The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Posts Tagged ‘michael

Toast of the Day #1030

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This seems like another cliché college snapshot, but these are not glasses of beer! Though nonalcoholic, this concoction of cream soda, butterscotch syrup and whipping cream is just as capable of inducing giggle-fits, sugar comas and nausea.

But it was delicious.

And so we bid farewell to the tale of Harry Potter. We really were fortunate to grow up just as the books and films were being made – I couldn’t think of a better salute to childhood as we attempt to face the world at large.

fugue 22

Written by Umbrella Man

July 19, 2011 at 2:12 am

Gardener of the Day #1028

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Growing a garden of light is a little like trying to sculpt a statue out of water. Light is volatile, excitable, and left alone it will collapse in the faintest solar wind. Even a single blossom takes a tremendous effort to maintain, and the people who cultivate gardens of them are strange folk indeed. Constantly moving, tending to every glowing petal and root, they seem to lose form even as their garden gains it. The Garden of Lumen, home to brilliant glowing cherry blossom trees, fire-breathing snapdragons and incandescent ivy, is run by several such workers. They are little more than shades, indistinct dark clouds moving from flower to flower without end.

Michael is new to this sort of botany, and just growing this single flower was incredibly taxing for him. Already he’s nearly vanished – you see that only his shoe remains distinct.

It might seem odd to plant it on the railroad tracks, but the train here comes only very rarely – and, after all, such flowers do grow at the speed of light.

a quai

Written by Umbrella Man

July 17, 2011 at 1:50 am

Posted in friends, light, people, stories

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Party of the Day #972

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Kelly (back and center) turns 22 in the middle of July, and by then everyone will have dispersed across the country, so she very wisely held a party for it tonight instead. It was a fantastic celebration, with gorgeous food and delicious music and a bonfire that could have sung me to sleep, and I’m glad Kelly chose to celebrate before the year ended. Here’s a large portion of the party posing in front of the very professional photo booth that Kelly’s friend Alex set up – note the silver umbrella looming in the corner. This photo is a bit less carefully taken, and as a result everyone in it has developed the ability to fire lasers from their eyes.

Rob came to perform for everyone, and Emily added her cello’s depth to a few songs, then Muriel and another friend came on to sing a few covers for Kelly. We were all sitting out on the lawn in the backyard, lit by christmas lights and the bonfire, and it was such a wonderful atmosphere, built by hard work from good people. I wish I could have done more to make the party go well, but it was successful nonetheless. At least I managed to bake some cookies for it.

Kelly has a lot of really amazing friends, and I wish that I’d gotten to know them better. Perhaps the opportunity is not entirely lost.

now let me at the truth which will refresh my broken mind

Written by Umbrella Man

May 22, 2011 at 2:45 am

Inception of the Day #853

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Here you can see, from a perpendicular dimension, photos of some of the multiple layers of our Inception party. In observance of the dreams-within-dreams-within-dreams premise of the movie, we had a full meal composed of food-within-food-within food. The main course was matzoh balls in my mom’s beautiful soup in bread bowls; for drinks, we froze Gushers into ice cubes made of soda, and dropped those into another soda; and for dessert, we baked Oreos into chocolate chip cookies, which were in turn baked into cupcakes with dinosaurs sprinkled on top. For a theme party concocted purely in the moment, it was very successful, and we have plenty of tasty treats to last us the week.

It’s still a good movie, but if I were to make a film about dreams it would be so much more fantastical. There’s too much concrete for a world of the subconscious.


Written by Umbrella Man

January 23, 2011 at 2:02 am

Posted in food, friends, people

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Convergence of the Day #770

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Holidays, like words and stories, transform in meaning over time, and over the span of a few generations they can change into something completely different from what they once were. All Hallow’s Eve was once a day where people disguised themselves to scare off the spirits of the dead; from here it became a day to embrace or laugh at fear, and is the only time we can decorate our houses with imitation corpses and still be socially acceptable.

