A Wild Fourth

Of course Independence Day is not complete without a fireworks picture. This year, I actually had my very own tripod! No makeshift lens hoods made out of chips ahoy cookie containers, no propping up my camera with a phone and a wallet. When everything was set up though, the smoke had to ruin my fun.

Today was just one of those days. The ones where something can’t possibly go off without a hitch. I woke up with a migraine, so I went back to bed. Sleep nor medicine worked so I was desperate. A short trip to the 7-11 and a can of rockstar energy (I know, I know. BAD) later, I was feeling all hyped up and ready to go.

I had a few hours to spare before making the trip downtown for fireworks. So I browsed tumblr and twitter until I saw one particular tweet from my city’s fire department. Apparently, right in front of my home, there was a vehicle fire. I grabbed the camera and ran out the door. 

The heat, even across the street, was intense. I felt like I was right in the midst of a bon fire. The fire was eating up the bark, melting the light fixture right between the two trees that were on fire.

Not even the fire extinguishers on sight worked. Once they stopped spraying, the fire fought back.

I think the firefighters that responded were a little amazed at the size of the fire. They used up all of their resources, forcing them to pack up their truck and move to the fire hydrant.

And it wouldn’t be a fire without the whole neighborhood coming out to watch.

A row of iPhones lined the fence. Videos and pictures were taken. People pulled over, parked their cars and secured their own spot in the gawking line.

Firefighting with an audience. I hoped at the time we would all start applauding their hard work when they finished.

Then one of the gawkers looked at me and asked, “are you a journalist?”

I guess it’s a legitimate question when you’re the only one there holding a DSLR and a 300 mm lens in a crowd of iPhones.

When I said yes, there was that look. That look I always get. It’s a mix of “Wow, I’m impressed” and “Wow, please don’t talk to me.”

This happened in a rehabilitation center’s parking lot. Luckily, the fire was contained away from any buildings. No evacuations took place. There were workers there, however, who seemed pretty annoyed with the entire situation.

This fourth I got more fireworks than I expected. I’m thankful for our firefighters. I’m thankful for all our public service people.

Have a safe holiday, everyone!

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Bring on Summer

I have free time. I’m not sure what to do. I guess it’s the inevitable for summer break, with the long sunny days and the no access to the bus system. I’m stuck in a small area of town. So only a week into freedom, and I’m wishing I had more goals to attain.

The thing about school that I like, is the commute. I think living 20 or so miles from campus lets me truly prepare for the nitty gritty in life. I read stories about how people commute 3-4 hours for their jobs. At least going to a commuter college gives me a head start on that possible future. Best of all, I don’t drive it; I ride the bus.

This travel gets me focused for the day. I have to BE somewhere. That’s a problem I’ve always had. I can’t go for a walk, because there isn’t a destination for me. I need to have that kind of structured goal.

So when summer comes, yes I’m grateful for the sun and the leisure. But soon enough I succumb to the rut of it. This year though, I have a plan.

I’ll keep going to the park. I’ll photograph. But now I’m going to set precise photography goals. I’ll try and work on one aspect each day. I truly want to further myself as a photographer and not simply a hobbyist.

My larger goal is creating healthy habits. Less soda, more water. Less sitting around, more play. Habits take 30 days to acquire (or drop), so I’ve got the whole summer to get myself ready for the school year. I want nothing more than being healthy and fit. I hate being a fat slob.

It’s Dead.

I will miss you SD card. You served me well. Well, you almost served me well. The least you could have done was hold out until I got the photos I wanted from today onto my laptop.

But alas, the beautiful bokeh cacti shots I captured wasn’t worth the wait apparently.

Monday.

I have to wait until Monday just too get close and personal with you again camera. I hope you don’t miss me. I’m sorry SD was a bitch.

Key to Self-Confidence? A Septum Piercing.

After I witnessed a confrontation with a man threatening to shoot people on the street, I was taken to the back area of a local tattoo shop. I signed my consent forms and lied down on a comfy bench. Clamps braced my nose and the needle went right through. 

Unlike other people who told me about their septum piercing experiences, I had no blood, I didn’t tear up or even more dreadfully, sneeze. In fact, the whole process hurt less than getting my earlobes done.

I walked out of the piercing shop with my new circular barbell in my nose. I was so excited and happy and felt like I was ready to take on the world. A week later, I’m still feeling incredible. I feel like I have an upper hand on some people. 

“Yeah, look at me. I am brave enough to watch a needle go through my own nose.”

Best feeling in the world.

Why it sucks to be asexual – on the fly thoughts

A note about this post: I am angry. When I am angry, I don’t care. I will write my thoughts as they come to mind.

When people complain about inclusion, it’s always about trans and bisexual people. I stare at the asexual flag on my ceiling and weep.

It’s bad enough that Dan Savage has equated us to the Jews in Nazi Germany, proposing that we tell sexual people that we’re asexual at the beginning of a relationship so they don’t get the wrong idea.

Stay away from sexual people he says.

Yeah, I’ll stay away from sexual people. Not because of you Dan Savage. Just because I’m sick of all sexual people’s crap.

I am a minority of the minority. I am rarely recognized in pride events and clubs. When I am formally recognized, half the members are still incredibly skeptical about asexuality. I refuse to let that be in my supposed safe place.

It’s always LGBT. LGBTQ*. And whenever I see the A, I see it referenced as Ally. ALLY SHOULD NOT BE IN THE ACRONYM.

I appreciate what they do. Hell, I WROTE AN ARTICLE ABOUT ALLY TRAINING ON MY CAMPUS, but I am not going to give up MY place in a community discussing the minority sexual orientations. But then again, with all the wank and hate going on in that community as well, I find myself asking, “do I even want to associate with these people?”

And honestly? I don’t. The hate you see from white republicans towards LGBTQ people? It’s about the same WITHIN that community. I don’t need that.

There’s places like AVEN as well. I tried to get into that community, but some people there wanted to streamline the definition. Some people treat virgins as demigods. That’s like saying, experimenting is bad. WHY IS TRYING TO DISCOVER YOURSELF A BAD THING!?

Oh wow, some asexuals can still feel pleasure? By their own hand too? Their own hand is the only way? Wait, they feel pleasure while being a good-hearted person and having sex with their partner because they love them? Holy God! I wasn’t aware things weren’t black and white!?

I see these things happening and it makes me want to isolate myself farther and farther from everyone I meet. I’ve gone my whole life not caring one bit about sex or relationships. I want people to understand that some people think that a penis inside a vagina, or a penis inside an ass hole is gross and there’s NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

THAT IS NOT THE DEFINITION OF PRUDE.

One last note before I say more things that will make people hate me:

It hurts as an asexual person, that I could not include the A in the acronym in my LGTB stories I wrote for the paper. That was a really disappointing moment when I opened the paper up and just saw the standard acronym. There are asexual people in the Pride group on my school’s campus. I couldn’t include them.

I have pride in being asexual. I love knowing that I’m different and that I can still function normally without sex. What I hate about it is the fact sexual people turn it into something ridiculous. Or in Dan Savage’s case, something like AIDs. That’s not who asexual people are. We are awesome dynamic people.

And you know what, fuck you and your fucking. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that kind of bullshit.