Challenge accepted.

This morning I woke up from a truly epic nightmare after only 4 wee hours of sleep. I was incredibly alert despite my sleep deprivation so I thought it would be nice to finish up a book I’ve been reading. Upon finishing the book, I had an itch that needed some assistance, you can imagine my shock and horror when I felt a bare patch of skin about an inch from my right ear. Throwing my book aside I ran to the mirror (or as fast as I could run 7 short feet in a cluttered and unkept room) and low and behold, the real nightmare was realized while I was awake. I have a bald spot on my head, roughly the size of an American 25¢ piece, aka, a quarter. I did what any half-deranged and panic-driven girl with “long-hair pride” would do, I ran to my mom, showing her this insane discovery, sat down in one of our living room’s chairs and cried my heart out.  I couldn’t stop sobbing. I hyper-ventilated and cried some more until my mom calmed me down somewhat. In which case I answered her calming by opening up her laptop, logging in, double-clicking Google Chrome with much more force than was needed – and felt a rush of anger replace despair, smother any calm I was feeling, and I hastily typed in “I just noticed I have a bald spot on my head” and thousands of sites with information on Alopecia came to light. An un-curable disease with little to no treatment plans with less than promising success rates; essentially brought on by one of many factors, this disease describes only 3% or less of the population (equal between men and women) getting this disease. Essentially, your body’s immune system begins attacking your hair follicles, causing the patient or victim – depending on what side of this bogus fence you’re on – to lose hair in oval or round shaped spots. Some are isolated incidents of circular patches and the most extreme case being the loss of all of your hair from head to toe.

Needless to say, Web MD and my own doing put me into hysterics once again. I kept reading what could cause the Universe to start messing up one of main redeeming physical qualities – factors include: family history of having the illness and/or stress being the two main causes, apparently the emotional response is almost always the factor; there also were: too tight of hair styles, auto-immune diseases that have these side effects or if the skin is irritated and scaly a fungal infection thats easily treated – guess whose skin is NOT scaly and irritated? The one time I hope its the gross option, I’m wrong. Ugh.

Once I realized that this all happens incredibly sudden – I knew it wasn’t from a skull fracture from 2005 that I just went 9 years of not noticing – to my dismay, might I add – I realized that this is most likely a result of stress and poor habits. I’ve been dealing with an unknown and undiagnosed something in my ribs, shoulders, and chest area for some time, doctors are baffled, they just keep taking blood and doing nothing, so I self-diagnosed it as an extreme case of acid reflux disease, makes sense, I drink soda on a daily basis, I’m sure my esophagus hates me. I don’t drink water very often and my sleeping schedule is so out of whack it’s had me extremely nervous, before I was losing hair. My grandpa died in December of 2011 and for whatever reason it’s still an emotional subject for me, I wish grieving had a time limit, I’m starting to annoy myself; I graduated college in May 2013 and am still having difficulty finding a job, meaning I can’t pay my student loans, so collectors are calling me and I have nothing to show for that huge debt that I’m now responsible for, and lastly, my semi-estranged dad found out that he has a rare and almost always fatal type of lung cancer. Besides these big ones, I’ve been getting a lot of pressure to edit photos and host photo shoots – adding to my editing workload. There are also some other looming agents related to a few friends… I’m really feeling left out, unappreciated, and extremely judged – it may just be an internal thing… but there’s two sides to a coin, one can’t exist without the other.

I can’t imagine what in the world could be causing me to stress out in my life?

 

