It’s Not The Race, It’s The Finish Line.

So I switched things up a bit with school. Now that I have the twins every day, I had to re-think my schedule. The final couple of courses I needed to finish up would have forced me to extend things a bit…and I really didn’t want that, especially seeing that come the end of May, I’m going to be saying so long to New York and heading home to Tennessee. J YAY!! And so, anyways, I did some thinking and looked over a few things and decided to switch my major to a more general liberal arts degree, with a focus in humanities. It worked out since I already have the majority of the credits I need for the degree anyhow. So I’m finishing up the remaining few credits and will be completely done come graduation in May. And even better, I’m doing all the work online, so it doesn’t interfere with me watching the boys for my sister. It’s already one week in and I’m not going to lie—what with my consulting work, school, AND playing nanny to two VERY energetic (but loveable as all get out) 3-year-old little boys 5 days out of the week—it’s absolutely insane…but it’ll be worth it. Just a few more months and I’ll have what I want. A big part of that is that I’ll FINALLY have this degree out of the way. I never imagined when I went back to finish up that there’d be all these hiccups along the way…but such is life. And now, the hard part is over.

It’s not about the degree. I don’t need it to do what I do. But having it feels nice. I know that when I decided to back and finish up, it was more for my family than for myself. I know I really let them down when I first decided to walk away from the Ivy League path they’d envisioned for me. I don’t think they would have been nearly as disappointed if I’d told them the truth about why I left. If I’d told them that I’d gotten messed up with the wrong guy and caught in a really unhealthy, dangerous situation—they’d have been completely supportive. Well…I think they’d have gone off the rails a bit first and did something crazy like send my brother out to rough a certain someone up a bit, or have my sister call up the Dean and demand that the situation be rectified. Well, technically, my sister did end up doing something along those lines. She called up the school and actually requested a meeting with the Dean of Students himself. When I found out, I was of course, livid and literally had to beg her to stay out of it. My thought process at the time was that I felt like I’d been humiliated enough. I didn’t need or want my big sister or any member of my family to come swooping in and trying to fix the mess I’d made like they always did. After almost a year and a half of covering up bruises, making countless excuses, and constantly feeling as if I was walking on eggshells, I felt completely hopeless. Honestly, I think I just a reached the point to where nothing mattered anymore. I was tired of the pain—both physical and emotional—and of feeling like nothing I did or said was ever going to make it better. It’s not so much that I wanted to die as it was that I no longer cared if I did or didn’t. I think a part of me would have taken death as a relief. Sad and pathetic, I know.

In hindsight, I now realize just how ridiculously messed up that whole situation was. I was stupid to stay; stupid to believe him when he apologized and swore it’d never happen again…until the next time when it did. I was even more stupid for letting him run me out of school, for making me feel like I had no other choice but to go. For making me feel like it was somehow my fault, so I had to be the one to leave. I hate that I gave him that much power over me, but what’s done is done. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is right now and finishing what I started. At some point over the last few years, it stopped being about proving something to my family and instead became more about proving something to myself. I wanted to prove that I could do it…that I could finish. That I could do more and be more. I know that I can do this. And I’m going to. For ME and for the people in my life. Right now, I’m just focusing on the prize waiting for me at the end of all this: I get to go home. Back to my friends and the people that already feel like family to me. Back to long hikes in state parks, just me and my Canon. Back to the peace and quiet. Back to the city life. Back to where I belong. Back home.  ❤ 🙂



Feelin’ A Little Bit Artsy…

Did a little (early) spring cleaning/organizing earlier and found a few finished projects from my 2-D class, or as my good friend Alan and I like to call it, “the class from Hell”. With the exception of Alan and our other chat buddies, these projects/activities were the only ones that were actually somewhat fun–and not boring as hell. Anywho–thought I’d share… 🙂



 My Stippling Project – Gibson Guitar

(*As neat as it looks when it’s done, I’m sooo not doing that again. Way too much ink!*)




My Ancestry Tree Project

(*Instead of relatives, we had to choose people who have inspired us one way or another in our lives; the theme was supposed to be symbolic of our childhood/life. I chose a Wizard Of Oz them because it was one of my favorite films as a kid. Came out pretty cool, I think. 🙂 *)









My Nature Flag Book

(*This was actually my final project for the class–Got the only A–yes!!–and my favorite of them all. I got to incorporate my photography into it and my love for nature–and I got to play with paint! My absolute favorite of the bunch and it came out amazing!*)



Merry Christmas (Twenty-Fifteen)

Merry Christmas y’all!!


