Saturday, July 31, 2010

365 Project - Day 212 - "The Island"

July 31, 2010 - "The Island"

Final show of "Once On This Island" at The Brookfield Theater for the Arts, directed by our friend Michael Burnett.

This was, without a doubt, the best production/performance of a show I've seen outside of Broadway! The entire cast was amazing... the choreography was phenomenal... the energy, beyond anything I could possibly describe!

If you didn't get a chance to see it, you missed something truly special!

And the photo?

OK... I know the rules said "No Photography"... but I waited until the show was over and the cast was back out on stage dancing and celebrating... and I snapped a few "hip-shots" of the moment. It was so powerful of a moment, I just couldn't resist capturing it!

Life is good!

* * *

Friday, July 30, 2010

365 Project - Day 211 - "Light & Lines"

July 30, 2010 - "Light & Lines"

Quick shot...

Stained Glass...

Lamp shade...




* * *

Thursday, July 29, 2010

365 Project - Day 210 - "Morning Meeting"

July 29, 2010 - "Morning Meeting"

I arrive at work... about an hour before the store opens. During the drive, Holly and I have been talking about plans for Pyewacket's... about getting it up and running as an online store within the next month. Things are feeling good. Very good.

We begin to pull to the back of the store... and notice a lone deer standing in the middle of the empty lot next to the building. Standing... a mere 20 or 30 feet away. Standing... eating... paying us no mind. I grab my camera... open the window... snap shots... and she still doesn't move. I whistle... tap... and she still doesn't move. One quick glance at me was all I got. She looked... paused... then went right back to her breakfast.

And somehow things feel even better now.

I left work six hours later... and she was still in the lot, only now she was in the shade. Still there... standing... alone. No pictures this time... just a quick glance... a pause... a smile... and that was that.

Life is good!

* * *

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

365 Project - Day 209 - "Scot's Cards"

July 28, 2010 - "Scot's Cards"

I know it's similar to at least two other shots I've taken during this "365 Project"... yet I felt I had to do this one.

These cards belong to my friend Scot Fritz. He used to use them a lot... then suddenly decided he didn't "need" them anymore. He knew I collected Tarot... so he passed them on to me. That was back in '98 or '99, I think.

This is the Osho Zen Tarot. I had never seen or heard of it before Scot gave me the deck... but once I saw them they instantly became a favorite of mine, simply because the images are amazingly beautiful to me. They use a different system than "traditional Tarot"... so, to be honest - I've never been able to read with them. Despite that fact I still find the need to flip through them from time-to-time, just to admire the images.

Today, after posting my Memorial to Scot, I found myself flipping through the cards again. The upturned cards are the ones that "jumped out" at me the most.

So... this one is for Scot.

Rest in Peace, my friend!

* * *

For Scot Michael Fritz...

* * *

On Sunday we were told the news that Scot had passed away the day before. Holly and I were in shock. She had just seen him a few days earlier.

It has been months since I last saw Scot. I ran into him at Goodwill one night. I hadn't noticed him there... and was looking at some racks of shirts when suddenly I heard from behind me a very familiar voice calling out "Hey Buddy!".

In the 15-plus years I've known him, that was how he ALWAYS greeted me. Even if many months had passed since the last time I had seen him... it was always "Hey Buddy!" in that distinct Scot voice. For some reason I always found that very comforting. I'm sure he greeted others the same way... it wasn't something unique to me - but there was still something very comforting about hearing him say it.

Over 15 years. Actually... I think it might even be more than that. I seem to remember first meeting him at Seattle Espresso... but I didn't begin to really get to know him until Holly and I started dating in '96.

At one point in time we were very close. We'd spend hours together talking about everything from religion to politics to creativity. When Holly and I started Moonlight Circle, Scot was one of the original members. I was a stay-at-home dad at that point... and there were many days when he'd come over to my place to hang out. He'd pick me up and drive me around and help me hang up fliers for Moonlight Circle events. He'd entertain my daughter, who at that time was still just a baby, while I got stuff done. We'd drum together. We'd talk... and talk... and talk.

