Category Archives: Videos

Siesta time is OVER

” Where have you guys been?”

“What have you been doing?”

“Are you ALIVE?”

“Or do you just like to ignore us??”

 

Calm down people. Below lies the questions to all of your answers. And some giggles too.

 

 

-M


Angry Cows Do Not Make for Happy Milk

So…this is the post I started out writing yesterday.

Ahhhh a little R&R.

We’ve been go go go for a week and a half, which isn’t that long compared to some well-seasoned travelers. But for two girls who are relatively new at this, it was nice this morning to wake up according to my biological clock, rather than the small but very loud and authoritative alarm clock I have.

We’re in Oklahoma, staying with Valerie’s aunt and uncle. They have been so gracious in putting up two smelly, tired, and worn out girls. We arrived ready to rest, and they had many plans and activities that they thought we might want to see and do.

As the smile faded from my face, all I could think was “I just want to use your shower and pass out.”
Which I did.
I’ve spent the day fighting with my negative scanner, praying it will work. (I think its upset with me for taking it on this road trip against its will) Apparently scanners do not like to ride in cars. But I also organized my suitcase and started uploading the photographs I have scanned onto our flickr account. 

I have not been in my car since last night, and I love it. Although I’m excited and ready to get back on the road (we leave tomorrow morning), it is nice to have a day where I don’t have to worry about finding a gas station, figuring out the best playlist to listen to, or debating on where we should eat.

I am super excited for our next stretch because….we will venture onto Route 66! The land of broken down gas stations, abandoned motels, kitschy souvenir shops, and hundreds of townspeople waiting to tell you their story of how they came to be involved with the mother road. I can’t wait.

Oh and I made a new best friend. She’s a horse.

Sorry Val.

Totally good right? We were ready to post…and then the giggles happen. Oh the giggles. They were no ordinary giggles. They were toxic and contagious. Valerie started it. Then it spread to me. Then it spread to facebook. Be thankful that 98% of you are not our friends on facebook. Your feed would have been bombarded by us. It had to do with looking at photos of cats with dumb captions. Nothing good can ever come from that.

Okay, now I’m officially losing you due to the length of this post. Long story short, we are now traveling on Route 66 (yay!) and are headed to New Mexico tomorrow. We’ve already stopped a million times to photograph abandoned buildings, towns folk, and managed to piss off a heard of cows.

-M

 

Today we began our adventure on 66. We made it to a few fun stops: El Reno Fort; Kobel’s place; and Lucille’s. We shot the filling station and ate at the restaurant. We’re slowly making progress through wind and rain, but we’re forced to come to grips with the fact that we can’t see/do/shoot everything. Six weeks is not a very long time when you are trying to cover an entire country.

Driving on 66 brings you face to face with your dreams of freedom and the open road. But it’s sad, far more sad than I anticipated. All the while we’re driving I try to picture what it once looked like, how the stops must have appeared to those who saw them in their heyday, how the neon lights must have glowed from either side of the street, and the chrome must have gleamed. Now it is all rusty, broken, forgotten, and lost behind trees. Much of it is demolished. A sign by the road reads “Pool and Restaurant” but can only direct you to what is currently a field of maize. I see lost jobs. I see towns half empty and drowning in an economy no longer supported by tourism. The big roads take you to big stores and everything else is gone, or only functioning as a shell of what it once was. Don’t get me wrong, it is beautiful and exciting. There are so many people who are dedicated to reviving the road, and some stops are surging with the hope of a much brighter future. But, as we navigate broken stretches of roads, I can’t help nostalgia for it’s younger days (even if I never saw them).

We came to 66 from my aunt’s home in a small town. I didn’t know her before, so I spent the day and a half we were there trying to get to know her and, naturally, regroup for the next four weeks. She loves to travel. She has photo albums filled with photographs of this and that national park they visited on horseback. She is the first relative I’ve known who really likes to travel and see the things I like to see. My parents are homebodies, though my mother likes to travel to see her family. She doesn’t travel to places because she thinks it might be interesting to see such a place. I enjoyed seeing that in my aunt, and hearing my uncle call her (and all my aunts together) inflexible. They get their way. I like that. I LOVE to get my way. They told stories of my dad when he was younger. It was truly amazing to finally have that contact, I know almost no one in my dad’s family. There’s no dark tale behind it, just your average case of distance and life getting in the way. If it is not enough that we’ve collected amazing pictures and adventures in this trip, I think expanding my family is worth the trip for me.

-V


The Adventure Begins…

We finally hit the road!!! Yay!!

