Firemen, dalmations, a pole, and one silly Santorum. How i got it all wrong.

Did i learn a lesson last week.

That’s a question with a period, i know.

The story:

I was trying to arrange for a team of us at NIKE to go to a fire station to get some inspiration around the idea of “everyday heroes.”

So after cold calling a station near our house, i was put in touch with a super cool woman named Cassandra to work out the details.

Here’s how it went down:

Cassandra:  So what exactly are you looking for in this visit?

Me: Well, our crew would like to see what a day in the life of a fireman is like.  You know, what tools they use to keep them (and us) alive when called to a fire.

Cassandra:  Ok, and how long do you think you’ll be?

Me: we’d love to hang out for a couple hours.  It’s not often you can sit down with firemen and talk to them in depth!  It will be super inspiring for our design team as we think about how to address durability, lightweight, and moisture management.

Cassandra:  I think we can totally arrange that.  But i have to ask you one favor.  Could you please address us as “Firefighters?”  As a woman and a firefighter myself, we would really appreciate that.

Andrea:  Yes, i can totally do that once i pull this humble flavored firefighter boot out of my esophagus.

So i learned.  I thought maybe they were still called firemen, even the females, because maybe it was like female actors that didn’t like to be called actresses?  Then i thought about it more and that became a completely stupid and irrelevant analogy.

Anywho, Cassandra hooked us up with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Station #60, and what went down was beyond awesome so i just had to share the story, and since this a photography blog, folks, i’ll share some edited (along with the non-edited original) photos because i kind of think they turned out amazing.

The day before we went, i looked up the station online, because the internets have all sorts of information, i recently found out.  I wanted to find pictures of what we might expect, so i could prep our team for a great experience.

Was there a pole?  If so, i wanted to call the station to see if we had to bring in a release to slide down the pole.

Did they have a dalmation?  if so, how many spots did it have?  Was it named Spot?

You see?  these questions needed answers!

But i didn’t get much online.  All i found was a picture of their community room:

I felt kind of bummed for TVFR station #60 because of this community room.  I thought if THAT was their community room, what did the rest of the station offer?  I mean, there’s not even a pole.

Wrong, again.

We got there at 10:30 am Tuesday morning, Valentine’s Day.

We met four of the most incredible human beings imaginable.

Not just because they were firefighters, but because they LOVED being firefighters.

You could hear it in every part of our tour.  They OWNED that damn community room.  They slathered their refrigerators with pictures of their family.  They took PRIDE in their office space, where every minute detail of every incident is documented.

And then, and THEN, after we hammered them with questions about their workouts (mandatory once a day, often doubles), their shifts (24 hours, 7am-7am), the weight of their suits (60 lbs with oxygen), how they keep from getting killed in a fire (multiple answers, we listened intently with jaws on the floor), and what the one innovation would be that they would give everything else up to have (weight reduction in their gear)…came the magic words from Captain Mike K.

“Would you all like to try on our gear?”

Here’s where it gets awesomer.

We all dressed up in the gear.  What takes them 60 seconds to put on, took each of us a minimum of 4 minutes.  Each and every one of you would be dead if you were relying on us to save you if your brain had stopped receiving oxygen and we were called.  But Mike, Brad, Laurie, and Malik?  60 seconds flat.  They could be to you in 7 minutes.  which means you got to live.

And Laurie.

Ok, bear with me.  Laurie is a woman.  A woman firefighter.  Now, this next thought has been a LOT on my mind lately ever since that silly Santorum guy made a remark about how women in combat could create a “compromising situation” because of “emotions.” I know Laurie is not fighting on the frontlines of Afghanistan right now.  But spend 15 minutes with Laurie, and the following is clear:

Observation 1:  There is no way the guys treat her any differently because she is a female when that unit is in the midst of a scorching fire that could blow at any time.

Observation 2:  She could draw upon her super human strength if needed. One could just see it in her eyes, feel it in the woven bond of their unit.

Observation 3:  i would put my daughter’s life, every single one of her 10 years, in Laurie’s hands.

There is not one part of me that can fathom that she couldn’t handle the frontlines, nor that the men next to her would take issue with it.

Had to digress, because this issue is just, in my humble opinion, a non-issue.

And now we’re back.

Below are just a handful of the hundreds of photos i shot.  I thought it would be great to include the originals, to have a sense of the editing and cropping i chose before posting.

take note:  if the photo is of someone in a firefighter suit, it’s one of us, living a fantasy.  The Unit 60 firefighters are the ones in blue.

