Friday, June 18, 2010

Packing Heat

John's been making me pack for the tour today, since apparently my usual stay-up-'til-4AM-the-night-before method is somehow "bad."

Packing does weird things to us girls, though. (C'mon, ladies, back me up on this.) I mean, one minute you're counting out the socks and underwear, and the next you're sitting slack-jawed on the bed wearing black leggings with shorts over them, one sock, and a yellow push-up bra. And maybe a cape.

John: "Sooo, whatcha doin'?"

Me: "Ummm...."

John: "Have you figured out what you're wearing to the signings yet?"

Me: "Yes."

John: "Really?"

Me: "Socks. I've decided on socks."

John: [patiently] "Do you think maybe you should focus on your actual outfits? There's only four this time, you know. Last time you planned out twice that many."

Me: [now laying on my back and addressing the ceiling fan]: "Mmph. Blurg."

So that's about how my day has gone.

John, of course, hasn't bothered to pack anything for himself yet because he is a guy, and guys only require about seven seconds to pack. Give him a pair of jeans and his toothbrush and he could survive for weeks in the wild. Weeks, I say.

I, on the other hand, require approximately seventeen "travel-size" jars of various potions, creams, primers, moisturizers, pore spackle, joint compound, masks, cleansers, toners, and concealers. And that's before the make-up.


I did, however, get some footwear sorted out:

Now, for the record, and before you mock them, I LOVE those yellow boots. Love, love, LOVE them. Since it's about 100 degrees here, and still in the 60's in California, I'm excited about wearing them a few more times.

They also go great with a cape.

Not that I have one.

[clearing throat] SO...have you heard it's going to be 106 degrees in Tempe on Monday?

Yeah, Tempe's getting flip-flops.

True Story: John just poked his head in the office and asked me - with dripping sarcasm, I might add - how the packing was going. Grumble. Well, I guess I'll see some of you Monday night. Make sure you wear flip-flops so I feel at home, k?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Steampunk Dining Room

Sorry for keeping you guys in suspense for so long! I'll post the curtain tutorial soon - for now, here are some shots of our still-evolving-but-mostly-done steampunk dining room.

First, a (badly) spliced together night shot of the whole room:

Our main area is all open, so the dining room only has these two walls. You can just see the hallway leading to my office on the right and the doorway into our back room on the left.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Urban Decay

Maybe I read too many fantasy novels, but I find abandoned and decaying buildings and theme parks absolutely fascinating. It could be the post-apocalyptic feel, or the beauty in man-made things being retaken by nature - or perhaps just the feeling of exploring a strange new world that few others have seen in a long, long time. Whatever the reason, I get a vicarious thrill out of seeing photographs like these:

Taken in Pripyat, an abandoned city near Chernobyl. Go here for lots more great shots by deviant_man. (Also try googling "Pripyat" - there are tons of amazing photos out there.)

When John and I were taking a black and white photography course back in college, we went exploring at a local drive-in movie theater, long abandoned. There wasn't much to see: a big overgrown field, some of the metal framework for the screen, and a small concessions building rotting away among the palmettos. Once inside, you could barely see the floor for all the broken glass, papers, film strips (!!) and general trash. Even so, I was thrilled. They'd even left the giant movie projector in there! Oh, it was heaven - even with the smell of urine and obvious evidence of squatters about.
Looking in, past the projection room door.

Because of our limited time and funds in the dark room (nothing digital in that class!), I don't have many pictures from that shoot. The projector was crammed in a tiny room with the windows boarded up, so it was too dark to photograph it with our ancient, flash-less manual. I've always regretted that, since we never went back and the place was bulldozed less than a year later.

Here's the exterior door:

And a shot of the surprisingly well preserved counter:

There's not much urban decay to explore here in Orlando, but about a month ago our local news featured Shane Perez, a self-proclaimed "recreational trespasser," who did something nuts: he and some friends swam across the alligator and bacteria-infested waters of Bay Lake to explore Discovery Island in Disney World. At night.

I'll let you read the goodies yourself, but take a look at this shot he took while on the island and tell me it doesn't look straight out of LOST:

The lights are still left on every night, despite the fact that the island was shuttered and abandoned over ten years ago. Brrr. Feel that? Creepy shivers. :)

Oh, and when you're done with that post, check out the rest of Shane's site: his portfolio is gorgeous. (Note: It's also NSFW as he uses nude models.)

And the final cherry on top: recently a friend linked me to this article: "8 Abandoned American Theme Parks 'Open' for Exploration" There are photos and even videos embedded in the article, so it's definitely worth a look.

Oh, and I think I once saw a book or website on abandoned movie theaters - the great old Art Deco style ones - but now I can't remember where. Let me know if that rings a bell, will you?

So, have any of you ever tried "recreational trespassing?" I'm far too law-abiding myself (not to mention too wimpy) to jump fences or swim through eel-infested waters, but I'm not above looking at your pictures if you have. :D And if you have any links to other sites with nifty photography of abandoned places, feel free to share those in the comments, too!