21 December 2007

The Responsibility of Being Fabulous

Alright, alright already! Here's a blog. Sheesh! Never a moment's rest for the Infamous!
Actually, I do appreciate the messages some of you have sent me over the last couple of weeks clamoring for your dose of The Misadventures... you junkies.
You make a girl feel loved!
Bah, humbug!
Here you go:

It's a natural thing, as a human being, to want to be remembered, to be something more than dust and bones after we complete this part of the cycle.
It drives civilization.
Wars have been fought, great monuments erected, entire peoples enslaved, religions created, all in the name of "legacy". Even reproduction to some extent--- the desire to have children, sons, to carry on the family name--- is on some level driven by it.
I don't mean to imply it is the sole drive behind any of these things, but it certainly comes into play.

About a month ago I was speaking to a new acquaintance who is somewhat obsessed with the idea of leaving something behind by which to be remembered. "Legacy" has become his life's purpose---some great work, a film, a book, with which to make and leave his mark upon the world. The conversation kept coming back to the idea that it had to be something grand.

I can understand it. I can understand wanting to have an impact, to "matter".
I, myself, have adopted one of the most self-indulgent mediums. The blogging phenomenon is fueled by the very notion that somebody, anybody will care enough about my experiences, my opinions, to take time out of their day to read about them; the idea that I somehow "matter" to perfect strangers.

Where he and I differed, however, was the notion that it had to be something on a grand scale, and something tangible. Even stronger than the desire to leave something behind, was his desire to know that he has affected the life of one, or preferably, many.
I argued that it is often the smallest gestures which have the greatest impact. A passing comment or off-handed gesture can change the course of somebody's life. The best part is, one may never even be aware of having done so.

I don't think he was convinced.

After that discussion, we had exactly one date.
He's the tall broody one, with the tragic past. Yeah, that guy...you know the one. He's intriguing and quiet and deep and truh-ble. Therefore...irresistible.
At first.

It was a new moon and a funny thing happens to me on the new moon.
The new moon is a time of magic and sorcery, if you believe in those things.
Believe what you will, the new moon makes me uncannily receptive, perceptive--- more so than usual.
Throw Tall, Dark and Broody in the mix, and I felt like I needed a mute button to shut out his thoughts. On more than one occasion I replied to a comment or question he had not actually spoken aloud.
I made passing reference to things of he would rather not have spoken, but which I heard as though he had screamed them. It unsettled him, but it also brought on that look. That look of relief, of having somebody understand his pain without him needing to speak it. That look of hope at finding a kindred spirit.

Uh-oh. Too much impact. Time to diffuse the situation..

And I tried.

I took us from intimate conversation to a bar-hop the likes of which I haven't indulged since I was a bouncy 22 year old bar-fly. I took us to places where we'd run into my friends, and rounded up company along the way. I downed gin like water to dull my abilities to pull thoughts out of his head.

A few days later, I received an email the length of a small novella, proclaiming his feelings.
I told my tale of woe to The Wifey.

"Why are you still surprised when guys fall for you after one date? You're Juli" she said by way of explanation, as she rolled her eyes and shook her head.

"I don't know any other way to be..." I pleaded. I meet people and I'm just me. I'm straightforward, I'm not trying to impress anyone. I am always surprised to learn that I have made such a strong impression, especially in such a brief amount of time.

I forget the responsibility that comes with being fabulous.

That acquaintance remains just that and nothing more, but the theme has continued to appear in my life over the last month. I have been reminded many times of the importance of those little gestures, little comments and the impact they can have.
It seems particularly relevant during a season when many of us buy into the thought that the impact of the gesture is directly proportional to the size of the price tag attached to it.

Me? I'm just trying to learn to bear the burden of my responsibilities.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

29 November 2007

Rainy Day Pirates

I was telling a friend of mine recently that one of the reasons why I've tried so many different things and had so many adventures is because I never want to utter the words "I regret never having _____".
Admittedly, playing miniature golf was not one of the "always-wanted-to's" on that list, but now it's one more thing I can cross off. Still, being a Leo, I even had to do that with my own flair for the dramatic. No ordinary putt-putt golf for me and my friends, no. It had to be day-glow and pirate-themed.

I discovered it on a drizzly Portland afternoon, over the holiday weekend, when I was walking around downtown with a fellow humbug---no fancy dinner or media-fueled shopping frenzy for us. Just walk and talk and the ubiquitous Northwest cup-o-coffee. Somewhere by the nearly deserted bus mall we spotted an odd and oddly colored figure...in a pirate hat?
Not what you'd normally expect to see at the Hilton.

