Pictures of people.

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I love taking pictures.

People have often suggested that I take pictures of them, or other people they know. It’s the same thing as taking pictures of buildings and other things, right?

No. It’s not the same. I realized why I have issues with it though. When I was a kid, I heard how some religions feel that having pictures made took your soul, and while I don’t believe that, it made me realize that there was something intimate about taking a picture of someone. Something that made you, for a moment, closer to that person than you would normally be.

Therein lies my problem. I normally have a three foot square area of personal space that I don’t let just anybody into, especially if I don’t know them. Even if I do know them, I feel like I’m invading people and their space. I feel horribly uncomfortable when I’m taking a picture of someone.

I have no idea what this says about me, but I think I’ll stick to inanimate objects or masses of people who can’t be identified.

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A Disturbing Reality of My Mind.

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I started singing here and there when I was four.  I know for sure that I did my first solo when I was five years old.  I sang “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.”  To answer the lingering question that leaves, I didn’t have my two front teeth and it was Christmas time. I have memories of trying to memorize the lyrics and I also remember finding it terribly hard, because I was learning them from a notecard, and not from music or a tape. It was not the easiest way to learn. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough experience to tell anybody that I couldn’t possibly just learn the lyrics and then the music because they were going to be eternally separate in my mind.  Even years later, I had a hard time wrapping my brain around getting the music and the lyrics together.

I am a wealth of lyrics though. I know lyrics to things I don’t want to know the lyrics to and wish desperately that I could purge. “Ice Ice Baby”? Yep. Got it.  “Paradise By the Dashboard Lights”? Yep…that too. I have whole cds in my head. I’m pretty sure that this is taking up valuable space. I’m also about to decide that the whole of my vocabulary came from song lyrics. (Don’t find that too disturbing. I listen to a lot of Barenaked Ladies. I still admire them for fitting “posthumous” in a pop song.) I even have alternate lyrics in my head (Pardon me boys, is that the cat who chewed your new shoes?, There’s a bathroom on the right, Let’s go shopping… yeah…in drag (Cold Shot by Stevie Ray), I’m tore down..I’m almost living with a girl (Tore Down by Stevie Ray), and countless songs where “you” is replaced with “sheep” (Ewe…you…sheep…  get it? Thanks for that, Eric.)  Anyway…rambling.

I went to the see the Chattanooga Symphony and choir do Carmina Burana by Carl Orff…which..if you don’t know…you should really check out. Be sure and look up the translated lyrics because you’ll generally appreciate it more, and then giggle.  I realized, though, while I was watching them that I don’t remember performing much.  Not that I haven’t performed much, because I have. I just don’t remember it. In fact, there’s a distinct not-remembering there.  I remember performances where I couldn’t remember a single lyric and just made up words. I remember performances where I wasn’t “in”, I guess I’m saying. I remember lots of rehearsals, but it’s almost like I wasn’t there for my own shows.

I’m wondering now if this is common. Do a lot of people get up in front of a crowd to do things, and then later realize that they have no memory of the actual event? I know that I enjoy singing in front of people, but now that I know that I have no memory of it unless I forget something, how do I know I enjoy it?  I have this problem with other things too.  I gave a presentation a few weeks ago, and I could not tell you one word that I said. I’m really interested to see if anybody else has a take on this, or if anybody else does it, so feel free to comment if you have something to add!

While we’ve been apart…

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Dear wonderful people,

As you know, I’m a huge fan of The Bloggess, and one of her usual Sunday columns is “Things I did when I wasn’t here.”  I have a collection of random thoughts, links, and other nonsense that I can’t mold into a cohesive meaningful anything. I’m putting all that here.

1. http://www.artomat.org – I want to see Chattanooga get one of these machines.  Badly. Badly enough that I’m thinking of where we could put one and how we’d raise the money to keep it up at first.

2. The Mobile Hotspot Debacle – I’ve been in a unique position to know people who either are or have been homeless at one point in their lives, and I can tell you one thing about being homeless. It is not cured by one solution. The only real thing that connected those people was that they had all been homeless. Some of them because they had no other choice, but some of them choose to be homeless. Some of them were mentally ill, some of them weren’t. Some of them not only had a spouse and child/children, but living parents, and some of them had no family or none that could help them.  There is no way to lump all homeless people and say, “Oh. Poor homeless people! Let us endeavor to get them jobs and homes!” because some of them don’t want it, and some of them can’t handle it without some psychological help. There is no cure-all for this problem, so please stop pretending there is one.

3. I think Jack Black was in town.

4. This was done. https://www.causeway.org/cause/view/rapsodic-community-music  I also did a Linkedin group, but I’m unclear how how this is going to be an effective use of the interwebs.

5. Beware the Ides of March. (I just had to throw that in there.)

6. Voting on the $2500 grant for Rapsodic and other music programs starts tomorrow.  http://makemusic.maker.good.is/projects/raspsodic  That’s the link…make it so!

7. Two items on this list have to do with Rapsodic. I could be slightly obsessed. If you know anybody who does cheaper printing for charities, please let me know. I have to do this out of my own pocket right now, and I’m in desperate need of some stuff.

8. I left music on for my birds overnight and now they can chirp appropriately with the 1812 Overture. I’m very proud.

9. I’ve decided that I’m not doing my roots again until winter. Be warned. If you don’t like light brown roots with blonde hair, don’t look at my head.

10. Be sure to wear green on Saturday!

That’s really all I have right now. Vote. Pass the info around. Vote.  You can only vote once, actually…which I sort of like.  It encourages you to pass the information around if you really want that many votes, and yes, I want that many votes.

I hope everybody is having a great week and it continues to be great!

Respect – It’s pointless if it’s free.

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I got called out on my respect issues from that last post.  I’d like to blame it on how I was raised, but that’s only partly true. It’s also society that makes me cling to this one-woman rebellion of respect.

  1. People who demand respect rarely deserve it. – When I got my first post-notfinishingcollege job, I worked temporarily with a company who’s owner insisted you call him by his first name.  He was a very kind man, and I liked him quite a lot.  My second job was at a real estate company, and I realized right away that it was going to be the epitome of old style snobbery and ridiculousness. I accidentally called the owner by his first name one day, though, and got written up for it. You heard right, boys and girls. WRITTEN UP! He was so insulted that a receptionist had NOT GIVEN HIM THE RESPECT HE DESERVED.  Really? That’s your big problem for today? That’s a mighty big first world chip you’ve got on your shoulder. Let’s just say I found him rather contemptible from that day forward and never failed to mention it. Luckily, I was younger. Now I’d take out a billboard about it…or…blog…it.  Anyway!
  2. Your money isn’t respect-worthy. It’s paper. – I have to admit a bit of awe of people that have a lot of money, because I can’t imagine having a checking account that I wasn’t always constantly checking to see if putting gas in my truck had made it go overdrawn.  That’s not really the same as respect, though. Having money isn’t the respectable part, it’s what you do with it once you get it, and how you treat the people around you.  I think one of the worst things in the world is to have a lot of resources and not use them to improve the world around you. Companies that take and take and take your money, then they won’t give to charities, especially in their high business areas…well..they make me sad and angry.
  3. Positions don’t earn you respect.  – Having a high position and not abusing your power or “power” earns  you respect. I remember seeing a local politician come into a business to return something at one point, and the woman at the counter pointed out that they hadn’t sold the product for over five years and they had a thirty day return policy.  The politician bowed up and said, “Don’t you know who I am?!” The woman at the counter said, “The person who didn’t follow the return policy?”

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are a great many really good people who have money and/or position, but there are a lot of crappy people out there with the same things. If you treat them both the same, then what’s the point?  There should be some sort of difference made in them because otherwise, we’re just reinforcing bad behavior that we complain about when they get to Washi…I mean…   So, lesson for today, don’t treat your fellow man like crap no matter how little or how much money you have.

I’m with The Band, Part 2

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My first posting with my name on it came out today, and I feel good about it.  I’ve passed it around and I’ve been met with a lot of support from a few people that I’m close to, but no comments on facebook.  I know it’s hard to deal with, and it’s weird for other people to have to deal with what they feel like are your issues.

http://www.bandbacktogether.com/post/2583/

I don’t require comments.  I just really hope that it helps someone gets something useful out of it.

I Forget We Have History.

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So, one of the problems of growing up in Chattanooga is that you often forget that there actually is a long and diverse history behind it. You think history is for other places like Charleston and Savannah, and we can’t possibly have had anything go on here.  Nothing goes on here now.

While heading to Hair of the Dog last night (and by the way, what was that building?), the boyfriend did one of those things that he does.  He picked up a Chatter magazine and brought it with us, unsuspectingly changing the fate of the free world, or maybe just making me get out earlier than noon on Sunday morning. I find our publications in Chattanooga highly suspect in that most of the people in them have familiar last names, swanky designer clothes, and soccer mom haircuts.  This, by the way, makes me a snob. I’m pretty much ok with it, but while I was rolling my eyes at Chattanooga “society”, I came across an article that made me gasp, and I was glued to the pages until I finished it.

Irish Influence

Wait, what?  We had a predominately Irish neighborhood downtown?  We’re practically Gangs of New York and nobody knew!  One of the things that makes me a snob is my disdain for how history is written, and granted, history has always been run by the  folks with the money, but real history has always been made by just people.  Any city can have a big fancy how that was owned by General So-And-SoForth, the third Earl of Kansas, but it’s hard to connect with somebody like that.  He funded history, but I promise you, he did little of the manual labor.

So out I went this morning with my camera.  I poked around a bit, just looking.  I took a few pictures, and seriously, did any of you know we had actual nuns?  Yes, yes…we have Catholic churches, but up until last night and today, the only place I’ve ever seen nuns was in New Orleans…and they were driving a mini-van.  (After my divorce, I swore I was going to be a nun. It was pointed out to me that 1. I was divorced and 2. I was raised Methodist. I could have gotten around this by creating a new identity for myself, but it was also pointed out that a lie was not the best plan to start a religious relationship, and I could hardly take this to confession.) But I digress!

Anyway, at this point, I’ve decided that I really want to find out more about the real history of Chattanooga.  Who lived here and where in the heck did they come from?  Of course, I’m going to record this photographically, and this is another thought I had, I take pictures my own way.  Sometimes they’re really odd, but I think the world is best seen by tilting your head. It’s easy to take a picture the way people are used to normally looking, but I think the real art of photography is to make people see things the way you do. Some people may not care much for that and to those people I say, “Well, you don’t have to look. Nobody’s forcing you to.”

If you are interested in the rest of the pictures, I have a flickr page and they seem to be here.  Now I just have to find somebody to take me under Market Street.  Takers?

I’m with The Band.

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Yeah, I’ve said that before…and meant…I’m really with the band.  This is different.

There’s a lot of stigma behind saying, “I have emotional issues.” or “I went through something.” and sometimes you can’t tell the people that you’re closest to what you’re thinking or what you’ve been through for so many reasons.  Sometimes, I feel like it’s too much to expect of people for them to carry things that I could tell them. There are times when I don’t want to say something outloud.  There are things I don’t want to say to people, either for the first time, or again.  I don’t want pity, I just sometimes want to say things to get them off of me…off of my mind and off of my chest.  That’s why I’m with The Band.

When I first signed up for the website Bandbacktogether.com, I thought I’d never write anything.  I thought I’d never read anything on it either. So far, I’ve read tons and posted twice anonymously, with my first named post coming out soon.  I have to admit, some of it is hard to read and makes me feel like my problems are nothing, but that’s not why they’re there.  It’s a place to say what you feel and what you think about really hard topics.  A place for all those things that you wish you could scream out of a window, but can’t.  Here, you can post anonymously and really be anonymous.

I know a lot of people who could really use a website like this in their lives, but more importantly, there are a lot of people that I don’t know about that could use this in their lives.  It’s for those people that I decided to write this. Everybody goes through stuff, and everybody has problems.  What makes the difference in life is how you choose deal with your problems.  Here is a new option.