Posts Tagged ‘personal’

selies“Life moves so fast. You gotta document the good times, man.” ~ Big Boi

According to Wikipedia,The first partially successful photograph of a camera image was made in approximately 1816 by Nicéphore Niépce.

In just over two centuries through the constant development of technology, we have been able to capture our favorite moments with our most beloved people in our lives.

In the 21st Century, we take photographs of anything and everything that crosses our sight. In the press of a button, people upload an average of 1.8 BILLION images every single day!! That’s billion… with a B.

I have done my fair share of that. And I am unapologetic for many photographs that I have uploaded. And some will never be uploaded or shared because they are taken for personal reasons. (Get your head out of the gutter!)

In 2011, I started traveling. Many of you will remember the countless blog posts of shows that I attended in Houston. I started doing so because I was so excited about traveling that I wanted to share. I have spent a lot of money buying disposable cameras to document my travel, fun moments, and loved ones. And I have spent even more money getting that film developed.

Three years later, I found myself attending events locally. Particularly in the downtown area. As you can imagine, I have met some people and made some friends along the way.

Within those three years, I received an Olympus digital camera as a gift. And since then I have been using it extensively ever since. I didn’t ask or beg for it. It came from the kindness of that person’s heart.

Yet bringing it into the world of smart phones, it seems a bit ancient and archaic. But it still functions as it is supposed to.

Yeah, the flash is super bright. I am aware. People seem to think I don’t know that. I HAVE HEARD MANY OF YOU WHEN YOU THOUGHT I COULD NOT. Gossip-1

Throughout this summer, I have heard people mumbling about me wanting to take photographs. A majority of it actually are people who are complaining and bitching about it behind my back and they don’t think I know about it or even think that I actually heard them as the words actually came from their lips.

If it comes down to you not liking your picture taken, that is your choice. But 99.99999% of the photographs I have taken, that has not been the case. Plus you simply will not receive the benefits. Again, that is your choice.

So it is time for me to set this record straight. Even though I was not asked to, nor do I feel that I should. If I have ever taken a photograph of you, and/or taken a photograph WITH YOU…. you will see that this is for YOUR benefit.

As I stated already, photographs are taken when I wish to document a special moment. Or if I am with people that I have deemed special to keep in my life that I would always want to remember those moments.

Think about for a moment. I WANT to remember that time when I was with you. Flattery should fall upon you, not loathing.

Over the last three years, a majority of my social life has involved entertainment in music. Live music mostly. The Olympus coming right along with me.

So I sit there right up in front of the stage to be able to feel in the moment when the music is playing. I take my photographs to the best of my ability with what I have.

And at the end of the night (by way of habit) I take selfies or pose for pictures with the musicians that are participating. After that I take more pictures of those who also attended. Mostly those whom I have grown to have a personal relationship with.

Then those photographs will obviously be uploaded. And just about everyone whom I have taken a photo with knows it and knows just where to find it.

Good or bad. Pretty or ugly. That is all subjective. They serve a higher purpose than your self-image based opinions. (I don’t like how I look in pictures either. But oh well!)

I have never charged any person or public entity for the photographs that I have taken over the years. It is not a business to me. Other people use photography for business and profit. Kudos to them! If they can make a living from it.. good for them! I wish them all success.

It would be very nice for people to think the photographs that I take are for the following reasons. Because it is 100% true:

  1. Promotion. 100% FREE promotion. People that you do not know are going to see these photographs. If they are ever curious as to what I am doing or what I like, they are going to look to see who and what is there. Musicians and entertainers in particular, if you want the message of what you are doing and saying to be spread to people who don’t know, the photographs I take act as that kind of promotion. And it has been more successful than you think. Just think of the different people’s faces that you see at your events that you never saw before.
  2. Personal documentation & reflection. Many entertainers share the same common dream: Making it big in the business. If nobody knows your product, nobody is going to buy it. And yet personally for those that I believe have the ability and potential to fulfill those dreams, I can hold these images dear to my heart to have the ability to say that I knew you. Chances are that I won’t be able to do so again if at some time you “made it” in your chosen field.

