Friday, August 31, 2012

366 Project - Day 244 - "Red Day"


August 31, 2012 - "Red Day"

"Everything happens for a reason."

That's a hard thing to keep in mind when something happens that hurts and shakes you up completely.

Still... everything happens for a reason...

... and one "end" marks another "beginning".

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

366 Project - Day 243 - "Newness"


August 30, 2012 - "Newness"

My new "digital darkroom", so-to-speak.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

366 Project - Day 242 - "Dance Class"


August 29, 2012 - "Dance Class"

Watching my daughter in her solo dance class.

First class of the new school year.

(lifeisgood!)

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

366 Project - Day 241 - "The Cameras I Use..."



August 28, 2012 - "The Cameras I Use..."

I'm often asked "How many cameras do you have?". I usually respond with "I don't know!". 


The real answer really depends on the details of the question. "How many cameras do I own?" or "How many cameras do I actually use?"


This photo is of the cameras I actually use regularly... and there are 14 of them. This doesn't include the camera on my iPhone (which actually took this photo) or the camera on my iPad which I sometimes use.

In addition to these I own around 6 to 10 "historical cameras" which may or may not work... but regardless, I don't use them at all. They're just part of the collection... decorating the living room.

So here they are... the 14 cameras I actually use. And I'm always "in the process of buying another". Next up will be either a Leica X1 or X2. After that will be the (not yet released) Canon EOS M. After that? I don't know... possibly a Canon EOS 5D Mark III or a Canon 6D (which right now is just a rumored camera). We'll see!

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To see the details on which camera is which - view the photo on Flickr and hover over each camera...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vincentjamespia/7881760830/in/photostream/

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Monday, August 27, 2012

366 Project - Day 240 - "For Neil"


August 27, 2012 - "For Neil"

For one of my heroes...

Rest In Peace Neil Armstrong!

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

366 Project - Day 239 - "Baptism"


August 26, 2012 - "Baptism"

Today my beautiful niece Liliana Marie Pia was Baptized to the Lord.

It was a wonderful day indeed!

(lifeisgood!)

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

366 Project - Day 238 - "Shopping"


August 25, 2012 - "Shopping"

We're at the mall tonight... doing some back-to-school shopping.

So as I sit waiting for "the girls"... I look up with my camera and capture the abstract pattern of one of the hanging lights.

(lifeisgood!)

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Friday, August 24, 2012

366 Project - Day 237 - "Abstract Number Whatever"


August 24, 2012 - "Abstract Number Whatever"

Not really feeling up to shooting today - so it's just a quick shot for now. A shot of part of the spine of my son's new 3-ring binder for school.

And that's that.

(lifeisgood!)

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

366 Project - Day 236 - "Sunflower"


August 23, 2012 - "Sunflower"

My wife surprised me with a bunch of Sunflowers last night. They were too beautiful not to photograph... but I decided to do so from a bit of a different angle.

(lifeisgood!)

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

366 Project - Day 235 - "Ecce Homo"


August 22, 2012 - "Ecce Homo"

"Ecce Homo"... the words of Pontius Pilate as he presented the scourged and beaten Jesus to the crowd.

"Behold the Man"

And today's image comes from a wonderful vintage chalkware plaque of the Ecce Homo image which I recently bought from Etsy. Yet another member of my "freaky religious items" collection.


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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

366 Project - Day 234 - "My Bag"


August 21, 2012 - "My Bag"

I'm cleaning out and organizing my carry-with-me-everywhere-everyday messenger bag... and decided to go ahead and do a "What's in my bag?" photo.

So... here it is. This is what's in my bag, pretty much every day.

(lifeisgood)

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Monday, August 20, 2012

366 Project - Day 233 - "Heirloom Tomatoes"


August 20, 2012 - "Heirloom Tomatoes"

Doing another "produce photo shoot" at work today... and these Organic Heirloom Tomatoes are posing for me.

(lifeisgood!)

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

366 Project - Day 232 - "Chuang Yen Monastery"


August 19, 2012 - "Chuang Yen Monastery"

Today my wife and I took a trip to the Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, NY. It was a quiet... peaceful and relaxing visit. I took quite a lot of photos... but this was one of the few 35mm film images I shot with my new Leica 35mm f/2.8 lens.

(lifeisgood!)

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

366 Project - Day 231 - "Good Girl!"



August 18, 2012 - "Good Girl!"

My dog - Leica - has been a real pain-in-the-butt today! So the most common phrase heard in our house today has been "Leica - go lay down!". Poor girl!

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Friday, August 17, 2012

366 Project - Day 230 - "New Glass"


August 17, 2012 - "New Glass"

My new lens arrived today!

An absolutely beautiful Leica Leitz Summaron 35mm f/2.8 for my absolutely beautiful Leica M3.