It had to be explored! But only in the most genial company...and preferably pirate-friendly.
So, yesterday, on yet another drizzly Portland afternoon, the Wifey, the 8 year-old guru, Uncle Cupcake, Snow White and I huddled under umbrellas and puddle-jumped our way to the basement of the Hilton Executive Tower to: Glowing Greens.
For about the price of a movie you can experience a garish black-lit mini-golf wonderland. And, for an extra dollar you can purchase nifty 3D glasses, that'll either enhance your overall experience or make you nauseated within seconds.

Snow White treated, though he was a bit put off when the boy behind the counter cheekily offered him the Senior Discount. I don't think he ever quite recovered from that embarrassing blow because, for all their manly boasting, both he and Uncle Cupcake trailed behind, while we girls took the three top spots. I, with the help of beginner's luck, won the match.

I think everyone should experience day-glow pirate mini-golf at least once. With the weather so cold and dreary, it is a fun way to while away the time, especially in good company. Before we even knew it, 2 hours had passed!
I'm definitely going back.
Who's with me?
Say "Aye, Matey!"

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

25 November 2007

Elementary Lessons

Sometime in my mid-twenties I arrived at probably the most brilliant and wisest realization I or anybody else can ever reach.

I, like many people, thought I knew everything in my late teens and early twenties. Though there is no legal drinking age in Colombia, and I had been going to bars there since I was 13, I still celebrated what in the U.S. passes for a rite of passage: my 21st birthday.
I went out with friends, had way too many sickeningly sweet drinks, went skinny dipping in the pool at my apartment complex, vomited...
Armed with my new status as an "official" alcohol-guzzling adult, my idealism and all my wisdom, I was ready to face the world---just as soon as the room stopped spinning.

It was a couple of years later that the realization hit me:
I know nothing.
I will spend the rest of my life in a constant quest for knowledge, understanding and wisdom of self and of the world around me.

That first time was a bit traumatic, but it changed the way I approach the world. I now approach every person or experience I encounter as a potential lesson. I try to keep my eyes and ears open (with varying degrees of success) and absorb everything, trying not to repeat my mistakes (again, success varies).
My new approach has served me well, though by no means do I avoid moments where I am utterly humbled.
One such instance happened a few weeks ago. I was talking with my favorite 8 year old and her mom. This kid is bright and sensitive, insightful beyond her years. She and her peers are reaching that age where differences begin to be felt. No longer do they all play as one big group, but rather they have begun to splinter into cliques. The newly formed "popular girls" clique has begun to pick on my sensitive young friend for being different.
Listening to her tales of woe, I was reminded of my own school experiences, of the pennies flicked at me as I walked down the halls, of the racist comments, the mean pranks. It hurt me to think of this beautiful young soul having to experience the degree of cruelty which only one's young peers are capable of inflicting.
"Bitches!" I muttered.
She gave an inscrutable look with those big brown eyes. She turned to her mom and told us how she deals with it.
The three of us--- she, her mom, and I --- often do yoga together to a particular series of DVD's, and at the end of each one, there is a meditation. Part of the meditation includes sending a healing prayer to somebody you know who needs it.
She told us she sends her healing prayer to this girl, the meanest of the mean girls who pick on her.

I am an asshole, I thought, as I looked at my wise little teacher with awe.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

03 November 2007


One of the projects that has been keeping me busy over the last two weeks was a short film called Berlin (or Burlin' as dubbed by the Art Department). The shooting schedule was a little exhausting but well worth it. We shot over two weekends, in a couple of locations in Washington and at Huber's in Portland.
It's a period piece, set in Nazi Germany. It was a little surreal, particularly on the nights that we shot at Huber's. The Art Department transformed the place and the actors were impeccably costumed and made up.
Here are some shots from the film and behind-the-scenes.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

01 November 2007

The Seven Stages of Rejection

Classic literature is littered with tragic unrequited loves and spurned affections. Often the stories end with the scorned lover making one final dramatic gesture.
Ovid's Sappho leaps to her death from the Leucadian Cliffs when Phaeton chooses a younger woman. Other heroines abjure the company of men and enter the cloister, or die of the consumption. The gents fight duels or go off to die in wars...

But this is real life and these are modern times.

In this technologically driven age, the ultimate in dramatic gestures is (cue dramatic music now): Deletion!.

People hook up, break up, and make up via text and email. AIM, Gmail and myspace often supercede the tête-à-tête. I admit, I am not immune this particular phenomenon. I recently found myself in the role of the rejector and watching the drama unfold. I found it to be rather anticlimactic.
One interesting drawback (or advantage, depending on who you ask) to all of this technology is that it leaves a record. One can track the whole process, the whole emotional roller coaster and, sometimes even the advancing level of intoxication. Quite fascinating really (or maybe I was bored and needed a break from photo editing).

