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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Today At The DMV ...

I had to renew my driver's license on my birthday and I'm late. Late by about two weeks for the renewal itself, but also late because I took extra "prep time" to get ready for the license photo. I shaved extra slow to avoid any cuts, I used extra gel in my hair for the effortlessly spiky look, and, to be completely honest, I even dabbed concealer under each eye to soften the always-there shadows that I inherited from my mother's family.

I don't know why I bothered. DMV photos (and those for passports) are notoriously bad, making you look like a few pairs of chromosomes didn't quire match up. Like many people, I just hate seeing my own image on film. It's kind of like hearing yourself sing ... you may think you're American Idol material, but someone records you and the playback is similar to kittens racing to drag their little claws down a chalkboard while an audience of teething babies cheers them on. It's bad!

The whole photo taking process amazes me. Not the science or the mechanics, but the sheer dumb luck involved in getting good pictures. I have a friend who is obsessed by the bazillion megapixel camera in his new cell phone. And he's always trying to take these candid-but-carefully-staged pics. They never turn out. But other times, when we're stopped at an intersection for a red light, he'll go crazy and run around the car snapping rapid-fire pictures, or he'll aim the camera at himself and start shaking like he's haiving a seizure (not really funny to neighboring drivers, but I'm not his mom). Sometimes we fight over the results ... they're like these bizarre alien characters or just smeared urban scenes of buildings and various textures. I've used a couple as backdrops on personal design projects.

My nephew is another example of "planning for nothing." Recently he and his fancy digital camera went to a concert. My nephew is crazy about the performer and wanted to get some great photos (since he paid through the nose to acquire great seats from which to take the great photos), so he spent the week prior to the concert looking at every Website he could find about this artist's other concerts. He actually constructed a list of song, stunts, and costume changes to help him plan his photo attack strategy. A few days after the concert, I called my nephew to ask about the concert. He really enjoyed it but, he said, he only got about two decent pictures. "What about all your prep work?," I asked. He just sighed and said he thought he took some great shots, but things just didn't happen. His friends, however, singing and waving their cell phones in the air, got way better pics.

POINT OF RANT: Not everything in like needs ... or even desires ... a plan.

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