A little Obama love

You'd be so proud of me: I watched the whole Obama speech last night at the DNC. I liked it except for the parts where he slammed McCain. I know it's sort of the politics game, but I wish he'd stayed away from it. Especially since McCain ran a rather nice commercial last night.

Still, I am finding myself more and more on the Obama bandwagon. I've seen this photo twice now (they showed it last night) and really love it. So atypical, so relaxed and really just lovely. For some reason this photo makes me believe every word the Obamas say about change in Washington. I'm pretty sure George + Laura Bush didn't kick off their shoes and take a photo on bench at their wedding. And even if they had, it wouldn't have been this cute.


Restraint: not so easy when it comes to modern home decor

My photo shoot this morning happened to be near a shopping district in Denver, which happens to have a new West Elm shop I hadn't yet had the opportunity to check out.  UNTIL TODAY.  And I liked it.  I bought one of these (I decided it's about time I make this house look like a photographer lives here.  Besides, what good are all my photos if I never enjoy them?).  I would also like this, this and these.  

Restraint is a skill I'm working on.

my home life

speaking of home life...i am slowly making progress in my apartment. i am now past the moving furniture around phase, and onto the special touches phase. my favorite are the bed birds (bequeathed to me by mary).


Vino @ Night

Dinner last night was really wonderful. It's amazing how easy it is to get caught up in your daily routine and forget to just sit outside on a summer evening with a glass of wine, a good meal and good conversation. And a pup licking your toes.

Next time you're in the mood for a really delicious dinner, make this.

And speaking of being happy at home, check this out.

I like this little peek into Fanny + Bill's Manhattan home. So different from my life, but looks really lovely. And while you're click happy, also check out Bill's blog. Bill is a photographer and I dig him.
(Fanny + Bill via Unruly Things)


playing teacher

Well, the school year is officially underway. Yesterday was the first day of classes, and I can't believe the difference a year has made. Last year i was incredibly nervous, and literally unsure if I could pull off this teaching college level courses gig. Now, there are still a bit of nerves that will likely be there permanently, seeing as though being in front of a crowd is not included amongst my favorite things to do. But, besides that I feel much more comfortable and confident, so I'm excited to see how the semester unravels (and I'm crossing my fingers that there won't be any bonehead students that want to make life difficult.) (photo from a mini shoot done last year playing teacher to cereal boxes as I did as a youngin')

Also, sorry for all these Obama plugs, but I just watched Michelle's speech at the DNC (watch it here). Inspiring speech, and I love the part with his daughters at the end.

Bye now.


Humboldt Select

One of the best things about relationships - all relationships - is that they often push you to do things you otherwise wouldn't do. My relationship with Alex has been that way, through and through. I'd never wash dishes immediately after dinner if I didn't live with him, I'd never know what refrigerated liquid nitrogen does and I'd have missed out on a lot of what Colorado has to offer. It's a huge irony, really, that I've lived in Colorado for (most of) my whole life and never felt like I really started exploring it until Alex moved here. I've always loved the outdoors, and would be inclined to go camping/hiking/climbing without him, but no doubt he motivates me to do it a lot more than I otherwise would. The backpacking trip we took this weekend was a good example. The views from where we were camped have got to be among the most beautiful in the state, and the mountain we climbed was amazing. If you're ever looking for a backpacking trip in Colorado definitely consider the Colony Lakes / Humboldt Peak. Well worth it.

The view driving in:

I am mighty proud of my little Subaru (we call her Ella) who was a superstar on one hell of a road up, which included several river crossings: (Alex called them streams. I call them RIVERS).

Our climb up (and down) Humboldt:

Our campsite (labeling by Alex)

Pup standing guard at our campsite:

As much as I love backpacking, I also love to be clean and smell of apricots, so in that regard I'm glad to be back. Also, I recently discovered this site (thanks to Erin Vey - again), and am falling in love with Photoshop all over again. Friday before we left I did a photo shoot with an Old English Sheepdog, and am now pretty sure I'm going to need one of my own someday. Anyway, here's a preview of what a wonderful combination Old English Sheepdogs + Photoshop make:

Back to the daily grind. . .


aritist o' the week: stephanie beck

A lot of artists seek to do something new, something that's never done before. While I think that is an exciting pursuit, I am always amazed to find out that someone completely unrelated to me sees the world in a similar way. I was recently referred to the work of Stephanie Beck (here). Not only have we both found our way to working with paper, but I too am working on a harbor themed piece. Fascinating....


haircut #2

Occasionally when I see people with really lovely long hair it makes me want to grow mine out again. But more often than that I get the urge to just keep chopping it off. Yesterday I got another haircut and cut off about 3-4 inches. It's similar to my original chopped hair, but more angled and defintely shorter and more layered. Next time I'm really consdering Katie Holmes short, almost boy short. But here's what I'm walking around like now:

Alex and I are leaving town today to go backpacking, so we'll have an adventurous weekend and I'll get to see how the new 'do holds up in the backcountry.

Here's where we'll be:

So more on that come Tuesday.

(photo found here)



I just caught the individual show jumping final in Beijing. I'd been sort of half avoiding watching any Olympic equestrian coverage because I worried it would just make me miss Annick. It did, but it also reminded me how awesome the sport is. I don't mean awesome like super cool, I mean awesome like awe-inspiring. It's just unbelievable how good they are at what they're doing. You Tube doesn't have good footage of the finals (yet), but you can watch just about anything on NBC's Olympic page. You can see the individual showjumping finals here.


amber waves of grain

I'm fairly certain that I will not be living in Eastern Washington post MFA completion, however I will be glad to have spent some time in such a unique landscape. I'm more of a tree and mountain girl (which is what I naively thought all of Washington would be like), but I am often awed at how beautiful this crazy ocean of wheat and hills can be.

I sometimes wonder if moving to a smaller town away from school was a good idea until I start my drive home. The commute for most folks can be the worst part of the day. Fortunately for me, it's the best time of the day. How could it not be when there is a rainbow at the end of the road?


I totally thought I'd have more time for blogging after I quit my job, but that is turning out not to be the case.

A few things that are turning out to be staples of my days lately:

1. Wasabi/Mint candle from Archipelago

I looked these up, and they're like $24 for a candle, but IT'S WORTH IT. (Mine was a very thoughtful gift). The next time you're feeling luxurious, spring for it, because this smell is unbelievably good. Not too overbearing, it never seems stale, it's unique but fresh... Basically it's everything you could ever hope for in a smell.

2. LOTS of dog time. Between dog photography and spending time with my dog, I spend more time with creatures of the canine variety than the homo sapien variety. (Just fine by me). Today I met an old friend for a doggie play date at a local swimming hole. Roux and her dog, Ellie, were totally BFFs and are definitely going to be sending each other notes in class and texting after today.

3. Some good runs. Before this week, it had been a solid three weeks with no running, so it feels good to get out there again.

4. Lots of thinking about where I want my little business to go. I have big plans. BIG PLANS.


new buddy

The Kodak point and shoot has officially been retired and replaced with a slight upgrade. My new little buddy is the above Cannon A590. I gave it a test run today on a hike in Coeur de'Alene. So far so good...


Not a cubicle in sight

I've been feeling a bit like I have that disorder people who have been in jail for a long time get where they don't know what to do with themselves once they're out. Granted I have a pretty mild case because I'm starting to get over it already. Still, it was beyond weird to wake up this Monday morning and not have to be anywhere, not have to do anything except my OWN WORK, which I happen to love.

Speaking of, Denver Dog Photography continues to be a big time vacuum. I have shoots every day this week, and then this weekend Alex, Roux and I are heading out for a backpacking trip...By the time Friday rolls around I'll probably be pretty sick of editing photos, but this is Monday and I'm pretty psyched.

Also, I got super excited when lunch time rolled around, and this is where I was eating my lunch instead of in a cubicle:

Okay, back to editing photos, and a run with the pup in Evergreen. . .


porn, politics, mamma mia!

A few things.

I don't have TV anymore . So, I was excited to catch some political action last night in a hotel room with my folks. I'm not sure if you and A are big CNN watchers, but if you have a spare couple hours (which I know you might in the next couple weeks) you should watch the Rick Warren interview with Obama and McCain on youtube (here). Once again, Obama has completely impressed me with his wisdom, thoughtfulness, and intelligence. The difference between the men is night and day, as it should be between the two parties. I suppose people respond positively to McCain because he seems to be so black and white in his answers, but that is actually what makes me nervous about him. People often don't like to think for themselves, and would rather fall in line behind some strong willed leader despite the direction he may be leading them. I'm not convinced that he really thinks about his answers , but rather spouts out what he knows the people want to hear. To me his tactics are transparent. Telling his war stories over and over to gain sympathy, bringing up war and naming evil as much as possible to keep people afraid. I'm sure he is not an altogether terrible person, but I really , really, REALLY would love to experience an America led by a man like Obama for a change.

Moving on.

I saw Mamma Mia tonight. Even if you are not big on musicals, being set in Greece, it is an hour and forty eight minutes of visual delight. I walked out of the theater brainstorming ways I could spend some time there, and with the urge to play dress up and sing my heart out. Finally, my recent favorite downloads. The New Pornographers, not new to the music scene, but new to me.

And Chris Letcher. I've only just downloaded his music in the last few minutes, but between the album cover and the song Deep Frieze, I know I am going to enjoy his company.



(photo here)

filling systems for you

I was able to salvage the remaining photos on my injured camera, and remembered I had taken this one for you. You had mentioned your quest to find an attractive filling cabinet and I came across these at Cargo in Portland (past blog post about this place I think?). I'm not sure how effective so many shallow drawers are, but, man, they sure look nice.


It's official

I've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of my business cards for days. They came yesterday and I am thrilled with how they came out. Moo is unbelievable - fast, reasonably priced and absolutely reliable for beautiful results. AND they can pull photos directly from Flickr. Just about perfect for oh, say a dog photography business.


quick hello

Just arrived back in Portland after a 17 hour train ride up from San Francisco, which yielded some beautiful scenery. The whole weekend was full of kodak moments, unfortunately I think my camera has truly seen it's last days, which means, for the time being, I am a full fledged photo lifter. Here's (someone else's) image of Pacific Grove where the family reunion took place:I intend to write more on the weekend, soon (my computer is back in my own hands, and all fixed up). Till then....enjoy your last week in the office!!

I like YOUR pants

The weekend yielded a lot to blog about.
Here's that rundown in chronological order:

1. Friday night we saw both Eric Hutchinson and Newton Faulkner in Boulder. THEY WERE AMAZING. Download both of their albums immediately; you won't regret it. But almost as importantly, watch a few of their videos on You Tube. (Such as this, this or this). Newton especially is really unbelievable live, better than he is recorded. (If you're wondering about the title of this post, Eric Hutchinson likes to wear plaid pants. And when the audience comments, he says, I like YOUR pants.")

2. I am super excited about the Olympics, and am really especially excited about this video. It asks you to download some application, do it, because this video gave me goosebumps.

3. Last, but certainly not least, let me introduce you to my new best friend:

I'm calling her Dottie. We are still getting to know each other, but I'm expecting great things to come of our friendship.

(photo found here)


Old school

Yesterday I was rifling through a box of old papers looking for Annick's sale papers (Annick is sold and that is a post I keep meaning to write, but so far have been unable to really bring myself to do) when I came across a random collection of old photographs. I scanned them in this morning and will include them in this post - isn't it amazing how old they already look? The black and white portraits from my photojournalism classes obviously look old (I actually developed real film if you can imagine how prehistoric that was), but even the color photographs don't seem like they were taken that long ago. . . Except I guess high school was almost a decade ago. SCARY.

So without further ado, here are the ones I've chosen to share...
This one of Lauren was taken during a summer evening mid-high school. I love it because it somehow captures everything about being a teenager on a summer evening with nothing to do.

This is of one of my dogs growing up, can you believe what a little fluff ball she was? As much as I love the old factor of this, I am wishing I could transport myself back in time with my new camera and do a photo shoot. Look how SOFT that fur was - literally as soft as baby llama fur, and I know that from experience.

Every year from the time we were eight years old, Lauren and I have been obsessed with Stock Show. It's a big animal show (including horse events) that comes through Denver every January. We'd been going for years, as much for the chance to smell horses as to watch them compete, so when we actually started competing in it during high school it was like a dream come true. We logged our hours there once and totaled a ridiculous sum, something 70 some odd hours in a matter of days. It was often dark or nearly dark by the time we'd leave the horse show grounds, and this photo is from one of those evenings. I love how out of place a horse looks in the middle of the city.

And these are from my photojournalism class, my attempt at portraits. Something about them is quite nice, if only because these kids have changed a lot since I took the photos. I corralled all my family members and had them each stand for their portrait. Everyone felt a little awkward about it, with the exception of my littlest cousin, Alina. If she could take a stab at Hollywood she'd be a childhood star, because she was born with that quality that is totally foreign to me; the quality of loving to be in front of people, loving to make them laugh.

This is Alina:

And this is Alina's best impression of a wildcat:

And this is shy Sierra, Alina's older sister:

And this is my little sister:

So with that, have a fabulous weekend y'all.


genius bar

I had to leave my computer at the apple store this morning for some repairs, and I feel a little bit like I left my child in the hands of a stranger (thank goodness he was a genius). It's probably unhealthy how near and dear our little metal contraptions become to us, but I can't help feeling a little anxious while it's "at the doctor." I pick it up next week when I return from a family reunion in California, so good thing you will be back on the wagon to make up for my absence.

I was lucky enough to pick up a free road bike from a friend who was moving away from Washington, and have been putting it to good use this week in Portland. Yesterday we went for a good long ride (flicker photo found here ) starting in Hood River and ending at Rowena Point. I'm certain that Oregon offers some of the best scenery in the way of easily accessible outdoor activities, and I am also certain that road biking is my new favorite form of exercise.

On another note, I found a place for you to work in Portland. We toured last night with Sara's friend who works there. They have yoga/pilates/concerts everyday during lunch, 24 hour kegs located on each floor, and a meeting room that is a giant nest perched amongst huge wooden rafters, just to name a few. Take a gander here

This evening includes rock climbing and a rooftop viewing of Flight of the Navigators. Should be top notch.

Till next week......

Life's little lessons

So yesterday I met up with my cousin at a coffee shop downtown. (I am indeed working on being a better person). It went really well and we were having such an engrossing conversation that I wasn't really noticing much about my surroundings, except that out of the corner of my eye I could see a row of really old books. When my cousin took a bathroom break, I grabbed as many of them as I could and started shuffling through them. I also started catching bits of surrounding conversation, and heard this from the balding man sitting at a table directly behind me: "I always charge for sex. Sometimes I enjoy it, but I still charge."

I was at least a little horrified, imagining who would choose to pay him of all people, and why he would do it, and so on. Then I wonderered what his impression was of me. Because I was sitting there with my nose shoved in one of those old books taking a big whif. I happen to really like the way old books smell.

I guess it was a little lesson in that old addage about treating other people the way you'd want to be treated. In his eyes I might be just as weird as he was in my eyes. AND that ties in to the bigger lesson about how I feel about my cousin that I was meeting at the same time - even if you don't agree with the choices someone makes, try to find a way to love them anyway.

Big apologies on the lack of posting - I've been busy tying up ends at work and busy with Denver Dog Photography. After next week I'll be a posting maniac.


magical battle horns

I've returned to the Portland tree house after a fun little jaunt down to Bend over the weekend. As I was uploading the pictures I found the remnants of Claire's visit still tucked away in my camera. And, when I saw this one again, I knew it needed to make an appearance on the blog. When I see products like this I like to imagine the person who' s job it was to think such a thing up. This little daydream often includes a scene with a bunch of men in suits sitting around a table in a board room talking very seriously about the possibility of producing a "Unicorn vs. Narwhale" play set. There is a lot of discussion and mulling around of different options. The young new talent pipes in a suggestion about including an extra pair of "magical battle horns." In the end they all feel very confident about the idea and everyone shakes hands.

Moving on.....I had heard good things about Bend prior to the weekend, and although it was slightly different than I had imagined I was hardly let down. The overall feel was very similar to Colorado so I felt right at home. We backpacked about 8 miles into the Green Lakes area near Mt. Bachelor, and for a significant portion of the hike we were accompanied by this handsome river:
We finally set up camp in this beautiful meadow. It was pretty perfect minus the fact that the five of us neglected to bring any bug spray, so we were slightly demolished by the mosquitoes. After setting up camp, we spent a good 30 minutes trying to coordinate one of those shots where everyone is jumping in the air. I think we may have captured one good one, in the midst of a couple dozen that look much like the one below (which I think have their own sort of success to them.)

Los libros (y mi perro) (por su puesto)

Denver Dog Photography has turned into a big vacuum, sucking up all my time. The shoot I had scheduled yesterday was cancelled, which left me time to photograph the old Roux dog.

I dare say she's the prettiest dog of them all.

In other news, I'm still on my old book kick. I haven't gotten a chance to read these yet (yes I really am going to read 'Practical Grammar' cover to cover), but here are a couple of the treasures I picked up on the Montana/Washington trip.

(how can you not love a dedication like that?)

Apparently I'm not the only one who appreciates old books (and neither is Lauren), because one of my favorite design sites had this post up about old books as well.

Speaking of books, I've been reading this:

And this is what it's about (according to Amazon)

The letters collected here, written from 1920 to the mid-'60s, suggest that the Murphys were much more than rich Americans abroad who hosted famous fellow expatriates in France during the '20s and '30s. The couple and their three children, in fact, provided essential support for writer friends who left indelible marks on modern literature, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Archibald MacLeish, John Dos Passos, Ernest Hemingway and Dorothy Parker among them. The literati's letters reveal hitherto unknown sides--witty and sometimes acrimonious, they are always full of love and admiration when addressed to Gerald and Sara. Great depths of feeling are conveyed in messages about the deaths of the Murphys' two young sons, which foreshadowed other heartbreaks endured by the group: Zelda's psychosis, Scott's demise, Hemingway's suicide. A welcome reminder of those promising decades, the collection is an invaluable source of literary history.

It reminds me of how much I love literature. In conclusion, I have a (very) soft spot for the written word. No two ways about it.