Wednesday, June 30, 2010

365 Project - Day 181 - "East Meets West"



June 30, 2010 - "East Meets West"

I'm having a black & white day. Images of sixes and sevens are dancing around my head.

(a future project, I'm sure)

Circles meet Squares.

Chaos meets Confusion.

West meets East.

And East meets West.

* * *

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

365 Project - Day 180 - "Self Portrait in Shadows"



June 29, 2010 - "Self Portrait in Shadows"

My camera caught me today.

(Funny how that happens!)

* * *

Monday, June 28, 2010

365 Project - Day 179 - "Bruce"



June 28, 2010 - "Bruce"

I absolutely LOVE the movie "JAWS". It's my single-favorite movie of all-time. I watch it, on average, 100 times each year... and have seen it somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 times. Yes... I'm serious. In fact, I'm watching it right now as I type this. This is about the 6th time I've watched it in the last two weeks.

Friends know my JAWS obsession all too well. They know that I break into JAWS quotes when I'm drunk. They know I love to talk about JAWS history and trivia. They know that while I love the movie, I thought the book was absolutely horrible.

But the obsession goes much deeper than just the movie "JAWS". Great White sharks are my single-favorite animal. I feel a very spiritual connection with them... and consider them to be my "Power Animal" or "Animal Totem"... or whatever. I have a tattoo of a Great White running the entire length of the side of my right forearm. I wear a Great White tooth pendant during spiritual services and rites. The top item on my "Bucket List" is to do a Great White dive in South Africa... and to see a Great White do a full-body leap out of the water.

I love Great Whites... and I abso-freakin'-lutely LOVE "JAWS".

The funny thing is that while I own the DVD... I almost never need to use it! JAWS is almost always on some channel somewhere!

The picture? A wind up "Bruce the Shark" (from the movie "Finding Nemo") bath/pool toy that my good friends Lenny & Kristin gave me for Christmas... resting on my "JAWS" Collectors Edition DVD.

In "Finding Nemo", Bruce the Shark is the leader of a group for sharks who are trying not to eat fish.... because "Fish are friend... NOT FOOD"! He was named after the mechanical shark from JAWS, which Steven Spielberg named after his lawyer... because "lawyers are sharks".

So there it is. Now you must excuse me... the "U.S.S. Indianapolis Speech" scene is about to begin!

* * *

Sunday, June 27, 2010

365 Project - Day 178 - "Self Storage"



June 27, 2010 - "Self Storage"

I hate clutter...

I hate messes...

I hate disorder.

But that's all part of having OCD.

Sometimes I wish I could take all of the messes of life and just store them away... out of sight.

But that wouldn't be enough! Just knowing the clutter is there is enough to throw the balance off.

* * *

Saturday, June 26, 2010

365 Project - Day 177 - "Cupcake Dreams"



June 26, 2010 - "Cupcake Dreams"

My daughter turned 12 this week. To celebrate we had a bit of a birthday party in the park, with just a few of her closest friends.

Laughter...

Hyper-ness...

Happy-ness...

and, of course... cupcakes!

Life is good!

* * *

Friday, June 25, 2010

365 Project - Day 176 - "Dishwater"



June 25, 2010 - "Dishwater"

The sink is full.

I should wash the dishes... but the light from the stain-glass window reflecting on the bowl full of water is calling to me to take it's picture instead.

Beauty in the simple moments of day-to-day life.

Life... which is good!

* * *

Thursday, June 24, 2010

365 Project - Day 175 - "Nicko"



June 24, 2010 - "Nicko"

Music means the world to me. My iPod and I are inseparable... It's practically a part of me!

My favorite band, by far, is Iron Maiden. Since I was a little kid sharing a room with an older brother who had their posters plastering the wall... their music has been a part of my life.

I'm also a drummer... and my favorite drummer, by far, is Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain. He's known as "The fastest foot in the business". Why? He can play the bass drum faster than 90% of the double-bass drummers out there. The thing is, he doesn't use a double-bass drum... nor does he use a double-bass pedal. He plays one bass drum... with one pedal. His foot is just THAT fast! Add to the fact that he's almost 60 years old now and still plays 2 and 3 hour shows without breaks (whereas much younger drummers, like Metallica's Lars Ulrich frequently have to pause after 2 or 3 songs and go off stage for water and oxygen)... and yep... Nicko McBrain is by-far the best out there!

