You’re probably wondering about the title of today’s post. Well, I’ve been playing around with “hard lighting” in some of my photos to give them a darker, more atmospheric feeling. I’ve accumulated a few over the past couple of months, and decided to post them all in one big entry so I can clear the deck for new photos in future posts. Hence the “hard light blowout”.
Yes, I suppose it is time once again for more pictures of more blue, blue skies. What can I say? Summer turns out to be a good season for shooting pretty blue skies. It also turns out to be a pretty horrible season if, like me, you are the kind of person who hates cicadas. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Okay, it’s hot outside and I’m lazy, so let’s try something new here and go with the first ever panda videoblog – a rambling, laconic dissertation about pears, supermarkets and making your own butter at home (in case you ever wanted to).
After our unsettling experience putzing around the smelly Gates of Hell, we cracked open the guide book and tried to figure out where to go next. “Hey panda, I’ve got an idea.” piped up KC as we headed away from the noxious odors of the sulfur fields. “How about visiting these temples in Yamagata?” “Sounds…
…this person – and I’ve had a lot of time to think about this and what metaphors to use here – is surrounded by an odoriferous vapour cloud of doom so horrible, so vomit gag inducing, it’s like the stank of a sweaty salt ham stuck inside a pile of old wet moldy hard cover books….!
I mean… it gets you…. gets you right in the back of the throat – it’s like… as if… I dunno – like…. a thousand stanky gooches simultaneously rubbed themselves all up and down your tonsils…!
Which brings us back to the present, and this gigantic very explicit pornographic image plastered on my screen, right smack dab in the middle of a crowded Japanese office…!
“EERGLPPPFFFHHH!!!!!” I squeak out an incomprehensible sound as my mind begins to register what the frick is happening. “OH MY CHRIST!!!”
“OMIGODOMIGODOMIGOD!!!” I stammer-yell to myself as I realise I’m on a Mac and that shortcut doesn’t work. Instinctively I move to hit “window” plus “l” which on a PC will blank your screen and bring you back to the security log on. Guess what it does on a Mac in Entourage. It “refreshes the message list”, which means it has just refreshed this gigantic set of pornographic boobies displayed in my e-mail screen.
I wince at the t-word. People, I am not a “manly man”. I have a hard time talking about things like this with other men. If you’ve ever watched the TV show Scrubs, then you’ll know what I mean when I say I’m like Elliot Reed when it comes to sex: shirt on, lights off and my idea of talking dirty is substituting “bajingo” for what would normally be an awkward throat clearing and a vague gesturing of eyes towards the ground (well, I exaggerate, but with strangers I’m a prude) So you can imagine how incredibly uncomfortable I was at this particular moment, with this young, obviously undersexed young Japanese man trying painfully hard to engage in what I can only imagine he thought was “male bonding” brazenly discussing his preference for gigantic boobies. I mean, just because Sir Mix-a-lot can openly declare his love for big butts to the entire world in a rap song does not mean that you have a free reign to describe in graphic detail your love for gigantic mammaries at the dinner table, young man. Do you know why? Because he is Sir Mix-a-lot. And he is awesome. And you are not. I mean, he has a music album entitled “The Return of the Bump-a-saurus”. Do you? No. And this is the first time we’ve really spoken to each other for any extended period of time.
Are you imagining that phrase? Now while keeping that image in your head, slowly replace those words until it becomes “like hurling heavy beanbags at immobile foreigners trapped in a crowd about 25 feet away from you from an elevated wooden platform.” And then add “oh and you’re a gigantic muscular sumo wrestler.” It was, as they say, all fun and games until someone got hurt, and that someone would have been the random old lady who took one to the dome with a rather sharp and alarming plastick-y “srrrMMMMGAAAACCCKKK!” as the beanbag caught her with a glancing blow to the temple. She stumbled back for a second, dazed and shell shocked, then bumped up against the chest of a larger guy behind her trapped by the surging crowd and could retreat no further. I watched as she valiantly tried to struggle to her feet only to catch another round straight in the forehead, chin snapped straight back from the force of the impact as she slowly sank into the murky darkness of the trampled ground below the crowd line, one hand upstretched piteously, palm splayed, grasping uselessly at the heavens, mouth echoing out its last plaintive gasp: “Damn you ….. beeeeaaaannnnnsss………”
Sign spotted outside a downtown Izakaya (Japanese-style bar). Hard to argue with this sentiment I suppose! Speaking of chickens everlasting – (actually, this has nothing to do with eterna chickans, that was a horrible transition) – I am planning on taking my new pretty baby out and about this weekend to take some pictures. Originally,…
The first thing it did out of the gate was skyrocket right into the eye of the furious storm far up above us at a sharp degree angle towards what we later learned was a height of 262 feet, the 5th tallest in the world. It was a dark and stormy night, much like Snoopy used to write, but unlike a Peanuts cartoon, the sky took on increasingly darker and more menacing shades as we were ratcheted into the heavens. The flimsy orange low sidewalls of the car suddenly felt incredibly inadequate and I began to seriously consider the possibility that maybe I might slip out of lap belt. The wind began to howl as if heralding the coming of something wicked borne on massive leathery wings about to burst from the heavens, and the thin twisting rails of the track shook and shuddered, swaying under each groaning gusty assault. To the sides and all around far off below in the distance the tiny gray skyscrapers of Tokyo faded into pinpricks of diffused shapes and melty light, while I turned to my left to see b.a. silently mouthing the words “oh… my… god.” with a look on her face that expressed the “what on earth does this dolphin have in store for us..!?” feeling pounding through my chest at that very moment. Just then, we reach the crest of the hill and hung, momentarily for one second on the apex, a bright orange 5 car dolphin of thunder precariously perched hundreds of feet in the sky as if in mid-leap out of an urban ocean, silhouetted against a swirling maelstrom of thunder and bubbling cauldron of roiling liquid gray clouds and bursts of lightening burning fire within the stomachs hungry pitch black clouds and strata far above in the distant skyward darkness.