Monday, December 29, 2014

This year has sucked a lot.


Well, as usual at the end of the year, I’m feeling pretty crappy about life.

I’m tired of everything. This year has sucked a lot. Yet, I’ve nothing to resolve for the new year. I don’t know what to do, really, to change. There’s nothing for me here. It occurred to me today that it would be difficult for me to move without having a job in place. I don’t know that I could find an apartment without proof of income. I have no income now, and no savings; my parents help me pay my bills. It’s pathetic. Also, I have no one significant in my life. I don’t only mean a “significant other” – a girlfriend – though that’s true too. I have no people, no group, no one that I feel I can count on to support me.

You might say, “You have family. Your parents help you pay the bills, so that’s something.” Yes, it is something. But I don’t get along with them. I do appreciate their help, but when I do go visit them, or even have a lengthy conversation on the phone, I feel quite clearly that I don’t fit - politics, religion, interests – we’re just not in the same place. If I met my family, and wasn’t related, we would never be friends. We'd say, “Hello, nice to meet you,” or some other pleasantry, then go on our way, probably never giving it another thought. The idea of go there, moving back in with my parents, which my mother has suggested more than once, feels like something that would make me more miserable. It’s not my home; I know no one at all there apart from my family, and around them I feel I just cannot be me.

So what about all my facebook friends? For a little while now it’s occurred to me, over and over, that people do not want to change the nature of their relationships. And by that I mean people who know me do not want to know me any better. They want to keep me at arm’s length, a facebook friend, someone they knew in college or with whom they did a show. But to actually try to change the nature of my relationship with such a person – unless it’s that they get offended or uncomfortable because of something I said (or more likely posted online) and then they unfriend me, or that they do something which I feel is a sort of attack on me and what I do (mainly my photography, but perhaps also some critique of my “politics”) – is a battle so steeply uphill that it’s realistically unwinnable.

What I mean is, it’s fine for people to have a relationship with me that consists of occasional comments and banter on facebook, but if I actually try to be their friend in real life, it simply seems impossible. Everyone is already too busy with their actual friends and family, and there’s nothing I offer in a real friendship. And speaking before of people unfriending me (tons have) – I also have this suspicion that many (or most?) of my “friends” on facebook may have just hidden me from their timeline. They’re not uncomfortable enough to unfriend me outright, but they don’t want to see my posts. Maybe it’s not true, but that’s how it feels.

Anyway, I’m just tired of this existence. It’s not horrific enough for me to want to end it. But I’m so alone, and I do not know how to be around people. When I am around people in a social situation, it feels awkward; I don’t fit. I think that both makes people not want to be around me and makes me not want to be around people. I do recognize the need for people. Yet, I often simply choose to not become involved in social situations. It’s a cycle: not being around people making me more and more awkward around people, and that making me not be around people. Sometimes I do stick my head out a bit and try, and them I’m reminded that nobody wants to be around me. Or at least, not enough to actually make the effort to be around me. So the cycle continues, despite the fact that I feel desperately alone. Not the alone and content thing that some people claim exists, but plain old lonely, desperately lonely.

I’m broke, jobless (and with no “normal” job experience), friendless, loveless. No one is going out of their way to hire me as a musician (which is one thing I actually like to do), and I can’t even get enough people (you know, singer/actor types who I know) to come over and have a sing-along type night. And I can’t convince people to let me photograph them (another thing I actually like to do). I’ve taken way too many pictures of myself; in fact, that’s one of the things that puts people off and makes people not want to hire me. 

I don’t know what to do. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

gay marriage stuff


Haven’t posted a rant lately. So, here’s my thoughts on this:


People have their religious beliefs. They can pick and choose from their lists of man-made stone-age rules which ones they think their made-up stone-age gods still consider important or not. And I will be among those who’ll say those choices and rules are stupid and wrong, and those gods non-existent. But it’s not illegal to have ridiculous beliefs. So fine, have your beliefs.

BUT...

When you have a non-church, non-religious job—one that is not paid for by religious groups—and ESPECIALLY a publicly-funded job... Well, first of all, don’t take a job that conflicts with your closely held beliefs. And second, if, once you have that job, you discover that, or things change so that, your beliefs are now in conflict with your ability to do that job, then it’s on you to choose between the two: your job or your belief. There are other jobs; there are also other beliefs. That’s it. Simple. Choose.

