marlo, our newest

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Our little guy!  Obviously this little bit of web space has not been updated in awhile, and as life is wont to do there have been changes, changes, changes.

Change #1:  We bought a house.  Yes!  It’s awesome, and terrifying.  More on that later.

Change #2:  We are increasing our chances of becoming crazy cat people, the population has grown from 2 to 3 since we last posted.

A warm, July evening my husband met me in the driveway as I came home from having 12 inches of hair chopped off.  He held up his phone with a picture of a kitten and said “Wanna go get him?!”

Of course, husband, of course.

So we picked him up from a friend’s farm in the countryside and rode home with him in my lap in the dying light.  I remember the temperature was the perfect kind when you can’t tell where your skin stops and the air starts.  Marlo was trembling in my lap so I wrapped him in my hoodie and held on tight.

A friend recently reassured me that in order to graduate from ‘cat people’ to ‘crazy cat people’ the ratio of cats to people needs to be 3:1.  So frankly we’re three cats away, and considering husband’s allergies’ reluctance to adjusting to Marlo I think 3 is going to be the number for awhile.

Welcome home, buddy!

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rock + cold

today was nice – the rattlesnakes and great western plain are putting out a split together and needed some photos.  i just happen to have a camera:

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and they just happened to make nachos and pizza when we got back from the grocery store:

smallIMG_9952-2BWand a couple more:

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smallIMG_9889if you’re thinking to yourself ‘ohmygosh, how can i hear these bands?!’ you should probably click here (rsnakes) and here (gplain)

New to my Etsy Shop: Beachy Photographs. Also I ate at a fancy restaurant.

Sometimes, covered in bottle caps, I forget that I’m actually a photographer.  It’s refreshing to dive in to the archives and see what might look nice in my shop display:

Mussels and Seaweed - Click to View Listing

Washing Ashore - Click to View Listing

Lighthouse. Dirty (Negative). Click to View Listing

All these were taken about a year ago at Preble Light in South Portland, ME.  My friend, Kendyll and I went driving around looking for a place to shoot pretty photographs of her.  There was a rainstorm during our drive and we were like “Aw, crap,” because no one particularly wanted to get wet (although in retrospect:  good photo op).  But then the skies parted, the sun shone through the mist and all the photographs came out with this vintage-y light and soft, smooth lines.  Too bad my negatives were so dirty… but I think it adds to them.  Some more will be going up tomorrow, along with some fireworks pictures from Boston and some other random ones I found.

Click on this picture to vote for the Maine Team 4th of July Challenge

In other news:  the Maine Team 4th of July Challenge is officially up and voting goes through July 3rd.  Visit the Facebook album here and “like” your favorite listing.  I’d implore you to vote for Mollie and my’s aluminum star earring and necklace set, but in the spirit of the birthday of democracy I just urge you to vote whichever one you like the best.

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Also — tonight we ate at the Salt Exchange, because our LivingSocial deal was up.  Hmm.  The food is so freaking good that it’s a shame the front of house isn’t as well trained as the back of the house.  I’m not in to trashing restaurants that I eat at because I’m generally a ‘glass half full’ kind of girl so I will start off by saying that the 4 dishes we split were just about the most well constructed flavor parties I’ve tasted ’round these parts, and this girl’s even been to Fore Street.  The proportions are perfect and you really don’t need to eat that much to feel satisfied (we were fine splitting four dishes).

Only problem is I’ve got handfuls of years of front of house restaurant experience under my belt, and I have a problem not projecting ‘what I would do’ when I see someone making service mistakes.  We kept on hearing the hostess tell people that she would seat them as soon as she can, that she was just waiting for menus to come back.  Now, I get this — because sometimes that is what it is but it doesn’t make sense to your average diner.  They think to themselves “Oh, well we can just sit down and get our menus after,” or, worse — she suggests you sit at the open seats at the bar and there are two menus right on the counter when you get there … just too much information.  Less is more.  “Your reservation was for 6:15, I will seat you as soon as I can.”  (We were there early).  Serious lag between our ‘1st course’ (first 2 dishes we ordered) and ‘2nd course’ kind of truncated the delicious mouth and tummy experience.  Because the portions aren’t huge it’s really easy to move from course to course pretty quickly, so when you’re caught waiting 20+ minutes between salad/mussels and pork/seafood the stomach starts to grumble again.  Same thing when we were finished with 2nd course – the check came right away but we waited for a good while (at least 5 passes of the server by our table) with the check hanging off the table with my card right in sight.  We opted to switch it out for cash and took off after we decided we just couldn’t wait any longer.

