late fall show

The curtains have closed on the fall production put on by the big trees, but some of the smaller ones decided to put on their own show. Whoever was in charge of wardrobe design for this production sure picked some striking color combinations. I was also impressed by the lighting, which really brought out some of the technical details of the sets and choreography. I can’t wait to see what they can pull off next season.

(mis)reading the signs

For whatever reason, I enjoy the iconography of signs, and find myself including them in many of my photos. I especially enjoy seeing the varied signs in other countries. Often the meaning is clear, or at least familiar. Other times, the signs are more cryptic and I can only guess at the meaning. And still other times, I enjoy just making up the meaning for the sign. (And hope that the sign I’m chortling about isn’t warning me of my impending demise.)

Since I’m on a roll with my photos from last June’s trip to Poland, I’m sharing a few photos from that trip.

First is one of my favorites: No parking in this tree. no-tree-parking

I read this sign below as a general exclamation. Whether of alarm or enthusiasm, I can’t be sure. (Google translate tells me that “wyjazd z budowy” means “departure from construction,” which doesn’t enormously clarify for me. Perhaps it is just a diversionary tactic.)

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This sign in Warsaw clearly means “look up at that cool tower.”

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Next we have a neatly stacked display of signs. The top one, clearly, indicates that yellow squares should be displayed at a jaunty angle. Below that is an public service message to keep a wide stance and swing your arms while walking. The meaning of the yellow sign below, though, isn’t completely clear to me. It appears to be a person holding some sort of object. giant-lolly

AT first I thought it was a girl with a pony tail, wearing a dress, and holding a balloon. But on closer inspection, I think it may be a bald man struck in the back of the head with some unknown object, wearing hammerpants. But I have no idea what the object in his hand is.

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This sign in my hotel is Poznan is a weather forecast that must at least be right on occasion. (Fine, it means “elevators.”)

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Finally, this sign was for a convenience store. Obviously, it is aimed at cornering the market on frog supplies. I’m not sure whether the intended patrons are frogs, or just people who like frogs. In any case, this is a very happy looking frog.

happy-frog

And now it’s after 11, and I can barely hold my eyes open. I will read this as an unambiguous sign that I should not park my frog in any trees. (Or that I should get to bed.)

fairytale scene under construction

Warsaw is a fascinating and beautiful city, with many stories to tell. It is also filled with many spots that look like they were taken right out of a fairytale. Even this construction site I came across the evening I arrived looked like it was from a storybook page.

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The sun sets on the fairytale scene, still under construction.
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Gilded building blocks, ready to complete the enchanted scene.
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Fairytale roads require precision construction.
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Somehow even the graffiti-covered dumpster appeared slightly magical in the golden light.
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Fairytale onlookers over the construction zone.

The next day, I walked the same way, and the scene looked only slightly less storybook-like by day.

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Fairytale construction work by day. (You didn’t really think it was elves, did you?)

There were other places around the city, as well, where it was clear that a lot of maintenance goes on behind the scenes in a fairytale. Someone has to take care of the magical creatures, after all.

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Taking a break from the care and maintenance of magical creatures.

(These photos were from my June 2018 trip to Poland. More to come soon. Probably.)

spider, bird, party

You might be wondering about that seemingly random list of words: spider, bird, party. In my head, they aren’t random, though. They have a sort of roundabout connection.

For a start, our house is still decorated for Halloween. We kind of went all out this year, as the kids hosted a bit of a party for some friends a couple of weeks ago. And one of our major Halloween decor themes is spiders and their webs. Here’s a sample.

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Giant spider and web.

We also tend to have a lot of bird-related things. For Halloween, we have some various crow, raven and black bird items, such as the wreath below.

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A wreath of black birds.

But aside from that, the connection between the words for me is a bit more of a tangle. Yesterday’s photo of a bird statue with a spider web reminded me that the words for bird (ptak) and spider (pająk) in Polish are two that I have gotten mixed up before. In case you are wondering why I have had the occasion to mix them up at all, I’ve been casually studying Polish using DuoLingo. (I had a conference in Poland last year, and I started the study as a bit of preparation for the trip. And I’ve just been continuing, with no concrete goals aside from learning some of a new language.)

But thinking about the various ptak and pająk items we had up for our party also reminds me of the most surprising word I’ve learned so far in Polish. The word impreza means party. It just so happens that I have been driving an Impreza (a Subaru Impreza) for the last 14 years, and had no idea it was a party.

Below is a photo I happened to have in my phone of the impreza.

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Impreza: a party?

(I sometimes take a photo of my car in parking garages to remind myself of where I’ve parked. Usually I delete it afterwards, but I happily I still had this one. Because what’s a party if you don’t have photos to show for it?)

So there you go.

fashioning a fascinator

I’m rather fascinated by the term fascinator. It’s a much more fanciful expression than “funny little fancy hat.” In any case, I fashioned myself a fascinator from a fluffy little friend. Well, really, I just took one of our many spider decorations, and fastened it atop my head. I felt it worked just fine.

spider_fascinator

I don’t often post photos of myself on this blog, but when I do, there tends to be some sort of creature on top of my head.

bringing ideas to light

I was hoping that posting daily again would bring some ideas to light. For a start, I had the idea to look for some photos of light. I found this one, which I think shows that some spiders had a pretty bright idea (if spiders can be said to have ideas).

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If these aren’t examples of effective web design, I don’t know what is.