Archive for June, 2008

Evening Trot


If there’s one thing besides eating, playing, eating, sniffing, and eating that Hershey loves to do, it’s going walkies.  While we were out, I snapped a few photos.


In certain circumstances, I really prefer having the light source in the photo.  Instead of the photo being a isolated snapshot of an object, putting the light source in it pulls your attention back and makes you pay attention to the rest of the composition.  It gives it some energy and can make the photo appear more dynamic.


Regardless, a friend of mine suggested that I compile an entire list of things that I would consider photography ‘cliches’.  Easy enough.  So I’ll probably spend this week shooting those things, and hopefully showing how you can make it look better.


I’ll give you a freebie now:  Myspace Photography.  Myspace Photography is the fine art of tilting a camera, holding it above your head, and taking a black and white photo of you looking away pensively.  The easiest way to fix this composition is to either have your friend take a picture of you (usually at a bar with your arms out in a ‘woah’ gesture – always popular) or just not do it at all.  It’s boring, it’s tired, and it just turns to static in the background.


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Emily did a great job training Hershey. Spent a few months with her exclusively teaching her to listen to various commands. Emily also did this degrading (I feel) thing where you place a treat upon a dog’s nose and tell them to stay until you let them take it off and eat it. I feel it destroys the dog’s dignity.

Then Emily showed me why she started with treats.

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“If it was easy, they’d call it ‘catching’.”  – Fisherman Motto


I’ve honestly tried fishing; sitting out next to a river with your bait submerged in water, hoping a hapless fish would decide to have a snack.  It’s strange involving yourself in so much set-up, throwing your hopes out to the water, and not being able to see what’s going on.  You have to resign yourself in the comfort that with enough castings, you’ll eventually – maybe – get a fish.


It’s not really for me; then again, hunting in general isn’t really for me.  I’m just not the kind of guy who is thrilled at the prospect of spending a good portion of my day with potentially nothing to show for it.  But add a friend or two; now you have something.  Now fishing isn’t an activity, it’s an excuse.  An excuse for you to get together and share some time together.  It’s a catalyst for bonding.


But being a lone fisherman?  Don’t think I could do that.

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Playing with Hershey at the park is like throwing a party and too many people arrive.  At first, it’s exciting – you have everything set up, the music’s going, the booze is ready to flow.  Then people arrive, and as the population increases, you start to second guess your decision to tell everyone ‘sure, bring someone, I don’t care’.  Soon people are hungry because you’re running out of food, and they’re all wanting cocktails because they didn’t think the term BYOB applied to them.  Later on though, things work out and go smoothly, and you wonder what the problem was in the first place.


Just walking Hershey to the park is a blast; she has no idea what’s going to happen, but she’s reluctantly hoping that instead of passing by the giant grassy area, we’ll actually get to go run around in it.  Once we make that left into the park, she’s wagging her tail, wining a bit – her excitement level increases.  It’s when the leash comes off and the toy comes out that you begin to wonder if this was a good idea.


To put it mildly, she goes apeshit crazy.


Our neighbors probably think we keep her in a shoe box and poke her with sticks, because she’s just losing control.  Throwing the frisbee becomes a life or death struggle, where triumph brings the victor the spoils of mighty nations, and each flight is a joyous occasion worthy of a choir.  Twenty minutes of this, and she’s just dead.  She’ll bring the frisbee to you, drop it, then lay down; she’s done.  Pick it up and throw it again, and she’ll chase after it – only her exhausted frustration begins to mount.  If the frisbee hits the ground and goes in a different direction than she expected, she groans as she struggles to contain her momentum and shift to the new vector.


And even in the midst of all of this, if you’re not playing, she looks at you with this quizzical sort of gaze.  Almost like she’s asking you, “Why are just standing there with that black thing?  Don’t you know we have a frisbee?”

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Oh, sexy? Oh, so sexy.


“I’m too sexy for my (etc.)” – Right Said Fred


That song confused me when I first heard it.  It implied some kind of natural, innate, quantifiable level of ‘sexiness’.  Almost like there’s a generally accepted rule and amount of sexy that each person is doled out (relative to several factors, of course) that dictates the appropriate amount of ‘sexy’ that they are tolerated.  I have no clue how to express it mathematically, but I imagine that it would be similar to the volume of your voice in given situations.


Like, at a nightclub, it’s acceptable for you to shout to be heard; hence it is appropriate to dress in a sexy manner in order to be ‘heard’ over the crowd.  However, the opposite is true as well – it is inappropriate for you to shout at a funeral, and likewise dress sexily around a grieving family.  Hilarious, yes.


