Tag Archives: photography

Pocketful of Meat

Here is a prime example of just how fucking demented I can be while out in public alone:

The other day I went to the deli to buy cold cuts.

You know how some deli workers will present you with a sample of your order and ask if it’s sliced to the thickness of your liking?

Turns out if you plan on ordering a variety of different items and the deli worker offers you a slice of each and you also end up asking him to slice a few items thinner than he first presented you with, and he hands over that sample to you as well, you will end up with a giant mound of meats and cheeses in your hand that you can either jam into your mouth despite having had your fill 2 slices ago and potentially choke on or you can literally sweat it out in your palm…

After gratefully devouring a slice of swiss cheese, roasted chicken, oven gold turkey and a too thick slice of provolone offered, I found myself accumulating more meat than I’ve ever wanted in my hand at one time.

It’s at this point that I began to panic.

I couldn’t find a napkin to stuff all the extraneous meat stuffs into and there wasn’t a trashcan in sight. There was no chance I was going to tell the kind and generous delicatessen worker to take back the slices he had previously offered and dispose of them for me.

And although I’m pretty sure he should have known to cut me off after the 4th or 5th slice, the ball was nonetheless in my court and I did nothing to dissuade him from keepin’ that ol’ meat train a-comin’…

So, I did what any truly brilliant/desperate/cold cut-crazy person in my position would do when faced with the dilemma of man-handling more than one can manage:

I folded up the second slice of provolone, a slice of honey maple ham and a slice of salami (why am i buying this much meat in the first place?) into a misshapen triangle of delicatessen freebies and jammed them into my jacket pocket.

When I got back home I removed the wad from my pocket and threw it to the woods in the hope that a baby deer or a scrawny fox might sniff them out for a late lunch but it failed to change the fact that I managed to walk out of a busy, local establishment with a quarter pound of balled up meat and cheese in my pocket instead of just telling the guy behind the counter: NO.

I believe the truth behind all this madness is simply that, if given the choice, I will almost exclusively choose the more embarrassing option.

*****

It has also come to my attention that I take 18,000 years to complete any one project. I’ve been “trying” to cook lately. It has (surprisingly) been mostly successful. That is to say that the tacos and tater-tot casseroles that I’ve spent far too much time on made have been downright masterful…or something.

I baked cupcakes tonight. From scratch. This was, by and large, a daunting task and one I’ve never even come close to attempting on my own before. Before tonight I wasn’t even sure I knew how to whisk things correctly. After tonight, I’m confident that I don’t.

I only managed to lose control of the whisk and fling melted butter and egg on myself and the side of the mixer once but it also took me almost 15 minutes to set up the mixer in the first place so maybe I shouldn’t be so proud so soon…

Also…

It took me, from first mix to final icing, over 4 hours to complete 12 cupcakes. I think the people on Cupcake Wars have 2 hours to make a thousand so I guess that kills any thought of my going into the competitive baking arena anytime soon.

The point is: cupcakes were made and it was an adventure.

A long, exhausting adventure full of expletives muttered at myself and a plethora of inanimate objects mostly labeled “Kitchen Aid”. An adventure that has now led me towards the greater pursuit and fervent study of whether or not Shiraz is considered a “dessert wine” and if I eat all 12 cupcakes is it OK to wash them down with an entire bottle?

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An Outside Opinion

the bee: I think you need to get out of the house more. It’s good for you. On the inside and out.

me: (peeks face out from behind open refrigerator door) I get out of the house (SNAP! *crunch*crunch*crunch*) …sometimes.

b: I mean somewhere besides the supermarket or the library.

m: (half-chewed orange substance sprays from mouth and freckles fridge door handle and shirtsleeve) Ai THIK yer fergaeg…

b: No…

Going to the drive-thru at the bank doesn’t count as “getting out”. Not really, anyway.

m: (uses open fridge door as make-shift ballet barre; *plié* *ronds de jambe* *plié* *relevé* *plié* *ronds de jambe* *plié* *développé* !!!)

