Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Top 10 List-N'Aw Leans

I'm back from my trip.

These are the top 10 things I've learned about New Orleans:

10. They have sharks at the aquarium. Lots of sharks. Some have really big ugly teeth too. They are quite scary, I would imagine, if one were afraid of such things.
9. The jazz in Preservation Hall is really good. The jazz on the street corners is really good. The jazz in New Orleans is really good. New Orleans is a city filled with really good jazz (not that they have anything against blues, country, or rock, mind you, I'm merely pointing out that the jazz is really good.)
8. The latest "trend" in performance art is to "freeze" yourself, in one pose, holding it for hours, while people rush to fill up your tip jar. We saw a construction worker on a ladder for like two hours. Don't ask me to explain it, I'm just telling you what I saw and when. It doesn't make any sense to me either.
7. Bourbon Street is the new red light district. You can go to the "Barely Legal" club there. Larry Flynt from Hustler has a club there. At his club, there's a sign with swinging legs, wearing fishnet stockings and high heeled shoes. It's really hard, in fact, to photograph that sign (well, not so hard if you don't care if the legs don't show up in your picture, and you wind up with a really great picture of two holes where fishnet stocking wearing legs should be.)
6. You can buy some really good T-shirts. Examples: "I went to Shit Street and Got Bourbon Faced" and, my selection, a voodoo doll that reads, "Stick a pin in my, I'm Done."
5. Street cars come in old fashioned green and new fangled red with yellow trim. Either one is cute and worthy of a look see. They also take you all the way down Canal Street, presumably without making any left turns (see #2 below.)
4. The key lime pie at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville is really good. Be sure to wash it down with a hurricane or seven (see #1 below.)
3. It is perfectly acceptable to engage in sexual acts on open balconies. You, in fact, get "extra brownie points," if you flash your butt while doing so. You get even more "brownie points" if you brag to your friends about it. For really interesting pictures of hot trash, go to Bourbon Street on Sunday morning. You have no idea what you might find there, but be prepared to come out sticky and smelly on the other side. Bourbon Street smells like urine, vomit, and several other bodily fluids.
2. You cannot make a left turn anywhere in the city. In fact, often times you find yourself at the intersection of Canal and No Left Turn, a street which runs through the entire French Quarter, Garden District, and several other places. That's ok though, because all the drivers are so impared, they don't seem to know their left from their right anyway.
1. The hurricanes at Pat O'Brians are really the equivalent of two drinks elsewhere. I got drunk just by having just one, in fact. They come in really big, tall glasses that you get to keep, if you can remain sober long enough to remember where you put them.

(In New Orleans, alcohol is king.)

Some runners up:
1. There's a really pretty courtyard at Royal Blend. I love that place. It has a statue of a frog in it with a fountain. Plus they make the best chocolate milk. Don't believe anybody who claims that chocolate milk is only for kids. ("I'm a big kid now...")
2.You can check out a lot of really cool Mardis Gras masks at the Flea Market (and take a lot of good pictures there too.) You might be annoyed by some guy claiming his tie dyed shirts require model releases. Just ignore him and keep taking pictures.
3. When you really want to make a right turn, you can't do that either. But, that's ok because, well, they almost always have some kind of alcohol straight in front of you (see #1.)

Until next Bourbon Street...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Nice Bones


SkeletonAndGuil, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Here's my last entry before traveling to New Orleans. I thought this little guy was kind of fitting, seeing as New Orleans is the capital and center of the universe for all things voodoo, hoodoo, and all the things you do.

I've been so busy prepping for my trip, I've hardly had time to think about what I'm going to shoot. The
cemetaries, the voodoo museum, the quarter, the garden district, it'll all be there. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll get some nice Storyville voodoo happening while I'm there. Then again, I may just have a hurricane and call it a day. You never do know.

This guy was from the Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie. You best enjoy him because, with all the compact flash I've recently gone through, and all the shooting I'm about to do, it might be a while before I get anything posted on the web (at least not for a few days.)

So, my "peeps" (is that even really a word? Geesh.) Emjoy life while you can and I'll catch up with you again, but probably not before next Tuesday, when I'm slated to come back from the Big Easy.

This time, when I say "until next time..." I really mean there's going to be some time between postings, so please enjoy not having to read so much.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Brian, Man of the Woods with Pink Finger Nails


ManOfTheWoods, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

One of the fellows I work with, Brian, has found it fit to get a manicure, complete with pink (actually, I'm told "pinkish-coppery") nail polish. He got his done the same color as one of the "bolting ladies" who went yesterday (apparantly!) to get her nails done.