If you are in the entertainment industry, you should have been well aware that people such as I are going to ask to take photographs of you. If you didn’t think about that before, or don’t like your picture taken, you should probably leave the business.

“Graphs” ARE your business.  They are your life. PhotoGRAPHS and autoGRAPHS.

And finally the most personal reason of all. If by now you still are not understanding of why I do what I do, hopefully this will sink in.

In these most recent years, I have had so many people expressing their “concern” about how they wished I would do something more than just sit around the house. I made the choice to go and enjoy music. It was something that for most of my life I never thought that I could do.

I was wrong. I was totally wrong.

Man in wheelchair_0

YES I CAN!!!

Photographing and documenting gives me a reminder that I CAN do these things and that I should do them as much as possible. Life is too short to do nothing!

It is proof positive that I am living a more fulfilling life.

I recall a conversation with a colleague a few years ago. I told them that I was going out to see a particular event and I asked that person if I would see them there.

Unknowingly that person had broken their toe (or foot, I don’t remember specifically) and therefore stated that they could not go anywhere.

I expressed some sympathy towards their most recent plight as I was totally unaware of that happening to them and ended the inquiry and conversation altogether.

Then I was very discouraged and filled with frustration. This person was choosing not to go out because of their temporary situation.

On the other hand MY SITUATION is very permanent. Someone with the worst and most severe form of Spina Bifida, a birth defect is willing to make the choice to go out and have some fun while someone who has more physical ability 99% of their life decides to whine and moan over a temporary setback.

I bring along my digital camera and use it to show to the WORLD that even though I am living with the most severe of disabilities, I make the choice to get out. My photographs are my proof that I have done so. And I hope that it brings encouragement to those who sit at home alone.

So instead of whining about me “always asking to take pictures,” understand what the real reason to it is.  Even if I ask again and again and again and again.

And finally, I want to address something about the selfies that I have taken in the past. A lot of people are thinking incorrectly about them. index

If you already follow me on social media, you know that a vast majority of selfies that I have posted include other females. Not ALL, but a lot of them. That’s my choice.

However more than just a few people have told me that they are jealous of those women. And when I ask them why they are jealous, they say:

BECAUSE THOSE WOMEN ARE SITTING ON YOUR LAP!!

As fun as I think that might be, the only person that has ever sat on my lap in order to take a selfie with them, is Kimberly Freeman from One-Eyed Doll when they are in town on tour. But the last few times she has not done so. I am guessing maybe only two times in all. I also had a friend of mine do so to take a photograph together but she only agreed to do so after a lengthy explanation as to why it would look better in the photograph.

The others have stood close by me to make sure that they are within the shot and they have to squeeze in close to do so.

The truth is that other than Kimberly Freeman, two other women have sat on my lap to take a photo. But those photographs are not uploaded for a purpose. Nor will they ever be. Mainly because at the time they were extremely drunk and it could come back to bite them. So I don’t publish as I refuse to put myself in a situation to be blamed for consequences they could receive for their decision and action.

I think that the truth of the matter is that people in general are afraid to sit upon my lap. Of course again, the exception of those who are extremely intoxicated.

I hope that clears the confusion. There’s no need at all to be jealous.

I still stand firm in the opinion that a person SHOULD sit on my lap for a selfie because it is for their personal benefit so they don’t hurt their back or their legs or knees from squatting or bending over just to make sure they are within frame. But I can not convince the world of it.

And lastly I will end this post with a bit of self defense from what I touched on at the beginning.

A majority of selfies I have taken by myself. I have long arms and can stretch out a digital camera enough to get two people (maybe three) in frame. I honestly would prefer someone else to take the picture for me. I simply just don’t ask any more.

