The Cult of Melinda

The gAyTM is closed! No gay rights, no gay $$$!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Flying the Too-Friendly Skies

I am NEVER falling asleep on an airplane again.

Imaginary Girlfriend and New Rule

My imaginary girlfriend this week is Rachael Stirling, the oh-so-sexy actress who plays "Nan King" in the BBC Miniseries "Tipping the Velvet," based on the novel by the same name. I've only seen the "cleaned up for the puritanical Americans" version so far, but I'm in love! The snark and profanity that come out of her oh-so-posh mouth in interviews makes me swoon just a little bit. That's Rachael up there on the right, by the way.

Which leads me to a new rule: You are NOT allowed to be gorgeous, British, smart, funny, and otherwise a walking lesbian wet dream if you're NOT a lesbian or at least a little bit bi. That's just not fair!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Long Time No See

Busy. Busy. Busy.

Tired. Tired. Tired.

Sick. Sick. Sick.

For those of you who remember me sailing through the Ducky flu, this will undoubtedly seem like well-earned karma. I've been very sick TWICE in the last couple of months. I actually missed work! Recovering from sickness now that I a.) have a bad heart, b.) work way too much and c.) get little rest is far too difficult and takes way too long.

This sickness also means I missed my first lesbian event and will be skipping the one I'd scheduled for tomorrow. I hope to go out soon, b/c I've been spending far too much time with myself and I'm starting to bore me.

Although I have had more time for TV since I'm too brain-dead at this point to do much of anything else. So let me say that I love The Big Bang Theory and you should too; the History and Science channels rock; and Marlee Matlin is still a goddess, whether she's making out with Jennifer Beals or strutting the dance floor.

On the more exciting news front, I can officially announce that, as one part of my new duties, I am now a webmaster again. Power! Anyway, gotta go pretend like I work around here. More later.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Photo Lesson Number 1

You may not notice from the quality of the photos in my last post, but I'm actually quite the photographer. My new digital camera, however, leaves much to be desired. There's a reason I've been reluctant to go digital and now I remember very clearly how much better film is than digital.

Anyway, it has come to my attention that certain people desperately need lessons in photography. Especially since said people insist on taking horrific pictures of yours truly and posting them in publicly accessible places. Ahem. You know who you are.

Let me be clear that I'm not a supermodel by any stretch of the imagination, but I am told that I'm rather cute and even pretty. In pictures, however, I often ending up looking like Shrek's prom date. Why? Because I'm pale. And worse than that, I'm freckled. It has been the bane of my existence that while I got the lovely prominent cheekbones and great hair from my Native American heritage, I've ended up with Irish coloring. Pale and freckled do NOT photograph well without lots of makeup, really good lighting or a great photographer.

I'll refer you to Look at This for what happens to even stunningly beautiful women photographed in harsh light without makeup. The secret known well by those of us who "do" photography or filmmaking is that it's all in the camera. Cameras distort. Just a fact of life. One of the skills so prized in great photography is the ability to overcome or work from the limitations of the lens.

This requires your knowing a few key concepts.

1.) Lenses have "range." For instance, my current digital camera does not shoot accurately within 5 feet. So, my subject has to be at least 5 feet from the lens. Shooting something from too close or too far will destroy your photograph and can lead to a complete distortion of your subject.

Put your hand arms length from your face, then bring it in closer. As your hands moves, you can see it begin to distort. Your fabulous visual cortex controls this distortion, but a camera has no fabulous visual cortex. So, the human eye sees things with a little distortion, but the camera "sees" a dramatic distortion of the subject.

2.) Light is all important. The word photograph basically means a picture made from light. Unless you have a great camera or special film, you can only shoot good quality photos in a limited range of light. Too bright, too harsh, too dark, etc. and you end up with crap shots. Especially if you're one of those people who use flash two feet from in front of your subject in a brightly lit room. NOT GOOD.

Again, your eye/brain can see something similar but controls for it a bit more than a camera can. Notice how you look completely different in a bathroom mirror vs. a bedroom mirror vs. reflected in a storefront window. It's all in the light. Harsh fluorescent lights will make you look really bad and really distort your dimensions. Yes, bad light can make you look fat. If you're pale like me, you may also notice that some lighting will turn you yellow. Every single blemish will become glaringly obvious and a few nonexistent blemishes will be created from thin air.

3.) Angle. Angle. Angle. Shooting someone from a strange angle is bound to have them looking like a bad Picasso knockoff. Unless you're going for cubism or are really talented, you're better off shooting straight on with your subject facing straight into the camera.

4.) Basic manners. Never represent someone visually in a way you would not represent them verbally, at least not in public. I have a vew horrible candid snapshots of people I care about that will never see the light of day. Many have been intentionally destroyed by me because no one deserves a record of the day milk shot out of their nose. The "subject" and I have both seen them and joke about how funny, weird, retarded we look in them. I'm not about to show these pictures to other people. For me, that would be like saying to someone, "Hey, look how horribly ugly my friend is!" when it's not true. Of course, I wouldn't say that about a friend even if it were true.

Anyway, enough lesson for the day. The guilty parties know who they are and should be very, very afraid. I have ways of making you cry! bwahahahahaha!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

My Belated Vacation Post

So, I went home. I didn't get to see everyone, but I had lots of fun with the people I did see.

Meet Val Jr.

Son of my baby brother, Val Sr., and his lovely fiancee Nicole.

Val Jr. is the nephew that likes calling out "bow chicka wow wow!" He's also quite the computer nerd already and can set up his own games on the computer.

Now, if I can just get him to stop ordering me around. While playing on his computer, he gave me his gum wrapper and said, "Go throw this away and come right back." I complied, of course, because it was just too cute. (Remember what I said about my being a bad influence?) When I got back, he asked, "Did you throw that paper away?" He also made me take fifty million pictures of him and his toys. I really have to work on that little bad habit of his. However, I'm really proud of his mack skills:

Then there are Rachel and Sean. Neither likes pictures very much. Sean just completely ignored me and absolutely refused to let me turn on a light.

Rachel decided she was a pillow head:

UPDATE: This post got cut short by Blogger malfunction not blogger malfunction. I'll finish it up later.