Monday, July 30, 2007

Venetian Night & Updated Chicago Album

I'm sure you're all glad to know that I went to Venetian Night on Saturday and got some interesting shots:

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I also added to the Chicago album:

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Please try to contain yourselves!

Venetian night flash show:

Updated Chicago flash show:

In non-digital news, I've started the book that I've been meaning to write for about 20 years now. It seems to be going okay as there are myriad resources at my disposal via the internet and other writers. It's my non-writer friends, the ones I've known ten years who don't seem to understand (or maybe they don't care) what a chore writing a book is. They don't seem concerned with the fact that my lifelong dream is suddenly in my grasp. They just want to know why I wasn't there for dinner on Friday.

And it's a good sign, it shows that my friends find no excuse acceptable when it means I'm not spending quality time with them. But to hear the absolute lack of interest when I say, "Well, I've been writing. I've finally started that book I've been meaning to write since I was 8." Said it to four people last night, not one of those people even asked what it was about. Maybe it's egotistical to think anybody would - or should - care, but damn...I've known these people ten years, they could ask least ask, if only for the sake of being polite.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Grateful or greedy?

I got a digital camera for my holiday bonus. A nice one, shiny, lots of features. Spring sprung, I started taking my camera out just to take interesting shots. It became a little more than a hobby, a little less than an obsession. An excuse to get out of the house, a conversation piece, a way to express myself.

I took pictures of interesting outings, and pictures of mundane outings. I recorded people's lives to satisfy my own curiosity. It became a part of me, my right arm. When I could find no one to go to things with, I went alone and took my camera for company. The camera justified my presence. I was a photographer, a semi-professional flaneur, I wasn't just some weirdo who stood out of place.

The camera got lost. The camera and a gigabyte worth of pictures from the zoo, on a sweltering Saturday afternoon. Heartbreak, honestly, as silly as it seems. I'd finally found an outlet that suited me better than writing. Writing was a chore, I always use too many words and, in my own eyes, all of those words were contrived, inadequate and poorly placed.

But a picture - a picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe more, maybe less, but a contrived picture is more appealing than a contrived essay about a bridge from my childhood. And so, visually mute, I prepared myself for a mundane return to writing as my only creative outlet.

And then there was hope. A woman living in Rhode Island with whom I'd talked online for over a year (but never personally met) offered to get me a replacement. I'm not a fan of gifts out of the blue, I'm not a fan of taking things I haven't earned. I turned her down, she persisted. I chose a decent camera, sent her the information. She came back with the shinier model, the one I was saving to get myself for a graduation present.

And I'm grateful. The kindness she showed me and the swiftness with which she bestowed it was shocking. I can't know how to thank her, I can't know how to earn this. I feel like a swindler, a cheat. All of the problems in the world, and here I am acting like the gift of a digital camera is the greatest thing to have happened in decades. But it means something, to my ego and my heart, to know that people out there give a shit.

I'm grateful. I have my voice back, I have things to look forward to again. This weekend is the Chinatown Festival. I'm looking forward to taking colorful pictures of dragons and traditional costumes, exotic food and crowded streets to post to a billion strangers on the internet. Maybe it's pathetic, to find so much faith in humanity in such an act. "Oooh, I got something shiny, there must be good people in the world after all." And it's probably pathetic to get excited about taking pictures for strangers. But we each have our own joys in life, though it may take years or decades or an entire lifetime to find them. This is mine. She gave me back my joy.

And this Sunday at the Chinatown festival, I'm going to start earning it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Blah blah blah

It didn't look like much, just two ramshackle buildings set out in the middle of nowhere.

We didn't look like much, a bunch of dirty twenty-somethings planting organic food, selling turnips on the side of the road. Trying to make the world a more peaceful place. The townsfolk stayed away from us, called us "hippies" and "tree huggers." They didn't like our kind.

They didn't know about the guns. They never looked in the bottom of our well to see who was living down there. Well, "living" is kind of using the term loosely.

This was the perfect cover, this stupid hippie compound. And the turnips weren't half bad, either.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


The sun drooled down over the horizon, over that field of dandelions and lightening bugs. The cool night air kissed our skin and eavesdropped on our great plans. We were full of plans that day, my love and I. We were full of plans, of vim and vigor and all the passion that youth can consume. It seems a lifetime ago, in another world, in another heart that beat with more ferocity and reckless grace than the heart I now have.

Our youth was nothing but frolic and adventure, our future became nothing but heartache and bloodshed.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Early Morning Blues n Greens

I took some pictures this morning. Well, from like 1 to 6 a.m. Here are some of them. Imma go hop on the el and take some more.

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I am flashing you!