I’ve been researching in my free time today about ways to promote healthy hair follicles, ways to relieve stress, and steps to take to try and get proactive with this thing. No matter what I do now, I’ll have to deal with this potential disease – making a doctor appointment Monday morning – until its run its course.. this thing takes a few months to actually kick into high gear, and according to one of my blood relatives whose dealt with this before – it takes a few months to begin to grow back. Nothing will be fixed unless I change my lifestyle habits, de-stress my mind and my life, and start paying more attention to my body’s signs of disarray than trying to please people all the time in my personal life and in my professional one. One of the easiest ways I could start de-stressing my life was to write about what was actually stressing me out and how I feel, hence this post. If no one sees it, that’s fine by me, actually preferred I think.. but for my own sanity and full head of hair (for now) I need to vent and get it out there. My scalp has been tingling and itching all day, I’m really starting to understand this mind over matter concept. I’m afraid to touch my own head, I keep checking in the mirror, thinking it might not be there one of these times I give it a once-over.. to my dismay it hasn’t magically grown back to normal. I’m afraid. I’m terrified. It’s my hair. I thought the worst thing that could happen would be me finding out that I, like my dad and so many family members, have some sort of form of cancer as the hardest hurdle I would face would be losing my hair. Its vanity and it sounds petty, but my hair is directly tied to my self-image, I can see why people become agoraphobic, depressed, and why it’s common patients socially alienate their friends and family. It’s my hair.. it’s.. it’s sacred to me. I know I won’t lose friends, I know I won’t lose family, and I know I’ll be supported.. but trying to de-stress to prevent something that’s clearly happening to me here in the now, is hard as it’s stressing me out even more!

I’m making the decision, right here, right now, to take myself into consideration. I don’t have a job which means I have the freedom and time at the moment to focus on myself. Tell other people I can’t do this for them or I can’t be there for them because I need to focus on me. I need to be selfish and proactive. I’m beginning to accept that this is reality and if it continues I’ll lose more of my hair.. I don’t like it, but I’m over the initial shock of it all, and now I just want to meet it head-on and introduce it to Liz motherfucking Klein. I’m going to be canceling photoshoots, giving myself extended deadlines and telling my friends that I’m not going to be able to do everything they’re expecting me to do, I just can’t deal with it right now. As far as the grief-related stress.. I’m going to try and not concentrate on that, but put all of my concentrated focus on lifestyle changes. My head is too big, I’d make a very odd bald woman. Sorry in advance to anyone I end up disappointing, but… I’m not going to be bald for anyone, not you, not my family, and certainly not for me. Luckily, it’s not noticeable with careful styling, if I get more patches it’ll be tricky, but doable. Happy thoughts, positive vibes, and not going to take any annoyances from anyone, blunt Liz is happening, if you upset me, you’ll hear about it. Get ready.. a new era is approaching, I just hope I’ll have hair by the time it’s over..

Protected: Much Needed Rant.

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Once again, I acknowledge that I’m a TERRIBLE blogger. In my defense, I keep up to date on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Model Mayhem and e-mail so I feel as though there’s a little bit of leniency ‘wiggle-room’. Moving right along! This past week and weekend was BANANAS. I finished editing a commissioned portraiture session from last week Tuesday, photographed a new face on Friday (details below), and was able to see my photos published for the first time in a legitimate Fashion Magazine. I’ve also gotten a TON of requests for photo shoots from new models, which is always exciting, and am helping my very best (also a photographer) friend get herself acquainted with Model Mayhem as well! I also want to jot down my ideas/themes for shoots all happening before May… and one or three going INTO May, not only do I need to organize mah mind, but I’ve been getting swamped with loads of “what shoots do you have in mind?!” – now, those that have asked me this, don’t get me wrong, it’s totally valid, makes sense, but SO many have asked that I need to get this list out there so I can refer to it on the daily. Ferreal.

I’m just going to take this chance to explain all the things a bit more, but might as well start with the beginning shoot and work my way through the huge list!

My shoot on Friday was geared specifically towards the April issue of Kirameki Magazine. They wanted drama, elegance, poise, fashion, beauty, and above all – the photos MUST be in black and white. Easy enough right? Wrong. Hah. Scheduling hair and makeup is one of the most crucial aspects of any shoot, at least from my experience. After working with professionals in May, I’m officially ruined – spoiled – have to work with them on all of the shoots or it just doesn’t feel as great. I digress. I was able to finaggle two brilliant ladies for hair and makeup, Pang Yang and Pang Vang, look them up, and yes, the similarity in names was not lost on me! Both are incredibly (see above) BRILLIANT. The model – Sinceree – whom I hadn’t worked with prior to this shoot, and myself, kind of for lack of a better word, threw this shoot together in a very small amount of time, maybe a week and a half tops? We started off to a tired start, but the momentum picked up right away! We photographed three gorgeous outfits that the model was able to find (go hug a designer, they’re very fantastic as well) in downtown Milwaukee. After about an hour and a half of shooting and throughout the whole time being asked questions like: “do you have permission to do this?” “what magazine are you from?” (to S.) “are you a REAL model??” and other.. slightly awkward, semi-shoot-derailing comments, we managed to get some stellar shots, that have not yet been released to the interwebs or even the fabulous team, as I JUST got done editing the FIRST outfit’s photos, and there’s ALREADY 50+ shots… that’s the sign of a great collaborationg. I also managed to NOT give my model frostbite for some outdoor shots, we even had a swell “Mary-Tyler-Moore moment” which may or may not have turned out, haha, it was definitely a fun process getting it though, with all of downtown looking in!

