Sunday, February 28, 2010

A new Eagle Scout

Fremont, CA

I went to a friend's Eagle Court of Honor tonight. I've known him since he was 4, so it was a real pleasure to see him achieve this award. I too am an Eagle Scout and know the joy tonight will give my friend for years to come.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Salamanders in my garden

Vallejo, CA
As I was weeding the garden today, I would suddenly see these things move and I would freak out because I thought they were snakes (and snakes scare me). Howver, eventuaully I discovered they were salamanders and there was probably 15 of them I saw today.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bird in the moon light

Clyde, CA
I went to see a friend in Clyde tonight and saw this scene. It was cooler in person.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

trees after the interview

Martinez, CA

I had an interview today in Martinez. After the interview I went for a short drive before going back to my job.

When you think in pictures - some images never leave you

Tonight in class my professor mentioned he felt there might be a disturbance in the force. He felt that way on Tuesday but tonight he really noticed that I was down. He is right. This week has been rough.

On Monday night I was having a conversation with a friend about being a worthy priesthood holder and how me not being one was a unattractive quality of me. Her comments triggered my mind to remember why I am I am an unworthy priesthood holder.

My mind almost always goes to a day in August, during my 13th year. I woke in the morning to find my mother on the floor in the kitchen, a pool of blood soaking into her clothes and mixing with a scattering of vomit. Because I have and always will be a photographer, my mind has in it an abundant still shots from that morning. During weeks like this, my mind puts those slides into a Kodak Carousel and the images get projected before my eyes. I see each aspect of the scene like it was happening before me. My mind spares no detail.
Later that day I would read a letter that was written just for me, a letter that proclaimed love and released me from blame. I still remember parts of that letter and parts of the other two that I would read in the next six years of my life. Even later that day, a man would come to our house with a sheriff and inform us that it was no longer our house. A few weeks later my family would move to a new house - the house I would live in until I moved to Idaho - and life would never be the same again.
However, the letter, the man and the new home have little bearing on my life on weeks like this. When I am reminded of my lack of worthy priesthood power, I am reminded of that warm August morning and the blood and the vomit and my mother lying on the kitchen floor, wrists with fresh wounds that would forever be a scar and a constant reminder of that day.

I have found very few ways to escape those images. They follow me in my sleep, the quiet moments of my day and in drive time when the background noise of the radio becomes a low hum. Even as I type this, I break for a moment, close my eyes and there in my mind are contrasting colors of deep dark red blood clashing on the white floor and mixing with the half digested Tylenol tablets. My mind is always open and willing to flip on the projector one more time for a private screening.

My only escape for several years has been an activity that uses endorphins to dim the light on the projector. This activity is considered a sin in the Mormon church and therefore is the reason I am an unworthy priesthood holder. I have tried life without it, only to find myself seeking out more self destructive activities with more lasting results. Without this activity, I slip into a state of undenialble depression. One friend once told me I was too smart for suicide, but on the months where I try hard to not do this unpriesthood like activity, my mind reaches for solutions like that (though not nearly as drastic) to ease the pain and reduce the constant replay of the slide show.

My constant companion is a day in August nearly two decades ago. When dear friends point out that my unworthy state is unattractive, I am reminded in greater detail of that day and am reminded that that one unattractive quality is more attractive than the alternative of brightly beaming the images of my childhood and a day in august when I was 13. I would rather be happy and slightly unworthy than in a constant state of detailed instant replay. At least as an unattractive priesthood holder, most people don't see sorrow in my face and sense a disturbance in my force.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

the red white and blue

Vallejo, CA

My roommates and I are very patriotic when it comes to our bathroom towels.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

As found in an Elevator

Pleasant Hill, CA

What do you do on Fridays and the Elevator stops working?

Quick write for a friend

Today I got a text from a friend asking me to do a small favor. She wants me to write a paragraph on anythng I want, but to write it twice - once on lined paper and once on unlined paper. The following was the first paragraph that popped into my head. I thought I'd share.

One other unique feature of the one eyed one horned flying purple people eater is its ability to see into the inner layers of people and search out their purpleness. Most purple people have evolved to the point where they blendin with most other people, and therefore only have purple on the inside. Much like a hawk scouring for prey from above, the one eyed one horned flying purple people eater hovers in the sky scanning people down below. "Their eye has a special filter on it that makes the Purple People glow purple, eventhough to us humans we don't see the glow." says Dr. Melinda Tennessee, who has been studying the rare species for some time. "Once they see a glowing purple person, they will often stalk it from the air until the purple person is alone." Continues Dr. Tennessee. According to Tennessee, the one eyed one horn flying purple people eater then swoops down and eats the purple person. If it wasn't for the specialized eye, the one eyed one horned flying purple people eater would not be able to eat as easily as it does.

