Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dinner Near Home

I took myself to dinner tonight after work.
After a year of constantly watching and counting 
every calorie, I wanted something more "homey," 
so took myself to the Union Jack Pub in Speedway.
The place has been there for years now, taking over 
the building from a bankrupt pizza joint.
It has begun to acquire a patina, I think, on the 
wood paneling, pictures, and auto racing memorabilia.
My meal did involve "comfort food," hot and tasty. 
I am glad to say, however, that I left a bit of my food
because I was no longer hungry; I didn't eat all
the potatoes or chicken, and didn't drink
all my beer. I did, however, eat every last morsel
of my chocolate brownie sundae.
That says a bit about what my addictions may be.

I was really attracted to the blue reflections
cast by the TVs and computer screens
onto the rows of beer mugs. The color contrasted
nicely with the amber light and wood paneling.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Looking for Lines

This building at the southeast corner of Pennsylvania 
and Ohio Streets, is actually pretty boring 
to look at. The architects broke up the flat, gray expanse 
of windows and granite with a pattern that, 
for all intents, could be a tartan -- or a window pane plaid.
I've taken plenty of pictures of it in the past, mostly to show 
the melty reflections in its windows made by 
the sunrise or sunset. This time, I tried to show some
of the lines and angles that make up  its exterior.

Looking for lines is what I do, I guess, whether
it's taking pictures or trying to find the words
to put with them. In fact, I was in the coffee shop
opposite this building when words occurred to me,
words for which I need a picture. I haven't found it yet.

There's no accounting for the pleasure
just looking at you brings me.
Your broad shoulders and strong hands
speak of the power to protect and
of a thousand tender caresses.
You watch the younger women with
taut, firm bodies and curves,
inviting you to explore their secrets.
I am older, with secrets of my own to give,
shrouded in a body worn by the years,
and pale skin showing the map
to my heart. 
This heart, whose beat is strong and low,
quietly stoking a constant fire
that feeds a secret of its own --
that I love you.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

With My Nose at My Toes

I was crossing the street at Indiana Avenue 
and Michigan Street the other day. 
As usual, I was looking at the ground, 
mulling over some insignificant life mystery
when I noticed the paint on the walkways
not only were broken and faded,
they had craquelure!
I just knew I'd return to take pictures of 
the interesting compositions formed
by years of wear from tires and weather.
Tonight, while waiting for a bus home, 
I took my little camera into the intersection
to take a few pictures of the wonderful
shapes and colors that lay in the
middle of the street.
Of course, I did have sufficient
gray matter to wait 'til the signals
were in my favor and no cars
were turning into the intersection.
After all, how would the headlines 
have looked -- "Crack pot woman hit by
car, cracking her head while taking
pictures of craquelure"?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

@The Bus Stop, 6:30 a.m.

After enjoying a beautiful weekend, 
I awakened to find cloud cover.
Actually, it was good to see. 
Otherwise, the sun and heat 
would soon become oppressive.
It's not yet summer - time enough for that
 misery a few weeks from now.
Instead, the morning sun made its 
presence known more discretely,
peeping through a split
in the overcast.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hello, My Name Is ...

I expected that the orange stickers were like those 
name tags handed out at business meetings.
I should have known better.
They were being worn, sometimes two or three of them 
at once, by spectators on the Turn Two mounds. 
I laughed outright at some I saw, giggled at others, 
and only found one really offensive.
I saw women wearing them, too, but couldn't get
to any of the women to take their pictures.
Men ... gotta love 'em. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Almost Sublime

When I left my home early Sunday morning 
to walk over to the track, the first thing 
I noticed was the smell of smoke from grills
that had actually formed a haze in the sunlit air. 
The aroma of sausage was joined 
by the rhythm of dance music, both inviting me 
eastward towards the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 
to join a quarter-million or so friends for the 
THE! Indianapolis 500-Mile Race!

While my immediate neighborhood was quiet,
 I only had to walk a block or two before the stream 
of people walking towards the Speedway, 
about two miles away, began to increase in density.
We were all joined in the same mission --
the identical journey, to participate in a colorful rite
that for nearly 100 years has alternately
thrilled, enthralled, and frightened every one
of us, as we watch drivers test their skills
with machines going 230+ mph.

After reaching the track, I stopped at the on-track office 
of the Indianapolis Star to greet photographer friends 
who were working at the race, then proceeded towards 
the viewing mounds inside Turn Two. I hadn't gone more than
a few feet before I saw Dario Franchitti, surrounded by
people, near the black Chevrolet Camaro Z28 pace car
he was to drive later that day. He's a handsome, kind,
and soft-spoken man who seemed to undergo some sort of
personality change behind the wheel of a race car.
Now retired due to injuries received in a race last year,
we are so happy to have him back and hope he chooses to
remain with us for many years. 

