Saturday, January 26, 2008

loving and loathing bicycling in Miami

- Ample sidewalks
- Ample side streets to avoid main drags
- Trees, sunshine, shade
- Flatness

- Sidewalk-less arteries for which there are no alternatives (Blue Road)
- Lack of bike lanes, or rather, fear of using existing bike lanes due to Miami driver's inability to understand NORMAL lanes
- Drivers who assume that they need not pay attention on side streets
- Drivers who get unnecessarily angry for at having to apply pressure to their brake pedal

I got in my first (and hopefully last) screaming match with a car today. I was crossing a street from the sidewalk at an intersection. In his defense, I was going a little too fast, but the guy (in an SUV, not to play to bike vs. car stereotypes) didn't seem to have skidded to a stop and was just angry at having to slow down when he poked his head out of his window to start cursing at me.

Shouting ensued, he slowed down the car threateningly, at which point I realized that if I pushed this any further and he'd probably try to run me over.

The only reason I'm discussing this is to make sure I don't do it again. At some point between middle school and adulthood I started getting angry with stupid things, rather than smiling and being conciliatory when confronted with someone who is obviously taking the situation far too seriously. Friendliness is a better way to end conflict than shouting profanity across a busy street.

EDIT: Hey lookie here! Friend Adam mentioned in a bicycling article at New Times!

Friday, January 25, 2008

random thoughts regarding footwear in artistic and erotic nudes

Comment posted on BoingBoing's displaying of the new Tickler Ukulele logo, created by Amy Crehore:

Somewhere in the world there must be a discussion of the use of footwear in nude portraiture, both erotic and non-erotic.

Thinking entirely off the cuff, in pornography it seems to serve three purposes (in declining order of importance):
1. keeping the performer's feet clean as they go around the set (utilitarian)
2. titillation of the audience (practical, in the sense they serve to further the purpose of the work)
3. creation of an air of spontaneity on behalf of the performers (subtle practicality)

Again these are just my guesses and directors/photographers probably could give far better insight.

But in art? What purpose does it serve here? How are Amy's goals met not only by the use of shoes but of decorative ankle ribbons? The ribbons were what inspired me to write this. They do not appear to have been left on after disrobing, quite the opposite: the ribbons are the sole nod to typical clothing. She has not picked up the ukulele after growing tired midway through playing dress up, she IS dressed up.

There are likely also connotations involved in artistic nudes that gingerly hide the most sexual parts that I am not qualified to discuss and make any comparisons to erotic nudes that much more difficult. Regardless, it is a fascinating picture, as are nearly all of Amy's works.



I'm home.