The Weekly Bindi – Week 2

It’s still “this week”. I don’t really have a schedule for TWB, though I will aim for a Sunday/Monday night posting. It’s the end of the week now, though, but it still counts! Also, I don’t think I mentioned in my intro TWB post but any picture on any device counts. Cats have relatively short lives. If my cat’s going to do something cute I will take a picture with the nearest device able to do so, whether it’s my camera, my phone or my computer. (Which explains this week’s picture.)

Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi, Week 2

A calculated move – reaching over to type means that she’ll get a belly-rub along the way.

Since starting her medication and obviously feeling better, Bindi has been slightly less neurotic and way more snuggly, particularly with me. I suspect it’s probably got more to do with the fact that it’s starting to get colder but I’ll take what I can get!

I took her for another blood test at the beginning of the week to see how her thyroid was reading now that she’s been on medication for a month and a half and yay, she’s completely normal. As in middle-of-the-range normal. Like a cat without a thyroid problem. Fortunately her kidneys are still in great shape too – hyperthyroidism in cats can often mask a more serious problem, that being kidney disease. The cat’s system is working so hard and fast to keep going that it actually helps with kidney failure, but once things are working normally, the kidneys can go kerplunkt too.

To be honest, I saw a change within a few days of starting the medication, even though we had been told it usually took at least two months for improvements to be visible. I thought it was my imagination but after two weeks even the Manbeast was asking me if I thought she looked better. She’s all glossy and she doesn’t feel so fragile. She’s even moving better too.

Our next step is to decide whether we want to go the radiation treatment for a permanent cure (or at least a 95% chance of permanent cure) or keep on with the ear gel. The radiation treatment will be around the $1500-1800 mark all up. The ear gel is a daily treatment for the rest of her life at about $100 a month. Both are big costs. I have friends who balk at the idea of spending that much on a cat; they look at me horrified when I tell them that I spent several thousand dollars on her when she was ill a couple of years ago only for her to get better on her own for the most part.

Yeah, there are some who would let nature take it’s course and I understand that. But I want Bindi to live the best possible life she can for as long as she can. In any case, I’ll let you know what we decide in a couple weeks.

The Weekly Bindi – Week 1 (Project 52)

I figured I needed a new project with which to entertain myself and what’s better than tormenting a cat with a camera once a week?

The Weekly Bindi is a Project 52 I’ve decided to start in an effort to record the life of my cat, Bindi. At least once a week for a year.

Bindi is my little tabby cat – originally a big-eared foundling from a country property. I snaffled her and her sister (Dugite) about 13 years ago now under the pretense of doing a good deed and taking them to the Lort Smith to be rehomed. Err… well… they didn’t quite make it.

However I will always maintain that keeping them was ultimately not my decision but the manbeast’s who, in his infinite wisdom, gave them names.

It was a done deal after that.

Anyhoo… fast forward about eleven years and you have one very sick Bindi and one very unemployed Ren. After a vet bill that didn’t leave me with much change out of $3000 OR a diagnosis as to why my cat was suddenly at death’s door, I realised that my little Bindi-puss was not going to live forever, even if she did pull through whatever it was that made her so ill.

Fortunately she survived but two years later she has an extremely sensitive gut and a severe case of hyperthyroidism, the latter of which requires very expensive medication I get to rub into her ears twice a day for the rest of her life. A small price to pay for a little creature who is essentially my little depression dialysis machine. She takes all the sad and turns it into happy. Even the manbeast knows that when I am particularly down I need a Bindi cuddle.

Because her illness has aged her so much, I don’t want to be caught without pictures of her when she does finally kick the proverbial. Hence the Weekly Bindi.

Renlish.com - Project 52, The Weekly Bindi

Long-suffering puss.

Warm Tones on a Summer Walk

A short 15 minute or so walk from my house is a little park with some man-made waterways. It’s well established now and is called home and visited by various birds, mostly wild ducks (or ducks gone wild as the case may be) but there’s the odd water fowl, swan and pelican who stay for brief periods of time. The place is simple but a pretty and fairly easy walk, so I took my camera and bad hip for a hobble and took some photos.

Renlish.com - Warm Tones

Top: Bindis (or burrs) in their prettier, flowery form before they drop off and become the bane of cats and dogs everywhere. Left: Swan. This was one of a pair, parents, who had a handful of cygnets. They didn’t let me get very close. Right: Reedy lens flare – my favourite.

Renlish.com - Warm Tones

Top & Bottom: Various views of the waterways. Right: Ducky who was most disappointed I was carrying a camera and not a bag of stale bread.

A Pop of Colour

In a fit of abject boredom yesterday afternoon, I popped over to my sister’s place and we went out to the local plaza for a little retail therapy.

Not really, I just needed to buy some cat food and a sun visor for my car, but anyway…

We walked past a florist and she started talking about how she now regularly buys fresh flowers for the house. She recommended I get some.

So I did. I bought some beautiful pink and pale green-almost-all-white roses that reminded me very much of my wedding bouquet (cue sentimentality) and some gorgeous little purple and white carnations. And I spent an hour last night cutting them up and arranging them in a couple of vases (read: large water pitchers since I don’t actually “do” vases), pricking my fingers on just about every bloody thorn on each rose while I was at it.

I discovered two things.

1. I really like fresh flowers.

2. I suck at flower arranging.

I was wandering past this afternoon and realised that all the tight buds had opened up and I had to grab my camera and run off a few shots while they still looked lovely.

Renlish.com - A Pop of Colour

Kitty needs a MONTAGE!

The hours approaching, just give it your best
You’ve got to reach your prime.
That’s when you need to put yourself to the test,
And show us a passage of time,
We’re gonna need a montage…. (Montage!)
Oh it takes a montage…. (Montage!)

Ok, so my cat isn’t quite Rocky Balboa but she’s worthy of a MONTAGE(!)

Renlish.com - Bindi Montage

And just because you got this far, here’s a Bindi-derp.

Renlish.com - Derpface

Sunday Review – Rebecca Vaughan, Make-up Artist

Before I get started on the review, I just wanted to let my faithful readers (all four of you) that I will be updating this bloggery thing here and making it a more functional website.  Don’t worry, it’ll still be a blog but it’ll be prettier and hopefully more useful to the both of us.

Anyhoo…

A few weeks ago I was after a make-up artist to assist me on a shoot that I was doing with my lovely friend Elle.  This was to be a boudoir session and I really wanted to pull out all of the stops to make it good for Elle and also yield a good result for my own portfolio.

Because I am pretty much a penniless photographer, I put out put out a call on Facebook page for local models, stylists and photographers for a MUA/hair stylist to assist me on a “trade for time/file” collaboration basis.  I had a few takers but Rebecca’s images impressed me the most and I immediately got back to her to arrange her services.

Unfortunately I’ve been involved in a few shoots where the MUA has cancelled at the last minute or simply not even shown up at all. There have also been cases where if they did decide to grace us with their presence, they were late or ran overtime or just had shockingly bad attitudes and delusions of grandeur – and even worse, their work wasn’t as good as the photos in their portfolio had promised.  It all equals up to a pretty sour experience. So I will admit to bringing my own makeup kit with me, JUST IN CASE.

I need not have worried at all.

Rebecca is a relative newcomer to the make-up industry and is also building her portfolio but if her current level of service and professionalism continues apace, she will be one of the best in the business and I am sure will be called on for loads of jobs.  She turned up on time, listened to what I was after and delivered in spades.  Elle really enjoyed having her make-up and hair done and appreciated Rebecca’s chatty but professional personality.  With Rebecca doing her thing, I was able to do some planning in the room and gather my ideas for the shoot ahead.

Now, Elle is gorgeous already without makeup but Rebecca’s styling brought out her best and was complimented the style of the shoot perfectly.  I couldn’t have been happier and neither could Elle.

Shades of Douglas Kirkland's wonderful Marilyn Monroe photographs.

Shades of Douglas Kirkland’s wonderful Marilyn Monroe photographs.

