Monday, September 3, 2012

Fasten Your Seat Belts...'s apt to be a long and bumpy ride...

(Snapped on 9/02/12)

Ever had one of those days, where you intentionally didn't fasten your seat belt before driving, because you secretly sort of hoped that a tractor trailer might t-bone your car? I'm guessing, probably not...I mean, it's a pretty radically morose thing to consider...and I would reckon that most folks don't usually have those types of thoughts running through their minds very often, if at all. I on the other hand, have had many days lately (entire months even) where I got in my car and drove away unbuckled - ok with the idea that some terrible collision might send me flying through the windshield and hurling to my death...thus effectively putting myself (and everyone else) out of my seemingly perpetual misery.

I'm not saying all of this to make you guys worry about my wellbeing (or jump up and cheer, as the case may be)'s not like I'm actually considering going out and purposely slamming my car into a brick wall, or careening into oncoming traffic...I'm just being brutally honest about the fact that more and more so, over roughly the past year - I've been seriously wondering what the point is in me being here...and so, should fate suddenly decide that it's my time to go, well then I'm good with that...because if nothing else, it would solve a lot of problems.

(Snapped on 8/31/12)

I'm writing about all of this right now, because even though there are genuinely good things slowly beginning to happen (in regards to my art, most specifically) recent disappointments have far outnumbered (and overshadowed) the handful of victories...and this has left me feeling directionless and further questioning what my purpose in this life really is.

Romantic relationships are totally out for the foreseeable future, first of all because what guy around here would have the balls to proudly, and openly date me (The Big Ugly, social outcast, pariah), when there's so much potential backlash involved with such a thing. The best I ever seem cursed to get anymore, is being one jerk after another's dirty, little secret - and I'm here to tell ya', I'm through with that stupid, fucking bullshit. Truth be told though, I'm just kind of ruined on men period (for the time being at least)...thanks to the growing list of assholes who've collectively obliterated my ability to trust, and made me fearful of freely giving the love that I'm dying to give...most notably the last dickhead who burned me way worse than the rest of 'em combined. Well done.

And...although my heart may someday mend enough to love a man again, I doubt that it will ever fully heal following the death of my beloved baby pig. I can't say too much about this cuz it will make me cry.

I was ecstatic a couple of weeks ago, after being offered and accepting a (real!) job that was literally perfect for me. I promptly turned down a different, less appealing offer, and quit my other (not-so-real) job, as I geared up to embark on my new career. But then a few days ago, my future boss left me a voice mail in which he stated that his new business' budget could not support as many employees as he'd hired...and he essentially fired me over the phone, before I ever even went in for training. Double You Tee Eff.

There's lots more, but I won't bore you with all the other stuff now...the point is, because of everything - it's like I'm becoming this bitter, paranoid, cynical, angry bitch - which I hate and yet can't seem to do anything about. I dunno though, it's maybe a step up from being sick with sadness like I was for so long.

(Snapped on 9/02/12)

Anyhoo, when an old friend called me from the track on Friday night, and invited me to come join him and the rest of his racing buddies - I jumped at the chance to stop stewing and fuming, if only for a night - by cutting loose with a fun group of people. Maybe I could even sneak in some selfies while I was there...

By the time I arrived at the trailer where the gang was hangin' out, every last one of 'em was fairly well it was nothing for me to convince them to let me stage my selfpics..

   Woaaaahhh...was this ever a tough one to do. In toto, I ended up with only 32 pics. (most of them crappy) and almost as many men standing around watching while I posed. I have never done semi-nude pictures in front of that many people before...I can't remember a more intimidating shoot. Plus, trying to figure out how to deal with the poor lighting, while simultaneously fielding a barrage of suggestions and commentary from the peanut gallery - had me so flustered that I just never could focus properly. I wasn't entirely bummed though, because if nothing else - I had stepped outside of my comfort zone. I just didn't have a whole helluva lot to show for it.

The next day, I returned to the track to watch my old friend race...and the day after that (Sunday) - I went back to (hopefully) take some daytime pics.. It was most perturbing to me that one of the guys who'd been so friendly, and had encouraged and helped me more than anyone else during my first shoot at the track on Friday night - now shot me dirty looks, and refused to utter a single word to me. Others weren't nearly as icy as all that, but many were definitely cool...even my old friend who'd so kindly seen to it that I got a weekend pass to the three day event, had been so sweet to me on Friday night, and had loaned me his driver's suit and helmet for my pics. (Thank You) - treated me like a second class citizen on Saturday and Sunday (F.U.)

