Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Miss Lee

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day of the Spanish Horse

I had the opportunity to attend this annual event at Estrella Mountain Regional Park out in Goodyear this morning. I thought it might be a cool place to take some photos and I wasn't disappointed.

A four year old Paso Fino, Lucero de Pretencioso, owned by KK Dubois of Rancho de Esperanzo, and trained by Steven Lopez.

Paso Fino Pretencioso de la Virginia, sire of the good looking guy above.

Another Paso Fino (I think)

I am woefully bad at identifying the different Spanish breeds but this could be a Lusitano.

These three flamenco dancers were kind enough to pose for me on their break.

Pretty sure this is the Andalusian, Espartano MF, of Flat Baroque Farms in Skull Valley, AZ.

Saw this little buckaroo as we were getting ready to leave.

And no festival would be complete without an adorable chihuahua...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Random Strangers

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

White shirts

I love white shirts. Especially new, white tee-shirts. I think a bright, white shirt is just the perfect complement to so many outfits. It looks clean. It looks summery. Throw on a black blazer and heels and I can go out pretty much anywhere. It's a classic look worn by men such as James Dean and by Travolta portraying Danny Zuko in Grease. Even the glamorous Marilyn Monroe was photographed wearing jeans and a white shirt. So it's a good look and I like it.

For as much as I love white shirts though, I cannot keep them clean. I probably have ten white shirts hanging in my closet that are no longer perfectly white. I end up saving them to use for gardening and painting because they're usually too new to even think about tossing out. I have even taken to buying them two or three at a time when I find them on sale at places like Old Navy and Target.

The main thing that seems to happen to my pristine white shirts is that I have issues with food. I don't know if I'm an excessively messy eater or if I just have really bad luck, but I cannot keep food off my white shirts. And because I'm not a member of the "A Team", everything that falls tends to land in a prominent and obvious location. Which, I have to say, probably cuts down on the leering substantially. Because most men don't seem to have a desire to continue staring once they've noted the dribbled food and summarily classified me as "special".

Lately, I've really been trying to keep my white shirts clean through various means. I have gone so far as to start tying a dish towel around my neck when I eat. This works fairly well most of the time, but obviously only when I'm at home. I try to portray myself in a little more mature light when I eat out in public. Not that you'd know that just by looking at me. When in public, I try to be more conscious of getting my food all the way to my mouth. Which is somewhat effective but falls short when I'm launching into some intricate story line that requires gesticulation to add pizazz.

Anyway, while at dinner with A on Sunday I managed to ruin my second to last new white shirt by dribbling ranch dressing down it. One would think that white on white wouldn't stain. Unfortunately ranch dressing is primarily fat (mmmmm, fat!) and it left a lovely oil spot on the shirt. So now I'm down to one nice white shirt. Which I wore today while out and about with Mamoo looking at houses. We stopped for lunch at Coco's and I ordered the french toast and coffee. I am very proud to say that I did not spill one drop of my food on my shirt.

As we were driving away from lunch however, I looked down and noticed a bluish/purple spot on my pristine shirt. You guys, it was the blueberry topping from my mother's pancakes. Are you kidding me? I don't even want to know how in the hell I got her food on my right breast. I got nothing. I am just at a complete loss for a reasonable explanation for this. Guess I'll stop by Old Navy and see if white tee-shirts are on sale tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Should really be referred to as "My hips don't do that."

At the prompting of my charmingly deceitful younger sister, Miss Lee, under the guise of "It'll be FUN! and it's only five dollars!", we went to a zumba class last night. If you don't know what zumba is, go to the internet and look up Shakira. See that hip shaking madness going on? Those impossibly sexy looking maneuvers that she's doing with a smile on her face? Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's what it's supposed to look like. When I'm doing it? Not so much.

So, thankfully, the two of us made up half the class. You know, less people to see the awkwardness that is me trying to dance. There's a reason I don't dance. I have the grace and agility of a newborn calf. My legs don't go where they're supposed to and there's a lot of wobbling going on. And that's just the warm up.

Now luckily for us, our leader Daphne let us know ahead of time that she would "slow things down" for us. Because we're new and all. Thank goodness for that as I cannot even imagine if things were up to speed. She showed us a few of the basic moves prior to starting and several times throughout. It certainly seemed doable.

And so we began. And the difference between watching her walk through the steps and making a stab at doing them up to dance speed was incredibly large. I stumbled along slightly behind, desperately watching Daphne's feet for some inkling of what direction I should be headed next. I was mostly moving in the same general direction as the rest of the class, just a whole lot less gracefully. But it gets better. Because now that the feet are moving, we need to add arm movement. Lord help me, I cannot do two things at once and it has to be painfully obvious to those around me.

