All the People…all the time

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Seating for one, please?

The Daily Post offered up this nugget of inspiration last week:  when was the last time you felt lonely?

To be perfectly honest here – I can’t remember the last time I felt lonely.  I CAN recall the last time I felt the opposite (over-stimulated, over-socialized, overly-sought-out, over-peopled) because that’s pretty much how I feel all the time.  I’m ALWAYS under-isolated.

There have been plenty of times I’ve wondered:  how many people out there in the world are the same?  Who else out there shares in my craving for solitude?  Anyone else think the mythical old hermit living in an isolated cave has found Utopia?

Although, my Utopia would have to include HVAC and WIFI…

One ‘label’ in particular which really gets under my skin within this society is ‘Anti-Social.’  Granted, labeling different groups of people irritates me in general – but this one particularly rankles because it’s personal.  It points the ‘finger of judgement’ at anyone comfortable enough to spend as much time as possible in the bliss of solitude – delivering a label of deviant, unnatural, or harboring an illness in need of medication.

Bah.  I don’t need medication to become normal – for me, solitude IS normal, and the pursuit of such a worthwhile goal.

Society now calls people such as me introverts, and extends a tentative hand in invitation to come out of our closets.IMG_1012

Why should I?  My closet is one of the few places I can get the solitude I crave…

So, yes, being an introvert is a step up from being judged Anti-Social, but it’s still a label – a societal marker – a way to segregate humans into little slices of humanity – and I still call that wrong.  Stop marginalizing folk based on things. 

We’re all human beings – we are all crafted from the same DNA, generating the same properties in form and function.  One head.  Two eyes.  Two hands.  10 fingers and 10 toes.  Hair color, skin color, short, tall, fat, thin, personality quirks of all degrees – these things are minute variations in the overall form and we really need to start accepting them for the unique markers they are, rather than treating them as major flaws needing to be fixed or deviations that need to be studied.

So I say with aplomb – stop trying to study me, stop trying to understand me, and stop trying to ‘fix’ me.  I’m not broken, I’m not deviant, and I’m not flawed.

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THIS is why I don’t do ‘selfies’

I’m just me.

I new It!!!

A Fractal Glass

The Daily Post serving another photo challenge I find irresistible:

It’s the first photo challenge of 2015, and the theme is “new.” Cliché? Perhaps, but clichés develop for a reason. For many of us, the year’s beginning is time to take stock of the past and plan for the future; this week, let’s get excited about those plans by celebrating what’s new.

IMG_0180What’s new?  Well, lots of stuff is new.  I got a new bra – but I’m not going to take pictures of it (you can thank me later!).  There’s about 6 inches of new white stuff on the ground.  Someone on Facebook posted a new meme, had a new political rant, picked a new fight with a new person, or posted a new picture of a new mod they can vape on.

Oh…let’s not forget the new -14 temp that goes along with winter in Wisconsin – it certainly made venturing out to this first Monday of the work-year a bracing morning experience!

We all love ‘new.’  The word speaks of something not-before-within-our-sensory-field.  Yea…excitement!  Something we haven’t come into contact with before.

Although…if New and Improved Tide gets any more ‘New and Improved’ … it’s going to dissolve your clothing…

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I see new stuff every day.  The clouds in the sky haven’t put out that exact patterning ever before.  The people around me haven’t been in that configuration prior to this meeting. Look!  New footprints in the snow!

The lead-in photo above is a new frost-pattern I captured on my window just the other day…which reminds me…my landlord really does need to think about replacing the windows in our building.  What made this photo really pop are the Christmas lights in the window of the building across the driveway.

It doesn’t take a resolution at the beginning of the calendar year to find new stuff – it just takes being aware of your surroundings.

I’ll leave you with a movie quote from Joe vs. the Volcano – one that, decades later, I’ve tried to incorporate into each and every day:

My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement.

Oops…I broke the Dawn!

Dawn Photos

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This week, the Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge is yellow.

This holiday season, we’re throwing you a photo challenge color curveball. Many of us around the world are ensconced in the holiday season. You may be surrounded with blue and silver if you’re celebrating Hanukkah; black, red, and green, if you’re celebrating Kwanzaa; or festooned with reds and greens if Christmas is coming to your house. With this week’s challenge, show us what yellow means to you.

There’s a special story behind this very yellow sunrise, that I’m going to share today.

Many years back, I hated cameras.  They were the very demon of artistic people everywhere.  I so completely eschewed cameras, that the only photos in existence of my kids growing up are ones taken by other family members.  I did not save, request, or otherwise have any pictures taken.

I do have a few shots, professionally done, of the kids in their formative years…as well as the dreaded school photos – so I wasn’t COMPLETELY anti-image…just anti-layperson-image.

My mother has boxes and albums and boxes and albums and boxes of photos.  Every Christmas, Birthday, Halloween, Reunion, Wedding, Funeral, and Vacation was recorded with mathematical precision.  Every gift was Kodachromed.  Every pumpkin carved and outfit created was captured for posterity.  Every wedding lineup snapped, every sunburn documented.

