Archive for February, 2009

7000 miles (km) to Graceland (or Whistler)

I’m in a funny position, that’s funny bizarre not funny haha. After moving half way round the world to start a new job and life I have found myself unemployed and unsure what to do. The bizarre part is that for the first time that I can think of in my life what is potentially the most fun option in my current situation may actually be the most logical.

With the economy currently shafted and looking like it will be for at least 6 months, more likely a year, possibly longer, I’m thinking that maybe I should take a step off the career wagon and try and make the most of having fun with the next 6/12 months. For once that ‘having fun’ might be the best bet to secure me work in the financial down turn. My previous work was based in the service sector for the oil industry and with oil prices below $55 a barrel my type of work is not going to happen anytime soon, however a few years ago after Uni I had another job…..

Ok it’s not as exciting as the string of full stops suggests but I worked in Whistler, British Columbia for a season at one of the restaurants. The pay sucked. That’s for sure, but I had the time of my life, waking up each morning surrounded by mountains some of the best snowboarding on the planet, loads of really friendly people all with the same premise of me that they were there for a good time, not a long time and making the most of each day. I made friends that I’m still in touch with today (one of whom was the introduction to my girlfriend), tried things that I may never have done and was devastated when I had to leave (though a month traveling round the West Coast of the US helped).

The way I see it is that with the Olympics coming to BC it should (in theory) create a micro economic climate more buoyant than most places due to the Olympics. Having worked there previously I should hopefully be able to capitalize on this, hole up and weather the economic storm in a pretty good place. I don’t need much, a job doing something that provides enough cash for a roof over my head, food in the belly and a few beer tokens and I’ll be content. Doing that at my current location seems like madness, and slightly depressing, but doing it 7000 kilometers away in the mountains with the big open space and more fresh air than you can shake a stick at, I can handle.

I have no mortgage, no kids, and no dog so maybe what I do have is a brilliant opportunity?

Louis Salinger: Sometimes you find your destiny on the road you took to avoid it.

I went to watch “The International” the other night and I had high hopes that the movie would deliver a performance from Clive Owen (Loius Salinger) similar to “Children of Men” and that the mix of suspense, tension and pace of the movie would be up there with bad corporation favorite “The Firm”.

Unfortunately it didn’t really hit the mark on either.

To set the scene; Loius Salinger works for INTERPOL and operates closely with an assistant DA (Naomi Watts) to get to the bottom of the alleged dirty dealings of an International bank that is supposed to be the bank for criminal organizations the world over.

Clive Owen’s performance is solid, and you can feel the characters’ determination but the movie itself detracts from it with its flaws. Despite taking the audience on a tour of some glamorous cities (Milan, Berlin, New York) the lack of tempo leaves you feeling like you actually took the long haul flight with the production crew. Surprising as the director, Tom Tykwer, accomplished the exact opposite in his fantastic 1998 movie “run lola run” with a brilliantly paced film. None of the other cast really gets much in the way of character development and Naomi Watts is woefully under used.

The best scene of the movie takes place in the Guggenheim museum, in the form of a tactical gun fight, the uniqueness of the setting is what makes it interesting and the way it’s smoothly shot and put together is brilliant.

Overall the movie isn’t that bad, worthy of a DVD night on the couch but probably not worth the effort to go to the movies, I don’t want to say too much and create any spoilers in case you stay awake all the way to the end. 6/10

Twit or twitterite?

I have now signed up for twitter.  This is because I am trying to embrace social media concepts that are out there and I seem to hear more and more people around me buzzing about it.  Other than that though I’m not sure why I have?

I’ve read this article and found it interesting on the strategies involved with twitter, but being that I have no end game to really strategize for it doesn’t answer my question as to why I have signed up.  I think the main problem I have is that having left my previous job last week I had to hand back in my crackberry and I’m now sans phone on the go, this means I can only really twitter when in front of my laptop for the next few weeks which kind of defeats the purpose. 

