Vanity in the Woods

IMAG0552_1_1Vain + Alone in T’Sou-ke Nation.

Vanity can be a nice distraction on a sad day when you find yourself alone in the forest.  It takes a particular kind of vanity to do this under the gaze of a tree that will outlive me and all those I love.  I hope it had a sense of humour–it would have busted a gut watching me trying to balance the phone in the branches of a sapling.


The alone at the top of the world shot

IMAG0541_1_1Vain + Alone on top of WQENNELEL (Sencoten for “looking up”)

Two pounds of silver ’round my waist,
All my angels and demons chased,
Breathless here around my feet,
Enjoying the truce.

The walk up this mountain (known today as Mt.Finlayson…not even remotely as attractive a name as its’ First Nations counterpart) was not really thought out.  It was meant to be a short walk in the woods before a gig.  I was wearing the clothes I’d perform in and those boots (caught so nicely here) are what I call “city boots” and have no right to be hiking up and down a mountain.   The two pounds of silver refers to a belt a friend had given me that is made with 10 large silver conches.  And those are skinny jeans I’m wearing: all these are things no Mountain Equipment Co-Op would suggest for a hike. Continue reading

The Airport Shot

IMAG0497_1Vain + Alone in Denver Intl. Airport.

Actually, a packed terminal.  I must have looked like I had OCD, walking the same triangle: phone to window right; to window left; to phone; to window right; to window left…

I think my favourite part of this image is the desolation of what lay outside the window.  It speaks to me like only desolation can.  It seems like an inconsolable world out there, but the dude with the guitar strapped to his back is somehow of it while the gent on the left has turned his back on it.

Hwas nice enough to stay for the whole thing, though.


The pensive plane peering shot

IMAG0502_1Vain & Alone In The Sky, Somewhere over The Midwestern States of America

The “peering out the plane window pensively” shot is a must. No need to explain anything to your seat mate– by this time, your Vanity will have given you a thick skin, so it wont matter what they think.

Don’t expect any breezy chat from them at the baggage carousel, though.  They WILL think you are odd.


Connection, Thy Name is Vanity

IMAG0492_1Vain + Alone in Austin, Texas.

The camera perched on the top of a Mini Cooper, stabilized by a water bottle and my wallet.

Afterwards, a man named Tracy – a local sound/lighting/backline guy and six sheets to the wind – let me know he’d watched me doing the multiple takes and gave me a fist bump for my efforts.  I was a little embarrassed having been caught, but in a town that literally drowns in vain people every year during SXSW, Tracy must’ve seen his fair share and thought it cute I was labouring to take a cool pic.  Of myself.  By myself.  

He just really had to tell me.  Vanity helps connect people.


When you know you have to, you have to.

IMAG0453_1Vain & Alone in Berkeley #2

I tried seven times to get this, so you can expect some looks from other hotel patrons.  This particular hotel has somewhat of a convent vibe (ergo the halo from last night’s dance with vanity) and is small…this is part of a little sitting area near the front desk.  So, people staring at you repeatedly sitting down and getting up is inevitable.  

People looking at you with that “I feel sorry for you” look on their face is also inevitable.  But what do you care?  Who’s the one with the kick ass photo of themselves in the almost 100 year old hotel that used to be a man’s club and is full of incredible furniture art?

You, that’s who.


The Hotel Boudoir shot

IMAG0441_1Vain & Alone in Boulder, Colorado.

This kind of shot will take you a while because you may have to build a little platform for your phone out of your luggage, a chair, and an overturned waste basket to get the proper angle and height.  Some attempts had a lot of ass…and stuff… so I suggest using the longest setting in your timer function on your phone.  I also recommend deleting the failed attempts right away.

Looking nonchalant while you sleep is a cinch, though.

IMAG0439_1Vain & Alone in New York City #2.

If you find yourself in the restaurant attached to The Chelsea Hotel, use the napkin dispenser to lean your phone against. Best to look like you’re bleeding a poem on to a page. Your phone isn’t likely to get nicked, but you will look…desperate. Which fits in well at the Chelsea Hotel.