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A Quit Journey
Inspiration if you're
quitting smoking

The Camera Adds Twenty Pounds
(per square inch)

I thought it was a good idea at the time. Some of us just cannot leave well enough alone. We think thereís a better mouse trap, no matter how many times the old one has caught a mouse. My father used to tell me...Ēif it works, donít fix it...Ē I never knew what he meant when I was little. Now I do. Heíd be proud of me. 

The little web cam sits on top of the monitor. It looks harmless enough. Yes, I must say that it looks as if it could do no damage. But then, many horrid things come in small innocuous packages. (an endless list to be sure). There it sits. A piece of manís most notable sample of inhumanity to his own species. 

The camera. Where would we be without those Kodak moments? I can tell you where we wouldnít be...we wouldnít be hauling boxes of photos around from home to home. We wouldnít be promising ourselves to ďorganize the family pictures one of these daysĒ and feeling sorely disappointed with ourselves each time we open that box or boxes that have pictures floating from them, no rhyme or reason. Total family chaos in a box. Well, letís face it. Most of our families are chaotic at best. Why should the images of them be any different. My picture box matches exactly the mood and atmosphere of any large family gathering I attended as a child growing up. Chaotic, yes. Dysfunctional, arenít they all? (who the hell writes the definition of ďfunctionalĒ?? Iíd like to meet that person) So, I believe that the pictures themselves actually have a meeting and decide to support long standing family tradition, they must maintain that chaotic ambience to preserve history.

I decided that I was going to have a new author picture. I pretty much look the same. (I think...) But a change is nice. My husband set up the camera and we had some fun taking pictures of him and some body art he sports. Then it was my turn. I sat down in front of the computer. I looked at the screen for the cam. Moving just a touch slower than I was, the image shifted like it wafted on an gentle current of air. Weird. Then I went to brush a strand of hair from my face. The camera was directly opposite. The image is reversed. So the wrong side of my hair got fixed. An auspicious start. 

You canít watch the screen to capture the best shot either. Your eyes are down if you do. You have to look into the camera lens. Needless to say, there were a few shots that were just plain bad. You canít watch what youíre itís catch as catch can. 

I looked into the wafting image and to my horror, my second chin shone like a beacon on a stormy night. Donít get me wrong, itís not that large. It just captured the light at the right (wrong?) angle. And looked three times bigger than it actually is. I could do without that in a photo that the gods knew how many people would see. Not a chance. To the recycle bin with that one. Try again.

Another shot. Pretty decent. Actually kind of nice. But to me it made me look older than my age. My husband and eldest daughter both think it is a good picture. I think it stinks. In the long run, I think my opinion holds greater sway in this situation. What can I say? Iím not vain. But I do have my preferences. Itís a decent picture. I wonít argue that. But, I wonít be waving it on a banner any time too soon. 

I for one, would not want to be without my picture collection. I can relive moments that otherwise might fade into a memory bank somewhere. Run by a memory that zones out at the best of times. (too much partying years ago? or not enough?) I like shuffling through the unorganized piles of photos. I never know who I might meet. A long-dead relative... a two year old child whoís face remains lovely to this day... some person my parents knew whom I have no clue about. Makes it all so interesting. And Iíll tell you now, after my kids and animals, the picture box is the first to get saved in a fire or flood. Itís the glue that holds the bits and pieces of imagery together in my head. It makes cohesive the isolated events of my life. And I figure, the older I get, the more glue Iíll need. Iíll be ready. 

Copyright 2001


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