Category Archives: Uncategorized

Truth in Advertising

Dear Cosmetics Companies,

Instead of advertising mascara with fine print included that the model(s) is(are) wearing false lashes, how about you show us what the product will actually do for the large percentage of your customer base who cannot afford/have no time to mess with/are scared of/do not have a clue about false lashes and who would just like to have their natural lashes be at least somewhat visible on their face.

Someone who strongly desires a 5-minute morning routine,

aka The Utah Hostage

Death is Hard

Earlier this week, I had to tell Ash that her aunt and uncle were killed. She took it pretty hard; harder than I expected actually. All I could do was hold her and let her cry it out. The Ex and I both knew I was better equipped to deliver the bad news to her, but if I never have to do that again, it will be too soon

The next couple of days were filled with discussions about how all the different emotions she was feeling were totally normal, but that life still goes on, whether we like it or not. And that her aunt and uncle wouldn’t want her to be completely consumed by sadness, but would want her to focus on the good memories she had of them and keep them alive in her heart.

We are still waiting for the bodies to be brought back the US and find out when the memorial service will be held. There will be no true closure for anyone until that happens.

The driver of the SUV was injured in the accident, but he survived. Just days after the accident, he was charged with multiple counts of careless driving and was levied with a $4500 fine, which must be paid before he can leave New Zealand. I imagine the fine is really nothing compared to the constant reminder that his killed his wife and two friends. That is punishment enough to me.

Knowing The Ex as I do, though, I texted that he needs to forgive the driver. I doubt he will.

The Fear of the Unknown

I’m home after being gone for days. Not because I want to be, but because I need to be. That said, I have hated every minute since I stepped through my door tonight. It’s horribly quiet in here, even with everything going on around me right now.

It’s been a week since we had Ash hospitalized. Unfortunately, she is still there, and we don’t know for sure when she will be discharged. There was talk of possibly letting her out tomorrow, but her doctor let that cat out of the bag, against my wishes, which got in the way of the progress she was making. However, I have a feeling that the hospital is going to play the insurance card here sometime soon and she will come home.

A lot has happened this past week: I managed to piss Ash off during my first visit with her; I have spoken with her doctor and therapist quite a few different times; we have had two family therapy sessions; Ash, on her own, asked Tim to visit her up at the hospital; and Tim and The Ex physically met for the first time. So far, no one has died.

We all, the three “parents” in her life and her treatment team at the hospital, seem to be in agreement that the “voices” Ash claims to be hearing are not actually psychotic events, but more of the internal dialogue of thoughts in her head. We are all on the same page about not prescribing her any meds. We also all agree that she needs to focus on her coping skills, including getting better at identifying when she actually needs to use them.

I have been going through a number of emotions this week, as you can imagine. The most dominant ones right now are anger and fear. I am angry that she is still in the hospital. I am angry because I sometimes think she doesn’t really want to come home and gets in the way of her own progress. And I am afraid of what will happen once she actually does come home.

I am not sleeping well, no matter where I am. Tim mentioned this morning that the tension is practically radiating off me at night. He has been worried about me, while also dealing with his own feelings for Ash. I hate that I have added more stress to him when he is already dealing with so much. For that reason, along with others, I left him a few hours ago to come home, even though I really didn’t want to.

Things still need to be done, though. So I keep going, keep moving. I keep doing those inane things I must do: go to work, do laundry, keep my car running.

And one moment I’m fine, but the next I’m not. It’s a shitty way to be, let me tell you. I don’t wish it on anyone.

An Interesting Night

I went out for a while tonight for one reason and one reason only… to shoot the moon. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out the way I wanted. In more ways than one.

I’ll admit last night would have been a better night to do this. The moon rose an hour earlier, well before sunset. The sky was clear and a beautiful blue. With snow still on the tops of the Wasatch it would have been a great image! But nooooo! I just had to be not paying attention until it was too late and the moon was too high in the sky to get anything I would have wanted. Craaaaap.

After driving a bit without a clear destination, I decided to give the downtown public library a shot. Since I was arriving after they closed, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I wanted to use their amazing sweeping stairs attached to the building for my setup. Well, that didn’t happen, as that area was already closed off for the night. Not to be deterred, I wandered around for a few seconds, choose a “meh, it will do” spot, set up the tripod, changed lenses on my camera, figured out where the moon would rise over the mountains, and waited for the “money shot.”

I was still in the same clothes I wore to work, because up until the minute I walked out the door I was still trying to convince myself to not go. My outfit wasn’t anything big, though. Jeans, a shirt, and cowboy boots. WOW. And on top of that I had my tripod and camera bags all over me to keep them close. But apparently, I might as well have been wearing hooker heels and spandex, because guys starting coming up to me! Da fuq?

