Apr 30, 2005
this was part of a random macro extravaganza that occured on my balcony today. i love extravaganza's. more to come.
it was a cute herd of children who embraced one another mid park. we played and then penn got the bright idea to throw woodchips. i told him no twice. three strikes and your out is the rule. and this rule is strictly enforced when it comes to dangerous thinks like throwing wood chips in people's faces. so, on count two i told penn if he threw the chips one more time then we would have to go home. "okay?"
and then. he threw. the wood chips. he turned and looked up at me and i leaned down and said, "because you threw the woodchips, we have to go home." to which he cried.
which is sad, but good because it means it works.
but my eight year old friends were sad. "can't you give him just one more chance?" they begged? "just fifteen more minutes?" they tried hard to get penn out of trouble. very sweet. "but we haven't seen you all week! and you're never home when we knock!" they tried to come home with me. i told them they could come over tomorrow and that penn had to go home. i would not sacrifice penn's discipline just to play for 15 more minutes.
and then, "what's that mean?"
"sacrifice his discipline?"
"ummm, it means . .. like, i can't. . . (garbled mess of a definition somehow including the word "comprimise.")
"what's 'comprimise' mean?"
"it means i'll tell you tomorrow."
Apr 28, 2005
if you give a baby a bucket,
he'll want to put it on his head.
and when he puts it on his head he'll start running around and you'll start laughing.
so you'll have to get your camera. and when he sees you with your camera,
he'll start running around faster and you'll start laughing louder and all you're pictures will turn out blurry.
but when you see the blurry pictures, you won't care and will post them on your blog because that's what you do.
you put buckets on babies heads and then you put them on the internet for the world's amusement.
***this post will make a lot more sense if you've read "if you give a pig a pancake." which i read every. single. night. thankyou.***
Apr 27, 2005
i've written a book for penn. a letter in text and pictures explaining in slightly poetic terms who i was before i was a mommy and how penn has changed my life. it's going to be lovely. really it is.
and it's my excuse for the lack of thoughtful blogging lately. lack of thoughtful blogging will most likely continue until this book is sent to press.
here is a teaser. three pages of the twenty i'm working on. soon i will put the whole book on my website as the initial idea came from the wedding book i'd like to make for my wedding photography clients.
Apr 26, 2005
it's hard to tell here, what with the curled-upness and the disraction of the fangs (read: lazy yawn), but this is a large cat. this is a cat so large that Thrifty Benji ordered a call to the vet because he was sure there was a need for some sort of fluid draining as this cat, dubbed sir catfish, is a boy and should really have no need to tote around such large breasts.
catfish went to his appointment. he passivley allowed the probing of his orafices and charmed them with the absolute ultimate softness of his silver fur. we are serious when we tell catfish he's lucky someone doesn't try to make a coat out of him. i say why bother when he's so willing to serve as a pillow.
the vet, whose voice might i add is LOUD, so LOUD it fills the small echoey room and i wonder if i'm the only one who is alarmed at her volume, weighs catfish. she sludges him onto a white tray-like scale, shuffeling the rolls into the tray to ensure accuracy. she then checks his records to see how much he weighed the last time he went in. she gasps. it's loud, like her room-filling voice. "he didn't really weigh 8 pounds last time he came, did he?"
catfish has been clinically diagnosed as being morbidly obese. he tops out at almost 18 pounds. he also has an ear infection, which has nothing to do with his fatness. it cost us $130 to put catfish on a diet. he is expected to eventually lose about 5 pounds.
here in the background you can see catfish's elderly pal, sexy sady who is also a bit overweight, however we find this completely excusable as the weight gain has been gradual not to mention she's about 8 or 9 years old now.
catfish doesn't seem bothered by his obesity or by the fact that the vet called him morbidly obese. he begs for his $18 cat diet food as much as he begs for the other stuff. he still prefers the toilet over the water bowl and a lap to anything in the world. but benji? well, he's tired of catfish's boobies touching his arm, even when catfish is standing. so please take a minute to send slim kitty thoughts to fatty mcfatfish.
*note, name slightly stolen from lindsey. hi lindsey!
