Angry Birds

So school has been keeping me very busy. I’m incredibly burnt out and I really needed this break. Having gone to school over the summer with a week off before and after, I’ve not really had a good break since last Christmas. I enjoyed my first semester at UNCW (affectionately known as Dub). I didn’t do as well as I would have liked, but I started the semester still all messed up in the head over the personal life stuff. Eh, I’m not sweating it.

I’m spending my break just decompressing. Mostly, that entails taking pictures of birds. I think I’m pissing them off, honestly, but have a look for yourself.

That's Quite Enough, by me

That's Quite Enough, by me

That’s a male Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) giving me the bad-eye.

 

Getting the Badeye from a Yellow-rumped Warbler, by me

Getting the Badeye from a Yellow-rumped Warbler, by me

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata)

 

What's Your Problem, Creeper??, by me

What's Your Problem, Creeper??, by me

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)

 

Brown-headed Nuthatch, by me

Brown-headed Nuthatch, by me

Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla)

 

Angry Eastern Bluebird, by me

Angry Eastern Bluebird, by me

Female Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

 

Great Blue Heron Gives Me the Stinkeye, by me

Great Blue Heron Gives Me the Stinkeye, by me

Juvenile Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

See a pattern, or is it just me?

I’ll put up some less angry-looking birds next time.

From whence came the art:

All images are ©2010 by me, and are clickable to see larger versions on my Flickr site.

What I Want

Rough Day, By Lou FCD on deviantArt

Rough Day, By Lou FCD on deviantArt

It’s a recurring theme lately.

I’ve been wrestling with being down, maybe to the point of depression. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t rightly say, but it wouldn’t surprise me to hear such a diagnosis.

So I suppose it’s natural that among the questions my friends are asking me are two that keep popping up: “What do you want?” and its sister question, “What do you need?”

The second question is easy to answer now, but it took me a while to figure out. I need to be. I need to be sad, and I need for that to be OK. I am not ready to be happy today. I need you to listen, not try and make it better. I need your permission, I need your acceptance. I need a hug from you.

The first is not a hard question to answer, it’s just a hard question to feel allowed to answer. I know what I want. I can’t have it, but I know what I want. I can’t tell you about it, but I know what I want. I can’t express it generally in public on Twitter or Facebook even, but I know what I want.

Do you really want to know what I want? I hope you mean it when you say you do, because if you keep pressing me, I’m going to tell you. And you know what I’m going to say.

What I want is a fist full of your hair in one hand, a fist full of your breast in the other. What I want is to growl your name behind your ear and hear you whimper mine. What I want, right here and right now, is to sink my teeth into the back of your shoulder, and feel your warm, wet tears on the back of mine.

That’s what I want.

From whence came the art:

That image is titled Rough Day, by me, all rights reserved. You can purchase prints of my work at my print-shop on dA, or you can just hire me for your intimate or other portraiture needs.

I Write Like

Revel, by LouFCD on Flickr

Revel, by LouFCD on Flickr

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything new here, but I’ve  been busy. Between school, the dissolution of my marriage, and my new girlfriend Canon (she’s a Rebel!), life has just kept me hopping.

I’ve got a personal writing project newly in the works, and perhaps it will show up here someday, but it’s not really ready yet.

What really prompted me to post something new was a whim by Glendon Mellow, who you might know better as The Flying Trilobite. I was a bit curious to see what sort of answer I might get with this writing analyzer, so I put in a few posts and got different answers each time.

Working backwards in time on this blog,

Real Women is apparently most like David Foster Wallace, an author with whom I was not familiar, but I note he hung himself a few years ago. That doesn’t bode well…

Enter the Queen, a prelude to Hamlet that I wrote for a Lit class (and which I love because it changes the tone of the whole play), is most like H.P. Lovecraft. One has to be happy about that, right?

8 Seconds, a piece for my first English class at Coastal, and featured in last year’s literary magazine, was compared to Dan Brown (a bit disappointing, that…).

Gone to California, the analyzer tells me, is like Vladimir Nabokov. Score.

I’m not sure what this all says about the evolution of my pen, to go from Nabokov to a guy who hung himself, but it doesn’t seem good.

Fortunately, I’m having an affair with Canon, and I think she kind of likes me.

 

Suspicion, by LouFCD on deviantArt

From whence came the art:

The first image is titled Revel and the second Suspicion, both by me and both copyright 2010.

Self Portrait

Chiaroscuro Self Portrait, by Lou FCD on Flickr

Chiaroscuro Self Portrait, by Lou FCD on Flickr

Things I Should Have Learned in Chem I (but didn’t)

Coastal Carolina Community College, by LouFCD @ Flickr

Coastal Carolina Community College, by LouFCD @ Flickr

I love my school. I don’t think there’s any question about that.

I love the campus (tore up with construction as it is at the moment), I love the size, I love the variety of classes offered (though I wish there were more, of course), I love the high standards, and most of all I love the faculty and staff. I don’t think I’ve ever met a conglomeration of people so dedicated to the purpose of helping a rag-tag, diverse bunch of people and their unique needs as the faculty at Coastal. With one exception (an instructor no longer there, I might add), I’ve spent nearly two years watching instructors fall all over themselves to help students understand the presented material, and inspire us to think about it, evaluate it, expand on it, and run like hell with it. I don’t know if this is the norm for the community college as I’ve never attended another, but it certainly wasn’t my university experience lo, those many years ago. I will sorely miss Coastal when I graduate this Spring and transfer to UNCW this Fall, regardless of how wonderful an experience that might be.

