Monday, August 27, 2007

Website? Yes please!

Look at me! I made my very own website! Its not done because I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to make Simple Viewer work correctly. Anyone have any brilliant knowledge on that subject? At any rate, check it out!

Our 'little' raffle has blown up. We've been getting more things every day! Its insane. Now if we can just sell a ton of tickets I'll feel really good about it.

Last week I gave blood. I actually schedule myself to give every few months so I don't forget. Do you do that too? You should! Anyway, during my pre-interview the lady asked if I was on any medication. The conversation went like this (and I swear I'm not making this up):

Lady: Are you on any medications?
Amanda: Yes. Loestrin. Its birth control.
Lady: Why do you take this medication?
Amanda: .....
Lady: .....
Amanda: Um, to control birth

I swear that's exactly how it went. I think she felt really stupid! At any rate, it was good for a laugh and got my mind off the possibility of passing out. Which with me is a real possibility. Ugh, HATE giving blood.

I'm still not sleeping well. Last night I had this insane dream that Ryan flippantly told me that he'd cheated on my twice, and that he just didn't care how that made me feel. And when I told him I wanted a divorce he didn't care. BUT we had these plane tickets to NYC already so we had to go, but I wasn't allowed to hang out with him or any of his friends at the run. I'm telling you, my brain is mush lately. All this stress is manifesting itself in horrible ways. And that dream? Laughable. Seriously, I told him this morning about it and he laughed.

Do you dream when you're stressed out? Do you do like I do and try to fall back asleep so the dream can finish off in a good way?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

No Sleep

Man, I am having the worst time sleeping lately. I've been accused of being a smidge type-A and I totally internalize my stress. I wake up in a sweat thinking about things I'm working on, jobs un-done, things I've procrastinated to the point where I don't know how to do them without embarassing myself....

I've had a lot to stress about lately. I'm suddenly a business owner with all that entails. Money to buy what I need, the stress of trying to find clients, meeting clients, showing my work to clients... Then I brilliantly decided to make my own webpage. But I didn't just want a page where words are thrown up on a black background. I want a beautiful website that will convince people that they can trust me with their special day. But somehow, and I blame it on the Mac, I'm struggling. So now I'm dreaming in html. EEK!

The other thing waking me up at night? Bugs. We've got them all of suddenly. Crickets, spiders, earwigs, and worst of all ANTS in our kitchen. The bug guy came out and those bugs laughed in his face. F U Bugman! We own this place! And the ants, oh the ants! I have never, EVER had ants in my house and they have invaded my sanctuary: the kitchen. Its me against the ants. Since the bug spray did nothing, I'm taking them on one by one. Grrrr! Take that! And you take that! And I'll leave YOU to run back and tell your little friends what happened here. I think I'm making progress. But that's not stopping the nightmares where I'm being bitten by a swarm of those suckers. And it doesn't help when I'm awake at 1:30am and find a ginormous spider in the bathroom. UGH! And before you suggest stuff like vinegar, forget it. These ants had a swim party in the vinegar.

The other stress in our life is the money we're trying to raise to support the firefighter charities for our NYC run in September. BUT, we have been so lucky with really generous companies who have given shocking prizes. Just this week we got TWO huge gift things from PetSmart. Each one is worth over $400! CRIPE! They put together really thoughtful things for a big dog, and really thoughtful things for a small dog. Little dog: stroller, carrier, spa day, training, toys, treats, clothes, books.... Big dog: bed, hiking gear, spa day, life vest, food bag, treats, leashes, toys... We were SHOCKED. Here's some pics:

Isn't that AMAZING?

Other than all that, we're just trying our best to make extra money and spend frugally. This year we've had 2 ski trips, a Cali trip, a Colorado trip, and now we're going to NYC. Oh man, are we feeling it in the wallet!

So again, if you know anyone who needs wedding photography! :-)

**** BWAHAHAHA! Earlier when I wrote the 'EEK', I actually wrote that in code, you know with the code for bolding text and all that, but blogger actually did it! Oh man, look at me, maybe I can code!

