Monthly Archives: March 2006

A Quiet St. Patty's Among Others

Thumbnail: Old film Canon
Thumbnail: Lindsay's place
Thumbnail: Darren
Thumbnail: Lindsay
Thumbnail: Incense
Thumbnail: Digsby the cat
Thumbnail: Candelabra
Thumbnail: Scrabble game
Thumbnail: The look

Darren and I had originally planned on driving up together, but the timing didn’t work out, so we arrived when we could and played it by ear. Bronny was the point of my visit, while Darren was there to see Lindsay. After a driving from pub to pub, each one full of St. Patty’s day partiers adorned with green horns and holding green pints, the four of us ended up at a small restaurant, and eventually at Lindsay’s house.

It was Bronny who made the most interesting comment to me afterwards. “Darren needs to be with someone…deep”, she said, “Someone intellectual”. I still wonder what made her think so. What did we talk about? As far as I could remember, there was no particularly interesting discussion, just a bunch of us hanging out.

But she was right.

A Girl's Room

Thumbnail: Green Ikea hanger
Thumbnail: Belts and bracelets
Thumbnail: Dream journal
Thumbnail: Sextrology book
Thumbnail: Valentine's card
Thumbnail: Sweetums

Some of this movie comes from, you know, from me, sure. But it’s not, you know, I’m never going to be able to make a movie that doesn’t, you know. Even if I’m making a movie about the turn of the century, I think you’re gonna, it’s always going to be personal. It’s just in the detailed stuff; the horses in Sheryl Lynn’s bedroom, with the ribbons on the wall, and you got sisters or you got a girlfriend who loves to ride horses and all this stuff. And those little details that you remember, I’ve been loving to put those in a movie.

I think, you know what, when I grew up in the valley, I lived there, I was really embarrassed for the longest time that that’s where I lived and that’s where I grew up, cause I knew I wanted to make movies. And I would look back to my favourite directors, and think, okay, there’s Howard Hawks, and boy, he served in the war. And there’s Ernst Lubich who escaped Germany, you know, and all these wonderful sort of things going on in our lives that you could, you’re supposed to bring to a movie, you know. But, I don’t have shit to bring, I was like, I’m from the fucking valley, you know. And, I was really embarrassed about that for a long time, I guess, until one day I just woke up and said, “Well, I’m from the valley, and I remember things like little plastic horses and the blue ribbon on the wall with the fucking girlfriend, and you know, I guess that’s what I have to make movies about.”

—Paul Thomas Anderson, Boogie Nights director’s commentary

A girl and her things.

Memories of burning candles, shampoo scents. The colours and the smells give me a total overwhelming sense of poignant nostalgia.

Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve been in a real girls room, and being there, in the middle of all the dainty things and the different fabrics, I didn’t know what was more embarrassing: the fact that I felt like I was 17 again, or the realization of how much I’ve missed it.

And this is all I can write about.

Greyhound To Her

Thumbnail: Greyhound decal
Thumbnail: Toronto city
Thumbnail: Bronwen on bed

They call it the red-eye for a reason, and although I’m expecting to sleep through most of the ride, I’m not prepared to wake up every half hour. The bus was supposed to be half-full, being 12:30 on a Friday morning, but when I arrive at the station, the line stretches across the hallway, dashing my hopes of a window seat. The guy beside me watches movies on his laptop, while the old man across the aisle works on an assortment of papers with the only light in the bus on. He sits alone, away from the window, a big fuck you to anyone who may want a seat. It’s his light that keeps me up.

The greyhound is supposed to stand for speed, named after the fastest breed of dog used in dog racing, but for me it stands for freedom. The cost is a stranger sitting next to you, a couple hours of leg cramps, and a little over a hundred dollars.

The layover is an hour and a half. As I sit in the terminal, I think of how close my parents are. I haven’t seen them since Christmas, and even though they’re an 45 minute drive away, I won’t be seeing them this time around.

This bus brings me to her.

New Lens Path

Thumbnail: Current lenses

Thumbnail: 70mm long

Thumbnail: 16mm wide

So I’ve deviated from my previous plan to wait until the new Canon 17–55mm f/2.8 IS came out before making any lens purchases. Aside from the fact that I would have had to wait until the summer for reviews that may be less than favourable anyway, the main reason is that my two dream lenses, the Canon EF 24–70mm f/2.8 L and the Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8 L were being sold refurbished and used respectively. I make it a habit to check one particular popular online retailer every morning in case of any such deals, since they update their stock some time around five in the morning and most lenses are gone by nine, L glass especially. Although I had no plan on buying either lens (I had yet to see either up for sale until this month), I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It saved me close to $2000 in total.

Now I have my ideal focal range covered with a lens that goes as wide as 16mm for my environmental and landscape shots, and another one that goes as long as 70mm for portraits. Both have ring ultrasonic motor focusing systems, which makes autofocusing beautifully slick, smooth, and quiet, with support for full-time manual focusing as well. They also go as wide f/2.8, which is perfect since I do a lot of low-light, indoor shooting, and the extra aperture blades provide buttery smooth background blur.

The trade-off is that both lenses are heavy, one heavier than the camera body itself. This comes from the fact that the construction is rock-solid and weather-sealed, being made from metal and ground glass. There are stories of people dropping their L lenses onto asphalt or rocks and surviving with only cosmetic scratches.

After all the money I just spent (more than twice as much than on the camera itself), not including the extra hand-strap/bag/filters that went along with it, I’m trying not to think of my next purchase. In the back of my mind I know that I want a macro lens or a full frame body, but I think I’ll be satisfied for the next little while.