Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm right here!

Weddings ... and rehearsals ... and dinners ... and photos. I get to be the photo part of a celebration tonight, and while I hope to be the invisible one that no one notices taking their photos, I have to admit there are some precious interactive moments. This photo isn't one of the "money shots" from the rehearsal dinner (no, photos weren't required, but I can't NOT take them - especially when there is a casual atmosphere and family is interacting naturally) but it's my special moment.

This little one (who will ultimately be the star of the evening tonight) was going about her socializing and spied my camera. "Will you take pictures of me?" OF COURSE! She didn't know I had been taking plenty already (good photog!) ... So, with my long telephoto lens, I backed up and started shooting a few. Edging nearer and nearer, I'd have to back up more and more.

"I'm right here!" Her exclamation made me smile.

It seemed odd that I didn't have my camera right in her face. I showed her the long part on my camera and told her because of it, I have to be a little farther away. She asked, "Don't you have flashes?" And I told her I do, but I like to take pictures without flashes. She looked at me like I was quite an oddity.

I turned the camera around and showed her this photo. Her face BEAMED with a wide-smiled surprise! There really were photos happening! My little friend and I have a photo date tonight ... this one with fancy dresses, a few cameras, and even some flashes!
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Sloppy Dog - It's a DIY Dog Wash!

It was the crowning moment of holiday vacation time together ... Sloppy Dog Wash. Definitely an adventure, but I'm not sure who was more exhausted after the excursion - the dogs or the people!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

VOTE QUICK! (you can keep my grinchy song - FREE!)

I'm a finalist! Enjoy ... and vote for me until Noon (PST) Thursday, December 17!
VOTE HERE (look for Ingrid):
LISTEN HERE (can you guess the vocalist?):

Yes, I REALLY want to win. No, I won't tell the sob stories (though I am VERY tempted) ... but it is the holiday season! There's enough to be sad about already. And when it comes down to it, I've been so busy that I haven't had fun like this in a while. Enjoy the song!


You're a lean one, Old PC. You've lost all your appeal. Your motherboard's a cactus, Your OS is an eel. Old PC.

You're a bad banana With a greasy gigibyte peel.

You're a monster, Old PC. Your hard drive's an empty hole. Your brain is full of spiders, You've got viruses in your soul. Old PC.

I wouldn't touch you, with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot widget pole.

You're a vile one, Old PC. You have termites in your drive. You have all the computing sweetness Of a seasick crocodile. Old PC.

Given the choice between the two of you I'd take the seasick crocodile.

And your router, Old PC. Can't connect your sinful dots. Your network's a dead tomato splot With moldy purple spots, Old PC.

You're a three decker software and hardware sandwich With arsenic sauce.

You nauseate me, Old PC. With a nauseaus ASCII-naus. You're a crooked jerky jockey And you drive a crooked horse. Old PC.

Your C-drive is an apalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable, Mangled up in MFT knots.

You're a foul one, Old PC. You're a nasty, Windows skunk. Your hub is full of unwashed socks Recycle bin's full of gunk. Old PC.

The three words that best describe you, are, and I quote: "Stink. Stank. Stunk."
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Little Miss M and I had a fireside night ... which for us is still pretty busy! We burned 12 CDs of the songs she recorded, did 12 CD layouts, and cut 12 CD inserts (part of her Christmas gift project). We ate a lovely meal of couscous and shrimp. She stabbed herself with her fork. And she just reminded me that she lost her tooth (that's where she "stabbed" herself)! The dogs were ever so cute, sweet and lovey-dovey (while smelling the food, of course).

I was inspired by the fire and got my camera out ... and then decided to make a little Christmas card for everyone. I always want to send cards and rarely end up doing it. BUT - this I can do! I have received the cute letters from my relatives telling about the year ... in poetry, in drawings, in pictures. It inspires me! But I rarely am able to find time to get it all done.

So, here's my candle, and my wall
And my wishes for y'all!

How's that for a holiday rhyme? Maybe in the coming days, I'll find time to sit and write (and I know I owe some emails to several people when I get some quiet time). But the fire is slowly dying and it's time for a game of Battleship!
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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Recluse Photog

I'm a sucker for romance and coffee ... and the combination was enough to draw me out of photography hibernation! When an artistic and gifted photographer in her own right asks me to take her photos, I consider it a huge compliment.

Yes, I often decline photography requests. And if I have declined such for any reader, please don't be offended! If I were building a business, I'm sure I'd have to shed my reclusive comfort zone. But when it comes to people, I don't want my moments behind a lens to be driven by dollars. I have never liked selling anything ... not directly, anyway. And if I do not have the time or energy to freely give myself to a project, or if I feel like people could be better served by another, I feel obligated to direct them to someone else.

