Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween?! Random!

Halloween completely snuck up on me this year; I didn't even decorate my blog. I've just been quite busy. Lots of print orders coming in for Christmas...lots of Temple prints being requested, some prints from the "art for your wall" section of our site, and apparently a big hit for Christmas this year will be boudoir books from wives to hubbies. Great idea! It sure beats a new tie! 

We have nothing spooky planned for Halloween night, but today we are attending an ASU graduation luncheon at My Florist Cafe (I browsed the menu online and it looks sooooo yummmy!).  A client we did grad shots for earlier this month invited us and we are also doing her family's photos this weekend while they are in town.  To top it off, they've invited us to stay at their 7-bedroom house (holy moly!) in Maryland when we go back East in May.  I love it when clients become friends! 


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Running In the Hood

Would it be retarded of me to drive back to my old neighborhood to run? I ran Tuesday and today through this new place we call "home(ish)" and it's just not a happy place to run. Too closed-in, tight-cornered or something. Or, it could be the rottweiler around the corner that's never on a leash and always sitting by the sidewalk. Who knows. But at least i'm running again. I promised myself i wouldn't do what i did last year and only give myself 30 days to train for the 10K at London's Run. Last year's 10K went well (and by well, I mean I didn't have a heart attack), but I'm sure it will go better with a little more preparation. So, here I am. Preparing. Oooh-rah (don't tell the Air Force I just said that).

The End.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Coin-operated Boy [Not That I Want One...]

...but really, you just have to love The Dresden Dolls!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Photography Thoughts and Rants

Rants can sometimes be offensive (and sometimes people will TATTLE on you) so if you don't like rants, divert your eyes, because here it comes!

Oh my holy freaking crapstain are there ENOUGH untrained photographers saturating the market to make you flipping throw up, or what? Their pics all look the same, so you may be confused about the actual number of them out there. THERE ARE FREAKING GAZILLIONS. But you don't know this, because all their photos LOOK THE SAME! They are all shooting the same consumer (not pro) level camera. They all edit the same way (dull and lifeless). They all. Look. the Same. You can find them pretty easily, because they will give you your digital files on a disc! For no extra charge! That may sound appealing to you as a consumer, but that very ethically WRONG and unprofessional practice is HURTING the photography industry. BADLY! It's taking a centuries-old profession and turning it into a freaking circus. Ohhhh I could just pop a vein over it!

Note added Nov. 2:  Not only is it hurting the photographer's market, it's also hurting business for professional print houses.  One of them (I won't say who, but you know who you are!) has even stooped so low as to start selling to end-users under a new name.  It's what they have to do to survive, I know, but guess who forced them into that corner?  That's right! 

And now, on a happier note, I have a lot of portrait sessions on my calendar and a couple of weddings booked as well and this makes me happy.  Just busy enough to not feel guilty about the time taken from my little guy, and busy enough to have the things I want.  I am on the right track, doing it the right way.  People have been saying wonderful things about my work, like, "Sandi, you are the best around, seriously!" and "OMG! So beautiful!" and the like. And this makes me happy. I work my ever-loving BUTT off to make sure my work is unique and high-quality. Let me tell you. And so it just BURNS that very same butt when I see all the untrained, lame photographers out there screwing around with what I hold dear and sacred. Oops, guess I wasn't quite done ranting. 

Okay, another happy note to end this post: I used the pic below on my new business cards. Isn't that the cutest photo ever?

Miller&Miller Photography

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Swimming Toward the Shore

There's an analogy I use re: getting through difficult times.

Picture yourself far out in the ocean. The waves are ginormously huge and they pull you under and toss you for loops. Just when you think you're going to drown, there's a moment's break in the turmoil and you swim like mad toward the shore. You get a little distance, then the waves build again, pulling you under once more. You have moments when you just let the violence carry you under, but those little moments of resurfacing keep coming, and each time, you swim a little further toward the shore. Eventually, you arrive on land: exhausted, spent, tattered and worn. But you're there! You made it. Despite the waves tossing and pulling you repeatedly along the way, you survived the turbulent journey.

I am on shore. I may be draped in seaweed, but I have arrived. I'm a different person. Not sure yet if that's good or not, but like the Chinese leader of that cult I hung out with for year always used to say: "Not good, not bad. Just IS."

And here. I. Am.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Napping at 7 p.m.

is not a good thing. Just so you know. Because then you could wake up at 10:30 p.m. and be wide awake the entire night and wind up a tad Zombified the next day.

I'm just saying.

Joe Legas vs. Jose Illegal (Boy did this hit home!)

A friend sent me this last week. For those of you who pay yourselves under the table and think the rest of us can live on what's left after all our deductions and expenses (like medical care) are taken out, READ ON!

Here is an example of why hiring illegal aliens is not economically productive for the United States.

You have two families: "Joe Legal" and "Jose Illegal". Both families have two parents, two children, and live in California. Joe Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 perhour with taxes deducted. Jose Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 cash "under the table".

Ready? Now pay attention... Joe Legal:$25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000 .00 per week, or $52,000.00 per year.Now take 30% away for state and federal tax; Joe Legal now has $31,231.00.

Jose Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, or $31,200.00 per year. Jose Illegal pays no taxes. Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $24,031.00.

Jose Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics at a cost of $0.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. Joe $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $18,031.00.

Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps and welfare. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $9,631.00.

Jose Illegal receives a $500.00 per month federal rent subsidy. Jose Illegal pays $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $25,200.00.

Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for insurance. Joe Legal now has $7,231.00.

Jose Illegal says, "We don't need no stinkin' insurance!" and still has $25,200.00.

Joe Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to p ay utilities, gasoline, etc.

Jose Illegal has to make his $25,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country every month.

Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work.

Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.

Joe Legal's and Jose Illegal's children both attend the same school. Joe Legal pays for his children's lunches while Jose Illegal's children get a government sponsored breakfast and lunch. Jose Illegal's children have an after school ESL program. Joe Legal's children go home.

Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but Joe paid for them and Jose did not pay.

Do you get it, now? If you vote for or support any politician that supports illegal aliens you are part of the problem! It's getting way PAST time to take a stand for America and Americans!

[ Thank you, Linda S. for sending that! ]

Sunday, October 18, 2009

3 Years

Three years ago today I took my daughter for a three-day stay at Phoenix Children's Hospital where we learned to test her blood sugar, count carbs in meals, calculate insulin ratios, and draw up and inject my daughter with insulin every time she ate.

Three years ago today I learned what fear really is.

Three years ago today I fell apart and still don't have all the pieces.

Three years ago today I learned my kid is one of the most positive people I know.

Three years.

Type 1 diabetes: all we can do is continue to fight you. Someday we will win.

Monday, October 12, 2009

All I Ever Have: Redemption Songs

Old pirates, yes, they rob i;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took i
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the and of the almighty.
We forward in this generation
Wont you help to sing
These songs of freedom? -
cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? ooh!
Some say its just a part of it:
Weve got to fulfil de book.

Wont you help to sing
These songs of freedom? -
cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.
/guitar break/
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! have no fear for atomic energy,
cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say its just a part of it:
Weve got to fulfil de book.
Wont you help to sing
Dese songs of freedom? -
cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs -
All I ever had:
Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Okay, the auto start on that movie preview got annoying so I removed it. But I want to see that movie. Not because it looks fantastic (and they stole ideas from Anne Rice); just because it's about vampires. My fellow clan. Bwa.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I Heart Dragonflies

(I posted this on the photog blog, too. Totally cheating with a twin post!)

One of my favorite things about living in Japan was that there were dragonflies in great abundance. I love love love dragonflies! Yesterday Todd yelled for me to come out back--there was a beautiful dragonfly on our wall. I yelled, "Nobody move!" and ran for the camera. Todd and I both took several shots. Here are few....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"Whatever Doesn't Kill You..."

"I believe whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you…stranger" --Joker

I'm with Joker on that. I've known people who come out of difficulties stronger and better, but I don't find myself fitting into that cliche. Each event puts me a little further behind the curtain. And there are fewer and fewer people I'm willing or able to let backstage into my strange little world.

But in the end, I'm okay with that.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's a Love/Dread Thing

Well, it's here again...October.

I love it.

I dread it.

I love it for that piece of Virginia that lives in my heart: fall days, gigantic ancient trees adorned with bright orangeyellowred leaves, wearing big fluffy sweaters (me, not the trees), walking in the cool crisp air and for the solitude of mountain forests. I love it for Todd's birthday on the 16th and the gratitude I feel that he is in my life and is my lighthouse.

I dread it for having another 8 weeks left of hot days on the desert floor of Arizona. I dread it for October 18th, the anniversary of our lives being turned over by Allie's type 1 diabetes diagnosis. And this year I dread it for the 21st: the day our house is auctioned, taking another little piece of me with it.