Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Delimma

This place we live now is very different from anything I ever dreamed of. Being a yankee (sorry folks) I always had this negative opinion of the southern culture. Having lived here in the South for 6 years now has changed that opinion. Mostly.

I can accept the Southern ways. How time seems to trickle to a stop, how deals are done on someone's word and a good handshake. How manners mean most and friendliness is key. Also, how charming a good southern drawl from a great southern gentleman can be. I can understand and accept with open arms these cultural differences I misunderstood in my younger days. They are traits I would trade down to my children should I ever decide to have any.

Now that I've said that I must make clear that I have some lines embedded too deep in my veins to change. Some items ticked away that I'll not ever be able to accept as a part of my lifestyle. One, the hugely accepted embrace of the redneck lifestyle. Indeed ignorance can be bliss but when it affects your standard of living things need to change for the better. I'm talking trailer living, mud skipping, beer drinking, shotgun having, three teeth owning, ten children having rednecks. The I don't need no educayshun and by golly my way is the best or I'll shoot you off my lawn type of living. I mean this as no offense and realize this is a minority (not in this town) but it's a line I refuse to cross. Education is important to better ones self and hygiene should be a priority, as well as birth control.

Next is the music. I have tried, oh have I tried to accept the twang and the sweet bitter words weaving through my eardrums like razorblades but I just can't. For one, I can barely understand a really thick accent when speaking so when you add vibrato and notes I will never understand what you are trying to say without a translator. I dig lyrics so this is a big problem. Two, it twangs. All the fancy stringed instruments and harmonicas blend into one very unique sound. One I can't wrap my heart around. If it makes any sense I am a huge fan of tropical music which sounds totally different from country, indie, bluegrass, etc.

Third, music is a big thing here. This city prides itself in being the "birthplace of country music". They have concerts twice a week regularly with festivals mixed in several times a month. That is a lot of music that I just don't dig. My quota for tolerating banjos has been filled tenfold since we moved here. Problem is my neighbor is big into this kind of music. He gets huffy when he realizes someone doesn't quite appreciate these soul touching sounds the way he does. I have even been chastised for not showing up at a concert because I decided to go to the gym instead!

He invited us to a house concert tonight for a guy who sings songs with lyrics like "I'm a gun and I'm loaded and I'm going to kill you tonight."(I'm serious.) This is the same person that is going to preform at the festival tomorrow night in which I will be attending! I opted out. I blamed not feeling well because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. How do you tell someone so passionate about something that you'd rather chew on rocks than bare through it? You don't. Well I don't anyways.

So while I appreciate the importance music has on this town and the immense support this city has given to local unknown artists I will not look back when I move to the coastal city filled with steel drum bands and beats set on island time. No way. Until then maybe I can purchase some industrial ear plugs.

What To Say

Wow, what a weekend!

You know, before this previous weekend without even hitting realization I was beginning to settle. It seemed like my dream city was going to fade away in the distance. We have so many responsibilities here and really, it is just so hard to prepare for a move two years down the road.

So we started making friends. We started opening our hearts to this city we live now. We let the culture seep into our blood and started calling this place home. I was beginning to convince myself that it wouldn't be so bad if we lived here more than two years, we could somehow manage.

Then we had this trip this weekend and every drop of resistance broke away like millions of shards of glass exploding from within. The Lover and I sat in the car convincing ourselves to stay just one more night and we realized we never wanted to leave. It was so easy to pick up my camera and capture anything I could, the hunger returned. We chased sunsets just to get some amazing shots. I kept calling it home in my giddiness.

Even The Lover was excited to one day live here. For a while I was concerned that he had lost the dream to settle on this coastal town, this weekend totally rid me of those fears.

It was great to be back in a place so inspiring and beautiful. It was WONDERFUL to be by the sea, where I so deeply belong. The urge to live on the coast pulls me like the tides on water. I feel like a salmon returning home after my journey to search for a suitor, aha. I WILL live there whether it takes me two years or longer. I WILL spend the rest of my days digging my toes in the so very familiar sand and I WILL be there with him.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ah, yes

My Sister's Favorite Movie Growing Up

She used to say "Hatuna Matatatatatataaaaaaa" It was so cute in her little voice!

It is only fitting that this is dedicated to her!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Glove Doesn't Fit

Wow. Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooow....

This place is awesome, you know? I really like it but the bubble is very, VERY tiny. Well folks there is a big event that's bringing EVERYONE from the dark corners of the city into broad daylight. I must say, I never knew The Tazmanian Devil had such a following to older generations!

Wifebeaters, three teeth, socks WITH crocs, super awesome color reflective sunglasses, fanny packs, Event GEAR out the you know what. These are all pre-requisites for stepping outside today. I'm a little frightened right now.

Thank God we are headed to the beach this weekend and avoiding all of this nonsense. Whoa.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Oh, You

I am so neglectful. I sincerely apologize. I go to bed and think up lovely posts only to become far too busy to actually write it out, does that still count?

This week has brought a fun photoshoot, some cancellations (don't worry, they rescheduled) and lots of time editing photos. We've had a really bad storm that brought water into our lofts lobby freaking our landlord out of his gourd. I booked a wedding up in NY at my old stomping grounds for a really good friend (very excited!). We watched as traffic got heavier and heavier due to a recent big event happening soon.

We made new friends while enjoying a jam session for the blues at the local pub. We discussed closing up shop and moving to the loft to use the overhead money for equipment while renting a wall at this new emporium down the street for 1/6th the cost! I have spent every day at the gym trying to get back into shape while eating healthy (God it feels so good). We have idly watched a hurricane almost maybe ruin our plans to go to the beach. It looks like it won't hit the coast but will cause some serious waves. After my last stint with the ocean I'm ok with just enjoying it from the ankles down.

We have sat inside a bar to wonder if a celebrity is sitting inside the bus with his name written across it. Through some blackberry googling we found that sometimes he is and sometimes he isn't. If he did come into the bar it would have been my first big celebrity encounter EVER. We tried Breyer's mint chocolate chip yogurt treat only to spit it right back out. We have made it halfway through this week.

Tomorrow I am going to be on live tv promoting my business and I'm a little freaked out. What if I freeze up and suck? Wish me luck! After that I meet with a lady to discuss weddings and then a huge event downtown happens that I'm not prepared for, I doubt I get any business from it! After tomorrow we pack up for the beach! The Lover and I are having one last hurrah on the coast before winter begins to set in. It is right on the beach with some awesome stuff in walking distance, plus my favorite city in the world within driving distance! Yay! We are meeting some good friends so we expect some great times!

Thanks for listening again, so sorry I ignore you so often dear blog.

My Point Exactly

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Too Funny


I don't know what it is but I'd like it to stop, NOW! My energy level is down in the dumps and has been for about a week now. Just sitting here at my desk has me yawning away. I can barely focus on anything because all I want to do is sleep, anything else is just too much effort.

I've even gone to the gym to try and kickstart my metabolism, giving me more energy but that's not working. I have been staying up later than normal but then my body forces me to stay in bed. Seriously, I've opened up shop about an hour later than usual because I'm just SO tired.

Here are some things I do know. I just got my hateful little friend and it seems more angry than ever. Talk about cramps! They're horrible this time round. I know there is a high possibility that the fatigue is coming from this as they both seem to line up.

Secondly, I just started back on eating right and that means eating LESS right now. Granted I NEVER needed as many calories as I was taking in previously but maybe the sharp dip has caused some sort of problem. Right now I just eat when I am hungry, usually just snacking on fruits and veggies. Ok and maybe a slice of cookie cake here and there.

I can't think of any other explanation. I feel like there is a heavy fuzzy cloud sitting on top of my head that is not allowing me to concentrate. I am not depressed (sometimes all I do is sleep when I am sad), I am actually very happy and excited for things right now. I'm not sick though my allergies have been in full force this week, wait a tick! The Lover bought some Claritin that was NOT nondrowsy and then didn't use it. I wonder if I am taking that stuff?? I better check when I go up for lunch.

All I know right now is that I absolutely hate it. I don't like waking up late. I don't like walking around in a haze. I don't like feeling as if I could fall asleep at any second no matter where I am! Maybe I should stop watching that parasite show on Discovery that talks about all the nasty bugs you can get in your body and just how badly they can ruin you. Yikes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Signs We're Getting Older

I am the oldest of my two siblings. Often times it felt like I couldn't quite share in my new revelations because they just weren't there yet. I am five years older than my brother and nine years older than my sister. I whacked the jungle clear for them although often times I would trip on some big branches that would turn into huge hurdles for them later on, whoops! ha

Anyway growing up we would take a family vacation to the beach every summer without fail. Us three kids would go running into the water and swim out as far as we dared. Giggling at the waves, swimming through the beat downs, getting caught on our toes by crabs, and generally not giving a crap what happened as long as we were swimming. We spent 90% of the time in the water begging our parents to come join us.

Then we got older and I moved out. Then my brother started college and it just seemed a lot harder to get us all at the beach at the same time. Roughly six entire years later, just a few weekends ago, we managed to hit the beach at the same time. The Lover and I made a last minute decision to go and my brother drove down for an 8 hour trip to stay just two days.

I am glad we did. My sister, brother, and I went out just beyond were the waves broke and felt a little bit of deja vu. It felt like old times but we were bigger, smarter, and some of us (certainly not me!) more mature. We talked about how awesome it felt to be in the same ocean at the same time again. Remembering all the fun we had and how seemingly fearless we were. Then we mentioned how the ocean had become a scarier entity through age. Shark Week, jellyfish, education, and happenings to friend's of friends had made us all a little more weary of the water.

We actually knew that a shark was most likely swimming near us whereas when we were little we thought they stayed far away from the shore. We were finally weary of the jellyfish and the crabs. Rip currents and undertoes. We were spending more time on the beach than in the water. We three hit that realization and that's when I knew we had all actually grown up.

So goodbye lack of self awareness, goodbye flips into piles of snow without caring how we landed, goodbye dangerous ramps made halfhazardly, and hello fear, that instinct for survival.

Or maybe not. As both my sister and I got stung by jellyfish that very same trip for the very first time and while discussing it we both managed to say "Eh, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be." Maybe nothing can keep us out of the ocean permanently. Maybe that's a damn good thing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Long Birthdays

It sort of feels like The Lover and I will find any excuse to celebrate. I don't really blame us because after last year we deserve every drop of joy that happens to come our way. So we take it and make a big deal of it.

Today is The Lover's birthday but I think we've been celebrating all month long. Not ONE but TWO chances to hit the beach this month? It's your birthday, why not?? Wings and drinks on a Monday night? Why not? It's your birthday week!

I'm perfectly okay with it. I think it's fantastic that we can celebrate because this time last year we were totally down in the dumps. Not a dime to our name, not even a dinner celebration. Just thinking about it gets my heart heavy. Thank God we have made it through!

A very happy birthday to you, Lover. What a fantastic journey it's been.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What is Up world?

I just had a photoshoot canceled and rescheduled for the billionth time. I'm sort of okay with it because I'm tired! It just means Friday is going to be a busy day!

I need to find ways to get my name out there. I think I've been doing a pretty good job but my calendar is pretty much empty for next month! Although, August was pretty empty too until right at the end of July. STAY POSITIVE!

We are trying to find a way to get me a better camera and some new stuff in the studio. I've been wanting to sell some of my framed Fine Art prints but just haven't had the start up money to do that. It's coming along but it needs to hurry! One thing on the to do list is to change my window!

Maybe I will do that tonight since the evening is suddenly free! Too bad too because my flash came in ESPECIALLY for that purpose. I ordered it online and even paid for overnight shipping, then we went out shopping this weekend and realized it was tax free weekend! Meaning I could have gotten the darn thing for twenty dollars cheaper! Don't I feel like a fool!

Ah well. It's Monday.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


What makes this is the landing....

Friday, August 7, 2009

Why Our Current Health Care Works

A very good read, go on read it, it's not what you expect.

What’s Not to Like?

Reform? Why do we need health-care reform? Everything is just fine the way it is.

Go ahead, shoot me. I like the status quo on health care in the United States. I've got health insurance and I don't give a damn about the 47 million suckers who don't. Obama and Congress must be stopped. No bill! I'm better off the way things are.

I'm with that woman who wrote the president complaining about "socialized medicine" and added: "Now keep your hands off my Medicare." That's the spirit!

Why should I be entitled to the same insurance that members of Congress get? Blue Dogs need a lot of medical attention to treat their blueness. I'm just a regular guy and definitely deserve less.

I had cancer a few years ago. I like the fact that if I lose my job, I won't be able to get any insurance because of my illness. It reminds me of my homeowners' insurance, which gets canceled after a break-in. I like the choice I'd face if, God forbid, the cancer recurs—sell my house to pay for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment, or die. That's what you call a "post-existing condition."

I like the absence of catastrophic insurance today. It meant that my health-insurance plan (one of the better ones, by the way) only covered about 75 percent of the cost of my cutting-edge treatment. That's as it should be—face cancer and shell out huge amounts of money at the same time. Nice.

I like the "lifetime limits" that many policies have today. Missed the fine print on that one, did you? It means that after you exceed a certain amount of reimbursement, you don't get anything more from the insurance company. That's fair.

Speaking of fair, it seems fair to me that cost-cutting bureaucrats at the insurance companies—not doctors—decide what's reimbursable. After all, the insurance companies know best.

Yes, the insurance company status quo rocks. I learned recently about something called the "loading fees" of insurance companies. That's how much of every health-care dollar gets spent by insurance companies on things other than the medical care—paperwork, marketing, profits, etc. According to a University of Minnesota study, up to 47 percent of all the money going into the health-insurance system is consumed in "loading fees." Even good insurance companies spend close to 30 percent on nonmedical stuff. Sweet.

The good news is that the $8,000 a year per family that Americans pay for their employer-based health insurance is heading up! According to the Council of Economic Advisers, it will hit $25,000 per family by 2025. The sourpusses who want health-care reform say that's "unsustainable." Au contraire.

And how could the supporters of these reform bills believe in anything as stupid as a "public option"? Do they really believe that the health-insurance cartel deserves a little competition to keep them honest? Back in the day, they had a word for competition. A bad word. They called it capitalism. FedEx versus the U.S. Postal Service, CNN versus PBS—just because it's government-backed doesn't mean you can't compete against it. If they believed in capitalism, the insurance companies would join the fray and compete.

I'm glad they don't. I prefer the status quo, where the for-profit insurance companies suck at the teat of the federal government. Corporate welfare's what we've got, and it's a damn good system. Through a wonderful program called Medicare Advantage, the insurance companies receive hundreds of billions of dollars in fees to administer a program that the government is already running. Don't touch that baby. You'd be messing with the handiwork of some fine lobbyists.

You know what part of the status quo I like best? It's a longstanding system for paying doctors called "fee for service." That's where doctors get paid for each procedure they perform, as if my auto dealer got paid separately for the steering wheel, brakes, and horn instead of for the car. Fee-for-service is why the medical care at that doc-in-a-box at my mall is so superior to the Mayo Clinic or Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where the doctors are on salary. Who would want to mess with that?

OK, if you really press me, I'm for one change. It's the one that Republicans trot out to prove they're "reformers," too. We could save our whole system if we just capped malpractice awards. Two of our biggest states—California and Texas—did it a few years ago and nothing has changed there, but who cares? It sounds good.

So tell your congressmen and senators when they're home for the summer recess that it's too soon to address this issue. We've only been debating it for 97 years, since Theodore Roosevelt put national health insurance in the Bull Moose Party platform of 1912. We've only had 745 congressional hearings on the subject (I made that number up, but it's got to be close). That's not enough! Let's study this problem more before we do anything about it.

Did I say "problem"? Who said there was a problem? Not me. I like the status quo.

For article click here

Bark in the Park

Last night I set up a table to advertise my professional services at this Bark in the Park event. Being a small town I didn't know what to think as far as attendance went. I was happily surprised at the large number that did show! I gave away almost all of my coupons, talk about a win!

Anyway, it was really neat to see so many dogs in one place. From the itty bitty to the big monsters! Animal lovers love irony too! There was a 1 pound chihuahua named Tank and a 135 pound Great Dane named Muffin. Muffin came over to lean on me for a few minutes while I rubbed her side. She came up to my hip! A gorgeous black and white dane.

They had contests and we decided to enter in my dog, Caesar. I work with him a lot as far as training goes. I've spent a lot of time getting general commands down pat so he listens to me anywhere no matter how bad the distraction so just recently we've been working on cool tricks. He does a high five which forces him to jump and slap the palm of my hand, superman flying, and we are working on spin and speak.

I entered him in the Best Trick category and went for the good High Five since we've been doing that for at least a year now. He wowed the crowd! I thought we had it for first place until the last dog, a golden retriever, let her owner set a treat on her nose and stayed until the Owner said "Get it". The golden won but Caesar got 2nd place! Cool! I also got a picture of him doing the trick on stage!

We also tried the sit and speak. I practiced with him beforehand and he only did it about fifty percent of the time. It's still new and I think it will take a little more time to get it down. Mine is a little different though because the speak is followed after I say "Don't you backtalk me, now go on!" and he barks like a freak. We got our turn on stage and he didn't do it! I took him to the back of the stage and he did it three times! Decided to try one more time in front of the audience and he didn't do it! Silly boy.

All in all a great success! Seeing that many dogs at the park last night made The Lover and I realize just how untapped the pet market is here and how successful a well run facility could be. Time to get those gears a grindin'!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I'm Tan

It's been a while. The Lover and I are known for impromptu road trips with barely an hours notice. This weekend was one of them. We had an open invitation to visit with my extended family who I haven't seen in AT LEAST six years. It was long overdue and I really wanted to go but we didn't think it could happen. That is until 2pm Thursday afternoon when we both sort of looked at each other and said " Well....maybe if we.....then we could...."

By 5:30pm we were on the road headed to DC. The Lover has never been to DC before so it was quite nice to show him around. It's all still the same except for the World War II memorial. Even the awesomeness of being so close to our ever evolving government felt good.

After spending the day in DC we headed to Rehoboth, DE with the family. The only room left in this four bedroom rental were couches and floor space. Still it was great to have that much family in one place, even if we disagreed, ha! We got to see the beach where my sister and I both got stung by jellyfish, though she got it worse. We got to take pictures of the boardwalk, eat fresh seafood, catch up on some extensive lost time, play fun games (catchphrase to be exact), and just have a good time.

Typical to The Lover and I we rearranged the schedule so we could stay and extra day. I was so glad we did. It felt great to be welcomed with open arms, hard hugs, and sincere "Holy, I've missed you"'s.

We are being spoiled this month as we try to plan another beach trip August 22nd with my friend and her SO. Should be a lot of fun because I haven't seen her since last year!

Note to self: get a new bathing suit!!