• photography

    Gambling runs in the family I guess…

    When I was up visiting my mom, we dropped in on my auntie Shirley.

    I had forgotten how funny she is. It’s been a long time since I had seen her in person and I the last time I saw her, it made me a little sad because she was recovering from being very sick.
    This time was totally different. She was back to being silly, funny and witty.

    I had convinced my cousin, Jimmy to take me to the attic, because I had never been up there because my other cousin, Benny told me there was a really mean ghost that lived up there. So from the time I could remember up until now, I had never even asked.
    It wasn’t as big as I thought I was, but the spider webs were so big you could throw them on the bed and use them as a comforter.

    The attic had boxes that had pictures. Precious, sweet, old pictures I had never seen before. Heaven. My aunt and mom told me the stories behind the pictures they could remember. We found pictures of family members we have no idea who they are. I asked if I could keep those pictures so I could stare at them and make up a story. I promised to write the stories for her and send them to her.

    These pictures are awesome. I would love it if you want to help me write the story.

    The picture above is of uncle Milt. He was a runner for a bookie. Isn’t this the greatest picture with all the elements of it? It’s neverending the stories in this one shot. I want to know the story of the person that took the picture. He, or she had to be a friend of his…maybe they yelled, “Hey Milt…” and time stopped for a split second while he captured this black and white. Why did he have his camera? What kind was it? Where was it taken? *sigh*

  • photography

    As far as I can remember…

    When I was very little my mom and dad were given a book from a friend called, “Kinship with the Stars – A Photographic Celebration of Life”

    I somehow ended up with it in my room. I can only remember a few books from when I was a kid; a dinosaur book & sleeping beauty. This was a grown up book and I was gifted it from my mom because it wasn’t ‘her thing’. It wasn’t really my thing either, but the pictures in the book always made me make up stories in my head.
    As I got older and the words from the book began to make sense to me, I found myself still relating to the pictures, even if they didn’t match the words written on the page. The pictures could be anything, I could close my eyes and imagine what was going on all around the focused part of the picture.

    When I moved out and took all my albums, pen collection, and random cut outs from teen magazines…I also grabbed that book. Right now, it’s in a box in my garage and I hadn’t thought of it for a million years until someone asked me, “What was it that got you into photography?”

    That book. A book of pictures and abstract words that made things sound so cool. A book. How friggin’ cool is that?

    Email me the link to one of YOUR pictures that you would submit to a book called “Kinship with the Internet – A photographic celebration”
    If you’re better at writing, write something really bad ass that makes random stuff sound cool.

    Links people…links.

  • photography,  stuff portrait friday

    Throwing in the Towel for SPF

    spf towel

    This is what is has come to. Our 3 cameras are now safely placed in our Pelican case and in order to take a half way decent picture, we now have to get into the case, pull everything out and assemble it. Alright, it only takes a few minutes, but the work of actually taking everything out and making sure it’s safe (and not left in a bad part of town) is getting to be a hassle that I don’t even take pictures anymore.
    When I pulled out Sherman (the d300 tank) and snapped the shot, I got that tingly feeling again…that satisfying release of the shutter sound. Waves of happiness as I was taking a picture…of a towel.

    It’s my reminder that I will take more pictures this weekend and next week. I do need more suggestions for the upcoming weeks of Stuff Portrait Friday. Please. I have some, but need more. When you leave a comment, please add at least one thing you would like to take a picture of in the upcoming weeks. The person who calls it, gets a little something and a direct linky to their site so they can brag about picking the theme. I know, I’m reaching. Shut up.

    In other news…dooce is going to be on Good Morning America. Many of us know each other from stalking each other on her comments about 3 years ago. It’s Cray-ON though. Gotta side with reality.
    AND in even BIGGER news…I made it on Urban Dictionary dot com for my lovely, little description of ‘internet balls’. The honor is overwhelming and I can’t go into description of the ghetto urban dance I did when I saw it there. I’m hoping that they send me some bling and big hat I can wear sideways. *shit, I am so yuppie suburban that sentence didn’t even make sense to me*

    and sidenote: i uh..i’m going to Kaiser’s radiology department tomorrow for some tests. little prayer. just little ones. please.

