Sandy Pants

I have actually taken lots of photos at work since being asked to step up and shoot photographs for the school (for use on social media sites as well as for promotional materials, etc.). It has been interesting trying to shoot such different types of photographs from my normal stuff (shots in poor lighting conditions, without proper equipment, and to other people’s specifications) and I’d love to share some of what I’ve done so I can talk about the hows and whys of the shots, but the photos are of students at the school and it isn’t appropriate for me to share them here. Suffice it to say that I did get the valedictorian and the salutatorian to perform a jump shot in front of some school lockers for a Facebook post.

Instead I’ll share this one, which was a test shot I took a few weeks ago – as you can tell, the test proved that my lighting was way overexposed. There was something about this shot that captured my attention even though it was a throwaway shot, so I decided to process it. Maybe it’s the harsh look of my face (I have a wig cap on, but hadn’t yet put on the wig), or the blur, or the ruffled skirt (love that skirt, BTW) or the handy ExpoDisc hanging around my neck making me look not unlike Flava Flav, or the overly yellow tones – not sure what about I liked so much, but it was begging to be messed with, so I did:

expoport1_Snapseed_pxr

I also have another levitation/Fab Pants shot to share, but before I do that, it’s time for a SANDY BREAK! Because I’m still seeing Sandy twice a week for my arm, although I’m not sure it’s really helping when I stay on the computer for 4 hours at a stretch on a regular basis, but still. Sandy tells me stories, y’all, so I gotta share.

First of all, Sandy recently lost a long-time client when the guy got offended by her attempts to discuss what she called “women’s lubrication issues” with him. I have to call a bit of BS on this, because I find it hard to believe that someone who’s been seeing Sandy for a significant length of time would be surprised by any topic of conversation she might bring up; I’ve only written about Sandy 3 or 4 times on this blog but I bet not one of you was surprised to hear it, so clearly I’m not getting the whole story. Moving on. Sandy also had a “travel trailer” implode when she hitched it up to her truck to drive it off her property – because it was infested with scorpions. “It was just full of scorpions, and when I moved it just a little it blew up and scorpions just flew out everywhere.” I think Sandy does drugs, y’all. She also has lots of vacation properties available to rent, complete with travel trailers – just bring plenty of scorpion antidote with you.

Anyway, here’s my other levitation/Fab Pants photo. If you follow me on Flickr, you’ve seen it already.

FabPants3a_Snapseed_pxr

Also, I am down to about 8 days left with students at work, then another two weeks before some sort of vacation sets in. I am at that point in the school year where I wish we could cram the last few days in through Saturday and Sunday and forget weekends, to get to the finish line sooner. I find myself sitting around all weekend twiddling my thumbs, waiting to get back to Monday and GET IT OVER WITH. I am sure the students feel the same way.

Not sure if I’m going to shoot planes this weekend or not as I haven’t heard back from my father, but we’ll see. Graduation is this Saturday and there’s loads of other things going on, so if it gets put off another weekend or two I won’t be too bummed. I’ve gotten a few new wigs in that I can always photograph, as well as continue working with my macro lens to get it under control. Until next time, people!

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Kinks and Links

The kinks in my title refers to getting them worked out of my arm again with good ol’ Sandy. And Sandy? Has had enough, y’all. Of her husband, mostly. Today’s OMG moment came when Sandy was working on my right shoulder and suddenly started giggling. Then she kind of put her head down on the massage table for a moment and said, ‘You know, I’m really not a bad person, but…” and for those of you who know Sandy, you’ll be surprised to hear that she did not conclude that sentence with a mention of squirrel-shooting (actually you probably won’t be surprised, because Sandy would never consider herself a bad person for shooting a squirrel). What she did conclude it with was the statement that Thursday morning her husband had been feeling “frisky” and for the first time in her life, she told him, “You know what, no. You’ve been doing everything the same for forty-plus years, and I’ve had enough. I AM NOT IN THE MOOD.”  I was little flabbergasted Sandy’s been married forty-plus years and this is the first time she’s ever told her husband to put that thing away, but I’m beginning to suspect Sandy has a tendency to exaggerate. And is it sad that the first thing I thought when Sandy told me this story was, “I can’t wait to share this on my blog”? The links in my title refers to one link, actually, not several, but I wanted to be parallel so I had to make it plural. Forgive me. The point is, a feature has been published about my photography on the Pixlr blog. They do an occasional segment called “Follow-Worthy” which features a photographer they consider to be, well, worth following. And apparently I made the cut. Supereric from Flickr, who writes for the Pixlr blog, contacted me earlier this week and sent me the questions, and now he’s got the blog post up and running. So without further ado, I’ll quit talking here so you can go read what I’m saying over there: Follow Worthy: Marey Mercy. A big thanks to Eric and the folks at the Pixlr site for doing me the honor. I’ve shared that link with everyone I can possibly brag to about it, so I hope they saw a nice increase in numbers. You know – because I know hordes of people and all.