Can we just pause for a moment here so I can lament on how absolutely surreal and crazy it is that it’s already December—correction, the end of December? It’s unreal. I don’t know where the time goes, I really don’t. Add to that, the fact that we’re quite literally on the very cusp of a brand new year—2016—well that just makes it all the more surreal. Seriously people…where did the year go…??


And to think that this time last year, I was in the midst of packing my things in preparation for my big move down to Nashville. I can’t believe an entire year has passed since then.


But it has. And it’s been one hell of a whirlwind of a year, that’s for sure. I’m not going to lie–I had my doubts about moving 900 miles away from literally everyone and everything I’d ever known and starting over in a brand new city completely on my own—I did. Honestly, I didn’t think I could do it. I’d given myself a few weeks—a month or two, tops—before I went running back to New York, tail between my legs, so to speak. I expected the glitter and excitement of being in a new place to wear off. And that I’d grow weary of city-life and having to sit in rush hour traffic for almost an hour just to get my daily caffeine fix (**because I’ve GOT to have my iced coffee and the DD on Fesslers Lane makes THE best iced coffee in town–and also happens to be the only 24 hour joint around for miles**). I was afraid I wouldn’t fit in or make any friends—the real, honest-to-goodness kind like some of the ones I’d left behind in New York. But more than anything, I was afraid of failing—that I’d be given this incredible opportunity—heck, that I’d worked like hell for and earned—to go to such a wonderful city and I’d just somehow screw it up like I’d done with most every other good thing in my life up to that point. That was my biggest fear. And if we’re being completely honest, sometimes it still is, just a little.


Suffice to say—AND THANKFULLY, I MIGHT ADD—all that worry (or most of anyhow) was for naught. I’d already fallen in love with the city when I’d previously visited in April to tour Watkins—it’s such a beautiful place, how could I not—but I think I fell in love all over again once I hit those city limit signs. As fate would have it, just as I hit the city, the song “Home” by Daughtry came on the radio—ohhh, I kid you not—and it was the best damn sign I could have been given right then. It couldn’t have been clearer in telling me that I’d made the right choice and that Nashville was right where I was supposed to be. As crazy as it sounds, it really did feel like I was home. And now here we are–here I am–a year later, and that feeling hasn’t changed. If anything, it’s only gotten stronger.


As guilty as I feel to admit it, I’ve never been happier. I’ve made friendships that I’m confident will last for years to come, and I’m beyond grateful for that. In a sense, they’ve become my sort-of stand-in family…and while they can’t replace my actual family, it helps knowing they’re there if need be. I met a sweet, kind, and probably the most understanding man to ever walk this earth–especially to put up with this distance the past few months with me here in NY and him back home in TN. I’m just beyond anxious to head back and be home–and moreover, to see everyone.


I’ve been given so many incredible opportunities that I never would have even imagined in New York. This whole Hollywood and movie-making business—never in a million years did I imagine being a part of that whole world. Heck, even if you’d told me last year that I’d be here…I probably would have laughed in your face. It’s just so…not ME. Or at least it wasn’t, I should say. I guess I have fate to thank for all of this—for putting myself and my friend Alan in the same 2-D class. After all, that’s how and where it all began—the two of us becoming fast friends, bonding over our shared dislike of the Professor-from-HELL and all but a few select classmates in the class. To recap from there, he’d written a screen-play and was planning to make his first film. Knowing I was a photographer, he asked me to take some BTS pics of the auditions. It was just for fun. Nothing special.


From that point to where it stands now…it’s all pretty much a blur. Now I have contacts and credits in the film industry that I never expected to have—and still can’t believe I have. I’ve been on an actual film set and have seen just what goes into the making of a film…and I now have the utmost respect for the actors and actresses out there that do it for a living. It’s not exactly an easy job, despite how it looks from the outside. And the days are long. I was the set photographer, so I was there for the whole of it—and there’s a lot of waiting. It takes a lot of patience. A LOT OF PATIENCE. What came most unexpected to me is how much I’ve actually liked what I’ve done. I didn’t think I would. I mean, granted, there’s some parts that I really don’t like. For instance—the diva-bitch actresses who think they’re–as my friend Alan would say, “The Meryl Streep(s) of Nashville”— and as such, are in desperate need of a hearty dose of “reality check”. There’s a lot of conniving and underhandedness, too…but I think you’ll find that with anything. For the most part, though, I’ve enjoyed the experience. Word on my freelancing is spreading and I’m getting offers for sessions and websites left and right—it’s all kind of crazy. A good crazy.