I don’t know if models feel like this after a shoot, but I seriously feel like I could take the longest nap ever, just pass out, as soon as I get home, minus that terrible anticipation of waiting for all the RAW files to transfer from my card to my computer, I COULD PASS OUT. Why am I shouting, I have no idea. Sinceree was a great model to work with, she’s a show-stopper, at 6’1″ and then with the added inches of heels, not to mention she’s super photogenic and an all-around down to earth person, it was great, the next shoot we do (oh yeah, there’s going to be a next one) is going to be sick, and great, and just.. yeah.

On this past Sunday the February 2014 issue of Fashion Faces was released on http://www.Issuu.com/fashionfaces/docs/feb-2014/ – now myself and my team have known since October/November that our work/collaboration was going to be published in January or February, but having the actual proof of the digital issue, was something I wanted to wait for before building up too much hype or letting myself get too excited. It turns out they posted 10 photos on 4 spreads, we even were mentioned on the front cover! About 3 days before the issue was published, I was contacted by a member of their staff on facebook with a questionnaire, being the novella writer that I am (see this blog post) it took me about 2 hours to make sure I sounded coherent, gave enough credit to the brilliant team I worked with, and gave all around thoughtful answers to each of the, hah, SEVEN questions. Now, don’t make too much fun of me, those 7 questions looked straight into my soul, I felt like they gave me a once-over and wanted to know all the things and a little extra, hah.
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Our shoot was entitled, “Modern Geisha” as that is precisely what it was. I contacted Chelsea Stotts the design wizard behind Moda Muñeca, after listing off several ideas we both thought a modern geisha concept would be something we both could excel at. The fabrics have the Asian flair of elegance and forward-thinking fashion that I was hoping they would. The hair was done by Angelina Galicia, she is absolutely amazing. I know I use words like this one hundred times a post but it doesn’t make it any less true, Karen (the model), her hair looked like it defied gravity, I still can’t fathom how to tie my hair in a fishtail braid, let alone do what she did! The vibrant makeup I had the pleasure of photographing (that lasted for about 4+ hours under bright/hot lights) was done by Angelica Maria Morales of Brown Sugar Beauty Makeup. She’s also the makeup artist for a new Milwaukee television series and has worked on other productions as well! This ‘behind-the-scenes’ team was amazing. I still feel lucky to have worked with them, I’m clearly star-struck. As for the model, Karen, she was one of the most enthusiastic and bright models I have ever worked with. Not only does she have a HUGE passion for Asian culture and art, she is a modeling genius. Every shot was different, her angles were interesting, the composition really formatted itself, while all the time she was fully aware of her light sources and how to best show off the garment. I could go on. Overall, this shoot was a huge success and I was so happy that it was picked up by Fashion Faces Magazine! It was my first publication, as previously stated, and I can’t help myself but be proud of what we all accomplished. The shoot was held at Art Asia in Milwaukee’s Third Ward, full of artifacts and collectibles, an antique paradise.

Onto shoot ideas and who this mysterious photographer friend of mine is!

Now that I’ve had a taste of being published (and am waiting for February 15th, where my work will be featured again, shh! this is the first time I’m saying it online!), I’m gearing all of my TF or ‘trade for’ shoots to be geared towards magazines to gain some more notoriety and exposure, all the while high-lighting the team I work with!

Kirameki Magazine
notes: 3 looks within series is required for them to publish your work.

  • March: Prismatic Butterfly – model and HMUA have been cast.
  • April: Black & White, Film Noir - shoot is COMPLETE, currently in the editing phase.
  • June: Pretty Princesses & Wicked Queens - model for a princess and princess HMUA have been cast, looking for 2nd and 3rd looks for wardrobe!
  • July: Asian - hah, what are the odds. HAS NOT BEEN CAST
  • August: Religion - HAS NOT BEEN CAST
  • September: Witches - HAS NOT BEEN CAST (I do have a possible idea and candidate, maybe, still open for takers!)

