So it took me about, oh, let’s say all freaking day to get my portfolio page up and running! Creators of this theme help? Negative, got someone from Hostgator.com (which is my host) to help me out. Headache now gone.
My General Demo Reel – 1st Attempt!
Ok, so here’s my first attempt at a demo reel featuring some of things I can do, hopefully you enjoy:
This past weekend I was able to attend the first annual Zombie Fest in Rosendale, NY. Despite the fact that I only live a couple of miles away from the small, quaint town, it was the first time I stepped across town boundaries. First thought that came to mind as I drove through this small town with its feel of history and Americana was, “Wow, I can definitely see a Zombie Apocalypse starting here!”
I arrived near the 12:30 PM mark where, according to an advertised magazine clip, the zombie walk was to start. There were only a handful of people and I was worried that not many people were going to show. This had been the first time I had ever heard of such an event happening around my parts so I was truly enthusiastic about the gathering. For no one to show would have been utterly disappointing. But little by little, the dead arrived in horrific fashion! From children to adults to pets, they all came prepared to make those alive aware of their presence among the living. And that, they did!
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‘Tis the Season!
The temperature is dropping. Leaves are in the early stages of changing colors and falling to the ground. The sun is dropping below the horizon earlier in the day and their is a subtle difference in the way the air smells. Yes, it’s that time of year (my favorite)! Today, midnight, September 23, 2010 marks the first day of Autumn and Halloween is right around the corner!
Along with the approach of the holiday that isn’t a holiday comes a slew of all too familiar questions that I have grown accustomed to answering. The two most frequent questions are: what are you doing for Halloween & what are you dressing up as for Halloween? Both questions usually render the same response of, “I have no idea!”
It is my favorite time of the year with about 500 different things going on! How can I possibly choose one thing to do?? Simple answer, I can’t… or can I? Of course, like all major holidays, it’s not the day that is important but, rather, the eve of the day. But, for the most part, all Halloween activity starts a little over a month prior. So, it’s all about putting together an itinerary and finding those things that interest me the most. First thing that gets scratched off is doing anything that has to do with children. Why? Well, because I don’t have any of my own. I’ll worry about later.
Next, what I do is try and round up the usual “suspects” of things to do which include an array of haunted house attractions. A popular one around my parts is the Headless Horseman Hayride & Haunted Houses which I may be heading out with my wife after putting it off for the past couple of years. Why don’t I go? Because I’m terrified! No, seriously, because haunted house attractions can barely get me to flinch let alone frighten me. So this year I’ll be going simply for the fun of it all!
Another thing that has become popular with my circle, is a four-hour trek to Salem, Massachusetts. Despite the constant talk of making the journey, I’ve only been there once in the last six years and I think that I may be due for another visit. What I miss the most about Salem is the eerie atmosphere and the feel of the small town; the history of the town alone is creepy. I mean, c’mon, women being accused of being witches and burned alive at the stake! Tragic, yes, but also fascinating. Plus, my wife’s never been there and I think she would love it! Place gets a little hectic on Halloween, but well worth the trip!
Then there is the Halloween costume party that everyone just loves to throw! Again, I was never one for partying on a night that is reserved for ghosts, ghouls and the dead. I was more into contacting them/raising them (never worked)! But, this year I hope to sprinkle the fun in with the scary. A little bit of both couldn’t hurt… right? Spirits?
Another thing I always wanted to partake in was a good old fashioned seance. Who wouldn’t want to?? Candle-lit room, surrounded by darkness, table-tipping, possibly unseen forces lurking around you… perfect recipe for Halloween! The mention, even the notion, of doing such a thing frightens those I tell. I can never understand why, but then again, I don’t really believe in things like that. To me, it is mere entertainment and nothing to be afraid of….right? If I can’t find a seance event I guess I may have to resort to the “trusty” OUIJA board that never seems to work anymore! Though it does glow in the dark!
Same thing happens when I tell people that I want to spend a night in a haunted house. No, not an attraction but a real-life, “genuine” place said to be haunted, i.e., any variation of a prison, asylum, orphanage, house, etc. so long as it is abandoned. Spending a night in either of these places would be a treat! Especially if I can replicate the experiences of Jason and Grant on Ghost Hunters! Which seems rather fun than scary!
I have about a month to prepare for that special night that is known as Halloween. So far, I have about two Zombie walks coming up that I will be attending and a possible costume party. Oh, and then there is the Headless Horseman attraction as well. So, things are starting to look up as my itinerary and calendar is in the process of filling up! I just finished decorating my apartment and it certainly sets the tone for things to come. I’ll leave you with just one itty, bitty question. What are you doing for Halloween???
Here are a couple of ghoulies that are up in my apt:
Baby Making Time!
With the slew of friends, family and co-workers having babies, there is the inevitable question that all couples must endure when they have spent a lengthy time together, “Sooooo (has to be long and drawn out), when are you two having a baby?” I can’t but help roll my eyes and think to myself, “If I had a dime for every time I’ve been asked that question….” I’d probably be about $10 richer.
Still, such a question makes me wonder and, deservingly so, begs to be answered. I think I’m ready to have a kid. But, just the mere fact that I say, “I think,” makes me wonder if, indeed, I am ready. My wife and I would joke about making a baby after getting home from watching a movie, or, having a romantic dinner at the Chinese Buffet (kidding). I warn her by saying, “You know what that means, right?” In no way, do I condone, unprotected sex, unless of course you are happily (and faithfully) married, or are in the planning stages of starting a family. She cringed a little at the thought, as did I, as neither of us has ever been in the situation, sometimes predicament, of planning to have a baby.
How do I know whether we’re ready or not?
There is the usual and vague answer, “You’ll just know when you’re ready.”
My impression of being ready was always: A.) First and foremost, make sure you married the right person, B.) Be on the right path for a long and prosperous career, and C.) Have a house ready with a nursery painted either blue, pink, or yellow. I have one out of the three (married the right person). But my search for a career path has hit a wall and I’m having a hard time breaking through. There is, without a doubt, no question that I want to provide for my family and fear of not having career would hinder that idea. I have reached a point in my life where I am at the brink of giving up on my dreams, not completely, but pushing it to the side a bit. Running into that brick wall has not stopped me from doing anything, instead, it has actually lead me to take action, take a step back and finally see reality for what it is.
Sometimes, a dream is just a dream, always with you, out of reach and plays in your mind like déjà vu. At the moment, my main concern, and priority, is simply pursuing a career path that would enable me to provide for my family.
Of course, none of this has come to fruition. I have no child. However, simply talking about having one frightens me. Does having a child mean that my life would be over? According to some people that I know, yes, it is over, but, as they would say, “It’s totally worth it!”
I am not where I want to be, I haven’t lived my life to its fullest, I still want to travel, sleep, watch what i want to watch on TV, etc, etc. I still want to live my life. In a way, I may have answered my previous question of whether or not I am ready. But then there’s one thing that is creeping up behind me and I’m afraid that it will catch up to me and my wife.
I’m not getting any younger, but most importantly, neither is my wife. However, she is a few years behind me so she is OK for the time being. I, on the other hand, will be hitting one of many milestone ages this coming year… the big 3-0. Although not old by any stretch of the imagination, I do realize that I am arriving a little late to the party. What worries me the most is that, by the time he/she is old enough, I would be too old to be fully active with him/her. I suppose I just don’t want to miss out on doing anything with him or her.
This is my “predicament”. To have a baby, or not to have a baby. That is the question! I can see that my wife is unsure as to whether or not she, herself, is ready for a baby when we are discussing the “planning stage”. There is no doubt that she wants a kid but, like me, she still wants to live her life before most, if not all, comes to a screeching halt. I understand her. She is highly motivated, ambitious and full of aspirations. I really don’t know when, if ever, those traits will slow down or go away. Until then, the only thing I can do is listen to the “experts” and those who have recently discovered the meaning of parenthood. I suppose, in the end, we really will know when we’re ready, not just I.
My First “Photoshoot”! … Sort Of, Anyway…
OK so I’ve done a few 1st birthday parties before, all of which were more like, “Hey, you take pictures right? You want to take pictures for son’s/daughter’s first birthday party?” Sure! Of course I would! Unfortunately, only one was paid and it wasn’t much, granted it was a price I set only because I didn’t know any better and it was really my first time on the “job”. This time around, I made sure to get a nice check.. not really. I did it “pro bono” as I’m a nice guy, plus would be nice to put something in my portfolio. Plus, this is for… wait for it… an accredited University and will be used on the school’s newsletter as well as their website! Yay for me!
I’m going through some of the photos now and what really sucks is that now I’m noticing things that I would have done differently. It was nothing difficult or hard, but, still, sometimes my eye gets the better of me… afterward! What also sucks is that I just sold my more expensive camera that was in the Pro-Sumer level (consumer cam yet borderline professional) that would have definitely benefitted today. But, oh well, it’s not the cam that takes the pictures, it’s the person behind it.
Either way, this was a good experience for me as it got rid of some jitters I’ve always had taking pictures for others. The way I look at it was there really was no pressure considering it wasn’t a paid gig. Plus, like i said, it’s a learning experience!
Ok, so maybe this was a few months ago….. for a complimentary magazine up in my neck of the woods known as Orange County. No, not the Orange County of California, it’s the Orange County of NY! Both of my photos were severely cropped! Anyway, photos on covers of magazine are not of my work.
Meds are Finally here!
Finally got my Copaxone Meds about a week ago after “fighting” with the insurance company because they wanted to charge me $3000/month (no I didn’t type in extra “0″ by accident)! Fortunately, the good folks over at NORD (National Organization of Rare Disorders) granted me a years’ worth of meds at no charge! That was very kind of them and I must say, I really wasn’t expecting things to swing my way. So, I’m happy, sort of.
Of course I’m happy that I am getting a year’s worth of medication, however, I’m not happy that I have to take the medication in the first place. Sure, maybe if it was a pill that I would have to swallow on daily basis it would probably wouldn’t be that bad. Not the case. In my case, or at least the way these particular meds work, is that I’m going to have to inject myself for the rest of my life until a cure is found for Multiple Sclerosis. Yay! (sarcastic “yay!”) I guess it’s a little taste of what a diabetic goes through.
Not only do I have to inject myself daily, but they have to be at different spots each day and rotate spots throughout the body. Ugh, hate needles, not afraid of them, just hate them. I was given an entire kit and a nurse had to come to my home and show me the correct process of how to stick myself with the needle.
There are two ways that I can stick myself: the manual way and the automatic way. The manual way consists of simply taking the needle, plunging it into my flesh as I squeeze out about two inches of fat. I then push down on the needle until all of the fluids have been transferred into me. This is the “no thanks” method.
The automatic way is a bit simpler. I take the auto-eject that was provided by Shared Solutions (sounds like it would futuristic-looking but its really not), place the needle inside, press it against my skin, push a button and presto! Needle goes in, juices go in and I’m done! Sort of…
After I am injected, I pull out needle, careful not to angle it and break it off into my flesh, dispose of needle in “special” dispose needle plastic tank, “dab” the injected area with a cotton ball then endure the slight pain that comes with the injection. The pain is tolerable, in a way. According to the nurse it is equivalent to a bee sting, but since I’ve never been stung by a bee, I wouldn’t know what that felt like. Again, the nurse says the pain should last for only 5-10 minutes, but, in reality, it lasts for almost half an hour. Still, it’s not too bad. So far, no side effects. I can only keep my fingers crossed and hope that no side effects ever surface.
I have to make this a part of my daily routine so that i don’t forget to take it. I don’t think anything will happen if I miss it, but the way it is supposed to work is to take it on a daily basis right around the same time each day so it can work to its full potential in the long run. I picked 8:30pm.
Will keep everyone updated on this situation if anything new comes to light. Here’s a look at what I like to call my “sick kit”. Just click on image for bigger picture:
They also gave me a magnet so that I can place on the fridge as a constant reminder as to why I am taking the meds. I was angry at having to take them in the first place, so my wife answered for me and made it perfectly clear. This, ladies & gentlemen, is one of the many reasons why I love her
I recently reverted back to Film Photography, thanks to a great photographer and new compadre, Antonio Alavarez (you can check out his blog by clicking on his name). Of course, it was a little daunting simply because I feel like I take less shots because I no longer have the luxury of shooting almost limitless amount of photos via a memory card. No, I’m relegated to just about 24 exposures so I must choose my shots wisely. What Mr. Alvarez has also inspired me to do, is to develop my own Black and White negatives. This makes the whole process much more fun!
Back to the story! I went to a Historic Street named Huguenot Street (Or, as I like to call it, Huge Nut Street) and felt that, at the moment, the lighting was perfect as the sun was close to its setting below the horizon stage. I snapped away with my “new” Nikon FE and caught what I thought would be marvelous photographs. A wild cat even approached me and made for some great photographs! Unfortunately for the cat, I don’t carry food in my pockets, not anymore at least. After it realized that I had no food, it took off nearby to a dirt driveway where it started to playfully roll on its back. It was modeling for me! Great shots!
I pressed the shutter to my heart’s content until I realized the counter read “30″. Hmmm, is this possible that I purchased a 24 exposure film and it was packaged incorrectly with 36 exposure film? As I snapped away at a couple more pictures which marvelously captured the shadows caused my the setting sun, I looked down at the counter and it now read 39. Ok, something’s not right. It was something I tried to ignore and thought this was how this “new” camera operated. Every time I cranked the film forward, I felt no pressure and it proceeded very smoothly. As a matter of fact, a little too smoothly. So I did something risky. I opened the camera’s back and exposed the film. To my horror delight, the film was never proceeding and all those great, marvelous photos that I took, never happened! Of course I was upset!
Quickly, I took out my Nikon F4 and loaded the very same film into the camera hoping that only a few frames were exposed and I immediately retraced my steps. Only problem was that the sun was closer the horizon and I was losing light. I found the cat again, only this time it was laying on a porch and no longer wanted to move.
Suffice to say, I got home, developed the film and I was happy to see that only two frames were exposed and left me with 22 exposures that all came out! So, in the end, it was an itch that was barely scratched!
Side note: Developed first roll of Kodak Tri-X 400, like it so much better than Ilford Delta 400! Done with Ilford chemicals.
Diagnosed with MS!!
Ok, so I was recently diagnosed with MS and have not been around for quite a bit due to the fact that I was very weak and was suffering from double vision. Yay, fun. I wish I could say that I have fully recovered but I’m not there quite yet. Almost, but not quite.