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Friday, July 23, 2004

Stand-by Unit 10: the Rules…
POV of a Chicago Photojournalist

Hard Hats were served up at this location
in lieu of food. This is an acceptable substitute and will make
us smile even if we have to give them back…

Just like any other job, ENG (Electronic News Gathering) has an individual Corporate Culture.

Rule #1 in Mini-Cam (TV Video Photography) is: Where’s the Bathroom?

Once you land on a scene of any duration – unless it’s a whale of a *breaker* – one is immediately magnetized to the location of the *head*. Deadline driven jobs can be made or broken by a bladder, I kid you not! It’s a guarentee that your own Mother Nature will call you OUT just when you’re being CHIRPED by your producer for a 30 sec Stand-by.

It is possibly the only job where talking on your cell in the Bathroom is not only not impolite, but a Bottom Line requirement. Just don’t drop it in the bowl like some of my ilk – this makes the Boss really nervous at a time adrenalin cocktails are already being served.

Rule #2 in Mini-Cam is: Where’s the Food?

Many of the events of duration one could be assigned to offer the possiblity of the Graze. Now this is usually an inclusive option – but sometimes is at the discretion of the Host – as in never just sit down at an empty place at a set table, joining a Lunch-in-Progress, and try to blend in. However, whenever there is a Buffet, all rules are suspended.

Sometimes the Host will provide a keen spread, like de facto Senate candidate Jack Ryan’s folk, who laid out nice cookies and roll sandwiches for the media but quickly lost points when said rolls were discovered to contain an unidentifiable *meat substitute* loaf product. This coupled with the natural green color of the rolling tortilla wrapper really put people (especially the cameraFolk) into a tailspin. Now I’m won’t go On the Record and say the Carnivore Instinct is the norm with News Gatherers but you can do the Math…

If any Buffet is within 100 feet of any working press, eventually they will drift over and help themselves.

Such was the case yesterday for me when I was out in Glenview with the Dubya entourage. Senor Arbruto was in the area for a Self-Serve SHoutOUt with the EMS Departments of any locality in the Region. This included the entire gamut of Emergency Service Workers and was a site to behold.

It was also catered.

After the speeches were over, I drifted into an area where there was considerable activity going on. My Mother OUtlet was serving up the event coverage internationally and the entire White House Press Corps (YES! That’s what they call themselves!) was in tow with cameras, laptops and ATTITUDE! Think West Wing cocky dialogue to the max with really bad haircuts…

SO here I was with about a cup of mixed green salad on my plate, winding down mentally from a grueling afternoon of pulling cable through mud and pools of standing rain water, security sweeps, shooting, live shots and more. Suddenly a face was between me and my plate asking what I was doing at the counter of food. Suddenly I notice a Big L on my badge where others have a large N. In this room, L for Local is about as large as an ant standing next to an elephant.

I am a BUG. Crawling on the Buffet. Getting in IMPORTANT PEOPLE’S FOOD…

But everyone in News, including those in the room most of whom I’ve known for years, knows that once it’s on the the plate it will be protected at all costs. So I offer to give it back to the Host (a non-News Party Guy), and he declines the offer. Instead he nods in closer and tells me to fill ‘er UP! He had to say something OUT LOUD, anything actually, because the Caterer had outed me and just didn’t know the RULES…

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Onde = Wave = Ombre

another Onde Masterpiece – this time from Luxemburg!


Jorun writes: The test of all things knitted:
Would I buy this for twice the cost of the yarn if I found it in a shop? No, I wouldn’t.

Would I buy it for the price of the yarn? Yes, I might. But I would consider a larger size. I think my gauge in the knitted item is tighter than in the swatch I did.

Do I regret having spent time and money on the Onde? Mais non. Je ne regrette rien.

Would I knit it again? I really would like to knit something in the volcan colourway (the shocking pink/orange shade). I would choose another model, probably something ribbed.

Would I do something differently if I did it again? Apart from the size/gauge thing, I would make sure to buy an extra ball of yarn. The collar is too narrow. I had 1.5 meters left of the yarn after binding off and seaming.

