Sunday, February 28, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 59 - "Platinum"

Feb. 28, 2010 - "Platinum"

My daughter's solo dance performance won her her very first Platinum trophy yesterday! It's a goal she set for herself a while ago... and has been busting her butt to achieve.

We're so proud of her!

(Life is good!)

* * *

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 58 - "Oxycodone Mind"

Feb. 27, 2010 - "Oxycodone Mind"

Pain is back... pretty bad. Finally broke down and took the painkillers I've been avoiding like the plaque. Hoping I don't have to head back to the hospital.

(We'll see.)

Standing in the living room, looking out the bay window... admiring the light. Look up and see our Witch Ball dangling...

Grab the camera... focus... snap... capture.

(I think I might go play a Charlie Parker record now.)

* * *

Friday, February 26, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 57 - "Comfort Food"

Feb. 26, 2010 - "Comfort Food"

Ever since I was little, pastina has made things all better.

* * *

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 56 - "Self Portrait with Hospital"

Feb. 25, 2010 - "Self Portrait with Hospital"

This just hasn't been a good month for me!

Spent most of the night in the hospital with a distended stomach and a lot of pain. CAT Scans... IVs... blood tests... lots of meds... but, thankfully - no surgery needed.

Antibiotics... heavy-duty pain meds... keeping me stuck at home for the next few days.

Still, I managed to squeeze in a shot... and for the first time ever I shot left-handed.

* * *

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 55 - "Rain"

Feb. 24, 2010 - "Rain"

It's raining... and raining... and raining some more.

Very fitting, methinks.





* * *

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 54 - "Dazed & Confused"

Feb. 23, 2010 - "Dazed & Confused"

I hate having to take pills.

* * *

Monday, February 22, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 53 - "Sharp"

Feb. 22, 2010 - "Sharp"

Making dinner: Grass-fed beef from a local farm... seared and served with mushroom and onions in a red wine reduction... baked sweet potatoes... steamed green beans - all of it organic.

Slice the beef... then wash up. My still-wet chefs knife rests on my cutting board... and the light gleaming from the edge catches my eye.

Grab the camera... focus... snap... capture... smile... eat a wonderful dinner.

Life is (yes... you guessed it) GOOD!

* * *

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 52 - "Reflections"

Feb. 21, 2010 - "Reflections"

Sitting in the Holiday Diner (of course!)...

Look in the mirror next to my booth, and this is the scene I see.

Take out the camera...

... focus...

... snap...

... capture.

Inner smile as I return to my coffee and my turkey club sandwich.

Life is good!

* * *

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 51 - "Concentration"

Feb. 20, 2010 - "Concentration"

We had a wonderful day today!

Lunch at Mr. Mac's Canteen in Monroe...

A trip down to The Magick Mirror in Milford...

Ice cream at Dr. Mike's in Stepney...

And finally, some mochas and tumbling dominoes at The Blue Z Coffeehouse in Newtown.

Life is good!

* * *

Friday, February 19, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 50 - "Dinner"

Feb. 19, 2010 - "Dinner"

Just a quick shot of a homemade feast...

Fresh mozzarella... mushrooms... artichokes... basil... tomato sauce... on a Farro crust.


(I'm so hungry!)

* * *

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 49 - "It's Bananas!"

Feb. 18, 2010 - "It's Bananas!"

I'm back on a health-kick. Eating healthy... exercising... taking pictures of bananas hanging around in the kitchen.

Life is good!

* * *

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 48 - "Cigarette Break"

Feb. 17, 2010 - "Cigarette Break"

Ahh... the Holiday Diner!

When I think of specific places which have played a large role in my life - only a few really jump out at me. Seattle Espresso... Slopey Rock... the Holiday Diner.

There was a time when I was here every day.

And there was a time - right after it was sold - that I refused to come here at all. But I couldn't stay away for long.

I've had "first dates" here...

... and "last dates" too.

I've spent countless hours here writing in journals while drinking gallons of coffee.

Holly and I first told people of our engagement, here.

My daughter spoke her first words here.

Good friends have been met here.

And tonight - I find myself here again... awaiting the arrival of two of my best friends - for a group dinner...

... and as I wait I snap photos of the quiet of the diner.

Holly doing a crossword puzzle...

My daughter doing her math homework...

My son reading a book about the ocean...

The waitress delivering coffee...

A man outside the window, taking a cigarette break.

I look around at all that surrounds me... and think of all that this place has seen... all that I have shown it.

And I smile... and gulp down yet another cup of coffee.

* * *

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 47 - "Snow Day"

Feb. 16, 2010 - "Snow Day"

School delays...

Work delays...

Crazy morning drives...

... yet still time to pull over to snap a scene that simply could not be missed.

Life is good!

* * *

Monday, February 15, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 46 - "Memories"

Feb. 15, 2010 - "Memories"

Open one of my dresser drawers, and a box sits staring at me.

Remove the lid, and find a tangle of memories.

Smile at the thought of it...

snap a photo...

and replace the lid.

(Life is good!)

* * *

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 45 - "Lazy Day"

Feb. 14, 2010 - "Lazy Day"

It's Valentines Day...

and a lazy day.

Spending the day relaxing at home... watching the Daytona 500 - enjoying life.

A day for relaxing.

Even Ziggy got the idea... and decided to stretch out on the edge of the bay window... curling himself up under a fake ivy plant.

Life is good!

* * *

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 44 - "Alone"

Feb. 13, 2010 - "Alone"

Very late at night in the back room at a quiet diner in Manhattan. An omelette... home fries... toast... coffee. Alone. No words. No sounds. Just a tightly closed overcoat and a smile here and there as she listens to our conversations.

(I wonder what her story is)

These are the kinds of "real moments" I love.

* * *

Friday, February 12, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 43 - "Lost"

Feb. 12, 2010 - "Lost"

Standing in the middle of a field of tall grass stalks... Lost in the silence of the moment.

Life is good!

* * *

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 42 - "Ashiko"

Feb. 11, 2010 - "Ashiko"

Music is a major part of me. It moves me. It energizes me. It calms me. It shapes and forms me.

I probably spend more on my music addiction than on anything else. According to my iTunes store purchase history, I tend to buy around two dozen albums per month... and that doesn't include any actual CDs I buy from stores or Amazon or wherever... or any CDs that I borrow from friends and import to my computer and iPod.

My iPod is a constant companion. At the moment, it has well over 900 different albums on it... and I have many I haven't even bothered to import to my computer yet. There's still plenty of space left on it's hard-drive... so the collection will keep growing and growing and growing.

And if I'm not listening to music... there's a good chance that I'm making it, in some way. Cedar Flutes... Guitars... Keyboards...

... and my favorite of all - drums.

We have a nice little collection of hand-drums going. From big Djembes... to small Tom-Tom drums... to my Bodhran...

... and my favorite of all - my Ashiko.

My Ashiko was a pre-wedding present from my wife, Holly. It's one-of-a-kind... and was custom built for me, according to my specifications: Natural-finish Birch shell, 22" high... 9" Calf-skin head, instead of goat-skin... 12 wooden beads used to tighten the ropes and tune the head. It allows me to get deep tones as if it were a much larger Djembe... and tinny, ringing highs - as if it were a much smaller, ceramic Doumbek.

Over the past 10 1/2 years my drum and I have seen a lot together. Countless drum circles in the deep of the woods... under the Full Moon. Large public drum circles and gatherings. Rituals and Ceremonies. Birthings and Initiations. Memorial Services and Funerals.

When we had a house fire in 2003, we lost over 90% of our belongings... including about a half-dozen drums... but my Ashiko was spared, even though it was resting within a foot of where the fire broke out.

My Ashiko is a sacred object to me. It doesn't matter how long it has been since the last time I've played... I can pick it up, and within moments find myself lost in a beat... in a drum-trance - which can last for hours-upon-hours.

There have been many nights when I've drummed for so long that I have absolutely no sense of time... of where, or even "who" I am. I come out of the drum-trance and only know that I "am"... and that my hands are pulsing... throbbing... and numb from their beating.

And I feel truly alive!

* * *

This shot is a close up of one of the tuning beads on my Ashiko... pulled down to tighten the head.

* * *

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 41 - "Donuts"

Feb. 10, 2010 - "Donuts"

I confess... I have a bit of an addiction to Dunkin Donuts coffee. I know it's technically not "good quality" coffee... but I love it... and firmly believe that it blows away the crap they serve at Starsucks. Besides... growing up in Connecticut, Dunkin Donuts just becomes a part of your life!

I love it so much... that I sort of "stole" a bit of Dunkin Donuts for my house a while back. Well... "stole" might be a bit of a strong word... considering that the item in question - a 4-foot by 8-foot Dunkin Donuts sign - was actually in a dumpster, after a local DD was renovated. Still... I had to have it - so in the dead of night, Holly and I grabbed said signage, and - finding that it was much, much bigger than we had anticipated - put it on top of our car... and each held it down with one hand out the window while we drove as slowly as we could to get home safely.

Now we have this huge Dunkin Donuts sign... and no place to put it. So... for the time being, it rests on our front porch.

Today I'm home due to "Snowpocalypse 2010" (the storm that was supposed to bring us 18" of snow by now... yet so far only brought about an inch!). Schools are closed... my job was closed... so we're all home... waiting for the snow to come. I grabbed my camera and head outdoors - hoping to find something snow-covered to photograph... but nothing jumped out at me.

Nothing... that is... except the light shining through the Dunkin Donuts sign on the porch. Zoom... focus... snap... capture...

... head back inside to brew a pot of Dunkin Donuts coffee.

Life is good!

* * *

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 40 - "Homework"

Feb. 09, 2010 - "Homework"

Still sick. Slept for most of the day... again. Stumbled into the kitchen to find my son doing his reading homework... even though the coming snowstorm almost ensures that there won't be school tomorrow.

Brandon... sitting by himself in the kitchen... completely lost in a book about reptiles.

Life is good.

* * *

Monday, February 8, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 39 - "Blah"

Feb. 08, 2010 - "Blah"

I'm sick... again. Slept for most of the day. Realized I hadn't snapped a photo. Reached over... grabbed camera... pointed it towards Holly without even framing the shot... snapped... put camera away... returned to resting.

(I hate being sick!)

* * *

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 38 - "Empty Lanes"

Feb. 07, 2010 - "Empty Lanes"

Took the kids bowling today. They each had their best games ever!

Actually... I think we all did! ;-)

* * *

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 37 - "Hydrate or Die"

Feb. 06, 2010 - "Hydrate or Die"

I'm loving the way the light is reflecting tonight. I don't know what it is... I mean, it's the same light that's always on... but something about it just keeps catching my eye tonight.

So I grab a bottle of water and watch the light dance around. Grab the camera... focus... snap... capture.

And there you have it.

* * *

Friday, February 5, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 36 - "New Look. New Me."

Feb. 05, 2010 - "New Look"

New glasses on a book of Keith Haring artwork.

My first new pair of frames in five years. Don't have much need for them, usually - since I wear contacts most of the time. Still... there's something "fun" about getting a new pair. Maybe it's the fact that a new style of frames creates a bit of a new image... a new "you". I don't know.

New glasses... a very different style from any pair I've ever had. Usually I go for frames that "disappear"... but these tend to "stand out" more.

New glasses... new "me".

Life is good!

* * *

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 35 - "Getting Ready"

Feb. 04, 2010 - "Getting Ready"

Those who know me well know that I'm a die-hard NASCAR fan... and will be an Earnhardt fan until the day I die!

This weekend will be the "Unofficial Start" to the 2010 season. Daytona 500 Qualifying is Saturday afternoon... so is the ARCA race... and the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona is Saturday night. Pair that all up with the Super Bowl being Sunday (which I'm REALLY happy about, considering that the Colts happen to be my favorite team) and, well... it's going to be one hell of a sports weekend!

So tonight I'm getting ready. Watching SPEED channel's coverage of the starting lineup selection for the Bud Shootout... listening to driver interviews... and getting worked up for what I think is going to be one hell of a season!

So just a quick shot tonight of a couple of my Dale Earnhardt Jr. die-cast cars...

... then it's back to the TV!

(GO JR!!!)

* * *

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 34 - "Sweep"

Feb. 03, 2010 - "Sweep"

I have a broom which was custom made for me. A long natural wood handle... and round brush. It was made by Richard Moore... a Master Shaker Broom-maker. I know it sounds a little strange... (and if you know anything of my spiritual beliefs you might understand) but I love my broom! It is wonderful to sweep with... and, when not in use - hangs in a place of honor, beside our front door... keeping watch over our home.

In case you didn't know it already - a broom can be a very, very powerful object. I've swept away the dust of many unwanted memories with that broom... and today, as I prepare myself for the next part of my journey - I once again sweep away the remnants of the unwanted... in anticipation of the possibilities of the future.

My canvas is now a blank one... waiting to be filled!

* * *

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 33 - "Boredom"

Feb. 02, 2010 - "Boredom"

I'm bored today. Bored... and not feeling particularly "driven", creatively-speaking.

Sitting in a restaurant... eating bad faux-Chinese food... sipping bottom-of-the-pot green tea...


Snap the photo to remember how the moment feels...

... and that's all there is today.

* * *

Going Mercurial...

* * *

My little "365 Project" is getting a bit of attention!

It's being featured on The Mercurial... a wonderful news, arts and entertainment site which covers the Greater-Danbury area. You can check it out at...

And be sure to look over the rest of the site too! There's some great stuff on there!

* * *

Monday, February 1, 2010

"365 Project" - Day 32 - "Sleep"

Feb. 01, 2010 - "Sleep"

Tired. Need sleep.

Holly decided she couldn't wait... and drifted off while on the couch.

I hadn't snapped a photo yet today... so I decided to seize the opportunity to steal her soul while she slept.

And there it is.

(I wonder what she's dreaming about?)

* * *