Common + Camera = Beautiful

Searching for inspiration today, I went to my favorite royalty free photo site and hit the randomizer button until I saw a photo that spoke to me.

It happened to be a rather well composed photo of window blinds. As I looked at the photo, I began mentally drafting my blog post about how through the eye of the camera and the mind of the photographer, a common item such as plain white venetian blinds can become something beautiful.

I went to download the photo and the photographer’s information for the credit and I was greeted by a form. The photographer wants this form filled out about how, when, where, why you will use her photo. Ok, fair enough.

Then I saw this note at the end of the form, “average response time is 24 days.”

Um. No. I’d like to write this blog post today, please.

So I sat back, grumpy, and tried to think about what else I could write about.

Then I laughed. The answer was so simple. I have off white venetian blinds in my office here at work. I could take my own photo and it would be at least as good as what I saw on that photo sharing site.

A little more work. No extra cost. A lot more fulfilling.

So on my lunch hour I took a hold of my trusty iPhone4 and my favorite Hipstamatic app* and got to work.

As a matter of fact, I did manage to create a photo similar enough to the one I saw with a bit of my own flair. I succeeded at making something common look rather lovely.

Well I was rather pleased with myself, so pleased that I decided to expand my reach. I challenged myself to create ten photos of regular everyday common objects, and photograph them in a way that makes them look uncommonly interesting.

This was my own personal photo challenge.

New photographers often lament about what to shoot. They know they should shoot more often but take photographs of what? Inspiration is lacking.

I challenge all photographers: Don’t take photos of what everyone looks at and thinks is beautiful. Take photos of what everyone ignores and then make it beautiful.

I had to go no farther than my own office and my nearby break room. I’m pretty happy with the results.

(This is my favorite from the day)

All images in this post were taken by Karen Fayeth and subject to the Creative Commons license seen in the far right column on this page.

*For my fellow Hiptamatic geeks, I chose the Hornbecker lens and Ina’s 1969 film. I wanted great color saturation for these photos.

Rasty Feline – Come here – I want to see you.

Back in 1876 I would imagine that Mr. Bell had no idea how his invention might take unify the world.

I appreciate that telephones and long distance dialing are nothing new, and yet I can still find ways to be amazed.

Since my job is global, I’m often up early in the morning to take conference calls. No matter what time of the dark night I rise, The Feline is always certain that it’s time to be fed.

It doesn’t matter if it’s actually her feeding time. She’s awake. I’m awake. Food. Now.

I usually ignore her until the clock spins around to the right feeding time, but this does not sit well with The Feline. Which means she rather vocally lets me (and The Good Man. And the neighbors) know just what’s on her mind.

I usually keep my phone on mute and I close the door to my home office to keep her out, but that does not deter the persistent one. She’ll get her snout into the gap under the door and let the vocalizations rip.

Through the magic of telephonic technology, my crabby Feline has been heard around the world. London, Singapore, Sydney, Mumbai, São Paulo, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Argentina, Columbia, Sweden, France, Ireland, and more have all heard her pleas.

Two weeks ago, I was on a call with at least six vice presidents and executive vice presidents of my company. I fed the Feline early to pipe her down. I was on mute. I said very little. I made sure she was far away from this call.

Little did I know…

The second I went off mute to give my input to the executive team, The Feline had something to say.

Yes, executives of a multinational company had to hear my damn cat hollering.

Today was a first for The Feline. This morning she was heard in Kenya. Yup, all the way to Nairobi. May all those nice people in central Africa know: “I will not be ignored!!”


By the way…if it’s seven in the morning and you are stumbling around trying to dial Kenya with a country code of 254 and you forget to dial the 011 first…well, you talk to a really nice lady in Waco, Texas (area code 254) who wants to know why in the heck you are calling her.

Who me?

Photo by Karen Fayeth and taken with the Camera+ app on an iPhone4. Photo subject to the Creative Commons license found in the far right column of this page.

Off To A Slow Start

Here we are at Monday again and I’m making a rather slow moving entrée back into the world after a rock-star fun sort of weekend.

I imbibed just about one too many San Francisco Cable Car drinks at the Fairmont hotel and felt very retro with martini glass in hand. A Cable Car is the sort of beverage that tastes so good and then drops you on your arse.

Meaning, I loved every bit of that ride.

Since I’ve most certainly streamlined a few brain cells right on out of the ol’ noggin, I’ll use my friends at Unconscious Mutterings as a place to start this blogging week off right.

Without further ado, this week’s list of free association words:


  1. Trumpet ::
  2. That reminds me of that old joke blues musicians tell….

    “What’s the range on a trumpet?”
    “Oh, about two hundred yards.
    “Two hundred yards? What are you talking about?!”
    “You know, when I throw it over the piano, past the accordion, through the banjo…”

  3. Love ::
  4. What I felt for the world after I’d drained my second Cable Car beverage.

  5. Routine ::
  6. It was nice to break up my dull work-a-day routine (that has me worn down to a nub) for a weekend of jolly debauchery.

    It was much needed.

  7. Infringe ::
  8. I may have infringed on The Good Man’s personal space when sleeping off both a wine tasting and a Fairmont cocktail party. I do tend to snore…and spread out, whilst in my cups.

    Thankfully he was doing much the same. It was all good.

