Dr. Joe Early told me to get my kicks on Route 66. So that’s where I’ma gonna go.
It took me hours after getting home last night to finally get up the energy to go wash all the dirt off me.
It wasn’t as if you could look at me and tell I’d had about four tons of dirt and sand and rocks blown at me, but running a finger across my skin would have been a very gritty experience.
The day started off clean enough. A trip over to Sunset Park to explore. Cool trees on the perimeter of the park, a manmade lake with ducks, geese, coots, etc, dogs running and barking, children laughing and scampering about. And my friend T and I with our cameras. We ended up photographing planes coming in to land at McCarran and then two sets of beautiful, happy kids feeding some relatively well-behaved geese. Oh, and we even found a friendly hummingbird along the way!
Afterward, we headed out to a dry lake bed (or is it dry lakebed?) to see what we could see. Well, there was a lot of cracked earth. It was beautiful. And there was a lot of wind. And bouncing and flying rocks. (I do believe I may have solved the mystery of Death Valley’s Racetrack.) Last time T was out there, he said there weren’t any rocks as were now suddenly in abundance. Once the winds picked up, it was apparent how they got there. The only bad part was getting pelted by some of the smaller rocks as the wind shot them our way. I guess we’re lucky we didn’t get hit by the bigger pieces. There were a few softball-sized and larger lava rocks that were skipping along the ground.
Anyhow, my dirt factor wasn’t helped at all by the fact that I was basically lolling about on the ground and climbing into small clumps of bushes for photos — both as subject and photographer. Oh, yeah. I was nude. Yep, you read that right. This fat old broad was the model for some nude portraits. It’s not the first time I’ve done this since I’ve been here or for this photographer. In fact, I dare say he’s the only photographer in the world who makes me comfortable enough to do this and who produces images I absolutely love. Seriously. I love what he creates. Some are straight out nudes. Others are wonderful abstracts. No matter, I trust him and his vision and therefore gladly model if he asks. It was just a little scratchier at this location than it was the last time we had a session. I didn’t care, though. We both saw the opportunity and damn the wind, rocks, and dirt! We shot.
So for all my rolling around and crawling through the grit and such, I found myself completely covered in dirt. I didn’t care. I didn’t care at 5pm. I didn’t care at 8pm. But by 2am I’d reached my dirrrrrrrrty girl limit. Getting into the shower, I noted the changing color of water as I started my rinse cycle. Once I got to the actual sudsing, I was shocked to see how much more dirt there was to be removed! Thankfully, the hot water held out and I eventually managed to find an acceptable level of cleanliness.
I only wish I’d thought to take notes after I got back from my trip to Valley of Fire. I still have socks that I fear will never be white again. I’ll have to tell you about that trip another time.
How do you deal with change? A friend and I have both been going through major changes in our lives (okay, mine’s been constant for the last five years). The thing is, I’ve turned myself inside out trying to find solutions. And then, when things were at their worst, I’d turn over the worry to God and He’d help me discover the answers to whatever I needed.
This made me think of the Jonny Lang song “Red Light”. Basically, do you spend these times of confusion all muddled and letting life slip past you? Or do you find a way to create your own green light? The path you choose may not be the one you anticipated recently, but it’s still a path. And the moments of “down time” when you’re dealt a hand that surprises you can be used to reflect, regroup, and begin the next leg of your journey.
Of course I sent this off to my friend.
Big thanks go out to I <3 Danny Gokey for including my post and photos on their site.
It’s always fun to share the excitement of a new discovery with others. It’s also particularly rewarding to have someone like what you’ve done.
If you haven’t already checked out Danny Gokey’s music, please do. I <3 Danny Gokey has a widget on their sidebar so you can have a listen.
It’s been a busy week. I’ve been getting the old laptop backed up so I can get it back to the blues society. I’ve been backing up the current computer because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do. I’ve also been out ‘splorin’ the area a bit.
Yesterday, for the first time ever, I saw rainbow clouds. I wish I could have photographed them, but it didn’t happen. They were gorgeous. Magical. I don’t know how else to describe what I saw.
Today, I saw a few again. I also saw the mountains lit up by rays of sunshine poking through dense clouds. Where yesterday was warm, today was rather chilly. At least until I found a spot in the sun, blocked from the wind. I played lizard and sunned myself accordingly. When there’s a 24 degree drop from one day to the next, you take whatever warmth you can get!