Elle looked fantastic and knew it.

Elle looked fantastic and knew it.

You can find Rebecca on her Facebook page – Rebecca Vaughan Make-up Artist and on her own blog, Just Wing It. I’m recommending her to all an sundry now. She’s even doing the bridal makeup for another friend of mine.

Oh, and by the way. Elle is in her late forties.

Yes, you can curl up and die of jealousy now. I have a thousand times already.

“I’m sure your client loved it!”

As a photographer… ok… a wannabe photographer… I enjoy perusing many different forums and groups on Facebook and around the webs for my chosen niche just to see what people are doing and to give advice or feedback. As I said, I am a wannabe photographer – I know just enough to be dangerous and I like to believe I can give a fair critique of an image based on my knowledge and also what I like to see in photographs.

In doing so, however, I’ve come to recognise certain phrases that keep popping up, particularly when someone posts a very average-looking picture.

“Does it look right to you?”

Translation: “The image is completely naff. Focus is off. Composition is all wrong. Lighting is totally fucked up. Why in hell did you post this rubbish?”

“Did you achieve what you wanted to achieve?”

Translation: “I could do this so much better than you.”

“I’m sure your client loved it.”

Translation: “It’s a questionable, ill-conceived pose – probably suggested by the client and you didn’t know how to suggest any better. Or it was your idea and you have no clue what you’re doing.”

“I like the tonality.”

Translation: “You slapped an Instagram filter on that, didn’t you?”

“Lovely shot…”

Translation: “THIS IS SO BLAND I WANT TO STAB MYSELF IN THE EYE WITH A FORK.”

“I think that the most important thing is that you and the client ends up loving them and wanting to buy them.”

Translation: “Now use the money you’ve made and get some photography lessons.”

“Wow.”

Translation: Actually, I am still trying to figure this one out.

Renlish.com - Boudoir Photography

The glorious Ms E.

So how’s my tonality?

Maternity Boudoir? No. Effing. Thank. You.

My name is Ren and I don’t like pregnant women.

Actually, I don’t not like pregnant women. I know heaps of formerly (and currently) pregnant women whom I love very much.

I don’t like images of pregnant women.

I don’t. So there. So kill me, you earth-mother-fertility-goddess types.

This has been bugging me for weeks now.

Why?

Back-story: I want kids but I don’t want to be pregnant. I find the idea of pregnancy abhorrent. Repugnant. And yes, selfishly, I don’t want to ruin my body any more than I already have. I like my boobs being mere funbags and my girly pink bits not being rearranged in the process of pushing something the size of a watermelon out of an opening the size of a lemon.

I also like not accidentally peeing when I sneeze, laugh or do yoga. What? I WATCH THOSE ADS ON TELEVISION. They wouldn’t be advertising for Poise if this wasn’t an Actual Thing.

And no, I do not believe you have to birth a child to bond with it but that’s a whole other rant for another time.

Yes, yes, yes, I know. Exceedingly selfish and twisted. I don’t deserve to be happy, blah, blah, blah. I get it.

Anyhoozles…

My current beef about maternity is the images and photographs people are getting done.

A disturbing new trend has been happening in the world of boudoir and intimate portrait photography. It’s name is Maternity Boudoir and I cannot think of anything that’s more revolting.

I like the pictures of the silly or happy-snap kind where you can proudly show off badly designed maternity clothes and revel in the disbelief and shock of folks who were previously unaware of the capabilities of the human body to expand as much as it does (“OMG, you were FUCKING HUGE!”)… You know, the REAL pictures that show just how fucking exhausted and uncomfortable you were.

Case in point:

Renlish.com - Maternity Boudoir

The sister, two weeks before she popped. These are entertaining, happy pictures.

I have been told that some women get randy when they’re pregnant and I understand that. It’s hormones. It’s nature’s way of saying you are ripe and raring to go for procreation. It’s great stuff. But I don’t equate pregnant bellies to sexifuntimes.

The “I am a modern-day Freya, worship the feats of my loins while I pose in lingerie!” sorts of pictures are gross.

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