Feb 25, 2009

one more shameless plug.

Saturday is the last day for this contest. if you haven't, can you please vote for my photo?
you need to be a member of Facebook to do so, so if you haven't joined, you'll have fun if you do.

and you might find kids you went to high school with. and wonder how we all got old.

the interview you WON'T see on TMZ.

from the next host of the CBS Evening News...an in-depth interview with yours truly. i'm sure you'll find it hard-hitting and also recognize that i don't shy away from the really tough questions.

let me know if you want to play, er....be interviewed.

but i warn you - i don't play nice.

1. What do you consider your most precious material possession?
that's easy - the camera. aka precious. i don't leave home without it.

2. How did you meet your handsome husband and what was the first thing that made you stop and say, "Ahhh...now THIS guy is special!"?
i met Brendan on a blind date - set up by my best friend and her mom. we met @ Disneyland right before Christmas. i can't really think of just one thing that made me say "this guy is special," well - actually i can, but i can't share because it's a little embarrassing. let's just say it had to do with him thinking i was pretty. even after 8 hours at an amusement park.

3. You have just won 40 million dollars...what'cha gonna do now?
1) buy a house. 2) pay off bills. 3) travel.travel.travel. 4)set up some kind of children's charity. 5) did i mention travel?

4. We all know you love photography, and that you are darned good at it! Do you have one image of which you are most proud?
ooooh - a tough question, but a fair one. i gotta say, they're all like my children. i can't say i love one more than the other. and, not that i would admit this to my kids (so i never say it while i'm downloading or editing): my favorite today may not be my favorite tomorrow.

5. You answer that knock on your door and there stands Donny Osmond. You....
(laughs) is that before or after i pass out?! well, since we're both married i know there's not a single chance that either of us would do anything...so i imagine i would do one of two things. 1) act like a complete idiotic 15 year old, fling myself at him, screaming & crying and have to be picked off by some burly security guard or 2) try to be totally cool, invite him in for a cool refreshing beverage and then embarrass the beejeebers out of myself by offering him a beer or diet Coke. then i would cry, embarrassing myself further, and then end up taking a picture of the two of us.
then i would have a new favorite photo.

Feb 22, 2009

it's a good day, all the way around.

today was my best friend's kid's 12th birthday.

12 years. d-u-u-u-d-e. why, it seems like just yesterday i was changing your diaper, and...
never mind. i gotta save that story for his first date.

Kristie called and asked if we would come up & meet them for brunch, then off to mini golf/laser tag. and so up the hill we went to their place for bananas foster over ice cream and mimosas.

life, as they say, is gooooood.
happy birthday coleymoleyfazolieguacamole.
after brunch, we drove over to the local fun center to play indoor glow-in-the-dark mini golf and laser tag.
thank heavens we only played for 15 minutes. any more than that and i swear to you, the paramedics would've been called for the adults. we were sweaty icky masses.
and by the way, what's up with these young uns picking on the old broad and shooting the crap out of me? sheesh.
so much fun. even if i am too dang old to be running around shooting after a bunch of kids AND adults.
good times indeed.

Feb 16, 2009

because poop is funny.

many thanks to my Kristie for this one. it was the best giggle i had all dang day.

and apparently her as well.

see this picture?

or, more accurately, THIS part of the picture:

yep. completely missed that the cow is ready to, um....let 'er fly.

which, i realize for people like Linda, or Ree, is no big. poop happens.

but dang. it sure is funny.

so, to not offend you, Gentle Reader (and to make it so that every time i see this picture the only see i see is, well...), i have edited said picture.


happy Monday pt2, tomorrow.

here we go again...

interview #3 @ 3pm today.

i did my best peptalk before he left: it's only an interview, it's not life or death, i'm not leaving you even if you DON'T get the job...blah, blah, blah.

and i do talk a mean b.s.

so, i'm off to take some pictures and hopefully it'll keep my mind off the whole stressful time.

but i doubt it.

updates to come - hopefully followed by a employment start date.

edited: he just called, a little bummed. after dang near three hours interviewing, there's MORE interviews to come; they want him now to interview with another mucky-muck in the company, the managers he would be working with AND their client.

let's talk about frustrating, shall we?

Feb 13, 2009

stimulating the economy - at home and a broad.

hmmm. rather TITilating, TITle, wouldn't you say?

c'mon - 'stimulating'? 'broad'? 'TITilating'????

that's funny. because i still have a junior high sense of humor. don't believe me? check this out.

so - after a horrible, angst-filled day yesterday, and a beyond boring, horrifying and humorous night at school last night...

horrifying & humorous you say? read on...

last night, i'm at photo class, waiting for it to start, playing solitaire on my Nintendo DS. there's a woman in front of me and a man next to me (the very same man who gave the most gawd-awful, boring lecture on Adobe Lightroom - for a moment, i was back in beginning algebra, wishing for death to take me.) and another woman next to him.

those two were chatting away, with the woman in front of me occasionally jumping in the conversation, then jumping out again.

then -

woman in front of me turns around to the other two. chipper as can be. "oh, i've wanted to ask! how's your husband liking retirement?"

wait for it....

