Mud pits, an Angry Bird, Twins, and Don’t Flash the Party Guests

The unthinkable happened today.

Today, coming on the heels of a Very Busy Week, and after having Overdone It Yesterday, for the first time in a year and a half, I got Too Tired to Take Pictures.

Gasp!  Too tired to take pictures?

Yes, I know, I know.  I can hear your gasp from here.  And yes, Too Tired to Take Pictures.

The day started well enough.  Gerhard drove me to Photo Club and bought me a tea-flavored sugar water with no ice from McDonald’s along the way.  At Photo Club, Gerhard worked with his point and shoot camera.

He is enjoying the challenge of putting aside his DSLRs, flashes, and lenses and seeing what sort of pictures he can eke out of his little point and shoot camera.  ‘Tis a noble quest.

After many weeks of absence, Becky came to Photo Club and admitted with chagrin that she’s forgotten most of what she’s already learned.  She was a little afraid to turn on her camera, for fear that sparks would fly out and it would burst into flames from neglect.  But all was well and soon her chagrin was gone and she was her cheery self again.

And Scott…well, I’ll talk about him later.  For now, I’ll just say that he was very patient with Becky and me, and re-taught her a bunch of stuff, and then helped me figure out my flash.  As I had expected, and somewhat dreaded, there’s a learning curve involved in mastering this flash, and I am so thankful for Scott’s good-natured lessons and also for everyone who patiently allowed me to take pictures of them today (more on that later.)

After Photo Club, Scott invited Darling Husband, the children, and I to an Irish Festival in Gettysburg.

While we were eating lunch at the festival (delectable fish and chips and a really gross meat pie), we allowed the boys to play with their DSs.  There are some people who consider the lure of electronic games to be a slippery slope leading directly to mayhem and the end of all that is good, and I’m wondering if perhaps they are correct.  Because while Boy9 was playing his DS, a bird landed on his head and perched there long enough for me to fire off three pictures of it, and Boy9 just sat there playing.

Did you get that?  A bird, landed on his head.  On his head.  And he just sat there.  Playing the DS.

The people behind Boy9 were delighted with the proceedings.

The bird finally got tired of me blinding it with my flash, and it flew away, muttering curses under its breath.

It turned out that Claude attended the Irish Festival as well.  Darling Husband and Claude are apparently twins separated at birth.  And also separated by 11 years.  And, no, I’m not sure how they can be twins separated at birth and also be 11 years apart in age, but it’s true, so I don’t examine the facts too closely.  It’s not so much that they look alike, but rather that they are eerily similar in pretty much every other way.

So, here’s a challenge for Kendra, who is Claude’s wife and is away visiting her family right now.  Which is which?  Which Bryan is yours and which is mine?

The Irish Festival was about celebrating the simplicity of earlier days, and the ruggedness of the hardy Irish people.  Which is why they held their festival near an ancient playground, complete with rusted metal slides and rotting wood see-saws.  And take a look at this merry-go-round.  Any child careless enough to fall off of the merry-go-round would end up in the mud pit.  They had a few branches nearby to toss to kids if they started to sink in the pit, to pull them out.

After the Irish Festival, we all came home, Scott and Family, for a brief respite before the events of the evening were to begin.

While we passed the time, Darling Husband showed Scott some cricket matches on TV.  Cricket is some sort of game played in some other countries and there’s some sort of bat and some sort of ball and something about wickets.  The game can last for up to three days.  Yes, fellow Americans, three days.

And here’s when the unthinkable occurred.  About halfway through watching the cricket game, I ran out of steam.  The couch was comfy.  The game was boring.  The couch was comfy.  I started dozing.

But before I had a chance to fall into a deep sleep, it was time to head to the annual costume party that Jeff and Barbetta (remember them from yesterday?) hold.  Annually.

Barbetta had asked me to take pictures at the party and I was happy to do so. Until the party got rained out of her backyard and moved to the church gym.

No.  No.  Please tell me no.  Not the church gym.

The church gym is hideous.  Truly hideous.  And the lighting is horrible.  I got better pictures from the caverns 15 miles beneath the surface of the earth, lit only by a single cell phone, than I’ve ever gotten in that church gym.  And I’ve been trying to get decent pictures in there for months.

Thankfully, Scott was a last minute addition to the guest list and he had not run out of steam watching cricket, so he happily puttered around the hideous gym taking pictures.

Look at this picture of the hideous gym, with Scott merrily snapping his photos.  I’m sure he’ll have a few lovely shots to give to Barbetta, but I sure don’t.  Normally, if I’m tired, I can start taking pictures and I’ll revive.  But not in that gym.  Without a flash, pictures in there are hopeless.  And with my flash, they were still hopeless, since I’m still at the bottom of that steep learning curve.  Blech.  And instead of reviving me, my endless round of bad picture after bad picture sapped my strength, until I didn’t even feel like taking any more.  Shocking, I know.

I mean, look at what was happening: I would try to take a picture in the hideous gym, with my flash, and, well, see for yourself:

Now, you’ve all seen pictures of Kris before, so you know she’s an attractive woman.  But when the photographer doesn’t know how to use her flash, well, these are the tragic results.

But I was smart with Stacy.  This is a costume party, so Stacy wore the sari she bought in India.  And so I took her outside to get pictures, and didn’t have to deal with the flash.  Aren’t these lovely?

For the one below–the blue of the veil is reflected in her eyes and changes the color of her eyes to match the veil.  Love it!

And in closing: thank you to all of the party guests who patiently allowed me to take multiple shots of you, changing my flash settings between each shot.  I would post the pictures, but frankly, they’re really bad.  And it’s not you; it’s me.  Or rather, it’s my flash.


2 thoughts on “Mud pits, an Angry Bird, Twins, and Don’t Flash the Party Guests

  1. I took a few pictures at our family party yesterday & my camera & I did just fine together after all this time apart. 🙂

    Perhaps Boy9 didn’t move when the bird was on his head not only because he was busy with his DS, but also because you have trained him so well to recognize a good photo op!

    • I think it was a combination of me saying, “Ooo! There’s a bird on your head! Hold still!” along with the fact that he was playing his game. He usually darts away whenever I bring out the camera.

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