Category Archives: Olivia

We Survived The 2012 Apocalypse! + The NEW New Years Resolutions!

For as long as I’ve lived, I’ve always been quite the skeptic. Santa Claus? No way. Ghosts? Can’t happen. Spirits
and the after life? I doubt it. Yet for some reason, I always found the concept of the Apocalypse to be quite
intriguing and to some degree, believable. Now hold on a second Mr. Hawking, before you strike out my last
sentence with that piece of virtual chalk, I would like us to enter a world where we believe that the Apocalypse
was actually an imminent truth. Let us slip into a cozy and transport our minds to a time where the world would
actually end on a specific date and time.

Think about it for a minute. If the world were to end at a set time, how would the human race react? Would we all
sit around a garbage can fire, hold hands and cry? What would we do? Who would we hold during those final
moments of existence? A speech teacher once told me that during the attack on 9/11, the civilians who were in the
Twin Towers were faced with two options: die in a slow, giant burning ember, or fall through the sky like a comet.
Sadly, many did choose to jump out. But you know what the interesting thing was? My professor said that when
people were jumping out windows, they looked for the nearest person, held their hand, and jumped together.

Sometimes I think of the rapture because it puts my life into perspective. It forces me to ask myself “if I knew
the world would end, what would matter to me during that last breath of oxygen?” Once you get in that trance
of “wow… what if the world really DID end?” you start to remove all of the tedious things you think you care about.
Stuff like laptops, Call of Duty points, Fendi handbags, and college degrees. Remove them all, keep cutting, and
what do you get?

Clarity.

When you reduce the pot of problems and needs in your life, you’re left with a stock of few things: loved ones,
happiness, and self-fulfillment. That’s really it. Take this bit of info and really apply it to this new year. Stop
creating retarded New Years resolutions which are too often based on your desire to look like a Bowflex
commercial model, and make a meaningful resolution this year.

Hooray for surviving another Apocalypse! Quick, queue the random dancing black man who I saw at Costco!

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Filed under At The Mall, Blind Fire/Shooting From The Hip, Olivia, Out And About, Rants, Winter/Fall

Revelation #1: My Understanding Of The “Real” Meaning Of Photography

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to fully understand the true beauty of photography. Most people (including
myself at one point) get so bogged down by megapixel count, ISO capabilities, and creative filters that we forget
the true purpose of the photograph. The purpose isn’t to take gorgeous, detailed shots with blown out
backgrounds and perfect lighting, nor is it a contest to see who can generate the best, most “liked” image on the
interweb. In it’s purest, most simplified form, photography is a tool used to capture memories.

That is it.

A few weeks ago, Olivia (my girlfriend) and I drove up to Oakland to visit my brother and his boyfriend James’
house. After a hearty meal of corned beef, potatoes and cabbage, they took us to The Alameda, a small island just
ten minutes away from their home. We strolled through the thick cold Northern California breeze, and sipped
teas and peppermint hot chocolates while walking our three little dogs.

During this time, I found myself in one of those “PHOTOGRAPH ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS!” mode – which I did.
Now, I did get a handful of shots, but in all honesty, some of them were just… okay. None of them blew my
brains out like a loaded double barrel shotgun.

As I sit back in my bed looking at these shots, I wonder: how much did I miss out on by gluing my eyeballs
to that camera? Was I too busy trying to capture memories on camera and not enough time actually
experiencing them myself? I look at these shots and I feel… disconnected. It’s as if I were never even there; as
if I watched Olivia, my brother, and James experience these events while I floated in the air like a wandering
thought.

Thinking about this actually makes me sad…

Looking at this photograph makes me especially gloomy. My girlfriend, the woman I’m deeply in love with, who
is photographed within arms length actually looks lonely. I’m not even holding her hand…

So what can we do to cut down the time in front of the glowing screen and more time experiencing the memories?
Well, for starters, I can tell you that owning a nice point and shoot (like my X10) makes it very convenient to
snap a quick shot without gunning down your subjects with a giant DSLR. The quiet nature of this camera seizes
the photographic moment as swiftly as James Bond’s silenced handgun snips the neck of a Russian terrorist.

However, the final a-ha moment in learning how to reconnect with your subjects is to stop worrying about
perfecting all aspects. Who gives a fuck if your shot is shaky, and grainy, and non-photoshopped? Does it
really matter? Step away from your technical side and shoot from the heart. Shoot because you feel like
you’re stealing a piece of life – not because you want a Facebook thumb up your egotistical ass.

In the end, you will either understand this or not. But one thing is for sure: our ties to technology may have
simplified our lives in ways we never expected, yet at the same time… it has removed us from the experience
of experiencing our life. Our one and only life…

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Filed under Blind Fire/Shooting From The Hip, My Life, Olivia, Out And About, Revelation, Winter/Fall