All of them, the Captain with his years of experience, supremely confident to make the calls that will hopefully save lives, Laurie, with soaring confidence and strength, Brad, the one that took my call in the first place and led the tour of the station, and Malik, the driver, and the guy who geeked out on all their gadgetry, gave us an unforgettable experience, a glimpse into what it means to save lives on a regular basis.

What it means to be a firefighter.

So here we go.  in pictures.

(this is bobby, ex professional snowboarder and current sports marketing guru, who yes, actually rubbed dirt on his face to get the authentic look)

60 seconds from this…

to this.  Seems impossible, but they do it.

 Bobby took this a little too seriously.  Makes for great photos.  He should also act.

So really, these pictures are for them.  So the four of them can appreciate that they really changed our lives this Valentine’s Day.  Maybe they’ll hang a couple in their community room :).

So to Captain Mike,

Malik,

Laurie,

and Brad,

Thank you for an amazing experience,

and thank you for being firefighters.

Peace,

AC (and the NIKE Action Crew)

Postscript:  I wanted to get a group photo of the 4 firefighters, but as we approached the end of our visit, when i had intended to snap it, they were called by dispatch.  As they ran to the truck, they looked back, waved, and said, i swear, “could you lock up on your way out?”

Posted in Firefighters, Lightroom, TVFR | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

bleed.

I had missed this accident, literally, by hours.

maybe even minutes.

On December 31, 2009, i was riding a chairlift over the halfpipe in Park City, Utah, watching a kid fly so high off the sides of it, that i remember thinking how it simply had to be a future Olympian training for some serious competition.

2 days later, back in Portland, i hear the news that Kevin Pearce had hit his head on the side of the halfpipe in Park City, Utah, and was in critical condition at the University of Utah hospital.

The athlete i saw was him.

Kevin lived.  And I have had the honor of getting to know him and his incredible brother Adam, who has stood by his side since that fateful day.

This weekend, we saw a moment on TV.  If you were watching football, you hopefully saw the  Bing commercial celebrating the monumental recovery and milestones that Kevin has reached, as he got back on his board this December, two years after his accident, and rode again.

And soon, you will see a documentary, directed by my amazing friend Lucy Walker, (who is busy at Sundance Film Festival celebrating her incredible latest film, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, which was just nominated for an OSCAR!!!) on the story of the incredible journey he has taken.

Fast forward two years, to this week.

I am up in Whistler for an offsite with my team.  And we hear the tragic news about Sarah Burke, a beautiful Canadian freestyle skiier, a pioneer in her sport, destined to compete in the sport’s debut in Sochi 2014.  She died on Thursday after crashing on the very same half pipe.

I have never met Sarah, but i know many athletes and friends that have.  And as the week has passed i have heard stories that make my heart soar.

Among them,

In accordance with her wishes, Sarah donated her organs so that another human being may be given a chance at life.

The US Women Ski Jumpers, who are also making their olympic debut in Sochi 2014, have donated a portion of their World Cup earnings to Sarah Burke’s family to help with medical expenses they incurred.

So i guess the point to all this is that we never know what will happen on any given day.

Our world can turn on us in a minute.

So we should probably have no regrets.

So while our literal Earth is turning, but our proverbial World is still, it’s time we bleed a little more.

Bleed compassion by telling someone going through a hard time that you are thinking about them.

Bleed by showing that you can change the world by making an animal noise.

Bleed bone marrow by swabbing a few q-tips in your mouth (my husband and i did it together, it was SO romantic) and register for Be The Match Foundation.

Bleed into a new life by making sure you have clearly stated on your Drivers License and your Will that you are an organ donor.

I was asked by a commenter last week why i didn’t just “stay in the kitchen where i should be and accept things as they are.”

(that is actually the PG version… the actual comment had a few additional nouns, several  of which rhymed with “funt” and “pouche rag.”)

This question is ridiculous on two fronts.  First and foremost, because i am the shittiest cook on the planet, which anyone who knows me will confirm.

Secondly, that would imply that the status quo is just peachy and requires no act on our part to be a better citizen.

But when my husband “lets me out of the kitchen,” (sorry, commenter-who-sucks-so-i-have-to-give-you-shit) i really enjoy kicking ass at my job, and i also enjoy taking pictures.

So i will end with a few pictures i was able to take of my friend Kevin Pearce, who i am honored and humbled to know, and who has inspired me to take a stand against all odds.

here, KP stands with our mutual good friend David de Rothschild, my speed chess partner, and the man behind the most amazing website ever.

his “brain injury” is better than “any excuse to accept the status quo.”

KP and Ellery Hollingsworth… two of the most incredible people i know.

his incredible sense of humor that the fateful day on the half pipe never touched.

Adam Pearce.  I heart.

