sunshine and fashion

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It’s been super foggy and gloomy in Southern California where I live lately. It’s mostly because we live 15 minutes from the beach (poor us) and the marine layer likes to creep up out of the ocean when it’s hot inland and hover over us for months. I hate to complain about it because well, it’s not like it’s real weather or anything. I’ve never been in a snow storm in my life. But you know what? It’s getting me down! This stupid gray fog is the pits! I thought I was pretty tough but give me three weeks of foggy gray gloom and I feel like crawling under a blanket and ceasing to exist. I know. That’s pretty drastic but it’s really what has been going through my head.

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I went to my doctor, (I see a psychiatrist for anxiety) and I was so prepared to tell her I was fine but within minutes I was bawling my eyes out over climate change, of all things. I never know what’s going to set me off. It’s like my brain is playing some kind of lottery and whatever thought bubbles to the top is the fret-and-obsess-over subject du jour. It’s been pathetic.

Needless to say, she upped my meds. Only until August. She says that lots of people get really depressed in June  in our local. It’s a well documented fact. So, if you are feeling down, it’s not you! It’s the weather.

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I had dropped Bug off at my parent’s in the desert for a week for “Camp Grandpa and Grandma” and I went out this weekend to pick her up and guess what? It was gloriously sunny out in the desert where they live! I soaked up that sunshine like it was my last meal. It felt soooo good.

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I took Joon with me and we all spent some happy hours in the pool with my parents and lots of sunshine.

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I love seeing Joon laugh like that. They are both going through their hormonal teenage years so seeing them act like kids again instead of sulking around with their noses stuck to their phones is always a welcome sight.

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My mom recently hurt her Achilles tendons in both feet. She had been going to her local gym and taking water aerobics classes and apparently she was a little too zealous with all the jumping around in the water and hurt her tendons. This is a huge bummer because she was on a roll with losing weight and getting healthy. Now she’s stuck in her chair most days and doing minimal physical therapy with her doctor. She can’t do as much as she usually does and unfortunately that leaves my poor overworked dad doing most of the housework as well as his many gardening jobs. So I decided that I need to go out and visit them once a week and help them.

This seems like an obvious solution but it took me a while to come to it. Googling deep-cleaning house cleaning services that cost more than $200 a week because they live so far out in the sticks kind of sealed the deal. It will be an adjustment to take such a long drive weekly but it’s not like I didn’t use to do it back when I lived out there and drove Bug in to see her Dad weekly. I’m just super thankful I have the job flexibility and a reliable car to do it.

And that means I’ll get a healthy dose of sunshine weekly!

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While we were out there this weekend, the girls let me do a few photoshoots with them in the beautiful surrounding desert. I’m not sure who was prettier, the desert or the girls.

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I really love my new camera. I need to start booking more professional gigs so I can get it to pay for itself. I’m super lucky that I have built in models who love their photos taken.  Of course as a photographer I love, love, love taking photos of them but I have to make sure not to exploit their beauty and keep the photos wholesome and healthy. It’s challenging!  They ooze (innocent) sexuality and they don’t even know it. Thankfully, I’ve been around the internet a bit and I’ve been teaching them to protect their vulnerabilities for a long time. desert-beauty-2

Bug is interested in fashion these days. We all knew that was coming. Actually, she has always has been into fashion. It’s nothing new. You remember her crazy three-year-old style choices.  Anyway, lately she’s picked up my love for thrift-store-shopping and has been buying loads of clothes and altering them to suit her. She embroiders jeans, crops skirts into mini skirts…. really I should say she manipulates my mom and I into embroidering and altering for her but I’m not too upset about that. I’m just happy she can be so creative with fashion and not involve me taking her to the mall and spending bazillions of dollars!

Hey, It’s me!

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Hi! It’s been a minute since I have shown up here. Like fifty zillion minutes ticking away. But I’m back and I want to do better.  I want to be here more. Things have been happening lately. I finally saved up enough for a new camera! Remember how my old one got stolen in Italy? I borrowed my publisher’s camera for a while (so thankful to her) but it just wasn’t as good as my old one and my old one just wasn’t that good either. I’ve had my eye on a Canon Mack 5 forever (that costs an arm and a leg) because that’s what all the pros use but ended up getting a 6D instead upon advice from Toby. What can I say? Ex’s who are still friends do come in handy sometimes!

