Friday, September 11, 2009

Photographing the Invisible Woman

You know how people always say that such and such thing will put hair on your chest? Well I honestly think, as I stand naked in a $3.50, 8 minute long shower, that traveling has put hair on mine. That seems like an unusual thing to observe, however, I have dealt with the shame of being bare chested for all of my life until a couple of days ago. No self respecting guy wants to be the dude with no hair on his chest.

Maybe the hair is a result of the cold weather that accompanied my passage through Banff. I have traveled throughout most of the country without the rain that I desperately wanted, and yet, here I am on the edge of an emerald like, running for cover like a mad man as a wall of water comes streaming after me.

In spite of killing some spectacular views, the rain was not entirely unwelcome. It gave me a wonderful opportunity to wash my car! Yes, I know that you are not supposed to wash your car during a storm, but believe me, anything is an improvement over the dust wagon that I was driving before the rain.

One of the major drawbacks of the rain was that it compelled me to head to Calgary a day earlier than I had to, which was a big mistake. Calgary is another city that belongs on my black list. The roads are designed so that everything is a major thoroughfare, and it is virtually impossible to turn around once you have started down the wrong road. This was not a good combination with a GPS that does not function in Canada.

I wasted two days in Calgary, shopping, buying groceries, getting my hair cut, and eating a delicious country fried steak dinner at Denny’s (who knew that Canada could fry a steak?!?). At the end of my two days I was rewarded with the inability to find the model that I was supposed to meet for a cosplay shoot (a photo shoot themed after comics and cartoons), and a non-functioning contact number for that same model.

Calgary had won, and I beat a hasty retreat!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Trans-Canadian Railroad

After a short trip to Kamloops, I ended up back in Vancouver two days later. I was scheduled to do a doll themed photo shoot with a model named Erica. The shoot was not extremely successful. The tiny, retro kitchen in her apartment was not the ideal place for what we were trying to achieve, though we did get some good images in the parking garage behind her apartment.

The true success of the night was making a new friend. After the shoot was over, Erica and I spent the next several hours talking about music and horror movies while we split a bottle of wine (alcohol is expensive in Canada!). We even managed to get yelled at by her crazy landlady for being to noisy. It is interesting to me that I always seem to get along the best with liberal atheists. I wonder why that is?

From Vancouver, I made my way back through Kamloops toward Banff National Park in Alberta. It was a very long drive, but also very scenic. My stomach has changed a lot over the course of the trip, so when I stopped to eat at the best Wendy’s that I have ever visited (the staff were incredibly nice, I had my food before I had my receipt, and they even brought an after dinner mint to my table) my stomach was not quite up to the task.

Luckily my digestive problems worked out to my advantage, because the rest stop that I used turned out to be the site where the trans-Canadian railway was linked. It is kinda funny the things that you stumble across in search of a bathroom.

Monday, September 7, 2009

“Your not here to buy crack are you man? Because crack is what killed my mother”

For the past half hour, the subject of crack had been a recurring theme in our conversation.

“I am not here to buy crack, or any other drugs like I said earlier, I am just trying to find Pat’s Pub.” He looked at me suspiciously.
“Then what are you doing on West Hastings?”
“I am trying to call me friend, because this is where she said the pub was.”
“Your trying to call your sister? Just give me $20 and I’ll show you where Pat’s Pub is. I was born in this city. I am 100% healthy.” He says through his broken jaw, “My squad member died but that is besides the point.”

All in all, I spent about an hour talking to Darren Igneous, the druggie who jumped into my car as I was parked on the side of the road. After I managed to convince him that I had no money, that I was not here to buy crack or pain killers, and that I was his friend, I was finally able to get him out of my car.

It seems like having a druggie jump into my vehicle should have been a worse experience. I was definitely agitated at first, but after a while, I began to feel peace. My experience definitely began to change when I started to actually care about Darren, and began to treat him like a friend and fellow person rather than as a crazy druggie who wanted my money. Darren even allowed me to pray for his jaw before he left.

This has really opened my eyes to the needs of the poor. Not the physical needs so much, I have always known and cared about those, but about the emotional and spiritual needs. Everyone needs to know that they are loved. Everyone needs to be listened to and cared about. It is part of what makes us human.

I never thought about how big of a need there is for people to love on the homeless, but now I am beginning to hope that the L-rd will give me opportunities to do so in the future.

Even though I did not get to see a Rockabilly show with my friend Nevada, I felt like I gained a lot that night, including an interesting story and a new outlook on the poor.

PS: here is a photo that I took with my friend earlier that day.