Adam and Omar (Salazar) getting an iPad design tutorial from the one and only Tinker Hatfield.  I know. seriously.

another of Kevin.  I love this one.  He and Matthew Modine are “thinking it out.”

i was honored to capture this moment, as it was a landmark one.  Kevin and Adam, out on paddleboards, a true test of KP’s balance.  we were all watching on shore, sharing in the amazingness of this moment.

His FABULOUS, GENUINE, PERFECT smile.

And to Sarah, who i never knew, but wish above moons i did, i salute you, your athleticism, your beauty, and your legacy.

don’t be passive.

be progressive.

BLEED.

Peace,

AC

Posted in athletes, Bing, Bone Marrow donation, Corradini Photo, death, environment, Kevin Pearce, Organ Donation, Sarah Burke | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

damn you, pussycat, damn you.

We adopted new kitten from the Oregon Humane Society about a month ago and she is SUCH a bitch.

But it was on my list, so we had to.

Here was our conversation this morning:

Cat: i want a cat portfolio.

Me: why?

Cat: because i am a super hot cat.

Me: you are kind of full of yourself.

Cat:  I know you are but what am i.

Me: you’re not the boss of me.

Cat: i kind of am.

Me:  ok.

So here is the photoshoot i did of my cat today.  i actually had no intent of making this a blog, but it’s “Winter Storm of the Entire Goddamn Century, 2012” according to our Portland newscasters and therefore we’re all on lock down because 3 snowflakes hit our driveway, so i’m fucking bored out of my mind and have already watched the one show worth watching anymore.

Also, i consider myself an expert on shooting from a really low angle, AND i have a new camera, so really, my cat didn’t make me do this at all.  i TOTALLY wanted to do this anyway.

intro photo.  she just wants you all to get comfortable here, kind of a “big picture”photo. Also, it would appear she’s still PRETTY pissed off at me for not immediately agreeing to the shoot.

headshot.  also paw shot.  and by that wicked smile, you can immediately tell she wasn’t entirely satisfied.

i probably wouldn’t be either, as a feline supermodel.

yeah, you know this one.  look at that tongue.

Cat porn.

cat: this is the lamest shot. you are trying to get all artsy.  do not get all artsy.  i’m starting to get pissed off.

Cat is now threatening to move to Canada because i have cut her head off.  In Canada, apparently they would never do that.

so she took manners into her own non-opposable thumb hand paws:

self portrait.

i gave it one last try, shooting her in full force, sort of the “i’m, like, totally spayed so we can bonk like bunnies and i won’t have kittens” kind of look, to post on the Cat Singles Site that she uses on her special computer keyboard that doesn’t require her having opposable thumbs (she has no idea how spoiled she is).

So we’re done.  I’ll never shoot her again.  what a diva.

however, when she wasn’t looking i snuck back in.  And what i saw, oh what i saw.

i saw her dance.

to John Denver.

who is my hero.

so i love her.

and you should too, because prior to us finding her, she had a really miserable life as a stray, and then a second miserable life in a cage, so we’re hoping that lives three through nine are with us in the Batcave, even if she is a demanding bitch.  that purrs in the key of C minor.

You’ve got a three day weekend, you’ve got a warm house, and you’ve got opposable thumbs that can drive a car to the Oregon Humane Society or the Cat Adoption Center.

Either one can End Petlessness (though the tagline belongs to OHS).

i can think of a few of you (ahem) that i won’t openly call out as able to adopt but i know are the kindest women in the world. and probably could adopt a cat.  for me. because you love me. except for KK because you live in China and i’m pretty sure the Oregon Humane Society does not exist there.

To all the inhalers, steroids (both inhaled and pill form, but legal) i take to allow me to hum to her purr in C minor due to being stuck in a life threatening snow storm brought on by (now up to 16) massive snowflakes, i can attest to one thing:

it is worth it.

don’t be a pussy, get a cat.

Peace,

AC

Posted in animal photography, Cat Adoption Shelter, Cats, Oregon Humane Society, Pet adoption, SPCA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

nothing but junk.

This morning, i was trying to thread my blog together.

And then i came across this incredible freaking article, and the course of what i wanted to focus on took a complete left hook across the face.

See, i’m trying to weave together a bunch of random happenings that led up to today, because everyone and their freaking llama is asking me what my New Year’s Resolution is, and the thing is, i think resolutions are a bunch of crap.  It’s like only giving thanks on Thanksgiving, or focusing on how much you love someone on Valentine’s Day.

So i’ve been processing what a perfect year could be for me, and i realize it’s got to start with the simple task of cleaning my junk drawer.

