water and ‘no poo’… say what?

gary and his aliens

This is my honey Gary! Isn’t he adorable! He would not be happy about me writing that sentence, but it’s so true! He’s also obsessed with aliens, so much that it occasionally takes over his life and he spends days glued to his computer screen reading every little bit he can find. When we found these aliens on the boardwalk in Venice Beach he was ecstatic. I took so many photographs of him and his two alien children. Did I ever tell you, he thinks I am an alien? He always says, that is why he is with me… So there you have it, I am an alien.

I don’t want this blog to become to lengthy but I wanted to highlight a few amazing moments from the past week:
*I have been religiously drinking one gallon of water a day for about three weeks now. I have just finished reading this incredible book on water, You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty, By Dr. Batmanghelidj. His website The Water Cure, will blow you away. Any disease or sickness can be cured with water! I believe 100% in natural and holistic medicine and this book answered all my questions. Ever since I started drinking copious amounts of water my stomach stopped hurting! I have a very positive feeling that I will soon be able to eat pizza and pasta once again!
*I have also not washed my hair in over three weeks! Last summer I read about this idea of ‘no poo’ meaning ‘no shampoo’ and kept wanting to try it, but was hesitant. I thought my head will be all itchy, my gorgeous hair might not be so gorgeous anymore… what if I smell????
About 3 weeks ago, I decided to just go for it! The first week and half, my hair was pretty gross, but I hid it with pony tails, scarves and hats! About a week into the project I rinsed my hair with just water… about 4 days after that I washed the crown of my head with baking soda and dipped my pony tail in vinegar. My hair was lovely! I had no idea what was going to happen! Now about every 4-5 days, that is my routine. I have completely phased shampoo and conditioner out of my life! I have long, dark brown, curly hair. My curls are beautiful and soft! If you are now super curious, you can read about it here, here, and here. Enjoy!

*Life is great! We had three photography jobs last weekend and I had some wonderful ideas that I am starting to put into place. We shot a wedding on a golf course and I experimented a little with my pinhole camera and am anxious to see the results.

*Jessica if you’re reading this, I just wanted to say I hope you are doing well and that your surgery was as pleasant of an experience as it could have been. I am so happy that we have been spending so much time together. You definitely bring some sunshine into my life! Also, thanks for introducing me to so many amazing new people! People I pass by all the time in City, now I know who they are! Get well soon my friend! I am thinking of you!

Well, that is all for today… Each day for about a week I was keeping a log in my head of all the things I wanted to mention when I got around to posting my next blog, but, now they seem more like pleasant memories that I don’t really need to share.

one gallon of water a day

shell texture

Could we call this pinhole macro? This not so perfect shell caught my attention on the beach and I wanted to see how close I could get with my pinhole camera without loosing any detail. I think it was successful. I’m also quite happy with the composition. When I was shooting it, I pictured the shell more in the middle of the frame, but am happy with these results.

This blog will be short and sweet. It’s been quite a busy week at work for me. I started a new project at my day job and have been spending my nights redoing my other website. Gary and I have our own photography company, four white walls, and we photograph weddings, portraits, events, pet portraits, fashion… basically whatever we get hired for! It’s wonderful! I love it so much! I am working towards doing it full time.

What a perfect life that would be! Wake up around 8am every morning, go to gym, make green juice for breakfast, take a shower and then start working… calling clients, calling potential clients, going to networking events, spending the afternoons doing on-location portraits in the warm glow of the Arizona sunshine…. mmmmm…… photographing weddings every weekend! OH! Life is grand!

I’m going away from the traditional website and turning our wordpress blog into our new website. So far it’s looking great. I wanted something fresh and clean. I’ll announce it here when it’s complete! Keep your fingers crossed, I’m hoping that will be tonight!

This week, I started something new. I have a goal of drinking one gallon of water per day. I’m pretty close to being able to do that. I also ordered this book. I’m looking forward to learning more about how water can be a cure-all. I don’t want to jump ahead of myself, but since I’ve started drinking copious amounts of water, my stomach doesn’t hurt as much…. perhaps it is not a gluten/wheat allergy after all…. I would say before on a daily basis I was at least drinking 32 ounces of water a day…. some days closer to 64 ounces… One gallon has 128 ounces, it’s doubled the recommended 8 glasses of water a day.

How much water do you drink a day?

childhood dreams…

sand castle 2

My afternoon on Venice Beach lead me to these fine fellows who spent three hours creating this wonderful sand castle. I took a few pinhole photographs of them, and have yet to send them, but I will…. perhaps tonight I will make time for that. I would like to build a castle like this one day.

