Monday, March 21, 2011

Life Lessons

See that purple splotch on the inside of KJ's mouth? That's a bruise.
How in the world does one get a bruise on the inside of one's mouth?

The answer:
Be an eleven-and-a-half-year-old boy and start finding that it is hard to control your temper.
Miss a few shots while playing basketball in the backyard.
Get totally hacked off.
Bounce the ball as hard as you can.

Forget to move your face.

To his credit, he hasn't complained once. He knows it was a bone-head move. I'm just glad it didn't get him in the nose.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

For your enterainment...

I was going through old pictures today, trying to delete some so that I don't end up on some "Hoarders: Digital Files" reality show, when I came across this affront to nature.
The setting: Valentine's Day, 2008. I was still a stay-at-home mom at this point in time and thought that I'd follow that old Fifties textbook ideal of how to be a proper wife (but just this once.) I put my hair in curlers while putting on some make up. My hair doesn't take curl very well, so I made sure to put lots of gel on it and leave those curlers in for an extra long time.
When I took those curlers out, I was hoping for long, flowing tresses. What I ended up with was Napoleon Dynamite. Am I wrong? I think that my hair shortened up a good 6" from those "long flowing curls." It's quite fetching, don't you think?
"Why do you still have this photo?" you may wonder. It's a question that is begging to be asked. "Why even take a photo in the first place?" is probably an even better question. I could give you a long philosophical answer about how strongly I feel about documenting my life, as well as the lives of the people I love. But I'll save you the soapbox lecture and say that I took this picture because it's hilarious. And I keep it, honestly, because it's hilarious. I don't ever want to take life too seriously. Life it too short to worry about projecting an image of perfection. If you can't laugh at yourself, well, then, life just can't be very fun.
My favorite part? Check out my shirt: "Defy Gravity" indeed.
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Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Definition of Excitement at My House

One day last week, we came home to find that one of JJ's computers had crashed. It was dead. It just made a fun clicking noise when we tried to turn it on. Now, for most families this would be a serious issue, but I am married to King of the Nerds. (He knows I call him that. He was the Scholastic Bowl Team Captain in High School. His degree is in computer science. He embraces his nerdom, as do I.)
After JJ took the computer apart, and discovered that it was completely dead, not "mostly dead," he kind of got excited. He hopped online and ordered a new hard drive and some external storage. Woot! This is serious fun for us (read: him.) He was a little sad when it was supposed to take a whole week to get here. But, it got here sooner than that and totally made his day.
Here it is, in all its glory. This is the external storage unit that will save all of my pictures and music library if (and when) my laptop goes down.

Kind of anti-clamatic, huh? I was expecting something massive, with lots of blinking lights and whirring and whooshing sounds. We affectionately refer to it as "The Toaster." JJ says things like, "The toaster is up and running" or "The toaster is working hard." I smile and nod. I understand getting all excited about things that no one else really cares about (like pens.)
As one last-ditch effort to save some data off of the old hard drive, JJ tried freezing it. Have you ever had a hard drive in your freezer? I hadn't either until this weekend. He did warn me that it was there so I wasn't too confused when I opened the freezer door. Sadly, the effort didn't work, and we lost about a month's worth of data. Lesson learned: Back up more often. And it never hurts to have a "toaster."
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Truth in Advertising

I am not a neat person. Never have been, never will be. When I was in high school, my mom was a stickler for a clean room. I was not allowed to leave the house unless my room was picked up. She always thought she had me: my room would be a DISASTER and then three minutes later I would be out the door. She finally figured out my secret: I had a junk drawer under my bed. I'd just cram everything in there, pray the drawer would close and then magically the room would be spotless. I give her credit. She let me keep that drawer as long as the rest of the room was clean.

As an adult, I have the guest room. I remember one year, I hosted my book club Christmas party. I ran around the house, picking up everything that didn't have a home and shoved it in that room, closed the door and felt pretty proud of myself. I was showing my friends around the house when my dear friend Erin said, "What's this?" and opened the guest room door. My secret was out.

So now I am over it. I have clutter. Let the world know! I'm not a hoarder. (I have another friend who is a personal organizer and sometimes I call her just to double check that I am not hoarding.) My house is lived in and if you come over, feel free to prop your feet up. My house is a home, not a museum.

In celebration on my style of living, here are the things on my dining room table right now:

1. A Nerf basketball for the hoop hanging just round the corner on the coat closet door.
2. A foam hockey puck. Don't ask.
3. A 3-ring binder of my son's drawings.
4. My son's science homework.
5. Two opened boxes of Girl Scout cookies.
6. Various plastic cups. My kids are all about cup-stacking ever since they lost TV and video game privileges.
7. Various pencils and erasers.
8. A Snowman decoration that should have been put away a month ago.
9. A candle that I don't even like the smell of. (That's a terrible sentence. Is it even a sentence?)
10. A 2" stack of papers to go through.
11. Crumbs, cat hair and various random objects.

So there. That's me. And that's clean for that table.
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Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Favorite February Face

Because I can't resist, I like to enter photo challenges. I know I still have lots to learn, but I'm having fun.
Any-who, I Heart Faces hosts a weekly challenge and this week's challenge is: Your favorite face from February. As I looked back through my February photos, I realized I hadn't taken many face-shots (note to self, work on that in March.) But then I ran across this gem and was quite pleased.
This was taken on the day Snowmageddon, Snowzilla, Snowpocalypse, Snownado, whatever you want to call it. My husband and son had been out shoveling (we don't believe in snowblowers...we have kids!) and when they came in, they were just covered in snow. I rushed to get the camera and even used the dreaded flash in order to capture the snowflakes on my son's eyelashes before they melted. The bonus was the genuine smile on his face, something that is rarely seen on an 11-year old boy!
I converted this to black and white to minimize the distraction of the purple coat behind KJ. I lost a little of the rosiness in the cheeks that way, but the smile and his eyes are what I was really after.
Think he'll always enjoy shoveling snow?

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Rust (I really need to replace my front railing.)

My macro lens is about the closest thing that I am going to get to a stereo microscope at this point in time of my life, so that's kind of how I am using it.
I LOVE the detail that I am able to see with this lens plus macro kit, even if it is the rust on my front porch railing.
When I was in college, taking Genetics, we used to use those stereo microscopes to look at fruit flies and figure out if they were boys or girls, and what their eye color was.
And then I'd get all distracted by my ring and want to look at it under the scope. Sparkly!
Or maybe it was my ball point pen. It was fascinating to be able to see the way that the ink beaded up on that tiny little ball.
Or, I'd start looking at my fingers and fingernails and realize how badly I needed a manicure, or maybe just some lotion.
And then my fruit flies would start to wake up from their short ether-induced nap and I'd have to start counting all over again.
My point is, the world is FULL of things that we miss with the naked eye, either because they are too big to take in, too small to take in, or maybe moving to fast to take in. I love photography because it allows me to really see and appreciate these things.
I love the idea of permanently capturing that split-second that will never exist again and studying it: the lightning strike, the dust coming off of my son's batting gloves, the glow of the sun in my daughter's hair, the rust on the front porch.
Is it any wonder that my husband thinks I am nuts?