Saturday, July 31, 2010

Trying Something New

I like to photograph bands. Of course, that all started because I like to photograph my hot, husband playing. But I can't only take pics of him. Don't want to slight anyone else, I mean it is a group effort after all.

When Shawn and I first started dating, I tried shooting a gig with my 35mm. And, got some great shots. On film no less. No way to check and see if it was all good. Couldn't take hundreds of pics because I had a roll of 24 or 36 shots.

Of course I've have since switched to digital. I love being able to play and experiment. But often, the lights at gigs suck. Either there aren't any or the light show that's there just isn't great. Often, there is this nasty red light that just covers everyone. And it burns everything out. I haven't quite figured out how to get around that. I could use my flash, and sometimes I do, but I just don't like the feel that the flash gives the photo.

Last weekend at Barberpaloozafest was no exception. Well, actually it was. The light show was worse than normal. The fellas had set it up so the lights were pointing right at the dudes rather than from above. Maybe that would have made a difference, I don't know. Anyway, so when I downloaded the pics, once the light show came on, everyone looked like a demon cuz they were all red or an Andy Warhol piece because they were all yellow.

I tried fiddling with curves and color balance and eventually I thought, what if I just take the color out of it. And viola! I actually LOVE the black and white rock photos. Why haven't I thought of this sooner?

Converting the photos to black and white gives them a whole new feel. A feel less about the show, the stage, the lights, the glamour and more about the musicians, a feeling of rawness and the grit of rock and roll. Now all I want to do is go back and do the same for photos over the last year or so.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Life is full of bittersweet moments. We've been especially sensitive to them this year.

Yesterday was a bittersweet day. It was the annual Barberpaloozefest, a big, outdoor party with a lot of bands. Shawn's band, Hot Buttered Elvis, always plays this gig because the singer is the creator of Barberpaloozafest.

The sweet part was that Shawn got up and played a set. Not just one song but a set of 6 or 7 songs. This was six months and one day from the day he had surgery. Six months and one day ago he was paralyzed and considered a quadriplegic. He wasn't sure if he would ever play again.

That thought was difficult for both of us. Shawn has played in bands for over 25 years. To not be able to do that again would take away a piece of who he is. Shawn playing has been a huge part of our relationship. It's a social activity for us and frankly I love watching my husband play. It's hot. Thankfully, it's not gone forever.

The bitter part is that in spite of being able to play, Shawn still can't be who he is on stage. There was concern for losing balance and falling and he couldn't rock out. He's always been one to move, jump, bang head, etc... and now he can only balance on a stool. It was hard to watch in that respect. It also was a reminder of just how far there is to go on this journey.

But ultimately it's the sweet part that rules. It always is. Shawn will rock out again and I'll be there to capture the moment.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A New Flower

This is a new flower in the garden. It's a Tigridias and only lasts one day, at least in 100 degree weather. I planted these bulbs in late Spring and then put the card that had the picture, name and description in a cubby and forgot all about it. So we had no idea what these were, what they would like or when they would bloom. Nice little surprise:)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sneak Peeks - Total Cuteness!

Yes indeed, I have been a busy bee! This lovely little one turns one year old very soon. Possibly today or tomorrow. Her mom said she was being pretty serious during the shoot but I think we managed to get her not so serious side:)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oh, Sweet Patience

I've discovered that I'm not a patient person. You'd think being a yogi and all, I would be, but really being a yogi is all about practicing. So I try to practice patience. And I practice, and practice and practice. In fact, my practice these days is Inhale Patience, Exhale Judgement. You'd think with all that practicing it would be working but clearly I have a ways to go.

I've been dealing with a lot of things lately that need extreme patience. Obviously my husband's condition. I want him to walk now. I want my husband back, 100% now. I want to go on bike rides and hikes and adventures with my husband now. Not later. Now. But he can't now. He will later, how much later we don't know, but he will. So, for now, I have to be patient.

I want Lucy Poohead to be friends with Leonard T. Kat, now. I want to see them romping and stomping now. Not later. Now. But it's not time yet. It's been less than 2 weeks and the Poohead is still warming up to this big change in her life. I mean, a walnut size brain can only process so much. So for now, I have to be patient.

I have an intern at work who has no design skills, doesn't follow directions and doesn't pay attention when I'm giving him said directions. I'm trying to be patient with him but seriously, 8 times of telling someone something and they still don't do it correctly, do I have to be patient with that? Well I guess I do, because he's here until the end of the month. And that's part two of this lesson in patience. I want July 30 to come NOW! But July 30 will come when July 30 comes.
So, once again, for now I have to be patient.

