A Monday Blog

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I was going to just pop in here and talk about a market basket I bought on Saturday (I’ll get to that later) but then I started going through my photos (from my phone) and I realized I do have quite a few photos to share. I’m kind of sad that I’m the photo-sharing kind of blog and not the written word kind of blog but it is how it’s morphed to be over time. I used to write long rants and stories but now I start with photos and when I get down to writing I sort of peter off, distracted by all the pretty colors or something. Also life is different now. I can’t just rant about any old thing. I do have a lot of things on my mind that I’d love to rant about but this is not a private blog and people have a way of finding things you write about them. Also time is different now. I don’t find myself with hours and hours of time to rattle off into space. I think I use that time up with scrolling instead. Anyway! That’s neither here nor there. We all struggle with time.

This last Saturday was such a strange day. I’ve been a ball of anxiousness lately (what else is new?) and I had big shoot at the beach at the end of the day. There is nothing better to ruin your day than plans later. All day I stressed about that shoot. Did I need to? No! It’s not like my clients were difficult or that I haven’t shot people at the beach before. But if I have enough time I will use every minute of it to stress. It’s just something I do. I probably would do better if this photoshoot was sprung on me and I had no time to prepare. I prepare myself silly.

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Finally, the the hour to go down to the beach neared. I went early because I like being early and I was quite stressed about finding parking. The beach at sunset is typically crowded and my worst nightmare is rushing to a shoot and missing golden hour because you are parked too far away. It’s kind of like that feeling you have as a kid rushing home before the streetlights go on. So I rushed and I made it with plenty of time to spare but just as I was coming over the hill to descend onto the beach, I was met with a big puffy wall of clouds. No!!!!! Not bad weather! My heart sank.

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However, I also know that clouds can also produce the softest light and that is good for skin tones. A moody beach can be very photogenic beach. Sometimes even better than a sunny beach. So I found parking and set off to explore potential locations.

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It was crowded. People were everywhere. Thankfully, I have a pretty good lens that can blur out the background and some photoshop skills so it wasn’t too terrible. The sun lowered and what do you know, it peaked beneath the clouds! So I had soft light from the clouds, dynamic skies AND golden hour!!! What good luck! All that stress for nothing.

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But that’s how I roll. All the stress all the time. I don’t have any photos from actual golden hour to share because those belong to the client but let me tell you they turned out soooooooooooooo good. I’m really happy with them. I will be spending the rest of today photoshopping out people and hopefully send them off to the client soon and maybe if she loves them, she’ll give me permission to share a few in my portfolio. Wait, do I have a photography portfolio? No, I do not! But I should get one. I do find myself doing more and more photoshoots these days. I should at least try and make this camera pay for itself.

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All of these photos are just regular life photos taken by my phone. Phones take great photos these days! Won’t it be weird when we start paying photographers and they show up with nothing but their phone? I swear I could do just as good of a shoot with my phone these days as I could with my big-lensed camera. In many ways my phone is smarter than I am with a camera. The way it takes moving pictures and then averages the light between the lightest and the darkest shot to create a perfect shot where nothing is too bright or too dark?? That’s hours and hours of photoshop in the old days.

I digress. I’m sharing these photos because I’ve been taking more and more photos of myself and my crazy gray hair. I’m as confused by my new identity as you are. Who is this gray-haired forty-something and what is her style? Is she old, is she old trying to look young? Who knows! Do I lean into the gray hair grandma style or try to hold onto the patriarchal stereotypes of the sexy midlife fifty-something? Both?  Everyday I’m changing. Kind of like puberty all over again.

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What else is new? My parents brought my sister-in-law out to visit me. It was so good to see her! We haven’t seen each other in years and the pandemic makes any kind of get-together feel like finding a long lost friend. It makes my heart hurt how much I miss people. Yes, you say, didn’t you just shoot someone at the beach? I did but I wore a mask the whole time and it’s not the same. It’s hard to really talk with a mask on your face. It was really good to see her and hang out. She and my brother are splitting up which is terrible but they’ve had a good long run so maybe marriages have expiration dates. I don’t know. I’m just glad we are all staying close no matter what.

Oh and my car broke. Sigh. It is fifteen years old after all. It’s also had a good long run. I’ve been hanging onto it to give to Bug when she drives next year. YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT. BUG WILL BE DRIVING NEXT YEAR!!!! Toby and I bought that little car when she was six months old. And now they are both fifteen, turning SIXTEEN!!!  I love that car. It has been so good to me. I remember when I bought it everyone shook their head and said I was going to have so many problems with a high-maintenance German car but guess what? They were wrong! This car has been a dream to drive. It’s had very little maintenance (maybe I’m genuinely blocking it out) and I couldn’t love it more. So I’m taking this latest bad turn with thankfulness. I was due for some car trouble. I’ve had way too many years getting off Scott free.