Now, normally, I would not find it blogworthy to write about dares, bribes, special occassions, marriages, or acts of terror (well, maybe the bribes might make it in, especially if it involves me getting large sums of chocolate in unmarked snickers bars) but today is different. Today is a special day. Today, I'm going to write about this because, well, Brian probably doesn't want me to and I've got my trip on my brain so it's rather empty up there, what with all the dust bunnies, New Orleans cable car names, ipod manuals, and all.

Brian probably doesn't want to go down in infamy as "the fellow from Carol's Blogger Site with the Pink Finger Nails." And, I'm sure, he won't (yeah, right.) Don't worry Brian, only like 8 people read this thing anyway.

Heh. If you are one of them, next time you see him, be sure to ask, "Got pink?"

For those paying attention, this picture is from the Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, TX. It was taken during the parade of, ahem, "freaks" (methinks they should have one of those in our coffee/game room, what with all the pre-qualified pink finger nail polish wearing applicants right here.)

By the way, I was searching the web and happened across this little gem: MostPopularNailPolish. Yes, it's true. According to beauty.about.com (and hey, they must know, what with such a pretty URL and all) the most popular color in nail polish is something called "I'm Not Really a Waitress."

Ok, call me a cook instead. Just please don't paint me a pretty pinkish coppery color and call me Brian, ok?

Until next manicure...

Monday, May 23, 2005

KC and the Podling from Shanghai


PointedHatsAndFace, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

So, last week I ordered my podling and was all excited about it, until I noticed that it was slated to ship from Shanghai, CN (yes, you goobers, don't google it, CN is, in fact, the FedEx/mail/UPS abbreviation for "China." Read on.) I wanted it ASAP and figured, great, now it'll be six months before it makes the trek across the ocean and makes it to my front door. Not so! Today, after only a 3 day journey (is that kind of like a "3 hour cruise" only longer?) it arrived. I answered the front door for the FedEx dude while I was wearing a bathrobe but I DON"T CARE because he handed me a new podling and he was kind of cute anyway.

I guess it's a little known (or maybe not) secret that Austin has a disco station. Today, on the way to work, in the car on the radio, I heard, "Do a little dance/make a little love/get down tonight/get down tonight"

Don't worry KC, you may have lost your Sunshine Band back in the 70's but I do plan on "getting down tonight" thanks to the cute little podling from Shanghai and the cute FedEx dude who handed it to me.

Does this thing play Yannni? I'm tired and sweaty from all that disco music.

Until next time...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Misfortune Teller No 1


MisfortuneTellerNo1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Here's another one from the Renaissance Festival. This guy was a "misfortune" teller, dressed in full garb, complete with a little booth he walked around with and a peculiar silver piece of jewelry on his finger. He mis-read tarrot cards and had a shiny ball he peered into for a spell.

We actually talked with him long enough to see him tell the "misfortune" of a fairie princesses. It was pretty funny.

I always like it when people smile when they have their picture taken. I guess it makes for nice pictures. I like it even more when they tell jokes, because, well it makes me laugh. This guy was a crack up.

I'd love to submit this to JPGMAG, PhotoFriday or one of those other topical photo entry sites, under the category of "bizarre." I think it fits, don't you? Unfortunately, they'll probably never have a topic quite like that one.

Hey, it's friday. What did you expect? (Sorry, I already used my pink elephant shots last week and I'm saving the midgets on a tricycle shot for a special occassion.)

Until next time...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Shoulder Tap


ShoulderTap, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

And you thought that chivalry was dead. Ppppft. In case it wasn't obvious, this one is from the Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, TX. "Me lords and me ladies, gather thee round me queen for the honorable ceremony of thee nights" (or something like that.)

There was this horrible kid there who kept poking us with a plastic sword. I wanted to knight him, but not stop at the shoulders, if you know what I mean.

Today is officially "Star Wars" day. I'm going to try to get a haircut. Yes, it's true. I have a ticket to one of the hottest shows in town and I don't even want to go. They're taking everybody at work, you see, and I would much rather get a haircut. I need a haircut. I really, really need a haircut. I could do without seeing Star Wars.

Like I told one of the "bolting ladies" yesterday, "2 hours and 26 minutes of watching people stab each other with light sticks is not my idea of a fun time on the old town tonight. Sorry."

