tried to eat the safe banana (thefourthvine) wrote,
tried to eat the safe banana

A Question for You

I want to thank those of you who said such amazingly wonderful things about me on [ profile] meloukhia's love meme. I found those comments during a week that contained both a truly horrible round of bronchitis for the entire household and an ant invasion, and, really, I think the love meme was the good part of that week. So thank you not only for being nice, but for having perfect timing. You are awesome.

And, as payment, I am going to ask you to be more awesome. I'm sorry. It's just - I have questions. And I am hoping you have answers.

A Question about Cameras!

My birthday is fast approaching. And this year, I am resolved not to say, "I have no idea, um, whatever, I guess" when family members ask me what I'd like. This year, I am going to say, "Please put some money towards a new camera for me!" Because the camera I take all the earthling photos on has been good, but its annoying features annoy me more with each passing month. Also, it has started to have problems focusing. As in, it will sometimes take 20 or 30 pictures in a row without noticing that it is set to You Forgot Your Glasses mode. And these days there is a really dramatic pause between when I hit the button and when the picture is actually taken, a pause sometimes long enough that the earthling has not only moved out of the frame, but has also gone all the way to his room and selected a new outfit to change into. This suggests to me that its time as Main Household Camera is drawing to a close.

The last time I bought a camera, I knew nothing about them at all. This time, I have progressed to not knowing much about cameras but knowing what I don't like. I am hoping that somewhere out there there is a person who knows actual real things about cameras, who can provide me with shopping advice, including camera makes and so on.

I really, really want:
  • Fast shutter speed. I want to hit the button and have the camera respond by taking the picture at that moment. Not in a few seconds. Not after the tiny camera elves get the memo. Not after the next EU president comes into office. Right then.
  • Whatever it is that makes you able to take in-focus photos of fast-moving people in relatively low light conditions (in other words, indoors, during the daytime) without the flash. I know there are cameras that can do this! Mine, however, will not.
I really want (but am prepared to live without, if all the other features were perfect):
  • A lot of optical zoom. Digital zoom is just not the same.
  • Quick focusing and zooming ability, and no weird thing where I cannot zoom while the previous picture is displayed on the LCD screen.
  • A viewfinder.
  • A camera that does not require a degree to use. Or, if a degree is required, it should be one in biochemistry or forensic osteology, not photography or engineering.
  • A camera that will fit into my diaper bag. It does not need to be tiny, but it does need to be smaller than, for example, my head. (One of the parents at the earthling's preschool has a camera that looks like it could conquer Kansas. It is very, very large, and has many removable lenses and other weird attachments including some things I swear I've also seen my oral surgeon use, and basically just seems underemployed taking photos of a toddler. It would be more suited to taking surveillance photos. Of bacteria. From Mars. That is too much camera for me.)
A Question about Gay History!

I am assuming that, fandom being what it is, there is someone somewhere in fandom who has a lot of knowledge of queer history. (If you know such a person, and that person is not on my friends list, I would greatly appreciate it if you'd point said person this way.) I am looking for books on what gay life was like in New York City before Stonewall - say, from 1930 to 1960. Anywhere in there. Non-fiction preferred, but I will read fiction if it's authentic and no one dies or ends up crazy or locked up somewhere or grimly involved in a loveless straight marriage because gay people can never be happy.

A Question about Mary Balogh (Spelling Potentially Contested)!

Best Beloved would like to start reading her works, and would appreciate some guidance on the best of them. What's a good first Balogh? BB likes good writing, and I hear from several of you that Balogh delivers on this front. She does not like non-con, heroines younger than 18, or infidelity.

(Note: The spelling of Mary Balogh's name is potentially contested because in our household her name has mutated. BB has yet to read a single one of her novels, and we've already renamed her Merry Balrog. No, there's no excuse. Although I have to tell you, straight up: I would read basically any novel written by Merry Balrog, because obviously you can trust someone who put that much thought into a pseudonym. And this is one of the many reasons why I don't understand the SF writers who insist that nothing people say online matters if they aren't posting under their real names. Have these people never noticed that choice of pseudonym tells you a lot about a person? Whereas a real name, at best, only tells you something about the person's parents.)

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