27 July 2007
checkit, we made the paper! we're all still in a bit of shock over it but there we are, plain as day. when ward slapped the tuesday edition down in front of me a week and a half ago, I felt my eyes widen and my mouth drop open. well lookie there, I said. there we are on the front page of the newspaper. how about that?
when the folks from the oregonian contacted me a couple of months ago about photobooth friday, I didn't really think much of it. I mean, yes-- I was excited and all but I wasn't sure how much material they'd be able to pull together for a story. and then, you know, sometimes things just don't pan out. so I was a little surprised when steve (sweetest guy ever) actually contacted me to set up the interview.
we met down at a coffee shop next to the ace hotel, ordered italian sodas and talked for two hours about many, many things. photobooths and blogging (naturally) but also how wonderfully strange portland is, the local modern dance scene and our oddly mutual midwestern roots. as we were leaving the hotel, he asked if I was planning on taking a photobooth strip. yes, I said. I think I probably have to now, right? he smiled and I left the interview with this strip.
then I sort of forgot about the whole thing. I think maybe I was still wondering if it would ever actually come to fruition. the photographer and I couldn't seem to coordinate a time for the shoot and anyway, what? a photo shoot? the thought of it absolutely terrified me. I'm extremely uncomfortable when others photograph me. there are but a few exceptions to this personal rule, though not many (an entirely different subject for another time, one that is as wide as it is deep and then some).
we finally did meet for the photo shoot-- again, down at the ace hotel (I'm like a one-trick pony with all this ace hotel business) but only out of sheer necessity and just a few days before the story was to be printed. bruce was just as sweet and easy going as steve but when I arrived, he was holding a giant-sized camera. so sweet and heavy, I could almost feel the weight of it in my hands. I didn't know whether to make for the front door or grab his beautiful camera and run. I decided to introduce myself instead. even though all I wanted to do was ask him if I could touch his camera. actually, I wanted to hold that big thing and look through the lens but there was no time for anything but a polite introduction and an abbreviated photo shoot. ah, the photo shoot. oh people. I am so awkward with this sort of thing, so awkward. naturally, he wanted to take a photo of me inside the photobooth-- in action and with the curtain wide open. I felt myself smile like an idiot and say yes, of course! though it came out sounding excruciatingly chirpy. I was too nice to tell him no. see, that's the thing about photobooths, it's very private. you get behind the curtain and it's just you and that camera. there's no photographer on the other end and I love that. of course I love that, but what could I do? what did I expect from a photoshoot about a story involving photobooths? I mean, really.
so there I was in that booth, all sweaty and uncomfortable. my smile just a little too bright, my cheeks a tad too shiny. bruce slid the curtain to the side and I swear I could feel the entire lobby watch me as I slipped my three crinkly dollars into the slot. they would all be privy to my silly little photobooth session and of course, there would be bruce, pointing that big fancy lens at me. then the pop and flash of the photobooth kicked in and I don't know what happened. I sort of flaked out. I did things I wouldn't normally do. all the time I was thinking, OMG THIS IS GOING TO BE IN THE NEWSPAPER WHAT AM I DOING. afterwards, when the booth finally spit the strip out, all I saw was cartoon-like cleavage and what looked to be the arms of a giant sailor. clearly, those enormous arms did not belong to me. well yes, they did but denial is a wonderful thing. and then the photo shoot was over and that was that. all I could do now was hope for the best. I was sure I'd made a total fool of myself but maybe they wouldn't show that part? perhaps I was creating unnecessary drama?
turns out I worried for nothing. I'm a worrier, this is what I do, I can't help it. thankfully, there was nothing too incriminating (thank you, bruce) and such a nice write-up (thank you, steve). plus, all over the front page of the living section! what a kick. who'd a thunk photobooth friday had legs like this? I'm both pleased and embarrassed by the attention, if that makes any sense at all. maybe because I think people are probably thinking it's enough already with the photobooth, WE GET IT, YOU LIKE PHOTOBOOTHS. I know, I know. but it's a ritual now, to write the stories down (almost) every friday. it's a creative exercise I'll be slow to part with, even if I stop blogging altogether. who knows why I feel the way I do about photobooths. steve asked me what the big appeal was and I was less than eloquent in my attempt to explain it. I said something about nostalgia, something about aesthetics... blah blah blah. I don't know, I finally said. I don't know. I've just always had a thing for photobooths. he nodded and scribbled something down in his notebook.
so there you have it. my kooky little addiction forever immortalized in the living section of the oregonian paper. you can read the article online here (though there are no photos online and the article sort of doesn't work without the photos). thanks to all who called or emailed to congratulate me, extra thanks to all who have made photobooth friday the sweet little phenomenon that it is. if you'd like a copy of the article, gimme a holler. I'll see what I can do.
and now to make up for much lost time:
in my shoes