Friday, September 07, 2007

photo friday, rattled edition


So here are a few photos I took earlier today while I was wandering around Lake Oswego, wearing a suit and sipping some kind of fruity mango smoothie. That's all highly out of character for me, but I was on my way to a funeral and was pretty rattled about it, so I thought I'd stop and chill out for a bit.

Most of the flowers you see here are at George Rogers Park on the Willamette, and all the water & sculpture ones are at or near Millennium Plaza Park, right on the lake in downtown Lake Oswego. Well, "right on the lake" is a bit misleading. The lake itself (which is a reservoir, actually) has a unique legal status: It's privately owned, and lakefront property owners own shares in the company and pay dues to maintain the thing. If you aren't part of this elite club, no lake for you. You aren't supposed to even touch the water here. No doubt something unimaginably terrible and gruesome will happen to you if you do, more than likely involving an ancient Egyptian curse, or a radioactive monster, at the very least lawyers.

Quite frankly I didn't need any convincing to stay out of their precious lake. I'm told the thing stagnates and gets really icky algae problems in the summer (not that we've had much of a summer this year). I'm sure it's the better sort of algae, the ultra-upscale imported kind, not the tacky stuff they have at Blue Lake out toward Gresham. Or at least that's what the locals probably tell themselves over and over again, so that they don't feel they're getting a raw deal. I guess it's sort of the aquatic equivalent of a stinky French cheese, one that only a true connoisseur can appreciate.


You might have gathered that I don't really feel like talking about the funeral itself. That shouldn't be surprising, as I've always said this isn't the most personal of personal blogs, and deliberately so. For the same reason, I'm not going to get overly detailed about why I've been heading out to the Columbia Gorge so much lately, but I will say it's been therapeutic. Oh, you thought I was doing all that just so I could blog about it? Well, no, no I wasn't, not exactly. Although the blogging part was kind of therapeutic as well.


When you work in an obsessively casual industry like mine (software), you tend to forget how people react when you wear a suit, versus the usual shorts + t-shirt. I could probably have gotten away with just about anything (other than jumping in the lake). People see the suit and assume you're authorized to do whatever you're doing. I'm not sure why, certainly not after Enron, but a suit still grants you the benefit of the doubt. Mass quantities of benefit of the doubt. It depends a lot on where you are, though; just try walking down Mississippi Avenue in Brooks Brothers, or Men's Wearhouse for that matter. You might as well be wearing a Klan robe so far as the hipster contingent's concerned. They'll figure you're a greedy developer, trying to put in a condo tower or a Starbucks or something. They'll probably assume you drive a gigantic SUV that runs on kittens.

And they'd have a good point. The first couple of minutes when people start acting all deferential toward you it just seems weird. Then you realize it's the suit, and for another five minutes you feel like you've acquired magic powers of thought control, and it feels kind of good. Then -- at least if you're me -- you get alarmed by the whole idea. People will apparently do just about anything to make you happy, just because you're wearing the right clothes. It doesn't speak well for the human race, if you ask me.

The other, far less likely, possibility is that it had nothing to do with the suit. People were recognizing me, realizing I was an Important Local Blogger Of Note, and bowing and scraping because of that, hoping I'd put in a good word for them out here on the Interwebs.

As I said, far less likely.











Lynette said...

Great photos. What's that red and black thing in the lake?

I'm glad you were able to take them as you walked because I'm sure concentrating on your photography helped you deal with was going on elsewhere in your life. I hope you don't think I'm being too personal here; it's just that I'm speaking from my own experience.

atul666 said...

Thanks for your kind comment. Wandering around with a camera really did help a lot. People always say it's bad to compartmentalize, but sometimes you just have to put things in a box until you're ready to deal with them, i.e. not yet.

In any case, the red and black thing is some kind of float or buoy. There's a sailing/yachting club next to the park, so I imagine it's probably for racing or something like that.