I was there thinking, "Tha freak is wrong with you people?!" Cuz the thing is, I've grown accustomed to getting vibed-out by locals who disapprove of what I do, happens all the time...but at least they're consistent - they hate me just as much one time as they hate me the next. The guys at the track however, had done this complete about face...obviously the alcohol had plenty to do with why they were diggin' my shit on Friday night, but their drastic change in sentiment towards me a mere two days later, seemed absurdly unwarranted. I just couldn't see where I'd done anything so horribly wrong, that I deserved to be snubbed that hard...even while chillin' under the tent dressed in street clothes.

I guess you could say that I have a dichotomous personality - on the one hand I am fiercely defiant, I eschew authority, refusing to be told what I can and cannot do. On the other hand though, I can be easily defeated, I prefer to avoid confrontation, and tend to run away from problems instead of trying to work them out. Both sides of my personality made appearances on Sunday.

After the owner of the trailer, and the owner of the white race car - gave me permission to take pics. using their property for a background and as a prop (and couldn't have been nicer about it - Thank You both, so MUCH!) I confidently went about my business...gradually though, the negative atmosphere got the best of me...and after only one hour, I packed up my gear and went home.  

(Snapped on 9/02/12)

The whole experience upset a lot, for many reasons - which compounded my already fragile state of being. Upon arriving home safely (after intentionally not buckling my safety belt, duh), I began asking myself all sorts of questions. Things like: Why do I continue to put myself through this nonsense, huh? And if it's nonsense, then why is self-portraiture one of the only constants in my life? It's a ton of work, it's exhausting, and it can be somewhat why do I still get so much out of it? Why is what I do, considered to be such a bad thing? When did I get this giant chip on my shoulder? Why do I let the things that people think about, say, and do to me - affect me so deeply sometimes? a goddamned dagger in the heart...

And what I came up with is this: I was 41 years old when I discovered dash photography, and almost immediately I knew that I'd found the thing that I was meant to do...about time, right? I mean, let's face it - 41 is awfully old to be figuring out what you wanna "be" when you grow up. (Too bad I haven't figured out how to make any money doing it yet). Either way though, I'm just grateful that I finally picked it up...because I truly love self-portraiture more than any non-human thing on the planet. It's something that I have to, and will continue to do - for as long as I am physically (and financially) able. And yes, I will continue to get naked in my pics.. Not sure why that's so embarrassing, or threatening(?) to people (except for when they're shitfaced, of course).

Obviously I am well aware that there are many people out there who will never ever get why I take naked pictures of myself and write about them on the internet, and that's fine - they don't have to. But by the same token, I can think of plenty of hobbies and jobs that don't interest me at all (most of them, in fact), that doesn't mean however, that I automatically hate on the people who do happen to dig 'em. In general, I pay no attention to things, people, careers, what have you - that I find overly insulting, boring, or complicated - but - if someone is capable of doing something that I know I could never do - (like my old friend who races cars for example) I feel respect and admiration for them...not resentment, or envy, or hatred.

Just like with any profession or endeavor that someone is passionate about - race car drivers are serious about what they do...their job is risky, dangerous, not for the faint of heart - and because of that they are taken seriously. My brand of dash photography is also risky, (can be) dangerous, is definitely not for the faint of heart. Two very different passions, but with moderately similar why is it that only one of them is taken very seriously? And just so there's no confusion, I will state for the record that I am extremely serious about my art - it is not a joke to me, nor is it some silly, drunken, girls-gone-wild party stunt - nor will it ever be…are we clear? (I'm starting to think that this chip may have been on my shoulder for awhile now, ha!)

Ya' know, most days I'm pretty good at shrugging off the negativity - but on top of everything else that's been going down lately - yesterday was too much for me to bear. I was made to feel ashamed about the thing in my life (besides my babies) of which I am the most proud - my art. It was a first time for that, and it sucked. It definitely didn't help that my old friend who had brought me into the situation on Friday night (presumably as entertainment, in retrospect), talked openly and was complimentary about my pics. with all his friends, and was two-thumbs-up about me staging some that night - ended up acting as the spokesperson on behalf of his disgruntled peers, by chastising me for doing the very thing that he'd bragged about just a couple of nights before (nothing like being exploited and betrayed, by someone you care about, and who you thought cared about you)...classic.

This is all further proof to back up my theory that I'm not maybe supposed to mix with other humans, I don't really fit in with any particular crowd. Well, except for my kids, my best friend, and the clerks at the three places where I shop. Unfortunately though, none of this has done anything to help me determine what the point is in me being here, or what exactly my purpose in life is - quite the contrary...but I do know that self-portraiture is the thing that I must do, and it'll help me to get through this rough patch - it always does. And who knows, if things improve? I might even start fastening my seat belt again...

Oh, and by the way - The Big Ugly is two years old today.


  1. First and foremost: Many Happy Returns to The Big Ugly!

    Doing what we love isn't always easy. Sometimes, it's downright torturous. And I honestly feel sorry for the short-sighted people who cannot see the beauty in what you do. It's gorgeous work, and you're a stunner, but it's clear to me you don't do it for titillation or even attention. You do it for the art of it, and you do it because you love it, and pardon me for saying so, you are damn good at it.

    Keep it up, continue to pose and post, and never mind the haters.

    1. @Josh - Thank You, Josh! Two years, and still kickin' :)

      Thanks also, for your keen and thoughtful insight...I can usually turn a blind eye to the haters, but this particular situation was just so "in my face" - plus, because of all of the other stuff that I've been dealing with lately, I think I was just uncharacteristically fragile...which made this that much more difficult to deal with. I am feeling better now, though (thank goodness) and receiving encouraging comments like yours - has definitely helped me to see (and move) past the b.s..

      Thanks again!

  2. Please don't let the idiots of the world get you down. There are actually mature men our there who appreciate what you do as an art form. Perhaps the good 'ol boys there in Virginny are a little too back woods. Perhaps they prefer you chained to an oven wearing a flannel shirt.
    Keep up the good work, keep pushing the boundaries.

    1. @wb757 - HAHA! I LIKE that! But it's not so much that these guys were "good 'ol boys", per se - just the biggest bunch of ninnies I've ever seen. I mean, how often do you see a group of men in their 20's and 30's - make strange with a woman because they saw her naked tits the night before? They were gung ho when they were drunk, while I was takin' the pics. - but like bashful, middle school boys the next bizarre. It has been my experience though, with the men around here (those that I've dated, in particular) that while they do get older, they never really seem to mature...

      No matter though...I shall continue to do my thing, just like always...Thank You so much for cheering me up!

  3. Dearest TBU - happy birthday to The Big Ugly!!! Two years blogging is a might fine effort. Congratulations!

    Reading this post I vascilated between wanting to hug you, encouraging you, revalidating you and your work and wanting to give you a good slap for not buckling your seat belt. *hugs won out*

    Appreciation for the culture that I live in now that allows my quirks and proclivities an environment to not only be happy but thrive is not taken lightly. It isn't like that in many places in the USA, as you experience your town and others don't want others to be different than them - it makes THEM uncomfortable!!! You obviously know this but I think we all need encouragement when that road is longer and bumpier than expected - be SURE to wear that seat belt.

    There are others near you that will live in a more enlightened mind and I have faith there will be ways of connecting with them. They may not be who or what you expect but they will appreciate you and your work. Do you have ideas on this? Happy to brain storm if need be!

    I say this because when I visited my cousin some years ago I realised he was a highly intelligent, black humoured Englishman disguised as a born American living in the middle of Middle America doing a manual labour job (with a degree in IT). And he was mostly happy. Why? Because he had people and places he could be himself, who validated his perspective on life. We all need that encouragement at least some of the time. :)

    Chin up honey! And in those dark moments in the car (virtual or real) please do your seat belt, if not for you, for your kids. They need your example of passion and sticking with a dream. You're amazing!


    1. @SapioSlut - One of the biggest changes that I'm working towards making in my life, right now is - relocating to a new place of residence. Not so much for the sake of finding a more accepting group of people with which to try and fit in - but more to live in privacy, solitude, and obscurity...oh, and to be on the water...

      Although there are people out there (like YOU, for example!) who seem to genuinely, and enthusiastically appreciate, and support what I do - for the most part, they are folks that I have met on the internet, and who don't live anywhere near to here (that's not to say, however - that I'm comPLETEly without local fans - see Jack Starry's comment, below - NICE!) What it boils down to, is that I alone have created the situation that I've gotten myself into...I just need to suck it up and deal with it, and stop whining all the time (It's that whole, "You've made your bed, Honey - now lay in it" - thing). And I think that starts with being grateful for ALL of the good that really IS in my life (the gratification that I get from making my art, more than makes up for my poor social standing, not to mention - I do have the four most amazing kids on the planet)'s simply a matter of accepting that things have changed, and then figuring out how to adapt to them...cuz it's not very likely that they'll ever revert back to the way that they used to be.

