Month: August 2011

So long Facebook

I read a really interesting article yesterday that sort of shook me to my core.

Read it here

I have also decided to quit Facebook. I can hardly say this was a long time coming. I did love Facebook for a long time. It started as a great platform to network with friends in college. I remember making a Facebook the day NIU assigned me my student email address. Remember the days of Facebook being for college students? I was so excited to be enrolled, and part of the reason included a golden ticket to the land of Facebook. “Now I could REALLY be a college student!” I thought.

I spent years updating my profile to reflect my most recent interests and activities. I posted pictures from vacations, updated job titles and descriptions, wrote on my friends’ walls, shared funny and thought-provoking links and articles. I stayed in touch with distant relatives. I was “Single,” then “In a relationship,” then “Single” again. I tracked peoples’ lives, some of whom I hadn’t talked to in years, through their pages thinking that it was pretty cool that I knew what they were up to even though I didn’t talk to them anymore. “Hey, did you see so-and-so is engaged?” I would gossip to a friend. “Yeah, I saw that on Facebook! Can you believe it?”

Recently, though, Facebook has become like a stressful job. The other day I found myself agonizing over the fact that I didn’t have a recent enough picture up as my profile picture. “This picture of me jumping into the pool doesn’t accurately depict me as I am RIGHT now,” I worried. I scrambled through the digital realms, scouring for a photograph that would be apt enough to convey who I was in this very moment. It was some sort of stupid, silly, inconsequential and completely unnecessary crisis. I sifted through my work experience and noticed that my life is broken down into what college I attended and where I earned a paycheck. But was that all I really did for work? What about the work I didn’t get paid for in life? I didn’t see listed “Liter box cleaner,” clearly attesting to my nature of an animal lover. What about the time I spent collecting vinyl records? That wasn’t listed. What about the time I spent concepting for a friend’s production company? I don’t get paid and it’s not “resume” material, but I consider it life-enriching work.

It has gotten to the point where I try to avoid being home because I know I will waste my time pressing the “refresh” button on my browser so as to have a fresh view of Facebook’s newsfeed. It started to feel more like watching a continuous steam of commercials than social networking. The cycle was getting vicious. Instead of logging on to keep in touch, send a quick message and be done with it, I’d sit and try to make more out of it than it was. I would use it for positive purposes, but I also noticed that it became a nasty time-suck: something I was using as more of a crutch for boredom than a tool of connectivity.

So that is why I have decided to leave Facebook, possibly indefinitely. There are other reasons, as well. Perhaps one of the most-compelling arguments from the article states:

“I knew that at heart, Facebook was about editing myself, presenting a perfect, beautiful person to the world while omitting all the dark, difficult bits, the poetics that, at their core, made me who I was.”

Isn’t that true? It’s true of life, as well. I have been contemplating that statement, and as a writer, being truthful and unafraid to say what’s real is of monumental importance. As a writer, and a person in general, you need to accept the dark and ugly parts of life, as well as the fun and exciting. Facebook feels like, at best, an attempt to grasp onto something unattainable: perfection. You spend your time wondering what would make a good Facebook post. Will it be clever enough? How many likes will you get? Is your picture the prettiest you? Will that guy you’re digging on message you? Can you put on perfect “Face” for the world? It seems appropriate that the organization is called “FACEbook.”

I realize, of course, that’s unfair to use Facebook as the scapegoat for this phenomenon that exists in real life as well. Don’t we all comb our hair, brush our teeth, get dressed and step out into the world in hopes of making a good impression, or at least to feel good about our personas? We all own mirrors, and we all worry, at some point or another, if we’re saying the right things, wondering if we overstepped boundaries, even questioning our sanity at some points. This is the dichotomy that is life. Facebook is just an extension of that and to me, an unnecessary one, and one that could be eliminated relatively easily.

I have decided to try to simplify my life. I am committed to living a life that feels REAL to me. I am tired of keeping up with a newsfeed that in reality, I could care less about. I’d rather be penning my first novel. I’d rather be reading. I’d rather paint and create. I’d rather not sit backseat to others’ conquests.

