Friday, May 28, 2010

restaurant rocket science

in preparation for working at starbucks, i have to obtain a food handler's card. (my most recent one expired in 2005.) so today i am intently studying a manual with paragraphs like this:

"Germs such as bacteria and viruses are everywhere. Think of your hands and fingernails as easily "contaminated." Just because they look clean does not mean they are clean. Germs are too tiny to see with your eyes. If you do not wash your hands in the right way and keep your fingernails trimmed short, your hands can put germs in food that will be eaten by your customers. They may get sick from these germs. This is called 'foodborne illness' or 'food poisoning.'"

somehow it seems appropriate that the manual is published in comic sans font.

i emailed the previous paragraph to joel (cause it's, you know, educational...) and he responded:
"not all germs are too tiny to see with your eyes, little brothers for instance.

i expect the oregon food handler's card people to revise their manual accordingly.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

blessing management 101

ok, so who made the rule that everything always has to happen at the exact same time? was that murphy? ahh, murphy, if only you knew ...

my blessing cup is pouring over right now - pouring over into late nights, early mornings, stress attacks, everything involved with juggling so many blessings! it's all so fantastic - new home, renters, new friendships, new piano students, new piano teacher, new nursing school, new clothes for nursing school, new job, end-of-year piano recital (oh yeah, did i mention my students' recital is this weekend?), new photo business direction, cyt class showcase and middle school camp (did i mention that i'm music directing middle school camp - by myself?) ... i'm so blessed, i can barely keep my head on straight!

so this morning i'm here at central bible church, helping joel run sound for seussical's schoolday shows and making faces at my webcam... oops, gotta go - joel's calling me. i need to get my 3 minute lesson on how to run a crazy complicated soundboard!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

life, the camera phone version

joel was gone evenings all last week with seussical tech week, and i had to stay home and work. so he bought me flowers, which the cat claimed.

this picture is from back in january when tim replaced our door. we're signing escrow for the new house today, and it's so weird to realize that we won't be living here anymore. instead, a nice couple named casey and caitlin with a cute little boy will be living here. having renters lined up feels so good!
so i bought this necklace recently. it says "helvetica", which is a font. nobody gets it - everyone seems to think it's either a disease or a demonic spell. so i'm clearing things up here and now - it's a font, people.
we've officially caved. not only have we visited ikea several times of our own accord in the past few months, but we actually own several pieces of ikea merchandise now. the funny story behind these pictures - we recently dropped by ikea to pick up a cabinet unit for the kitchen. we found the exact cabinet in the as-is section, but had no way to haul it. joel worked things out with the deaf gentleman who helped us (first time i've seen joel use his sign language to communicate in a needed situation - so cool!), and left to trade a truck while i spent a full hour sitting right here babysitting a cabinet with no cell phone battery and nothing to read. it was not cool, and i am documenting this wasted hour of my life for posterity.

my favorite part of the day is the morning, right after joel leaves for work, when i curl up with my cereal and bible next to the window. the cat usually joins me.
did i mention that we have a resident laundry fairy? oh and by the way, the laundry fairy doesn't actually do laundry, despite what you've heard. she merely indwells it, parasite-fashion.
a while ago, heidi and i decided to go to powell's books, a fairly simple endeavor only slightly complicated by our decision to take the max. i retrieved directions from my phone, which maliciously routed us to a powell's warehouse on nw 29th. we were past 23rd when we discovered the error (i should mention at this time that heidi had been having some misgivings for a number of blocks), and so the walk from the max to powell's took us 2 and a half hours.
kairis did quite well with the detour, but was glad to be out and having lunch by the end.
we stopped for lunch at an awesome cafe 2 blocks from powell's. i don't remember the name of it.
after 3 hours of walking ...
endeavor church ... we love being involved, getting to know people, and using our gifts almost every weekend! last weekend joel used his spiritual gift of coffee-making, much to the delight of all.
this raised bug had "endeavor" printed in big letters on the side. i tried so hard to get a good picture of it ...
i've started seeing a podiatrist again because of ongoing issues from my accident. i have lots of lovely issues, not just with that foot, but related to walking as well. so i've been spending a lot of time here, studying that ubiquitous faded jazz festival poster which seems to reside in 80% of gresham businesses.
this is a picture of my face, yesterday, when i was woken up from my migraine nap by a phone call from starbucks, offering me a job! i really am excited, though the picture doesn't quite capture the emotion.

