Street Photography

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My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.

Status: grotty. awake at 3:30am. couldn’t get back to sleep, so got up around 4:30am. sitting here in a pool of fever induced clammy sweat agonising over photos and accompanying captions. Should I just take the day off so I can rest up and get better? Yes. Am I actually going to do that? Nope. I have stuff to do; actually I have a full day and want to squeeze in some writing and photo editing on top of that. I have zero interest in sitting around feeling ill; I’d rather just prop myself up with some aspirin and then get on with It.

Photography.

I’ve had a few good days; actually I was able to take pictures every day over the weekend – Friday to Sunday. Now spending time on the pictures from the 31st, with the 5th, 6th and 7th to follow. Cognisant that time is growing short and I need to consider timing around disposing of the entry level kit before I leave; prefer not to take it back with me, but will keep that option open as a last resort.

The models that I booked for this week have flaked on me, and I think I’ve lost interest in ticking that box. May work on organising that for next week, but I think I’ll be okay with it if I can’t get it done before I leave. I’ll have another bite at that particular apple at some point in the future, but right now I’m enjoying the street photography, so maybe it’s best to stick with that, especially since the weather is getting better.

Date.

M and I are getting together again tomorrow evening for dinner and festivities (or is it me and M? Remember being taught the former in school, but I’ve been seeing people use the latter?). Looking forward to seeing her, but not interested in the partying that will ensue. Don’t get me wrong, I love a debaucherous evening, but not all the time and I’m at that stage of the week when I’m mostly interested in working on my creative projects. Plus I’m clearly sick, so there’s that…….

Writing.

Not much to say on this front other than the photography has taken over. I don’t even have enough energy at the moment to self-flagellate over the lack of writing, which is not a bad thing. As long as I’m being productive with the photography and am not wasting my free time with YT videos and other such time wasters, I’m okay. Will need to revisit this goal because clearly it’s not holding my attention…….

Ok, let’s get on with it.

Nikon D3400
1/200 sec
f/9
55mm
ISO 100

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Late Start

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You can ask the universe for all the signs you want, but ultimately, we see what we want to see when we’re ready to see it.

Status: overslept this morning. I don’t feel bad, just a little disappointed that I got such a late start. My OCD is obviously poking at me, “this isn’t how it’s meant to be; you didn’t stick to the schedule and therefore the world has been thrown into chaos, so we have no choice but to throw this day in the bin and try again tomorrow when we can do it properly”. Yeah okay, hold on there……….(I need to give this aspect of myself a name….I think I’ll call it Chuck)….Yeah okay, hold on there CHUCK, you’re being a drama queen. Yes, we got a late start. So what? We were still able to tick the box on one To Do and am now sitting in Balzac’s drinking tea and writing, which is something we always wanted to do. I mean the sitting in Balzac’s doing some writing part, not the drinking tea part. We drink tea all the time……

(Pause)

Ummm, okay that’s a little weird (referring to myself in plural), but I’m still going to call my OCD Chuck (while picturing Jocko Willink and then hesitantly throwing a little Holy Water in his direction, “I anoint thee…”).

Career.

My new boss reached out to me via email yesterday looking to see if I can get an early start on the new job. Specifically, meeting a few people and starting the process of getting up to speed. I still have a month and a half before I start. He’s definitely a Type A personality, which is to be expected given the industry. I need to be prepared that he’ll likely be reaching out to me day and night because his work and life are integrated, there’s no separation therefore there is nothing to balance. Will need to manage this carefully as I have no intention of following suit and plan to utilise my spare time outside of work on writing and photography.

Date.

Reached out to The Tardy One yesterday to tell her I’m leaving Toronto. It only seemed fair to let her know up front that this was happening before she invested any more time in this. We talked about looking for an exclusive long term relationship up front, and I’m okay with that, but if that what she wants then better to let her go and find someone that can provide that locally versus over a distance (and on that note, long distance relationships are bullshit). In any case, she’s game, so we’ll give it a go and see what happens.