This situation will present a unique challenge to my friends. While I will be absent from a forum in which almost everyone I know participates in, it will be interesting to see how we stay in touch. I do, of course, plan on maintaining an online presence. I will spend my free time updating and working on this blog. I will keep my twitter active (because I find it less time consuming and more intellectually challenging/rewarding). I’m hoping for more phone calls, personal visits, text messages, hand-written letters. I’m also looking forward to some of the quiet time. Time spent perusing Facebook statuses will now be spent planning for my future and personal reflection. I am excited to take my life in this direction. I know it’s the right thing to do, for me of course.

If you ever decide to quit Facebook, I would applaud you. Let’s get in touch and see what you think of the page right before you deactivate your account. Seems a bit like….some sort of scary, last-ditch attempt in emotional desperation, a technique most often used in times of strife like breakups. In any case, this blog will remain an active place of my personal accomplishments, goals, travels and musings, just without all the clutter of a Facebook page. Sounds like just what I had in mind!

I survived the Philly Hurriquake 2011

Oh, Mother Nature, why can’t you send us an Irene more often?

Admittedly, that’s pushing things a little bit. Nobody HOPES for natural disaster, but who can deny that we all definitely needed the shake up. Or maybe it was just me.

Hurricane talk started earlier this week around Thursday sometime after the weird 5.8 earthquake we felt. The warnings were in no short supply starting Friday, as the Eastern Seaboard prepared for the category 1 Irene to wreak havoc along the coast. Our plan, living in Philadelphia, relatively close to the Delaware river, was to prep as much as possible while trying to maintain some sort of normalcy (ie: not fleeing town unnecessarily, while at the same time being conscious of the flooding potential).

Walmart Lunacy

To be honest, I was a nervous wreck. Patience running thin Saturday morning, my sister Melissa, Ruston and I ventured to Wal-Mart for last minute supplies. The scene was grim at best. All the bottled water was sold out and there were only Jesus candles left. We checked out the Home Depot next store for necessary bottle water, batteries and LED lights in case of a power outage.

The damage. Literally.

Work proved to a be a fail, as I was sent home about an hour into the shift. We stocked up on food, wine and other necessary placating substances including (but certainly not limited to) a delicious home-cooked meal while Dylan provided the backdrop to speculation, laughs and long-overdo shut-in party fun.

We retired to the den where we watched projector movies on the wall while listening to Blood Axis albums, slowly slipping into a coma while the apocalypse continued outdoors. Luckily, besides a brief flooding spell in which we rigged a drainage system and some minor roof leaking at our place, damage was minimal and good times were had by all.

I know all weren’t so lucky. It’s nice, though, that in times of strife, what’s important is to come together and have a good time with loved ones and friends. When times get weird, barrage through the trenches together.

When stressed, cook. Bacon.

Secrets of the Shore- New Jersey Beaches Part 5: Where the Wave Breaks

As the winds change and the seasons turn, it’s becoming glaringly obvious that summer’s reared its sometimes ugly head and is winding down to a lull. One last trip to the Jersey Shore to send it off, I thought.

Part V: Stone Harbor, New Jersey
It wasn’t until the other day when scouring through my wallet for a few crumbled bills for my morning coffee that I even THOUGHT about spending one more day “Down the Shore.” An old scrap piece of paper tucked in the depths of my wallet revealed a long-ago suggestion made by two mysteriously handsome and generous latte drinkers from my last gig as a barista. The paper simple read: “Places to visit: Stone Harbor (summertime).” I recovered this scrap and was determined to make good of the suggestion. Sometimes life’s greatest goals and adventures aren’t grandiose showcases, billboards or flashing lights. Sometimes you just need to follow the lead of a quickly jotted note. 
In any case, I started a new job, and one of our regulars, Harry Last-Name-Unknown, made a point to recommend visiting Stone Harbor. “It’s the best beach on the shore. Go there and you won’t be sorry!” How could I have ignored the prompts to visit Stone Harbor twice? Harry, who only exists as I know him, a single, middle-aged bar-hopper, was the reason for my trip. Though he may never know this, it seems he and I have more in common than I would have thought possible. 

