Found Art

Let me know if you get sick of rain chain photos.

Over the last stormy week, I’ve been fascinated by the pattern of melting and freezing. The resulting designs are like sculpture.

It’s interesting how things come together sometimes. How overlapping events create patterns. It’s like evolution — when people complain that no one could possibly know that, say, finger webbing could turn out useful later for making wings — it’s not that there was a plan, per se, but the symmetry of nature weaves together so that patterns do emerge.

Like in Twitter, for example.

Yes, I just compared evolution and the beauty of nature to Twitter. Hang with me here.

I use TweetDeck, which is an application you can download to your laptop and shows tweets from people in various columns that you can sort. So my left hand column is for the people I follow. There are about 175 of them or so. Some tweet more than others. I can mark them so they disappear after I’ve read them. New tweets pop up on their own and people post them. Some are interesting, some not.

The other columns are for people specifically talking to me and for people mentioning “Jeffe” in their tweets, but that’s neither here nor there.

So, last night we were watching Food, Inc., which was really good and is worth the time, and I was reading a story for a friend. TweetDeck had been popping up the usual chatter, a fair amount of it, it turned out, from people watching the football playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints. As the game progressed, the tweets became more frequent and intense. And it became clear to me that I follow an approximately equal number of fans of both teams.

I knew it the moment the game went into overtime.

What emerged was a microcosm of the game. I didn’t need to see it to know how it went. So I saved the tweets. This is the exact order of them. There were intervening non-game-related tweets that I deleted. These are tweets from about eight different people, none of whom were talking to each other.

At least, not directly.

Football Twitter Poem

me thinks the Vikings are trying to give this game away. I dont really care who wins, but would like to see a Colts/Saints superbowl.

Oh yeah!!!! Who dat? Who dat gonna beat dem Saints?

In essence, it’s a brand new game. Can the Super Bowl possibly be a better game than this? (Though, it’s been messy & Favre’s been slammed.)

Sorry, kitteh. Mama’s lap is NOT a good place during a game this important. Geaux Saints!! Kitteh still glaring at mama. Oops!

I’m not sure which is more streesful: watching the #Vikings in OT or watching Mr watch the Vikings in OT.

Percy Jackson starts 2/12 w00t

The #Vikings can’t catch a break with the refs. that was not a first down. not not not not not

And that was not pass interference. not not not not not

Why don’t the refs just put points on the board for the Saints and call it a game?

::sob:: please miss the field goal, please miss the field goal…..*holdsbreath*


We are going to the Super Bowl!!!! OMG Saints are in the freaking Super Bowl!!!! Shriek!!!!!!!!! Thank you Thank you Bayou Boys!

Beautiful kick. Good luck in the Super Bowl, Saints! I’ll be rooting for the Colts.


They were all looking at the same game, so of course that formed the structure. And I brought the point of view, since I selected these people to “listen” to. The pattern that emerged, though, becomes something all its own.

Just like the rain chain is a skeleton for melting and freezing water, allowing a sculpture to emerge without an artist.

The World Turns

It’s always difficult for me to picture things as different than as they are right at this moment.

I mean, while I know in my head that the seasons change, whatever is in front of me seems to be all that’s real. I look out my office window at the frozen rain chain and remember when it was rain, not icicles. But the rain is no longer real to me.

We’ve been talking about that, with our luck in choosing this particular house. With the recent heavy snow, David’s been pointing out how some houses sit low on the hill, with long driveways sloping down towards their garages. Those people have been shoveling snow like mad. At first David didn’t get it, since the snow melts so quickly here. Then he got it. Our driveway snow melts through the gravel into the ground; theirs runs down the hill, into the garage and the house.

We are grateful we didn’t pick one of those, though it was not due to any foresight of ours. Though we moved from a cold and snowy climate, in the dazzle of Santa Fe’s desert summer, it’s difficult to imagine deep snow.

We were lucky.

