The poem for September is actually the poem for September and October, so tune in for the October 31 post to find out what the poem is. In the meantime, let’s chat about how I keep all these poems in my head.
Not an outstanding fiction month, but good enough.
A friend commented that she couldn’t watch this show because she always felt uncomfortable. And I have that feeling too when I watch–always unsure where the narrative will take me. But Don Draper is an enigma, especially for a television character and Peggy Olson I simply adore, making this some darn good TV.
I’m not a fan of Pearl Jam’s music and never have been, but I am a fan of Cameron Crowe and my friend Kelly is a fan of Pearl Jam and this documentary appeared on my radar somewhat near her birthday so off we went. With all that said, I LOVED this movie. It might have been the huge nostalgia factor–there is a ton of early footage–that reminded me of my youth spent having crushes on boys whose style looked an awful lot like early 90s Pearl Jam, or it might have been that everyone interviewed came off as nice and their story compelling and so I couldn’t stop thinking about this movie for days.*
Not a film to take your germ phobic friend to, it was fun to see the many famous and talented actors (including, as I realized three days later: “That was Lizzie! From the Pride and Prejudice Miniseries) wander through this film. But what I enjoyed the most was the exploration of the societal aspects of the epidemic: the closing of state borders, the rioting, the looting. One slight criticism: if the mortality rate was 40%, why did we never see anyone get sick and then recover?
The Title Wave Bookstore, had a screaming deal: a bag of books (or other media) for $10.00. As I had a $5.00 gift certificate from volunteering for the Summer Reading program, I followed Kelly’s lead and we made our way to the bookstore on a cold and rainy day. What I discovered? A lot of cookbooks! A lot of cookbooks that cost tons of money in the stores. I brought home a bunch and I will harvest the 3-5 recepies that appeal to me and then donate the books. What a deal!
Matt and I thought we were seeing Bridesmaids, but apparently the truck stop movie theater switches its movies on Saturday, not Friday. So when it started, there was a moment of cognitive dissonance and confused discussion before we accepted our fate and settled in to this movie. However, as Matt pointed out, this was free of most of the usual “boy movie” fare (projectile vomiting, fart noises, diarrhea, overtly disgusting sex) and was rather witty, which made it a pretty enjoyable movie.
I received a mysterious package in the mail on Saturday. It consisted of a DFTBA* sticker and five of the postcards pictured below. Where did it come from? The return address gave no clue, and I had no idea who would send me Nerdfighter material.
Nerdfighters are, of course the awesome fans of John and Hank Green, known as the Vlogbrothers. They fight to decrease world suck and increase awesome. I’ve spoken of them before in this post. This random package had certainly increased my awesome, but where did it come from?
Thanks Shawn. You must be a Nerdfighter too!
Why the Warrior Dash, of course. If you want to see Matt’s Warrior Dash experience, click here.
I’m a member of the Religious Education (RE) Committee at church. At my church Religious Educators were called Sunday School teachers when I was growing up. The RE Committee has many duties, one of which is to assist during trainings. Last night was the first night of the two-day teacher training before the start of the church school year and I and two of my fellow committee members were tasked with creating a sandwich dinner. One person did the “big shop” for supplies, and we all unloaded the food, chopped things, plated things, gathered enough plates, glasses and silverware for everyone and arranged everything buffet style.
As the teachers were going through the line, we observed, taking care of needs here and there; refilling water pitchers, chopping more tomato, picking up dropped items and exposing them, what have you. After everyone had been served, we served ourselves.
I was standing with my fellow committee members near the buffet table eating a rice cake sandwich and had just taken a rather large bite when a woman approached with a camera. She held it up, the now universal command of “arrange yourself for a portrait!” and my fellow committee members moved in on both sides of me. I don’t mind impromptu portraits, but was not really thrilled to be captured with a large amount of food in my mouth. Still, I made the best of the situation, shifting the food to the middle of my mouth, dropping the plate to waist level in anticipation that the photograph would be from the chest up and giving a great big closed mouth smile.
At that point, another woman noticed that I was holding the plate at waist level. “Patricia!” she said in a scolding voice, and held out her hands to me to take the plate. I handed it over, attempted to move some more food in my mouth with my hand and straightened back up for the picture that I was at this point not at all interested in being a part of.
“Are you done and ready for the photo?” The photographer asked in a rather dismissive tone, as if I was being the troublesome one.”
“Just take the picture.” My lack of enthusiasm came through despite the food in my mouth, I reassumed my closed mouth smile the picture was taken and we all moved on.
The incident was over, but sticks with me. Who was the rude one here? From the scolding tones of both the bystander woman and the photographer I am left with the impression that I was. But having a camera in one’s hand does not guarantee cooperative subjects. In fact, with the ubiquitous of cameras, we seem to have lost the ability to ask permission to take a photo, grandly assuming that everyone is ready to smile for the camera. The same photographer took many photos earlier when I was setting the food out. I was busy and concentrating on my work and so ignored her efforts and went about mine, but felt a twinge of annoyance and would have preferred not be photographed at that particular moment. Later, if she had asked to take my fellow committee members photo in appreciation of our efforts, I would have been able to say, “can you wait a minute, so I can finish chewing?” and posed in the grand style my women’s college social education has prepared me for. But she just held up her camera and assumed compliant subjects.
When I was growing up and film was expensive photos were comparatively rare. A few years ago, looking at the photos my friend had amassed from high school, I marveled that the number of photos she had taken of our entire high school experience was equal to perhaps a month of our photos taken today as we’re both bloggers. But when film was expensive, there was much more of an opt-out clause. In fact, several of my friends didn’t like having their photos taken at all, going so far as to hide their faces in the nearest corner to avoid the camera. With the expense of film removed from the process, one can now snap photos of the reluctant subject until they comply with our wishes. But should we?
I see the effects of digital photography at school. It has become another means of teachers for teaching, for illustrating the passages in their classrooms. At the beginning of the school year, the teachers take close-up portraits of students, enlarge them and hang them on the wall with the students’ names. They tend to do this at recess, and I watch their progress as they work through their class list. Every student complies, standing at attention, smiling for the camera. None of today’s generation seems to be camera shy and I don’t think it occurs to them they could be, as the digital photography revolution happened before their birth.
Still, I think people with cameras in hand should keep in mind that the photograph they would like to capture isn’t necessarily a priority for the people in the photograph. A simple, “May I take your photo?” would be helpful to those who are not willing to be photographed, either in the moment, or ever. And when asking, photographers need to leave room for a gracious “No thank you.” For whatever reasons.