Behind Franchitti, standing in the shadow of the
Pagoda, were Ray Harroun's Marmon Wasp,
winner of the inaugural "500" in 1911,
and one of Team Penske's championship cars.
I overheard someone say, "That's an old Indy car."
I couldn't help myself; I turned around to respond with
"That's not just an 'old' Indy car, that's the first
Indy car, the one that won the first race in 1911."
There it stood, only a few feet from a contemporary
machine, yet with thousands of miles between them 
of discoveries about physics, chemistry, aerodynamics, 
and the will to win. Looking at those two cars
made that history almost palpable, something I could touch 
with my heart and mind, if not my hands.
I continued into Turn Two to find 
a place to watch the race.

After having taken pictures from inside Turn One
for over twenty years, I've never found a grandstand
seat to replace that spot. Separated from the track
by the pit lane and a creek, I could watch the cars as
they swept into the turn, a blurred mass of color
and power, then rush away to return forty 
or so seconds later. Two hundred times, slowed
only by accident, rain, or the races' end.

My Turn Two spot was the closest to that pleasure
I've found. I did not sit down, but leaned against
the fence to watch the cars as they streamed past.
The data on the video board gave up just after
the start of the race, but I found I could tell 
the progress of the race just by paying attention
to the cars' green flag pitstops, which occurred every
twenty laps or so. I was surprised that my
estimates were correct when I figured they must
have completed over 100 laps because
they'd come in for fuel and tires for the fourth time,
and the intensity of the race had increased; 
the cars seemed a bit faster and closer together.

There were no cautions until 150 laps into the race, 
just when one would expect madness
and craziness to ensue. Drivers began to take
chances they would not have taken earlier.
The real racing began and we had a 125-mile
shoot-out. Driver Townsend Bell suffered a hard
crash into the Turn Two SAFER barrier and
the race was red-flagged to allow personnel time
to clean up scattered debris and to make repairs 
to the wall. Other than for a mighty soreness 
later on Townsend would be OK.
 The race resumed with eight laps to go, 
Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves
passing and re-passing each other one, two, three times. 
Helio ran out of opportunities and finished second, 
his fourth Indy win just a car length away, while Ryan
dashed across the line for his first.

Overall, the average speed for the race was
186.563 mph. Rather than having the men finish
the race under the caution flag, they were
allowed to settle it on the track, racing for the win.
People cheered with each lead change and,
when the checkered flag flew, the crowd left 
knowing they had seen an excellent race.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Looking West to See East

The Friday evening sun cast its rays towards 
the east, and were mirrored back into the glass-clad 
buildings to their west. For a few minutes,
the Downtown streets were doubly illuminated,
both by the sun and by its reflected light.
It's Race Weekend in Indy, with the promise
of fair weather bringing out happy crowds for the
Indy 500 and related festivities. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pink and Blue, Touched With Gold

Dressed in pink and blue, the sunrise came,
casting its golden light on the landscape. 
The warm breezes created feathery wisps 
as they pushed the clouds aside,
to give us a beautiful day.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Idyll Time

Lemony sweetness.
The icing on my cookie melted
on my tongue.
I savored its flavor as it blended with
the crumbly cookie, so fresh it 
still retained a hint of the oven and
of the baker's spatula that spread 
the yellow sugar frosting 
on its flower shape.

My treat between buses -- a chai latte
and a cookie, helped shape my little daydream
as I gazed out the window into space.
People, like me, on their way to work,
crossed the street a few feet beyond
the table where I sat, many dragging little
wheeled carts full of paperwork
for their jobs. Cars passed through the
intersection, following the dictates of
the traffic lights, as I planned out paintings,
the outline of a new book, life with
a cherished lover.

Rudely, my little idyll was interrupted. 
A car, turning east at the intersection, suddenly halted. 
My vision focused from daydream to reality 
as a human shape was thrown back, onto the hood 
of the silver car that hit him.
The human had taken on the form of a black 
umbrella, broken by a sudden gust of wind 
as it flew through the air,
then crashed to the pavement.
I'd forgotten that people can bounce.

