Monday, December 14, 2009

I can't help but drool

Every time I visit his site. Seriously. His work is incredible. He turns the most mundane and simple things into amazing works of art and I can't get enough of his photos. You better believe I'm saving my money right now so I can hire him to document every important event in my life.

Maybe one day I'll be as good as he is. But before that happens I'll need to finish this ten page paper and find time to actually pick up my camera.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

asian flashback

I've been putting together my portfolio and have come across some photos that have really made me miss the amazing places I was experiencing this time last year.

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat. Siem Reap. Cambodia

Railay Island. Thailand

Bangkok. Thailand

Siem Reap. Cambodia

Zhongshan. China

Songpan. China

Xi'an. China
(the original paint on the terra cotta warriors)

Songpan. China

Angkor Wat. Siem Reap. Cambodia

Tiananmen Square. Beijing. China

Juijaighou. Songpan. China

Ming Tombs. Beijing. China

Shanghai. China

Siem Reap. Cambodia

Maya Bay. Thailand

My xiao pengyous. Zhongshan. China

Just one year ago.  Who knows what I'll be seeing a year from now.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

to our veterans




Especially to my dad, who was a United States Marine in the Vietnam War.



Unfortunately, his children don't really do solemn celebrations.

Happy Veteran's Day Dad.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

a not so scary story

Throughout the month of October, this story was circulating via e-mail through my family.  When it was your turn to add on to the story, you would get an e-mail that only contained the paragraph that had just been written, the one you were to add on to.  So you had no idea what others had written and what the story was really about.  We each read our part aloud to the rest of the family on Halloween night.  This is how it went...

Deep in the night a low gurgle could be heard with the incoming tide.  Night had fallen on Agatha Bay and the Agathonians knew to stay high in their bunks until morning.  To allow the sea to moisten even a single toe would be an almost certain barrage of misery and death.  The sea could listen, you see.  It knew who did not heed to its taunts, those who were unafraid.  On this very cold and misty October night, it was angry at Agatha.

He could feel the cold spray of the ocean hit his face and taste the salt on his lips.  Never in his 18 years on Agatha had he seen the ocean so violent.  He stood on the shore just out of reach of its icy grasp.  It was angry.  Angry that he was here, that he knew what secrets lay beneath those dark waters.  As the wind whipped around him he knew what he must do.  Though it may cost him his life, he had to try.  He closed his eyes as he steeled himself for the pain he knew would come.  He took a deep breath...

...and began climbing.  He tried to clear his head from any thought of the horror that he had witnessed the night before.  How had he let them convince him he needed to be there?  A momentary lapse of judgement and now he would never be right again.  He climbed until he found the spot.  He stood there, looked at the angry water; then closed his eyes, held his arms stiff and straight as he let himself fly off the cliff and waited for the ocean to...

...embrace him with its long cold arms.  As he silently fell, he finally felt free from the nightmares that kept running through is mind.  He closed his eyes and felt the wind bite at his face.  Everything that had happened the night before now seemed like a long lost memory.  Soon he would be forever free of that horrible event.  This is not the way he envisioned his life ending.  Getting hit by a bus, skydiving, or even old age would all be better than this.  A sharp pain of regret suddenly hit him.  He wanted to go back, to do things differently.  He opened his eyes and wanted to scream, but it was too late...

...too late to do anything.  Despair washed over him like the cold rush of a river.  He gasped for air.  White dots flashed across his vision as the oxygen in his brain was cut off.  Suddenly, he felt his body rise into the air and slam to the ground.  He gasped again and air rushed into his burning lungs.  He lifted his head and his eyes were met by the long cold stare of a stranger.  He blinked and tried to make his mind focus on what he was seeing.  The stranger did not move, did not blink, and soon he realized, did not breathe.  He flinched violently away from the stare and pulled his battered body into a crouch.  He tried to see where he was and where It was.  It was dark but he soon saw that he was surrounded by trees.  The body of the stranger lay tangled in the brush.  So he was not the first It killed.  He looked quickly and objectively at the body.  It was not decomposed so the stranger had not been dead long.  He listened carefully as he spun on his knees.  Where had It gone?  Was It gone?  It was hard to think as his heart raced, his limbs trembled with fear and there seemed to be a pounding or rushing sound in his ears.  He could not see far in the trees.  He stood and began to run.  He must get away, he must get to them and tell them.  He must make them understand...
(Aunt Bev and Uncle Greg)