The ignition broke. It just locked up and wouldn’t budge while Heather and I were parked in a Wahoo’s parking lot. Two TripleA technicians were called and nobody could get it out of gear. Finally, after some fancy fifty-two-point backing-up ballet, a tow truck towed it to the nearest Audi dealership and she’s sitting there waiting for a new part from Germany. It won’t be cheap but I should get her back this week sometime. Sigh…

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There is the market basket! See that thing? I don’t know if I’m a farmers market sucker or it it really is the most beautiful basket ever. I’ve seen them at farmers markets for years and always wanted one. I figured they were good for carrying all your produce because it’s a bit stiff and things can sit on the bottom and keep from getting smushed into each other like the usual plastic bags do. So I bought one. It cost me fifty big smackaroos. I think it was probably handmade in Africa so I hope some of that money is going back to whomever made it. But as I bought it and sucked on my green juice with a paper straw stuck under my mask, I saw two twenty-something boys staring at me and laughing. Were they laughing at me? Was I fulfilling some farmers market stereotype with my gray hair and my sloppy workout pants stuffed into Ugg boots? I probably was but they also were probably just laughing about a fart joke or something  because NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU LITTLE HOO! Sigh… Anyway, I love it. I plan to go to the farmers market every Saturday from now on and get my money’s worth out of that pretty basket.

The rest of these photos are me trying out new styles with my new fifty-shades of gray coloring. I follow a mom style blog, The Mom Edit. Do you know it? It’s a fun way to halfway stay up to date with what all the kids are doing without embarrassing yourself completely. Although the older I get the more I am embracing embarrassing myself. Who cares about trends! Wear whatever you like! If you have confidence you can rock anything!

But when you don’t have confidence with silly things like, why do bootleg jeans look completely stupid with boots then The Mom Edit comes in handy with all kinds of tips. It’s good to know I’m not the only one struggling with certain styles. Like the no-socks trend!!! I am so glad it’s cool to wear socks again. I was sick and tired of cold ankles. It figures that when I’ve finally gotten rid of all my scrunchy thick socks and replaced them with those tiny no-see-em socks, it’s time to start buying regular socks all over again. I should have stuck to what I liked all along.

That’s all I got!

Happy Monday!

cluttercore, balloon antics and punk style

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Every inch of my office is filled with knick knacks, art supplies and miscellaneous detritus from about fifty projects I have going on. And all of those projects are personal projects and not even paying gigs! I don’t know why but I am the clutter queen lately.

I recently stumbled upon the hashtag: “cluttercore” (type it into your instagram search bar and see what happens) and nothing has made me feel more pigeon-holed than that term. Clutter is oozing out of me in every way right now. It’s in my art, it’s in my home-decorating, it’s in my closet …I think it might be a defense mechanism against the crazy world I’m getting old in.

I don’t love it. It’s just how things are right now.

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I’ve been making recycled postcards for months now. Have I blogged all the postcards I make? I don’t think I have but they are all over the place (half mailed, half on my desk, some framed…) so I don’t see a collective blog post happening anytime soon.

I like to take recycled bits and make art out of them. My latest craze is painting chip board black and then doodling all over it. I’ve also been painting funny hat ladies and gluing bits of fruit mesh bag on the hats to look like veils… I’m not posting any yet (although there is a peek of one above) because I think they are crap. But I think I will get some good ones soon.

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In other news, Bug and I took a long walk (off a short dock) to take some pictures for her instagram feed.

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Bug had this idea that we’d buy some mylar balloons to say “1K” and pose with them for her 1000th instagram photo. Not 1000 followers but her 1000th post. I thought that was cool and since I’m always up for a photoshoot, I was happy to oblige. Not to mention I could use the steps. So we walked and we walked and we walked all over the nearby bird sanctuary and I think I took about 1000 photos. Not really, I took 300-something but it felt like 1000.

So many photos!!! You know what’s hard to do in the afternoon when the wind kicks up? Get two balloons to face the right way.

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Those balloons were our nemesis. They went every which way but the right way. It’s too bad we weren’t trying to post something about “K1” because that was a winner.

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Of course we got our shot (you’ll have to check her feed to see them) but we also got a lot of shots like this. Balloons have a personalities of their own and they are jerks.

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And speaking of personality, Bug never disappoints.

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She’s going through a self-described punk stage. I’m down for it. She wears eyeliner and fishnets and underwear over her clothes. Payam and her dad hate it, naturally. But I think it’s cool. I’m also picking up a lot of new musical interests because of her. Kids are awesome at that. She makes me playlists and fixes my phone when I forget how it works. So yeah… that’s my news lately.