Humble Contributions to the Peoples' History

Posts tagged ‘humor’

Fashion faux pas: Wear the coat or reupholster a chair?

Coat in closet

I often purchase clothing that I believe is a great buy: on sale, has all the right elements of color and style, yet when I bring it home, the item remains hanging in the closet, with the tag still attached.

I found a coat in the bowls of my sister’s storage closet. I pulled it from the other temporary cast offs, attracted by the color and velvety fabric. I said to my sister, “It looks like it has possibilities.” And immediately tried it on. For six years the coat stayed in the closet. Was it time to release it from its confinement?

The coat felt heavy, and in response, I slumped my shoulders. The sleeves were too long and there was too much padding on the shoulders. Still, I checked it out in the mirror hoping it might recover if only I hem it or take in or something! In the end, all I could do was laugh with the realization that this coat would return into the back closet.

What do you think? Is this redeemable? Or should I pass it to a thrift shop? Or would this be best on a chair? Post your comment below and let me know what you would do.

Scale: The “Big Chair” and the Metaphor

What’s the big deal about a chair? Well, actually, because this chair is big, about four times as large as a normal chair, and a work of art that has taken on a life of its own. Jake Beckman, a student at Swarthmore College, conceived and built the original chair, which found a place among the other normal-sized Adirondack chairs that dot the stretch of lawn in front of the main hall on campus. The iconic chair even appeared on the Colbert Report.

Several years ago the original chair fell apart and was quietly removed from the lawn. However, the campus community, becoming attached to the Big Chair, clamored to bring the chair back. Jake agreed to return to rebuild the structure, and the chair resumed its place with the others.

I guess I wasn’t the only one beginning to think metaphorically about the Big Chair. Some unnamed inventives would come by during the night leaving the chairs in different arrangements, such as the Big Chair leading a line of the other chairs or the Big Chair in the middle of a circle. One morning the Big Chair stood upright while a semicircle of normal chairs tipped down in front of the Big Chair.

Now I was thinking hard. The chairs assumed the metaphor for power dynamics .  .  . and not just at Swarthmore! I thought about “Big Chair” people, folks that tell us what to do or think: politicians, pundits, advertisers, bosses, CEOs, presidents, board of directors .  .  .  and I’m sure you can think of many more. Do we perceive these folks as big in influence, power, authority, wealth and get drawn into a mindset that binds us to a deferential attitude? Many normal chairs sit on the lawn–there is strength in numbers when we act collectively. And normal-sized chairs serve a real function. We wouldn’t make 25 more Big Chairs.

On reflection, perhaps we do need the Big Chair–reminding us to keep the right perspective.

Photography Tip: Using Art to Create Scenes

In Art Imitating Life, I posted a photograph in which workers were unloading a truck and, by coincidence, that scene was depicted exactly in the mural right above their heads. It’s delightful to catch those moments, but photographers can set up similar interactions with art, creating an entire new pictorial presentation, while sometimes adding a bit of whimsy. Another blog post, Mea Culpa: Breaking the Rules at the Art Museum, has an example of creating a new vignette from an old painting.

Here’s a series of photographs that incorporates a new portrayal of a work of art. The photographer doesn’t just take a picture of art, but rather creates a new interpretation from the surrounds or by including their own additions to the scene.

subway station

The escalator provides the conduit for real-life subway patrons to become part of a scene of a train station mural.

Sign Duplicationjpg

Message on the wall replicates the sign the men are holding, reinforcing the theme.

Reflecton

Using a mirror in a still life display to insert a selfie.

Black and White

A couple stands in front of a mural in West Philadelphia. Since the mural is painted in black and white, I changed the color in the photograph to match the background.

Asking

When traveling through France we were often lost, and to tell that story, I am asking directions to unresponsive statuary.

Have you incorporated an interesting art piece into any of your photographs to create a new vision? Leave a link in the comments!

 

 

The “Big Chair” and the Metaphore Bigger than its Presence

Perspectives on an Adirondack Chair

What’s the big deal about a chair? Well, actually, because this chair is big, about four times as large as a normal chair, and a work of art that has taken on a life of its own. Jake Beckman, a student at Swarthmore College, conceived and built the original chair, which found a place among the other normal-sized Adirondack chairs that dot the stretch of lawn in front of the main hall on campus. The iconic chair even appeared on the Colbert Report.

Several years ago the original chair fell apart and was quietly removed from the lawn. However, the campus community, becoming attached to the Big Chair, clamored to bring the chair back. Jake agreed to return to rebuild the structure, and the chair resumed its place with the others.

I guess I wasn’t the only one beginning to think metaphorically about the Big Chair. Some unnamed inventives would come by during the night leaving the chairs in different arrangements, such as the Big Chair leading a line of the other chairs or the Big Chair in the middle of a circle. One morning the Big Chair stood upright while a semicircle of normal chairs tipped down in front of the Big Chair.

Now I was thinking hard. The chairs assumed the metaphor for power dynamics .  .  . and not just at Swarthmore! I thought about “Big Chair” people, folks that tell us what to do or think: politicians, pundits, advertisers, bosses, CEOs, presidents, board of directors .  .  .  and I’m sure you can think of a lot more. Do we perceive these folks as big in influence, power, authority, wealth and get drawn into a mindset that binds us to a deferential attitude? Many normal chairs sit on the lawn–there is strength in numbers when we act collectively. And normal-sized chairs serve a real function. We wouldn’t make 25 more Big Chairs.

On reflection, perhaps we do need the Big Chair–reminding us to keep the right perspective.

Nuts! My sense of taste is gone!

Really. I’ve never experienced anything like this. The only sensation I get from food is texture, and I have become keenly aware of those variations. A crouton crunches down to what resembles saw dust. A cherry tomato squirts a flavorless liquid. Rice pudding has a creamy feel with lumps. Spinach, well, basically, it’s just about eating leaves.

Of course, I Googled the problem, but the causes didn’t match.  Radiation to the mouth, no; tooth decay, no; acid reflux, no; aging . . . .well, maybe, but this lack of taste came on rather suddenly.

Several days went by; I Googled again with the word “aftertaste” as now I seemed to be experiencing a metallic taste. Again, none of the causes seems to fit. One site mentioned the effects of eating pine nuts–metallic after taste.  But I hadn’t eaten any pine nuts. I checked with my husband who is the cook in the house. “We haven’t had any pine nuts in the last several days, right?”

“Oh, yes we did–last Thursday I poured the entire package into the spaghetti sauce!

no pining for these nuts

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