My sister sent me a link to this video and after I watched it, I sat here for just a moment before I decided, I’m going to blog about it! I definitely enjoy blogging.

Watch the video for yourself, it’s 10 minutes long, but incredibly thought provoking. I won’t spoil it, but one of the main messages was, what were your childhood dreams? Did you achieve them? If not, and you tried, then it was about the experience. He thinks very similarly to the way I think. I am all about the experience. Sure I’m still paying my student loans and I’ll be paying them off for years! After all I spent 160K on combined undergrad/grad schools and the experience was worth every penny.

I would have to say, my boyfriend keeps me focused and for that I am truly grateful, otherwise I would still be like my childhood self. Every time I read about something new I wanted to be it when I grew up.

I spent time wanting to be a scientist and had my chemistry set, telescope and microscope. I would mix chemicals together with dirt to see what would happen. I would gather the neighborhood kids and put on chemistry magic shows for them. When I learned the word ‘wicked’ every thing was ‘wicked’. I would ask what color did I make, the simple answer would be red, but unless they said ‘wicked’ red, they would be wrong.

I spent almost a lifetime wanting to be a writer. Perhaps that is why I love to blog. When I was a little girl I would make weekly/monthly newsletters for my family. When I was 10, I wrote my first book of poetry and tried to sell it. With every 10 cent copy I sold I had to write the book out by hand. The book was full of haiku’s. I had learned about them that spring in school and was still obsessed with them come summer. One Christmas I received the best gift ever! A publishing program! Instead of making my newsletter/magazines by hand, I could now do them on the computer. When I was 13 I spent the whole summer writing a movie about my friends. It filled 5 notebooks. When I tried to film it, that’s when I got bored. I didn’t know anything about filming a movie and definitely didn’t know the first thing about editing. Quite honestly I don’t think I knew I had to edit. I just thought it would magically turn out the way I wanted.
I wrote for my high school newspaper, if fact I was the editor. I went to undergrad and double majored in photography and journalism. I soon found out that I wasn’t cut out for journalism. There are too many rules and I just wanted to write. I’ve had stories published and wished I went the route of critic when I was in college because there are less rules and more excitement. Once I graduated from college and had some time on my hands, I started to write my first novel. I had 80 pages before I lost the zip disk that I had my life’s work saved on. I looked everywhere for that zip disk. I tore apart my apartment and even Gary’s apartment at the time. I had just met him and carried that silly disk with me everywhere. I never had the energy to do it again.

There was a time in my life when I wanted to be a lawyer. Gary says I should have been one, but I have friends that are and I’m not so sure I would have enjoyed it. I was going to go to Harvard Law. I remember being in 6th and 7th grade and wearing my navy Harvard sweatshirt all the time. The Harvard ‘H’ was a red plaid which I thought was very sophisticated. Then when I was a sophomore in high school, I joined this program for students interested in government and law. I had to take classes every week, and at the end, I had to take a test. If we passed we were able to be judges and lawyers or something like that. I remember being bored to tears in those classes. I wasn’t even disappointed when I didn’t pass the test. I knew after that experience that being a lawyer was definitely not creative enough for me.

When I was in high school, I was going to be an actress! Oh Yes! I wasn’t even going to attend college, I told my parents I was moving to Hollywood and the next time they saw me would be in a movie theater. Thankfully my wonderful parents talked me out of that and talked me into going to college. They should have seen it coming. I would write plays and get the neighborhood kids to act in them. I even had my own radio show. It started around 8/9pm in the evening. Every episode was taped. The audience was me and my sister and if we heard footprints coming towards our bedroom door we would pretend we were asleep, but as soon as the parental units walked away, the show would start again! I was the interview and interviewee. I made up all the commercials, I sang all the songs… It was a one woman show with a one person audience (my sister). ha! I was in the Drama Club. I acted in the plays at our community theater. I was even in a commercial when I was 17. My mom would take me to movie auditions in Kansas City. I acted in several film student projects. I dyed my hair blond to be like Marilyn Monroe. I watched old black and white films and studied their moves and the way they talked! Oh, how I adore old Hollywood. I would still choose to dress and act like a 1940’s starlet….

I spent time wanting to be a fashion designer too. I used to draw out clothing designs to the best of my ability, drawing is not my strongest artistic ability. Then when I realized I had to learn how to sew, I decided that I would just be a stunning dresser instead! I still love clothes and if I have some dollars left over after developing film, I always spent it on clothes or accessories! I especially love vintage clothing. Always have, always will.

