Tag Archives: Random

Still lost in totally no translation

To resume the situation for the folks who are not paying attention, I was in Numata, Japan, unleashed in the town by myself for the first time, and not having too much success communicating with the natives (despite two absolutely grueling Japanese lessons.)

I had made it to the Tenkeiji Temple through a random act of kindness, but, after a bit of fearless exploring, I needed to find my way back to the house of Ross.

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The familiar sight of garden gnomes reassured me a little. A common denominator! Even the Japanese were victims of tasteless decor, how about that?

Soon, I discovered just how cosmopolitan Numata really was…

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I considered having Itarian (sic) food at the Itarian restaurant.

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But then how tempting was the burg at My Burg since 1997!

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I settled on hot Tommy Lee Jones coffee. He was a graduate from St. Mark’s School of Texas where I shoot quite a lot (not when he was there. I must have been not born yet.) Anyway, drinking his coffee made me feel very macho and courageous and hyper for the rest of my journey at the heart of Numata.

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I even found a French boutique! The problem with all this cosmopolitanism is that it all remains very Japanese-speaking. It may be an Itarian restaurant but they do not speak a lick of Itarian. Ditto for My Burg. Ditto for the French. Quick on cashing in my hard-earned yens, but a bit short on lexicon help.

So I kept on walking and walking and having another Tommy Lee Jones coffee and walking and walking…

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I noticed a barber pole. If I may, I will tell you about barber poles. At a time when barbers were also surgeons (bad surgeons but surgeons nonetheless), one of their principal duties was bloodletting. The two spiral ribbons on the pole represent two bandages, one twisted around the arm before the bleeding and the other to bind it afterward.  As I walked by, I peeked, and pretty much, this is what I saw…

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Crocodile Dundee san cutting the extremely blue hair of a man. Fabulous, no? Of course, I had to stop and “ask” them for permission to photograph them.

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He was all embarrassed but the mama san made him do it. She was laughing her head off looking at her husband posing. She showed me a cup and I understood I was invited for coffee. Many things should have prompted a polite refusal. First, I was wired from all the Tommy Lee Jones coffee. Second, what would we be discussing? Third, there was another client waiting and he, too, was wearing a large hat. I had landed at the hairdresser for weird people!

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Well, of course, I stayed. I told them about going to Nikko and Takaragawa while sipping my milkless coffee (another hazard of the language barrier) and in turn they told me stuff too. There was no understanding whatsoever on either side but it was jovial and I ended up spending more than an hour with them, having a jolly good time.

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The arrival of a second client brought great excitement to my hosts. They made me understand that he spoke English. Well, that was one big exaggeration! He spoke English as well as I Japanese. He was totally busted in front of his friends! I felt a bit bad for him.

Eventually all good things come to an end and I still had to make it to the house.

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The mama san and the non-English speaking dude waived goodbye at the door and hop, I was back on the sidewalk.

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I observed many people working in open areas with their back to the street (which is totally bad for photography.) I walked and walked…

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When I came across the familiar site of small rented houses, I knew I was finally on the right track.

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I also recognized the poster of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda who had announced his resignation a few weeks prior to my trip. I was finally nearing my destination.

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Finally, the corner 7/11, rendered famous by Ross’ continuous milk shortage and his understanding of 7/11 food as the ultimate basic food group, came in view. I don’t know about you, but the closest 7/11 from my house does in no way resemble this one.  Mine looks like this:

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Sad, isn’t it?

Anyway, I had made it back to the point of origin and I was ready for some 7/11 lunch. I generally come back from trips all enriched by other people’s visions and life experience, but in Japan, my conversations being limited to sumi masen, sumi masen, I settled for the warmth and the sense of hospitality of absolute strangers. Upon my return to Texas, I also got rid of all the Japanese language CDs. First, they sucked, and second, if I can get around Japan with sumi masen, I am obviously as well-versed as I need to be.

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Afflicted with what could only be described as a camera obsessive compulsive disorder, I shoot anything in sight. Obsessively. Compulsively. Anything. My only saving grace (and perhaps downfall too) is my reluctance to carry around the four pounds of equipment necessary to take a picture… But recently, to my friends’ greatest dismay, I discovered the camera on my iPhone. A few ounces that unleashed the OCD beast in me. I blame it on Steve Jobs.

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The iPhone now accompanies me every day on my bike ride and makes me stop every five minutes to take pictures of ducks (no offense Jason). It totally breaks my cycling momentum.

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It went with me to the Nasher Sculpture Center where I photographed my friends Robby and Greg, very Abbey Roadishy.

