Monday, February 28, 2011

Hello, Foot. It's your old friend Mouth.

Greetings from Captain Overreaction! You know that line where being a passionate person becomes being a pain in the ass? Oh, yes, I am back here again. I need to kick it 80s style and take a chill pill. Fly below the radar, Ang. Fly below the radar.

Trip Photos #1: Antelope Canyon

While we were in Vegas, Alissa asked me if I like nature photography. It was such a simple question, but I was hard-pressed to pick a favorite kind of shooting. I started to say, It's like asking me to pick my favorite flavor of ice cream" but I only got as far as "It's like asking me to pick..." when she filled in with, "...a favorite child?" That's more like it.

Anyway, I can't pick a favorite. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Too Dumb to Gamble

Does anyone else find slot machines kinda of confusing and dumbfounding? Yes, I know the screen tells you if you won or lost, but what's the deal with all the lines? And how come the symbols don't always line up? You don't have to answer that. Honestly, what I know about slot machines I probably learned from the bonus round of Super Mario Brothers 3 (three cherries in a row means more lives!) and the Las Vegas episode of Friends where Phoebe mixes it up with the old lady who lurked around her machine and won the jackpot after she played all day long.

Vegas was fun, but it made me feel kind of stupid and perpetually lost and befuddled as well. I know that's part of the strategy, to make things confusing and funnel you to the casinos and other places where you spend your money and consume overpriced drinks. I joked that I felt like a gerbil in an elaborate Habitrail. Like, whuh? Wait, the buffet was over THERE, sooo.. the Miracle Mile shops... are... where? Oh, fuck it. To the salt lick, everyone!

One thing I know for sure? I already hit the jackpot years ago.

You can see some of my more artistic photos up on the pro photo blog here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rage, rage, go away.

Shooting sunrise at the south rim of the Grand Canyon this morning gave me a rare case of "Amateur Rage." I usually don't mind the crowd of amateurs at gorgeous places. I used to be one, and hey- no one's paying me to be here today. I'm not on anybody's clock but my own.

Usually I feel like photography is this amazing thing that anyone can do at any commitment level and the joy of making an image that makes you happy for years to come isn't exclusive to anyone person, group, etc. But then this woman kicked over Joel's lens because she was being dumb and not paying attention. It didn't go over into the canyon, but still.

Then a young couple spent seven minutes in the PRIME shooting spot shooting a video of the girlfriend making silly faces while I tried not to elbow in next to them. I finally said something and they were really apologetic, but I still gave them the stinkeye behind their backs. Grumpy Photojournalist Barbie says, "Bah!" Bah, I say.

The rare herd of (extremely patient) mule deer gazing in a dramatically gorgeous snowy meadow on the exit road from the rim made me feel much better, although I clucked exasperatedly at an off-the-clock park ranger walking her dogs on the trail behind employee housing when the herd darted away. As if I'm not a silly face shooting videomaker or a dog-walker myself, don't ya know. Hypocrisy is fun.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Viva Espana, er, Las Vegas

I am biding my time in JFK Airport for my flight to Las Vegas in an hour for Fun Girl Weekend in Las Vegas. As I approached the ticket window to check my bag and get my boarding pass, it looked like a long line had formed. I groaned a little to myself by realized that I couldn't actually get in line, because there was one of those strappy belt thingies cordoning off the line... wth?

Trust me," a man said, seeing my confusion. "You want to go around us. We're all going to Madrid."

And then- a flash of recognition. Dude, I know what this is. This is a school group flying en masse somewhere. There's all the telltale signs: a clump of passengers with a striking uniformity of age/varsity jacket attire, two adults in front, two adults in back, all with practiced looks of enthusiasm of their faces with just a hint of resignation and top notes of a "What I have gotten myself into?" followed by a role model-y demonstration of patience to finish.