Of course, there’s the not so great misfortune that’s come with this year as well. The little hiccup in June with the accident and the damn concussion that has really done a number on me, in more ways than one. It’s unreal how your whole life can change in a split-second…and it did exactly that. It’s like someone pressed the pause button on my life that day and it’s only just recently begun playing again. I don’t have my life back, not completely. I’m trying to get back to it, slowly. It’s hard when you’re still trying to wade through the pain of a pounding headache day in and day out. I have all these damn meds—seriously, there are 6 different pills—that I’m supposed to be taking every day. They’re supposed to help with the headaches. They barely even touch the surface most of the time. And I hate taking them because they make me really loopy—you know, that whole out-of-body, noodles for limbs—kind of feeling. That’s no fun on its own, let alone when you’ve got a splitting headache to boot. So I’m trying to work through the pain. It’s a process. And it sucks. But really, what else can I do…


All in all, I’ve come so far this year…further than I thought I’d be. And a great year it’s been. Headache and stressors aside, I couldn’t be happier. I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings…


And on that note…a little Happy Holidays from the two–and my absolute favorite–(little) leading men in my life… (**You’ll have to excuse the Jake cranky-face–the little guy was in no mood for pictures or presents…but even sporting a pout, he’s still a little cutie pie!**)



(**Oh, and did I mention, these little cuties just celebrated a birthday a couple of weeks ago…TWO already! How is that even possible? It feels like it was just yesterday when it was just the three of us all day, everyday…when my nerves were shot from weeks of sleep training and episodes of Dinosaur Train and Daniel Tiger on repeat (*I still know the theme songs to both by heart btw*)…and every smile or smallest feat was cause for an impromptu photo-shoot. Now my Twinnies are turning into little men and I just want to scoop them up and never let them go and just make them stop growing. 😦 **)



#FreakinDeaconFriday Adventures

Well, it’s been a roller-coaster, whirlwind of a week. For real. Starting with the apartment. As great as things went and were on Sunday, they were just as crappy on Monday when I went to pick up the keys. For starters, I got there and waited a good 2 1/2 hours just sitting there and no one telling me anything. The one girl from Sunday finally came over, gave me a key card, and told I could head over to the apartment, grab the keys that the guy I was supposed to be subletting for had left in a drawer in the kitchen, and to check out the apartment. So, I did. Yeah. Now, I’m not usually all that girly or picky when it comes to cleanliness. Personally, I prefer to keep things clean, but I’m not a neat-freak, OCD-type that expects everyone to keep their corners spotless, so to speak. And I expected a little dirt and whatnot, considering it was a guy’s apartment and that there was still another guy living there in one of the other bedroom units. But let me tell you–it was a total sh**hole. It was unreal. The carpet that I’m guessing was once either white or beige in the bedroom looked as though someone had literally poured patches of tar everywhere. It was bad. I’m talking layer upon layer of absolute filth. The wall, which I assume was supposed to be white, looked as though someone had painted patches of blue here and there and then tried to scrape it off with godknowswhat. The door to the walk-in closet was broken clear off. The mattresses were two different sizes. There were holes and scrapes all over the walls. Half empty cans of Budlight scattered around the room. And the entire apartment reeked of pot. I didn’t even bother to check the bathroom. I got the hell out of there and went back to the leasing office. When I informed the girl about the apartment, she basically shrugged and told me it wasn’t their problem. That even though I wasn’t allowed to get the keys to view the apartment beforehand because the other guy technically hadn’t moved out yet, I was still stuck with the lease and the apartment. Yeah. I was floored. And rightly so. I demanded to see the property manager who said the same thing. That I’d signed the lease–the lease that wasn’t even approved until 5 minutes before the girl had given me the okay to go and get the keys from the apartment mind you–and had the nerve to ask me what I expected from an apartment where someone had lived for 4 years and something about a “life change” and oh–I lost it. Really, really lost it. I walked out and called my family and of course, stood there bawling my eyes out on the phone while my mother bitched me out for signing a lease before I’d even seen the place–which according to the girl in the leasing office is standard practice…they don’t let you view the apartment until after you’ve signed the lease and they give you the keys. Granted, in hindsight, it was pretty dumb of me to not find that suspicious, but I was literally in la la land, thinking I’d scored this great location and deal…and pressed for time. I had to be at the promo shoot on Sunday, so I wanted to get everything done as soon as I could so I wasn’t stuck paying for a hotel for god knows how many nights until I figured out something permanent. So yeah, I jumped the gun a bit. And got screwed.