Apr 24, 2005
one of my eight year old friends went on the morning walk with penn and i. he pushed penn the whole way. he practically ran with penn the whole way, huffing and puffing and reminding me to look both ways before i crossed the street. he stopped for every dog we passed so that penn could pet them, like it or not.
after the walk we stopped by his apartment so he could get some water and then we went to the park. littter could make up a whole other post (stop littering, people!). on the bench someone had left a juicebox. which of course, penn wanted. and of course, penn couldn't have. i realized it was lunch time anyway and told curtis i had to take penn home so he could have lunch and his very own juice box, which we would put in the trash when he was done.
my friend made mention of coming with and i dodged the question because i selfishly wanted to feed penn and let him nap so i could work on his book. i told my friend goodbye. but halfway down the block, he was right at my side. he helped me put up the stroller and wanted to help take some things up for me. i hesitated again, with selfishness. but my friend had already made mention that he was hungry and had not had breakfast yet. a couple of times. more than a couple of times.
finally i asked, "do you like grilled cheese?" he then acted very nonchalent. "oh yeah. sure." "would you like to come up and have lunch with penn and i?" his eyes lit up, despite the response, "okay. i guess so." and so penn and i had a guest for lunch.
our guest told me we had a lot of food and his refrigerator didn't have much in it. my friend loves grilled cheese, does not like avacados, but devoured a bowl of grapes for dessert. he told me he was the fastest eater in his class. "probably," he said, "because i don't get breakfast."
he played video games and i felt bad for asking him to leave so that penn could sleep and i could take a shower. he tried to dodge it. he said he would just turn the tv down and be really quiet, but i asked him if maybe he could come back and finish the game later.
he drew me the above picture while he was here. it's a frame of roses. and he spelled "electromagnetic" while he was here because he's also the best speller in his class.
lunch. it was a good thing.
Apr 22, 2005
i'd like to:
- truly get my piano skills back. if i were to play for you now you would be slightly impressed and you would believe me when i told you that once upon a time i was quite a competent player. benji and i went to guitar center recently and i was able to play on a magnificent electric piano. magnificent i tell you, and i played my heart out enjoying the weight of the keys. that's what i really like. pushing down those big heavy keys that push back to you so much glory. good instruments, i think, truly make one play better. make one want to play better. i sure don't get that out of our keyboard. i wish i had gone with benji to pick it out.
- be a better guitar player. i've all it takes to be a decent player, except putting my ass down on a daily basis to practice. same goes for the piano.
- master photoshop. i'm pretty good. but there are things in this program i don't even know i'm missing yet.
- learn illustrator. it's time. it's a tool that's been missing from my box for too long now. i think i just reached the edge of photoshop and design where i want more. it will happen. soon, as there are some design elements i want to use in penn's book that i could do easier with illustrator.
- cook more. i was recently flipping through my cookbooks and remembering how awesome it was to create such scrumptious food. it's just so hard to do with penn, though. penn who is quite impatient when it comes to grub.
- clean more. i feel guilty using the baby as yet another excuse. it's true, though. for the life of me i cannot keep my house clean lately. and yes yes, it's because i'm busy filling all spare moments with work-related and life-furthering stuff, however it still gnaws at me that my pre-baby spotless house is such a thing of the past.
- finish up some loose ends. like finishing the stool i'm stripping. (you can have your paint scraper back, d. !) like clearing out my e-mail box. backing up all my pictures. contacting all those newspapers and magazines and photographers that are going to clear out all doubts i'll ever have to go back to retail.
- finish my screenplay. it's good, people. i really believe in this story. but i got a serious case of writers block and put it down. haven't really picked it up since.
- master photography to my greatest ability. i have a dream that someday the only thing that will hold be back concerning my art is my imagination. can i say that now? nope. right now lighting and f-stops and iso and whatever other technical detail i'm weak at is holding me back. who's fault is that? mine all mine. when will i tackle these things and quit riding on the beauty that is natural light and good direction? soon. soon.