The most interesting career choice I declared was when I was 8 years old. I used to hang out in my bedroom with my National Geographic magazines and a dictionary because I had no idea what most of the articles were about and would pour through the pages, dreaming of visiting every single location in the magazine. I told my mom I wanted to be a photographer when I grew up. AND! Do you know what she told me!!!!??? That photography wasn’t a real job. I swear to you, that until I was 17 or 18, I had NO IDEA how photographs were taken or who took them. I remember taking my first photo in Taormina, Italy. I still remember the wood oven smells and the cobble streets lined with criss-crossing strands of lights… it was a cool night and I took a photo of my family. I remember the spark that lit up inside of me. I knew something amazing was happening. I received my first camera when I was in 6th grade. I consistently broke cameras, year after year after year… and continued to receive them for birthday’s and Christmas. When I was 18, I took all my birthday money and money I had saved and bought my first real camera! A professional Nikon camera! It was the most gorgeous camera in the world! …and then I went to college for photography… and when I graduated I was bored and picked up a gorgeous wooden teak pinhole camera and that was the end of that… after that moment, I was a pinhole photographer!

phew… my childhood dreams…. always involved creativity and fame. I have wanted to be famous since the minute I was born! Not just locally famous, world famous! I would say that was my ultimate childhood dream. It didn’t matter what I was scheming, it always involved being world famous!

a weekend of good eats and fun pets

gary marilyn sheila

Oh Venice Beach! How I wish I were there basking in your warm sunlight… instead of being cooped up in an office. Standing on the beach from left to right: Gary Millard, Marilyn Szabo, and myself. I will admit, this photograph was directed by Gary. He occasionally asks if he can direct a shot, and of course I always oblige. I am a ghost like figure in most of my self portraits due to running back and forth from the camera to open and close the shutter.

The weekend went by in a blur and I’m still shocked that today is already Tuesday. It was a weekend full of photography. On Saturday Gary and I photographed our friend Kristian’s pets (dogs and turtle) and his sister’s two dogs. Kristian has a darling turtle, Randal Pink Floyd and he smiles and lets you pet him. His two pit bulls were super sweet. Ruka, the younger, brindled coat one joined me in a game. I was the remote controlled sumo wrestler and she was my opponent. I think she had a lot of fun, but ultimately, I won. She didn’t know what to make of that toy chasing her.

On Saturday afternoon we stopped by the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix to celebrate the Year of the Rat. Ate at the Golden Buddha and raved (like we always do) at how delicious their crab rangoons are. Funny story. When I was in high school, the mall in Kansas City or Columbia, Missouri were places we obviously hung out. After a day of shopping and boy chasing we would eat Chinese food or Pizza. Every time we ordered Chinese food, we would get crab rangoon or crab puffs, how ever you prefer to call them. I was all knowing, even if I did not know the answer and one time my sister asked what was in them. Naturally, since they were Asian, I said the white stuff is Tofu. I can’t remember if she ate them or not after that. It wasn’t until I was in college that I learned they were filled with cream cheese! It also wasn’t until college that I tried tofu and I definitely prefer cream cheese to tofu.

Back to my day. After dinner we waited in line for 45 minutes for Chinese pancakes. I had never tried them before, the lines were always long, so I figured they must be good. My thoughts were correct, yummy golden warm cakes with a custard filling. Super delish.

On Saturday night I organized my cds and negatives, a project on my to-do list for about a year.

On Sunday morning we photographed our friends Tony and Raquel’s little chihuahuas, Poncho and Oscar. I have changed my mind about chihuahuas and will forever think they are cute and adorable. I must of seen a really ugly one once because I’ve had a low opinion of that breed for quite some time. When you look at this photo by Gary Millard, you can’t possibly think they are anything but cute:

Poncho and Oscar

Raquel and Tony have a luscious garden abundant with broccoli, tiny tomatoes, and herbs. The tomato I tasted was divine. They gave us a stalk of broccoli and a few varieties of basil seeds to take home with us. We steamed the broccoli last night and it was out of the world! So fresh and full of flavor. I wish all vegetables tasted that good.

The afternoon lead us first to Tammy Coe’s for delightful cupcakes and then to an afternoon photography engagement session with our friends Jessica and Jonathan (soon to be Standifird). She is a poet with a huge heart and he, also a poet is an wonderful pianist/songwriter. We have the pleasure of photographing their wedding this weekend! They are too in love and too adorable! We photographed in an abandoned hotel on Grand Ave and Roosevelt, even trespassing into a pool of deadly sharks! No, not really, but the shadows in the pool resembled sharks and the photographs turned out neat.