Let’s go back a second to December 27th, as we were all in Park City at my parents place, and my brother who talks a lot (which is generally fine since he’s the smartest person in the world, but it still didn’t stop me from sending him the incredibly freaking amazing article) was looking for some kitchen gadget in my mom’s junk drawer and found this:

yes, i know it’s blurry and you’re thinking, “IS THAT A FREAKING MICROWAVE RADIATION TESTER FROM, LIKE, THE 80’S, THAT IS CALLED THE SEEKER?????

yes, my friends, yes it is.

So my brother, in a subtle way, so as not to completely crack his ass off, said, “um, mom, i have three questions for you…”

Andy: have you used this device, at all, in the last 15 years?

Mom: no.

Andy: are you aware you don’t need one?  (he proceeded to say that microwaves operate at roughly the same frequency as your cordless phone holder).

Mom: um, no.

Andy: are you aware they don’t actually work?

Mom: well, you never know when you might actually need one.

Soooo, we tested it.

You can take a few things from this photo:

1) the microwave oven radiation tester does not work.

2) yes, there is someone, somewhere, who produces signs that say “wine is bottled poetry.”

3) my life must obviously warrant more excitement this year if i am taking this picture.

which leads me to my point up at the beginning… where i started thinking, what the fuck is in my junk drawer?

so i opened it.

it’s a goddamn homegrown game of Pictureka.

And no, i did not plant the National Geographic article there.  My mother has been clipping and sending me articles since i skipped town when i was roughly 5, and this particular one was on how the teenage brain worked which she really wanted David and i to read because we have a teenager and we don’t know how he works.

we just never got around to reading it sooooo…it went into the junk drawer.

Anywho,

after about 30 minutes of cleaning out complete crap, i found no microwave oven radiation detectors, but i found so much complete un-awesomeness i had to finally break out the wineglass my mom got me for Christmas and pour myself some libations. it has 5 o’clock on the base.  seriously.  it’s the best glass ever.

it was the only way i was going to be able to finish this project, folks.

Finally, after about 71 hours of looking at that drawer and throwing away half the crap in it, i finished.  exhausted, yet freed.

So anyway, back to the point.

I read this amazing article, (the New York Times owes me bigtime because i have so many readers which i am SURE is impacting their stats on their readership) and i put down my phone and asked my daughter and husband to turn off their phones and computers and ipads and tv’s and we all got on our gear and went and ran approximately 790 vertical steps and then walked down to the bagel store and after that drove to Crate and Barrel to buy really cheap discounted Christmas stuff (sorry, guilty pleasure) and then paid the boy who watched our kitten $5 and finally…wrote our thank you notes to our grandparents.

And i was so excited, i didn’t even get severely pissed off at the dude who put his leaf blower in the back of his truck aimed right at me specifically TO PISS ME OFF.

and in the midst of all that, a dude walked up to us at the bagel place who had seen us running together and told us how awesome that was and how he wished his parents would have done that with him, and then because i was looking up instead of down at my phone i spotted an entire family walking in downtown Portland in their pajamas (ok, ok, i did at that point run get my iphone so i could take their picture):

the dad was even holding a smaller kid who was, in fact, well… you know.

ok, to my damn point.

here are my new years resolutions, if you need to know.

1) look up.

2) not give a shit about if my junk drawer gets messy again, i discover new things.

3) keep hating leaf blowers, keep loving taking pictures every goddamn day.

4) caring less about the quantity of my work, and more about the quality.

5) more yoga, less running, but more of everything.  just more.

6) not try to win the internets every day.  Maybe just Monday, since statistically it’s the best day to post a blog.

7) keep writing.

to all of you that have contributed to the over 16,000 reads of my dumb-ass blog,

to the 42 posts i’ve written that started this time last year (it was, in fact, my resolution),

and to my all time favorite of those 42 and to the one you all loved the most (statistically speaking, not just because it’s the best story that you never knew until now),

I THANK YOU.

And i wish you resolutions that mean something to you and only you.

What is next may be madness, or it may be quiet, but whatever it will be…

it will be big.

Happy New Year.

Peace,

AC

Posted in Corradini Photo, environment, New Years Resolutions, photography, running, starting a blog, Women's Ski Jumping | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

how Stanley and i inadvertently killed our planet this weekend.

It’s Christmas!  a package at the door!

Savannah, “is it an iPhone for me?”

me, “no.”

David, “is it the thing that shoots the cat when she claws my ‘men’s club’ couch?”

me, “no.”

David, “is it the blow up doll that does the dishes because you’re the epitome of frat boy cleanliness?”

me, “no.”

Savannah, “dad, leave mom alone.  she has other strengths.”

Honestly, i had no clue what it was.

It came from Memphis, more specifically from “Tuggle Road”, in Memphis.

