Lucy and Mr. Bean Clean a Camera

You know those physical comedians like Mr. Bean who crack you up at how exaggerated they are and how utterly nonsensical the situation they get themselves in seems?  Well, this morning I was Lucille Ball all over the place, but instead of melting into a puddle and bawling, I totally Mr. Beaned it and walked away as if there was nothing too see behind me (as the house was burning down).

This morning I was preparing my camera and lenses for a photo shoot this afternoon.  I had my primary camera at the beach all summer so I figured there was surely sand in every crack so it was due for a good cleaning.  I was so pleased with myself as I pulled out my lens baby and my lintless lens paper and cleaned all of the lenses and filters and brushed the dust off my camera.  However, as I was removing a lens from the camera body I thought, hmmm, maybe I should dust off the sensor real quick with this dusty lens baby brush I just used all over the outside of my filthy camera body, BRILLIANT!  Cue the clown music.

I put my 85mm lens on and looked through the camera—WHAT THE HELL?!  There’s dust and even a stray bristle like the kind that come off a cheap paintbrush all over my sensor, I felt nauseous.

Surely, all I need to do is open it up and blow on it now, that should do it.  Nope.

Imagine this, I’m wearing my lintiest cotton bathrobe as I feverishly blow, and now wrap Qtips up with lint-free lens paper and rub them wildly on my sensor…then replace my lens and gasp, ACK!  It’s WORSE!  Holy shit!  I have to leave for this photo shoot in 30 mins.  Maybe I should take a break and eat something, that will clear my head.

Egg sandwich consumed.

Now I’m googling “cleaning your Canon sensor” because I have plenty of time to figure this out.

By now you’re wondering (among other things) don’t you have another camera body you can use?  You’re a professional, right?  YES, duh, of course I have my back-up camera that’s missing a battery that I totally forgot about ordering.  No big deal.  This has been my “go-to” back up camera for a while but quite honestly, I’ve never needed because my camera is AMAZING and has never let me down…too bad that hasn’t gone both ways, sorry camera.

The flail continued even after I read the very helpful website on how to clean your sensor at home (step 1, order these exact materials)…then did the opposite and made a bloody mess of my sensor.  It was a like a techno crime scene.

One thing you have to understand about a photographer’s primary camera is that its an extension of your own hand.  You know the buttons, you know how to set it up with barely a glance, you know the feel of it.  Your back-up camera is like a clumsy teenage sex scene—awkward, unfamiliar but the job gets done.  Sigh, crap, I guess I’ll bring both.

On the way to the shoot I get the brilliant idea to buy some canned air—it just might blow all that shit off my sensor!  (FYI, the UPS store and Harris Teeter grocery store do NOT have canned air so don’t waste your time.  Also, Walgreens has tons of stuff I need and didn’t even know it.)  I am going to shock you now and tell you that the canned air was semi-successful and I may be editing out some spots out but the images are lovely.

Even Lucille and Mr. Bean get lucky sometimes.

PS. I’m sending my camera body off to be cleaned properly now.

PPS. My husband just read this from the other side of the world and is probably snorting a laugh and shaking his head at me…he loves me.

Intimacy of a Song

As I was making breakfast this morning I was singing an old, favorite Elton John song (Daniel) and realized it would be nicer to hear him sing it than me — especially since I just repeat the chorus.

So, I opened the Spotify app on my laptop and logged in.  Instead of looking for EJ, I am distracted by the “Friend Activity” section and suddenly my inner voyeur is turned on.  I decide to peek through the window of my friends’ musical choice from 11 hours ago…hmmm, what time was it there [where she lives] when she listened to this song…ok, it was about midnight.  I click on the song and now I’m on sensory overload as I close my eyes and imagine myself in her shoes, listening to the sexy, slow but pulsing vibes wondering where she was when she was listening.  Was she in her car, in her apartment or in someone else’s home?  Was she chilling out, drinking, dancing, coming down from a long day and taking off her make-up before bed or was she having the kind of sex that you see in a beautifully directed film, smoky light and everything is perfect…no laughing or quick movements, only slow motion bodies (not real but a good fantasy).

Hmmm…I wonder what she’d think of me stepping into her 4:35 second song moment?  Would she feel a little exploited, indifferent or excited?  She knows me, she wouldn’t be surprised but if I told her would she change her behavior and play songs to make me curious in the future?  Would I even notice?

What should I play next and who is listening?

DANCON March

November 3, 2002

DANCON March

Well, we did it!  All nine of us finished and we’re all blistered and sore.  Whew.  My time was 6 hours and 38 minutes.  Stephanie and I stuck together the whole time…thank goodness because it would have been tempting to quit.

It was 30km and the time limit was 8 hours.

I had everyone sign my journal and write their time—the times ranged from 5:50 to our 6:38…I’m sure the Army guys and the Danes had much more impressive times.

In the coming days I would lose 3 toenails (gross) but it was worth it.  What a gorgeous country this is and I was lucky to get to see it and meet the kids along the way.  My one regret was not loading my pack with goodies for the kids.  We had no idea how many would be out and that they would be hoping for candy from us.  Next time?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancon_March

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50 Caliber Termites

November 2, 2002

The DANCON March is tomorrow—I hope I do ok.  I’m a little nervous since it’s 18.5 miles in the hills surrounding Tuzla Air Base.  We must wear uniforms (combat boots don’t quite breathe like tennis shoes) and carry a 20lb pack.

