Observations

Why Is Miley In My Newsfeed?

Brace yourself… I’m about to write something contrary. But I don’t get why everybody is up in Miley’s shit about her TV thing. (I guess it’s a TV thing – I haven’t seen it. Nor will I. Because it’s not my thing. Anyway…) I’m not privy to her state of mind, obviously, but if I had to guess I would imagine her performance was simply her idea of creative expression and she had the stones to share it on national TV. If it wasn’t your cup of tea, I think there are other channels available still, right? I haven’t had cable in years but I’m pretty sure they still do the multiple channel thing. Or there’s always the trusty “off” button. If you’re traveling to the YouTube video to watch it so you could be informed when you bitch about it later, then what the fuck are you doing? Get a life and man-o-man I mean that with all the love in my heart!

Of course, there’s the argument that she is influencing little girls… Well shit, maybe she is. So if you want your daughter to gravitate towards substance, teach her to like substance (by example would be great), with the understanding that she might still like stuff you don’t. Otherwise, if she’s living under your roof and tries to replicate Miley’s beige vinyl number, act like the parent you are before letting her out the door. Somebody else wrote about “propagating rape culture”. We have a rape culture? Or do we simply have a culture where some shit is going down that seems to garner less and less attention for being wrong? What about the stuff that is really right?? And who, exactly, created this culture? Go have yourself a stare down in the mirror and come on back. But smile because the good news is that if we created it, we can create something else that’s different. If we want. Because we are a bunch of living, breathing, and hopefully-for-the-love-of-Mike, thinking culture creators.

We have few real freedoms left in these grand United States. Freedom of expression is still very well intact, thank the Gods. Even for the stuff we’d rather not see or hear. I feel like if she’s willing to let her freak flag fly, we at least ought to have the guts to raise ours before shooting a bunch of holes in hers.

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Observations, Photography

Photography, Cameras, the iPhone and – I don’t know

Sunday afternoon, I’m cruising through the Facebook feed and I run across this link for a new iPhoneography magazine. It’s done by Knox Bronson and the name? iPhotographer Magazine. Go grab the preview issue for free.

I did and there’s A LOT of content. Very cool and I will most likely subscribe because I love stuff like this. I love photography in general. I’ve been playing with it for years. But never seriously and really, I don’t know why. Mostly because I’ve just enjoyed playing to play (shooting to shoot) and good God, being a pro seems to involve more marketing than I’d prefer to screw with. I could be wrong but no matter. Photography = activity that makes me smile.

I’m getting off track though. See, I just bought a new Olympus EP-5. This thing is SWEET! I love what it can do and I don’t even have it all down yet. One pass through the manual is not enough to make sense out of the famous, cryptic Olympus menu system. I haven’t done much with it yet. I pick it up when I feel like it and lately, I have been trying to get bird portraits. That’s hard because those guys will simply not sit still! However, I take pictures with my iPhone all the time. Because it’s with me. All the time. I saw this new iPhoneography magazine and while my first thought was ‘wow, this is cool’ my second thought was ‘I shouldn’t have spent the money on the Oly’. Well, damn it, I didn’t like that thought. The Oly (my nickname for the EP-5 in case you didn’t catch on) was not an impulse purchase. I’ve been ogling the OM-D E-M5 forever. (In my head, I call it the OMG camera.) I was just about set to succumb to its lure when the EP-5 came out and it had enough new features to grab me. No, the EP-5 doesn’t have the weather sealing of the OM-D nor does it have a built in viewfinder. But a viewfinder (one that TILTS!!) was an easy add on and I don’t enjoy being out in “weather” so the weather sealing didn’t rank terribly high on my list of must-have features. Besides, there are things like rainhoods. Or, in a pinch, a ziploc bag will do. Point is, the Oly does stuff my old Canon won’t. It’s lighter than the Canon too. Nice since I’m getting on up there *snicker* and my wrist hurts after shooting with the Canon for any length of time. As much as I love my iPhone, it does not do all photography well. I consider it a fabulous tool because I always have it but I do recognize its limitations. The Oly is a brilliantly engineered camera and I knew when I bought that I would use it when the creative mood struck and I had no intentions of trying to do “something real” with my photography. Being the next (insert famous fotog’s name here) was never the point. Not even in my favorite, most grandiose fantasies. Photography is just a hobby that I enjoy the hell out of. I wanted a camera that would do what I wanted it to do and by God, I got it. I can still enjoy iPhoneography too. It’s not like they cancel each other out or something.

But second guessing myself? I don’t enjoy that, not even a little bit. Yeah, the Oly set me back some serious coin but it wasn’t coin I couldn’t spare. And I don’t think it’s about the money. Maybe I don’t think I’m good enough to have such a great piece of equipment.

Yeah… those lovely thoughts… ‘I’m not good enough’ and her sister, ‘I shouldn’a.’