The 7 Stages of Rejection

1. Denial and Bargaining:

Well we already covered those (here, if you're curious), so we move right along to...

2. Realization of The Loss sinks in:

Said realization elicits a myriad of conflicting emotions. The confusion which ensues may prompt the first dramatic gesture...

3. The Redistribution of Assets:

This is usually an irrational demand to return borrowed items or reclaim items left behind right now, regardless of time of day or night. This stage is also characterized by a complete disregard for what the other party may be doing (i.e. going to bed).
The rejecting party is usually grumpy at this point and the dismissal is quick, prompting further confusion for the rejected party.

4. Sorrow:

Soon after the brief face to face, comes the regretful sentiment, via text of course. "Hate that it had to be this way."

5. Anger:

This stage follows a few hours later---usually around bar-close. Presumably prompted by liquid gumption and spurred by sympathetic friends, comes the snarky verbal attack. The degree of inebriation will determine the format, whether text or phone call.

6. The Last Word:

Also what I like to call "And another thing...". The final point, jab, comment, and just so there's no chance for rebuttal...the final stage:

7. Deletion:

Ah yes, the final gesture, the ultimate repudiation of the rejecting party, the closing of that final door---deletion from the "friends' list". With the click of a mouse you can erase a person from your life and make a statement.

Call me an old-fashioned romantic, but I think the options in dramatic gestures for the rejected suitor of today are rather limited and lack a certain...panache.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

31 October 2007

Call off the search party!

The Infamous CoatCheck Girl is alive and...a little sickly, but overall, well. After emails from friends and readers wondering how and where I am, and "whatever happened to...", I thought I'd better post an update.
October has been a busy month for me professionally. That's one of the reasons I haven't written much. I've had very little time and, frankly, hours and hours of photo editing aren't very exciting or misadventure-y.
I even missed the just-for-fun show I was most anticipating this month---The Erotic Ball. Last year, I swore to myself I would make it to this year's. I owed it to myself. Last October I skipped it to go to do what my Freckled Friend wanted to do. I ended up sitting at some lame house party, listening to one of his friends playing "The Final Countdown" on the accordion. Like I said, I felt I owed it to myself to rectify that this year. But, alas, I was working.
It's not such a loss, however. I've taken on some promising new projects which I'll be writing about over the next few days, including a couple of movies gigs, promo shots for Silverhawk, shots for a Vagabond Opera live album, and Jeremy Wilson's (Dharma Bums, Pilot) podcast The MastanMusic Hour.

And the Lonestar Pony some of you asked? Well, let's just say the human capacity for denial never ceases to amaze me. I admit, I got caught up in the idea of it too, the fantasy of it--- enough to pass up some opportunities closer to home in order to give him a chance. I'm usually a have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too kind of girl, but I held out. I waited for him to arrive to see if there was really something there.
There wasn't, and I went right back to my life as usual.
I tried to be as straightforward about that as I had been all along. Unfortunately, I encountered the same problem that had been there all along: a complete inability or unwillingness to hear anything that didn't fit into the fantasy.
In ending things, I try to be thorough and direct, even if it's not often the most tactful. I believe in ripping off the band-aid quickly. Sure it stings more in the moment, but it seems less hurtful in the long run. That is, unless the other person never even hears it.
I thought I had made myself perfectly clear, leaving no room for interpretation.

"I'm not interested in being romantically involved with you."

Ouch, I know, but direct...right?

A week or so later I got an invitation to dinner, to which I agreed, as long as it wasn't a "date".
"I'm not labeling it. We don't do well with labels," he replied.
We don't do well with listening either, apparently.
"I mean as long as it's understood that we're just friends and nothing more," I clarified.

I did not expect the barrage that followed.

"I thought if I gave you some space...I thought if I gave you time...I thought if I showed you that I'm not insecure, that I have faith in us...you can date other people...I just want to go see a movie with you, hold your hand and see where it goes...but we had something great on the phone..."

I was embarrassed for him and frustrated with my own predicament. I would interject my previous statement until it became a mantra.
"I'm not interested in being romantically involved with you."
This was punctuated by "This is not a negotiation...this is not a debate...let go of the fantasy...let go of those expectations...it's in the past..."

Did I get through? Who knows. The thing is, part of me can sympathize. I can understand putting one's hopes into something and being disappointed when it doesn't work out as desired. What I don't understand is clinging to those hopes so stubbornly that one becomes deaf and blind to the reality of a situation.

On that cheery note...

The best way to keep track of me and my doings (albeit, not the naughty ones), is to check my flickr site often. It gets updated more regularly than my blog these days.
Many thanks to those of you who have written asking about how I'm doing. I'm touched.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

13 October 2007

R.I.P. Lady Jaye (1969-2007)

From the PTV3 site:

"Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and her reactivated Psychic TV aka PTV3 are terribly sad to announce the cancellation of their November North American tour dates. This decision is entirely due to the unexpected passing of band member Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge. Lady Jaye died suddenly on Tuesday 9th October 2007 at home in Brooklyn, New York from a previously undiagnosed heart condition which is thought to have been connected with her long-term battle with stomach cancer. Lady Jaye collapsed and died in the arms of her heartbroken "other half" Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. Being overwhelmed by the enormity of their loss, Genesis and the other surviving band members of Psychic TV/PTV3 are not able to properly meet the demands of touring and performance. Obviously, her absence onstage , the conspicuous loss of her unique charisma, music and humour would be an unbearable emotional reality to confront night after night. The group, who have been touring to promote their first studio album in 12 years, will announce future plans after an appropriate period of mourning."

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

12 October 2007

Back in the Saddle

There are entire industries built upon our ability to project our fantasies onto a disembodied, far-away voice or even a series of zeroes and ones. Our society is constantly moving farther and farther away from honest live, one-on-one interaction. Just look at the popularity of these networking sites, online dating, even text messaging. My new cell phone even came with a blue-tooth network thingie that scans for other people in the vicinity with similar capabilities. I can upload a profile and read other profiles and could conceivably "meet" people in the same room without ever saying a word to them.
It almost makes me miss the days of the good old cheesy, but straightforward pick-up lines.

My recent little interlude with the fantasy vs. reality thing has come to an abrupt end.

The Lonestar Pony, whose voice has accompanied for the past 2 months, finally arrived in town. All throughout our conversations I would remind him, and myself, how easy it is to mistake the fantasy for the reality. Though I tried to present myself as honestly as I could, I knew that his desires and fantasies would blind him to some of the realities and vice-versa.
Even simple things like cuddling---the very first time we talked, I mentioned, point blank "I don't cuddle". He would laugh it off with a cavalier "Oh, you'll cuddle with me though...".
We often discussed the possibility that the connection we felt on the phone might fizzle in person, and agreed that we should ease into things once he was here. I made it clear I did not want an instant relationship.
He seemed to agree and to approach the whole thing with a practical attitude. I was mistaken. I also misread his self-assurance and confidence.

I am a person who likes my space and, believe it or not, my privacy. On the phone I would tell him some of the minutiae of my day--- I was going places he'd never heard of with people he'd never met. Once he was here, and in my apartment, it was time to reclaim my privacy.
I made allowances for the fact that he'd driven for 3 days straight, and taken quite a courageous step in staying at the home of a girl he'd never actually met before. It was an awkward situation to begin with, but it became quickly apparent that there was just awkwardness in general.
I'm stand-offish under the best of circumstances, when it comes to getting to know somebody. In the past year I've kept prospective lovers at arm's length, keeping things all surface, all business, if you will. This one had distance built right in.
It was a rather rude awakening. No more distance, and a complete disregard of my admonishments to take it slowly and give it space---to really see if there was anything there. I suddenly found myself, with this stranger in my home, seemingly smack in the middle of a relationship to which I'd never agreed.
The final straw came when he questioned me on an appointment I had.

"i'm meeting with a friend to take care of some business stuff." Even my closest friends would know better than to pry further.

He questioned me several more times, and I gave the same reply, also making it clear that I did not appreciate the repeated questioning. That was two nights ago.
Yesterday, he was scheduled to move into his new place and I had other errands to run, so I tried to get him packed up and ready to head out so that I could get everything done. This prompted further questioning, much to my annoyance and disbelief.
He finally pulled me aside to have a "talk". I hate "talks".
With a grave expression, he asked me to be honest with him about my "appointment" and asked if it was romantic in nature.
I snickered. Buddy, I thought to myself, you just lost yourself any chance you had at any sort of romantic association with me, with that one gesture.
I have no patience for that degree of insecurity, nor that sort of possessiveness, particularly from somebody that I'm just getting to know.

"You're in no position, nor do you have the right to ask me that question. You are not my boyfriend, I was very clear about that before you ever arrived. And no...it's just business stuff, like I said...all six times you asked me."

I am open to exploring some things but there are others that are just instant deal breakers. There are warning signs I still ignore, that I probably shouldn't when I meet people, but there are some that scream at me loud and clear. These were too loud to ignore.

