The Fiery One and I were out of town for the Christmas holidays visiting both sets of parents three hours away. Christmases have tended to be very stressful for me over the past several years due to the extreme overscheduling of family commitments that my mother seems to live for, but this year I made sure to insist on attending my family’s events on only two occasions. It worked! The presents were thoughtful and less over-the-top than other years with my family, the Fiery One’s family was delightful as usual (except for the Mystery-Science-Theatre-ishness of their collective movie-watching style), and I was able to visit with most of my friends from my hometown over much too many pints of beer in the familiar and cozy pubs from my just-slightly-younger days.
My birthday happened yesterday (December the 29th), and I have been informed that one Mimi Smartypants was celebrating as well. Happy Birthday, Ms. Smartypants!
Oh! I almost did not mention that I got the absolutely best thing ever for Christmas! The Fiery One gave me a Canon Rebel 2000 camera, and I love it dearly and with all my heart. I kept hearing things all over the place about digital cameras and how this is the first year that they have been outselling the regular kind and what you can do with them and why they are better in this way or that way, and guess what? I don’t care, people! (My lord, that makes five exclamation points already. I must control myself). There is something very comforting to me in thinking of the chunkiness of some technology, like good toasters that measure the humidity in order to deliver perfect toast, or like really old manual typewriters whose keys stick together if you type too fast and weigh fifteen pounds, or like those adding machines with the arm on the right side that you pull down in order to make that great ka-chunking sound and stamp numbers on a narrow paper strip. My old-school camera does this for me. I had never loaded film into a camera before in my life, and so when I lined up the end of the film roll with the little orange dot, closed the case, and was rewarded with that great winding-spring sound of a small machine, my heart swelled. I have taken some fly (that’s right, “fly”) photographs, although sparingly, because I now have a little baby named Rebel that makes me quite nervous with its newness and possible fragileness. I have snapped pictures of the Fiery One (of course), cats, the view from inside the inlaws’ rented car on the highway, the view from inside the inlaws’ rented car in the city, and the view of the crazy clouds of steam and pollution hanging thick and frozen above a potash mine from inside the inlaws’ rented car on another highway. I am going to have the best photo albums on the block.
I was going to move on to something else, but the Fiery One just popped his head in here to inform me that he is taking pictures of Elliott, our mentally challenged zebra finch with one-and-a-half wings. So I will now correct my earlier statement “that I got the absolutely best thing ever for Christmas!” We got the absolutely best thing ever for Christmas.
I feel that I must add here that I am fully aware of how often I use hyphens to link words together. You may be assuming that I am lazy as all hell since I obviously do not take the time to search for better wording or more creative language use. If you are assuming that, you are dead wrong. I find it difficult to reach that hyphen key with my nearly inoperable right-hand ring-finger, and so it takes a lot of effort to continually have to use it. I-do-not-feel-at-all-apologetic-for-my-compulsive-hyphenation-so-there.
Camera (the old-school kind) Facts (not many) and Links (mostly):
* YES Mag offers a bit of history and facts on the camera.
* For the best of knowledge on pinhole photography, go here.
* Look at cool pictures from some sort of exhibit.
* And because I got a Canon for Christmas, you are being treated to a tour of the Canon Camera Museum.
* Visit the American Museum of Photography.
* Antique cameras are fucking beautiful!
* Have you ever been curious about the camera obscura? The Magic Mirror of Life, rleggat.com, and Charles Schwartz can help satisfy a bit of that. Vermeer, the painter, was curious, too, and likely used one in his work.