Some days he'd just show up with a surprise lunch. We'd sit eating and talking for hours while my daughter napped. (In fact, it was during such a surprise lunch that Scot introduced me to the wonder that is a Taco Bell Chalupa) At some point Scot would pull out some yarn and start wrapping it around needles, making blankets or whatever... while the conversation continued. (Many of Scot's friends were blessed with wonderful gifts he made. He made a beautiful blanket for Holly and me... as well as blankets for both of our kids. Unfortunately all of them were lost when we had a fire in 2003).

Scot definitely had a gift for conversation. He had the ability to either make you feel completely calm and comfortable... or get you so worked up in disagreement that you practically wanted to smack him! Needless to say, as a result our friendship had its "highs" and "lows". At times I'd see him almost every day... then something would happen... there'd be a grudge... and we'd not even speak to one another for weeks... or even months... and, at one time - for at least a year.

Then we'd bump into one another someplace... and he'd say "Hey Buddy!"... and next thing I knew we'd be at the Olive Garden having dinner together.

Over the last few years I didn't see much of Scot. It seemed as if we just went separate directions and lost any level of connection. I admit, I didn't put any effort into changing that... and certainly could have. I guess I just kept waiting for it to take care of itself... for one of those moments when we'd finally "reconnect" and end up going out to dinner.

I knew he wasn't well... but he never wanted to even acknowledge that - at least with me. I'd hear that "this" or "that" had happened with him, health-wise... but when I would see him and ask him how he was, he wouldn't even hint at complaining. He'd quickly change the subject... usually to something having to do with the UU... or something one of our mutual friends... or he'd just flip it around to me... about how I was doing. Still... it was obvious... he wasn't doing well. He wasn't comfortable... and it showed.

That's the way it was that last time I saw him... several months ago at Goodwill. He didn't look comfortable. He didn't look as if he was doing well at all. But he was in good spirits. He was cracking jokes. He was smiling. He avoided talking about himself... and quickly changed the subject when asked how he was doing. He wanted to know about us... what we were up to... how things were going. He was amazed at how big the kids had gotten. And then... he was off to continue his shopping. And that was that.

And now he's gone.

There was a time when we were very close... yet at the time of his passing I was far from being amongst his close friends. Still, it hurts. I'm happy with the thought that he is finally free... that he doesn't have to deal with the pains his body forced him to deal with every single day... but when I think about the fact that I'll never hear that voice of his calling out "Hey Buddy!" again... I don't know... it just hurts.

Scot... all I can say is... I understand "why"... I only wish it didn't have to be that way for you!

Be at peace, my friend!

With much love...

- Vin

* * *

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

365 Project - Day 208 - "White Sage"

July 27, 2010 - "White Sage"

Dried White Sage rests in a bowl... waiting to become incense... for Sacred Flame... for Pyewacket's Magical Marketplace... and thus, perhaps, for you!

(Life is good!)

* * *

Monday, July 26, 2010

365 Project - Day 207 - "Goddess Rose"

July 26, 2010 - "Goddess Rose"

A simple shot of the white rose from this past weekend's Full Moon, resting on the Offering Stone amongst the Birch trees in our yard.

(Life is good!)

* * *

Sunday, July 25, 2010

365 Project - Day 206 - "(My) Tree"

July 25, 2010 - "(My) Tree"

This is "my" tree...

Father Pine.

Since the moment I first saw this tree over 17 years ago, I've felt a deep-rooted connection with it.

I've spent countless hours sitting at the base of his trunk.

I've had afternoon picnics with the first girl I've ever truly been in love with, under his branches.

I've come to him to celebrate highs as well as lows...

My tears have fallen upon him after arguments...
after a break-up...
after losses of loved ones...
after losses of jobs...
after I had my heart attack.

I've performed rituals under his cloaking protection in the middle of the night under the Full Moon.

I've been sheltered by him during a snow-storm.