Where the Wave Breaks: An Open Letter to Harry 
Dear Harry,
I have followed your suggestion of visiting Stone Harbor I’m delighted to report that this indeed the last trip to the Jersey Shoreline I’ll be taking this summer. I must say that this place really is somewhat of a wonder.
I was angry with you at first, truth be told. I nearly got lost following Route 9 south on the Parkway to get here. You didn’t warn me about the construction, but then again, how could you have known? I turned down Stone Harbor Boulevard and before me unwound a scene from my fantasies: beach homes, roaring boats, surf shops and the smell of sea air. I almost hate you for being right, Harry. The clientele at work is usually not my favorite, but you’ve given new meaning to “The customer’s always right.”
Thunderbird 50th Anniversary. No biggie
I curse when I turn down 96th Avenue and pull into a small beach access enclave. The first sign of trouble: all the parking spaces are occupied with  fancy cars. I can hardly believe my eyes at the procession: Audi, BMW, Benz, Audi, Lexus, Saab, Benz…They abound and make my VW Beetle look and feel like a beater. Damn you, Harry! Am I going to spend the rest of my afternoon ashamed because you’ve recommended me to spend my day off in some rich kid wonderland?
The scene only gets grimmer. Screaming kids. Families. Ugh. I would almost rather spend the day getting a root canal than playing eavesdropper to a bunch of house moms reading their copies of “How to be Good,” lamenting about their problems over every turn of the page. These bitches have rock hard bodies and hard rocks on their ring fingers. Their kids are tan and glisten under the sun’s rays, their blond hair absorbing so much UV that it’s almost white. Dads hide under umbrellas to text their mistresses on their Blackberries. Grandmothers guzzle bottled Dasani, refusing to get their poodle perm wet.
I’m sickened. I’ve walked into the play place of my workplace’s uppity clientele. It’s my day off. How is this fair?
I spend a few moments damning you Harry, but then decide its no use and take to the water.
The water is the warmest I’ve felt the Northern Atlantic ever. Time to catch some waves.
I swim out amongst the families and I’m alarmingly and obviously different. What sets me apart is that I am alone. No husband to click photos of, no children to chase about, no nieces to make nice with, no parents to tell to get off my case. It’s clear that I’m the outsider, Harry, just as you are when you come in for your evening drink, alone. Some people feel bad for you, chalk you up to being sad and lonely. I think you’re just a nice guy looking to relax at the end of a long day. Tomato, tomahto. 
I swim out and I’m immediately scooped up by the four foot waves. My lips are tightly pursed so as not to let in the salt water. As I float around on my back for a bit, I instantly reminisce about growing up. Lake Michigan is my home body of water and it’s fresh, not salty. These waves! If Lake Michigan saw waves like this, someone would issue an amber alert warning people to run on water and seek safety. Here? People dive right in. And that’s what I do. I let the waves take me at first, only once, but then again and again, and they carried me, and as I rode them into the shore, I was left topless and sometimes almost nude, scrambling to pull my suit up from my ankles, desperate to be swallowed up once more.
Stone Harbor, New Jersey
I emerged from the ocean shortly after sharing a special moment with some nearby families. We spotted a pod of dolphins just a stone’s throw away. It was like magic for a girl whose greatest summer water conquests include finding seaweed and stepping on the occasional bass. Spotting and swimming with dolphins was like winning some sort of jackpot.
I took a walk down the beach as the “lonely” outsider, but I had adjusted my vision. Where I once saw snaky women with yoga instructor physiques, I now saw those mothers playing paddle ball with their sons. Bratty kids transformed into expert kite fliers. Persnickety grandmothers sat seaside eating Jersey peaches, talking of the old days. Dads posed with their children for photos in hopes of remembering this last week of freedom before real life threatened to swallow them up again. 
Maybe you thought I wouldn’t be going alone, Harry, but I did you see. And although my life differs radically from these people, I recognize all at once that this is a way to live. I’m too young to be married and have children, but maybe it’s down the road somewhere. And if it is, I’m glad my eyes are open to the fact that this is life to these people, and that this is life to me right now.
I do enjoy being the spectator, the note-taker on this occasion. But at the same time, I’m filled with wonderment that I’m also as much of a participant in this experience as these families are. Where I look at them and contemplate a future, parents and grandparents look back at me and relive their glory days: days of freedom, excitement, adventure.
As my life has changed over the past year, one thing has remained certain, a fixture: I am the only one who can write the pages of my future.
As summer winds to a close and fall creeps in, I must thank you Harry for suggesting to me not only my favorite Jersey Shore beach, but for planting the seed that made grow the most reflective and eye-opening close to the summer I’ve ever had.
My pen is clotting with sand and my sunburn screams for remedy. I’m saying farewell to my first and possible last east coast summer. Though there may or may not be more summers in store for me here, rest assured that this one was everything I sought to experience and so much more.
Keep on keeping on, my friend,
August 2011