And 90% of these were the same – Look here, hold up the item you just tore the wrapping paper off of, and smile for the camera!

Line up, tall ones in the back, short ones in the front – Dang-it, Karl!  I can’t see your face!  Anne, stop putting bunny ears in back of your sister!  Now everyone smile and say “Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese!”

To this day, I still HATE stilted, posed shots…so much so, that I can’t pose a person or compose a shot with a group without having it look extremely wooden.  My childhood disgust at such cookie-cutter imagery is transferred through the electronic medium.

A few years before Dawn was photographed, I was forced at semi-gunpoint to procure a digital point & shoot for some stuff I was trying to sell on Ebay.  In defense of the money I was spending on this thing…I bought one with a bright pink plastic housing, so the husband wouldn’t take it, make it his own, and then lose it somewhere within the confines of the accumulated junk in our house.

The Pink Menace took the product pictures as requested, then was promptly banished to my sock drawer.

I dug the Pink Menace out again when I took a vacation by myself, and took one of my youngest son’s army dudes along. I’ll admit – taking the little plastic army dude with me, posing him, and taking shots was fun…and got me some strange looks.

Picture 013 Picture 028 Picture 039 Picture 046No…I am NOT a ‘foodie.’  Sorry to disappoint.  I just figured that my youngest would appreciate that I was feeding Army Dude on our vacation.

After I moved out on my own, the Pink Menace came with me…a stow-a-way sandwiched between pairs of argyles.  After the move, my mom requested pictures of what the new living space looked like, as well as Waukesha’s current look, about the same time I organized my socks.  Finding the Pink Menace was considered a happy coincidence.

I wandered about that winter, took shots of the downtown area, my building, and my tiny shoebox-in-the-sky studio apartment.  Duly posted them on Facebook so everyone and sundry could have a look.  The Pink Menace was not banished back to the sock drawer, but rather had earned a space on top of the dresser.

In the spring, I started walking the Riverwalk behind my building.  A studio apartment is, first and foremost, small.  Fun happens outside the limited space.  Lucky for me, my studio was in the heart of downtown Waukesha, and there was a lot of fun stuff just outside my door.

For yucks, I carried the Pink Menace, and shot off a few captures of the ducks, the flora, the river, etc.  It started to feel less of a burden, and more natural, to carry a camera.  The Pink Menace was worming its way into my heart.

Then came the Dawn shot.  It wasn’t the one I went looking for (that one didn’t turn out) but it was the one I found…or it found me.

Once I pulled that image up on my computer, and saw what I’d captured, straight out of the camera…well…let’s just say the Pink Menace was no longer so named.

I found I had a photographic eye…and that I could capture art…even with a cheap plastic point & shoot camera.

For the first time, I thought of myself as a hobbyist photographer.

The Curse of the Blank Page

Hey…look at this.  This page is blank.  It is white, and black, but not read all over…because there’s nothing on it.

page left blankNow wait just a hair-picking minute.  Who put words on this blank page????

Does anyone else see the humor in things like these…or is it just me?

So, this week’s photo prompt for the Daily Post is Twinkle…and, as they are having trouble with pingbacks, the link may or may not work – but I’ll make the attempt nonetheless.

christmas bulb

I have lots of twinkly shots, because seeing what light can actually DO when collected by the camera’s lens is one of the reasons I started developing my photographic eye.  This one, I snagged at a Christmas party last year.  Granted, I really should have been paying attention to the hosts, the other guests, or the meaningless small talk … but we’ll go over my strange actions in strained social settings another time.

 

 

 

Sparkles on the globe

 

This gem is part of a series taken when I realized that the candle I was burning on the bookcase did wonderful things to both the glass paperweight and the glass dragon sharing the space.  Makes visions of the Death Star dance in my head.  The sparkly ball of color in the foreground is a bowling ball with glass chips glued all over it – it’s supposed to be an outdoor gazing ball – but it’s too pretty for outside.

 

 

These next two were captured on an excursion to Madison’s State Street last fall – my Son and DIL(2B) insisted on dragging me along to their favorite stomping ground.  In fact, these 2 shots featured in another blog post of mine… Death by Bouncy Ball   over on Google.

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IMG_0137Which brings me to the last photo I’m going to show you today – there were all kinds of twinkly lights inside this dome.  Every winter, the Mitchell Park Domes in Milwaukee has an event they call Music Under Glass. 

If you’ve never been to the Domes, and aspire to visit my fair State – pencil in a stop.  The three domes house some very lovingly tended, carefully maintained biospheres – one tropical, one arid, and their floral show-dome (which changes a few times a year).

And if the dry write-up isn’t enough to sway you to go take a stroll in a desert or the tropics in the middle of the biggest city in Wisconsin…just remember…I am a houseplant killer (when I can be bothered to buy one) and I like the domes 😀