Hooded, too.

TJ.

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Charlie

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Eleana.

Riordanhoodie

Courtney

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Gretchen Johnson (G-Money.)

Image

Hadley.

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Dorsey.

Christian

Christian

 

Image

Jackson.

ImageShay and her baby girl.

David.

David.

Image

Millie.

hoodieapvhoodiesimonhoodieremcohoodiejasper

Andrea, Simon, Remco, and Jasper.

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Liz and Jake.

hoodiecarl

Carl.

Elle, Raven, and Shawn.

Nikki.

Nikki.

hoodielucie

Lucie.

hoodiemichaelhenryparker

Michael, Henry, Parker.

hoodiesavannah

Savannah.

hoodiejack

Jack.

hoodiemeagan

Meagan.

hoodiemaddie

Maddie.

hoodiekim

Kim.

hoodiejax

Jax.

Darin and May. Payton and Jackson.

Darin, May, Payton, and Jackson

On March 28th, 2012, one month after Trayvon Martin was killed, i asked my friends to join me in support for justice to Trayvon via a photo in our hoodies.

And we are here again today.

In that the jurors did not convict George Zimmerman of either second degree murder or manslaughter, there rests, with many of us, an unrest.  Therefore we are still standing, peacefully, with the family of Trayvon Martin.

It was my original intent to put words and captions with the people in these photos, but upon reflection, the decision that feels most right is to allow the reader to see them for themselves.  An ability to go deeper exists within those hyperlinked.

Know that these beautiful people, all of whom are still very much alive, love,

fast choo-choos, basketball, an extraordinary piece of art, dancing, skateboarding, design, being cancer free, raising children, photography, being in a band, marrying whomever they love, playing soccer, collecting bugs, speedgolf, gardening, running trails, playing a mean guitar, and storytelling.

And we all stand in support of the family of Trayvon,

Peacefully.

AC

Posted in beauty, controversy, Corradini Photo, embrace, Freedom, guns, Hoodie, hoodiesup, Hoody, photography, Sandy Bodecker, Trayvon Martin | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

While there are still rose petals.

throughbrowneyes

So pretty much i fucking hate inappropriate use of hashtags.

that’s the #winetalking, #sorry #parents, didn’t mean to #offend your dislike of your #daughter using #swearwords, especially #fuck.  But it’s really important to #sendthemessage that if we are to all #getalong, that the use of #hashtags simply can no longer be #abused (oh man, can’t wait to see where that last one leads us…).

it is a SEARCH ENGINE, people.

Anywho…(and this all makes sense at the end, i freaking hope),

So i’m on my run this weekend, and wanted to finish it off with a few sets of stair runs, at the most gorgeous location in PDX… the #summitstairs. They are a hidden set of 157 steps that will skyrocket your heart rate on the way up, and ensure you can’t walk from quad pain the next day from the way down.  Seriously.  If you doubt me…

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While there are still rose petals.

So pretty much i fucking hate inappropriate use of hashtags.

that’s the #winetalking, #sorry #parents, didn’t mean to #offend your dislike of your #daughter using #swearwords, especially #fuck.  But it’s really important to #sendthemessage that if we are to all #getalong, that the use of #hashtags simply can no longer be #abused (oh man, can’t wait to see where that last one leads us…).

it is a SEARCH ENGINE, people.

Anywho…(and this all makes sense at the end, i freaking hope),

So i’m on my run this weekend, and wanted to finish it off with a few sets of stair runs, at the most gorgeous location in PDX… the #summitstairs. They are a hidden set of 157 steps that will skyrocket your heart rate on the way up, and ensure you can’t walk from quad pain the next day from the way down.  Seriously.  If you doubt me, i challenge you, if you are not a stair officionado, to own up to 8 sets up and down.  then call me.

But the best part of these stairs is their stunning setting.  They are divided into 3 sets of hellish beauty, a tiny respite of a platform before the next set. It’s not a stadium, it’s not a park.  It’s a hidden gateway from the bottom of one street to the top of another that is so beautiful, i’ve actually photographed one of my favorite ever families there...

