Wednesday, September 9, 2015

On Ferris Wheels, Corn Dogs, and Selfies

Ferris Wheel and Carousel

You'd never know that we're nine days into September at present. Labor Day has been and gone, but it's been super hot lately regardless. Indian summer -- how I hate it. Just when you think you're rid of the heat for another year, a nice hot front moves in and you're sweating your way through all your days again. 

Thankfully it wasn't this hot last week! I took a little over a week off from work the way I usually do around Labor Day. I spent a lot of time reading Game of Thrones and just fucking off in general, but Seth and I also spent three of those days at the Monterey County Fair. We were covering it as members of the press again, but we had so much fun, we really didn't even remember that we were technically working. We walked there and back, but the weather was somewhat merciful -- definitely warm, but not so hot you're sure you're about the fry to death. No one got heat stroke this year, anyway.

Ferris Wheel in Living Color
I don't get out a lot these days, so when I do, I take a lot of photos whether or not I actually have to. I've never considered myself to be much of a photographer (and really, that hasn't changed any), but even if I do say so myself, I think the quality of my photos is really improving. I'm getting better at spotting the potential in different compositions and post-editing in such a way that the colors actually stay pretty true to what I was actually seeing at the time. I like that.

Patriotic Paraglider Dropping in on the Rodeo

It's been a while since I really did anything visually creative with any consistency, so I've come to enjoy taking photos. I don't sell my photographs, do photography professionally, or have any "fans" that are into what I post on the level people were with my artwork at some point, so I can just enjoy it for what it is. It's nice to step back and rediscover a bit of that old feeling that comes when you realize you're becoming more skillful at something you enjoy for its own sake.

Someone on LiveJournal even commented on how good my photos were and asked if I was "a photographer". I'm sure she was just being friendly, but still. It's nice to be complimented on something you do that doesn't normally draw compliments. I even managed to simply accept the compliment in the spirit intended for a change as well. Imagine that.

Corn Dogs and Fries

As per usual when we go to the fair, we had plenty to eat. I don't know that we tried as many new foods as we did last year though. We didn't plan it that way, but mostly we stuck to corn dogs, fish and chips, pizza, nachos, and tasty sandwiches from the deli counter at Safeway. (We stopped there each day before setting out to make sure we had something in our bellies and I think it made a difference in our energy levels for sure.) 

In hindsight, I wish I'd explored a little more when it comes to the edibles, but sometimes you just want something you know you really like. I suppose we just weren't in as much of an exploring mood, but we've tried a lot more new things when we've cooked at home over this past year, so it probably all comes out in the wash.

Cat and Wolf Selfie

I treated myself to a fresh dye job before the fair so that I wouldn't have to look like I'd just crawled out from under a rock. (Working at home and not having much of a social life doesn't exactly encourage you to pretty up all that often.) Freshly dyed and styled hair combined with actual make-up is always a good reason to take a selfie, so I did that.

I'm not in the habit of thinking much about my looks anymore the way I did when I was younger. Everything is all words, and the future, and clients, and ideas -- brainstorming as to how I can make next year a better year security-wise than this year was. Whether or not my eyebrow game is on point doesn't seem very important in comparison. Maybe it's the whole "being middle-aged" thing, but I'm realizing that my everyday mental picture of myself has become that of someone plain that maybe used to be pretty but probably isn't anymore. That said, I tend to be surprised by my own attractiveness on the rare occasion I do bother to take pictures or spend some time looking in the mirror.

I know others feel differently, but truth be told, I've never thought of myself as particularly pretty and I definitely don't consider myself to be what most people would call a natural beauty. I consider myself to be good at styling people (including myself) -- picking out make-up, hair colors, and hairstyles that make the most of however much or little a given person has to work with. But whatever you call it, it's occasionally nice to remember I have it. I am not at all bad-looking for someone that will be 40 in less than half a year.