Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is It Always Better To Know?

Is it always better to know? I used to think it was. Have all the facts, assess the situation and go from there. But what if you have all the facts and you're trapped on a plane? Yes, I'm a control freak and I'm totally out of control on a plane. Last night was a prime example of maybe why not knowing is better.

I have the distinct pleasure of being able to pre-board. Over the past few months I have come to discovery that I get to talk to the flight attendants and sometimes the pilot for a few private moments before the A group tries to push past me.

And if you've read my previous posts you know that I've taken to asking if the flight will be turbulent. The answer 99% of the time has been "no". Not last night...

Here I am , the first passenger up the stairs--"So, smooth flight tonight?" I ask hopefully. "Oh, no," the two flight attendants says in unison. "Oh no!" I say inside. As I fight the waves of panic, the two attendants look at me calmly and proceed to tell me how rough the flight was coming in (not what I want to hear), but it's to be expected, right? they ask. (No, never, I think.)

Okay, what seat? I ask. Front rows, they suggest. So I take Row 4, window seat. The rest of the passengers file in as I get my iPod out and blast it full volume, fiddle with my phone and send out desperate emails begging for reassurance that everything will be alright. Nothing. (Okay, fine. It is 8:30 at night and people probably have better things to do then tell me why it's okay to fly in turbulence.) I try to read my vapid airport book, but I can't concentrate long enough to finish one sentence.

Doors closed, instructions begin. Oh, did I happen to mention that I hadn't been feeling well for the afternoon? That I had spent hours switching back and forth between a brain-numbing headache and nausea?

So, fine. I'm in a plane that will be hitting turbulence. That's okay, I'm telling myself. I remember occasionally to breathe. It's only an hour flight, right? And maybe the flight attendants just meant that it would be turbulent getting out of Burbank, like normal...

And once again--it's that more information thing. The plane takes off, we're up and rocking. My iPod is blasting. I'm trying to ignore everything when I barely hear someone official speaking. I pull out my earbud just in time to hear the pilot saying that because of the HUGH amount of turbulence that we'll be experiencing, the flight attendants will not be leaving their seats. Oh no...

Now, have you looked recently for a throw-up bag in the pocket in front of your seat? I'll tell you--there aren't ANY! I was not feeling good, but looking down at my feet--what were my choices? I was not going to throw up in my Coach purse or my nice briefcase filled with important documents. The passenger on the aisle did have her jacket on the seat between us, so, that was always an option.

On the bright side, said the pilot, we'd be in Oakland 15 minutes early (probably because no one else was foolhardy enough to attempt flying).

How much information is too much? Would I have been better off not knowing? Maybe, but probably not. Having all the information I was able to assess the situation and take what limited action I could--cold water bottle behind my neck, as my body temperature increased about 50 degrees, work on my calming breathing techniques, find an alternate to a vomit bag, and remember, suddenly, the wise, true, soothing words of a friend of mine, "It's going to be just fine."

And it was...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fly-By, Drive-By, Stand-By--It Doesn't Matter

I'm in desperate need of some traveling...

Art vs Luck

For those of you wondering--yes, I entered the "Urban Landscape" juried competition and I was not selected. Of the 30 images chosen, none of the images included any of my drive-by shooting photos. You might think with my concentrated effort of recording my hours upon hours of driving in urban areas that maybe they would select one image. But not this time.

Vincent told me to not give up. Tara told me that we just need to find something else. But once again this makes me think about the whole art versus luck thing that I am constantly battling. Is sticking my arm out the window and shooting blindly art? See, I still think it's luck when something turns out.

So I'm not thinking I'll win any competitions or be published in any magazines or get Southwest Airlines to comp my flights. But I'll continue to shoot because I love it, because traffic on the LA streets and freeways is nuts, and because every so often I discover an image that I love.