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Emily Grossman

Mundanity, Redundancy, Profundity

March 1, 2008 at 9:56 AM

Leap year was entirely unnecessary, as the 29th contained every bit of nothing new at all.

Sometimes when I get that trapped, swallowed, February feeling, my dog takes me for a walk. He insists I need the fresh air, and I insist nothing fresh has been in the air since September. But since I hadn’t used my camera for far too long, I thought I’d at least make an effort at capturing this dreary spell we’ve had lately. After all, the scenery looks about as best as I could ever describe what it feels like. To be here. On leap year.

We haven’t had fresh snowfall for some time now. Without a clean slate, the existing stale snow continues to keep faithful record of recent weather patterns, bearing the nasty wind storms, the withering rain, and the following cold snaps with honest accuracy. Sand trucks splash on the pigments, plow trucks sculpt the structures, and the rest is left to time. The resulting compositions are somewhat astonishing, appearing as though deliberately devised by unseen hands. It’s not by my own hand, but by the outside forces, that we were both shaped into what we’ve become on this sullen, repetitious day.

Glad to find we are like minded, I linger amongst the grey and bitter textures. However, it's as I'm rounding the corner toward home that I spy them, and this is what reminds me that repetition can also be deeply beautiful:

Once is mundane. Twice is redundant. But thrice is profound.

From Brian Hong
Posted on March 2, 2008 at 3:34 AM
Wow, what a day. Lol. Nice pictures, keep it up.
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on March 3, 2008 at 4:28 AM
Your photos do tell the story very well. Thanks for posting them.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on March 3, 2008 at 10:48 AM
I heard comets are dirty snowballs. Is that true? If so, I see comets. Or is it like that thing where they say all comets are dirty snowballs but not all dirty snowballs are comets? What do they say about it up there?
From Ray Randall
Posted on March 3, 2008 at 4:47 PM
If you look closely at the second picture you can definitely see an image of King Tut in the ice, headdress, beard and all. Or maybe it's his Father's image. LOL, close enough, though.
From howard vandersluis
Posted on March 3, 2008 at 5:07 PM
Emily... you need to move. But I do love your pictures... :)
From howard vandersluis
Posted on March 3, 2008 at 5:08 PM

Comets are indeed "dirty snowballs", but you wouldn't want to pick one up (even to throw at me) because, aside from the size, the "ices" that make up the "snow" in them are very cold ices of Ammonia (freezes at -107.9°) and (I believe) methane (freezes at -297 F), as well as water ice. Comets in general are lightly packed, and not dense like for example an asteroid. The "dirty" part comes from admixtures of silicates and other stuff you'd call dirt if you saw it here.

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on March 3, 2008 at 8:27 PM
Howard, are you saying comets are like stars, except that they don't have planets inside them?
From Emily Grossman
Posted on March 3, 2008 at 10:10 PM
Howard, it may be cold here, but at least it's not Washington DC... ;)

(Actually, if I lived in DC I would probably hide out in the Smithsonian and see how long I could live there before someone caught me. I've always wanted to do that, ever since I read From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, back in fourth grade.)

Ray, I'm trying hard to see him, but I can't. Is the shape in the glossy area, or the negative space?

Jim, they say Alaska is just one big comet whose orbit remotely associates it with the US. If you're lucky, you get to see it once every 76 years.

Alaskans are actually aliens. We don't body snatch or anything, and though many of us are armed, we come in peace.

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on March 4, 2008 at 5:29 AM
One time I was wondering what the Sun would sound like if you could hear it on Earth. I started to do the calculation, but then realized this is the 21st century. Let's Google. Turns out it's 125 dB, roughly equivalent to putting your ear up to a jackhammer. So loud it that doesn't need to be any louder, in other words.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on March 4, 2008 at 7:36 AM
I meant if there was air between here and it, not if it was here. If it was here it would be so loud it ...well just save your earplugs.
From Emily Grossman
Posted on March 4, 2008 at 9:05 AM
Oh. I was wondering about that. Hypotheticals are funny though, because if the sun was here, then we wouldn't be.

I'm that much more thankful for space, now that I know I won't be awakened by a jackhammer sun in the morning because of it.

From Tom Steele
Posted on March 4, 2008 at 2:54 PM
You do know the museum in Mixed Up Files was MOMA in NYC, right?
From Emily Grossman
Posted on March 4, 2008 at 6:43 PM
I decided to try out the Smithsonian instead.
From howard vandersluis
Posted on March 4, 2008 at 7:45 PM
Emily, keep in mind that there's Federal DC, and then there are the rest of us. I live in the Capitol Hill district, which despite what you might imagine, is actually kind of sleepy. DC is very interesting because of this tension between people who actually live here and the more transient government people.

I've also thought about living in the museums, but they might hear me when I practice on the strads at the nat'l history museum! I do go on a regular basis to feel the moon rock at the Air and Space museum though...

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