I wake up too early then I start messing around on the computer. I see an email from Image Brief, a kind of stock photography agency on demand that I joined a few months ago. Companies submit criteria for photos they need and then photographers submit photos that they think match. I’ve never been picked but it’s good practice for me. Tom and I worked together to create some photos that got shortlisted but we didn’t make the cut. Anyways, there is an assignment for chili peppers and hot sauce shaped as numbers.
After a few sips of coffee, I try to take some pictures of hot sauce shaped as a number four but it isn’t working. Studio light on a dark morning isn’t the right light for a photo. So I decide to take an early bus to work so I can take advantage of the morning light.
On the bus I bust out my laptop and start working on my science fiction love story/satire. I work on a chapter in my story about these creatures I made up called Balloon People. Balloon People are creatures of light who have covered themselves with balloon material and painted faces on the material because at some point they got obsessed with material goods so they’re as heavy as the things they own. When they let go of stuff, they get lighter and lighter until finally they discard the balloon material and are free.
I also listen to music while I work. One of my favorite new songs is “Can’t Pretend” by Tom O’Dell. It’s so well written and it reinforces to me that I need to create with not only my brain but my heart as well.
Speaking of my heart, my heart is heavy. Lately I’ve been depressed because I never have enough time to create and I feel the loss so deeply, it creates a void inside me. But it’s Friday so the commute is short and I don’t have a lot of time to create or mope when I arrive in Downtown Portland.
The sun starts to peek out of the clouds which makes me happy as I walk as fast as I can to the streetcar stop on 9th and Stark. Unfortunately, I see that I missed one streetcar and the electronic schedule sign isn’t working so I hoof it into the Pearl District. About half way to work, I hear a moaning and in the corner of my eye, I see a homeless person lurching about a half block behind me. At least I hope that is who is following me. I’d hate to discover that an actual zombie is following me which probably sounds silly but I’ve seen some strange things in the Pearl District. Once I passed a man who seemed to be covered in a tar like substance. When he looked at me wide-eyed as we passed by each other, I felt like I was in some comic book or graphic novel. Thankfully I turn a corner and I don’t hear any more moaning.
I rush into Safeway and buy some peppers. Then I find a nice place outside and take some photos. I think this was my best one.
Now that I think about it, I don’t think I photographed the right peppers but oh well, it’s the practice that counts because the more I practice the better photographer I am. And I think this is a pretty good photo anyways. Maybe I’ll do another counting book but just with food or maybe that stop motion movie I’ve been thinking about…
Now work, work, work, and more work. I stumble across a last name that might be a good name for story character – Miracle! I can’t believe there are people with that last name. That’s pretty awesome.
During lunch, I was supposed to go to a retirement lunch with a bunch of people at work. Then I thought about it and how uncomfortable I would feel being with such a large crowd, so I give the organizer money for the retiree’s lunch and decide to explore and take more photos.
I walk up NW Lovejoy Street so I can buy some coffee from Local Roasting Co., who roast great beans at a great price. On my way, I notice the flowers blooming! It seems unseasonably warm, but I’m going to take it. Here is the best photo I take during my lunch hour:
After I stand up from taking this photo, a woman yells at me from across the street. She wants to know if it’s okay to park where she is. Just so you know, I am apparently the human Google. People come up to me all the time asking for directions, bus and streetcar routes and other info you can find on Google. One time this Asian Sinead O’Connor came up to me and asked me where the free clothes were.
Back to the woman, I yell back at her, “What does it say?”
She shouts, “It doesn’t.”
So I yell back, “I don’t know.” She resigns herself to taking the risk with her car. And yes, I don’t always have the answer to your transportation, parking, and sightseeing needs, but I’m always happy to help if I can.
I manage to get through the rest of the workday then hop on the streetcar to Alder. I walk in time, past the food carts, to the sound of bagpipes. I know it is that dude that plays the bagpipes on a unicycle, wearing a Darth Vader mask.
On the bus I am super glad to have my laptop because I manage to download and edit my photos, saving me time. I don’t mind taking the bus that goes through downtown Vancouver instead of the one that goes straight through to my stop because it’s less crowded. Both busses reach my stop at the same time anyways.