Tomorrow is training day. I have an orientation to attend for an upcoming event where I’ll be, essentially, a paparazzo. It’s a dinner/dance for special needs teens and adults. They get to walk a red carpet and sign autographs and basically have a great evening. I’m very excited to be a part of this event and I can’t wait to learn more about how the evening will unfold.
One thing I know I need to get before then is a flash unit. I could borrow one, but I’ve discovered I really need to work on flash photography so it behooves me to just bite the bullet and be done with it. I have a few other events coming up that will require flash and it’s better that I feel comfortable with the unit before I really need it. In the old days, back when I shot film, I never really worried about flash. It made sense then. But so did studio lighting. These days, I feel like a fish out of water when it comes to studio and flash photography. For the next few weeks, every day will be training day and I will learn to flex those photographic muscles until I’m comfortable with what I’m doing. I aim to improve myself and my skillset. I want to be better. At everything.
Also, found out that the insurance company will pay for some retraining. I’m going to see if a photography course at the local community college will be covered. Can’t hurt to ask, right?
Now that I’m totally exhausted (it’s been a long couple of days), I think I’m actually going to hit the hay before midnight for a change. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.
Here’s the thing: I’m definitely not an American Idol fan. I don’t watch. Never have. I think I’ve seen all of one full episode. You need to know this because it plays a part in this story. Y’see, I had no idea Danny Gokey was on the show. All I knew was that I’d seen one of his videos on TV and had heard a couple songs on the radio. And I didn’t go to the whole ACM Vegas Weekend thingy on Fremont Street to see him in particular; I went to see Lady Antebellum, but that didn’t happen and it’s another story altogether. The point is, I did end up seeing Danny and I had a fantastic time.
Unfortunately, my friend Darryl and I weren’t as close to the stage as I’d have liked (I rarely have to stand that far away), and there were some very big heads between us and the stage. Regardless (Freddie Soto, anyone?), I managed to get more shots than I thought I’d get. And here they are:
Again, I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun this was or how much I like many of Danny’s songs.
While I wish I could have held out long enough to see Lady Antebellum (my back was killing me, it was warm, I couldn’t breathe, and the crowd was too much), I’m exceedingly happy with how things turned out. My hope is that next time I’ll be standing at the stage getting paid to cover the event instead of standing back where I was and having to wait for someone’s gigantic, planet-sized cranium (“Well, that’s a huge noggin’. That’s a virtual planetoid. It has its own weather system!”) to move so I can shoot.
Bonus points to anyone who knows from whence the noggin’ quotes came.
I want Breakfast at Tiffany’s packaging set by HB Photo Packaging / h-bphoto.com & @shutterblog ’s Paperie Boutique / paperieboutique.com
Robyn is GENIUS! Always has been.
Hugo the Abominable Snowman [holding Daffy, whose shirt makes him look like a rabbit] Oh, what a cute little pink bunny rabbit!
Hugo the Abominable Snowman: Just what I always wanted. My own little bunny rabbit. I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him…
Daffy Duck: I’m not a bunny rabbit…
Hugo the Abominable Snowman: …and pat him and pet him and…
Daffy Duck: You’re hurting me. Put me down, please.
Hugo the Abominable Snowman: …and rub him and caress him and…
Daffy Duck: I ain’t no bunny rabbit!
The only one that, in my opinion, comes even close is Bugs and Gossamer.
I love love love Gossamer! And Bugs has some of the best lines ever in that toon.
Guessing games are fun, aren’t they? I’m giving you no clues and praying someone comes even remotely close.
G’head. Guess. I dare ya. I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU!
Update: Gray Monk is closest. It does have something to do with music.
My son sent me this video. It’s ALL his fault. I swear.
You can’t call a Tea Party Rally a racist event if black people are standing up and speaking out!
I was not in San Diego for the rally, but I did almost attend one here in town. Small glitch prevented me from getting there, but when I move in June, my new roommate is fully on board and will haul my ass out there whether or not I want to attend. Gotta love having a roomie like that.
A brief overview of the season premiere. I managed to get hold of a copy of the opening episode of Deadliest Catch season six and the lump in my throat isn’t eased at all when I see the opening graphic: “This season is dedicated to all the souls sacrificed to the sea.”