As he ran he glanced back over his shoulder.  Was it there?  Was it following him?  Had he escaped its attention just long enough to make an escape?  Or was it just waiting, playing a game, sneering as it lay hidden in the forest just beyond the trees, waiting for him to think he was safe.  Without any sign of the beast, he continued his mad dash...away, away from the trees, away from the certain, cruel, bone crushing fate that would meet him if the beast caught him in his flight.  He must escape, not just for his sake...but, the others.  They must be warned.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, he pushed his way out of the thick, dead trees and into the meadow.  The silent town, with its dilapidated houses and naked trees, waited just beyond.  He stumbled across the meadow, desperately making his way to the first row of houses.  "They must be warned..."  The urgent thought rang through his head as he gave a violent shove to the maggot-eaten wooden door in front of him.  There was not  a soul in sight.  The door swung open to reveal a ghastly sight, one he had prayed he would never see, but feared he could not prevent.  Blood smeared walls and shattered glass glared back at him as he realized that he was too late.  The had been here.  But where was it now?  "I have to check the other houses," he thought.  "Maybe some of them can be saved."  As he turned to walk out the door, he immediately froze.  There, staring him straight in the eyes, stood the beast.

Its huge, hairy chest was heaving, and he could smell the death on its breath.  Green saliva dripped from its blood covered lips and fangs, oozing to the floor and landing with a hiss.  Should he just surrender?  He was too late to save the town, everyone he knew and loved was dead...but no!!  There were other towns, with other people who loved each other.  The beast must be stopped!  He moved to he left, to the right, but the beast was lightning fast.  He backed up, tripping over the gore as the beast's yellow eyes tracked him everywhere.  Suddenly it lunged forward, its three-pronged razor-sharp claws slashing through the air and then POW!! BLAM!!
(Erin and Ryan)

The beast threw him across the room, slamming him into the wall with unimaginable force.  He lay limp, slumped against the corner on the dirty floor  His hair was matted, soaked in blood from the gash on his head.  His vision was cloudy.  Blood was flowing down his face and flooding into his right eye.  The beast's claws had ripped open the flesh on his ribs.  His lips were trembling as he tried to bear the pain.  Through dark teasing eyes the beast watched as he struggled to stand in the corner.  Their eyes met.  Blood was dripping from his mouth, green saliva oozing from the beast's.  He would make the beast kill him, not let the beast kill him.  He would make the beast try.  Screaming, he ran at the beast with all his might.  They collided.  The man was screaming, punching, kicking, gnashing, pulling...and trying, with everything he had, everything he believe in, imagined, hoped for.  Fighting for everything he had ever known.  But it was of no avail.  The beast was too strong, too tall, too fast.  It picked him up by the neck and stared at him deep in the eye for what seemed like an eternity.  With one swift move the beast threw the man into the air and let him land hard onto the ground.  He was defeated.  Barely recognizable he lay there waiting for the beast to finish him, but he was already gone, his mind was somewhere else.  His eyes were in a daze.  The beast stood over him, its fangs ready to deliver a final blow into the man's face.  As he looked around he saw bloody footprints smeared on the floor, shards of glass scattered about.  The air was cold, he could see his own breath.  He would die in moments.  He remembered his old town, he remembered running his hands through her hair, he remembered laughing hysterically at the flatulence of that old grumpy man.  He was smiling.  He was ready to go, to be taken.  The beast, wide eyed, ready to strike, reared its ugly head back.  The man let out sigh of relief.  But wait!  The man felt something near his hand, a large sharp piece of glass.  His fingers fumbled for it.  He grabbed it.  With narrow eyes and a cunning smile he grabbed the beast behind the neck.  The beast was momentarily distracted, confused.  The man raised his arm from the ground and thrust the glass shard into the beast's temple.

Confused and hurt the beast looked at the man, his eyes began to water.  He dropped the man from his grip and stammered backward toward the wall.  "WHY?" the beast howled, "What did I do to you to deserve this?"  Perplexed the man didn't answer.  The beast curled up into a ball and began to cry.  There was silence in the dark room, for what felt like days.  Out of a fit of rage the man spoke, "What do you MEAN what did you do?  YOU almost killed me!"  
"I was hungry," replied the beast, "but that's no reason to hit me with a piece of glass in the head, that's just uncalled for."
The man didn't move.  He just stood there, both eyes and mouth opened wide at what he was hearing.  It wasn't every day you met an enormous beast that talked, especially after it tried to eat you. 
"CHEATED!"  Roared the man.  "What do you mean cheated?  I was fighting for my life, which I wouldn't have had to do if you didn't attack me.  This is stupid!  Im arguing with a monster that just tried to kill me and is now whining about me fighting back.  STUPID I say!  That's it, I'm going home.  I don't want to deal with this anymore!"  Screamed the man.  He stomped towards the door, kicked it open and just as he did...

...a parade came marching by.  "AWESOME!"  Randy had always loved parades since he was a small child.  He threw down his weapons and ran off to find the cotton candy man.  He was so happy to see the parade that he started whistling a tune.  And soon his whistle turned into a song...

[at this point Trish pulled out a guitar, handed it to Andrew, and he actually started singing this song he had written for the story]

"I'm off to see the cotton candy man,
And how I wish there was such a place as 

I'm off to see the cotton candy man
Cause I got big plans for the cotton candy man.
And I'm so glad for crybaby beasts
Now I can have the cotton candy feast!"

After seconds of looking which seemed like an eternity to Randy, he finally found the one and only cotton candy man.  He quickly asked for a treat.  "Fifty cents," the cotton candy man said.  Randy reached for his back pocket when he realized that he was wearing his battle armor.  "Oh NO!"  he thought, "I never carry my wallet with my armor!"  Randy was crushed.  He walked away through the crowded street, whistling a sad tune.  And soon the sad tune turned into a sad song...

"Now I'm leaving the cotton candy man
With nothing to show in my empty hands. 
Why oh why did I wear these stupid pants
Should have let the monster eat me when I had the chance."

Randy made his way back to the monster to let him finish the job and eat him, when he was stopped by a stranger...

...who pulled him into a dark alley.  Randy expected the monster to be there ready to eat him.  Instead the stranger handed him a small cup with some black liquid in it.  "Drink it before the monster eats you!"  said the stranger.

I'm coming to the monster's lair
With hackles raising in my hair.
'Tis now I'll take this nasty brew 
And let the monster have his chew.

The liquid really was quite vile.
It tasted like some ugly bile.
The monster drew a great deep breath
And fainted down quite near to death.

Randy pulled his trusty sword
And without speaking 'nere a word
Slew the monster with one blow.
This story should be over now.

(Grandpa and Grandma)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

i want

She makes me want to be a writer.

She makes me really want a polaroid camera.

He makes me want to ditch digital and convert to film.


She makes me want to be back in China.


He makes me want to be politically involved.

She makes me want children.

She makes me want to do nothing but create art all day.


And he - well he just makes me want...him.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

these are my sisters

or two of them, at least

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

my new goal

is to become part of this group.  Anyone care to fly to NYC to join me?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

home on the range


This is for my China pengyous...crumblies!  We lived for these fluffy balls of goodness in Zhongshan.  We called them crumblies, but apparently they're really called pineapple rolls.  Huh.