- learn spanish. i'm picking up spanish. i'm tired of not being able to communicate with half the state of texas. i also like that learning another language excersies your brain in a way few other things can, if any. i'm still in week one. wish me luck.
know what all this lack of mastery means though? it means i have a reason to wake up in the morning. it means i have passion. it means i have interest and drive and talent. this is only imporant in comparison to the others i experience who have no idea why they wake up. who have no idea what is important to them or what their purpose is.
i have to remind myself of this when my mind starts wondering why i never made it to carnegie.
Apr 20, 2005
i made a list of all the words penn can say for the monthly (ahem, *cough cough*, almost monthly) "baby newsletter" i send to friends and family. i came up with 33 words which i find impressive for a 16 month old child. i told benji who met us at the park after work and he noted that when penn is older and fluent in english, it will be weird to imagine him when he couldn't talk.
the same way it's weird to imagine penn before he could walk or penn before he could hold his own head up or do anything besides eat, sleep and poop. those months of the baby attached to teat are a blur.
the pictures of him as an infant are just shocking. he looks so little. different. helpless.
i'm making a photobook now. i need a good example of hardcover books to show to wedding clients. benji said if it told a story and was something we did together he would pay for it.
so i've been racking ye olde noggin' to come up with somthing good enough for benji to shell out the dough. i think i decided tonight, it's going to be a letter to penn from mommy and daddy. sort of who we were before we were parents, who we are now and what penn has taught us.
i'm so in love. i had no idea what having a child could do for one's idea of love. it's enormous. mind blowing. the ultimate respect and concern and unconditional aspect that houses the feelings i have for penn are indescribable. and yet, i still keep trying. through photos and this blog and through hugs and life i desperatley want penn to understand how much i love him.
i know it's impossible. i know my mother and father feel the same way about me and i know i didn't really get it until i had penn.
i've been going through lots of pictures to do this. ahhh, memory lane. there are so many pictures. this is going to be hard. you parents out there, have you ever written anything to your children? how'd that go?
Apr 19, 2005
every morning penn and i take a 45 min. walk, and then head to the playground in order to excorsise the run-around demons in my son.
and then all of a sudden, three days in a row, penn started getting really grumpy on the playground. i didn't get it. he loves the park. right?
but one thing or another would inevitably set the boy off. i think here it had something to do with the camera or the stroller or he threw his juice and got in trouble. and these tears you see here, they are just melt your heart and blend it up tears.
but what's even worse is this. this thing he does here when he's sad because he can't have what he wants or he's experiencing a tough lesson in life (currently: for the love of god could you please stop throwing things?) or he doesn't understand something. this thing here where he just lays his little head down on the nearest flat surface and stares out through pitiful wet eyes.
it's sad people. sad sad sad.
but, what i've discovered is that he's just tired and the need for a nap can make a child completely irrational. so now, we go to the playground first, early, and penn plays while i play basketball or do the morning stretching routine accompanied by various other excersises. and then, we go on the walk, where penn can sleep and i can still get the walk in and we don't have to go through the whole laying down of the head thing.
note: the pictures are a bit blurry b/c i took it with "penn's camera." (my old digital) and he put his grubby little hands all over the lens. but, he also recorded a couple of movies on the cam. of our walk. in the movie is proof of the grubby little hands.
Apr 18, 2005
again with the pictures from the car.
penn had his first trip to the zoo today.
and although zoo's normally depress both benji and i what with the caging of the animals and all, we decided penn would enjoy it. and when i turned around to smile at penn just so i could get that silly smile back, i saw the heavy eyelids. and i was glad, actually. i thought he would get a quick nap in and be rested and bushy tailed for the zoo adventure.
but penn didn't just try and take a power nap. he was really ready to do some serious sleeping.
i carried him all the way from the parking lot and into the zoo and he didn't budge.
he was totally unconscience and benji and i wondered if he'd sleep the whole way through.
i thought no, surely he'll wake up when i put him in the stroller. nope. no waking. but benji and i truged on. and then we came to the children's zoo where they have a super duper cool water maze like thing with bubbles and falls and billions of wet children clamoring about. i may not have gotten around to explaining the fascination my son has with water, so let me tell you now MY SON HAS A SERIOUS FASCINATION WITH WATER.
