[Photo of the underside of Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate, the Chicago sculpture popularly known as The Bean, from Blue Jake (taken in 2004 before the lines on the sculpture were smoothed off--I kind of like them).]
I. Magic Beans
I've been sick the past few days.
Yesterday I tried to take a still photo of the Death of Clytemnestra, which I was filming with Maura and Bink, and my digital camera registered "BATTERY EMPTY."
Mine was too.
But in the way of garden-variety illnesses, I woke up feeling weak but well again this morning.
Sitting with my coffee, feeling that flood of gratitude for the return of health, I thought,
Life supplies us with a handful of magic beans when we're born.
What do we do with them?
Lately I've been climbing stalks to discover how to adjust my camcorder's manual settings for light and focus and such-like.
Along with being sick, that's one reason I haven't been blogging more. Learning videomaking takes time and it's not scintillating to write--or read--about. I can tell you, though, I'm ecstatic to have discovered the "Backlight" button, which automatically adjust for shooting into brightness.
Here're a few catch-up notes.
II. Beauty Tip
Hey! Here's a hitherto unknown feature on Astronave: a Beauty Tip.
Courtesy of the Fly's makeup artist, Cathy.
The lipstick Clytemnestra wears is Clinique's "black honey," which Cathy says looks great on many different complexions. It's "almost lipstick"--that is, it's semi-opaque. It's gorgeous: looks like you've smeared your lips with shiny blackberry juice.
III. Money Tip
And another one-time feature: a Money Tip, from a friend who's an honest-to-god financial analyst:
My friend told me that there is a "hysteria index" that measures people's panic about the stock market. It usually hovers around 10. After 9/11, it shot up to 50. A couple weeks ago, with the stock market in disarray, the index reached 80.
Well, fair enough; but making decisions when you're in a panic is not recommended, so maybe the advice should be DON'T MAKE DECISIONS IN A PANIC.
Or, as Pema Chodron says about every emotion that besieges us, pleasant and un-, "Hold your seat."
I felt the flickers of panic myself: When I picked up off the doormat that week's Economist, its cover reading "World on the Edge" (photo above right), I went upstairs and started cleaning out my junk drawer.
When I found myself washing my measuring tape, I asked myself what I was doing and realized I was responding to a sense of powerlessness (i.e. anxiety bordering on panic) by setting what I could to rights.
...Which extended as far as this drawer, but I did feel better afterward. (Turns out my measuring tape is white!)
Anyway, my friend told me he thought of me and how I love Star Trek because he imagined Spock marvelling at this display of how humans respond emotionally to crises, thus making them worse.
I used to find thinking of Spock comforting and calming during the irrationality of high school too.
IV. High-Tension Wires
Before I got sick, I biked down the Greenway and photographed a couple of my favorite sights.
The Martin Olav Sabo Bike Bridge
The Rocket Ship in a Playground
I didn't include the "Do Not Climb" sign.