I Was Wrong

Earlier this week I did 2 Portraits of Allergies. I was wrong.

Portrait of a Cold, Not Allergies, Pose 1 (iPhone capture)
Portrait of a Cold, Not Allergies, Pose 1 (iPhone Capture)
iPhone Hipstamatic capture run through Lo-mob app then swept through Photoshop

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Portrait of a Cold, Not Allergies, Pose 2 (iphone capture)
Portrait of a Cold, Not Allergies, Pose 2 (iPhone Capture)
iPhone Hipstamatic capture, background softened

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He brightened up considerably tonight after we completed watching “Lost in La Mancha”, the documentary on Gilliam’s failed first attempt at “The Man who Killed Don Quixote”, and put on Mystery Science Theater 3000. That brightening up is witnessed here. “You’ll feel better tomorrow,” I promised, hoping tomorrow won’t prove me a liar.

I read that Gilliam is set to begin filming the Quixote film again in the fall with Robert Duvall.

2 Portraits of Allergies

Ah, Spring. No fever. No cold. H.o.p. is miserable with allergies.

I asked H.o.p.’s permission first before I took the 2 photos, expecting a, “No, I’m sick.” Instead, he gave a small smile and nodded his head yes, then returned to napping. He’s been out all day. The television is on, tuned to Turner Classic Movies, and he hasn’t even cared what’s playing, even though it’s all old films. Once, when he had his eyes vaguely open and on the screen, I asked, “Would you like to watch something else?” He shook his head neither here nor there, held a handful of Kleenex to his face, blew his noise, then passed out again.

H.o.p. Napping (Portrait of Allergies), Pose 2 (iPhone)

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iPhone Hipstamatic capture run through the Lo-mob app. With this one I then took it into Photoshop to do some postprocessing.

H.o.p. Napping (Portrait of Allergies), Pose 1 (iPhone)

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iPhone Hipstamatic capture run through the Lo-mob app. I then blurred the grain in a portion of the picture.

H.o.p., the past several years, tends to only nap on the futon when he’s not feeling well. A reason I was hoping for a photo is because, at 12, his profile still looks remarkably like it did at the age of 6, when I took the below photo.
H.o.p. sleeping, 2004
View On White

October 1

H.o.p. does his own kind of camera eye
H.o.p. does his own kind of camera eye
View On White

2009-10-01
View On White

2009-10-01-hop
An almost gothic view
View On White

Views in Quick Succession. I’m photographing H.o.p. photographing the runners passing by him and as they pass by he photographs himself falling down on the ground yelling, as if he’s been knocked over by the runners. That is H.o.p.’s idea of a camera walk.

Ruby Falls

Portraits of a Young Man in Full Burgeoning Blossom of an Angst Ridden Preteen Who Still Wants to Have An Awesome Time as a Kid But Finds Himself Now Sometimes Also Subdued and Self-Conscious and Simply Dutifully Posing for A Pic

Portraits of a Young Man in Full Burgeoning Blossom of an Angst Ridden Preteen Who Still Wants to Have An Awesome Time as a Kid But Finds Himself Now Sometimes Also Subdued and Self-Conscious and Simply Dutifully Posing for A Pic #1
Ruby Falls #1

Portraits of a Young Man in Full Burgeoning Blossom of an Angst Ridden Preteen Who Still Wants to Have An Awesome Time as a Kid But Finds Himself Now Sometimes Also Subdued and Self-Conscious and Simply Dutifully Posing for A Pic #3
Ruby Falls #2

Portraits of a Young Man in Full Burgeoning Blossom of an Angst Ridden Preteen Who Still Wants to Have An Awesome Time as a Kid But Finds Himself Now Sometimes Also Subdued and Self-Conscious and Simply Dutifully Posing for A Pic #2
Ruby Falls #3

Was wild getting out of the car at Ruby Falls today and being greeted by Bolan and T. Rex on the sound system. And Marty noted that Killer Queen was playing when we left.

Ruby Falls is a pretty easy-going cavern experience even in the tight spots. H.o.p. was subdued and yet declared it, “Awesome”, in a subdued voice. “Awesome.” Then when we got home he was, “Ruby Falls was awesome!”

Our visit was actually nicer this time than it was four years ago. It being Labor Day weekend the cavern was pretty well jammed with tour groups. I didn’t know that Ruby Falls would be such a popular international destination. Many Germans, UK, Chinese and East Indians today. About half of our group was from England.

2009 august ruby falls
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The birthday sundae (and why H.o.p. discovers Godiva chocolate cheesecake)

2008-12-05-birthdaysundae
H.o.p. enjoys a birthday sundae
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H.o.p. had the past several months talked about wanting to go to the Cheesecake Factory for his birthday. Because of cheesecake? No, because he associates it with our trips to Arizona to see my folks and festive occasions…and because he likes the french fries and the hamburger (the meat, he doesn’t like bread) and because he likes to get ice cream there. So, since Marty and I never made it out to eat for our anniversary last August (isn’t that pitiful) and because H.o.p. had been all eager for us to go to the Cheesecake Factory for our anniversary and take him too and we hadn’t, because we never made it out to celebrate (isn’t that pitiful), and because H.o.p. knew also that the Cheesecake Factory does free sundaes for those with birthdays because he has heard all the wait staff gathering to sing happy, festive birthday tidings to birthday guys and gals, thus H.o.p. wanted to go to the Cheesecake Factory for his birthday and he talked about it non-stop the week before his birthday.

