Monday, October 27, 2008

Reno for Obama

Last weekend Shawn and I joined with 3 other families and took a road trip to Reno to do some canvasing for Obama. I have never done anything to quite that extent to get involved politically until this point in my life, and I have to say- it felt really great. Usually my approach is simply to read the news and then complain about everything that infuriates me, but clearly there are more effective ways to create change :) I don't know that I converted anyone but I know that 1) it felt good to actually be doing something, and 2) maybe it helped to at least nudge someone in the right direction.

So here we are with our fearless group of patriots!

We stopped mid-way through the day to have lunch at The Spicy Pickle.

And I just loved that our friends involved their kids so much in the experience. I don't think I ever even asked a single question about politics until I was at least 20, maybe later!! Here's Naomi.

It might appear that Sabine and Isabelle are playing an innocent grade school girls game, but really they're pretend shooting each other :)

Anywho, it was a beautiful afternoon.

I was really nervous about this weekend. . . I have been feeling so strongly about this election. I felt very strongly last time as well, but that was out of fear- fear of what ended up happening. This time I feel strongly out of the opposite. I have so much excitement and hope and I just wanted to be able to express that to others in a clear way. It seems that my "belief", so to speak, in Obama is strengthened almost daily, in some way or another. I'm not sure how to explain it. . . . I love my country so fiercely and have just been hugely disappointed by many of it's actions over the past years. They have not made me proud in the least. I have continued to be grateful- I will always be grateful for the immense privilege of living here, but I have not been proud. I have been embarrassed. I have shed many tears over some of my country's poor decisions. When I travel to other countries I am embarrassed to say where I'm from, and I hate that feeling. The thought of Obama being our president gives me so much hope that I can shed those feelings and once again feel good about my heritage. I recognize that some may be sick of that "hope" phrase at this point, or feel that hope is not enough to run a country on. But I have to disagree. Hope makes people want to be better people, and that alone is priceless.

I don't believe that my generation has ever had a MLK or a JFK; we have never had a political leader that has been such an inspiration in leading us to love our country, until now maybe. I think that this is maybe what it should feel like.

I have never been more positive and upbeat and filled with a desire to serve America and make it work. I am so done with leaders who wear their Americanism, and their religion and their patriotism on their sleeve, while doing so very little to live it. As is the case with so many Americans who are disenchanted with their country at this point, I am clinging to this hope. I am ready for change.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A really good weekend

Last weekend was divine. Well, except for the part where I stressed about the fact that I wasn't doing undivine things, ie: work. I am soooo behind right now, it was completely irresponsible of me to take pretty much the entire weekend off, and I was feeling it Monday morning, but I sure did enjoy it Friday Saturday and Sunday.
It was ear-candy all weekend long! Friday night was the best of it- we went to see Sigur Ros at The Greek in Berkeley, and I. Love. This. Band.
I realize that they are not for everyone, but they are definitely for me. Danny describes them as "Enya for hippies" which is funny, and probably slightly accurate, but that description does nothing to describe how great they are. To me, they are like listening to art. The sounds they make are like the sounds I hear when I am looking at something beautiful and breathtaking and never-before seen.

Shawn describes the evening better on his blog so you can read about it there, but I do just need to reiterate the rain. The moment could not have been more perfect. The first rain of the season is always a big deal to me (namely because it means I can then make Egg Nog and officially start listening to Christmas music (which I also love, but please don't judge Sigur Ros on the basis that I also like Christmas music. There are 1000s of normal, non Christmas-music loving people that feel the same about Sigur Ros). Anyway, the fact that the first rain happened at that exact moment brought me such intense happiness. It is a moment I will always always remember.
Here we all are after the show:
Oh and I also have to say something about watching the people's faces around me. Man, man, man, I was wishing I would have had my camera. . . . except for when it started pouring rain, then I was pretty glad I didn't have it. But I think I took a pretty good picture of some of them in my head, so it's covered, for me anyway. I feel like if there was some way we could catch every single person in the world in that feeling, there would be no hate. It somehow just seems impossible that you could see someone with that expression on their face, an expression that looks as if they were communing directly with God, and feel angst toward them. Everyone just appeared so filled with self-love. I don't even know that I recognized the look as that in the moment, but now I think that's what it was.
It was a good place to be.

So then Saturday and Sunday were the Hardly Stricktly Bluegrass Festival. This was the first time Shawn and I had been, but I think it will be a new tradition. It was as if they were putting on a show just for me- like someone looked at my faves list on the ipod and made a live concert out of them! We saw my love, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Buddy Miller, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Greg Brown, and Iron& Wine, (as well as Hot Rize, who I didn't previously know). Sitting in the warm sun, listening to great music, for free. What more can you ask for! (funny how the rain and the sun could both be so perfect). My favorite of these was, not surprisingly, Iron & Wine. Shawn wants to see if Sam would be willing to live in our basement and sing to us every night. . . . I have my doubts, but it's good to have a dream. That man writes some seriously amazing lyrics.
So there it was, a really good weekend. Except for the part where I didn't get to see my mom :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Robyn's heart dog

Early in the summer I photographed another "Robyn with a 'y'", which is usually a sign of a pretty great person:)! Her full name is actually Robyn Kesnow so it's three fourths the same as mine and now that she's in my email address book, her name pops up before mine when I'm trying to send an email to myself. I just know I'm gonna accidentally send her a reminder to pay rent one of these days. Anyway, Robyn runs a really unique in-home animal care business up in Santa Rosa and I was so excited when she contacted me to photograph her and her dog Kawi, because Robyn is like my dream client in the sense that she just gets it! She totally gets that it's about capturing the connection between you and your companion. Often times I have to convince people to be in the pictures themselves, but Robyn knew right off the bat that this wasn't about a really cute and quirky picture of her dog, but it was about her relationship with a dear friend. And her and Kawi indeed have a very special relationship, thus her name for him- her heart dog.

Robyn really wanted to capture this moment. Everyday when her boyfriend and partner Grant comes home from work, it's a bit of a show with Kawi greeting him. They have a whole little routine as he comes in the door and then sits down to take his boots off. It's those little moments that mean so much so we timed our photo shoot so I could be there for that time of the day.

Robyn and Grant also have another dog, Talon, and we're gonna do another photo session just for Talon someday, but this one was Kawi's day . . . with a few of everyone.