    Okay, stalkers…did you play?

  • photography,  Random and Odd

    It’s Fall, right?

    It’s is going to rain everyday this week, except the ONE day we are shooting the “Fall Carnival” at the little girls school.

    We have been shooting random things lately. A lot of senior portraits and a band shoot. It’s time to get everyone in for the ‘family portraits’ for Christmas. Alright, I need money. Who doesn’t?

    In the process of trying to keep Hope Photographers in business, I opened up a website for the kids of Rocklin teen photographers. Did I tell you this already?

    I feel so brain dead lately. It seems like I can’t keep a thought in my head without it flying out.
    I think it might have something to do with the “Dog The Bounty Hunter” marathon today.

  • My Brats,  photography

    New Rules

    Here it is: Plan NOTHING to do on the day of Homecoming or any proms until 2016. If you do anything other than drive around all day, catering to your children’s needs —> you will spend the next day in bed with a headache that feels like you have partied with the Captain and did some swinging from the chandlers. Seriously. Homecoming and Prom preparation is a full day ordeal.

    Yes, I will have at least one kid in high school until 2016. Scary huh? The scary part is it will be a girl in high school. Can someone calculate how much money I will have to spend on dresses, tickets, flowers, hair, nail, transportation and everything that comes along with dances and girls for the next 9 years?

    Last night was homecoming in the Random and Odd house. Tyler being a senior went out to dinner with his date. The girls being freshman…they settled for dinner at home. It’s strange how my house becomes the vortex of kids when there is a school function. We managed to feed 10 kids and 2 adults.

    Kara called about an hour after leaving, she wasn’t feeling good and needed to come home. I didn’t know if it was a ‘don’t feel good’ or ‘was teased and wants the floor to suck her up’. For the 10 minutes it took for Shaun to pick her up I had every thought pass through my head. It’s hard not to want to cry for your child when she gets so excited about something and then have it crushed.
    I realized something last night; The heartache of having a daughter in high school is unexplainable.

    And think, I only have how many more years of that heartache?

  • photography


    Shaun sent me an email yesterday to let me know that THIS PICTURE was picked to go into Digital Photographers magazine.

    It will be in the December addition. I already have a subscription, but I have to go buy like 5 more at Barnes and Noble when it comes out.

    SHOCKED…and thrilled to death are the only words I have for this.

    Everyone have a great weekend. Take at least 5 pictures and send me a link to your website so I can see what you did this weekend.

  • Anxiety,  journey,  My Brats,  photography,  Shaun

    Not dead. Exhausted.

    It’s been awhile since the update on Random and Odd.

    The kids are doing FanFrigginTabulous. They are loving school this year. High school is suiting the older girls and the younger girls are falling into their middle school grooves.

    Shaun started softball tonight and that means his energy level will go up. He’s happier when he has his outlet.

    As for me; I am working on this whole positive thinking thing. Everyday I tell myself that I am so very happy, even if it looks like it’s going to be a rough day.
    My ability to be able to feel an anxiety attack coming on has always been a comfort. When I lowered my dosage of Celexa I went through the strange dizziness and headaches, but I was OK.
    The last few days have been a bit harder than the others.
    Today it felt like I was sitting in front of a fire and it was burning my chest, yet the rest of my body felt normal. My arms and hands have been very shaky.
    Now I feel like I have this alien in my chest trying to burst out.

    I took something to help me through it and I put my head on the pillow for a second. FOUR hours later I woke up drenched in sweat and feeling like I had been beaten up. Now I have the ‘slept too long shakes’.

