I really, honestly try to do something relatively silly every day: creatively, fitness-wise, father-ish, whatever.
Well, that was an interesting evening. After a nice dinner we went to a show at the theatre. Our 3+ hour play (which 20% of the people walked out on at the intermission) let out at the EXACT same time as the Marilyn Manson concert across the street… which is fine-cool-whatever, but apparently when you go to a Manson concert you are obliged to dress head-to-toe in black and lose your ability to follow traffic signals. Not ideal for a dark night downtown with a bit of rain-snow mixed in. So after a long escape from our parking lot, we were about half way home (near Whyte Ave) and were literally centimeters away (he clipped our mirror and did a few thousand dollars damage to the truck parked alternate us) from being side-swiped by a minivan squeezing through a lane-that-wasn’t-a-lane either because he was stupid, drunk, being pursued by the cops, or all of the above… because there were definitely cops and a high speed chase witnessed. We were very happy to get back home. Happy Long Weekend… I think?
If I say bungee jumping you’re going to hold me to it aren’t you?
Knowing the world is a crazy place full of sharp edges, and there ain’t nothing to be done about that.
It’s not about the feet. It’s about where the feet are standing. It’s about remembering where we’ve been. It’s about taking the moment to pause, to look down… before looking back up and keeping on going forward.
I quietly started another 365 photo project, though this one is a little less serious than the last. On January first, I was standing amongst the clutter of cleaning up from the holidays, pointed the camera at my feet to capture the moment, and the thought occurred to me: I used to take a lot of feet photos.
It’s not about the feet, though, is it?
Way back I started this whole random photo, RandomFeets project. It was a whim.
It might have been something mundane, such as where I was standing on the LRT platform waiting for my ride to work on January 2, the second day of the year but somehow I had drawn the short straw and was back to work already. Or it might have been something interesting, such as on a tropical beach or queuing for a ride at Disneyland.
By the third of January, when I caught myself snapping yet another camera phone pic, this one of something so seemingly ordinary as riding the escalator home on a Thursday evening, it occurred to my project-hungry brain that while an artistic photo-per-day project requires skill, patience, and a heck of a lot of planning, the same did not hold true for a daily foot photo.
And there is something about the foot photo that holds an artistic appeal in the collection itself. Particularly the whole of it. The chronology of the ordinary.
Daily photo projects imply a skill at capturing images, but a chronology of feets pictures is more of a media adventure and only partly about the images.
I mean, I may have only been hanging out at the library with my daughter on the fourth of January, but that right there is a kind of symbolic moment captured in a literal stance. It is a capturing of the ordinary.
And there is something subtle and unobtrusive about just aiming the camera down and clicking off a shot.
No one notices. No one even glances askew, particularly in the days of ubiquitous camera phones.
And by January 5th, whilst snapping pics of yet another crazy, off-beat project, I nabbed yet another feets shot and — five for five on the calendar — realized that I might just have a new photo project on my hands. And isn’t that what I was pondering just a couple weeks ago?
Perhaps some rules are in order?
First, I think is context. For example, every photo needs to have a little bit of text to go along with it. Some will be self-explanatory in the future, but many will not. It is the collection and the accompanying text that will be the ultimate product. This photo from January 6 of me on a tiled floor is very random… that is until you realize it was taken shortly after brunch at the Hotel Selkirk in Fort Edmonton Park at the opening day of their new Sunday brunch. For this reason, a regular blog update, explaining each photo is probably in order.
Second, the camera is irrelevant. Anything that snaps a picture will do, really. After all, it’s less about the quality than it is about the story. In fact, in many cases, a smartphone picture will be the best option.
Third and finally (for now) just a hint towards variety: it would be very easy to snap the same photo every day, me standing on a train platform (which I do every day) or like this photo from January 7, earlier tonight, when I was out taking the dog for a walk (something I do very frequently as well.) The challenge will be in variety.
And thus… one step at a time: share and enjoy RandomFeets Two. Read along with the (hopefully) frequent updates. Play along and snap your own interesting feets pictures. And remember to look down once in a while: there’s got to be a metaphor or a lesson in there somewhere, right?
…or is it 366? I’m too lazy to check right now, but I seem to think 2012 is a leap year. Meh.
With just four days left in my August photo (un)project, and having seen that my half-baked efforts inspired at least one person, I thought it was kinda sad that the month was looming to a close (already) and — silly me — figured maybe I should just keep going.
So, starting on September 1, 2011 I’m going to jump right into a completely crazy photographic endeavor and start a photo-a-day crazy project. Yes, a real project. Not an (un)project. Not a whim. Not even a high class whimsy. A real, hands-dirty kinda project.
[ 1 ] One photo posted per day. Minimum. Maximum. No more. No less. And said photo must be taken by me and drawn from whatever pool or quantity of photos I’ve happened to take during the course of that day… as in I can take a thousand photos, but I can only post one for the 365 Photo Project.
[ 2 ] Camera, lens, equipment is not defined by anything other than the photo needs to be recognizable as some kind of digital image. It can be taken with an SLR, a point-and-shoot, a cell phone, iPhone, smart phone, web cam, or whatever, so long as it looks like a photo and I pressed the shutter button.
[ 3 ] The subject matter and quality is not pre-defined. This is not 365 photos of Claire, my feet, the sunset, beautiful scenes or action shots. It might just be as boring as a picture of the book I’m reading, the speedometer in my car, or a bug on the sidewalk — or it might be epic. Epic, I tell you.
[ 4 ] I will make a gallery album dedicated to this on my gallery at gallery.8r4d.com, and subdivide that album my month, and perhaps write the occasional post here detailing the efforts, but other than the occasional notification, this is just going to happen.
Wish me luck. Play along. Whatever. I’m about to get a little photo crazy.
After years of carefully and meticulously educating the public NOT to click on every wild and crazy link that appears in your email inbox, particularly if it comes from someone claiming to be your bank, occasionally someone REALLY screws up and sends you something like this:
This email came to my Gmail account over lunch today. Not my spambox. My inbox. So… I read it.
I DID NOT click on the link. I looked into it a lot deeper. Did a bunch of Google searches, some whois queries on the domains, scanned the source for any tricks and did some very careful prodding. And for all intents and purpose, after researching the firm, the sending business, the survey, the hosting company, and the actual dude who wrote and signed the email (who has a LinkedIn account and seems completely legit and doing the job he claims to be doing) this appears to be a REAL INVITATION from a REAL RESEARCH COMPANY on behalf of my BANK — you know, the people looking after my money — to do a survey. I didn’t pare it down. I didn’t skim out images or signatures (there were none.) I didn’t do anything besides read, scoff, and grab a screenshot. As far as I can tell this is not phishing. This is — sadly — real.
If you don’t get what’s wrong with this, I have a friend in Nigeria you should speak with.
If dude, company, or bank ever see this: yes, you screwed up. And yes, I’m not happy. And dude, I’m sorry if you lose your job because of this or something similar, but you should not be allowed near the Internet. No, really. Close the laptop lid now, and back slowly away from your desk.
I think I slow-roasted my finger yesterday. The index finger on my left hand — the one that comes in useful for things I need to do on a fairly regular basis for work, such as typing and pressing elevator buttons — is very sore, numb, and doesn’t want to comply with even the simplest requests to do important things like bend or point at exciting or surprising things in the sky.
The reason for this is that I spent yesterday — that is, most of yesterday between the hours of ten and four — standing in a food pavilion tent in Hawrelak Park cooking approximately five hundred French crepes, and somewhere in all that cooking, between having my finger a few inches away from a propane flame, occasionally touching that metal part of the frying pan handle (that you’re not supposed to touch, I know!), and performing a whole variety of frying pan acrobatics — flipping, swirling, tilting, swishing, swashing, raising, shaking, and holding — said finger let me know via various aching and tingling sensations that it was taking the rest of the week off. Unfortunately, calling in sick with the excuse that “my finger is sore from cooking” probably wouldn’t fly… so… yeah.
Why, you ask, was I cooking French crepes in Hawrelak Park on my day off? I’m not French, you say. I’ve never cooked a crepe in my life, prior to yesterday, you remind me. I can’t even speak French, tu parles.
Unfortunately the story is not particularly crazy or nearly as interesting as the activity itself. My neighbor asked if I’d volunteer as they were short staffed for the Heritage Festival. That’s all. She poked her head out on her deck one day last weekend and asked me. So, I signed up and found my way down there and next thing you know: I’m cooking French crepes in Hawrelak Park on my day off. (Hey, I warned you it was not that exciting of a story.)
But my tale of finger woe? Now that’s a winner.
It rained here last night. No, it really rained. Poured.
And standing at the window at five thirty in the afternoon watching the torrenting buckets of water fall from the sky, knowing I was due at a hill-training meetup a few blocks away, some little voice in my head ever-so-quietly assured me that it would let up.
I dressed to run. I navigated my car in severely-reduced-visibility conditions through a puddle obstacle course, wipers going full speed. I dashed from my car to the Running Room store in a futile effort to avoid a few dozen meters of soaking. And the six of us stood there looking at hints of blue sky in the west hoping it would let up.
It let up. It let up for precisely long enough for us alay our fears, to set out and to reach that what-the-hell point-of-no-return.
We ran only four klicks and a third of our hills, stopping because the lightning strikes were creeping a little close — one-mississippi, two-mississippi boom! — for comfort. Stopping because our shoes were more water than foam rubber. Stopping because even the cars were giving up. Stopping because the sidewalk resembled more a stream than a safe concrete path.
But we lasted near half an hour in that weather. And drenched to the bones, standing back under the overhang at the store, the manager snapping our group shot with her iPhone, it was funny but we couldn’t quite recall why we’d given up so soon.
So far this evening I’ve managed to do a couple loads of laundry and eat some leftovers for supper. Ahh, the time sure flies when you’re having fun. Oops! I mean, what time? I have no time! I work now! *sigh*
I’ve been musing over the disgruntled writings of a certain unnamed online acquaintance, and hearing the bored meanderings of other fellow working folk. I regret to inform all those who care that my life will not be quite as dull as theirs — at least in regards to activity at the office! Two days in and I already have a heap of things to keep me busy — possibly for years if necessary. This realization occurred to me when I was told that a certain project I had been tossed into was “urgent”, and I, thinking on the summer job brainwave, thought this meant in the next few days, and not the next few months! Poof! The individual days no longer matter. We’re thinking BIG now!
And another interesting tidbit I learned today at my first official staff meeting: Apparently I am going to Victoria in three weeks for a conference of some sort. Don’t ask me why at this point. All I know is that I am expected to show my face there on the first of June. Or the second. I’m not really too sure — like I already said. Can you believe they’re paying me for this?!
The plight of Theo…
This past Saturday I found my way — despite the bitter leftovers of a sunburn — to Granville Island. I may have mentioned that already, but I can’t be bothered to check again, so I’ll fill some space by mentioning it again. Eh, hem! Like I was saying. I went to Granville Island this past Sunday — uh — sure…
Anyhow, among my many explorations, I found myself in the public market at a plant stand selling small potted tropical plants. I was browsing — you know — in the way that most of you surely do when confronted with a similar situation. Lurking behind a small collection of ivy, I spotted Theo, looking all lost and forlorn.
Now, I may be a little bit crazy — well — uh — anyhow — the short of the story is this: Theo is a six inch tall areca palm, purchased for a measly $1.99, which is now sitting on my windowsill collecting photons in his twelve little chlorophyll filled leaves. I wouldn’t have mentioned him except that in the past 24 hours I have been starting to feel a little bit concerned for my newly adopted acquaintance. A handful of days looking out my eastern exposure, and looking at the morning sunlight has left him — at least I think so — looking a wee bit on the crispy side. Or maybe it’s just sympathy pains — arg, the sunburn!
Well, we shall see what the days ahead bring, and hopefully I have something more interesting to write about than my houseplants. People are gonna talk!