Hello blogger account. You bombard me with "UPDATE YOUR BLOGGER to the NEW AND IMPROVED BLOGGER", in beta. And I don't want to do that. It took me long enough to work this one. And I don't even know all the features here yet. So until you tell me I have to upgrade, I think I'll stick with the old version.
This here recent Thanksgiving arrived with a few unexpected adventures. We normally don't do much for this holiday, but were given the opportunity to visit family so we took it. I won't be back to work until Thursday. This is the only time off I'm going to get for about a year, so we figured we'd make the best of it.
And by best of it, I mean going out into the public world and apparently provoking the suspicion of one heavily accented grandma with a baby stroller.
You know how some brain disorders are associated with hypergraphia? Or at least I think I read that somewhere... Well, whatever disorder I have comes with a mean case of hyperphotographia. As long as I can remember, I've had a love of photography. My father had his own darkroom before I was even born, and one of my great aunts was so very good at it. There's even a photo club in Washington that has a memorial award in her name issued every year. I suppose it's run in my family - although the being good at it part took a left turn and never arrived at ME. Which is why I can't understand why I'm so fascinated with something I'm clearly not able to do in a way that justifies putting myself in the cross-hairs of public ire.
Today I went down to Balboa Island. It's a huge tourist attraction in the summer. This now being winter, and a week day - I could hardly get the camera charged up fast enough to get down there and wander around. I figured the Fun Zone would give off an interesting vacant carnival type vibe since it is winter.
There were other people there, but nothing like the jam packed streets of summer. I purposely stayed out of the residential areas on the island. There were some great photo opportunities, but I had to let them go. I didn't want to freak anyone out by taking pictures of their house.
I began taking pictures almost immediately upon feeding a parking meeter at the Fun Zone. I noticed an older lady with a baby stroller behind me. Feeling like I was in her path, I turned around and headed the other direction on the street. I crossed and started to enter the Fun Zone from a different angle. Whenever possible, especially when children are involved, I try to stay out of someone's way. That's all I was doing.
I noticed that baby stroller lady was about 30 feet behind me. I thought "That's weird, I totally would have thought she was going in on the other entrance....ooooh, look, carousel!" I found the Ferris Wheel, the car ferry, etc. Every time I looked behind me, there was baby stroller lady. I started to think to myself "I swear she's following me. WHY?", but decided she was probably NOT doing that - since who would follow me in the first place, and who would follow me with an infant in tow? It just didn't make any sense.
(Blogger isn't letting me upload pictures, so I guess I try to make links)
As I stopped to change a lens, she was off to the side of me. I looked up and smiled at her. She grabbed her baby stroller and began to finally roll past me. She paused, looked right at me and half said half angry voice addressed me "Yoh lllruhn alllround taking LOOOTS of pictures. Ihhheets reallly rehallly WEEEIRD! Boot, I shuphose....whutevah...." and she waved her hands around at me. All I could reply in that moment was "I'm just practicing with my camera." I was stunned that she was actually following me, and that she was irritated with me. "OOOOH, I DOOH NOOOT CHINK SO!" she yelled back at me and finally went on her way.
As she continued down the path away from me, I tried to take a picture of her. Both to annoy her, and to prove to me that I had actually been followed and accused of .... something... by some crazy lady with a stroller. I, unfortunately, had the fisheye lense on and my white balance was set for sunny, not shade. So her picture isn't all that clear. And it's only the back of her.
And what kills me is that I understand people asking me what I'm doing. I get that in today's world, one has to question people and what they are doing if it concerns them. I don't mind if they politely ask, because I'll politely respond. When attacked like this, I just sit in my truck afterwards and say things to nobody like "Oh yeah? Well if I bother you so much, why don't you call the police? What's that? Oh yeah, because what I'm doing is NOT ILLEGAL."
There was a group of 3 college age looking kids down there doing the exact same thing I was. They had cameras and lenses galore. Baby stroller lady didn't seem to have a problem with them in the least.
I was wandering behind some of the businesses, and in the alley I saw this:
The instant I took that, a car pulled up behind me and a man rolled down his window. He asked "Are you a spy?" I said "No, I'm just practicing with my camera." He said "OH, I thought you were the FBI or something" and then he drove away. I'm positive he was just being cautious - trying to find out what the hell I thought I was doing. But if I'm a spy, I don't know it. And I'm the worst one ever. Who can resist photgraphing a bright yellowgreen house in an alleyway? I'm pretty sure spies are trained to resist.