Now, since it’s legal to hold offensive, stone-age beliefs, then I suppose it’s reasonable to let someone backing out of a job have a different job, perhaps in the same department, if it’s available and if that person is qualified, etc. But this “I’m not going to do my job for SOME people because they don’t live the way I think they ought to” thing is NONSENSE. If you want to hold a belief, fine. But then you have to take the consequences. So if these magistrates, etc, are not doing their jobs, then fine them, fire them, publicly shame them...whatever the appropriate punishment is. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

on manhood

We all know that our culture has some really problematic (i.e., fucked up) concepts of womanhood and pressures applies to girls and women. But out concepts of manhood are just as problematic. 

A lot of men react dismissively or negatively or even angrily to discussions of gender – gender roles, stereotypes, feminism, rape, etc. When this happens, I wonder if the reason is, perhaps, that our cultural definition of manhood and what it means to be “a man” – for good or bad – is such a huge part of many men’s identity. 

It’s as if their “man-ness” IS who they are. There’s such a strong sense of “BE A MAN!” thrust upon boys. A man acts this way and doesn’t act that way. It’s so very central to the behavior and attitudes of many men. They’re lost with their identity as a man. 

And while we are starting to question these concepts, it’s still very much what our culture expects and assumes. It’s what we see in our “stories”, our cultural icons, our role models. But it’s also what a lot of men expect of each other, and a lot of women expect of men. It’s no wonder many men have trouble identifying outside of their “man-ness”. 

So to question that, to criticize male behavior on the individual or societal level, is a very real attack on who they are, who they see themselves as being. Because without that central core of man-ness, they don’t know who to be, or how to be. That’s a scary, scary place. It’s so much easier to deny any reality of the pathology of this ideal of manhood. It’s easier to attack critics than to examine ourselves. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

on Elliot Rodger

If you don’t know who Elliot Rodger is, you can google him. But he’s the guy who this past weekend shot a bunch of people in Isla Vista because he felt alone and unloved and had never had sex, while lots of other “less deserving” people were having sex.

The following rant—like the one earlier today—comes mainly from my comments on a facebook post by a friend of mine, partly in response to other people’s comments.

To say this guy is a psychopath (or crazy, or whatever) absolves the rest of us of guilt, of responsibility. It makes it easy for us to go about our lives feeling okay about ourselves. Maybe he was a psychopath, but saying that like it's the answer to the question of "What the fuck happened here?" ignores the much greater danger. (And we are awesome about ignoring greater dangers.) This guy's ideas about women and sex and all that didn't just develop on their own inside his head. They came from a culture that taught him to expect certain things--women, sex, adoration. 
Sure, this guy seems to have had some serious brain issues. Reading a little of his plans and watching a little of his videos was very disturbing. It seemed oddly like he was almost playing the role of the villain in some drama/action/adventure thing. I couldn't read or watch all of it. It was too much. But what I saw there is that he hates himself and blames his pain on a lack of sex. Somewhere (or everywhere) he's picked up the idea that we all deserve to get sex "just because". And that somehow having sex would fix all his problems. That's nonsense. Nonsense that he learned from TV & movies. It’s a general sense that’s just “out there” in our culture. It's absolutely one of the stories we tell nowadays. 
Dismissing that because he's crazy or disturbed is much the same as what gun rights activists say: it's not that guns are dangerous; it's that these individuals who went on a killing spree are disturbed, or that those individuals whose kids accidentally shot someone weren't acting responsibly with the storage of their weapons. But it's both: guns ARE dangerous, AND these people are disturbed and those people were irresponsible. 
In this case, this guy was disturbed, AND there are serious dangerous problems with our attitudes about sex and gender...and violence. Yet we just ignore that later part. It's easier and more comfortable, and that way none of us are responsible.

I do not think with my penis.

A facebook friend of mine posted this link (or “liked” it or something) :


I made this really long rant/comment on it. But I decided that it was more of a blog rant than a comment on a facebook post. So I deleted it there and am posting it here instead. 