There is the naive part of me that always hopes this one will be different, that he'll deal with things maturely and rationally. All of his reassurances that even if we didn't end up "together" we obviously still had a friendship...more fantasy.
It was another one of those awkward "break-ups" without the actual "relationship" part. He wouldn't even look me in the eyes when he came to do the inevitable "Picking up my Stuff" ritual.

"So, are you ever going to talk to me again?" I asked as he gathered up the odds and ends he'd left here. I knew as I asked what the answer would be. I smiled a little, an ironic smile.


Ah, of course.

"I don't know...we've talked every day for two months...you know, the whole 'even if it doesn't turn into a romantic thing we still have a connection' and all that...?" I quoted back to him.

"I don't know...give it time I guess"

I won't hold my breath.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

10 October 2007

Metric, Wonder Ballroom, 10/8/07

So amidst all of the craziness with the "Management" gig, I have found time to shoot some other stuff as well. I took a break Monday night to go see Metric play. (Thanks Jay!)

As always, you can see more of my images on my images on my flickr site.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

09 October 2007

Finding Love in the Strangest Places

When I was working at Ohm, I got in the habit of checking the "Chance Meetings" in the weekly rag. Several of us did. We would sit at the beginning of the night and laugh whenever we spotted missed connections between patrons we recognized. Once I even got to play matchmaker, when I recognized two of the interested parties. I had in fact witnessed said "moment", as it happened right in front of my coat check window. The next time she came in, I made the necessary arrangements for them to meet and exchange numbers.
So, I still check them from time to time, and this week I saw one that made me chuckle.

Love in the Afterlife

Met you at the Seance during the lunar eclipse. You, woman with the club foot, me, Man with the glass eye. I took it out. You held it delicately. Let's channel love while we channel the dead. Ouija think?

I know some of these are fillers, written by staff writers to take up space, but it would make me really happy to think it's a real one...

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

05 October 2007

Worth a thousand words...

No words could aptly describe my day, so I offer this:

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

04 October 2007

Big Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the big shoot. Wish me luck, kids!

I don't know why I've been stressing this thing like I have. I think I've been feeling like there might be a lot riding on this shoot, like it will be a significant opening of doors for me professionally. I'm used to just being a girl with a camera, and the number of people, and amount of co-ordination involved, made me forget myself for a bit.

Many years ago, for my very first magazine assignment, I photographed a controversial young feminist writer named Rene Denfeld. Her new book used her experiences as a prize-winning amateur boxer, to shed light on violence perpetrated by women. Every other paper in town pictured her looking very aggressive in her boxing gear. I took her out for a walk through downtown, during which I found out she had just adopted a little girl and was going to meet her new baby in a couple of days. She absolutely glowed with the anticipation. The photos I shot showed her to be the very image of a happy new mom. She also said something to me I never forgot.
"You're so young...have you been doing this long? You look like you were born with a camera in your hands..."
That conjured a painful mental image, but the compliment definitely stuck with me too.

When it comes down to it, the entourage, all the lights, the set dressing---none of that will matter tomorrow. I'll still just be a girl with a camera. I can do this shit in my sleep.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

The Wheels Are in Motion

Today marks a new beginning. It could very well be the beginning of my nervous break-down. Nonetheless, today begins a new adventure.
Sure I spent the entire day running around trying to get things figured out for this photo shoot I'm doing on Friday. I had to track down Polaroid film, which, after searching all over, I found a block away from my place.

But that's not really what I'm referring to anyway.
Today, the Lonestar Pony begins his journey Westward. Yes, Texas is invading Oregon---and it's here to stay.
After a two month phone and myspace courtship, he's moving to Portland. He's not moving here for me, though. He was planning on moving out here when we first began our association, and things just finally fell into place. He found a drum-friendly place to live, a temporary part-time job and he already has a job interview lined up for something more permanent---and I'm sure having a cute girl waiting for him doesn't hurt either...
I'm not sure how to feel about it, though.
My friends vomit a little every time they see me answer one of his calls or even just talk about him. They haven't seen me this goofy-grinned over a guy in a quite some time. He's one of my "faves" on my t-mobile. He's in my top how-ever-many friends. He makes me giggle like a school girl.
It's been a while. Most lovers in the past year got the boot before breakfast.
He sounds great on paper: established musician (hey---some things never change), a romantic who sent me flowers and home-made cookies, by all accounts a great cook, gives great phone, looks cute in pictures, and was described by one of the Midlake boys as "a really nice guy"...
But does that translate to reality? I suppose I'll find out soon enough.
He'll be staying with me for a few days until the room he's renting opens up.
I've had musicians stay with me before---five days can easily turn into five weeks or more--- so, we've come to an understanding. In the most dulcet of tones, I assured him that he was welcome in my home until then. However, should he overstay his welcome, I added, I will stab him in his sleep.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

