Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Last year I met this really nice guy up at Sundance. His name was Hal. He was selling his photography up at the Harvest Market, and as I talked with him, he really gave me a lot of encouragement to do it too.
I sent him an email the other day, asking what to expect (as well as odds and ends which I won’t include here). However, this is his reply to me about what to do/what to expect.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did…
Ahh…but of course I remember you! We spent time talking, and I encouraged you to “just do it!” And now you are! Congratulations! We will be there also. I will answer your questions in the body of the text.
Bring $100 in cash. A couple of 20s, about 15 or 20 ones, and the rest in 5s and 10s. If you don’t you will be running around trying to find someone with change.
Bring a ticket book. Someone will want a receipt.
Bring a jacket…supposed to be cool…or worse.
With regard to using credit cards, forget it. It takes weeks to set up a vendor account. You decide whether or not to take checks. I do. In the beginning, I sweat bullets over it, but not anymore.
With regard to setting prices, remember you have to recoup every penny you spent to bring your offering to the market. You only get it back one way...with sales. Remember in art you are dealing with the “magic” factor...the universal appeal some of your photos will have. I still haven’t found the top of the market. You have to get back your costs, but there is no top. Don’t sell yourself short, though. It is a thing you just have to learn, like everything else. If it sells well, I raise it. If it doesn't sell over a period of time, I put a new one in the frame. Some never sell. They teach me.
I put matted photos in a transparent plastic sleeve. Don’t buy the kind that have the adhesive on the flap. You can figure out why.
You asked what to expect. Expect to have fun. Expect to have 1,000 people to come in and go out of your tent, unhindered by any purchase. Expect someone to say “I like your work.” I still have trouble with that one. In my own mind, what I do is “stuff.” I don’t personally elevate it to the level of “work.” When people say that, I am embarrassed. Expect other photographers (you can tell them by the camera around their neck, with their finger on the trigger, who expect to take your work home free with them) who don’t have the courage you do, to come in and offer you a free evaluation of your “work.” One lady came in a few weeks ago, and said she just came in to see if my “work” was as good as hers.
Or someone will comment how they like your piece, but how it would look better if it was just a little this way or that. I thank them for their thoughtfulness, and ask where they are selling their stuff.
Expect the unexpected, not the least of which is the weather...
Expect to meet some really nice people, from any number of strange places, and expect to share your knowledge and encouragement with others who inquire, because you look like an expert now.
Get my drift? Congratulations for joining the rather limited group called, “doers.”
P.S. If you sell way too much, send the overage my direction.....
Well, I think you get an idea of how much fun this might actually be…I’m now so looking forward to it.
Nervous? Right on.
Excited? More every day.
A Doer? I am now.
Monday, September 29, 2008
I’m thinking of all of the things which can go wrong.
I’m thinking that nobody will like my photos.
I’m thinking of the hours I’ve spent on the website, and the issues its still giving me.
I’m thinking of the money I’ve already spent on this little venture.
I’m thinking that I’m already in far too deep to back out now.
I’m hoping that I end up laughing about all of this deep thought in the near future.
I can’t sleep.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I love going for days and not seeing another living soul.
It’s just me and the world.
When I was down south on a recent visit, I found myself standing at the edge of the world at a place known as Little Grand Canyon in the San Rafael Swell.
I walked up to the ledge which dropped to a dizzying height, where the winds began to buffet about me. As I stood at the edge of this mammoth chasm, the amber and magenta sandstone was laid out before me; vermillion cliffs making their way to the bottom—hundreds of feet below—where the river flowed on it’s way to the Black Box Canyon, the site of Sid Swayze’s amazing leap from one side of the canyon to the other.
As I stood near the edge, I found myself gazing down and feeling a delightful thrill of trepidation—as well as invigoration—as the winds buffeted me from side to side.
I wanted to jump. I wanted to fly.
It amazes me just how often in life we are taken right to the edge; how much we’re pushed, prodded, or drawn. It is during these times we find what we’re truly made of. Are we going to spread our wings and fly? Or find ourselves plummeting to the ground, much like the foolish Icarus?
I think that Steven Curtis Chapman summed it up best with his words:
“My heart is racing and my knees are weak
As I walk to the edge.
I know there is no turning back
Once my feet have left the ledge.
And in the rush I hear a voice
That’s telling me it’s time to take the leap of faith
So here I go
I’m diving in.”
As I look down at the daunting expanse of space of which to fall, I wonder what will hold me up once my feet have left their earthly footing.
As I close my eyes I find myself standing yet again at those ancient sandstone cliffs, arms akimbo as I take the leap of faith…
I’m diving in.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Not that there still isn’t a lot to do.
I spent somewhere near seven hours working on the website today…and probably have at least seven more of them ahead of me.
Am I happy with what I’ve done?
Yes. I say this because there is a certain satisfaction to doing a job and doing it well.
Could it be done better?
Probably, but this work is mine, and with this work I find myself pleased.
So, when will it be online?
Actually, it’s online now, but I haven’t added in links from the “homepage” so it can be accessed by the general public.
When will it be available?
The goal is for Saturday...one week from today.
How do I feel about this?
I’d have to say excited.
This could be real.
This could be great.
Or it could crash and burn.
It’s a good thing I have friends.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I spent nearly a thousand dollars today.
Tomorrow I will spend five hundred more.
I will finish up the website for a few more hundred after that.
All in all, this is a venture I sure hope this pans out…
If not, at least I’ll know.
And knowing is only part of the fun.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
You’ve Got Mail
Today had a glorious morning.
It was chilled and there was just a touch of frost on the ground. It was absolutely fantastic. I drove to work with the windows down and the music playing.
I couldn’t help but smile the entire way there.
When I arrived at school I was greeted yet-again with a beautiful bouquet I received yesterday from a friend of mine. I’m so glad that she knew my name and address.
They kept the smile with me all day.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I was getting ready for Christmas in September when I found the two balloons I’d purchased for my sister’s birthday still hovering about the house. It amazed me, it was nearly two weeks after I’d purchased them; they both had life in them…life enough to still be airborne.
Well, knowing that birthday balloons were not really the style for the event we had coming up, I decided to pop them. The brightly-colored one was the first to go—after all, it was still in the kitchen and tethered to a gift bag; however, before I could get to the second balloon—the green star—my sister arrived and the balloon, somehow having gotten close to the door, made a lunge for freedom.
Needless to say, it had plenty of strength to make a quick getaway, and before I knew it, it had soared up into the heavens and soon disappeared from sight.
As I stood on the ground below, watching this balloon slowly rise higher and higher, I thought how this balloon was like—and unlike—me. I thought of those things each day I encounter which are bent on destroying my spirit.
When I say ‘spirit’ I am talking about either a destruction of self-esteem, or even an eternal soul.
The ways this destruction can come about are vast and unnumbered, and there have been many times when I find myself deflated and punctured—lying in a crumbled heap upon the floor—like balloon number one. These are usually from the times when I am clinging to people, places, or things which are unhealthy. Those things which are bent on deflating, tethering, and keeping me on the ground.
But as I watched this balloon I thought of how, if I’m really trying, I can ‘escape’ all of these things and rise above them—to a safe place where they cannot harm.
However, I have to be ready to leave them behind and rise above when the door is opened and the opportunity presents itself.
From there, I’ll let the winds carry me.
Friday, September 19, 2008
So laugh I did.
In fact, I ended up watching this little gem 5 times through...and laughed even harder with each viewing.
Goodnight (chuckle) bloggers.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Many of the kids in the video are boys I've mentored over the past 9 years of my life, as well as kids my friends have mentored as well.
I haven't been a mentor for about a year now outside of my regular school day.
I miss it.
Before long I'll probably have a story I would like to share, but for tonight my pillow is calling and I am going to listen to it's beckoning plea...
I know that I said that my photography website would be online ‘in two or three weeks’ about two months ago. Unfortunately, there is whole lot more to getting photos ready for the website than I originally intended.
Let me put it this way…
There are around 1,000 photos I have taken which I would consider putting online. While many of these are nice, there are only a certain number of these which will sell—which is what I am really after, to be honest. The very idea of going through all of these makes me dizzy…I have now have it narrowed down to about 200 photos. When I stop to think about how many that is to get online, it’s kind of overwhelming. However, who’d want to go to a photography site and only see eight or ten photos altogether?
Building flash files.
Mostly a time-consuming process; also trying to figure out prices for certain photoshoot packages, and ways to word them for these flash movies…whoa, this is taking more time than I’d thought at first.
Cropping certain images.
Don’t even get me started on this one…for the Alphabetography page, there are many images I still need to sort through and crop…far too much work. I reached the letter “R” tonight, so I am nearly there—eight more letters to go!
When school started, my life was instantly consumed. This seems to happen each year, but I am getting better at saying, “That’s enough” than I was in the past…not that I always listen to myself, because I don’t. However, I am doing better.
I would love to say more, however, it’s late and I need to get to bed before 10 tonight. Too many sleepless nights have been taking their toll on me.
If you’d like to see the “welcome” page to the site with nothing more than one small image and the words, ‘coming soon’ please click here.
If you’d rather wait, it should be online soon…in about two weeks.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I couldn’t believe just how wonderful it felt to have those drops from heaven falling upon me...hearing them patter on the ground around me; listening to their secrets.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Okay, this isn't exactly the message I received, but it is very close. So, my question is this...what do you want to hear about? If I get no comments, I'll know that there is nothing you want me to write about. That, or you have too many good TV shows to watch to be bothered with things like reading...
An uttered prayer and then roll out of bed.
I ne’r did pause or think to know,
About what I’d asked or how it’d go.
I was anxious yes, for another day,
When prayer was through and it was time for play.
I quickly finished my hurried prayer,
No thought to where it went from there.
For days on end and then for weeks,
My prayers were often quick and weak.
For I had things, yes thing to do,
My prayers were said, oh that I knew.
The years swept by and one day I crept,
Up our creaky attic steps.
I was curious then what I may find,
Up in a space unused by time.
I stumbled o’er something on the floor,
Dusty covered and left unstored.
I bent down and brushed away the dust,
From the hardened surface, caked with rust.
I drew in a gasp for there it lay,
A prayer I once had thought I’d prayed.
I saw another and dozens ‘round,
Prayers I’d prayed thought heaven-bound.
I could only then wonder why they stay,
And not off on their journey so far away.
I then felt tears escape my eyes,
As I realized that I had not tried.
I could recall with each one,
The things I’d prayed but left undone.
The Lord hadn’t answered or so I thought,
But he couldn’t return calls He never got.
I see that prayers to heaven never go,
When spoken thoughtless by us below.
With confidence renewed I then said,
A vow I would do better instead.
For never again did I want the disgrace,
Of letter to God in this dusty space.
And so let us try with power spent,
Into heartfelt prayers to ensure they’re sent.
Monday, September 15, 2008
As I was walking the aisles looking for items with which to make dinner on Sunday, I happened to catch a glimpse of an elderly man, standing by an endcap with two ice cream cones in hand. He was looking sort of lost as the ice cream was slowly beginning to melt. He stood, looking about for his wife—however, not finding her in the vicinity, he did the only thing he could probably think of…he began to eat both ice cream cones.
As I passed this man, I noticed that he was dressed in a one-piece jumpsuit—the same type my grandfather used to wear back when he was alive.
As I walked to the bread aisle, I found myself wishing that I could talk to my grandfather—I thought of the expressions he used, the kindness he showed to everyone, and his understanding, gentle nature.
I miss my grandfather.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Well, I decided to give it a crack.
I downloaded a copy of the trailer of The Dark Knight and added in a voice-over. This was mostly just to see how well (or not well) I could do it. I started off pretty serious, and then slowly degenerated...
So, what do you think?
Batman is the property of DC Comics, Warner Brothers, and all subsidiaries. No copyright infringement is intended.
BTW, a higher-quality version is available for viewing HERE. Be sure to click, "Watch in high quality" just beneath the "TV" window for this option.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
They traveled 3 miles by what mode of transportation was available to them...
I’m still moved.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I was confused.
When I got to school, I turned on the TV in my classroom; I was in for the shock of my life. Seeing what was happening miles away in New York, had me riveted to the TV.
My life had come to a standstill.
I couldn’t believe it.
A parent came in and started to explain why her son hadn’t done his homework the night before…
I heard nothing.
I felt nothing.
It was like a piece of my soul had been torn out, as well as my peace.
How could I be expected to teach a class of 4th graders when something like this had just happened? How were teachers able to do it when Challenger exploded and a school teacher, Christa McAuliffe died—along with the 6 astronauts—before the eyes of all America?
Somehow, I managed it.
But it was on my mind all day.
It’s now 7 years later.
I still think about it too…
I wonder; will I be ready when my time comes?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I had an awesome surprise with a Dunford Maple Bar. They are my absolute favorite, and a parent went out of his way (even researching where to get one online) to bring me one before school. It tasted awesome, and it really started the day off right.
I had another parent who made a “Calvin & Hobbes” cake. She’s done this before, but this year went over the top with it…I know that a lot of time went in to this, and I appreciated it too.
One other parent brought in cupcakes for my class—I’m pretty sure she did this as backup…just in case I didn’t have anything planned, and it was greatly loved by the entire class—probably because of the Batman rings on the top of each cupcake.
I brought Chunk-A-Poo Cookies.
The kids had never had them before (well, most of them) and were really excited to finally be able to partake of these delights which have remained a secret family recipe for nearly 10 years. I did make them work for them though…a little clue hunt around the classroom to the theme of Mission Impossible made it all the more exciting.
When the day ended, a previous student came to visit with her family, and they bought in some peanut butter treats. These were great (not quite yours though, Nettle) and we talked for quite awhile about various and sundry things.
I had kind of expected—or hoped—that a crowd of old students would show up. This happens every year, and I was anticipating it happening again this year. I won’t lie…I was just a bit disappointed when they didn’t. I had to remind myself that moving over a mile away really makes visits much more difficult when all one has is a bike or a scooter. I probably take my car far too much for granted.
I left the school around 5:00 and went to another friend’s house who’d made homemade donuts. She’d even attempted a family recipe for maple bars, which were different than what I was used to, but good all the same.
Finally, after arriving home and changing, a good friend of mine and I went to Carrabba’s for dinner. It was a great treat and I had forgotten just how good the food was there. The best way I could describe it is an explosion of taste with every bite.
After dinner I came home, looked at the presents from my parents and siblings, and consciously decided not to open them until Saturday…that way I still have something to look forward to.
Before retiring, I caught up on a dozen or so blogs which I hadn’t had the opportunity to read before.
I wanted to apologize for the length of this entry and the apparent lack of creative writing. I mostly wanted to just get it online without staying up too late…after all, tomorrow is yet another day.
Also, I thought about posting photos, but I don’t know as if I could put photos of my class on a blog without special permission, so I instead choose not to do so. Just know that we all looked FABULOUS!
S&T – The gifts were awesome as was desert Sunday. I felt I needed to add those in as well…after all, they were appreciated too.
G&A - A scathing blog entry of your selflessness and generosity just may be in the immediate future...
KJ - The card was great and made me smile.
If you did something for the day of my birthing and I forgot to mention it, I ask for your forgiveness. I blame my temporary lapse in memory completely on the lateness of the hour and my old age.
P.S. I hope you’re all still planning on coming Saturday…Christmas in September just won’t be the same without you there.
P.S.2. There was something else I wanted to talk about with my class yesterday only I am having trouble remembering what it was. If I remember, I will post it tomorrow...
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I find myself reflective this morning as the sun just begins to light the eastern mountains outside my bedroom window. I think about how I came to be here, living in this undisclosed United States location. What would have happened had I stayed in Washington State? Or any of the other places which I’ve resided over the past decade or ten?
Who would I be? What would I be doing?
I don’t know either…
I also find my thoughts meandering to a certain someone, a woman who endured some excruciating moments early this morning so many years ago; a woman who endured it all for me.
Words cannot express what that act has meant to me…not to say that there weren’t moments in my life where I wished it hadn’t happened at all…we all have those from time to time. But in the long run, I am grateful…grateful for the opportunity to live life.
To breathe the fresh air into my lungs.
To be able to taste the sweet aroma of the world around me.
To eat hot bread, fresh from the oven, torn from the loaf with no thought to what the remnants look like.
To listen to music, much too loudly, with all the windows down.
To photograph this world’s majesty—in all her splendor.
To teach the children who each have become a part of my life.
To hike the valleys and deserts of this land I love so much.
Mom, thanks for giving me birth.
I don’t think I’ve ever told you just how much I appreciate it.
Happy Birthday to you…
Monday, September 8, 2008
I look at all of that white space. It seems so daunting.
It waits for my words to fill it, to make it become real. So, I write…my fingers groping blindly onward; reaching for the keys that will sound an orchestra of words at my touch.
I play them slowly at first, as if trying on a new pair of shoes. They feel comfortable…it is in this moment that I find peace.
The cursor still blinks as my fingers begin to dance back and forth…feeling the rhythm of the keys before me. Explosions of words now appear where once there was nothing.
As I pause in somber tranquility, the cursor blinks onward. However, it is no longer taunting me…but instead beckoning me onward…instructing me to write until I have squeezed out the final thoughts of which I am capable this eve.
I stand back and gaze at the once-white canvas stretched before me, now arrayed with a multitude of colorful expression.
Tonight I am the artist, the musician, and the call of the muses has been answered.
I am finished.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I’m Mr. Voice.
I’m the guy who does the announcing, keeps score, does sound effects, music, lights, and interjects comments throughout the show. At times I can be funny; and at others I am most definitely not.
When the show comes to an end I call out all of the players, and they run outside to meet the crowd and talk. When I used to be a player I did the same thing.
However, Mr. Voice does not.
I stay up in the sound booth and play music while everyone is leaving. If someone I know has come to the show, they will usually come and chat with me. However, it is rare that anyone comes up after the show and says anything to me. Mr. Voice is more or less like the guy stocking the shelves at Wal-Mart whom we seldom notice…unless he does something wrong; such as blocking the aisle with his pallet load of food or nonfood items.
But today, two people went out of their way to come up and say, “Hey, I just wanted to tell you thanks…you did a great job tonight.”
That simple, little phrase really meant a lot.
What this little phrase also did was to make me realize that I need to compliment people around me far more than I do. I need to acknowledge their large—or small—contributions to the everyday mundane moments and places around me.
Sometimes being thankful can be a hard thing to remember because of all we take for granted, but I do know that it is important.
P.S. It was good to meet you finally IRL last night, Stephen.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Stephen has already spoken up for the 10:15 showing; if there is anyone who wanted the other ticket for the 8:00 show, it is still up for grabs.
Friday, September 5, 2008
I am working at ComedySportz tomorrow night and the first person who responds with a comment of, Tickets Schmickets gets them. They are good for either the 8:00 or 10:15 show. Just let me know which time you would prefer.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
What is it that drives us to travel across town, spending countless dollars—as well as minutes—for something like Café Rio…to see the newest Harry Potter movie…or to get the latest novel we’ve been waiting for?
It is because that in it, we find value. It is important to us.
I left school today, fully intending to go straight home, but as I was driving, I noticed two boys who were inline skating down the sidewalk in the opposite direction I was traveling. I at once recognized them both as students from my old school.
I gave a little honk of my horn, wondering what they were doing so far from home. As I continued to drive I noticed the waving hands of these two boys behind me, urging me to stop. I pulled to the curb and both boys skated up to my car.
“Hey, guys.” I said with a smile. “What are you up to?”
Chase (not his real name) looked back at me with a grin. “We were rollerblading to your new school to visit you.”
As the words came from Chase’s mouth, I found myself at a loss for words. These two boys were skating across town just to come by and say hello…and to tell me that they missed me at the old school.
After grilling them to make sure that they’d told their parents what they were up to, I sat down on the curb and talked with these boys for nearly an hour. They told me of their adventures of summer, and the teachers they now have this year. They also told me that they missed me.
I have to be honest. There are a lot of people I really do miss at my old school. Leaving was a hard thing, but it was time for me to move on…
After a while, I realized that it was time for me to go. I’d planned to be home long before this, and these boys needed to be heading home as well. However, the investment of time was worth it in the end for me. I bade the boys a cheery farewell; as I watched them heading the distance back toward their home, I couldn’t help but smile.
We all are willing to travel for that which has worth to us.
This post is not only for these two boys, but for all of those who travel this distance each and every day.
I am thankful to be worth the effort.
I’m a blog addict.
Even when I don’t feel like writing, I want to write. I feel that I need to blog about something. Even if it is really nothing.
But then again, all of these nothings really are something in the end, right?
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
A few hours after my headache was gone, I found myself still awake, staring up at the ceiling fan. Amazing how many times that thing can turn in the space of about a second, isn’t it?
I finally reached for my laptop and decided to write a blog. As I began to write, I felt myself not wishing to share the story of a migraine, and yet another night of sleeplessness at an undisclosed southern address. I closed down Word, and instead found myself at YouTube.
Hours of pointless, wanton, worthless video files. To an insomniac; a veritable treasure trove of entertainment.
Okay, I lied…after all, I didn’t find anything worth watching…for the most part it was a marathon in stupidity which left me feeling a bit more unintelligent than when I’d first logged on. That is, with everything I watched, save this…
Now, before you click the ‘play’ button and anxiously watch the video I discovered, just know this…this is cool.
However, watch at your own risk.
P.S. The very beginning and ending of this video are not my favorites…however, the middle, is ‘awesome’ to coin a phrase from the 80’s generation…a real ‘thriller.’
Now that you’ve watched it, this is what is going on…from what I understand this is a group of somewhere between 1,500 – 2,000 inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and
Of course, seeing this video clip took me back to a movie I’d watched at the theatre a few years ago, moreover, a particular scene which made the audience break out into cheers…without further ado, I share that with you as well:
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
World peace? It probably wouldn’t last…
Happiness? Nope, you have to find that for yourself…
Money? I’d just end up spending it…
More time? I’d probably just use it to get older…
A birthday party with Jesus?
Now you’re talking!
We celebrate Jesus’ birthday in December. I was born in September. What better way is there to celebrate both birthdays together than to have “Christmas in September?”
How do I get invited? Oh…it’s easier than you think. To all who read this blog, you are already invited. If you live nearby, I’d love for you to come celebrate it live with me, for those who live elsewhere, take a photo of your ‘vicarious event’ and email it…I’ll post it after the festivities.
When would it be? September 13th from 6:00 p.m. - ?
Here’s how it works…
Send me an email and let me know if you need directions OR would like to RSVP by means otherwise than commenting (firstname.lastname@example.org). Be sure to put “Christmas in September” in the subject line. Bring a present you wouldn’t mind getting for your birthday. Come to the party with your favorite Christmas desert and be prepared for a fun time.
We will be having a “gift exchange” where, if you bring a gift, you pick one from under the Christmas tree when it’s time for you to go. Take it home, and enjoy the present…after all, everyone should get presents on my birthday, shouldn’t they?
We’ll be having hot chocolate, Christmas tunes, and projected holiday films in the ‘underground cinema.’
I do ask one thing though…if you have kids in my class (or who will be in the near future) I humbly ask that they do not attend with you…they’ll think they’re getting special treatment and we just can’t have that now, can we?
See you in two weeks.
Monday, September 1, 2008
No. I hadn’t.
Mostly because it simply wasn’t all that important to me. Why would I want to read about what my brother was doing rather than simply talk to him? To me it was pretty obvious which was the better of the two options. Plus also, I wasn’t even sure what a blog was back then.
I no longer feel this way; I have since come to the realization that it is through blogging that I am able to keep up with those I care about, and have even made some new friends I’d not ever have made if it weren’t for this literary medium.
So, what’s my point?
To be honest, I have no point…and therein lies the beauty of it…Welcome to blogging.