I started out liking this article (the first 2 "ways"), but then he lost me, and by the end he'd just made me angry. Sure, he's exaggerating for comic effect. But...NOT ALL MEN ARE WHAT HE IS DESCRIBING! I'm so tired of hearing about how men "think with their penis". I don't. Not all the time, like David Wong (the author of this article) is saying. 
Of course I sometimes have sexual thoughts, and occasionally they're strong enough that I even get a little distracted by them, but not all day every day. That is simply not true in my experience, and it never has been. Yes, I have a sex drive, but my brain is in charge. 
I've never understand the way a lot of men act when it comes to sex. Okay, maybe I'm just a freak. Maybe I'm a mutant. Maybe my brain was dosed with some rare radiation when I was a child. Maybe the reason I haven't had sex in so long is that my urge to stick my penis inside something is not uncontrollable. And it wasn't when I was 30 or 21 or 15 either. 
I don't get mad if a woman rejects me. Frankly, I'm used to it. I don't think women are conspiring with my penis to ruin me. That would be craziness; it's nonsense. And I don't care if a Supreme Court Justice is pretty or not, nor do I care how much weight Christina Aguilera gained or lost. 
Yes, I am a sad little man who sits at home alone in front of the computer most of the day, with little or no social interaction. And sure, I complain about it, but it never occurs to me to blame womankind for my issues. It never occurs to me to write hate speech about women on "Men's Rights" forums. And it certainly never occurs to me to act violently towards them because I'm unhappy. 
Okay, that last bit is definitely flavored by the recent stuff about that guy (Elliot Rodger) who shot some people at Isla Vista because he wasn't getting laid and women didn't seem to recognize how he deserved sex from them. 
Anyway...rant over...for now.


P.S. (See, that’s why I said “rant over…for now”)

I hadn’t really “weighed in: yet about the Elliot Rodger shooting/Men’s Rights reaction to feminism, etc. So I’ll just say this: 

This idea of the expectation of sex, the lack of appreciation for men, etc., is, to my mind, part of the larger issue of sex in our culture—the fact that we don’t deal with sex very well. We use sexual imagery all over the place, yet we don’t really want to talk about it. We want sex (a lot), yet we think it’s dirty and shameful and ought to be kept hidden (just like our bodies are shameful and ought to be hidden). 

This attitude is unhealthy and dangerous. We need to stop running away from sex. It is a part of us, part of being human. We desperately need to deal with it, talk about it, be open and honest with each other as individuals and as a society. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

That's the wrong word.

Just a little while ago I was in my car and heard on the radio about this rich businessman, Tom Wolf, who just won the Democratic nomination for governor of Pennsylvania. The suggestion of the reporter (or commentator?) was that this primary win by a relative unknown was at least in part due to Wolf’s using his substantial personal wealth to flood the market with ads.

From the (very) little that I’ve read about him, he sounds like a decent fellow. Apparently four years ago he delayed his planned run for governor to instead re-purchase and bail out the business he used to own. However, the fact that he has $10 million of his own money to spend on a political campaign (so far) makes me rather suspicious. Yes, I’m prejudiced against wealth. I don’t know what the man’s net worth is, but it must be a lot that he can spend $10 million on a campaign. Then again, maybe that’s better than special interest groups funding him.

Anyway... That’s all set-up to what I really wanted to say:

The reporter mentioned that Wolf inherited the family business, and that he had a PhD from MIT. His very next sentence was “It’s an interesting combination of talents.”

Perhaps some people reading this will be aware of my position that words have meanings. Well, I think this is a misuse of that word, “talents”. Obviously it’s not the most egregious misuse of a word I’ve heard lately. (That would be something of a religious nature.) But it’s still the wrong word, unless you’re trying to make a point that seeming to be born with a musical or artistic or athletic ability or some other tendency is akin to being born rich and “inheriting” the family business.

Of course, he didn’t exactly inherit it the business. After college and two years in the Peace Corps, he came back home and worked as a fork lift operator for a few years, then bought the business along with a couple of his cousins.

So, I’ve written all this for two reasons. One, I have way too much free time. And two...
Stop using the wrong words, people! It’s annoying to smart people who know what words mean. Or at least to me.



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

happy dream


I feel like I’ve been awake all night editing pictures.

I wasn’t actually awake editing pictures. Nope. But I WAS dreaming that I was editing pictures all night. Good pictures. Some really awesome pictures.

These were pictures I had taken, and not self-portraits. These were pictures of other people, some I know and some I don’t. Some of the people were nude; some were clothed. Some pictures were of one person; some were of more than one. They were all people who had agreed to model for me.

Apparently, they liked what I do was a photographer, and wanted to help me, to be part of it. I like those kind of people. 

But, almost the whole time I knew I was dreaming. I knew those pictures didn’t exist, and those people didn’t really exist. I knew I was dreaming, but I didn’t want to wake up. All these different people, willingly modeling for me? Reality is so much more disappointing in that regard. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

email response

From time to time I post on craigslist an ad seeking people to model for me. I have a hard time finding models. People that I know tend to be busy, or just not interested. Or, in some cases, I think they make inaccurate assumptions about what I’m asking. So...I look for models on craigslist. It's led to a few actual photo shoots, but most of the responses end up leading nowhere. 

Part of my ad is always "Serious inquiries only." To me that means someone has considered the idea, it’s something they actually want to do, and maybe they’ll have some questions about it. What I’m hoping to avoid is a “oo, neat, that sounds fun” response or a response that fails to demonstrate any sense of seriousness and intelligence.

Well, sometime in the middle of last night I got a response that just said, "What are photos used for". (Note the lack of appropriate punctuation.)

I don't quite take that response as a serious inquiry. I was trying to decide whether to just ignore it, or to respond with a sort of sardonic attitude. The latter won out. I did, in fact, just send the following email.

What are photos used for?

Well, I’m not sure if this truly gets to the heart of your question, but… Different people take photos for different reasons. Some endeavor to capture moments they feel will be somehow significant: birthdays; family gatherings; sporting events; graduation. Or maybe simply to capture images which are appealing or unusual or entertaining: the Grand Canyon; a funny ad on a roadside sign; a sunset; a cute kitten. And there’s the sharing of such images with others who aren't present. Taking pictures might be a sort of aid to memory, though that’s likely more a result than a reason to take pictures. There are those for which photography becomes a sort of obsessive thing—people who are constantly taking “selfies” or who post on facebook their “outfit of the day”—in these cases, the self-photos may perhaps be simply a way of interacting with the world, or they may be indicative of some deeper need, some legitimate psychological issue. A more serious photographer may have documentarian or photojournalistic leanings. And then, of course there are artistic endeavors. 
I think my photography is in part a sort of social interaction. I’ve taken tons of pictures of myself, and that’s fine, but I’d much prefer to interact with others and capture pictures of other people. I’ve been giving some thought to what a model brings to the model/photographer relationship, and for me a model is more than simply a body to move around and put into various poses. I think I tend to respond to the attitude and personality and mood of a model. And I hope that I capture some of that in some small way with my photos.
Also I consider my photography in part to be an artistic endeavor. That, of course, opens up a whole debate about the nature and purpose of art, which has gone on for a long time and, I’m sure, will continue to do so. But I will say this about art: there’s something in us humans that drives us to create and express in a way that goes beyond the everyday, ordinary, functional tools we use in life.

So, as I said above, I don’t know that really speaks to the meaning of your question.  Perhaps you’re asking what are PHOTOS used for—photographs themselves, the physical end result of the photography process. Certainly they are physical manifestations of any of the motivations I mentioned above. But they themselves may be collected into albums or stored away in boxes, maybe framed and hung on walls or placed on mantelpieces or end tables.

Of course, what most people do these days is digital photography. And for most images captured this way, there may never be a physical, printed photograph. It’s all on the computer, or out there in the internet. That is what I do: I transfer photos from my camera to my computer, where I delete many of them and edit the better ones; eventually I post them on my blog or perhaps on facebook. I have occasionally printed copies of a photo, framed it, and given it to a friend as a gift. And I have some prints of photos hanging on the walls of my apartment. But mostly it all stays digital.

That does bring to mind another issue of significance, which is the ease of access we in the “digital world” have to images and music and information. It’s become so easy to create and access so much stuff—and we do create and access SO MUCH STUFF so easily—that I fear our ability to appreciate it has been diminished. We see so many images and hear so much music and are just flooded with information that we mostly just ignore. And it seems that much of what we don’t ignore we experience in a fairly shallow way; we don’t examine, we don’t analyze, we don’t critique. We don’t stop to figure out why we like or dislike something, and we may not even determine if we actually like or dislike something.

Well... That’s a whole other diatribe. And it doesn’t really answer your question.

Perhaps this answer of mine is a bit long-winded, considering your five-word question. But sometimes I have a lot to say. And I’m quite certain that somewhere in all of my ramblings above is the answer to your question.  

Mostly I’m just being a smart-ass there. But I did touch on something serious. In addition to being an artistic endeavor, I do think of my photography as a type of social interaction, an attempt to share something with the world. I don’t know that it’s very successful. I don’t think many people actually look at my photos.

Two people I recently asked to model for me had made the same assumption that I only do nudes. And that just says to me that those people haven’t actually looked at my photos. I suspect they are not the only ones who haven’t. That saddens me. I’m certain that assumption contributes to my lack of connection with, lack of closeness to, most people. And this is the overwhelming problem of my life. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

another photo dream

In the past month or so I’ve had several dreams about photography. This is a fairly recent thing. I never used to dream about photography.

In my first photography dream I had found a bunch of pictures and some video I had taken several years ago (when I wasn’t, in reality, taking pictures) but had totally forgotten about. A few were of some models who I didn’t actually know, but most were of my ex-girlfriend. Other dreams were just about taking pictures of various people. I don’t recall the details.

Well, I had one of these dreams last night. I was taking part in some sort of photography workshop or maybe a contest or both. I was one of several photographers who had gathered for this thing, and whoever had organized it provided a bunch of models for us to photograph in a couple of locations. The models weren’t professional models, just people who were posing for us. One of these “models” was someone I know, from the local theatre world.

I go annoyed with these models, because they weren’t all that great. In fact, they almost seemed to not want to be photographed. Every time I would point my camera at them, they would move, often turning away or even moving away from me. They didn’t seem to want to be still enough that I could get a decent, in focus picture. (It’s a lot like the experience I’ve had when trying to photograph animals. I haven’t done much of that, because they’re generally not co-operative models.)

This one “model” who I knew approached me after I finished shooting her to try to get the negatives. Of course, there were no negatives, no film. It’s all digital. I think maybe she wanted to destroy any that she didn’t like. In real life, chances are I would delete any that she wouldn’t like before I really even start editing. Also, in real life, I’ve always let the model see the edited “final” pictures for their approval before I ever post anything online. I don’t want the model to be unhappy with the pictures I’ve taken.

Toward the end of the dream, I was trying to take some casual, non-posed pictures—sort of like “behind the scenes” or something. And there was a cool shot I tried to take of 3 girls sitting on a couch. But the moment I pointed my camera at them, one of them moved and got into “I posing now” mode. That pissed me off. I didn’t take the picture, and I yelled, “No!” then tried to explain a little more calmly that if I’d wanted her to move, I would’ve given her some direction.

I’ve never yelled at a model in real life. But a couple of times recently, in rehearsals, I have decided to not take a picture because the subject shifted into “I’m posing now” mode. What I wanted was to capture what I saw, which was really nice, instead of somebody trying to look cool or pretty or whatever.

If I’m working one-on-one with a model, I’m fine with “posing” mode. That’s sort of what the whole shoot is. And I’m fine with trying to look cool or pretty or whatever. In fact, I’ll make suggestions and give directions to try to help a model look cooler and prettier or whatever-er. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

torn

I’m sort of torn.

Many people who know me are aware that I prefer being naked. I just do. It feels good. It seems right. In the summer it’s great because I don’t have to turn up the air conditioning as high as I would if I were clothed.

However...

It’s winter now, and I don’t want to turn the heat way up high all the time. It’s my checkbook, but also the planet—it’s bad for both. I just don’t want to use energy unnecessarily. And I’m broke-ish. So most of this winter, I’ve been wearing some clothes around the house. Much more than I normally wear. If I don’t turn the heat up, it’s just too cold for comfort.

But when I go very long without being naked, I just get out of touch with my body. I’m not especially healthy, not really in shape, but when I get out of touch with my body this way, I feel less healthy, less happy.

So…I’m sort of torn. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

If...

If I were a songwriter, but almost no one would sing my songs, so I sang them myself, no one would have a problem with that.

If I were a choreographer, but very few dancers were to be found to perform my work, so I choreographed a solo dance for myself and performed it, no one would think that was strange.

If I were an actor, but rarely would anyone cast me in a show, so I staged my own one-man show, no one would unfriend me.

If I were a novelist, but no publisher would actually publish my book, so I self-published, no one would think I was immoral.

But... 

I am a photographer, but I struggle with finding people willing to model for me, so I sometimes take pictures of myself. 

And for that I lose jobs. Some that I know of, and probably some that I dont. 

I lose friends. I know of many, but there are probably people who keep their distance and choose to not get to know me because of it. 

