Monthly Archives: March 2005

the mail brings gifts…

my new camera arrived today. i tore into the box fiendishly lying on my zebra striped rug. my old camera was stripped of it’s UV filter, of its 4gb memory card… the sony just lay there empty of everything i had adorned and infused into it, accessory-wise and energy-wise… i throw it back into the sea of experience… sony, NEVER again! i belong now to the canon family, a company that specializes ONLY in cameras. i put the sony up for sale on ebay and unsheath my new tool… the canon 20D… it asks of me only a firm grip on it’s heavy rubbery sides and the surging of instant curiousity.. i am slightly afraid of this thing… this is a serious fucking camera! i leave it on my pillow next to me and stare at it, getting sleepy… by dreaming next to it i make it mine…

also in the mail came our boarding passes for the cruise to baha, mexico that brady and i leave for on friday. we’re so excited! boat mayhem and mushy mmmmm, stars and waves and wine and YAY! we’ll have a deluxe stateroom even! yay squared!

we’ve been more inseparable lately than ever~ we go on walks in the morning before work and smell flowers and pet horses. we eat soup and watch carnivale episodes (it’s like mutaytor & burning man!!!) back to back til we fall asleep on the couch. on sunday night, we went to bodyworlds 2 with roo and bryan. “YAY DEAD BODIES!” we yelled to the parking attendant. i didn’t take photos this time… i was too in awe… i’ve seen bodyworlds three times… once in austria in 1999, once in l.a. the first show and now this second show… it just floors me every time… real dead bodies as art… my favorites this time were a body carved up like a cubist painting… and of course the totally disengaged body, where every body part was hanging by fish wire in a cage. brady and i rocked the cage and giggled as the parts swayed… this outrageous madman that runs the show has been a source of ‘WTF?!’ for seven years now… my sister is horrified every time i go. some friends preach religion and wrongness… everyone has an opinion it seems~ i just think medical art is very interesting… i watch medical procedures for fun sometimes on tv.. it’s just a morbid curiosity…

last night ws insanity incarnate… roo’s bachelorette party… paynie’s loft was converted into a mutant strip club for a night, complete with pole and runway. naked twister, a male version of ‘drop the laundry’ where brady wore a baby head (his signature) attached to a jock strap. KJ stripped to ‘china girl’ and kissed roo with a fortune cookie between them. vicky had on only pasties and whipped cream. paynie and buck sang wilson phillips in tube dresses~ there was a ninjas and pirate fight on stage… and matty…. oh god…. matty….LOL!… sang ‘lady’ by styx dressed in a mullet and chest hair that looked like an embedded small child. there were auctions between the performances designed to raise funds for roo & buck’s wedding. a date with reverand kate, lap dances, a chance to be on stage with mutaytor for a show… a photo shoot with me got auctioned for more than i typically charge. matty was giving me mad props as the bidding escalated and i felt like shrinking into a shadow… i must get better about handling compliments… a camera in my hand is my buffer when i feel anti-social. jenn was feeling the same way as me so we snuck into karis’ apartment and sat in the corner, calling it ‘the pms corner’. she soon got over her hormones enough to perform a faux-strip with a fake-boob chest plate costume, crimped 80’s hair, a pink jumpsuit and all roo’s favorite jenn poses and dances. we were all on the floor laughing hysterically at her. that was probably the last thing roo remembers as she got way too drunk and eventually got sick everywhere… three bottles of wine will do that to any pirate bride-to-be i suppose… brady was her personal waittress dressed up as taffy from ‘female trouble’ in red & white striped tights, a black velvet dress and black ponytails. comments like ‘you are the UGLIEST little girl i have ever seen!’ and ‘oh, what a cute little girl you are!’ were rampant in succession making us laugh and not believe anyone. i think he looked ravishing! hee hee~ he gave roo a spoon and a pot to bang when ever she wanted another drink… by night’s end the pot was dented by all her liquor demands and the floor was covered in her sickness… i got further and further away from the stagae as the night drew on… eventually chosing to balance precariously on the back of a couch to snap some last photos… i didn’t have anything to drink… besides being broke and not wanting to be a burden to anyone… the pressure to capture all the evenings happenings was too intense… moments were happening left and right… no photographs were allowed except mine and i wanted to make sure that i captured it all, especially the parts that roo was too faded to remember. the finale of ‘drop the laundry’ was the highlight of the evening. bryan, brady, eric and matty on the runway in a hilarious (and i dare say sexy) routine… brady and i left soon after that and trashed his room in passion love, waking early to have breakfast and then went on a hike wearing the clothes from the night before… we were shocked to find jason’s car parked next to us and left him a note flipping out about how random it is to be parked in the same obscure parking sandpit and hike the same trail at the same time. we talked about jesus theories and the davinci code under a tree with starburst sunshine peeking through branches. we talked of his music and the peaks and valleys of my journey so far as a photographer. “i’m in a valley now where i absorb things and keep quiet and don’t shoot”, i explained to him~ “i used to play music more,” he said… and so we encouraged each other and curiousity of our own artistic futures build…

abby, our new dog, and i go outside and lie beneath my tree. she collapses at the base of my tree and takes one long deep relaxing sigh as the sun warms us. intricate spider webs, a branch of our leaning eucalyptus tree, waxy leaves on the vines that surround me in this converted horse stable. my chinese lanterns have faded with the rains, my dragonfly candles are still filled with rainwater. what lingers overflows….