What exactly about me screamed, “Yeah, I’m out, at night, with a camera and tripod, working away, not talking to anyone, wanting to get my shots and get the hell outta Dodge, but please PLEASE come up to me and try to start a conversation”? They are just lucky the only thing that happened was me yelling at them to leave me alone. They have no idea I was ready to swing my tripod on them. WITH my camera still attached. Idiots.

Some may think I overreacted to the situation. However, given the time of night, where I was, and what I was doing, I don’t think so. I think I handled it just right. Regardless, Tim is not going to be happy with me when he finds out what I did.

To top it all off, I didn’t get anything remotely good out my camera.

Yeah, last night definitely would have been a better night.

Making the Right Decision

A couple days ago, I took Ash out to get some shots to test my camera. I wanted to make sure I was really ready for a portrait session I have tomorrow, the first after having my camera’s noise problem fixed. What would be the point of taking people out if there was no chance of getting any decent photos, right? Using Ash as a model for test shots had multiple benefits: I would get reassurance that my camera was ready and I would have more photos of my daughter. So, I talked her into it. Not an easy feat let me tell you.

I choose a location that I have always wanted to use for a photo shoot, but hadn’t yet. Since it was a weekday evening, and we had to wait until after work to go out, we were losing the light quickly. I knew we wouldn’t be able to get a lot of shots, but we dove right in. Ash was great. She paid close attention to what I was trying to accomplish and followed my posing suggestions really well. I didn’t know how the shots would turn out, but I was definitely hopeful.

What I ended up with was, well, downright awesome. I got some shots that didn’t need a lot of post processing. It confirmed that my camera is ready for the photo shoot, and I got some amazing shots of Ash for both my portfolio and as her mother.

As any good parent would do, I shared the images with her father. He responded that he liked them, and I was glad that I did it.

Yesterday, I received an email from The Ex asking me for one of the photos. He didn’t ask to get a print of the photo, though. He asked me for the image file, so that he could print a copy for himself.

Am I wrong to be bothered by this? At best, his request was presumptuous; at worst, it was rude and selfish.

I am a photographer. When I took those photos, it wasn’t as her mother. I took those photos as part of my business. The fact that I got amazing shots of my daughter was just a bonus. It’s not as if The Ex is not aware that I am working to build a business either. There were other ways to get a copy of the image. To ask me for the file was… well, let’s just say my emotions have been kind of all over the place.

On the other hand, he is her father. I do understand that, which is why I have shared a lot of images I have taken with him. Granted they have all been lo-res and watermarked, but I never thought twice about sending him copies of them. Because she is his daughter too.

I spent a lot of time yesterday thinking of what to do. The answer just isn’t that simple. What I came up with is this…

I will offer to get him a print from my lab. I will even offer to get it for him at my cost. Then again, I may even decide to just give him the print once it arrives. I won’t even mention how inappropriate I think it was for him to request the image file. I will just point him in the right direction. Subtly.

If he chooses to not accept the print option, I will give him the image file. It will, however, not be a high-res file. And it will be watermarked.

When The Ex arrived yesterday to pick Ash up, he asked me what type of camera I use. Have I mentioned that tact was never his strong suit? He didn’t, however, mention the email. I didn’t mention it either. I hadn’t yet decided what I was going to do, so I felt it was best to not take a chance of saying something I would regret later.

I think I made the right decision. Across the board.


I decided to try my hand at a hosted site again. Short-term of course.

I’m giving it a month, or so, to see if it sticks this time. And if it doesn’t, there’s always the free site to fall back on. I will just be sure to back up my site this time.

Three years of posts. Gone.

*sighs and shakes head*

Anyway… after setting up my hosting, I began the search for a theme. What fun THAT was, let me tell you. There are so many themes out there! And none of them had everything I wanted. Go figure. I did, however, find one that was pretty close to what I was looking for as a starting point. There was just one teensy, weensy problem.

No logo area.

Ok. I wasn’t gonna let that stop me. I started digging in the editor, increased the size of the top menu area, and made some minor adjustments to the page and post layouts. Good first step. I had already found the image I wanted to use initially, so I just had to figure out how and where to put the code to call the image. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about CSS. And I know even less about PHP. Great.

Thank goodness for the Internet. I found a link with code that was for a different WordPress theme, but thought, “What the hell? Worst case scenario, it doesn’t work, and I’ll be no worse off then I was when I started. LET’S DO THIS.”

And what do you know? It. Worked.

So, my site is getting closer to where I want it to be. And I’m reminded why I chose web design for my major when I first started college.

Am I really doing this again?

I’m not sure yet.

I lost my web hosting. Cuz apparently when you decide to pay for that, you have to actually CONTINUE paying for it in order to keep it. Who knew?

But, the thing is, I do miss it. I miss writing. For some reason, though, I don’t really feel comfortable having my tumblr page be my go-to writing platform. I dunno.

I haven’t forwarded my domain yet. I haven’t told anyone about this yet. I may write a bit here before I make a final decision.

Like I said, I dunno.