Friday, August 17, 2007


So.... Things are insane! Not only am I all carried away in having my LIFE back (well hello gym, thank you for kicking my arss), I have big news!

Drum rollllll........
I am now the proud owner of my own business. I have to say it is all thanks to a good friend of mine who knew I'd done one wedding and offered my services up to a friend of hers. Then I asked Ryan's Captain to be my second shooter (gawd, I hate when people say 'shoot' a picture. so violent!). And it kind of snowballed. Lee and I haven't even done a wedding together yet, but somehow we've got at least 3 weddings this fall and for sure 1 in the spring with two other possibilities. Um, hello second income!

Sadly (although not really for me) I will be using the majority of my earnings to fund my habit. Oh, I mean business expenses. This is just an excuse to buy more fun toys for my camera!

Speaking of, I totally bought lighting equipment! I'm always doing little photo projects in our spare room (case in point: and I've been using, for over two years now, a light I bought at Home Depot for like $9 that I hand-hold and hope it works out. Screw that! I'm doing a wedding on Oct 5th that is going to be IN THE DARK, and I'm going to do my best to create good light.

Did I mention my high school sweetheart/ex-boyfriend that I dated for like 4 years is the DJ at this wedding? Lovely...

BUT, we mush on for the sake of our art! HOORAH!

So, did I mention I OWN MY OWN BUSINESS!! I cannot tell you how exciting that feels. I seriously left my meeting w/ my tax lady positively giddy, and when I went and applied for a checking account for my business, the poor bank lady didn't even know what to do with me!

On to other news..... there is none! Still plugging along getting donations for the firefighter raffle, preparing for NYC etc. Its Friday night, which means Ryan's off tonight. It also means all pretense of saving money by cooking in goes out the window and we are currently drinking beers, listening to Marley, and waiting for the pizza guy. We are SOOOO college students in 29 year-old bodies.

Also, did you know I AM THE OWNER OF A BUSINESS? Never thought I'd say that...

If you live in the Phoenix area and know of someone who needs a photographer, let me know! I do weddings,family portraits, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzahs, corporate events, the opening of a can of soup.... I'll pimp myself out to anyone with the ability to pay! Weeeeee!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Can you read the words that are coming out of my fingers?

Ahh yes, the pitfalls of the Mac. We are now over our honeymoon with each other. I still love this computer, but SERIOUSLY?! I can't manipulate any of the text in my blog posts? That's a total crock.

This is going to be short because I've got a little wrist issue going on. I'm actually going to see a specialist about it tomorrow.

I'm feeling a little disconnected lately. I don't know what it is. I can't seem to get into my normal stuff. I don't know... Maybe its because for the first time in a long time I'm not having to worry about someone. Maybe all the pent-up emotions are catching up to me? I don't know.

But the mood isn't for lack of fun stuff going on. I've got 4 weddings lined up for photography and just got contacted today for a 5th. I have a possible new business partner in this, which is a combination of exciting and terrifying. He's good people though, and I know we'll do well together. But the pressure of doing this... I don't know. Is it worth it? Do you have any idea how stressful it is to be responsible for someone's memories?

Other fun stuff... Last Friday that husband of mine (who I swear I don't deserve) planned a whole date night on his own. I was content to do our normal movies and beer, but he had other things in mind. We had a 'coupon' date. He planned all stuff that we either had gift cards or coupons for. So... we went for drinks (gift card), then Gameworks (coupon), then an Imax (coupon), then to AJ's to pick up a fancy dessert (gift card), then a stop at Starbucks (gift card). Isn't that fun?! We have theme dates occasionally. His favorite is when we have mandates. That usually involves shooting things and eating huge hunks of steak. :-)

We're going to our first comedy club this weekend. Anyone else ever been? We have no idea what to expect!

Our trip to NYC is coming up quickly. I've been impressed with how much planning Ryan has done. This is totally his thing, so I'm stepping back, and it is definitely a role reversal. One of the things he planned is a raffle to benefit the run charities. Do you have any idea how easy it is to get things donated? All we did is walk into restaurants and stores, offer them a letter about the cause, and boom! We had ourselves some gift cards. Too bad we can't use them for another coupon date!