Basically, what I’m getting at is that everyone is better naked.  Once you strip away any indicators of class or distinction, you are left with just the person.  And if they have the confidence to bear their flaws and private regions of their body, then the trust that is felt is palatable.  Job interviews would be much better if they were done naked.

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It’s Cliche Day!


I like Mondays.  You know why?  Because I get to watch everyone on the planet go, ‘ugh, it’s Monday’.  Like it’s some kind of bizarre surprise.  Then again, I really like my job, so that may be why I’m bothered by everyone’s attitude.  Cliches really piss me off.  The idea of perpetuating something that’s so overused it actually has been categorized as overused is mind-boggling.


But puns?  Oh, I’m a connoisseur.  I would have to say it all started back with a Gallagher bit where he said, ‘If ‘pro’ is the opposite of ‘con’ than the opposite of ‘progress’ is ‘Congress’.”  It has the audience – in their brown polo shirts, bushy mustaches, and oversized tinted eyeglasses – rolling in their seats.  Well, as much as the plastic draped over them made them able to do so.  It’s really the only Gallagher ‘joke’ I can remember; primarily because smashing fruit doesn’t really strike me as a spectator sport.  It’s like porn; sure, it’s fun to watch and everything, but the sweet stuff is in the participation.


The reason I was watching that particular comedian that day was due to the fact that I was turned onto him via my interest in another comedian.  Needless to say, the person who made the recommendation was obviously making a joke at my expense.  The comedian I was interested in made fantastic observations about the perversion of society and how publicly we revile things that we privately embrace.  But most famously – I feel, unfortunately so – he is known for saying a few words and being put in prison.


Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits.


The irony, of course, is the fact that he was banned from saying these words by people who very likely use them in speech every day.  In fact, I’m willing to place money that everyone in the audience that day, including those who raised the red flag initially, all use these words every day.  And if they didn’t, I highly doubt that when they did hear them, they became so revolted that they vomited right there on the spot.


The reason I bring this up is that a person can’t say those 7 words, but can say a word that I find so horrifying and revolting that I actually balk at hearing it.  My mind goes immediately blank, and I’m force to once again gather the crashed train that was my thoughts.  Yet, people use it in everyday speech, and are even able to say it at the same places that you can’t say those 7 words mentioned above.  The word I’m speaking of is ‘retard’.  Even typing it forces me to pause and collect myself once again.


I find it morbidly offensive any time a person uses that word.  It’s not something I harangue people with, nor do I even expect their sympathy.  If someone is using it to excess, I politely ask them to stop, not out of revulsion, but usually because I have a hard time keeping up while being essentially kicked in the ear drum over and over again.  And if someone on television, or in a movie, or even in a magazine uses it in such a manner that I don’t appreciate, I’ll simply not endorse them again – never watch the show, not rent the movie, no longer peruse the magazine.  My time and money is mine to give to whom I choose, and if I don’t agree with the manner in which you’re conducting yourself, I’ll simply ignore you.


What I won’t do, however, is tell a group of armed thugs to force you to not say that word.  I have yet to hear how the morality of government intervention works out.


So, join me, if you will, and at least once today say all seven of those dirty words.  Even if we can’t do it on television, and even if any of those words are revolting to you, do it anyway.  It may hurt, it may cause you to fall to the ground clutching your chest in terror; but a great man has left us, and I feel it would do him a small service to honor the legacy he leaves.  Mr. Carlin, you are my hero, and I still remember the first joke I ever heard from you when I was about 10, sneaking around to watch a recording of a routine you did at Comic Relief 1986, when my parents thought I was asleep:


“Whenever you spend the night at someone else’s house, you know, unexpectantly; and they give you a little room to sleep in that they don’t use very often – someone died in it 11 years ago – and they haven’t moved any of his stuff!  Or wherever they give you to sleep, usually right near the bed, there’s usually a dresser, and there’s never any room on the dresser for your stuff.  Someone else’s shit is on the dresser.  Have you noticed that their stuff is shit, and your shit is stuff?”  Classic.


So in memory of a great man, I say these: shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits.


And for Mr. Carlin; Retard.

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“Every day I’m at my desk / At my desk I’m like the rest / All I do / I want to do / With you”  – The Servant


Sun in the sky, 75 degrees, Em’s outside with the dog playing and doing some chores.  I’m inside, toiling away to meet a early deadline I accidentally set myself.  Try to impress the boss and you know what happens?  They expect you to deliver.  What the hell is that?


I did manage to get out and shoot a couple.  Including Em trying to get Hershey to not be so afraid of the hose.  Yes.  We have a Lab that’s afraid of water – afraid of nearly everything, really – so we have to acclimate her to the purpose of her breed very slowly.  

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