Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Holiday" Grinch

Every day, mr. Grinch brings a little laughter my way. Why? because he is now the HOLIDAY grinch! That's right, Mr. Grinch celebrates all holidays now, not just Christmas.

Some recent examples:

He has a dream that all persons of color - especially those who are green - will be treated equally:

Luckily there was no traditional Mardi Gras flashing involved for his beads:

And finally, he let me know his love for me (although quite frankly, a box of chocolate would have gotten him further):

Just so everyone knows... i'm not the one doing this. I made him his 'get to work' sign, and took him home after christmas - and then brought him back per popular request. A clerk around work changes his signs periodically, which can make for some surprising mornings.

I've heard March is going to be interesting... we'll see what's in store!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Abby and Ollie

The second day of orientation in law school - I missed the first - felt lonely, disorienting. I had put in motion some major life changes the month before, and was starting from nothing. New city, moving in with a new roomate I had never met in a new apartment I had never seen, all the day before school started. I was scared I was setting myself up for a miserable experience. I hadn't met anyone (besides said new roomate, Amanda) and everyone seemed to know each other already and formed their cliques*- after just one day of school.

That day, I was introduced to Abby by Amanda. We were in the same section, had gone to the same undergrad (but never knew each other), had many of the same interests. We instantly clicked. We sat within whispering distance in every class first year, wrote inappropriate im's during class, went to bar reviews, watched marathon sessions of sex in the city together while we gossiped about boys and life and ate brownies or my special homecooked meals; she literally was the most instrumental part of my fabulous time in law school and quickly became one of my best friends.

Abby was also the most boy-crazy twenty-something I knew. She met so many guys, had some on and off relationships, occasionally more dates in a month then me in my life; but nothing ever worked out. Abby is particular. And sometimes demanding. And, like all us girls, occasionally an little emotional.

Until she met Ollie - again. Much like Brandon and myself, they met each other waaaay back in college. She was friends with his best friend. When she met Ollie, she liked him. They stayed up talking at a party until the wee mornings. She also had a boyfriend and Ollie lived on the other side of the country. (Ollie also claims that his friend warned him away... but I think he was just teasing)

Fast forward to a year and a half ago. They meet again. And this time, the timing was right.

Ollie has the best sense of humor, he is goofy, he is patient. But most importantly, he tempers Abby. He really is the perfect person for someone I am proud to call one of my closest friends. I am so happy for Abby that she has found someone she loves so much! And most importantly... I can't wait for the day you two get married!

The two of them came down to visit myself and Brandon in San Diego yesterday. After spending some time catching up, some visiting with the puppies, and giving her the tour of the house, we went downtown to take some pictures. I had a really hard time being discriminating, because Abby just glows when she is with Ollie. So... here are lots from the day!

* - oh yeah, the asterisk... it needs to be said that law school is like high school, except with more sex, drugs, legal drinking and stress. Cliques abound, there is an 'in' crowd and 'out' crowd, every one knows every one (especially at UCLA - there were only about 1,000 people there total, which was half the size of my high school), and, much like high school, every one knows everything about everyone. But it was lots of fun :-)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Dog Broke My Nose

Venturing into the absurd today....

No, that's not a lame excuse for not doing my homework (although I used it as something along those lines today and made someone laugh so hard another person came in to check on us).

Yes, I do believe my dog broke my nose. I don't know for sure - I haven't gone to the doctor (because really, what are they going to do? it's not visibly crooked and its not bleeding). In the most unfortunate bit of timing last night, I called my dogs into my bedroom when the hubby and I were getting ready to go to sleep. The light was off already, so I couldn't see if the lagger one had pulled himself off the couch to follow me. I bent down to pet him and give him some love... but realized that I wasn't sure which it was.

So I bent down again.

And Brandon whistled right then.

And the dog (still don't know which one it was, although I suspect it was the older bigger one - Bandit), such a well-trained boy, jumped straight up onto the bed.

And straight into my face.

I had a split-second thought of 'oh, nice soft doggy fur, this doesn't hurt.' Then excruciating pain ripped through my head and I felt a crack followed by a pop.

I tried to hold it together... but I felt myself staggering as I stumbled towards the light. Before I could reach it, I was wailing. Completely involuntarily. Brandon asked me what was wrong. "my.... nose.... dog... nose... think...broken" I choked out. He jumped out of bed and hugged me, as he kept asking what was wrong and what I needed. "Ice, need ICE" I said. He hugged me again. "NO, hug, ICE!" I yelled (i'm not very patient when in serious pain). He ran and got me ice. I tried to look in the mirror, but it literally hurt too badly to open my eyes.