So unless either Apple, Amazon, Free People, or Ulu knives is located on Tuggle Road, then i am completely at a loss.

So i opened it, naturally.

Actually, my cat opened it.

she loves packages.

cat, “is it something with which to shoot the dog?” (she’s very proper, we brought her home from the Humane Society only to discover she had a British accent, weird.)

me, “no.”

cat, “shit.”

Then my dog… no, nevermind.  i distracted him with a bacon strip.  he’s a lab, so, well, you know.  small brain, not super conflicted on priorities and all.

Annnnyyyhoooo…

once i got my cat aligned to her priorities of chasing a cork i had dropped on the floor (since i don’t pick up shit i drop on the floor) (reference blow up doll, above), i looked in the box and could still not see what was in there.

it was a shitload of plastic.

so naturally, it must have been something super fragile.

So i started pulling out the plastic, and 20 minutes later, i was still pulling out plastic (i exaggerate, but seriously, look at all the goddamn plastic in this box).

And finally, FINALLY, i came to the prize.  the gift. the thing that not one of us ordered.

OH. EM. GEE!

it was my free NIKE Plus chip!  Now i remember!  i have run literally a bazillion miles (brother, that one is for YOU!) so because of that they rewarded me with a free chip!

So i’m super happy, because i lose those chips like i lose pens and socks and waterbottles (probably because i am so messy).

HOWEVER…. the box in which this chip comes, is LITERALLY the size of a pear.

….aaaaand BAM.  she scores with, literally, the most intelligent man on earth.

So, in conclusion.

i figure the dude that packed this box lived right off Tuggle Road and maybe they had just had the Tuggle Road Christmas Party and maybe he had a bit too much spiked eggnog and said, “i’m going to fuck with this person and fill a way too large box full of plastic to make her (or her cat) think that there is a priceless, very fragile crystal ball in here.”

Well, Stanley (my name for him), you messed with the wrong girl.  Because now i feel so guilty for how much goddamn plastic you put in that box, that i’m going to find a use for it that will keep it from going into any landfill.  I’m going to WASTELAND that shit.  And most likely, it will be in the form of a blow-up doll that can do the dishes.

Peace, to all.

AC

P.S. these are all taken on my iPhone because in the package was not, in fact, the new camera that is on MY LIST.

P.P.S.  these are all edited on my new favorite photo app called CAMERA + (plus), which will deplete your wallet $.99, but is worth every penny. This is a photography blog, afterall, so i had to relate it somehow, now, didn’t i?  sheesh!

Posted in Christmas packages, dogs, environment, guns, Memphis, nike, photograhy tips, photography, plastic, running, Ulu Knives, waste, Wasteland | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

the worst football player in the United States of America.

My junior year of college, i met a guy.

Admittedly that might be the most boring opening sentence ever.  Usually you want that first sentence to really capture the reader, convince him to keep reading.

But truly, it started with that.  I met a guy.

He was not particularly attractive, nor not. He was average height, maybe slightly taller, let’s say about 6’1″.  Blondish hair, but not too blond.  Perhaps his worst feature was slightly pocked skin from a few years of teenage mutant acne, but nothing so much as to deter you from a conversation.

What struck me as odd, what warranted our first conversation, was that he was slightly older than the average Bobcat at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

He was living in the same “house” as my boyfriend, and, like him, also played on the football team.

OK, to understand why this story is so amazing, you have to know a little something about Bates Football.  And since i don’t really know a goddamn thing about the sport, i am going to quote DIRECTLY from an ESPN article entitled “Worst College Football Team.”

“Bates College plays football in the Division III NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference), which is basically glorified high school football. From 1990 to 2001, Bates went 10-78-1 (less than a one win per year average), including an astounding 37 in a row from 1991 to 1995. During a game in 1993, Bates fell behind Williams 35-0 — in the first quarter! Take away the aberrational 1999 when they went 4-4, and Bates has won only a staggering six games in the last 11 years. The NESCAC is most likely the lowest level of competition in college football in the country. Bates is in the midst of a historic run in terms of futility playing in that conference.”

And the best part is that the dude that wrote this article actually WENT to Bates!

So you get it, right?  Football was not our forte.  Students did not come to Bates for our football program.

So back to my friend (and i’ll keep this tight, get to the point here…).

I was hanging out with my boyfriend, and i happened to ask this guy what his story was.

You see, Bates is a small liberal arts school in basically the industrial armpit of the state of Maine, and at no small cost.  You don’t spend 5 years there, you don’t come after a few years out of high school after you’ve “found your path in life,” there is no graduate school.  So he was a bit of a misfit, being well over our 20-21 years old.

