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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
4th-Jun-2010 07:28 am
Happy birthday to azurelunatic, trouvera, and zeppo!

Happy early birthday to vanuslux and kizlj!

Still doing okay. Whew.

I want to commit to damnwell doing something on my to-write checklist every week (short fiction and poetry version), but I do not have time this week, so? Next week? Story for upstart_crow. *crosses fingers*

Up to 28 Blogathon craft donations. There's a flogger, guys. And a squid hat. And all manner of wonderment.

Oh, Vexation
Elayna is digging through my socks and finding many that will need darning. Not the best use of my time. :P

After every event, the deluge of scary-awful pictures of me. Mark regarding one that surfaced on Facebook while I was AFK yesterday and thus unable to untag immediately: "Um. I know you *have* a jawline, but..." Yeah.

I actually find these photos... I hesitate to say triggery, because I try to reserve that for sexual assault issues, which this isn't at all. But seeing them does trigger a *reaction* in me, a panic/nausea thing.

I would post one of the awful pics beside one of the ones I posted last night just so you can see, but no.

And no offense to anyone who took a pic that made me cringe - I'm not kidding when I say that I photograph really poorly. It is not your fault! But I assure you, I look much more like I do in the pics I posted last night than in any others. By an order of magnitude.

(I did post one on Facebook where the pic of me itself makes me cringe, but tithenai and I are so clearly absolutely delighted to be hugging each other that I wanted it anyway; thanks, shveta_thakrar!)

So I'm working on not letting that reaction escalate, and just untagging myself instead of wigging out and saying "make it go awaaaaay".

Special note: This is not where you insist that I photograph beautifully because you have seen good photographs of me. The ratio of good/OMGNO is about 1 to 50. You only see that 1. Trust me on the others.

Link Soup
* jimhines has another excellent post about writing about rape.
* Cherie Priest on the Gulf oil spill.
* On the brighter side, Wiscon photo booth pics! I'm sad I never made it to the photo booth; I was wandering the hallways with vylar_kaftan and judged myself perhaps a bit too tipsy to photograph appropriately. But a bunch of my friends are there. <3

Link Soup, Daily Science Edition
* Jupiter takes a hit!
* What does the hottest matter ever made sound like?
* Pride and Prejudice and Mouse Urine.
* Hubble catches stars on the move.

Friday Memeage!
Wearing: Jeans and the shirt and necklace I'm wearing in the pics I posted last night.
Reading: The Pirate's Dilemma: How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism, by Matt Mason.
Writing: Poking at those final edits on "Maxfield Parrish Blue(s)", which basically consists of making decisions about alien pronouns. Everything else is just settled. It is just pronouns and the patronymic that are making me crazy.
Knitting: I've picked up saraphina_marie's blanket again, and I started another Travelling Woman shawl at Wiscon in shades of purplebluegreen - The pattern reminds me of waves and shells and the yarn reminds me of s00j's gorgeous song "Neptune", so they had to go together.
Today: Crazy day at work, making sure absolutely everything gets done for next week's volunteer training. Lunch with mangosteen the Merciless. Enter the Haggis is playing in Lowell tonight, but I have not found anyone interested in hauling me out there, and lo, I weep, because I could really use some Enter the Haggis this week.
Tomorrow: If I've the energy for some Cambridge River Festival before the NOMAS DV shelter supply drive, awesome! If not, just that supply drive - Porter Square, 1-4:30. Still seeking volunteers and, of course, shoppers! If you're around Camberville tomorrow, please do swing by and donate! <3 That evening, I have a friend's party.
Sunday: Is another party.

4th-Jun-2010 11:35 am (UTC)
Sounds like you and I have the same curse. When I first joined Facebook and people started tagging photos of me (in some of which I look more than a little like a zombie potato) I came very close to resolving to never let anyone near me with a camera again. Luckily, people assure me that I do not in fact look like a zombie potato in real life, so I guess that's something. Still the temptation to untag myself from all of them is quite strong.

And yes, I agree: photos of you don't do you justice. Silly cameras. So kind to some of us *coughcoughAmal&Clairecough*. So mean and bitchy to the rest.
4th-Jun-2010 11:52 am (UTC)
Ohmygoodness the love affair Amal has with the camera! Really.

You are, in fact, gorgeous and not even a little zombie-potato-ish.
4th-Jun-2010 12:02 pm (UTC)
"The ratio of good/OMGNO is about 1 to 50."

As a photographer, I can state that this is pretty much true for everyone. I take DOZENS, if not HUNDREDS of photos before I get the one that's PERFECT (or at least, that I can work with). It was one of the first lessons I learned when I started doing this.

(ETA:) Even with my favorite model, Mae (who's in the icon I used for this post), I probably have HUNDREDS of photos I can never use for each one I've created something with. And she's probably the single MOST photogenic person I know!

You're intrinsically beautiful, and it shows more often than not. :-)

Edited at 2010-06-04 12:05 pm (UTC)
4th-Jun-2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
Hugh! You fail at reading comprehension. :P
4th-Jun-2010 01:19 pm (UTC)
No, I fail at following instructions. There's a difference. ;-P
4th-Jun-2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
I agree about the number of discards. Some people produce more keepers than other people, and some people are hard to get a keeper. That doesn't mean the person is more or less attractive (or a better person or whatever), just that the camera is kinder to some people. And is not relevant to shade's feelings about having her photo taken. Her feelings are hers, and can not be logic'ed away or explained into something different. (lost that in an edit somewhere, this is photo geekery, not a negation of shadesong's feelings about her own image)

I think a lot of people who take snapshots get caught up in the moment, and in their feelings about the subject, and can't see that the picture they are taking is aweful. Then they can't understand why the subject hates the photo. I am often interested in making pictures of people who feel they photograph badly, because I want to get past that unflattering snapshot, and make a real image that does capture the person. I've gotten a few of them. But it can't be done by sneaking the shot, or trying to rush it at a busy event. Can't take the crappy snapshot and call it a beautifulimage just because you want it to be.

Bad photos are entirely the person behind the camera, not the person in front of it. It's a shame that neither of them usually gets that.

Edited at 2010-06-04 02:44 pm (UTC)
4th-Jun-2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
4th-Jun-2010 12:45 pm (UTC) - On Photographs
I got in a big fight at work this week when my office manager requested that I swap my LinkedIn photo for another one that was 'more professional and experienced looking' (you know my real name- feel free to take a look and judge the photo that I put up for yourself). The office manager included in her initial email some alternate photos of me to use that she had taken at a work conference that were both terrible and I hadn't consented to have taken. The thing is:
1. I too HATE having my photo taken by most people.
2. I too photograph poorly 95% of the time.
3. She didn't have my permission to take my photograph
4. OMG! She's trying to tell me what a photo of my makes others think of me.
5. She took photos of me without my consent. Not cool!!!

It totally set off alarm bells (yes, I know what you mean about not wanting to say trigger- but just yeah, I have baggage around photographs from years ago) beyond being offensive.

People do not get that it is a sensitive topic.
4th-Jun-2010 07:18 pm (UTC) - Re: On Photographs
Weird all around! I find your pic there totally professional, too.
4th-Jun-2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
I feel your pain on photographs of yourself.
I don't think of myself as ugly but would say I have a similar ratio of good to awful pictures of me. Even posed pictures don't look good usually because I have an awkward forced smile. No one ever taught me how to smile naturally on command.

4th-Jun-2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
Physical attractiveness is not a predictor of good or bad photos. There is some other quality that makes for a good photo subject. Some lovely people make terrible pictures, and some very unattractive people make great photos.

When I take pictures of people, I don't ask them to smile, for exactly the reason you give. Most people are not actors,and can't fake an expression convincingly. I tell the people I photograph that we are having a conversation, and they should react to that conversation. When we hit a moment in that conversation that catches my eye, the strobes will go off. All I ask is that they ignore the big chunk of glass and technology in front of my right eye.

I have seen one photographer who gets around the terrible posed smile with a simple trick. He puts a mirror behind himself, where the subject can see themself. It's easier to make a good pose when you can see yourself.
4th-Jun-2010 02:17 pm (UTC)
If not, just that supply drive - Porter Square, 1-4:30.

What is this?
4th-Jun-2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
Supply drive for domestic violence shelters, run by my friend's pro-feminist men's group. Come pick up a shelter wishlist and shop!
4th-Jun-2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
I read an interesting post the other day theorizing about how we we might not like ourselves in pictures because we are used to looking at a 180 degree flipped image of ourselves in the mirror, and think of that as "what I look like."

Photographs flip it around to what everyone else sees, but reversing an image makes it very different. Your eye goes to different things, and because it's not what you're used to (but what everyone else is used to) they may like it while you don't because it's not the mirror image you have in your head.

ETA: I am not saying this is the case with you, or even that it's the only reason people don't like photographs of themselves. I just thought it was interesting.

Indeed, I think I'm pretty damn photogenic, but in every opera I've been the photographers have thought it was a good idea to photograph me in the middle of singing. NO ONE is attractive in the middle of singing opera. You make some really bizarre faces when you're trying to produce enough sound and enunciate enough to carry over the orchestra and out into the house. You're emoting with your sound at that moment, not your face, and you can't photograph a sound. It looks bizarre and hideous. I dearly wish opera photographers would get this.

Edited at 2010-06-04 05:11 pm (UTC)
4th-Jun-2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
Excellent points you make, especially about singing opera. I was trained by a retired soprano who saw me as a future Brunhilde, both in looks and ability, and gave me private tutelage for free.
I loved singing, especially under Dr. T's instruction. What I did not love was the yearbook photo of me taken while singing in Polish. Singing in English or Italian creates odd enough facial expressions, but Polish has an entirely different set of sounds. It was enough of a shock to shatter my fragile, sixteen-year-old esteem that I nearly withdrew from performing entirely.
4th-Jun-2010 07:16 pm (UTC)
It is interesting!

And yeah, people take pictures of me at readings, mouth wide open...
5th-Jun-2010 12:43 am (UTC)
4th-Jun-2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
That's actually a technique used to check works of art in progress--either hold a drawing up to the light and look through the back, or look at it in a mirror. That little thing that's nagging you as "something might be off" tends to jump out then, because it's different than how you've been looking at it while working.
4th-Jun-2010 05:39 pm (UTC) - totally gets the photo issues
While I like most of my childhood photos, once I started wearing glasses and gained weight, I have not seen many pics that favor me. It's not just feeling self-conscious of my looks, but that no one seems to capture a natural smile on my face. Instead, I tend to look goofy. My nostrils flare, my eyes squint, and/or my double chin becomes the most prominent feature. I feel ill when I see the photos Bryan took at the wedding and posted on FB, and the one of my cousin and I.

I honestly think that I was a cute kid. Cute in the chipmunk, girl-next-door, fun-loving way. As an adult, maybe my unease shows through or all the years of being told not to smile so widely have taken their toll. OR maybe it's the cameraperson's fault. Either way, it's difficult to find a flattering picture of me these days.
4th-Jun-2010 05:59 pm (UTC)
Is the shawl you're knitting now going up for an auction at some point? If not, I may want to commission one as I have this idea...I have no idea if it would work or when I would find time, but yeah...storm in my brain.
4th-Jun-2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
The purpleblue one? No, it is mine! All of my knitting lately has been charity and gift knitting; I wanted a treat for myself. :) But I can always make another. I have some of this, which is a pretty similar color.

What's the idea?

(Also, the gunmetal grey one I was making at Wiscon *is* up for auction for Blogathon. :) )
4th-Jun-2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
I wanted to attach shells, coins, and bells to it...maybe some other sea related things like sea glass.

I think I can get it to work, but not really sure.
4th-Jun-2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, I like that. <3

You'd want thicker yarn, though. Attaching stuff to this yarn would pull and distend the shawl. I'd say at least worsted weight, but I'd want to consult my knitting gurus first.

Also it might be easier to do as fringe on a scarf; that way the objects wouldn't attach to the lace pattern itself...
4th-Jun-2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
Yep, like I said, vague idea. And with life so crazy, I have no clue when I would get to fiddle with it. :)
4th-Jun-2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
I know how to fix garments (most of them), but I do not know how to repair socks. :( I hate when my pretty patterned or just plain awesome socks (R2D2 socks!) get holes or wear thin. If I can't turn it into a wrist band or somesuch similar, there's nothing I can do about it. :(
5th-Jun-2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
I hate photos of my self but that's definitely tied to self image issues. I got a lovely one of you knitting at the Split Tongues reading that I think captures you well, especially since you weren't looking ;)

It was great meeting you, and I'm already looking forward to next year!
5th-Jun-2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
The best pics of me are when I'm not looking. Thanks! And it was awesome to meet you, too. :)
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