This blend of fear and jollity is still strong, but looking at the costumes people wear now, I think Halloween may be becoming something very different. Michael here is dressed as the tenth Doctor (I was the fourth); Emily is Midna, from the Legend of Zelda; Anna is a steampunk adventurer. Though I didn’t get a picture of her, Kelly was Edna, from The Incredibles, and Katie was a “hero baby”, born and raised to combat the “terror babies”. There was a Halloween festival of sorts downtown, and there I saw many other characters – Daft Punk, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, Where’s Waldo, Quail Man, Rorschach and a dozen Spider-Men and Wolverines. These aren’t Creatures of the Night, or evil spirits, or anything remotely horrifying at all – they’re just characters of fiction.

So, while All Hallow’s Eve was the day when the spirit world and our world came closest together, Halloween is now the day when countless worlds converge, when heroes and villains from every legend in history, real or fictional, can come to life. The whole of our culture is represented in Halloween, not just our fears, and it becomes a perfect day to represent humanity.

Look at the pumpkins we carved yesterday. We have among them the Eye of Sauron, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the Crest of Hyrule, a representation of literature, television and video games. They aren’t intended to scare so much as to show other people who we are. Our costumes do the same – rather than hiding who we are, they show it off more than our simple, everyday clothes do. I can identify with a stranger in a Quail Man costume more easily than with a stranger in jeans and a T-shirt, because I know that we have that childhood cartoon in common. Isn’t that a strange thing for a disguise to do?

ponyo, ponyo

Written by Umbrella Man

November 1, 2010 at 2:22 am

Party of the Day #762

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I love you I love you I love you I love you so much you are wonderfulSomething a little unusual  today. This is the first Photo of the Day ever taken with a cell phone camera – and I had my handy Canon right next to me! My phone, though, has a panorama feature which my camera lacks, and there was no other way to capture everyone at once. Even this photo is incomplete – Emily was hidden just below the camera, Anna is hidden behind Anders there on the left, and a few other guests are curtailed or missing entirely. Click the picture for a slightly bigger version, because these proportions don’t agree with WordPress very well.

We live in a very social house, it seems, and for the second weekend in a row we’ve held a party brimming with people. Look at them – they are friendly, charming folks, and I’m glad to see each of them when they come by, but there are so many! When they were first arriving, Kelly and Alyssa were providing most of the conversation; gradually, the party split into several factions, each talking about something different, and when their words all collide and twist in the air I feel very much like I am just wading in tumultuous waves of sound. I think I would rather have just a few guests at a time, because I haven’t been able to make friends with many of these people, really; I see them mostly at parties, when I tend to slip away beneath the conversations, where the current is slower and gentler.

I wonder what they’re all doing now. I hope they had a good day.

I don’t want to go

Written by Umbrella Man

October 24, 2010 at 2:50 am

Aurora of the Day #754

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Emily and I fell asleep a while ago, but some tiny bit of consciousness floating like a buoy pulled me awake in time to post. I am falling asleep all over the place, but here is a photo!

Michael wanted to have a big potluck to celebrate his and Emily’s birthday (his is the 15th, Emily’s is the 16th), but he planned it out at the last minute so no one I asked could come, and Emily’s friends didn’t get back to her. We still had the lovely ribbon spider that Anna and Lauren made (and if you look closely, you can see the fairy hanging from it), and Michael had a whirling rave-light device, so even with the few people who came the house felt rather festive.

As I should now expect from this house, we have far more sweets here than anyone will ever be able to eat. Michael insisted on buying no less than five dozen donuts, Kelly made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, Lauren made bronies, Anna made apple crumble cakes (though she didn’t stay for the party), and Emily’s friend gave her a pan of homemade lemon bars. I felt a little bit sick shortly after the party was under way, and had to eat a carrot to make myself feel better.

Everyone’s gone now and most of the sugar is still out, waiting to be eaten. I’m not sure if we’ll survive through the weekend, or if we’ll turn into big blobs of glucose and dissolve in turn each time one of us takes a shower.

human after all on a plastic beach

Written by Umbrella Man

October 16, 2010 at 1:43 am