Saturday, April 29, 2006

JD in Black and White

I got you a gig, JD said as he walked into the front door. He said ‘gig’ like I was some type of rock star. I laughed a little and prodded him for more information. When he delved into the details, I realized he was sacrificing a little for me.

His hair stylist was entering a competition and needed a hair model. At first reluctant—JD had no say in the cut or style—he relented when his stylist said he was looking for a photographer. JD and his stylist decided that Thursday would be the best day for the haircut, as long as I was able to take my camera.

I didn’t know what exactly Eddie wanted from me, but when he finished cutting JD’s hair, he said, Go ahead and take the picture. Puzzled, I snapped a few shots. When I asked Eddie for samples of pictures from previous winners, he showed me the magazine the winner would be published in. Whoa. The shots were taken in studios with professional lighting…and models…and reflectors…and make-up artists. There was no way taking a haphazard picture under fluorescent lights could ever compete. Period.

Listen, Eddie, I said, would you mind if I got the pictures to you a little later than discussed? He silently tossed the idea back and forth. To make the decision easier I told him that if I had a little extra time, I’d be able to take more complimentary pictures. He agreed, but stressed the importance of getting the pictures back to him soon because the deadline was in a few days.

JD and I discussed the ways we could take best possible pictures. We had only one night. Over sushi, we talked about lighting and places in our home we could make a ‘studio’. No, I said while sucking on my edamame, I don’t think it’ll work. After blowing on his miso soup, he convinced me we could at least try to work with what we had. When we made our way home, it was almost midnight.

After gathering every flashlight, lamp, and lighting fixture in our place, we set up my studio to epic proportions. Okay, maybe not epic (it was more like vagabond-ish), but we did what we could.

When two a.m. rolled around, JD’s blinks lasted more than a couple seconds. After I convinced him to put on a suit and tie, moved him from every room in our home, and constantly asked him to change his pose, he was tired. And I was too.

Yesterday morning, I chose my favorite photos and constrained them to competition guidelines—8x10, black and white, room for salon logo. I gave Eddie 15 images to choose from and he compensated me for my services, but I should have thanked him rather than accepting a payment. Yes, JD and I were fatigued and grumpy when we wrapped shooting…and, yes, we made a lot more work for ourselves…and, yes, I didn’t have a proper studio…but at the end of the day, JD and I had so much fun! We learned a lot about each other and what buttons not to push, but we made priceless memories.

Thus far, JD has been my favorite model. Somehow I think that this will forever remain the case ☺

Friday, April 28, 2006

Familiar Scents

In the darkness of my bedroom, I found the following images on my laptop last night. They were the first two pictures I captured while shooting Cheremoya’s children. They must have meant something to me because I placed them in a different file. Most probably to remind me. Remind me to not forget.

When I walked into Cheremoya’s cramped East Los Angeles apartment a few months ago, the simplicity of her lifestyle stung my heart. As if a bee was trapped in my chest and decided to position his pointed bottom on a ventricle.

On her walls were pictures—buttressed by thumbtacks or scotch tape— of her children from school or sporting events. While she tied her son’s shoelaces in the kitchen, I was in the living room looking at the pictures. The line of demarcation between the rooms was where the cracked linoleum floor met the brown carpet. I’m so happy you’re doing this for me, she told me with a grunt as she stood from tying Bobo’s shoes.

No, I wanted to say, thank you. Thank you for sharing your children with me because they embody a familiar scent of my childhood. A childhood I should never forget because I’ve come so far. Instead, I said it was my pleasure.

A couple weeks later, I bought a series of frames and placed photos of her children behind the glass. Pictures of her children laughing. Running around the playground. Striking poses. Her walls are now stripped of the thumbtacks and in their place are black wood frames bearing her babies captured on a sunny day.

The pictures posted here remind me not to forget the familiar scent of my childhood.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

When You're Home

I like when you’re home.

I like the way you cut my pink grapefruit every morning—sliced in half, no skin—and serve it in my favorite Pottery Barn ramekin. I like how you light the aromatherapy candles around the house when I’m stressed. I like how you notice when I rearrange the kitchen cabinets.

