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Art project from 1997

During my senior year of college, I took an independent study in advanced photography to complete my photography minor. The professor and I brainstormed project ideas, and the one we settled on was that I would spend the semester photographing diners: the staff, the food, and the regulars. He was convinced that little hole in the wall diners were becoming relics and that this would be an interesting project. He wanted me to photograph them in color, not black and white. The project was fun despite the fact that I gained about twenty pounds eating all that diner food. I met with him a few times over the course of the semester, and the last meeting, he suggested that I "embody the project" by dressing up like a waitress and doing some self portraits, after the style of Cindy Sherman. So I went to the Salvation Army Thrift Store in downtown Florence, AL, bought some polyester uniforms, got some hairnets, and did just that. Here are the results -- the ones I selected to go into the collection:





I feel compelled to say that while yes, I'm smoking in one of these pictures, it's something I haven't done or had any desire to do since January 1, 2002.

Made for Each Other

Guess which line made Jonathan and me laugh and laugh during a recent 24-a-thon:

Ah, William Devane. And sorry about the lousy quality; I should have paid closer attention to the bitrate, etc. settings.

"Trick up a tree."

This phrase was somewhat of a refrain in my dream last night. Do your dreams ever have phrases repeated at intervals? In one dream I had "There is no finding the lost souls or the lost great." ("The lost great," in this case, consisted of the Shakespeare's sisters of history).

Anyway, in last night's dream, I heard the expression "Trick up a tree." I remembered hearing old men in my family say it, and I got excited and thought, no one uses that old southern expression anymore! I'll have to reinsert it into circulation.

"Trick up a tree" was used in reference to a particularly cruel joke or sad irony. "Trick up a tree," the old man would say ruefully, clucking his tongue and shaking his head. In the actual dream, I told myself that I'd have to Google "trick up a tree" when I woke up. So I did, and it actually is not an old southern metaphorical reference to a cruel joke or sad irony, but merely a skateboarding trick. Though, I suppose, the phrase could also be used to describe Christmas tree decoration.

In another dream, one I had a couple of weeks ago, I got a batch of papers from one of my first-year composition classes, and they had given their papers titles that were intended to upset me, but they only ended up slightly amusing me. A couple of examples included "Stupid Vomit Paper" and "Dumb Snot Boogers Paper."


It's my birthday today (started about ten minutes ago). I am old, yo.

I'll probably spend it giving audio comments on student drafts (been experimenting with using Audacity for comments a bit this semester), working out at the gym, and maybe going out for sushi with the husband.

Also, there's some good TV coming up this week: season premieres of both Lost and Battlestar Galactica, and I actually have cable for the first time in years.


Clancy Ann Ratliff and Jonathan Clinton Goodwin were married in Decatur, GA on Thursday, the fifteenth of June, two thousand and six

UPDATE: See Jonathan's post for a more accurate representation of the ceremony.

Oh, and here's what I'm doing about the name thing: nothing. Today the guy at the court house said, "Okay, so when you get your marriage license, you're going to need to take it to the DMV and to the Social Security office." Confused, I said, "What?" He said, "Well, to change your name." Too much trouble! I hadn't planned on changing it anyway. My position on the issue is that I'm not going to change my name, and of course I prefer that everyone say "Clancy Ratliff" for the sake of accuracy, but if family members end up addressing cards to "Jonathan and Clancy Goodwin" or the like, it's no big deal.

A piece of news

We are going to be getting married pretty soon:

My ring

His ring

Should a Lectern Be Part of a Living Room Suite?

Really, I'd like your honest opinion.

Great Art and the Mental Etch-a-Sketch

For a long time now, I've considered the effect great art has on me ("great art" meaning art that I think is great). Most of the time, I walk around with a lot of noise in my mind: reminders of things I need to do and remember, random memories of people, places, and things, pangs of guilt over imagined slights, surges of rage about various things, what have you. If you could represent it on an Etch-a-Sketch, it would look something like this:

But when I experience great art -- writing, visual art, music, etc. -- the effect is as though someone turned that knob that clears the whole screen:

And I feel at once recentered, calmed, and tranquilized. Also, that's how I know the art is great. I can understand how great art might make some other people feel energized and stimulated, and I guess it does that for me to, but in a subtle way. What effect does great art have on you?

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