Monthly Archives: November 2009

you want tips? okay then: tips on the lost art of impressing a woman


The last post was a story. You wanted tips? Okay, then. Tips you get. I’m happy to oblige as we are living in an age of an ongoing courtesy crisis. These are basic and simple concepts, yet seem so beyond the grasp of many moderns. Because the situation is so bleak, it’s not that hard to impress a woman these days. Some basic guidelines:

♦ If you are interested in a woman, ask her out somewhere specific. As you are inviting her to be your guest, you pay. This is not sexist or backward. In fact, it is gender neutral. When asking someone to be your guest, man or woman, etiquette dictates that you pay. Ask her somewhere specific, and somewhere you enjoy. Dinner, theater, a concert, coffee, whatever—an activity that you enjoy and would like your chosen company to enjoy. If she does not, you will learn something valuable. Do not ask her if she wants to hang out. She is not your buddy and shouldn’t be treated as such.

♦ If she says no but seemed regretful and open to future plans, give it a week and ask her to do something else. A third time is pushing it. A forth time is out of the question. Respect no. She doesn’t have to give a you a reason. If she states that she’s taken, or declines for any other reason, no need for embarrassment or weirdness. Smile gently, say, “What a pity,” and make a graceful exit. She’ll wonder what she was missing.

♦ When asking a woman out, call her. Maybe email her. Do not text her. Do not text a woman, in fact, until you are married to her.

♦ When with a woman, do not, under any circumstance, engage in cell phone performance art. Do not touch your cell phone/iphone/gadget for any reason. Most especially, do not engage in conversation with someone else while she has to look away and pretend not to be embarrassed by your rudeness. Having a theatrical conversation with someone else to prove your popularity, worth, or importance (cell phone performance art) proves the opposite to any woman of substance. You will lose her.

♦ Be kind. Call when you say you will call. Do not be too eager, but do not be aloof. If you don’t want a woman who plays games, don’t play games yourself.

♦ Do not dump your psychological problems on a woman as a matter of introduction, and do not encourage her to dump on you. A bit of mystery goes a long way in romance. (Thank you, Judith Martin.)

♦ Mystery along the lines of unmentioned wives, children, allegedly monogamous relationships and the ilk (i.e. lies) squelch romance and are unacceptable.

♦ Do not flirt with or check out other women (or men) while you are with her.

♦ Do not speak unkindly to or about others. She will wonder not if, but when, she is next.

♦ Do not behave as if something is owed you on the third date, or at any other time. Where this third date idea came from is beyond my realm of comprehension. Behave as if you’ve never heard of it yourself. If things are meant to progress, let them progress naturally between adults, and not on some bizarre sex-in-the-city timeline.

Well, that’s it from the top of my head. Rereading the list, it applies to all genders and orientations. Tips for the courteous pursuer, if you like.

Comments/discussion/anything I’ve left out is more than welcome.

the lost art of impressing a woman

tentAndrea was pleased to hear about my new rashy (yes, aussies have to add -y/-ie to everything. It’s a sea shirt, short for rashguard). No skin cancer for his northern girl. Indeed he spent his early-morning birthday call on Monday making me laugh about our impending camping trip across southern Australia. He was telling the women at work about the camping, and perhaps the new tent, and one woman laughed and said, “you really know how to impress a woman, don’t you?” and another, “So you’re trying to get rid of this girl, right?” Haha. And I thought they were sporty in Perth. He’s worried that he’s invested in a fancy new tent and I’ll decide on the second day that I’ve had enough and will insist on B&Bs the rest of the way (on the Nullabor? Right). He really doubts that a woman who dragged upper-middle-aged aussie tourists across the central asian Kyzyl Kum desert and survived countless night buses in India and Pakistan can handle a road trip across Oz? Oh, we’ll see ’bout that, mate! That is, if I survive the flights there—a bit over 39hrs door to door.

I spent my last NYC Saturday subbing yoga classes and sitting at my desk for 7hrs going through the scancafe images, as they wouldn’t just complete my order as is, as no extra charge because of the many issues with the order. Their site was slower than usual, which made it all the more tedious. (I’ve about 1000 more to get through today, which I’m doing now, writing this as the folders load. In the end, I will delete about 50%). It’s weird to be going through so many images from my past when I have a beautiful new camera begging for my attention. I ended selling my first as it was quite old (5 years = ancient in digital years, though still in great shape) for a new one, as I know that current cameras can handle light much, much better than sensors of 2004. Trying to do as little as possible today, to avoid pre-trip stress, but I do need to finish these, catch up on some email, and clean.