The sweetness of that cookie will forever
be connected with the shocked expression 
of the man who was hit, as he lay in the street,
wide-eyed, gaping up in surprise
 towards the grill of the car that hit him.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Watery Evening

Afternoon thunderstorms were forecast for the area 
and they hit practically as if scheduled.
I left work just after the worst of the watery
onslaught had passed through, only to have my co-workers
and myself repeatedly splashed by passing drivers.
The rain let up enough so that I didn't get soaked between
buses or walking the last couple blocks 
to the Natatorium.Which brings to mind another 
little conundrum: why is it that I don't mind 
swimming for more than an hour, 
yet get all pissy because I have to go out
into the rain afterwards? I'm as fussy as a cat
about getting my feet wet, stepping around, leaping,
and dodging puddles as though I was was shod 
in a pair of Jimmy Choo's finest satin pumps.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Everywhere I Looked ...

I love milk chocolate-covered grahams.
After swimming, I stopped in at the Starbucks on the Circle
to enjoy a couple of the little crackers with a chai latte.
As I was savoring the creamy goodness of both
the grahams and the drink, I looked across the Circle
to see the glass pyramid atop one building
was juxtaposed against the horizontal stripes of 
a neighboring structure.
The clear sky had been kind to both,
adding its special blue to the reflections
from the windows and the skylight.
Earlier, I'd spent a break at work walking
the perimeter of the parking lot.
While the bright colors covering the store front
was what had initially caught my eye,
I later realized that stripes have run rampant 
in this picture.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Winter Lingers

Officially, Spring began in March and 
Summer is just a month away.
The cold temperatures linger on, 
the few sunny days interspersed by chilly rains.
It makes one wonder what Winter looks like, 
since it's been cloaked so well in Spring's clothing.
People, fooled by the disguise, have ventured out
without warm coats, and ended up trapped
in rainstorms wearing clothes meant for balmy
breezes and sunny skies.

Beyond the runny noses and watery eyes
lie stares, looking not so much towards Spring
and its warmth, but back -- back to promises
of easier times unfulfilled by masters 
wearing Armani suits, in whose own hearts
winter has taken root. There, winter is not a season,
but a hollow place where a soul should be.
A place where greed has cast long, dark fingers
over the sky, robbing the people 
of warmth and light.

These men, whose phony smiles
do little to mask the cold glint in their eyes,
suck the resources out of the ground. 
They continue to cut the tops off mountains 
in their quest for increasingly meager returns of coal, 
the profits from which line the pockets of Congressmen. 
And the voters, the people who need to pay for heat 
to warm their homes, stand in the cold rain, 
wondering what they did wrong.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Which Way?

Over the years, I must have passed these mirrors 
hundreds of times, yet only noticed then the other day. 
Rather, why is it I never noticed the arrows' reflections 
before now? Was I always too preoccupied with
"in" and "out," or "back" and "forth" to notice 
that the arrows had been there all along, 
providing their own directions?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Bending With the Light

I loved the look of these new green leaves, 
small and tender, arrayed along the black branches 
of their parent tree. The play of positive and
negative space, so balanced in spite 
of the seeming erratic lines of the tree,
looks positively joyful against 
the more ordered, mundane background 
of the building across the street.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


If one reflection is good, then three - or more!- is even better. Right?
And then there was this mascot, a cobra with 
blood-tipped fangs, poised to strike anything that
got in its way. Ooooh, scary.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

In Flight

This fine little mascot, frozen forever in flight, 
accompanies its namesake, a 1930 Swallow, 
on display at the 2014 Celebration of the Automobile
held last weekend at the 
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Swallow Sidecar Company was established in 1922 
in Blackpool, England to produce sidecars for motorcycles. 
In 1926, the business evolved to include automobiles 
and became the Swallow Sidecar & Coachworks Company. 
Their first car, produced in 1928, was a conscious
re-creation of larger cars of the time, for a price that was
affordable to more of the populace.

The little Swallows proved popular and the company
became increasingly successful as it responded 
to the needs of the marketplace, 
adapting its name as necessary. It's last name change,
to S.S. Cars, Ltd. in 1934, was changed after
World War II due to the unfortunate association of 
the "SS" with Nazi Germany. In 1945, the company
became Jaguar Cars, Ltd., and the little swallows in flight 
became the sleek, leaping cats we know today.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

For Dive ...

Presenting! In person! 
The IRL Grid Girls!

Some of them anyway.
Below is the entire line-up.
There must be something to that 
"the camera adds five pounds" adage, 
because these ladies were all nicely slender 
and long-legged; the camera does make
 them seem a bit squat. 

These women reminded me a bit of Robert Palmer's 
ladies in his Simply Irresistible video.

Monday, May 12, 2014


Damn. I did not get the identification for this car.
It was just one of the many beautiful displays brought 
to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 
by their proud owners for the 4th Annual
Spectators were drawn to the exhibits like bees 
to flowers; they were seriously appreciative 
of the beauty and craftsmanship
that went into the production of these cars.