Oh, Sandy

I went to get my arm worked on Tuesday night, and as Sandy was kneading the knots out of it I realized I seriously need to find a way to record our conversations without feeling guilty about it or getting caught (although, probably if I don’t get caught, I won’t feel guilty, since that’s how it usually works, so there’s really only one thing I need to figure out). Since I haven’t done that yet, I’ll have to summarize today.

Sandy: “I had such a nice morning! I had no appointments until evening, so I decided to go out on my back porch and grill me some pork chops. While they were grilling, I decided to put some feed in the bird feeder, and wouldn’t you know it soon enough there was this squirrel sneaking around my peach tree to get at that seed…”

If you know Sandy, you know where this is going:

Sandy: “So I went and got my BB gun and I shot that squirrel. Then I thought, hm, I do have the grill going already, I oughta just skin that thing and grill it up. But then I decided that was too much work, so I got a Wal-Mart bag and put it in there and threw it in the trash.”

There was also a description of a tumor she had removed one time that, according to her doctor, looked like an octopus, but he “got in there and took all the tentacles out.” When Sandy told me that, I was face down as one is when getting a massage, with my face through the little pillow-hole where she couldn’t see me, so I was free to make the appropriate OMG face in reaction to this description. Which reminded me of how years ago, when I used to get massages from this massive, six-foot, two-hundred-and-something-pound Swedish woman named Elga, I would make the most ridiculous faces into the void opened up by that pillow hole while she mashed me into oblivion, and I used to think it would be a great photo series to stick a camera under that hole and snap pics of people while getting literally ironed flat like fresh linens by that woman (she injured me more often than she healed my injuries, which is why I had to quit going to her). Such a portrait series might even be better if the shots were taken while listening to Sandy’s stories.

No photos today – just wanted to share a little Sandy tale of squirrel murder. She did say that after she got rid of little Rocky’s remains and ate her pork chop, she went to “Mickey D’s” for her daily sundae, so at least the story has a sweet ending. And my arm feels great, so maybe I’ll edit some more pics tomorrow.The aviation museum shots, maybe?

Oh and in other news, I recently mentioned submitting more photos to Getty Images – and they accepted all but one of them! The new ones are included on my artist page. I had a feeling it would be easier to get these shots accepted than my movement shots, which I don’t think make very common or sought-after stock photos. But I am going to submit some more recent stuff, including, probably, that striped-dress levitation shot everyone liked so much. But I have to fill out model release forms for that stuff, which is a pain, so I haven’t done it yet. Until next time!

 

 

Crazy Country Massage

In spite of my arm troubles, I have to type up a little synopsis of my experience getting a massage tonight. It’s not what you think, if your mind went into the gutter right away – but it is really bizarre, in a fun sort of way. Fun, if you are accustomed to this particular sort of Southern old lady I’m about to describe. For those of you not from the South, this woman might not be familiar to you, and furthermore, she might horrify you. I apologize if that is the case. My Southern readers will recognize this type of character right away. But I should warn you there is lots of hunting talk, and the talk gets weird – it’s something I’m totally used to even though I’d never shoot an animal unless it was about to kill me, which would only happen anyway if a bear crashed through the back windows of my house because I sure ain’t venturing out into nature to encounter any. Moving on.

Photo Apr 08, 7 32 57 PM

Now, when one thinks massage, one probably does not think of a strip center like this – at least, not massage of the therapeutic sort. But as it turns out, my dog groomer was housed in this little countrified shopping area right up the street from my house for years, so I was familiar with the woman’s massage office when Google pulled her up as being in my area – I just never thought of trying her out before. Had I not been frequenting this little place for years, I’m sure I would have taken one look at the place and kept driving, but I was already immune to its run-down “charm,” and didn’t really think twice about heading on in. This little center is actually one of the oldest in the area, sitting right across the street from a well-known neighborhood barber shop in a historic old home; everything has grown up around it like crazy, but it has always looked basically the same.

Photo Apr 08, 7 32 04 PM
The “payment slot” is always a nice touch.

Just based on the door alone, I was not at all surprised when “Sandy” explained to me later that she knew NOTHING about technology. You don’t say? I can’t even remember the last time I saw those peel-and-stick letters put to such good use on an office door. Good times.

Speaking of Sandy, she was approximately 68 years old, tiny, and aside from the entirely white ensemble of long-sleeved turtleneck, stretch pants, and orthopedic shoes, she was a dead ringer for Flo, the sassy diner waitress from the 80’s sitcom Alice.

flo.
OK, so she also had a little less hair.

The massage itself was pretty good, and she worked a lot of the kinks out of my bum arm. But the conversation was the real stand-out here – and yes, I do mean conversation. Usually I fall to sleep during a massage, but although Sandy had the requisite tinkly, wind-chime-y music playing in the background, I could barely hear it over all her talking. Sandy is one of those people who manages to tell you loads of personal details about herself during the course of a conversation (she’s been married twice, her first husband died of cancer, she’s been in business over 30 years, she knows how to shoot both rifles and handguns and has a concealed carry license, etc. etc.) but at the end of it knows nothing more about you than your name. Well in this case, she knew my name and how much my right arm hurt, but why it was hurting (spending too much time on the computer) we never got around to discussing.

Photo Apr 08, 6 10 40 PM
Oh, and she also owns rental properties. LOTS of rental properties. Owning rental properties is a LOT of WORK, y’all. Sandy can tell you all about it.

So here I am, lying on a table getting my knots ironed out, tinkly music playing in the background, and for a good twenty minutes Sandy is describing to me, in detail, not only how many times she’s killed a deer, but exactly HOW she kills them – where she shoots them, how far away she is from them when she shoots them, etc. That set up a nice segue into what she described as a “typical old person afternoon” – shooting squirrels off the back porch with a BB gun, then heading to McDonald’s for some ice cream. Yep. That was how my massage therapist described the ideal life of a Typical Old Person. Then there was this:

Sandy: “This morning I told my grandkids how I’d shot three squirrels in the backyard, and they said they wanted to eat ’em fried, just like they do on Duck Dynasty. So guess what I did?”

Me: “Um, you fried them…?”

Sandy: “Not yet, but I skinned ’em! Then I put ’em in the deep freeze, so the next time my grandkids come over they can have fried squirrel.”

Me: “So, where do you live again?” (Answer: in my neighborhood)

Photo Apr 08, 6 10 11 PM
Abandon hope, all squirrels who enter here

When I told my husband where I was going for a massage, he immediately joked that the place probably got mistaken a lot for a massage PARLOR by the all the old country boys in the area, which surprised me because the thought had never entered my mind. But as it turns out, Sandy has lots of stories about men calling for appointments asking for ‘special services,’ as she called them. She even told me that when she first moved her business into our area she was denied a license because the assumption was that she was opening a house of ill-repute. For her first few years, she was only allowed to have female clients, and she was not allowed to operate after 5 PM (the assumption being, I guess, that most people looking for happy endings would do so after-hours. As if). And keep in mind, this was back in the NINETIES. Ah, the South. So much fried squirrel. So little massage.

Photo Apr 08, 6 10 31 PM
I love it that you can get your feet massaged for $20. And I’m assuming this sign doesn’t actually mean you can get five and a half hours of massage in one session. Because – no. I refuse to reflect on that further. 

But after all the crazy-talk, my arm did feel better (although typing this post up has caused it to flare up again – damn), and my wallet was only $50 lighter, so I went ahead and made an appointment to go back next week. The more I reflect on the experience, the more I think she might really be crazy, and I’m now a little suspicious about the fact that the client leaving the massage room right before me was a dude (she’s not REALLY doling out happy endings, is she?). Plus, her phone was ringing constantly the whole time (the rental properties, don’t ya know). But as far as the massage went, she was appropriate and respectful and she did seem to know what she was doing, so for now I’m going to surmise she’s just a bit nuts. If nothing else, she’s certainly an experience. We’ll see how long I can tolerate it.