Binging on Austin
"Hey Pat, how are things?"
Last Saturday I went to my first funeral. I was the photographer.
(I borrowed the family's DSLR, I don't have most of the photos.)
Is that all I have to say about it? No... of course...
I've only met Jack's father, Ross McGary, once at a dingy dive bar on the East Side called St. Roch's. He ordered a ginger ale, and for the life of me I had no clue why Jack would bring his dad to a place like that, but it is indeed close, convenient, and low key. There was a guy next to us, Larry the leopard, and his face and body were covered in tattoos representative of his name. Ross and him struck up a normal conversation, no tension, no typical "parent bewildered face", just normal chat.
The first impression Ross gave off to me was that he was an educated, worldly, and kind man. He was an academic advisor... who apparently mentored a variety of phd's at various colleges, including the guy who runs the telescope at Painter Hall at UT.
It turns out that Ross was highly religious, his whole family, and almost everyone who came to the funeral was as well. He had a wide reach, and made an impact on everyone around him, inspiring both youth and helping the local community.
I really don't want to get into all this, and might be shooting myself in the foot for writing this, but here I go.
So here's the thing. If you're Christian, how do you view me?
You know I'm clearly not Christian or religious at all, yet I see you guys very frequently.
In the future there will be a longer post about this. It's impossible to ignore this topic, and I won't sweep it under the rug.
If you want to read Ross McGary's blog, here's a link to it (I haven't read it yet, but will in the next couple days):
-Flight back home
The flight back to Texas was pretty quite good... I slept almost the entire time, I had a transfer in Charlotte where I tried to order a last biscuit at Bojangles, but failed when I asked for the "sandwich." Ugh. It cost more too!
-A week back in Austin
So.. I've had about a week off.
It finally feels that Austin is a city that is moving so fast that I can't keep up. The amount of stuff following will probably seem scatter brained and have a lack of focus. Instead of going chronologically through everything. I'm going to group them by category.
For some reason or another, Austin now seems like a city of bright lights, where everything is fresh, where no one really knows what the hell is going on, but we're going with it anyways.
The food, the art, the people, the happenings... all I can do is stare wide eyed. I'm in love.
Or maybe being gone for a month has just gotten to my head.
The largest hurdle with me and improving my images... is myself.
I try to fit everything in the frame, I do little to evoke emotion, I'm scared, and there's little thought to the framing or mood of the shot. I try to get close to cover up my poor composition skills, but I approach my subjects with fear, and therefore I can't get the tender, emotion filled results that I want.
My pictures scream "Look what I saw!" "Look where I was at!" Rather than express the true emotion of the scene at hand, if there was any emotion at all.
Nicolai invited me to a photoshoot the day after I got back. A new... brand of moonshine is going to try to make a big splash in Austin. We thought we were given an address to a distillery, but it turned out to just be a baller house in west Austin.
I haven't had much moonshine, but my feeling is that moonshine has little to offer other than it's history. Until proven wrong I think it's no more flavorful or complex than everclear. I think it's a gimmic really.
The lighting was also amazing in their driveway... we had to take some ##fitpics.
We stopped by Trader Joes on the way back home, we bought a lot of snacks and talked to a cute cashier girl. Totes cute. Here's Millie buying some frozens. Which reminds me... I left my Persian cucumbers in Nicolai's refridgerator.
Senior portraits w/Tina and her roommate.
My photos are in this month's issues of both Texas Monthly and Austin Monthly. So grab a copy of each! Cheers to both Jeremiah and ESK for their awesome businesses.
I have another wedding shoot coming up in December... and my gear is all over the place. I might have to say bye to the Leica in order to buy very generic work horse gear. While the camera is really hard to use and finicy... I just can't let go of it.
I’m looking for a volunteer to write a script that takes a Storify story and creates a text version for the Austin StartupDigest (please RT)— Joshua Baer (@JoshuaBaer) December 9, 2013
Earlier in the week J Baer asked if someone could make a script that takes a Storify post and converts it into plaintext, so he can easily paste the info into a Google Calendar post for Startup Digest Austin, which only accepts plaintext as an input.
@JoshuaBaer http://t.co/poO1bEUQQ5 it only works with storify stories that use only twitter/storify text, try it out.— Patrick Lu (@snapesto) December 10, 2013
I wrote a quick Sinatra app, so I could deploy the script onto Heroku. It's pretty basic, if you want to see the GitHub repo it's here: https://github.com/betterwithpesto/storifytext
Also if you want to subscribe to Startup Digest Austin, here's the link to that: https://www.startupdigest.com/digests/austin
-Food and Drink
It's good to be back at Brew and Brew. Very good to be back.
The brew crew.
Justine's with Tina. I occasionally take food as a payment for portraits (especially if you tried to find me an apartment in the past and we didn't end up going with you).
My recommendation is to skip on the escargots, since they taste mostly of butter Go for their specials.
Went to Ramen Tatsuya twice for lunch. I learned from Shion that, if you ever want to take a dump while dining or working at Tatsuya, you should just go to the Target next door.
Ramen Tatsuya's Old Skool lunch ramen with a yuzu kosho bomb. The bomb cosisted mostly of garlic, with a bit of yuzu rind. It rawness of the garlic added quite a kick to the ramen, but I felt the yuzu or citris could be more intensified.
I dream of those eggs.
Jeremiah forgot his card at the Brixton... when we biked over to get it, we found Ryan, Wesley, and Arturo doing their usual shenannegans.
If you haven't heard yet... Cheer Up Charlies is closing. I've been to a couple dance parties there... and it's sad to see a local bar closing despite it being so popular. I managed to snag a picture of Maggie, who I've seen there over the years.
I won't miss being grinded on by random guys though(although its completely understandable). Bittersweet farewell.
Here's a new article/photoshoot featuring Maggie: http://www.theglamourai.com/2013/12/the-suburban-outskirts.html
-Events and Activities
Of course I had to arrive the day after a street fighter 3 tournament at Arcade UFO. You can view footage from it here: ATX Thirdstrike Everyone has improved so much in a month... I need to get back into the game!
Went to a pottery pop up by Keith at NEST Modern.
I'm not a very big pottery buff, but I like Keith's work for it's simplicity and organic aspects of both the shapes and the subtle accents he adds on them. You can see his plates when you dine at Qui. The turnout from the event was rather low. I think if a food truck came, if they had live music, or there was some sort of larger give away, it would be much better.
Met 2 Japanese girls at the event, what are the odds in Austin. こちらはれいこさんで彼女がかわいいとおもう。^_^
After the event, a few of us went to Clarks oyster bar, which I enjoyed quite a bit. It's kind of pricey, but the food was excellent. I'm pretty impressed that Reiko and Keith managed to take a selfie while I was in the restroom with my camera complex camera... #props.
The cocktail selection at Clark's is classic and respectable, Reiko and I ordered a couple martini's and Keith got his Negroni. I highly recommend the Shrimp Toast and Crispy Gulf Snapper. The snapper was very well cooked with crispy skin, and in combination with the creamy grits, sofrito(garlic, onion, peppers, spices), and lemon... hit it out of the park with me.
Also with the bread at the beginning they give you radish and butter, which gave me the inspiration for a new web app. Look out for it. Gonna be working on it for the next couple weeks!
Stopped by Austin Web Bash at Buffalo Billiards, to say hi to my friends Daemon, Victor and Riley. I missed out on the open bar!
Woke up the next morning to Spanish being screamed into a megaphone... followed by drums and commotion... finally got out of bed to see an Aztec parade headed north on Robert E Martinez.
I went on the Thursday night social ride(TNSR), and saw some familiar faces.
Left the ride early to go to an experimental film night at farewell books. It was so crowded that I had a tough time getting a seat. The audio for one of the films was messed up for a few minutes, and we just thought it was part of the film... heheh.
One of the films depicted the entirety of a baby's birth. Graphic... intense... but I feel like I learned either 1. to not have kids or 2. babies are a wonderful, bewilderingly beautiful thing.
I took this photo of Trevor back in 2010, hasn't he changed so much?!
The most ironic thing about the night was that one of the selected films was an anti smoking commercial from the 80's, and immediately everyone went outside to smoke.
After the films, joined back with the bikers at Holy Mountain for the release of the 2014 Crush Calendar. Here's more info about it.
3 Day Startup had a holiday party at capital factory. Thanks to @MadelineVu for letting me come. They had a worst pitch competition, which I really wanted to stay for... but I had to leave after only a little bit. Having written down a new app idea almost every day for the past months... I certainly have my own worst pitch, if you want to hear it ask me the next time we hang out. It's quite horrible.
House party w/ improv comedians and music. Who knew that the students of Makers Square could hold a decent party?
The cat with the white paws... is named Boots. I want a cat with different colored paws named Boots too!
Moar bike riding. It's amazing that I only used my car twice this week(to go to tatsuya)... You can do a lot in Austin with only a bike. Hey look! It's paraparasailing.
"Hows the food?"
Heh... this week was pretty ruff too, time to lay low, work on some web programming projects, and eat a bit healthier.
Is a photographic life worth living?
This question has been already sought out by photographers in the past. And after looking at their work, I thought it would be cool to attempt it myself. Does the camera prevent me from truly experiencing an event? Does it detract from the meaning? Does it make it less special? A photograph is my way of understanding these events. It allows me to take a second look. If photos aren't your thing, then that's you. If what I'm doing puts you off... either confront me face to face or... leave.
I'll keep taking photos. Photography brought me out of a very dark place, and has given me nothing but great things over the years. It's all I have.