Apparently not everyone believes in the necessity of marriage to consummate their desire to spend a life with their significant other. However this creates a problem if you still want to throw a big party, invite all of your friends and family to celebrate, sing and dance your ass off all night. Such was the conundrum for Chris and Amanda when they decided to get NOT hitched. The solution? Rent a stage, hire a live karaoke band and invite 250 of your friends and family to get down! And get down they did. And when your boss shows up and leads the entire office in a Live Aid style group singalong at the end of the show, you know you have a jam on your hands.
Funny how life goes. You really just never know what’s going to happen next or who you are going to run into. We last saw Mike Mancuso, Jon Hamm’s bastard half brother, a few years ago in this blog post I did: http://kistphoto.com/mike I caught up with him again just last month at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic gala at the New York Public Library with his girl Meaghan. Strange spelling, I know. He seemed well and has taken up photography as a hobby so I borrowed his Polaroid 360 Land Camera and shot this polaroid. She really does look like the girl on the show doesn’t she? He’s still not ready to talk about Jon, but you know, these things take time. I just can’t figure out if he really knows which decade he’s living in.
Listen up kids. You don’t know the first damn thing about taking a selfie. See first you take your fully manual Nikon and focus it on your hand outstretched in front of you, but bent up at the wrist. See where I’m going with this? Then you take a meter reading of the area where you will take your selfie and set the exposure. Then, you put the camera in your left hand, that’s right, only in your left hand, since that’s where the shutter button is, and frame your photograph. You can do this because you know the focal length of the lens and approximately how wide the frame will be at arms length. Then you take your selfie. Those ugly black bars on the left and right are the film edge that I left in the scan so that the “right people” will know that I did this “in camera.” I’ll leave the rest about going to the lab to get the film processed, sleeving the negative and then going to the darkroom to make a print, to your vivid imagination. Oh yea, those little white spots you see? That’s called dust. We used to have that back in the 80’s.
As noted in previous posts, I love the American desert. It’s vast, extreme, weird, beautiful and attracts nut-jobs from all corners of the country, which is a significant part of what makes it so fascinating.
Granted this was originally home to the American Indians and they don’t exactly fall into the personality archetype of “nut-job” but they found a massive 7 story rock near Landers California, (soon to become the unofficial meth capitol of the state) decided it was a sacred place and made it the location for all high level summit meetings of the chiefs. Cut forward to 1947, a transplanted looney tune, George Van Tassel, an aircraft mechanic, decided that if the aliens were going to be summoned, or just land on their own, Giant Rock was probably where they would do it. So naturally he dug out a living quarters UNDER the rock and held Transcendental Meditation meetings to get in touch with the little green men. Before I move on I want to express my infinite gratitude to “L.A. GORTA GFK” for his creative addition to this natural beauty. Asshole.
According to Van Tassel, the plan worked and the Venusians stopped by one day and picked him up for a joy ride in their UFO during which they shared all of their secrets on how to build a time machine and regenerate human tissues. They kindly dropped him off back home and with the financial help of fellow wackadoo Howard Hughes, he built the Integratron as a place to further his goals of contacting aliens and saving mankind. I have to say with compete sincerity that the interior of the structure is beautiful, and the engineering and craftsmanship is amazing. As fate would have it, Van Tassel died a few weeks before the official opening but it still operates with slightly less lofty aspirations as an acoustic chamber where you can enjoy a “sound bath” of a woman playing an assortment of crystal bowls.
From Giant Rock you drive a little ways east, past multiple black, cinderblock buildings surrounded by 14 foot fences with barbed wire and CCTV cameras pointed everywhere, and a few quaint little homes like the one pictured here, to get to the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum. I guess if I were going to spend 15 years building a 7.5 acre outdoor sculpture museum made of found objects, I might consider doing it near Landers, but then common sense would kick in and I would do it anywhere else. It gets well over 125 degrees there in the summer! But not Noah!
Really the place is so weird that eventually the Air Force jets passing the sound barrier become pretty de rigueur and when you pass a small heard of dinosaurs standing menacingly by the roadside, you hardly notice it at all. At all.
Anyone who knows me will probably agree that I’m not exactly a sunsets, rainbows and unicorns kind of guy. They are the kind of experiences that I believe are much better enjoyed in the moment without fumbling for a camera to make an image that you are never going to print or look at more than once. But there is something that happens to you in Hawaii that inexplicably turns you into that guy . . . for a couple of weeks. I might change my tune on this if I ever see a unicorn.