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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

becoming a fan of fun... again

This kid was REALLY good.
So, to be honest, I’m not sure what the rules are on posting any of the pics I took for Special O of Minnesota last weekend…  so if anyone asks- YOU DIDN’T SEE ANYTHING. 

Anyways- I’m pretty stoked to be back in the action again.  To be specific, the combination of three of my favorite things:  sports, photography, and peeps with cognitive disabilities.  I guess an odd trifecta of favorites, sure, but that’s how I roll.  But it was a pretty fantastic weekend.  I remembered by I used to enjoy taking Chileda kiddos to Special Olympic tournaments and getting to be a part of all of the action.  There’s no better crowd than at these events- everyone gets into the games and cheers for all everyone without it feeling like a “isn’t that just SO special?!” feel to the fans.  It was great- I especially enjoyed listening to a couple guys trash talk about some of the plays during a basketball game.  It was the same shit you hear people saying at any game anywhere…  and don’t worry- the crazy mom’s screaming “miss it!  miss it!” during free throws were there too.  Although I think my favorite event was the power lifting, and the fact that the guy lifting 65 pounds got the same reception as the dude lifting 350. 

I could keep going on about how enjoyable the experience was, but I’ll give it a rest.  There was a definite downside though, and that is that I was reminded that I have no idea how to get good shots inside a gym.  The lighting really really just sucks.  Should probably work a wee bit on that one…

Unified basketball was pretty sweet.  It's teams made of of players with and without disabilities.  I think there were a lot of high school kids involved, which was pretty bad ass.

This girl was just bashing into people all over the place.  It was great...  like if I were to play basketball.

I'm thinking it doesn't feel so great to land on your leg like that.  But to her credit, she totally brushed it off and kept playing.


I've never been a huge fan of photag'ing swimming...  only because it's so hot by the pool, and I can never quite get over the urge to jump in and join the athletes.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Grandma Awesomeness

So this post may not be as based on photography as it is completely not based on photography- BUT before you flake, since my writing is often terrible and incomprehensible, it would mean a lot to me to at least attempt to follow my rampaging thought train.  Although before I begin, it's a least slightly about photography- the photo above is my little homage to my Gram (I'll explain later), the person on whom this post is based.  So here we go...  What follows is a list of why my Gram is the coolest person ever, and why I'm busting my ass to raise funds and run a race in her honor.

  1. She doesn't know the meaning of "day off."  Yes, that may seem to be something most people believe about their grandmas, but when a lady basically doesn't take a single day off through her entire working career, to only begin volunteering at the hospital she was treated at following chemo, she takes it to the next level.
  2. She has excellent taste in ice cream.  Butter pecan.  Yessss.
  3. She willingly wore shoes painted with blue sparkly flames.  They were superawesome, and she rocked 'em like no one else could.
  4. She is terrifying in a political argument.  For realz.  And I wouldn't suggest starting a discussion while driving anywhere.... It wouldn't be shocking if she opened the door and booted you out.
  5. She chooses the most amazing gifts.  Presents from my gram are exceptional.  The photo above is a glitter/snow globe from the gift shop she volunteers in.  Gram knew that I have an unnatural (for my age) appreciation of glitter and fairies, and found the perfect combination of each.  She told me she also chose it because it had Forget-me-Not flowers at the bottom, so I never forgot her.  She also never forgets to send cards for holidays.  It's awesome.
  6. She's fun to drink with.  Yeah, that's right.  One Korbel and water (with fruit!) and she's a bit silly.  But again, stay away from politics.
  7. She's a great movie date.  It's our tradition that every time I'm in Madison, we go to see a movie. Occasionally one each day I'm there, actually.  She's got great film taste, and great book taste as well.  I've raided her enormous library more than once.
  8. She came to like every one of my brother's and my ski shows.  And donated money almost every time, bought more programs than any person needs, and also used to help out in the concession stand.  She was our bestest fan. 
  9. Her gene line led to some pretty awesome people.  Just throwing that out there.
So here's the deal.  I'm sure people are aware of my fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (my family has been super amazing helping out) but I don't want to just rest on what I've got.  So I'm again attaching the link for the fundraising page:  
and for my photography store page:  (does your business need some new artwork?!?  or your house?) 
or if you're thinking you don't have the scratch to toss a little support to the LLS, any words for my Gram would also be greatly appreciated, especially now.

ALSO... For those who know Gram- 
Definitely feel free to add your own reasons of her awesomeness :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

happy thoughts happy thoughts happy thoughts

Being part of a great team...  What's better than that?

 It's something of an inevitability that everyone feels like total crap for no real reason once and awhile.  And as I was sitting around the other night, feeling sorry for myself and making up excuses for the reasons that everyone had it SO much better than me, I decided to take a break from being a total sad sack and made a list of the thoughts that never fail to cheer me up.  If even just for a few seconds, reveling in my favorite memories is a great way to slap the blues around.

So here are a few pictures that sparked some of my favorite memories...  I had to stop and label this album "part one" since so many warm fuzzy moments were attached to pictures, that photos would still be uploading to this post three years from now.  I think everyone has their strange sour-mood fixes, and I'm glad mine involves in soaking up the past and appreciated the awesome friends I've had and the great places I've been, rather than focusing on what I think I'm currently missing.

Mid-week drinks out with coworkers at awesome hole in the wall bars.

Making sure to let friends know you love them :)

Greasy spoon culture.

Getting to share tiny moments of a strangers happy day.

Pretty things in unexpected places.

Bonfires, and all of the events attached to them.

Silly drinks.

Favorite sites, beautiful summer nights, thousands of memories attached to one place.

Nerding out in public places.

The hint of an upcoming summer.

Interesting new friends and jobs you never knew existed.

Natural family moments.

Getting a real taste of an indescribable place.