Well, I'm off to finish my photo assignment for my club meeting tomorrow night. Its about how shutter speed (keeping aperture the same) affects a picture. Here's what I've got so far. The first is at 1.1 seconds, F/5.6. The second is faster at 1/2.5 sec, F/5.6. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Oh, there you are!

Um, yeah, so it took me a few tries, but it turns out I DO remember how to post! ;-)

July has been an insane month for sure. I never even told you about the rest of our trip! Went to a hot spring resort, saw cool indian ruins, climbed a ladder up a tall cliff, saw some dinosaur footprints, you know, the usual stuff. It was easily one of our best vacations together! I think it was because for once I didn't plan something for us to do every second of the day. In an Excel spreadsheet. Sorted by user reviews and cost. Color coded according to which things I most want to do. At any rate, it was romantic and adventurous and fun. I swear I married a great travel partner.

Also in July we added a new member to our family. A MacBook Pro. It is a thing of beauty. It has no right-click button, sure, but what it also doesn't have is viruses, pop-ups, and headaches for us. We finally just had it with PCs so we're fully converted. I *heart* Apple. And now that we own an Apple, that makes us officially dorkafied, right? But I'm telling you, some day every one of you will throw your hands up in the air because you're tired of your PC ruining your life with its blue screens, 5 minute start-up time, waiting for 'updates' while your computer slowly shuts down, pesky viruses and obnoxious pop-ups and you'll change too. Plus, Apples are THE it computer. They're cool! And cute! You know you want one!

Ah but, I left the biggest news for last... Drum roll please! My mother went back to work today! That is big, HUGE. She has been fighting this horrid disease since last November so this is a massive step. To celebrate, I threw a party for her last weekend. It was seriously so fun. Because of her paper cranes I decided to create an Asian themed party. So I invited all the people in her life who did wonderful things for her while she was ill and told them we, her family, wanted to thank them. And thank them we did! My Aunt flew all the way from Florida with homemade goodies for each of them, my dad and I whipped up a ton of food (him from Costco, me from my kitchen, Asian style of course!). I think it was a hit! Everyone seemed to have a great time. Miss AfricanKelli was there in full force. She's seriously the most awesome friend a girl could hope for.

I've got all kinds of pictures, but unfortunately I don't have them on the new computer yet. But, what I do have for you is the recipe for the most kick-ass, easy crab puffs you'll ever make. I highly recommend them. I made batch after batch at the party and couldn't keep up! Here you go:

2 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 can crab meat, or 3-4 pieces imitation crab (I do imitation because of shellfish allergies)

1/2 onion, finely minced
1 tbs minced garlic
1 package wonton wrappers
oil for frying

Combine first 5 ingredients until well-blended. Heat oil to medium in a frying pan. Take a wrapper and place a small amount of filling into the center. Fold the wrapper over into a triangle and seal the edges with a dab of water on a fingertip. Fry them until they are golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately w/ sweet-and-sour dipping sauce. Mmmmmm

Delicious, I'm telling you.

So one last thing that we're up to... Ryan and I are going with his fire department to NYC again this year for the 9/11 firefighter run. I cannot tell you how excited we are! We've got a good group going, including a new couple we've been hanging out with a lot. A girl I have stuff in common with! That I can chat with about stuff other then firefighting 24/7! Weee! So if you're in the Phx area and would like to donate to this awesome cause, I'm taking donations. We're paying our own way, so all the money will go to burn centers, children's organizations and other worthy causes supported by the Stephen Siller 'Let Us Do Good' Foundation. NYC or bust!

Promise to attempt to blog more. But until then, enjoy a few more pics from Colorado.

This is a ladder into an Indian kiva.

We had a to climb a 3 story wooden ladder
up a freaking cliff to get to these ruins. SO SCARY.

Huge foot.
And a dinosaur footprint.

about me

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    Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

    I'm Amanda. I'm an engineer in an industry full of men, a professional wedding and family portrait photographer, a firefighter's wife, a traveler, and a dogMa.

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