So Sunday, I ran about 5 miles and arrived at the stairs.

And the bottom of them, I looked up, and simply said to myself, “let’s just do 4 sets, fast as you can, then finish the run.”

What i didn’t expect was what was waiting for me.  On the top third, laying right on the concrete, next to the mossy walls, were these magnificent pink rose petals.  SO stark against the gray, it caused me to STOP.  right there. in that moment.

and the first thing that came to my mind, without even thinking, was, “AC… appreciate these while there are still rose petals.”

We’ve reached record high temperatures this summer.  Death Valley, 127 degrees. Las Vegas, 115 degrees. Phoenix, 119 degrees.

All around us.  More hurricanes, more tornadoes, more flooding.  Record setting heat, record setting glacial melt. We are hitting the extremes, and we go through our day complaining about it, watching reports on the news and thinking, “oh, those poor people.”

People, WE are the people.

Who can change this shit.

So i took a photo of those rose petals, because they simply took my breath away.

And then my dumb-ass social media mind went directly to “hmmm, wouldn’t that be a clever hashtag, #whiletherearestillrosepetals?”  I bet not a single soul has hash tagged that!

BECAUSE HASHTAGS ARE A SEARCH ENGINE, YOU DUMBASS.

However all i could think about was how to engage in a global conversation around our grandchildren actually seeing rose petals in real-life vs. in a museum.  And social media seems to be our avenue.  Perhaps our only one?

So, I began listing it out, halfway between set 2 and 3:

Here are my individual contributions to saving the rose petals:

1) No more fucking plastic bags.  I’ve been on this one for over 3 years, and i can confidently say that we don’t EVER use them intentionally.  EVER.  If we forget our reusable bags, we hand carry our shit out.  When i see someone at the grocery store buying bottled water, then putting that bottled water in a plastic bag to carry to their car, I want to cause them suffering, my feelings are THAT strong.

2) Per above, no more fucking bottled water. I’ve been on this diligently for the same number of years, since i got a clue and saw a sailboat. We have these things, called “sinks,” and these other things, called “water bottles.”  And if we don’t have a sink, they’ve invented this new cool thing, called the “drinking fountain.”  Fill your goddamn water bottle.

3) I’ve gone vegetarian.  Cow farts are the #1 contributor to global warming.  It is proven. There are so many sources, it’s conclusive.  here is just a taste:

“With methane emissions causing nearly half of the planet’s human-induced warming, methane reduction must be a priority. Methane is produced by a number of sources, including coal mining and landfills—but the number one source worldwide is animal agriculture. Animal agriculture produces more than 100 million tons of methane a year. And this source is on the rise: global meat consumption has increased fivefold in the past fifty years, and shows little sign of abating. About 85% of this methane is produced in the digestive processes of livestock, and while a single cow releases a relatively small amount of methane, the collective effect on the environment of the hundreds of millions of livestock animals worldwide is enormous. An additional 15% of animal agricultural methane emissions are released from the massive “lagoons” used to store untreated farm animal waste, and already a target of environmentalists’ for their role as the number one source of water pollution in the U.S.

The conclusion is simple: arguably the best way to reduce global warming in our lifetimes is to reduce or eliminate our consumption of animal products. Simply by going vegetarian (or, strictly speaking, vegan), , , we can eliminate one of the major sources of emissions of methane, the greenhouse gas responsible for almost half of the global warming impacting the planet today.”

4) I buy local, in season stuff.  Yeah, i’d love to make my morning juice with a pineapple, but not if it was imported from Hawaii 4 months ago on a ship that used 11 billion tons of fuel to get it to my kitchen so I could say, “wow… love the taste of pineapple with kale!”

5) no grass in our yard.  only native plants.

6) giving the stink-eye to every leaf blowing neighbor i see.  This is not as effective as I would like, but i get the sheer pleasure of looking at them as if they are the stupidest people on the planet, moving a leaf from HERE to THERE.