      It really does mean a lot to me, that you took the time to put such a positive spin on things (Thank You!)...and I shall show my appreciation by buckling my seatbelt, today...

    2. Yay for YOU - that attitude of gratitude for all the good things in your life IS your seatbelt (the emotional one anyway). I have grin on my face from the awesomeness of you being so damn responsible for yourself.

      A move to somewhere on the water sounds fantastic. I'll be keen for an update when you can.

      And cheers to Jack Starry for being a local fan and coming in and commenting!

    3. @SapioSlut - I shall DEF keep you posted on any new developments! Fingers crossed that I sell my property sooner rather than later...everything hinges on that.

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  5. As a neighbor of yours... i think your art is pretty fuckin cool. Shit on those who view you as a pariah! I can now appreciate this little town more because someone with intestinal fortitude lives in it besides me! Keep it up! You have a local fan!

    1. @Jack Starry - Well, HOWDY - Neighbor! Thanks for introducing yourself! Soooo...I'm dying to know how you found out about The Big Ugly? More importantly though, I'm just so happy that you don't think me a wanton harlot, because of it!

      Anyway...Thank You so much for coming here, AND for commenting! Maybe I'll see ya' 'round the hood :)

    2. A gentleman I work with was at your home this last week on business. I'm glad he told me about you!

      May I suggest a pic idea? A damsel in distress idea on the train tracks? Like the silent movies... Lady in peril tied down to the track. Has both a noir feel as well as a bondage feel.

      I look forward to meeting you sometime! I admire someone who, like me, has no filter.

    3. @Jack Starry - Oh yeah! That guy was really cool! I gave him a handful of my business cards to hand out, cuz he said he knew people who he thought might be into my pics. - and I guess you were one of 'em - that's awesome!

      I like the damsel in distress idea! I will say this though - it's really tough to set the timer on my camera when my hands must be tied (behind my back, or otherwise) in the pics.. (I've done a coupla shoots in which they were bound, and I did pull it off - but only because I figured out a way to cheat a little). Plus, I'm guessing that you may be picturing my feet tied as well (if it's to be a truly authentic damsel in distress shoot)...I can see it now - me spazzing to get the camera set, and then hopping down the tracks in a long, flowy gown, trying to get into pose in 10 seconds...and as soon as I lay down on the tracks for the picture - here comes the train at 60 mph...*SCEERY!!!*

      That being said, I rarely back down from a challenge...soooo...thanks for the idea, and stay tuned!

  6. Yes I believe you read the situation corectly, in the pursuit of your art, others perceived it as a free peep show. And as unfortunate as it may be, hundreds of years of civilization cannot breed out the belief that a man is going to "get some" when faced with a half naked woman and alcohol.

    BTW if you ever want to do some poses with a cutie-pa-tootie Beagle puppy...

    1. @M - Truth be told? One of 'em actually DID "get some" (the two of us have history, so it wasn't some completely random hook-up), but I think that's what made the whole ordeal sting so much more...he'd gotten what he wanted, but he was too much of a coward to treat me with any semblance of dignity or respect in front of his buddies, after the fact. His attitude towards me in the days that followed, was one of, "You've done your job, get the fuck out of here"...awesome.

      A cuddly puppy shoot, eh? That might be just the perfect thing to lighten the heavy mood that I seem to be perpetually stuck in...

  7. Oh hon - I am so sorry about your dear little pig. *hugs* And your job woes - what a dick to hire you and then let you go over the phone before you even started!

    Congratulations of two years of the site, and two years of stunning dash photos :)

    These idiots? Totally not worth it. You? ALWAYS worth it. Love you, hon - from across oceans.

    xx Dee

  8. @Curvaceous Dee - Thank You so much, you TOOOOO! Big, giant *hugs* back!

  9. Just a reminder to you and the readers, sometimes people who are in bad, gnarly car accidents don't die. They end up missing limbs, brain damaged, incontinent with a staff of people feeding them puréed meals every day.

    1. @Stephanie Frye - No, I're exactly right...I seriously wonder what the hell my problem is sometimes, when I say some of the things that I impulse control, I guess.

      On a lighter note - it's so nice to see you, Stephanie! Feels like it's been practically forever...Thanks for popping by and for putting things in perspective for me...