Posts Tagged ‘photography’

365-91: got my one good eye on you

got my one good eye on you (365-91)

Day 91 of 365: a year in songs and photos
Song: Go National, Indyanna

This is my sister, looking through an cardboard wrapping paper tube. I blew out the background and played with the colors because the background was messy and distracting, but I really like the way the eye came out.

Life lesson: If you ask a 7 year old kid to look through a cardboard tube while you take a photo of his eye, throwing an ice cube down there as a joke is probably not a good idea. Thanks to my sister for stepping in when David went down with a “really bad injury” due to the ice “going 100 miles an hour” and “stabbing [him] straight in the eyeball like a fork”.

Please note, I’m not the one who put the ice cube in the tube. I’ll give you one guess who did.

Sister (holding a crying David): You told me you were going to put water in the tube!
Todd: But…ice is water!

Anyhow, I’m too exhausted tonight to write my usual lengthy, meandering thing to go with my picture. I just want to say that Go National (starring Kevin Seconds of 7 Seconds fame) is/was a good, fun band and everyone should get their album called Got My One Good Eye On You.

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365-90: happy birthday, happy birthday, we love you

Happy birthday, happy birthday we love you (365-90)

Day 90 of 365: a year in songs and photos
Song: Tom Chapin, Happy Birthday

Tomorrow is my son’s 15th birthday.

When my kids were very young, I started using this Tom Chapin song for their birthdays instead of the traditional birthday song:

Happy birthday, happy birthday we love you
Happy birthday and may all your dreams come true
When you blow out the candles one light stays aglow
That’s the love light in your eyes wherever you go

Excuse me. I think I have something in my eye. Oh, yea, it’s my overactive emotions.

Fifteen. Where the hell did fifteen years go? It feels like just moments ago that he was toddling around the backyard. I look at all the pictures of him and it all passes before me like a movie; the ear infections, the way he memorized a map of the United States when he was just two, his obsession with the Power Rangers, making the Little League all-star team, playing that damn recorder in the school concert, mesmerizing the staff at Guitar Center when he played Comfortably Numb for them, his idolization of Eddie Van Halen and his obsession with anything from the 80’s….it all plays out in full color in my head, still life memories and film clips of everything from when he fell asleep in his high chair, face down in a bowl of oatmeal, to his brooding teenager phase that he’s just coming out of.

You have so much hope for your kids when they are young. Sometimes that hope and your dreams of success for your child make you want more from them than they want to give. The phrase “so much potential” comes to mind, because we’ve heard it about him a million times. “He could get a baseball scholarship some day.” But he stopped playing baseball. “He’s an amazing guitar player.” But he has no desire to join a band or play in any school bands. “His good grades seem effortless.” But 8th grade was kind of a rude awakening to the fact that it couldn’t always be effortless. So you kind of back off from cajoling them into doing what you want them to do and try to find out what they want to do. Besides play Xbox and watch hockey games, that is.

Anyone who has parented a teenage son will tell you that 14 is a tough year. I’m not going to lie, there were times in the last year when I wanted to tell him to go live with his father. When his uncle (my brother in law) died last April, it was like the last flickering light of the child I knew went out. I was told to give him time. I did. We’ve been patient and demanding at the same time; a healthy combination of both, I think. We waited out his penchant for locking himself in his room but tried to curtail his surliness. We just waited and hoped that light in his eyes would reappear. It did. We made it to 15.

Like magic, there’s been a considerable change in his attitude and outlook the past two months. His teachers have noticed a marked effort on his part to catch up on work he blew off. He’s taking interest once again in his schoolwork. He’s more sociable. Less awkward. He wants to play baseball again. I hear the beginning notes of the solo from Comfortably Numb coming from his room and it makes me think that flickering light is coming back to full flame again. I’m actually enjoying his company once more.

Being a parent gets tougher every year. The older they get, the bigger the problems get. They will drive absolutely batshit crazy sometimes. But when you can look at your kid and, even though he’s not a star athlete or honor student or anything like that and say “He’s a good kid. I’m proud he’s mine,” that’s what keeps you sane.

It’s definitely a cliche, but childhood does go so fast. It really feels like yesterday that I was teaching him how to ride a bike. I look at this lanky kid – who looks more like a man than a kid – and wonder when he got to be as tall as me. When did he grow up? I know there were a lot of times when I thought to myself “How much longer til he goes away to college, because it can’t be soon enough.” But now I find myself saying “I only have three more years before I lose him to the real world.” I’m just going to enjoy these three years and hope he fulfills his own dreams for himself, whatever they may be.

God, I hope he isn’t thinking serial killer or pimp.

Oh, and if you think I’m maudlin now, wait two weeks for my daughter’s 18th birthday.

Happy birthday, happy birthday, we love you…

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365-89: three is a magic number

three is a magic number

Day 89 of 365: a year in songs and photos
Song: Schoolhouse Rock (or Blind Melon, if you will), Three Is A Magic Number

I belong to a small photography google group with some friends. We have a bi-monthly theme that forces us all to go out and shoot something new. The current theme is “Three” and the deadline is today. We can submit three photos each; I used one I took in San Francisco (I specifically shot that scene with the theme in mind) and this one that I had the inspiration for today. Well, at least the inspiration for the song.

I was talking with my sister during lunch (we work together and often spend too much money on lunch together) and we got to talking about Todd and she said “Third time’s the charm.” Yes, I’ve been married twice already. I replied “Three is the magic number.” And then we both started singing. So I had the song, I just needed the photo idea, which I got while having a monthly chocolate fit in the candy aisle of the supermarket.