Don’t get me wrong I can see benefits from it, primarily that it seems to fit perfectly in place of sending out group SMS messages when trying to organize something straightforward (even a piss up in a brewery needs a start time!) and I like the idea that a quick update can let a bunch of people know when you are running late, or socially let people know (or me find out) when drinks are happening easily.

All in all I guess I will just see how it goes, I spent too long wondering whether or not I should write a blog and here I am.  This time I have just moved a little quicker in signing up for something else, we’ll see if I still am twittering in 6 months time.

3rd season syndrome

So due to mainly to snowfall and high winds my time spent watching TV has risen over and above my normal levels this last week, and the more I watch the more disappointed I seem to become.  Shows I watch that have been running past their initial 2 seasons seem to have my interest waning and there suck levels rising. 

 Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant (who created the Office) refused to go past 2 seasons and moved on to creating a new show (Extras) and one of the most loved shows ever to come out of the UK was Fawlty Towers (only 12 episodes ever).  Both maintain high esteem in the armchair critics eyes and yet their brevity is one of the key elements in those nods of appreciation.  I’m not saying that’s why they are loved but they never gave the audience a chance to utter the phrase “it’s not what it used to be” instead anything else that comes along on TV has the task of being compared to these now ‘classics’.

Watching Lost this week, I’m at a loss as to why I still bother.  So you’re on the island, you hate it; you leave; now you want to go back again.  That in itself might make for an interesting story but the level of writing to go with it has just bombed.  In a recent episode the writers saw fit to dismiss a character (he’d obviously become an inconvenience to the story line) by way of an actress emotionally saying that she never wanted to talk about it.  Fair enough, maybe the other characters on the show don’t need to know but as someone who has lost (dum dum tish) so many hours watching the show maybe I deserve to know? Don’t I have any viewer’s rights?

Maybe it’s time I went old school and spent more time some of the books I have on my shelf rather than staring at something I no longer enjoy, I guess my point is can someone tell the writers guild of America that now their strike is over can they tell their members go back to basics and as a form of entertainment leave the public wanting more?

Why am I here?

So I mention in my ‘about me’ that I wander around a lot with my camera.  I do this as I convince myself that an amazing photo opportunity will happen any second when I am outside wandering the streets.  So far to date, not so much of this has happened.  Ok lets  be fair I probably pass a hundred amazing photo opportunities everyday but I just don’t even notice them, the thing is as much as I love photography, photography is still trying to learn to love me back.

 I know myself being at one end of the learning curve means that I need to spend more time out and about taking snaps to get to a point where I notice what works for me and the types of picture I’m trying to take more and more of. I have bought books in the past to try and get a bit further along (I’m so far taking the self taught route) but reading standard text about photography seems so dry compared with looking out unique things and taking some snaps. One of the greatest elements of digital photography is that I can take 100 pics in a morning and it doesn’t cost me a penny, so I can go out I the afternoon and take 100 more, not like the old days of waiting a week to find out my finger was over the lens anyway.

I guess the point of this blog post is that as I’m new to blogging I’m looking at how I got here and really its photography that brought me round to it (well that and my girlfriend).  So many blogs that I have found contain awesome photos that people want to share it and it kind of re motivates me to go back out side and snap some more. The likes of Picasa make storing and making basic tweaks a doddle and the likes of flickr with its interesting photos from the last 7 days make my laptop a fantastic portal to a world full of other people’s jpegs and the cool things they have seen.  I’m looking forward to reading the thoughts, hints, tips of others and really interested to see what photos others learning their own style are taking.

Hello world!

My first blog post is alarming in its blandness.  This is not the way I expect things to be on here, but being that this is my first ever blog post I will feel content that I have taken the first step in sharing my random thoughts with the world.

This blog will most likely contain subjects to do with films, food, photography and football (the kind where you actually use your foot not the NFL) but is also likely to contain my thoughts about anything that makes me smile (or angry) from one day to the next.

The start of my randomness has begun in the about me section so if you would like to know more, that’s were it can be found.