It's a match made in Heaven... Leica's best film camera ever paired with one of the finest lenses they made!

Next up on my lens wish-list: The Leica Summicron DR 50mm f/2 - THE finest lens Leica ever made.

But that is going to have to wait a few months. For now I'm going to enjoy this Summaron 35!

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Thursday, August 16, 2012

366 Project - Day 229 - "For John"


August 16, 2012 - "For John"

Today would have been my stepfather's 88th birthday.

He was the most wonderful, loving, kind-hearted man you could ever hope to meet. He was extremely attached to my children - especially my son, who absolutely adored him.

He was a Sargent in the United States Army 296th Combat Engineer Battalion during WWII. He took part in the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. Today's photo is of the title page of the book "Bridge to Berlin", which is a history of his Battalion during the war.

Sadly, it has been over nine years since his passing. I miss him and think of him every day. Every time someone does or says something that bothers me, I hear his voice in my head, saying "What do you expect from a pig but a grunt!?!".

So... today's post is in honor of my stepfather - Sgt. John. H. Waterhouse.

We all love and miss you, John!

*   *   *

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

366 Project - Day 228 - "Becoming a Student"


August 15, 2012 - "Becoming a Student"

It's official... I'm a student again!

(Well... sort of!)

I just completed my registration to study Street Photography at the Leica Akademie in New York City this October 31st and November 1st. It's a photography intensive with two renowned Leica photographers (New York's own Adam Marelli... and Leica's own Justin Stailey) and only 15 students. We'll be using the Leica M9 and X1 digitals... and I'll be bringing my own Leica M3 35mm film camera (shown here).

I cannot wait for this to happen!

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

366 Project - Day 227 - "Remembering the '90s"


August 14, 2012 - "Remembering the '90s"

Today I'm remembering the '90s... and, in particular, the best damn coffee house that has EVER existed on the planet: Danbury's own "Seattle Espresso".

Seattle was our hangout. It's where artists and writers and musicians and thinkers and dancers and all-sorts of creative-types and thinking-people came to meet... to drink... to converse... to "be".

It's where I both "truly fell in love" and "truly had my heart broken" for the first time.

It's where I met some of the best friends I've ever had.

It's where my (now) wife, Holly, and I had our very first date.

It's where my daughter took her first steps.

It's where I've written some of my best poetry and essays... and sketched some of my best sketches.

It's where I heard the news of Kurt Cobain's suicide.

It's where I "grew up" and discovered my true Self.

It's where some of my happiest memories from the '90s took place...

... and some of my saddest as well.


Seattle Espresso no longer exists. At least not in physical form. It exists in memories... friendships... and shared conversations, including on the "Seattle Espresso Exiles" group on Facebook.

It exists in mementos too... including this box of hundreds upon hundreds of "Slug Cards", given to me by Seattle's owner - Lezlie - on the day they closed. Your card would get a stamp each time you'd buy a drink (twice for each drink on Tuesdays). When you got ten stamps, you signed your card (or the barista wrote your name on it) - turned it in and got a free drink and a new card for next time. (One of my signed cards - a green one - is at the center of this photo).

These cards became icons of Danbury life in the mid-to-late-1990s. They were bookmarks (years after Seattle closed I found one used as such in a copy of Byron poems I checked out from the Danbury Library!)... places to have someone write their phone number for you... canvases for quick sketches... and full cards were often given as gifts.

They're a symbol of an awesome decade... and a time... a feeling... that can be imitated, but never duplicated.

So... here's to you, Seattle Espresso! Thanks for the memories!

(We miss you!)

*   *   *

Monday, August 13, 2012

366 Project - Day 226 - "Jump In The Lake"


August 13, 2012 - "Jump In The Lake"

Well... it sounds like perfect summer advice to me!

(lifeisgood!)

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

366 Project - Day 225 - "Aunt Pat"


August 12, 2012 - "Aunt Pat"

I loved my Aunt Pat. It has been over 16 years since she passed away suddenly... just shy of her 47th birthday. That means she was only eleven years older than I am now.

I was closer to her than I was to any other family member. She knew things about me that no one else knew... and she confided in me things that she'd never tell anyone else... secrets I will take to my own grave. We'd sit at her kitchen table for hours playing cards and talking... until the sun came up.

She was an avid collector... everything from music boxes to Depression Aluminum to Ron Lee clowns to McCoy Pottery to old kitchen gadgets. It - collecting, that is - is an obsession she instilled in me as well.

Unfortunately I have no photographs of my Aunt Pat... only mementos. Some she gave me while she was still with us: This deck of playing cards... and McCoy pottery Wishing Well which belonged to her grandmother, and which she played with as a child. Others came to me after her passing - including this vintage black and white polka dot glass bowl which she'd serve food from all of the time... this latch-hook rug which she made to help pass the time during an illness... and one of her beloved Ron Lee clowns, which she loved so much.