So i come to find out that he left high school to join the military.  And in the military he played a bit of football.  Not enough to get him to a Division I or II school, but enough that he might have a chance at Division III.  He was a quarterback.

So he finds his way to Bates.

Bates College is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), which is the lowest ranked member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), which is pretty much the weakest link in all of the Athletic Conferences in the United States… nay… the UNIVERSE.

And he was the THIRD STRING QUARTERBACK.

To summarize.  My friend Jon was the third string quarterback on the worst team in the weakest region of the lowest conference in the US.

He was the worst football player in the United States of America.

BUT.

And this is really, really, really fucking important.

1) He didn’t regret a day of it, and like all of us, we claim Bates to be amongst the best 4 years of our goddamn lives.

2) He served our country and afterwards sought an education that i am sure both of those experiences combined have led him to do great things.  I imagine him to be an incredible leader.

3) If what was uncovered this week at Penn State had EVER hit our campus, being the worst football team in America or the winningest, i am damn near sure, no, i am convinced beyond doubt that we would have celebrated every move made to fire every single goddamn president, athletic director, coach or fucking PERSON associated with the coverup or undisclosed rape and sexual assault of 8-10 year old boys.

Shame on you, Nittany Lions students that staged protests to the decision by the University to fire all who passively did the least the law required.  It’s shameful.

May the victims find peace and the perpetrators, justice.

As always,

Peace.

AC

Posted in Bates Bobcats, Bates College, College, ECAC, Football, Joe Paterno, NESCAC, Nittany Lions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

my girl.



blue eyes, originally uploaded by Corradiniphoto.

and her blue eyes.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

my list.

Here is my list.

take it seriously.  It will not change and if it is on here it means i intend to accomplish it between now and a year from now.  365 days.

1) celebrate today.

two personal things happened.  one to me, one to my dad.  we both received good medical news that will allow us to live longer and see each other more.  So i’m going to start my list with toasting a big glass of wine to my body for being healthy and order some amazing flowers for my dad for his heart beating strongly.

2) hold a “think tank” dinner for a really talented friend.

i know people.  and the people i know know even more people.  and this friend of mine has talent that people need to know about.  so we’re going to make sure the people who need to know about my friend’s talent are going to help him get launched, because that is the kind of people i know.  Oh, and there will be very good wine.

3) go to Morocco.

the opportunity is right in front of me.  in May.  i can choose to say i’m really busy and i travel too much and i may miss some really important meeting, or i can choose to go to Morocco, and be inspired and see a place in the world i’ve never seen.

4) buy a really expensive camera.

i really have no right to have a blog that bases itself on photography as i’m such an amateur, but you know what?  there are things i need and things i want, and this is the latter, and i’m not going to deny it.  I LOVE to take photos.  LOVE. I want a nice camera, and i’m hoping that at least 3 of you (Boone, Dan, Ben?) read this blog and might be willing to point me in the right direction of exactly which camera will make me the happiest.

5) give even more.

we are part of the 1%.  We are.  and i’m not ashamed of it, my husband and i have  not inherited a dime, and we’ve cumulatively worked hard for the same company for almost 40 years.  But part of being the 1% comes with an obligation to give a hell of a lot of that away.  And we do.  And we will continue to do that, and do more each year. Because it is the easiest and simplest way to make a difference.  Our non-profits include the Children’s Cancer Association, the SPCA, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, US Women’s Ski Jumping, Athletes for Cancer, and the OHSU Foundation.  And next year, i know that some will be the same, but some may be different, but the value will be more.

6) spoil a family rotten this Christmas.

A family that does not have the means to give gifts to their children because the little money they have is going to pay hospital bills to keep their son or daughter fighting the battle against that fucking disease called cancer.  if i know you well, i will be asking for your help.  it may be for a pair of socks, it may be for a game of Scrabble.  It will depend on the needs of the family we have adopted.  but we want to give them a Holiday season filled with joy.

7) get a kitten

we’ve lost a few over the years to coyotes.  it’s part of living in Oregon.  But this last one has still got a hold of my heart and i need a feline nearby.  i love cats.  if i were dead, i’d ask the re-incarnation committee if i could come back as a bad ass pussy cat.  For now, i’d just like to help out the ones at the Humane Society find a home.  Hard part is convincing my husband to support.  but i’m hoping in the end, it will work out because the little furry face of the kitten purring on his shoulder will make it undeniable.  who wouldn’t cave into that.

eight) launch a social media campaign for a group of incredible international women that need someone who knows a little something about this.  I can at least work with their president (i kind of know her) to get it started.  Who knows, maybe i can be a ghost writer for their blog!  Can’t say much more, i need permission.