  9. Misgivings ::
  10. Ah misgivings. What I had the next morning upon remembering that my middle aged self can’t rebound like I used to. The sun screamed in the windows, the reflux shouted in my esophagus, and I found a bruise on my arm that I can’t recall how I obtained.

    So I was a bit low the next day. At breakfast, with my hair falling down in my eyes, as Roger Miller would say, I was unsure I was gonna make it through the day. Two eggs over easy with sausage and a pot of coffee and suddenly the day started looking a lot better.

    Then I took a nap.

  11. Establish ::
  12. And so, upon leaving the Fairmont, I had to establish just what a classy broad I am by setting my brand new glass “environmentally friendly” water bottle on the floor while I fiddled with my bag. I accidentally nudged the bottle, knocking it over. Once it hit the polished marble floor it shattered.

    Reeeeal classy.

  13. Stupefy ::
  14. Like liquefy. Only stupider. Or something.

  15. Constipate ::
  16. Not even going to touch this one with a ten foot pole.

  17. Conjure ::
  18. And so after the most fun I’ve had in a good long while, this morning I had to conjure up the ability to go back to work. It was all gray cubicle walls and “did you get that cost savings report done yet?”

    I sat at my nondescript desk with no Cable Car in hand and sighed the sigh of the responsible grownup I am for forty (plus) hours a week, planning my next adventure.

  19. Miscellaneous ::
  20. And thus ends the latest of my miscellaneous posts about miscellany.

(Isn’t that lovely? I yearn like a lovesick schoolgirl just looking at it.)

I wasn’t the only one having way too much fun at the Fairmont…this greeted me in the restroom off the lobby. Hell even I wasn’t having this much fun….

Photos by Karen Fayeth, taken with iPhone4 and the Hipstamatic app.

Hey, how’s your day going?

How’s my day? HOW’S MY DAY!?!??!

This, this is how my day is going:

This is what happens when you take the lovely rubberized cover off your iPhone and then go to a meeting and, whoops, drop it face down on a beautiful gray granite floor.

I have many, many curse words yet to go today.

By the by…the phone still works. Just not really inclined to run my finger across the screen…..

Checking in on my coolness quotient

Ok. It’s time for my annual check in. I’m fast approaching a birthday, and now that I’m over 40, it’s a good time to check to see just how wide that ol’ generational gap has become.

We’ll start with trending topics on Twitter. I’ve eliminated all the hashtag items that are Twitter specific funning around like #DontBeShocked and #Musicmonday.

So here’s what we have as of 10:50 Pacific Standard Time.

This Is Apple’s Next

Ok, well. Hekla. I pretty much figured it was a new R&B artist. I was wrong. It’s a volcano that may or may not be ready to blow its lid. Bad me.

“This is Apple’s Next” is a topic I’m all over. I read the Gawker item this morning about a supposed “found” iPhone 4. We’ll see. Apple always seems to have crafty moves…

But ok, score one for me, I’m on the board.

And #ashtag and Icelandinc are all about that fun, wacky volcano called Eyjafjallajokull.

Good, good. Three of four on that. Rock on.

Let’s try Yahoo! trending topics. Here we go, as of 10:55 PST.

Boston Marathon
Conan O’Brien
Christina Hendricks
Kelsey Grammer
Timothy McVeigh
Alyssa Milano
Lady Antebellum
Joakim Noah
Space Shuttle Discovery

Ok, let’s run through the list. Let’s see….Boston Marathon. I know what that is, didn’t know it was being run today. Half point for me.

Conan O’Brien. Yup, know who he is. Heard he was getting a new cable show. There are a couple news items about he and George Lopez that I’m out of the loop on. Half point for me.

Christina Hendricks. I have no idea who that is. Hoookay, she’s evidently been chosen America’s best looking woman. She stars on “Mad Men” a show I haven’t watched as I don’t have cable. Big fat fail for me.

Kelsey Grammer. I used to watch Frasier and Cheers, so I’m up on Kelsey. I also know he’s super conservative. Ok. Evidently he’s starting his own right-wing network. Fair enough. Half point for me.

Timothy McVeigh. I know who he is. I wish I didn’t. Evidently there is some new project using his recorded voice. I probably don’t wish to hear it. I’ll take a zero points on this one.

Alyssa Milano. I know who she is. She is a $%#@ing Dodger fan. I don’t give a tiny rat’s ass about her. That said, I did read an article about her this morning and her new show “Romantically Challenged” (I didn’t say I was proud of it). Go me. Score one for the good guys.

Lady Antebellum. Know ’em. Love ’em. Love that they won a whole slew of Academy of Country Music awards last night. Whoo! Score one for me!

Joakim Noah. Er, uh. No idea. Ya got me here. Ah, basketball player. Chicago Bulls. Apparently people are pissed off at him. I don’t know why. I don’t watch basketball, sorry. Zero points for me.

Space Shuttle Discovery. Heard of it. Knew it was up. Didn’t know it was trying to land today. Bad weather causes delays. What’s new for the shuttle? Half point for me.

And finally, there’s my ol’ friend Eyjafjallajokull. Point goes to me!

Ok, let me add up the points…do the math here…carry the one…

Seems that I’m hip to 8 of 14 trending topics. That’s a resounding 57%.

Better than half, but not by much.

I’m not completely irrelevant, but I’m definitely trending down.

This year I will try to throw a rope over this generational chasm and hold on tight.

Image via the New York Times.

Edit: in the half hour or so it took to write this, the trending topics changed. Ah well, so goes the internets.