(If only it were shorter or had one of those cute guys from Jackass crashing through the scenery, then, maybe. Japanese subtitles and cheesy Kung Fu maneuvers? I'm all over it. But, please, for the love of the cosmos, don't make me sit through two and a half hours of James Earl Jones on a respirator saying, "Luke, I am your father.")

Maybe I'll even wear bangs again.

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Painted Pearls


PaintedPearls, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is one of those images that I just liked, even though it doesn't really say very much and doesn't fit any kind of a theme. It's sort of a "mystery woman" kind of a shot. I was having a hard time trying to come up with a name for it, so I opted for "Painted Pearls" since that's what it looks like to me. I could have just as easily gone with "mystery woman" instead.

I ordered my ipod last night. Nothing like waiting until the LAST MINUTE, eh? The winning slogan was: "Pod Pod Piddle/Click Me in the Middle" I had to go with that one because it always made me laugh. Now I just hope that it gets here in time for my next trip. If not, I'll take it to Santa Fe, California, or any of the other various places I'm going to try to go to this year.

Since I got my digital camera, I really want to travel. Ah, the joy and freedom of not having loads of film to lug through airport security.

Now the only thing I'll have to lug is a podling.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Dancing Fairies No 3


DancingFairies3, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This one could be called "nice wings."

Speaking of wings, I was driving home yesterday and I noticed that they have moved Highway 183. Again. Only in Texas do they move entire highways at the drop of a hat. It's like the wind blew it left or something. Maybe some of my dancing fairies could fly over all that traffic and confusion that they create.

Yes, I know, I went to the Renaissance Festival and I'm still showing some older shots. I haven't had time to upload anything yet this week. I promise I'll have some Renaissance Festival shots soon enough.

At least sooner than they finish construction on 183, that's for sure.

Until next time...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Dancing Woman No 2


DancingWoman2, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

So I've started compiling my "blurry people" work into a complete "cohesive body" kind of like the ones that the imaginary jurors (do these people actually exist?) from the national juried shows like to see, and I happened across a few, like this one, that are kind of so-so. I mean, I like the colors and all but, and maybe this is because I've been looking at blurry people for so long, I can't decide if I really LIKE this one, or if it's just in the group because "the shoe fits" kind of a thing. Indecision is not good when it comes to photography, you have to love it from the start.

We went up to the Renaissance festival in Waxahachie, TX this weekend. It was a big trip and now I'm tired but it was a lot of fun.

At the end of the show, they all gathered 'round the gate for the "closing ceremonies," held hands, sang a song, and then this big cannon went off. BOOM! I was surprised, as were quite a few other folks, since we didn't see the canon. That noise is still ringing in my ears.

The morning commute seemed especially short, what with the big drive to big D and all, 20 minutes more in the buggy now feels like nothing.

Until next...BOOM!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Elephant with Red Blanket


EleWRedBlanket, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Happy Friday the 13th!

I just got back from the doctor's office where I had some bloodwork done and I had an ultrasound.

For those of you who have never had an ultrasound, it's where they rub you with "goo" (to use a technical term) and then they poke you with a small machine that looks like a hand-held price scanner. (I swear they have a better one of these at the Container Store then they do at my local hostpital. At least that one gives me discounts-sometimes-and doesn't require "goo" to operate.)

Next up, they have this little monitor where they can see your "innards" (to use another technical term) which resembles a 1950's style b&w TV minus the bunny ears.

You'll be happy to know that, this morning anyway, my spleen was not ruptured. It's in one piece-I even saw it on the little monitor-the way the bats do. We must all look pretty dorky to bats because, well, it's a kind of goofy altered state-what with the ultrasound, the 50's TV, no bunny ears, and all.

But, getting back to my spleen, it appears to be in one working piece. I also apologized to my liver for what I'm about to do to it this afternoon, while I was "in there" and all, I figured I'd put in a good word.

Happy Friday, here's an elephant for you. Too bad it's not pink.

Until next time...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

WomanDancesWStick


WomanDancesWStick, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Today's photo entry features a woman dancing with a stick. This was part of the traditional dance that we saw take place as part of the Mela.

I just love flickr. Yesterday, I saw an image of Maria Carey next to a cheeseburger. You just know that somebody's going to click on this one and go, "what the...? huh?"

Speaking of things I love to hate, or maybe things that just confuse me, I'm officially waiting for my lunch to cool. I love microwaves because they cook food quickly but, sometimes, they get my goat. They heat something up so you burn your mouth on the edges and yet, somehow, the middle's still frozen. The same can be said of today's Uncle Ben's rice bowl. Harumph to a semi-frozen Uncle Benny.

