The Saturday Morning Snow White Variations 1


As I’ve mentioned elsewhere–most recently in a post I’ve already written that you haven’t seen yet!–I like having themes woven through this blog, little bits of this and that that serve as prompts and inspirations when I have time to write, or as visual filler when I don’t.  The Saturday Morning Snow White Variations will be another such theme for the next several months.  But why?

It happened like this.  In 1990, just west of Blue Earth, Minnesota I stopped for airstreamsome reason or another and ran into a guy with an old Airstream RV which he’d kept polished to a perfect stainless steel glint, like one of the Lone Ranger’s bullets writ large.  It was impressive, but even better was that he’d had a large mural of Snow White painted across the rear side panel of the thing, in the fashion of old-school World War II era airplane nose cone art–but this wasn’t Uncle Walt’s Snow White.  Her heavenlyblouse was cut low, showing way too much Magic Kingdom for Disney, and she wore garters and hose on her endless legs.  She looked a lot like the first image at the top of the page, except that she wasn’t skirtless–her dress was just hiked up quite a bit, and there weren’t any squirrels.  In her outstretched hand she held a shiny red apple, not pondering it herself but offering it as a tantalizing treat, as if she was Eve herself.

I was out of film. Having squandered my last frames on the massive Jolly Green Giant statue in Blue Earth, I’d figured on securing more Kodachrome for the Corn b0edc54f198741ab0c6d7af84112165aPalace and parts west in Mitchell, just up the road a piece, but the image stuck in my mind until a few weeks ago when it occurred to me that something so magnificent might have caught more eyes than mine, and a photo might be found on the wacky wide web, even 24 years after the fact.  Alas, no–but I haven’t given up.  More to the point, during my search I discovered a remarkable volume and wide range of Snow White illustrations, many of them quite evocative–maybe even provocative–to the point where I feel comfortable saying that the chaste princess of the forest must be one of the most ubiquitous inspirations for fetishistic illustrations on the net.  I’ve collected several dozen of the best and will offer them serially, until I run out–or get bored.

2a7686cc85ca35775560ac1c96413031In the meantime, if you’ve ever seen the Snow White RV, or better still know where I can get a picture, let me know. The owner and his girlfriend were towing a sharp, ligher blue 1970’s Opel Manta behind the rig.  Both of them would have to be at least 85 years old by now, but I’d like to think he’s still out there, traveling the highways, causing frazzled parents to frantically scramble to cover their impressionable children’s eyes.



Love Poem For National Poetry Month: Robert Frost

38952913dfd9317db7e42eb6246566c9When one thinks about love poems–or sensual, sexual poems–that old New England apple picker, Robert Frost, isn’t usually the first voice that comes to mind.  Or the second.  Or anywhere near the top.  But it’s cold in New Hampshire–those winters are long, making spring a joyful time, and sometimes a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do, even if what he’s got to do is write a sonnet.


You come to fetch me from my work to-night
When supper’s on the table, and we’ll see
If I can leave off burying the white
Soft petals fallen from the apple tree
(Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite,
Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea;)
And go along with you ere you lose sight
Of what you came for and become like me,
Slave to a springtime passion for the earth.
How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed
On through the watching for that early birth
When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,

The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.

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Random Photo Found Via Google #10: Flapper Reading

Random photos from the internet to you, via me.

This one came up while searching for a photo of Andre Gide…her image made it onto the blog, his didn’t.  Yet.

flapper reading on stairs

About these posts and the photos in ’em:

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Random Photo Found via Google Search 6

Random photos from the internet to you, via me.


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Katrina Torres: Pro-Bowl “Streaker”

2014 Pro Bowl

This isn’t a timely post–as usual, I didn’t watch the Pro Bowl, but I read a reference to this young lady the other day and followed up. It’s a fun story, as it turns out–and she wasn’t really streaking, exactly. The best part is that she was all over the field, as quick as liquid mercury–one of those teams ought to hire this girl to return punts–and would probably still be running–and you’ve got to love those chest bumps with the players.