I know we said we were leaving May 8th, 2012. Our kickstarter project said that, our proposal said that, and every person who asked us when we were leaving was responded with “May 8th, 2012”

We left May 9th.

Oh well. No big deal, just had a few last minute things to take care of (Valerie).
Truth be told, I was glad we had an extra day. But we finally hit the road today, and 10 hours later we made it to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Home of tow trucks and “choo choo trains”.

The day went off without a hitch. Kind of long but thats what happens when you avoid the expressways.

Big score of the day? Finding an abandoned Chinese restaurant right off the road near the Tennessee boarder. Photographs to come later this week, after we develop them.

Can’t wait to see what else this trip will bring us!

-M

 

The day we’ve been waiting for finally came. Well, it came and went, without fulfilling it’s promise because I had to repair my car in order for it to pass inspection and renew the tags that expired and for which I received a lovely ticket. That’s right, my tag expired, a cop PULLED ME OVER, and gave me a ticket totaling $215. Why didn’t they just send me a second piece of mail? stupid stupid stupid. But if it’s all fixed I can submit for a dismissal and get out of paying for the ticket (hopefully), it just sucks that this had to happen mere days before our trip. So, the day we waited for passed, but today we left!

It’s beautiful to put an end to the planning and actually get to the doing. Now, I’m not going to hide the fact that we nearly killed each other in the process of packing. It’s true. Mary is bossy and mean and I had to leave my Bisquick, and my liquid light, and my DSLR. I don’t blame her for my leaving my hair dryer, I did that myself, but there was no way that my shampoo and my hair dryer would fit in the suitcase, so I made a choice. A difficult one. But this trip is not about hair, or the fact that I didn’t re-paint my gross, chipped toenail polish. No, those things can be brushed to the side, this trip is about freedom (possibly from good hair) and it is about creating a legacy of images from across this great country. Even if there are trucks on the road bearing bumper sticked that say “Show me your tits.” Thank God they have the right to express there gross and demeaning point of view.

So, it’s our first day and we survived a rain storm, drove through a waterfall, got free coffee from a gas station, discovered an abandoned duck-themed restaurant/motel (I had a severe case of low blood sugar sillyness and had to pull over and let Mary drive), and we made it to our destination in a safe, dry hotel. Pretty awesome if I do say so myself. Also: snapshots of Beevis and Butthead graffiti. -V
Beavis and Butthead


Kodak is AMAZING.

Sorry we haven’t blogged in about a week. *gasp* It’s like TWO YEARS in the blogging world. It’s a really big deal and we feel pretty guilty about it. But we’re also feeling pretty AWESOME about something else! Watch our video to find out what we’re so happy about! We know that it’s a bit long, we like to talk. This is what it would look like if you met us for coffee (we would love to meet all of you guys, so let us know if we’re driving near you on the road).

Thank you for all your support. 6 more days and we’ll hit the road!!!

-V&M


Update on our life

First I have a sneaky video that Mary recorded without telling me. I know that I keep looking at the camera, but I really didn’t know she was recording me. Mary doesn’t always remember to hit “record.” She also likes to play with her camera a lot. I have had a false sense of security around her camera. This gives you a good idea of what we sound like when we drive normally. You will notice that Mary has no concept of bike laws. She thinks they are pedestrians and grows irate when she sees them “pretending to be cars.” The problem is that most bikers decide when to behave like pedestrians and when they will behave like cars. You never know what kind of bike you are driving around. Mary, God bless her, hates all of them.

I am happy to announce that we have a map! You can now see where we plan to go, and we welcome your input on what sucks and where you think we should go instead. The map will appear on our sidebar and we will be updating it when we are driving.

As my final piece of business, I want to remind you that our campaign on Kickstarter.com will be ending tomorrow at midnight. we have 27 hours to raise more than half our goal, so we’d appreciate it if you could throw us a couple dimes and tell your friends about us. The url is http://kck.st/z4TzkJ and you can find a link on our right sidebar. Please share us on your social media of choice, we appreciate it.

I’m going to be so relieved when all of this is done. It’s so much work, asking people for money. Oh, and if you’ve already donated what you can, or you don’t have a lot of cash, we’ll be asking for donations of stuff. Please look for a new page popping up where you can send us any old film or photography equipment you don’t want (because we probably do).

I have poured my heart and soul into this project. I will be so disappointed if we fail. I got really frustrated today and drove around town, driving by huge houses and thinking about having so much money that $5000 is just a small drop in the bucket. One day. Then the sun started poking out through the clouds and all I could think about was rushing home to do some cyanotypes in the lawn, and the sucker went away again. C’est la vie. I guess I will have to see what tomorrow will bring.

-V


How to spell: A Tuesday that is mildly embarassing

Happy Tuesday! KodakKerouacs.com is the place I come to be brutally honest, and I honestly cannot spell. Spelling is hard. Spelling bees were places where I showed no sign of ambition as a child (now, math contests were very competitive to me, but that’s another thing entirely). I’m going to say something here that will be slightly controversial (Mary hates when I preface a statement like that). I think spelling is entirely outdated.

I know what you’re thinking. Well, I know the arguments that MAY be forming in your head. I appreciate spellers. I appreciate that knowing the correct spelling of a word will give insight to the roots of the word and can tell you an amazing story about the history of the word. I even appreciate that misspelling a word shows your ignorance of the English language, and implies a lack of education or of being well-read, thus, spelling correctly implies the inverse. Spelling well can work to your advantage. I see this. I understand this.

Let’s be honest with ourselves right now, brutally honest. How often are you without a computer or a smart phone? How often are you without a dictionary? It’s not that often. Let me give you a little insight to my life. At age 11 I was diagnosed with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder. I couldn’t spell my way out of a paper bag. My mother was a great speller and tirelessly taught me how to spell words, working on spelling every day and in every situation possible. Teachers would tell me to “look something up” which I thought was the meanest, most thoughtless thing to say. I often could not have told you the first letter of a word, much less find the damn word in a book of words. I hated spelling. Spelling was mean. After being diagnosed with CAPD my mother bought me an electronic “speller” dictionary I used in class that I could type a word into and it would guess what I meant to type and I’d find the spelling I wanted. It’s a funny thing, I can recognize the word once it’s correct, but I’ll be dammed if I can’t pull it out of my brain from the start.

What I’m trying to say is that I cannot spell. I have relied on technology to assist my spelling for more than 13 years now, and I don’t think I’ve been deterred from reading. I don’t think my vocabulary has suffered significantly. I don’t think my writing is any less for it (I usually fix my mistakes). I don’t think I’m any less of a person because I control-click on the little red squiggly line and allow my Mac to help me. I have a learning disability that directly affects my ability to spell, yet I manage to write every day without an abnormal number of spelling errors. If I can get by without spelling, I’m pretty sure anyone can. Who needs spelling?

Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t teach kids to spell. Kids need to learn all of that crap. When they grow up they can decide whether it’s important that they can spell something like “deciduous” without technological assistance. Me? I just used the red squiggly line trick. If I can’t use a computer, I’ll just say the tree isn’t evergreen. I can live with that. Now, here is a video of Mary and me trying to write a note to someone in a fairly awesome car. We’ll show you how to spell words on the fly. Or we’ll show you how to look like a twat in public.

-V


How-to Tuesday is here!

Schoolhouse_con_sprocketholes
The subject of this week’s how-to was mary’s suggestion. She asked me how to expose the sprocket holes of 35mm film using a Holga, as I did in the image above. I will tell you in a few, very simple, steps. You will need:

  • Holga
  • 35mm film
  • Either a solid back for your Holga (no hole) or…
  • Opaque black paper/plastic & tape
  • Plastic bottle cap
  • Heavy-duty cutting implement
  • Changing bag or dark room

How-to load 35mm film into holga
Step 1: Remove the back of your Holga and replace with the accessory back from the 35mm Holga kit. If you don’t want to purchase the kit (or you are too impatient) then you should cut a square piece of opaque paper/plastic and tape securely over the red viewing window. No light should enter from the back of the camera.

Step 2: Cut a plastic bottle cap in half. When you look at each half you will see a rounded, closed side and a straight, open side. Put one half of the bottle cap at the bottom of the left side of your Holga (where you load film) with the straight, open side facing out. Take the other half and jam it in the top portion of the same section of your Holga with the round, closed side facing out. They should stay without having to use tape or glue.

Step 3: Using some scrap film, measure how many rotations you will need to advance your film. This should be pretty universal, it’s about one and a half rotations. For me this is about five flicks of my thumb. I include this step in case you want to try this with another kind of camera.

Step 4: Place your 35mm film between the two bottle caps. It should fit beautifully without slipping around much at all. Now you will pull the film across and tape it to the 120 reel on the right side of your camera. Make sure your film is straight, it’s easy to do this in a hurry and have all your negatives tilt one way or another, your film will not advance properly otherwise.

Step 5: Replace back, advance film, and go shoot!

Step 6: You will have to use a dark room (as in a room without any light) or a changing bag to remove the film. You need to hand-wind the film back into the canister once it is exposed.

Step 7: Develop, print, and enjoy!

For more details, watch our video through our youtube channel.

-V


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