The truth is, I purposely shy away from the traditional business of photography. I've been spoiled by magazines. They need photos, work with a budget, have to pay SOMEONE (why not me?), and there's no financial pressure on the subject for the photo session. I can think in terms of print layouts and graphic design instead of framed portraits. And when it comes down to it, even I the recluse photog have to admit that seeing my work massively in print - especially if it was part of a great layout - gives me a charge!

So every once-in-a-while, I take someone up on a photography request ... especially when I can do it in a way that brings my own kind of blessing to them.
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Saturday, December 05, 2009

My Own Snow Fairy

These days are fleeting ... the innocence of fairies and fluff ... and moving toward lip gloss and fashion. Before I know it, this little toddler who danced in a tiny pink tutu - all smiles as she twirled on the thick green carpet of our Georgia home - will be soaring toward her dreams on her own wings. Today, a snow fairy in the Nutcracker. Tomorrow? The sky is the limit.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mom Moment ...

Why can't kids just do what they're supposed to do? (Notice the solitary child's footprint? I'm guessing a parent snatched the child back quickly.  Sometimes I feel like that's all I do!)
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Truly Mobile Pics

I have discovered that I can take photos while driving (yes, I am bad that way) by referencing my rearview mirror! Awesome.
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Monday, November 16, 2009

I've Got Crabs!

These were my little friends in Hawaii. I showed M how they would bring sand out of their holes and toss it. Even last night she was saying that she kept thinking about the photo of that and laughing (little crab with an armful of sand - next shot, TOSS!). I don't know what it is about them, but they can be funny! The mornings on the beach were both relaxing and entertaining. Maybe that's what I'm searching for today.
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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Peace ... Interrupted!

NO! Not the Bible! HAAAAANK! Hank The Tank, aka Runs-While-Peeing, has left his mark again. My tranquility from a lazy morning is now severely challenged.
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Twirl & Swing!

Suddenly, she is herself again. All it took was a few twirls and swings! Amazing.
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My "Little" Dancer

I am amazed when I look at the photos to see what a young lady she has become. My "little" dancer is not so little any more! She is growing up beautiful and brave. This was her first dance competition! Her dance studio did not do team competitive dance this fall, but she WANTED to compete ... and so she did. All on her own, she danced for the crowd. Her first solo. Her first competition. She placed 6th her first time out and received a ribbon. Of course, I am proud. We all are.
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Friday, October 30, 2009

My Own Tears

Evidently, my own love of dance is still alive. Through all the admirable antics of leaps, hip-hop and every other dance form I don't know how to spell (krunk???) ... by the end of the night, two pieces touched me inside. This particular one was my favorite. I don't recall the name. I don't even recall the music. But it was about addiction, and it moved me. That abusive manipulation personified shook me. I kept trying to keep my camera shooting through the tears. And when it was over quietly wiped my eyes hoping the girls didn't notice. But I was glad for those moments. When I feel deeply, I feel alive.
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So You Think You Can Dance Birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ... 10 YEARS! M and a couple of friends had quite an adventure at "So You Think You Can Dance" at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa. I think we were all singing "Battlefield" and "Thriller" (a couple of the featured numbers) for days afterward. As we left downtown with the glittering skyline, the girls sang (I use that term loosely) Thriller at the top of their lungs with the windows down and sunroof open. They laughed and screamed and dance and sang ... which makes for the best birthday ever!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stash ... Dog or Girl?

A trail of toys led to this corner behind some ornamental grass. Not sure who is behind the collection or dispersion, but it wasn't me! That leaves a little girl or dogs, and I am guessing both!
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

She asked for it!

"Mom, I'm gonna bring my skateboard out front. Will you bring a camera and Blog it?" She is a girl after my own heart!
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Art Show!

Thumbs up for thumbody's beautiful thumb art! Their after school program had a cute art show for parents ... Complete with cookies!
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Friday, October 16, 2009

First haircut at age 10?

Let me clarify ... First haircut by MOM! And thankfully, she loves it! My baby is almost 10! Monday marks the end of single digits. But she already looks older than 10 with this haircut!
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Nicknames

After too much caffeine, we have been renamed. Magician and Goofy (pictured) tried to keep Gyro in line while Showtunes (yours truly) gave musical commentary.
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Family Game Night ... Kids and 1 Brother ... Good Times!

It feels good to laugh together. You can see who the goofball is!
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Last Morning

I have been spoiled the past few mornings! Who wouldn't with a daily view like this?

