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