Friday, December 30, 2011

SpyCam Barcelona - now with Wordpress.

I am experimenting with switching to Wordpress. I think I'll keep posting the posts here too for awhile.. but right now I'm too lazy to format the post again. 

So, just so ya know, its a post about pictures I take of people I don't know. 

See the rest of the post at..

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sushi Sake

Sushi Sake.. hidden just off of Campbell Road.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Through the OTHER side of the Looking Glass..

Ive got something to say.
After all this time i thought of something.

I had an epiphany the other day, in Half Price Books.

When I first got seriously into modeling, and began to have some degree of success, I thought to myself "i cant believe I'm doing this/seeing this/cant believe I'm here." I thought that I was finally doing something interesting, finally had a world that someone would want to look into. And so I should move from obsessively documenting the things that pass me by in notebooks to obsessively displaying it in blogs. because its interesting. People want to read this. Live vicariously.

Well, the other day I went to the fashion section of Half Price Books, looking really for this Japanese street fashion book that I can't think of the name of, or at least something visually inspiring. But all they really had was a handful of books about models, certain models, or models in general. Things with titles like "Model: Life Behind the Lens".

And I involuntarily though something to the effect of, "How boring."

It caught me off guard, that thought. I remembered that I used to be one of them, I used to attempt to create exactly this kind of media. I used to think these things were interesting, right? It hit me.. I don't think I ever did think the soulless documentation of models because they are models was interesting, in and of itself. I thought it was interesting because I was trying to do it, and trying to find a way to sell it, so I looked for examples.

"Its only really interesting to the people who would rather be there instead of you."

Its funny how much I've changed, how much I don't even wish for the thing that not so long ago I hated giving up. I see girls I know who are still doing it, and I don't feel a wistfulness about it anymore, I think, if anything, I almost feel a relief when I see facebook posts - back and forth, telling industry people how great they are, using the vocabulary of friends just a little over-zealously to put in place a relationship that does not yet exist but is desired. I'm glad it isn't me, that I don't have to do that anymore.

A little caveat: I am not saying that I look down on modeling, or find everything about it boring. Only that at one time, I thought it was enough to make a story interesting and now I think it isn't enough. There are some people who can tell the story of their lives modeling with a vision that makes it interesting - there's at least one on my blog roll. This is more an arraignment of myself and the particular way I bought into it than anything else.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Critical Analysis of Self Projection.

So here is a confession. Yesterday, I went out and took pictures for my envisioned revitalization of this blog. Right now, I'm not sure what the fate of this blog will be. I want to finally do a blogging project that doesn't fall short of its potential.. and one that I commit to enough to see it to the fullest extent. Right now I guess I'm evaluating what that would be.

I know I am only interested in doing something personal, something meant only as a hobby, as an expression. I don't know if this is, or can be it.

I think the Rika Confesses to Almost All of It concept was great when I was a struggling model/jack of all trades/semi-hustler bar girl. I cut it short of its brilliance by pandering to much to an audience I was pretending to have, or stopping short of rawness. I never really covered all the places I got to be and all the crazy sometimes stupid how I got theres. I hit on exactly what this should have been a couple times, and that was it. Obviously, I never cultivated much readership, but that's not so much a shame or wasted potential as it is a sign of my inability to fully commit, dedicate, and realize something. Just a symptom.

I think about the blogs that I really find interesting and inspiring. Most of them are a fairly simple theme, repeating one cool little vision from a unique angle. Should I find some microconcept, despite my chronic eclecticness, my refusal to give up the possibility of talking about everything and the kitchen sink for a concept as simple as photos of clouds delivered attractively? What subject would I choose?

My life is different now, I am not sure if the confessional theme suits at all. A different job, life with health insurance and weekends off, I don't even know my closest bars inside out anymore. I have interesting things to confess I'm sure, but I work towards a goal that does not benefit from spilling them. My other expert topic - I live and breathe video games now more than ever, but I can't tell you about it. ;) If I picked a small piece of my interests to mirror and display, what would be the most true, and hold my interest longest? What could I (of all people) focus on? And even if I did choose some little angle, would I still want this place to put my rambling thoughts?

I don't know. Tomorrow i may pretend I never wrote this, and carry on.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The old world.. Revisited: Meeting the family in Hot Springs

Memorial Day weekend I went to meet up with my family in Hot Springs Arkansas. They came from Effingham area, IL, I came from Dallas TX, Hot Springs is the semi-central point where we were able to find an un-booked cabin.

I hadn't seen my family since my brother's wedding last fall, and I flew in and out within about 48 hours then so I wouldn't miss any work. The day before I left, I had the sudden revelation that this might be somewhat stressful.. then I called my older sister who said "Yeah.. I'm afraid this is going to be really stressful. I'm bringing alcohol!" Then I talked to my mom who said "Honestly, this is probably going to be a big stressful deal." So on the way there, I was somewhat nervous.. and I always feel a little strange when I go to visit, almost like I'm revisiting a different world I used to live in.

But as it turned out, we had a pretty good time. The cabin was a little chaotic with all of the Hollinshead siblings minus one sister (who prob was having too much fun elsewhere) and three boys under the age of 3. It got me to thinking about how life was growing up, and how I was always surrounded by that kind of chaos and always, always people. I don't think I really realized until I was an adult and moved out how hard it is for me to continually be around a lot of people. I like people, ect., I just need to break it up with time spent alone, and really, I'm much better with individual conversations with people than group socializing. This would probably explain why I spent so much of my at-home years writing or drawing in a corner or sitting in the yard.

Seeing my family got me thinking about a lot of things, like how much I have or haven't changed, and how different my perspective has become since living elsewhere. I still don't think of it as "moving to the city and broadening my horizons".. I've convinced that country people know a fair deal about the city- they see it on tv. But people who have lived their lives always in or near a city really have no idea about life in the "middle of nowhere". Neither the media nor their need to go places generally forces them to encounter it.  They really don't "get" driving an hour to get to a town they wouldn't shake a stick at to buy used video games or the amount of planning that goes into seeing a concert when its a two hour drive each way and you're underage.

(I was once in a bar, trying to explain life in Effingham co to a guy who had never, apparently, spent any time out of the city. He said, disdainfully, "But what would you DO there, if you were there right now, what would you do for fun? Hang around some cornfield?" I looked at him, sitting in a major metropolitan area, on the same barstool he'd been on since five oclock and every night before that week. "Nah.." I said as I walked off. "You'd probably just be sitting on your ass in a bar.")

At any rate, most of the things I got to thinking about were too heavy for this blog, right now, this time of night. But the two notable concepts that can be mentioned briefly are this: a) The realization that I, myself, not my circumstances, haven't really changed that much. I'm basically the same, but being away, I suppose I've got to know myself and my natural inclinations better, and instead of wondering why I don't fit right in a certain "hole" so to speak, I've built my situation around me to suit myself. And b) for the changes I, and Thom, have gone through.. we've become more like each other than either of us is like our family anymore.

Each of those topics probably really deserves a blog of its own, but I am not ready to publicly delve into it, so for now, enjoy my sunburn, some photos, a cleavage eye view of the world, and talk about go carts and video games.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We Are the Pop Art of Our Internet Times - The Cultural Significance of Facebook Photography

A classic from Quakecon 09, entitled "Glasses and Myspace are for Dorks."
    I like myspace-style, self-taken, in-front-of-the-mirror, you-can-see-the-cellphone-camera-in-the-shot photographs.

  There. I started the blog. I was trying to think of a clever way to begin, maybe pull in some social commentary. But the truth is, I don't really want to say that Facebook and celebrity culture are creating a detrimental effect on society, giving everyone a venue from which to over-indulge in gross displays of self importance. I don't want to say that, because everyone is saying it. I also don't want to say it because I am a fan of social media-style photography - the easily mock-able icon of our times.

Fefe - she's tech savy, game playing, zombie killer.. and also my successor as XFX Girl.

  Think about all the times you've heard the myspace-mirror shot scorned, or used in a snarky remark. Or used as the subject of a cartoon or parodied on Youtube. I can mention "those girls who post pictures of themselves posing in the mirror", and everyone knows exactly who those girls are. But I've got those photos. And you probably do too. The things we make fun of incessantly.. well, there's a pretty good chance that those things are our very culture.

Christa and I always said "You know you had fun if you've got the picture to prove it..." Why not prove you're having fun, right here, right now, in real time?

  I like old photos because they are a glimpse into the time. I analyzed the the old checked curtains in the background, the flannel shirt my dad is wearing in an early 80's 110 photo. I stare at the corn shucks at my great grandpa's feet. I flip through the boxes of photos at antique stores sometimes, looking at scenes of people who aren't anything to me in particular, and I look at the clothes and the poses and the objects that give the photo some sort of setting.

Even classy blogs like In Pursuit of Pretty Things do it.

The Facebook shot shows us living in "the future". It is a world where everyone carries their own little piece of technology. We can show or share something across distance instantaneously, we can have visual conversations across the space that separates us and the cultural differences that come from that space. With the death of film as the primary way to document our lives, we now have greater leeway - we do not have to ask the question "Is this special enough to keep through the rivers of time?" We can document insignificant moments - the very moments that I wonder about as I look at old photos, the moments that photographs were not then spent on.

Photoshoot styled to look like Facebook photography - Kitagawa Keiko for Cybershot S006- more at Unleash the Geek.

  I know that some people are concerned with the "reality tv" nature of internet culture - everyone wants to be famous, or just act like it on Facebook. Everyone has a podium from which to create their own image. And that is what I think is great about the current we are swimming in. There is a readily available canvas there in the digital era. There is no need to create visions which lack an audience. With the ability to easily reach viewers, there lies potential for so much more than poserism and blatant sexuality. Yes, those things are seen in the digital sludge. But if given a blank space that can be easily shaped into whatever you choose to present, why not make it beautiful? Why not choose carefully the things to document? And at the same time, why not choose haphazardly the moments to capture... because we cannot quite know in the moment the importance of the things that we think are far too casual to be art now.

PoppyD's What I Wore Today is almost nothing but this.. and its awesome.