Brandon returned with the ice - and some ibuprofen for my already-swollen face. Within a couple of minutes, one side of my nose had swollen shut. The other was just hard to breathe through. Today, my nose is still swollen and i've o.d.'d on ibuprofen to keep the swelling down. Luckily the black eyes aren't too bad, and I was able to cover them with makeup. I keep also having people ask if i'm sick.

No, I explain. My dog broke my nose.

Now lets see how long I can use that as an excuse....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Salton Sea - TTD, Part Deux

I finally(!) finished processing the photos from the TTD extravaganza! Here are some more of my favorites:

Yeah yeah I know - took me long enough.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Melissa and Tim

Last Saturday, my husband and I met up with the fabulous Melissa McClure and her financee Tim for dinner. We met at "the fountain" - the one where Tim proposed to her. These aren't "formal" engagement pictures... but aren't those two adorable?! You can totally see how in love they are.

After pictures we ate dinner at Islands. The plan was to meet for an early dinner, so there would still be some light outside. As we sat down to order, we all sheepishly admitted that we had late lunches (I ate at 3, and we got to dinner at 6), so we each ordered something light. As we chatted about photography, software, processing and creative processes, I realized how glad I am that I have started to build a network of photography friends. Thank you Melissa for being so awesome, and thanks to everyone that has given me encouragement about my work and advice on how to move forward!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Yesterday & Today

Loss is something that everyone handles differently. Some become introspective, some become obsessed or absorbed by their loss, with others it just rolls off their back.

A year ago yesterday, I (and my husband) experienced a great personal loss. I, we, had to make decisions that weren't really decisions, but rather mandates with a question mark at the end.

A year ago yesterday, I evaluated my life as it stood, my life with my husband and partner, and what I wanted to do with life. A self-examination of my life, which had been on a one-way, unquestioned track - get a job at a bigger firm, get a job at an even bigger firm, have a family (with an au pair to take care of everyone of course), make partner.

A year ago yesterday, I decided to question this path. I considered things that I liked, things I loved, my passions in life. I considered the viability of my legal career, the way my personality had begun to harden as a litigator, my becoming all-too-common brusque answers and lack of sympathy.

A year ago yesterday, I decided that this persona, the lawyer persona, wasn't who I wanted to be forever. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, but I know that it involved seeing my husband more, being around family (even if it was his instead of mine), creating a family and being there for them too.

Yesterday, I was again introspective about my life. In the last year, I have figured out what makes me happy, and what sort of lifepath I want. A new lifepath - one where I think about what I am doing and the steps I am taking to make that path, rather than aimlessly following.

Today is when I make it happen. Today I will figure out the twists and turns needed to make it happen. I'm on the road, undoubtedly, and nothing happens overnight. But... I know what I want. And from my loss, our loss, a year ago yesterday, I have a newfound energy to make it.

And most importantly, today I cherish everything that I have. Yesterday was my day for sadness. Today I will go home to my loving supportive husband, my overexcited puppies, and the home we have created, and just enjoy their presence. And my new shootsac that my loving supportive husband bought me to help pursue my newly worked out goals.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Miscellaneous Monday

(yeah, I know, i'm not posting this until Tuesday... i've been busy)

- I've booked for WPPI! I'm so excited to be going for my first time ever! If anyone wants to meet up, email me and we can exchange info!

- I'm terribly sad that I am losing my garage to my husband again. My husband has the newest car, so he won the fight for the garage (ie the 'i don't have to get into my freezing car in the am or deal with thick frost making seeing impossible' car storage area). A few of weeks ago, his car basically imploded from a defective lifter spring (I don't really know what that is, but I recognize that it breaking was BAD). Luckily, his car was still under warranty, so Toyota is paying to fix it... but they have had it for a while. In the meantime, I stole the garage. And I will miss it...