Not quite done yet somehow burnt at the same time.

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

ParrotHidingFace


ParrotHidingFace, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

I think the parrot got a little miffed at us all gathered around him. The guy holding the parrot drove a unicycle, played the accordian, and juggled, as well as serving as the local "parrot wrangler" (or whatever it is you call somebody who lends an arm to a fully colored feathered friend.) Talk about multi-tasking.

Speaking of multi-tasking, Steve and I went for lunch today at Fry's. I got CompactFlash, toner, and paper for my printer, plus I also checked out the Palm Pilots. They are sort of dull. I've decided that I really don't want one-I just need a really good calendar.

Although I do sort of like the Tungsten 5 with a hardshell case. At least I could stuff that into my bag and let it go off at misopportune times, like my cell phone. Maybe they'd mate and give me a baby ipod? Doubt it.

Still, here's a parrot for you. He could whistle Dixie too.

Until next time...

Monday, May 09, 2005

TreeBeforeTempleTop


TreeBeforeTempleTop, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This weekend, we went to the Mela Festival at the Indian Hindi temple in South Austin. I had samosas. I love samosas.

They had a liger there. He was kind of unusual looking, with a spotted tail and all. I wonder if he likes samosas. Probably so because, I believe, every living creature likes samosas (except for maybe peas because, well, they put those in samosas.)

On Saturday night, I went to my local HEB to get some groceries. I parked about 3 spaces down from the "cart return" thingie (you know what that is, it's the place where you return your cart after you schlep your groceries back out to your car.) When I got out of the store, I found that somebody had dinged my car with a cart.

They left the cart in the front of my car, so I had to push that one and mine into the return area. Grrrr.

After my run in with the lazy people, who were too self-absorbed to push their cart all of 3 feet, I went home and read my ten thousand "enlarge your penis overnight emails" (while I was eating) and a bonus flame war online.

This got me to thinking. We should round up all the people who don't return shopping carts but prefer to ding other people's cars with them, who start flame wars, who initiate spam email, and the like, and kick them in the nuts or something.

I think they should take all the annoying people in the world and lock them up in a cage with ligers. They won't get any samosas. We could become samosa natzi's and feed them to the ligers.

We can give the ligers some extra samosas if they're still hungry after eating all those annoying people but I think that they won't be. There really are a lot of annoying people in the world.

Until next time...

Friday, May 06, 2005

Happy No Pants Day



Today, as it turns out, is actually a holiday. It's no pants day.

Happy no pants day, y'all!

Tomorrow, we all have to wear shorts, I guess. Or maybe one of those bustiers like Madonna wears, you know, the one with the points? (Don't wear that, please.)

And, in other news, it was so nice outside today that Steve and I decided we should go for lunch. It was a last minute spur of the moment thing. We went to Manuel's, ate way too many flautas, and now I'm really sleepy.

I need some coke. So, I decided to ask my usual coke-splitting partner if she wanted to go half-sies but she's out of the office this afternoon. So, here I sit, cokeless and wearing pants, all alone on no pants day. Sigh.

What is the world coming to?

Until next time...

Going Around in Circles


CircularStairNo1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

It's Friday once again. As usual, I'm anticipating going out shooting this weekend. I think we're going to go to the Barsanadham temple for the Indian festival which should be fun. Maybe I'll get more bright colors and swirling people for you next week. This is one from the Palmer Auditorium shot a few weekends ago.

I'm very tired today because Charlie would not let me sleep last night. He kept getting me up, wanting me to feed him, and put him out at 3 am. It was driving me nuts. Finally, I just keeled over, I was so tired.

Actually, I may have passed out from the fumes-my car smells like cleaning fluids. I think it was so dirty they had to dip it in something to make it smell better. I'm getting a mental image of my car hanging from a derrick looming over a vat of some nasty smelling stuff.

The smell's been driving me crazy. Lucky for me the weather's been holding and it's not too hot for me to drive with the windows open. If I get stuck in traffic or at a light, I may pass out from the noxious odor.

A friend at work asked to take a look at my Art Calendar so, the other day, I brought it in. Too bad I also happened to notice two impending deadlines. Yes, it's true, there are a few folks in Pennsylvania looking for crap-on-a-stick (ahem, what you probably call "artwork") so this means I have deadlines to work now.