You may ask yourself, what about May? Well, first off I prefer photographing female models, with the exception of a few male models I’ve worked with in the past. Unfortunately for the gentlemen, they’re who I’m currently focusing on, which brings me back to May. May’s issue is centered around Gay Men and homosexual relationships between men ONLY. I am all for equality, but this borderlines too close to my “un-comfort zone” as far as photography is concerned. I’m not sure this falls within my ‘fashion niche’, nor am I all too interested in overtly sexual or borderline (could be considered) erotic photography, it’s just not what I’m interested in, if it were open to lesbian relationships, I still would not photograph it, what can I say, I know my strengths and am well-aware of my weaknesses, and relationships and sexy shoots, aren’t really one of them, haha. I do however encourage any models or photographers out there comfortable with this type of shoot to give it your all, and good luck on being published!

If you’re a model in my area, South-eastern Wisconsin or willing to travel, these are some magazines you should be aware of, and are also ones I would love to be published in as well:

  1. Fashion Faces Magazine (Fashion magazine, bright/fresh, predominantly women, independent designers ft.d)
  2. Beauty Look Magazine (Fashion forward, somewhat exotic, positive thinking, colorful)
  3. Rebellicious Magazine (Rebellious/alternative/sexy/all around ‘badass’ women, strong, independent)
  4. Vogue Italia (Vogue Sub-Magazine, still rad, still Vogue, still amazing)
  5. Dark Beauty (Alternative fashion, dark imagery, highly conceptual at times, fierce, very competitive to get into)

As far as shoots I want to do, just because, that MAY or MAY NOT get accepted into ‘zines, well, there’s quite a bit and they probably look much better in my mind’s eye than I’ll be able to describe here, but, aw what the heck I’ll do it anyway, I’ll post photos of inspirations at the end if I can find any! The ones with italicized words are scheduled, may or may not need outfits, but everything is pretty much underway and exact or rough dates have been determined.

  1. Cotton Candy/Candy/Cakes Shoot/Marie Antoinette Fashion inspired this one – Model and HMUA has been cast
  2. Voodoo Witch Doctor – potential model in mind, but nothing in stone
  3. Winter Fae CreatureModel has been cast – does own styling, dress is in production, wings are being concepted in Twin Cities
  4. Dark Circus – there were talks of a designer helping me on this one, but I haven’t talked to her since September… I need people!
  5. Ballerina/Dancer/Whimsical/Tulle Dress
  6. Retro/Mod Fashion
  7. Indie/Hipstermodel and HMUA cast, model’s idea, February 23rd is the date!
  8. Seasonal Essence – the.. fantasy solution to what or whom brings about the different seasons.
  9. Swimsuit – one piece, side cut-outs, bridge/flowy fabric
  10. HAIR AND MAKEUP!!! Bright/bold/different/natural, EVERYTHING, predominantly headshots, need HMUAs desperately!
  11. Seven Deadly Sins need wardrobe for sure, everything else too. Lots needed.
  12. Paper Dolls - paper dress, drawn by me, with styling to look like a doll. Yes. I’m serious.
  13. Water/Pool dresses, suits, flowers, anything with the model in some kind of body of water, preferrably a pool, less editing
  14. Smoke - fog, eerie
  15. Fairy Tales/Grimm Tales - characters from old fables, fairy tales, stories, not Disney, real characters of creepy/beautiful stories
  16. ….Disney
  17. Casual, semi-Formal, Formal  Winter Wear - Commercial photos, easily marketable to potential clients
  18. Casual, semi-Formal, Formal Spring Wear - Commercial photos, easily marketable to potential clients
  19. Casual, semi-Formal, Formal  Summer Wear - Commercial photos, easily marketable to potential clients
  20. Bridal wear
  21. Water/Rain/Wet Styling - Something different/new and not something I’ve already photographed, could be interesting.
  22. Color/Paint/Pigment - open to all ideas

There’s more. But this is the list I could crank out at 2AM. If you’re a model that I’ve chatted with pertaining to one or more of these shoots: if we have NOT picked a day/or vague date (with the exception of the Cotton Candy Model) message me! I want to get a lot of shoots in between February 22nd and March 20th! Holy cats, this has got to keep me off the hook until AT LEAST the next publication or the next photo shoot ;) Google all of the names I listed, the magazines, the pinterest boards, and message or email me if you’d like to work together, or fall under the MAKE ME SET A DATE group, you are fantastic, thanks for hanging in there throughout this big message, you’re a trooper and I appreciate you :D

Check out my pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lizzaylizz/photog/

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BLOG REVIVAL

Its been almost a year since I’ve updated this blog, it started out as a New Zealand virtual scrapbook and then morphed into the only thing left online that I can write things down that aren’t immediately read by everyone, thanks Zuckerberg, you really outDID yourself on that one. Hah. Sheesh.

Anywho, I’ve decided that I’m going to start making a photography blog so that I can write a little something about the people, production and anything in between regarding shoots and networking and life lessons I’m learning in the process. I think it’ll be a good time. I doubt if anyone will read it, but I’m good with that. Yepp. So that’s happening. Probably right… meow.

The Fluke Capacitor

Yesterday was just that, a fluke, an anomaly, a something that doesn’t happen very often and then did and now I’m embarrassed but its staying up there because it should – kind of thing. WOO. Run on seeeentencess!

Today I have to go to a FAB Magazine (Fashion, Art, Beauty) meeting, I’m volunteering as one of the photographers. I figured it would be a good resume boost. The magazine is completely student-run, printed, organized, and produced. Which is kind of awesome.

After that I have to photograph the comedian for Stoutonia. Leah’s got the hook up so I might get in before the show starts, WHICH WOULD BE AWESOME. Its not what you know its WHO you know. Ferreal.

After that, I’ll edit the photos, send them to my editor, the fabulous Maddy S. And then proceed to catch up on the brain-numbing that is all of my favorite shows. Its going to be stupendous. Not to mention I go home in two days and right now, the only thing that could possibly beat that is Robin Williams coming to Stout, talking to me one on one about life, and then offering me a job as a fashion photographer. Yeah. I’m pumped to see MKE – repruhzent! WOOWOO!

Getting crazy. Works done, class is going to start, I should move my bum. The end.

Ranting, raving, I need to kill things in Skyrim. NOW.

Alright, here we go. This is not only pathetic, but frustrating, annoying, and really self-indulged you should probably not read it as I’m not proud. Sometimes you just have to ‘go there’ and get it out so it doesn’t consume your soul. Aw yeah… here we go… so I’m getting antsy. Projects, homework, running around, its like a monotonous yet spastic routine and I’m not a fan. I’ve got a ton of frikken bills to pay, need gas money in my car, and the stupid library check hasn’t come in yet, neither has the stupid BDA check, and I shouldn’t be using these adjectives right now but they’re there, so what’r’ya’gon’do? Nothing. That’s what.

I’m slowly but surely getting annoyed with everything and nothing. It’s even frustrating trying to figure this out. On one hand I have freelance stuff… but people giving all these frikken orders when I’m getting little compensation … whatever. It’s annoying. I have two jobs up here at school, 1 volunteer job, 12 credits, no money, no money from all the jobs I’ve worked so far, its been a month WHAT THE FRACK ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! I’m really getting annoyed, if that wasn’t ABUNDANTLY clear. I think I just am over school, I’m over Stout, I’m over trying to meet expectations, I’m done. Just done. Clearly I need to work on me a little bit because this whole rant thing is already embarrassing.

I’m going home this weekend and I couldn’t be more relieved. I need to get away from this school. Its not even the town, not the people, just this school. I feel like I’ve completely checked out. Maybe I should have taken a semester off because right now its just ….I don’t even know. I don’t complain to people about this because usually they’re already complaining to me – which is totally fine, however… you can’t complain to someone else without getting them even more upset so at the end of the fracking day I’m brooding in my room waiting for it to be a decent hour to go to sleep so I can just close my eyes and concentrate only on breathing and not on anyone else’s stupid little a;lsdfjk. This is my life. I just want to play video games and kill bad guys. That’s it. I want people to stop being self-absorbed and complaining to me or demanding things from me or telling me about their shitty little problems, frack I swore. I like to keep the written word clean. Slip ups happen. This does not include any of my close friends, you people can come to me whenever, but when its people that just blatantly annoy the living a;glkds out of me, I can’t take it. People wonder why they think I don’t like anyone, you’re so up your on rear ends its maddening, go visit a starving culture or a penguin that can’t swim YOUR LIFE ISN’T FRACKING BAD SO STOP TELLING EVERYONE YOU HAVE IT HARD. Much like I’m doing right now.. I never said I wasn’t going to be a hypocrite. Going online and reading twenty ways people are hating drama or over childish games or think they deserve better, fxck off, go change your own life and stop waiting for someone to fxcking spoon feed it to you. Get some fxcking perspective. You can’t expect anyone in this world to ‘fix’ you, that’s not how it works. I’m so indescribably pissed at how everyone thinks their problems are the result of someone else. Fxck off, no. You can change every little thing in your life, so go do it and stop clogging up my newsfeed with you new age ‘daddy hits me because he loves me’ crap. Stop playing the victim, be the hero and save your own fricking day. a;lkgnd

I don’t even know what the point of this entry is. I never write in this anymore, maybe Leah’s blog stirred up some serious stuff that needed to just pour out in this discombobulated mess. I wish I could help Leah’s reverse culture shock because I understand how she feels, plus she’s one of the few people I can be my total self with and truly not care, truly. I’m sure I still annoy the crap out of her, I annoy me too, but at the end of the day, she’s one of my dearest friends. So yeah, I want to help her, as I feel the same.. in a way.  Except.. I miss the open schedule and freedom a little moreso than New Zealand. Not that I wouldn’t sell a sick child’s kidney for Anita or Charlie or Jackie or all of them to come here, I don’t miss being on an island. I miss the island mentality. I can’t take the classes here seriously, most of the time it feels like a waste of time and I should just be at home where I actually enjoy things.

I’m sorry this is a pity fest. I have a lot of good things going on for me this semester that are amazing, but I don’t know I just.. I’m definitely not in it to win it. I came here in August with a bad attitude. I was sick of Stout a few hours into it, I honestly don’t know what the deal is. Emily said I’d miss it once I graduated. False. I’ll miss my friends, I’ll miss hockey, and I’ll miss… mm… probably the resources, but I assure you I will not miss classes and I will not miss campus. Speaking of classes….

I hate Philosophy. The teacher sucks. I like Anthropology but I’m always in a bad mood from Philosophy, as it is before Anthro. Life Drawing II is my favorite class, as it seems its the only class this semester I’ll actually be using because I’m not really into video, which is Digital Cinema Studio. In fact, that’s my ‘doesn’t count towards graduation’ elective so, eh, I may have made a poor choice, although its interesting, I mean, I’m sure it’ll be useful in a number of ways, but I’m in pity-mode and can’t really concentrate on that right now. But I digress. I’m a sourpuss today. I also have no want to ever go out and have a drink again because my latest hurah was awful and blechhhh. Which is good, as I haven’t gotten paid from any of my jobs. So I can’t have a drink even if I wanted to. Therefore my student loans haven’t been paid off either, therefore I’m screwed.

Maybe I should have just gone off to Washington, learned how to live like a nature extremist and dismissed Menomonie entirely like Ross did. Or, maybe I should just be a work at home telemarketer and play skyrim all day killing things that annoy me. Whats also annoying is that certain things whenever I think of them make me feel like the sky is falling and I can’t breathe and I can’t control it and .. new subject. Forget it, I’m going to sleep. This is a really pointless and frustrating. There’s no reason I shouldn’t take my own advice and change something. However, the thing I need to change is the same thing I need to have to have a decent job and life I guess. I need the classes to get the degree. I just don’t want to take the classes, its a never ending circle of I wish I was done.

My grandpa would kick me if he were here to read this.