    After a long bath, I washed my hair, blow dried it and curled it to get rid of the frizzy. I haven’t had my hair down in so long and I realized that my hair, out of a pony…comes down to the middle of my back. Whoa.

    This is not my comeback post. If it were, I would have danced better and not hidden behind my backup dancers.

  • kara,  photography

    And now we have Darnelle…

    Internet, meet Darnelle. This is Kara’s new baby. Before you go freaking out that we bought her a big ol’ expensive Nikon, just listen to how this all came about.

    Since long before 6th grade, Kara has had this thing I like to call, ‘Her Mother’s Inability To Retain Anything That Has To With Numbers Being Multiplied.’ (perhaps this has something to do with how many children I have…that or 9 months of not having a period outweighed the horrible sickness I had taking birth control pills)
    When it comes to retaining any information outside of the lyrics to every song written, every single line in a movie she loves or a promise I made while half asleep, she locks up.

    In 6th grade I got a phone call from the school saying Kara had a ‘melt down’ and that I needed to come to the school ASAP.
    When I got there her teacher and this strange looking man brought me into a room and told me Kara had freaked out in class and walked out. This is very much unlike my daughter, normally if she has a problem…she seeps into the woodwork and is unable to be found until the bell rings and she bolts for the door. Her teacher, the sweetest human to walk the earth, said that Kara had tearfully (ok, she was sobbing) confided in her that she has ‘math issues’. I already knew about these issues, and after years of frustration had just hoped that it would someday just fix itself. It didn’t and the boiling point had been reached.
    They suggested putting her in a ‘special’ class for kids that had difficulty with certain subjects.
    As it was, Kara was teased horribly for her ‘tooth issue’ and I didn’t want to add to the humiliation of her being pulled out of class too.
    Kara then said she wanted to go and needed the help.

    It took a half of a school year for Kara to finally understand what everyone else was doing in minutes. The dorky looking man had broken through to Kara and taught her more in 4 months, than all her teachers to that point combined did for her. She got a B in math and the angels in heaven threw a huge party.

    Going into 7th grade would be a challenge for her. Still no front tooth and all of her girlfriends had boobs. She was worried about getting a math teacher that wouldn’t be able to explain like her dorky teacher had been teaching her. What if this new teacher was mean?
    After talking to the school district, they enrolled her in a similar program and all-be-damned if she didn’t pass math. She was still being teased about having to go to the ‘special’ class, but her confidence had grown so much that it didn’t bother her.

    8th grade was similar, but she moved from just passing math to getting A’s in math. This is something UNHEARD of in my family. I certainly never saw an A in math, but it was easy to make the I (incomplete) look like an A on a report card. This ‘special’ class was really helping.
    I meet with the school district again and they agreed that the program was working for her and they would like to continue it through high school. There was a catch. She would only get ONE elective, when the other kids would have 2 or sometimes 3. We talked about it and she agreed that she would be willing to give it up to remain in the program. The second catch was since the elective programs filled up fast, she would have to pick her elective for her whole 4 years of high school right then, but would be secured a spot in all her classes.

    She went through the papers and through them again. She had wanted to take her drama/acting classes. She was torn between following the 4 year path of something she had a desire for and also for something she had been craving for; Photography.

    As you can see, she took photography. I called my dad and told him about her decision and he seemed…well, he could care less. Then I brought up the fact that she would need a camera. The school provides cameras, but they are REALLY bad cameras and for her to take this seriously, she was going to need to motivate her.
    Months went by and I tried every tactic in the book for my father to shell out the cash for her camera. Each time it was an empty promise of ‘looking into it’

    While we were in Redding last weekend my mother, The Fonz…well…let’s just say she used this tone in her voice and the eyebrow raise to her ex-husband that he understood that she meant business. She…how do I say this? She strongly reminded him that even though they were no longer married that he was going to bend to her Will or pay the price dearly. He called that night to ask me questions about cameras. I told him that Kara had her heart set on a Nikon D50. It wasn’t the D70, but it would be easier for her to manage and understand.
    The next day he put the bid in on Ebay and bought her the camera for half the price of what you would get at the stores. He was excited that he got the camera at ‘a steal’.