and we thought, surely if we wake him up for this he'll be grateful.
the answer was a loud and screaming no-thank-you-and-just-what-the-hell-do-you-think-you're-doing-anyway?
on to the monkey's who all had something hanging out of their butt's that no one could quite figure out. (and no, i'm not posting that picture.)
dude. rhino's are big. seriously, yo. i think this is the first real live rhinoscerous i've ever seen, and if you say rhinoscerous over and over it begins to sound funny. i'm quite sure that's not how you spell rhinoscerous and i'm quite sure i don't care as it's 3 in the a.m. now and spelling is not a priority.
crocodiles, oh my!
and then there was more tiredness and we went home. penn, however was not at all tired at home and bounced off the walls with giggles and conversation and baths. we spent a good ten minutes of him throwing peanuts into a drawer and me saying, "oh wow peanut head!" little sucker giggled till he fell over. literally. cutest thing ever.
and then i took his recorder away from him because he hit me and he got really angry and went to bed. kids. sheesh.
Apr 16, 2005
penn is completely enamored with both boys. i've never seen him so attracted to others in such a maternal way. he desires affection from them. he crawls in their lap and stares at them. hugs them. and cries if they leave.
the four of us sit and talk on the playground and randomly chase penn around or slide. they quiz me on continents and division and one is really interested in astrology and likes to talk about the stars.
after talking for a while, the first time we met, penn asked to go home. i told the boys good-bye. when i got to the end of the block i heard footsteps behind me. both boys ran up, one on each side. "we want to see where you live," they said. i lectured them. i told them that it was not safe to go to the homes of complete strangers, no matter what they say, or how nice they seem, or if they happen to be the mother of the cutest baby alive. we then passed two more neighbors who know both i and the children and saw where we were going. (i'm directly across the street from one of the boys apts.)
so i showed them our courtyard and pool. they ran up to my door and asked if it was mine. i said yes and fought the urge to let them in for cookies and milk or something so we could keep talking. later that evening i saw one of the boys mother outside and introduced myself and told her i had met her son in the park so she wouldn't think i'm some creepy stranger.
the boys are complete opposites, mentally and physically. there are some sordid details one of the boys has shared with me and truly, my heart goes out to him. he counts penn and i as two of his eleven friends.
this morning penn and i were playing basketball. one of the boys was walking past and i waved. soon both of the boys were back to play and they said the park was really boring until they met penn and i.
i couldn't stop going on and on to benji about how captivating these bright souls were. he met them yesterday at the park. we all played frisbee and benji said he completely understands now and could easily be a big brother to them.
i hestiated to blog about my new friends wondering of the moral implications about putting the lives of eight year old boys on the internet. my conclusion was to not share names or any of the personal things about them. i'm curious though, about the living situation of one of the boys and i'm curious if anything i say will stick with him.
or if it should.
Apr 15, 2005
last week i had a most fun conversation with my friend "ben #1." (it's a long story and not important right now.) what's important is quorn.
he was telling me about serving his wife something with quorn in it and she asked him why he was serving her chicken. (they're vegetarian.) i think he said he had to show her the box to prove that quorn isn't really chicken.
penn and i go to whole foods at least once a week. partly for grocery shopping and partly because penn is in love with the red plastic car on the front of the shopping carts that he gets to ride around in. (i am this close to buying him one of his own for our morning walk.)
in the grocery i passed a big quorn aisle and bought the meat free "chicken" patties. wow! so good! they're good enough for me to tell you about quorn. they're good enough for penn to eat his half patty, four asparagus spears, a cube of cheese, some grapes, and then reach onto my plate and eat all of my patty!l he ate so much that he asked to get down from his booster seat, gave me a hug, and then went right to sleep. y
ay for quorn. also, penn would like to say, yay for corn! he tried corn for the first time, canned, and ate 3/4 of the can!
this is boring, isn't it. yes. well. i've had no time to talk about the things i wanted to the past two days. perhaps tonight. it's been busy. in a good way.