I feel his heartbeat...

It is the same as mine.

I've left countless offerings amongst his branches...

... and received countless blessings in return.

Some day this cycle of life will come to an end for me... and my body will become a pile of ash... part of which will be scattered at his feet.

Father Pine.

My tree.

My home.

(Life is good)

* * *

Saturday, July 24, 2010

365 Project - Day 205 - "Farmer's Market"

July 24, 2010 - "Farmer's Market"

Took a trip over to the Bethel Farmer's Market this morning to grab some locally-grown corn on-the-cob and some freshly baked 7-Grain bread for tonight's Full Moon celebration.

While there I noticed these amazingly-colored fancy eggplants... and had to capture them with my camera.

Organic and All-Natural Food...

Locally Grown Food...

Good Food.

Life is good!

* * *

Friday, July 23, 2010

365 Project - Day 204 - "Cait the Dripper"

July 23, 2010 - "Cait the Dripper"

I'm not feeling very "creative" or "inspired" today.

At least, I wasn't... until I saw the Pollock-esque glitter/glue painting my daughter made today.

So her art becomes my photo. Art + Art = Art.

(Life is good!)

* * *

Thursday, July 22, 2010

365 Project - Day 203 - "Leo"

July 22, 2010 - "Leo"

Leo the Laughing Gargoyle. A Yule present I gave Holly about six or seven years ago.

Usually he just sits there on a high shelf, watching over the house. He tends to be rather quiet... and keeps to himself.

Today though, he was just begging to be brought into the kitchen to enjoy the sunlight coming through the window...

... and then, once there... he insisted on being photographed.

Silly gargoyles!

(Life is good!)

* * *

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

365 Project - Day 202 - "Yes-Yes"

July 21, 2010 - "Yes-Yes"

"Ouija"... From the French "Oui" and the German "Ja" - both meaning "Yes" - so it literally means "Yes-Yes".

Most American's call it a "Wee-Gee Board"... but it's technically pronounced "Wee-yah".

But that's besides the point.

My Ouija board... A gift to me from my grandmother on my 16th birthday. She asked me what I wanted... and I told her I wanted a Ouija board but my mom said no to it... so she sent me the money to buy one.

Many nights were spent using the board... though it has been years since I used it last. Actually, now that I think of it... I don't think I've used it at all since Holly and I have been together... so it has been at least 14 years!

The board has survived a lot! It has been with me through no less than a half-dozen changes of address. The backside of it was once vandalized by a friend who thought that any form of "fortune telling" was the work of the devil. It was one of the few things that was salvageable from our living room after a house fire on Samhain 2003. Somewhere along the line it's planchette lost it's clear disk/window... never to be found again. Still... the board is here... with it's box... and, for some reason has made it's way to our dining room from a long stint in the depths of our "junk room" (aka - "The Office" - aka "The Extra Bedroom").

Actually... I'm very aware of the reason. I've begun to study Spiritualism and Mediumship... and while walking past the junk-room doorway I noticed the edge of it's box poking out from a stack of recently moved stuff. I felt a need to pull it out... but no urge to use it. Yet.

We'll see.


We'll see.

* * *

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

365 Project - Day 201 - "觀音"

July 20, 2010 - "觀音"

Namo Guan Shi Yin Pusa

(Life is good!)

* * *

Monday, July 19, 2010

365 Project - Day 200 - "Crossed"

July 19, 2010 - "Crossed"

Only in the mood for a quick snap.

Holly poses, without posing.

That's it.

(Life is good)

* * *

Sunday, July 18, 2010

365 Project - Day 199 - "Pecker"

July 18, 2010 - "Pecker"

Standing in the laundromat... looking through the open door of a front-loading washer as Holly loads time into a jumbo-dryer.

I'm snapping away... while thoughts of the movie "Pecker" come to mind.

Life is good!

* * *

Saturday, July 17, 2010

365 Project - Day 198 - "Blank"

July 17, 2010 - "Blank"

I'm blank.

Nothing comes today.

Completely blank.

* * *

Friday, July 16, 2010

365 Project - 197 - "City Fair Nights"

July 16, 2010 - "City Fair Nights"

Final day of the Danbury City Fair.

Just a slim shadow of the Great Danbury Fair that was held here for over 100 years...

... until Mr. Leahy died...

... and the land was sold, against his wishes...

... and the dozers came...

... and in an instant the Fair was gone... and the Mall arrived...

... so we could have a carnival in the mall's parking lot...

... and call it the Danbury City Fair.

Some things just can't be replaced!

* * *

Thursday, July 15, 2010

365 Project - Day 196 - "Red Hot Foot Love"

July 15, 2010 - "Red Hot Foot Love"

Get your mind out of the gutter...

... it's just a long-exposure photo of a heated foot massager!

* * *

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

365 Project - Day 195 - "Moleskines"

July 14, 2010 - "Moleskines"

Two new Moleskine notebooks wait for the stroke of my pen. One with blank pages... one ruled.

* * *

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

365 Project - Day 194 - "Toward The Within"

July 13, 2010 - "Toward The Within"

New York City...

West 34th Street...




Changes are coming...

BIG changes.

An inward journey to be taken...

A life to be altered...

A re-birth to occur.


* * *

The image? Nothing more than a straight-on shot of light on the wall of a theater.

* * *

Monday, July 12, 2010

Iron Maiden - Madison Square Garden


Monday - July 12, 2010

Madison Square Garden - New York City

The set-list...

* The Wicker Man
* Ghost of the Navigator
* Wrathchild
* El Dorado
* Dance of Death
* The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
* These Colours Don't Run
* Blood Brothers
* Wildest Dreams
* No More Lies
* Brave New World
* Fear of the Dark
* Iron Maiden


* The Number of the Beast
* Hallowed Be Thy Name
* Running Free

Dream Theater was the opening act. Their set list was...

* As I Am
* A Rite of Passage
* Home
* Panic Attack
* Constant Motion
* Pull Me Under

Dream Theater put on a good set... but not nearly as good as I had expected them to be. Their sound was overpowering. We couldn't understand 90% of the vocals... and the guitars and keyboard just blended together in one big wall of noise. Still... the energy was high... and they really got the crowd into things.

Iron Maiden, on the other hand... was freakin' phenomenal! Their set was amazing! Almost as good as the "Somewhere Back In Time Tour" two years ago. It definitely blew away both of the Metallica "Death Magnetic Tour" shows we saw last year.

The sound was incredible and clear... the stage set was awesome... changing backgrounds with every song.

They did a really nice tribute to Ronnie James Dio. He was supposed to be the opening act for part of this tour... but unfortunately he passed away. Bruce Dickinson gave a really nice speech about Ronnie... then got everyone throwing up "The Horns"... and dedicated the song "Blood Brothers" to Ronnie. It was incredible!

The Garden was completely sold out. I didn't see an empty seat anywhere... and, as you can tell from the photo - the Pit was completely full too.

Oh... and did I mention that this was our kids very first concert ever!?!

They had a blast... though my son actually fell asleep during the break between Dream Theater and Iron Maiden... and slept through a good portion of Maiden's set. I'm not sure how the heck he was able to sleep... but much to the amazement of everyone around us... he was completely passed out!

* * *

365 Project - Day 193 - "Personal Jesus"

July 12, 2010 - "Personal Jesus"

New York City...

East Village...

St. Marks...

Raining hard...

Escape to Trash & Vaudeville...

Red velvet Jesus statue on a shelf...

Shoot from the hip...

Eerie Jesus captured on a flash card.

(Suddenly I want some pizza.)

Life is good!

* * *

Sunday, July 11, 2010

365 Project - Day 192 - "Beef"

July 11, 2010 - "Beef"

Where "Beef" meets "Grill"...

Life is good!

* * *

Saturday, July 10, 2010

365 Project - Day 191 - "Piña Coladas"

July 10, 2010 - "Piña Coladas"

I love summer!

'Nuff said!

(Life is good!)

* * *

Friday, July 9, 2010

365 Project - Day 190 - "Sharing Water"

July 09, 2010 - "Sharing Water"

Light dances through the glass facets of our decanter... a decanter which has seen countless rituals...

Under countless Full Moons...

For holidays...

For Rites of Passage...

For gatherings of friends.

A decanter which has contained countless gallons of icy cold water to be shared...

A sharing of water...

A celebration of friendship and of love...

The sharing of Life.

"May you never thirst!"

* * *

Thursday, July 8, 2010

365 Project - Day 189 - "Cleaning Up"

July 08, 2010 - "Cleaning Up"

Life has become "cluttered".




... cluttered.

That WILL change though. Today the first steps came...

... and tomorrow there will be more...

... as the process of "cleaning up" continues.

(Life is good!)

* * *

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

365 Project - Day 188 - "Cherry Picking"

July 07, 2010 - "Cherry Picking"

Rough day. Temps in the upper 90s. Bathroom out-of-order at work. Big mess to be cleaned from having all of the freezers in the store go down yesterday. Deliveries arriving, but no place to put them. Bad septic smell filling the back room.

But that's all OK... because we got a delivery of the most amazing organic cherries...

... and I just can't stop eating them!

(Life is good!)

* * *

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

365 Project - Day 187 - "Quisp"

July 06, 2010 - "Quisp"

It's hot today. Very hot. Too hot to do anything "serious".

It's a "sit in front of four fans while the AC is on high" sort of day.

It's a "have a bowl of cereal with ice-cold milk for dinner" sort of day.

So that's what I'm doing.

It's too hot to do anything "serious"... so my photo for the day is of my dinner... a bowl of my favorite cereal, "Quisp".

Then... to have a little bit of fun, and amuse myself - I boosted saturation... fidgeted with contrast... until it all brought a smile.

It's far too hot to do anything "serious".

(Life is good!)

* * *

Monday, July 5, 2010

365 Project - Day 186 - "A Puppy Without A Name"

July 05, 2010 - "A Puppy Without A Name"

My mother-in-law breeds Shelties (Shetland Sheepdogs).

This little guy is the newest member of her family... who just arrived home from the breeder today. But he lacks a name.

Our daughter wants to call him Cody. Our son wants to call him Rex. My mother-in-law wants to call him Shane.

Holly and I were thinking "Cole" or "Leo"... since the three girls he'd be mating with are sisters who are named "Piper", "Phoebe" and "Paige" (you'd have to know the TV show "Charmed" to get that one).

But no one can agree on anything... so, for now... he's just a poor little puppy without a name.

* * *

Sunday, July 4, 2010

365 Project - Day 185 - "Independence Day"

July 04, 2010 - "Independence Day"

Today is the Fourth of July. My family and I continued our tradition of going to the parade in New Fairfield... then we spent the afternoon with wonderful friends having wonderful conversations.

Life is good!

* * *

Saturday, July 3, 2010

365 Project - Day 184 - "Marriage"

July 03, 2010 - "Marriage"

Two of my best friends were married today!

Lenny & Kristin...

May your new life together as "husband and wife" be filled with happiness... with love... with laughter... and with more blessings than you'll know what to do with!

I love you both... very, very much!


* * *

Friday, July 2, 2010

365 Project - Day 183 - "Chicago"

July 02, 2010 - "Chicago"

Holly stole my hat and sunglasses.

OK... OK... to be fair, I made her wear them and pose for me... but still!

And the name? I asked Holly what I should call the photo... and she said it reminded her of Chicago.

So, there it is!

* * *

Thursday, July 1, 2010

365 Project - Day 182 - "Lightning Tree"

July 01, 2010 - "Lightning Tree"


Sitting in the car waiting... Listening to the hum of the sodium-vapor lamps. The light dances on the bare branches of a tree.

Everything else is quiet...

while the tree dances like lightening.

* * *