"he died. two years ago."

you could've cut that silence with a knife.

the woman in front of me apologized most profusely. wishing, as i know i was, for the floor to open up and swallow her whole. and while i was horrified, feeling terrible for this poor woman, at the same time, i was biting the inside of my lip, realizing the black humor in the situation.

and black humor for me rocks.

after a few minutes, woman in front of me got up, walked over and apologized most profusely to the other woman, who accepted it graciously. as she should.

the boring part - the man next to me who did the presentation on Lightroom. (linda, my friend, you should've been there. he would've cured your insomnia in a heartbeat.)

i dang near dislocated my jaw several times during the presentation. and high tailed it out of there at break.

so today, my mom & i had a date to hit the Scrapbook Expo, down in the OC Fairgrounds. i sometimes dread these dates, only because my mom, God bless her, canNOT get around worth a darn, and does not recognize her own limitations. so - she does too much, messes herself up again, and THEN my stepfather gets mad at ME because I was the one who invited HER.

so, after a so-so shopping experience, in the rain, we came home. and before i could share my limited purchase with the Husband, he announced his own economic stimulus package:

he has a third interview up in Chatsworth next week.

i was ready to rejoice, when he said that they had called and scheduled it for next Wednesday, THEN they called again and moved it up to Monday - at 3:30 p.m.

(not that i understand why it is that these people don't understand that AFTER the interview, the Husband has to drive home. in prime drive time gridlock.)

now there is much rejoicing in the land - not about the gridlock, about the third interview.

makes me almost wish i had bought more stuff today.
more to follow.

Feb 11, 2009

B's Big Day - Part Two.

after a 2 hour & 20 minute interview, he's still not employed.
but he's a little closer - and has one more person to interview with.

at least this time they told him more about the company: health plans, 401k, stuff like that.

y'know - the IMPORTANT stuff.

he's thinking he wants to buy a round trip ticket on Metrolink (our local commuter train service) just to see how long it would take from here, to L.A. (where he'd have to change trains) to Chatsworth.

then he heard from the company in Mission Viejo (remember? the one with FOUR INTERVIEWS) that they are considering him for a temporary position OR that they decided to take the one job he interviewed for and split it into two jobs and that he could be a candidate for that.

all the while, he found a few more possibilities and turned in resumes.

*sigh* the saga, unfortunately, continues.

Feb 10, 2009

B's Big Day.

fingers crossed?
four leaf clovers picked?
rabbit's foot rubbed?
wishbone pulled?
goat sacrificed?
ch...um - check that.

the Husband has an interview today - it's up in East Egypt, but hey - it's a job. i'm very interested in becoming one less of the 8-10% of the unemployed in this country.
and i know he is too.

updates to follow.

Feb 9, 2009

there is a disturbance in the Force.

here, in Mostly Smoggy Southern California, we are currently experiencing a phenomena that has, quite literally, set the populous on its ear.

it's been raining.

rain, i realize is no big thing. heck, in the Land of My Peoples (aka Oregon), it's a common occurrence.
here, not so much.

it's been raining off and on for the last three days. and, while just one day of rain is frustrating, have it rain for that many days and you can watch my fellow citizens slowly be driven insane.

Southern Californians have no idea how to deal with rain...or any weather for that matter. as a society that lives in our cars on the freeway, when it does rain, the experts tell us to slow down.


people here do one of two things as they drive in the rain: they freak out and s-l-o-w w-a-a-a-a-y d-o-w-n, or freak out and drive like maniacs.

wait. we drive like maniacs anyway.

while the rain makes my Husband depressed, it makes me feel all giddy inside. i would be perfectly happy watching it rain for hours.

just not from the inside of my car.

speaking of us driving like maniacs...when the Husband and i were commute dating (he lived in San Diego County, about an hour and a half from where i lived), before i discovered the glory & wonder that was the train, i drove.

and i could tell you, without even seeing a sign, what county i was in just by the way folks were driving. in San Diego, if you wanted to change lanes, the attitude was "cool, dude. just go for it, save the whales, heal the bay and stay cool." by the time i would hit the O.C., it was "duuuude. do you really have to change lanes? OK, then - be cool."

in L.A., it was "dude. change lanes and i will bust a cap in yer ass."

driving here is fun. pack (heat) accordingly.

in unemployment news...
a couple of weeks ago, the Husband had his 4th interview with a company in the O.C.
they sent a Dear John letter, stating that they've decided to not fill the position, due to the recent economic downturn.

really? recent? where HAVE you been?

but he does have another interview with a company in Chatsworth on Tuesday. the rumor is that they really, really like him; i just hope they really, really hire him.

Chatsworth, by the way, is about 45 minutes from us. not a fun drive.

especially when it rains.

Feb 8, 2009

a story of headshots and ketchup.

which, i think, could win as one of my weirdest titles yet.

first ketchup.

