Sunday, April 27, 2008

Save The Last Dance


It's the last one. Her last prom. This has been a year of lasts.

Last Senior year. Last first day of school. Last Christmas break. Last spring break. And now, the last prom.

She is my last. Zack was my first. I was always so excited for Zack to do everything. Everything was a new experience. With her, I was excited but also a little sad. As I helped yesterday, I thought about how special our time together is and that it is all changing a little bit. Exciting but also sad.

Last year she went all out - hair, makeup, and nails done in a salon, $350 dress encrusted with stones and crystals. This year she went as "herself" . . . in a dress she loved even if it was not your traditional prom dress. I did her makeup. She had her nails done early last week. She is laid back and on Saturday, everything else was laid back too. I proud of her for staying true to herself.

She and her friends came back to the house afterwards and hung out, watching movies and eating up all the food in the house. They skipped the after-parties which saved me a lot of worry. It kept me awake until about 3:30am this morning but I knew where they were and that they were safe.

It was the last prom. Next is the last graduation. It's a little sad but exciting too. She is growing up. I like the young adult she has become. I like her friends. I like that she is my friend. And like I said, I'm pretty proud of her.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Busted

Traffic School. Boooorrrrring. So do you think the instructors, who were both police officers, didn't see through the "what would you do if" questions? Do the attendees think that traffic school was their opportunity to find ways to get around the law? People always surprise me with their willingness to show their ignorance.

I get to spend 8 hours in traffic school because an officer said that I did not stop, in the middle of the night, on a Wednesday night, in a quiet suburban neighborhood, at a very confusing stop sign. I admitted to the judge that, because it was the middle of the night and it was obviously clear, I probably did not stop the three whole seconds. She said I did not stop at all. So who ya gonna believe??? Probably the officer, right?

So I sat in class last night with 20 other people seeking to keep the points off their license. There were teenagers, older men, college age kids, and young moms. The instructor said that if we participated, we would get out early. If that's true, I will be glad to yell out answers. The young woman next to me texted people the whole time with her cell phone held under the table. The mom in me wanted to snatch it out of her hand and tell her to pay attention! But I held back. And we watched red light camera videos, including crashes and one in which 2 pedestrians, one of which was a child, were hit. I think the officer actually kind of gets off on those because he kept rewinding it and playing it again. Several people looked away and didn't watch. We got out about an hour early.

I have to go back next Wednesday evening for 4 more hours.

Can't wait.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fully Frontal and All That

Tonight I went to see "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" - funny movie. But I was a little unprepared. I have grown used to seeing women's breasts, butts, and other body parts in these types of movies. Rarely am I shocked. Last year, my daughter and I went to see "Good Luck Chuck" and both of us were quite surprised to see sex scenes that left little to the imagination and lots of Dane Cook's butt. Mostly we just engaged in nervous laughter and comments about how we never knew Dane was in such good shape.

Tonight, 5 minutes into the movie, the lead character's girlfriend breaks up with him just as he is coming out of the shower. He drops the towel. They show EVERYTHING. Like 5 or 6 times showing everything. EVERYTHING!!! Standing up and bending over everything. It is quite hilarious but also a little gross. The movie also ends kind of the same way with the lead character, nude with his, ummm, not his hat, in his hand.

So after the movie, that scene seemed to be the talk of the viewers as I eavesdropped on the way to the car. The guys were all a little freaked out but laughing. The women were not impressed but thought it was funny. (Gotta tell ya, I WAS impressed!) And that got me thinking. Why is a nude woman sexy and a nude man funny? Why is it okay for a semi out of shape, average looking Joe to bare all his body parts but the semi out of shape, average looking Jane gets nude on screen and we consider her sad? We are just not used to seeing men nude but men are the ones that seem totally comfortable being that way all the time. We rarely see nude men, especially frontal, on film. Should we?

I am thinking this through trying to determine how I feel about it. What do you think?

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's Friday

This week was interesting...

Monday - went to court for my traffic ticket. Showed my photos, explained my case, but the officer said "she did not stop at all, at the sign or at the corner". Guess who the judge believed? I had to pay the fine but also have to attend traffic school so the points don't go on my record. I have never been to traffic school. I am sure I will have some interesting things to say about that.

