By: Angel | Discussion (0)

Last night, Carla and Steve took Logan and Lily to the Fall Festival at Logan’s elementary school.  It was Lily’s first time to wear her leopard Halloween costume, so we took pictures.  (Actually, Nana bought her a very cute ladybug costume which, when we tried to get her to wear it for the Renaissance Festival, we discovered she didn’t like it.  However, the leopard costume is a big success.)

There are two pictures from the set we took last night that I like.  One picture is interesting because of the content: it’s a picture of a cute toddler in a cute costume.  But if the content wasn’t so cute, the picture wouldn’t be interesting at all.  It is what I call a “literal” picture.

Ready to go to the Fall Festival
27 October 2006

The other picture is interesting due to the composition.  I like the use of the wide angle lens, the depth of field, Logan’s eye peaking through his fingers, the foreground/background assymetry of the photo — stuff like that.

Ready to go to the Fall Festival
27 October 2006

But sometimes you have to sacrifice content for composition (or vice versa).  In the second photo of the children leaving for the Fall Festival, though it was interesting visually, we don’t get to see Lily’s or Logan’s cute costumes.  Here’s another example.  This is Andrea Scher’s friend.  Visually, the photo is very beautiful and interesting, however, Andrea had to cut out her friend’s face to achieve the effect.  Would you rather see your friend’s face or have a visually stunning photo?  Tough call.  Both photos definitely have their individual appeal.  (Of course, by cutting out her friend’s face, his outfit and color become the subject of the photo, not the person.  She changed the entire subject with just a crop.) 

I guess the best pictures are the ones that contain both content and composition.  Perhaps the following picture contains both content and composition.  It’s a cute toddler laughing while having a bath in the sink.  You can see her playing with Daddy’s hands.  Juxtaposing a man’s large hands with the delicate hands of a child is always heart-warming for some reason.

Lily having a bath in the sink with Daddy.
21 October 2006

The following photo would be a “literal” translation of the same event:

Lily having a bath in the sink with Daddy.
21 October 2006

Still a very cute picture, but the composition is straight forward. Content carries the entire photo in the second picture.  Also, there is no metaphor, no poetry.  In the first photo, Daddy’s strong masculine hands gently playing with her small delicate hands are the representation of all that is Daddy — protection, strength, love and kindness.  In the second photo, Daddy is right there, and the poetry fades away as the story (Lily having a sink bath with Daddy) takes over.  (Don’t get me wrong, I like the second photo very much — I like their expressions and Lily holding her little foot up telling Daddy that it’s clean – but it is straight forward.)

These were just some thoughts I was having in my head while I was looking at the photos. 🙂

By: Angel | Discussion (0)

Logan and Justin blowing out the candles on Justin’s birthday cake.
23 October 2006

Justin and his new boyfriend, Ben, came into Austin to celebrate Justin’s 24th birthday. We had a lovely, if farcical, birthday dinner.  Matt was making roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding, but the oil caught fire in the oven.  After telling everyone to go outside, Matt and our neighbor Pete put out the oven fire.

Since the roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings were ruined, Sarah and her friend Mika went to Jack in the Box to get french fries for everyone.  Upon returning, the bag ripped open and all the french fries fell on the driveway.  So off they went to Jack in the Box for a second batch of french fries.

But, even with all the misadventures, we had an excellent birthday dinner and excellent time with Ben and Justin.  They stayed with us the following day as well.  We hadn’t seen Justin in awhile and it was really nice spending his birthday with him.

Thanks for coming to see us, Justin. :)  You’re always great company.

By: Angel | Discussion (0)

Lily was supposed to be helping Daddy carve the pumpkin,
but the pumpkin had hardly any guts to pull out
and the knives were much too dangerous for her to use.
So, in the end, she just ran around with her wooden spoon.
A good time was still had by all.
17 October 2006

I actually don’t have a lot to write. I’ve just been taking lots of photos lately, and I have lots of cute photos I want to post. As it is, I still haven’t posted any from the Renaissance Festival.

This looks like a journal entry, doesn’t it?  What it actually is, is Procrastination in the written form.  I want to work on my book and complete one of my 2006 Resolutions, but before I do that, I have to clean.  My desk is useless at the moment.  There is crap everywhere.  The cat, who loves to sleep on my desk, just lays on top of everything and falls asleep.  Hmmm…. maybe I should take a picture of that.  One moment…..

Raven on Angel’s cluttered desk.
19 October 2006

Like all cats, she’s resourceful and opportunistic.

Anyways, I’m a freak in that I have a very difficult time working at my desk when it is this cluttered.  It just annoys me the whole time.  So I have to clean.  Clean the kitchen, sweep the living room floor, put all the books away, and clean and dust my desk.

