Tag Archives: Photography

This is Joel.

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I have found that there are times when I am traveling with a group that someone needs to use the bathroom.

That’s probably not all that surprising, huh? You are probably thinking, “Um, yes, that happens to all of us, genius.” But I’d hope that your takeaway is that I am real and approachable and relatable and not just a stater of the obvious.

Even if, you know, I try to be relatable by totally stating the obvious.

“Cupcakes are awesome. Travel is great. EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE ROMANCE.”

Wow. I think I just summed up my blog (and my life) in three sentences. I feel weirdly satisfied. And also kind of empty. I should probably eat a cupcake.

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Rand refuses to believe I have a bad side.

Photographically speaking, I mean. He knows I have a dark and sinister and downright evil side to my personality – that could never be disputed. It shows itself in full force when I’m stuck in traffic, when too much time has elapsed between my consumption of snacks, and during both the regular and playoff seasons of the NFL.

During those moments, my husband will stare at me with the same wariness you would a wild badger that you’ve suddenly discovered in the backseat of your vehicle as you zip down the highway. It’s a mixture of where-the-hell-did-that-come-from and I-need-to-get-out-of-this-situation-as-quickly-as-possible.

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I’ve mentioned before that I don’t think photos should be taken in museums. And I stand by that point, even though I’m a really huge hypocrite about the whole thing. I defend my actions by claiming that I have to take photos for the blog. If I couldn’t take pictures, I’d have to pepper my posts with crude recreations of the works I’d seen, rendered by my unsteady hand in Microsoft Paint.

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I used to think that my father’s pug was clinically insane. Then I decided that I was being culturally insensitive.

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Rand and I are heading to Portland soon. We haven’t been there since the end of last summer, when we stopped for a night on our way down to Ashland.

I’m thrilled to be going back. I love Portland. It’s this wonderful combination of beauty and grit, of art and industry. And perhaps nothing captures that better than the signs and marquis that dot the city. They’re everywhere: some spray painted, some neon. They denote all manner of businesses, from book stores to strip clubs, upscale restaurants to homeless shelters.

The last time that I was in Portland, between the light of a late summer sun and the magic of neon gas, the city positively glowed. Here are a dozen photos from that afternoon, when I roamed the city with my beloved, and marveled at its dingy loveliness.

  1. The Golden Dragon Exotic Club. From what I’ve heard, you shouldn’t bother going in. And for the love of Pete, don’t eat there.
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  2.  Keep Portland Weird sign, 3rd Street between Burnside and Ankeny.

    Unofficial city motto.

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Pretty. Boring.

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How does the old adage go? Photos without people in them are merely postcards? Something like that.

It’s a fair criticism. But I’ve always been of the mind that photos with people in them, standing and smiling at the camera as though they were just recovering from a lobotomy, aren’t much better.

I mean, sure they’re nice. They’re the sort of photos you can give to your grandparents for Chrismukkah, or use as your profile picture on Linked In, or that the tabloid news shows can use to illustrate what a decent human being you were before you snapped. Good, solid, unimpeachable photos. The kind that won’t get you arrested.

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Just a reminder kids, that vanity will get you nowhere. It’s why Charlize Theron got an Oscar after shaving off her eyebrows.

This post was supposed to go up last night, but it didn’t. Why? Because last night my husband came returned from his most recent overseas jaunt, and the evening was destined to be spent eating chocolate-chip ginger banana bread on the couch while catching up on The Daily Show. Clearly, I am a woman with my priorities in order.

It seemed safe to reason that this post would go up early this morning, but that didn’t happen, either, because Rand was home, and I kept wandering down from my office to watch him sleep (which is weird) or, once he finally woke up, to type at his laptop (which is arguably weirder).

Seriously, it’s  a miracle this post is going up at all. And it’s only because he went to work. And, if I’m being honest, it’s kind of phoned-in, because I’m still sort of thinking about him. (Did I mention he was only gone three days? Yeah. I’m warped, kids. WARPED.)

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