Friday, July 25, 2008

I ____:

After all of my sadness about my SX-70 camera and photography in general earlier this week, it turned out to be a really great week for both. I am now the proud owner of this beautiful SX-70 Alpha "Sears Special" and four more packs of Artistic TZ. I bit the bullet and bought both. I had to. After my bummer of a Monday, I required some retail therapy.

I was perusing the lovely Bits & Pieces of a Happy Life blog by Erica, and found this little ditty and decided to fill it in with my answers. I love survey-ish questionaire thingies like this.

I AM: terribly excited to use this sweet new Polaroid SX-70 tomorrow (replacement for dead SX-70, thanks Nate!).
I WANT: Travis to come home from work. It's almost 8:30 on a Friday night!
I WISH: I could go on tour with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
I HATE: going to bed some nights. I'm like a kid. I fight it because I'm just not ready to sleep. I have websites to peruse, magazines to read, pointless random stories to tell...
I MISS: lazy summer days filled with nothing but popsicles and riding bikes.
I HEAR: "Ribs and Whiskey" by Widespread Panic, and myself clicking away on the keyboard
I WONDER: how I could get packages of Goofy Sours from Disneyland sent to my house.
I REGRET: getting out of the habit of walking everyday. I used to walk up to two hours a day and felt really good about myself.
I AM NOT: very motivated.
I DANCE: like an uncoordinated white girl/hippie at concerts and I don't care!
I SING: very poorly but out loud in the car all the time and in front of my computer if I've got something playing from iTunes
I CRY: "cry" isn't the right word, sometimes I get slightly teary at concerts because I feel so alive and usually they're outside and the scenery is amazing and I always feel so lucky to be there, listening to great music with my best friend.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: late, despite what my husband might tell you.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: most recently, a stitched felt Polaroid camera cover for a Flickr friend in Encino, CA, the lovely Fotonomous.
I WRITE: two blogs and on two Flickr accounts.
I CONFUSE: myself. I can be a real dumb ass sometimes.
I NEED: to travel more. There's a whole world out there that I need to see.
I SHOULD: get started on scanning my family Polaroids for a Christmas gift.
I START: too many projects.
I FINISH: not enough of said projects. I'm well-intentioned, but lose interest.

Happy weekend!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Burnt Cake

Today, July 21, 2008 is officially my worst photography day ever. Last night, after shooting three nice shots with my SX-70 and overpriced (but it's not your fault, Freestyle) new/old Artistic TZ film (that I've already fallen in love with), I pressed the shutter for a fourth time, and the camera made all its normal clicking, thunking and whirring but the film didn't eject. I hmm-ed out loud, pressed the shutter again and still no film.

I came home, and frantically posted on the Polaroid SX-70 group on Flickr about my trouble and after some very kind and helpful advice, I thought that it was a simple fix: the battery in the film pack was dead. I tried a regular pack of 600 film and shot five successful frames, and then it happened again. The film stopped ejecting. I did a little more searching and question-asking on Flickr and came to the conclusion that the pick-up arm inside the camera wasn't picking up. I carefully bent it down a smidge, and popped the now-ruined pack of 600 film in, and now I have a compounded problem. The film still won't eject, and now the camera is making a hideous screechy squealing noise and it won't stop cycling. I give up.

I thought long and hard about buying the Artistic TZ in the first place because it was $24.99 + shipping per pack of eight images (8!) -- that's about $3 per shot! -- and finally decided that this will be the only time in my life when I'll be able to use real SX-70 film in an SX-70, and not only that, but it's Time Zero. It's manipulable. Yesterday, as we sat in the shade at Creekside Park in Salt Lake, eating our sandwiches before a nice game of disc golf, I took the shot above and instantly fell in love with how beautiful and soft and oddly-colored this Artistic TZ film is and said out loud, "I think I'm going to have to get more of this." My mind was made up. I was ready to put down some cash for this lovely new but already expired film, and then my camera does this. I still want more film, but now I'm going to have to buy another SX-70 on top of it, and I just don't have the money to do both right now. I'm so heartbroken I could just cry.

And on top of all of this, I finally found a local place that could develop my 38-year old roll of Kodacolor-X that came with my pretty little Brownie Hawkeye, and of course, nothing came out on it. It was blank, save for one frame that has a dark corner. Sour icing on top of my burnt photography cake.

It's days like this that make me wonder why I do this to myself.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Grace Potter!

Last night we were dazzled by Grace Potter & the Nocturnals at a free concert at Snowbird. After belting out her amazing music for about an hour and a half, Grace hung out at the merch tent to sign things and take pictures with her fans. My friend Amanda and I stood in line for a couple minutes and then got to chat with Grace for about five (which is an eternity when you're chatting with a rock star!). I asked if I could take a picture of her with my Polaroid camera and she gasped and said "I LOVE POLAROID! We tour with like, five Polaroid cameras!" She told us that she did a Polaroid shoot with The Flight of the Concords and "did crazy stuff, like put my legs over the guys" (and at this point, she threw her leg into the air while she told the story) "and then I left all the Polaroids in a cab."

