It’s been a busy time in the life of Jenny. I’ve had all sorts of stuff to blog about, but haven’t wanted to blog because I’ve been working on a short story that’s getting not so short, and also have been busy with stuff to blog about, leaving little time to actually blog.
My story shall be a “Three’s Company” parody. I have to give props to the writers of that series. I now have some inkling for how dirty they must have felt in their every day lives, looking for that double entendre in everything everyone says. I’ve even come up with a triple entendre, though haven’t found a proper way to implement it yet. Rest assured though, it will turn up in the middle of the story for seemingly no reason, because I am simply unable to throw away a good joke.
And so, a recap of this past week this shall be.
Last Saturday was the poker run. It went pretty well from what I could tell. I personally enjoyed it, though I know other family members who were quite tired when all was said and done, and even before. But I had an easy job, I was the ride videographer/photographer.
We had to wake up early, which sucked. It was also very cold out all day (and even rained a little later), which sucked even more. If not for the crap weather, it would’ve been a completely awesome day. My mom and brother and I were in charge of the pre-registered booth, though I often ran off and let them do it themselves. It was all incredibly confusing in the beginning, but they and the other volunteers managed, somehow.
I found out I get jealous easy. Around lunch time, this guy with a big camera comes in and starts poking around and taking pictures and video. I glare at him silently. I feel so inadequate when I only have the little camera, while here’s this guy strutting around with his huge thing. But then I think, “hey, I’m the official ride videographer, even if my camera does suck”.
Shortly thereafter, my dad and I drove out to the final stop to prepare for the riders’ arrival. There wasn’t much for me to do there. I mean, I can’t carry stuff, and the prize table people seemed to know what they were doing. I asked my dad what to do, and he said “just take pictures”. Of what? “Of anything”.
The final stop took place on a closed off street with a few other events going on for the charity. They had vintage cars, so I took pictures of those. There were some kids doing martial arts, so I took pictures of them. But I was, of course, most comfortable and relieved when I found the little flowers at the end of the street. Macro photography has always been my comfort zone.
Riders started arriving, so I took their pictures and pictures of the motorcycles. A police officer suggested parking all the bikes on the street where it was empty, and that turned out to be an awesome idea. Three hundred or so bikes all together looked pretty cool. I even chair-napped an abandoned chair to get a picture from a different perspective. I felt so clever.
As I found myself at the end of the road and was about to turn around, I heard sirens. I looked over to the next row of motorcycles and saw that the local news anchor dude/master of ceremonies was on his motorcycle with the police escort, taking off for the main stage. They showed a clip of this on the news, and I’m sure I could be seen somewhere in the background saying “ohhh shit!” and scrambling to switch between the still camera and the video camera while running after them.
This motorcycle parade of course meant that the ceremony was about to begin, so I made my mad dash past the motorcycles, careful not to dash too madly, lest I create a domino effect that would be hardly amusing except for the millions watching on YouTube.
But all was well. Proceeded to videotape the proceedings. Began to rain, took refuge under a tree. Looked around frantically for my brother so he could bring me my tripod, but alas, no luck. Stood against the tree for an hour, trying to keep steady and film.
After the prizes were given out, I made my way back to the end of the street with the intent of getting some sweet footage of the motorcycles leaving, and that I most certainly did. Still, no one to fetch the tripod, so still quite shaky. Tripods are great, but not all that practical when you’re on the move, you know?
So that was that. It’s been a great ride — a ha ha ha! But seriously. Working on the website for the ride was super fun at times, when learning about MySQL and stuff and debugging the admin centre, but also incredibly frustrating when trying to work with others’ inefficient code. It’s been a year or so of poker run this and poker run that, but when it came right down to it, ride day was fun. I would gladly do it again next year, but we’ll see what happens. It’s all kind of up in the air now.
Next we come to my various yearbook activities of the week.
Monday night I decided it was time to go out in search for my ads. I was dreading it. Talking to people? People I don’t know? Asking them for money? Not exactly something I want to do. But I looked at the clock. The fish and chips place was closing in half an hour. I need to get these ads soon, and seeing as no one is around to drive me, I guess I’ve gotta walk.
The fish and chips place went nicely. Walked on down, asked to see the manager, showed her the yearbook, she asked for some more information (awesome!), I gave her the letter, asked her to give me a call. Sure, I forgot to ask her name. Sure, I forgot to ask for the phone number. But give me a break, it was my first time!
First one went well, so I thought, hey, let’s walk down to Shopper’s! So I did. No manager there, but got the number to call and names to ask for. Didn’t actually call yet, since I need to call during the day, and well, I’m at school during the day. Also, I don’t like phones.
