Tuesday, January 27, 2009


My doctor put me on Psypil, and within weeks I was a new man. Before I’d suffered extreme anxiety in any social situation. At the beginning of a party I’d spend half an hour in the bathroom gripping the sink and staring into the mirror, trying to stop shaking. The thought of getting up on a stage hit me with waves of nausea and powerful stomach cramps. Even understanding people – knowing when they were really happy with me, for instance, or they were just being sarcastic – was impossible. It’s hard to describe how debilitating it was, and as a result I never had close friends. Coworkers took advantage of me, and I was often the last to be promoted.
Psypil regulates the neurotransmitters in the social centers of your brain. You don’t feel drugged at all. You're in control of your emotions… instead of the other way around. I can actually look at someone who would normally make me mad or afraid, and I can just turn those feelings off.
And with that control comes a wonderful clarity. You can read people better than you ever thought possible. Two days after I started my treatment I watched a couple from across a crowded restaurant, and I knew she was going to break up with her boyfriend before he did! A week later I knew the best time to confront my supervisor about how he lied on my review was on his way home. That would have been out of the question before Psypil. I would be too scared of “making a scene.” But I watched his body language as he fumbled with his keys in the dark outside his apartment, and I just knew he lived alone. I knew no one would miss him.
Getting his job was the best thing I ever did. Well… the second best. But what’s really important is for the first time in my life I feel good about myself.

Mouth or Shrine

My first thought when I saw this scene -- a bank drive-through eerily lit up at night -- was that it looked like some kind of religious shrine. But photographing it from the entrance gives it the appearance of a mouth. It reminds me of how hell is often portrayed as the mouth of a great beast in medieval art.

Sunday, January 25, 2009



What happened Friday was terrible, something I always feared as a parent. My daughter was eleven, and I saw threats to her everywhere.
There was the teenaged bagger at the grocery store, who stared at her each time we shopped. I found myself tracking him as he worked throughout the market. I always put us in a different aisle, another section, or the farthest checkout line.
There was Mr. Sloan, the barber, who parked more than a block away from his shop, in a hidden spot behind a tree, where he could talk people into his car if he wanted. I started coming there mornings to make sure it was always his spot. I was never disappointed.
And then there was Steven, the school janitor, polite and deferential to everyone who knew him. But he had terrible photos on his computer at home. Photos I found on Friday, and that was when he came home earlier than I expected. But I had a hammer with me and wore gloves. A good father prepares. There are so many people who might hurt my daughter, and I have a plan for every one. You can’t be too careful.

Lighthouse in Negative

Inverting the colors always makes a photo creepier, but somehow the sky and the underbrush make this perfect. There's a feeling I always get photographing the lighthouses at Ft. Story. I feel it when looking at the shots Bibeau has captured of these lights as well. I don't know what it is.

Anyway... enjoy.
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