It’s not much, just a few simple things I do.  And holy hell I am far from perfect.  I still own a gas guzzling car.  I still run my AC in the record Portland heat.

But wow…

if we combined all the few simple things we could each do, every day, in choices we make…

perhaps our grandchildren will still see rose petals on their steps.

Which, really, is all that matters.

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Thank you, as always, for allowing me the platform to vent, and your patience to get to this final word,

#gatheryerosebuds.

Peace,

AC

Posted in cow farts, environment, global warming, methane, plastic, rose petals, Uncategorized, vegitarian | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

SMH at JKSIS

like-bloggers unite. Let’s help out a school that needs a bit of a lesson in authenticity, shall we?

the girl with the ONJ tattoo

Last night I hopped on Facebook per usual to see if anything new was happening. The first two stories in my newsfeed were shared links from my alma mater – the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver – announcing that President Bush is receiving the “Improving the Human Condition Award” at the 16th Annual Korbel Dinner. Needless to say, I did a double take and my jaw.freaking.dropped.

Let me take a minute to be less than classy here, but still safe for work:

What the holy freaking f*** did he f***ing improve?? Surely JKSIS can’t be talking about the same Dubya as we are! Nope, they are: http://www.du.edu/korbel/dinner/

I, along with several of my fellow alumni find this absolutely reprehensible. Having received my Master’s in International Human Rights from JKSIS, one of the top 10 schools in the world for international studies, I am…

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Freedom or Free, f*ckers.

AARRRGGHHH!!!

All day, i have had this quote in my head.  Replaying, like a song on repeat you can’t stop singing.  Over and over… “it’s not my freedom or free.”

“it’s not my freedom or free.”

“it’s not my freedom or free.”

where did this come from?

Being crazy busy at work and off the internets all day, i didn’t have a chance to google it. Which doesn’t really matter.  The point was less about from where the quote came, than the fact that it implanted itself in my head in the first place.

I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom lately, mostly around the ones we have covered in our First Amendment.

Mainly because two events happened just following my daughter’s birthday this last May that involved a both a douchebag and a lost soul.

So i’d like to break it down, if you have a few minutes to listen to the story.

Because at the end of it, i’m going to need you’re help.

Let me back up a second.  Set the stories in their context.

First, let’s cover the douchebag.

The birthday part is important.  She’s 12, my daughter, and whereas in years past she may have asked for Apples to Apples, an iPod Touch or a kitten, this year, she just wanted fun clothes.  She’s a tween-ager.  Don’t judge. It’s not like she’s going to ask for money to give to a non-profit instead of gifts.

So her grandparents sent her gift cards to a place they know she has loved in the past.

It just so happens that two days after receiving these gift cards, an insane article came out around Mike Jeffries, the totally plasticized 69 year old CEO around which the kingdom (and queendom) of Abercrombie & Fitch revolves.

In an article exposing the consumer he aspires to buy his moose-reindeer looking logo, he explains why it’s only the “cool, good looking people” he’d like to wear his brand:

“Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people.  We don’t market to anyone other than that… Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends.  A lot of people don’t belong (in our clothes), and they can’t belong.  Are we exclusionary?  Absolutely.”

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Just want to put a face with the quote here.  Y’all can come to your own conclusions.

And this plastic surgery laden 69 year old ass-wipe outwardly refuses to offer clothing over a women’s size 10 lest that consumer represent an icon that they so vehemently work to disavow.

He can openly discriminate against overweight, unattractive, unpopular women, and his right to do so is completely and utterly protected by the Constitution of our United States.

He has done nothing wrong.  Legally.

So, my daughter, in support of the not-so-cool-kids, now has cleaned her closet of every existing piece of A&F clothing and has $100 worth of gift cards.  And no idea how to dispose of them.

Can we not do something, socially, to send a message to this CEO?

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He’s lost one of his core consumers.  That’s a start.

And he should worry about that.

Now onto the lost soul.