I believe the owners were from the Indianapolis area. 
The car was kitted out with folding chairs, picnic supplies 
and a portable phonograph player, everything
needed for a polite alfresco occasion 
some eighty years ago. Party down, peeps!

The kind lady in the period outfit told me
she haunts thrift shops and found everything 
she is wearing at various stores.
It seemed a tad ironic that, for a comparative
few dollars, she found a period appropriate
ensemble to wear with a car the restoration of which
could easily have cost well into six figures.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

It's a Race Track! It's a Golf Course! It's ...

... the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!
Indy got the month of May off to a fresh start 
on Saturday with the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix, 
an eighty lap race for Indy cars utilizing 
the IMS 2.4-mile road course.
While there may initially have been some concern
about how this new addition to the IndyCar schedule
might be accepted by fans, doubters were left 
in the dust by the large turnout of people who came
to wander the grounds and to watch the IndyCar
race, as well as several other support races.

A young fan watches as eventual winner, Simon Pagenaud
leads the field through Turns 7 and 8.

He was joined by thousands of other spectators who, 
snacks and sunscreen in tow, brought their
friends and families to the track for a day of sunshine,
blue skies, and the heady aroma of braking tires.

With about ninety minutes to spare before the start 
of the day's feature race, I decided to explore 
a part of the track I'd not seen before. 
I walked north along a golf cart path, towards Turn 4 
of the Speedway's oval. The grandstands can be seen 
looming in the background. A lot of other folks
took advantage of the groves of trees,
retreating to their shade between races to rest
and cool off, many enjoying a picnic lunch.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mirror Image

After taking care of some business, 
I spent a part of Friday afternoon wandering 
the downtown area. I shopped a bit, 
looking for the "perfect" necklace for a new dress (no luck), 
found some other items I'm keeping in mind 
for future purchase, then visited a couple art galleries.
I stopped in at Patachou Cafe for a treat,
where I saw the outdoor cafe chairs had been stacked.
Of course, the nested chairs, stacked as they are 
for easy storage, made an attractive design. 

Friday, May 9, 2014


The morning sun reflected the fluted lines 
of the Federal Court Building onto the windows 
across the street. The windows are part of a glass-sheathed 
office building, home to a bank and lots of lawyers.
This image may be just as descriptive of the
hallucinogenic state of our country's Congress
and its relationship with corporate interests. The
mind-boggling manipulations of laws 
designed exclusively to their advantage 
is not so much squiggly as it is squirrelly,
and that's insulting to the squirrel.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Portrait of the Bus Driver, II

A couple days ago, the bus from work 
was full of passengers -- standing room only.
The driver is a  good and patient man,
able to be courteous to his customers, firm with
people who insist on displaying their idiocy
in public, as well as get his fares to their destinations
on time and in one safe piece. In recent years, 
I've come to appreciate the drivers' job 
even more as the customers' behavior in recent
years has seemed to become more erratic.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Yarn from A Redbud's Sweater

In other years, I've seen this tree so covered 
in tiny flowers that it looked as though 
it was wearing a beautiful pink sweater 
to protect itself from the chilly spring mornings.
Maybe I just got there too late in the season.
I had to remind myself that I no longer had those
pictures and went by to check on the trees.
This was almost all that was left, looking as though
only a bit of yarn from the sweater remained
after the tree had taken it off.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


I love backlit trees and flowers. 
The sunlight adds richness to the leaves and petals,
showing their delicacy and structure. 
In this case, these gleaming red leaves come to life 
against a backdrop of purple-y stones 
and pale yellow twigs. The little buds resemble
 the silken sheen of an Oriental carpet,
where a weaver may have sought 
to capture this brief moment of Spring 
in a lustrous tapestry.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Spring Embroidery

Most of my Saturday mornings find me at 
a swimming practice. However, not only was the site 
of this week's practice changed to a more distant location, 
bus service to my neighborhood was suspended 
because of the annual "Mini." 
It is a half-marathon race, 13.1 miles in length, 
that annually has over 30,000 participants, 
and winds its way from Downtown to 
the Speedway and back.
I took the opportunity to take a long walk,
an activity that I'd neglected because of the miserable
winter weather. It seemed like a chilly day for May,
and the plants looked a little wan, too.
Perhaps they were tired from the effort to germinate
and bud in these cold mornings.
At any rate, as I walked down Lynhurst Drive,
I noticed the sunlight on this flowering tree.
I do love lace and these white flowers looked
as though they'd been embroidered on a base of
black lace provided by the bare
limbs in the background.