Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Productivity... RAH!

Whew! Can I just say that I have been making check marks ALL OVER my To-Do Lists? Booya! I have a bunch of CDs, albums, reprints, etc. all ready to ship as I gear up for the the next round of weddings and sessions in July.

Which... July? You start TOMORROW? Really? How'd that happen?

Meanwhile, our team at the newspaper just finished our annual graduation roundup... 103 schools and colleges, 3 counties, 100 photos minimum per school, for a total of 11,863 images shot by 17 photographers in four weeks. I am all Pomped and Circumstanced out, my friends. At least until next year.

My big project, however, was a story about an amazing group of kids at a local high school. They are all English Language Learners, learning the language while navigating the teenage years. Fitting in is hard enough, assimilating is even harder. The program is different from traditional ESL programs, largely because of two amazing teachers.

Actually, you know what? I'll let them tell you about it. The video is a 6-minute mini-documentary that accompanied a 60-inch story as this past Sunday's A1 centerpiece. (And yes, I went to the prom).

Friday, June 26, 2009

Can I please brag? Just for a second?

I just want to brag about Joel for a second. Can I? :)

He's spent the last few days grading final exams and proctoring the Regents (a New York state standardized test designed, in theory, to determine that students actually learned something and didn't just daydream through the academic year) and.... (wait for it, wait for it!) 92% of his students passed. That's way above the NYC Schools average. He's all, "The exams were really easy this year..." and all that, but he's going to graduation tonight, bursting with pride for his students. I'll be shooting another graduation elsewhere, but I'm all pride-bursty for Joel. He's just damn good at what he does.

Okay, that's all I wanted to say. Carry on! :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Schedule

Shoot, shoot, edit, work, shoot graduations, shoot assignments, sleep, drive to New Jersey, shoot, shoot, edit, print, log, capture, panic about demise of newspaper industry and July 8th layoffs, shoot, panic, edit, shoot, drive to New Jersey again, fret about house, wait impatiently for estimate, be wholly unsurprised by window estimate, complain, drive, shoot, call real estate agent, detest crappy cell phone service that cuts off agent repeatedly, shoot, edit, work, work, drive while complaining to mother about piss-poor cell phone service, cell phone cuts out while trying to complain about cell phone service; I mean, come ON, Verizon, this is NEW YORK, grump, panic, edit, Freecell, edit, sleep.

On a bright note, all the different kinds of shooting (babies, breaking news, boudoir) are really refining my techniques, and I'm pushing new boundaries creatively. Also, all my old SU drumline friends are back. Like, all of 'em. That's kind of nice. Thank you, Facebook.

Next on the agenda: sleep.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Some good, some bad...

Okay, so the inspector found a minor termite problem, but it's so new that a basic sweep from an exterminator should take care of it. The water heater is okay; the furnace is okay. The roof needs some repairs, which we knew. Apparently, there is some minor damage from carpenter bees, but since we need to repair the roof anyway, that can be taken care of at the same time.

The, um, thingy? yes, the thingy behind the shower head in one of the bathrooms needs to be replaced, but it's not that urgent.

Then, there's the window issues. Okay, apparently all the windows need to be replaced. Some of them don't have storm windows, some of the window frames are rotting, none of them are ideal in terms of efficiently heating the house in the winter. But the biggest problem involves these two big, bay windows (which Joel and I happened to like very much.) They are collapsing. Like, the window panes are at a 70 degree angle, and the window seat/panes/frames need to be either removed completely, or removed and rebuilt. Apparently this is an issue of Impending Danger.

In addition to changing my future homeowner fantasy from curling up in the big bay window with my cats to imagining the bay windows collapsing Tom Hanks "Money Pit" Style when one of the cats meows in the window's general direction, this sounds expensive. Like crazy expensive.

We'll know more when a contractor goes out and gives us his estimate next week. The homeowners- who are very motivated to sell, as they've already had to move out of state and have dropped the price of this house significantly from when it first when on the market- stated that their counteroffer was "as is." That indicates they probably don't want to make any more concessions pricewise. On the other hand, the house hadn't had any serious offers on it since before the economy went BO-OI-OI-OING, so it hasn't been inspected in a while. The sellers may not know about their collapsing windows, so maybe they WOULD offer a further concession on the closing costs. Or something.