A day with the Fishtowners

In the latest issue of National Geographic Traveler, a great article called “A Day With the Pygmies” tells the story of the author, Boyd Matson’s time spent in the Congo River Basin in the Central African Republic. Bushwhacking and plowing his way through dense forest, him and his fellow hunter-gatherers came across a local swimming hole in the river. In an impromptu moment of fearless and fun Olympic-style showcasing, the Ba’Aka women and children flung themselves into the swimming hole with a combination of dives, flips and jumps. The author describes other aspects of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle that the Ba’Aka adhere to and speculates how long, exactly, they will remained untouched my modernity; how long could they resist the inevitable changes of the 21st century?

This piece left an impression on me as my sister and I visited the Fishtown swimming pool in our community. Though not exactly the Congo River Basin by any stretch of the imagination, the pool is most definitely the local swimming hole, calling forth all walks of life to its free enclave of refreshment. Good enough, right?

Stepping through the gates as two self-proclaimed outsiders into insiders’ territory, we were not put off by the implicit feelings of cliquishness one gets in a city neighborhood. We slipped right into the cold water, swam about and were immediately scooped up by two locals’ conversation.

Enter Don and Donna. Coincidence? I think not. Most people you meet on these streets have some sort of typical tough, old school name. Mike, Frank, Don, the usual. It’s no surprise that the aviator-wearing, short and harsh-voiced woman was named Donna. Don and Donna spotted my sister and I from across the pool and immediately struck up conversation about the neighborhood, the old days, the good times and the bad times.

Sitting in the community pool, surrounded by the gentrified crowd while talking with Don and Donna, two Fishtown natives, was like an interactive history lesson; they both reminisced about the “old neighborhood,” what it meant to grow up in Fishtown in the 60s and 70s, verbose about changing times and what has remained stable.

Donna remembered a time when the surrounding shopping complexes were factories and mills. Once a thriving factory-worker community, with the closing of factories, the neighborhood began to change. People lost their jobs and couldn’t afford to “get out.” Now that the neighborhood is becoming gentrified, older residents feel stuck here, seeing the change taking place before their eyes and feeling protective and hurt of the “out with the old, in with the new” sentiment. Yet, they are smart about it; these residents acknowledge the change and admit that its inevitable and healthy.

Don, another older resident, grew up on Lehigh Avenue and remembers a time when going down to Kensington didn’t mean getting solicited for sex and smack. He is an avid doer: he bikes 10 miles a day. When the forecast threatens rain tomorrow, he bikes double (20 miles) today. He keeps up on the neighborhoods’ goings-on, knows the back roads to go “down the shore” and told me about a nice Sunday drive he likes to take up Frankford Avenue. Don is a hard-knock, from the old school. He recognized my sister and I’s outsider status and was quick to accustom us to life in Philadelphia by repeating many times, “If you’re gonna live in Philadelphia, then really LIVE here!’, giving us suggestions of his favorite spots and hidden neighborhood gems.