After I bawled my eyes out, I got mad. Like livid. I mean, here I was thinking that I was doing a good thing and the responsible thing–hell, I’d never even signed a lease before. I’m 27 and its the first time I’ve ever had to even worry about leases and sublets and whatnot. I sat in my car for like an hour just calling around to lawyers, trying to get some kind of idea of where I stood as far as breaking the lease went…and pretty much got nowhere. So I winged it. I went back inside, demanded copies of the papers I’d signed that the girl from Sunday never gave me and couldn’t even find when I initially went back after seeing the apartment and asked to see. I fibbed a bit and told them I wanted the paperwork right then so I could meet with a lawyer friend my brother-in-law knew from college that worked out of Antioch. There wasn’t any lawyer–and my brother-in-low went to engineering school, not law school–but they didn’t need to know that. Anyhow–that got them going. The one girl finally came over with the papers and told me that she and the property manager had talked and were willing to void the sublet lease in exchange for me signing a full lease with them, which meant I’d be able to get a different apartment, on that wasn’t a sh**hole. Seeing that a full lease with them meant a 12-month lease, I said hell no on the spot. I mean, anyone who knows me knows that I don’t make plans. Hell, I don’t know what I’m going to be doing or where I’ll be one day from the next. That’s just me. Not to mention, if I was going to sign a year lease somewhere, it’d be in Nashville, not Murfreesboro, what with the 40 minute almost daily commute I’d be/am making. That’s what was great about the sublet. The lease would be up at the end of July, which I figured would give me time to figure things out with work and Ryan possibly moving down and most important, it would give me a chance to look for a place closer to Nashville. To make and sign a year-long commitment and contract when I know Murfreesboro is a temporary thing for me–is just illogical. And stupid. After I said no, the woman started negotiating. Ultimately, she offered me a 6-month lease with the same rent amount as I was going to pay for the sublet, which was roughly about 75-100 bucks cheaper than what the current rent rate is for the type of apartment unit I’m in. Ideally, the 6 month lease would have to go…but unfortunately, I didn’t have a choice. It was either take the deal and stick it out until January or get screwed and have to keep the sublet–or be in breach of the lease and lose out on the 2 months rent I’d already paid in advance. Needless to say, I took the deal. It’s not ideal by any means, but at least the apartment she gave me shows more resemblance to what I was expecting and what’s advertised on their webpage and I get to share the apartment with 3 other girls, and not the guy slob/stoner I would have had to live with if I stuck with the sublet unit. It’s not the perfect solution/arrangement, but it could have been worse. A hell of a lot worse.

That whole apartment debacle was just the beginning of the whirlwind. Sunday was the promo shoot–which went great, by the way–for the film. After, I drove back to the hotel…only to have Alan call me up around 1am to say they’d gotten a flat tire and asked if I had AAA. Which, I do. Well…technically it’s my grandmother’s card, but we have the same name and she never uses it so she gave it to me in case I needed to. So I met up with them (Alan and a few of the cast/crew) at some fire station in Clarksville. The wait for the tow truck was epic. I swear, this cast and crew is the best…and the hilariously craziest. The conversations we had…it was unreal. Unfortunately when the two truck guy did show up, he couldn’t fix the flat because he claimed Alan’s spare was leaking air and wouldn’t make it back to Nashville. So he ended up having to tow it back. The hotel was in Clarksville, so I didn’t go with them. That was just the tip of the iceberg. Alan called me the next morning for a ride to his truck and to get the tire changed. Only the tire place wouldn’t do anything unless he brought the truck to him. So Alan decided to drive on the flat…and made it all the way to about a block–not even–from the tire place. I was following him, of course, and watched the tire spit out pieces of rubber and wear down practically to the rim. It was literally mere feet from sparking when he stopped. He’s crazy. Sooo yeah, after I went at it with the leasing office, I had to go back to Nashville (for the 2nd time that day) and call AAA again for Alan since he’d bought a tire. We were given a ridiculously long 3-hour wait window…which sucked. Then the guy that showed up–and was high on something, I might add–didn’t have the right tools to change the tire and no flat bed to tow the truck around the block to the place where Alan bought the tire. So we called AAA yet again, endured hours of waiting…til finally we got it towed. It was late though and I still had to drive back to Murfreesboro, which sucked–especially since I had to be back in Nashville right the next day for the dress rehearsal. It was exhausting.

Anyhow, we started shooting the film on Tuesday. We had a 6:30 am call time, so I barely got any sleep. I left the apartment around 5 or so…only to completely wipe out on the last few steps…and made the idiot move of putting my hand out to break my fall. Yeah. Hurt my wrist. Had to go to the ER. The ER doc couldn’t be absolutely sure if it was broken or not because the x-rays weren’t that great, I don’t think. He said he thought it looked like a fracture, but couldn’t tell because of all the old fractures the x-rays showed on my wrist. So they called for an Ortho consult. After a good 2 hours of waiting for the guy to show up, I left to get to the set and told them to just have the Ortho guy call me with his diagnosis. Ultimately, he wants me to come in next week for more x-rays because he couldn’t be “definitively” sure if it was fractured and wanted to see me first.

