Thu 15 Oct 2009
|AMotD (Awesome Moment of the Day)||Today was as good as yesterday was cruddy – tough to pick.|
|Current main project:||Publication Design, Fashion shoot, and picking final project ideas.|
Had a pretty great evening. Started off after work by helping one of the other students get some photos for her web design project. Actually the shoot was terrible – all of a sudden I was the world’s worst photographer – but maybe from the 200 frames I got the 15-20 she needs. Treated myself to dinner at a pub (Broney’s) afterwards: food was good enough, service very friendly, which helps the mood. Coffee from Perk’s (love the simplicity, cost, and quality of the $1 regular coffee) on the way to a speech by Dave LaBelle, a well-known photographer.
He was pretty damn cool. One part of his talk that struck a chord with me was that he tries to focus on the positive things in life, or the positive side even of tragedies. He’s content to let other people show the grief and misery and unhappiness – he tries to find the light.
To show people doing good things does good.
I feel like he/we want to lead by positive example… an experiment in living positively. What would happen if we knew we weren’t going to finish the daily paper being depressed and despondent? He isn’t trying to say there aren’t bad things, that there aren’t problems we need to solve. Just… approach them differently, put positive energy into it rather than only negative. Of course as a friend/colleague pointed out, this is obviously putting a spin on your journalism – not necessarily good – but again this is why I’m not a journalist I guess.
From there we headed up to Jackie O’s for the first relaxed beer of the week (a house-made brew fermented with local maple syrup and honey for me) and some great discussion about the business and the craft. I’ve got some really cool classmates – sharp men and women with real skills, experience, and interest in the world they are working in. It’s great to listen to.
Funny, too. We were discussing a bit of a tiff one student had gotten into with a famous photographer, and (I think, I was in a different conversation) how people tend to put these photographers on pedestals, as if they are somehow godlike:
Everybody poops, man, look it up. There’s even a book on it!
-Brad, one of my fellow grad students
On the way to the next bar I got a little sidetracked. First there was Rick, the street musician. He plays piano… not the most typical (or practical) street instrument, so this gets my attention. He says he sometimes misses the uppermost and lowest octaves – sacrificed for size and portability – but he sure seems to make do without them.
Photos above are my classmate Scott’s latest tattoo sessions.
Rick asked me what kind of music I liked and, as I’m getting accustomed to, I didn’t have a good answer readily available. Academics don’t really value “Uh, I kinda like uh everything.” so I mumbled something about “well, everything from Chopin to Joplin”. Was the best I could do at some sort of assonance. “Chopin, eh? Let me play you something I wrote!” and he proceded to play his own composition. I’m no expert, and I wouldn’t know if he had copied Chopin wholesale, but it sounded good. I have no reason to doubt the guy, and in my usual fashion I trust him, so the bottom line is, I got an early screening of an original piece that sounded awesome to my ears. “I think you’re only the third person to hear that.” I dropped a few bucks in his bucket for the privilege – what a bargain.
I didn’t get far down the street before running into some other classmates, so we had fun shooting the breeze for a bit. Then there was the fraternity selling grilled cheese sandwiches – on the street – to raise money for charity (I hope), so I had one of those. Ran into yet more colleagues – these with a lightstand, strobe, umbrella, and reflector, shooting people passing by wearing high heels – and talked with them for a bit before finally catching up with folks at Tony’s.
I walked home from there, which is about a 30-minute hike with a hill at the end that I don’t always relish. About 1/3 of the way up an SUV pulled over next to me. I figured it was my roommate Bryan, and went to get in. Was a little confused since there was a passenger in the front. After I squeezed into the back with my backpack and camera bag and umbrella I heard the driver say “Hello my friend! I am Omar!” as he drove me up to the top of the hill. So now I’ve met my Saudi Arabian neighbor and his Qatari friend Fatima.
At every attempt today to get from one place to another I ran into interesting people, and when I’d get to where I was going there was fascinating conversation to listen to.