Friday, February 22, 2013

Favorite Toy

Of our five dogs, Maggie is probably the least playful.  She has a very laid-back, dignified personality and prefers to watch from the sidelines and occasionally referee the games of the other canines.  However, every once in a while she decides she's in the mood to wrestle or wrangle and then she seeks out her favorite toy.  It's an unexpected choice but perhaps it reflects her minimalist sophistication: it's a small stuffed cube.  Constructed of brown suede with seams tufted in cream-colored lambswool, it has the aesthetic of a rugged jacket worn by a Colorado cowboy on a horse.  Smaller than a tennis ball, this rather simple toy often falls to the bottom of the basket and thus Maggie has to hunt to find it (which, perhaps, is part of the reason she loves it - the act of finding it makes her seem like Queen Elizabeth II stalking stag in Scotland).  If you look carefully in this photo you will see that Maggie has perfected the act of balancing both front feet on the edge of the wicker toy basket allowing her better access to the contents of the container.  Viva la hunt!


On August 29, 2013 I resigned from Wichita State University and embarked on a glorious new life.  Although I have a long resume after 25 years dedicated to the discipline of Art History I decided I needed to explore new avenues and develop new skills.  I began job re-training to become a celebrity paparazzi stalker.  I had the perfect training exercise: capture Red Rocket in an embarassing moment that he would not want to see in the tabloids.  His guilty pleasure: playing in the sandbox.

Edward has a sand and water table on our deck and during the long, hot, dry summer our Red celebrity discovered that he could jump up onto the table to create his own beachfront Malibu mansion in the middle of the heartland.  He luxuriated in reclining against the soft-grained sand specially purchased for Edward's sensitive hands.

But don't watch me.  I see you in there.  You walked by the back door and glanced out and saw me laying topless on the beach and I see you racing for that camera.  Here I go.  Jump off the island and into the wooden ocean.  By the time you turn that camera on and get out the back door I will have my three legs planted on the terrafirma of the Kansas prairie.  Nice try. 

I studied photography while I was at Florida State University.  One of the best teachers I had drummed into our heads that the photographer needs to move to make sure there isn't "junk" in the shot.  Take two steps to the left so that the angle of your photo shifts and the trash can or bathroom stall door doesn't appear in the picture.  Tilt the frame up so that broken piece of linoleum or dirty spot on the carpet isn't prominently displayed in front of the feet of the family dressed up for the wedding.  So I am vexed by the fact that the only photo I managed to capture of the Red bathing beauty was taken through the smudged window of the back door and juxtaposes the front of our broken-down smoker grill over the face of Red Rocket.  But you can see from the pose of the subject that he had spotted me and was raising up on his legs to jump out of the box.  I finally caught him in the act but I think I can cross paparazzi off the list of potential new career choices.