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It came out of my pocket at the Dallas Museum of Art, and I did not even get caught. Hee, Hee!

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Greg and Robby had to pose for me under the water because I do not take no for an answer. By solidarity, I stayed under the water too because that’s just the kind of person I am. Kind, that is.

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When my friend Dorin bribed me with a Happy Meal to operate as her bodyguard during a Craig’s list transaction, I downloaded an app called CameraBag and played with it in the car. Incidentally, Dorin asked me to post a good picture to balance this embarrassing selection, so I’m sending you back to a post I had written about her previously, bless her little heart.

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The app is quite fun and allows you to alter your image in the phone: you have a choice of infrared, Helga, fisheye, 1962, etc. The image format is greatly reduced but it’s entertaining.

Dorin berated me for taking photographs instead of being social and making conversation with her. I reminded her I was there as her bodyguard, not as her entertainer, and that she had not provided the promised Happy Meal yet, and why the hell not? I feel pretty sure I cannot  exercise my guarde du corps duties to their full potential on an empty stomach.

I’m leaving you with a picture of my mantel which seems to have taken a turn for the worse lately. I’m going to need a second fireplace soon.

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I think my iPhone addiction is now in its declining phase. I’m planning to reserve its use for car accident, stupid pictures of Monsieur Shinn at Starbucks, and blackmail opportunities. It was iPhun while it lasted, but I’m iPhinished.

Not Quite Done with You Lot…

“Hee! Hee!” say I most sheepishly. If I may, I have very good reasons for sheepishness. While your help in selecting the photographs for my children brochure proved in-va-lu-a-ble, said brochure has yet to see the light of day. Furthermore, if I still may, additional sheepishity derives from my audacity to hope for your help in new selections. Grin, grin, wink, pretty please…  🙂

This time, I’m tackling another kind of beast. The hairy kind. I need to pick four animal prints for display and, as usual, I feel undecided, confused, frustrated, baffled, inadequate, and a tad unfulfilled. Not necessarily in that order. I fear that if you help me not, bitterness will prevail.

So ’nuff said, go to work! Please select the four pet prints you would pick if you were pathetic little old me. All the pets must be different.

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Et voila! The last one has chickens in it, I know. I don’t think they really qualify as pets but I like the photograph anyway.

Please, help me out! Do your blogger duty. You’ll feel better afterwards. I’m thriving on making you guys feel good about yourselves. I aim to please… And also, Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

S.O.S Bloggers! I need you. I’m pathetic.

For those of you who missed the preceding post (and shame on you for that), I am in the process of designing a promotional children photography brochure for the Dallas area, and I absolutely need your input for the choice of images to include. Please let me know which are your three favorite photographs in the following bunch. Pretty please.

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All your help is incredibly tremendously appreciated!!! Thank you.

If you have not voted for the first set of photographs, please do so by clicking here.

HELP! Pretty Please!

When it comes to making choices, let’s just say I have issues. I am not the type of person who agonizes for hours in front of a black sweater and a brown sweater wondering which one to purchase. No. I buy both. Needless to say, I maintain a healthy distance between myself and stores.

Last January, I decided to design a promotional children photography brochure. Eleven months later, I still have not decided which photographs to include. Not procrastination. Not laziness. Just incapacity to make up my mind. That’s where you come in like glorious knights in shining armors! It’s high time y’all became useful at something anyway!

I post photographs and you, my beloved and cherished readers (am I laying it on too thick?), help me make choices! Voila! Brilliant, no?

The first set is from a session I shot in Belgium. Circe and Calypso were my little models. I would like to possibly use one or two in the lot.

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Please let me know which one or which ones you think would be a good addition to the brochure.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. There are many more you can select so if you do not like any of these, come back later!

note: folks, it would be helpful if you all picked the same one.

Hallo-Weened – Halloween The End

Dear Organizers of the Halloween Oak Lawn Street Party,

I am writing this letter to address your unusual sense of timing. While Halloween magically fell on a Friday this year (woohoo, for a change!), you decided to hold the block party not on this perfect October 31st, but on a Saturday, a week earlier.

I ignore the reasons behind your bizarre sense of scheduling, but let it be known that by the time the real Halloween came around and after a week of working on photographs of your event, I felt absolutely not in the mood for yet another round of festivities. Not in the mood for the scary costumes. Not in the mood to see another young man running around in his underwear. Not in the mood to photograph another woman with abundant facial hair and boobs even surgery could not give me.