01 October 2007

Hollywood Comes Calling

Whenever you see an actor hold up a photo or you see those "old" family portraits on the wall in a movie, somebody has to produce those images. Art directors, prop people, production designers, and photographers work together to create a visual history for the characters. In the new Jennifer Aniston movie that's filming in Portland, I will be that photographer.
I'll be working with production designer Judy Becker (Brokeback Mountain, Garden State) to create a "rock n' roll" history for one of the lead characters. I have not read the script, but from the sounds of it, there is a scene in which he makes direct reference to one image in particular, so it sounds like at least a couple of the images will figure pretty prominently.
For clearance reasons, I probably won't be able to post the photos until well after the movie has been released (2009), but I'll post verbal updates at least, on what should be a fun and educational experience.

Since I know people will ask, no, I don't think I get to meet any of the actors, which is probably just as well. The only role in which I recall ever having seen the male lead, was as Phoebe's gay ice-skating husband on Friends.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

27 September 2007

Is that a technical term?

Word of the day: Poserwanks

po• ser • wanks [poh-zer-wangks]


Descriptive noun used by an attorney at law to describe a person or persons of musical inclination who, in breach of contract, refuse to pay for, but continue to exploit usage of a photographic image, despite repeated requests and warnings.

ex. An official cease-and-desist order should get these poserwanks to stop using your photo.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

24 September 2007

Challenge met! (Anniversary)

Today my friend Kevin issued a challenge: to write a spooky erotic story. It was based on a contest hosted by oystersandchocolate.com, who are requesting submissions for their Halloween edition. Here is my submission. i couldn't think of anything more spooky than this. I broke out in a cold sweat just writing it.


How long had the alarm been sounding? Eyes closed, she reached over and pressed the off button. It was a bright sunny day, she could tell, though her eyelids refused to budge. She snuggled closer to the warm body next to her, nuzzling the back of his neck.
"Honey, it's time to get up. I'll go start on breakfast." She kissed his cheek and, though he gave no indication of returning her affectionate greeting, joy filled her as she reluctantly opened her eyes, rolled over and sat up.
The sunlight streamed in through delicate lace curtains, casting patterns all over the room. With a happy sigh, she stood up and fumbled her feet into her slippers and pulled on the matching powder blue bathrobe that lay neatly folded at the foot of the bed.
"Happy anniversary" she whispered as she left the room.
The walls of the hallway seemed to glow a rosy pink. She smiled a little contented smile to herself as she thought about the day when they had picked out those colors. Well, the day he'd picked out those colors. He had politely listened to her suggestions. He was always very polite. He had lovingly patted her hand and turned to the man behind the counter, handed over the samples he'd been holding and said "We'll go with these."
And it had been a very good choice, indeed. The colors reminded her of the most delicate sea shells.

She padded into the room where her twin boys were sleeping. She could hear the shower running in the other room, the house starting to creep to life again.
"Time to get up for school boys." She dismissed the usual protests. As two sleepy faces peered at her from under the covers, she planted a kiss on each forehead.
"Get dressed and come downstairs...you don't want to be late for school!" she chirped.

Once downstairs, she bustled about the kitchen. So much to do! There was coffee to grind and oranges to squeeze, pastries (from the bakery down the street) milk and cereal to set out. But somehow she always managed to have it done by the time her men, her boys, made it down to the table.
Today, their special day, was no exception.

As he walked into the room, she stood before him dutifully, and he planted a perfunctory kiss on the top of her head. Their morning ritual completed, she turned her attention to the boys.
"Remember, you're staying at Grandma's tonight...!" she couldn't keep that cheerful tone from her voice. This was their special night. Every year on this night, for the past seven years, the boys always stayed at Grandma's house.
As the clinking of cups and glasses subsided, she bustled the boys into their sweaters and backpacks and hurried them out the door, to the awaiting car.
"Don't forget to say 'thank you' for the ride, boys!"
She took a quick glance up and down the street. The manicured lawns gleamed, jewel-like, with a bit of dew that still clung to them.
She walked back into the house and grabbed the briefcase that sat on the floor. She knew that he would be walking up any second, to give her a goodbye kiss.

