Thursday, January 28, 2010


Anyone who knows me, is aware that I am having a hot and steamy love affair with my camera. So, taking a lead from Ulco's photo of the day idea, (click here and then click on "1per24" in the menu to see them...) I have decided to start a new blog, that just focuses on two of my favorite subjects, photography and me, or more accurately, my photography.

Don't worry, I am not posting albums and gobs of images everyday, just the ones I really love and enjoy for one reason or other, and I will write a little about each image, like where it was taken, why I shot it or what I like about it. I will try to post one each day, but as I am not disciplined enough for that, and I don't always have the internet to do that, I can't commit...

The look of the blog is still kind of under construction, but stop by, check it out and let me know what you think...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

When Things Fell Apart

I haven’t been blogging that much lately, and there’s a reason for that. Lots of them, actually. When I started blogging, it was all about being funny, making myself and other people laugh and recording the adventures I shared with my wonderful friends. And then just over a year ago, things started changing. I lost my job, my relationship came to an end, I moved from a big beautiful house to a one room not so beautiful place, could not find a job, had a number of potential projects fall through and I spent the better part of the year sliding in and out of a depression that was sometimes paralytic. Everything I thought I had and knew about my life fell completely apart in that time. There was nothing to rebuild or repair, I had to start all over again, from scratch. I thought I would go crazy. I cried a lot, the really-big-ugly-mascara-running-down-the-face-cry. I spent more time alone this past year than I probably have in the past decade. It was often all I could do just to get out of my bed in the morning, an at times I failed at that. I rarely had the energy to be funny or witty and I am sure for the people that were actually in my company, I have not been very much fun at all. Most of the outward fun that people saw was more smoke and mirrors than a true reflection of anything going on inside. I avoided responding to emails and messages on Facebook. I ignored SMSes from people and just tried to hide away. I wasn't trying to be rude, I just didn't know what to say.

I have had people tell me I should just write what is true, what is real, but the fact is, I didn’t want anyone to see. I was embarrassed. I also didn’t want people to worry, and the people that did know what was going on, I didn’t want them to worry more. I don’t know what depression is like for others, but for me it is a very dark and grim place, and when I do something I like to make sure I do it really well and over the top, even if it is not a good thing. There were times I didn’t think I would make it, but I did. I am.

Now things are coming around, improving and looking up. I have learned a lot about myself and people in the past year. Lessons I would probably never have personally chosen to have, but now that I feel I can actually start breathing again, I am grateful. The hardest thing I have learned is to ask for and accept help. It is not an easy thing for me. The prideful person in me would rather starve than ask someone for food. I was raised to be self-sufficient and independent, and while those are great qualities, I have learned they can also work against a person. I would not have made it through without the help from a few wonderful people who were there and a couple who even threatened to knock down my door and drag me out kicking and screaming if that is what it took. I won’t name them here as they would yell at me, but they have my gratitude and unconditional love. I hope I am more compassionate, more understanding and patient. I hope I am a better friend and better partner. I hope I am a better person.

Today, at this moment, I am feeling good. I am feeling more like myself, but like a self I never really knew before, or maybe I wasn’t before.

Slowly, I feel like laughing, really laughing.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Beautiful People

I was at the Coffee Bean in Delhi, sitting a couple of tables over from a monk in red and orange robes who was being kept warm by a Burberry scarf and entertained via the iPod earbuds he had in his ears as he nursed what looked like a large white chocolate latte. I looked down at my own imitation blue-themed Burberry polyester that is supposed to feel like cashmere scarf  and got back to the busy work of aimlessly browsing around the internets looking for something interesting and worthwhile that would help me pass a few hours and let me think up some ideas to write about… So, there I was, minding my own business, when I discovered the site, where I was greeted with the following text:

Welcome to BeautifulPeople
The sexiest website in the world today

  • Do looks matter to you, when it comes to selecting a partner?
  • Do you want to guarantee your dates will always be beautiful?
  • No more filtering through unattractive people on mainstream sites
  • Meet beautiful people locally and from around the world - now
  • Attend exclusive events and private parties

I tried to hide my enthusiasm and appear as cool and calm as possible outside while my insides where waving pom-poms, doing the wave and screaming YES to the above questions! I signed up immediately and pasted a picture of myself on the site. The very same picture you see here on the left...
Then the stress began. See, one does not merely sign up and then start meeting people as happens on other sites.

A few seconds after I had registered, I got the following email:

Dear Robert,

Your BeautifulPeople profile has been successfully activated.

During the next 48 hours your profile will be rated by the existing members of the opposite sex. If the majority finds your profile attractive, you will be granted coveted membership.

Please note that you are able to mail members while your profile is being rated.

Monitor your profile rating status:

During the 48 hour rating period you can monitor your running status in the rating section.

I was sure that everyone would agree with my mom and rate me as totally adorable. My blonde hair. Blue eyes. And did you see those teeth? Could they be any whiter? If I was on Grey’s Anatomy, I would be known as McAdorable, causing people to code with just a smile. It was with this level of confidence I decided I would be able to wait out the 48 hours. 48 whole hours. 48 times for the energetic cuckoo to pop out and do his little cuckoo thing. Time does indeed go by so slowly. I kept trying to log in to see how fabulous everyone thought I was, but I was always denied due to the high volume of people accessing the site, people I was sure were voting for me. Picking me. Choosing me. Loving me.

Then this morning, after a whole week, the results were in:

Dear Robert,

Unfortunately, your application to BeautifulPeople Network was not successful. The members of BeautifulPeople did not find your profile attractive enough.

Surely, there must be a mistake. I checked the picture again and yes, I was still looking good, shiny skin and white teeth. I decided to log in and check out the site, see these beautiful people that had rejected me. As I was browsing and clicking on picture after picture, a line from The Color Purple kept going through my head… It was Miss Shug saying “You sho is ugly!” I have not seen a bigger collection of ugly people anywhere since that one time I went to a professional wrestling match in Los Angeles in the late 80’s. I also checked to see who voted. Nobody. I checked to see who visited my profile. Nobody. But somehow, I rated a 4.89 out of a possible 10.

Well, I decided that one rejection was not going to hold me down. Nobody puts McAdorable in the corner! I resubmitted my profile for a re-vote. I am sure that since I have now added witty text and fully intend to post messages everywhere to drive traffic to myself, I will get voted in.

And then I will dump them.