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Ask Anyone

burnt bridges

I’m a local photographer who has been at it for over a decade. I used to be on top of the world. I had my own public studio, I had tons of models lining up to pay to work with me, and then after stepping on a few toes in the local industry trying to break new ground, I’ve found my career stuck on pause. I was no longer in demand. With the money no longer coming in, I had to sell my camera and give up my studio. Equipped with a lesser camera and no lighting equipment, I pressed on with little to no luck. I later discovered that I was being slandered. Horrible things were being said about me and none of them were true. Feeling furious and betrayed, I flipped out, but that only made things worse for me. It’s been over a year and I still hear from people I know that this trash is still going on and that’s why I’m still not where I once was. Nobody wants the drama and the people involved can make or break reputations so nobody will speak up on my behalf. I have no proof to take legal action with so I’m stuck. What should I do?


The Omniscient One says: I hear good things about Colorado. San Francisco is lovely, as well.

Smart Money says: It’s always a mistake to step on toes. You’ve learned that the hard way. Now someone with an ax to grind is gunning for you. This is too small of a town to resurrect your dead career when people think you’re an asshole. But if you really want to mend fences, go to the people you shafted on the way up and apologize. Of course, I don’t think you’re particularly sorry about that—you’re just sorry that it came back to bite you. Leave town and start the same cycle again. One day you’ll learn it’s important to treat people with respect.

The Practical Cogitator says: Hop on the bus, Gus. Make a new plan, Stan…and hit the road. There is life outside of Buffalo. And there is plenty of work outside of Buffalo, too. From the sound of things, your reputation here is tainted and your subsequent outbursts aren’t helping matters. Grab your camera, your portfolio, and your yoga mat, and head to New Mexico, where it’s beautiful, inspiring and no one knows about your toe-stepping problem. I suggest quitting Facebook for a while, too. Don’t stay here and be Fed-Up; Fed-Ex yourself somewhere else and start over.

dog tired

My neighbor’s dog drives me bonkers. We live in close quarters in the City and he barks up to 1200 BPH. I had a heart-to-heart with the owner, evensent her info about dog training. I call, write and text when I’m at wit’s end. She nods, says “Yes, you’re right, okay”…then nothing; the dog keeps barking. She tells me her new MD is screwing up her psychotropic meds, so she must be zonking out, oblivious to the noise. It’s not that he barks late at night—just when I am trying to read, make a phone call, sleep, or make love…so I can’t call animal control. Soundproof windows cost a couple grand. What can I do?

—All Bark

The Omniscient Ones says: Read Edward Albee’s play The Zoo Story. You may find inspiration in Albee’s detailed description of how to easily deliver poison hamburger to an annoying dog. The dog didn’t die in the play, but he sure quieted down.

Strictly Classified says: As a resident of the city, I understand that we all have to put up with some annoyances. That being said, I think you can and should report your neighbor. You have tried to correct the situation by speaking to her, and this hasn’t worked.

Contact Citizen’s Services at City Hall. I have had to contact them for issues with street lights, street signs, and even a dog issue of my own. I have also found the folks working there to be some of the most efficient and hard working people in City Hall—and they’re friendly!

The Practical Cogitator says: Walk over to your neighbor’s house, unlock their fence, unleash the dog…and set everyone free.

Smart Money says: I’ll tell you a story. I know a woman who had a dog. A not very friendly dog who used to bark a lot. One day, she had a note on her door telling her they were going to poison her dog if he didn’t stop barking. She made sure the dog never barked again. Then she killed it when she was bringing an infant into the house. Have I mentioned that I hate people? Find a better home for the dog. Your neighbor doesn’t deserve to be a pet owner. I’m sure you’re not the only one in your neighborhood who is irritated. You’re saving the dog by stealing it. Then maybe you could mess up her stuff. For me? Pretty please? Good luck—seriously.

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