I received 3 boxes from home today!  Yay!  I’ve been “nesting” all night — so good to have sights, smells and touches from home.

Went off-base with Angel (OSI guy) and Allison (his male interpreter) for lunch and “orientation” today.  It was great — very interesting and a little sad.  The town of Tuzla isn’t much but more progressive than I expected.  Lots of coffee drinking, smoking Europeans.  Cute, young girls walking around anxious to meet boys; some on rollerblades, some with pink or orange hair—typical stuff you would see anywhere.

The little ones were so adorable—no different than American kids.  There were some gypsy’s and beggars and old people who were just wandering or begging.  Lots of rebuilding going on but Allison said not much has been done in the 21/2 years he’s been here.   Angel said, “look at all those buildings—they all have termites, BIG ONES!”  Well, he was comically referring to the .50 caliber bullet holes in the buildings.  The war is very visible here.

rifle_cartridge_comparison

I must get some sleep now.  I’m not tired but my alarm goes off at 0400 for the March.  Yikes!

k

Happy thought:  I got a really nice email from Alyson—the girl who sent the Christmas cards, in response to my thank you email to her.  It was so sweet and she appreciated my thank you note.

Fast forward:  I have no recollection of this girl (Alyson) or those cards but I continue to be touched by the random acts of kindness from strangers.

What Would Joan Do?

joan-arc-sacrifice

October 30, 2002

Well, I talked to Shane again today and once again hung up the phone feeling awful.  I’m sensing his frustrations getting worse and his depression getting stronger.  He’s almost ready to throw in the towel with Zoe-dog.  She’s driving him crazy, she’s keeping him prisoner and getting the best of him.  She’s bringing him anything but comfort and joy, as I hoped.  He’s desperate to satisfy her and is at the point where he can responsibly do no more.  I think it was perhaps a mistake getting her—but she’s ours now.  The whole scenario is making Shane re-think having children…sounds dramatic but it’s true.  Unless God intervenes, the only way we’ll have a planned child is if I can be home to tend to it.  Although I haven’t fully decided if I want children, this thought still saddens and worries me a bit.  First and foremost, I can’t bare it when Shane is so upset.  I feel physically ill at the thought of him being unhappy.  I’m not sure what to do about it…listen, show him love through calls and letters?  I guess that’s all I can do now.

Time to sleep.  I’ll call him again in the morning.

Good things to reflect on today:

  • I went to the chapel to sign up for the trip to Medjugorie, Croatia.  While I was there, I saw a basket with charms — St. Michael and St. Joan of Arc (my patron saint) so I took one of St. Joan and am now wearing it.  Smile.
  • Received my box of organic food—I can eat cold cereal now, yay!  The crap in the DFAC is all sugar.
  • Got an email from Dana, she’s in Kosovo until 31 Jan and is doing well.

k

Cards, Candy and Lotions OH MY!

October 28, 2002

What a great day for me!  I feel so fortunate today because I’ve been blessed with so many gifts.

  1. Received 2 beautiful emails from Shane to start my day.  He told me that our twin, 4 year old Russian neighbors told him that they say a prayer for me every morning, wow.
  2. Received adorable letter from Darian.  She drew a princess and colored her and it said, “To Ms. Kris I love you.  Love Darian”  awwwww
  3. Stephanie told me she got to talk to her boyfriend (Jake) and she told him how much she likes hanging out with me.  (in spite of me)  I told her I felt the same—she’s a sweetie.
  4. Received 3 boxes today!!
    1. My in-laws sent a BIG popcorn tin with cookies and candy.
    2. Mom sent a bag of Halloween candy and cute pumpkin napkins.
    3. Pam G. sent tons of fun dollar store stuff and some yummy Bath and Body Works lotions!  She wrapped everything individually so it was fun opening it all.  Wow.

k

Fast Forward:  In the 6+ months I was in Bosnia, I received more mail and care packages than anyone—ever.  The outpouring of love and support was overwhelming.  One of the best things about deploying is the opportunity to see all of your true friendships shine.  Amazing.  Also, Stephanie and Jake ended up getting married and living happily ever after…

Gag Me With a Spoon

October 20, 2002

Another Sunday night and many, many, many more to got.  It’s been over 3 weeks since I left Alaska and the mindscrew has begun. Typical me—I start over analyzing phone calls and start turning everything into a pity party.  I told him that I didn’t feel like anyone missed me…what I really meant was that I didn’t think “he” missed me.  He’s so self-sufficient that he doesn’t need me and I know he loves me and enjoys my company but he doesn’t get lonely like I do.  Maybe I should re-read his card.

I read the card and feel like an idiot.  “I feel luckier than ever to share my life with such a wonderful wife and more aware than ever of what true friendship means.”

He loves me, despite my stupid mindscrew episodes—how lucky am I?

ks

Fast Forward:  I want to gag and bitch slap my former self.  Gross.