Last summer while working in Mexico City there were very few of us non-local crew members. So those of us staying at the hotel together would go out to dinner from time to time. One of those guys was the A camera operator and I got to meet his whole family when they came to Mexico for a two week visit. He and his lovely wife have two kids, the youngest is Nina. She was 12 and we bonded over reading and Harry Potter as she had lots of time on set (and so did I) to chat. The DP's daughter was there too, Clara, and about the same age, so she and Nina were good pals and lots of fun for me to talk to.
One day I bought a bounch of bracelets from a street vendor, bracelets with the square beads with images of saints on them, very common in Mexico City. But the ones I found were made of clear plastic and looked like this:
I had bought three of them in different colors. Then thought to myself, why on earth did I buy three? (I had already gotten lots of gifts for friends and family back home.) Not long after thinking this, I saw Nina and Clara (and their parents) in the hotel and realized, oh, I bought them to give to the girls who were making my days so much brighter. I stopped them and gave each their own and they seemed pleased. It made me feel good to do such a little thing.
A day or two later, I saw Nina and her mom in the hotel lobby and Nina said, "I bought something for you." She pulled out a small knotted bracelet with beads and gave it to me. I was really touched and tied it on right there. Then I gave her a big hug and said thanks. Here it is:
That was almost a year ago exactly. About two weeks ago, the knot finally gave up and it fell off. Luckily, I felt it go and grabbed it. I will keep it for a long time.
Last summer was tough and I'm still feeling so many crazy emotions about my dad's death and where I was in my soul while working a job so far away from friends and family and Kurt and the cats. Nina (and her whole family) really brightened up a dark time. I will treasure her conversations and this bracelet.
The thing is, Bunny is fierce! but oh so cute. And she likes to have her cuddles. But Mouse....Mouse is different. You know how cats have to be near you when you move to another room or part of the house? Mouse likes to come and be near me when I'm at my desk. Sometimes she just lies on the floor, looking like a normal cat. Other times I glance over and that is what I get:
I haven't asked her to play dead. She hasn't fainted from the heat. That's just Mouse.
Frakking Vinokourov. Godsdammit!! I was looking for a hero, a real inspiration, someone who was down but never out, someone who wasn't fictional (sorry Harry), and thought I had found one. My dreams were dashed with Vino. Rasmussen I didn't like much anyway, can't explain why, so I don't care about him being out. The only cycling I watch is the Tour, so I'm a cycling n00b but I really really enjoy the physical insanity of the Tour de France. But now I feel like I have to let my naivete go, become cynical. That bums me out.
Come on Contador, mend my broken heart.
Read about Rasmussen here.
Read about Vino here.
I got these two words over the last week in my daily email from Urban Dictionary. The first one: typeractive, completely refers to me in my non-paying job, sort of summer break, workless state. But I also think I've always been this way. Definition: Someone who is overly talkative on emails or text messages. As in: Man, this Emily (Julia) should get a job. She's been messaging me every 2 minutes. And there are 10 emails in my inbox from her. She is way typeractive today.
Then there was BGP which made me laugh because I've had it happen to me twice. Definition: Short for background props. Placing oneself in the background of another person's picture, usually striking some strange pose or making some other gesture, unbeknownst to the subjects or the photographer. As in: Look at this random guy getting his BGPs in your picture!
The first time was around college with friends at The Getty in Malibu. A waiter at a cafe took our picture and this guy stuck his head in the back and made a funny face. It made us laugh so hard when we got the photos back. Then in 2004 there was this very subtle version:
Click for bigger and look at the girl inside the window.
The thing with BGP is that it is a selfless act of fun. You will never know how much the person who sees the photo will react. I suppose in the digital photo age, there is a chance for immediate notice of the person in the background, but generally, you don't expect it or notice it until much later.
When traveling to very touristy spots, I had an idea about creating a freaky photo situation. Find a family or couple or group of people who are clearly in a city like Rome or Paris for only a day or so. Walk around behind them all day and constantly get in their pictures in wacky, obvious ways. If you have a partner, you can make it less obvious by having them "take your photo" at the same time. Again, though, this is a bit of performance art that you can't ever really see the results of. But hey, somewhere, you know you got your BGPs.
You've done it. We all do it. Can't help it. You can even buy t-shirts about it. But aside from googling yourself, (googling oneself?), and googling for things we might actually be looking for, I think we most often google old friends or lovers or hot mad crushes who we haven't seen or heard from in years.
I went to a very small high school on Maui. There were 33 people in my graduating class. The whole school was 7-12th grade and had about 200 students. Everyone knew everyone. And yes there were the usual high school groups, but because the school was so small, and there were no "homerooms" and lunch was a different assigned table every two weeks, you were kind of friends with everybody. (It's not the same anymore.)
So how is it that I can still not have any idea where Steve is? I spent about an hour yesterday googling and searching for him online. But he has a very very very common last name so when you google him in a certain city, or any city, for that matter, you get a jillion hits. I thought I got pretty close though, yesterday. I found a picture of a man about 40 who looked like how Steve might look. It was a page with his email address at work. So I emailed him, hoping and hoping. But alas, no. An email came back saying "Nope, sorry, wrong Steve." Bummer. I'll keep trying.
Steve was very dear to me, we listened to music a lot (Cyndi Lauper, Missing Persons, Duran Duran--we were so New Wave.) and talked about all those great teenage things: guys, the future, dreams, college, how sex might be some day (not in too many details though!). I adore Steve, I think I still have notes he wrote me that I stuck in my yearbook. But where did he go? I have no real idea and it makes me sad.
If you are out there Steve, I'm looking for you and hoping you are well and happy.
This was the only picture I could find with me and Steve together. 1985.
We don't have air conditioning. We don't need it. And yet, there are a few weeks during summer when it does get pretty warm at night. Years ago I bought a window fan, kind of like this one:
(Though not quite as fancy) and it works great. The temp cools down enough at night so that we can suck in cool air while we sleep (and the ceiliing fan helps distribute it) and suck out the warm air during the day. I like how it works and still find I need to sleep under a light cover, even on the warmest nights to come.
It's late in July and somehow I keep thinking it is late August. Not sure why. Do I want the year to be further along? No. Is it that hot? Not really. Maybe because I have a job coming up and so I'm feeling time fly.
Still plenty of the Tour left though, to make it seem like July is still with me.
I live in Los Angeles. In the summer of 2006 I worked in Mexico City. Instead of sending out giant emails full of photos to friends and families, I started this blog. The summer turned out to be a crazy one and this blog and my camera kept me sane. I didn't want to stop observing and writing when I got home to LA, so I kept the blog going.