Monday, February 22, 2010

bricks rising up from under

Vallejo, CA

In the process of cleaning the backyard we discovered a brick patio.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Firetruck and trailer

Oakley, CA

I bought a new lego a week or so ago.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Country and Bluegrass night

Fremont, CA

I spent most of the day in Hollister refereeing Power Wheelchar Soccer games. The drive back would have been about 2 hours, so I stopped in Fremont to join my dad for dinner. He took me to Mission Pizza and Pub where every Saturday night they have live bluegrass and country music. It was really good pizza and the music was rather impressive to.

As a side note, I HATE going to chain food establishments, but it is sometimes hard to find good food and good music at mom and pop shops. These guys did both.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A winded flower

Antioch, CA

Grr. The wind blew every time I tried to take pictures ofthis unknown plant tonight. Oh well, it grows outside my Antioch office so I'll have another chance soon.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Purdy and Pink

Vallejo, CA

As seen from my front yard.

"Sean Read, Sean Do" or "Can I lent you some Coke?"

Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. It is the starting day for Lent. Now, I'm not Catholic, but I like the idea of giving up something for 40 days as a sacrafice for your God and for yourself. Especially if that something is bad for you - like Coke. I LOVE Coke. I love the taste. I love the texture. I love the feel of the carbonation and caffine surging through my body. But as a person with a hiatel hernia and as a person with a rather large belly, Coke isn't all that rewarding for the body in the long run.

So as Cindy gives up Sugar (an impossible task for me) for her Lent offering, I am going to give up Soda - all of it. I do have one exception, though. If we have a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, earthquake, blizzard, typhoon, tsunamia, flood, Republican control of the Senate, etc.), then I'm dipping into my food storage which has in it - Coke Classic.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

a foggy sunset

Oakley, CA

Today the weather just couldn't make up its mind. It was foggy, sunny, foggy, overcast, sunny and then finally foggy again. Winter is such a fickle season.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

quick flashing

Vallejo, CA

The tree in my front yard got flashed this evening.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lynch Canyon

Lynch Canyon, Napa, CA

Kathryn, Nick, Joan and I went hiking at Lynch Canyon today. About halfway though our trail I saw these three trees on the otherside of the park that I (and Kathryn) wanted to photograph. The problem is, the Lynch Canyon park starts out at one point but it "V"s out and between the two parts of the park is private land. I convinced the group that no one was going to shoot us and we should transport ourselves over to the other side. We did. And we got great pictures from it. Including this one.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dave on a swing

Napa, CA

Dave and I were on our way back from church when we saw this company that had swing on a tree. Dave just had to try it out.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My First Portrait Shoot

Fremont, CA
I had my first portrait shoot today. Never before has any one ever asked me to take their picture in a formal (and professional) setting, but today I photographed this guy. The top picture is the one he went with. The bottom one was his least favorite.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hiking Rush Ranch

Rush Ranch, Solano County, CA

Kathryn and I went for a hike today because I had a furlough day.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Vallejo, CA

My roommate is loaning me her camera for a little bit. It was made in Germany in 1961 and has a rather interesting design to it. My roommate doesn't know if it works - so that is my first goal.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

chasing the sun

Bay Point, CA

It is so nice that the sun is out as I drive home. It is so pretty.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thank me

Oakley, CA

I have decided that what I lack in my life is really cute thank you cards. I got this today for a baby beanie Cindy made.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Step Girlfriend loves me

Oakley, CA

I have been blessed this past year with a very loving Step-Girlfriend (She's my dad's girlfriend. If they were married she'd be my step mother so step-girlfriend works, right?). When she heard I was raising money for people with disabilities, she contributed. When she knew my father and I weren't spending enough time together, she cleared my dad's schedule, got us tickets to a ball game and sent us on our way. When she found out my monitor had died and my feet were getting cold, she gave me a new (to me) monitor and a new rug. She even has opened up her home to me and friends of mine for the holidays and other dinners.
Anyway, when she found out I was taking an online class this semester she gave me one of her spare laptops. I have chapters 1-4 due on Wednesday but have been super busy with my truck (and getting it to pass smog) that I have gotten behind. With her new gift, I was able to work at my office today on my homework assignments and get three chapters done. (I should mention at this point that I'm grateful to my father for programming the new laptop and for driving the monitor and rug up to me in Vallejo).
I have got to be one lucky guy to have such a loving, caring and amazing step-girlfriend.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