9) get permission for #8.

10) select a country in our world where we’ve never been, and after picking up our daughter in Paris from her 2 week exchange program, go to that never before been visited country.  I think it might be Croatia, but we’re still deciding.

11) and i’m doing 11, because it 11/1/11 and i thought it would be more lucky than not to do so… i would really like to attend the 2012 London Olympic Games.  I doubt i’ll have the opportunity, but i’ve worked hard on making them a success for our category and it would be cool to witness it.  So we’ll chalk this up to my “wish” wish list. If it happens, it happens, if not, i’ve still succdeded on the ones in my control.

That’s it. That’s my top 10 list for essentially 2012, give or take 2 months of 2011 to kick start it.

Notice i didn’t talk about getting promoted.  Do i want that?  Well of course.  who would i be to deny that.  But i do what i do, and i do it very well.  And i have a few trusted advisors and mentors that have my back and are truly invested in my success.  And as long as i know that, i’ll never add this to a wish list.  It’s a simple equation of work your ass off, do what you love, and reward others that enable your success… it’s always about paying it forward, in life and work.

Nor did i talk about working longer hours.  It’s about working the same hours better, more efficiently, so you can accomplish your list.

When we make lists like this, it forces us to take a step back from the routine, back from the “known”, and move into a space of “how can i turn 90 degrees and find some different paths that will take me new places and change my role from teacher to student?

And in turn, how do i then pay that forward.

Some of these things are simple and selfish, and some are lifechanging.  But none are not worth it and THAT was worth the double negative :).

So here were mine.

Show me yours.

Write down your list and send it to EVERY SINGLE PERSON who cares about you and your happiness so that we may all enable your success in achieving it.

then watch what happens.

To thinking you had something bad, and hearing you don’t… that was me over the past two weeks.

don’t wait for that news to launch your list, don’t wait for that signal. Do it now.

Peace,

AC

Posted in board games, Boone Speed photography, Corradini Photo, embrace, family, LIndsey Van, London, olympics, photography, travel to Japan, Women's Ski Jumping | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

proceeding with extreme caution here.

OK, i have to approach this blog post VERY carefully.

I mean with the utmost caution.

Because if my intent gets misinterpreted, i’m totally fucked.

Here’s what could happen:

1) i could get bucketed as a “mommy blogger.”

2) i could lose all 3 of my male readers.

3) I might unseat Martha Stewart as the most creative woman on the planet (with the best prison hair…oh wait, no, that goes to Lil Kim.  But she can rap, so whatever).

4) I’ll never be able to mention scorpion assholes again.

I think i could deal with any of the above, especially the Martha Stewart one (mostly because i think i could take her DOWN), with exception of the first.

Not that i have any disrespect for mom bloggers.  none at all.  I don’t really read many of them, but i think there is a great community out there of great moms who have fabulous things about which to write.

I don’t want to be in the mommy blog circle because i am really not the kind of mom you might want to idolize.  Here are a few reasons why:

1) I have my daughter serve me wine.  nightly.  she’s 10.  sometimes i even pay her to do so (a family tradition, if you will).

2) I let her watch way more TV than the US Department of Family Surgeon General and Taxation Affairs (which, in my opinion, is a HUGE waste of taxpayer dollars) recommends.  Seriously, sometimes i just let her go to town with Disney Channel for, like, ohmygod, more than an HOUR.

3) I highly encourage her never to date boys and if she wants to be a lesbian that is just fine with me.  Holy crap, can you imagine what the Conservative Pro Marriage Coalition (just made that up, but sure it’s something like that) would DO?  They’d have me tarred and feathered or something!

4) I gave her a, gulp, cell phone.

5) I can’t cook to save my life.  Tonight, in fact, we are having Hamburger Helper (yes, it’s organic grass fed beef, i’m not a goddamn idiot, geez…).

6) When she complains, i often ask her if she’d like to head on down to Doernbecher’s Hospital and ask a cancer kid how they’re feeling, just to put her shit into perspective, such is my ability to infuse guilt into her conscience.

7) we just had this conversation:

Sav: mom, would you consider going somewhere right now?

Me: no.

Me, again: but tell me anyway, so that even though i am going to say no it at least appears that i am listening.

Sav: Can we go to Target?  They have these really cool print out extensions.

Me:  No. Would you pour me some more wine?

8. I just told my stepson that we are having “pasta with beef” tonight.   I’m not telling him it’s actually Hamburger Helper.

9) i often miss my daughter’s class breakfasts, rarely know when she doesn’t have school (and am therefore caught totally desperate and unprepared), and don’t know half of the names of the kids (or parents) in her class.

