I have had two bowls of cereal, washed a load of laundry,
and transferred pictures from Mary's (Kirkwood Studio)
laptop to mine, but all in all, I am feeling kind of lazy
Justin and I went to Laredo
this weekend for the last round of Society of
Martha Washington photography and then headed west to
Eagle Pass and then across the border into Mexico
at /Piedras Negras.
In my opinion, Eagle Pass may as well not exist. Piedras
Negras was sort of depressing - seeing the way
people live practically on top of each other and in squalid
conditions. We stopped and walked around a cemetery there
for a while. The graves also seemed piled on top of one
another. Justin said it was a dumping ground in general
- for bodies and trash. It's true. Trash was strewn everywhere.
|This church (Our Lady of Guadalupe)
was in some town between Laredo and Eagle Pass.
|A street just across the border in
We decided to stop at a
roadside vendor and buy some roasted corn. It was the
worst I'd ever tasted. I doubt it had fully matured and
it was terribly dried out as well. We decided we'd better
head back state side and try to find some authentic Mexican
food. After driving around that one horse town long enough
for me to get irritated and say I just wanted to leave,
we settled on a Seafood restaurant... A "Bar and
Grill" it claimed. However, they only had beer and
micheladas (beer with lemon/lime juice, Worcestershire
sauce, Tabasco sauce, pepper and salt). I ate octopus
and Justin had chicken. The delightful food experience
came when I discovered Slush Puppies at a gas station
on the way out of town. :;)
Tonight we leave for Dallas.
We are driving up in the middle of the night in order
to make a 7:24 AM departure. Flying standby has its problems.
The only wide open flight to San Juan leaves first thing
from Dallas and no flights from SA would for sure get
us there in time. We have reserved a rental car to drive
up in and drop off at the airport. Dad also offered to
drive us if we'd leave around 8 and rent a hotel room.
It is now 9:53 PM and I just fixed an error in my page
that was causing an image at the top to not align properly.
It took forever to find one small mistake in the code.
At least it's not doing that anymore!
Some photos Justin took
of me through the building above:
It is now 1:11
AM and time for departure. Hopefully I'll update
while we are on our trip. :)
Back from the doldrums
Laredo was... Laredo. I did not have the opportunity to
take very many pictures, so I will put up what I do have,
in color and black and white. I hope you enjoy them. Mouse
over for differences.
These photos were taken
with the use of Mike's 15 mm lens.
Here is another interesting
outhouse? on stilts....
a very misleading description for sure. But this was 35
or so miles from Laredo in a little 'town' called San
Ygnacio. I was literally out of the car and on my knees
in a few seconds before being made to get back into the
car to drive away.
opposite of what I ought to
Which is getting ready for work. The pull to hang on the
computer, replying back and forth to notes from Justin,
is entirely too strong. Not to mention I had
to look up Tommy's MySpace and try to find a baffling
answer to a question I have about wide angle as it relates
to my Digital Rebel. Oh, and mess with another photo.
Is this completely uninteresting?
in other news... it's been
another month. i miss you jared. i dreamed about you and
terry last night. i asked her why she hadn't returned
my call. i dreamed about your son. you said it was the
strangest thing - the resemblance. terry told me about
how she wasn't having much to do with him because his
mother's family is a mess. she tried to get him from a
club one night because his mother'd actually taken him
there but she was on drugs and had a fit. it was unpleasant,
to say the least. but you were smiling, as always. and
rolling your eyes, shaking your head.
So it Goes
Life is strange.
How many times have I begun that way? I met an interesting
fellow today. He wandered into the studio just after official
closing time. I was on the phone with Justin, stubbornly
trying to finish editing a portrait for a girl's Quinceanera,
although Mary had already left and told me to go ahead
home too. I convinced myself I just needed a little longer
to finish the retouching when the alarm issued a notification
of the front door being opened. I was surprised - my first
thought was that Mary forgot something and came back to
get it. Upon looking up, I noticed it was a gentlemen
with longish hair (about shoulder length) that had entered.
I laid the phone down and went to greet the man. I was
definitely not in a friendly or conversational mood. I
just wanted to get finished up, talk to Justin, and head
home. But the man told me he was a photographer and wanted
to see what we did. He asked about the paper we printed
on and we discussed printing on canvas verses printing
on photo paper then mounting on canvas. What really piqued
my interest was when I asked him what kind of photography
he did. Travel, you say?
We chatted for a little while and I, being the nosey
person I am, got quite a bit of history out of him. I
learned that he once was a management consultant, stealing
away every weekend that he could to a different locale,
aching to see things and experience them but having a
very brief amount time to do so - only managing a taste.
Photography was his passion for many years (15, he says),
and eventually he wanted to give himself over to that
medium. He longed for the ability to stay in a location
if it caught his interest - to spend extended periods
of time there and capture it with the intimacy that comes
from being somewhere for a while - with familiarity.
4 years ago he began selling his work on-line and got
quite a bit of interest, to his surprise. It has been
a mere 4 months since he has truly taken the plunge, however,
cutting all ties to his past of consulting and moving
forward into the uncertainty of a vagabond photographer.
But, from what I understand, this strange and all-too-exciting,
all-too-mysterious lifestyle has been working well for
him. Allowing him the ability to wriggle his toes into
foreign sands for a month or two at a time without fear
of losing a job and suffering only the briefest pangs
of guilt when he has the notion he *should be* working,
because society tells him this is the case. Instead, he
is now truly *living* and next month he is off to Russia
to face the freezing terrain of Siberia and capture the
unknown which exists there. His name is Tommy, by the
way. I think you should check
out his work.
One day, that will be me. Until then, I have Puerto Rico
on my own budget. Years from now, maybe one or more of
my skills will dictate I be flown here and there, expenses
paid (and me as well!) for something worthwhile. Something
to bring back and share with the world. Or maybe I'll
just have to do it all myself and reap the rewards myself.
But back to Puerto Rico: That's right, next month (Feb.
21st - 27th), Justin and I are high-tailing it to the
island! Well, islands actually because we're hitting up
Vieques for a night as well. ;) Swimming in the Caribbean
and Atlantic oceans, hiking in a tropical rainforest (El
Yunque), drinking rum at the Bacardi factory, and of course,
snapping away with Beloved like a mad woman should be
tremendously exhilarating! William (he and Mary own the
studio where I work) says he will help me get some photographs
hung at this little Mexican restaurant he goes to all
the time if I come back with some good stuff. I already
know I will. :)
I mean, come on! How could I not! Who goes on a vacation
like that and doesn't come back with at least one photograph
worth selling to a travel publication or calendar company.
hehe =) The other night, Justin and I sat on my computer
for a few hours playing with pictures from August of Laredo.
He sent one of his favorites, a sepia-toned number with
a painted effect, to SAPL
to be printed and mounted on canvas. I am not 100% sure
what he intends to do with it. I guess I'll find out!
ok, enough rambling out of me. I am going to do something
physical and then relax with Justin when he wanders in
from this long evening of OT (OT for the PR).
Nothing wrong with photo updates, I
Walking in Texas (mouse over for BW
I am considering starting
a weblog on Kirkwood's website. I think it would be interesting
and generate more hits (because of page indexing) and
a following (people will want to see what photos we are
taking and will come back to read about our ideas and
I'll let you know... :)
12:03 AM - Jan.
25th: I just thought I'd write a little more.
I wanted to check my webstats to see if putting up new
photos and a webcam shot made any difference. I don't
think it has - just my own hits to verify upload. Anyway,
I did see that I had a really interesting keyword hit
the other day. Someone searched for a quote from Wicked
and landed on my page from 2004(archive/2004.htm).
Interesting and brief (as so many are) entry that I made.
Just finished watching
Commander in Chief with Justin and eating some popcorn.
For some reason, sitting down to watch a show necessitates
I have popcorn lately. A comfort thing I guess. Less and
less I am questioning my motives for everything and just
letting them be. That is human nature, a better reality
than I worried myself into back in 2004.
Anyhow, for the studio
I am doing a Valentine's day promotion, but I am at a
loss for how to advertise it. Hardly any time and little
to no budget is not promising. =(
Feeling torn between color
vs. b&w today (mouseover). :(
And also... what makes
an interesting photograph? Is it the overall impression,
or the intimate details? I know it depends on the subject
and the onlooker.
The reality of the thing,
or the edit? (another mouseover)
Justin is laying down. I suppose I'll join him.
Sit and Wait
applied to be a contributor to iStockPhoto.com today.
I had to read their FAQ, take a little test, and upload
3 sample photos and await approval. I uploaded the more
panoramic picture of the sunrise, the colorful Laredo
columns below, and the one beneath this paragraph. I hope
I hear good news!
The pay is only 20% commission
with no money until you reach $100, so it's not the best.
It would still be neat. I will keep you informed.
In other news, Sheila's
birthday party was Friday. On the way home, Justin hit
a tire that had just ripped off an 18-wheeler,
totally messing up some of the Hyundai. Bad news. The
insurance says it's a "total loss" and only
offered me $500 for it. Sooo.... yay for full-coverage.
I am off to Laredo on Friday,
but I'll be back Sunday. The debutantes await in their
ball gowns. Hope you're all having a lovely week. If you
are in need for something romantic and Valentine's day
oriented, check out the specials we're having at Kirkwood
I said I was going to be more creative
this year and also be published! I got up around 6:30
this morning and lugged Beloved and Vallie toward downtown!
I got some pretty nifty shots... The above being one of
them. I decided to add the "San Antonio" to
it because Justin and I were editing some Laredo pix last
night and made a collage and wrote "Laredo"
on it. :) Now it's a postcard, according to Mom and Val!
They think I should try to get HEB or some place to sell
it. That would Roxor My Soxors!!!
And here is another, just for kicks:
Well... I don't have a whole lot
to say. I am just very curious about an AT&T advertisement
that I saw on the way to work this morning. All I remember
was a billboard that mentioned blogging. It was bizarre
to me... a little freaky. Would have been freakier if
I was still an active web blogger. Freaky like the first
time I heard other kids talking about e-mail in high school.
W e i r d stuff!
Anyway - if you have any info about the AT&T blogging
thing (and I know I am talking to a virtually nonexistant
audience), I would be interested in hearing it.
So e-mail me.