Briefcase relinquished and goodbyes kissed, she set about to clearing the remnants of the breakfast rush. Today was Tuesday, which meant it was time to vacuum. She had been intimidated by the job at first. She had always wanted a cozy little house. She saw a brief flash of cityscapes, of glass and pavement, colorful lights and lively streets and... No, she repeated to herself, she had always wanted a cozy little house. He had insisted that if they were going to have a big family, they should have a big house. He was right of course. He always was. Over the years she had become accustomed to the housework and it would never occur to her to mention it.
She paused in front of the little glass cabinet in the living room. Six small figurines stood neatly lined up on a shelf, angels all of them. This one was crystal, its fragile wings making tiny rainbows behind and around it. That was the first one. The next one was porcelain, a Lladró, which always reminded her of her mother. She hadn't spoken to her mother in seven years. She quickly dismissed the thought as she looked at the other four figurines on the shelf. There would be another one for the collection tonight, she knew.
She looked for more little tasks to fill her day. She straightened a bit here and a bit there. Everything was as he liked it; a place for everything and everything in its place. She kept thinking about the night to come. This was their special day.

Night finally came, and he walked in, setting his briefcase down in its spot by the door. She reached out to receive the rose and figurine he handed her and turned her face up to kiss him. He took the items from her and set them on the small hall-way table.
Taking her hand, he lead her up the stairs and into their room. He guided her to sit on the edge of the bed, where she began to undress. At a look from him, she picked up her clothes and impatiently folded them. She climbed under the covers and watched him, the anticipation making her shiver just a bit. He undressed methodically and stacked his neatly folded clothes on the nearby chair.
As he climbed under the covers next to her, he turned off the lamp on his night stand. He reached across her to turn off her lamp, and grazed her breast as he did so. She stifled a sigh of excitement.
Now it could begin.
First, he would kiss her neck... She felt his lips on her neck as she thought this to herself.
Then he would move down to her breasts, first the right... She could feel him suckling on her right nipple as she thought this to herself.
She anticipated his every movement, until he would part her legs and sink himself deep inside of her, on their special night. As he pumped furiously into her, she wrapped her legs around him, feeling daring. She only felt a momentary disappointment, as he roughly pushed her legs back down. This was their special night.
With a groan of release, he pulled himself away and rolled over, his back to her. It was not too long before he began to breathe in the steady rhythm of sleep.
She looked up into the darkness and was filled with that bittersweet feeling that always overcame her on this day. But it was fleeting. She knew that it would not be too long. The seasons would pass. She would fill her days and there would be an eighth figurine on the shelf and...

She sat up with a gasp. There was a crash and a beeping as the garbage truck pulled into place outside. She heard yelling, and a car alarm sounded three floors below. Thick velvet curtains let in very little light and colored the room a deep red. She took a moment to let her eyes adjust. The familiar stacks of books, the small piles of clothes scattered about, all helped to dispel the images from the night before. She stretched across the entire bed before getting up, and sighed with contentment, and thought about what she would like to do with her day.
Coffee, cigarette, emails...begin.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

09 September 2007

Telefonicus Interruptus and other phenomena

I recently received an email from a friend, an astrologer, who assured me my phone would begin to ring and 'settle me a new angle'.
I don't know about new angle, but definitely a renewed take on an old one. The phone did indeed start ringing, people are popping out of the woodwork, wanting to schedule photo shoots. More importantly they want to pay me for them. Old friends and new have been sending me referrals. Seeds that I have planted in the way of pro-bono work are coming to fruition. The latter has resulted in me having free 24 hour access to a shooting space for the entire month of September. I got that phone call just as I was trying to track down studio rentals for a shoot.
There seems to be momentum building, which is gratifying after all these years. In truth, I have no one to blame but myself for the slow track my photography has taken. I have almost always had a day job to fall back on and never had the impetus to really make the sort of push it takes to do this in earnest. It doesn't hurt that things seem to be aligning just right.
Everything seems to come at a price, however. This renewed surge of energy has its downside when it happens to somebody who works with energy. On the most average of days, I don't do so well with electronics. As I have learned to work with energy in a more purposeful way, I have been able to temper this particular phenomenon, but I seem to be going through a period of re-adjustment.
There was a time when I almost got fired from a call center job because I burned through three computers in less than a year. It confounded the tech people. They and other employees would have no trouble running the same three applications on my machine, and the moment I would sit down and open the same programs, the PC would freeze up or refuse to work altogether.
Recently, my computer files keep disappearing, moving, and sometimes (thankfully) reappearing. My mobile phone has taken to randomly turning itself off, usually at the most heated and inopportune moment of a conversation ("Ooh, yeah, I'm com–....aw crap! Hello?!"). The "psychic phenomena" that regularly occurs in my apartment has reached an all-time high, with books and art randomly flying off of shelves.
It has affected my blogging. It's hard to write when I sit at my fire escape locked in a battle of wills with my laptop. I often blog at night, but lately I've had to do so by the light of a single small lamp or during the day. The overhead light in my living room has developed a short, I believe. In any case, the constant flickering has been driving me crazy. I even stayed at a friend's place while my landlord supposedly fixed it, but since the flickering stopped during my absence nothing was fixed.