  But I digress. When I was twelve, we took posed photographs carefully, trying to clear any disruptions in the frame, and arranging every variable to get the most of the finite 24 spaces we could use. When I was 14, the internet was a luxury which I sometimes got to take a turn at at school, choosing topics of research papers just for the purpose of being legitimately allowed to read something interesting online, and when I was invariably pulled away from it I would think "If I had the internet constantly available, how could I ever be bored?"  When I was 15, I ran with my sister and our friends to a stranger's farmhouse looking for help after a car wreck - an event which inspired my dad to get us cellphones at a time when pagers were still a status symbol.

The glimpse into Stacia's room is clean, clean, clean.

Now, I carry a tiny computer in my back pocket. I customize its capabilities with an infinite number of free programs. I have never had to think about whether or not its memory may be filling up with photos from its camera, which takes pictures that look as if they were taken by a device that is primarily a camera. But I carry three other cameras as well, 90% of the time. The blue digital point-and-shoot with a flash that can blaze through the dim of bars and clubs, the tiny hand held Vado video camera with a purple patterned finish, and the serious looking "real" video camera that is still, in this day and age, the size of your palm. I edit video easily, only ten years after I dreamed of being able to go to college to learn the unapproachable skills of turning footage into something coherent. Yes, I set out to participate in my contemporary times, and I have done it up.

Dancing in Miami.. putting the dress on the interweb.

The visible cameras in these photos give an insight into the personal, portable technology that is now common place in our lives. It is so common place, that the cameras, or more often, cellphones, in these shots are attractively colored or adorned. Objects which - even within my lifetime- would once have been thought a novelty on their own are now so normal that we individualize them to combat their normalcy. I value their appearance in the photographs from a strictly historical standpoint - we preserve pictures of things which rapidly change, which will be cast off. And then there's something philosophical about the brazenness of not even attempting to hide the fact that a photo was self taken, or by extension, that the viewer is looking at a photograph and not simply being drawn into a scene.

This actually is from a gift guide hawking the phone. But its so culturally relevant, they're even using the theme to sell shit!

 In the 1920's, there was much concern about the Charleston, the unruly girls, and the illegal booze. Its hard to argue that no one was ever harmed by alcohol or brazen sexuality. But out of the climate that undoubtedly did provide some people with a hard surface to wreck themselves upon also came the insight of Fitzgerald and Edna St. Vincent Millay. It is with that faith that I continue championing the social media style " mirrored self portrait with digital camera" and the internet uploading 3g culture it represents. Its the faith that I can both participate in and document my times and the culture around it, all the while maintaining the perspective to see outside of it.

I <3 Droid photography THIS MUCH.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Accidental Brewriot - A Sunday Drive.

  "Let's just get in the car," says Ryan, after much debate on where to go and what to do there. We comply, and are soon driving south. At first I speculate that Ryan has chosen Ft. Worth, but he turns onto a frontage road where I expected a merge left. We drive through Oak Cliff, commenting on the houses and the scenery, and what a street could be like, filled out with interesting businesses.
   As we creep into Bishop Arts, we see an unexpected crowd - a mix of sunglasses, bare shoulders above summer dresses, hipster shoes and small plastic cups held aloft. I read a snatch of writing on a sign- "Homebrew Teams.. "
  "I think its a Beerfest."


  In line for wrist bands, I wished I had worn less and debated on whether a wrist band for beer samples is a good investment for a liquor person. Fifteen minutes later, we were armed with the proper supplies for the Bishop Arts Brewriot Homebrew Festival: wristbands, cups, and marbles for voting.

Paparazzi shot:  Jesus shoes and little dog.

Sweet Maggie cider was my favorite. The chocolate porter I had was also good, and not too chocolatey, but I took no pictures and cannot remember who it was by. :(

Ryan and Thom can't resist Uncle Buck's.

Rahr girl pours a Summertime Wheat - I want to like Stormcloud just for its name, but I know I could never love an IPA. 

Paparazzi shot: One of the best neighborhoods for checking out ink.

Paparazzi shot: slouchy tee shirts, chillin by the car.

 Ending the excursion on Lockhart's patio - after generous $3 Jameson shots.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Videogame Controller Earrings: A Random Etsy Search

  Etsy.. it's the place to go if you want something a little too odd to be easily found in a store. Its also the place to find earrings that look like the exact variety of videogame controller you use.. because no fangirl would be caught dead in jewelry that doesn't match her console.

   Sadly, I won't be buying any earrings.. there doesn't seem to be an iconly recognizable symbol for the PC gamer in the same way that the controller is the "banner" of the console gamer. At least, not one that makes a good earring anyway.
Clay Super Nintendo from TheClayCollection - $23

CsCharms calls these "Retro Videogame Controller Earrings". I applaud their avoidance of copyright infringement. $14.95

Black 360 controllers from BouncyCreation - The bargain of the group at $9.

Atari controller graphics by Ambergee80 are my favorite, because of the more subtle nature of the design. I actually think she could do a nice PC gamer version - maybe wasd keys in one-color stencil style? A gaming headset might work as well, or even a full keyboard if the detail can be done that small.  $23