Just open the door, lady. (more…)
Friends are like bras; a good one never lets you down
Just open the door, lady. (more…)
We’ve had a major dose of May Gray the last couple days so I thought I’d find something bright and happy to put a little pep back into the place. Along the way, I thought, “hmm, I once wrote something about a color that would go with this photo.” There you have the evolution of this post.
Except that’s not all. The photo? Made me feel like a little kid again. It made me remember twirling and spinning and running and rolling down hills, giggling and just being joyful for no particular reason. I wish every day felt that way. I figure if I can look at this image and recall the bounce and vitality of youth, perhaps it’ll serve as a reminder with each viewing.
In college I was given the task of describing the color yellow to blind person. I was told I had 30 seconds to prepare my speech and I had to speak for at least a minute. Without any “Uhs” or “Ums.” Well, this wasn’t a problem. Not for me. I have strong associations with the color yellow, I have no trouble getting up and speaking, and a minute? Ha! Child’s play. My professor could have given me any color and I’d have been fine. Yellow was just a perfect fit.
The Color Yellow:
Yellow is the sweet scent of a daffodil. The aroma plays within your nose and works its gentle smell into your being. A little bit of the vernal season becomes a part of you.
It is the warmth of the sunlight on your skin on a late Spring day. The comforting warmth settles deep into the many layers of the skin. It provides an elevation in temperature and spirit as you break free of the coldness you felt during the Winter – whether the Winter was literal or figurative. It renews the body as much as it does the soul. “Sunshine on My Shoulders” was a hit because you can relate to that feeling.
Yellow feels like the rind of a lemon or a grapefruit. It’s bumpy and cool. It’s also the softness you experience when you touch a Golden Retriever and it’s the downiness of baby chick. Touch the window in the middle of the day. The heat that radiates from the pane to your hand, that, too, is yellow.
Emotionally, yellow is feeling the urge to get up and go do something! It can also be the desire to run and avoid something when you are afraid. Kind of comparable to the early stages of anger. You know, that little push of “Hey! That wasn’t nice!” But, the most important feeling that yellow can bring is the sense of exuberance and joy. That’s yellow at its most intense.
That tartness you experience as you sip from a glass of ice-cold lemonade? That’s yellow! The tang on your tongue is yellow. The subtle sweetness and refreshing flavor that linger reminds you of sunshine in liquid form. The zest of the lemon makes you jump up and take notice, doesn’t it? That’s yellow!
Yellow is warm, but somehow, still cool. Sharp, yet soft. It’s soothing while it invigorates. Yellow is positive and full of life! And, that’s what yellow is.
1) Cropped to 8×8
2) Adjusted levels to lighten and brighten
3) Healing tool on slight blemish under mouth
4) Ran skin smoothing tool, which really just gave her an even more beautiful glow
5) Light dodging around eyes to brighten that area. Boosted eye color and whites of her eyes
6) Warmed her a bit with Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 (and when I say “a bit”, I mean just a teeny bit)
7) Time Machine Cross-Processing at 10%
And that’s all I did. I really wanted to keep it simple since this young lady was so bright and sweet naturally.
Don’t forget to check out the other edits!
Not the greatest photo, but when you’re looking almost straight up a very long ways, it’s hard to get “great”. However, I did want to get a shot of this attentive mommy who was watching the boys in the park playing football. She was looking ready to dive bomb if necessary.
If you were ever thinking of buying something from my Zazzle store, now is the time to do it. Between now and Sunday night, shipping is free.
Use Code: SHIPSFORFREE at checkout
Additional bonus: I’m going to reduce prices until Monday morning.
My little California ghost.
Although my ghost looks friendly enough, it appears someone is trying to take him out. Makes me sad. FREE THE GHOST! FREE THE GHOST!
(Say it with me!)
FREE THE GHOST! FREE THE GHOST!
(Gotta try louder than that, folks, otherwise he’ll end up unhappy and track you down. I have no idea what he’ll do if you don’t help free him and give him a happy afterlife.)
FREE THE GHOST! FREE THE GHOST!
(That’s better. Keep up the good work.)
I am just so late with everything this week, I should be put in a corner. Except no one puts Baby in the corner. Did I just call myself Baby? Why, yes. Yes, I did. Get over it. Until someone else comes up with some endearing name for me, I have to come up with them for myself.
There have been times in my life when I’ve been quite the prolific writer. I’ve written a couple of books, only to lose them to a terrible hard drive malfunction that left me cussing like a mad dog sailor on acid. I have no idea what that means, but my brain fires this stuff off and I just tippity type away.
What were my books about? The first was about a little girl, a mean sister who called her names, a lemonade stand, and a dream. The second was pretty much a “what if famous so-and-so were alive and living in my neighborhood” type thing. It was spawned after I nearly ran over someone who looked like a (then) recently deceased celebrity. But, those were stories told and lost and as hard as I’ve tried to rewrite the first one, it just didn’t flow, and now the idea just sits somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind. I’m okay with that.