Things are generally falling into place so well otherwise, it seems I'll just have to accept these minor inconveniences as the trade-off. Dodging books, flickering lights, and battling with computers is really such a small price to pay.

All Content Copyright 2008, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

02 September 2007

Afternoon on The Sandy River

Last week Jen, Kaya, Roach, Tank and I all piled into the Volvo and headed down to a nice little spot on the Sandy River.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

28 August 2007

Misadventures in job hunting...

I suppose it's rather telling of the image people have of me that I immediately received two replies to my status update that reads "Infamous CoatCheck Girl is carefully concocting her plan of attack.... ". Both wondered whom the subject of my focus might be, rather than what.

I've technically been unemployed since April. I've managed to get by doing this or that, but I am striving for a more stable income, preferably doing something interesting and creative. Since there are no wealthy patrons lining up support this artist (yet), I turned to Craig's List.
Maybe it's that I'm getting older, hopefully wiser, and more confident in my talents, but I don't want my brain to rot away while I sit behind a desk for 8 hours a day. I have been looking for something within my fields of expertise...photography, writing, languages, marketing, PR...adult...?
Why not?
I have, in the past, done nude/fetish photo work, both as model and photographer. As with anything else, I optimistically conjectured that if I sorted through the more sordid ads--- "busty models wanted", "amateur bj videos", and numerous escort services--- I might find some legitimate art/fetish nude work, or perhaps some erotic writing gigs.
I was not quite prepared for what I did find.

Nude cleaning company hiring.
I envisioned myself in nothing but an apron and heels, holding a feather duster.
Upon further inspection, however, the job lost its appeal.

"looking for high end women for our nude cleaning company. good looking, classy, sexy, and outgoing. hourly wage, and you keep all tips. clients will be looking to get great views, flirt, and do some touching. giving oral sex is a plus but is not manditory, please let us know when you email. pay depending on experience and duties. please send questions and pictures as soon as possible. we need to hire this week."

They're also hiring a manager:

our naked cleaning company needs a manager to run our daily activites, schedule, interview, handle money, be able to fill in being nude when needed or when trianing a new hire. outgoing, funny, business sense, sexy, good body, flirty are all great qualities. we also want our manager to be more than willing to give oral sex, and hand jobs when needed by home owners, and owner. if this isnt for you then please dont respond, but if you like this enviroment then respond and if your selected then we offer, great pay plans, bonuses, trips, tips, and perks. please email pictures, why your interested and when you can interview, and start, all interviews are kept under wraps, email today."


Ooh, here's something:

Need Fetish Models and Photographer:

"Hi there . . .

i have three fetishes which are a bit . . . obscure. i would like to find someone to photograph and film me indulging in these three fetishes for my own private collection. i would also like to find a model or two who would help me play out the scenes. No sex involved

The three fetishes (and i warned you they are a bit odd) are in no particular order . . .

1. Being dressed as a woman (nicely, not interested in being humiliated)

2. Learning how to properly use anal toys (on me)

3. being diapered by a friend (not intereste din being treated as a baby, just the diapers . . . would also like the model to be in diapers too but not a deal breaker).

If you can help please reply . . . bonus points if you respond with ideas for how to run any of the scenes (I'm not quite sure how to run a shoot) OR if you respond in character . . . would prefer girls but guys are fine . . .

Ok, that one could actually be fun, but I'm guessing this guy wouldn't want me to publish the photos anywhere.

Last but not least was "Foxy Phone Girls".
Hey, if I'm already having phone sex everyday, I may as well get paid for it, right?
What?! A mere $12 an hour?!

Maybe I'll go photograph the diaper guy after all...

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

27 August 2007

Psychic TV, Berbati's Aug. 07

PTV3 played at Berbati's last Thursday night...and what a show. I love my local bands as much as the next Portlander, but I realized that night that I often go to shows here, usually to shoot, and the music becomes background. I like it, but after a while it loses it's impact, it doesn't engage me completely. This show was a completely different story. Ok, so you have a bit of the freak-show factor but the music was actually really good too.
I'm really excited about these shots. I got permission to shoot the show from their bass player, Alice, and I'm mailing her a cd of images. I have seen some of their other live shots and was underwhelmed. I'm excited to see what might come of this. You can see the rest of the set on my flickr site.

No drummer photos, I'm afraid. They had him tucked away under no light, behind a bunch of equipment...typical. The viola player, Zef Noi$e, has his own project which is definitely worth checking out as well.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved