This is Paula.

I am amazed and humbled at people like Paula, who have suffered so much and yet are able to just tell the world their stories, not for pity’s sake but because they understand that there is nothing to be ashamed of. We all make mistakes, we all do wrong, we all feel shame and fear and pain.

The Internet, especially, is filled with hateful people (Google blogher+Dooce) who may or may not be as bad as they portray themselves to be in real life because hey, it’s the Internet, where it’s much harder to resist saying what you think, than you think.

Try telling someone in the face though, now that’s courage AND honesty. People (ironically, people who aren’t even involved) just can’t handle it. They Freak. Out.

Or maybe it’s just another Saturday night in San Francisco for all I know.

Boy I’m glad I’m not as serious about blogging than I used to be.

No no, I’m also lazy but I’m also not as serious.

Fun things to do while waiting

Fun things to do while waiting

Beanie baby

Rae 08.11.08

As I sit here blogging this, I am waiting for my curry foam shapes, beads rice and cup of air.

The cook is busy cleaning because I said the restaurant is too dirty for me to eat comfortably. The waiter, in the meantime, is insisting I let her paint my nails. 

After a while, the waiter brings over a bag. In it is a Polly Pocket and Shrek’s Donkey. Out of curiosity, I ask.

“Why is the waiter serving me toys?”

Not missing a beat, the cook says, “Because she is trying to distract you from the dirty restaurant.”

Courage (and a little swagger to go with it)

Everyday, a little further
a little deeper
a little more.

If I take one more step
I may make it
I may get there
I may fall.
I may even get a little wet
but I will try

© jennifer.tai photo.artistry

Today, I went with Rae to get her school supplies. I decided it would be nice to just be me and her so I left Skyler with my in-laws.

Disappointed and about ready to cry, Sky asked where I was going.

“Mommy is taking che che out to get her school supplies.”

She looked at me, thought about it for one second, and then twisted her face into shocked indignation.

“What about MY surprise?!”

I had to get her an ice cream cone after.

Just HAD to.

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been taking a lot of pictures.

I’ve also been exploring the possibility of turning this hobby into a business. I’ve built a site. I’ve read close to ten books on the fundamentals and then some. I’ve camped Photo.net, Flickr and Digital Photography School for perhaps twice as long. I’ve practiced my behind off in recent months on my kids, the kids of my friends, gone on photowalks, bugged the hell out of more experienced photographers, and basically just photographing anything that’s not strapped down.

And yet, I’ve been a little afraid of calling myself a photographer. Much as I’ve been afraid of calling myself a writer (and I’ve been writing a while). Heck I can’t even call myself a blogger without feeling like a fraud because there ARE people who actually BLOG regularly who don’t even claim that.

When I go out with Lokes for his social gatherings with business colleagues, I say I’m a stay-at-home mom, and then Lokes will let slip the fact that I blog, write and is now a “portrait photographer”. I cringe because they all make me sound like I am doing everything and therefore am not good at anything. Really, a writer? One miserable short story, that’s all I’ve published the last two years. A blogger? I am perhaps the laziest, most inconsistent blogger in the history of lazy inconsistent blogging. A portrait photographer? This is the worst because I’d have my camera with me and people will start asking to have their pictures taken and my fingers get clammy and I’d stutter a little when I say, “Okay…ss-say…cheese?” and I’d start thinking, “Great, now I have to spend my evening trying to save my semi-semi-pro photos…”

Usually, the photos turn out great (without the help of Photoshop too!). Sometimes, I also blog or write something worth reading. And yet, my self esteem is taking a very very long time to catch up on whatever it is I’ve set my heart on doing. That is why I’ve had problems “marketing” myself beyond building a blog. How do I get rid of this fear of feeling like I’m not worth getting paid for my services?

The only thing that motivates me is a practical consideration: that times are getting harder, and one income may not hack it much longer, and I will need to GET OVER myself THIS MINUTE before it’s too late.

Nothing like a little tough love.

Hello my lovely internets. Are you still sticking around? You must truly love me!

So I’ve gone for TWO campouts since we last talked, taken pictures of my friend Sharon’s baby, and then some.

And yes, pictures are worth a thousand words, especially since I’m now, so to speak, in the business of painting words. 

But I’m only putting a few pictures here because copying and pasting script from Flickr is not particularly fun. For “the good stuff”, please visit my Facebook (you will need to “friend” me), my photog or my Flickr(yes, I scatter them so you will see some different ones in each site).

Here we go!

Best friends forever

Rae and her best friend H at the lake after a full day of sun and fun at Pearrygin Lake, our first campsite.

Campout at Dosewallips Summer 2008

Dosewallips State Park/Dabob Bay – where we went camping last weekend. This is a place for oystering/clamming.

Campout at Dosewallips Summer 2008

That’s a big one!

Baby K

This is Baby K, who is my first baby model. Isn’t he just the cutest? He smells glorious too!

 Flamenco

And this is a flamenco dancer I photographed at a dinner party yesterday.

That wraps my last three weeks! Now how about you?

Princess Sky rests her feet

My 3.5-year old, newly potty-trained, heading for the loo, in a sing-song voice:

“I need to go POoOttY. I am already NaAaAaaAked!”

Today’s discovery: Skyler snorts when she laughs hard.

I shall attempt to clandestinely record it tomorrow.