I slide my driver's license out of my wallet and watch a group of teenage girls taking pictures of each other. It takes all I have not to run up and hug them and word-vomit all over them along the lines of "OMG you guys! I went to Spain with some of my best friends when I was your age you're gonna love it I can't believe that was like 16 years ago- but anyway guess what we're still friends and I'm on my way to meet some of them in Las Vegas right now and you guys! BBFs! Have so much fun and oh you're gonna need to wear a skirt over those leggings in Spain because men might just call out whatever body parts they like as you pass by you know that right? okay have a blast SQUEE!"

Instead I grin like a fool as I move through security, right up until the moment when our x-ray machine breaks. Ah, well. Eyes on the prize! Vegas awaits!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

O, Cavities

I am almost 31 years old and I had cavities filled for the first time in my life today. I've always been the gold star tooth patient, except for that one time in Miami when I went to the stupid Holistic Dentist and got him to sand down the small black spot on my tooth that wasn't a cavity but hurt when I ate or drank hot, cold and/or sweet things.

I didn't have any cavities for my whole life, and then at this last visit they found five. FIVE. I had them filled today and other than a funny, Novocaine-fueled chat with my sister wherein I struggled to say words that have the letters M, B and P, all is well. We had an interesting interlude where I was trying to tell her that you could read what the big surprise ending to the movie Black Swan is on while my mouth was numb.

"I want to see Bwuh-Bwuh- sorry, novocaine, Bwack Swan. I know how it ends though."

Amanda: "I was trying to read the spoiler online, but iPhone cut the webpage off."

Me: Oh, it's on mm-mm- sorry, Novocaine-muh-mwovie pup-pwoop-puh-er dot - this is hard, sorry- COM. Mu-Mwoovie Pwoopwer dot COM.

Amanda: It really makes you respect people with speech impediments, doesn't it?

Me: Yes.

Also? Flossing. I should do that more.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

I have a question.

So it's high school musical/dance theater season, which means I'm covering a lot of dress rehearsals and preview performances and what not. Forgive me while I wax poetic for a second, and then I'll get to my question.

One of the things that I personally find fascinating is the universality of American experience, particularly in terms of high school, teenage years, coming-of-age rituals, etc. Things like Homecoming, the prom, the overdramatic backstage pre-show "energy" circle. There are some things that are universal, and obviously, I tend to see these things that reflect my own personal experience, which... for readers just joining the Chunky Photojournalist Barbie Show, already in progress, involved stage managing the spring musical and doing school plays and marching band and various other Gleek-y pursuits.

So. My question. What's the deal with the sparkly top hats? Why is it that EVERY dance theater recital/variety type show- high school people, think "Dance Theater;" college folks, think "Danceworks"- has some sort of Broadway number involving sparkly top hats?

EVERY SINGLE Evening of Dance / Jazz Co / type show I shoot has at least one number like this. The director/choreographers usually call it "The Broadway Number" and the music is almost always either "On Broadway" from Smokey Joe's Cafe or "All That Jazz" from Chicago. The best way to describe it is to show you this YouTube video of the sequence in the movie "American Beauty: where the daughter is performing at a basketball game.

As I look at the video now, I see the hats aren't sparkly. This isn't helping me make my case, but I know my fellow former child performers know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Also, ignore the creepy Lolita fantasy sequence thing that happens between Kevin Spacey and Men Suvari's characters.

Anyway ... a quick google images search for those numbers doesn't yield ANY shots of the original Broadway casts from either of those shows wearing sparkly top hats. In fact, my only knowledge of sparkly top hats in Broadway numbers EVER was in A Chorus Line. Michelle, help me out here.

Is it really possible that ONE number in ONE show (har; get it? get it?) has resulted this omnipresent phenomena of what must be tens of thousands of high school, college and community theater performers all over the country wearing sparkly top hats and doing some sort of jazzy, 1940s, high kicking sparkly top hat-waving choreography? Really? Inquiring minds want to know.