So about the food!  So excellent.  J. and I decided that Salt Exchange is probably best if you’re going out for drinks and want ‘a snack’ because the $8 Mussels is pretty excellent.  9 mussels plus some bread, pork and onion was really flavorful and totally worth our money.  I didn’t see the dessert menu (if they have one) but it’d also be really nice to sit at the bar, split a dessert and have some coffees.  The caesar salad was great, and pretty good portions considering they ‘warn you’ ahead of time about ‘small plates’ and how that means you should order ‘3-4 per guest.’  Uhh… they must be making that recommendation based on the average American’s consumption at meal time, cause we were totally find with the 4 total that we picked.

Mmm pork tenderloin was our main course and we had a crab crostini to pair with it.  It had the best damn lime reduction…sauce…uhh… ever to dip the crab in.  And here we are, hours later at 10pm and I am still content.

So, there it is – trying something new.  Not that I’m snitty about my food at all – generally speaking we are most frequently diners at Rosie’s, Ruski’s, Hi Bombay!, Sengthai and Marcy’s.  But it’s nice to dress it up a little every now and again…

Les Antiquités Nouveaus

Gross, I think my cat just farted.  She’ll be forgiven because of her cuteness, but I’ll wait a bit given her waiting until she was six inches away from me to do it, then leaving right after the deed.  Devious!

Back on track…

There’s been a movement in popular culture towards marketing the vintage aesthetic.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining!  Painted illustrations on seed packets of yore, adorable patterns of polka dots and gingham, it’s all good.  I’m happy to be at the South Portland Hannaford on my lunch break and catch a glimpse of this vision from the West Coast:

Don't they just LOOK like they'd taste better? I've never had canned grapes before, but maybe now I will.

Jeez – these look awesome!  The thought of canned grapes would give me the heebeejeebies if they were packaged any other way.  Kudos to bringin’ back old school in style.

On gripe I do have, though, is the ‘my iPhone makes things look like they do in my family’s photo album from the 70’s’ aesthetic.  And I have good friends who use the apps and I’m not knocking that they’re nifty and a cool trick but when someone’s entire Facebook wall ends up looking the space behind the register at the Thrift Shop that’s been open since the 50’s I’m gonna be all like “Hey, 2011 called, it’s wondering when you’re going to get here.”

Dear iPhone old-photograph-app user:  You’re not fooling anyone.  I know you didn’t magically get your hands on old Diana or Rollei, take a bunch of pictures of your sailboating trip, develop the film, scan the negs and post them to your Facebook wall.  And even if you did, Kodachrome was way better color balanced than this.  Your overly red or overly yellow photograph has not changed color because it’s been sitting in a well-loved photo album for years.  I don’t care what you do, and it really doesn’t bother me that you think your telephone is a camera, but just don’t pretend like your world is more romantic now that it’s all grainy and oversaturated.  Love, Bee-in-her-Bonnet Audrey.

Phew!  I’ve been meaning to get that off my chest.  At the end of the day, I don’t really care — but what’s the point of using new technology if what we’re trying to recreate is that of 50 years ago?  Y’all know that I love film, and my camera was manufactured somewhere between 1960 and 1980 and it chugs through expensive film like it’s its job.  I LOVE shooting with it.  But I’ve also recently been introduced to the world of the DSLR and am growing fond of all the things it can do for me.

by Julia Margaret Cameron

Here.  When photography was beginning to be used as an artistic medium in the late 1800s photographers mainly sprang from two traditions:  the scientist and the painter.  Some adapted their unwieldy cameras to ‘paint’ tableaus with light and models who stood very, very, very still.  From the scientific side photographers shot cityscapes and panoramas, eager to introduce photography as a way of creating more and more realistic lithographs for book publications.

So is it any wonder that with the advent of a very revolutionized form of photography (digital) that its users are seeking to create something they know?  Not strange, no, but remember…

Edward Weston may or may not have ever said "Hey, look how sharp I can make things!"

It wasn’t until the f64 group (read:  Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Ansel Adams, etc. etc.) began saying: “God damn!  This camera is awesome but why are we not using it to its full potential?  Look at how sharp I can make things!” and then applied it to their own artistic expression, did the medium of photography really start coming in to its own as an art form.

Let’s stop pretending our shiny, new picture-takers are relics of the past.  Let’s agree not to abuse color shifts and saturation.  Let’s agree that a good photograph should be just that whether it’s grainy or crisp, fuzzy or dialed-in, vignetting or no.

Rant over!