Absolutely dazzled by the trip, but a little sad to be out of NY for the thanksgiving to new year period. It’s a great time here, and I love the rituals, even if I only observe them from afar. Will be my second New Year in Oz. Ooooh, summertime! Cannot wait.

patience. and how to learn photog. or just learn.

scancafe2Oh yes, she’s still droning on about scancafe. As if she didn’t have plenty of other things to do in preparation for the trip (clean, organize, photocopy docs, buy stuff like a swim shirt/rashguard so that she dosen’t become one with the many Aussies who develop skin cancer, but does acquire a cute surfer-girl look. Okay, Andrea is making her get one. She like the pink). Okay, sorry, no more third person. I’m reviewing the scancafe images again, now that ‘quality control’ has rescanned and reloaded them. I’m deleting more, whilst trying my very best to be patient. (Shouldn’t this have been done weeks ago?) Instead of sharing the current frustrations, I’ll step back explain how I’m trying to approach this waste use of my time.

Looking at almost every image I took from 1998-2003, and deleting the ones I don’t want, I’m trying to note why some work and others don’t. Missed expressions, bad exposures, off compositions obviously kill an image. I’m noticing what I did right and what I didn’t. There is a huge improvement over the years, and I’m hoping this time editing will help me while shooting. I’m also trying to notice what focal lengths I tend toward, and light techniques in difficult lighting.

I find that I learn best by a combination of repetition and osmosis. Instead of writing down notes, I’m just letting my brain take in info passively as I sift through all the images, and let it absorb what makes an image work. It’s a longer process than studying more actively, and there are times I do that as well, but I feel that this method is deeper and longer lasting, because it integrates naturally with what I already know.

I would like a year off (who wouldn’t) to work on photos, thoughts, and yoga. Integrate and develop what little I know. Hmmm.

pinnawela elephant orphanage, sri lanka

elesAt long last, the Pinnawela Elephant photos. This is the 5th of the Sri Lanka shows. Only more more, of a trip north of Kandy, which will be fairly short. I love these photos. The elephants are amazing.

Cerno has a piece on the ethics of elephant watching which I read long before I got to editing these. While I feel somewhat the same way about zoos (they depress me. It’s not an ethical issue. I don’t judge people who frequent them), I was intent on going to the orphanage outside Kandy.

DSC_0029The orphanage was founded in 1975 because elephants were close to extinction in Sri Lanka (before the Brits arrived, the number was 30,000). Now there are about 3000. The elephants at the orphanage have lost their mothers or herds. Sama, at right, lost her leg to a land mine, and the last elephant in the slideshow is blind. Sama seemed very sweet, almost interested in our attention, while the others seemed happily oblivious.

The elephants are taken from the orphanage to the river twice a day to bathe. Busloads of tourists—the first and last we saw in Sri Lanka—flock to the river to watch.

Tourists or not (we were lucky and arrived a bit before the busloads), the elephants were amazing. My grandmother collected elephant figures and had thousands of them, which partly inspired my desire to see them, and I’m delighted we did. They were beautiful.

Care for the elephants (there are over 80) is funded by the government and profits from the tourism.

scancafe. oy.

Another from the Staten Island Ferry

I am all over the place, trying to get ready for the trip, getting photo stuff (batteries, memory cards, filter for new lens, adpaters for aussie voltage, etc), plus getting the daily nonsense done. Now, two weeks later (rather than 3-4 days), scancafe has reloaded my order.

Why did I do this?

I wonder if in the end it will all be worth it. I won’t have the images back before I go to Australia, because of their delay, which means they won’t be safe until I get back. Great. On top of that, the hassle of all of this, and the fact that many of the photos that inspired me to send the whole lot off weren’t scanned, makes me wonder if the time and money were worth it.

Reflecting, though I didn’t want the photos of college antics, there were a number of completely innocent photos that weren’t scanned because they were deemed improper. Okay, prudecafe. Some were of friends’ tatoos in Lithuania, inked by Narimantas. Furthermore, the Pakistan images aren’t there. I won’t know what’s what until I get them all back. Unacceptable. Annoying.

I’m too tired to even look through at the rescanned images. Thank heavens those I deleted are as marked.

Pleasant thought? Last week while doing laundry, there was a guy teaching his small son (about 3) how to do laundry. The kid sat on the machine and put quarters in, and helped with the clothes as well. That’s what I like to see. Cute, too.