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B. Zedan [userpic]

Project Dayshoot: what I’m doing on Monday

July 14th, 2013 (07:40 pm)

I grew up in a small town in South-ish, Central-ish Willamette Valley. Then I moved to another small town and lived there for a long time. While Chase and I lived in Forest Grove I documented the places we went and the drives we took. Part of me always wanted for the WPA to happen again, or to figure out a grant for us to just drive and document.

Now, we get to (or, more properly, Chase gets to and I get to assist and document) be part of Project Dayshoot. July 15th will be the 30th anniversary of “over 90 photographers spen[ding] 24 hours capturing daily life throughout the state of Oregon.” There’s even a book, One Average Day, full of photos taken by photojounalists on a day when I was a couple of months old.

Some fave shots from &quot;One Average Day&quot; from top left: two club folks at Quality Pie in Portland (Marv Bondarowicz), an aide and a patient at Oregon State Hospital in Pendleton (Robert Pennell), Vera Katz in Salem (Michael Lloyd), an articulated bus and mo

Nobody shot in the town I grew up in (or, more properly, that I grew up just outside), because it was just a little place with a mill. Not that it super matters, those photojournalists did a fabulous job documenting the “people, places and pastimes” of Oregon in the early 80s. It’s a costumer’s dream, because the smaller towns still dress late 1970s on the edges. But here is Project Dayshoot’s statement:

On July 15, 1983, over 90 photographers spent 24 hours capturing daily life throughout the state of Oregon. Project Dayshoot was the name of this venture, and it produced a book entitled One Average Day.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Project Dayshoot, the original photographers—plus new contributors—are being organized to capture images throughout Oregon on July 15, 2013. This page, in conjunction with the e-mail address below, is the location for all information related to the project.

Any proceeds from the sale of materials relating to this project will benefit the Oregon Historical Society.

Chase, being a professional photojournalist for the past eight (nearly nine) years, was asked to participate. And, because we already do stuff like this for fun, we have a plan. Other than two scheduled-ish places we’re going to hit, the only goals are the little nowhere towns on the way to and along the coast.

A lot of people, after Chase told Dayshoot where he was going, decided to hit the coast, interestingly enough. It doesn’t matter because we’re not going to stay and make love to the popular places, the biologists, or the noble logger. We’ll be on the move all day (starting at midnight tonight), finding and shooting the things we like to shoot.

And then, when the day is done at midnight on July 15th, we’re on a mini vacation. Not that we’ll stop taking pictures. You can’t break a combined thirty year habit of photographing everything you can.

Fair warning for those following me on social media, I’m cross-linking everything all day tomorrow. So you’ll be able to see what I can upload whenever I get a signal at:


And, if you feel so inclined, document your part of Oregon and hashtag it #dayshoot30. Be part of history and support the Oregon Historical Society! Just remember to note when, what and where you’re shooting.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

This entry is cross-posted from my Dreamwidth journal and was itself originally posted at my proper site, comment at either, please.

B. Zedan [userpic]

And to think my intentions were so good

May 23rd, 2013 (09:36 pm)

So, I saw a sweet little moment at the Medieval Faire in Forest Grove.

Magic balloon

And I was like, “I’m gonna paint that all Norman Rockwell stylez.” Because I miss painting. It was fun. I super love using using my Instagram as a documentation of process.

The whole painting process

But everything is the Loc-Nar, for me, so. The feeling sort of changed.


I do love how this turned out and I decided that since the original is just getting filed away somewhere I might as well make it available to get as a print at Society 6, if you are a creepy fuck who likes to spend money. Or a wonderful person. You could be a wonderful person who likes to spend money too.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

This entry is cross-posted from my Dreamwidth journal and was itself originally posted at my proper site, comment at either, please.

B. Zedan [userpic]

Even so, went through it in about a day and a half

April 20th, 2013 (12:24 pm)

Each year, around my birthday, I allow myself one box of cereal. This year it’s wheat Chex, because I live an exciting life.

Even though we break the “no-grain” rule with some regularity, simply not having specific foods (like: cereal, loaves of bread and, as of this year, tortillas) in the house has gone such a long way to prevent too-easy meals and snacks from being relied on. It creates a space where new food habits are built.