:Buster Poindexter, in da house

ONTO HAPPY THINGS.
I hungout with Amber today! It was great, felt like I had never left. We exchanged news about our lives, I grilled her about every wedding thing she’s decided on, has yet to decide on, and gave her my opinions on what she SHOULD decide on. She loves me for it and I doubt she wouldn’t expect anything less than for me to tell her what I think would be fantastic for her. If she gets bothered by it, she’ll tell me, but she loves it, so she won’t, haha. We were discussing wedding shtuff, events, friends, family, all the while at Olive Garden drinking Moscato and Roscato mixed drinks. You know you’re best friends when I complain I hate orange juice and the menu DID NOT STATE there was orange juice in mine, that she offers to switch. I ended up being a light weight and then gave her back her drink to finish and downed mah H2O. While we were sitting there drinking pretty drinks chatting over salad and pasta, I couldn’t help but think, “how grown up are we, we’re damn classy” I realize now: the fact that I thought that to myself and said we’re ‘damn classy’ means I’m not classy at all. But it felt classy, it felt all sorts of classy. After that, we came back to my house, made some embarrassing phone calls to Denny’s and George Webbs about Wifi before the idea dawned that we could just chill at my house and use OUR wifi. We’re not as grown up as I though. Sad..day.. I’m excited to help out with future planning, wedding style. Not to mention I’m photographing it and also doing some engagement photos at a discounted price *because I’m also doing the wedding, lets not bankrupt the best frand*. So that’s exciting. Mark your calendars kids, April 13th, 2013. I’ll never forget her stinkin’ anniversary because its 3 days before my birthday, sneaky-sneaaaky! Its going to be gorgeous, black and white, classic, timeless, extravagant. Amber has impeccable taste and is a smidge particular. And if I’m acting as her wingman for the next couple months, the wedding industry best watch out, I’ll ask the tough questions and be all sorts of upfront, not to mention Amber’s out for blood if people mess with her. Haha.

Well, the night ending with us looking this song up on youtube so she could tell me that whatever DJ she picks, better “frikken have this song” hahahaha.

Then we looked at honeymoon places, because I’m convinced she deserves to LEAVE Wisco and get awaaaaay. But it turns out hotels hate honeymooners and don’t think the couple has spent enough on their wedding, so they expect someone to sell a kidney to be able to afford a 3 night stay somewhere. And this is still inside the US, ridiculous. It’s a hard knock life. But, it was a good night. We’re going to take a day sometime to really dive head first into the wedding planning. She’s going to take me to the venue, we’re going to scope out some locations to take photos in outside of the venue in town, research stuff… I’m excited.

Well, just before Amber left, Evan and my mom got back from going to Katie’s softball games in Muskego with my Gma Jackie. Evan came in with all smiles, he said he had the best time of his life. No pressure. Haha. Evan is really glad to have finally met Katie, had nothing but really really nice things to say about her, so I have no doubt we’ll have a good time. Little anxious to meet her, not gonna lie. Its not a big thing, but at the same time, its a REALLY big thing, haha. I’m relatively good at talking to new people and meeting new people, this is just a totally new situation for me, as it is for her, so I think we’re both a little on edge about it. Or maybe its just me, I’m an awkward turtle. And I tend to say dumb things, like “I’m obnoxious” and whatever else, I’m frequently described as a ‘wise-guy’ by the Gma Jackie, ridiculous, and all of the above.

Oh!

Evan felt an overwhelming need to let me know Katie prefers Pepsi over Coke. Looks like he finally found someone on the dark side.

I’m meeting her tomorrow at 6, and for fear of starting drama with certain people in my family, I’m not going to recall the crazy small world aspect that comes into how we eventually had to pick this particular meeting place… although its quite the tale, buy me a drink sometime, I’ll tell you. But anywho, I’ll be out in the sticks for an extended amount of time tonight, it’ll be fun, I have no doubt. I’m also going over to see my cousin SAMMY!!! I mean, Sam. Ahem. Which reminds me… my Aunt Donna called me on Sunday, I think, I got the message Tuesday, but still, I should probably call her back before she disowns me on the principle of the matter, I might disown me if I were in her shoes, rude rude rude. I’m not grown up yet!! I’m LEARNING! Anywho, I should probably go to sleep… New Zealand, mixed with going up north, mixed with me being unemployed and free to play LOTR PS3 and DSi Pokemon games have really did a number on my sleeping schedule… my sincerest sympathies go out to ANITA who has to go back to class on Monday…

A moment of silence for Nita if you please…

HAHA SUCKAHHH.

Love you tons, that’s unfortunate give everyone a ‘hey’ and an airfive for me. You’re a good bro… bro.