I guess part of the problem comes from expectations. We expect things to go a certain way and people to do things right, or more correctly said, the way we would. When they don't, we get upset or angry. And that's not good. Take traffic for example ... I expect that I should be able to get in my car and drive to work with nothing in my way to delay me. But when there's bs traffic, I get impatient and then usually angry. Ha! There's the problem. I should expect there to be lots of obstacles preventing me from getting to work unhindered.

So what's a person to do? Well, practice, practice, practice at being patient. Inhale Patience, Exhale Judgement. I'm going to start a meditation where I take a mudra (hand position) with my middle finger touching my thumb and do the breathing practice, Inhale Patience, Exhale Judgement.

Here are some quotes I found about patience that perhaps I will write down and read everyday:

All human wisdom is summed up in two words - wait and hope.

Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.

Patience is the companion of wisdom.

He that can have Patience, can have what he will.

All good things come to he who waits.

Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.

Patience is passion tamed.

Patience can't be acquired overnight. It is just like building up a muscle. Every day you need to work on it.

Ok, I get it:) Here's the link where I found these.
There's at least 9 pages of them, so it's nice to know I'm not the only one to have ever struggled with cultivating patience.

And hopefully with a little a patience towards myself, I will become a more patient person.

What do you do to be a more patient person?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

All Wrapped Up

So we've just been all wrapped up with Mr. Leonard T. Kat. Aka ... Lenny Boy, Booger Face and
Stink Butt. Hey, if the name fits ...

I had forgotten how much work little animals are. He clearly doesn't understand No. And yes, cats can understand No. He will think his name is No, since I am forever saying, No, No, No. It's a good thing he's got that extreme cuteness. And he likes to snuggle and he loves pets.

I love the photo above of his cute little paws. You just want to kiss those little paws, until he steps in poo. And then you're just completely grossed out. Don't worry, I would never kiss a cats paws, no matter how cute. I'm not that crazy cat lady.

Here he is sitting across my yoga mat from Tiki. He's also an ankle biter. Literally. While I was trying to work out the other morning he was biting my ankles!

Lucy is still on the fence. I think she realizes this thing is not going away and perhaps there could be some fun with him. But she is still hissing at him. She's a rather nervous kitty and very sensitive.

Tiki is all, jees people, I'm geriatric for god's sake. Why do you keep doing this to me?

And finally, Miss Lucy Poohead. I love this pic of her. You can see her face and she doesn't look like a devil's minion but rather the sweet girl that she can be when thinks you're not paying attention.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What's In My Bag?

I saw this post over at Indy Girl and thought it would be fun to do. I came across her blog not too long ago when I was logging into mine and hers was listed as a blog of note. Anyway, here's what's in my bag. And on top of that, here's some insight to who I am.

The bag is a Sak bag which I love and I won it! I like the style of it. Since I have to carry a purse because the crap you are about to see needs some mode of transportation, I prefer to go with simple more messenger style bags. This one isn't quite like that but close enough. I don't care for a ton of pockets and straps and stuff. Note kitty who had to be up in my business while I was trying to do this. At one point he was rolling around in the middle of everything. And his moniker is ... Leonard T. Kat.

Next is all the crap puked out of the bag. Every now and then, well, more often than not, when I'm trying to find something that I know is in there, I will dump the entire contents out so I can find whatever I'm looking for. This is what that looks like. My left brain is screaming for some sort of order to this but I can't seem to figure anything out. Or actually my right brain is just like, relax, it's all good and out of chaos comes, well something.

Here's the insight ... I'm an artist with a strong left brain. Typically artists are very right brained people random, intuitive, fluid. Which I can be. But the left side of my brain wants the order and structure. The bag and it's contents are a small look at what the rest of me is like. My desk, my house, etc... I crave order and structure but somehow can't seem to find it 100%. I try to be organized but chaos ultimately rules. However, I'm very logical and analytical at the same time. My archives of files are very structured. The way I name files. Things like that. But I'm a Gemini, the Twins, two total opposites in one. That's me!

But back to the bag. So we've got a wallet, a checkbook (which usually isn't in the bag) and a change purse. The change purse is in there because change would just fall out of the wallet and make an even bigger mess in the bottom of the bag.