my favorite cross

In my truck, CA

I have several crosses, but this is my favorite. Melinda sent this to me for my birthday while she was on her mission. I keep it on the dashboard of my truck, at first to remind me to pray for Melinda while she was on her mission, and now because I hear that the gangs in Antioch and Oakley won't steal from a car that they think is owned by a man of God. I am a man of God who reveres the sacrifice done by Jesus Christ, and am thankful to have this as a reminder.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

it was a triple but became a double

Vallejo, CA

I only really had three goals today: Clean the garage, catch up on sleep, and catch up on school work. Some time when I was out cleaning the garage I looked up and saw a triple rainbow (Noah would be so impressed) but by the time I made it back from my room with the camera, all that was left was this bright single one and the fading second one.

On a side note, Melinda posted some new picture on the temple blog. Go check them out if you get a chance.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Where to Sit

Antioch, CA

I'm not sure but I think the bench is there to hold the chains down and to prevent anyone from stealing the chains. I could be wrong.

(BTC - Tim)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

the trouble with eating a meatball sandwich

I had a gift certificate to Lumpy's that I was saving for today. Today's special is the Meatball Sandwich. This sandwich is tied for first as my favorite thing to get at Lumpy's (it's tied with the Meatloaf) (Second would be the Garlic Caesar Salad Sandwich, third the Bacon Cheeseburger Sandwich with fourth rounded out by Lumpy Stub). The Meatball Sandwich has a foundation on of a hogie roll, with two, three or four meatballs thrown on followed by a healthy helping of spaghetti noodles that are covered in sauce and smothered in cheese. When it arrives I am always in a quandary of how to proceed to maximize the parts of the meal. Before I get to the heart of this post, let me start out by saying that I eat meals in departmentalized way. For instance, if I'm at McDonald's, I eat my sandwich first then my fries. At Olive Garden, I eat my salad and soup then my main course - I do not keep the salad or soup on the table because I'm done with it. After the main course I eat my bread sticks and use them to clean the plate.

Do you see where I'm going with this? Let me further explain that for the most part, Lumpy's allows me to do exactly this. When I get the meatloaf, with each slice of my fork or knife, I can take in the bread, meat and gravy. Then I can go after the mash potatoes. With the Bacon Cheeseburger, I can take in a mouthful and chomp and chew from every member of the sandwich at one time.

However, the meatball sandwich presents a problem. With one slice of the knife or one mouth full of the sandwich - you could be not getting all of that the sandwich has to offer. The meatball ratio compared to the rest of the sandwich is drastically different. You can go several bites without getting any morsel of meatball. It's almost like you are eating two different sandwiches. One is a spaghetti sandwich and one is a meatball spaghetti sandwich. Two sandwiches at once is not very compartmentalized.

I have been searching my brain for solutions. I can only come up with three:
1. smash the meatballs up into little pieces and scatter them around the plate hoping to cover the whole sandwich.
2. pull the meatballs out and have them after the rest of the sandwich - sort of like a dessert of rolled beef.
3. Stop ordering the meatball sandwich.

Do you have any additional insights?

Loki Watching Me

Vallejo, CA

Because I'm usually the first person awake in the morning and Loki is usually the first cat awake (Tim is a rather lazy cat), Loki will often come in and watch me eat breakfast and tie my shoes. Here are two shots of her, one with a flash and one without.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

carving up my heart

Vallejo, CA

To get into grad school, I must take a class that involves a three dimensional art form or I must "master" a 3D art medium. The options for grad school are: ceramics, basket weaving, soap making, jewelry making or wood working. The classes offered at my junior college: ceramics. I have no desire to take a ceramics course. Just my luck - I would have a beautiful pot on the throw wheel right when Demi Moore would come up, ruin the pot and force me to watch Ghost with her. So I am attempting to "master" certain aspects of wood working instead. I have a book and I'm trying to plow my way through it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Name that purple plant

Oakland, CA

Woohoo! It is time for my favorite game AND my favorite ecologist is back from her mission. Ready. Set. Go! Name that plant!

Monday, February 1, 2010

not pink

Vallejo, CA

So it turns out I have an Orange tree outside in the backyard. It's a shame I can't have oranges.