Whew gotta take it all in stride. I’ve only been here twice in the last week. Really slowing down. Chrissi and James went yesterday for lunch. That’s all right.
Anyway, there was an interesting photo on the wall by our table.
Not a great picture but I felt weird just getting up and climbing around others to take a better one.
My photo honestly looks awful so I’m going to edit it on my phone down to this:
Just imagine you’re on one of those brain dead procedural shows and I just yelled at the tech to “enhance!” the grainy surveillance footage we found.
Most prominent in this image is the man drinking red wine while his wife demands he go home. Obviously she’s seen this episode before a few times as she can’t even muster up an angry expression and merely stands there totally deadened in her hate for the figure who bears no resemblance to the sweet young man she married twenty years before. Has it been that long? It feels like forty.
The other figures in the scene seem to have things to do, but then there’s the dark-haired younger guy who looks like a cross between Ryan from The Office and that one guy you sort of knew from college. Also, like Ryan (B.J. Novak), this guys happens to be staring at the camera with an expression of general distaste.
Presumably, as this should have been a professional photo shoot on behalf of The Olive Garden, the photographer took a number of other photos as well as this one. Which means that this particular frame was specifically selected to represent the scene.
The effect is not to make this vignette seem contrived, but actually to add some sense of realism to it. An amateur photographer prefers the staged to the candid, but it’s almost impossible for me to believe that this portrait was taken from a real photo album rather than a professional shoot.
Still, other clues complicate this. The layout and composition seem off, further suggesting this is an amateur attempt at artistic photography. For one thing, while the three overhead lights are presumably lined up in the frame for balance (though the rightmost one is cut off), the figures beneath them feel too stiffly spaces to have the natural feeling of an aesthetic work.
I’m starting to believe this photo was someone trying to photograph well but lacking training (and thus a kindred spirit).
It only seems proper then, if this photo really did come from an amateur’s portfolio, to take another photo of it myself, quite poorly, to add one more layer of realism.
The worse everything is, the better.
Dish 1: linguini, artichoke, shrimp
Dish 2: linguini, chicken (grilled)
Bread: 1 (plain)