Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The awesome and exciting story of my day so far!!!

I just went out to move my car, because apparently I think I’m in New York City. 

No. Actually, when I got home from rehearsal last night someone had parked in the spot where I usually park. Not a huge deal, I just parked in another spot. This evening when I leave for rehearsal that spot might be hard to back out of, as there’s not much room back there. So I moved the car now, while there are only a few other cars here. All the “normal” people have gone to their “normal people” jobs. But they’ll be back. 

I’m sure the reason that whoever parked in my usual spot is that they didn’t want the difficulty of backing out this morning from their usual spot. 


I just went out to move my car, and I found a spider had taken up residence inside the car in one of the cup holders. Not all that long ago – a few weeks, maybe – I found a spider in my shower. It has since relocated, but I was fine with it being there. I wasn’t hurting me, and I felt no need to hurt it. Actually, it might be doing me a favor, catching other insects. But I’m just not okay with a spider in my cup holder. Sometimes I use that thing, for cups, or sunglasses, or my phone. And sometimes when I’m driving, my hand may reach over there to pick up whatever is there. In such a situation, I’m probably not paying so much attention to whether a spider is there and if it might decide to bite me because my hand is in its spider-territory. 

So I removed the spider from my car. 

The End. 

Yep, that’s it. That’s the exciting adventure of my day so far. Awesome, eh?

I hope the spider makes it, finds another car to invade. 

No. Not another car, just another place to live and do whatever spiders do. 

And now, it’s time to continue my daily overdose of caffeine, i.e., cup of coffee number two. Also very exciting. Or maybe the opposite of that.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

a shallow realization

I just had a realization, as I was out for a walk in my neighborhood. I realized that I was not looking at the world in the way that I’ve come to normally look at it in the past several years since I started taking a lot of photos. That way of looking is to really look – to see things. 

Oh, look at that; it’s very interesting or beautiful or ugly or whatever. That thing wasn’t here the last time I walked down this street. And that thing has definitely been here every time I’ve walked down this street. I wonder how that got here or why the thing I saw before isn’t here. 

It’s not very surprising, this change in how I look at things, except that it happened relatively fast. It’s only been a month, or 6 weeks maybe, since I put my camera away and decided to take a break. That’s not very long, right? I remember several years ago when I really started taking pictures I eventually realized I was looking at the world differently. But I think it was a lot longer before that happened than 6 weeks. 

Of course, with this realization came the other part which is that the way I’m looking at things lately is just very shallow, very much a functional visual interaction. It’s like I’m missing some part of me. 

I’m also looking at people differently these days. I guess I’d have to say I’m NOT really looking at them most of the time. I think I’m mostly just looking to see who the person is, where previously I might have looked at their faces and bodies and proportions and expressions and posture and all that stuff. (Not in a creepy way. Wait, maybe... Do people think I look at them in a creepy way? I could ask, but unfortunately, people mostly are not very honest. Anyway...) I found so many people beautiful in some way or another, and often I wished I could photograph lots of people that I saw. Not just snap a quick photo of some random person walking down the street, but to spend an hour or two with the person and my camera in front of a black sheet or a blank wall, really photographing a human person being human. 

I have missed it, and thought about it, and even had dreams about doing photo shoots. But, ironically, I’ve not actually done anything about it. Ironic because that’s sort of the reason I’ve been taking this break – that while there are a handful of people who express interest in doing a shoot with me, they mostly don’t have enough interest to actually do it. And my frustration with that whole situation has led me to stop trying. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Electoral College

I’ve been anti-Electoral College for a while now. 

If you’re not sure what I mean, it’s that problem every four years during American Presidential elections where certain states are “swing states”. Certain states don’t get much attention, aren’t really part of the national campaign because they’re a solid “red state” or they just don’t have enough Electoral College votes to matter much. 

That has just never made sense to me. Maaaayyyyybe there was a time when it made sense, if the average voter just didn’t know much about the national issues, so they elect someone local who they know and perhaps respect, then those people go and elect a president. But today that’s just ridiculous and it leads to some weird election campaigning strategies. I’ve often thought, “Why not just let it go? Get rid of the Electoral College. It’s a leftover, antiquated idea.” 

We’re reluctant to let go of things, though, even when they’re not really working anymore. Like religion – it’s not really working so well for us anymore, yet a lot of people are reluctant to let it go. Then again, maybe religion IS working. I guess you’d have to figure out the actual purpose of religion to know the answer. 

Here’s a better (?) example: the whole “gay marriage” resistance that we’re seeing these days. For the sake of argument...suppose there was a time when it “made sense” that people of the same gender couldn’t marry. Well, marriage has actually changed in the past 50 years or 100 years or whatever, and it’s not because of some “gay agenda” to redefine marriage. As society has changed, straight people in marriages have changed what marriage is to the point that it’s something more and more gay people saw as something in which they want to participate. It’s no longer “the husband does this and the wife does that,” but it’s become more of a “we’re in a loving and committed relationship and we want to symbolically and legally join our lives” kind of thing. So we need to let go of that older idea of what a marriage was, because it just isn’t working for us anymore. 

(Was that a better example? You be the judge.) 

Anyway, the Electoral College doesn’t seem to work for the entire country anymore. I suppose you could say it’s working for some people – people in those swing states, whose vote is worth more, is more important that votes from people who live elsewhere. If you have a choice between two states in which you could vote (let’s say you attend college in another state), the perceived value of your presidential vote shouldn’t be a determining factor for where you decide to vote. If it’s possible to clearly win the popular vote but lose the election, there’s something wrong with the voting system. 

Well, since we’re so reluctant to let things go when they’re not working for us, how about this: instead of simply abolishing the Electoral College, why don’t we tweak it a little? In election coverage, nobody talks about winning the “Oregon vote” or the “North Carolina vote” unless it’s to do with the Electoral College, or to demonstrate how backward a particular state might be. (Yes, I’m talking about you, Mississippi.) But people definitely talk about other votes: the black vote; the women’s vote; the Latino vote; the elderly vote. Maybe that should be our electoral college. So whoever wins the “black vote” gets all the black Electoral College votes, etc. We’d have to figure out all the different categories, and the categories might change every four years. Each person still only gets one vote, but if they fall into more than one category, they can decide. So your half African American, half Latino, elderly, bi-sexual grandmother would get to decide where her vote is going. Non-disabled, cis-gendered, white men aged 21-60 don’t get an option, they have to vote “white dude” – call it “reparations”. 

What do you think, America? I say we give it a try, and see what happens.