Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My "I hate Thanksgiving" Tirade

I admit it. I hate Thanksgiving. It's almost up there with the Hallmark created Valentines day. The only redeeming quality about Thanksgiving has been the reduction in traffic this week going and coming from work.

In order for you to understand why I dislike Thanksgiving it's probably a good idea for us to analyze what the meaning and intent of Thanksgiving is. I'll bypass the obvious which would be that neither I nor you are pilgrims. That's a given and I don't beleive any of you will argue that.

So, if we move past that we find that Thanksgiving really was about farmers ending their harvest season and being thankful for what they reaped that year. They had a full spring and summer of hard work and this would be their first break in that heavy labor time for rest and family. I'm not a farmer. I know you people. You all are my friends-- you are not farmers and I challenge that you probably don't even know any farmers. (No, the herb garden in your kitchen window does not qualify you as a farmer) If you think about it seriously, most of America analyze their income and yearly "harvest" at income tax time. Why aren't we thankful then?? I don't see people deep frying birds on April 15th. Actually, I like to think that we should be grateful for what we have all the time and not just one day a year.

Now, for the real reason I hate Thanksgiving. I am a female over 8 years old. Growing up we had the typical American Thanksgiving that I imagine most homes have. There is the shopping that has to take place days in advance. The decision on where Thanksgiving is going to take place and if there will be just Turkey or if there will be Turkey and Ham. There is all the "pre"cooking to be done. All the pies and baked goods that are made. Stuffing in or out of the bird?

Early on Thanksgiving the family congregates and comes together (how wonderful huh)..this is where the real division begins. All the females congregate in or about the kitchen area and the manfolk go about "visitin" and let's not forget the Macy's Thanksgiving parade that plays in the background. (ok, I give--I actually like the parade) Usually the house is too crowded, the kids are running about like idiots making a crazy mess with us womenfolk trying to keep them in line at the same time cooking enough for 3 army's. It's too hot and all you wanna do is put on something comfortable. Finally it's supper time. Nice for all of anywhere from 30-60 minutes. Then off go the men again for more napping on various furniture and more TV with the possibility of even more football or maybe Hogan's Hero's. Time for woman folk to clean up and try to find refrigerator space for all the left overs. This holiday seriously sucks.

This doesn't even touch on the fact that Thanksgiving is followed by Black Friday, the official countdown to Christmas. I get panic attacks just thinking about it.

Tom is of the male persuasion and loves this Thanksgiving as all males do. I'm working this year for Thanksgiving. It's a very passive aggressive move on my part. Sorry Tom. He does get a freebie earlier in the year with the fact that I think Valentines is stupid and don't really care if our anniversary get's remembered..so, I think it works out in the wash. We'll be going "out" for dinner after I get done with work. Tom really likes Denny's, maybe I'll cut him a break and we can go there.

In the meantime, for all of you Turkey day participants here is a link for a Turbaconducken. Yum. A chicken, stuffed into a duck, stuffed into a turkey and fully wrapped in bacon. (did I mention how stupid this holiday is? and this continues to support the theory that this is a male driven holiday--no woman would come up with this stuff). But here goes. http://bacontoday.com/turbaconducken-turducken-wrapped-in-bacon/

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For those of you traveling this holiday, I hope you stay safe and enjoy your time with family and friends.



Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sniffing My Camera Bag....

It was quite chilly this morning. Actually it was down right cold.

I had a family that was doing photo's this morning, and the overcast sky is good for pictures. No glare in their eyes and no glare on the lens. I felt so bad that it was freezing out however and this family was so patient. Luckily we actually shot all the frames within 20 minutes. This is really a gorgeous family so it was very easy. These shots below are just a little taste for the mom to see, I'm hoping to have the edited ones for her soon. I really wanted to spend more time out there, but it was just not a good morning for it. I hope to get a chance to take pics of them again soon.
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I noticed this morning that my camera bag and camera strap still smell like camp fire. I love that. I really really love that smell. So, if you see me with my head in my bag you'll know why. They should put that smell in a can like Lysol.

Also, I'll try to post pics of the High School play I went to sometime tomorrow. Liberty put on "Bye, Bye Birdie". I was very impressed. There are some talented kids there and they did a very good job. The lighting was a challenge, but I learned a lot.

I have to find a new layout for this blog. It always cuts off my pics. I'll be on the hunt for that and hopefully I can start posting my pics a bit bigger.

*+*+*+*+*+Special Note to Jana and Nikki---tell me the last picture of this little girl doesn't look like Ashlyn from way back when ....*+*+*+*+*+*+*

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Boys, Boys, Boys

Except for Sea Cadets, I really don't get much opportunity to hang around boys.

