So Here's My Life

The things we make,
the food we eat and
the shenanigans in between.

A blog about making things by

Friday, May 30, 2008

I got some good news today.

I have now become a certified photographer through the company I work for!! YAY! I'm really pleased. I've been working very hard to complete the certification process, and have finally accomplished my goal. It feels good. Now I can say that I'm a certified photographer. Awesome. I'm proud.

And since we are on the subject of photography, I thought I would share. Recently I had the opportunity to take my brother's pictures. You can check out a couple of them on my website: or you can see all of them here:

One more piece of exciting news for my blooming career in photography - I'm photographing a wedding next month!!! My very first wedding! Patty (college friend) and I will be working together as the photographers for this wedding. I'm really pleased to have this opportunity. It's fun watch all the opportunities unfold before my eyes. I feel very accomplished.

Last week Joel got the Wii Fit game for our Nintendo Wii. For those of you who do not know what the Wii Fit game is, it's a game that comes with a balance board that measures your weight, BMI, balance, etc. It keeps track of all your fitness information for you, and then allows you to play fitness games, yoga (and it instructs you as you do it), aerobics, and strengthening exercises. It's pretty exciting. I love it! So far Joel has lost 6 lbs from doing the Wii Fit game! No Joke.

My 10-year reunion is going to be in October. I have yet to decide if I want to attend. I go back and forth in my decision. Sometimes I do not want to go, because I do not care to see all the people that irritated me back in high school, but then on the other hand, I'm insanely curious to see what everyone is doing these days....sooo....I don't know. Maybe if I knew who exactly was going....and whether or not any of my good friends from high school were going...but on the other hand, for the most part, I still keep in touch with those good friends, so do I need to go to the reunion for that? I don't know. Hmmm....has anybody else gone to their reunion???

And one last thing, because I haven't shared any pictures in a while (or much of anything else)
Just thought I would share with you guys how much I enjoy being a dork.

Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima takes some time to share some of his thoughts with me. (He's from the same town that we moved away from recently)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Weekend

I had such a great weekend, which hasn't happened to me in quite a while. Weekends are usually stress-filled days with jam packed schedules and a very little down time. But not this weekend. My parents and my brother came for Mother's Day. It was so great to spend this weekend with my family, especially since I haven't been able to spend Mother's Day weekend with them since probably about 2002. It made me happy.

However I was required to work about 6 hours this weekend. (2 weeks before Mother's day are Blackout Days which prevent us from taking off work) At one point during the day, I was helping two women, who came in with their children (who were cousins) and wanted to get their pictures taken together. One woman had a one year old son, the other had 2 daughters ages 4 and 7. As soon as I started taking pictures of all three of them, the little boy started screaming. There was absolutely nothing I could do to make him stop crying. I tried every distraction I knew about. He was going to cry regardless of what I did. So I went on. I continued taking their pictures. (We had a tight schedule on Saturday. The day before Mother's Day is ALWAYS busy. We had no time to let them take a break and come in later.) I did some of the poses without him. I finished those and tried again. As soon as they sat him on the stage to take pictures, again he began screaming. I tried my best to get him to stop crying but was unsuccessful. The impatient mother of the little boy, rudely waved at my face, indicating for me to stop. (Of course I WANTED to smack her) She wanted to try to get his attention. So I allowed her to stand next to my camera, and attempt to gain his attention and stop crying. She failed. (of course, duh). So at that point it had finally become clear to the two mothers that happy pictures of all three of their children together was not going to happen today. I did one more pose with the two girls, and we finished. Afterward, I began to show them their pictures so we could narrow down their choices of what to buy. I showed them the first three pictures of the three children. None of them had the happy, smiling boy that they were hoping for. They did not hesitate to show their dissatisfaction. Then one of the mothers spoke up, "Honestly, I think it was you."
"How so?" I asked.
"Well, you were really loud. You scared him"
Now let me take a minute to explain something here. We work in a MALL. In case you haven't noticed, malls on Saturdays aren't exactly the quietest places. The camera bay where we were shooting pictures had a full-length window that opened up into the mall, which allows people to stop and watch the pictures being taken from outside. We also had a studio full of people waiting for their turn to take pictures. We had children running back and forth. We have a playroom with kids playing with toys. Plus we had the parents of the children inside the bay with us. Talk about distractions here. One of the biggest things that the company teaches us is that when taking a child's pictures, we have to be louder than the distractions in order to keep their attention and get them to look at the camera (and believe me, if we aren't loud enough, they will not look at us), and on this particular day, there were more than plenty of distractions. So back to my story. So when she made the comment about me being too loud, I defended myself (politely, of course). "Well, the reason that we are loud is because otherwise the kids' eye direction will not be at the camera."
The mother quickly replied, "Well, the girls are old enough to know what to do, you don't need to be so loud"
So to prove my point, I pulled up a picture of one of the girls looking away from the camera.
The mother replied "Well, that's just because he [the little boy] was crying." At this point, it was quite evident that no matter what I said, they were not going to really listen to what I had to say. They were angry, and they wanted to blame me for their child's behavior. Out of exasperation I answered, "Ok, fine. Whatever." (Probably not one the best responses I could give a person. But I despise arguing, and most of the time, I find it quite pointless. During arguments, when it is clear that the other side is not going to listen to what I have to say, I have this automatic response ingrained inside of my head and quickly comes out before I have time to think, "Ok, fine. Whatever." And that's what happened. My brain went on Auto Pilot, and without any fore-thought, my auto response slipped right out of my mouth.) So needless to say, my response aggravated her past the point of patience. She stormed off and went to the front desk of the studio. "I need to speak to the manager!" My manager calmly said, "I'm the manager." "Well I need to have a chat with you!" She angrily said. "Well, would you like to call me after you have calmed down and we can talk about it?" She agreed, and with that, stomped out of the store. Wow. I find it amazing the way some people blame others for the bad behavior of their children...but what amazes me even more is how childish some adults act when things don't go their way. The lady never called my manager, nor did she call the corporate office. My manager did not get angry with me either, and when my co-workers found out what happened, they congratulated me on earning my first complaint to the manager. Ha ha. I actually find the whole thing kind of funny. I am disappointed in the fact that I did not please my customer, but honestly, I don't know what I could have done differently in order to get the pictures that they wanted, considering the circumstances (busy studio, Saturday, and lots of chaos). I did do my best to get good pictures, which by the way, the rest with out the little boy were great. I feel slightly bad that they were unhappy with their pictures, but my worth as a photographer has not lessened. I know I am good, and I know that I do a great job, and I have a very large percentage of my customers that are more than happy with my pictures. So there.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It feels so good...

