I took these pictures during my trip to New York before my poor camera broke and died. To see the photos in a slideshow, click here. To see the photos in an album, click here. If you want to help me get a new camera, check out my camera fund. I’ll mail a print from an upcoming photoshoot to anybody who donates $10 or more. (Any donations would be greatly appreciated. I’m starting photography classes today and the class requires every student to have their own camera.) Annnnd….. today is the second last day that you can vote for me at the Bloggies! Go vote!
In this show, Russell and I discuss recent incidences of bad luck we have experienced and other off-topic things. Russell’s visit to Buffalo, my visit to New York, Nancy slipping, Russell catching on fire, my camera cracking, Russell’s car breaking, Russell lying to his mother about his sexual orientation just to get her upset, my camera totally breaking and becoming unusable, my horrible interview at FIT, my eyes burning, Brokeback Mountain, and a bunch of other stuff.
Today wasn’t really the greatest day ever. It started out a little rocky and it didn’t get too much better. I was woken up at about two in the morning last night to the horrible clanging of Russell’s radiator. Combined with the wind punching at the windows, the sound made it impossible to sleep. I assumed that Russell would be awake from this as well and I looked up at him and said, “What is that noise?” He didn’t respond and he seemed to be sleeping as calmly as ever. I tried to get to sleep, rolling my head in different directions, trying to curl up a bit tighter. Eventually, I managed to get to sleep while holding my hand over my ear.
I woke up somewhat well rested, despite the radiator’s little episode in the middle of the night. I instructed Russell to be ready for the FedEx guy since I had ordered slides of my portfolio on rush overnight shipping. I got out of the shower, got dressed, ate some breakfast…. I went into Russell’s room and found that the FedEx truck was parked right outside of the apartment building.
Since Russell was about to leave to get copies of the apartment keys made for me, I told him to get the package from the FedEx guy on the way out. I watched out the window and saw Russell leave the building. Unfortunately, the FedEx guy was nowhere to be found. The truck was there. But no FedEx guy. I assumed that he was at some other apartment and would soon be coming to this one. I put some gel in my hair so I wouldn’t look gross when I had to go sign for the slides. I went back to the window and OH. MY. GOD. The FedEx truck was gone. Where the hell are the slides that I paid $25 extra dollars for to be delivered OVER NIGHT? I need those slides to be handed in to the School of Visual Arts by tomorrow morning at 10! Eeee!
Russell got back from his excursion carrying a Starbucks cup but without a copy of the keys. He told me that the key place was closed and that he would give me his keys as long as I didn’t lose them. He told me that I needed to be back at the apartment by eight at night because his classes were ending then. We left to go to the subway station, Russell showed me which train I needed to get onto to visit Brooklyn College, and he got on his own train.
I’d been planning this shoot for about two weeks before I did it and my sister and I invited several people before it happened. I wanted to create a fashion photoshoot displaying endangered buildings around Buffalo. Instead of selling clothing, we would be selling the buildings (“Please don’t demolish us!”).
Russell had told me repeatedly that he wouldn’t be able to make it down to Buffalo again until April. He didn’t have enough money or something like that and he had just left the previous Tuesday and he couldn’t come back so soon. Being Russell, he showed up Saturday night at my house along with his friend Nancy from college.
Russell, Nancy, my sister, and the other people who could make it to the shoot on the short notice that we gave them showed up at our house at around 11:30 in the morning. The day started hectic with the models arguing over what clothing to wear and what would look good and what wouldn’t and it didn’t really get any better. We managed to shoot at three locations. We returned home after only about three shots from the first one because it was so cold. It was probably the coldest day of the year so far (the weather in Buffalo has been kind of schizophrenic lately, sixty degrees one day, sixteen degrees the next).
The bad luck that seemed to plague me the entire weekend (more on that in a later post) continued to follow me to the next location. After shooting a few shots at the H-O Oats grain elevator, I ran to the car to warm up since my fingers were about to fall off. As I was opening the car door, my camera slipped from my hands and landed upside down on the pavement with a loud crack. My heart pounded as a lifted it up to find a giant crack across the top of the camera above the view-finder. I continued to take photos, but my day was kind of ruined after I called the camera store and found out that my warranty doesn’t cover camera-dropping.