But for those who offer, whenever I hand over the camera I constantly hear comments and remarks about how the camera is a “dinosaur” or outdated technology or whatever. And remarks about the flash being “bright and blinding.”

I am a personal believer in “if you can fix it, you should.”

If you don’t like the flash on the camera or if you cannot figure out the button on the top of the camera is what you press to make the camera function or if you think it is too old, then why don’t you step up and offer to help upgrade it? I don’t have much disposable income as many other people do.

Should I just start another GoFundMe campaign to find a camera in which I can use without a flash and the photos turn out just as well?? Or am I just really stupid in believing that could really be something that someone would want to do???

If you can fix it, you should. So allow me to start you on your journey to help out everyone involved…………………………………

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RKNND2W/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I1QJMCDBR7M5ON&colid=14ORUMN2Y06CD

I started out small, I can upgrade and grow as we go along. Does that help???

dollar and Donation Box
Before I dare to mention anything that went on during SXSW 2017, I must address the issue that my wheelchair broke and has rendered me essentially home bound until the situation is taken care of.

Sadly less than two years of having a brand new wheelchair paid for by insurances, the front wheel bit the dust and I went spilling onto the floor H.A.M.

For the past two days, I have been doing what I can to bring this to the attention of many people to help get a brand new wheelchair, as well as have the old one repaired.

I started a GoFundMe campaign and for the first two days has done extremely well. If you donated and you are reading this, THANK YOU from the bottom of my butt, because its bigger than my heart.

The goal is in sight now. It is so close to being reached. It is in the final push now.

If you can, donate. Donate & SHARE. With your help, we can tackle the last bit that is left… the part that will pay for fees and other expenses in addition to the cost of repairs and the cost of a new wheelchair. This time, it is personal!!!

Anything helps. Donate here.

Thank you.

bs2Well then. I may be late for the party, but I find myself a way there. And that is the most important part of it, is finding yourself at the finish line no matter how long it has taken you to get there.

I may have been born at night, but it sure as hell was not last night.

Music is my life. It is in my soul. It has always been there, and it will forever remain.

And because of it, when I find myself surrounded by musicians in my social life, it is astounding to determine those who are fake and those who are real.

For those of you who are fairly new and for those who have foolishly forgotten by now… it is no secret that if I find something in music that I really like.. then I am 100% all for it to the point that I even promote it during my own time. I live it, breathe it, rinse and repeat.

I understand in the music business that there is a product that needs to be sold to the masses. It is a musician’s dream come true for their material to spread like wildfire, and perhaps even go viral for just a day.

The more the merrier as they say.

I am not against anyone in the business trying their best to do that and be successful at it. In fact, as I said… I will do all that I can to help make that happen if I can, if I am totally into it.

But I am on to you. I really am.

Today’s example goes international.

A band was brought to my attention from South America. And I had only heard ONE of their songs and I enjoyed it. So I did what any other human being would do, and started to follow the band on social media from top to bottom, left to right. And stuck it out with the band even though there was not much to offer in the way of merchandise. Plus coming from another continent I thought would be kind of tricky.

But the band was nice to talk about it. They gave several different options and offers that would include international shipping. And dummy-me, I took the bait. Not to say that I did not want what I paid for, but I had no idea of the shit storm that was soon to follow.

A storm that would turn me off of bands in general.

It took over two months to finally arrive from South America. And I wasn’t thrilled about it at all. But then again, it wasn’t like there was something I could do about it any way.

So from the beginning, the South American band wasn’t in a good light when it came to merchandise.

The second round came within a week of receiving my first shipment. In fact, I was asked if I wanted some other merchandise in that week BEFORE receiving that first shipment. And again…. dummy-me goes and buys more. Now I’ve spent more than $50 (including international shipping) on stuff that I bought, but haven’t received in hand.

Eventually the first shipment arrived. The second shipment came just as slow. About two to two and a half months after ordering so easily through PayPal.

Second shipment I was more content with than the first for whatever reason. And then just DAYS after receiving the second shipment, I was again given some particular “special offers” that wouldn’t last for very long.

Guess what? I fell for that sense of urgency. Shipment #3 took yet again TWO FRICKIN’ MONTHS. And yes, I was approached during that two month period with offers of something else.

I finally told this band, “I want a t-shirt and maybe the CD. And that’s all. Nothing more.”

To which I was given this rotten wrap-around about how t-shirts are so expensive and everything. And the blame went to shipping costs from South America. Whether or not that is entirely true, I do not know. I do not have a t-shirt yet.

But more and more and more and more options and offers kept coming. After three in a row, I really needed to stop and take a break. But the offers took no break. I began to feel like if I kept saying “NO” that they would stop altogether.

Needless to say, I am not a fan of shipments taking so freakin’ long. Nor am I enticed or interested in watching a “special concert” via the Internet and paying for it. If this band wants to perform for me, they can find a way to come to the United States of America and do it live in person. I mean after all, isn’t that the musician’s way of life? Isn’t that their ultimate dream?? Travel the world and spread their music to as many people as possible. Isn’t that the point of it all???? If not, it used to be at one point!!!

Here’s where it all fell apart for this South American band. Even though I was a huge fan of the one song that I found on YouTube, the live performances were an entirely different thing. And it was unsettling.

There was some teaser videos made for their performances online. Excerpts of performances from the past that were live. This band sounded awful. Absolutely horrible. And it was so full of cringe.

Some bands sound fine when they play live. Others (like this one) not so much. I understand that bands will not sound like a copied self from the studio. But if you can’t sound remotely close, there’s a big problem!!

Ever since, I have been wondering if I was going to be filled with regret to support what I could consider a “lost cause” in the end.

Just recently I saw that the band was posting photos of fans with their merchandise. To which one fan from the USA had like 30 signed photographs or prints. I exclaimed with a bit of envy of the person, and the band took that as an opportunity to jump me privately.

They were going to offer me various combinations of photographs/prints.

Three photos for $11.90.. international shipping included.

Then it went on from there:

Seven photos for $16.90
Ten for $20.90
Twenty for $27.90

Umm… it got worse from there. The original post was of 30 photos. Wanna know how much 30 of them would cost? $37.90

And the band chooses which 30 photos will be sent. Keep in mind they are not signed or autographed. As you can expect, they are leaving that up to the imagination that signing them would be extra.

However… if I wanted to be the one who selected the photographs, they were $5 each plus shipping. Suddenly, just because I want to choose… $37.90 turned into $150 PLUS shipping.

What in the hell??

They sold it as urgent. This time I did not fall for it. The moment that they realized I was not  going to buy anything, they stopped talking to me.

I went back to the person who had been contacting me all this time and I went back through every time that they had contacted me. I read over the contents of the conversation and suddenly realized that the evidence was right in front of me. This band never contacted me to say hello. They never contacted me to find out how my day was going. Every time they reached out, they were attempting to sell something.

All the times that I had attempted to initiate contact, was met up with silence and them ignoring my messages.

Let me repeat myself by saying that I fully understand that bands have something they want to sell. And that’s how their career works. But there has to be a level of reciprocity between musicians and their fans. At some type of level musicians must communicate with their fans. How else are they going to know what their fans want?

It is very clear that there is no reciprocity by the way of communication. Either you discuss buying some of their merchandise or purchasing the opportunity of watching them in their live streamed gigs…. or you don’t talk to them at all.

That is bullshit. I am on to you and every other band that has done me like that!!! I’ve received something from other countries. South America, step up your game or lose your career.The separation is soon coming.

door

“I do not stalk my crush. I simply gather information for specific purposes.” – Unknown

Meet my front door as I found it Sunday morning after returning from my trip to Houston over the weekend.

When I walked inside I instinctively called the police on my cell phone and didn’t touch anything until they got here.

Evidence was picked up and gathered and it led to an arrest of a woman who goes by the name of Jane or Janeece if you catch her on a good day.

This is a woman who apparently does not live that far away from me geographically speaking.

She had found out my name based on the amount of comments left on this blog in various posts. She had taken the time to read through most of them (if not all of them) to figure out who I was. She found me on Twitter. She found me on Facebook. And then the scariest thing of all is that she found out where I lived. Or she thought she did, I never confirmed anything.

I did tell her that I don’t invite strangers into my home. So she wanted to meet me in person because I was just the most awesome guy on the planet.

Well yeah of course, but no you are not coming into my home. Neither am I going to agree to meet with you somewhere when you are telling me that you wanting terribly to have my children. stalker-broken-window

You go into the crazy pile and labelled a “stalker.”

What else did you expect?!?!?!?!??????

So she insisted on setting up a date for us to meet in person. She went on and on and on about how great this blog is and how helpful it is for people, if they would only read it.

But the whole having my baby bit was too much.

I told her no. Emphatically no.

She asked why and I told her that I was going to Houston for a few days and I wouldn’t be here even if I wanted to meet her.

BIG MISTAKE on my part.

Nothing was broken. Nothing was stolen. Nothing was out of place. But plenty of evidence left behind to tell me that she was here, short of writing it on the walls.

She was arrested and now there will be charges filed. And there’s one less stalker left on the streets.

I suppose that I should be a lot more freaked out about this than I really am. Right now I am more focused on the fact that I had the courage to stand up to this woman and face her down and have her put in her place, which is jail. And perhaps one day I will be. But for now, there’s now one less crazy woman that I have to deal with for a while.

Never underestimate me. Several people have. And look where it got them…………..

Physically I am fine. So those who are reading this that know me personally: Fear not. I am okay.

 

“My Darling,

I write to you with the hopes that one day soon, I will be able to return to you. It is quite lonely here without your touch. And your home cooking. Remember, I love you always ………..”.

I was up very late this morning. I got caught up watching a program at 2:00 in the morning on PBS called “War Letters”. It was a collection of letters that were written by American soldiers back home. And a few letters that were written by loved ones to soldiers who were at war. It spanned not just the infamous World War II, but letters that were written by our brave soldiers throughout all of history’s conflicts. Starting with the Revolutionary War.

It was really interesting to me to hear what truly went on in the minds of a soldier when they were away from home. What was so heart breaking about the program was that after the narration of the letters, there would some times be an added note that the soldier had died in battle just days later. So you knew that was the last letter they ever wrote. After a few times of that, I couldn’t watch any more.

I went to bed thinking about my own style of writing personal e-mails towards family, friends, and colleagues. I could definitely see similarities in the mentality phase of my messages, just like these soldiers. Much of my thoughts that go into the body of the messages. Some short, some lengthy. The only difference was I do not write with similar thoughts and words that were the erotic content, as most of the letters that were featured in the program were to the wives of the soldiers.

But when was the last time that I wrote a letter? I mean actually sat down at the table with pen and paper and put it in an envelope and seal it with a stamp. The answer to that question is a few months ago. I wrote a fan letter.

I remember that I was only half way down the page, and my wrist started to cramp up really bad. And at that point, I had only begun to write the body of the message after having written the beginning sentiment. My mind began to wonder about the art of letter writing.

With cell phones, and text messaging, and e-mails… it seems as if letter writing has become almost outdated and extinct. And I feel that it is a shame. Everything now is about “convenience”. Almost anything a person wants to do, they can do on a computer or cell phone. All you need is two thumbs and a clear cell phone signal.

Writing a letter though, takes almost the entire arm. The fingers to hold the pen, the wrist to keep the pen steady, and the forearm to move fluidly across the page.

I’ve gone in and out of the hobby of penpals for many years of my life. Starting back when I was in school, learning German. I remember begging my German teacher if she could connect me with some German students that would not mind writing back and forth actual letters that were sent through the post office. My address was given to a teacher somewhere in Germany, who was actually teaching her students English. Three of those students took up my address and wrote me. I wrote one in particular throughout those years in school and into college. Until the age of the Internet was becoming so popular worldwide. I finally received my last correspondence from Germany close to 1998, when I received a postcard that was from Stockholm, Sweden. They were on holiday and they wrote:

“I do not see any fun in asking questions. I am bored with asking ‘what is your favorite color?’. But I hope you are doing well.”

That was the last time I heard from them.

From that point on, I tried again to write penpals from a different source. I placed my address in a heavy metal music magazine and listed only about a handful of singers and bands that I favored at the time. I don’t remember the name of the publication any more.

But that did not turn out anything that was worth while holding on to. Nobody that wrote to me had much in common, or much to talk about in the first place. I was getting letters from girls who were only between the ages of 12-16 years of age that only complained about how they hated school and what not.

Then I joined a fan club. Found a few people to write to. One that would be absolutely faithful in writing letters. She was from just outside of Toronto, Ontario in Canada. Even through years of letter writing, it got switched over to e-mail when it had seemed that everyone & their toy poodles and pet lizards had access to the Internet.

That same year though, I received as a Christmas gift a roll of postage stamps and a box of letter-sized envelopes. A roll of 100 postage stamps back then only cost $32.00.

I had told a friend of mine that I had a goal to have two penpals from each of the fifty states of the United States. I believe that I only got six in total.

That is mostly my history of it all. I know that there are several penpal sites on the Internet where someone can write to. I tried that as well. All I got were wedding proposals from women in some third-world like country in Africa. I told myself, “Never again.” At least not from that site.

When was the last time you received a written letter in the mail? When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone and put it in the mail?

The last hand written note that I received in the mail was a postcard that was sent from Las Vegas. Its just too bad that I cannot read it because its put up on my wall with thumb tacks to admire the rather sexy photograph on the front.

But an actual letter, no… I cannot think about when the last time I received one. I receive greeting cards for my birthday from my family, so I guess that counts… sorta. Right?

Don’t you remember the special feeling of opening your mailbox and finding a letter that was addressed specifically to you? Remember how important you felt at that exact moment that someone out there in the world was thinking of you, enough to give you something so personal as a hand written letter??

Receiving e-mails are great. But I think that letter writing is far more personal and intimate than receiving anything electronically. When you receive a letter, you get to see that person’s inner being. You can tell how important it was for them to write, simply by what kind of paper they used to write on. The color of the ink from the pen that they used, and their beginning and ending sentiments. I remember even receiving letters that had perfum sprayed on the paper. And some of them daring enough to place lipstick prints at the top of each page, and again at the bottom where they signed their name. All of these neat little things tells so much about a person, just as much as the content of their letter. 

All of it has a personal and intimate touch to it. Almost to the point that I would dare to say that they’ve poured their soul into their message.

Their hand writing becomes so fascinating because you can tell when something they are writing about is exciting because they begin to write in larger letters. Particularly if they have underlined some phrase within their paragraph. Remember seeing about a thousand lines underneath it? Yeah, it was important for them to point that out.

Sometimes sentences would not even end in correct punctuation. I know that I have had a fair share of letters that would have a sentence or a paragraph that would end with them drawing a smiley face, instead of inserting a period. To me, that is just as personal as it can get.

Receiving a personally hand written letter is probably the next best thing to having that personal actually knock on your front door. Its an inviting experience to say in the least because once you bring the letter inside, they are right there with you. You smile, laugh, or cry. But you do it with them in mind. It is the closest thing to being tangible with them. Because their hands wrote the message. And they’ve carried themselves to actually have the letter mailed to you.

I personally would not mind trying my hand again at letter writing. I would not mind starting again with the hobby of penpals.

The art of letter writing does not have to be outdated. You have to want to do it. E-mails are quick and lightning fast, writing letters though are far more intimate and personal. You have to find and make the time to do it.