Here’s a picture I found on my cell phone. (Fig. 1)  Like most cell phone pictures, it’s pretty terrible.  What can I say…I’m a lazy American who has chosen convenience over quality.  No doubt I will continue to use a cell phone as my primary camera.  Quality or not, there are a few things going on in this shot.

  • A man is playing ping-pong with his son on our dining room table.  During the visit, I sort of promised this man I would hack a Wii and stuff it with bootleg games.  The parents of the boy are both remarkable artists and it would pain me to see their son’s brain dulled with endless Wii games.  This presents an ethical dilemma beyond the obvious legal variety.
  • In the foreground, next to the bananas and an apple sits an eggplant.  For a number of months, Aldi sold eggplants for $1 each.  During this stretch I cooked many many eggplants, perfecting the technique.  I started shopping at Aldi around the time the baby arrived.  Since eating out with a baby was such a pain, we quit eating out as well.  And since I am always busy with the baby, I no longer have time to work (and spend money) on the house.  Financially speaking, the baby has been a windfall.
  • The orange French doors lead to Mrs. Neill’s office.  With the doors closed, in theory Mrs. Neill can watch the kids while she works, without having to hear their chaos.  Replacing an open archway, the doors represent my first home *improvement* in Pittsburgh.  I bought the doors in Chicago just prior to the closing, before I realized that everything in Pittsburgh (except for food) costs 1/2 of what it does in Chicago.
  • On the left, 7 sheets of paper are taped to the wall.  The top paper reads: Neill’s Asia’s Art Hall of fame.  As curator of the collection, Asia choose to display only her own work.  In response, her disgruntled brother modified the wording of the top paper.  (Fig. 2)
  • Yes a disco ball hangs from our dining room ceiling.  It’s a prop for a movie I never got around to shooting.  The premise of the movie involves my kids confusing Chanukah and Chaka Khan, and includes Zach playing a disco sounding klezmer song on his violin/fiddle.
  • Perhaps this shot shows the most damning evidence of my bad sitting posture.  My back issues won’t be going away any time soon.
  • There is a general cluttered look to the room.  That issue won’t be going away any time soon either.  Today I washed some dishes while the baby further cluttered a pile of clutter.  My 15 minutes of cleaning yielded a negligible net gain of cleanliness.
  • The table (Fig. 3) is a genuine Peter Debelak original.  You might remember him as the character I flipped this house with.

Hey.  We leave for Buenos Aires in a few days, staying for a month.  Perhaps I’ll share some more lousy cell phone photos…