In just a little over two weeks I'll be going to see Iron Maiden on their "Final Frontier" tour at Madison Square Garden in New York City. OK... maybe that in-and-of-itself isn't that big of a deal... since this won't be my first time seeing Maiden in concert. But it WILL be my kids first time seeing them!

Yep... that's right... my wife and I are taking our kids to their very first concert... Iron Maiden at Madison Square Garden.

The thought of this just makes me so excited! The last time Maiden was "in town" my wife and I went... and the kids were mad at us for not taking them with us. Well... this time they get to go and see one of the greatest bands of all-time performing one of the greatest shows in all of heavy metal.

But I'm getting ahead of myself! For now I'll just grab my iPod and blast some Maiden albums as I drift off to sleep, focussing on Nicko's drumming.

Life IS good!

* * *

The image? A little still-life I accidentally created while cleaning today. My Nicko McBrain autograph paired up with a set of his signature Vic Firth drumsticks, resting on the "Number of the Beast" vinyl that my kids got me for Christmas last year.

* * *

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

365 Project - Day 174 - "(Real) Football"



June 23, 2010 - "(Real) Football"

The United States beat Algeria today in South Africa. With that win the US edged out England to take first place in Group C. The result? The United States and England both advance to Stage 2 (the Quarter-Final Round). Algeria and Slovenia are eliminated and go home.

Now the United States must face Ghana. The winner of that match will go on to face the winner of the Uruguay vs. South Korea game in Semi-Final Round.

This is big for U.S. Soccer (um, I mean "football").

I was sneaking in the game online at work when Landon Donovan scored the winning goal with only minutes to go in the game. I was practically screaming... but I couldn't let it out, for fear that I'd get in trouble for watching the game! A co-worker who was home today (and is also a football fanatic) called me in excitement to make sure that I got to see the win.

Perhaps you don't understand it all... Perhaps you "just don't get it"... but trust me, Football (um, I mean "soccer") is just that important! Here in Danbury, especially. A very large part of our city's population hails from Brazil, Portugal and Spain. This past Sunday Brazil beat the Ivory Coast, 3-1. The celebrations downtown were instantaneous. Three people were arrested.

Yes... Football (yes... I mean Football) is just that important!

I'm still on a "high" from the U.S. win today. After dinner I decided to head downtown to Rogers Park to see what was happening on the fields. I wasn't disappointed! There were games going on on both fields. Fathers were teaching toddlers how to pass the ball. Kids were practicing heading. There were jerseys from the national teams of Brazil, Portugal, Spain and Argentina. There was laughter and happiness all around.

Football. It's THAT important!

(Life is good!)

* * *

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

365 Project - Day 173 - "Statue" (Holly Portrait)



June 22, 2010 - "Statue" (Holly Portrait)

Migraine came on late in the day. Drifted off to sleep. Woke up for dinner. Needed a photo for the day. Started bugging Holly with my camera. Got a shot as she looked up from her computer.

Watching "The Princess Bride" and eating gelato.

Heading to bed soon.

Life is good!

* * *

Monday, June 21, 2010

365 Project - Day 172 - "Wedding Chucks"



June 21, 2010 - "Wedding Chucks"

Two of my best friends (Lenny & Kristin) are getting married on Fourth of July weekend.

Knowing how much I love Chucks, they told me I could wear my Chucks to their wedding. To celebrate, I had Converse make me a custom pair of purple and black Product (RED) Chucks... which I recently received.

I can't fully reveal them yet... since I'm not even going to wear them until the day of the wedding... but I keep finding myself opening the box to take a peek.

Life is good!

* * *

Sunday, June 20, 2010

365 Project - Day 171 - "Waiting"



June 20, 2010 - "Waiting"

Half-past-midnight...

Long day...

Wonderful day...

Standing at the edge of the Astor Place platform waiting for the 6-Line to come and start our journey home.

Life is good!

* * *

Saturday, June 19, 2010

365 Project - Day 170 - "Coney Island"



June 19, 2010 - "Coney Island"

Headed down to NYC for the day with our good friends Lenny & Kristin. Early train to Grand Central followed by extremely speedy cab ride down to the Life Café for a wedding anniversary brunch (Today was Holly and my 11th anniversary!).

Walked through Tompkins Square... made our way through a couple of street fairs... wandered through Union Square... then hopped on the Q-Line in to Coney Island for the Mermaid Parade

The train was full of mermaids... and confused locals.

Last stop exit... crowds-upon-crowds of people... sun shining strong.

