Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I have one more week of level one hoop class before I go on for level two. That's right, I'm an addict! So much so that I practice before going to work. I'm getting better and learning to put new moves together, but there's still a looong way to go before I'm awesome.

I think the business casual may have hindered my sweet moves. (ha ha)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:16 AM

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Sweet Girl

Taken tonight by Huz. I adore this little person.


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:21 PM

Catching Up - Freak Shows, Boots and Ice Cream

I could be sitting on the couch reading a magazine or looking at some photography books that are overdue. I could be editing photos I recently took at the state fair. I could be taking a nap since the kiddo is currently doing so. But no, I jumped up from my rest because I realized that you poor readers have been stuck with that horrid hula hoop video for a week now. Sorry about that.

So, what have I been up to? Well, I went to the Tennessee State Fair last Sunday solely to take photos. I have no memory of ever going to a state fair and definitely never in the South. There were Southerners galore, but the most disturbing thing were all of the freak shows that I thought didn't exist anymore in this pc era of ours. They were an additional $1 fee (and I only went to one - the non-human one) and featured the "world's smallest horse," who turned out to be a very sad small horse indeed. There was also the "world's shortest woman," who I guess was a 29" Haitian woman, and then the "Snake Woman," who, according to the announcement, "had the beautiful head of a woman on top of a 200 pound boneless, hideous snake body." The whole idea of paying to see someone who was abnormal, ill, or simply deformed made me very uncomfortable and images of the film The Elephant Man came immediately to mind (did anyone else grow up with this movie in your house? It scared the living daylights out of me). I wanted no part in the further marginalization of these people, even if (as some claimed) it was their only source of income. But then I did some googling last week and now feel foolish for all of my moral angst because it might have all been fake. The announcement on this video sounds identical, so I'm thinking I wasted some ethical energy on this.

The fair was also interesting because a) I hardly ever go on photo shoots and b) I never take pictures of strangers, but c) because I was with 2 other women I was brave and snapping away. But then I got yelled at - that's right, yelled at - even though the women I was with were taking just as many photos of strangers as I was yet they got by without so much as a peep out of anybody. A cowboy, whom I sheepishly told I was taking pictures of his boots said, "Well I do mind! I charge $10 a shot, lady!" and a bubble-blowing stall worker snottily said, "You know that's illegal, right?" Sheesh! I was just participating in the further marginalization of the freaks at the fair taking pictures that I thought were interesting. (Pictures to come in another post once I work myself out of this ethical hole.)

I had a decent week of work, but most of it was overshadowed by a deadline I had for the cancer survivor's grant I applied for. I know that most of you probably assume that everything is fine and dandy after surgery and radiation is over, but on top of the ongoing fear of remaining cancer, I have $5,000 worth of medical bills hanging over me with at least $1,500 more to come this year (if all goes well - knock on a forest!!!). So when I found this foundation that awards young cancer survivors money each year, I went for it. I made it through the pre-application process a few months ago and was invited to submit a full application with a personal essay and financial documents, etc. It was a difficult thing to write, not only because I'm out of practice (I haven't written an essay since college) but also because it was so personal and made me realize just how much I've been through this past year. Please hope with me that I get something out of this - it'd be such a blessing.

Yesterday was a perfect Claire and Mommy day. Don't get me wrong, but sometimes Saturdays are a real challenge. I love my daughter, of course, but having a day off (it's my weekend away from work after all) and needing to entertain her while still having a relaxing day that I enjoy is sometimes hard. But yesterday worked out perfectly. We went to the downtown library for their Cinderella marionette show (it was the closing weekend for it which is good since Claire's seen it at least a dozen times this summer). On the way home we went to I Dream of Weenie (as seen here) for lunch. While we ate our hot dogs on the table outside, I chatted with one of the women who works at the shop, complimenting her on her vintage cowboy boots. I asked where she got them, since I have been thinking about finally getting some (I know I have said horrible things about the South, but after 5 years in Nashville the kitschy, vintage look here is getting to me). She told me about a vintage sale going on, so after Claire's nap we headed back out to see what it was all about. I came home with a pair of bright red vintage cowboy boots circa 1970. They look great and were only $30!


Then we went across the street for locally made ice cream where I chatted with the owner - a woman my age with a son only a month behind Claire. This is the only place in town who always offers a dairy-free ice cream: sometimes soy ice cream, sometimes sorbet. It works great for Claire who has food allergies AND it's great ice cream. If you're in town go there for their Trailer Trash ice cream. (And there we've gone full circle.)

What a great weekend in my city with my girl. Nashville, you're alright.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:04 PM

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Can't Believe I'm Posting This

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:48 PM

Friday, September 4, 2009

Night Shoot

I went on my first night shoot recently with a woman I met from the Nashville Photographer's Meetup I joined. We met for dessert first and then went with our tripods and fancy cameras up to a pedestrian bridge downtown. We spent about an hour photographing and being talked to by every homeless person in Nashville. Seriously. It was a bit uncomfortable, but there were two of us and each was carrying a big metal tripod, so nobody really messed with us too much. Afterward, we went back down to the parking lot where I realized I had left my window open the entire time - with my purse in the car. In that moment I was so grateful I live in tiny Nashville and not a big, bad city like Chicago (even though I love Chicago) because a) my car was still there and b) so was my purse and all of it's contents. PHEW!

Coincidentally, the Photo Friday theme today is Urban Landscape, so it gives me a chance to share some of my shots from that night (it also gives me a reason to delay showing you my hula hoop video!).

Hard Rock Cafe - the one good thing about it is identifying this sky line. That and the AT&T building.

Nashville at Night0174

Nashville at Night0177

Nashville at Night0186

Nashville at Night0189

Nashville at Night0151

Those swirly white things? Those are bats flying around lit up by the spotlights.

Nashville at Night0148

I love the composition of this shot (unedited) as I looked down from the bridge above. It looks like a toy train set.

Nashville at Night0152

Nashville at Night0155

Steel art.

Nashville at Night0160

Nashville at Night0182

Skater punks.

Nashville at Night0168


Nashville at Night0166

Nashville at Night0175

Nashville at Night0132

Nashville at Night0129

Nashville at Night0127

Old and ugly is beautiful to me.

Nashville at Night0192

Nashville at Night0191

Nashville at Night0143

Nashville at Night0124

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:01 AM

Thursday, September 3, 2009

How Much Of An Exhibitionist Am I?

So, hoop class. It's super fun and I love moving again. I am so used to my routine of getting up early, going to work, going home, feeding, bathing and putting my child to bed, eating dinner, and flopping on the couch each night that exercising again feels really invigorating and energizing. Yes, it hurts, what with the hula hoop bruises and the sore hips from all the squatting and dipping, but I'm having a blast. It makes you move in sensual ways that you never would do in public unless you have to in order to keep a hoop of plastic rotating around your hips. It's been fun to see my friends move in this way and it's been fun to feel myself move in this way. It's so feminine and freeing.

I aspire to be as good as this hooping teacher I found online. (FF through the first 40 seconds unless you like new agey-type images.)

Huz took a video of me hooping last night and while I am in NO WAY good yet, I wasn't displeased by what I saw, especially since last week was my first time hooping and I could hardly keep the thing going.

Shall I show the video to the world, though? I didn't have any makeup on at the time, I'm not exactly happy with my weight right now, I'm wearing "butch shorts" as Huz likes to call my sale-item cargo shorts, and I'm not very good. But I'm not bad either. Some of you have posted videos of yourself tap dancing, so I suppose this wouldn't be all that out of the ordinary. Besides, I did show you my ass in tight jeans recently. Hmm. Decisions, decisions.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:05 AM

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