What did I learn from this project? That I need to check my gauge “under way”. And I did that invisible side seam for the first time, and it worked very well.

BRAVA! Jorun – fresh, exciting Chloropyll!…

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

take a walk around my block

Before you think I’ve run off and joined the Chicago Tourism Bureau, I have to warn you there is more summer festivity rant to follow…

WHY?!:) oh why? I work right in the flight path of Navy Pier, Water Tower, the MCA, NIKE, Sony, the Apple Store, blahdeeedaaaaaaaaaah…

When I get off the bus and walk to the Studios to check in for the day and get my gear, I am virtually swimming through the masses.

First reason for the snarky gleam in my eye: they are NOT AT WORK…

Second reason for that sparkle: wherever there are tourists there are MIMES!

Mimes are scary – they’re looking at me and when (and they will) follow you down the street, like the painted angel on roller skates, beggin’ to be bought off so they finally STEP OFF, I start running with my head down.

Our beloved tourists give them lots of money, so of course, that spawns MORE MIMES!

Yesterday was very hot and humid and when I saw the Big Silver Guy Mime outside of Water Tower, I actually felt pity for the first time EVER! His makeup was runny and missing in several places, and he was sitting on an overturned 50 gallon pickle bucket (THE mime seat of choice and Street Drummer instrument of beat as well). My hand was on my camera (the little one I carry around at all times) but I hesitated, knowing how I hate it when people take pictures of me while I’m working. (I’ve been know to quickly dive onto the ground and lay on my back and take pictures holding the camera almost straight up in the air to get a good picture of, say, thousands of ballons being let go at once).

So no picture of Mr. Guy.

By the time I got to the bus stop and got my first wiff of Horse *rine from the Carriage rides, my pity party was over.

Now these Carriages, IMHO, are the biggest rip-off in Visitor Land. You get into a sweet little gettup and they geddyUP you around the block and then down to the Lake. The Rip comes in when you see that you can’t really get TO the Lake you can just SEE the Lake in the distance beyond LAKE SHORE DRIVE, a 6 lane freeway that borders it. Hmmmm…

In the meantime, these horses are depositing whatever whenever and in the midst of July, it is a most unwelcome aroma. I LIVE IN THE CITY! If I want to smell animals I’ll go to a ZOO like a normal urban citizen. (BWAH – the country?! – get real – avoid at all costs unless there are nice little sheep to see…)

Because of some weird traffic science that I couldn’t see from my bus stop acreage (each person gets about an 18″ square piece of street to stand on while waiting. Think this is not a legal parameter? Violate it once and find out!), I was forced to wait for almost an hour for a bus that’s supposed to come every 10 minutes.

So I whipped out my current Bucket hat (something really sweet – I’m finally working on a new pattern so you can use Sugar ‘n Cream cotton) and started wailing. A big red Cadillac Escaldade was stuck in traffic right in front of me and *I* became the tourist entertainment. This made me knit faster for some reason (annoyance/adrenalin>?) and I was pullin’ yarn out of the satchel I had stuck between my feet (yes, within the 18″ square…) like there was no tomorrow.

I’d noticed a young man who was waiting watching me with interest – I gave him several smiles because he was a guy gettin’ off of work just like me – except his job was as one of the Break Dancers I’d just passed at the Water Tower Entrance. And heaaaay, they give you your money’s worth and don’t FOLLOW YOU AROUNd.

At one point he raised his arm high and went HEY and pointed to my bag. I’d just pulled about 3 feet of yarn out for another Bucket round and had flipped the whole skein onto the ground. It was fast a-rollin’ towards the gutter. The GUTTER. The Horses. A TRAGEDY mirrored on the face of my dancer – the look of panic on his face was precious! He did not want my yarn to go lightly into the MIRE!

And who says City People are harsh!>? Thank you Mr. Break Dancer Guy from the bottom of my evil little heart…


Paris is the Sister City of Chicago and therein dwell the Original Mime Nation:

lower third pictures: is this guy on vacation in Paris FROM Chicago?

here I am enjoying the nonsense

please write your Alderman – so this guy won’t be at your bus stop next year…

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