Wandered up and down Surf Ave - my camera firing like crazy.

Stood right at the very start of the parade... amongst the press-crowd surrounding the float that carries "King Neptune and Queen Mermaid". This year the "Royal Family" was none other than Lou Reed and his wife Laurie Anderson - with an honorary title of "Royal Mer-Dog" going to their pooch Lola Belle.

I wedged my way through the crowd and stood right at the edge of their float as they waited for the parade to begin... attendants handing them iced coffees and making adjustments to costumes.

All-in-all I took around 400 photos at the parade... including at least a couple-dozen of the "Royal Couple". Sure, I got much better shots of them... yet for some reason this particular photo really stands out to me. Lou, Laurie and Lola Belle in that moment before the march began.

To check out more of my photos from the Mermaid Parade, click HERE

* * *

Friday, June 18, 2010

365 Project - Day 169 - "Smiles"



June 18, 2010 - "Smiles"

Thirty-four years... and I STILL play with my food!

* * *

Thursday, June 17, 2010

365 Project - Day 168 - "Teen Time"



June 17, 2010 - "Teen Time"

Borders Café...

My daughter flips through magazines...

The bright orange nail polish is almost gone from her fingers...

Green marker spells out "Hi!" on the back of her hand... apparently a note from a friend...

And I sip my mocha... wondering where the hell the last 12 years have gone!

* * *

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

365 Project - Day 167 - "Chair Lines"



June 16, 2010 - "Chair Lines"

Sitting on the screen-porch waiting for my wife to get home.

It's quiet out here. No cars going by... no birds chirping or singing... no breezes rustling the trees... no people... nothing.

Sitting by myself... enjoying the quiet... waiting for my wife to get home.

I turn and notice the lines of one of our plastic chairs against the black background. Beautiful.

Lift camera to eye... zoom lens... focus... click... snap... capture - just as Holly pulls in to the driveway.

Life is good.

* * *

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

365 Project - Day 166 - "Statue" (Self Portrait)



June 15, 2010 - "Statue" (Self Portrait)

Feeling still...

Feeling stuck...

Feeling cold...

and statue-like.

* * *

Monday, June 14, 2010

365 Project - Day 165 - "Pick-a-Pepper"



June 14, 2010 - "Pick-a-Pepper"

Heading in to Stew Leonard's for some gelato...

Notice the bins of fresh bell peppers outside. The contrast of colors amazes me!

Head back to the car... grab the camera... come back... focus... snap... focus... snap... focus... snap.

Time for gelato!

(Life is good!)

* * *

Sunday, June 13, 2010

365 Project - Day 164 - "Flower Steps"



June 13, 2010 - "Flower Steps"

Sitting in the car waiting for Holly... It looks like it could start to rain at any moment.

The flowers know this.

Reach down... pull the camera out of my bag... prop it up on the door of the car... focus... snap... capture.

"Dream Theater" plays on the radio...

I lean back and relax... smiling.

Life is good.

* * *

Saturday, June 12, 2010

365 Project - Day 163 - "Coffee House Thoughts"



June 12, 2010 - "Coffee House Thoughts"

Molten Java... Bethel, CT

Good coffee... Good friends... Good music...

Good life.

* * *

Friday, June 11, 2010

365 Project - Day 162 - "Abstract"



June 11, 2010 - "Abstract"

Light...

Lines...

Contrast...

Abstract.

* * *

Thursday, June 10, 2010

365 Project - Day 161 - "Sweet Corn"



June 10, 2010 - "Sweet Corn"

Dinner time...

Locally-raised grass-fed beef burgers...

Homemade Italian-style pasta salad...

And... of course... sweet corn-on-the-cob... cooked in sugar water for even more sweetness.

Life is good!

* * *

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

365 Project - Day 160 - "Dabba Tiffin"



June 09, 2010 - "Dabba Tiffin"

Simple shot of my dabba tiffin reflecting in the kitchen.

Nothing more.

Nothing less.

* * *

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

365 Project - Day 159 - "Cygnets"



June 08, 2010 - "Cygnets"

Waiting for our Camera Club meeting to begin, I hear that the swans in the pond outside have some new additions. I head out with my camera and snap around 150 shots before the meeting begins.

Cygnets learning from their parents... exploring the pond in Hatters Park.

Nature is so beautiful!