Filming is going well, though. We’ve been going all week and I can’t even tell you how truly grateful I am to be working with these people on this project. They are incredible and this film is going to be absolutely amazing. I’m proud and thrilled to be a part of it, in spite of the 15+ hour days we’ve all been putting in. It’s worth it though. Or will be, in due time.

We had the day off today, so I headed on down to the Riverfront to see Charles Esten (from ABC’S Nashville) perform on the Chevy Stage for CMA Fest. I have to say, it was one of the best experiences I’ve had in Nashville to day. Without a doubt. He was amazing. Absolutely incredible. The man is so talented, and hot as hell for a guy in his late 40’s. I swear, if he wasn’t a married man…um, yeah. It was so great and it literally made my day. Not only was this was my first CMA Fest, but I got to see DEACON perform LIVEEE! It really makes me feel so blessed and glad that I’m living here in Nashville and have these opportunities. It’s just so unbelievable, so great.

Time to get some shuteye, editing all day tomorrow…Night!


**And of course, some pics from the show 🙂 **







Leaving Again So Soon?

‘Fraid so. That’s right. It’s back to Tennessee soon. I was originally planning on staying in New York until the 10th, however, I was checking in with Alan (my friend-slash-director-extraordinaire) the other day and he asked if I’d go back sooner, as he needs me in Clarksville on the 7th for the film’s promotional shoot. I agreed, though I’m starting to get a little nervous about all this. I mean, the exposure is great, and this is definitely a direction I’m starting to find interest in possibly pursuing, career-wise with this photography endeavor of mine, but right now–I’ve never done anything like this–or even close to it. I mean, taking head-shots for people is one thing. For all my worrying prior, there’s really nothing to it. By that, I mean I have the experience taking portraits, so head-shots are essentially right up that alley, with some tweaks here and there.

But a promotional shoot for a film that’s going to be entered in Sundance? Yeah…kind of freaking out here. I appreciate Alan’s encouragement and belief in my photographic talent and skills, but I can’t help but feel a little freaked out. I mean, I don’t want to mess this up for him. Granted, he knows I haven’t done anything like this, but I don’t know if I’m as good or as capable as he seems to think I am. That’s just me being honest. And yes, I know that this is exactly the kind of experience I need if I’m going to pursue this avenue of career paths, but still…I’m nervous.

Doesn’t help that this is all happening at the same time that I’ve decided to get a place with my guy-bestie, Ryan, down there. I’m wondering if maybe I’m stretching myself a little too thin here–emotional-wise. I mean, this is a big thing. I feel like I’m taking a huge chance on my future here…and especially my near-future as Ryan is concerned. He says he’s all in and he’s been super/hyper over-the-top vocal about his excitement in all of this–but I can’t help but wonder if that will still be the case once we actually get down there. And not only that, but I’m worried that I’m taking a step back here in all the work I’ve done to get as far as I’ve come. Not that I don’t love him and support him and want this to work out, but I’m worried. I mean, I finally did this. I finally got out, moved away–broke free. Call it whatever you want. I did it.  On my own. And while, sure, it can get lonely sometimes being 900 miles away from everyone. Not to mention a little nerve-wracking, considering it’s all on me to make sure I get through the day. Me and no one else. But I’ve done it. For six months. And I’ve loved every minute of it–good and bad. And I feel like I’ve made this great little world for myself down in Nashville…and now it’s like I’m opening that up with Ryan coming into the midst of it…and I’m scared. I feel vulnerable. And I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. I’m hoping it’s good, but in my experience…well, I just never have that good kind of luck. I just haven’t. So…who knows. There’s so much up in the air…but hopefully not for long.

Ryan aside, it’s gonna be hard. Leaving again. This time not knowing when I’ll get a chance to actually get back. It’s hard and it’s necessary…but it’s also sad. The boys know me again…and the girls are constantly in my face wanting me to spend as much time as I can with them. And I love it all. I love them. Despite the dysfunction and the hell that I’m constantly getting from some people in this family…I love those kids. They make the coming back worth it. And they give me reason and the strength to leave again. Everything I’m doing…making something of myself, finding my niche and success…it’s for them. Sure, some of it’s for me, but it’s mostly for them. I want to be someone they are proud of…someone they can finally look up. I want to feel worthy of their love and adoration. And I don’t sometimes, not yet, not completely. And I want that. For them. For me. I really and truly do. More than anything.


There. Then Back Again.

