Editing photos from a wedding I shot in Cannon Beach in September. It was a beautiful day, despite the torrential coastal downpour and buffeting winds. As the unimaginative are wont to say, it rained, copiously and inveterately, but spirits were not dampened.
Hello, late summer. It has been a season of way too much work. I’ve been kept busy 6-7 days a week with freelance writing and photo projects and have mostly been quiet and industrious since I got back from the East Coast at the start of July. Did run a half-marathon in there, though, which must count for something.
Tomorrow, I turn 32.
Last week, I flew down to San Francisco. I caught up with my little sister and then met up with E on his way back from his adventures in Ecuador and Colombia. Que chilero! We saw the shit out of SF, ran a bit, and ate copiously. The highlight: lunch at Chez Panisse, the petri dish for farm-to-fork dining and a Berkeley stalwart. Fresh squid with beans, shaved squash, chicken, collard greens, hazelnut ice cream, berry spritzer. Best $90 I ever spent. Then it was on to Sacramento to catch up with E’s extended family.
Yesterday, I drove back up to Portland from Sacramento with E and his dad. I am potato salad from 11 hours in the car and a long day of catching up on work today.
A few selects from late, great California. I just had my little handheld Canon on this trip. As always, I am fascinated by the minutiae of cities. Graffiti, old signs, windows and mirrors. That, and cheesy preloaded camera filters. What can I say? I picked up some cool pieces of random garbage, too, for my collection. Mostly scraps of old notes and parking tickets and fortunes and stuff.
Well I suppose I am abandoning the 30 Days experiment. Or at least retiring it until a calmer month. I’ve been hopping around the East Coast since last Tuesday visiting friends and family and there is literally not even time to sleep. DC – Baltimore – DC, and off to New York City Wednesday. Then back to Baltimore for the weekend and back to DC for a few more days after that. Feeling nuts for trying to pack so much in, but it’s been worth it.
I’ve been taking mad photos. In substitution for my lack of literary endeavor, enjoy this photo of an outhouse being lifted up by a crane. And a few assorted others.
Back from my quick hop down south of the border. I’m working on a blog about the trip, but for now, photos, of us and some things we ate and drink, and the riotous color of a Sikh-Hindu-Tropical wedding. Que bonita.
Notations from my somewhat mixed up files as of late … I am bursting with weird and questionable ideas for creative projects.
• It would be cool to make little stop motion videos spelling out things with stuff like beans and macaroni pieces. I got the idea when I introduced my slightly younger roommates to The California Raisins the other day, and I felt my age for sure. Also, gave myself a mohawk a few weeks ago and noticed some little gray hairs coming in around my temples. I guess I don’t really care because I still get carded for everything from lottery tickets to beer, but …
• I’ve got this genius idea for a serial blog where I post conversations I’ve overheard in Portland. I think I’ve got nearly enough to make my first post, but I’m always accepting entries, so send your weird, wacky wonderful Portland overheards my way. EG:
Overheard at Anna Banana’s on Alberta, April 23, between a chunky female barista and a sorta femmy middle-aged patron:
“Different is Good”
Guy: My parents were the original hippies from the ‘60s.
Girl: Mine were too. Mine wore flowers in their hair.
Guy: Well I spent four years living in a colony in Southern Oregon.
Guy: My mom told me I was this close to being named Sunshine Freedom.
Girl: That would be kind of fun though!
Guy: Yeah. Two names I always liked were Cassipoea and Orion.
Girl: Different is good.
• Author Ray Bradbury says he doesn’t mind getting old because he’s “collecting truths” along the way. I really, really dig this.
• What if we have it backwards when we see ourselves as living forwards? What if we’re all of us just reverse engineering everything all the time?
• I gave in and bought an iPhone the other day. I am the last Portland Creative Type within a 20-mile radius to do so, which makes me tragically uncool, I know. What can I say? I am cheap and poor. However, my terrible, terrible Samsung Galaxy had turned on me in recent months, and I felt I had no choice when it began to actively sabotage my text message conversations. For example:
Changing the word “Lego” to “legislation” repeatedly. As in:
“Eli is wondering if he could possibly play with your legislation today.”
Which sounds weird and pervy although I’m not sure why. And, yes, my text conversations do occasionally involve discussion of Legos.
Also, in an infinitely more disturbing development, every time I tried to type “I went” autocorrect changed it to “I queefed.” So not cool, phone.
• Finally, from a piece I am working on about love:
“This morning was the first day of May. The sun came up too soon and I couldn’t sleep, so I got up early and I went to the kitchen and I decided to make myself a poached egg.
It doesn’t embarrass me to admit to you that I almost couldn’t believe in myself enough to do it it. At the last minute, I almost backed out of the endeavor and reached for the frying pan. It takes such a leap of faith, every time, to poach an egg. A second of magical thinking before you have the guts to crack the shell and let the messy contents drop into the bubbling water without losing heart. How does the water know to hold the egg together so gently? How can one substance will another into a new form so entirely without the whole thing just dispersing into nothing?
I stared at my poached egg awhile before I ate it: the pure white edges unfolded like messy petals, the middle membrane so thin and delicate you could see right into the yellowy heart of it. And then I gobbled it up, without time for regret or delay.”
OK, so I was kidding all those times before. Now, spring is really, definitely, actually here. I still wrap myself up in a quilt while working most days, but at least the sun is showing up semi-regularly. This is my first springtime in Portland since I was a kid and I guess my recollections of how early in the year warm days tend to come was blessedly skewed.
Life is definitely going on. Tons and tons of freelance projects coming my way, and a few personal ones, too. I have a few essays I’ve been working on but I’m not ready to share them yet. 🙂 Sorry. One goal is to shoot more photos. So I am.
Our yard is definitely blossoming as we settle into April. Herewith, a few shots of the yard, and the neighborhood.
So I finally bit the bullet and upgraded to a full-frame camera. I bought my sweet little Canon Digital Rebel XTi five years ago and it has been a great starter SLR, but I’ve definitely grown out of it. I’m getting more and more solicitations for commercial photo / portrait work, I take most of my own pictures for the print journalism pieces I write, and the ol’ Rebel just doesn’t cut it anymore. Plus it is pretty trashed from all its intercontinental adventuring. I am tough on my electronics! Sand and dust and lots of hard traveling. The Rebel has held up commendably, but I’m officially retiring her from regular use.
Say hello to the Canon 5D Markii! She is a beauty. I purchased the 5D body plus a Canon L-line 24-105 mm lens from Sunset Electronics for $2800 and I’m thrilled with the quality so far. Although I’m gonna need to develop a bit more hand strength to drive this baby. She’s heavy!
I spent the afternoon out at my Mom and Nan’s property in Mulino, Ore. taking the Markii for a test drive. Nan and I had a magical time wandering the forest, scouting snail shells and magnificently tiny mushrooms and brilliantly colored moss and sharp little sprigs of holly leaves, trailed all the way by a red-tailed hawk. What a lonely sound he makes …
Here are a few selects:
Lately, I’ve shirked my SLR in favor of the serendipitous and somewhat lo-fi charms of my point-and-shoot camera. A photography teacher once told me: “The best camera is the one you take with you.” To be sure, love making art with something small enough to fit into my back pocket. Keeping it humble and whatnot.