(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.)

exclaim

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

look-up

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.

Version 2

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

windy

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.)

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).

streetlamp1

streetlamp2streetlamp3

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

happiness is not a potato

No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure. Happiness is a glory shining far down upon us out of Heaven. She is a divine dew which the soul, on certain of its summer mornings, feels dropping upon it from the amaranth bloom and golden fruitage of Paradise. (Charlotte Bronte, Villette)


Happiness is not a potato.

Close to 2 years ago, I was preparing to roast some vegetables for dinner. I washed a potato, and started to cut out some of the eyes that looked like they would be a bit tough, when, to my surprise, I had the impression that the potato was looking back at me. Yes, we all know that potatoes have eyes, but they don’t usually have mournful eyes. Further, I realized that the “eye” I was cutting into with the point of my knife was actually more like the potato’s nostril. Filled with remorse, I stopped to take some photos of my sad, sad potato. (And then I continued to cut it up and put it in a roasting pan.)
Some days later, I came across the quote above, by Charlotte Bronte. Indeed, happiness is not a potato, and I had the photographic proof.

If anything, as far as I can tell, sadness is a potato.

Sad potato is sad.¹

While perhaps not with the same frequency as my sharing of leaves, this is far from the first time I’ve shared vegetables with faces. In fact, 3 years ago, a butternut squash and I declared November 21st to be International Day of the Odd Vegetable.² Together, the squash and I reminisced about an eggplant we once knew.

How about you? Have you come across any produce with personality?

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¹ That’s what I was imagining I’d call a post about this potato.
² Alternately, The Day of Peculiar Produce.

Happy International Pants Day!

Today is the day when millions of people around the world come together in the spirit of pants. In thousands of cities around the world, people celebrated by wearing pants big and small. Whether lounging at home in pajama pants, stretching their legs in yoga pants, or striding out into the world of work wearing more professional pants, pants-wearers world wide wore their pants proudly. “It really warms my heart to see so many people wearing pants,” a woman said tearfully on a New York street corner. Indeed, wearing pants has been warming the hearts (not to mention the legs) of millions of people every day. “My grandpa always said he was proud to wear the pants in our family. I know he’d be just as proud to see all his great grandchildren wearing pants as well,” said a father of several rambunctious pants-clad girls at a pants rally in Kansas City. As Mark Twain once said, or maybe it was the Dalai Lama, “Wearing clothes with legs divided, will ever keep our hearts united!”

It may not surprise you that none of the above paragraph was true. At least to the best of my knowledge. What I know to be true is that today is a special day for me and my pants. Today marks the 9th anniversary of this blog. I hope that you, too, wore pants today to celebrate with me.

Grocery Store Wars

That’s no moon. That’s a melon.

Still tired, still busy, still apparently not feeling inspired to post original content. But here is a YouTube video that follows nicely from yesterday’s food animation pick, specially given the recent release of the trailer for the new Star Wars movie. (And also the Wes Anderson version.) Please enjoy “Grocery Store Wars,” from 2005.

You’re welcome.