I took the film to the camera store and got the negatives along with one hours prints. I asked the people how much it might take to repair my camera and they said it would probably be over $100. That’s nearly as much as my camera cost (minus $90) and I’m kind of broke so I’m going to have to put some electric tape or something over the cracks so light doesn’t come in. The pictures turned out very well despite the bad-luckiness of the day. There are some light spots on the right hand side of some of the photos from where light seeped in from the crack in the camera, but they don’t really ruin the pictures. I kind of liked some of the one-hour prints equally or better than the ones I developed in the dark room so I scanned both.
Russell visited last weekend to be in my new photo shoot (those photos will be up later). He brought his friend Nancy with him from New York. We went bowling Sunday night. I started really sucky but in the second game I got two strikes and I won! It was really cool. To see the images in an album, click here. To see the images in a slideshow, click here.
This article was written for Buffalo Rising about an article printed in yesterday’s Buffalo News. The one that’s printed on the Buffalo Rising site is slightly edited and fixed up grammatically, etc, so here is the original:
I think it’s pretty evident after yesterday’s front cover article that the Buffalo News has run out of things to talk about. The article, entitled “Teen Online Profiles Have Parents Wondering: Who Is This Child?” bashes online communities such as Myspace for displaying personal information about teens. It’s pretty much the most inaccurate, ignorant piece of drivel I have ever read.
Over the past two years or so since Myspace has been created, it has attracted millions of users, most of whom are teenagers. As soon as massive amounts of young people start flocking to anything, you know it’s about time for uninformed parents to start denouncing it as a product of Satan.
I honestly thought that this whole FEAR-THE-INTERNET thing went out a while ago. Apparently not. I blame it on ignorance. You read an article every once in a while about a poor girl who was brutally murdered after meeting her online boyfriend at his car in a creepy parking lot. Then everybody who doesn’t know better starts freaking out, going, “SUE THE INTRA-NET! IT’S UNSAFE FOR KIDS!” That’s essentially what this News article is trying to do. Instill fear into parents over something that they know nothing about.
“You can learn a lot about your kids online,” a quote from the article says. “You can find out if they’re drinking, you can find out if they’re smoking….” Not that that isn’t true. In the left-hand sidebar of each Myspace profile, there is a section that displays general interests (favorite movies, books, TV shows) and personal information (such as zodiac signs, whether or not the person wants to have children someday, and if they smoke or drink).
The Buffalo News tries to make Myspace look like an online version of the Eastern child market when in reality, it’s just a website that lets users communicate in a different way. In simplest terms, it’s basically an instant messenger profile in website form. You can view the interests and optional personal information about a person and see who their friends are. Some people use it to keep in contact with friends within a tight-knit community like their school or their place of employment. Some people use it as a popularity-meter by comparing who has more friends. Some people, dubbed “MySpace Whores,” simply go out there and add as many people as possible to their friends lists regardless of whether they know them or not. Some people use it simply show off their creativity by decorating their personal pages with fancy graphics or by displaying their band’s music using the MySpace Music feature. Whatever the reason for using it, the action that goes on on MySpace is mostly harmless.
“You dont have to put out any information if you dont want, the choice is yours,” says my friend Lena. It’s true. Anything you put on MySpace is both open-ended and optional. You don’t HAVE to put your relationship status and sexual preference. You don’t HAVE to include your smoking and drinking habits. But if you do, it’s not a big deal either. Why? Because, once again, MySpace is for friends. Your friends are the people who view your profile. Your friends are the people who post comments on it. Furthermore, there is a certain amount of anonymity that is still kept while using Myspace. Neither your last name or your home address is displayed. “A lot of it’s just made up anyway. My friend isn’t actually from Uzbekistan and one hundred years old even though that’s on her MySpace profile,” says Anastasia, a freshman at City Honors School. Unless you’re hanging a sign around your neck that reads “COME RAPE ME!” and are giving your address out to people you’ve never met before, the risk of online predators is very low if not nonexistent.