Screenshot_3 (2)


The Weather-Tainment Industry

IMG_0060It’s snowing outside–actually, it’s not–but I could have written that a day ago, or on almost any day in the young year of 2014 as we slog our way through the coldest, snowiest winter in recent memory.  As of Wednesday, Feb 11, we have enjoyed just 2 days with temperatures above freezing, both of which were accompanied by nights in the low twenties, with much of out time spent below 10 F.  This isn’t particularly bitter weather, especially if you’re from–say–Minneapolis or Calgary or Murmansk, nor is it particularly extreme for us, except that it has been nearly constant ever since the spooky night of our Christmas Party–December 21, when temperatures climbed through the day and maxed out close to 68 at midnight before crashing hard and fast enough to score a (barely, but still…) coveted White Christmas.

IMG_0054The constancy is what gets us.  I live in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, in northern Appalachia, at the eastern edge of the American mid-west.  Geographically, we’re often grouped as part of the Middle Atlantic States–although it takes me a 6 hour drive to smell saltwater.  Our weather reflects the best and worst of all these divisions–hot, humid summers, rainy springs and autumns, fierce winters, occasional drought, blizzards blown down over the great lakes from Canada, and every ten years or so a N’or’ Easter storm that blows up from the south and can deliver snow by the foot.  It’s a crapshoot, but the one thing we’ve come to rely on are the respites–a few cold days, maybe a cold week, for example, is usually followed by a minor melt.

IMG_0056This year, it has just been nasty, and I have to admit that for the most part I have enjoyed it. In my selective–and possible masochistic–reckoning this is how all winters are supposed to be, and how they always were: seasons of relentless cold and giant piles of snow.

What I have not enjoyed is rampant commercialism of the weather reporting industry, both nationally and locally.  Teasing important weather-related news, branding weather as an entertainment feature, exaggerating situations to shock and awe patrons, and even running commercials featuring narrative and imagery from past storms to scare potential viewers into watching “news at eleven” newscasts has reached a shameful zenith, and I fear it will only become worse.

IMG_0039The Weather Teases have been around for a while, and they strike me as both the most dangerous and the most important.  It’s as simple as any news tease: an anchor or meteorologist pops up in a commercial and offers up some cryptic tease, often phrased as a question, of information that viewers ought to have earlier.  For example, “Will local roads turn dangerous as temperatures drop?  Find out at eleven!”  If someone has someplace to go, that’s important information being withheld, in the name of drawing viewers.  If the answer is “No, the roads will be fine,” the broadcaster is guilty of being sneaky and deceptive, but I don’t see a potentially dangerous result.  If, on the other hand, those h0015BE3Ddropping temperatures mean ice on the road after an evening of drizzling rain, people need that information–maybe to get where they’re going early, maybe to get kids home before things get worse.  Those TV Talking Heads shouldn’t be teasing between commercials during Wheel of Fortune–they should be telling us the facts, baby, “Look, compadres–it’s been raining, temps are dropping sharply and the winds are picking up.  It’s getting slippery and it’s going to be worse.”

The next one is more of a pet peeve than a cynical, possibly dangerous practice, and that’s the sudden fashion to report “wind chill factors” rather than actual temperatures.  Every boy who ever broke out of his plastic bubble knows it feels colder when the wind blows–but that TV meteorologist, who used to do traffic on a local FM station–ahem–will have a much easier time holding your attention if he skips telling you about the actual 20 degrees thermometers read in favor of a hyperbolic windchill of +3 degrees–wind chill factor. That sure makes us sit up straight in our seats, eh?  So cynical.