* * *

Monday, June 7, 2010

365 Project - Day 158 - "Dandelion Wishes"



June 07, 2010 - "Dandelion Wishes"

Wandering my yard looking for a photo.

Find a single dandelion... all by its lonesome... waiting for a wish.

What should I wish for?

* * *

Sunday, June 6, 2010

365 Project - Day 157 - "Red No. Whatever"



June 06, 2010 - "Red No. Whatever"

Tired. Bored. Hungry.

Wandering the kitchen looking for something to photograph... I notice the light reflecting off of the surface of my metal water bottle.

Abstract.

Nice.

Zoom... Focus... Snap.

Time for dinner.

* * *

Saturday, June 5, 2010

365 Project - Day 156 - "Jazz Man"



June 05, 2010 - "Jazz Man"

Hot day...

New York City...

East Village...

Tompkins Square Park.

Did I ever tell you that Charlie Parker used to live right over there on Avenue B?

Hot day...

Sticky...

Notes fly through the air as the Jazz Man's fingers fly up and down his sax.

I drop a couple of notes in his case...

and his eyes smile without skipping a beat.

We stand there... the Jazz Man and me...

as his music fills the future resting place of my being...

... and the world whirls by with the busy-ness of everyday life...

which is just as it should be.

* * *

Friday, June 4, 2010

365 Project - Day 155 - "Conversation"



June 04, 2010 - "Conversation"

Hidden movements...

Body Language...

Conversations without words.

Sipping a cappuccino...

Lipstick marks left on the cup...

Desires...

Passion...

Longing...

... for something to hold on to.

... for something to feel.

... to feel wanted...

... again.

* * *

Fat Larry

* * *

Fat Larry is talking nonsense again.

Why is he always here?

(For that matter... why am I always here?)

Fat Larry is talking nonsense again...

... and he won't shut up.

Fat Larry has no neck... and drives a Corolla.

He has a funky piercing at the top of his ear...

and tattoos on his legs surrounded by psoriasis.

Fat Larry hates immigrants...

... and burns the sugar cube when he makes absinthe.

Fat Larry gives the wrong information about most things...

... and opinions on everything.

Fat Larry slurs his words...

... deep toned words...

... woody words...

... that trail as his jowl wiggles.

Fat Larry doesn't shut up. I try to tune him out... but even Scandinavian Death Metal at full-blast is not strong enough to cancel out Fat Larry.

Fat Larry ALWAYS gets whipped cream on his drinks.

Fat Larry always knows of something better than whatever you're talking about.

Fat Larry is constant.

He's always here.

He's always there.

He's always everywhere.

He's where you live right now, probably.

He's in every café in every town... in some form.

Fat Larry is what we've become...

As American as a third helping of apple pie...

... and a large waistline of ignorance.

* * *

Thursday, June 3, 2010

365 Project - Day 154 - Front Porch Sittin'



June 03, 2010 - Front Porch Sittin'

Sitting on the porch... talking with my daughter as a citronella candle burns... the lanterns glow... and frogs 'chirp' in the distance.

Sitting... talking with my daughter.

Life IS good!

* * *

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

365 Project - Day 153 - "Consume"



June 02, 2010 - "Consume"

Had to go to one of my least-favorite places today.

Walking back to the car I notice the pattern of the hundreds-upon-hundreds of shopping carts lined up at the door.

Hundreds-upon-hundreds... and these are just the carts lined up by the door. It doesn't include the hundred or so that are scattered around the parking lot...

... or the hundred or so that are lined up just inside the store...

... or the hundred or so that are being pushed around and filled by the loyal zombies wandering the aisles.

Hundreds-upon-hundreds-upon-hundreds of shopping carts.

And when I think about the fact that there are times when it seems that every single one of them is taken and you can't seem to find one when you need one - well... the thought of it is very, very scary to me.

* * *

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

365 Project - Day 152 - "Screen-porch Dinner"



June 01, 2010 - "Screen-porch Dinner"

I don't know why... but I like this image. It isn't "technically good". The foreground is out of focus... things are cut off... the lighting is all wrong... blah-blah-blah.

Still... there's something about it I really like. It was a "from the hip" shot of our table as we dined out on our screen-porch... enjoying the beautiful weather... and the chirping of the baby Chickadees in the birdhouse a few feet away.

Perhaps it's the feeling of it all that I like so much.

Perhaps it's the memory of past meals... of family gatherings... of conversations.

I don't know. It doesn't matter, really.

I just like this image.

(Life is good!)

* * *