Monday, September 21, 2009

Things I Wish I Didn't Know

Did you know that Northside Hospital has a special wing for pregnant woman they are trying to keep from having premature births? That is one I learned the hard way when JD tried to be born at 27 weeks.
Did you know that there is a section where all the mothers have doves on their doors instead of storks? A friend learned that one when her son passed away shortly after birth. I'd give anything not to know that one.
Did you know that there is an organization made of photographers who volunteer to take photographs for families who have just lost a child? It is called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and because Key Photography volunteers for them, now I do too. This is a round about way to tell you that I had a rough day at work today. Normally I am invited into happy and joyful moments of people's lives, but today I was asked to look into the most tragic moment of a family and it broke my heart. I am glad that I am able to be a small part of something that will hopefully help a grieving family and equally glad that I didn't have to go with Keith while he sat with the family.
I pray that none of you are ever in need of this service and that God will comfort each and every family that does use it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Truth in Advertising

A couple of years ago Dove started up the Campaign for Real Beauty and released this video.

You may have already seen it. Basically it shows as they take a nice, but semi-ordinary looking woman and you watch as she envovles into a model through makeup and computer manipulations. The point is to remind you that supermodels don't wake up looking like you see them on magazine covers. I recently had my own evolution day. By now you have probably seen my pictures on Facebook, but there is one image that you haven't seen yet. It's the "before" shot. Although I treasure each and every comment I got on my images, I realized that I wouldn't feel true until I also posted this one. There is only one that I really used the reshaping program on and I think it was pretty clear which one, it didn't look like me anymore.. EVERYONE can get results like these with the right photographer (thanks Keith!), makeup artist (seriously Paula, awesome work), and retoucher (even if I do say so myself).

Rocky said something wonderfully sweet about the whole thing. He said the "after" is how he always sees me. This gave me a new perspective on my job. I'm not taking away wrinkles or covering up who you are. I am making your portrait look the way the people who love you see you every day. That is a pretty cool job to have.

I think that the magazines have gone too far. You can make someone look good, even great, without shaping them into a different person. I kind of feel sorry for girls like Kelly Clarkson, who is such a beautiful woman, but over and over again they take her image and fit it into the mold of the shape they think she should be. The industry as a whole is really pushing that whole "truth in advertising".

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What is a Czar?

Czar [zahr] noun - any person exercising great authority or power in a particular field: a czar of industry.
Lately I have been hearing this word pop up in news reports over and over again. In my mind, I relate czars with Russian rulers, and not in a favorable way. So, when I repeatedly heard names of people who are being appointed as "White House Czars" I became curious. I found a Wall Street Journal article that was very informative on the topic and thought I should share.
You might be wondering why this is important. Haven't all presidents had their "special advisers"? Well, yes and no. Although many presidents have had one or two people that could fall into the "czar" category, this administration has named an unprecedented number that is now in excess of 30. That is a pretty big number. What makes this troubling, and why we should all care regardless of our political leanings is that there is no official screening process for any of these positions. It is simply a way to circumvent the checks and balances that Congress provides. All that is required to get one of these high level advisor positions is for the president to give them the nod. Then before you know it, this person who has not been approved by anyone other than the president, is telling cabinet members what to do and heavily influencing policy.
One would assume that background checks, or at the very least a simple Google search would be done before any one was offered such an important job, but you know what they say happens when you assume. We need to all be asking ourselves if the White House staff or even the president knew that they were appointing a one time member of the Socialist International's Commission for a Sustainable World Society, a group that wants wealthy countries (such as ours) to shrink their economy in an effort to reduce the effects of climate change. Don't we have a shrinking economy now? search Carol Browner: Energy and Environmental Czar. Or, how about the one that wanted animals to have legal right so that they can sue people and ban hunting? search Cass Sunstein: Regulatory Czar. Then there is my personal favorite, the guy who supported compulsory sterilizations and mandated abortions as the way to provide a higher quality of life (think China's 1 child rule) search John Holdren: Science Czar.
The most recent and certainly the most entertaining of the czars is a man named Van Jones, the Green Jobs Czar. He is openly communist, thought 9/11 was an inside job, blames white people for sending poison into the black communities, and was the great mind that told us all that even though young black kids might go to school and shoot another back kid, only white suburban kids shoot up the whole school. He went from crazy rantings to top level official without anyone noticing, or at least not caring, what his personal agenda might be.
I wonder what is in the background of the other 27+ people currently serving as czars, and you should be wondering, too.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Permanently Temporary

Don't tell my kids, but last week while they were at school I cleaned out the toy boxes. I pulled out an assortment of old kid's meal toys, which will soon has a new home in the preschool treasure boxes. There were a few things they had outgrown that got boxed up for the next yard sale. Mostly I just sorted things putting them in the proper place. I couldn't help but think of the line from Toy Story 2 were Woody is reminding the other toys that while he is gone the toys at the bottom of the box need to be rotated. My plan worked beautifully. The kids have been playing with different toys all week, and have yet to notice the box full of things I pulled out.
While I was cleaning up I noticed a magna-doodle that still had a drawing on it that JD had done over a month ago. He was so proud of this drawing that he told me to never erase it. He added "EVER!" just to be sure I got the message. The whole point of a magna-doodle is to be able to draw a picture and then erase it to draw something new. It is always changing. In one overly emotional moment it seemed to me that my children have been avoiding playing with this toy to keep from erasing part of their childhood.
While we were school supply shopping we got an extra notebook for JD to draw in so he doesn't have to worry about things getting erased. He calls it his "facebook" because it is the book he draws faces in.