Thus this journal entry.  Who needs to clean when you can write a journal entry? 🙂

Hmmm…. this feels like the end of the journal entry.  Damn, I’m going to have to clean now.

By: Angel | Discussion (0)

Matt has embraced a few American traditions whole-heartedly,
and Halloween pumpkin carving is definitely one of them.
Every year since he moved here in 2001 he has carved a pumpkin,
and every year he looks adorable doing it.
17 October 2006

So I’ve been thinking about my New Year’s Resolutions today.  I do like New Year’s Resolutions — they keep you focused on what you really really want.  I have decided my New Year’s Resolutions for 2007: 1) Exercise (although I need to make this one more quantitative), and 2) organize the entire house including the garage.

Well, first things first, I need to complete my 2006 Resolutions: 1) write a book, and 2) quit sugar.  Only two and a half months left to complete these.

But how hard could it be, right? 🙂

By: Angel | Discussion (0)

I covet this print.  It’s called “The Three Wizards”
and it’s available here.  Unfortunately, it’s $150.
That’s why I don’t have my copy…. yet.

I’ve had the same quote for awhile, but I haven’t changed it because I haven’t found another one that suits my situation or mood as well as the current quote does.  Then, I was watching Lord of the Rings again, and I rediscovered one of my all-time favorite quotes.  However, I decided to post the quote from the book — the original source — instead of the movie:

“Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.”
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
— JRR Tolkein, Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 2

I hear Ian McKellan’s voice now whenever I read this quote.  Good thing he has such a lovely, melodious, and perfect Gandalf voice. 🙂

I also rediscovered, after many many years absence, one of my favorite songs.  I love it when that happens.  I was eating breakfast with Lily at Taco Cabana when the great 70s funk classic by Sly and the Family Stone, “If You Want Me to Stay,” came on the speakers.  It’s a great song, and it was fun having it pop up in my life again… in Taco Cabana of all places.  They usually play Tejano.  The world is an unexpected place.

I posted the song (you have to click the play button twice):


By: Angel | Discussion (0)

Deb, Bruce, Lindsey, Kelsey and Allison at the Riverwalk in San Antonio
April 2004

The entire Pipkin family (Bruce, Deb and both the girls) have kind hearts. Children, animals and elderly people are not only safe, but cherished, in their home.  They are always helping the helpless.

Just recently, a mother cat and six kittens who live across the road were in a bad situation.  The Pipkins, being who they are, could not watch idly while these animals suffered.  I won’t go into the whole story, but one of the kittens had a terrible accident and needed quite a bit of medical help… more than the Pipkins could afford.

But Deb couldn’t give the consent to have the kitten put to sleep.  So she spent the afternoon on the phone and collected $700!  She said she had no idea that she would be able to raise $700 with just a few phone calls.

I don’t find it unbelievable at all.  Deb, Bruce, Kelsey, and Lindsey are always helping other people.  Just in the past couple of years, they have thoroughly cleaned my house twice, created an absolutely beautiful baby room for Lily, and gave us a bassinet, baby swing, carseat, crib sheets and changing table for Lily when she was born.  And that’s just what they have done for us.  I don’t even know all the goodness and kindness they have showed other people.

So when Deb calls, very upset and asking for a favor, people don’t even hesitate.  “What do you need, Deb?  Let us know how we can help.”

You really do receive back whatever you send out into the world.

Oh, what is that I hear in the background?  Is it The Beatles?

And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love
You make 🙂

By: Angel | Discussion (0)

Conroe, Texas
November 2004

Matt’s younger brother, Sam, is doing a podcast-type radio show on MySpace.  It’s silly and fun. :)  If you haven’t met Sam and therefore don’t recognize his voice, he is the “host.”  Have a listen and enjoy the fun that is Sam and his mates.

By: Angel | Discussion (0)

Spring 2006

Sarah just finished her MySpace page today.  Sarah likes sex quite a bit and is very open about it, as you can tell by reading her “Who I’d like to meet” blurb.  Her mom’s side of the family is very conservative and Sarah’s views don’t quite fit in, as you can tell from reading Will’s comment.

It makes me sad.  I want Sarah to be open and have fun.  I want to tell Sarah, “Be yourself!  Enjoy life!  And if you enjoy sex, then enjoy sex!”  But it is so hard to go against the wishes of your family.  I know she doesn’t want to hurt her Grandma.

It’s a tough situation.  You don’t want to hurt your family, but at the same time you have to be who you are.  You have to live.  I don’t envy Sarah.  She will be walking a tightrope.