I made two new neighborhood friends who shared with me their lives in Fishtown.  I can’t help but worry for their futures the same way Matson’s worried of the Pygmies’ future. Would Fishtown residents be able to combat the inevitable changes taking place? Will their friendly, tough, hard-working selves be forced into submission by the gentrification? Will the pocket of Fishtown, surrounded by crime and sex on almost all sides remain a hub of tough but generally safe residence? What could I learn from Don and Donna?

First that nothing is certain and everything is inevitable. Seeing the way they exist today in the same place they existed 40 years ago is an incredible testament to their adaptability and strength. Who among us can say that we live on the same block that we were born? My family, born and raised on the South Side of Chicago in Bridgeport were “driven out” to the suburbs by different ethnic groups moving in and “taking over.” Visiting their old homes is a eerie exercise in the bittersweet, as they feel a happy nostalgia for their old homes along with a pang of sadness for having had left. But Don and Donna, and countless other residents never left Fishtown, never could afford to. But is that really it? I’m a firm believer in the mentality that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. Maybe they really love their neighborhood. Maybe they really care about these streets, these people. Perhaps they are some of the few people left that I have encountered lately that will swim up to you and spend the afternoon talking to you, I mean REALLY talking to you. They will tell you their life story and expect yours in return. These people want to share the story of their neck of the woods, their take on existence and life as we know it.

Some people hate on Fishtown residents, but from what I’ve seen and experienced so far, they are some of the nicest, most genuine and open people I have had the pleasure of meeting. They have a tough exterior, but it’s their defense mechanism. At the end of Matson’s article, he supposes that we do our best to live as the Pygmies do, living closer to the past than to the present. There is a real truth in that. I will take Don and Donna’s perseverance and friendliness with me on my journey to discover life and remember that’s it’s more about “How do you do?” than “What do you do?”

Getting it done

I just booked my trip to Vermont to see my sister and have somehow finagled my way up to the Northeast U.S. for $35! It just goes to show that with a little research and resourcefulness, you can get next to anywhere for very cheap.  I will be departing Philadelphia early morning on September 1st and arriving in Boston at 1:30 p.m. I’ll then be catching a $1 bus – Yes, you heard me, a $1 bus, to Burlington VT. I believe the next step is deciding on whether or not we can swing a trip up to Montreal labor day weekend. I hope so!

I just now booked the return trip for $11. That puts my trip total at $46 round trip. Traveling the east coast is very affordable, especially with Bolt Bus and Megabus. Why would you even bother with Greyhound with rates as low as $1 with Megabus? I only booked with Bolt Bus for time convenience. Any other option (besides hitchhiking, of course) would have been at LEAST twice as expensive. I’m pretty proud that I’ve found a ride there and back for under 50 bucks. Nicely done.

The part of the story (yet to be determined) is whether or not Bree and I will swing that trip to Montreal. I desperately want to now that I have my passport, but we will see what finances and time allows for. I have never been to Quebec, much less Canada in general. Shall I brush up on my French?

Backwards Bathhouse

Below is a short essay I wrote back in March about Southhampton Spa, a Russian and Turkish Bathhouse, which I revisited tonight. I must say, I have decidedly un-fucked up the situation this time around and had an awesome time. Re-reading this makes me feel a little ashamed, but this piece is too good to lose in the depths of my hard drive. Enjoy.