I’ll stop at 9.  Seems like a random enough number.

But.

I know my daughter as if she is threaded into my skin.

And i am really dedicated, as in psychotically, to documenting, preserving, and celebrating her childhood.

I also hear approximately 50% of the people i know say, “ummm, well, i think i see more of her dad in her,” and the other 50% say, “holy shit, she looks just like you!”

Which is why we did what we did this weekend.

Wanted to pit my “young self” against her “current self” and see what happened.

The by-product of our fun little project?

it will make one hell of a great present for the grandparents. (this is where the Martha Stewart reference comes in, in case you were searching, desperately, for the connection).

However since i know all of my parents read this blog (yep, swear words and all, much to their chagrin), it’s ruined for me.

But i’d LOVE to know if you think this is an awesome idea, or simply complete crap.

It’s nothing you need to spend a ton of time on, and it’s so fun.

Sit with your child.  Go through old pictures (i have to do a quick PSA here on my mother, who gave us the greatest gift a couple years ago of completed chronological photo albums of our childhood).

Find ones your kids like (mine, in this case picked out some old modeling photos – i was a poster child for Mervyn’s and JC Penney at one time), and then find ones YOU like (for me, it was my dorkiest moments), and then re-create them.

Here’s what happens:

and my all time, god bless the 80’s style favorite…(seriously, don’t get jealous at the high waisted belted jeans, buttoned collar, and white socks, it just doesn’t behoove you like it did me…)

so there you go.

Christmas for your grandparents. Dammit, should have titled this blog “Christmas for your grandparents.”  Unless you are Jewish, in which case, clearly that would not apply.  But since i am agnostic, i’m just gonna roll with this as an idea to make your parents swoon.  or barf.

Clearly i’m not mom of the year, but i love to write.

And 31 years separates (wait… unites!) every one of these photos.

So thank you for reading, if you’ve made it this far. I don’t know why anyone would have, but in my own opinion, when your child is into dressing up as you when you were young, a picture is, truly, worth a thousand words.

Shit, does this make any sense at all?

Peace (as Lil Kim may have, or may never have, said),

AC.

PS… here are some either blooper or “before being edited” photos… took about 2o0 pics to get the above 6!

 

Posted in beauty, Corradini Photo, daughters, Disney princesses, embrace, family, fashion, gay and lesbian marriage, Gender equality, generations, grandmothers, grandparents, Lesbian, mother daughter relationships, parenting, photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

boone speed ahead

ok, so when i started this blog last January, it was with the belief and self confidence that i had just a shred of talent in the art of photography.

I thought that by giving some really basic tips on shooting from an angle, editing  your photos to make them more meaningful to the viewer (well, that one i still stand by… PLEASE stop posting 200 photos of your son’s birthday party!), and the simple use of color manipulation through an app called camera bag, you could really make a bigger impact with your photos.

Well that just got shot (no pun) to hell.

backing up a sec here…

my husband and i started a project 4 years ago with our friends at Skylab Architecture to build our dream house.

The brief?  simple.

be open, be green, be modern.

And 4 years later, our dream has become a reality.

Our natural gas bill last month?  Less than $8.00.

The number of friends and family we’ve had over to chill out over a Coors light (the only true American beer) and a bbq?  endless.

But really, the kudos goes to the architect who was able to put our simple words into a reality.

And to celebrate that, we had the true honor of a REAL photographer… and just a super cool human being, come take photos of our home.

So to all of you reading this, i introduce Boone Speed.

Insane photographer, not just of our home, but the world that surrounds it.  He captures pictures of shit people do on ice cliffs that i wouldn’t even have the balls to go near.

So when he agreed to shoot our home (aka the Batcave), he captured it from angles that were so lovely, i just had to share to a broader community.

(full frontal 🙂

(you show me your cantilever, i’ll show you mine…)

(our incredible kitchen soffit… inspired by a mobius strip)

(our beloved stairway graffiti, by our friend Felipe Motta, who flew up from Brasil with his lovely wife to create an incredible piece of art that depicts our “family tree”)

(as per our dream… wide open space)

Yeah, even Lola got a cameo…

So, Boone…

you are true talent, and therefore deemed recipient of the first ever “what the hell was i thinking when i thought i started a photography blog, this is the real shit” award.

Now go jump off a cliff. (andtakepicturesofitthanks).

Think i’ll just go back to writing about Osama Bin Laden, Slutty waitress uniforms, Guns, Disney Princesses, and Jenna Lyons now…

Peace,

AC

Posted in architecture, Batcave, Boone Speed photography, Felipe Motta, graffiti, modern design, Skylab architecture, Skyline Residence | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments