waterfire. first and second hour were splendid. third and fourth were, with a few exceptions, a little stressful.
+ a wonderful photographer, who i have connected with via flickr [i do ego searches often and favorite every photo of me that i find], took some lovely photos and said some wonderful things in their flickr descriptions. he even managed to capture an adorable moment i had with a baby. the tiny ones are usually terrified of me, if they even notice me at all. but this one was utterly entranced.
check out the rest at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/papadunes
+/- these two kids decided to do their own little zombie walk thing at waterfire. while i am not at all a fan of zombies and don’t really understand the popular fascination with them, i do appreciate people doing weird things in public. however, i do not appreciate them hovering over my tip jar for a few minutes and, uh, groaning at it. could y’all maybe not scare off the people who were admiring the pretty statue? thanks.
+ comedy moment: this group stopped to admire and tip, and as they were leaving, some of them started walking to my right, and some of them started walking to my left. then there was a bit of a debate about how to get to their destination. one of the gentlemen turned to me and asked, “which way should we go?” i crossed my arms and pointed in both directions. he laughed. my immitation of the scarecrow from the wizard of oz was appreciated.
+ some waterfire first-timers told me that i was their absolute favorite thing about waterfire. aw, shucks.
+ another little girl fell in love with me. i love watching the process, from the moment they first notice me, to the moment when they figure it out and bring their family members over one by one to show them the magical statue that moves, to the fifth time they stop by over the course of the evening just to watch me and give me yet another dollar. she was the sweetest thing, and i hope i see her at future waterfires.
– after dark, the crowds started getting kind of… stupid. people hovering over and blocking my tip jar. people dropping money into the tiny box that holds my business cards, because the tall white vase with the dollar bill taped to the front of it wasn’t obvious enough apparently. people grabbing me [some of which i very successfully grabbed back] and climbing up into my ledge uninvited. someone tossed a pebble or something at me, but it came from behind so i didn’t see who did it. there was a lot of “i will kill you if you don’t stop being an asshole” glaring going on.
– this one family in particular was tremendously annoying. it started with dad wanting a picture with me. cool. except that daughter #1 only had a cellphone, and its camera did not come with a flash. it was too dark to capture even a hint of the desired image. after a few attempts, dad suggests daughter #1 goes and finds daughter #2 and tries using her cellphone. repeat numerous failed attempts. so, basically, all they’re doing is blocking my tip jar and preventing other people from getting their photos taken with me. it was the most selfish and inconsiderate display i’ve seen in a long time. they came over to compliment me at the end of the night, and i don’t even remember most of what they said because i was so irritated.
– on the subject of the end of the night, as i emptied out the tip jar and talked to a friend who showed up unexpectedly [just when i needed to see a friendly face, too], this guy was standing about three feet away from me, taking a picture with his cellphone. i snapped. i put my hand up and said “is it really that hard to ask before you take a picture of me?” i don’t mind posing for a quick photo at all when i’m off-duty. just ask. and most people do have the decency to ask. but people like that guy make me sympathize with celebrities dealing with fans and paparazzi getting all up in their faces taking pictures all the time.
+ the mother of some adorable girls i’d seen earlier was talking to me, and the whole time i thought, wow, this woman looks oddly familiar. then she said something that set off the memory lightbulb. her daughter dressed up as me for halloween last year. is that not the coolest thing ever?! i’ve had lots of parents tell me that their daughters constantly practice being a living statue so they can be just like me. but this little girl took it a step further, and it’s the most amazing compliment my art has ever received.