Thursday, July 20, 2006

I Love A Good Photo Op

I finally got around to getting the photos from my trip to Raleigh, NC developed yesterday. It didn't take me too long -- I only went in early April. I know... I am the only person in the western world who doesn't own a digital camera. It's this thing I have about "making do" when a comparatively small investment could improve my life. Don't even get me started on how long I suffered with an iron that spit rusty water on my clothing at the most innopportune times before I realized that with an investment of less than $100, I could avoid being completely stressed and harried every morning.

I blame my grandmother, who from what I can tell invented recycling. I lived with her for a short period of time in my early 20s, and I swear, everything I threw away reappeared the next day. I mean everything -- from cassette tapes and cheap costume jewelry with missing parts to socks without a mate and bras that no longer had their underwires. I have no idea what she did with the bras and the cassettes, but I can tell you that I now use old socks to dust and polish, and I save broken jewelry in case I ever start making my own jewelry and need parts. The fruit, as wiser people than I am have pointed out, never falls far from the tree.

I've fiddled with the idea of making jewelry and I've even made a couple of pieces, but the amount of jewelry I've made does not justify the number of bags of broken and out-of-style junk jewelry I have in ziploc bags in storage. The bags of jewelry, whenever I come across them, are a reminder that I have every intention of using them for creative projects that never quite get off the ground. So I've avoided investing several hundred of my hard-earned bucks in a digital camera that will quite possibly only be used on Christmas day and the rare occasions I go on vacation. Instead, I make do with a disposable camera and then curse Kodak for making it difficult for me to view my prints without loading their software onto my computer.

I was eager to see the photo that was taken at the Raleigh Renaissance Fair of me with a guy in a kilt. He was not just any guy in a kilt -- many had been viewed and rejected during the long hot day a the fair. Some were too skinny, with underdeveloped calf muscles (something I really can't stand to see on a man in a skirt), some looked too Goth for my personal taste, and some had girlfriends who looked like they might kick my ass if I requested a photo with them. This guy was perfect, and even spoke with a Scottish accent. (Okay, it was probably a fake accent, but it added that little bit of extra authenticity which made following him all over the fairgrounds -- including waiting outside the privies -- worth it.)

It was as I gazed happily at the piture of Kilt-Clad Man that I realized I seem to be developing a thing for getting my picture taken next to unusual characters, although Kilt Guy was not an unusual sight at a renaissance fair, except in his utter perfection. The photo reminded me that about a year and a half ago, I had my picture taken in Montreal next to a guy I affectionately refer to as "Popeye The Spiderman."

He was doing some kind of performance art. He had a CD player blasting eerie music and a narrative which I unfortuately could not follow because it's been a chien's age since I took French in high school. While the music and narrative were playing, he was wearing his Spidey hood and doing Spidey movements which I can only assume illustrated the story.

A couple of hours later, my friend and I caught him having a cigarette break and I asked him to have a photo taken with me. He made a move to put the ciggy out and put his Spiderman hood back on, but I managed to talk him out of it despite the fact that we couldn't understand each other at all. He said, "Oui...Le PopEYE," a phrase my friend and I used incessantly for the rest of my visit with her. I love that he did the Spidey Hand Gestures for the picture.

I'm thinking about a trip to Tucson in the foreseeable future. It depends on little details, like when I get a job and how in debt I am when that day comes. Also, I prefer to go there when it's just "hot," as opposed to "freaking hot," which it is right now.

As I think about the trip, I wonder who I can get my picture taken next to, and who I will embarass by doing so (the person who took both of these photos is a good sport and has a lively sense of humor, so she found both situations funny). The good thing about looking for the perfect photo op is that it would give my trip a certain structure and purpose. Structure and purpose are good to have, you can ask anybody -- for instance, a kindergarten teacher or the commandant of a prison. It will be fun to look for just the right person to have my picture taken with.

People of Tucson, be very afraid.