So it was that the night of the 2nd found us at the Cheesecake Factory.

Our server was nice but thus far they’ve always been nice to us at the Cheesecake Factory. They’re sooo nice that I always wonder what kind of training they put their wait staff through that makes them all sooooo nice that now I’m accustomed to it and expect nice, nice, nice. But then for the past eleven years we’ve generally had nice service whenever we go out to eat–and if you notice that eleven year turn around in getting almost always nice service also coincides with H.o.p.’s birth, and as we’ve never gone out to eat without H.o.p. over the past eleven years (yes, I know we’re unusual that way) I…well….seriously, I don’t know what to think about this, why it’s been since H.o.p.’s arrival that we’ve tended to get nice service at most restaurants but we do.

Still, I wonder what kind of training they put their staff through at the Cheesecake Factory that makes them all so nice. We’re generous tippers for good service (or even not great service when wait staff is obviously overtaxed but trying, nor do we fault them if the kitchen isn’t very good) but they don’t know that until the end of the meal.

My favorite part of eating out is knowing we’re going to leave a decent tip. Because I used to wait tables and know what it’s like.

The Cheesecake Factory overextends with its menu and can tend to be bland in certain areas, so I stick always with what I’ve found flavorful and consistently good and let Marty and others venture beyond that, and sometimes they’re pleased and sometimes they’re not so pleased. I ordered my usual and had a good meal and Marty ordered something new and had a good meal and H.o.p. enjoyed his french fries and hamburger and was all excited anticipating the wait staff gathering around to sing happy birthday over his free birthday sundae.

They do, as I said, this free birthday sundae thing there.

The time came for the free birthday sundae. H.o.p. was expecting something down the order of this. Or this (though he would have not wanted a pink candle). Or this perky example.

A minute before, another table had gotten a rousing serenade from the wait staff.

Our server showed up with the above (which had a candle on it) and by himself. There was a trace of apologetic bow to his shoulders as he explained that he couldn’t seem to round up any of the other servers right then to sing Happy Birthday along with us. I was looking a little surprised that the birthday sundae was mainly whipped cream with a trace bit of ice cream that had already melted under the hot fudge that was somewhere down there under the whipped cream. H.o.p. also for an instant looked a bit surprised but promptly recovered and generously smiled and gleamed as we all sang a rousing round of HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

Afterward, he picked a bit at the sundae. He doesn’t like whipped cream but he didn’t scoop it off as I suspect that he suspected there wasn’t enough of anything underneath to make scooping off the whipped cream worthwhile, plus scooping off the whipped cream would have spoiled what there was of any happy appeal to the sundae.

He didn’t like the bit of hot fudge that he spelunkered but smiled and smiled and smiled because it was still all good to him.

He’s smiling in the above picture though you can’t tell it. The photo catches him in the middle of reaching to pull out a new Nintendo DS game he’d gotten for his birthday so he could show it off for the camera along with the birthday sundae.

I had sitting in front of me my Godiva chocolate cheesecake which I would never be able to finish on my own as it’s so rich. The Godiva chocolate cheesecake comes with a Godiva chocolate on it and H.o.p. politely asked if he could have the chocolate and I said certainly yes, birthday boy, and gave it to him. I asked if he wanted a bite of the cheesecake. H.o.p. was dubious. He loves chocolate but he loves straight, good chocolate. He doesn’t eat candy. He doesn’t eat candy bars. Nothing like a Hersheys. What he likes are the over 70% dark chocolates like the Lindt and Ghirardelli that we pick up and nibble on forever, and the once-a-year Godivas I get like on a wedding anniversary (though not this year) or Valentines. But he’d never tried chocolate cheesecake and the cheesecake part didn’t sound appealing. Still, I managed to get him to venture a bite…

He liked it.

He put his fork down.

“Go ahead, have another bite. I can’t eat all this. Help me out,” I encouraged him.

Which is how H.o.p. discovered he likes Godiva chocolate cheese cake and helped me eat mine so there was none to take home.

Marty had the key lime cheese cake and I had a bite of that and it was good.

“We’ll do a regular, old birthday cake for you later,” I promised H.o.p.

He said it wasn’t necessary because he had loved the dinner but I said, no, we will.

Then, the next night we went ahead and had a regular birthday cake for H.o.p. with eleven candles. And he loved that, too.

We ate bison

We ate bison for an unconflicted Thanksgiving
We ate bison
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Thanksgiving. We handled it this year by eating bison and remembering its role in the lives of some of our ancestors and their appreciation of this animal and its gifts, which were of such great importance that the buffalo were one of the founding clans. It seemed apropos and helped make for a not-very-conflicted Thanksgiving.

Of course, you can’t see the bison here, as it’s been eaten. Nor can you see the bison head on the wall beyond H.o.p. because it’s hidden behind a ceiling lamp. You see, we ate at one of Ted Turner’s bison houses and he likes to adorn them with bison heads.

I told H.o.p. this was a new tradition of ours.

This was fine by him as he doesn’t like turkey, won’t touch it, but loves bison.

If you’re curious why H.o.p. has his camera to his ear it’s because he’s always making movies and was listening to a clip he’d just filmed.