Even more insomnia and sickness

I’m trying to be better at updating this blog and attending to my various social media things (you’re following me on Twitter and Instagram, right?) but the plague and my growing, insomnia-induced madness are making it difficult.

In no particular order…

  • My daughter was sick, leading to a couple of missed days of school for her, and a lot of laying awake worrying about her for me.
  • My back’s been rebelling against me on and off for the last few weeks.
  • My mother took two trips to the emergency room (one via an ambulance I summoned through the magic of 911) for pneumonia and related “fun.”
  • I’ve gotten around twenty hours of sleep. Total. Over, like, the last week.
  • And now I’m coughing, my throat’s a little sore, and I’m pretty sure that the crow perched on the phone pole across the street isn’t just there for the view.

So, yeah. How’s your September going?

P.S. The one thing I’ve managed to do consistently is take photos, even if those photos were just me playing around with newspaper and various combinations of lighting and contrast tweaking, like the one on this post.

Three things I’m shouting into the void

There’s a recent trend among bloggers and the Internet famous to write posts with titles like “Three things I want you to know,” and text which is just a little more involved than a list. And since they look like just about the easiest damn things to write, and it’s been two weeks since my last post, I’m jumping on that bandwagon like it’s the last burrito of the post-apocalypse.

Of course, since nobody actually reads this thing, it’s more like yelling into the void than sharing (allegedly) interesting tidbits about my life, but whatever.

I’m doing Instagram things.

I’ve been on Instagram for a while, but only started really using it about a month ago. A lot of my photography is going up there these days. My goal is one new photo a day, and so far I’ve been making that happen, which is kind of surprising given my track record when it comes to social media. Even more surprising, though, is that people are following me and my photos are starting to show up in the “Top Posts” for some of the tags I’ve tossed them into.

What I’m trying to say is that you should follow me over there. Follow me, like my stuff, comment on it. Pretty much anything you can think of to boost my numbers and inflate my sense of self-worth would be totally sweet.

I’m still trying to figure out what sort of photographer I am.

I realize I’m contradicting myself here, but I’m taking more photos of flowers, trees, and other “nature” type things and I’m kind of enjoying it. Like, a lot. In fact, the photo on this post is probably in my personal “Top Five.”

That’s…a little frustrating, actually. I mean, I’ve been taking photos (and taking photography seriously) for six or seven months now, and while it’d be insane to expect to know everything about the subject, it seems reasonable to assume that I’d at least know what I like at this point.

But no. No, one day I’m out shooting power lines, the next it’s architecture and candid street photos, and then later on I’m up close and personal with marigolds and begonias.

I’m trying to assume that this is all just part of the natural, creative process of anyone just getting into something like this, but I’m leaving open the possibility that I’m just a loon.

I’m still not sleeping, I still hate winter.

Despite one or two nights of exceptions, I’m still not sleeping much at all. So that, you know, sucks. Also, the first day of autumn has come and gone, putting me that much closer to another winter in New Hampshire. I’m going to do my absolute damnedest to get outside despite the cold and the snow, but…

Look, it’s really hard for me not to just start stringing together expletives and slamming my head against the keyboard when I think about winter. It’s seriously, absolutely impossible for me to even pretend to sound positive about it.

I hate winter. I hate everything about it. I think I even hate the people who enjoy it, just on general principle, though probably not, or at least not very much.

Whatever, though. I’m just going to tough it out. Get some decent boots, buy a solid base layer, then go out with my camera whenever I manage to summon the will. Which, if previous years are any indication, won’t be very often, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

Anyway, that’s what I want the two and a half of you reading this thing to know.

Hanging around (with the sickness)

Alex has been sick for the last few days–sore throat, fever, tired all the time. According to the doctor, it was “something viral.”

The specificity…it burns.

She’s feeling better today, though. Maybe she’s still a little lethargic, but her fever’s gone, her sore throat has mostly followed suit, and she’s off to school after missing two days. And since this is a kid who hasn’t missed a day of school in, like, two years, well…let’s just say the relief is palpable. This thing hit her like a ton of bricks.

Anyway, it should go without saying that I’ve done a whole lot of nothing this week. Between the sick kiddo and my back being screwed, I’ve pretty much been stuck at home. Hmm? What’s that? Oh, you didn’t know my back was bothering me? Well, you would know if you followed me on Twitter, or ready my last post.

Damn! Did you see that slick segue into self-promotion I just dropped? Totally nailed it. I’m getting awesome at this!

Oh, whatever. Like you could do better.

Right, that’s what I’ve got for you today. And since this is a short, almost non-post, up there to the right is a photograph I took of a bird on my feeder. My yard is pretty much the only thing I’ve been able to shoot in days, but it has its charms.

Occasional color

I’ve been shooting a lot of black and white lately, and I’m pretty sure that’s a thing I want to keep doing.

Maybe it’s the prominent interplay of light and shadow, maybe it’s that it looks more like “art” to me, or maybe I just plain don’t “get” color–whatever the reason, my photographs tend to end up monochrome.

I do shoot a little color, though. Like the photo over to the right.

I don’t know if it was the light when I took this, or maybe it was the funky color at the heart of these (to me) unremarkable flowers, but I shot it knowing I’d turn it into something more “painterly” than “real.”

Does that make sense?

In other news, I seriously messed up my back on Saturday morning, and thus didn’t have the sort of Labor Day Weekend I was hoping for. I spent most of it flat on the couch watching Netflix, counting the hours between doses of over-the-counter anti-inflammatories.

My back’s doing much better today, though, so I’m…still flat on the couch watching Netflix?

Whatever. Don’t judge me.

Awake, walking

The sleep, it is elusive.

Last night seemed to go better than the several preceding it, but I still feel like hammered excrement this morning, so maybe I just think I slept OK?

Whatever, here’s a photo I took the other day while out on a walk.

I’ve done a lot of walking this summer. Whenever the weather permits, I’m outside, and I usually take at least a few photos while strolling around. Unfortunately, the area I live in is a little…boring.

See, I grew up around woods and flowers and fields, spent my entire life within walking distance of green parks and flowing rivers, and basically take “the beauty of nature” for granted. No, it’s more than that.

I’m kind of sick of nature.

I’d rather shoot concrete jungles, rusting cars, and graffiti. Crowded streets, subways, and sewers. Preferably in a city that’ll never see snow, which will be coming my way all too soon.

There’s was some broader point I was going to try making here about the grass being greener, or finding the beauty in what you have, but honestly? I’m both too tired think, and too tired to fake enthusiasm when I’m this close to another New England winter.

Yeah. Fuck winter.