People laugh at me, when I mention I have this limitation. I try to stretch my imagination all the time this way. To picture what I see in a different light, a different season. The thing is, I’m not convinced that other people are much better at it.

The big news yesterday was Amazon’s announcement that select ebooks for Kindle will pay authors up to 70% in royalties. Everybody picked up the story, so there’s lots of versions of that news. I just picked that one for its detail. I find the blogger in it who rambles on about Amazon’s deep fear of Apple kind of irritating. It makes me wonder who’s paying for his supper, but that’s neither here nor there.

What is interesting to me, and is to most authors, I imagine, is that percentage. If an author is lucky enough to receive a royalty of 15%, which is the high end, that means that for a book that sells in the store for $23.95, the author gets $2.16. (Bookstores buy books typically for 40% off the jacket price.) If that same author sells that book for only $5 as an ebook on Kindle, at 70% royalty, she gets $3.50 per book. Most books available as hardbacks list at $9.99 on Kindle, which would give the author nearly $7 per book. For 100 books, this becomes a $500 difference.

There has been, of course, much wailing and gnashing of teeth over how the publishing industry is changing. Authors are worried about ebook piracy. A reader on Twitter yesterday was blasted for talking about buying new releases as ebooks. Authors “taught” her how only the paper sales matter in the first week and how, if she wanted to support them, she’d buy those.

That’s the thing about change. It takes a while to adjust your thinking. To accept that a change might be a positive thing.

All it takes is being willing to see that things aren’t always as they are at this moment.

Chopped Liver?

Rain again this afternoon. So here’s a photo of the rain chain my fab co-workers bought me for my birthday (by way of a High Country Gardens gift certificate — thanks gals!). The chain funnels the outpour from the canale, which drains the rain from the flat roof. I probably didn’t capture it well, but imagine the musical sound of rain running down the links and tulips, into the basin below.
Ah yes.
My mom sent me an article Frontier Airlines’ recent “save.”
As in, saved from losing their identity by being subsumed by Southwest. She figured I’d care because I’m a fan of Frontier. I’m a premier member with them even. A lot of loyalty under the bridge there.
I’ve been trying not to notice the strain on it lately.
Kind of like when you begin to notice the things you don’t like in your lover. The little things that maybe once were charming. Or that you’re pretty sure he never used to do. And you think, that’s not such a big deal. I can live with that. Maybe the nose-picking is just a phase.
But, under it all, you know you can’t ignore them forever. That these are the warning signs. The ones you’ll sigh over to your girlfriend over key lime martinis later, saying “Jesus, I knew when he started in with the nose-picking that it was all over.”
Frontier has started to annoy me. And we had such a good relationship for such a long time. But, you know what: they’ve started to take me for granted. No more automatically assigning me seat 2A, unless I buy a certain class of ticket. The first time it happened, I was stunned. Certain there was a mistake by the automatic kiosk, I asked the agent why *I* was in a middle seat??
“I always am just in 2A. Always,” I told her. And I tried really hard not to sound snotty. Which I know sounds unlikely. But you have to understand, me and 2A, we go way back. It’s gotten so I don’t even have to look at my boarding pass, I can just get on the plane and sit down. When you’re on airplanes as much as I am, this is a precious gift. Anything I don’t have to think about? Sign me up!
But no. And she was mean to me. Here I am at the premier desk, and she treated me like I was just any passenger being difficult. I can be just any difficult passenger on every other airline. At Frontier, I had to come to love that they treated me being difficult as their privilege to resolve.
Call me the high maintenance girlfriend.
So, he doesn’t care so much as he did. He’s got financial issues and he’s not interested in wooing me any longer. He absentmindedly picks his nose. I thought it was enough that I stuck through the hard times.
What gets me about the article?
The penultimate line: “We still haven’t seen the return of the business traveler.”
Hello? What about me? Your loyal business traveler who told everyone Frontier would survive the bankruptcy. Who stuck with you while her perks diminished and you couldn’t take her to all the big hubs anymore.
I’m sitting right here and you’re out looking for other women.
I don’t think so.