I thought of a title while driving the other day, but I forgot it already.

Lest you think that all I do with my time is watch TV, work, and lust after burrito guys, I’m going to tell you what else I’ve been doing lately.

1) Taking pictures of things. People ask me “How do you like your new D50 so far?” and I say, “I think it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.” That’s an overstatement, but to me this new camera falls right into the “How the hell did I live without this thing?”* category along with my iPod. Seriously, I never want to go back to that sad little world I used to live in, with its blurry point-and-shoot photos** and disorganized stacks of scratched CDs. What the hell was that even like?

That makes it sound like my new camera has already made me a better photographer. I don’t think it has yet. But it will!

*As much as I disliked all the iPhone hype, and as much as I hate the fact that some of my friends who used to take good pictures with real cameras are now taking iPhone pictures that are better than pictures taken with other mobile phones but still worse than the good pictures with the real cameras that they used to take, I get the feeling I’ll say the same thing about the iPhone if I ever get one.

**Now I take blurry SLR photos.

2) Going to a comic book convention. I’d never been to one before, and the things I enjoyed most about it are probably a bit telling. In no particular order:

a) taking pictures of things.
b) my fancy camera and professional badge combo making people think I was Very Important.
c) all the Buffy action figures.
d) all the attractive nerds.

I’m not much for comic books usually, but I found the convention scene fascinating. Everyone was really friendly, especially the artists, and I loved seeing the people in costume. Here’s a picture of Lou Ferrigno wearing a shirt with his own likeness on it. I don’t know if that counts as a costume or not.

3) Going to see No Country for Old Men. I’m easily grossed out when it comes to violence in movies. You’ll never catch me at a screening of any of the Saw movies or others like them, as I’d probably end up barfing in the aisle. But I make exceptions for films in which the violence serves a larger purpose, as in some Coen brothers and Tarantino films. If there’s going to be a point to the violence, and/or if I feel like I’ll enjoy other aspects of the film, I’ll go ahead and see it even though I know it’s going to be gross.

I have a system for when I see movies like this. When it seems like things might get bloody, I scrunch way down in my seat and pull my knees up to my chest. My knees obscure the bottom half of the screen, so I can remove myself a little and still see most of what’s happening. If my suspicions are confirmed and things do get bloody, I put my elbows on my knees and my hands over my ears. At this point I’m even more removed, but I can still see tiny parts of the screen and hear some of the action.

This method works quite well; it keeps me from getting freaked out, but I don’t ever have to annoy people by asking them what just happened. Well, once during Quills I had to turn to Phil and whisper, “Did they cut his tongue out?” but that’s the only instance I can remember.

If you’ve seen No Country for Old Men, you can imagine how much of it I spent in the fetal position, especially in anticipation of potential impending violence. At the end there’s a particularly good bit of dialogue from Tommy Lee Jones, or at least I think it might have been good, but I can only imagine how good it must have been because at the time I was too busy thinking about all the scary and horrible ways I might eventually die. I could be shot in the back. I could get mugged and beaten. Someone could step on my face. When the closing credits rolled, I stood up and found that my knees hurt.

There’s a big difference between enjoying a movie and thinking it was a good movie. No Country for Old Men was a good movie, and I was really affected by it, but it’s safe to say I didn’t enjoy watching it. If I ever see it again, it’ll be on a really tiny screen with the sound off and captions on.