Apr 13, 2005
g. was a wife and mother to two small children. she felt completely unappreciated by her family and completely unsupported. she was a special ed teacher and working at the bookstore to make ends meet for her family. her husband had been out of work for a while.
i loved working with g. i loved closing the store with g. if you've ever worked retail you know the company policy rituals and the ritual employees wrap around the policy in order to survive. my ritual: crank up the music on the loudspeaker, shelve barefooted, count money like a madman, bring up that one asshole customer that couldn't be verbally assaulted properly during store hours and then smoke a ciggarette outside before going home, 'cause it's a rule that all bookstore employees smoke, be good at verbal assaulting and steal those cd's that come in magazines before "stripping them," which means stripping the cover off to send back to the publisher and trashing the rest of the magazine. (and no, just in case you were wondering, they're not going to give you any "stripped" magazines, no matter how hard you beg.)
okay, so that third one isn't a "rule."
fact is, i wanted g. to feel loved by her family. i wanted her son to respect how she busted ass for him when he forgot every last book or assignment. i wanted her husband to get a job so that she didn't have to work two. i wanted her hair to grow back and her vagina to stay in.
at a moment when it seemed to me she was quite unhappy, although never so to the general public, i came home after work and wrote her a letter. it was a good letter.
but, i folded it and put it in a stack with all the other stuff on my makeshift desk. i told benji, who i was barely dating at the time, about g. and he convinced me that no one could tell g. the things i had to say besides me. she may never hear it, if i don't give her the letter.
and i realized he was right. she might find me forward or nosy or mushy or something, but i decided it didn't matter, as my intentions were good. i gave her the letter. she cried and called me and it was worth it.
i've recieved a couple of letters from strangers in reference to my photography. every time, it blows me away. these are strangers. they have no need to give me any fluff. they are completely objective. and i got one of those letters today. he used the word "inspirational." and isn't that what art is about? i can't say that, exactly, but i can say that art for me is a constant moving cycle of inspiration: being inspired, creating, inspiring, being inspired, etc. . . .
and so this man taking time to tell me what he thought about my photography truly made my day. and it reminded me of g. which reminds me, there are people out there that need to be told things more often.
Apr 11, 2005
there are still some design details i haven't put in yet, but it's not embaressing.
and thank you cat for the nice comment about visiting my site. i thought, "hoooolycrap. she saw that? i gotta go fix it now." and i did. so. you should pay another visit.
Apr 9, 2005
i'm going to bombard you with another of last weekend's photo extravaganzas. this shoot was actually scheduled for the weekend before last, but the sky kept threatening rain. i called and the engaged couple agreed to reschedule.
dude. major props for rescheduling. it was a perfect blue sky day which made us all fiesty and fun.
truth be told, i think this couple is always fun. and very much in love, i think.
and not once did they balk when i asked them to climb a tree or venture into a tall grassy field filled with unknown varmits and holes.
she knows how to work a camera. i call this the soap opera shot.
i think she won.
the cd covers serve two purposes. they're a great way to package my client's photos----and they are an excersise in design.
i don't think i've done any full color cd designs. or even colorful, for that matter.
so here it is. i think i made an ambercrombie ad.
cryptic message: i'm excited, people. truly. lovely things are in the photographic air right now.
Apr 8, 2005
i've got a lot of catching up to do. i had two shoots last weekend. i'll do one at a time. saturday i shot a wedding at hotel za za. i won't go into any private details, but it was definetly a different sort of wedding. fun though.
it was a short notice call to me, and details were sketchy so i didn't take any lights because i didn't think i was going to need any. boy was i wrong. the above picture is my favorite for reasons most may not notice.
look at the corners of the picture. you'll notice the lamps we took from hotel nightstands as a means for light. it still wasn't enough, but we made do.
this photo makes me think of something interesting, but in that odd way that i can't put into words.
and as you can see here, it was more a union of three, instead of the standard two. she is exquisetly pregnent.
and due very soon, i think.
the cover designs have a bit of an antiqued feel to me that i took on from the amazing decor of hotel zsa zsa.
this couple was the first to log-in on my website to view their pictures.