Monthly Archives: March 2008

In Limbo

I am camera-less.

I’m going through withdrawals. I had to sell my XTi to make room in the bank account for a camera upgrade, and now I’m unable to take those random, pointless little pictures that I’ve become accustomed to capturing.

For the past 10 months or so, I’ve constantly had the think strapped to my back, so I’m feeling very odd at the moment. That’s why the Flickr pool has gone stagnant, and I’ve become very, very quiet.

On the bright side: new camera coming soon! Woo!

be/an/i

We don’t read.

We don’t fight for our marriages.

We don’t hold doors open for strangers.

We don’t believe we deserve discipline…ever.

We disdain the views and advice of our elders.

We watch our weight closer than we watch our tempers.

We believe in a god, but not a god who knows what’s best for us.

We don’t know how to distinguish good music from rubbish (*cough*emo*cough*rap*cough*).

We believe love is a feeling that comes and goes easily and doesn’t require nurturing.

We wear Chucks (Okay, so maybe that’s not so different).

We can tell you all about our favored politician’s views, but we can’t list the 10 Commandments.

We hate our parents for not knowing how to raise us “properly.”

We haven’t learned to properly appreciate Twitter yet (What’s wrong with you people?).

We think a college diploma is more necessary than an education (think about that one).

We use drugs as a solution to a problem we can’t even identify.

We actually read the comments to videos on YouTube (one day someone’s head will explode from those things).

We support 4,200,000 pornographic Internet sites.

We are taught to love ourselves, but learn little about loving others.

We get our self-esteem largely from the failures of others.

We know what “ROFL” and “OMG” mean, but “patience” is an archaic word.

We watch countless movies made by guiltless people without even realizing the messages they promote.

We don’t appreciate honest criticism.

We don’t pray.

So the question is this: WHEN WILL YOU STOP BEING A “WE,” AND START BEING AN “I?”

More coming on this topic…

[EDIT] Please note this post is not advocating people avoid college. 😉

My Confession

Germ

Tonight I was “parched” while heading to my Marriage and the Family night class at LSU-S. I noticed that I had a few extra minutes, so I stopped at the Circle K across from the campus to pick up a carbonated beverage.

While standing in line, holding my single item in my hand, I noticed the cashier had a slight problem. She was hocking up a lung, coughing all over the place. The rattle in her throat let me know that she was trying to loosen up the phlegm that lined her esophagus. Disgusting? Yeah.

But she was hocking all of this stuff INTO HER HANDS.

She wasn’t coughing into the elbow of her sleeve. She wasn’t turning her head and keeping in mind that she’s handling various items that her customers are going to be consuming. She simply hacked and weezed into her palms, then proceeded to handle the merchandise. She didn’t even proceed into the obligatory (but useless) hand wipe across the shirt. She didn’t do anything to make her customers more comfortable. She just gagged into her hands.

Then I noticed something that disturbed me even further: when she grabbed the drink belonging to the customer in front of me to wipe across the scanner, she grabbed it by the top half of the bottle. Her palm and fingers wrapped around the neck and the cap of the bottle.

I began to get nervous. I glanced around to see if anyone else had noticed this atrocity. No one seemed to care.

Finally I stepped forward. It was my turn. It felt like a walk up to the gallows. She smiled at me, and gave a little half-cough to the side. I began to break out in a cold, awkward sweat along my hairline; probably not visible to the cashier, but definitely adding to my fears that this moment was going to quickly escalate into a socially awkward moment of epic proportions.

I had to act…

I slid the 20 oz. drink forward…wayyyyy forward, until it “accidentally” swiped across the sensor. The *beep* seemed to alarm the cashier, and so I played right along. “Oh, whoops,” I said. “Sorry about that.”

“Um, no problem,” she muttered back. “Is that all?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I responded politely. I smiled and began to feel victorious. I was almost in the clear, phlegm free!

Then, without asking, she pulls out a bag…and places the beautiful green nectar of the gods into the bag…USING HER PALM AND FINGERSON THE TOP HALF OF THE DRINK!”

I was crushed. If only I had grabbed the drink after she rang it up. If only I hadn’t been fumbling with my wallet, trying to pull out two dollar bills, I could have seized the moment and grabbed the drink. I could’ve drawn it close, claiming it as my own. “Staking my territory,” so to speak.

It was over for me.

As I type this (in my Marriage & Family class), I have my Dew beside me. I’m drinking it, but with every sip I wonder if a little phlegm is washing down my throat. Yes, it’s overblown. It’s silly. It’s stupid. But I have a problem.

I don’t like germs. I don’t like drinking after people (it was a stretch for me to drink after Shari until well into our marriage). I don’t mind if someone is “dirty,” I just don’t like spit, saliva, coughing, sneezing, snotting, or anything dealing with the germs of the mouth and the nose.

But it’s not just those things. I like my books to be in order. I don’t like people scratching my DVDs. I don’t like people scratching their own DVDs. I avoid sidewalk cracks like they’re going to send a fatal electric shock through my body.

That’s right. I avoid sidewalk cracks. I even have a routine while on campus. I can take two steps in one block, then one in the neck. Two step block, one step block, two step block, one step block, repeat process. I don’t believe that my mother’s spinal column will be crushed a result of my stepping on a crack, but I don’t like to do it.

But I don’t care if my clothes are on the floor at the side of my bed. I don’t mind the grass getting a bit too tall. I don’t mind that Apple dug a hole in the back yard.

So what is it that determines what I find unbearable and what I let go? Why does the thought of someone coughing into their hand and touching my Mountain Dew bother me to the point that I start to sweat, but swimming in a lake full of catfish feces doesn’t phase me at all?

Is it neurosis, or is it just stupid?

Kenneth

If you look on the right side of my blog, you’ll see a ton of links. I have links to some of my favorite photographers, links to the various social networking sites I’m “forced” to keep up with, as well as some links to guys’ blogs who I feel are not just worth my reading, but yours as well.

One of the blogs I made sure was on that list is the blog of Armando Heredia. I met Armando last year when he came and spoke at Current Student Ministry’s annual youth event, Experience. We didn’t know Armando before, but he came and really busted the place open with his honesty and raw truthfulness. God used him to really impact a lot of us. We’ve kept in touch since then, and he’s become a friend who really knows how to smack me over the head with a great, different (and often common sense) perspective when we speak.

Armando just put up a new post called “A Bowl of Soup for Kenneth.”

Stop what you’re doing. You can come back to my blog later. Right now you need to click on that link, read his blog, and forward the link to every Email address in your address book. Armando’s story of the man he ran into at a convention last weekend was enough to hit me like a ton of bricks, but I needed it. And I’m sure a lot of other people do too.

Go. Read. It. Now.

Celeste

I finally finished editing Celeste’s shots today (from last Thursday). That’s actually a quick turnaround for photogs, but now my neck is aching from tensing up as I’m fiddling with stuff in Photoshop. I need to edit in one of those massage recliners that people can’t get out of at Sharper Image.

Anyways, THANK YOU x 1,000 to Celeste! I had a great time Thursday. Tell Blake that he was a huge help as well.

These are some of my favorites, but there are more others from the set HERE at my Flickr page.

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And the “preview” shot from a few days ago:

Preview

Thank you again, Celeste!

P.S. For those of you who don’t know, Celeste is one of the L1FT girls. She’s a student on mine and Shari’s, and it’s crazy to think that she’s going to be leaving our class soon. It’s always a horrible feeling to watch students move on to college after you’ve seen them go through high school…

Sadness.

Congratulations!

I have a bit of a problem with humans on this day.

If I greeted my parents by saying, “Congratulations on winning the 1988 Super Bowl,” you might find my adulation misplaced. Actually, you might call me a ridiculous idiot. The same could be said if I applauded you for that wonderful “Emancipation Proclamation” speech you gave only 146 years ago. Good job, fellow (or fellowess)!

Just as George Costanza was forced to reclaim credit for his big salad, I kind of get the feeling that we need to take a closer look at this whole “Happy Easter” greeting that we’ve made extensive use of.

We’ve kind of made Easter about us (just like every other holiday, but that’s another blog for another day). Blah…

So when we say, “Happy Easter!” to one another, we’re basically saying, “Hey! Congratulations on that whole being raised from the dead thing, Phil! Way to go!” *high five*

Now, of course I’m being a little cheeky with all this, but I really am sick about how every holiday has become twisted and mangled into being all about us. The funny thing is that we attach the most ridiculous customs and imagery to these holidays.

The birth of Christ? Hmmm, that one’s simple! Fat man, white beard, red suit, flying deer, pointy trees, ornamental spheres with glitter, open sleighs, and Jimmy Stewart! Now you have yourself a holiday! Yeah, yeah…it started with Jesus coming to earth and the celebration of that event. Now it’s all about, “WHAT AM I GONNA GET?” And yes, it’s been exploited commercially to the point that I dread the holiday season arriving.

Easter? The resurrection of Christ? You know that the perfect way to celebrate that occasion would be…hmmmm…a RABBIT!

That’s right, a rabbit! And what do rabbits do? Distribute eggs all around your house? Well, of course! That makes perfect sense! After all, rabbits don’t lay eggs, so it makes sense that they would want to get rid of them. How did they get all colorful, covered in pastels of pink, blue, yellow and green? Well, that’s simple as well: Rabbits are white, brown, and/or black, so they want to spice up their lives with some dainty colors!

The resurrection? Oh, yeah…well, that’s cool too. BUT LOOK AT THE EGGS! THEY’RE COLORED!

I’m not going to buy you guys a card that Hallmark hopes I’ll purchase in support of their manipulation of our overly-consumerist society. I’m not going to color any eggs. I don’t think we even have any eggs at home. Today I’m not going to tell you guys “Happy Easter.” I leave you with “Remember the Resurrection.”

Additionally, I really, really hate pastels.

Creepy Easter

Is it just me…

Pope

…or does Pope Benedict XVI creep the living daylights out of any of you guys too?

I’m not sure what it is about the man’s eyes, but they are skeeeeeery. He kind of reminds me of Emperor Palpatine in appearance, but maybe that has more to do with the robes and circles under the eyes.

I’m sure he’s a nice man and all. I’m just saying…

Wall-E

I’ve been a big fan of Pixar for a long, long time. I’ve enjoyed every single one of their movies, and I’m not ashamed to say it.

No, it has nothing to do with the company being previously owned by Steve Jobs (sold to Disney in 2006 for $7,400,000,000).

I just really, really like their movies. I remember I watched Toy Story with my friend Brad when it first came out. I didn’t expect much out of a movie about toys, but it was hilarious (and obviously not just for kids). Since then I’ve jumped on the chance to watch them all as soon as I could. Other studios try to match their storytelling abilities, but let’s face it…they all fall short.

So to my point: I’m really excited about Wall-E. The first preview I saw for it left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, but the second, third, and fourth ones made me realize that this might wind up being one of Pixar’s finest. Check out all four at the link I just provided. You’ll love ’em.And if you don’t, you must have a heart made of cold, cold stone.

More Pictures Coming…

I shot Celeste’s high school senior portraits Thursday morning all around Bossier City/Shreveport. I’m still editing them (only about 15% through right now), but I wanted to share this one.

It’s best viewed full-size. Click on the picture and then click the zoom button on the Flickr page.

Thank you, Celeste!

Preview

Sandlin Family

I had the privilege of shooting the Sandlins (photographically speaking…there was no gunfire involved) this past Monday. Here are a few images from the shoot. To see much of the set, visit this link to the collection on my Flickr page.

American Family

Kiss, Kiss