Ancient history, caught in silver

31 12 2010

For the past two years, I’ve had some rolls of film scattered throughout my work room as I’ve added film photography to my repertoire. Right before Christmas, I dropped off a roll of black & white film for processing at Moon Photo, one of the three places in town that will handle it. As I headed out the door, I grabbed an exposed black & white roll that I’d found in my closet and I dropped it off as well. I couldn’t remember when I shot that roll. Perhaps last year, when I spent most of the summer shooting film… but I felt sure it was from 2008. That’s when I bought my first “serious” film camera, and at the time I didn’t realize how hard it would be to get B&W film processed. I expected to have a roll or two of exposed B&W film sitting around from my early experiments.

I was wrong. This roll of film was waay older than 2008. When I got the developed roll back, I just stared at the pictures in surprise. It wasn’t anything I expected to see at all. Photos from Maine? I’ve been there several times… when was this? Pictures from the coastline of the Olympic peninsula? When did I go out there? I couldn’t remember…

Luckily, I’d shot a few frames out the window of my apartment, and that let me date the roll of film: The summer of 1999. I was a mere 25 years old, less than a year at Microsoft, not yet three years in Seattle, and my only camera was a point & shoot that my dad had bought me for a trip to Ireland in 1995. The digital photo revolution hadn’t started. Somehow I carried this roll with me for 11 years. I moved it to three different homes/apartments. And I’d forgotten all about it.

Time’s not that considerate to film. The developed frames had very low contrast and were washed out at the edges. I’ve recovered them was well as I can, and there are amazingly enough a few “keepers.” So here you go, a bit of ancient history, captured in silver.

Maine (1999)

Made it to the top! (1999)

(I was a lot skinnier 11 years ago…)

The Coast

Rocks on the Coast (1999)

A Rocky Road to Christmas?

22 12 2010

Alex decided to run a 102-degree fever today. Other than being lethargic, he has no other symptoms, and he’s had his flu shot this season… so who knows what we’re dealing with. Hopefully it will disappear as quickly as it came. Otherwise, it could be a rocky road to Christmas.

Although honestly, a day or two of lethargy from Alex is a welcome change from the increasingly hyper moods we’ve been dealing with in the run-up to the big day. Alex can’t wait to open presents! I think even Patrick is getting excited, although it’s hard to tell.

Luckily, all of our packages are sent, our Christmas cards are on the way, and Santa’s Elves, Seattle Local Union 101 have done their work for the year…

Gingerbread Houses

13 12 2010

On Saturday, one of Alex’s friends had his 5th birthday party at our neighborhood Whole Foods supermarket. It was awesome. The party was in the cooking class room in the front of the grocery store. Keeping with the season, the kids decorated graham cracker houses and gingerbread men. Green plastic bowls filled with candy and frosting covered the work tables. The young sugar architects could use licorice nibs, chocolate chips, M&Ms, gumdrops, candy orange slices, and peppermint shavings to decorate their creations. And somehow the mess magically disappeared at the end!

It turns out the mess was easier to control than Patrick. Not that he was bad at the party. He was just, well, a redhead. For example, while we were waiting for the party to start, Molly told our kids they could snack on the gingerbread decorations. To an adult (i.e., me), she clearly meant for the kids to nibble on one or two things while we waited. Patrick, however, is not known for restraint. He inhaled a quarter of a bowl of candy orange slices before anybody noticed what was going on.

He also showed no patience for the finer points of making graham cracker houses. Such as, for instance, actually making the houses out of graham crackers. Instead, he ate the graham crackers and affixed his gumdrops directly to the house foundation (an animal cracker box).

His best trick, though, was learning how to open the door that lead out of the cooking class room into the rest of the (very crowded) grocery store. The first time he did it, he just stood on the other side of the glass door, staring back at us, grinning. He was waiting for somebody to notice what he’d done. Once I saw him, he took off running.

I ran out into the grocery store and brought him back. He escaped again. I brought him back. He escaped. I gave up and just followed him around. He explored the bakery, the salad bar, the frozen food aisle, the wine department, and finally the espresso stand. At that point I picked him up and held him while I ordered a latte for myself… then I put him down and followed him around the grocery store again.

After about 10 minutes, he lost enough interest in the store that I could bring him back to the party without him trying to escape. We enjoyed the rest of the party almost without incident. After the birthday cake was done, Patrick tried one more time to wander through Whole Foods. This time, though, he had a mission. “I buy bananas,” he said. “I be back!” When I tried to follow him through the store, he turned to me, exasperated. “I be back!” He started walking away again, and I kept following him. “I! Be! Back!” he declared. In this version of the game, I wasn’t supposed to follow him… I was just supposed let him go and wait for him to return.

If this was a coming-of-age story, this would be the part where I’d realize that I can’t keep my child safe forever. After all, part of growing up is learning how to navigate the aisles of Whole Foods on your own. But this isn’t a coming-of-age story… it’s a story of a two-year-old at a birthday party. I picked Patrick up and carried him back to the party. He fussed the whole way. Luckily for us, it was soon time for party favors. That took Patrick’s mind off his solitary quest to buy bananas until we got him home, happy and exhausted.






Who, me?

Mr. Fashion

6 12 2010

The most predictable fight in our house is about clothing. Alex insists anything more than shorts and a t-shirt will make him hot. We wind up with all sorts of strange compromises, like the outfit you see here: Shorts, long-sleeve shirt, and a winter coat. The fedora adds just the right fashion flair, don’t you think?

Alex and Patrick on the merry-go-round