After the hotel, we ventured to another abandoned building near 4th Street and McKinley and photographed them, appropriately in front of a HUGE painted grand piano on the side of the building. I did some pinholes that I am dying to see!

Then it was off to dinner at Switch. Switch is owned by the same people who own Fez and Ticoz, two restaurants I do love. I ordered a prosciutto and mozzarella gallette, which was excellent although a bit salty for my taste. I could tell they didn’t use prosciutto di parma and their choice was too salty. I often splurge when I find prosciutto di parma, really, truly the only kind I adore with a hefty price tag of around $20 per pound. But seriously, no comparison to the cheaper brands. Gary had macaroni and cheese, and it was excellent. Jessica had turkey and spinach crepes which were pretty good, I liked the delicate flavor of them. Jonathan had a sandwich, which was much too spicy for me, but my one bite was tasty.

And like I said, today is Tuesday. Almost the middle of the week again. Where does the time go?

Oh! Let me pass you through to the mayor!


Sedona Reflections. I love going to Sedona. A peaceful sanctuary in the middle of Arizona. The energy in that city is amazing. This was right before breakfast on the porch balcony over looking a small creek. I can’t remember the name of that bed and breakfast, but I had read about their 4 course breakfast and made reservations. It was one of the tastiest breakfasts I ever had. I like to travel and I like to eat, or I should say ‘we’, because these adventures are always with Gary. I think that is becoming quite apparent in my blogs!

I had the most amazing phone call yesterday at work. I do have a second job, I’m not just a pinhole photographer. I am also a Communications Specialist for Earth911.com. If you have never been to that website, I highly suggest you give it a whirl! At the top of the website you’ll notice a box. Enter in what you would like to recycle and your zip code, and voila! Instant results from numerous places you can take that item in your own city. Now you never have another excuse for throwing out that #6 plastic or for dumping that used motor oil down your drain.

Oh, yes, back to the phone call. I called Ellijay, Georgia yesterday to update recycling information for their city. The woman who answered the phone in her pleasant southern accent said, “Oh, Earth911, Let me pass you through to the mayor!” and she did just that! That phone call made my morning and my day yesterday.

For the first time in my working career, I actually have an amazing job with an amazing company. It’s not non profit, but we are providing an incredibly important service, so it has elements and feelings of a non profit.

I have had some interesting jobs in my life. In fact, I lived in Chicago for 3 years, while I went to undergrad and had 22 jobs! YES! 22 jobs! A lot of those jobs only lasted a day or two, I wasn’t really interested in working, but like every photography student, film and photo printing paper were like drugs and I handed paycheck after paycheck after paycheck to Central Camera to get my fix.

I’ll never forget my very first job, for a I have a scar the length of my thumb to always remind me! I worked at Biffles BBQ in Concordia, Missouri. Best BBQ in the country! I hear a rumor that one may open in Phoenix… how’s that coming along Chad???? hmmmmmm…… One day instead of opening the potato salad, I opened my thumb and received 14 painful stitches.

I worked at a gas station also in Concordia and that was fun. I was able to do my homework at night and the band P-Funk All Stars were driving through, filled up on Thanksgiving and spent the rest of the evening hanging out with me! It was wild. I was 17, I had NO IDEA who they were, but they did give me autographs and told me to go home and ask my dad about them. Unfortunately my dad wasn’t the funky 70’s kind of guy that would have listened to them, and he didn’t know who they were either. Ha! I have lots of great memories from that job…

I think my most interested job was working for this lady who designed fetish wear in Chicago. I can’t remember how I ended up in her apartment/shop, but before the end of our ‘meeting’ she offered me a job! Since I had recently quit my job and was looking for something, I thought, why not! I had to read all these books, I had no idea what bondage was. There was also two security guards outside the door at all times. People would come into the shop with masks on because they didn’t want their identity to be known. Part of my job was to photograph the fetish ball in Chicago. That was a highlight for sure! I took awesome photos that were published in the Columbia Chronicle, my college newspaper and I got to talk to Billy Corgan himself! Yes, yes, the infamous Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins was there and gorgeous as ever.

I have a couple of other interesting working experiences, but I’ll save those for another blog. After all I had 22 jobs in one city… you know a few more of those were jobs only a college student would accept.

I’m happy that I’m 28 and only have 2 jobs right now! Pinhole Photograph and Communications Specialist at Earth911.com