I'm about to head to the post office to meet one today and I've started printing off stuff for a postmark deadline on the 15th. Wish me luck.

Getting rejected from a gallery is probably better than getting dipped in cleaning fluids while suspended from a derrick, don't you think? (Can't say that same about actually getting into one and being forced to go to the opening reception though, can we?)

Until next time...

Thursday, May 05, 2005

More Blurry People


DancingFairies7, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

I don't know what it is I have about blurry people lately but I'm on a kick, so I thought that I'd post another one.

I got my car serviced today and they seem to have removed a protective layer of dirt. Yes, it's true, the dealer that I take my car to saw fit to clean it. I may not make it home tonight. I might not actually recognize the old bucket of bolts, it's that shiny.

In the showroom, my Mom was looking at one of these: new car

Pretty scary. It's 50G's. But it has these cool little "sun visor" thingies that you could pull down, so you don't get sunburnt while riding in the back.

Wow.
Until next time...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The World's Oldest Profession, Making Babies


BabyLlama, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

I went to the Texas Photographic Society's push pin meeting last week. A funny thing happened there too.

One of the guys, while showing his work, introduced it by saying, "I took pictures of what it is that men really want." I was expecting pictures of prostitutes. Instead, we got images of pancakes. Who knew that, all along, it was food, eh?

Speaking of prostitutes, I've drawn the conclusion that photography is a lot like prostitution. From the outside, to the uninformed and misguided, it looks like just a lot of complicated machinery that can easily confuse you. Once you know what it is you're going to do with it, however, the true, ahem, "artist" really just knows how to shake it. It all boils down to the way the you use what equipment that you got. At their core, well, they are both exceptionally primitive.

Very true for photography as well as, well, you know.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Sun Can Come Out Tomorrow


DancingFairies1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Eeyore's Birthday is a big party, located in a park in the center of Austin. Because of the size of it (thousands of people show up) and because it's so crazy to park around there, they have shuttle busses to take people to the events.

So, Steve, Chricel and I get on the shuttle bus and we're all confused because well busses don't have seat belts. If you ever want to confuse a bunch of adults, start off by putting them on school busses.

At the show, they had a big drum circle. People come from all over Austin and surrounding locales to beat the crap out of unsuspecting instruments and make a big noise with their little sticks.

This shot was taken when we first got there. It was significantly less crowded, smelly, and there were far fewer sticks about which made for better shoting (but probably not good music.)

After the drum circle, which was loud, we went to the maypole, which was disappointing, and then we decided to go to the Pecan Street Arts Festival, where they had a petting zoo and the sun was horribly situated directly in our eyes. The crafts were wonderful but the sun was horrible.

On the way down, in the car, I had to listen to this oh so perky disc jockey telling me, "The Sun's going to come out today! I can feel it!"

Be-atche.

I've learned to HATE the sun, especially if you want to shoot. It's even worse when it's in your eyes.

I got the best shots of the day, by doing blurry people at the drum circle, in the shade, under a big oak tree.

Until next time...

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Best and Worst of It All


PaintedHorse, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Yesterday's shooting involved going to Eeyore's Birthday Bash and the Pecan Street Arts Festival.

For those of you who don't know, Eeyore's is a throwback from the 60's. It's an annual hippie-fest devoted to celebrating the birthday of Eeyore who just so happens to be the donkey from Whinney the Poo. Don't ask me what this has to do with the 60's and hippies and I won't try to figure it out either.

I wanted to get lots of blurry pictures with people in them. I got exactly what I wanted. Whenever I think I'm getting what I want out of photograpy, I always try to turn it up a notch. Now I will have to climb a scaffolding, shoot a moving bullet, or do something hard enough that I won't feel "good" anymore. If it isn't a challenge, it starts to get a little dull.

I did get off one horrible shot yesterday. I was trying to take a picture of some kid by the maypole, holding a nice, pretty ribbon. Just as I snapped my shutter, this lady walked in front of me. I ended up getting a picture of her butt, because she was bending over to cross under the ribbon (it's all part of the maypole deal-io) and her butt came out really BIG. It's so big of a butt and so bad of an image it's frightening. I'm tempted to tape it either to my fridge or to that evil baked goods cart. It would definately keep me away from those brownies.

Yesterday, I did 3 AUSTIN-y things. I:
* went to Eeyore's
* went to the Pecan Street Arts Festival
* went to the new Whole Foods

You just can't get any better than that, not butts about it.

Until next time...