She was, herself, a clown. Always making jokes... making other people smile - all the while hiding a sadness within. Two of her biggest dreams were to go to the top of the Statue of Liberty and to own an Airstream Travel Trailer and join the Airstream club. She never got to do either. Some day I hope to do both, in her honor.

Aunt Pat, as I write this I'm fighting back tears. I could really use your guidance these days. Still, I know you're up there looking down on us all... wishing you could tell a joke that would make everything better.

I love you... and I miss you... and I think of you every single day!

*   *   *

Saturday, August 11, 2012

366 Project - Day 224 - "Tag Sale Prep"


August 11, 2012 - "Tag Sale Prep"

Making signs... getting ready for tomorrow's tag sale.

(lifeisgood!)

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Friday, August 10, 2012

366 Project - Day 223 - "Holy Spirit"


August 10, 2012 - "Holy Spirit"

A quick shot for a rainy day...

... a close-up of the little Holy Spirit Holy Water Font we have hanging in the kitchen, next to our front door.

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Thursday, August 9, 2012

366 Project - Day 222 - "Self (In Shadow)"


August 09, 2012 - "Self (In Shadows)"

A quick shot on a rainy night. My shadow... cast by the lamp-post lantern... caught by my Canon.

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

366 Project - Day 221 - "Project"


August 08, 2012 - "Project"

I got bored... so I ripped the innards out of a Realistic Portavision mini-television that I got for free from a tag sale. Now it's a project. Actually, it's two projects:

The innards become a photo...

The shell becomes the housing for a mini fish-tank for a goldfish or beta or some other small pretty little swimming thing.

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

366 Project - Day 220 - "New Toy"


August 07, 2012 - "New Toy"

A quick shot of my newest camera: a Canon AF35ML Super Sure Shot 35mm point-and-shoot.

This will be my "carry around 35mm" camera. It's compact enough to have with me every day... and, even though this gem dates from 1981 - is generally considered to have been one of the best Canon 35mm point-and-shoot cameras ever made.

And as for the rolls of film featured in this shot - they were a surprise gift from my good friend Nancy. Thank you again, Nancy!!!

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Monday, August 6, 2012

366 Project - Day 219 - "Mango"


August 06, 2012 - "Mango"

I'm playing around with some fresh organic mangos today... making them pose for me.

(lifeisgood!)

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

366 Project - Day 218 - "Arugula"


August 05, 2012 - "Arugula"

Arugula... being prepped for tonight's dinner: Orecchiette con Fave e Pomodorini...

Which is basically: Orecchiette pasta with Fava Beans, Arugula, Tomatoes and Onions.

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Saturday, August 4, 2012

366 Project - Day 217 - "Vuvuzelas"


August 04, 2012 - "Vuvuzelas"

Tonight we're back at the Amerigo Vespucci Lodge for Day #2 of their Italian Festival... and this box of colorful Vuvuzela horns for sale caught my eye.

Focus. Snap. Capture.

Now it's time for some cannoli!

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Friday, August 3, 2012

366 Project - Day 216 - "Italian Festival"


August 03, 2012 - "Italian Festival"

Tonight we're at the Order Sons of Italy - Amerigo Vespucci Lodge #160 for the lodge's annual Italian Festival. Three days of amazing food... music... conversation... and laughter.

Personally, I can't think of a better way to spend an evening!

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thankful - August 02, 2012

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Today I am thankful for...

... one step closer toward a return to normality.

... feeling better.

... having the kind of amazing bosses who welcome you back with hugs and smiles after a month away in darkness.


Today I am thankful for...

... having a "To-Do" list I'm actually able To Do.

... finding routines that work.

... the way my iPad actually helps me to keep my OCD in check.


Today I am thankful for...

... the gold cross pendant my brother gave me ages ago.

... the calm of meditating on the Rosary every day.

... the relief of not being afraid to "admit" those things anymore.


Oggi sono grato per ...

... limoncello fatto in casa.

... imparare a parlare italiano.

... commettere errori.


Today I am thankful for...

... my wife.

... my family.

... my life...

... which is good!

*   *   *





366 Project - Day 215 - "Lazy Day"



August 02, 2012 - "Lazy Day"

My dog, Leica, (or - more specifically - "Leica Maria Francesca Totti Corleone") seems to be having a rather lazy day today.

(lifeisgood)

*   *   *

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

366 Project - Day 214 - "Vintage Pasta"


August 01, 2012 - "Vintage Pasta"

Just a close-up shot of my very shiny vintage Altea Pasta Maker.

Nothing more.

Nothing less.

I found this at a tag sale earlier this year. It was still in it's original box with a label from Ernest Rossi & Co. in Little Italy (which happens to be one of my favorite stores in New York City). Despite being at least 30 or 40 years old, it's in perfect working condition. I love this thing!

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