Following the third year of a holiday letter comprised
of my (increasingly complex) life via a (increasingly complex) year-in-photographs, I
wondered what it would be like to join the great experiment of 365 days of photographs.
I'm not a photographer,
I'm a writer. I'm a visual thinker, and if ever there was proof that a photo is worth a
thousand words, it would be the story a photo tells me, or in this case, about me.
Follow me on this adventure, where I
learn about photography, my ability to record my life, my dedication to something (I've
never been known for doing anything everyday) in my posts. I've also discovered I'm
learning about time, the history of it, and the odd practice of recording it, measuring it,
turning it into something tangible, and I'll record these explorations in the sidebar.
As always, feel free
to say anything. My experiment is not a spectator sport.

March 31, 2009

March 31 2009 Eat In

a: "What should we do for dinner?"
k2: "It would be cool if we went out."
a: "What would you order if you were out?"
k2:"Oh, I think a hamburger if they had one."
a: "We can make hamburgers."
e: "I hate hamburgers."
a: "How about if we made your hamburger into a pizza? We can use pizza sauce and cheese and put your hamburger on top. We don't have pepperoni, but we do have pineapple. We can make a good hamburger pizza."
k2: "I think I would like a hamburger with no cheese."
k: "How about you?"
a: "Oh, maybe a hot sauce hamburger."
k: "How about a buffalo sauce hamburger?"
a: "You know how to make buffalo sauce?"
k: "I'm not afraid."
Everyone was so patient while I plated everyone's food and set it in front of them. I distracted them from eating with Rocky and Bullwinkle, then took the picture of all our foods. It's hard to take a good picture of food, especially several plates at once. So, there's my best shot.

March 30, 2009

March 30 2009 Stop Still

Awoke to snow, not the big remarkable piles of snow they're having on the eastern slope of the Rockies; no, just enough snow to make things really interesting. Just enough to highlight the oddity of Colorado spring weather. I parked my car in the sunshine so the snow would melt off during class this morning, leaving a puddle dripping down the driveway, but it was snowing again by the time class ended. I drove around with the snow fluttering into the open windows of my car; it wasn't too cold for that. On the way home I saw daffodils and snow. Cherry blossoms and snow. Motorcycles and snow. T-shirts and snow. Forsythia blossoms and snow. Bicyclists and snow.

I pulled into the bank parking lot, looping back around the block, and left my car running in a parking space. My camera on the mini tripod, zoomed to further down the sidewalk as I lay in the middle of the walkway by the corner of a busy street. I love being odd. It was an odd day.

March 29, 2009

March 29 2009 Grow Up

The kids grow so fast, and we went through their clothes weeding out the small stuff. My daughter gets so attached to her clothes she tried everything on to make sure it was too small before tossing it on the pile. My niece already went through all my clothes; she's taller than me at twelve already, so I guess she'll wear it and hand it down to someone else because she'll grow out of it. Kind of a sad thought, a grown woman handing her clothes down to a teenager who will grow out of them. Thus, today was a pile of clothes day, clothes unworn, clothes too small to wear.

There really isn't a good way to take a picture of a pile of laundry. I mean, I suppose there might be, but I don't know it. Auto auto, auto.

March 28, 2009

March 28 2009 Make Food

Tonight the kids each made their own dinner. She made her own tuna salad sandwich, using a veggie peeler to slice the celery and a butter knife to chop the pickle. He made beans and weenies, with my help for the stove portion, chopping his hot dogs very meticulously with a butter knife. To help a four-year-old chop hot dogs, slice down the middle so they have a flat side.

I had about two seconds to get this shot. I don't know anything about it, but I do know he did not cut his finger off in these two seconds.

March 27, 2009

March 27 2009 Teach Them

Today was the beloved writing conference. The worked-for-months, read-the-guest-speaker's-book, schedule-the-whole-day-away writing conference. I taught my workshop. I had good kids. I created ten more published bloggers in the world with my two workshops. They were small workshops, but they were productive workshops. Now I get to manage ten new bloggers on a blog I started for them. I expect to lose half in the next month, and maybe have three really interested writers, but I may be surprised. The room I worked in was remarkably tech-y for a classroom, but perfect for teaching blogging. Insert me right in front of my projector screen, probably pacing. I tend to pace.

For some reason, the florescent lighting in this room was not enough to deactivate the auto flash.

March 26, 2009

March 26 2009 Know Stuff

I teach in the coolest room in the library. It's called the Regional History room. It's filled with nothing less than history of the west, from the beginning thoughts of Colorado and the trains that went through it, and the minerals that came from it, to Civil War archives, to directories where I can find the people who lived in my house for the past one hundred five years. Not many people know of this room, as demonstrated by the sheer volume of dust on these crumbling tomes. By the time my student shows up, I've got dust across my ears

Not much choice but florescent lighting in the room. Had it set on macro, I seem to like the outcome of the bokeh on that setting.

March 25, 2009

March 25 2009 Write More

The Writing Conference with Jonathan Safran Foer is this Friday, and I teach a workshop as part of the Conference with the high school students. Preparation for this, I think, has caused me to be bitten by a writing bug: I've written more productively in the past few days than I have in the past three months. It's good to get out of a writing funk. My symptoms of creative burst extend beyond the writing, though: I posted about the bags I managed to finish, I have new students I'm doing well with, and I can manage to school both my youngsters at the same time. Heck, I can't even make myself something to eat without writing something.

Macro, stand back + zoom, and flash.

March 24, 2009

March 24 2009 Stick Here

While working on my bags yesterday I commissioned a tool from the forger: a spike upon which to impale my yarn, maybe large enough for two, because yarn just loves to roll away while you're using it. It came out cool. I tried it out tonight, but it needs to be polished up tomorrow. It will also get some rubber feet, because it likes to spin.

Composition on this was annoying. So I went with the waaay back and zoom 7.1x and finally got in the frame what I wanted to see.

March 23, 2009

March 23 2009 Hold Me

The girl with a drawer full of unfinished knitting (some monopolizing the good needles) has finished two bags in three days. Yes, spring has sprung and I am...bored? Two bags completed, ends woven in, fasteners attached. They are very girly and springy, but someone will like them. No use spending hours on something no one will use.

Two photo lights, daylight reproducing bulbs, 6500 K give or take for one bulb (says the photographer). Auto setting sans flash.

March 22, 2009

March 22 2009 Get Up

The desert winds took hold today, dusting the valley. The beginning was just windy enough we decided against taking the '58 CJ5 up the side of the Colorado Plateau. Once there, though, we looked out over the valley and watched the opposing Bookcliffs disappear under a cloud of dust rustled from the desert north of town. Then we saw the black and yellow smoke from the controlled burn join the brown cloud. The we could not see the city at all, nor could we stand outside, for the grit began to collect on our eyelashes and in our teeth. The windchimes along the porch pierced with the clanging. Then the rain came, and darkness, and we could see the lights of the city, and the stars and clouds. Then we went home. If ever you are in a desert valley and the winds come, get up, for godsakes, gain elevation.

Landscape setting, zoom at 16x, using the minitripod. This is a shot toward the beginning of the rise of dust.

March 21, 2009

March 21 2009 Hang There

The onset of warm weather has brought the hatching of bugs aside the open doors and windows. The unexpected place to find a bug, however, is hanging from a spider's strand from my ceiling in the middle of the walk way. The photograph does not do justice to the oddity and the beauty of this creature suspended three feet from my ceiling.

I took this photo on macro with and without flash. Without flash highlighted the iridescence of the wings more. The lens-to-subject distance was only about two or three inches, and the insect was in motion, free spinning. It was a lucky shot.

March 20, 2009

March 20 2009 Spring Up

Woke up this morning and let the dog out, and breathed in the first breath of fresh spring air. Sent the monsters out in the early morning, but it was too cold for them. They went out as soon as the sun baked in, though. When I got to walk to work, I passed under the budding trees and when I came back I noticed my neighbors' bulbs were sprouting actual color. Happy first day of Spring.

Macro, no flash. Took me about six tries, then I decided I didn't want that flower anyway so I moved to this one. Only had to shoot it twice before I was happy.

March 19, 2009

March 19 2009 Run Quick

The field trip to the Dinosaur Journey Museum of Western Colorado was phenomenally fun. The three young ones had curiosities satisfied with the abundance of hands-on exhibits: a bone-dig pit, an earthquake machine, animatronic dinosaurs that move at the push of a button, exposed animatronics that respond to joystick controls, an animatronic dinosaur that spits water at you, a water sluice for damming and bypassing with rocks and bamboo and little foam dinosaurs, a box of sand for stamping your own dino-shaped footprints, and a place to sit and read children's books about dinosaurs. There were paleontologists delicately carving away rock from bone in the glass room and a Discovery Channel special on the Dinosaur National Monument here in Colorado. There were bones galore, and casts, and other petrified creatures, living prehistoric fish and not-so-prehistoric fish as fish food.

I took 218 photos today. I had to choose one. Every time I turned the camera back on, the auto setting would auto-on the flash, which I couldn't figure out why the place needed it, being as well lit as it was. I forgot to turn it off a couple times, but this one came out really incredible. Seriously, if this thing weren't in a glass box, I'd be running.

March 18, 2009

March 18 2009 Swap Things

Today at knit night we brought all the craft stuff we'd like to see disappear from our collections and offered it to the other people. I went home with a handspun wool, two sewing patterns (which I will not use for sewing, stay tuned for an update) and some plastic rocks. I don't know what I'm going to do with the plastic rocks. They were enticing though.

Those aren't English Muffins, it's a bag of glass marbles. People were rummaging and I had to shoot quickly to get a shot without any hands or browsing heads. No special settings. Just a photo.

March 17, 2009

March 17 2009 Smoke It

Beef corned and smoked is pastrami. Of all the wonderful amazingness of today--we had guests from 10:45 to 8:45 without a break--that which permeated every moment was this beef last to finish, the smoke on our clothes, in our hair, through the open doors and into every room of my house. The process of smoking meat is much more than to taste great smoked meats. It's an all-day experience.

I aimed into the open slots on the grill, and because "auto" includes "auto flash" and the sunshine negated the flash, which I needed, I changed the setting to portrait and turned the flash on. Sometimes the obvious conclusion requires a little thinking to arrive at.

March 16, 2009

March 16 2009 Move It

I have had this set of magnetic poetry for nearly 8 years. I know every word intimately, and the associations I have built has kind of made my poetry mundane. As a result I have decided to revert to the roots of magnetic poetry: Dada. A random conflagration of words and an artist who arranges them without bias. Also, tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, and people will rearrange the words yet again. I love to keep the poetry, but its essence is that it is transient. So, I photograph it.

No flash, lots of sunlight. Regular focus, dense quality, large size, so you can zoom in and read it.

March 15, 2009

March 15 2009 Shop Now

Several years in a row we have had to hunt down cabbage for St. Patrick's Day because we waited to go shopping. Today I went and there was an abundance to choose from. I stuffed six into my bag, to go with the 20lbs of beef my husband is corning, and the 10lbs of potatoes. That should feed people for twelve hours, no?

Cabbage all cozied up in my fridge, just waiting for a boiling bath. Nothing special about the shot here, just had to keep my fingers holding the bag open out of the frame.

March 14, 2009

March 14 2009 Throw It

Just as we have Mardi Gras, we have adopted St. Patrick's Day as our own. The chef experiments every year with the beef dish, and this year is corning his own beef. Every year we have a fire, though this year we will borrow a pit because our yard isn't as safe as the last one. We lost the boat we had used as a relaxing wading pool to the sun's harsh rays, cracking the plastic and rendering it useless, and we may not find a suitable replacement. We play State of Grace, Darby O'Gill and the Little People, and a new one last year, An Everlasting Piece as our tribute to Irish immigrants, Irish lore, and present-day conflict of Catholics and Protestants. We also throw things. Horseshoes, bocce ball, and things that are sharp, like spikes and axes. We tried out our new target board this afternoon after a day of prepping the backyard for festivities.

The chef-photographer-weapons expert left these for me to photograph. My eyes ill-able to adjust to the shade after working in the sun, I took the shot and didn't try to play with getting a "good" one.

If you read this, you're invited. Tuesday, anytime between noon and midnight. Eat, throw things, drink and be merry.

March 13, 2009

March 13 2009 Calm Down

At my mother-in-law's, my dog and her dog really go at it. Mine being part border-collie is always the aggressively playful one, goading the other, a part shar pei, into running back and forth across the deck in tussling, ear-biting bouts of fun. Mine has had her fair share of broken skin from the exchange, and it's always a darned pain in the rear keeping them from bringing the wild and crazy fun into the house. Tonight, we were there long enough that the two rambunctious pups managed to stop moving for a minute.

I had walked by and snapped a flashless, to no good end. Then I added the flash and got to devil dogs staring at me with glowing white-yellow eyes. The third pass through the room found them with their eyes delicately shut, waiting for the other to make a move.

March 12, 2009

March 12 2009 Read It

My daughter started violin lessons last week, and since I've been involved with every aspect of her education, I've passed this one off to the string player in the house. I take the time she's in lessons to teach my boy in some quality one-on-one play. Today we played The Hungry Caterpillar card game (he already knows his numbers and their order) and we started in on the reader I used for his sister (who at 6 reads at a 5th grade level). However, he is too sharp to read the repetitiveness of the Dick and Jane. He also doesn't have the same reading setbacks she had needed the repetition for. Maybe tomorrow we'll start in on Hop on Pop.

I'm really not interested in anything but my dedication to this daily thing tonight. It's a photo. It's my day.

March 11, 2009

March 11 2009 Clean Me

If you know what this picture is, then you know what smell is giving me a headache right now. If you do not know what this picture is, then you should review your Bill of Rights to make sure you're not missing something.

I stood WAY back and zoomed in to 14x because all white+flash=nearly indiscernible photo.

March 10, 2009

March 10 2009 Stop That

I watched my daughter do an art project today that she read in a book. When she was done, the bottle of glue remained at the table. Me, I like to feel things, I like the texture, the moisture, the movement. Heck, I even have tactile hallucinations on occasion. Tell me that you never smeared Elmer's glue on your hands and let it dry just to peel it off. This is third grade stuff here. Though, maybe I shouldn't have done it in front of the kids. Just what I need, little kids with glue smeared all over them.

Flash the first time was too much. No flash was not enough. Back to the back up, zoom in, and flash away shot. Came out fantastic.

March 9, 2009

March 09 2009 Watch This

Went to the forge tonight and watched metal bend. Flakes come off, when hot metal is hammered, and collect under the anvil. I love magnets. Put magnets and iron flakes together and get a pretty (as I dubbed it) Forger's Flower. Then, put it in the forge. See what happens. (What happens? The magnet gets hot and loses its magnetism, and the flakes fall off.)

Took 117 photos in the forge tonight. It was hot, and I had no choice but to stand back. The in-the-forge photos came out great. No flash, everything else on auto. One day I'll be braver and start being meticulous with the settings.

March 8, 2009

March 08 2009 Meet Will

Having missed my NPR news show yesterday, I listened to it off my feed this morning, and followed it up with the Sunday Puzzle. Which attracted my husband, and we ended up playing a broken hour of archived puzzles. (I am terrible at anagrams, by the way.) And then we went to his mom's house and spent another two or more broken hours playing more archives. (I totally broke down and started using a notebook. Those anagrams, whew!) I wonder what my mind looks like when I struggle with an anagram? I guess something like this.

Somewhere along the way this evening I started to cater my doodles to this post. See there at the binding on the bottom, it says Meet Will. Yep. I totally drew for you guys, in between of course writing the clues down in desperate hopes I could guess before anyone else. Macro, overhead lighting, trying to collect the whole in the frame.

March 7, 2009

March 07 2009 Roll It

First time ever jackpot bowling. As a general rule, I have a hard time conceptualizing if-then statements. So as I bowl I have no idea what I'm bowling for. Someone says, "Oh, that's worth a quarter" and another time, something I think is similar is not. I did have fun playing "poker" for marks, though.

Having left my camera at home, I chose another phone-photo to email to myself.

March 6, 2009

March 06 2009 Dress Down

The piles of disorganized laundry prompted me to get some real work done. I've decided my closets need to be remodeled. In the meantime, my clothes need to be organized. So here is a pile of shirts. They can't go anywhere until I get new shelves put in.

I am tired and didn't want to take a picture tonight. I hadn't taken one all day. It was kinda a boring dull day.

March 5, 2009

March 05 2009 Play Me

Out for dinner at our friends'. Turns out we have friends. Kind of weird. After dinner, they broke out the Nerf ping-pong. Heck of a lot of fun we had, sliding over the floor, sneaking in smooth moves, pulling off idiotic stunts, showing off and only able to appear as complete morons. It was a good night. I managed to prove myself the undefeated loser. Yep. Every round, down by more and more. Nothing like having a lot of fun making a fool of one's self.

My favorite kind of shot: long and loose. Didn't really care about anything except getting a shot in for the day, so here it is: simple.

March 4, 2009

March 04 2009 Get Out

It was a great day and I wanted nothing more than to spend it outside. I was pleased to find it was windy so I wore my hat I was mulling over yesterday. For the occasions where I was indoors, I left my doors open on either side of my house so the wind came through. It was a funny sight to look out my front door and see my Christmas wreath still hanging, but I made it with fresh boughs and it has been in the cold, so it is holding up well. Won't last long though.

I took this from exactly the chair I sit in to communicate with my internet world. Of course, the new found zoom for composition is what I used, until I come up with another technique I want to explore.

March 3, 2009

March 03 2009 Hats Off

The weather's warming and I'm going to miss my hat. We had 70 degree weather today. I went out without my hat. I had to take a picture of it, all forlorn on the rack. It's not lonely though, the man's hats are there to keep it company. Except the nice summer one being impatient, and the one that's not there.

Stood on my bed clear across the room to get control over the composition in this one. Have to say, pleased with the result.

March 2, 2009

March 02 2009 Come See

My daughter comes in, tugs on my sleeve, "Mom, you have got to come see the sunset. It is beautiful." She leads me towards the back door as I snag the camera. She points, and I am surprised. My little girly girl has chosen a striking pastel sky, clear and bright against the shadows coming up from behind. The touch of pink, of which I expected would douse the landscape above, is barely visible. My daughter saw fit to fetch me for this sunset.

Camera on landscape, which includes no flash. I worked a bit with the composition by where I stood, how I zoomed, and what was in the frame.

March 1, 2009

March 01 2009 Top This

Final touches to the house clean up are occurring. During the Mardi Gras I mentioned to our guests that everything in our house is hands-on. The bells were played, the guitars came down, the globe, the pin-head, the magnetic poetry, the books, the piano, the kalediscopes--all touched. I actually had more games and toys for adults, like Slinky and marbles and tops, but they were packed away. Yes, yes, these are adult toys. Have you ever given a Slinky to a child? Right, headache for the parent. Today I sorted my toys.

Macro no flash,nothing special. Camera too close for flash, again, but step-back-and-zoom doesn't quite work for macro.