Also started a new class on Monday evenings at UT - Fundamentals of Photography II. It's not a credit course but the non-credit photography program is very popular at UT and the classes fill up quickly. In fact, this is a new class and they had to add an additional night due to the number of people interested. Most of the classes are 15-20 people. The class I am in on Mondays has over 30 people and the Tuesday class has over 40. Many of the people in my class are previous classmates so it's kind of fun to see everyone again and catch up on how they are using what they learned.

On Tuesday evening, I delivered the photos for my first paying photography job. I took photos of a troop of Girl Scouts a week ago. They were seniors in high school and had all been together as a troop with the same leaders since elementary school. One of the mom's thought it would be nice to have a group photo of all the girls and their leaders so she called me. She had seen some engagement photos I had done for a coworker of hers. All the girls were wonderful and we ended up doing individuals with each girl and her mother. They all turned out really well and everyone was quite pleased. I need at least one of those a week and this part time photography thing might just pay for itself!

No family drama, no work drama, just a boring quiet week. Don't ya love those?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

5 More Things

I promised 5 more things you don't know about me on Friday but life interfered with my blogging! How dare life??? Actually, it was all good - good days, fun evenings, spending time with friends and family.

Here are 5 more things . . .

5. I don't dream anymore. I guess that's not completely true. Maybe I just don't remember dreams. I remember my dreams that wake me up. Usually those are weird dreams that scare me awake. So I must be dreaming but I would love to remember the good dreams too.

6. I have an inner bohemian. When I was a teenager during the 70's, my dream was to move to the mountains, live in a log cabin with no electricity, grow my own food, and generally live like they did a century ago. Then my mom reminded me that I wouldn't be able to listen to the radio, play records, or watch TV with no power. So I had to rethink things because, at the time, those things were very important to me. I still have that part of me that would love to live more simply, wear "hippie" clothes, make a living through art, and hang out with musicians and artists. But I am also practical and not really sure that I wouldn't be bored over time.

7. I love cemeteries. I know, weird, huh? I actually find them quite comforting, especially old cemeteries. As a student of genealogy, I have spent a lot of time in cemeteries. I love walking among the headstones and statues, looking for names and dates. I think about the people buried there and imagine their lives. I think about their families. I take photos of the angel statues. I worry about the neglected graves. I am thankful for my family and my life.

8. I wish I had a time machine. I don't think I would go forward in time. I really do not want to know what happens in the future, I would rather just live life. But the past fascinates me. I wouldn't want to go back to try to change anything but just be there to experience things as they happened. I would visit my ancestors and get to know them as people. I would be at the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the events that led up to it. I would be a spectator at the birth of Jesus. I would be a neighbor to my parents as children. I would observe Abraham Lincoln preparing his Gettysburg Address. There are so many fascinating events in history that we discuss today that probably have been embellished as the stories have been retold. I would love to experience them as they happened.

9. I love dirty jokes. Totally inappropriate, yes. Totally against my feminist nature. But still true.

10. If I was going to be a celebrity, I would be Oprah. I am not a huge fan of celebrities and can't tolerate ego promotion. But I am fascinated by Oprah. She is amazingly wealthy but truly thankful for what she has. She helps others and gives away a great deal of money. She uses her influence for things she believes in. She acknowledges her mistakes. And she has fun doing what she does.

In preparing this post and the last, I found I had a difficult time coming up with 10 things. I know I have other things because, in the past, I have made lists in my head but none of those things made it here. I'm sure they will come up at some other time in a future post. For now, you know me a little better. I would love to see some of you do the same some time. I feel as though I know most of you through your own writings but we can always learn a little more.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

10 Things You Don't Know About Me, First 5

I can choose what I want you to know about me. Not that I hide a lot, I am pretty much an open book. But there are things you don't know because I only tell very close friends or family members. Or it's just straight up embarrassing. So I am now taking you into my circle, sharing secrets with you. Beware, it's a scary place!

1. I don't know how to blow my nose. Truly. I think it began when I was very young and had horrible ear problems. I was supposed to pinch my nose closed, hold my breath, and "blow out" my ears. It hurt!!! Since then, anything regarding blowing and noses has been off limits. So now, since I don't know how to do it, I just wipe.

2. I am a closet organizer. No, I don't organize closets, I am in the closet. I am a "stacker" and "pile creator" which deceives you into believing I am a disorganized slob but I love to organize things. My office/scrapbook room is usually where I get my fix. I can spend a weekend taking everything out, rearranging, and reorganizing. My clothes are organized by category and sometimes also by color. My money is filed in my wallet in ascending order of monetary value. I guess it could be summed up as organized chaos.