i've been looking for something supplemental for a while to take more pressure off of joel as he begins nursing school. it will be a lot to balance, but i find that i get more done when i'm, well, doing more. it's some snowball effect ... plus, starbucks is just plain awesome.
speaking of starbucks, our favorite date these days is to hop in the car, grab starbucks, and take an hour-long drive listening to npr's "wait wait... don't tell me!" podcasts.
highly recommend.
i am so in love with this guy.
(and i know he's going to give me the stink-eye when he sees this pic - love you, dear!)
typical ...
so there it is. random update blog, cell phone camera style.

the short-yet-spicy modeling career of lani and becky

i love it when becky vestal is home from school in pennsylvania. when we get together, we're no longer a budding neurosurgeon and a responsible business owner. no, we pool our maturity, divide it in half, subtract half of that, then stomp on whatever's left. the stomping is the fun part.

yesterday becky had the adventure of being introduced to the hawthorne buffalo exchange, which in addition to being a really awesome place to get fun cheap clothes, is also a really awesome place to make a fool of yourself. we chose option b.

the scary part was that we actually received a few compliments on the outfits in the following pictures. oy.

we started pretty tame, with a sweet little army print sequined crushed velvet dress for me, and a colorful befringed tunic-y thing for becky.
that was boring. this was funner.
(btw, becky, i actually really like that dress on you. just saying.)

definitely the highlight of our outfits - skinny pants, bike shorts, and sequins. this is the only time that my legs will ever be subjected to skinny leg jeans; it is recorded here for posterity's sake. becky's bike shorts, though - i think she found a keeper.
and our final number. bummer that you can't tell from the picture that becky's leggings are pleather. we accidentally stumbled into another store that had plenty of pleather, but we didn't try anything on in there. not even the thigh high lace up boots.
sigh ... i'm going to miss that girl.

(and becky, i'm very sorry that i didn't publish the picture of the yellow sunflower-print buttoned romper. it was just a little too ..... well, yeah.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

the "peoplescape"

after one of my earliest sessions, i received the critique that many of my photos seemed to be more about the background than the subject. this has stuck in my head for several years now, and i've revisited and mulled over it many times.

i'm very thankful for this comment now, because it brought to my attention a style element that i have fallen in love with! after much experimentation and thought, i have decided that distinctive backgrounds and "landscape-y" sorts of portraits are a part of my style that i want to highlight. i just redid my website, and dedicated a whole section to "peoplescapes" - i love them that much!

i had a great chance to experiment a few days ago with my good friend stefanie. i elicited her help in scouting out a location, practicing various techniques, and brushing up before the outdoor photography season really hits. thank goodness for people who actually enjoy being in front of the camera ... what would we photographers do without them?!? stand around morosely clicking at the backs of other photographers, i suppose...

playing around with the vertical selected focus that seems to be everywhere in portrait photography these days ...
stefanie's safari shot ... heh.
we weren't actually going for a pose-on-a-rock sort of picture. this was a brief moment before she jumped off the rock. the rock jumping didn't work out so well, but i loved this one!
haha. i love telling people to frolic. you never know what they'll do! :)

and, on a last note, occasionally i see a session that makes me die just a little on the inside - in a good way. this session by red leaf studios is one of those. you should check it out, along with the rest of their blog and website. wow, do these people have eyes! (and it probably helps that they live in one of the most photogenic locations left on the planet.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

will someone remind me why we have this many books?

... cause i've packed about 17 boxes of them, and still have a ways to go. :P
however, when we arrive in our new house, our books will be totally organized for the first time in our married life because i'm packing them in categories! yes, it took me 6 years and 4 moves to figure out this ingenious idea.

this diminutive pile represents all the packing i've accomplished so far (plus some boxes in the shed), and we're moving in 2 and a half weeks. i just know i'll be pulling an all-nighter the day before we move.
it's weird how bare everything is starting to look. doesn't really feel like home anymore.

well, the living room looks bare. the study, on the other hand ....

yeah. i never really did get on top of that room.

eagerly anticipating a lot of life change in the next few weeks! i may be adding a new job to my queue soon (more on that later), we're moving, joel's starting nursing school, and we're going to have renters!

speaking of renters, wow, has God provided! when we first started on this house journey we knew we'd need renters but couldn't really do much about it at the time. now, we have renters lined up for both places - our current home, and the basement of our new home! i can't wait to start developing these relationships, it's going to be so fun!

so for now, we're in the prepping, waiting, and fulfilling other commitments phase. joel is in the middle of tech week for seussical, which is keeping him enjoyably busy. i'm staging a new guerrilla marketing attack with my photo business (new and improved website! and preparing for my studio piano recital at a local retirement home.

