Archive for the ‘photos’ Category

Fancy dress

I called my mom last night for her birthday, as you do, and we had a long chat that somehow veered into the topic of Christmas cards. My parents sent us a very nice standard card this year, and I was a little amused that it said “Happy Holidays” — I think that was probably intentional and a way of respecting Chip’s being Jewish. For years, I would shop with my mom for cards on December 26 and she was always looking for Christmas cards with a religious theme that said “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holidays.” (Think less “War on Christmas” and more of the old-fashioned “Keep Christ in Christmas.”)

Anyway, she told me that she had thought about doing a photo card for Christmas this year, but couldn’t make it work.

“Oh, of you and Dad? And maybe the cat?”

“No. Oh, no. I meant of all you children.” (Note: the youngest of us is 30.)

She went on to explain that she had found a really nice photo of my youngest brother and his wife, which gave her the idea, and then she had a cute photo of my sister and her husband and daughter, and she had plenty of photos of my younger brother and his family, but …

“You didn’t have any of me and Chip?”

“The last one I had was from your wedding! I guess you two don’t take many photos together.”

What I haven’t mentioned is that while I was talking to my mom, I was at my computer desk at home. And as she was going on about how she has no good photos of me and my husband since we got married in 2006, I pulled up Facebook and started looking at the photos I posted there. My mom is on Facebook — she uses it mostly to look at photos her children and children’s spouses post there.

“Mom, did you look on Facebook?”

“Oh yes! But I couldn’t find anything.”

“The top photo on my page is me and Chip. The one from our friends’ wedding in January.”

“Wait, did I miss something?”

“Yes! It’s a very nice picture of us outdoors, Chip’s got this green jacket and hat we bought at Goodwill –”

“Oh, that one. I wanted a good photo, where you all look nice. Not that.”

I think my mom is nuts (and I told her so). What did she want, Olan Mills and matchy-matchy sweaters? Both of us sitting on the couch with Rufus curled up between us? (As though that cat would ever sit still that long.) The two of us dressed up in very eye-catching clothes strikes me as the perfect photo for a holiday card — lots of personality. We don’t send photo cards, but if we did, that would be the photo I would pick myself. I don’t see how you can top it.

And now I’m fighting the temptation to send my mom a belated birthday present: a photo ornament with that very picture in it (and glued down so it’s unremovable).

Gilded branches

I picked the photo with the star for my holiday cards, and also ordered cards with the reels-and-candle mantelpiece to send in a quasi-professional way. I liked the photo with the ogling Santa, which I took in Tucson last year, but I didn’t want to get anything too overtly Christmas-y, although my parents may even interpret the star as religious if they choose. I like a holiday card that’s open to multiple interpretations.

I suppose I also could have considered the above photo, which looks holiday-ish in a generic sort of way. There are a few traditional hanging ornaments but they’re subtle. And I have an odd fondness for winter holiday decorations in Texas that don’t have snow, because we never have snow. How do you portray a Texas Christmas? Cowboy boots with holly are too obvious. Dead grass is not decorative.

The photo above was taken at the Four Seasons hotel in downtown Austin last year. I don’t normally hang around at the Four Seasons — it’s lovely but I always feel a little grungy and underdressed in there. Although when I go for press events, often the “celebrity” I am interviewing looks even grungier than I do. Read on »

Marfa Film Festival

It is a busy time of the year for me. I have to watch a lot of movies. Oh, pity me, all of you, I have to sit on a comfy futon or in a not-crowded theater and watch movies that haven’t opened in theaters yet. My life is so sad. And because I can’t usually bring my husband as a guest to these screenings, I will probably have to see some of the year’s top movies twice. The agony! The suffering! Can we get Warren Zevon over here please for a rousing chorus of “Poor Pitiful Me”?

Ahem. Anyway. Lots of movies to watch, Holidailies to keep an eye on (today’s tip: check your entry after you post it to make sure you posted a link and not a discussion post that won’t include your link), and the general holiday season to prepare for. We don’t do a lot of holiday prep in the house, but last night I was proud to have decorated our pink and sparkly holiday tree while watching a movie that I suspected (correctly) wouldn’t need my full attention.

While pulling out the ornaments and things from the storage boxes, I also pulled out the Christmas/holiday cards. I was surprised. Usually I have a couple of boxes of cards — some leftover from other years, some bought on sale, and so forth. But last year I must have cleaned them out pretty well and forgotten about it. Oops. Read on »

oh, dearie dear

In 1990, I got a year-long internship with the Capitol Bureau of Gannett News Services. It was a big deal. It meant I could spend the summer of 1990 in Baton Rouge instead of my parents’ house in Metry. It meant I didn’t have to take the dreaded hands-on reporting class at the Baton Rouge Advocate, which I heard involved a lot of late nights in a sketchy part of town … or something. (In retrospect I really can’t recall what was so awful about “the Advocate class” at the time.) And it meant I would be paid for an internship, which was a small miracle. I wasn’t sure I could afford one otherwise.

In order to work in the Capitol and have press privileges, I needed press credentials — the badge pictured above. I was so proud to have press creds, you wouldn’t believe. I was extremely excited about the prospects of working as a reporter in the Capitol, even though rumor had it that women still had to wear skirts on the state House and Senate floors.

My year in the Capitol was one of the most bizarre of my life. I worked 60-80 hours a week in the summer and another 25-35 during the school year (along with a full courseload, although admittedly I had as skimpy a courseload as I could manage in my last year at LSU). I drove around a lot of sketchy parts of town at all hours.I bought beer for in-office happy hours with a variety of politicians, including David Duke and Woody Jenkins. I visited state offices every week to pull papers on everything from campaign contributions to the details on the then-governor’s divorce. When my boss got critically important phone calls I had to go to the men’s room and yell for him to come out. Read on »