- Finally, I HAVE to comment on the UCLA-Washington game this weekend. While I am admittedly biased (being a UCLA grad and all), I thought that was one of the worst officiated games ever. Letting someone shoot for a non-shooting foul, allowing Washington players to use Kevin Love as monkey bars (there was one play where a Husky was LITERALLY hanging off Love's elbows - BUT NO FOUL!) was bad enough. But the officials' failure to do anything when an inbounding player, who was being stifled defensively with 30 seconds left and the score within 5, reared back and chucked the ball at a UCLA player's face was TOTALLY uncalled for. Worst piece of officiating ever. I don't care if you have to get the ball in, you don't throw it point-blank at someone's face. Their foot, their arm, maybe even their chest, all ok. But not their face. And the official who just let it slide - didn't even SAY ANYTHING to the offending player.... just ridiculous. Ridiculous.

- Coming this week: Exciting developments! I took pics of another photog and her fiancee on Saturday - can't wait to post them! I have also started developing my latest photography 'passion project' and have found another photog that I will be shooting several events with this summer. Good times!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Joe Photo

Melissa McClure told me about this video... had to post it! Its a little long, but pretty funny (especially during the beginning and end).

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Storms and Sunsets

OK, I know that my blog posts have been a little over-inclusive on the sunsets lately... but i've been getting outside while there is still light outside, which is reason to celebrate (for me at least).

After the last large San Diego storm, I glanced out of my window and saw the most amazingly colorful sunset i've seen since summer. I grabbed my camera (my new 'third-arm') and dashed down to the bayfront walk alongside the Star of India.

These are all straight out of the camera! (and still subject to my broken frame action) Aren't the colors amazing?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Day 5-6: You Mean I Have to WORK?

So, ultimately I did get to go to Hawaii to work... so I had to work days 5-6. But I still managed to take some time to grab some pics of Makena beach and around the hotel.

Day 5 ended with one of the most awesome experiences ever. After I finished work for the day, I ran up and changed into my bathing suit, sprinted to the beach and plunged into the water as the sunset waned, in my efforts to quell the effects of the mosquito swarm that attacked me in Kea'au. As I was getting out of the water, I saw a whale breach full out of the water somewhere between 300-500 yards away. It was amazing - an image that will be forever captured in my memory (although not on film, since I didn't bring my camera).

Day 6 consisted of more work, a long walk through Wailea, a little more work and some packing, and then a lovely dinner in the warm humid air of Maui. I wasn't sad to leave Maui like I was when I left the Big Island, but the lonely hotel just didn't have the same draw as my family or my husband in San Diego. And at heart... i'm a homebody who likes being at home :-)

Now for some pictures!

The hotel had this elaborate soothing stream running through the common areas, culminating in a large pond in the lobby.
(experimenting with some uber-low shutter speeds)
In the stream/pond, there were the LARGEST Koi I have ever seen. I mean, aren't these things ridiculously massive? You could also buy 'Koi food' and PET the Koi for a small fee. I was slightly afraid that the massive Koi would do something crazy (like eat my hand), so I declined.

by the way, still all straight out of the camera - no post processing at all!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Days 3-4: Here Again, Gone Again

The last two days with my family flew by so quickly - so fast that I can barely remember anything to blog about!

Day 3: My mom and I went out and did more errands, and finished them up with a stop in the nearest town to their house, Pahoa. If you didn't believe me about the 'middle of nowhere' thing before... i'm sure you won't doubt me anymore after this. Pahoa is a 'quaint' sort of town, wood buildings, one street, all that jazz. Kind of like being thrown into a western :-)

My mom was on the phone after we parked, dealing with my 15 year old sister being a snot (we've all been there), so I wandered into the Mexican restaurant and got a tasty Lillikoi margarita with ling hui mui on the rim (sorry no pic... next time). My sister is a bartender there, and made me a delicious drink.
(by the way, these are all straight out of the camera - and my photoshop frame action went nuts, so they look a little weird)

My mom and I had lunch at the delicious Thai food place, Ming's, after I finished my drink.

And... these are the rest of the stores in Pahoa town. Seriously. I did mention it was only one street, right? (and isn't the local H&R Block sign hilarious? You just can't get away from some things... including taxes)

Day 4: Time to leave already! My previous couple of days flew by. I'm usually ready to go home by the time I leave anywhere - i'm the type of homebody who likes to hang out in my house and read a book or watch tv. But this trip was so short, I felt like I had hardly been there at all. Relaxed, yes, but already missing my family (before I even left).

Before getting on the plane to my second Hawaiian destination, I stopped by and took some pictures of the house my dad is building. Some interesting and uniquely Hawaiian details:

The lava steps leading to the house from the side of the yard:

The view from the second floor (look! Mauna Kea with snow and dense tropical trees!):