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Having just moved to Philadelphia from Chicago a mere six months ago, a friend of mine came to visit in January for a long weekend. I suggested we spend a day at a Russian/Turkish Bathhouse someone had recommended to me.
She and I were eager to put on our bathing suits, shave our hibernated, hairy legs and head out into the unbearably cold world. Spending the day hot tub jumping in the dead of winter seemed to be the only way to warm our chilly bones.
Upon arriving, we pushed our way through the doors and were unleashed to explore this wonderland of foreign and unfamiliar customs.
We were immediately like two deer in headlights. Having not the slightest clue as to where the locker rooms were, we stood, clad in our winter boots, hats, scarves and jackets in the middle of a room populated by half-dressed, robe wearing spa dwellers. They were happily chatting away in faraway languages, while we were frozen, seeing a new world for the first time like Dorothy in Oz.
A sympathizer gestured his head as if to say, “Over that way,” and we soon found our way to the locker room.
After changing into our bathing suits and claiming a few warm, white fuzzy robes, we made our way to the steam room. I opened the door and was immediately stripped of my ability to see. It was hot. Really hot. Steam surrounded us in every direction. Stumbling around, we finally secured a seat and tried to familiarize ourselves with what it meant to relax right after we were surely blind just moments before.
We basked in the warmth and remarked how incredible it was that were not only in our bathing suits, but sweating in January.
Next was the sauna, where a curious question popped up. Why was everyone wearing an array of strange hats? We conceived that it must have been to keep their hair dry. Never before have I seen people’s heads covered in anything ranging from a towel wrap, to a cloth Viking helmet, to an Asian-inspired conical rice hat. Bewildered, we moved onto the showers.
We examined and marveled at the convoluted showers that seemed to have more knobs and buttons than the cockpit of a 1970s Boeing 747. Utterly befuddled, we shuffled to a table to sit poolside and relax.
We spent almost an hour feeling very lethargic, taking in the scene whilst families and friends that surrounded us were going about their normal Sundays at the spa. Finally mustering up the energy to eat, we ordered the most expensive, luxurious meal we could find on the menu: a kabob platter meal comprised of filet mignon, chicken and lamb skewers over rice.
After ordering our meal, we sat smug and satisfied, feeling as though we were getting the hang of the place after all. Not long had passed since our order had undoubtedly been transferred from our waitress to the chef when suddenly the biggest, meanest-looking, red-faced overweight man peeked out from the kitchen to survey the room. His demeanor demanded to know who had ordered such a lavish poolside meal. As our waitresses’ hand pointed to our table, we felt embarrassed and ostracized. What had we done wrong?
Picking our teeth with the kabob skewers sometime later, we returned the sauna and steam room for a short time before going to the locker rooms, changing, and leaving.
Upon returning home, our friend who had recommended the place informed us of our sheer ignorance. First, it’s necessary to wear a towel or hat to protect your head and regulate your body temperature. What’s more is that the overly intricate cold showers relieve your skin of the heat endured in the steam room or sauna. To top it all off, one should never eat a big meal at the spa, as your blood is too busy trying to regulate skin temperature to help with digestion.
We had completely and utterly messed up the entire experience.  It’s no wonder that we were puzzled, over-tired and gawked at by a mean chef. We had walked into and ruined an established routine of relaxation.
At the same time, it was the most fun I had had in such a long time, that despite our inherent naivete, we bragged about the entire experience to anyone who would listen, chronicling in detail the silly hats, the foreign knobs and the once-in-a-lifetime poolside meal. From our grand failure at the spa was born a greater sense of learning and appreciation I may not have otherwise obtained.  Our experience was only backwards in the order in which we learned. Confusion was a small price to pay to be able to learn something new at all. 

Secrets of the Shore- New Jersey Beaches Pt. 4

One Sunday while I still had my friends Colleen and Ryland in town, we decided to spend our collective day off together once again at the Jersey Shore. Let it be known, as a matter of fact, that going “Down the Shore” as it’s called by locals, should best be avoided on weekends. Without further ado:

Part IV: Brigantine, New Jersey

Getting around: Need I repeat myself? If you’ve been to one Jersey Shore town, you’ve been to ’em all. They all are a little bit different, but if you can’t find the ocean from where the street is, you’re hard pressed to be smart enough to keep from drowning. Strictly speaking: it’s a beach town with easily navigated streets from the highway.

Atmosphere: In a word: crowded. I should have known that an above 90 degree in Philly would have meant an infested Jersey Shore coastline. We battled for a parking and beach spot and narrowly avoided the patrolling beach cops during our entire stay. It was hard to change into a bathing suit discretely on the beach, and harder still to sneak beers into our system from our Styrofoam cooler. It was a little depressing seeing the hoards of people spend their one day of freedom from the man on the beach, secretly enjoying their substances of choice (saw a few ‘hipper’ moms and dads passing a joint), peering over their shoulder to see whether or not they’d be caught in the act.  Is this what people worked so hard for all week? To be preyed upon by big brother, the bossman? Oh well. People devised a way to avoid being caught and enjoyed themselves regardless of the cops in sand buggies breathing down their necks.

Colleen and Ryland beach bummin’

Good times: Because this beach trip had to happen on a Sunday, all of us were a little on the tired side from Saturday night’s festivities. Although it was crowded and full of 9-5ers, the beach was a very enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. As my friends drifted in and out of sleep next to me, I took to the ocean, swimming into, against and with the waves for about 2 hours. I may have had my bathing suit come off a little between each twist and tumble through the water, but that was an acceptable price to pay for the fun I had.

Whatchu Say?! Moments: Most of what you see under “Atmosphere” can be described as  “Whatchu Say?!” moments. That and the usually $5 beach tag was $8, AND they had annoying little beach babes coming up to each blanket, demanding to see a tag. Luckily we had a cool beach patrol. She gave us a discount because we hadn’t carried enough cash. Score!

In a nutshell: There are better beaches to spend your time at on the Jersey Shore, but let it be known that any Sunday on the shore is likely to mean hoards of people not only on the beaches, but on the highway. Do yourself a favor, quit your normal job, and go to the Shore on a weekday. Beat the heat and the people! I’m  not exactly sure I’d go back to Brigantine; the location was settled after we discovered we needed to get to the closest possible beach to Philly. Really, do yourself a favor and just go to Atlantic City. Little did we know, Brigantine was a beach bus drop off destination for many of the AC resorts. If you’re going to go to Brigantine, do it by way of spending a few days in Atlantic City.

This is how resourceful I am

A quick follow-up to my last post about being resourceful- that is finding the means you need to get to what you want and where you want to be. Since my digital camera, like I’ve already lamented, is still sans a working battery, I was “forced” to take some pictures on a cheap disposable. Though the pictures aren’t exactly Nat Geo quality, there’s a certain something I like about them. Perhaps the fact that they were taken on the fly with a cheap disposable camera. What else could I possibly expect? They’re perfect.

Some favorites:

My friend Lindsay

Devil’s Pool Swimming Hole

Wissahickon Woods

Stream in the Wissahickon

Self Portrait

My friend Monica; Portrait of a Woods Lady

How resourceful are you?

Ever been in a pickle because one of your favorite add-ons or accessories broken or lost? Just last week, while at Kilgore Falls, I had unfortunate luck. My Kodak Easy Share decided to crap out on me. Just as I walked into nature’s playground – a waterfall you could swim in – my camera decides that maybe this memory was better suited for my mind and heart rather than a photograph. Either way, waiting for a new battery to revive my camera, I have been suffering ever since. But why suffer when you could be resourceful?

This was my remedy:

1. Went to the store one evening and picked up a disposable, yes, a disposable camera.
2. Snapped pictures for the past week on it.
3. Had an immeasurable amount of fun clicking and churning the dial to ready the camera for the next photo.
4. Asked people to use it as well. Not surprisingly, it breathed new life and fun into the experience of picture-taking. Never discount a throwback. People love it!
5. Felt very excited, and still do feel excited, about actually getting the pictures developed. In a society of instant gratification, it will be a pleasant surprise how my photos actually turn out. The element of mystery is alive and well!

So although I haven’t been able to update this blog with fancy photos from my fancy digital camera (although that will be happening again sometime soon), I have been making do with a classic stand-by and have also been having a new sort of fun.

In a word: Just because something is broken doesn’t mean it would be better if it was fixed. At least right away anyway.

Will post some photos that I took with my disposable camera as soon as they are developed. Stay tuned.