The internet isn’t the same place it used to be. With the emergence of online communities, blogging tools, and online-journaling sites like LiveJournal, more and more people are more open. Things that were once considered secrets or even taboo (relationships and constipation are a two examples) are now being written about in the most public of places. My advice is that people not bash the internet. Accept that fact that as time goes on, the internet will continue to bring people closer together. Personal information will become less personal. The big rule is to just be responsible about it. Don’t give out your last name. Don’t tell people your address. If your child is the kind of person who would go into somebody’s car in a dark alley, they probably shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a computer anyway.
I’m horrible at speaking out loud with a group of people larger than like two. Even two is tough. It’s not really public speaking that I’m horrible at. I usually dread any sort of public speaking endeavor, but at least with “public speaking,” I can say what I want to and I come out of the experience not looking like a total retard. With public reading, though, I’m horrible. I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m reading out loud…. I don’t know when to pause for air….
Today in Literature, we needed to read this practice essay or whatever to help us learn how the IB grades essays or something. The teacher asked random students to read from the essay. I was pretty confident that she wouldn’t call on me. I mean, I’m sure she noticed my whole not-being-able-to-read-in-front-of-large-crowds thing. Apparently not.
I’m sitting there in my own little world when all of the sudden, my teacher is like, “Max, why don’t you read now?”
Crap. That name-calling alone pushed enough adrenaline into my system to make me act is if I’d just consumed five hundred billion Red Bulls. I had no choice but to begin reading the paragraph out loud like I usually do. “Uhhh……”
I’m usually pretty darn terrible at reading anything out loud in school but today I reached a new level of terribleness. I didn’t even know there were levels that low. You know how when you’re reading something out loud and you really feel awkward at first so you try to reposition yourself or clear your throat to make it better but it only makes it worse? Much, much, much, MUCH worse? That’s kind of how it was. My little reading ditty started out bad and it continued like “Blah blah blah….” Alright I’m kind of uncomfortable now. I can feel my face turning red. Crap. CRAP. Do something! “COUGH. COUGH. — Blah blah blah blah blah…..” Oh no! I’m running out of air! In mid sentence! What should I do? Uhhh…. I guess pausing for five seconds would work…. “PAUSE…… PAUSE….. —blah blah blah and then BLAH.” Oh GOD. My voice is so shaky. I sound like I’m trying to talk while operating a jackhammer! EFFING EFF EFF EFF! What should I do? Take another long pause! RIGHT IN MID SENTENCE AT A PAGE TURN! “Uhhhh….uh….. uh….. Blah blah….. uhh….. COUGH. COUGH.” Holy effing monkey butt. This paragraph is A LOT longer than I thought it would be. Ohhh God. Ooooohhh Gooood. “Hm. Uh. Hm. Uh…. COUGH. Blah. Blah blah blah blah blah…. COUGH. COUGH.”
This is where my literature teacher interrupts me. “Do you want me to continue?”
“Yes,” I say as I bow my head in shame.
I’m starting to realize that a lot of the things we read in school are only interesting when you look back at them. Like in literature. For a lot of the books we’ve had to read….. well, maybe just a few of them….. I’ve struggled through them thinking, OH MY GOD. This is the most boring book I have ever read ever. Once I’ve completed the book, though, I’m like, this is the COOLEST BOOK EVERRR!
I think it’s probably because a lot of the time, you don’t really realize the author’s message until the end. Or there’s some little segment or a lot of segments that in the end, just make sense. Or maybe, you’re supposed to hate the book and the horrible dullness of it is actually a literary device to make you feel empathetic for the characters. Like in Ethan Frome. We read that book last winter. That book, it’s so boring that my Economics textbook seems like an adventure novel in comparison. When I finished the story, though, I really loved it. I think because the feeling it gives you is just so real. You can really feel LITERALLY the torture and isolation that poor Ethan Frome felt.
I’m not really sure where this is going. This just popped in to my head while reading Crime And Punishment. It is a really good book, but there are sections in the first half where you just want to toss it out a window. Once I completed that first half, though, I didn’t hate it so much. It’s kind of like a bad experience that once looked back on, it doesn’t really seem so bad at all. Or something like that. I think that books like these would probably be better enjoyed when read for a second time. That time, you can really understand where the author is going and what everything means. This post is boring. But I feel bad for my blog because I hardly ever update it any more. So I’m posting it. (Post.)