I was going to say “the mayonnaise”. You’re forgetting the amount of mayonnaise that we consume in this house. I don’t think it’s fair to discredit my trips to the supermarket. I need to restock, like, bi-monthly.

If bi-monthly means what I think it means, which is to say I don’t know what it means and ANYWAY, where else am I SUPPOSED to go? (SNAP! *crunch*crunch*crunch*)

b: I dunno… ANYWHERE. Just go for a drive, get lost, have adventures, have FUN!

m: Do you have any idea how depressing that sounds? (waves a baby carrot in the air to emphasize the enormity of the issue) Who the hell wants to be out in public ALONE? It’s humiliating. The last time you told me I should go to the park because it was a beautiful day I did and it was a complete disaster. (SNAP! CRUNCH.)

b: Don’t you think calling it a “disaster” is a bit dramatic?

m: Ummm, NO… (baby carrot now inches from the nose of the offending conversationalist; half-chewed orange substance airborne and within range to fleck the shirtsleeves of others)

…I peeled off my cinch waisted pants and forced my hair into something resembling a trampled beaver’s den, though a thoughtfully maintained one, all so I could end up sweaty and looking pathetic while trying to find someplace isolated to sit and read my book.

Being amongst all those smiley, happy couples and families was honestly the most alone I’ve ever felt…

(dispiritedly grande pliés into the cold embrace of the refrigerator; crumples on the floor nestled between the ketchup and cold cuts where her mind transports us through a vast and trippy memory telescope/photo album type-thingy into… the recent past)

*****

I wandered aimlessly…

I took some pictures…

Lonely, DEPRESSING pictures…

I encountered 2 girls with a dog who happened to be hanging out in a shady place by the path I was on and I was pretty sure they were staring at me and laughing so I took this picture, which isn’t really of anything but it saved me from having to look them in the eyes while being publicly ridiculed…

Then I ended up getting kind of lost…

Honestly though, this rendezvous with desolation was the most welcoming moment the afternoon had offered so far…

So I decided to take a load off and just relax. I started messing with the camera to see if I could remember how to use all the different functions.

I couldn’t…

So I took a few not so great pictures…

Until…

Ahhh… That’s better…

I found some red in a tangle of green and brown…

A weeping, gnarled monster reaching skyward from its grave….

And not far from there, finally, a nice comfortable place to sit and read my book…

*****

b: How utterly… nightmarish.

m: I know. It really was.

But do you know the worst part about going out? What I would consider the ultimate in human degradation?

b: Ummmm…

Being harrassed by religious fanatics?

Feely airport security guards?

Not being able to cool yourself while simultaneously abusing precious home energy resources?

m: Close. But no.

b: Then what?

m: Eating in public. (closes fridge door and pirouettes out of the room)

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Filed under (me), just a thought..., the bee

Origami Envelopes: In Rainbows

After almost 5 months in the works, here are the wedding thank-you notes in their final form – signed, sealed and now in the hands of the Postal Service:

Since I can’t seem to manage to do anything simply (or in a timely fashion for that matter *ahem*), I decided I would make the thank-you notes from scratch, including envelopes, much like we did with our party invites.

When we sent our invitations out last autumn we also included an origami paper crane in each envelope:

to tie-in with the origami boxes we made to hold our favors:

As a means to bring this whole endeavor full-circle, now that the party is over, I also used origami paper to create the envelopes for the thank-you notes.

And it was pretty simple to do!

Watch… I’ll show you.