Friday, my friend Melissa, had just about decided to get a camera like mine. we were ready to go to Costco @ lunch, because they've got a good deal with the body, two lenses, a camera bad, 2gb memory card...all for about $1000.

but...they didn't offer an extended warranty, and Melissa wanted that. so we looked online (i know, we should be working, but it's just SO BORING.) and found one @ Best Buy, who does offer an extended warranty.

so i called Brendan and said, come meet us there - then we'll EAT.

because fat girls love to eat.

so after looking at their deal, which was just the camera, one lens, an extra battery and a camera bad, Melissa decided she wanted to wait and find a deal more like mine.
(who could blame her - i found out my telephoto lens that i got with my camera costs about $600. oy.)

now comes dinner.
we headed over to Sizzler for cheap steak & lobster...yum. and as we sat, giggling and having a great time, i suddenly felt something hit me in the side of the head.

since it was raining Friday, the first thing i did, of course, was look up to see if there was a leak.
felt the side of my head, now thinking perhaps some smart-ass kid shot a spit-wad my way.
so i turn to my friend & husband and say - IS THERE SOMETHING IN MY HAIR?????

there was a blob of ketchup in my hair. KETCHUP.IN.MY.HAIR.
now, of course, being the mature grown-ups we are, we all start giggling hysterically, while Melissa wipes it out of my hair.

the only thing i can figure, is, when the busboys were cleaning the table next to us, somehow they flung it up and over.

needless to say, i washed my hair the minute i got home.

now i know what a french fry feels like.

on to Brendan O'Mahony - Supermodel.

could i talk him into doing something different? nope. oh well. i still think he's pretty cute.

we also had a lady in a kimono...i decided i'd rather take pictures of him, rather than the hoochie mammas that just wanted headshots for their portfolios.

just having way too much fun.

Feb 6, 2009

where do they get those wonderful toys?!

(and before you ask, i'm up at 4:30 A.M., not because i believe in getting an early start to my day. i am up, because i woke up with my legs hanging off the bed, the Husband in the middle of the bed and the cat pushing said legs off the bed. i tried pushing 'em over, but to no avail. hence, i am up)

last night was my photography class, and, while i still feel like a stumbling fool because i have no idea what my f-stop should be for certain situations, once in a (very great) while, something connects, the light streams in and i have a Moment of Discovery.

last night was one of those rare moments.

Brendan came with me last night, not because it was a frog-choker rainstorm last night (which it was), but because last night he became Brendan O'Mahony - Male Model.

clothing was NOT optional. thank heavens.

we practiced on our portrait skills last night - and we had a few models besides the one i brought. one lady, a former student of my photo teacher, came dressed in a traditional kimono, shoes and all. another woman in the class brought her granddaughter who was probably about 17-18. the granddaughter brought two of her friends, who did not want to model, but were perfectly content to stand in the back of the room and giggle.

i so would not want a teenage daughter for that very reason. in fact, if the whole baby thing had worked for us, i already had arrangements to send said teenage girl off to some far-off place until the hormones and giggling had abated.

we also had a model who was looking for headshots. believe me when i say this chick was working the freaking room, posing and pouting and wearing the tightest jeans ever. and every stinking man in that class, all of whom were old enough to have been her father, were falling all over themselves, snapping away at her.

speaking of the men in this class, i think i've said before that most everyone in this class is older than me by about 15 years or so. they've disposable income up the wazoo, and that was apparent last night.

one of the men is a very nice guy, who doesn't talk down to you when he explains settings. he also gets every.new.toy. that comes out for photographers. for instance, he just bought a ring flash (keep scrolling down this link, you'll find it) for his camera.

it runs about $300.

he also has a tripod that has legs that allow it (the tripod) to spread out and be about four inches off the ground - good for taking pictures of four leaf clovers, i guess. the coolest part of this tripod was the ball socket it had below the holder for your camera. kinda like adjusting your rear view mirror in the car, it moves smoothly and STAYS where you put it.


another toy, that several people had last night, was a flash remote. it attaches to the flash at the top of your camera and trips your studio light set up.

and yes, they do have studio lights. one of them even has what can best be described as a bounce house with lights. it's tall, about 7 feet by 5 feet, zips into a box shape and then you can put your smaller studio lights on the side, pointing inside the box. then you have a lighted background that gives a great backglow.

i even heard two of the guys talking about actually having green screen backgrounds - so you can take a picture of say you and your kids, then in Photoshop cut out your subjects and place them in another photo...say, on a beach in Hawaii.


i think about these killer toys and how much fun i could have, then i remember that i can barely set an f-stop and a shutter speed. sometimes i forget to take off the lens cap.

and then i thank heaven i'm not a brain surgeon.

Feb 4, 2009

guess who's 6 today?

this little minx...this chickie who has both uncle and auntie wrapped around the proverbial little finger...

man - she knows how to work me.

and stab me in the heart.

she was talking to her mom the other day, who asked the birthday girl, "what do you want for your birthday?"

and she replied (with a dramatic sigh, i'm sure) "i just want Auntie Valerie to be at my party."

good going girl. you and your brother both know how to kill me.

happy birthday baby. may it be you're most fun yet.