I like when you’re home.

I like how you can put me in my place with a simple glance. No words. Just a silent admonition lovingly administered. I like how you sing along with Jack Johnson on Saturday mornings. I like that you can admit you can’t sing.

I like when you’re home.

I like when you force me to dance in an empty corridor. You’ll sway with me side-to-side, and reassure me no one’s watching. I like the way you set the table for dinner. I like the way I like the way you listen.

I like when you’re home.

I know you were only gone a few days, but I when you’re not here, I’m not myself. JD, I like when you’re home

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Looking Professional

I walked down the produce aisle and haphazardly loaded my shopping cart. Asparagus. Rose potatoes. Basil. My heart and my mind were in a different place. A place 20-minutes away, under a familiar roof and resting in bed. Brussel sprouts. Strawberries. Spinach. As I gingerly placed the bananas atop the carton of eggs, my eyes began to sting. I blinked furiously and bit my lower lip. Not here, I thought to myself, not now.

I wear my heart on my sleeve. And on the leg of my pant. And tied up in between my shoelaces. But there are some places a girl can’t cry, and the grocery store is one of them. I ducked my head into the nearby shitake mushroom cooler and pinched the ducts of my eyes to stop the tears. My fingers, smelling like the vine-ripened tomatoes they touched earlier, acted like beavers and clogged the dam forming at the corners of my eyes.

What I needed more than produce was, and is, the faith to believe that my mother will be cured of her illness.

When I got home, I unloaded my goods and sat with my computer. Editing my pictures lifts my soul, so when I scrolled through a recent engagement session for my best friend, my mood lightened.

Last week, I drove to San Diego to take a few pictures of Brianna and Bashir. They’re both training at the Olympic Training Center, with their eyes on the gold. The gold medal, that is.

We spent the whole day roaming La Jolla and San Diego and lounging in the sun. It was a beautiful day and spending time with my friends (and my camera) couldn’t be better. It took Brianna a few minutes to get used to me snapping pictures behind the camera. Usually, our pictures—with our arms slung around each other and Cheshire smiles—are snapshots with one of us stretching out an arm and taking the picture. However, after popping on my 70-200 lens, I got out of their way and let them have a good time.

Wow, Brianna commented as I crouched on the grass to snap a shot, you really look like a professional. I laughed, but secretly panicked. I hope my pictures echo her sentiments ☺

These pictures are for Bri…who thinks I look like a professional.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Ten Minutes

Of course I will, Melanie! We’ll have fun!

I snapped my cell phone shut with a loud click and packed my camera gear. My best friend, Melanie, asked if I would be able to take a few pictures for her portfolio. She’s a professional singer and performer in Los Angeles, so it’s imperative for her to continually update her picture card and future website

We were supposed to shoot the entire day, but it didn’t work out the way we anticipated. In fact, our total shoot time was about ten minutes because of other mitigating circumstances. But Melanie—much like ice cream—made everything better. She smiled and posed for me and we had a blast.

Mella, I look forward to shooting you again…and this time, I promise we’ll have more than ten minutes! ☺

Sunday, April 23, 2006

On the Nines

With my back to our bedroom door, I didn’t see JD walk into the room, but I heard him. He sat on the bed and waited for me to look up from my editing. When I did, he said, I got you something before I leave for Las Vegas.

Ooooh, I love surprises.

JD slipped his hand into his back pocket and pulled out a small rectangular sheet of paper. With perforated sides. And a scratchable surface. No. Yes. Yes, he got me a lottery ticket! The paper read “9 9 9’s in a line”. Because I would never gamble without you, I thought we should take a quick gamble before I go, he said.

I ran my fingers over the line that read the maximum prize was $999. I silently said a quick prayer for the maximum prize because I wanted a new lens. Now, I know praying and gambling are like mixing oil and water, but, I prayed anyway.

The ticket—with its tic-tac-toe grid—stared at me and begged to be scratched, much like a dog. I scratched away. No way. No way. Three nines in a diagonal row. No way! I won…

Hmmm, which lens am I going to choose, I wondered. With $999.00, I can get some nice toys…namely, the wide-angle lens I’ve been coveting at Samy’s.