3. I love purses. I have spent the majority of my adult life looking for the perfect purse. The older I get, the more the criteria are fine tuned. It must have interior dividers - remember the organization thing? There must be an outside pocket for easy access to my keys, cell phone, and blackberry. It must be large enough to carry all my stuff - wallet, checkbook, business cards, journal, other wallet containing all my discount cards, my digital SLR camera, etc. - yet it cannot be a suitcase. That one always makes it tough. And it has to be cute and fun. I think I may have found "the one". I was in Chicago and my friend and I went into a Fossil store. The girl brought out her favorite and I fell in love. This one, even if it is not "the one", will have to work for at least 5 years because that is the most I have ever spent on a purse in my life!

4. I buy lottery tickets when I travel then spend the money in my head while driving. I think I have this down to a science. I don't play the lottery that often but if I won, I know who I would give money to and how much, what I would buy, what kind of house I would have, how long I would continue at my job, how I would spend my time, the type of charitable foundation I would set up, and more. I figure if I have it all planned out ahead of time, when I win, I can get right to it.

5. I have a list of what I am looking for in a soul mate. It's not a list of what I don't want - it is a list of about 75 characteristics that I want in a man. I really want to get married again. Not so much that I am actively dating or looking for marriage. It's not about being married, it's about being with the right person. I miss companionship, phone calls to say I love you, shared experiences. So I am looking. And I will find him.

Join me tomorrow for the next 5 things you don't know about me.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Geeks R Us

Yesterday, I finally got up the nerve to participate in a Knoxville Flickr Meetup Group. For the uninitiated, Flickr is a social networking site for photography. There are groups that form and many cities have "meetup groups" that schedule times that the local members can meet as a group at various locations to take photos, hang out, have dinner, etc. Then they post the photos they took and compare to everyone else's.

I have been a member of the Knoxville group for about 7 or 8 months. I post photos to the group site and make comments but have never joined in one of the meetups. Till now.

I am trying to push myself into areas in which I am challenged. I can be shy and tend to hang back around people I don't know. The thought of walking into a group of folks and saying "Hi, I'm Tere, let's hang out" kind of makes my palms sweat. But I decided to overcome and jump in. I said I would be there.

It was decided that we would meet at Norris State Park which contained a waterfall, gristmill, and threshing barn. Plenty of stuff to photograph. Usually the number of people meeting up is around 3-4. This time there would be a record number of 11. I was to be one of them. I went back and forth all day Sunday. I had to do laundry. I wasn't dressed for waterfalls. But in the end, I got in my car and drove.

"Hi, I'm Tere, are you guys with the Flickr group?" They all had cameras of course. We joked about knowing each other's Flickr names but not our real names. We took lots of photos and then a few of us went to dinner. We all posted our shots today and commented on each others. It was really fun to see that we were all in the same place but our photos are all VERY different.

I know more people in Knoxville now. People I don't work with. People with whom I have something in common.

So I must admit . . . "Hi, my name is Tere and I am a photography geek. And I meet up with other photography geeks from the internet." And that's okay with me.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Cute Shoes! They Are So Me!

I love my new shoes! I love bright and colorful shoes with fun patterns. It's all about self-expression.

I think it all stems from years as a "fat girl". Plus size or Fat girl clothes are not the cutest. They are only 2 kinds of fat girl clothes - old lady or hoochie. I am neither old lady nor hoochie - more somewhere in between. So because I am limited in my choices for clothes, my self-expression tends to be through shoes.

As I was trying on these shoes in the store, a woman approached me. She asked what was so great about this store, saying that the prices didn't seem that great. I said "It's not about the price, it's about the choices." Then she uttered the most astounding words ever . . . "I'm just not a shoe person"!!!!!!

We conversed for minute about my belief that it's hard to find cute clothes in large sizes so that's why I love shoes - they fit everyone. She told me that she doesn't notice someone's shoes when she sees them, she notices their clothes.

So I began to think . . . is it about getting noticed? I don't believe so. I truly believe it is about self-expression. I don't care if people notice my clothes or my shoes. I care how I feel in them, what they say about me. I think these shoes say that I am creative and I love color. That I am not conventional and like to be different and fun. Some may think that's weird and that's okay. I am not looking to please, only to express who I am.

And I am not a fat girl, wearing conservative clothes because that's what's available. You can tell who I really am by looking at my feet!