A special bonus is that we’ve effectively stripped all my comfort-binging foods from the house. This simultaneously prevents me from indulging and sneakily re-teaches my insides what “full” and “too much” are. So when I give myself the gift of enjoying a box of cereal for my birthday I’m very aware of not only how awesome and deliciously textured it is, but when it’s time to stop refilling the bowl.

Yearly box of cereal is a lesson and a reward.

And, since I’ll have gone through this box rather quickly, nonetheless, I also am very aware why I don’t keep it around. It’s like seeing an ex at a social function. Sure, you get along pretty well and look at how you both avoid Those Topics and yeah, it’d be nice to bang again but outside of that controlled environment you know it would end in tears and torn-out weaves.

So yeah, cereal knows exactly how I like it but can choke its opinions on politics, y’know?

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

This entry is cross-posted from my Dreamwidth journal and was itself originally posted at my proper site, comment at either, please.

B. Zedan [userpic]

(no subject)

April 3rd, 2013 (12:31 pm)

Even though we’re no-grain there’s a jar of white flour in the cupboard. It’s a vital part of a lot of my crafting, mostly in flour glue for papier mâché. What I forgot that it’s great for, until recently, was salt dough.

Woo, salt dough.

I used to sculpt a lot, with polymer clay. I still have a good bunch of polymer clay, but most of it is old and pretty much useless (the problem with an attic being your studio, there’s a lot of extreme temperatures). So when I got the bug to sculpt some things some months ago, conditioning clay that had a 50% chance of turning into a texture I liked wasn’t really something I wanted to do. So I checked the proportions (1 part salt to 2 parts flour, enough water to make it a “dough”) and made a batch.

Making salt dough.

It’s fabulous stuff to work with, silky but with a good body, sticks to itself with water, the only draw back is how it takes FOREVER to dry, in or out of the oven. From some of the feedback my snaps on Instagram got I gathered that a lot of folks must have played with it growing up.

One of the reasons I got into papier mâché was that it was a media that didn’t cost anything. I needed to make “art” for school, there are copious free weeklies around a campus and I was baking bread so there was always flour (which is stupid cheap in bulk, anyway). I’ve spent maybe 15 years just collecting junk to make things with, the home craft media of papier mâché and salt dough fit perfectly into my world-view of making things out of what you’ve got (sewing is where this breaks down for me, ohhhh fabrics and notions, you dirty temptresses).

I miss sculpture a lot, it’s what I relate most media to, from sewing to painting. Which, I guess that’s obvious in how a lot of my sculpts turn out. I pretty rarely start with a plan, it’s all enjoying the process of making something.

There is a plan.

Anyway, my point is this. I’ve never seen anyone waste their time playing with clay. I’ve seen fabulously ugly beasts formed lovingly, shapes built and destroyed in endless cycles, the surprising genesis of something amazing. But always there’s something, never nothing, even if you junk it all at the end.

If you’ve got a free evening and a bit of flour and salt on hand (ideally at least a quarter cup of flour), give it a try. The worst thing that could happen is you add too much water and end up with soup. But if you only add a little water at a time you’ll be fine. I mean, if you’re doing this in your home, nobody will see the stupid stuff you make. You don’t have to prove skills to anyone, just let yourself play.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

This entry is cross-posted from my Dreamwidth journal and was itself originally posted at my proper site, comment at either, please.

B. Zedan [userpic]

The Pink

March 19th, 2013 (04:34 pm)

Based on The Pink, collected by the Grimm brothers. The original is an Aarne-Thompson type 652, The Boy Whose Wishes Always Come True.


One moment, I existed.

The moment before that I wasn’t even a thought. It’s a different thing, to not exist. It’s not all nothingness, that’s for sure. Nothing is something, if it’s the absence of it. It wasn’t all that jarring to suddenly be, but my mind was full with being around finite things, with just being. I wasn’t, then I was. I wondered if, from then on I couldn’t ever not have been.