So there I am, tripping over my feet and flailing my arms wildly about when Daphne adds clapping and intermittent jumping to the mix. Seriously? Clapping? And jumping? Because I'm not amusing enough to watch as it is? Oh wait, is she swiveling her hips while turning in a circle? And now she's facing me because I cannot seem to swivel and turn fast enough to be pointing in the right direction. At that point, since I couldn't see what the hell she was even doing, I just start making it up as I go. Hey, look at me go! I can (sort of) gyrate and swing my hips about! Woo hoo! Okay, hang on, I think I'm the only one still facing this direction. Whoops! And now Miss Lee is bearing down on me because we're supposed to be grape-vine-ing to the right.

Approximately fifty five minutes later we got to the cool down song. I had stumbled, lagged, dragged, gyrated, flailed and tripped my way through most of the class, clapping off beat and jumping up when others were squatting. But I made it. I had sat out one song when it occurred to me that I was seeing stars and had a very real possibility of passing out because I am so woefully out of shape. I was out of breath, sweating like a pig and my legs were shaking. Driving a stick shift home made me glad it was mostly highway since I didn't really have to push the clutch very often.

This morning, my thighs and butt hurt like hell. That is not a feeling I cherish. But there's another class on Wednesday and I'll be in it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Papa in his shop

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Motion Project

Remember how I was struggling to capture motion in photography and needed an assistant? Well, I got an assistant. I'm not really sure how wise of a decision that was. While ultimately I did manage to capture a few halfway decent shots, the process of getting there was rather painful (in a laughing my a$$ off painful way). That's because I had Mamoo be my assistant. Let's just say her performance was "spotty" because her aim was atrocious.

If you remember the original project idea, I was dropping a strawberry into a glass of water. Well, I went out and bought a rectangular glass vase to use instead since I thought it would have less reflection. Which it did. It was also much larger than the glass so I could have more water and more splash. Which it did. So then I thought to myself, what else can I add? Oh I know, Captain Rex! In case you weren't aware, Captain Rex is my blue betta that normally swims around in a little tank on my kitchen counter. So I scooped up Captain Rex and tossed him in my new vase to test the theory.

Now, people might assume that all fish are alike and will all react the same way to the same stimuli, but that would be an incorrect assumption. Some fish are more freaked out than others. I would never put what I knew was an easily freaked fish into the vase. For instance, I would never under any circumstances put Commander Cody in that vase. He scares himself on a daily basis when he catches his own refleciton in the shiny side of the heater. He's terrified of The Antagonizer. But Captain Rex isn't like that.

Captain Rex is a pretty low key guy, not easily startled. For example, when The Antagonizer plants her fat backside next to his tank and tries to catch him, he doesn't really react. He doesn't run away from the "paws of doom" or even flinch. So I thought he would be a good candidate for my experiment.

So there's Captain Rex, checking out his new digs and looking at out at me. Who knows what he's thinking, he is a fish after all. I don't know, maybe he thinks he's on a field trip and he's waiting for what we're going to do next. Anyway, since my camera was already completely set up and ready to go I grabbed my huge strawberry and get ready for Operation Strawberry Betta. With my finger on the button, I drop the strawberry and push the button as soon as the strawberry enters the frame. Captain Rex flings himself against the farthest wall of the tank in horror. I feel kind of bad about that but as soon as the strawberry starts to ascend back up, Captain Rex swims right over to it and checks it out. So I think "Oh he's fine, he just got a little worried but now he knows it's okay."

Apparently fish have no memory. Because I repeated my experiment a half a dozen times and each and every time got the same result:

Captain Rex swims peacefully around.
Drop strawberry.
"INCOMING!!!!!!!!! Holy shit! What was that?!?!?"
Strawberry starts ascending.
Captain Rex swims right up to it.
"Oh cool! Fruit! I like fruit!"
Remove strawberry from water.
Captain Rex swims peacefully around.

After the half dozen attempts, I figured Captain Rex never was going to figure it out and thought I should quit torturing him. I put him back into his real tank, none the worse for wear, and went about trying to find some other motion to capture.

This was as good as it got.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This will help our image issues here in Arizona


Baja Arizona

Because what we really need right now is to divide ourselves into two separate states to help bring us all together.

Well okay, I'm game, but Baja Arizona has to keep (and support) all the illegal immigrants. You are welcome to keep the AHCCCS completely funded as well (although I'm not sure where you're going to get the money to keep it going.) It's not that I think people don't need health care, because they do, but when you're going broke you need to cut back wherever you can. You folks in Baja Arizona probably need to get ready for a property tax rate hike to help pay for all of that.

Arizona proper will gladly take the legal immigrants who want to become a part of American society. We'll keep our legal right to carry arms. And our low property taxes as well.

Also, could you guys take Scott Bundgaard? That would be awesome.