God, so much happened yesterday. Not that any of it matters. None of it was terribly substantial. But there were "things." It is nice to have "things" happen. It was almost like "old times." You know, back "in the day." I hardly know how to tell "it," mostly because I know that once I do, it will all seem like nothing. But there was an internal jazz, you know? The "something" vs. the "nothing"?
It started off with pictures. I had a bunch of them. I say "a bunch" but that is a contextual matter. With large format, "some" is "a bunch." Those big old negatives, though, are really something. What mattered most is that I had gone out and taken them. I wasn't shooting around the house or in the 'hood. I went out on a teeny tiny adventure. People keep telling me to travel. I did. It wasn't far, but it was farther.
"There I was. . . further. . . standing before the big Newsom Oil (since 1945), Liberator in hand."
There were winners and losers, of course, after I had developed the negatives. Exposures with that camera are a bit tricky because it is old and doesn't have a big range of shutter speeds. There is that, and there is the fact that I am an estimator. I try to guesstimate my exposures by and large, the way the old photographers had to do before the invention of or the ready availability of the light meter. And I'm getting pretty good at it. But some of the negatives were a bit overexposed which meant that scanning would be more difficult. Then, once I scanned them, I found that I missed focus on occasion. Not as much as I had been in the past, mind you. I am getting better at controlling that, too. But man, some of the shots. . . .
I am no social media maven. I have a FauxBook page that doesn't have my name on it. I use it solely to communicate with photographers and photo groups. The groups are helpful at times as there are photographers there who know things I sometimes don't, and they are kind enough or sometimes arrogant enough to share that information.
After I posted the beauty at the top of the page, however, I got the following message.
WTF? They had taken ALL of the photographs I had posted over many months down. I was shocked. How had they come to determine that? Were they fucking morons? Well, obviously. I mean, how could I post a picture of me with my camera if I was blocked?
Turns out there was only one fucking moron. At least that is what people on other forums said. A fellow named Jeff Sass. If I am wrong, I will apologize, but that is what many people wrote. Turns out, he is an enemy of the fellow who made my camera, John Minnicks. And, unknown to me, there are two groups with the same name made up of warring factions. At first I was offended, of course. But it became funny. I posted this message on the other forums and got some very funny responses. One fellow said, "You will need to post a picture of you and your camera taken with your camera. . . and provide a proof of life form."
Instantly, my photographs were more popular than before. I was besieged with messages. And I was, you know, like a teen on Instagram. I learned quickly why I am not on social media. It is quite a game, and I was getting buzzed on "likes." I was like the lab rat pushing the button with its nose over and over again to get a pellet of food. Or was it cocaine? I think they did experiments with both. Anyway, there I was with the social media high. Bad. As I once told my dissertation director who had started dating a grad student one third his age, a Spanish woman classically trained as a dancer--"You know how good this feels? That's nothing compared to how bad it will feel when she's gone!"
Yea, I said it. I was being, you know. . . clever. And she did leave, eventually. And he did feel bad. Very.
I'll need to stay off the FauxBook today. But. . . I mean I have some other photographs. . . .
Q, who happens to know my FauxBook handle, always ready to lend a hand to help a fellow down a few rungs on the ladder, decided to call me out in public.
"Is Carl your real name?"
WTF? That's my boy.
Not all the photos turned out, you know.
Here's one of the same place on which I didn't quite hit focus, so I took it into Photoshop and added layers and tried to disguise the fact a little. I felt I was "cheating," but what is "cheating" in art anyway?
Here's another one of the same place with a negative that got bent when I put the dark slide back in. I could feel it happen which is why there are a couple images of practically the same thing. I was still making mistakes. I had one negative holder that completely spit out the exposed negatives. I had made a mistake loading them, putting in two of these extra-thin negatives in at a time unwittingly. On other exposures, I forgot to stop the lens down after quickly metering with my phone app which I knew would result in those terribly overexposed images. Yea. . . the boy needs to THINK more.
* * *
The "boys" at the gym were happy to see me yesterday. They were anxious to tell me about what I had missed that weekend. On Friday, I said I might go to the Kava/Art bar just off the the Boulevard to see what it was like. I had said that if I went, it would be early.
"Man, where were you? Danny and I showed up and waited awhile, but you never showed."
"You missed a night, boy. Tell him, Danny."
"You missed it. We waited around at the Kava bar for about half an hour, but when you didn't show we went to Prado for some drinks. We ended up meeting some wild characters. You would have loved it."
"You would have loved this blonde. She was just your type. She looked like she was twenty-two. She was wearing a midriff thing that showed her abs. She was ripped."
"Yup. I'll bet she was looking for a guy like me," I said ironically.
"She would have been all over you."
"I'm sure. The women just can't seem to leave me be."
I don't know what these boys are thinking. In my fairly long life, I have never picked up a girl in a bar. Wait. Once a girl picked me up. Well. . . maybe three times. . . but it always. . . no, not always. . . . Anyway, I am not out to pick up girls in bars.
"There was another girl wearing a short skirt and no underwear and she kept her leg propped up so we could see everything clearly. You'd have been all over that. You need to come out with us. We'll get a bunch of girls and take them back to your house, and. . . . "
"Wait! What the fuck? My house? Are you guys nuts? Why would I want to party with you at my house? You're crazy."
They want to know where I live. I told them that they don't even know my real name. It's a habit I've developed, I guess. Batman and all, you know.
They regaled me with more tales of adventure and daring, recounting a very drunk friend who said something to a steroid boy that didn't like the comment. My two "boys" are trained fighters, though, and kept the drunken friend safe. Then they told me tales of the next day. They went out on the wealthy one's boat. He lives near Carrothead and they saw him on the lake in his little panties taking pictures on his boat showing his ass crack. I don't know if there is anybody in town who likes the fellow. My "boy" refers to him as Cabbage Head. But Carrothead and I have a long history and it isn't good.
I like these guys, but Bruce Wayne will continuer to dwell in his Bat Cave alone, mysterious crime fighter that he is.
And I've done Kratum. They serve that at the Kava Bar, too. That shit will fuck you up. Kava is a lesser form, but do some research. The stuff just tears your body up.
"I'll have the licorice tea, thanks."
* * *
Q texted me to tell me I was wrong about the price of a Burning Man ticket. Apparently I had gone to a scalper site. The price was about a quarter of what I had found. Well, now. . . this might be something. He was miffed that I referred to his girl as his ex.
"I was simply flirting," I said. "I just want her to spend the night in my little tent with me."
This is not what I said at all. It is just what I was thinking. His wife barely tolerates me, due in large part, I imagine, to Q, but what is more attractive than a pretty woman's disdain? I mean. . . if you don't have to live with her. It is all by way of flattering Q, though, this imagined lust. It is one of those left-handed compliments as the literati say.
But I've grown old. I don't even present a possible danger of intrigue any longer. I never did, really, but one must live with illusions, mustn't one, or he surely cannot live at all.
* * *
There is more, but I've gone on too long as it is. Most of you quit reading two * * * ago. And I need to prepare the house for the Wrecking Crew. There is a whole lot of prep to be done. I don't mean to, but by the end of two weeks, I've usually turned my place into something that looks like a frat house. I would hope to get out and make more pictures today. I got a call from my buddy John Minnicks last night, the camera maker, and we chatted for a while. . . oh. . . yea. . . I'll leave it for now. TMI as the kids used to say.
* * *
But one last thing. I watched this last night. Hmm.