abby is an itchy dog. she doesn’t know what to scratch first. she had an anti-itch shot recently and it seems to help but she still brings both paws up to her eyes seeming to play peek-a-boo to the scratchy-itchies in her head. a bee spins around my head~ i get whiplash trying to anticipate its movements… and then we hear something in the dry leaves just beyond the fence. she jumps to attention and stares longingly through the worn red wood planks that separate us from the neighbors’ yards. it is a cat skulking about in the wildflowers. abby does not give up easily. she scrapes the ground with her paw like a bull frustrated… she doesn’t blink. the cat is long since gone but still she pines away… she sits down now still holding vigil and then runs away upset…

i relax into the earth.. brittle twigs, swaying springtime, hollow wooden chimes… they all cause me to peel away clothing and enjoy it all threadbare… no one is here… my roommates are at work. my neighbors do not know of this secret place… hummingbirds are heard yet not seen. the breeze moves slowly up my back like warm feathers and i admonish myself for all my monetary concerns just an hour ago… i owe $1,100 in taxes, rent is due in a week. we’re going on a cruise next weekend. and all i have to show for my empty bank account is one mother of a camera en route to me this very moment… a combination of this money yuk, pms and missing original photograph files left me panicked and pissed off, and after searching my back-up cds of images and checking my bank account one last time, i was near tears… i smelled flowers outside but tried to fix all there was to fix in front of my computer. the lavendar scent was persistant though… and so i kicked my computer chair over in a brattish storm and followed… i am all the better for giving up…

squirrels scamper precariously on trellis tops. the green man emblem that i secured into my tree glows in the afternoon sun and i feel all my bad goblins scurry away, if only temporarily… issues need to be dealt with… but not now… windchimes clash in confirmation that things are never as bad as they initially seem and that there are always solutions… i lie down and close my eyes… and the phone rings… and it’s my sister adrienne…. she called from maryland to tell me that she has a frequent flyer pass for a free flight that expires soon and do i want it? i tell her she’s a freakin rockstar and accept her offer… i was hours away from calling my aunt to tell her that i would not be able to pay for a $400 flight back to new york for my cousin’s bat mitzvah in a few weeks. she made me promise a year ago that i would be there and i felt sick about making that phone call… thanks to adrienne i can keep my promise AND spend some quality time with the family, if only for the one day i would be home…

my promises to myself are quite another thing… all my photo shoots are on hold now… i must learn my new camera once it arrives and i refuse to shoot one more photo until i get more powerful lighting in my studio…. yes, strobe lighting… i will save up $1,000 and get this 4 light set up and learn it… it could take a month… a month without shooting in my studio… panick:sad:release~

brian was out here visting from nyc this week… he helped me enter this phase two of my learning… we played photo studio and talked lots. he rented a car and drove to santa barbara for a film shoot with his two pelican briefcases of audio equipment and my book of maps. shaunte also was staying with me this week. we drank wine and laughed alot watching ‘anchorman’ a few times. we slept side by side and i held her when she had nightmares. i redid her resume, emailed it to my job placement contacts, opened up a bank account for her, gave her some cash and some swift kicks in the butt and then sent her off. after a few job interviews it looks like she will be working by next week. i feel like a proud mother… brian now sits in an airport on his way back to new york. shuante relaxes at her sister’s apartment nearby and i’m emotionally spent…

silence is the antidote to this overwhelming flattened feeling… silence, this hot sun on my pale back, and spring’s first butterfly perched on a blade of grass before me… she pulses her wings as if in greeting and i’m ignited again… she does funny little push-ups to a beat all her own… and then flies away…

it is so strange to receive fan mail… sometimes i don’t know how to respond and feel all eeepa-eeepa… but sometimes i get a letter that i just have to respond to…

Pixie:
I keep running into your pictures on line and finally found a link to your website. Your stuff is amazing!! I’m also a photographer and haven’t picked up my camera in 6 months due to personal growing pains and life’s changes. I’ve been uninspired. Your pictures woke me up and tickled my inspiration bone!! I’ve been glued to the screen checking out your pictures for the past 2 hours. Your smile is magnetic – you exude an incredible energy through the screen. THANK YOU so much for sharing your wonderful eye and visions.
peace & bliss,
Valentine

valentine!!!!!!!!! you make me all warm tingly hyper happy! thank you so much for this email~ it means so much to me… truly… i go thru bouts of being on the other side of this mad doing frenzy and sometimes i dont feel like picking up a pen or i kick my camera case under the bed and get filled with the heavies and the uninspireds… the trick is to just bring your camera or your journal everywhere you go… and go out and network with like-minded positive people and see things and watch people and go to parties and capture it in whatever way that shakes you… in whatever way your 80 year old self would be proud of….. 😉 thanks for this email… you’ve made me smile huge!!!! ~pix

lying under my healing tree at midnight, sandwiched between the moon and soft grass. a pink lantern glows in front of me. shaunte is beside me… finally… she left her boyfriend last week. she left her island in florida, her security, her safety. she has nothing… she comes to me to start over. i give her a butterfly journal, wine in her old cup from our nyc days complete with winnie the pooh swirly straw. i make her dinner and let her cry… then i bring her to my sanctuary, my tree where we eat chocolate and cuddle under blankets, watching the moon and breathing…

“i’ve never seen you angry,” she says. “i get impatient, i get angry,” i assure her, “but as far as deep long-term anger, i’ve seen what it does…” and i talk a bit about my mother, quickly redirecting the energy back to the present.

it is the spring equinox, a good time for new beginnings… “do you think eggs will stand on end tonight?” i ask hopeful. “no,” she says, “that was last night…” and goes back to writing… “DAMMIT!” i say like napoleon dynamite and pop a dove in my mouth…