As Grace was signing Amanda's new shirt, I told Grace I met her at Red Rocks two years ago and she kind of rolled her eyes and smiled and said "I apologize. That was a... cuh-razy show." I just laughed and said how great it was and she said thanks. We took some pictures together and then I took the Polaroid and she signed it. Grace Potter kicks ass.

More shots on my Flickr, and this shot also made it onto This is Somewhere, the Grace Potter & the Nocturnals blog!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Dancing Hippopotamus

My grandpa showed me how to throw a Frisbee when I was a wee one, and I remember kind of sucking at it, but over the years, the parks, the concert parking lots, and the recent front yard throwing sessions, I've gotten quite good at the ol' game. I can do the fabled under-the-leg catch, and I can even catch it behind my back. I'm pretty amazing. Ha!

So it should come as no surprise that I - and Travis - have become addicted to disc golf. We played last year a few times at Solitude with our friend Cass, and that was all it took. This year, we drove up the canyon and played our first game on the first day of Solitude's summer season, and went back again yesterday, with Cass and pal Katie, and new discs. We've been playing on Solitude's rented mid-range discs, but I trekked out to Play It Again Sports in Salt Lake on Saturday and got Trav and me some used distance drivers, and Cass a birthday disc, the pink TeeRex, that's been dubbed Pinky Lee and the Dancing Hippopotamus. Our new discs kick ass. My favorite is the TeeBird, a beat-up white beast that the previous owner drew someone flipping the bird on. Trav's favorite is the yellow Valkyrie that we named Old Yeller. We also got a tie-dyed disc that I haven't used yet, and a blue Orc that repeatedly got lost among Solitude's tall brush and wildflowers. I love the Orc (Old Blue) but I think I'll use it in cut-grass parks and places it can't get lost.

There's so much about disc golf that we don't know or really even care about, and doubt we ever will. There are a lot of pros out there and people who really go for the competition, but the point of our game is to get outside and have fun. Our little group spends more time sitting at each tee talking and laughing than we do actually playing disc golf, but what's more fun that hanging out with your friends and having a great time?

Thursday, July 10, 2008


My dad found the most comfortable hammock in the world and strung it up on the cabin's porch. While it swings gently, I can't help but feel my cares flying away, vanishing in the cool mountain breeze. If I can keep my eyes open, the hummingbirds and butterflies are a joy to watch as they dip and flutter through the aspens, oaks, columbine, yarrow, lamb's ear, and goldenrod. The stream nearby gurgles and cascades as it runs the length of the property, and the resident birds create a cacophony of happy song. The cabin is pure heaven, and there's always something new to love.

Monday, July 07, 2008

It's a Brownie!

This July 4th was quite relaxing for us. Last year, we were visiting Chicago for the first time and were running around like crazy tourists between the architectural boat tour, the Field Museum, the Taste, and the free John Mayer concert, then dinner in Grant Park, then back out toward the waterfront for fireworks. The year before that, we kayaked all morning and then hit three parties and stumbled back home around 2 in the morning. The two years before that, we were backpacking at White Pine Lake in way-Northern Utah... and before that, there were parades and fireworks, but the details are fuzzy.

This year, we had a lazy morning. I finally memorialized my daisies on Polaroid, and Trav ran to the local grocery and grabbed us fresh donuts for breakfast. We spent the afternoon with family at my dad's cabin, played in the inflatable frog pool, took some pictures, enjoyed each other's company, and ate really good steak. Later that night, we went to a big, ruckus-filled party at my aunt-in-law's house. She's done it for years and it is aptly named Avenues of Fire. She lives in Salt Lake City's Avenues area and the "fire" part comes in at dusk, when the fireworks begin. Four adults (including my husband) and two very well-watched kids lit all the cones, up to six at a time, for 45 minutes straight. There were probably $400 worth of pyrotechnics there this year. It was pretty awesome, and a great end to our first lazy 4th in a long time.

Now, to get to the meaning of the photo above. While at the party, my uncle Doug surprised me with two Kodak cameras. One is the Handle, a short-lived Kodak instant film camera that I'll have to troll ebay to find some film for, and the other is this beautiful little Brownie Hawkeye Flash. It's nice and clean, the shutter works great, and there were 11 flash bulbs in the box, but the coolest part is that buried in the box was an unused, unopened roll of classic Kodacolor-X film expired in October, 1970. I'm running it through the camera now and hoping it's still good. Doug has now added three cameras to my collection and I couldn't be more happy. Thank you, Doug!

I hope your Fourth was as nice as mine!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th!

Daisies aren't exactly "Stars and Stripes Forever" but they're a sign of summer and the Fourth of July is in the summer, and well, that's my correlation. Today is a day for family and friends, BBQs, corn on the cob, fireworks and popsicles. Happy Independence Day, yo.