From the romantic moments of young couples to the funny ones of older couples and their dogs (especially the little pom who was skidding along trying to stop but was being bounced along by leash and a seemingly oblivious owner), this has been a great time to relax and take it all in.

The skittish sand crabs and I have been bonding over sunrise, and I will even miss their creepy, crabby faces!
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Heroes Hands and Unexpected Rainbows

Interesting how an oil spill can be both black and beautiful and in this case harmful (I would think) and significant. We visited the USS Arizona today and there is STILL oil bubbling up (and has been since December 7, 1941). Look closely and you'll see the ship under the water's surface.

It was yet another day of history coming alive to me. While I didn't gravitate toward the subject while in school, as an adult I find these things far more significant. One of the best moments of the day was having Kevin point out a Pearl Harbor survivor. It was surprising that no one seemed to be talking to him or even noticing him! Kevin tracked him down, thanked him and shook his hand. It was a pretty special moment. It seemed disrespectful to pull out the cameras, so I shook his hand, too. We talked for a moment, and I felt a sense of awe to be in the presence of a man I would consider to be a hero.

Pretty amazing ... I feel like I grew up a little today.
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Monday, October 05, 2009

Sea Turtles at Sunset

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Magical, Magical Morning

Now that the big conference is over, the hotel is history and the big city lights seem a million miles away (though, they're probably only like 10). I will take this morning view over the impressive skyscrapers any day! Yes, this was my morning. I was up before sunrise. Me (the night owl) was clothed, camera'd, and on the beach BEFORE sunrise! Then again, how hard is that when you're in Hawaii and only have to walk off of the porch to see something like this?

I know. I am so very spoiled. And this was only the beginning! Experience #2 was snorkeling. It took me a while to not hyperventilate or panic ... and it was so completely worth it! All those tropical fish I have only seen in giant tanks became my friends (along with a - be still my beating heart - sea turtle). WOW just doesn't say WOW enough. The slow-motion, dream-like underworld was absolutely amazing. I think I swam for 3 hours!

Sadly, I have no underwater camera gear, but I may not have ever left if I was shooting pictures! So while the rain pours, I am replaying those special moments ... especially the sea turtle greeting. I would have been a little squeamish about touching any of them in a setting more natural to humans, but the mesmerising effect of those reefs is amazing. I could have touched them all (but you're not supposed to), and if one had touched me, I wouldn't have flinched. Instead, I would have fallen in love!

And one more no-photo moment is still vivid ... the moonrise last night. It was stunning (I didn't know there was such a thing) and I would have taken photos except that I was bobbing in the sea happily riding the waves watching the mountain mist and ocean curls.

At the moment, I am sitting under an awning watching a sudden rain. WOW! It isn't windy but somehow it is REALLY wet everywhere!
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Friday, October 02, 2009

Peaceful ... until your hiney hurts!

It was a long day on the bus (see previous post for highlights) ... with the latter portion becoming quite offensive to my backside and nose. So arriving at the beach was a welcome moment of peace.

I searched for the surfers I was so greviously delayed in meeting and could never quite find them, but I kept diligently shooting. An hour and a half later, I still don't think I have seen them. Everything is hurting ... my feet have had their fill of exercising themselves in the sand and my backside is ready for something other than lava rock to lean on! I am definitely ready to relax.

So we "relax" by walking around the art district for their "First Friday" gallery walk. And while the gallery portion was nice, the atmosphere was one of substances and sexuality, so it wasn't the night we expected! The highlight had to be the theater. Instead of eating there, we return to a little diner where I enjoyed corned beef hash with fried bananas. Different but YUMMY!
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I'd like to think he did this for me ...

I took a bus tour around the island of O'ahu today ... not some fancy-smanchy one, mind you, but a public transit see-everything-under-the-sun reality kind of tour. About 3/4 of the tour was THOROUGHLY enjoyable. In fact, the first part was actually EXCITING!

But the excitement came from the people I met over and above the amazing backdrop that whisked by the windows. I'll go into it a little more later, but I met a couple of women in particular who inspired me - both photographers - who were doing photography before I was born.

I scooted up by the driver once my conversations were over and asked if he minded if I took photos through the windows ... and as long as I didn't cross the yellow line, I had a green light. GO! And I did. At one stop, he hopped out and cleaned a window. I'd like to think he did it for me. :-)

The highlights are below ... some from bus stops and some from the windows. And even though they aren't the best photos in the world, I left them as they were because I like remembering that I was all jostled and contorted on the bus trying to capture moments as they flew by.

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How slow do you want the fire to burn?

  Just a little over a year ago, I had an urge to set up my special writing place. One person I wanted to tell was my aunt because I had bee...