Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An evening with (and under) the stars

Hollywood isn't that far away ...

hot cocoa - at the drive-in

But this is its final weekend of the season ...

despicable me at the drive-in


Monday, August 30, 2010

Changing my ways

She's a good kitty.

There are two things, that, in the past, I have not been a fan: cats and camera phones.

Ariel and iPhone are going to make liars out of me.

So ...

Show me your pets and your peeves.

... if you want.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

You only need one

A photo I took for our engagement ...

Did I ever tell you that I once had the job title "Wedding Consultant?" for a photography company?

It was way back when I was the girl who never wanted to get married, never wanted to have children. ... just wanted to roam around with a camera and see new things.

Tragically cliched.

I was perhaps the worst wedding consultant in the history of wedding consultants. I'd routinely tell folks to buy the least expensive package ...

I reckoned there would be the same amount of photos to choose from, there'd just be a bigger book after the wedding. So 'You can always upgrade," is what I told them.

That was a fun job.

There were a lot of hilarious requests.

"Can you make the wall green? I meant to have that room painted before the wedding but never got to do it."

"My husband had too much to drink at the reception and hung out with his friends all night in the bar. Can you work some magic and put him in pictures with me at the reception?"

'Course, it probably wasn't as fun as my early days at the newspaper.

Engagement and wedding announcements can be hilarious, too.

You not only get to peek into the lives of different kinds of folks all doing the same thing - getting married - you also get to laugh a little at what the hype and hoopla makes them do.

Like the woman who sent in her engagement photo, a photocopied studio print with the groom-to-be's head taped over what appeared to be another man's body. At first I laughed, thinking the unprintable art project was the result of timing and desperation. Maybe they didn't have any photos together yet?

Yeah ... No.

Turns out she didn't really like her intended's physique so she pasted a picture of her beloved over her ex-boyfriend's body.

I will not tell you what I bet the longevity of that marriage would be, but I imagined the wedding proofs should be speedy if the photographer hoped to have them paid for a picked up.

Of course I never really understood how much I had in common with that vain bride until I had an engagement of my own to announce.

I set up my tripod and a YashicamatLM twinlens reflex in my make-shift studio and demanded my fiance smile for the camera. I set the timer and ran to his side 12 times.

When the roll was developed it seemed apparent to me that while there were frames that flattered us both, there were none that flatter us together.

So I picked one of me I liked best. And I pasted his head from another on on top.

Go head, scroll back up and check. My photoshop skills weren't really that good. But I guess anything is better than tape.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Everyone's Son

Simply put, I oppose the war in Iraq. I have since the start.

In the past I've also quoted the cost in dollars of the National Debt each of us will bear. It's a figure that has grown to more than $30,000 per person to date.

But the real number that matters most to me today is 5,623, the number of men and women who have died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.


Today a motorcade carried the body of Staff Sgt. Derek J. Farley through Nassau, N.Y. -- his hometown and mine.

He died on Aug. 17 at Bala Boluk, Farah, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when a makeshift bomb that he was attempting to disarm detonated.

As an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician and as a soldier, he was, in no uncertain terms, a hero.

As the procession of cars and motorcycles and emergency vehicles passed by the corner where I grew up, I could only think of my children. And how all these men and women aren't just someone else's children, they're ours, too.

It can't be wrong to want the fighting to end, and for all our children to come home safely.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yellow is the color of happiness

He was none-too-happy when I offered his sister and her playmate a few cookies from the yellow box.

That yellow box, in his mind anyway, contained the few and precious wafers that were his and his alone.

"I'm goin' to my wooom!" he shouted, grabbed the box off the table and headed for the stairs. He added "RAAAAAH" for emphasis.

I didn't want to chase him. I was tired and so was he, Mr. Fighter of Naps. I envisioned an exhaustive tantrum complete with incomprehensible words, ear-shattering shrieks and a flood of tears. So I let him disappear with the yellow box.

Soon I heard the familiar slam of his bedroom door and the springs of his bed.

And then silence.

Blessed silence.

When I went to check on him in the sustained quiet a few minutes later I found him sound asleep ... with an empty box.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Look on the bright side ...


At least it's not loaded.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

So THAT's why the river looks so green

Picture a family paddling a canoe down a quiet river on a lazy summer day.

Imagine the voice of its youngest member as it rings out over the water to passing boaters:


"We're in a boat."

"On da riber."

"We're fwoating."


"I'm in a tanoe!"

"Dat's a BOAT!"


"I'm picking my nose!"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Family reunion

Each year, since The Champ was born, my father's sister has held a party in Vermont. It's become something of a family reunion. As has The After Party at our lodging, which usually involves the consumption of locally brewed beers and, this year, in a rented ski condo, watching The Empire Strikes Back on a vintage Zenith television.

The rental company called our suite "Copenhagen" but I've re-dubed it "Frat Haus," since I assumed it contained all the furniture some poor schlub wasn't permitted to take with him when he moved back to civilization, yet couldn't bring himself to burn.

Actually, the accommodations were an improvement from last year.

Last year The After Party came with locks that didn't work, water that wasn't hot and after-hours construction folks pouring concrete at midnight. The morning realization that there was no railing at the end of the walkway to the second floor rooms, where the kids had rocketed back and forth all night as we sat and talked and imbibed, was just a bonus.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Just in case you missed me as I was iPhoning it in ...

Here are some iSnaps I uploaded while we were away.

I promise to inundate Flickr with pictures from our trip once I get them unpacked and through the washer.