The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Posts Tagged ‘leo

Sneak of the Day #1652

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Sneak of the Day #1652

To avoid catching Leo’s attention with the camera, I took this photo from the hip, holding the camera with an arm resting behind my back. What you see here is genuine – just friends enjoying a Pocky commercial – so it was worth it to sneak a little.

It’s so late! I fly home soon, but it’s been a good week here.

a better home awaiting in the sky

Written by Umbrella Man

April 1, 2013 at 4:58 am

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Photo of the Day #1650

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Photo of the Day #1650

As the three of us watched The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, I made some botched attempts to discreetly photograph Leo and Lenna. Leo has a knack for putting on a grin whenever the lens is pointed his way, and eventually I gave up on any semblance of subtlety. Whenever the two of them looked away, I would take a photo; then they would look back, laugh, look away, and I’d take another. This naturally culminated in a hyperawareness of their roles as photographic subjects, which almost transcends that self-conscious falsehood of posed photos and loops back to natural behavior.

My friends are very kindly about putting up with these photos. I still don’t know how I’d act if someone else had a camera on me every time we were together.

hey saturday sun

Written by Umbrella Man

March 30, 2013 at 3:18 am

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Musicians of the Day #1646

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Musicians of the Day #1646

Leo instinctively produces music whenever he’s placed in the vicinity of a piano, and treated the house to a bit of jazz before dinner. Andrew, still learning to improvise on guitar, plinked along as he worked to figure out the chords Leo was using. Though I’d fiddled with both instruments here and here, I haven’t begun to absorb their languages into my lexicon; it’s lovely, still, that I can listen without speaking.

Both Andrew and Leo have busy days attending to professional things, so I have quite a bit of time to myself here, but it’s good seeing both of them. Somehow I’ve let the hours slip away – time to go catch them.


Written by Umbrella Man

March 26, 2013 at 2:25 am

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Tribute of the Day #1645

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Tribute of the Day #1645

We are gently asked not to use cameras inside the Museum of Jurassic Technology, and though there are many tempting sights within, I preferred to oblige; it’s important to put away the lens and just absorb things sometimes, anyway.

It’s a strange place, and having had no formal explanation about the museum’s purpose, I entered with no concept of what I’d find inside. After moving through a few exhibits, I slowly gained a sense of what was meant by Jurassic Technology.This is a tribute to the spirit of inquiry before its time, to obsessive curiosity and ardent, unwavering certainty in one’s own insight. Among the exhibits were letters to astronomers from those who believed they’d discovered the age of the universe and the sun’s magnetic properties; a philosophy of memory and experience illustrated through the analogy of conic sections; superstitions and folk-cures; 19th-century plans to bring civilization to the stars; people who dedicated their lives to the science and art of the Cat’s Cradle; a room of painted portraits of the Russian space dogs; tiny mosaics made from the scales of butterfly wings; and the beautiful and abandoned art of vectography.

Some of these ideas served as the foundations for later minds who would discover great truths, but many of the exhibits are devoted to those who dedicated their lives to works that would turn out to be either entirely false or at least unrecognized by the world at large. The museum treats these materials with great respect, an almost sacred air, demonstrating how much these ideas meant to their creators. I thought it was beautiful, and I’m glad such a place exists.

On the upper floor of the museum is a room offering free tea and cookies, and outside is a rooftop garden where doves and other tiny birds mingle freely, flittering from vine to vine and picking at leaves.

It’s a lovely place, and if you find yourself in LA you should take the time to visit. Go with an open mind and let small things become important, and it’ll be a fantastic experience.

everything you do is a balloon

Written by Umbrella Man

March 25, 2013 at 1:21 am

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Height of the Day #1564

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Height of the Day #1564

I stepped out from the lab to spend one last hour with Leo and Lenna before they returned home. Overnight they’d placed themselves in the blue book, and since I wasn’t there to photograph the process they posed with it today. Leo gave Lenna some extra height for the photo, and she shared the increased altitude with the book.

They had a long ride home, which can be a tiring endeavor. I hope the coming days treat them well.

I wonder what this photo will be to them in five years.

I think we’re superstars

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January 3, 2013 at 2:11 am

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Resonance of the Day #1563

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I’m not certain that Leo is even aware of this recording, but he’ll find out eventually. The tunnel near his old home is a wonderful resonance chamber, and Leo could not miss the opportunity to let his voice build on itself within the concrete walls. Lenna and I followed behind silent, and let him play with the air that surrounded us.

Brian pointed out to me the value of voices recently, and I want to put more emphasis on capturing them. Voices have a lot of power to evoke memory and emotion, and I don’t want to forget yours.

Leo used today to show Lenna some of the places in Berkeley that were important to him. It strikes me that she knows him better than I do in many ways now, and this is a strange thought.

I am all woozy with stories and songs, and there are so many more to swim through.

there are storms we cannot weather

Written by Umbrella Man

January 2, 2013 at 1:34 am

Posted in friends, music, people, sound

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Crowns of the Day #1562

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Crowns of the Day #1562

These royal crowns were granted by a set of stale Christmas Crackers that refused to pop at the birth of the new year. Though they lacked the festive sounds we were hoping for, the crowns do provide the wearer with command over one of the elements, and these new abilities promise a good 2013.

It was a good night, and one less alienating than last year’s; this circle of friends seems to take the influence of alcohol more quietly, and I never felt disconnected from people despite their apparent inebriation.

I mentally divide my life more by Septembers than Januarys – it marks the start of school years and of the years of this project – but a little reflection on 2012 is still appropriate.

This has been a hard year. Splitting up with Emily, graduating and drifting through five months of unemployment left me feeling a bit groundless, doubtful about the future and sometimes rather lonely. In the last two months, though, life has leveled out a bit, and it looks like things are going to improve in the next year.

Still trying to figure myself out, but I’ll get it.

I hope this year is good to you.

I can’t give it up

Written by Umbrella Man

January 1, 2013 at 5:00 am