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comet pan-STARS - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
kyle cassidy

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comet pan-STARS [Mar. 15th, 2013|01:59 am]
kyle cassidy
[Current Location |THE FREAKING DESERT]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |sir mix a lot: iron man]

It was a long, long day here in Arizona. It was one of those Life at 100 MPH times where it feels like so much happened it must have happened over the period of a week. We shot book stuff in the morning, I got a call from my doctor very early in the day -- he'd looked at my MRI and discovered that my foot is indeed broken. He wanted me to come in and get a walking cast, but I'm in Arizona, so, in between shooting I was on the phone with a number of local orthotics places and eventually discovered that my insurance doesn't cover anything outside of Philadelphia (!) so no cast until I get back. Kake suggested we go to an antique store and look for a cane instead, which sounded like a good idea. We did and Ryan found an antique shillelagh that looks like a rattlesnake. We came back to the ranch and Ryan leapt into the pool, which kind of meant everyone else did as well. We spent an hour bobbing up and down in the pool while Ryan did cannon balls and we waited for the next shoot to start. Dorio regaled us with stories of her life in one of the first punk rocks bands and we were mesmerized. Did I mention that I'm now walking with a cane?

Another model shoot in the evening where I balanced between my cane and the ever capable Ryan, who hauled all the gear and treated me like a celebrity invalid. After the shoot, we ended up (by design) on a mountain in the middle of the Sonoran desert where it seemed there would be nothing between us and the setting sun but Mexico. (We all figured it was prudent to maximize our opportunities and try and fit as much awesome into the time allotted as possible.) In this isolated spot, we found there were about 100 other people, drawn like something from Close Encounters, they'd all come independently thinking this would be a good place to see the comet. There were a bunch of people with telescopes and tripod mounted binoculars and we watched as the sun set and the moon lowered. Finally someone shouted "I have it!" and there was a bit of a frenzy of pointing. It was actually a lot like that scene in Close Encounters now that I think of it -- where they're all waiting at the top of the hill for the aliens to come back. I couldn't see anything but I took a photo with a long exposure and eventually, after a few shots, there was a smudge in the frame. By the time it set, about 25 minutes later, it was very barely visible to the naked eye, but I managed to get some nice photos. Everybody was concentrating on getting as close a crop of the comet as they could -- I figured it was just a fuzzy blob without that beautiful desert in the frame. We went out to a glorious dinner after where we sat under the stars and watched the moon collapse behind the horizon.

So, saguaro cactus, and comet.

Life at 100 mph. It's a good life. I think there are two more days of this. Or maybe three. It doesn't really matter. Great things are happening.

Hope you're all well.

Clickenzee to Embiggen!

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[User Picture]From: xtingu
2013-03-15 07:13 am (UTC)
I used to live out there, and I forget if I told you this stuff already:

If you get the chance to drive on I-19 down by Tucson, intake note that a few miles of it are in metric.

Also, off of I-19 is Mission San Xavier del Bac. Great shooting there, especially at sunset. It's extra-neat to walk around the grottos on the hill, but I imagine with your SPORTS-RELATED INJURY you might not feel like walking up the hill. Everything else is easy walking.

The Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum outside Tucson is ridiculously cool. So many otherworldly plants to see! Best of all, they have one of the world's only walk-in hummingbird aviaries. Wear red... Hummingbirds will give you love. We were there in January which is their nest-building season,and a hummingbird tried to harvest Matt's arm hair and the cuff of my jeans that started to fray a little. :-)

Watching the sunset from Papago Park on the border of Tempe and Phoenix is pretty great, too. I used to call those crazy giant rust-colored rock formations "The Yams."

I sometimes miss living there... but the east coast will always be home.

Feel better soon, and safe travels!

(PS: my user pic was shot outside my old theater in Tempe as a dust storm rolled in over the mountains one afternoon.)
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2013-03-15 04:36 pm (UTC)
Ryan mostly carried me up the last hill we went to. Wouldn't want to put him through that again. Me and my injury are staying close to the shoot today.
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[User Picture]From: cawingcrow
2013-03-15 05:21 pm (UTC)
I love the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum--sadly will probably never get back as my mom and stepfather are divorcing and she's moving away from AZ. My first time there I was naively wearing dangly flower-shaped bright red garnet earrings. You can guess what happened when I went in the hummingbird aviary. At least I caught on to what was going on fairly quickly and they are a lot less intimidating than the red-winged blackbird who tried to take me out on a bridge in Evanston, IL--got a strange history of birds flying at my face.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2013-03-15 04:38 pm (UTC)
Even with these absolutely perfect conditions it was really hard to see and only visible for about 25 minutes and naked eye viewing was really not much to talk about. Hale Bop, now THERE was a comet....
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[User Picture]From: jimhines
2013-03-15 11:52 am (UTC)
I've utterly failed at comet-spotting these past two days. Thanks for posting this! It's a gorgeous shot.

Sympathies on the ankle and the insurance...
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2013-03-15 04:38 pm (UTC)
REALLY hard to spot. you don't just need a horizon, you need to be up on a mountain with a horizon.
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[User Picture]From: ardentdelirium
2013-03-15 04:18 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: i
2013-03-15 05:03 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: pameladean
2013-03-15 05:35 pm (UTC)
Okay, I feel better. If yiou had so much trouble in those conditions, my inability to spot it in the middle of the city with binoculars is not really disgraceful. Disappointing, but not a disgrace.

I'm so sorry about your foot.

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[User Picture]From: beeker121
2013-03-15 10:37 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear your foot is actually broken - boo. I've been following your injury posts with particular interest because I fell while out for a run a little over two weeks ago (tripped and went flat) and managed to break three bones in the process in my right hand / arm. I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to when I can go faster than a walk again.

Also, that photo is stunning.
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[User Picture]From: ammitnox
2013-03-16 09:05 pm (UTC)
godDAMN I miss that desert. :(
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[User Picture]From: ed_dirt
2013-03-17 06:56 pm (UTC)
Cool picture, and thanks, but that ain't no Hale Bop.

Hale Bop, now that was a goddamn comet, lemme tellya. Why I remember lookin' at Ol' Haley--that's what we called her round these parts--i recollect lookin' at Ol' Haley through a pair of 10x50 binoculars and you could darn near see the sparks just a shootin' off her tail!

And it weren't just one night, neither! Oh no. Ol Haley, why she was there, night after night for months. We kinda became friends did Ol Haley and me.

Ever night, there I was, out in the Mojave Desert, just a lookin' at her sparkly little ol' tail.

I sure do miss that little comet.

Oh, but hey! We got ISON to look forward to! The fellers in Russia that spotted ISON say it might be as bright as the moon. Visible in the daytime.
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[User Picture]From: michelle1963
2013-03-20 04:50 am (UTC)
Beautiful, absolutely.

Sorry about the broken foot. Glad to hear it's not getting you down.
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