Alright, let’s stop there and move onto The Next Thing….

Nikon D3400
1/500 sec
f/14
18mm
ISO 100

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Between Thoughts

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Who are you in the silence between your thoughts?

Status: given it’s monday morning, I’m pretty good, actually. Lowered expectations for today, however have been able to complete all of my admin tasks and also unload the images from the weekend photography sessions. I am struggling a little to get moving, but all things being equal I’m not overly lethargic.

Photography.

Great weekend for photography. Had a late evening and night session in Chinatown on Friday. The following day I brought the camera along for my date on Saturday night and had a few opportunities to take photos despite the rain. Then on Sunday I set aside the usual and went to a yoga conference (heh) at the Metro Convention Centre to take photos and browse around. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to get on Sunday, but given the weather was so bad, it was a good option because I could travel underground the whole way there and I didn’t have to spend a lot of time outside. Told myself that I was just going to give it an hour and if I wasn’t enjoying myself then I’d bail and do something else. But, it was better than expected.

Date.

So, the Saturday night dinner date with The Tardy One was good. Actually, better than good. I really enjoyed her company. Spent almost two hours at Patios, a Chinese-Jamaican restaurant, where we ate more than I thought humanly possible, and then followed that up with a few video games at Tilt, which was close by. Quickly discovered that she had spent a good portion of her youth playing these games and was beyond good, so spent the evening getting my ass handed to me. First in Mortal Kombat where I won one game out of ten, which is not surprising given I’m not very good at the game (or any game for that matter; they’ve never been able to hold my attention for very long), and then at a racing car game which, it turns out, is her forte. Surprisingly, I was able to hold my own for most of the race and then lost the plot at the end. She was impressed enough at my performance that I got two high fives for being just competitive enough to give her run for her money. So, now that I think about it I’ll call it a win.

I think I have a bit more to say about the weekend, but will pick this up tomorrow when I am a bit more ‘With It’.

Nikon D3400
1/500 sec
f/10
18mm
ISO 100

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Photography and Comicon

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Status: groggy. head stuffed full of cotton. I slept heavily and for a long time last night, but still woke up feeling like I had a hangover even though I didn’t drink anything. I had zero forward momentum this morning. I was out and about on Saturday night, but didn’t drink all that much when compared to what I normally imbibe. So, feeling like this on a Monday morning was a little unexpected. When I get back to the island I’m going to retire this aspect of my life.

In the meantime…….

Photography.

Spent the whole weekend at Comicon taking photos and such. I can already see an improvement in the composition of my shots from the ones I took 6 months ago at the FanExpo. I seem to be gravitating more towards portrait style photography of the cosplayers – I like seeing the human element in the costumes versus the actual costumes themselves. I also found that I’m taking more photos of People Doing Things, or street photography as it’s referred to sometimes. Something to keep in mind going forward and as I continue to develop my style.

Another positive from the weekend: one of the guests at the event asked me to take a portrait photo of him and also offered to pay me for it. I declined the money, but took the photos just for the experience. I don’t need the money, but perhaps I can use this as a lead into a paying job? Hard to imagine, but we’ll see what happens. In any case, I’ll process his photos and send them over to him in about a week.

Dating.

Quite a lot to write about here, and I may split this into a couple of entries as I don’t feel like I have the mental capacity to tackle this right now.

The Jewish lady accompanied me to the Con on Saturday and I was really uncomfortable the whole time she was with me. I spent most of the time feeling anxious about whether or not she was enjoying herself – I mean, not many people are up for these kinds of events and I’m okay with this. It just means that I’ll go on my own, which is not an issue.

I have to stop here. Will pick this up again tomorrow…..

 

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Born Again

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Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.

Status: good. need more sleep though. slept through the alarm again this morning, which is not very helpful because I have a pretty busy day ahead. I’m not exactly sure if the morning meditation is helping anymore. Maybe I should take the next step with it and see if that improves my focus.

Writing.

With everything that is going on, my reading has gone into the toilet. I just don’t have enough time for it, and I need to make some space to read because it does fuel the writing. Not sure exactly how I can do that; maybe dispense with the Joe Rogan podcast for now and get back to audiobooks. At least then I can “multi-task” and listen to it when cooking/eating and working out at the gym. That should be good for at least 2 hours a day.

Photography.

Went back through my older photos last night to see if I had anything worth editing and posting. Found a few, including the above shot. I actually quite like it, and while the composition is not the best, it lent itself to the editing processing quite well. The way the light from the sun plays off the eagle creates some drama, which is important for a black and white photo. Now that it’s getting warmer, I’ll spend a bit more time outside practicing street photography. I definitely want to get a bit of that done before I leave.

This weekend is Comicon and I’ll be there both days taking photos. Saturday I’ll have my Jewish wing woman for a few hours, but Sunday I’ll be on my own. This is a good opportunity to take a lot of portrait/people pictures in a space where they’ll be welcoming of the attention, so it’s a great place to get some practice without the fear of someone getting a little itchy that you took their photo. I’ve been challenged a couple of times taking photos of people on the street and it’s not a pleasant experience, for sure.

Date.

Connected with a part-time model on the dating app and we started a conversation about getting together. I was interested initially, mostly because she said I could photograph her for free, but then the convo veered off in a weird direction which then got my common sense tingling. Firstly, she will only correspond with me by email, she then told me about a hard luck story which centered around a rough relationship, her IG page links to some kind of Patreon page which has semi-nude photos of her, and she is stupidly covered in tattoos. I’m almost always up for going out with bad girls because they are fun AF, but this one looks a little bit too sketchy for me. The trust isn’t there and I think I’m going to listen to my common sense and give this one a miss. My instincts are typically pretty good, so I’m confident that this is the right move.

Besides, I have better options on the table. There’s no incentive for me to mess around with this kind of bad girl.

Nikon D3400
1/20 sec
f/11
40mm
ISO 100

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Captain Marvel and Neurokinesis

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Nothing lasts. You think it’s going to. You think, ‘Here’s something I can hold on to,’ but it always slips away. 

Status: good. overslept a little bit this morning. not fuzzy, sinuses are clear. My mood: good, not depressed and am generally upbeat.

Writing.

Sitting here struggling to write a review on Captain Marvel. I have that sinking unproductive feeling as I’m staring blankly at the page while intermittently watching the minutes tick past, and then distracting myself with a little YT dopamine loveliness to avoid experiencing that feeling.

I can charitably define it as a hit piece, which I’ve already decided I’m going to post to a number of different review sites. But, I’m hesitating. I’m thinking that this is overly venomous and negative, and at the end of the day I don’t know what I’m going to gain from doing this. Yes, I’m disappointed that they appropriated one of my favourite characters and turned it on its ear with a foreign narrative in order to sell more product. As companies do. However, my two cents won’t change that. Maybe it’s best to concentrate on more productive endeavours.

Fitness.

I’ve been struggling with shoulder injuries for years, tearing both rotator cuffs multiple times and then making numerous mistakes in both treatment and subsequent training regimens which have then perpetuated the injury cycle. Fortunately I’ve learned a little bit along the way, and I now know what to do and what not to do, so it’s not a completely wasted exercise.

Earlier this year I started to feel a pinching in my left shoulder when I raised the elbow above shoulder level. I’m not doing any exercises which require that movement anymore; a result of the frequent injuries and the implementation of preventative measures in order to enable me to workout normally and stay healthy. But I would feel it pinching when putting on a t-shirt or applying deodorant, and while mildly alarming, I did what I normally do: ignore it. As long as I can workout then I’m good, which is not the smartest thing to do.

I finally decided that it’s been long enough and I should probably have someone take a look at it before it get’s worse. (Side note: I need to start rewarding that kind of productive self-care type behaviour.) In any case, I booked an appointment with an RMT I’ve used in the past to see if the issue could be resolved.

Calling Tim an RMT is not the best descriptor. A kinesiologist by training, he’s also certified in a number of different techniques to promote healing and alleviate pain from sports injuries. And he clearly has a passion for what he does. I booked an ART (deep tissue massage) session online, but when I arrived he suggested neurokinetic therapy instead, explaining that this will permanently solve the problem.

It is honestly a very odd treatment; a combination of light touching, functional movement and viewing cue cards with either an ‘X’ or an ‘=’ sign on it. The end result however far exceeded expectations. At the end of the session, and even now as I write this, the pain is gone and the shoulder is moving freely. Tim explained that the muscles surrounding the rotator cuff had contracted and become “locked” in place which was preventing the shoulder from rotating properly when I moved it in specific ways. The end result of which was the rotator cuff muscle would get pinched between the bones in the shoulder, thus the pinching feeling. By releasing the “locked” muscles, the shoulder was able to rotate properly and therefore was no longer pinching the rotator cuff muscle.

It’s a fkn miracle. I’m so impressed with the treatment. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I move back to the island, because I’m pretty sure they don’t have this level of (cutting edge) sports/physical therapy there.

Photography.

Finished processing the food photos from my visit to The Chase last Saturday night. Other than the desert, the food wasn’t very photogenic. Despite my poor photography skills the end results were passable, but not great. I’m beginning to suspect that I don’t have the right lens for this kind of photography, but a poor workman blames his tools, so I’ll take it as a learning experience. I’m likely not going to post these to IG as I don’t think they’re good enough, but I will put them on YT for completeness’ sake.

Nikon D3400
1/80 sec
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 1600

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Dates and Stuff

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The thing I’m most afraid of is me. Of not knowing what I’m going to do. Of not knowing what I’m doing right now.

Status: good. I’m actually okay this morning. Slept well. No brain fog or lethargy. Ticked off a few administrative tasks this morning. It’s better to save them for the afternoon, but it felt right to tackle them now versus later. I keep forgetting how much time they consume, but it’s done.

Dating.

The weekend is starting to take shape. I’m going to see the dysfunctionally compatible Jewish woman again this weekend. She’s expressed an interest in attending Comicon with me, which is surprising because it is a bit of an acquired taste, and I’m very used to women not really liking or even being remotely interested in these types of events. My plan was to really use the opportunity to take as many photos as I can, and having a wing woman might disrupt that a little bit. Or maybe it won’t. Maybe I can use this to my advantage. In any case, it should be fun.

I’ve also set up a coffee date with another prospective partner from the dating app on Friday afternoon. What did I do before this dating app made me so lazy? In any case, she’s a transplant, her written English is poor and she keeps subjecting me to nonsensical poetry. Based upon what she has written, she clearly she has her head in the clouds where unicorns and princesses live. I’ve seen this before and gather it’s a cultural thing. It’s also a sign that she’s impractical and likely spends more time daydreaming than actually working. I’m calling it now: I bet that she has some kind of non-job which in her words will, “allow me the freedom to make my own schedule and be my own boss, you know, so I can be all entrepreneurial and shit”. Which translates into “working” two hours a day and then spending the rest of the day painting her nails and posting selfies to IG with inspirational quotes and the hashtag YOLO.

So, why are you meeting her, bro? Because she’s hot. And I’m curious to see where she sits on the Vicki Mendoza diagonal. But mostly because she’s hot.

Career.

Working on securing living accommodations at the next destination. The tenant’s lease at one of my places is due to expire and they won’t be renewing it, so I think I’ll just move into the unit. It’s not really necessary to rent it out anymore. There is a bit of a gap between when I arrive and when the unit becomes available, so I’ll need to secure a temporary living space. My cousin has offered up a spot for me at his place,  but I think I’d rather do my own thing. That was until I started looking at the prices for short term rentals on the island. For something comparable to what I have right now, the cost is double to what I’m currently paying. Maybe I will take my cousin up on his offer. I think I’d rather use the money for photography equipment instead.

Nikon D3400
1/40 sec
f/4
26mm
ISO 400

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