Jaz, JD said, you need to scratch off the prize value to see what you’ve won. Oh…yeah, I knew that, I said.

The prize box, after being scratched off with a nearby nickel, read: $6.00

I laughed heartily and JD placated me with a hug. While I won’t be seeing that wide-angle anytime soon, I have six bucks worth of a memories.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


I can admit it. I’m addicted to blogs. I love reading them and the dissecting pictures that sometimes accompany an entry. I love them for the same reasons I love staring into brightly lit windows at night. They provide a glimpse into someone’s life and I’m thoroughly addicted. JD thinks I’m positively crazy for staring at dark homes as we whiz by at night. Whenever we stop at a red light, I immediately turn my head over my shoulder to find an illuminated window. Sometimes I see a family eating dinner, or someone watching television, or someone shutting a kitchen cabinet. I know it’s strange, but I love it.

Blogs give me the same insight; they’re the illuminated windows. Reading blogs have become part of my daily routine. I go through my favorites and bookmark them according to my preference. There are even times when I’ll call JD at work and tell him to read so-and-so’s because it’s breath-taking. He now knows my favorites and refers to them by name, as if we’ve all been long-time friends. Jaz, he’ll ask, how’s Jessica? He’s met Jess only once before, but because of her blog, it feels like we know her.

This morning, as JD was leaving the house for a round of golf, he turned to me and said, I’m going to try to take a picture of you the way [b]ecker shoots his models. I laughed out loud. My laugh was two-fold: (1) JD has a loooong way to go before he’s shooting like [b]ecker (especially because JD only handles my camera for fun); and (2) He must have looked at [b]’s blog at least a hundred times over my shoulder.

Blogs have become a tutor of sorts. The pictures serve as a barometer; something I can measure my own abilities against. Yes, I have a long way to go, but at least I know I’m moving in the right direction.

Here are a few more from Cherry’s wedding…

I loved the motion of the make-up artist's hand

Cherry standing in the light of a stained-glass window

Cherry descending from the car

Friday, April 21, 2006

Static Electricity


I just finished my bowl of tomato soup when LeVar Burton finished his story. Just like every other weekday afternoon, I sat in front of my television and watched Reading Rainbow. I sat in puzzlement and stared quizzically at the fuzzy screen. My mom walked over to adjust the antennae, but it was of no use. I was used to watching programs on our handicap television. Are you having a hard time watching the show, she asked. I replied negatively then asked if we could visit the library. I wanted to learn more about how static worked.

Static, but, why?

I tried explaining that Levar read a story about static electricity and I didn’t really understand. I wanted to, but it just didn’t click. She leaned over and picked up my empty soup bowl and proffered her other hand. I reluctantly locked our fingers and followed her to our kitchen. After depositing the bowl in the sink, we walked over to the dryer. She slowly started sifting through the clean laundry and found what she was in search of: a lonely sock clinging onto a pair of sweatpants.

We walked back to her room and she opened her closet. The closet door was on wheels and made a rumbling sound every time it slid open. Go ahead, she said, get in. I crawled beneath the dress shirts and pant suits and sat on rows of shoes. Then my mother handed me the mismatched pair--the sock and the sweatpants. The closet door rumbled shut and I sat in darkness. My mother’s voice floated in between the cracks of the closet and she told me to unhinge the sock. As I peeled the duo apart, little sparks danced in the darkness.

And just like that, I got it.

I had a static moment yesterday. For so long, I wanted to understand website hosting services, domain names, server space. I wanted to understand it all, but it just didn’t click. But late last night, on the advice and encouragement from a friend, I bought my domain name and server space.

And just like that, I got it. And this time, I didn’t have to sit alone in a dark closet for it to make sense.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cherry, like the fruit

The sun shone brightly as Greg Bumatay and I made our way to Temecula, California. When we pulled up the Falkner Winery, we were greeted by rows of vineyards, with their arms stretched out and leafy hands covered in buds. With the lapis lazuli sky smiling on us, we hastily grabbed out cameras and began shooting. The vineyard was a photographer’s eye-candy. So sweet it could make the pupils ache.

When Cherry arrived, I was struck with her beauty. She had such a sophisticated air about her; it was like she fully embraced her looks and buttressed them with confidence. And her personality transcended the lens and with every click, she blossomed. She made no qualms admitting her love of being photographed, and, in return, my camera loved her back. She was the quintessential bride and her wedding was a reflection of her love for Trent.

Here are a few pictures from the wedding…I will be posting more soon.

**To see the shoot in its entirety, CLICK HERE**


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What happens Vegas....

Okay, so I'm a day late and a dollar short in posting these pictures, but it's better late than never.

Going to Las Vegas for WPPI was a total blessing and hanging out with Mike Colon and his beautiful wife Julie was the proverbial cherry on the cake! A BIG shout out goes to the world's best roommates ( Liana, Shyla, and Kristen) for making my trip so memorable. I miss you guys!!

Oh, and before I forget, I cleaverly stole these pictures from Liana's blog :) I make her do all the hard stuff then reap the benefits...thanks, Liana!!

Liana and I on our way back from the pool

Mike and The Entourage (Liana, Kristen, Mike, Me, and Shyla)

This picture should give you an idea of how much fun we was crazy!! If you can't tell, that's Mike taking a bite from his wife's rear end. I'm telling you, we were crazy!!

Hanging out with David Jay at the OSP Party. A group of people had t-shirts made exclusively for the party, so that's why we're dressed the same.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Cold. You’re cold. Warm. Warmer. Warmmmer. Ooh, you’re hot.

I laid with my eyes closed under my parent’s large olive tree while my mother sat on a chair nearby and guided my little sister in finding the Easter eggs strewn about the garden.

Hot. Hotter. Oops, you got cold again.

I don’t know when the Easter egg hunt became a hot/cold game, but I didn’t mind that it broke tradition because every so often the warm-warmer-warmer was broken by my mother’s laugh. Her laugh—like a crescendo of whispering angels—was worth untying the knots of tradition.

Lounging in the yard wasn’t something my family usually does on Easter, but the weather beckoned us outside like a mythological siren. And we, like intoxicated sailors, followed her call. We played games and listened to Oldies on a nearby radio and the sun sporadically peeked through the branches of the olive tree.

As I laid with pinched eyes under the tree, I listened to the sounds of JD and my twin sister talking about the church service we attended earlier in the day and my little sister squealing every time she found a pastel egg hidden amongst the hydrangea. And I heard my mother laugh. These sounds will be stored in my heart forever as they will serve as a conduit for happiness in the future. I want to remember the squeal, the laughter, the sound of rustling leaves. I want to remember Easter.

Happy Easter everyone!

Crate&Barrels of Kindness

I climbed the steps of our front door with a heavy sigh. It had been a long day and I was fatigued. As I reached for my keys, a white box caught the corner of my eye. It was perched on my doormat and glowed. For a brief moment, I forgot how much I hated our doormat- with its braided hair matted like a bird’s nest- and read the black letters printed along side the box. Crate&Barrel.

I cradled the box in my tired arms and opened the door. JD, I asked out loud while standing in the empty dinning room, did you see this box? No, he hadn’t. We stand at the table and open the box together. As we part the box’s lips, a white card- like a little tongue- was laying on top of the wrapped items. I opened the card and read aloud:

To Jazzy and JD
Thanks for such a great night. Let’s get together again a break some glasses.
Vince and Marina

And just like that, my day brightened.

Vince and Marina are our dear friends, with whom we had the pleasure to dine with a few days earlier. They’re just about to graduate from USC Medical School, so while we haven’t been able to hang out as much as we’d like, when we do, it’s a great time.

Last week, we went to dinner and finished the night at our place. With the fireplace ablaze, discussions set sail. By the time we looked at the time it was past midnight and we found ourselves entranced by the sparks dancing up the chimney. Just as Vince and Marina were about to leave, JD stood upright and accidentally kicked his glass, sending broken pieces sliding across our floor. Which brings me to yesterday evening and finding a package from them.

In the white box was a beautiful set of glasses. Like the kind of glasses I’d only use if guests came over, the type I’d never buy. But this is precisely what made the gift so thoughtful. They didn’t merely send a gift, they sent kindness.

Crates&Barrels of kindness.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Dear God…

The pain is sometimes too much to bear. There are times when I want You to make the boxing bell ring. I want her to walk to her corner—tired and beat—and there You will dab mercy on her wounds.

You know she can’t walk or speak well, so why must she now struggle with her thoughts? Why must there be salt on the wound? I speak to her and I wait elongated seconds for her to reply. Mom, I ask when speaking to her on the phone, are you there? Yes, Jaz, I’m here…I just forgot what I was going to say.

Today is Good Friday, so I’m trying to think of every good thing in my life. But most of it pales in comparison to the Roman candle she is. I believe in miracles. Please, God, please heal her completely. I don’t want to celebrate Good Fridays without her. I’m selfish. I want to celebrate Good Mondays, Good Tuesdays, Good Weeks, Good Years.

Next week we’re going to see specialists. Brain surgeons. Neuro-oncologists. ENT specialists. Cancer specialists. We may even fly her to Colorado for homeopathic approach to her illness. God, I’m tired. Tired of her being sick and tired. When will the suffering end?

I know I shouldn’t be asking, ‘why her?’. I should be asking, ‘why not her?’. Help me deal with my pain in a joyful manner. The mask I wear is painted brightly in order to camouflage the anguish in my eyes, but I want You to shine through the agony. Help me not ask for substitution, but, rather, help me as for strength. If my family cannot evade this trial, give us power to survive.

God, thank you for Good Friday. May there be many more Goods in the future.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The List

I met a friend for a pre-flight snack at the Las Vegas airport yesterday afternoon. He called and asked if I had a few minutes to spare. I was just about to explain I was sitting in a bleak terminal, when an overhead announcement blared from the speakers and muted my voice. Where are you, he asked. I closed the book I was reading and told him the airport. I’m at the airport too, he laughed.

We met at Ruby’s Diner and talked about the past few days at the wedding and portraiture conference. We compared experiences and highlights. They were very different.

It was my first conference and I didn’t know what to expect. What I did know, however, was that I wanted to be sure I went to specific seminars. I made a mental check-list of by whom I wanted to be tutored. Kevin Kubota, David Beckstead, Gary Fong, Mike Colon, David Jay. The list was long. Little did I realize parties and get-togethers were as important—if not more—than the conference itself. Had I known this in advance, I would have made a place for it on the list. And if it were on the list, I would have scratched it out. At least five times over.

While others had the option of skipping out on the 8:30 a.m. sessions, I didn’t allow myself that luxury. I went to Las Vegas to learn—to soak up knowledge like a Brawny paper towel does to a puddle of KoolAid. I went to the morning sessions girded with a pen and notepad, ready to scribble down the steps I need to take to march toward my future goals. Looking at my notes later, the proverbial steps looked like learning to tango from a book. I was overwhelmed.

I walked the tradeshow floor in a daze. There must have been at least 15 printing companies, 12 album companies, 10 compact flash companies, eight lighting companies, five software companies, one print-your-picture-on-a-blanket company, and a partridge in a pear tree. I gathered as much information as my arms and head could carry, but I later realized I was building a mote instead of a bridge. For every phenomenal thing I learned in a seminar, I realized there were five other things I didn’t know on the tradeshow floor.

Instead of getting discouraged, I promised myself that I would set a series of things I wanted to accomplish before next year’s conference. Yes, I’m going to make another list. Perhaps I’ll post that list later this week. Perhaps I won’t. Either way, I’m looking forward to scratching off each itemized entry.
While at Ruby’s Diner, my friend looked across the table at me and I snapped out of my introspective blitz. He was saying that our first-conference experiences were very similar when I stopped him mid-sentence. Our experiences were nothing alike—except perhaps watching things from the outside in—because he didn’t walk away from his first conference the way I was feeling at that moment. He didn’t walk away from the conference feeling like he had to swim forty meters to the ocean surface to get a breath of air. No, I thought to myself, our experiences are nothing alike.

Then he said something profound. As if he read the blinking billboard in my mind. You have to make a list, he said in between bites of his bacon cheeseburger, so that you’ll know how far you’ve come. You don’t want to sit here next year at WPPI and realize you’ve been stagnant. If you’re at the same point next year, maybe you should reevaluate what you’re doing with your career. He then grabbed his drink and slurped down the velvety Coke.

And I slurped down his words, promising myself to make that list.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Strawberry Jelly

I waited impatiently by the baggage claim, scanning each suitcase for mine. Only in Long Beach, California will a person find the baggage claim outside. The carousel was covered by a freshly painted awning and the sun streaked through the western side, warming my feet.

JD surprised me with an oversized hug from behind and I soaked in his familiar scent. It felt good to be back in Southern California and I was happy to have left Las Vegas’ psychotic lights and smarmy nuclei. I had a wonderful time at the WPPI Conference, but there’s no place like home. And there’s nothing like being around love.

I’ll be posting more about my amazing experiences tomorrow and the rest of the week, but I wanted to thank everyone from Open Source Photo Forum and David Jay for making my first WPPI experience one to remember, thanks to Mike Colon for inviting me to tag along with him, and, lastly, thanks to JD for missing me more than toast and strawberry jelly.

That’s what he told me. More than toast and strawberry jelly. I think JD takes the idea of ‘sweet nothings’ literally ☺

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Thank you Mom for my Birthday

I felt smothered. JD sang “Happy Birthday” into my ear, while his arms and legs squeezed me tightly.

I lay still after the song was completed. You okay, JD asked. Yes, I said. The ‘yes’ sounded like a ‘yesh’ because my face was half buried in my pillow. What’s wrong, he pleaded, don’t be sad.

I didn’t want to wake up melancholy. I really didn’t. I love my birthday and it’s my most favorite day of the year. But, today I woke up sad.

I tried explaining to JD that a couple days ago my mom and I had a serious conversation. She looked at me with moist eyes and said she felt her time is going to be cut short. Her life may be taken like a thief in the night. I bit my lip and held in my tears. I masked them with a broken smile and insisted she was mistaken. No, I said, God promised us you’d be okay.

Later that night, I sat with JD in our kitchen nook and cried. I need a mom because I’m still a kid.

However, waking up this morning, I realized that as every year of my life passes, I lose the right to call my self a child. I’ve always said I’m too young to be without a mother, but today marks another year of adulthood. Somehow, I feel that losing a mother as a child is harder than losing a mother as an adult. I could be wrong, but it’s how I feel. Sometimes I think it’s part of the natural order of things for parents to pass when a person is an adult. This is why I rage against adulthood.

JD squeezed me even tighter and said my mom would be fine. Today, he said, is not going to be marred by fear. We are going to celebrate life today, both mine and my mother’s. Because, without her, there is no me.

This seems to resonate in my mind more clearly as the years pass.

Thank you, Mom, for giving me life. I love you.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Anything But Simple

Last week I was asked by Dane Sanders to be a co-host for Simple Life Photo. If you’re familiar with the pod-cast, it’s a show that airs every week and the goal is to make a photographer’s life easier.

I had a blast shooting this episode with Dane, but I have to admit that I can barely keep my eyes open to watch the show…I look SO silly! JD and I woke up early this morning to watch the podcast, and I groaned the minute I saw myself on the screen. He, of course, liked it, but he’s my cheerleder.

If you’d like to watch the show, you can click here.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Not Even There

I promise, I swore into the phone, you won’t even know I’m there.

JD and I knew that was the farthest thing from the truth, but I still said it. I was in the middle of cajoling JD into picking me up from our home and taking me along with him to a meeting. Not just any meeting; it was a meeting in East Los Angeles. For those who don’t know, East LA is beautiful. But not in the traditional sense of the word. Instead of tree-lined streets, white picket fences, and manicured storefronts, East Los Angeles opts for religious murals painted on random concrete walls, Mexican music blaring from passing cars, and street vendors.

It’s strangely pretty. Which is why I was begging him to take me along for the ride. A little while later, we were on the 60 freeway headed toward Downtown. I lugged my laptop along to edit some pictures and he made business calls from his cell.

Yes, that’s wonderful
It’s what we do best, so I’m glad you agree
That’s not a problem, I’ll set that up immediately

During this pause, I leaned over—sandwiched between the steering wheel and his pectoris—and whispered, See, you don’t even know I’m here! He rolled his eyes and smiled.

Once we pulled off the freeway, I grabbed my camera and started shooting. Just as we were passing a fruit vendor, JD snapped his cell phone shut. Oh my gosh, I squealed, you’ve just got to pull over. Please, I implored, you must do it now! I want that fruit! He rolled to a stop and I hopped out of the car. I leaned into the lowered window and asked for a few bucks. You know Jaz, you were right, JD said with a smile, I don’t even know you’re here.

The proprietor of the fruit stand opened a small plastic container and asked me in Spanish what I would like on the slices of mango. Everything, I replied in her native tongue. She squeezed lemon juice, sprinkled a dash of salt, and poured chili on the yellow slices. I laughed walking back to the car because I the time I ordered this type of treat, I was with my friends. They were thoroughly disgusted, but I enjoyed every bite.

See, I said with my mouth full, if I weren’t here, you wouldn’t be enjoying this fruit. He looked at me askance and smirked.

JD parked for his meeting and kissed me quickly on the lips. Say a prayer for me, he said quickly as he got out of the car.

I roamed the streets until he was finished with his meeting.

We piled back into the car and compared the last hour. I had infinitely more fun. You know, JD said, you’re going to have to post your pictures. That’s what I get for dragging—oops, I mean, taking—you along with me, he said.

These are for JD, who charges too much for a ride to East Los Angeles ☺

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Two Schools

There are two schools of thought, one of which I'm still trying to decide is more effective. For one, there's the School of Tough Love. This is the school my sister attends and receives stellar grades. In fact, she'd be the valedictorian, if one existed. She'll tell me things exactly how they are and I have to deal with them. No niceties or beat-around-the-bushness in her world, just straight up honesty.

The other school of thought is the one JD subscribes to...The School of Positive Reinforcement and Constructive Criticism. He tells me the same thing my sister tells me, just sweeter. He prefers sucrose words and candied comments.

Both approaches work, but there are times when they conflict. In the case they do, I choose the school that makes me feel less poorly.

Today, both schools had a conference and came to an agreement. This afternoon, my sister and JD told me the same thing:
Post new pictures.

They're right. I'm a chicken and I posted feathered pictures yesterday. Here are a few from the FIRST wedding I shot. I know I made plenty of mistakes, but--like I said before--mistakes are part of the process.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Nothing to Fear

I'm not a procrastinator. In fact, I'm the opposite. I was the girl in college you hated. The girl who turned in her final term paper a week early to get the professor's feedback. The girl who completed extra credit although it was unnecessary. Yes, I was that girl.

But there are times when life moves so fast that one may blink and miss a year. And no matter how hard a person tries to stay on top, she ends up barely making the deadline. I'm trying not to blink.

Liana made me promise to post two pictures by today. It's almost deadline time--as April 1 is almost over in Los Angeles--but I'm not late. I've got an hour to spare. I wanted to have these pictures completed yesterday, but I've been spinning like top. I'm nervously posting these pictures not in hopes of soliciting pity, but, rather, getting over my fears. And just like Kennedy said, I ain't got nothing to fear, but fear itself.

I liked this picture because I thought the bridesmaid's belly looked beautiful. There's something breathtaking about a pregnant woman, so I liked the moment of this picture.

Don't ask me why, but I love this picture. Perhaps it's the details--the Goldfish crackers in one hand, someone cutting the hem of a dress of another, the bride holding a card--or just the color. The bride and her friends were very close, so capturing them in this moment was fun.

I know Liana asked me to post two pictures, but I couldn't resist this one.
During the reception dinner, DJ and I crept off to the lounge/bar of the country club. There, he worked at putting together a stellar slideshow with ShowIt. I can't articulate how amazing he is...and his pictures aren't too shabby either :)