This year, at Halloween, I stayed home, turned off the light, and ate all the candy I was going to give away. Dozens of little children had to carry a lighter bag of candies just because of you and I will have to attend the gym assiduously for the next few weeks to atone for my gluttony (your fault too.)

Next year, Halloween falls on a Saturday. Would it be perhaps possible to hold the Halloween Street Party and Halloween on the same Saturday?

Thank you for your consideration. Here are the last few photographs of your party although you really do not deserve them.

Sincerely

Nathalie with an h

Insane Clown Posse of one

Homeless by the Sea

Satan wore a garter belt… to hold up his fishnet stockings.

In Dallas, people think sailors never wear pants. Really.

Cat Woman with fembots

If you are naturally red-eyed, do you really need a mask?

Posh grand dame

Posh grand dame with an attitude

Posh grand dame with an attitude screaming at me.

After encountering the thunders of the posh grand dame, I called it quits. I am very fragile inside, maintain a healthy fear of rejection and, to address more earthly considerations, my feet were killing me… but mainly and manly too, she scared the Beejeezus out of me. Very Halloweenishly so.

Halloweeny Duos – Halloween IX

The problem about gay Halloween in Oak Lawn is not only gender confusion or “who’s who”, but also “who’s with whom.” Making that determination appears highly hazardous and I will not venture to make a guess. It’s your call.

A couple (or not) of non-teeth brushers.

The Golden Boy and a woman. That one, I am SURE was a woman!

Death can be becoming with the appropriate flowery hat

Ok so perhaps the devil is not wearing Prada after all…

Redefining the mini-dress

Strange combo of non-coordinated costumes

“I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.”

A familiar face! The “Who you callin’ a fairy” boy from the Gay Pride Parade!

Striped-coordinated

Minimalist costumes – tres in vogue!

Who came first? The troll or the slutty chicken?

“It wasn’t us!”

Oh yes it was you! Practicing the hands-on approach with the practical big hands!

Tonight is another round of Halloween festivities. I feel slightly Halo-weened. I might not go photograph gay Halloweenies tonight (for a change) but instead stay home, turn off the lights, and eat all the candies I had bought for the trick-or-treaters. Just because I can.

A Bit o’ Cowboy Lovin’ – Halloween VI

Texas, boldest and grandest, and land of mighty cowboys. Right. Except that, in Dallas, I see a whole lot more suits than cowboy hats. Raised on JR and Jock Ewing, I’ve always felt cheated and entitled to a refund.

Then… last Saturday, at the Oak Lawn Halloween Street Party, I got an eyeful that probably compensates for the 15 years of cowboylessness.

At first, innocent enough, even though bare-chested and nipple-pierced

Then he turned around.

The new version of Rub the Buddha Belly, Texan style

Married women getting a bit of cowboy action

I plan on writing a letter to David Jacobs, the creator of Dallas, the TV show. He obviously completely missed the mark on that one.

Delicate Flowers – Halloween V

Funny how Halloween brings the inner women out of many men. Well, perhaps not in your neck of the woods, but in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas, it does. A lot.

A French maid with a plume duster… not cleaning.

A Beauty School drop out

The Three Amigas. The one on the right needs a boob surgeon or a better bra. Pronto!

Superman copping a feel of a delighted delicate flower

The Good Hairy Fairy that did not make it to the children’s books… and the Masked Meanie that did not make it to children’s book either.

Sisters

If it weren’t for the huge tattoos on their arms…

Seriously, isn’t it interesting that when men imagine themselves as women, they immediately envision themselves with HUGE breasts? Do they think that the ample mammary display will make us forget about their mustaches, beards, or 5 o’clock shadows? Do they think those things just grow on trees?

In Dallas, you have to earn your big boobies! More specifically, you have to save to get them (or, if you are very lucky, receive them for your sweet sixteen or graduation from your loving parents.)

Primary Colors – Halloween IV

I don’t know what it is about green-skinned people but they always inspire me to shoot color. I generally stick to black and white, but if you are a delicious shade of Key West Green, I’ll love you just the way you are. Devil Red? I’ll adore you too!

The Halloween Street Party at Oak Lawn in Dallas gives me all the colors, hues, and subtle nuances thereof to last me 364 days of shades of grays.

Beelzebub wore Prada’s next year’s collection.

A satyr who badly needs a haircut.

Bud Lights? Tim Burton and I are hereby disowning these guys. Really.

A precious Golden Boy.

Another Prince of Darkness. Sassy! I just received exactly the same horns!!!

My favorite Ralph Lauren green!

Just wicked!

More crazy funkiness coming your way soon…