The other side of the lens

Last week, Lisa and I spent a couple hours with one of our wedding photographers in Hoboken for a “pre-engagement shoot”. It’s a way of getting some professionally shot casual photos as well as getting to know the only people who get to boss you around on your wedding day. Most importantly, it was a ton of fun:

DSCF1893e-mailbwartDSCF1893e-mailbwart Hosted on Zooomr

The strangest part of the evening, however, was simply not being the one taking the photos. Since I bought my Canon Powershot A40 back in 2002 and subsequently the Digital Rebel in 2004, I’ve pretty much always been the guy with the camera. While I’ve been lax of late, it’s still typically a surprise for people to see me at events, parties, raids, etc. with empty hands. And while more and more people feel they should be kind and offer to take a picture of me, those handful of shots can’t compete with the tens of thousands I’ve taken of other people, places, animals, stop signs, rocks and other boring items.

Sitting for a real photographer was pretty enlightening as far as learning the process of dealing with us irritating human beings. Autumn was great, and I’m sure I’ll be recommending her and Craig (Pittelli Photography) once we can show off what they do for us on Saturday. Personally I’ve yet again felt the push that I need to do more with my own photography. As much fun as the nature stuff and random city scenes can be, I’d really love to try some photo shoots. So while this is obviously out until we’re back and settled from the honeymoon, I’m just gonna throw the idea out there that if any of my friends are interested in free, amateurish photos of you, I’d love to get together and have some fun experimenting with my camera in a photo shoot atmosphere. Obviously we’re not talking studio stuff here, but that’s boring anyway ;).

In the meantime, you can get a sampling of the 200 photos she took the other night in my Pre-Wedding set on Zooomr.

Inauspicious beginnings

Saturday marked the begining of my final week as a single man. So I proceeded to get trashed beyond belief at a friend’s party – in front of Lisa. Ugh. There’s a number of reasons why I don’t drink like that. It’s not just the crappy feeling afterward, but also that fear of how stupid you might have been coupled with the fact that you forget half of the night hanging out with friends. Sure, I vaguely remember an impassioned rendition of “Brickhouse” and some incoherent scribblings during some bizarre game, but I kind of miss the real interaction amongst friends. Maybe that should count as a bachelor party?

Lisa was an angel, and was far more concerned about my well being that my stupidity. But I reminded her that as frequently as I drink, there’s been maybe 1 or 2 other occasions since we’ve been together that were even close to this (actually, I can’t remember anything that bad in at least 4 years). Regardless, there’s a reason that beer remains my truest friend – he never hurts me.

In case you couldn’t guess, this left my Sunday in a lazy haze of resting and settling my stomach. That killed just about an entire day of doing almost anything for the wedding or the house. But by that night I was doing just fine and ready to take on the world. Which meant, of course, that the world had to come up with something new to throw at me.

That’s when I decided to leave early for work Monday morning. And turning the car keys rendered a rather pathetic attempt to turnover anything. Several attempts later and I realized that my hopes to get an early start on the week had been trashed like my bruised and battered liver. Lisa was kind enought to offer to drive me in, but my car was blocking hers and the slope of the driveway is such that any attempt to push my car would have resulted in my legs being crushed. And then I’d need all new tux measurements…

Geico’s roadside assistance is very friendly and helpful, but that doesn’t change the fact that it takes 90 minutes to get a tow truck there. Fortunately we were able to jump the car, and he assured me it was just the battery. At the Sears Auto place, I again met new a nd friendly employees, and the guy got my car done (with the cheapest batteyr available – hey, you try to afford the gold-level one with your wedding at the end of the week) while I waited. Oh joy, I’m so glad I got into my car before 9am so that I could get to work after 12. That’s one hell of a commute.

At least yesterday I got a pick-me-up as my co-workers threw me a surprise wedding party thingie at work. They even invited Lisa! Yeah, my company rocks. And now the rest of the week looks like a little smoother sailing. Unfortunately, I hate water…

Lady in the Water

Lisa and I lifted our year-long ban on seeing movies in the theaters for the opening of M. Night Shyamalan‘s latest flick, Lady in the Water. Alright, it wasn’t actually a ban, so much as laziness. Heck, we even tried to see The Devil Wears Prada once, but it was sold out. Anywho, what was I talking about?

Let me start by saying that I am an M. Night fan. I’ve loved each of his four major films (nobody really counts the first two) and can watch them over and over again. With that out of the way, if you’re not a fan of his, this movie ain’t gonna change your mind. I actually loved the plot, and most of the script, but the pacing felt too slow due to a lack of suspense for much of the film. He still demonstrates a great eye for direction and a fantastic sense of combining reality and mythology, but it just doesn’t gell as well as his previous efforts. I will say that the second half picks up a much stronger pace, and came off as more of the film I was expecting.

This really isn’t much of a review, as I’m just too tired to act like I’m really a critic. I think I just wanted to brag about seeing a film – on its opening night no less.

On the Internet

I really need to start a linklog or something, because I lose too many sites I want to mention to browser woes. Here’s a quick rundown of things that have caught my eye:

This t-shirt is brilliant, but I really need this one. Go through the entire Oddica catalog when you get a chance.