Bitches.

I’m a coach so I know a thing (or nothing ;-) ) about thoughts. I’m glad I experienced the thoughts I did, even if they did piss me off. It’s always funny when something that isn’t even real sends me into the land of ‘the second guess’. It’s a learning opportunity. An invitation to look. Part of the fun of being a human. I don’t have to do anything with ‘em – new thoughts will be along shortly. Thoughts I like better. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy taking a lot of shitty bird pictures. Until I get to the point where I take less shitty bird pictures. Someday, I might graduate to good enough bird pictures. Ha Ha – get it? Good enough? ha ha ha!

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Observations, Uncategorized, WTF?

Four Ways, My Ass!

There’s a magazine called YES! that I get email updates for whenever a new issue comes out. It’s usually got some good stuff in it that would appeal to a tree hugger like me and actually, I think I started reading it because they featured some bike thing a while back. Their about page states “YES! Magazine reframes the biggest problems of our time in terms of their solutions. Online and in print, we outline a path forward with in-depth analysis, tools for citizen engagement, and stories about real people working for a better world.”
A particular headline caught my attention today –

Four Ways to Escape the NSA Dragnet

Go ahead and go read it. It’s short and won’t take long.
Are you back? Excellent. So now that you’ve read it you’ll understand why my first reaction was”excuse me?” It seems to me that this country was not founded on the idea that its citizens would someday have a need to protect themselves from their own government.

What to do about this? I’ll be fucked if I know. The whole thing – our entire government seems to have become so subversive. I am certainly not the first person to say such a thing. Check out this extremely fun article by long retired Charlie Reese. He nor I will be the last to point out that our government stopped being ours a long time ago. Ah, but I am truly an optimist at heart and so I do have moments when I think that maybe our government really does have our protection – and nothing else – in mind. Then I remember that we live in the information age. We have twitter. It’s not 1620. It’s not like somebody can come over, stake their flag and take over. Good God, the Facebook traffic alone would shut that shit down before CNN could even broadcast a bio of the flag staker. So it has to be all about saving us from the ever present danger of terrorist attack, in whatever form it might take. Keeping us safe. That’s a charged word, safe. It takes us back to our primordial urges to protect in a split second. Hell, maybe that’s the issue. Maybe we simply haven’t evolved enough to understand that safe doesn’t guarantee control. And the more we try to force that illusion of control into reality, we wind up controlling us more than “them”.

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Observations

A Kitten Shows Me Something

Domesticated animals are just fucking amazing to me. I am lucky that I get to live with 6 of them including a newly adopted 14 week old kitten. Her name was Lucy when I picked her up but after a couple of days, she informed me that she preferred Wally (a nickname derived from Wallis Simpson, the American that King Edward VIII gave up the throne for). Wally is so named because of her quirky beauty and independent but loving nature. She’s been a part of my home for seven days and already has claimed the hearts of my three cats and two dogs. They are all getting along like she has always been here. Seven days. But that isn’t what really blows my mind. This kitten, sweet Wally, lived with other kittens. Other dogs. Other people cared for her. She had a mother cat who nursed her until she could eat solid kitty kibble. And then she wound up at the local PetSmart in that little room where they keep the cats available for adoption. I go in that room to say hi to the cats every time I go in for dog food, which is a lot. Paver, my 112# lab/hound mix eats quite a bit. I saw Wally and felt that special, weird energetic pull that said ‘pay attention’. It was a couple of days later, watching Paver play with Roan, my full grown b&w cat that it dawned on me that he would love to have a kitten to play with. Roan doesn’t like to play much. Kittens play all the time…
Anyway, I’m getting off track. What amazes me is how adaptable she is. All my animals, having come from varying backgrounds, some of them unknown, brought with them this adaptability. And look, I know we are talking about animals here, not humans. But you can’t tell me these guys don’t feel. They might not know the word for sadness but they can sense it and respond to it. Same with excitement. Fear… They come from all these different backgrounds, leaving behind God knows what behind both good and bad and they just start life all over again. Like it’s the easiest thing in the world. Amazing.

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Uncategorized

My Body in a T-shirt

I wonder if the clerk who works the return desk at Target wants to say something when they see me coming back with an article of clothing. I am aware that they have dressing rooms. Or rather, dressing cubicles. Unattractive and uninviting cubicles with bad lighting. To gain access I have to ask for a plastic card with a number that corresponds with the articles of clothing I have and they better match when I come out. There are signs on the walls by the mirrors, assuming my criminal intent. Reminding me that there are cameras. I’m being observed to see if I’ll take a t-shirt that cost eight dollars. But this is why I often visit the clerk who works the return desk. I’m not shy. But my body is not for random observation. My unclothed self is not available at that level to help Target realize their loss prevention goals. My body is mine.

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