmas day marathon on cable TV.

Friday, December 5, 2014

It's a Berry Gray Day

On Thursday, the day's colors were not much different 
at dawn than they were at dusk.
The overcast was the shade of the gray cardboard
that backs pads of notepaper.
I'd gone to McDonald's for a latte, hot and sweet,
where I watched the modest folk at nearby
tables, chatting with friends and spouses over
their McGriddles and orange juice.
Outside, I saw the red berries shining out
from the pale gold grasses that border the highway.
I left to take a few pictures, wending my
way between parked cars to get to the little
grove of trees. The scarlet dance of the berries 
was the brightest color I saw all day.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sometimes, I feel this overwhelming beigeness

I've walked past the vent to the Natatorium
 hundreds of times, but it wasn't until Tuesday 
that I noticed the contrast between the field of rocks 
and the horizontal lines of the vent.

And then there's this from my blog pal, David,
that is guaranteed to blast any beigeness
out of one's psyche.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Undulating Color

These curved walls are screens, 
meant to disguise the parking garage at the new 
Axis apartment building in downtown Indy.

I like the way the designers have chosen to have this
multicolored carapace have a bit of movement,
rather than to leave the garage like so many others
of its kind, flat beige and unadorned

And I am slowly working my way through the Crash Course
videos on You Tube. Written and produced by brothers
John and Hank Green, the videos cover a broad expanse of topics,
bringing common sense explanations to difficult subjects.

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Theme Day: Worker

Workers of all sorts can be seen around Indy, 
working all hours, all seasons, and in all sorts of weather. 
Here, a man checks messages on his phone 
while monitoring the ventilation system 
being used by his co-workers in tunnels 
just below the sidewalk.
Around the corner, construction workers empty 
rubbish from their renovation work 
in the building to the left.

The first day of every month is Theme Day 
for the bloggers of City Daily Photo.
To see how other photographers the world over 
have depicted the workers of their city,
just click on the link above, or on the CDP badge 
in the right hand column of this page.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Warmer, With Rain

Saturday, the sun appeared, muted and pastel, 
surrounded by wisps of clouds
in lavender and mauve, while contrails
darted across the sky, bursting 
streaks of pink and coral.
This morning, the clouds roll in,
blue-black ink spreading across wet paper,
pouring their color over the land.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Grasses, Shorn

The ornamental grasses, whose green strands
earlier had danced proudly in the breezes,
found themselves shorn, their grassy plumes
thrown away. Now the bare stalks
stand like a burr haircut,
catching stray leaves at its base.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Day Before

These images, 
the last of the sycamore leaves, 
were formed by the rain 
and mud on the drive outside 
my apartment. 
Later, another rain will wash
away this last bit of fall, 
leading the way
into winter 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Powdered Holes

After the work day is over, the people who actually keep 
the city functioning begin their shifts.
Under the glare of LED lights, utility workers
enter the netherworld of Indy's buildings
to maintain the heating, electrical and
telecommunications systems that the accountants,
attorneys, and administrative workers need
to perform their jobs.

I saw these men working near the intersection 
of Pennsylvania and Ohio Streets, where
they dug through several inches of asphalt and
concrete to lift the heavy steel covers,
giving them access to the steam ducts below.

It appears that, in addition to the near-daylight 
quality of the lighting, the men are using 
saws that somehow don't allow the concrete 
dust to blow all over. Instead, it's made
a tidy pile around the perimeter of the hole.