So it’s been a busy past couple of days, what with having to pack all of my things up again and load the truck in preparation for that horrible 14-hour drive to New York. I was planning on leaving Saturday, but completely forgot about Memorial Day weekend, so to play it safe and skip the rush, I’m just going to head out early tomorrow. I’m excited to see my family and my little loveys…but that drive–ugh. And then I’m going to be making it again in a couple of weeks from now…yeah, it’s going to really suck.


Anyhow, I’ve been busy with editing audition pics for my friend’s film that I think I mentioned in one of my recent posts. Today I met up with Kelle at Centennial Park over by West End–she’s the producer–for a head-shot shoot to use for hers and my friend Allan’s production company’s website, as well as the film’s. It went pretty well, actually–in spite of the fact that Kelle wasn’t sure how she wanted them to done or what poses to do…AND that I’d never done head-shots before. It went great, though. And it was good practice for me. I mean, I worked at a photography studio so I’m used to taking portraits and close-ups and what not, but I’d never technically done any actual head-shots involving the film industry. As it turns out, I was all worried and nervous for nothing. There weren’t any problems and Kelle’s just plain awesome, so it was good. It was a fun. I admit, when I first met her at the Auditions Day 1, I was a wee bit intimidated. She does this serious look that’s kinda scary. But she’s actually really nice, not scary at all. She’d be fun to hang out with, especially considering how during the auditions she told me and this other guy in the room that she will not drink or go out clubbing with white people. She didn’t mean it in a racist context or anything. She just thinks us “white folks” do crazy @$$ crap when we’re drinking. To her credit, she’s not too far off-base. We do some pretty crazy crap…or I have, I should say. When I get back in June, I’m gonna make it a mission to get her and the rest of the crew to all go out…just for the hell of it. CMA fest will be starting around that time and seeing how this is my first CMA fest in Nashville…I want to make it memorable. With the exception of the time a bunch of us from class went out a few months ago, it’d been well over 3 years since I’d had even a drop of alcohol. Or gone out bar-hopping. Nothing like that. I’ve been really good on those fronts. I don’t even miss it, to tell you the truth…the going out, the getting drunk, the passing out in random places (like the time I passed out wasted in a snowbank–um, yeah…), the drama, the hangovers…yeah, I don’t miss any of that. But this is the CMA Fest! And everyone down here says it’s absolutely insane during the festival–and I can’t wait. So, so excited. Can you tell? 🙂


Any who…I have some good news. Alan told me today that his boss wants to hire me to do photography and some of the promotion for the International Black Film Festival that Nashville hosts downtown every year. This year’s will be held in October. I know it’s months away, but I’m excited and anxious already. In terms of my photography and work, this is a HUGE deal. It’s kind of funny actually–the direction my life has gone and how it’s going right now–seeing that I never in a million years would have expected that I’d get involved in the film industry…let alone end up liking it. Unlike Alan and a good majority of the student population here at Watkins, I have no desire for fame or recognition…or anything else. I just want to take my pictures and have as much fun as I possibly can. That’s all I want. I now have so much respect for my actor/actress friends–and actors just in general. I mean, it take a hell of a lot of confidence and talent to do what they do–to get up in front of everybody and pretend to be someone else. I wouldn’t and couldn’t do it. I’ve never been fond of public speaking–in fact I loathe it–and I definitely wouldn’t want the world knowing and watching my every move. That celebrity lifestyle–yeah, no thanks. I think I’ll just keep my insignificant, mundane little life if that’s all right.


Surprisingly–and I think its safe to say–I’m really starting to like this whole film thing. The auditions, the casting, the production–it’s all so fascinating. I’ve literally learned something new each day. And the best part is that my role in it all is actually my own craft. I get to learn, observe, and discover new nuances of the industry while doing something that I love. Photography. Even better, I get to work and do it with a pretty great group of individuals that I’m also so incredibly fortunate and grateful to be able to call them my friends.


There’s no longer any doubt in my mind that I made the right decision in moving here to Nashville. None whatsoever. It was one of the best decisions I could have made. I’m happy here. I have friends here. Connections that I’ve already made. I’ve built a life here in these past 6 months. This is home. At least for now…



** And so I thought I’d share some pics I took in Centennial Park after the shoot with Kelle today…SPOILER ALERT–there are trees…lots and lots of trees! 🙂 🙂 **


IMG_5582                   IMG_5603


IMG_5626                    IMG_5631


IMG_5646                                        IMG_5664

IMG_5659           IMG_5676

IMG_5704                    IMG_5714


IMG_5731                       IMG_5739



Professors & Their Little Power-Trips.