The first words I heard were that I was so beautiful a painter couldn’t do my face justice. I didn’t know how to respond to that, for various reasons. Then the man who’d spoken patted a boy on the head and wandered off. The boy and I stared at each other. I wiggled my fingers and toes, not ready to look at them yet. I think we stood there a while, regarding each other. Something friendly broke through the boy and he took my hand and showed me around.

I learned we were children, of about the same age. He chattered at me about how he’d been stolen, his mother framed for negligence and locked away. The castle and grounds we walked had been asked for by the captor and wished into existence by the boy. It turned out I’d been wished for as well, to be a friend and playmate.

“I’m glad you turned out pretty,” he told me.

So we bided time, living a lazy existence not really worthy of itself. We rode horses, I gathered flowers while we walked the gardens, I took up needlework. I liked needlework, because I could pretend to create things, when I was really just transmuting thread into designs, flat fabric into dimensional, purposeful shapes. My work scattered around the house, marking the passing of time as a runner laid itself across the table, a cloth appeared over a basket of bread, doilies insinuated themselves under vases and knick-knacks.

I realised early on that my own position in the castle was on par with the aprons I made—we both were fancy things created to ease the wear of daily life on more valuable things. I listened to the prince talk and did not ask aloud why we lived here with his abductor when he knew his mother lived in punishment for the supposed death of her child. Sometimes the prince said he missed his father, but I don’t know if he meant it.


There were no servants. Meals appeared, rooms became clean when you looked away, dust never collected and the gardens tended to themselves. We didn’t see much of the man; he was always out hunting, or studying maps, or flowers, or something.

There were originally no books in the castle, because the prince didn’t care for them. The library had false shelves lined with sheets of pretty-coloured spines. The man had the prince wish him books, once, but their insides were blank. Perhaps the prince was being petty. Perhaps if the man had wanted specific books, the boy could have wished them. His wishes seemed to take care of themselves. I had a heart that beat, I ate and eliminated. My anatomy was a female’s, though the prince when wishing me, had been fully ignorant of what that might consist of. I was like the books though, empty. I never bled with the moon. The man asked once about it, I wouldn’t have known it was a missing function otherwise.

So we lived and existed. The prince told me he loved me and I told him I loved him. I doubt he meant it more than I did, but he seemed to believe what was said. The prince mentioned his father more regularly and the man became more anxious, spending more time hunting.

One day the man found me alone and told me to kill the prince. I told him I could not, that I saw no reason for it, as the prince had never harmed anyone. The man threatened my life and left. When he next returned from hunting and saw the prince and I playing dice, the man held my gaze, mouthing again his threat to my life.

He repeated his command the next day before riding out. When he’d gone into the woods I asked the prince to wish me a deer. He did it without question. I butchered the animal, cutting out its tongue and heart, setting them on a plate.

“You could have just asked for those,” the prince commented, turning the plate so a ray of sun lit the blood like jewels.

I shrugged and we went about our day until the man was due home. The prince hid and I held out the plate to the man as he entered, removing his gloves.

“You’ve killed the prince as I asked, then?” He did not take the plate. We regarded each other a moment before the prince emerged from his hiding place and swore at the man, whose face turned white.

The prince wished the man into a dog and fed it coals, but it did not die. Looking at the beast sobbing on the tile, the prince told me he was going to return to his father, the king. I hesitated joining him, for I’d never been off the grounds of our wished-for home.

But the prince wanted me, so he wished me into a flower, put me in his pocket and went on his way. I didn’t know of his adventures in travelling, or what kind of flower I was, or if the castle continued to exist after we left it. I found out most things later, but not what happened to the castle.


Being a flower was not like being a human and it was also unlike not existing. There was still an “I.” I was a flower. As flowers measure it, I was a flower for a very long time.

When the prince wished me human again I was standing on a table and the first words I heard were that I was so beautiful a painter couldn’t do my face justice. I looked at those seated along the table and lining the walls. At my feet sat a tired old man with a crown. The prince stood next to him. The dog who had been a man was not there. All the rest totalled more faces than I’d seen in my existence.

