Sunday, September 7, 2008

First week

After a long day of mostly sitting in airplanes and toting a 50lb bag with wheels and a 20lb bag without, I finally arrived to my destination to discover that my 80lb, overweight bag had one of it’s handles torn off of it (guessing because the bag wasn’t meant for 80lbs and someone held it by that handle). My roommates that were already out here had spent the day in Boston and picked me up. The rest of the bag broke getting it out of the car. Its pretty much useless now.

I don’t have internet at home yet, nor TV. We have a tv and an xbox that my room mates brought, but we don’t get channels yet. We might not have internet at home until near the 20th. I live in downtown, but that doesn’t mean much. Downtown here is seven blocks long and there are only stores on one street; Avenue A. There are a lot of vacant buildings on that street. There is one Subway, one chinese food place that has some bad rumors about health code violations. Not that I minded, it was very good when I ate there. I don’t mind eating strange meats, I just wish I knew what they were. If they’re serving cat, I would like to know that what I’m eating is cat, so I can order the cat next time. Cats seem cleaner than chickens anyway. I’m sure thats a very disturbing thought to a lot of people, but I don’t really mind strange foods, if it tastes good and wont make me ill, I don’t mind eating it. I'm mostly joking by the way.

But getting back to the town. I can sum most of it up in three words. It is small. The year is split into four “phases”. Towards phase three and four, a car will be a lot more vital. For the first two it will be alright to get around by room mates. However, for my sanity, I want to try getting one as soon as I can, or at least a bicycle if I have to last more than a month.

We get our equipment tomorrow. $30,000 entrusted to us for ten months. A medium format camera with replaceable mediums; film and digital on the same camera, and a Digital SLR camera. Tripods, flashes, radios, solid studio lights and much much more at our hands. Very exciting.

The orientation was set up into two sections per day. The first section was a good two or three hours talking about the rules and the handbook. The school is mostly run like a business so that photographers are prepared for the ‘business’ world. Every afternoon was a different public speaker. Mary Ellen Mark on Wednesday, on Thursday there was a man who’s name I forgot, but he was not a photographer, he was a popular motivational speaker, on Friday, my favorite, Gary Land spoke and told his life story and told us how he made a lot of his most popular photos. You can simply google both of those names and a lot of things should show up.

I miss San Diego a lot, but definitely not for the weather. Its rained twice already and its still been hot, but not nearly as hot or humid as San Diego. I wouldn’t miss it as much if I had a mode of transportation though, or at least I don’t think I would. Its just such a small town, there’s just nothing to do. I finished my book, “Kafka on the shore”. Megan gave me the title and I wanted to get it for the plane ride. A lot of the metaphors and themes seemed to pertain to my life, but then, a lot of books are like that.

I don’t get reception in a lot of places, but I get it at home, so you can call me. School gets out at about 5PM and I should be accessible after that. I stay up pretty late normally, I don’t know if that will change when school starts, it seems like I will need a lot of recuperation sleep for a while when it starts, just to get used to it.

I wish I could talk to cats. There are a lot of stray cats around here. There was a character in the book I mentioned which could talk to cats. I am actually in a cafe right now. Its named The Rendezvous, there is a cute little calico outside. It is an interesting cafe though. I think people come here more for the alcohol than the food, and there isn’t any specialty coffee, just house blend and to tell the truth the beans were roasted for too long and they were very bitter, barely held any coffee taste at all. I don’t think there is much else to do here but drink. Drinking really isn’t my forte. I drink unsweetened tea and people tend to look at me funny, their tea is mostly sugar. In the phrase Sweet Tea, sweet really isn’t an adjective anymore, tea is more like the adjective there, but “Tea Sweet” doesn’t really work as well.

On the upside, Its very beautiful here. Here are some of the photos I've taken of the river and the bridge. Mind you, I fell in this river taking some of these, So I hope you like them.

The two people here are my roommates. I was shooting against the sun with a flash.

and if you're interested, theres more here on Photobucket

As far as food and money, I spent a lot on start up things; more towels, blankets, a dresser, essentials, but thats alright because we have enough Ramen to last us for a long time if it comes to it. I have about $150 to last the rest of the month, and that should be enough to get by.

Well I shouldn’t spend too much time on this. More soon, probably not until I get my internet though.

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