Three is a pretty good number. It’s all rounded and has no sharp edges. It’s small enough to hold in your hand, but big enough to keep you from feeling alone. It’s the kind of amount I notice; three flowers, three people, three of anything together stands out. Wishes come in threes, as do blind mice, bill goats gruff, house-building pigs and porridge eating bears. In tarot, three stands for creativity and intuition. Three is the tri-force of wisdom, power and courage (Did I just cite a video game? I did). There’s the Rule of Three, which states “whatever energy a person puts out into the world, be it positive or negative, will be returned to that person three times.” Three is karma.

Third time’s the charm.

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there's plenty of good things hangin' round (365-88)

Day 88 of 365: a year in songs and photos
Song: Meat Puppets, Fruit

Just above me
Within my reach
There’s plenty of
good things hanging
Fruit on the vine

Blood oranges and tangerines, from Sacramento.

The tangerine came straight off the vine at Sacramento City Cemetery. So I’m sure that any moment I will be possessed by the spirit of some long dead Sacramentonian, who is pissed because I’m eating the fruit that his decomposed body provided mulch for. Or something like that. I probably watched too much Twilight Zone as a kid.

I bought the blood oranges at the farmer’s market in Sacramento. Blood oranges are awesome. I had my first one last year and had been craving ever since, but they are so hard to get over here. I see them in my grocery store maybe once a year. I ate the last one today and almost cried. But I’ve been saved. Just got off the phone with Todd’s mom who promised to send a whole crate over this week, as well as some fresh from the tree tangerines. The non-haunted variety.

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365-87: i’ll take you to the candy shop

i'll take you to the candy shop

Day 87 of 365: a year in songs and photos

Song: 50 Cent, Candy Shop

Well, he isn’t exactly singing about candy in that song. But you knew that.

I’m officially sick of winter. Historically, when I get sick of winter and it’s many shades of gray, I start shooting things like candy and crayons. We were in Walgreens tonight and the candy aisle just called to me. As I was picking out treats to shoot – keeping in mind what would get eaten and what wouldn’t – I ran through the plethora of songs I could use tonight. So many tunes with words like candy and sweet…..it would be too easy to use I Want Candy or U2’s Sweetest Thing.

There’s no reason for you to know why I picked this particular song (insert winking smiley face here).

Actually, we’re spending the rest of the night switching between watching the NHL skills contests and playing Halo.

I’ll take you to the candy shop
Boy one taste of what I got
I’ll have you spending all you got
Keep going ’til you hit the spot

I don’t think hockey and halo is what 50 Cent had in mind when he wrote that one.

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from a broken land called detroit city (365-85)

Day 86 of 365: a year in songs and photos
Song: Von Bondies, Broken Man

We picked up Pawn Shoppe Heart by the Von Bondies at Amoeba Music in San Francisco on the recommendation of Todd’s friend Nelson. I’d heard of them, but wasn’t sure if I heard anything by them, and we needed something to make tooling around in our rented Ford Escort seem…cooler. While their is definitely more choice in rock radio in California (and I did hear the Circle Jerks on the radio while there, that was a shock), after a while it all blended into the same New York sound of radio puking up the same sound it was chewing on in 1976. Stairway to Heaven? I don’t think so.

We ended up listening to nothing but this CD for the rest of our time in the car, and I’ve been listening to it since I got home. It’s one of those rare CDs I can listen to from start to finish and not get the urge to skip any songs. Not even C’mon, C’mon, which, when it played for the first time, I realized I had heard about 7,000 times (it was only later I found out it’s the theme song to Rescue Me, which I’ve never watched).

If I had to describe this album to someone who never heard it before, I would say – imagine if Danzig and Sleater Kinney morphed into one band. Well, that was my first reaction. At times, like on the bluesy, crooning Maireed, wthey remind me of the Doors, if Jim Morrison had soul, and there are times, most noticeably on Tell Me What You See, when I hear MC5. It’s a bit garage punk, a bit punk, a lot of blues and pure rock and roll. I love that they switch between male and female singing; it makes the album feel continuously fresh, no matter how many times you play it.

When I say that every moment in my life has a song that goes with it, I’m not exaggerating. Music has always been an integral part of my world and for every memory I have, there’s a song, and for every song I hear, there’s a memory. Pawn Shoppe Heart will forever remind me of driving around the streets of Sacramento, windows down, sun shining. It’s a good enough reason in and of itself to enjoy the album; that’s it’s filled with kick ass songs gives me reason to love it, and put it in my “desert island albums” list.

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raise the cup and let's propose a toast (365-85 and contest winner!)

Day 85 of 365: a year in songs and photos
Song: Faith No More, Last Cup of Sorrow

I know I skipped the last two days, I’ll get back to them eventually. I’m all discombobulated now.

So it’s about time I announce a winner to the contest, eh?

I took a very surprising amount of photos. Surprising for me, at least. Most people, knowing my penchant for shooting anything and everything and for shooting in continuous mode, guessed upwards of 3,000. Myself, I would have guessed closer to 4,000.

But something interesting happened on this trip. At some point, photo taking became secondary to having fun. I was having such a good time that there were whole hours when I didn’t even take the camera out of the bag! I was so relaxed, so attuned to the stress and weariness being released from my body and mind that I just kicked back and let the pleasantness of being away overtake me. I stopped seeing everything as a potential photo op and instead just concentrated on enjoying the hell out of the vacation and the company.

All told, I took 1,228 photos (about 100 of which will go up on flickr). Which means, the winner of the above pictured Genuine, Authentic Sacramento Shot Glass Bought In Old Sacramento (liquor not included, hearts sold separately) goes to………

Wait….addendum here. I know I said “without going over” but being that we all (self included) overestimated my photo taking, I have to scratch that. So the shot glass goes to…

The Savvy Savorer, who guessed 1400.

Congratulations. I’ll be in contact about getting the shot glass to you.

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