    Kara got her camera in the mail today. She pulled the camera out of the box and was nearly in tears. It didn’t come with the strap and I insisted that if she was going to use it, the strap would have to be on it.

    We now have a new Nikon in the family. Since our cameras are named after the characters on “My Name Is Earl” She needed to name her camera to follow suit.

    My Nikon is Randy (the little brother to Earl) Shaun’s Nikon is Earl (because he has the older camera) and instead of ‘Joy’ she decided she wanted to name her camera ‘Darnell’ (also known as Crab Man) because Earl and Randy like him and he’s really nice and funny.

    She has also decided that we need to redesign our business page with a picture of all of us with our cameras, walking through a smoke filled alleyway like they do on the TV shows when the good guys come in to rescue someone.

    It’s probably a good thing she has a camera…at least it will get her away from the TV.

  • Anxiety,  photography,  Shaun

    Bed Hog

    This is by far my favoritest picture Shaun has ever taken.

    I like this picture because it reminds me so much of Shaun. Right now, he’s laying in the middle of the bed trying to look all cuddled up, and he’s not, he’s IN THE MIDDLE of the bed.
    I swear, if I didn’t know any better, Jeremiah is his son. I swear they have all the same facial gestures…like when Shaun doesn’t get his way he scrunches up his face and throws himself to the floor just like Jeremiah. The lips. I swear they have the same lips.
    They both cry if you try to take the remote away.
    Baseball seems to be the only channel that can be playing on tv unless it’s Backyardagans.
    They both call each other “Buddy”
    And oddly enough, they can’t decide if they want to be up or down. *Shrug* I don’t know what that is all about.

    Tabitha moved out this weekend and at 1 am I walked into my kitchen and loudly banged the ice tray on the counter…just because I could.
    It’s strange not having them around anymore, but I know it was so for the best. She kept asking questions about where I buried all the bodies in the back yard. Me thinks she was hoping there was a soft plot of land under the tree to shove me in. Just speculation though. For the record, that spot is saved for a special neighbor.

    My body had decided to just shut down completely. I’m an internal stresser. If i’m stressing you don’t know unless you happen to be standing near me while I pulling clumps of hair out of my head. I have spent the last two days in bed trying without success to get past this anxiety. I had to leave the house to feed my ex-husband’s fish. The fear of the girls going over there and seeing them floating on top of the tank made my guilt over-ride my anxiety. It just happened to be the day they were tearing up the road and I had to be detoured.
    Detour to me is like asking me to go to the store and buy and kumquat. “ah-wha?” as the orange flanked man pointed to another road I could take. I tried to convince him that I could see the house from right there. I guess if you wear orange and have orange cones, you are the road God. I didn’t have my “Because I’m A Grandma” license plate cover on, so he outranked me.
    I drove around in circles and couldn’t figure out where I was so I ended up following the tore up road until something looked familiar. The guys in the dump trucks thought I was nuts and kind of pointed on how to get the hell off their road and I just smiled like a moron and waved. I ended up finding his house and in order to get into his drive way I would have had to put on my off roading tires. Seeing that my mini-van didn’t come with those, I swear as God is my witness, I parked on the lawn of his neighbors house! You might be a red neck IF.

    It’s almost 3 am and I can’t get to sleep. It doesn’t matter if I take a handful of pills, the anxiety is winning tonight. In round one, I was doing pretty good. Then round two he got my ace in double war and I was forced to take another pill. Now I’m trying to trump anxiety with staring at a blank screen and willing my hair to NOT FALL OUT. So far, we are at a stand still. I am still awake, but the hair feels like it’s holding on.

    Shaun of course looks like he’s in sleeping heaven. I swear if I didn’t watch so many forensic files and cold case files, I would smother him with the pillow.