Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Stroll Through Our 'Hood

I've been drooling over karigee's Paris set on flickr. My internet friend is on her first trip to Paris, and she's a brilliant photographer, and her musings on life, art and all things cultural tickle my fancy. And my fancy? Is not easily tickled. My fancy is a big ol' snob.

I have no idea what that means.

AAAAAnyhoooo. Up before the crack this morning, I was oogling her photos, and while the sun was rising I thought, "Hey. Here's what you do. Go out and see the blue sky this morning. Take a walk, take some pictures. Find the beauty here in the 'Couve."

No easy task. Not that it's not beautiful here in the Northwest - it is. But our little hood? Is a bit run down. Worse for wear. But perhaps if I see it through the lens I can turn that shabby to chic! (My Pollyanna tendencies notwithstanding, I do love rust!)

So, while there are no golden statues in my neighborhood, I managed to find a few things that made me happy.

I have found that if you are having trouble seeing things, you need to look up. Or down. Just change perspective somehow. I don't mean just finding the beauty, but really seeing. It's a good way to get your bearings.

So I looked up. And hello, Spring. I see you just around the corner.

The Red Red Robin is here.

The corner of Grand Blvd. & Mill Plain is perhaps one of the most uninspiring corners on earth, save for the fact that on this corner you can get a) cheap gas, b) GREAT pizza, c) a quickie lube at Minit Man. Well, you used to be able to do c), but my favorite oil changer has disappeared, poof, and it hasn't been opened for months. This morning, I was pining for him just a little bit. I don't know where to go now to get the oil changed in my car. Well, there are dozens of places I can think of off the top of my head, but nowhere to discuss bluegrass music, and I'm pretty sure Jiffylube & Oilcan Henry's won't let JH go down into the pit to gaze lovingly up at the underbelly of our car. I miss you, Minit Man.

Further down the block you start to believe that collars don't get any bluer than this little patch of the 'Couve:

Inviting, no?

But make it to the end of the block, and here is the pot of gold at the end of the rusty rainbow: Paper Tiger Coffee Co. They roast onsite, they have a brilliant selection of books to read, the owners are lovely and you can chat and discuss and muse and wonder to your hearts content, all while sipping the most perfect cappuccino this side of the Atlantic.

As always though, the best part of any journey, large or small, is coming home:
The neighbor's flowering plum is getting ready to bloom, which makes me want to work in my garden.

And peeking in our window, I spy one of our sweet cats on the bookshelf, and my boy in his robe, playing Wii on a sunny Saturday morning.

It's not Paris. Only Paris is Paris. But still, how sweet it is.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Valentine

When we met, we were both in the arts, there were no strings, no mortgage, no expectations. Parenting and life have changed that.

We are moving into a new phase, and though there is so much uncertainty, the constant is this: He is my valentine. My history, and a very deep part of who I am. I am more myself when I am with him.

Some say that Valentine's Day is just a Hallmark holiday, invented to lure poor saps into spending money. That may be so, I'm just cynical enough to believe that story. But that doesn't mean it's not a great idea. Because sometimes it's important to have a date on the calendar that's about nothing but celebrating love, in all it's crazy, wonderful forms.

And about remembering beginnings and the love that's gotten us this far.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up

Yesterday I was hit seriously hard by the Muse. I was getting ready for work in the bathroom, and (you think this is going somewhere funny, don't you?! But I'm deadly serious).

I have ideas for three different photo essays. I'm not going to tell you what they are. But I have to do them.

Don't get me wrong. Just because I have a decent camera, I still don't consider myself a photographer. I mostly just experiment until I get something I like. But I am starting to understand light a little better. And I'm realizing more and more what makes me want to keep clicking the button:

Narrative. I don't JUST want to see the pretty picture that comes out. I want the story behind it. I LOVE hearing people's stories. I want to know how they got from there to here. I want to hear what they are going to do next.

And I'm tired of telling myself I can't because I'm not this enough or that enough or I'm too old or too naive.

Here's the thing: no one has to like them but me. I'm not going to do it to be famous. I'm going to do it because I want to.

I'm inspired, and it feels so good.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Title of This Photo Is:

Nine year old becomes youngest CEO of major bank while wearing his bathrobe and pajamas.

My hubby brought home my Valentine's present a few days early - a Nikon sb 600 speedlight flash. I'm taking a group photo for a couple friends later this month and needed one. The weather here in the northwest is notoriously iffy and cold and rainy, so if we can't go outside, I needed to figure something out for an indoor shoot. Charley knew this, and called to ask if it would be "sweet enough" if he got me one for Valentine's Day. Lord, I love this man.

The boy and I were both sickies yesterday, but I got him to pose for me a couple times while I tried to play with the light. If you look close you can see the purple spots around his eyes from where he broke blood vessels dry heaving.

I only work with the most glamorous models.

Seriously though: I can't believe this beautiful, soulful kid is ours. How incredibly lucky are we?!