Today I put in what will probably become the last mail order (B&H order) before my trip. Oh, what an order it was too. For starters, my Internet was running very slowly tonight. My Firefox kept jamming up and it was not happy. Then, I had to do a bunch of research, because I had been looking to get some ND Grads, and thinking about getting them for the trip. But, oh no, you can’t just “get” ND grads. No, no, no, no, no. You have to get an entire “ND Grad System” complete with bells and whistles and little YouTube videos telling you why *your* ND Grad system is really the bees knees. It’s like torture only a little more painful, really that is. (In case you’re curious, I still have not gotten an ND Grad system. I’ve opted instead for a new lens, a couple of circular polarizers, and a bucket load of Compact Flash.)
I’m eying the Cokin ND grad system, but you can’t just go and get the Cokin, no, no, no, no, no. There’s the Cokin X, The Cokin P, the Cokin XP. (Really. Did I use the word “torture” before? And you thought that maybe just maybe, I might have been kidding? HA!) And all of these depend upon the size of your lens and the size of the lens that you maybe want to get one day because all of them, well most of them anyway, can go smaller but not larger, but then you have to decide if you want this big honking ND Grad system filter holder stuck onto the front of your lens while you are walking around the ten million steps of Santorini. Oh God, I need a drink! (For those curious, and frankly, I don’t see how you could be at this point but, just in case, I am seriously thinking about either the Cokin X-Pro or the Singh-Ray. Each has there pluses and minuses, with Singh-Ray being very expensive and of the “threaded” variety, so they only really fit one lens, while the Cokin system is a bit like buying a razor blade-they give you the razor for free and then promptly yell out “Sucker!” while you’re still waiting in line at the cash register, because they know they’ve now become your crack dealer of choice, only their “ND grad filter system” is actually legal, and so they can get away with this nonsense, and actually profit from it. And did I mention you will now be a customer for life, having to go back time and again for this and that-the textbook definition of nickel and dimed to death only more expensive. Oh the humanity!)
Did I mention that Firefox froze in the middle of all of this? Oh yes. While I had something like 23 items in my shopping basket at B&H (none of which they would let me save, by the way) my Firefox crashed so badly I had to restart my computer. While I was frantically running around looking for a pad and pencil (you do remember those, don’t you?) to write down what I could remember from my two hour shopping excursion into the depths of ND grad filter systems, circular polarizers, and the like, I got lucky (and I use that term loosely, believe me) in that, when Firefox restarted, it had saved my shopping basket. Yay! (I mean, um, BOO! because now I have to pay for all of this crap.) After all of that, I so feel like I need a drink (or twelve.) But still, last big order before the trip and all. Yay! Now I really feel like I’m going, at least the Compact Flash will be showing up soon, so I must be leaving to go somewhere (isn’t there a rule about that? If not, there should be.)
And, in case you’re curious, yes, I’m still trying to workout (exercise as much as I can.) I’m in nowhere near good enough shape to handle the steps but I’ll just have to hope and try and try to hope and just grunt and get up (and down!) somehow.
While I was deep in the bowels of the B&H ordering system (AKA “the Compact Flash Factory”) I started to think about a couple of things. For starters, I still have Fry’s and Precision Camera, so I can run out and get anything I might have forgotten (should I happen to have any money left.) Ahem, for those of you in the “drug trade” (by that I mean “camera dealers”) these would be my “local suppliers.” Oh goodie! I’m not entirely doomed yet. (Heck, I still have two weeks left. Two entire weeks! Go me!)
Then, I started to think about the mannequins. I wonder why kind of mannequins they might have in Santorini. I can only imagine. (Oh! And I’m about to find out real soon now too. Oh joy!) That and toothpaste. I wonder just where in the heck the toothpaste is going to end up. (I have to wonder about this because, as you know, I tend to think about these things.)You know, you just know (well, you would if you’ve read my blog before) there’s always *something* involving toothpaste. (Somebody always forgets some, there’s an international incident, some Japanese tourists attack, you know, it’s all about the toothpaste, really it is. Coming soon, to a Greek Isle near you!)
All of this and British Air today wrote me and asked me (again!) what kind of meal I want. Don’t they realize I’m a barefoot Hindu now and they don’t even need to ask these things? (Geesh.) That’s right. I’m soon to become a barefoot Hindu Compact Flash yielding photographer from the lowlands of Texas, without an ND grad filtering system to her name but enthusiastic none the less. You won’t be able to miss me, should you happen to be in Santorini, as I’ll be the one who can’t make it up the steps or use Firefox without emitting some kind of primal scream. (Maybe with, or without, toothpaste, you’ll have to speak Japanese to find out how that story ends.) Oh, and I’ll be spending a lot of time checking out the mannequins while I’m there too. (Ah, Carol’s Greek Adventure, I can hardly wait.)
Kidding aside, I’m seriously looking forward to this trip. That is, if it doesn’t kill me before I even get into the airport shuttle.
Until next time…