The same weekend the story about Mr. CreepyFitch broke, we were in LA, visiting family.  After a day at Universal Studios, my daughter and her friend wanted to hit Hollywood Blvd, see the star studded sidewalk.  Not much more on which to expand here… I think they were hoping at the very least to find Michael Jackson’s star, and at the most, spot a celebrity or two.

We spotted this, instead:

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a poor soul, indeed.

or maybe not.  I don’t know, who the hell am I to judge? He may be the happiest dude on the planet, son of a millionaire, a trust fund baby.  I don’t know his backstory.

I only know that my daughter passed him and asked me, “can he say that, mom?”

Yes, he can.

Absolutely.

He can say whatever he wants on that scrap of cardboard, lest it not infringe upon the rights of another person in the process.

So i stealthily took the picture for her, my baby girl, to soft copy the moment in her life she learned a little about our First Amendment.

It’s not surprising, now, why that quote is stuck in my head, “it’s not my freedom or free.”

It’s a Tony Morrison quote.  It is written in her book The Big Box. I now remember that I used to read it to Savannah over and over and over and over before bed.  The lesson:  if we define freedom to our children by our own standards, then it is simply not their freedom.

Let them experience the evil CEO’s.  The stoner dudes on the corner that tell us to go Fuck ourselves.

It is a brilliant generation, our children.  At the end of the day, she DID ask for gifts to non-profits from her friends, in the form of donations to the Children’s Cancer Association, which is exactly what she received.

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It is a gift, our First Amendment.  And these kids GET IT.

And it is an honor to celebrate and mourn those that defend it with their lives.

If you have made it to this sentence, you’ve read far too much of my rambling, but i’m so humbled you have done so.

Bringing it back to the $100 worth of gift cards sitting on our counter for A&F… any ideas?

As always,

Peace.

AC

Posted in Abercrombie & Fitch, CEO's, Children's Cancer Association, Constitution, Constitutional rights, daughters, First Amendment, Freedom, Memorial Day, Mike Jeffries, plastic, Toni Morrison | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

These are a few of my (really warped) favorite things…

Oh man, am I in a bad way.

A super shitty mood.

This doesn’t happen often, so i’m a bit thrown here.

I ran a beautifully fast and fun half marathon on the other side of the US of A yesterday with 20,000 other women and a handful of utterly insanely brave men, and yet.

ugh.

Disclaimer:  I am beginning this post after 2 glasses of wine.  By the time I have finished it (the post, not the wine), i shall have finished it (the wine, not the post).

I wish I could blame this mood on something other than what it really is.

I wish I could blame it on the following things:

That I just found out that unicorns don’t exist.

That Ricky Gervais stopped posting on Twitter.  (“If you want to know why I don’t believe in your god, just ask yourself why you don’t believe in any of the other gods. Hope that helps.”)

That I couldn’t RUN anymore.

That I just found out that FOX news always had it right (see: unicorns, above).

That “happy baby” was never actually a legit yoga pose.

But no.

These are not the reasons.

I actually can’t pinpoint what it is.  And I find myself really pissed when i’m pissed.

Seriously.

I am an extremely healthy woman with more than enough means to pack up shop, move to the mountains, and live happily ever after.  I have no debt, no (known of, as of this posting…) illness, no pain, no heartache. I have never cheated death.  I have never felt the terror of an attack.  I don’t know what it’s like to go hungry, I have never been profiled.

I have lied, I have cheated, and I have stolen.

And only on one of those three have I been caught.  But it’s when I was 10.

So coming home and being angry, quite honestly, is taking it’s toll on my attitude.

I’m going to correct it right now.

With this.

AC’s TOP TEN “THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY TODAY SO I CAN PUT MY SHITTY MOOD INTO PERSPECTIVE” LIST. 

10) MY DAUGHTER’S ELITE AND AIR JORDAN CREW SOCK COLLECTION. 

So I’m already in a bad mood, and I’m thinking… “what better way to exacerbate this crappy mood than to fold laundry?”  I wander into the dryer, and about 8 billion socks fall onto the floor.