to stick it to The Man. Yes, it does. And today I did that. I have mentioned before about the conflicts that I have had with my work schedule. Yesterday I my manager decided to change our schedules, and scheduled me to work today, from 2-7 pm. (When I first applied for this job, I specifically asked to get off Saturday evenings and Sundays) Of course I should have said something about it yesterday during work, but at the time I found out this information, I was in the middle of my "camera time" (which means I was working one of the cameras) and I really didn't want to deal with that conflict at the moment. I decided to suck it up and deal with the shift, even though I promised myself I would not work another shift that I requested to have off. So today after church, Joel and I left church. On our way home, I started getting angrier and angrier. I was frustrated because Joel and I haven't been able to spend a day together in a while...and this work situation would lengthen the time that we wouldn't be able to spend together, because I was scheduled to work...on the only day that we have set aside to spend together. But you know what? When I got home, I realized that I didn't care anymore. I really like my job, but I have gotten what I wanted out of this job. I've learned what I wanted, and was able to use my paycheck to purchase more camera equipment. I REALLY wanted to NOT work on the day I was told that I would originally have off. I discussed the situation with Joel for about 15 minutes, and decided to give my manager a call and let her know that I would not be able to come in today. Here's about what the conversation went like:

Me: "Hey Apryl. I would REALLY like to keep my job, because I really like it, BUT I absolutely cannot come in today. I have some family business that I need to take care of."
Manager: "And you knew about your schedule yesterday, right?"
Me: "I did. I should have said something, but I didn't. I dropped the ball."
Manager: "You said that you could work after 1 if you needed to."
Me: "I did say that. But I don't know what to tell you. I CAN NOT come in today."
Manager: "So are you going to do this every time I schedule you on Sunday?"
Me: "Perhaps." (LOL. sometimes the answers I come up with totally amuse me!!!)
Manager: "Ok, well I will talk to you tomorrow."

Soooo....I didn't work today. I'm glad I didn't. I have no regrets...well...except that I should have spoken up about it yesterday, BUT I didn't know the full details about Joel and his business trip either...I'm sure that I will get chewed out tomorrow at work. But, I don't really care. I'm not exactly looking forward to it. (Who enjoys getting a lecture?) I'm sure she will pull out the "You-should-have-spoken-up-on-Saturday" Card. I expect it. But I have a card too. It's the "You-guaranteed-that-I-would-not-have-to-work-on-Sunday" Card. She did the exact same thing that I did. I don't see how she has winning cards in this confrontation that we will be having tomorrow. Because you know what? I don't NEED to work. I've had better paying jobs, that I can easily pick up again...if I wanted to. I still think I have a job there, judging by the way she phrased things. But I'll probably have to deal with disciplinary action. I don't care.

I'm so glad I did this. It feels so good to stand up for myself. It's a great feeling. Yes it is.