We know what happens to Captain Phil Harris, but here he is on the screen… “if you want to be stressed out, if you want to be cranky, hungry, and tired, run a crab boat. The funny part about it is I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
And there’s Captain Keith Colburn talking about being attacked. The Hillstrand Brothers are angry. The Harris Boys’ voices fade in with “we’re just give you oxygen here. They gotta check your pulse, Dad. Don’t worry, it’s gonna be okay…” Laughter is mixed in, as are past seasons’ arguments. The Coast Guard is there rescuing people from the water. Sig doesn’t have a good feeling about the King crab season.
That’s just the first few opening moments.
The skirmish between Keith and Johnathan is all about a bar conversation Keith had with one of Johnathan’s deckhands. Keith is pushed down. The other captains intervene and everyone disperses. But that’s not the only kerfuffle amongst fishermen. Seems the Harris Boys are fighting again over who’s the boss and what that means.
Phil approaches Sig and it’s decided that they’ll trade Jakes. Jake Anderson heads over to the Cornelia Marie and Jake Harris heads over to the Northwestern. It’s time. Everyone’s in need of a change.
Cut to the quick and dirty, the new boat, the Kodiak, is helmed by the Hillstrand’s friend Wild Bill. And there’s another boat out there, a cod fisher named the Carly Renee, gets into trouble. It capsizes and crab boat Guardian is on scene for the rescue. Thanks to video on a cell phone, there’s coverage of the event.
The season is off to a rough start and it looks, by all accounts, to be tough all the way around. Forget the initial calm waters (in the ocean…not between friends), it’s not going to be pretty.
Tuesdays are going to back to nailbiting night. I’ll have to start wearing protective gloves. I’ll probably start poppin’ Rolaids, too.
That said, the episode ends with the Cornelia Marie is at the top of the leader board for catch. Small consolation.
Part of me watches — with a heavy heart — because we know that it’s Phil’s last King season. Part of me will watch to see a man do the job he loves as long as he possibly can. And we can’t forget the rest of the fleet. I watch because of them, too. Sadly, no matter what, we know where this will eventually lead. I can only pray that no other lives are lost, but it’s already a done deal.
Will you be watching this season? If so, stop by and share your thoughts.
“To see in the darkness, to listen within
To answer in kindness, to ever begin
To ever be gentle, to always be strong
To walk in the wonder, to live in the song” *
I was given a very special gift this past week. I was given the gift of joy, of laughter, of light, of kindness. All came in the form of a wheeled pirate whose good cheer is a great reminder that life is short and LIVING is precious.
When other events sought to bring me down, I wish I could say I didn’t lose my temper, but I did. Yet, the voice of reason came to me and provided me with comfort. The mere thought of this gentle soul with such a bright smile pushed the stormy clouds away and eased the worried creases on my forehead.
There are times in our lives when we’re given a mirror that reflects the worst within us. Then there are times when we’re given a mirror that reflects the very best within. I wish I could say that only the best has been revealed in me, but I’m a work in progress. However, there’s more good here than I thought and it comes bubbling to the surface because my friend has shown me it’s what matters most.
I wish I could bring out the same in others. For now, I take comfort in the fact that this exists within me. It feels good.
I’m not proud of the fact I got mad at both my sisters in one day. I’m not proud of the fact that I cried over their words and mine. I’m not happy with the situation. But I am proud that black, mean, cruel words that could have slipped past my lips did not. Sure, the words I used with my older sister weren’t exactly kind and for that I’m ashamed. They just needed to be finally said. You can’t carry that sort of emotional load forever and ever. So I released it into the wild. For ill or for good, it’s out there and it’s done. And at the end of the day, there was a hug awaiting me, a lovely friend comforting me, and peace began filling my heart once again.
There are many other changes and challenges that await me. I almost feel as if my friend is a reward of some sort for not freaking out over those same changes and challenges; as if my lessons in living are coming to me at a time when I most need them and can immediately put them into practice. I don’t know. But I believe.
Oh, and if you want to feel really good about the world, if you really want to believe…go read Of Apple Pie and Eternity. The “pirate” is writing a story with a timely lesson therein? Too much of a coincidence, I think. It’s a sign.
* John Denver