Walked a little further down the street, looking for other little businesses. Found none, so turned around and walked to the end of the street in the other direction. Not much luck. It was a Monday night, so not too many stores were open. The nail salon I’d previously noted to ask at somehow disappeared on my way back. Maybe I was distracted by the lady with the thick accent asking for money for shoes.
I’d say it was the first time someone asked me for money on the street, but that wouldn’t be true. I mean, how can you leave a concert at the ACC without someone stopping you? But it was the first time I was on my own and was asked. Then again, it was probably the first time I’ve been walking around on my own. I told the truth, said I had nothing on me, and moved on.
But then as I approached the end of the business area, I saw a van pull up beside me and honk. Didn’t recognize it as Jennifer’s van, so kept walking, but they kept honking. Maybe they were honking for someone inside one of the buildings. Turned the corner, but the van followed. Hmm.
Like I said, this was basically the first time I’ve been walking around outside alone in the evening. I can get a little paranoid sometimes. I automatically assume the worst case scenario. They’ve got guns, they’re going to kill me, that sort of stuff. But of course they didn’t, they drove by without a drive by, har har har. But the rest of the walk home was not as cheerful as it was when I left the fish and chips shop.
I do feel like an idiot. It wasn’t all that scary. But I’ve always assumed this is a safe neighbourhood, and it’s not, really. I’ve heard about a few bad things that’ve happened on this particular street not too long ago, and of course I was able to recall quite a few while walking there on Monday. I’ve always been pretty naive about things like that. It’s not as safe a town as I might think.
On a happier note, Wednesday was photo day. That means I didn’t have any classes since the Yearbook class runs photo day. When the lady was trying to explain to us what we had to do, it was pretty confusing, but once you got into it, it wasn’t that bad.
We had two tables at the entrance to the auditorium, four or five people at each table. Our collective job was basically to give the student a card, check their photo package, and check their name off the list. Five people are not needed for this job, especially when I and Mark were assigned to crossing off the names on the list. How one list, one hi-lighter, and two people were supposed to work together was beyond me. Mark handed the job to me after the first few letters of the alphabet, and I happily crossed off names the rest of the day.
At first, the girls at one end of the table would ask for the student’s name and how to spell it and find their card, then I would have to ask again and so on and so forth. Eventually I had the brilliant idea to implement a system where the card was found, handed to me, the name crossed off the list, and the card handed to the student. Went pretty smoothly after that. I’m so freaking efficient. Had pizza for lunch, finished names S to Z after, and went home for last period since we were excused for the whole day.
Thursday was Grade 9 Day in the afternoon. Since I’m on the marketing team for this month, we decided we would bring old yearbooks and a camera and hang out the rest station. We’d talk to the kids about the yearbook and try to convince them to buy it. The camera would also help to sell the book seeing as, hey, we can take your picture for the yearbook!
Turned out not exactly as planned. The first group came ’round to the rest station, had drinks, which I’m told tasted like piss or something not so pleasant, and were asked trivia questions. Hmm… didn’t account for that. I thought they’d just be sitting around. They also had to work on their “cheer” for a contest at the end of the day.
Second group came around, much of the same. Well, we can’t just stand around! I asked the guy in charge of the station if I could use his table, so I stood on the table and yelled that I wanted everyone together to take a picture for the yearbook. And yes, they listened! Hurrah! Hearty chants of “buy a yearbook” followed, and soon enough, it was time to change stations yet again.
Repeat for the rest of the afternoon. Some groups were more co-operative than others, but I did get pictures of them all, except of course the first group. Every once in awhile, someone would smile upon seeing the camera, and I would ask, “do you want a picture for the yearbook?”. Maybe this act of kindness would inspire a sale? I can only hope.
I was quite worried that the pictures were all awful. It was a terribly sunny day, so the screen was hard to see. I could tell however that the sky was overexposed in nearly all of them, but there isn’t much I could do without underexposing the people. But still, I’d say I got at least my 10-15% quota of good shots.
At one point when I was getting up onto the table, there were cups and stuff in my way, so I kind of stood around stupidly waiting for someone to move them until I realized that I would need to do it. One of the team leaders held out his hand and asked if I needed help getting up, which was sweet, but I of course politely declined and thought to myself, “pfft, this isn’t the fifties, dude”.
Anyway, all these chances this past week for photographing actual people was pretty cool. I learned that I’m actually capable of portrait photography, and the aperture setting does indeed work, and not just for macro photos, either! But these two events, where I was able to go wherever I wanted, take shots from crazy angles, and poke my nose around wherever I wanted didn’t prepare me for last night, where my photographic freedom was very limited. You can read about that here.
Which brings us to a close. The events of a week in my life, summed up in this one entry, but not summed up so well in the sense that a summary should be short and this most certainly is not.