I smile.

Because they all belong to my 11 (soon to be 12) year old daughter. A basketball obsessed female tween. In a sport where men get too much of the glory.

So for fun (since she is out playing Clutch basketball tonight), i pull out all her socks.

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that’s 22 pairs. of socks. for basketball.

9) COMIC SANS FONT

It’s disastrous.  I’d probably only use it if the choice were between me using it and killing a unicorn.

however…

I’m just so happy that there are still people in this world who use this font.  And i’m not the only one.

8) “I FORGOT WHAT EIGHT WAS FOR.”

If you know, you know.

7) MY DAUGHTER’S BATHROOM.

I’ll go ahead and post the photo first.

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Please note a few things:

_the iPad for constant music entertainment.

_the hair-straightening spray.

_no attempt at folding clothes.

_the 20 or so brands of lotions, soaps, and face creams.

_glass of wine with fruit soaking in it (ok, that is MINE.  had to put is SOMEWHERE to take the photo).

_the shoes that were in fact mine, but she has now claimed as her own.

6) JOHN DENVER

I was in such a pissy mood, i needed some music that would make me happy. If you know me, you know i am a HUGE John Denver fan.  I can play just about every one of his “greatest hits” on guitar (as defined by me, NOT his label).  My all time favorite, (if you were born, say, before 1995 you may know this.  If you were born after that – or maybe before… I don’t know the John Denver statue of limitations on knowing his songs by heart – you might not know one lyric at all, so for that, only I am smiling for this bullet point tonight) is “Wild Montana Skies.”  On Greatest Hits, Vol. 3.

5) THE WORD “SWIVET.”

I learned this word from my stepmother’s cousin yesterday. And of COURSE learning a new word is cause to smile.

But because learning a new word is a big deal (not when you are 11, as that’s not a big deal at all. But at 42, that’s a bigass deal), I have asked my sister, a blogger herself, to help me use it in a sentence.

And, as usual, she prevailed.

here we go:

a) “Mitch McConnell was in a swivet when John Boehner tried to kiss him.”

b) “My sister (that would be me) was in a swivet when she finished her last bottle of Chardonnay (it was Pinot Gris tonight, but alas, it was finished and I was in a swivet).

c) “Fox news was in a swivet when Tsarnev’s constitutional rights were upheld.”

does this help?  indeed, it should.

4) WALLPAPER.

We got this amazing wallpaper last week, and it just makes me so happy.  It’s got bats and venus fly traps all over it.  Probably nothing Julie Andrews would sing about.  (“The hills are alive… with the sound of baaaatttsssss.”). Nope, not so much.

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3) WILDFANG.

These women are entrepreneurial geniuses.  They work hard, they play hard, they love hard. And they sell a necklace (amongst many other in-fucking-credible things) that has a harmonica attached to it.  That actually plays music.

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and then, when I ordered a bunch of these from them for all of my girlfriends, they sent me a handwritten thank you letter, which i’m pretty sure nobody does anymore.  They even said i was a Badass, which i’m pretty sure, at 42, is impossible, but just because they took the time to do that, and write it on a card, and put it in the mail with my order, diminished almost the reminder of my surly mood.

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I also, because the lighting allowed it, tried to do a unicorn, just because i thought that was just as nice as the letter.  But because i am not a shadow puppeteer, and i’ve had, now, a full 3 glasses of wine, it turned out more like a beluga whale that has mated with a unicorn and had a “belunicorn” baby-child.

2) HAND WRITTEN THANK YOU LETTERS.

1) THE NUMBER ONE REASON REMAINS PERSONAL.

I am already lighter.  There are too many good things, day after day, that happen.  And all too often we don’t even give our energy to them. My number 1 thing is obvious.

to me.

And for you, it’s a totally different thing.

Which is good.

So here’s the thing.

Dirty bathrooms are worth a laugh, not a nuisance.

Imagining a belunicorn could exist is dreamy.

providing socks for my daughter is not something I should take for granted.

