27 November 2006

Greedily Counting Chickens as Unhatched Eggs All In One Basket

I've lately been devoting a good deal of day-dreaming and internet-trolling time and energy (not that any of that requires much energy) to thoughts of my presumptive birthday present, the digital camera. No one's actually buying me a digital camera - this is just anticipatory spending of birthday present money. (I did offer my mom the chance to actually buy the camera with me, thinking she'd enjoy actually getting me a thing rather than some money. All of her sentimental tendencies would lead one, even her daughter, to think she'd be the type of mom who cares to be involved in the gift buying process, but if some silly person thought that, they'd be dead wrong - she's just as happy to give you the money and send you on your spending way.)

Actually writing about my plans for this presumed-imminent windfall of camera-sponsoring funds does feel sort of... yucky. My birthday's still a few weeks away (ooh, only two!), and here I am already spending money that I'm just assuming I'm going to get. And feeling like Veruca fucking Salt. It sounds ungrateful, but that's ridiculous - any other time of year I could never even think about buying myself a camera, just as I can't even think about buying myself any new clothing or shoes or anything from Sephora until ever. It's only through the concurrent generosity of several (cause cameras is expensive) relatives that I can be able to get this thing I really want, this thing I really appreciate being able to buy. So I'm not ungrateful, but then I guess I feel like I'm taking the money's impending arrival for granted. Ooh, look at me, every birthday my grandparents give me money. (With which, last year, I bought my winter coat. Or two thirds of it.) But you know what? People give you stuff for your birthday. And some people are, every year, going to give you a check. So just as I spent four months looking forward to the fortuitously arranged five Thursdays of this November (the magic of bi-weekly paychecks against a monthly cycle of bills) and the fancy things I planned to buy - Old Navy jeans and snow boots to replace the pair I bought before leaving for college - before I had to reallocate the surplus to cover some recently-incurred overdraft fees, I look forward to what I can reasonably expect to be given when my birthday comes around. Deciding how I'll spend it in advance (guess who's getting a haircut in December!) is no different than asking for specific presents. So I'm not actually a spoiled brat for looking at cameras and expecting to be able to buy one. Enough of this weird money guilt! Why is money so fraught? Puritans : sex :: Jaime : money?

Now that I've gotten that therapy session out of the way - I'm very excited about this potential camera thing. I haven't had a camera since mine went the way of so many of my belongings (and James' belongings that happened to be in my bag) and was stolen in Florence five years ago. I spent the rest of that trip investing in disposable cameras, but, understandably, I haven't been much of a picture-taker the last few years. I'm very much looking forward to taking lots of inane, artsy-high-school-girl-ish shots of beautiful, taken-for-granted things all around the city, like puddles and lost playing cards on the sidewalk. Shit like that. Most of which I'll keep to myself, because those are like angsty love poems that you should really just keep in your journal, but I'm still very excited about taking them, and potentially making this picture-taking thing (photography, I guess we can call it) something of a hobby. James is always telling me I need a hobby, I think because I watch too much tv, but I think I'd like having a good camera and taking good pictures very much.

But what I'm realizing, just as I realized that no matter how much my grandparents love me, I'm not going to be able to get a new camera and new bedding (so I'll continue sleeping under the groovy denim comforter I bought for my freshman year of college - but, hey, priorities), is that I know nothing about cameras. I know lots of megapixels = good, and I want to be able to manually adjust the focus to be able to take artsy close-ups of leaves and stuff, but that's it. Because Heather uses a Nikon, and I like her pictures (she also has techno-geek husband to advise, and until I have one of my own...), I looked around on the Nikon site. They have some pretty convincing cameras - as awful as "coolpix" sounds, the Coolpix P3 looks like it might maybe be what I want?

I know I want more than general snapshot-taking, but can't afford anything extraordinarily fancy. (Nor is extraordinarily fancy probably a wise idea, since however excited I might be about running around the city snapping away like a little artiste, and even though I totally don't have a tendency to get bored and abandon really exciting ideas after three days or anything, this is still a brand new baby idea, so let's not go crazy until we see if it sticks.) From the little internet research I've done, I want, like, a baby version of an SLR camera. Cause they're expensive and clunky. I don't know what that translates to in real life, though. I'm probably just gonna have to go down to B&H or something and subject myself to a salesman's ministrations, fortified with what internet knowledge I can gather and a false sense of competence. But if anyone out there has any bits of camera wisdom you'd like to share, please do. Like, if I want to go to a store, to either check cameras out with wise salesfolk, or buy cameras at good prices, where do I go? All I know is the radio commercials with the old Jewishy people saying You go to B&H. I mean, do you? Wisdom on the cameras, and not just their buying, is very welcome, too.

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