I may not always “get” toothpaste for dinner, but it’s certainly worth it for gems like this. Also, more great t-shirts.

Somehow I suddenly have a feeling that the justice system in Malaysia is way better than ours.

I don’t care how many people love soccer, I’m just not going to watch it. Unless you mock it heedlessly to “Yakety Sax”. Also, the next time someone wants to claim that it’s something that us stupid Americans just “don’t get” because of our arrogant culture, I’d like them to explain what part of its high-class culture resulted in 9000 arrests.

You’re watching the show with ze frank, right?

Mark Jenkins is doing some truly awesome street installations. (thanks to Boing Boing)

Great ideas for a Move to Philly campaign aimed at New Yorkers. (thanks to Furey) When I was in the city a couple weeks ago all I could think about was how much people pay to live in a place that smelled that awful in the summer. While I plan on being in this house for a few years, I hope to move further from New York and closer to Philly whenever we can.

I’m sure plenty of my friends will appreciate Cork’d – I need to sign up for an account pronto. (thanks to SimpleBits)

Zooomr 2.0 will be unveiled this evening. I’m very excited to see what they’re doing. In the meantime, check out the archives of Zooomr Hits for some cool shots. (thanks to Thomas Hawk)

I’ve got a bit of a backlog, but that should start you off.

Slight geekery ahead

I finally upgraded this site to WordPress 2.03. I try not to wait a month and a half to fix security problems, but I’m lazy. Actually, I heard hints that 2.04 would actually be very hot on its heals due to an unrelated issue, but last week they were still working on a bughunt for the next two versions. All of this does emphasize the total neglect for this site I have, even when I am updating regularly.

But I’ve got fancy plans… and pants to match. At this point, however, I think I need to just concentrate on getting hitched, and make all of the great big changes when we get back from the honeymoon. I’ll still be posting, but I’ve got to ignore my pretend plans to redesign this site and others until the end of August.

Zooom, zooom, zooom

I’m giving Zooomr a try. Flickr is still cool and all, but I’ve never been a big user, and probably never will. Once I have the time to really sort through my photography, I want it on my own site. But for quick sharing, it’s time I try to use one of these sites at least somewhat regularly. Besides, they are giving away free pro accounts to bloggers.

Late self-portraitLate self-portraitHosted on Zooomr

I was thinking of doing a new self-portrait to start off the new account, something to contrast with the series I posted earlier, but with my updated, clean-shaven look. Unfortunately, I’ve been so lazy with photographs lately that I knew I wouldn’t get around to it. So, instead, this is one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken of myself. The quality isn’t great, the lighting is terrible, the framing is off, but it managed to capture a rather silly moment of early exploration with my first digital camera.

Update: Holy cow, that was fast. It took a matter of seconds from posting this entry and submitting it to their prioritizer for Zooomr to upgrade my account to pro. I’m not sure what the benefits are, but I’ll certainly give it a try.

Update: According to the e-mail from them: “Zooomr Pro will allow you to upload 2GB of photos every month with unlimited storage!” So that answers that question.

Chemical warfare

Just because you guys can’t seem to get enough of those wacky crickets, here’s another update. I caved in the other night and finally decided to launch into chemical warfare against those jumping freaks. I whipped out the can of Raid I found the other day that specifically mentioned killing their kind on the label (unfortunately it didn’t mention the wasps that are currently guarding the clogged gutters that are the bain of my homeownership *shakes fist pointlessly*). And when the lone soldier attempted to frighten me off with his hippity-hoppiness, I let out a long stream that was probably enough to kill an entire colony. Then I ran around like a madman spraying the windows as if they were the key to my madness…

The entire thing reminded me of my first Civilization game, in which I finally broke down and launched a vicious nuclear attack against France that wiped out most of the Earth’s population. Actually, I’m not really sure why it reminds me of that, and I really wish I hadn’t mentioned the story as its nerdiness is too high for even my blog…

Honestly, I’m not big on using chemicals like that at all. My plans for the future include nurturing the baby praying mantis in our front yard until he’s big enough to eat all of the other bugs and at least intimidate that skunk that thinks its funny to spray around our living room (seriously, it’s getting annoying – I don’t care how cute you are). But that leads me to my next freaky point: *DON’T READ THIS PART IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH* The bodies are disappearing!!! The first couple kills I cleaned up quickly, but the other night when I was really pissed I just left them there as a warning to others. When I came downstairs the next day, there were only a few random legs left. EEWWWWWW!!!! What the hell is eating them?!?!

I really can’t wait until our basement no longer gives me the heebee-jeebies…

Award-winning dinner

Last night, after a couple pint o’ Guinness and some shots of tequila, there weren’t a whole lot of options for dinner when I stumbled home. I decided the remaining Hot Pocket in the freezer would help my tummy, and threw it in the microwave. Despite their popularity, I only recently had any of these mysterious “stuffed sandwiches” and found them adequate for quick hunger fixes. But what amazed me was the proclamation on the back of the packaging that they were, in deed, award-winning.

At what point in time did it seem appropriate to bother judging meals that could be prepared via two minutes of “nuking”?