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The Bookshelf

Doug's bookshelf: read

AntwerpWarsaw BikiniIcelandHow the Soldier Repairs the GramophoneThe Original of LauraBrief Interviews with Hideous Men

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Time Since Reboot

  • 1252 days, 3 hours, 32 minutes, 59 seconds ago

For Leslie

A memory from Radio City Music Hall, May 16, 2009; and a cobbled together, abridged transcription from Mr. Cohen’s many evolving versions of this poem:

“A Thousand Kisses Deep”

You came to me this morning
And you handled me like meat.
You´d have to live alone to know
How good that feels, how sweet.
My mirror twin, my next of kin,
I´d know you in my sleep.
And who but you would take me in
A thousand kisses deep?

I loved you when you opened
Like a lily to the heat.
I´m just another snowman
Standing in the rain and sleet,
Who loved you with his frozen love
His second-hand physique –
With all he is, and all he was
A thousand kisses deep.

All soaked in sex, and pressed against
The limits of the sea:
I saw there were no oceans left
For scavengers like me.
We made it to the forward deck
I blessed our remnant fleet –
And then consented to be wrecked
A thousand kisses deep.

Don’t matter is the road is long,
Don’t matter if its steep;
Don’t matter if the moon goes out,
And the darkness is complete.
Don’t matter if we lose our way –
It’s written that we’ll meet.
At least that’s what I heard you say
a thousand kisses deep.

And I´m still working with the wine,
Still dancing cheek to cheek.
The band is playing “Auld Lang Syne”
But the heart will not retreat.
No turning from the threat of love,
No transcendental leap –
As witnessed here in time and blood
A thousand kisses deep.

Well that’s my story –
I admit its broken and its bleak,
but all the twisted pieces fit
a thousand kisses deep.

~ Leonard Cohen

Here’s to 7 years, baby. I love you.

The First Step is Admitting I Have a Problem

So the very attentive of you may have noticed a total of zero daily snapshots from Tuesday, 3/25, through Thursday, 3/27 – the first time any day has been skipped completely since August 2009.  My trusty iPhone is now sleeping with Steve Jobs in the big Silicon Valley in the sky.  Lesson 1: I am a moron and this is the second phone I’ve broken by dropping it.  General busyness and/or malaise kept me from getting to the Verizon store until Friday afternoon, meaning I was without my phone for a full three days.  It.  Was.  Terrible.  Granted, there has been a lot of terrible, depressing things going on in the past few weeks, so I would never suggest that my mid-week funk was totally due to being phoneless, but it certainly did not help.  Ever since I got my very first smartphone (a Blackberry in 2008 or 2009), my life has slowly gravitated toward being absolutely organized around my phone.  To-do lists, daily news, photography, work email, emailing friends, texting my wife, tracking my fitness, my car’s fuel efficiency, my sleep habits, the books I read, the games I play, the stuff I buy, my social life, my travel schedule, the weather forecast — everything revolves around my phone.  Lesson 2: maybe this isn’t such a good thing?

A Google search for “smartphone addiction” turned up these links, ranging from serious to whimsical.  But the bottom line is: I can confirm that at least some kind of ‘phone separation anxiety’ is real and sucks.  

Smartphone Addiction (Psychology Today)

Addicted to Your Smartphone?  Here’s What to Do.  (WebMD)

23 Signs You’re Addicted to Your Smartphone (Buzzfeed)

I’d like to conclude by saying this is a wake-up call and I’m going to make a serious effort to disconnect every once in a while and not be so reliant on technology.  But that isn’t true.  On Friday, I used this incident as an excuse to upgrade to the iPhone 5s, get a new phone case, and finally change my old New Mexico number to one with a Birmingham area code.  

Illuminating the Shadows (NSFW)

In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.

~ August Sander


In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.

~ Alfred Stieglitz

WIR: 3/17-23

If you don’t know, this was a dark week.  Our petty troubles and accomplishments were put in heartbreakingly clear perspective.  

I am reminded of a couple of personal and universal truths that I will post here and leave at that.  One: my family is small but strong, and full of love.  Two: there is never, ever a situation so deep that it cannot be remedied.  

Our lives are full of setbacks and trials – but there is never a one that is not ultimately temporary.  Lean on those you love; those who love you.  They are there.  There is always someone who cares and someone who you can go to.  Reinforce your commitment to your loved ones.  Lift them up when they are down.  And even in solitude there is comfort.  There is strength.  There is a way out.  Hopelessness is a fleeting illusion, and life is a gift.

WIR: Tampa

Not much in the way of photographic activity this week, despite being in the beautiful Tampa/St. Pete area for work.  The camera didn’t make it out of my bag.  All the worthy and semi-worthy shots from the past few weeks have been edited and uploaded.  The new Petzval lens is still being tested.  The job took precedence over artistry for the most part – which was good in that it means I feel like I was doing some meaningful work instead of just checking off boxes.  We made it to the beach a couple of nights, but home base was inland and in a not-too-picturesque section of the city.

I toyed with the idea of adding some of my better iPhone shots to the portfolio in a separate gallery, but I’m still on the fence as far as keeping them there or making that a thing.  The Schnappshusse! blog already contains those shots anyway.

In a couple of weeks I’ll be taking a creatively-minded trip to Las Vegas, where I plan on driving out into the desert to find some interesting locations as well as taking in the National Geographic 50 Greatest Photographs exhibit damn it, it looks like this ended last week.  Maybe I’ll find some other artistic exhibit or gallery to peruse.  (Right.  In Vegas.)  That’s a bummer.  Well, there’s still Death Valley National Park close by.  And I can always see how close I can get to Area 51 without getting shot by the camo dudes.  And the people watching.  Always the people watching.

Watch this space.  More photos, thoughts, links and life goings-on forthcoming.


I’ve been out of pocket this week – but it’s not my fault, I swear.  Holiday Inn Express’s wifi connection was not very cooperative.  But I did get to catch a few miscellaneous internet tidbits.  Like…

…the National Geographic photographer who has been covering the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster is crowdsourcing a book.  Consider funding.

…a chronicle of the last words of cockpit flight recordings.  (Depressing.)

…this great video of strangers kissing for the first time:

…photos of the last meals of death row inmates.  (Also kind of depressing.  And disturbing.)

…and the 100 most beautiful words in the English language.  Hooray for ending on a high note!

A flurry of catch-up posts to come.