Then there's some jewelry. Worn to work but had to be taken off after work. I usually put jewelry in the zippered pouch so it gets some protection. And of course, kitty up in my business.

Here is the crystal that I've carried with me for quite some time. I can't even remember how long. Possibly as long as 10 years. Maybe longer. It's there for energy, intuition and wisdom.

Then we have lip balm, Burts Bees, which is awesome. I've never been a chapstick person. Didn't care for the waxiness and texture but this is way better than chapstick. It was purchased to take the place of the vaseline style lip stuff that's been empty since February. Why is it still in the bag? I have no idea, but it's not anymore.

There's a lipstick and a sparkly lip tint. Hand sanitizer, ibuprofen, vitamins and the solid colognes. Those are the bomb. Pacifica Thai Lemongrass and Egyptian Bergamot Rose. Mmmm ... I love these.

And finally, random receipts, which for some reason cats love to play with. I think it's the crunchy paper noise they make. And my work badge (note the dork look:) and a flash drive. There you have it. On any given day there might be more crap crammed in there. Sunglasses, ipod, ipod cord, etc... But that's what was in it today.

So, what's in your bag?

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Happy Independence Day! I wasn't thinking the other day when I made a post about fireworks. Duh ... 4th of July is in a few days and that's the perfect photo for the post I'm doing. Oh, well, here's another. Next time I'm definitely using a tripod.

So on 4th of July we celebrate the independence of America. We party and shoot off fireworks. It's tradition. It's for our nation's freedom. And there are a lot of nations out there without the same freedoms as ours. Where you can't gather to protest. Where you can't say what's on your mind. Where you're not safe. Where your life is at the mercy of a lunatic. Because of where you live. I think we all know this.

But there's also our personal independence that we should celebrate and be grateful for. Do we ever really think about that? What it would be like to be dependent? From a few months after we are born, we begin asserting our independence. Then by the time we are mobile, we're ready to go. Be free of the binds that tie us down, playpens, cribs, etc... As we get older we want to go off by ourselves, ride our bikes across town, go out with our friends alone, make our own decisions.

After spending your childhood gaining your independence and then reveling in it as an adult, what would happen if suddenly you lost it? What would you do if one day you were dependent on someone for everything? What would you do if you couldn't do what you want when you want? Like, go upstairs and get yourself a beer. Or, worse than that, get up and go to the bathroom. As much as we don't want this, I think we all know that this may happen when we are old. Like 90 old. And some of us spend our youth trying to make sure this won't happen.

But what if it happens to you when you're 43? When you're in the prime of your life? Shawn and I can speak to this from experience. On January 23 he became 100% dependent on me or at least someone for everything. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

It's only in looking back that I can realize how bad it was. At the time I was just going and doing and functioning without thinking. Thinking might have brought me down. I can't imagine what was going through Shawn's mind. He couldn't move. He was paralyzed. His first step of independence came when he was able to feed himself with the help of some tools to go on his utensils. That was within a week.

By the time he came home in March he still was VERY dependent on me. While he could get himself sitting in bed, he needed my help to be propped up. He needed my help to get in and out of the wheelchair. He needed my help to get dressed. He needed my help to go to the bathroom and take a shower. And so much of what I did or wanted to do was dependent on him. What time I could go to bed was a big one.

But as time has passed Shawn in regaining his strength also regained his mobility and thus his independence. Funny how our mobility and our independence are so intimately tied together.
Nearly 6 months later the only thing Shawn is dependent on me is bringing him stuff. We call it the "List of Demands." Soon he will be able to make it upstairs easily and get himself a snack or beer. Soon he will be walking again. Soon he will be driving again. Soon he will be lugging again.

So this Independence Day, take a moment and honor your personal freedoms, like being able to go to the bathroom by yourself. I know I am.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Introducing ...

... our new little fella. We're still trying figure out the right name for him, although George is in the lead. George ... who names their cat George? Us, maybe? Because George would lead to Georgie Boy, which I like. My friend Leslie told me a while ago that she liked people names for her pets. And when I thought about it I like that too. No boots, or sox, or smoky ... but a person's name. Since then my kitties have/will get people names. Hence Lucy, although her nickname is Poohead. But that's a nickname:)

Anyway, we'll continue to hash out names while the other cats go through their natural drama. Hissing, growling, complete disgust. Don't they realize that this little guy is completely harmless? Funny how cats are so dramatic. Wish they could just sniff each other's butts and be done with it, like a dog would.