First, you’ll want to select a large (9 3/4″) square piece of paper (color side down):

Next, fold your paper into a triangle:

Take the top layer of the triangle and fold down to meet the center of the base:

Fold the right corner approximately 1/3 over to the left (it’s really hard to make them perfectly uniform so this part is somewhat inexact):

Then do the same with the left corner:

Fold the corner of your last fold (left flap) back onto itself so its edge continues the straight line made from the top right edge of the envelope:

Here’s where it gets a little tricky…

Now, take the point of the flap you just made and fold it toward the top corner of the flap:

Unfold this last fold, exposing the crease, as it is there to guide you through the next step:

Open the creased fold so it looks hollow inside and then “squash” the folds until you have a “sideways” square:

Fold the top point of the envelope down so that it meets about 3/4 of the way down your “sideways” square:

Then tuck that point into the sideways square; flatten the envelope by pressing gently on all the creased areas and PRESTO! – origami envelope:

I found that I needed to add some strategically placed tape around the bottom as well as over the tucked square in order to secure the envelope for USPS transit but if you just plan on using these for hand delivery or table cards or WHATEVER else, then your origami envelope is good to go!

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A Brothers’ Diptych

Right before Xmas this past year, the bee came up with a great gift idea for his mom. The previous year he had given her, along with his 3 older brothers, a framed copy of a photograph taken of the boys sometime around 1984. In the picture, all the brothers at that time (the youngest wouldn’t turn up until 1991) posed for a picture in front of the fireplace in the family’s living room.

As with most kids, it’s usually a chore to get them to sit still for a minute, let alone the time needed to organize a proper photo but his mom managed to get a group shot where at least half of them are actually looking at the camera. Two outta four ain’t bad, right?

So this past holiday season, bee decided it might be cool to recreate the scene, some 26 years later, in much the same fashion. The original fireplace was unavailable since they had moved from that house in the early 90’s but we were lucky enough to find a suitable replacement to hold the photo shoot.

With myself behind the camera and some 80 or so shutter clicks later, I was pretty sure we had found a great match-up to the original. The framing and tone of the second picture doesn’t perfectly mimic the original but I think, as a collective effort, we did pretty darn good.

top photo: circa 1984, bottom photo: December 2010

A lot can change in a quarter century but I find it quite refreshing that a lot manages to stay so much the same.

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These pictures would be great if they weren’t so terrible…

Make sure you spare no expense when purchasing otherwise inexpensive yet generally dependable disposable cameras for YOUR informal post-wedding celebratory event.

Otherwise your photos might end up like this*:

ah, yes... it looks like there could be a table there, and wait! some people AT that table, but for the most part... just blackness.

oh, and look... here's a charming shot of the bride and groom about to kiss! oh, wait maybe not. i mainly just see cupcakes.

oh, my. just... *wow*. this is a great one. this photo brings us just *this* much closer to solid proof that (due to unknown causes) a body CAN separate from it head, causing spontaneous floating head-itis**... specifically during informal post-wedding celebratory events.

**spontaneous floating head-itis can also cause momentary facial blurring which can be very useful if you plan on commiting any major crimes and wish to evade security cams or police survelliance.

 

and finally…

the very best and worst? photo of the bunch:
at least it had some color…

*it also helps to have significant sunlight. or some other kind of light. just light. in general.

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I’m *back*?

The only thing I’ve been able to write in the last month and a half seems to be in the form of lists. Grocery lists, holiday shopping lists, lists for thank-you cards that needed to be sent out a month ago. Those sort of lists. I also wrote this list so that’s something too.

I guess.

Then I started to think that was a part of my problem. I was using list-making as a crutch and couldn’t get creative unless I just stopped making them. So THEN I think to myself: “What is the OPPOSITE of making lists? I KNOW! A photo montage of my cat depicting the events that have unfolded since I last wrote here!”

And here it is:

Things were blurry at first…

Actually it was like that for a WHILE

So I thought I should look for guidance from the great wise window…

But I didn’t really like what it had to say so I got outta there…

And decided maybe it was best if I just sat back and relaxed for a bit instead…

Even still, It was undeniable that I was a bit blue…

So I looked toward the fire for comfort…

But I soon tired of that, so I took a nap…

After so much sleeping, I had become paranoid so I thought it best to hide…

But then I felt guilty so I chose to ease my mind by getting some work done…

Until THEY showed up…

Which only served to make me MORE paranoid. So it was back into the box for me…

And then, before I knew it… It was CHRISTMAS! I love Christmas. Very tasty…

All was well until I realized that Christmas isn’t all about joy and the deliciousness of tiny fake trees. Sometimes it’s just humiliating…

I guess it’s true what they say about nothing being easy…

and I’ve still got a helluva long way to go.

HAPPY CAT-YEAR ERREYBODY!

See you soon?

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The Union, Forever

This Sunday, (me) and the bee get married. 

We’re both incredibly excited and more than a little relieved, mainly because after Sunday we can finally take a deep breath and relax a bit before our celebratory marriage party, held 2 weeks after that. 

The other day we both confided in each other how we *kind of* couldn’t wait for it all to be over so things can go back to normal. I’ve never planned a wedding before and I’m sure it’s a different experience for everyone, but for me, aside from being a fun and exciting opportunity to flaunt my creative feathers, it has been EXHAUSTING

The last few months have been a blur of planning and scheduling and arranging and procuring. I can honestly say I will be very grateful when we can look back on this with a smile because all our hard work really paid off but even more so because I’ll be looking back. Hopefully from the comforts of my living room. With no future plans other than: What poor excuse for a meal will I be stuffing my face with this evening? 

I thought I’d share some photos we took back in April when we brought our lomo-cams out with us to the park we inevitably chose as our ceremony locale. We went back there this past weekend to scout out the perfect spot. Instead, we found MULTIPLE places we think we might want to use for such a momentous occasion. 

We figure it’ll all sort itself out that day. Plus, everything else about our wedding plans have been last-minute so why start doing things any differently now! 

a path through the park*

a view of the lake **

a lonely daffodil on the fence*

me, on a park bench overlooking a potential location for our vow exchange**

*taken by (me) with a Holga fitted w/ a fish eye lens 

**taken by the bee with a Diana F+ fitted w/ an instant back (comes out like a Polaroid, only smaller)

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Flickr Friday: Illuminated Star-Gazers

For this week’s edition I’ve chosen a favorite of mine taken by the bee from our recent camping/cabin trip to Western PA. The stars were brilliant and plentiful out there even if the cell reception was anything but. Guess you can’t win ’em all…
A group of us went up the mountain to a popular elk viewing post that was all but deserted at nighttime. The air was cold and full of allergens which is why you will see me rocking the bandit look in the background. While the star-gazers stared heaven bound, the bee used a flashlight to paint our persons during a long exposure shot.
The result (as you can see for yourself) is quite cool, giving the black night setting a glowing illumination so each of us can be seen in the image. A job well done, I say…

For more from our amazing (as usual) trip to rural Pennsylvania check out the bee’s photo set on Flickr.

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Flickr Friday: Good Morning


morning
Originally uploaded by bee3six5

I’ve decided to mix it up a bit and kick-off my inaugural Flickr Friday with a photo taken by the bee last weekend while visiting friends in Montreal. There were MANY pictures taken, most of mine on the Holga so I will have to wait (probably a while) before I get those negatives developed so I can share them. In the meantime, here is one of my favorite images from our trip.

For more from our mini Montreal get-away check out the bee’s photo set on Flickr.

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Look What *I* Found! Friday: I Spy (and/or one of these things is not like the other for pretty obvious reasons) Edition

I’ve been running around like a  maniac all day trying to pack-up for our mini-trip to a cabin in the woods with some friends for the long Labor Day weekend all while juggling my normal Friday work from home schedule.

Needless to say, I’ve been a bit… harried. More so than usual. 

When I’m home I usually have a little shadow following me everywhere I go. A furry orange little me-eee-eeep-ing shadow. That being said, I must have tired even him out with my back and forth back and forth dance because after a while with no sign of the lil’ stinker I went into the bathroom to find this: 

He was only mildly fazed by my presence: 

oh. it's YOU...

May you and yours (and all the world’s sink-loving cats) have a safe and happy Labor Day!!!

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