That freedom, I tend to think, has taken a rather extensive toll on this blog (not to mention JanieBelle’s!). I expend a great deal of creative energy going above and beyond, working my ass off to not just pass my classes, but to excel in them, and when I get home, quite frankly, there’s little left for personal projects like blogging or even photography.

So it pains me to level a criticism, valid as it may be, in any shape or form. I have already taken my concern to several of the instructors there, and to The Chair, and I am satisfied that my voice has been heard and the situation is properly addressed. Nevertheless, I thought a bit of explanation for the title and point of this post is in order.

I took CHM 151 (Chem I) online last semester. I didn’t want to, but it was only offered at times when other classes that I needed were offered, and it was the best of a list of unsatisfactory choices for me, near as I could tell with the information I had in hand. Some days will be like that. Coastal can’t possibly tailor their entire schedule to every student, and they do go out of their way to do the best they can with what they have to work with. So with the consolation that at least I’d have a real on-campus lab, I elected to do the online lecture.

Big mistake.

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On the Composition of Charles

Swarmed, by LouFCD on Flickr

Swarmed, by LouFCD on Flickr

In my spare time (haha) I’m again reading Darwin’s Origin of Species. It’s an incredibly insightful work for its day or any other, and even modern biology writers, with all the updated information available at our fingertips, are hard pressed to match its beauty.

In reading it again with my own now more advanced understanding of biology, I’m struck by two things in particular within the first several chapters. The first that stands out to me is Darwin’s mastery of the turn-of-phrase. In World Lit II last semester, the pieces we read were exemplars of their time period. The early and mid-nineteenth century works were chosen specifically to highlight the Romantics’ “rejection” of Enlightenment ideals. The systematic logic and naturalistic view of the universe was traded in for adornment, symbolism, and emotion. Yet even then I noted in an essay on my midterm that Darwin was an outstanding exception to this rule.

Romantics viewed the world around them as a natural extension of their emotions. Emotion and Nature are inextricably intertwined, the one often used as a symbol for the other. This was a rejection of Enlightenment ideals of the logic and order of Nature. They valued this emotion and its connection to the natural world almost to the exclusion of reason. (Charles Darwin was a notable exception, whose seminal 1859 treatise on evolution, “On the Origin of Species &etc” being a work replete with both the reason valued by the Enlightenment and the powerful emotive awe treasured by the Romantics.)

(I may transcribe my entire response as a separate post, just for fun – I was pretty happy with the way it came out, under pressure and unedited, and in response to a perfect prompt for taking modern Creationists to the woodshed – you know I took that bait with reckless abandon.)

I stand by that comment, and this latest read reinforces my opinion that Darwin exemplifies the best of both Enlightenment and Romantic writing. His synthesis is unparalleled among the writers of his day.

An oft-quoted example of his beautiful mastery of emotive language is found in the final passage of Origin:

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

The other glaring feature of the first several chapters is my own recurring frustration. On nearly every single page I read, I want to just scream backwards through time words of encouragement to get this greatest of minds to take that one last little step that in retrospect is so very very tiny. Darwin was one thought away from picking up the revolutionary idea of Gregor Mendel. He dances all around it, a ballerina doing elegant pirouettes without ever quite stepping on that one spot in the center – particulate theory of inheritance. (Genes, we call them.)

Thus it is, as I believe, that when the males and females of any animal have the same general habits of life, but differ in structure, colour, or ornament, such differences have been mainly caused by sexual selection; that is, individual males have had, in successive generations, some slight advantage over other males, in their weapons, means of defense, or charms; and have transmitted these advantages to their male offspring.

I have to sigh, and be resigned to the facts of history, else I might scream. Particles, Charles, particles.

From whence came the art:

That image is titled Swarmed, by me, and is © 2009.

From the Seashore, by Anna Petrovna Bunina (1806)

Pelican Sunrise, by LouFCD @ Flickr

Pelican Sunrise, by LouFCD @ Flickr

In 1806, a Russian poet by the name of Anna Petrovna Bunina wrote something strange, and dark, and beautiful. She titled it, “С ПРИМОРСКОГО БЕРЕГА”, roughly translated “From the Seashore”. We read a translation by Pamela Perkins (in the Norton Anthology) early in our semester in my World Lit II class, and honestly it took a while to grow on me.

When it came time to begin work on our creative project for the semester, I turned to this piece for my inspiration. Since I’d been working on my photography it seemed natural to blend the two and see what happened.

The photo above is an outtake from that project. (As usual, all images in this post are linked to their respective Flickr page. For desktop-sized versions, click through to Flickr and then click the “All Sizes” button above each photo.)

I’m very tickled. In fact, I’m so tickled that although it’s usually my policy not to put my school work on the blog until after it’s graded and returned to me, I just can’t wait any more. You’re getting this before it’s even due. (This Thursday, for the record.)

The poem in its original Russian, an English translation by me, my photos from the project, and a few more outtakes are below the fold. (If you have religious nudity-related neuroses, no need to tell me about them, just move along. I don’t really care.)

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