Four more strangers led in a woman whose eyes held nothing behind them. From the prince and king’s conversation with her, she was the falsely accused queen. The little family talked there at the head of the table while all the court looked on, straining their ears. I remained standing on the table, but no one seemed to notice.

The queen died some days later and the king soon followed. The prince became king and married me, I accompanied him on walks through the gardens, or stood by his side in court. I went back to my needlework.


I wonder what will happen to me after he dies. Will I keep existing? I have asked, but nobody knows if the castle we once lived in still exists even though it stands empty and the prince has forgotten it. If I stop existing, with the things I make with my hands still exist? Will the little cloths that cover the chair arms still protect them from dirt, the lace still keep the sharp legs of vases from scratching the woodwork? I worry that if the king dies, the things I have done will come undone.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

This entry is cross-posted from my Dreamwidth journal and was itself originally posted at my proper site, comment at either, please.

B. Zedan [userpic]

I’m not going anywhere yet, I’m still here

March 13th, 2013 (10:46 pm)

I never actually wanted to live in Portland. I just knew it’d be a better choice. Like I knew it was a better choice to wait longer and save more before moving to L.A., even if it meant Chase moved down there a couple years before I did.

I think the last time I was in California I was 16. Maybe even 15. Somewhere around then my dad’s family stopped being my family and there was no reason to go south. If you’ve grown up in Oregon, California is sort of looked down on. That’s where the rich live and they don’t know how to drive and they move up here and steal our land and you can’t bring fruit with you forgodssakes.

Like anything adults looked askance at, California gained an aura of the forbidden. Not that I didn’t shit-talk it, which Chase straightened out pretty quickly. He did it the same way he made me stop making fun of Led Zeppelin: by making me actually listen to them. He told me about where he grew up, south of San Diego, and I added to my childhood memories of Northern California campgrounds and the overwhelming maze of San Francisco. California became a place, instead of an idea.

It’s the opposite of everywhere I’ve ever lived, dense populations, desert and south, beaches not coasts. When Chase and I drive through the country around where we used to live I look at the trees and the dense, black-green coastal range, wondering what life will be like without them. I don’t think I’ll miss the trees. There are plenty of trees.

There’s a lot of hate for Southern California, as though it were a bizzaro-world Pacific Northwest and therefore a nemesis. It’s too different, too crowded, too hot, too expensive (though rent-wise, really, it’s about the same). I have to justify my plans to semi-strangers and hope that they see the deadness in my eyes and stop wondering why I just don’t like it here.

I had a conversation once with someone about why he was in New York and why I wanted to move to L.A. It really came down to wanting to live somewhere you’d like to live when the world ends.


Not that I expect the world/society to cinematically end in the place of my choosing, but really, the thesis is sound. I’d be pretty bummed if it turned out I never got to leave the PNW. Sure, I think it’s a great spot for post-apocalyptic fiction, but not for me.


I lied. California is still an idea. Hasn’t it always been? It’s a world of artifice, but everyone is in on the construction, their imaginations and dreams as much a part of the skeleton as poured concrete and palm trees.

I think there are two kinds of people, at least as far as this exercise goes. There are the ones who read West’s The Day of the Locust and think “god, what a terrible place.” And then others read that short, sharp story and feel a noose tighten around their guts, dragging at them.

Here’s the thing. I could settle comfortably in the PNW or I could push myself and struggle and grow in L.A. I’d rather fail than settle. And—this is crazy—if, after some years I find that I long to once more reside in the verdant, motherly and non-judgemental embrace of where I grew up, I could always move back. It happens.


It probably won’t.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

This entry is cross-posted from my Dreamwidth journal and was itself originally posted at my proper site, comment at either, please.

B. Zedan [userpic]

I mean, everyone pronounced it “gime” as a kid, right?

January 15th, 2013 (08:02 pm)

The summer after freshman year at college I lived on campus, renting a dorm room for a stupidly high amount of money. My roommate was a member of the wrestling team (as much as I loved There’s A Girl In My Hammerlock, I never understood the weirdness of females on wrestling teams, every school I’ve been to had a skilled number of ladies who wrestled) and we went to the gym together. Every day.

We alternated upper and lower body circuits, she’d out-lift me for upper but she ended up hurting herself trying to match me for lower. Every evening we’d go on a two mile run. I loved it. I’ve always been a closet jock, physical activity is super fun for me and lifting stokes the fires of my machismo.

When we still lived in the suburbs and I had a four hour public transit commute, I donated enough to the university to get a “free” gym membership to their student facilities, which weren’t fantastic (the setup was still the same as that summer I went every day) but I was also paying way less than if it was a real gym. Besides, all I wanted from it was access to an elliptical machine.

I’ve got some hip issues that mean running on pavement is not the best thing for me anymore, but the elliptical? I can sprint on that fucker. The joint issues I was having then went away and then we moved to the city. That was great. I could walk to work (about three miles round trip), keeping up a level of activity. I walk really fast, enough to sweat and probably at a speed just below a jog if I could figure out what a jog is.

Then my work moved and it was back to the bus. So I figured out a commute that got me three miles walking, with some bus in between. But the weather got shitty, my job got more administrative and more often than not I was walking just a mile and a half. And apparently that combination of things was enough to bring back the joint issues. So I did my PT and after I’d finished all my sessions my other damn leg started being slow to react and other terrifying things. Ooh, plus my shoulder was getting pretty fucked for no reason. Good times.

So I finally did something I’ve always wanted to do. I crunched some money numbers and joined a gym. I picked Snap Fitness because there is one close to where I work, they have no start fee and my insurance gave me a slight discount on the monthly payments, which were already cheap.

For the price of taking Chase to dinner once a month, I can go to the gym every dang day instead (but probs 3x a week).

The branch I go to is owned by an adorable young couple, I have 24 hour access, I could go on and on about how the whole thing is laid out the same way you would a gym on a space ship and the only bummer is they don’t have overnight lockers. But mostly? They have machines that adjust to my size with useful pictures of proper form and what stretch to do. They have an assisted chin up machine which holy mother of everything. And they have elliptical machines.

The first day I limped to the gym and could only do 15 of the standard 20 minutes I like to do. Lowest level. The machines were easier and I could at least be proud of myself for maintaining good form, going slow and still doing a number of sets and reps that I find acceptable. That was about a week ago. I’ve gone three times since as my plan is to go on my Monday/Wednesday/Friday equivalents after work.

Picture 2

Yesterday I ran easy for a full 20 minutes and the four minute cool down, I can probably up the level next week. I’ve gone up weight on the machines to an amount I won’t tell you but is almost a third my weight. I’m not limping, stairs aren’t terrifying, my shoulder still hurts but in the way that means it’s getting better. I’m not 100% but shit, I’m close.

What the sweet fuck? I mean really. That’s not a lot of work for an amazing amount of progress. One of my co-workers called the gym my vice (mind you, I had been saying that after the gym I get Starbucks and then have a cigarette because I like to live the lives I saw on TV when I was young) and you know, for me it is, in the best way. I’m even eating the cursed mana of bananas or yoghurt after the gym so my muscles don’t get sad. I hate both those things so much I swear out loud while consuming them. It makes me so damned happy to work out and I don’t really know why, but since I get all sorts of positive rewards for it, I’m not complaining.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

This entry is cross-posted from my Dreamwidth journal and was itself originally posted at my proper site, comment at either, please.

B. Zedan [userpic]


April 15th, 2011 (12:14 am)

I guess the LJ cross posting thing I have for my blog doesn't work any more? Anyway, if you want to keep up to date, point your RSS here.

B. Zedan [userpic]

And the crowd responds

November 27th, 2010 (09:46 pm)

There was much clamour for a dance remix of the answering machine message that I posted last. Nick, however, did one better:

(original vid source)

Originally published at something or other. You can comment here or there.

B. Zedan [userpic]

In the interim

November 20th, 2010 (10:14 pm)

I’ve been doing stuff and things, but it is far more important for you to hear this insane message left on our answering machine:

It’s from some sort of hell

We get faxes to our phone a lot (we’ve a landline) but this is beyond that.

Originally published at something or other. You can comment here or there.

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