:It feels like home to me

I had this great plan to write about the shoots in Wellington and Napier, then follow up with an even more crazy post on our going away party, but… well, can’t say that I’ve really had an urge to be online writing about events that have happened AGES ago. Although amazing, probably the best times in New Zealand, in … well – forever. I’m just pretty good with being home. Just good. Not upset, not excited, just content. Its like I never left.

We went up north 8 hours after the 20 hour flight. Thanks familia, hah. That was a really good time. Well, it stunk when I realized how caucasian I looked compared to everyone else, as they’ve had roughly 2 months of summer to tan their lucky bums off. Jerks. I’m slowly but surely catching up. Had a good time up North though with my Grandma Barb, Uncle Steve, Mom, Ron, Ev, Trev, and Kylie, and Aunt Stacy, almost forgot! We were able to visit with my Aunt Kathy and then cousins: Kim, Rochelle, Steve, Matt, Katie, and Nick a bit too. I never really realized how many people are in our family on my late Grandpa Keith’s side, its kind of mind blowing actually. We sat out by the fire at night, which was kind of ironic seeing as how during the days it was almost always in the 90s and 100s, and the house doesn’t have AC, but it really doesn’t need it, as half of it is built into the hill, which I think we all appreciate on days that are deathly hot. The lake just down the hill is nice too, hah.

We spent the 4th and Grandpa’s birthday (the 5th) toasting and just enjoying ourselves as much as we could. Its still extremely difficult for me to go there with so many reminders, but I think thats also why I love going there and seeing my Grandma is always really nice. I think its harder to drive home, leaving down the driveway is the worst part. My grandma and mom put in some old home movies he made way back when we were all little. It was amazing hearing his voice on the tapes. I could honestly only handle about 10 minutes of it. He was babysitting Evan and he mentioned or said something along the lines of (in that way he always did “…ya KNOW Evan, when you get olderr…” and as soon as I heard that it took almost all of my self-control not to crumble where I was sitting before going upstairs and taking some time for myself to get past the moment.

Its weird. Certain things set me off, I have no idea what it’ll be but when they do, its the most intense feeling of sadness I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I’ve heard since then people talking about their own family members passing away, that never seems to bother me that much, at least not as intensely. Although I came across some silly Halloween card I saved (I save all of the birthday, holiday cards people give me, for at least a few years, I’m a paper hoarder). Well it was a dorky pumpkin mooning the camera with two pumpkins for its bum, something really cheesy and just funny. My grandpa sent it to me either last year or the year before, usually my grandma signs their names and its really pretty hand writing. This one was signed “Grumpy Grampa” and I lost it.

I think leaving for New Zealand so soon after it happened, put all of it on hold, or I pushed it all to the side of my brain. Being home, being around family at all, just honestly makes me really grateful/happy and really sad at the same time. Its kind of bothersome. I still haven’t visited the cemetery. I know my mom gets kind of annoyed with me when I tell her I don’t want to go with her there, but I think the first time I go, I need to prepare myself and just go alone. I hate crying. ANYONE that knows me will tell you that. I’m the most awkward crier. I’d be an awful actress because I can’t cry all whimsical and pretty, when I cry its a hot mess, my face gets even more puffy, I sound like my nasty old car, all sputtery as if its chugging, and I already have an allergy to the world itself so my nose just decides to be a jerk. Its just an epic fail. SO, long story short, if I know I’m going into a situation where I know I’m going to cry, I know I’m going to take all precautions known to man to make sure as little as possible human beings witness the affair, while keeping extreme data on all possible exit strategies. Its a process. I think I’ll make it there sometime this summer, but I’ll be stealth about it, for sure. I wasn’t planning on writing about that… funny how something starts out and then turns into a completely different animal..

:Pink pajamas penguins on the bottom

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Last night around midnight I got to Skype with Laura. It was fantastic to hear about Africa so far and whats been going on. You can read all about her travels in Jinja, Uganda on her blog: http://uganda-andback.blogspot.co.nz/. As you can see, Uganda’s internet isn’t the best. If you’ve been keeping up to date at all with my own experiences with internet speed throughout my trip in New Zealand, you’d know its not much better than Africa’s, hah. So our combined connection was fun. Haha.

This post is just short and sweet, I cannot wait to hear all about it when she gets back. I have a feeling we both aer going to be very different or maybe just more experienced with different outlooks on the world when we get back to Stout. It was just cool Skyping from two different countries other than America.

Check out her blog!

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