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Entries in wine (4)


A Day in the Life

morning, in four stepsThe day started in pitch black, with the yelping of the dog outside and the acrid, burning sulfer smell of a skunk attack wafting through my bedroom window.  Will climbed back into bed, announcing that our dog had an altercation and Will had put him in the backyard.  I looked at the clock.  It said 1:00am.  I rolled back over, groggily, and finished the night with the uneasy sleep of someone marinating in skunk fumes.

By sunrise I realized that this whole affair was probably my fault because I drank too much wine with our houseguest the night before and left the dog outside.  Obviously my penance would be to spearhead the disaster recovery efforts.  Google revealed the recipe for deskunkification and I hit up three stores before I found one open.

In case you ever need this semi-effective skunk remedy: 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 quart peroxide, 2 teaspoons dish soap.  And old clothes that you can throw away and rubber gloves.

This was a form of torture for me, and obviously also for Milo.

351.365 50mm f2 1/200 ISO 200So yeah.  All this excitement before 8:00.

I vow to lay off the sauce and head for work.

Work, work, work.  Something about Miss USA, drag queens, and Rosie O'Donnell.

Race home to pick up the child and see our houseguest who has a pot of green chile stew simmering on the stovetop and who, conveniently, was there to sign for the UPS package delivering my new lens.  I deserve this splurge, dog-skunk incident notwithstanding, because it's almost my birthday and I am almost finishing this 365 project.

Then, because she is awesome, and also because most of my friends have to agree to be photo subjects, and because I can not wait (obviously) to test drive the new lens, Amber agrees to put on mascara and be my guinea pig.

Amber is a chef, yogini, traveler, and all-around bright light who is busy dreaming up many cool things.  I am sure you'll hear more from her, here and elsewhere.  She is also eminently patient with me and my addled photographic fumblings.

I noticed during this brief shoot how much energy it takes to be creative and also how tired I was.  So we went home, ate green chile, limited our wine intake, and I collapsed into bed with my dog on the floor next to me, smelling faintly of skunk.


Solstice (A Low Point)

253.365 50mm (+12mm mac tube) f2.8 1/320 ISO 100This was how the solstice was supposed to feel:  bright and round and happy.  When I got home from work my neighbor was clearing out her perennial bed to make room for Ezra and the other kids on the block to plant a pumpkin patch.  To me it sounds like a perfect way to spend the longest evening of the year.

But my almost-three-year-old torpedoed that plan.

Dinner triggered a meltdown so epic, so volcanic (I put his crackers ON THE WRONG PLATE, people!  And THE CHEESE!  I DON'T LIKE CHEESE!) that he ended up turning over lawn ornaments and wailing until he was blue.  For the first time in his life I actually understood the urge to beat one's child. 

Instead, I went inside and put myself in time out.  Meaning, I went to the kitchen to work on my dinner and poured myself a glass of wine.

So much of photography is waiting.  Waiting for the right light, waiting for inspiration to strike, waiting for the gift of seeing to surface.  And then there are moments of action, of attempting to arrange your world in accordance with your vision.

Excuse the tortured analogy, but parenting is like that sometimes too.  Waiting out this small wild animal in hopes that he will someday (soon) step into the soft light of emotional regulation and civilized behavior.  Trying to arrange him in accordance with my vision of the kind of person I want to raise.  And many, many days feeling defeated or uninspired but knowing it is the ultimate 365 (or is it a 365-million?) and that the big test is showing up.  Every.  Single.  Day.


Why, Yes.

213.365 InstagramYes, I do have a two-year-old.

Is this why they call it Pin-oh Noir?


Shadow Play

139.365 50mm f2.8 1/20 ISO 800Yesterday afternoon I was admiring how at a certain time of day the wine bottles cast shadows against the dining room wall.   I did my normal internal debate about shooting still lifes -- you know, the one where I wonder what said image does.  (I recognize this just means I'm probably not doing it right.)

But then I decided that the colors are so great (I may or may not be the kind of person who chooses wine based on the label design) and the shadows all graphically akimbo, so why not?  And to be honest, bottles of wine fly off this rack so fast it hardly even qualifies as a still life.