I promised pics for you to see these two. They have grown into men somewhere along the way as I've known them. The mother is a very patient woman who probably could have justifiably smothered these two mischief mongers on many occasions. They are actually quite pleasant every time I see them, but I don't doubt the mother and am guessing this is probably just male trickery. Actually I believe all teens do this to make their parents look like liars when we speak only the "honest non-sarcastic, unexaggerated truth" about their antics.

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This shot below was mom's idea, I'm pretty sure it's intended to terrorize the grandparents. If you go to my other site http://www.aliceswonderland.smugmug.com/ you can see the larger version of this shot. There is a gun, gang sign, tattoo, knife and obligatory "bling". I think it would make a great Christmas card.
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The weeks are running away quickly and the holiday season has hit full force. I'll blog sometime next week on my disdain of Thanksgiving but for now let's move past that. I normally like the Christmas Season but all that ADHD disorganization goes into hyperdrive with all this sensory overload. Lights and presents and decorations and glittery sparkly everything!!! I just barely get it together for Christmas and feel like I want two more weeks tacked on to do it all right.

If you are looking to do photo's, the time to schedule that would be NOW. I can do an indoor or outdoor sitting for you and provide you with a hi res CD of all the photo's for you to use with full print rights. The sitting is only $50.00 right now. I will also do special parties or sports events, just contact me on pricing for those.

I'm sure we can come up with some fun ideas for you or your family!!
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Where's Waldo, or something like that....

Sere Weekend. Woohoo. The kids always love, it especially the big boys--Tom, Martin and Troy.

I went out Saturday morning to take some pictures of the Sea Cadet Unit and kept getting side tracked taking my own pics. Its quite pretty out there, in a cold desolate ugly way. I am learning a lot about lighting and so I was playing around for a bit on the camera.
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Oh yeah, I did get some shots of the fun. Unfortunately I had some issues converting them over to a format that would allow them to be on the computer and I lost most of them. They say you learn the most from your mistakes...I tend to want to just bang my head on the desk when it happens versus being grateful for the error.

A couple that I did get that you may enjoy was the demonstration of the Gilley Suit. Basically that is the suit that military guys wear to blend into the environment. I actually lost the best shots of this but here are a couple just so you can appreciate what it was. I will say I was right there and walked right by him and didn't see him. Really impressive stuff.

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I got home yesterday and took Photos of a friends boys and her neice and nephew. The boys are all grown up. It was very sad. We did a special "gang" scene with the kids and it turned out quite funny. I'll try to blog those soon. In the meantime, I hope your week goes well.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Being Carded in Hell

Hi Folks,

Just a quick little blogpost to catch up on two things I wanted to tell you. Firstly I promised to show you my new business cards that Martin made up. I really am happy with them. I especially like the 1st and 2nd one. Tom of course likes the third one cause he's a grown up and all. At this point and time I know Martin and Tom have their doubts about whether I will ever grow up, as for me I'm certain I won't. I had originally told Martin the 4th was my favorite of the choices he had given me but then he surprised me with 1 and 2. Which ones do you like??

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Second, I came home from class the other night and Lauren had surprised me with the photo below. It is for her Humanities class and was supposed to be her rendition of Hell minus any religious overtones.

Let me first mention how much I hate this class. Lauren loves it. They have had one huge useless project after another and my house has hosted a dozen kids at a time, several times over already. The class is her "fine arts" credit and she took it because it was supposed to support her geography class. Let me mention that she took the advanced geography even though her dad and I specifically asked her to go to the regular geography class. We really wanted her to focus more heavily on her sciences and math's since that is where she is eventually focused...

All that being said and my ranting being done, I was quite pleased with her picture. Well, it's not a pretty flower or anything like that...it is hell after all. She took a McDonalds Barbie toy and mutilated it and came up with this. There is a whole paper explaining what all the peices represent and all, but just to look at it she did quite a few right things here. If you all know her you do realize the other options of drawing, singing and/or dancing were not going to happen with Lauren. This was the best creative format for her. So, I figured I'd share it here in this forum without her knowledge or permission and totally tick her off. I'm a great mom like that.

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The Sea Cadet's had their SERE weekend. I was out there yesterday and took some pics. I'll try to post some for my next Blog as I haven't downloaded them yet. And for those of you who want to know, NO I did not stay the night with them. More on that later.

One last thing, I don't know if all of you know how to make up a music playlist. I went through and created mine based on the titles of the songs and didn't actually listen to all the versions of the songs. Can I just say, I was looking at this blog post when Queen of Heart from Alices Wonderland started playing and it's in Japanese. Double-Click on it to see.... Totally unplanned, totally funny, totally figures.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Happy Friday

I took a couple shots at the miniscule park across the street from my office today. I hate to call it a park, it's more of a sewage pond. It does have a lot of turtles in it. It had this odd looking bird duck thing pictured below. Does someone know what it is?

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The rose below was actually taken in Plano when I accidentally ran across the Heritage Farmstead museum. Anyone ever heard of it? I'll go back there another day when it's light and see if there aren't some photo ops waiting for me.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day...

Oh my, Tom does love Veteran's day. He was even happier that Lauren was still in school today and I had to go into work. There were War Movies galore on TV too.

Tom is a World War II junkie so he has all these movies on DVD and tape, but apparently the playing of these-- all in a row-- on TV makes it so much better. I just have to say, I've been subjected to 3 of these movies already since I've been home from work and well, the acting is very intense (yes, there is a bit of sarcasm there).


In all seriousness however, I hope everyone takes at least a moment to thank a veteran today if you have the opportunity.

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Also tonight, I'm gonna plug a favorite of mine (introduced to me several months ago by my daughter).. www.postsecret.com ..I thought most people would know about this website but apparently not. This is a huge project where people have sent postcards to this fellow in the form of artwork containing their own personal "secrets" ..Some of these are funny, some of them are sad and some of them you'll be amazed at how you relate to them. There are several books and the website keeps growing. My daughter and I both look forward to his weekly postings. I hope you take time to go take a peek. (Be advised, some of the postcards are not G Rated so you may want to look them over before sharing the site with your 12 year old)


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Not the Texas I know....

I really have really had fun lately looking around for different places to photograph. I've found a couple of fun places and I'm looking forward to finding some new places as well. I think I've become complacent in my little world and it's been eye opening looking for new spots and actually seeing some old ones differently.

Yesterday really was a pleasure. I went down to Farmers Branch City Hall area. There is a little park/trail area behind it. Below are just a couple of the photo's I got over there. It really had some amazing colors. I'll try to add some more to this blog later today or this week, or visit my other site http://www.aliceswonderland.smugmug.com/ as I may post some over there.

In the meantime, my friend Martin just made up some amazing business cards for me. I'll try to scan them this week and let you see. Makes this whole photography venture seem much more real.

I can't write more now as the bathroom sinks need scrubbing--Happy Sunday!


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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Blogging lessons

Apparently there is only a window of time and then you cant edit a blog beyond that time period. I was annoyed with the photo of the little girl below so I muted out the pink a bit. I was going to replace the old version with this, but it wouldn't allow me to. So here is the newly altered version.
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I was at Farmers Branch right by their city hall taking some pictures early this morning with some other photographers. I'll take a look and post some of those later. Great group of folks I was out with this morning, they teach me a ton. I guess I'm not too old for new tricks.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Autumn...

This past week has been really beautiful outside. The weather is so crisp but still warm enough to want to be outside.

I've been touching base with people who I haven't spent enough time with lately. My mom came up from Florida and it was a wonderful excuse to see my Aunt Carol. My aunt is relatively local, but we're both so busy we can end up going for years without talking. She is so fun to be around however, and I always regret the long times in between our visits. She came over on Sunday and brought two of her grandkids with her. I guess they would be my great neice and nephew. I took a couple pictures of the kids. They had very soulful eyes. Really special. The sun was out in full force however and the kids were having way more fun at Freindship park than having me take pictures of them.

Right before we left I snagged this shot. It made me laugh so much.

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There was also this "random kid" I got a shot of, she had hair like the musical "Annie" and had those big eyes and then this sparkly hot pink headband. Funny little thing.

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I also got to see one of my favorite cuties with her girl scout troop. I'm hoping I get to shoot photo's of her very soon. I've missed her so much and it's amazing to see how much she's grown.

Hope you have a good weekend and enjoy this weather.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New Adventures..

How scary and exciting all at once.

We went to vote this morning. For those of you that know Tom, there were certain voting "rules" that had to be met for proper voting.

Firstly, we absolutely were not allowed to vote early. Even if it was going to be easier with less crowds, this would be like some kind of pagan action. So, we did not partake in this. Voting takes place on November 4th--period!!

Secondly, We could not vote after work, we had to go first thing this morning. Oh heavens, it was like taking communion and I'm pretty sure he was disappointed that we got through the process so quickly and easily. Just like a good catholic I think he felt there should be some suffering included to really have felt like one has made a difference in the electoral process.

Third, the sticker. I left smiling due to the ease of the process and thinking I may make it to work on time. His first words to me were "
Put on your sticker". Really. My response was ''oh, I will"..his response "do it now".. Me--"I will"---with his response being to take the sticker out of my hands and put it on me.

I almost would like to wake up tomorrow morning and just find out then who is our new President, Thank you "Tom the Man" this will not be happening this way. Instead I get to watch Tom bounce up and down on the couch making me nervous.

Good Luck America.

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In the meantime, Welcome to my new blog. I hope to use this to keep in touch with family and friends and a place to put my photo's that I won't be placing on the website. For those of you not familiar with the website take a peek when you have a minute at www.aliceswonderland.smugmug.com . Yes, it's a work in action as well.