It’s been suggested that I am lacking in character and integrity, and somehow I’m unsafe to be around. And THAT is just plain craziness. Ask anyone who ACTUALLY knows me if I have character and integrity. 
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Anyway, I’m feeling pretty pissy tonight. Another model no-show (and no text nor response to my text) plus a friend telling me they won’t model HER FACE for me because of her job equals angry. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

No Picture Day

Well, here I am approaching the end of another day in which I haven’t taken any pictures. I thought about it this morning, but I didn’t want to do yet another mediocre morning nude. And I knew I’d be going out today (for an extra day of auditions for the show I’m doing), and I thought I might go a little early and stop someplace to take a picture of something interesting. I didn’t go early, and though I took my camera, I didn’t see anything that inspired me to take a picture.

And I just don’t feel like taking any pictures tonight. This happened last night (because I had a shoot with a model scheduled, but she canceled), and I took some pics, but they weren’t all that great. And I’m actually trying to work on some music this evening. 

So, I am officially declaring this a “no picture day”. It’s the first no pictures day for me since 6 weeks ago, when I decided I’d try to take pictures every day. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

6:30 AM


Another early morning and I’m up for no good reason. No job I have to get to; no kids to get ready for school. Just me, awake. 
It feels too early for much of anything. Too early to work on music, or even watch the netflix. I don’t want to make much noise, though it wouldn’t disturb anyone. I have no family here, no roommate, no lover. No one to bother or be bothered by. Just me, alone. 
There are neighbors, but I don’t think they’d notice. I never hear their TVs, or their talking, or their anything, really. But it seems too early for noise. So, I sit here at the computer, mostly just staring. And drinking crappy coffee. Awake but tired. My mind isn’t going full steam yet. Just me, not quite alert. 
It’s a sort of limbo. I wish I could call it a prelude, but that would suggest something is going to happen. That’s not the feeling at all. In fact, it feels like nothing will happen. Nothing keeps on happening. Nothing and nothing and more nothing. Just me, not quite alive. 
So, I’ll get another cup of coffee, I’ll have another mediocre day, and I’ll make it through another year of wishing for some unknown, unspecified something. Half the time hating the world, and half the time hating myself. And mostly feeling there’s no point. No love. No joy. No anything. Just me, not quite dead. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

“Connect, George, connect!”


So, I was just searching online for pictures I like—you know, inspiration, or whatever. And I was purposely trying to find non-nudes. I’ve found tons of nudes I like. The thing is, I tend to find nudes so much more appealing. Or I have a stronger reaction, I guess. It’s not necessarily a sexual reaction (sometimes it is, but not always). And obviously not all nudes do I find appealing. Some are quite appalling.

It’s a little bit of a challenge. The more pictures I look at, the less I find really interesting. There’s certainly stuff that’s nice, or appealing, I guess, but not really interesting.

I always liked nudes. Well…for a long time. (I wrote a little about that before: “childhood myths”.)

Anyway, I just find nudes appealing, both as a viewer and as a photographer. Its easier for me to find nudes that I like, or that I think are interesting. But, while I definitely enjoy doing nudes, I’m totally willing to do non-nudes. I just wish more people would pose for me, clothed or not. 

I have this suspicion that people who know me, who’ve seen at least some of my facebook posts of my photography, maybe think that I only do nudes. Or maybe that I really only want to do nudes, and somehow that’s my ultimate goal. Perhaps that idea was suggested by the fact that mostly what I was doing for a while was nudes, self portraits. So maybe thats all some people have seen of my photography. And maybe they think that if they modeled for me, I would be nude. 

Well, I wouldnt be nude. You could ask the few people who have posed for me. And my actual goal is to make some nice pictures, maybe some interesting pictures. Pictures that I would want to look at, that people would want to look at. And, as I said, I like doing nudes, but I do other stuff too. 

Maybe people I know havent seen much of my more recent stuff, or my non-self-portraits. Generally when I post a link to facebook these days, I dont get many views and no commentswhether its this blog of rants or my naked blog or my general photography blog or the newest blog that I set up with mostly people whove modeled for me. 

Hmm... Maybe I have too many blogs. 
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Photography is often a lonely endeavor. Even if I have someone model for me, thats only the first partan hour or 90 minutes of actually interacting with that person. Then they leave, and I have to select and edit the photos. That takes longer than the actual shootjust me, at my computer, looking at images, playing with contrast and color and all that, making decisions about what looks better this or that. I dont mind that part of it, but it would be nice to have at least had that hour or so working with another person. Then the result would be pictures I took of another person, instead of just me or some building or trees or whatever. It would be a connection of sorts. 

Maybe its something else. Maybe people arent reluctant to model for me because of anything to do with nudes. Maybe people just don’t like me. Actually, not maybe; Im fairly sure about that one. Some people like me well enough, but Im quite certain that tons of people don't know exactly how to take me, or just dont care much for me, or just outright dislike me. 

I used to be nice and quiet and shy. I got over that. The nice sand shy part, anyway. Im still quiet sometimes, especially when I dont know the people Im around, or if theyre talking about something I know little about. But Im certainly willing to tell people what I think even if its not nice.

It’s absolutely clear to me that I’m bad at connecting with people. I was never great at it, but it’s harder now than it used to be. When I was in college, people were open to making friends. But now I'm middle-aged. People are just busy with their own lives, and if I’m not already part of that, they just seem to not have much room for me. Okay, fine. But I think that my desire to photograph people is partly an attempt to connect, to participate in the world that I often just don’t feel a part of. 

Another failing attempt to be human. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

don't take the blue pills

I bought these blue pills a while back by accident. I meant to get just acetaminophen, which is a basic pain reliever. It’s what’s in Tylenol. But I was in a hurry and got the wrong bottle. 





Just to be clear, they are NOT Viagra.

These are acetaminophen plus diphenhydramine, and they’re for night-time pain relief. Diphenhydramine is what’s in Benadryl. It’s generally used for allergies and motion sickness, but it can make you relaxed or make you sleep.

The day that I bought them, I was on my way to a rehearsal. I felt a massive headache coming on, so I stopped at a drug store and grabbed these. I was back in my car, heading to my rehearsal, opening the bottle, and was about to take several (3 or 4 probably). But the color threw me. Normally, acetaminophen tablets are white, not blue. So, I looked more carefully at the package and realized these weren’t what I’d thought.

I don’t recall whether I stopped elsewhere and bought a regular, non-drowsy pain reliever, or if I just asked someone at rehearsal. But I did not take the blue ones. I may have that night, or sometime shortly after. I’ve tried them just a handful of times, most recently last night. I had a headache yesterday from around 4 or 5 pm until I went to bed around 9:30. I never go to bed that early, but the headache was pretty bad.

Well, I’m not gonna take these anymore. They just make me feel awful the next morning. Often I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, and after taking 2 of these blue pills, I still wake up in the middle of the night, but I feel really, really drunk—uncomfortably drunk. I’ll feel really tired, but not able to get back to sleep for a while. Then, in the morning, I feel like crap. 

I also just realized this morning, while looking at the bottle, that they’re past the expiration date. They’re probably okay to use. They helped me get to sleep last night, and didn’t seem to work any differently from when I’ve used them in the past. But I just don’t like how they make me feel. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

model request


I got an email today from a young woman who I photographed this past summer. We did a bunch of different pictures in one day. It was the longest shoot I’ve done. There were some implied nudes.

Well, the email she sent earlier today said, “i have nude well implied photos on your blog and since i will be a mother soon i was wondering if you could please remove them from your blog???”

I will remove them. But…I don’t know what being a mother soon has to do with any pictures I took of her. Seriously. It’s not like they were crass or explicit or demeaning in any way. They were implied nudes. Not like porn-tastic crotch shots.

Seriously, I do not get it.

There was another, more recent, model who was not okay with a few of the best pictures I took. Apparently, they showed too much skin. These were also implied nudes. And the weird thing is that the pictures she didn’t want me to post didn’t show any more of her than the ones that she gave the okay.

I do not understand.

Maybe I should abandon my policy of not posting pictures that a model hasn’t approved. Maybe if I were in a position to hire models, then I’d have a different attitude about it. It’s just my feeling is that they’re doing me a favor. But, I guess I’m helping them too, whether they’re an aspiring model who’s trying to build a portfolio or a non-model who likes being in photos or wants some cool, interesting pictures of themselves.

Well…anyway…I just don’t get some people’s attitudes concerning bodies. Especially with pictures that they already said were okay (or, in the case of the second model I mentioned, agreed that they were great pictures). The mom-to-be thing just seems to me as if she’s saying, “it was fine when I was just a single young woman experiencing the world…” or whatever, “but now I have to feel ashamed of my body and my choices because there’s a future baby that could be upset one day if, somehow, they stumbled upon these pictures on some little photography blog that most of the world has never seen.”

Sad.