Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oh How I've Neglected You!

So much happening in our lives! Where to begin....

Alphabetically this time.

- 40D firmly in place with me on many trips - a bit addicted to photo blogs - particularly ones that include tricks & tips.
- in training for the new photography gig, so far so good; hoping to avoid another rainy shoot day. Very very happy with my team of peeps.
- going to the GYM for the first time in I don't want to tell you how long - yoga is amazing, cycle burn - not so much - that seat just isn't kind.
- also going to adventurous food places with Casey after the said gym visits. Had a stellar sushi/sashimi lunch today at Ishigaki Genki. 980¥!
- somewhat successfully carting the kid around to where she needs to be.
- wishing everyone a very happy and healthy Rosh Hashanah - our family is attending a Rosh Hashanah dinner tomorrow night at the Kadena O-club, should be fun to be in a room full of MOTs.
- successfully planned a bowling birthday party for the kid to take place on October 7th. Now we just need guests.
- SUPREMELY excited to tell you all that Jake (our brother-in-law and Army Officer extraordinaire) is coming home from 15 months in Iraq in a mere matter of days! Let's all hope he stays here for a good long while. And maybe even visits us here (with Courtney, of COURSE!)

- working hard, but doing fine.
- purchased and installed a new audio receiver in our living room. (it's enormous, but seems to have improved all things audio/visual)
- consistently running into military people he has worked with in Iraq or known from previous duty stations. I swear, if he plays the name game long enough, he finds connections to everyone he knows. I'm waiting - someone will know Jake one day.
- bought us a new grill, YAY! We pick that up on Saturday, hopefully it fits in the Cube.
- will be on a 35 mile hump on Mia's birthday - talk about crappy timing. Oh well. At least he's here!

- enjoying kindergarten immensely. Particularly the bus rides, a friend named Kirsten, and doing "kid pics" on the computer in the classroom.
- had her first day of soccer on Wednesday. You have never seen such a happy kid in your life:
We really like her coaches, and the kids are very nice. She is going to LOVE soccer. (Practice on Monday and Wednesday nights, games starting at the end of September, will be on Friday evenings or Saturday mornings.) We get her uniform (her team is called The Impact), which is maroon & black, in another week or so - they're embroidering her name on it. Between that and cleats & shin guards, this kid is so set - she's exploding with excitement. Mia Hamm - look out.
- has definitely been developing a bit of an attitude. We're doing our best to keep her in line. However, given her broadened food horizons and general niceness, it's going to be ok. She's very happy here.
- has a 6th birthday coming up - Craig and I still have no clue what we're getting her. Possibly a couple of horseback riding lessons, definitely something with Tweety Bird on it (Craig has taken to calling her fingers "Tweety Bird fingers" and her legs, well, you get the point).
- is making friends, definitely reading, and keeping us laughing. Constantly.

Since it's been a while, 2 quick stories.

One of my favorite blogs I've been reading (thank you, Jeff) has been Jessica Claire's - she's a wedding photographer, for the most part, and I just think she's supremely talented and offers great info on her blog. On her list of links, is one to her fine art photographs available for purchase. One of her "things" is taking pictures of locks. Craig and I both agree, this is an interesting thing to photograph. The textures and colors of the rust, the doors or fences they're protecting, the types of locks - all of it makes for a cool idea, and if done right, pretty neat photographs (as you can see on her site).

So our mission, which we've been bringing up a lot here, is to find our "lock". What can we shoot here in Okinawa that is interesting, colorful, and would make for a cool collection? (Too bad we don't have pigs all over like in Seattle!) Well - I thought of this right away, but Craig dismissed it, but he finally came around. I think Shisa will be our lock. It's impossible to go five minutes here without seeing them, but I think we can pick and choose some good ones. Here's one I shot next door to our hotel this morning, I think he's a good start. I also shot one on the way to the bus stop the other day and I think it came out pretty cool. I realize the emphasis isn't on the Shisa... but a little creative license is in order.

Lastly, as I waited for Erin to come get me for our recon mission to Toguchi beach (pictures to come), I was standing in front of my building and a bunch of Japanese dudes came outside with their suitcases - apparently checking out of the hotel. After putting their stuff in a van, they handed the front desk girl their little cameras. I watched as they said, "Ichi, ni, san, shiiiiisa!" and posed for pictures. By the 2nd or 3rd time, I finally got it! They were posing like shisa and playing it into the count to take the picture. (ichi, ni, san, shi = 1, 2, 3, 4) I started to laugh and they all turned around and laughed with me - the American GOT it! I was holding my camera (shooting the shisa you see above, as a matter of fact) and after the girl was done with their cameras, I asked if I could take one with mine. They all grinned and agreed, and even liked the fact that I knelt down on the pavement in the middle of the street to get a cool angle of their funky pose. After I snapped the picture, three of the guys asked me to pose with them for their cameras - and every time, we counted off the same way.
Arigato gozai mashta, Japanese dudes!

I promise, more photos soon, I just feel like shooting is all I do lately!

Quick side note - Ryan, I sent you a package. I emailed you to see if you got the package (to your Yahoo! account). And I still don't know if you got the package. If you're still reading - just email me and let me know what went down in the Vener home!

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