Next up, this is for you, Weather Channel.  If you haven’t noticed, The Weather Channel recently began a policy of naming winter storms, you know, like they name hurricanes, and then copywriting those names.  Though it hasn’t worked out very well (the idea has failed to resonate with audiences, i.e. nobody gives a damn), one can see why they would try this.  People love that hurricane thing–especially when particularly fierce storms turn out to have the same names as our ex lovers and in-laws–damned right Isabelle tore a path of death and destruction through the Dominican Republic; they should see what she did to my heart!  Folks also got a big charge a couple of years ago when a modest storm dumped a bunch of snow on Washington, DC and the media pinned the headline “SNOWMAGEDDON” over the whole thing, as if frozen zombie corpses were roamng the streets of the capitol while Jesus lifted all the pure, clean snowmen into heaven–a gross over-reaction by any accounting, but a perfect precedent for potentially profitable pandering to the public during future storms–and using the hurricane model (copywritten!) releases the dullards from actually having to cook up another catchy name…where do you go from there?  Snowzilla?  The Snow Ness Monster?  The Snow Death?  Snowsquatch?  It thrills me to no end that this marketing plan has been met with complete and total indifference by American consumers.  This year they came up with “The Polar Vortex” which doesn’t sound that monstrous, but certainly has the appropriate ring of a 1950’s science fiction thriller.

Of course I’m making a hopeless argument that few folks care enough to support–most people are sane enough, and restrained enough, to simply ignore this crap, like it’s background static, and get on with their lives.  Not me.  I have to complain about it–but I always believe the ticket to a good bitch-and-moan is a viable alternative to the status quo–and this one is easy: stop reporting weather and news in general as a marketing tactic–stop the “there’s a bad man in a neighborhood that any minute now is going to kick in a door and kill everyone inside–details at 11pm.”  That might have worked before the internet, but when I’m watching TV and the talking head comes on and says “a severe ice storm is bearing down on the region–find out where it will hit the worse at eleven” I’m not waiting until eleven-damned-o’clock to find out if I’m doomed.  I’m headed straight to the internet.  TV stations are going to learn or continue to lose viewers.  As for the storm names: guys, just stop it.  You’re embarrassing yourselves.

Inappropriate, extraneous, irrelavant, possibly sexist, definitely superfluous winter bonus: I did an image search looking for an illustration of a broadcaster with “details at eleven” and, oddly enough, the first picture through the filter was the one below.  Score.




My Poetry Poetry

Lightning Trai-ku

A pencil-stemmed girl
Stands fist raised on a table
Curses defiance

Goblin black stormclouds
Enshroud peaks, squash alpenglow
Pour, blow, flash hate love.

She cackles at the wind
Bring it, motherfucker, yes
You surly bastards!

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Sexy Christmas?

Sexy Christmas @ new pines by little scand
Sexy Christmas @ new pines, a photo by little scand on Flickr.

“More like Skanky Christmas.”–My Wife.

I just can’t help myself–looking at photos tagged “christmas” on Flickr, this one stands out among the volumes of cute kids, happy families, piles of presents and cute kittens batting at ornaments.  Caveat emptor, right? But man, do i LOVE FLICKR. It’s like WalMart and the Carnegie Museum of Art all wrapped up in one.

My innate sense of fair play requires me to link to an actual, legitimately sexy Christmas picture:



sex sells

First off, let’s get this on the table: I suck, because I clicked on this ad just because…well, you know “why because.”  It just bothers me–maybe because I have daughters who have to live in this world, or maybe because they played me like mouth harp and I’m filled with self-loathing.  And 3705609807599815620that’s the post: pay attention to what they’re selling you, and how they’re selling it.  Coincidentally, just after writing the first draft of this post I encountered yet another breast-intensive t-shirt ad.  It is apparently a trend, and while the target page is different I’m wondering if both of these companies are related.  Finally, as if this all isn’t enough, I finally saw 14648350521393526941a t-shirt discounter page featuring a man, but not a sexy hunk of a man with similarly eye-popping physical attributes.  No, it would seem that the t-shirt marketers have identified sloppy, bearded no-good bums as their target demographic.  In short, they’re selling directly to me–or a younger, slogan-shirt wearing incarnation of me.  Fascinating.