Tuesday, November 23, 2010

lolli pop prop

i still have no idea how many licks it takes to get to the delicious center of a tootsie pop, but i can tell you that a tiny little dum-dum can last at least 36 minutes if eaten at a regulated pace. this little curly-topped friend of my daughter's enjoyed his sucker for most of an afternoon visit to centennial park, where we "fished," listened to live music, and played in the dirt. let it also be known that such a tiny little lolli pop makes for a great photography prop.

Monday, November 22, 2010

this is what i believe...

i believe this to be true: we are all miracles. without the miraculous, how do we get bones and brains and skin and emotions out of the tiniest sperm and egg?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

now that's something beautiful

WARNING: this post is about my wife and may contain romantic, love-inspired gushiness... proceed with caution. today is actually the 7th anniversary of our first date... a slightly uncomfortable evening, but quite perfect (she and my sister are close friends, and that dynamic flavored both our sushi dinner and the Lyle Lovett concert at the Ryman.) over the next months we both worked through the issues of... dating "my sister's friend" and "my friend's older brother." and over the years, we have learned to love stronger and more unconditionally. she is a saint (or if there is a more appropriate female word, then she is that.) regardless, i nominate her for the best. she is a pediatric occupational therapist; that means that she helps children with special needs learn how to "manage" themselves better in the world. she works with children that require a patient person to guide them for months or years through the arduous process of learning living skills... and she is tops in the town in her field. she cares a lot. she is also married to an artist... and this amazing feat of patience and acceptance is much like working with a "grown-up" with special needs. there are fits of self-centeredness, lapses into absent minded-over occupiedness, and downright idiosyncratic, creative lifestyle behaviors that she weathers, and then, somehow finds a way to love me with more fervor than before. she is the rock upon which this little family is built, and not only are my girls and i blessed by this, but those that we encounter every day also benefit. that, my friends, is the true sign of something special... that her love and support of us is so abundant that it sneaks out into the world through us and permeates others like some sort of love osmosis. (sorry about that, but i warned you about the gushiness.)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

from "careless whisper" to warrior

when i first met this woman, i was an self-conscious, pimply, seventh grade, girl chasing, sarcastic little version of myself; she was spirited and ambitious. with the help of Wham's "Careless Whisper," she taught a bunch of middle school kids how to slow dance, and there was probably some other kind of dance lessons, but i have successfully deleted those from my accessible memory... i think i need to change the subject now to get Wham out of my head. so, now, she is a warrior... not the version of yore that would slay members of opposing tribes or clans, but the new brand that fights fear with the forces of love. for the past couple of months, i have been watching her (mostly on a social network) as she has battled various forms of "bad news," and she has done it with honesty and guts galore. i have a real appreciation for people that are real; she is real real. she may be 5'1", but her spiritual size is gigantic, and i am sure that she will continue to do battle with every fiber of her fight.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

halfway there

yesterday marked the halfway point on this project, and all is well. i am still on track with my mission to get a portrait a day of a different person for an entire year... this blog is another subject all together. it was not in the original plan. trying to write a new blog post every day for a year is nothing that i want to be a part of this year... maybe, another time. but, i am doing my best to be fairly consistent with these entries. i just discovered that i am eight weeks behind from the time i take the portrait to the time that it is posted... only sometimes does this fact seem to work against my interests (maybe, today is one of those times.) at this point of the quest, i am still not at all sure what, if anything, this project will become... luckily, i am very pleased with what it is. but... as a creative type, it is a natural part of the process to constantly be considering the steps ahead. i am hoping to steer the portraits in different directions as the next six months unfold. this project began as a tool to hopefully help me become a better photographer, and it is a desired result of the process of learning to apply that which has been learned. i am eager so see how i step into the next half of this marathon, a little tired but plenty determined. the girl pictured here is the face of what i imagined this project would look like... a quick trip to the neighborhood library to return some movies, i made it back to my car and grabbed my camera to begin looking for a portrait (as there was an evident stream of all kinds of people filing out of the library,) and as soon as i turned around, the flowered shirt caught my eye, i hesitated as she and her friend passed, and then i called out with a simple, "excuse me..." she and her friend turned, and the rest is portrait history. thank you, and good night.

Monday, November 8, 2010

the joy of bowling

in our culture, there are subcultures. at a nearby bowling alley, a particular one of these subcultures can be found on any given night of the week. though the opportunity for portraits there is plenty, this is only the second one that i have pursued (i do my best to keep it fresh.) this spirited woman was one of two who happened to be hanging out in the parking lot before packing up their bowling bags and heading home. she and her friend were a riot... unsuspecting but ready for my proposition. some of the people that i have approached with my random request strike the stoics pose, while others beam with a joyful, playful radiance. this woman (who hammed it up nonstop,) laughed and carried on with her friend like she was in fourth grade, and i thoroughly enjoyed my brief time with the two of them on this random evening in a fairly strange parking lot. when i walked away, i felt like i had caught a contact buzz from the pure joy that my subject and her friend were sharing. if you get a chance, i highly recommend it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

kinds of kids

kids. some use tree swings like bomber planes while little brothers below fend for their lives from hurled sticks. some (much older,) go to mom and dad's house to do their laundry and get washed themselves by the love of parents. life is good being a kid.

Friday, November 5, 2010

giving extra

some people naturally seem to make the best of any given situation... giving extra positive energy to the world when it would be easier to slouch and leech off the available life. this guy right here is one of those giving extra. several days a week, he is responsible (at a local elementary school) for corralling the hundreds of cars that come to pick up kids into the two proper lines. easy it would be to stand there unaffected and routinely gesture over and over and over again to the approaching automobiles... but this is the music teacher, full of song and spunk. he is marching to the beat of a different trumpeter, and the world is a more colorful place because of a decision that he made. i am quite pleased to know that he is out there adding song to a situation that could be extremely drab... waiting. thank you, trumpeting traffic director... well done.

Monday, November 1, 2010

a Bert to my Ernie

it is difficult to get my brain around where to go with this blog post... you see, this is my brother... genetically, the closest thing in the world to me. our relationship is surely one of the most meaningful ones i have, hands down. we shared a room from my birth until he left for college; he is the Bert to my Ernie. i still most likely talk to him at least once a day. we have been through everything together, and we have somehow "gotten along" the entire time (and when i say entire, i mean with the exception of the extremely rare moments when we didn't, but i don't really remember more than five.) it feels like a rare relationship; a well-done blessing. he is a one-of-a-kind character... a man of integrity... a fantastic architect/designer with a streak of both fantasy and fanaticism. his mind is one of his greatest assets, but it has also been one of his most challenging foes. he is a warrior and a gentle soul. in youth football, he was the chris johnson of the league... he could spin around, run past, or plow over anyone between him and his goal (he is still doing this, just on a different playing field with a different goal.) he is a true friend to many in a time when many need a true friend. about a year ago, he became a father, and a new world of learning opened up to this brother of mine, and since then i have had the pleasure of watching the edges of my very intense brother soften... but i would not call him soft. he is a force of good in a world that needs more good.