And around and around we go...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The House Thing

OKay, so I haven't been blogging about this, because I'm kind of worrying about jinxing something, but... Joel and I are working on buying a house.

We found a place that would work quite well for us as a starter home. We made an offer; they counter-offered. The counter offer is great... and I'm terrified that it might be too good to be true. We already had the roof inspected, and we got an estimate for getting the driveway repaved. Both of those inspections came back indicating that some significant, but (relatively) affordable repairs will be needed sooner rather than later. The sellers took those two things into account when coming back with their counteroffer, which is why it was so great. I mean maybe that's why.

But today (Wednesday) is the Big Official Home Inspection. A million possibilities are going through my head... termites? toxic mold? radon? shapeless masses of malevolent energy guarding a gateway to another dimension in the basement?

Fingers crossed that no dead clowns manifest themselves today, yeah? :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

PhotoBucket Issues

Sorry for the error messages in the template, folks. It should be fixed really soon.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sneak Peek: Introducing Baby Nila!

You might remember when I blogged about a maternity session a couple of months ago with Teran and her husband Jim. Last weekend I got to meet their baby girl!

Nila is 9-weeks-old and so, so sweet.

Girlfriend LOVES the bathtub!

Back in March, they asked if we could work a soccer ball into some of the shots, since both Teran and Jim play on the weekends.

It's still so miraculous to me that the same little kicker who was inside just a few short months ago is actually here.

So smiley!

Shooting the parents' wedding rings dangling on tiny toes is becoming kind of a trendy pose these days, but I have to say, this is one of my favorites.

Nila is an absolute angel who really wasn't a fan of my big portrait lights, so we posed her in some of her favorite places: the bath, the swing and in her parents' arms. Still, that pouty lower lip just cracks me UP.

Thank you so much for letting me spend so much time with your baby girl, you guys. You have a beautiful family, and I'm so happy for you.

Monday, June 08, 2009

A quote from my husband...

"I love you, you know. Even when you're 'Angie: The Disaster Version.' "
-Joel, 12:16 a.m.

Today has not been a great day. Nothing too major; just a cacophony of breaking, dropping, spilling, and falling. I can't even try to be funny about it right now. I think I'm just going to pull the covers up over my head and end this day before I accidentally a break a bone or something.

I make Bridget Jones look pulled together on days like this. Right now I feel like I could be the editor-in-chief of, like, Modern Jackass magazine. I am so, so qualified. Pick me, imaginary publication! I win!

Friday, June 05, 2009

All Hail The Furminator!

Look at this!

I mean, just LOOK AT THIS!

All praise the Furminator! The Furminator is a very, very expensive pet grooming brush that I resisted buying for a long time. I saw all the Before and After photos in the various Crazy Animal Lady message boards etc that I visit from time to time, but still... It's a very expensive brush. Then, Kelly got one for Esme, loved it, and gave me one for my birthday. It's ridiculous that I would be this excited about a dog brush, but really, this is in the birthday present top ten.

All of that fur is from one session with Bella. ONE. I filled and emptied the Dyson Animal Hair Vacuum THREE times, just to get it all up. I wanted to take a photo of Bella next to her fur pile, but she wasn't having it.

Meanwhile, Fred and Ollie had no idea what to think.

Fred: It SMELLS like her. But where..? Bella? Is that you?
Ollie: Oh noes! I theenk she 'sploded!
Me: Guys, she's fine. She's hiding in her crate.

Bella doesn't love being brushed, never has, and though she tolerated this, here she is: Furminated, sleek, shiny and completely uninterested in going back in the bathroom any time soon.

Me: Are you SURE you don't want to pose with all the fur?
Bella: That's not happening.

Ollie went next.

Ollie: Pleez for not to explode me?

Me: See, buddy? That's all from you!
Ollie: I sees it. Can we not speaks of this?

Fred, on the other hand, LOVED it. He purred, he rubbed, he gently touched his discarded fur withhis feet, and he kept arching his back against the comb. So I kept brushing.

I think I let that go on too long... He has a thin patch on top now. Then I googled "overdid it with the Furminator" and found all KINDS of people who went nuts on their cats. Some people actually got so excited that they made their pets BLEED. Yowza. Respect the power of the Furminator, people.