and i got my annual haircut on friday.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


had fun at the park last week with a few young friends and their mothers. nothing like sunshine, bagels, and photogenic tweens.

madi actually has a very sweet, demure grin. but i liked this face better. ;)
to the young ladies in these photos (and their mothers): i'll be posting the rest of your pics soon - hope you like them! :)

in other random news, we now have loan approval on the house, so we'll probably move the first week in june. until then, joel will be working his techie head off with seussical, which opens in a week ...

on monday, i had my first piano lesson (as a student) in 7 years! i've had hand/wrist issues for years now, and i'm working with a lady who specializes in piano injuries. so ... i am currently not allowed to play more than 5 minutes at a time, unless absolutely necessary - which is harder than it sounds!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

the very long aladdin post

we had so much fun music directing another show for cyt! aladdin seems like ancient history now but i had to record it, of course; it was just too fun! all the rehearsals and shows were at central bible church, which joel and i both performed at over 6 years ago. multnomah used to hold chapels at cb, so we've both performed with choir and music groups there, albeit at different times. the sanctuary is very distinctive and not set up for theater at all, and i was super impressed at the sets for the show. way to go, parents!

rehearsals were goofy and fun, as always. we learned from pocahontas that these kids will meet the bar wherever we set it, so we set the preparation bar pretty high and they did great!

we teamed up on the teaching, and each took care of our areas of specialty.
joel ran sound ...and i was in charge of staring slackjawed into space ...ok, not really. though i did that too.

jeff, our illustrious director, was in charge of stage kissing instruction, among other things.
"ok, look, let me show you how it's done" ...almost there ...
"oh, this is too embarrassing!"
in addition to spacing out, i also directed the "band of wonders". (subtitled "the magic pit".)
julie and gail played flute and clarinet ...
aaron on bass ...
and ian on chimes (and other drums).

julie works in children's ministry at her church, and usually brought piles of preparation for sunday school to work on during breaks. aaron got into it too ...the day before move-in we did a mini promo performance at clackamas town center, where my amp was nearly stolen. the kids were in costume for the first time, and made quite a sensation at the mall.setup was ... fun. but we managed.
setting up the stage at central bible ... debbie caught this awesome shot of the whole room from the baptismal.joel was busy setting up sound all week. tech stuff was interesting, to say the least. our tech people (my husband included) are heroes.joel, with sound minions ...
more sound minions ...
during setup tonya and i rehearsed the kids in an overcrowded library. ian and aaron, awesome as they are, helped.
"lighten your tone! drop your jaw! sing through your forehead! support! listen! blend!"
on to the actual show ...
aladdin was a corny show. delightfully corny. hilariously corny. chock full of lines that you roll your eyes at the first time, and by the last show you're laughing hysterically.

it began with ...
the best "directing with an elephant" performance of the year by alyssa! ;)
welcome to the market!
tonya choreographed some fun dances for this show, and they used the multiple levels of the stage with great effect!
the lamp is hidden in a cave-like tooooooooomb!
(nice vowels, ladies.)
daylon the scary sword dancer ...jewels, the only jewels i want are the glimmering eyes of love ... (or is it "glittering"?)
not robin hood or his men in tights, we're just a couple of arabian knights!
our genius sets people turned the elevated baptismal into the mouth of the cave of wonders, complete with the cool tiger's mouth which looked amazing with red lighting and smoke.
like i said: genius.
tell me, do these pants make me look fat?
genie of the lamp, he's straight from the lamp! ain't a tramp! he's a champ! from the lamp!
now hold on to your m c hammer pants, cause off we go!!!
(after which the band vamped the refrain of "can't touch this" for a scene change that lasted approximately 2 hours. or maybe it just seemed that long.)so put on a smile! and replace your timid shyness with some royal style!
... and my heart will fly like a magic carpet sailing in the wind!
i wish we had audio of ian and aaron singing this song while playing. it was beautiful.
jasmine's giggling sidekicks: shamar, dakar, and sheba.
let's sell your mother!
live wisely, love life, and listen to your heart ...
now, unlike the disney version of aladdin, wherein the protagonist achieves victory through some boring snakefight, this aladdin and his friends win through cunning wit.
and through dressing up as harem girls.truly one of the highlights of the show ...ya know, if your name was "pepper" ... you'd be sultan pepper!
prepare to die, aladdin!
free at last! free at last!
stage kiss success! ;)
the cast and crew in agribah ...
and another show under our belts and lodged in our memories.
now if i can just get the songs out of my head ...