So guess what? It rocks! It is so so so so so so much better than my old camera. It focuses like lightening. It’s larger format so I can take pictures of a whole room without backing up into a corner. It’s easy to use. There are all kinds of cheater buttons that tell you what setting to use. This is handy for me because numbers (ie: f-stops and apertures always give me spinny ball brain fog). I just love it. Now I just need to book a bunch of photography gigs to make it pay for itself! If you are looking for photography, look me up! I don’t really have a photography website and it’s not like I’m going to be calling myself a full time photographer but you know I love it and I can always use more work.

What else is new? Well, I just got back from Alt Summit in Palm Springs.

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How was it? It was good but it was hard for me.  I forced myself to go by myself and that was terrifying. I really needed a buddy to side-kick me through social situations. I get really nervous walking into a room and striking up conversations with people I don’t know. It’s silly but I always think they won’t want to talk to me and that I’m making a fool out of myself. I can do it and once I get started I’m really good at getting people talking (journalism background pays off) but the walking up to people is the hard part. I felt like I was back in middle school all over again, agonizing that my best friend was sick and I was too shy to make new friends.

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I did see Joanna Gaines speak. That was pretty cool. I love seeing famous people who are just regular people. She was so humble and real. Her baby was in the front row and she talked about him often. It was really cute and fun.

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But yeah, there were 2,000 women there. TWO THOUSAND! So you can see why I had some trouble with social anxiety. The wonderful thing is that everyone seems to also have social anxiety and everyone was struggling. When I did get up the guts to find someone to talk to, they were usually really really nice and wanted to help things be less awkward as soon as possible. I don’t know if that’s because it was mostly women or if creatives are just nice people or if I’m just cooler than I think I am and people really do want to talk to me.

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First day I kinda cried in my room a little. You know how it is. But then the second day, Isabel, (my boss from alpha mom) showed up and she is the best side-kick buddy ever. Things got a lot easier when she was around. Though I didn’t attach myself like a starfish and parasite my way through the rest of the week. I forced myself to do my own things, only checking in with her randomly.

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I think the highlights for me were of course the pretty hotel. It’s a lot prettier outside than inside. I think they recently changed all the lightbulbs to florescent bulbs in the rooms and it was super depressing inside. I walked across the street and bought myself a candle to counteract the depressing-ness of my room. I loved having a hotel room by myself but I also wished it could be a little less like Motel 6 painted bright colors. I also bought myself a plastic bowl, cheerios, bananas and milk. They had a mini-fridge in the room so I saved myself bucket loads of cash by eating breakfast (and sometimes dinner) of cheerios in my room. Sad, I know but I am trying my hardest to be frugal these days. I thought I was pretty clever sitting there watching Netflix on my laptop while I sat in my pajamas on my bed with my candle flickering on the nightstand near by. It was very rotic (romantic without the man).

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Another highlight was seeing Garance Doré. I LOVE her. I have been a fan for ages but seeing her in person and hearing about her struggles with depression sealed my devotion and love for her forever. She really hit on a subject that had been bothering me the whole conference. These days it’s so hard to make it in the popularity numbers game of social media. It’s really hard to be in a room with 2000 women who all have followings of 20K or more. I love being around creative women like me but the competition is overwhelming. It’s crushing at times. I just can’t even try anymore. She talked about how she doesn’t go to fashion week anymore but prefers to go on 20-person retreats and that resonated with me. I can’t do ALT Summit again. I learned a ton and it wasn’t a waste of money at all but it brought up all my old fears and insecurities and I think I am just too old for that sh*t. I just need to make my art and not worry about what anyone else is doing. That’s aways what has been successful for me in the past. Why do I keep forgetting that?

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Then after the summit Isabel and I went on a mad trek to find Desert X. Spoiler: We didn’t find it. I almost got my car stuck in the sand instead and it was quite thrilling to have adrenaline pumping through my veins as I maneuvered my way out of a sand pit. But we did it! We walked for a mile or so and saw nothing. Just an old abandoned washing machine, a disgusting dirty bed with dog poop on it and a homeless camp. We turned around and went back. But not defeated! It was fun! I love spending time with Isabel. And really, spending time with a good friend is better than getting that perfect picture for instagram that everyone else has already taken.

Don’t get me wrong. I still want to go back and find Desert X. It seems amazing and I really want to take pictures of it. BUT…

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I feel quite fine settling with this photo as well. I heart my new camera!

 

(Do you guys need links? Desert X.. Alt Summit, Garance Doré…? If so I can go back and put them in. I just liked flying under that radar since I didn’t have all good things to say.) done!