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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Not a bad way to spend an hour.

Can't find my surfers, though! Sunset is approaching ... They wil be coming in soon, I am sure. In the meantime, I'll keep snapping!
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Bus stop view ... City behind, beach ahead!

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O'ahu - Day 1 and Day 2

Before I go on my next adventure, I'm sharing the highlights of the first 2 days:

Day 1 - TRAVEL! TRAVEL! TRAVEL! It felt like an awfully long day, and it was! It was 14 hours from leaving my house to arriving at the hotel. The word of the day, for me was SUNSET! What a glorious way to enjoy the end of a day. Not to mention a "dinner" of fabulous cheeseburgers with friends, old and new.

Day 2 - BIRDS! BIRDS! BIRDS! From the morning walk where 2 bright blue parrots (there is probably a specific name for them, but I'm not sure what the differences are) were riding on a man's shoulders and then sitting on his bike handles when he went into a store for coffee (yes, they stay, he told me - but he seemed much more comfortable talking to birds than to people).

As I walked back by the cheeseburger restaurant, I hear the waitress telling the couple that the bird near them (looked a little like a pigeon) would gladly sit on one's shoulders. As I look back to eavesdrop more easily, I notice the leathery looking woman at the bus stop has a bird riding in her purse!

That evening at the International Market, a man with more parrots (blazing red and blue) was begging for money by posing his birds with tourists. With the blue on my left shoulder and the red perched on my fist above my head, I felt a little piratey! He couldn't figure out my camera, however, so I may have to find him again later ... we'll see. As I was leaving, he was pressuring a young couple for $5 ... now $10 ... Birds are hungry! That always makes me uncomfortable.

Once again, I could unwind on the beach at sunset ... beautiful ... and learn a hula dance. WOOHOO!
From Oahu 09-2009

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...