That’s not what we’ve been asked to share this week, though. Deb wants to know (come to think of it, she’s a pretty damn nosy woman, ain’t she?) what book we want to write someday. Not what we’ve written.
So what book would I write? Hmmm… How about what books would I write? I’m too diverse to be confined to just one book or just one genre! Fine, call it some creative ADHD or whatever, but that’s me.
Book 1: I want to write a book about the blues. While it would mostly be photos, I’d want to include stories about the artists, interviews I’ve done with them, how they’ve influenced my life. I want to create for new artists what Dick Waterman did for the artists he knew. Between Midnight and Day is my FAVORITE book of photographs, my favorite book on the blues, and just all around one of my favorite books.
Book 2: I want to write the funniest, most touching book on parenting ever written. I want to out Bombeck Bombeck. I want to make moms and dads both laugh and cry and nod while they read. I guess I better get started.
Book 3: I want to write a novel that will scare everyone. Not because it’s bloody and gorey and of the slasher variety, but because it’s what really happens to some children in this area. It’s based on a true story, with a lot of creative license taken. Just thinking about it makes me shiver and then cry.
Book 4: World Travel Photos and my adventures. The people I meet, the things I see, the way the world changes me.
Book 5: A children’s book that’s silly but gives kids something to carry with them through their whole lives.
Book 6: Mystery set in the deep south starring a lead character much like the one who became my first and dearest blog friend.
Book 7: I want to write a completely unbiased book on the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch men and their families. Yeah, the whole famn damily as my mom used to say. We don’t get to hear too much about the people left at home. Or those who willingly married into the lifestyle. It’d be interesting.
Book 8: A sex manual. Quit laughing! You don’t know what I know. Or rather, I’m sure you don’t spend hours wondering what it is that I know, nor are you certain you want to find out. For you, this is not. But there is an audience for such a book.
And that, my friends, is what I intend to do someday. I’ll need a little cabin in the middle of nowhere, a cabana boy to tend to all my needs, good friends to occasionally drop in and make sure I’m still alive and to provide me with more fodder. And mostly, I need my muse to get up off her heavily sedated rump and start working with me.
Not asking for much. Just enough.
Thank you all so much for your awesome generosity and support of a great cause! I am officially less than $200 away from my goal.
For each of you who have donated and blogged about my Operation: Love Reunited gig, I owe you so much. I know you did this because it’s not just about me, but rather, about those who serve. This makes me so very proud to know you, whether personally or only through blogging. YOU are the friends we should all be so fortunate to have. That every man and woman and their families serving in the military should have. And they do. You’ve proved that.
I love you guys. And gals. (How about people? Is that PC enough? lol )
Seriously, though, you have made it possible for me to put the faces and memories of loved ones in the hands of those who can always use a bit of home and hope while they’re away.
In today’s world, our kids are bombarded by a million images, they hear things in songs, they see things in commercials, hear and see things on TV shows, and they’re always picking things up at school about sex. At first, they have no idea what it is they’re hearing or seeing or what any of it means. But it’s there and it’s pervasive, so it our job as parents to help them sift through the scantily clad, self-proclaimed porn star wannabes, Hooters girls, Two & a Half Men jokes, song lyrics, MTV videos, and teach them what the real deal is when it comes to their bodies. Sex is often treated trivially. It’s not a trivial thing. Not to the vast majority of us, and certainly not to kids who have nary an inkling as to what it’s all about.
Enter Beyond the Birds and the Bees. It’s a great new website created and written by smart people who are sex positive and, yep, you guessed it, parents. They even take submissions. Wanna take a guess who submitted a story? C’mon, I dare you. Yes, it was me.
Because I now have two kids actively in the midst of puberty, the questions are only going to get more serious and more direct, or at least, my answers will be more direct. There’s lots of ground to cover and I aim to be honest.
You really should check out the site. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn. And with any luck, you’ll also find an answer or two for how to explain something you never thought you might have to discuss with your kids.
Go on. It’s okay to look and to read. You mom will not pop into the room and be shocked by pictures of naked people. And really? You need to get over that already. Educate yourselves and be prepared to educate your children.
I have three silhouettes I’m considering for this week’s iHeartFaces challenge. Does a dragon’s face made of wood count, I wonder? It’s a valid question. Somehow I don’t think a wooden face will get the a-okay, so I continued to look through photos from Death Valley, various excursions around town, and finally settled on my favorite silhouette of all: Ronnie Baker Brooks.
This particular image means a lot to me. First, Ronnie’s one of the sweetest guys in the world. Second, he’s cute. Majorly cute. Third, he’s an incredible musician, which he displayed that evening as he got behind the bar (guitar behind his back and still being played — by him! No stunt hands or helpers), mixed himself a rum and diet coke, and then drank it through a straw in one long sip…ALL WHILE PLAYING. Fourth, the night this was taken was just after Rob died and Ronnie played a couple of songs that hit deep, let me cry, and then cheered me up. Fifth, after hearing that, he just hugged me good and long. Sixth, that bar was just perfect as a backdrop.
Yeah, if that’s not a good enough reason to post this photo, I don’t know what is.
Note: Taken with my old Olympus 3.2mp and basically no post processing was done.
Go have a look at other contestants’ entries and perhaps find yourself some inspiration in there.
Coleman Campsite, the original social networking site.
Brilliant campaign. Pure and simple.
Each time I drive past this tree I have to say hello. She’s wonderfully feminine with her delicious curves. I call her My Girl. LD calls her Our Tree. She’s beautiful no matter where the light comes from, but I find her most intriguing in the late afternoon.
Yesterday, after dropping LD off at his dad’s, I finally stopped and took some photographs of this lovely arboreal goddess. LD had begged off, citing a headache from running and playing so hard earlier in the day.
Tree – Da Goddess
Strong arms reach upward
Waving to her creator
Heaven found in shade
Falling silently aground
Her smooth skin weeps
Joyce Kilmer – Trees
I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
It’s pretty simple really: we are a free nation because brave men and women have served this country. They and their families have sacrificed much for over 200 years. Take moment, a day and give thanks for their service. Honor them by thanking those who currently serve or who you know have a military background. It’ll make them and you feel good.
If you disagree with me on this, it is your right because they fought for your right to disagree. If you speak your mind in public without fear of imprisonment or death, you do so because someone died for your right to do so.
I don’t know that I can say anything new or different this weekend than I have in the past. I do know that each year I feel the continued responsibility to do my best to uphold the tradition of honoring our military on Memorial Weekend with my son as we walk through Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery. Of course, we don’t just think of them once a year — we do this year round — but for Memorial Weekend, it takes on special, deeper meaning.
As LD and I made our rounds this year, we spent a lot of time on details. And we were rewarded, as we usually are, with discoveries and insights that truly resonated for us.
This won’t be the last I write about Memorial Day, but for now, here’s a look at some of what I’ve written in the past:
ON ROSECRANS HILL
by Jeffrey T. Naas
On Rosecrans hill the grasses grow
Between the headstones row on row
That mark our place as in the sky
The gulls, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard against the surf below
We are the dead. Not long ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunsets glow
We chose for freedom’s cause to die
And now upon this hill we lie
As grasses green above us grow
We knew the price we had to pay
To keep the enemy at bay
We gave our all, we fought the fight
To keep aglow sweet freedom’s light
Remember this, we ask today
One thing we ask of those not slain
Will you fight on for freedom’s reign?
If war returns, as it well might
Will you take up the gallant fight?
Yes, answer us! You who remain
And so we lie here, asking still
If you, our sons, will have the will
To sacrifice as we did then
That your sons, too, may live free men
As we wait still, on Rosecrans hill
I love the challenge of fixing someone else’s photograph. There’s just something very satisfying in editing work that 1) you don’t have your entire creative heart wrapped around, and 2) doesn’t have a client waiting on the other end. Not only do I get to play, but it’s also a good lesson in making me watch what I shoot, how I compose, and my end product.
This week, iHeartFaces offers up this little cutie-pie for Fix-It Friday #14.
My version (yes, only one this week — it’s calendar time):
So, here’s what I did to get the image to look this way using Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Ultimate:
1) Cropped the image to a 5×7 landscape orientation.
2) Cloned out some of the residual unwanted background (sofa or chair).
3) Adjusted white balance as the image was a little too pink for my liking.
4) Adjusted levels because the contrast really wasn’t where I like it.
5) Warmed the image a bit more with Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0.
6) Cross-processed in Time Machine.
7) Brightened the whites of her eyes because they were on the blue side even before I started. I usually wait to work on the eyes until I’m almost done so that any other edits don’t ruin the work I’ve put in. Made a copy, aged and grained it, then pasted it over the image, adjusting the level to about 40%.
9) Added borders in brown and pink (this little girl just begged for a simple border).
10) Aged and grained the image with borders again.
11) Merged all layers.
Don’t forget to stop by and take a look at all the other awesome edits!
P.S. Because I’m so far behind with so many things at the moment, it figures that I’m also late in posting a Mother’s Day video from Extraordinary Mommy. At around 1:28, my mom’s hands make an appearance. The words accompanying her hands say it all. Thanks, Danielle, for including my mom. There’s also an eBook available for download on Why Moms Matter (upper left hand corner or here).