Whatever kind of over-the-top shitty day you’re having, don’t let it get you in a swivet.

With all the post attack amputations, nuclear threats, potential chemical warfare, and suicide bombings…

it’s simply wasn’t worth it to end my day in any other way than with grace and gratitude.

and so it is ended.

#shareyourtop10.

Peace.

AC

Posted in Elite sock, Fox news, John Denver, top ten lists, unicorns, Wildfang | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Everything Exists.

I have an insane idea for a mashup. It came to me on a run this weekend.

If you’ve got a connection to Jay Z, Timberlake, Rihanna, or B, you might want to take note, because i am going to make you INCREDIBLY fucking rich with this idea.

But before i do, before i divulge my genius idea, let’s just backup a hot minute.  and define what a music mashup actually IS…

So i’m going to the source. The only credible source in the universe.  Wiki.

“A mashup or bootleg (also meshmash upmash-upblend, and bastard pop/rock) is a song or composition created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another.”

Any questions, up to this point?

I thought not.

OK.

So to continue backing up for a second, let’s go back to the most important part of this blog post…

ME.

Yea, i’m going to be selfish for a hot second.

Because my mind works in kind of not-quite-circular-and-somewhat-squarish ways, and when i’m on a RUN, well, any kind of shit can happen (no, not literal, unless this were an actual marathon, which, if you have not done one, DO NOT JUDGE.  shit happens).

So, back to me.

When i run, i get some crazyass ideas.  I am superwoman, where nothing can penetrate my boldness, my femme fatale, my absolute willingness to take total risk.  Running is my superpower.

The hour after is where self-doubt leaks in, my kryptonite shows its ugly self.

It’s where my idea of the “ultimate mashup” no matter how completely AWESOME it was on my run, strumming air guitar along the Wildwood trail, becomes a complete farce.  A whimsical moment between mile 6 and 7.

however.

Between mile 6 and 7, a few months ago, is where i achieved complete clarity on the cover of  a photographical journal I was to publish of my friend May’s beautiful journey through breast cancer demolition (that’s a harsh word, but she did.  she DEMOLISHED these mother-fucking cells).

And the moment i knew a book was in store came to me when she said to me, “AC, I’m scared about my hair falling out.”

So we shot a series of photos of her beautiful black hair and dark brown skin against the white wall of my home, with nothing other than my handheld Canon Rebel T3i, and thus, the cover shot of Come what May was made:

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and since we published, I haven’t given the luck of the beauty of that shot a second thought.

I just assumed I was lucky.

So today, this rainy cold-ass Sunday evening, I asked my 11 year old daughter to put on a tank top, get in front of the same wall, and see if i could get ANY of the same results that I achieved with May.

For if I did, it would be great news.  It would mean that any of you, with a white wall, could create magic with nothing more than a handheld camera.

So here’s what we did.

The same hair flipping motions that May did to achieve the amazing cover photo we got, above.

And what a result.

Here is the lesson: with a camera, one that has any sort of fast motion lens, and a bit of desire to edit them (I use Adobe Lightroom, you could use anything that allows a black and white setting with exposure options), you can make a mashup happen.

A mashup that uses the color of the personality of the individual with the black & white filter.

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so you see, it’s super simple.

have your person, be it your son, your daughter, your mother or father, your sister or brother, your friend or foe, flip it.  In front of a white wall.

then crop it, put a black and white filter on it, and publish it.

it will be amazing and it will be YOUR vision.

And if, by chance, you happen to have “The Rose” by Bette Midler playing as I did during my run, you might have the come to Jesus moment i did that a mashup of that song with whichever current popular icon wants to attack the challenge.  They can pay me royalties later….

I digress.

It is what it is.

Everything exists.

Except for the things that don’t.

So if they are important to you, make them happen.

#therosemashupidea

Peace,

AC

Posted in beauty, breast cancer, cancer, Corradini Photo, daughters, Lightroom, overexposing, photograhy tips, photography, portrait, skin cancer | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment