27 October 2010


Elizabeth., originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.

One of the few perks this ghastly month has been more shooting time... despite incurring more rental fees for lenses since mine has yet to find it's way back from Nikon repairs. Ugg.

This past Sunday evening, I had the pleasure of tagging along with fellow photographers, Rob Miracle and Tom Winstead, for some noir type stuff with Elizabeth (pictured here), a lovely young woman with notably killer legs. --And I finally got to put some of my recently acquired vintage hats to use...

(Yes, another eBay find.)

It seems that, based on this lot of hats, women back in the day had heads the size of cantaloupes, maybe even grapefruits.

I think that means we've all just gotten smarter. =)

"If we have to tell Hollywood good-by, it may be with one of those tender, old-fashioned, seven-second kisses exchanged between two people of the opposite sex, with all their clothes on."

...Anita Loos

gettin' that dragon.

Goin' to see Papa, originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.
SO. This past weekend I picked up a DVD copy of a super cute movie we'd all watched in the theater, "How to Train Your Dragon," which we've now seen about twenty times so far.

As such, it was no surprise to find our brave little gentleman galloping about the living room the other night playing dragon and (here comes the 'surprise' part) exclaiming, "I'm gonna get that fucking dragon!"

Looks like Mommie and Daddy need to uhm, *cough* monitor Liam's television exposure a bit more closely... Yeah, we'll go with that.

Not that I'm proud that our toddler was caught using sailor words by any means (although he is a Pirate baby after all), but I have to admit it is damn impossible not to burst into spontaneous giggles every time I replay the scene in my head. --The hardest part of course was keeping seriously disappointed looks on our faces while explaining to a four-year-old why it's not nice to drop F-bombs.


"Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer."

...Mark Twain

26 October 2010


Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad
October has always been one of my most favorite months of the year. It's when the weather actually begins to cool off and the beautiful fall foliage blossoms. When being outdoors is its most pleasurable and when I feel rejuvenated, alive, and most content. When pumpkins spring up on doorsteps awaiting Halloween... I always loved October.

Until now.

This year, October has been the month from HELL. Bubbling over with chaos, drama, fatigue, tantrums, whiny complaining neighbors, bullshit, over-due bills and overdrawn bank accounts, things breaking down, going wrong, and general mayhem. Everything that is screwed-up, shitty, irritating, annoying, bad, rotten, chaotic, stressful, overwhelming, exhausting, depressing, infuriating, and homicide-provoking has come together for a big fall festival to reek havoc and play the devil in our lives. And it has spread like smallpox infecting both home and work, swallowing us up like a title-wave of shit.

Holy hell.

What on earth did I do to piss October off? October has betrayed me. October turned on me and stabbed me in the back like some narcissistic predator leaving me lying in the gutter as it strolls onward into November without a care in the world. October is not my friend.

Oh no, October is no friend of mine.

"October is nature's funeral month. Nature glories in death more than in life. The month of departure is more beautiful than the month of coming - October than May. Every green thing loves to die in bright colors."

...Henry Ward Beecher

19 October 2010

all's Fair.

fried oreos.
Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad
It's that time of year again: the NC State Fair.

When throngs of people, young and old, make their annual pilgrimage to Raleigh to pay homage to ridiculously overpriced deep-fried foods, rides, and games all designed to drain fair-goers financially dry, fill your home with more cheap shit destined for donation, and raise your cholesterol by a thousand percent...

When traffic on any given day is completely constipated, interstate and roadway alike, within a five mile radius of this fiasco...

Where parking is a terrible joke, especially for handicapped patrons dumped like cattle for slaughter into the general traffic sometimes miles away while on-site parking is reserved for tractor trailers, campers, and monster trucks...

And every year we subject ourselves to this freak show, why exactly? Well, I'm not really sure. --For the sake of our impatient, over-stimulated kids who are so tired after an hour or two that absolutely everything invokes a tearful tantrum?

Example (upon having just had my son's face painted and him wiping his mouth with a baby wipe)...
My sweet angel boy: "It's uggeley!"
Me: "Let's go see if they can fix it for you."
My sweet angel boy: "No! (crying) I don't want it anymore! It's uggeley!"
Me: "Okay, well we don't have to. Want Mommie to clean off your face for you?"
My sweet angel boy: "No! (cries harder) I wanna fix it!"

It wasn't all bad however. The Fair is bubbling over with photo opportunities and it goes without saying that I took lots of pictures. I got to spend some time with one of my best high school friends, Karen, and her daughter Cheyenne, and saw my "other dad" Sammy. I had a turkey leg and stocked up on my usual stash of candied apples, fudge, and honey cotton candy and discovered the wonder that is "fried Oreos." I also discovered that my four-year-old is insanely terrified of heights - which made riding the Ferris wheel amusingly entertaining (although I have to admit it's hard to console a child when you're laughing uncontrollably). And when the kids weren't busy crying or sitting down without warning in the middle of the street, watching them laughing and giggling full of childhood wonder made me forget for a brief spell that I really hate massive crowds and thus the Fair.

Perhaps it's those blissful few moments that make us do such crazy things. Gluttons for punishment we are.

"The world is for thousands a freak show; the images flicker past and vanish; the impressions remain flat and unconnected in the soul. Thus they are easily led by the opinions of others, are content to let their impressions be shuffled and rearranged and evaluated differently."

...Johann von Goethe

14 October 2010


muse., originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.

In my life, I have grown to believe and have often said that there is a vast difference between relatives and family... and that soul is much thicker than blood. Well, as everyone's individual perspectives are shaped by their own unique experiences, this is the lesson I have drawn from my life's journey...

Recently however, I rediscovered my cousin Jennifer... ever a lovely person, just six months younger than me, Jenn is someone I have known pretty much as long as I've been alive and yet, I never had any idea that we had so much in common. I won't elaborate on our shared personality quirks, genetic flaws, and other fun stuff except to say that it was a pleasant surprise. For the fist time in my life, I didn't feel like such the black sheep, just a different shade of gray.

I remember oh so many afternoons playing together at Grandma's with Jennifer and her older sister Renee. One very distinct memory is Renee instructing us how to make a bird's nest in a Styrofoam cup scavenging the farm for straw and twigs and feathers (not surprisingly, Renee grew up to be a college professor). Growing up next door to Grandma, I knew the farm like the back of my hand and was always excited to show my two city cousins the new litter of baby feral kittens I found beneath the seat of the old pick up truck or such... We three spent a lot of time making mud pies, cakes, and cookies which Grandma always pretended to eat with joyous delight and it was not uncommon that we found ourselves in trouble with Granddaddy for digging holes under the carport.

Once, my dad took the three of us to WRAL's television studio and we met Charlie Gaddy who autographed a picture for us. Because he only signed one photo for the three of us, Renee and Jenn had offered to tear off my portion with my name on it to take home with me. (Interestingly, I met Mr. Gaddy again in 2002 at my daughter's graduation from the Charlie Gaddy Center for Children; he looked the same as he did twenty-something years ago... I think it's time he went into hiding before someone stakes him.)

I remember Jennifer's Strawberry Shortcake collection that sat atop her dresser; she always let me play with them when I visited.

Then there was our high school years, me in the country and Jenn in the city, when we were socially awkward and trying to figure out who we were in our own lives... I was the wild-card who wore too much make-up, spoke my mind, and came home drunk and Jenn, well she was always a good person who was always nice to everyone and secretly, I suppose envied her.

It's funny the things we store in our memories - the stuff that actually sticks. And now, a lifetime later, though it all seems like a blur, deep down in the sediment of my mind, there are still things that make me smile in spite of it all.

Jenn., originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.

Not so long ago, after so many years, we all reconnected on Facebook of all places.

Though anonymity has it's perks, I suppose it's high time I stop hiding from people that were once such a big part of my world.

After much conversation, I managed to talk Jennifer into humoring me for a photo shoot in an effort to further develop my craft with someone I wouldn't have to worry about catching me refer to my cheat sheet for exposure settings. Essentially, Jenn was my guinea pig but I had no doubts I'd get some great shots - she is a beautiful woman, inside and out... I wanted to capture that, the beauty of my cousin, my family.

I think I did.

"A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another."


12 October 2010


murderous., originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.
Wow. October 12th already and where have I been?!! This month has thus far been a murderous blur of chaos, insanity, stress, and I don't even know what all. So far, the only really pleasant aspect of this month is the weather... Yay for Fall!

Other notable highlights (and lowlights) include:
  • Irritations with the NC Division of Motor Vehicles - oh let me count the ways... Seriously, has anyone EVER had a good experience with the DMV? I predict the next postal breakdown outrage will involve the DMV as a center stage.
  • Shopping for Halloween costumes with the kids - as nerve-wracking as it was fun.
  • Numerous crazy calls at the office of course, including: a) a fellow interested in voluntarily terminating his parental rights to avoid paying child support for a child who hates him... sorry dude, sucks to be you; North Carolina don't play that way - you're in it for the long haul! b) some jackass wanting emergency representation for a DUI he got a week prior... the emergency part comes in because not only was he driving drunk but hit and nearly killed another driver, not that he was concerned for the victim of his idiocy but what if he sues him? Can he be arrested for murder if he dies? c) a couple of folks frantically seeking representation against the Department of Social Services in their salacious efforts to play God with other people's lives because there aren't enough real child abuse emergencies being reported to keep them busy and thus not enough "hero badges" to go around, and d) a guy charged with Assault on a Female for a spat with his wife - literally. Their fight began by them spitting on one another which, as you can imagine, quickly evolved into a smack-down.
  • Taking a day off to photograph my beautiful cousin, Jennifer.
  • And spending a wonderful albeit exhausting day with my best boy - seeing "Nanny McPhee Returns" at the movies, gallivanting about the grounds of the NC Art Museum and getting a front row seat to a song and dance routine at the amphitheater, and ice cream from "Old McDonald's."

Just to name a few... Whew!

"There is no order in the world around us, we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead."

...Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions