Tuesday, April 27, 2010

it's not as easy at it seems

The past few weeks, I wonder if I've died and gone to accessory hell.
I work as a photo stylist, and even though the average person would never know it, the recession has hit the advertising industry pretty hard. Advertisers have been reusing old photos, running fewer ads and scaling back costs, which means less work for the supporting industries like photographers, stylists and graphic designers. After a very long dry spell for freelance work, things seem to be finally picking up a little.
I've been hoping for work of any kind, not just the glamorous and fun stuff like this:

or this:

or even this:

Sometimes, this is the reality:

Socks. Hundreds of them. Days and days of them, punctuated by piles of hats and gloves, and then - then when I thought I would surely go out of my mind, I get to style SHOES!

So the next time you look at shoes or socks or hats or gloves in a catalog or on a website, think of me and those other anonymous stylists out there slaving away,
lacing all those shoes perfectly.

And just in case you're wondering what kind of shoes I prefer:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

another camp cactus tradition

Here at Camp Cactus, all kinds of random events become traditions at the drop of a cowboy hat...like Tostada Tuesdays for instance. Years ago, Matt and Caitie invited a few friends over for a tostada dinner on a Tuesday night, and before I knew it, our Tuesday nights were filled with cauldrons of refried beans, whole heads of shredded lettuce, and enough grated cheese to cause cholesterol levels to rise for blocks around. The smell of frying tortillas permeated the house for days afterwards. Also, I learned to never underestimate the appetites of teenage boys.

So this last Tuesday, when one of Matt's old buddies was in town, we revived the long dormant Tostada Tuesday Tradition...

Caitie fried up a bunch of chips...

Check out the elbow action...frying foods in cute but skimpy outfits requires a special stance.

Mmmm...crunchy goodness!

You gotta love Matt's knife skills.

Fresh guacamole - another tradition.

Greg supervised the preparations, then chipped in by grating a mountain of cheese.

The old gang gathered around the table, and we had ourselves a feast.

Mr. Chubbs is a connoisseur of home made tortilla chips.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

unsolicited advice, part two

Last week, after an unidentified neighbor left an anonymous note on the windshield of my car, I wrote a blog post about it. (Click here to read part one of this little saga, and don't forget to read the comments) It seems that in their opinion I have been slacking in my gardening duties, and therefore, by my sloth, have raised the Noxious Weed Threat Level to ORANGE (see chart below)

I received many supportive comments from my friends in the blogging community (I'm truly touched that you're all so pissed off for me!) as well as from my lovely neighbors who assured me they wouldn't hesitate to come over and pull the damn weeds out themselves if they could only identify them.

What the passive aggressive note-writer didn't seem to know is that I have been battling this particular patch of weeds for years. In fact, along with the dreaded Canadian thistles (Cirsium arvense) the parking strip is also overrun with horseradish, for which there seems to be no known enemy. In fact, I'm now convinced that in the event of a nuclear bomb blast, it would just spread bits of roots everywhere and the radioactive horseradish would happily repopulate the earth.

In September of 2008, I finally gave the go ahead to use Roundup to clear the patch, after 17 years of attempting to eradicate the stuff organically. We sprayed it, and left it to die for several weeks, after which we covered it with thick black plastic and let it sit over the entire winter and well into the spring of 2009.

We finally pulled up the plastic in June, only to discover snow white shoots of horseradish growing everywhere, followed several weeks later by sprouts of Canadian thistle. I set to work once again, digging deep craters in an attempt to get out all the roots, then bored holes in the roots that remained and poured undiluted Roundup into them.

This was nearly a year ago, and with the arrival of warm spring weather in 2010, the buggers are back with a vengeance. And now some busybody is giving me crap about slacking.
I have been considering my options for the past few years and have come up with another strategy to thwart the weeds' plans for world domination, but I just haven't had time to implement it yet, as I've been too busy working hard trying to keep the mortgage paid and food on the table. So in the meantime, this will have to do: I posted a discreet sign in the parking strip to ward off any more well-intentioned public diatribes.