So it’s that’s time of the semester…registration time. I can’t believe the semester’s nearly over with already. Just a few more weeks now. I almost wish these last 4 months hadn’t gone by so quickly…and then I remember my Professor from my 2-D class and I’m reminded and start to think that May 8th can’t get here quickly enough. This teacher, I swear to God…I’m literally at my wit’s end with the woman. She’s a bitch. With a capital “B”. She seemed nice enough in the beginning of the semester, despite her somewhat old-school teaching style and her policy of not ever giving students an “A” in the class, whether you earned it or not. Her reasoning being that in order to get an “A”, your work has to be perfect…and she doesn’t think anyone is capable of doing 100 percent, perfect work…so basically, getting an “A” is essentially impossible to attain in the class. Which I think is total bullshit. I mean, if you do the work and you meet all the objectives for that work, you should deserve to get an “A”. Am I right? I think it’s totally messed up. From a student’s perspective, I’m paying to take these classes and doing all this work–and even though I’ve earned and deserve it, I’m already at a disadvantage grade-wise seeing how I’m starting with a “B” letter grade. It isn’t fair, you know? But you have these impossible-to-please teachers on power trips who like to make up these ridiculous class policies with no regard as to what getting a “B” does to your GPA. I mean, why should they care? It’s not their problem…yeah, f that.

Anywho… now I’ve had some pretty sucky teachers over the years, some where there was definitely no love lost between us…but this professor makes those teachers look tame compared to her. Everything thinks I’m crazy or reading too much into it when I say that she hates me, but it’s true. The woman HATES me. And I don’t even know why. Ever since I missed that ONE class back in February, it’s like the woman has made it her mission to make my life hell for six hours a week. It started out with her just making snide little comments the few classes that followed that one that I missed,  with that whole “well, if you hadn’t missed that class then you’d know…” which is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, for starters, half the class didn’t go that night and she doesn’t bother any of those people about it…just me. Secondly, she kept making those snide remarks even after we’d already finished that project and moved on to the next. If she dropped it after we moved to the next project, that would have been one thing. But she didn’t drop it, which leads me to think it’s not even about my missing that class. It’s something else. I just don’t know what. And at this point, I’m past the point of even caring enough to guess or try to figure it out and have gone right to being completely fed up with her and the whole damn thing.

I’m so sick of having to deal with her crap each and every damn time we have the class. I can ask her a perfectly reasonable, relevant question that doesn’t require anything other than a yes or no answer…and she’ll literally go off on this ridiculous, long explanation that by the time she’s finished, has absolutely nothing to even do with my question in the first place. She talks in riddles and circles around an answer until I’m even more confused than I was in the first place. And I know that she knows exactly what she’s doing…and she gets off on it. She really does. And I’ve tried with her. I’ve tried to figure out whatever it is that she has against me. I’ve even come right out and asked  her why, when I’m asking her a yes/no question, she won’t just give me a straight answer. She’ll give the rest of the class a simple yes or no answer when they ask her a question…but won’t when I ask. When I asked her about it, she said something about how I want everything to be black-and-white…which according to her isn’t how the world works…and was actually acting as though she was doing me some big favor by challenging me….which is total bullshit. Constructive criticism is one thing…but that’s not what she’s doing when she starts with me every class. She’s not trying to challenge me to do better–or BE better– or trying to teach me some big life lesson that could possibly be useful in the long run for me. no. She’s not doing any of that. She’s just being a bitch. Plain and simple. She–and other people in the class–have even come to me outside of class and agree that she’s actually getting off on it–with her blatantly trying to pick a fight with me every class and how she’ll be smirking when she comes over to say something to me…it’s like she clearly gets some kind of twisted satisfaction each time I take the bait and let her get under my skin and piss me off. She enjoys it. I don’t. 

I hate it and I hate her. I really do. It’s been going on for months now and I, for one, am really fucking sick of it, you know? Now, I’m generally always up for some light banter with teachers…but this isn’t that. This is just her on some power trip, abusing her authoritative position as a teacher…and it’s messed up. Hell, I’m paying for a class that I’ve learned absolutely nothing from because she’s too busy harassing and picking fights with me constantly. It’s not right. I mean, I shouldn’t have to be miserable every class. And that’s what she does. She pushes all the right buttons of mine until I’m good and miserable. It’s to the point where I don’t even want to go to the class anymore because I know she’s just going to pick a fight with me any way that she possibly can, for no reason other than that she’s a bitch and does what she wants. Again, it’s fucked up. And I’ve tried. I’ve asked her nicely to stop and I’ve straight-out told her to…and nothing. Like this last class we had this week. She started with me not even five minutes into the class and I was straight with her. I told her I wasn’t in the mood and that I didn’t want to argue with her. It’s exhausting, you know? Day in, day out…sometimes taking as long as an hour from the class that she could be using to actually DO her job and teach us something. It’s infuriating and annoying as all hell…and its disruptive to the rest of the class. It’s just wrong.

Last night it just got to the point where I was thisclose to saying the hell with it and her and walking out. Then this afternoon while I was registering next semester’s classes with my advisor, she asked me how things were going in my other class, so I told her all about Prof. BITCH. She suggested that I go to the student life director and ask her to be some kind of mediator between the professor and myself. Yeah…not happening. The bitch already hates me. Putting it on the record and filing a formal complaint would–I’m certain–only make things worse. For me. She’s the one with tenure and the power to either pass or fail me…so yeah. I’m not an idiot. I’m not going to rock the boat as it’s already sinking, so to speak. I’ve only got a few weeks left and then I’ll never have to see that woman again. It sucks, but I just got to get to the homestretch and that’s it.

Here’s to hoping I can keep from BITCH-slapping the BITCH (and you have no idea how tempted I am to do that) and just get the semester over with…


Planting Roots.

So today was my first official day working at the Science Center. Well, technically the 2nd, but yesterday was just training, so I’m not counting it. Katy, my supervisor, shadowed me for a few minutes in the morning, but I was on my own the rest of the day. One of the other girls I work with couldn’t believe they’d have my first day be on a Saturday–considering how busy it usually gets on the weekend–but I think I did alright. It was a little overwhelming at first, what with there being so many people and all, but I actually liked that it was that busy–it made the day go by pretty quick. It was non-stop all day from when we opened at 10, all the way up to around 4 or so. We close at 5, so yeah, it was definitely packed.

Granted, it was only my first day, but I like the job already. I think it’s going to work out okay. Interacting with all the kids that come in is fun and the people I work with are so nice and easy to get along with. Two of the girls both work second jobs at the Grand Ole Opry, which is really cool.

Everything is great. School’s going well and so is work. I’m meeting people and making new friends and contacts. I love it. I’m actually surprised it’s going this well, but since it is, I really don’t want to jinx it by second guessing it all. I’m just going to enjoy it. That’s the plan.

In some negative news, my mother’s back in the hospital. She was having pain in her stomach so bad that they had to call an ambulance to take her to the ER. They ended up admitting her today and the last I talked to her, she was waiting to hear from the surgeon on how they were going to proceed and what needed to be done. It’s the kind of news that really sucks, you know? I can’t help but feel a little guilty for being so far away when something like this happens. I mean, I’m 900 miles away, building a new life here without everyone else. I feel bad because I’m not there and there’s really nothing I can do, but at the same time, I don’t want to stop everything I’m doing here, you know? I mean, everything is going so well right now and I’m finally somewhere where I feel like I belong. This is where I want to be. My life is here now. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty for doing what’s best for me and that I deserve this fresh start and all the good things that are happening in my life, but still, it’s hard. I just feel so disconnected from everyone back home, you know? And there’s no quick or easy fix for that, other than giving all of this up and moving back to New York…and I really don’t want to do that. I’m happy here, for the first time in a really long time. I’m not ready to give that up. Does that make me selfish? Honestly, I don’t even know.

So yeah, that’s what’s been going on these days, in a nutshell. I’ve got to work in the morning so it’s time for this girl to call it a good night.


3 Weeks In.

It’ll be three weeks on Saturday that I’ve been down here in Nashville. In some ways, it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, and in others, it feels as though I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind. It’s crazy. Everything is happening so fast, it seems. Classes are well under way and the work is picking up. I’m glad I decided to only take a couple of classes this semester. The students I spoke with back in April when I came down to visit the school and sit-in on a couple classes weren’t kidding when they said the workload is insane. The school definitely takes the curriculum here seriously, that’s for sure. The heavy workload aside, I’m glad I choose the two classes that I did. The photography class I’m taking is pretty awesome. The professor is really nice and laid-back and the people in the class are downright hilarious. We get along really well with one another and have the most random conversations. Today, for instance, these two guys in the class started a heated argument with each other over Kim Kardashian, of all people. In a nutshell, the one guy shared his opinion on Kim’s so-called talent–or lack thereof, according to him. The other guy–clearly a big Kim Kardashian fan–took offense by the comment…starting a back-and-forth little banter. The rest of us just sat there and watched them go at it, finding it nothing less than amusing. Like I said…so random.

Anywho, we’ve started working with our 35mm cameras, which is fun. I’m already familiar with working with the cameras from a photography class I took in New York a couple of semesters before I moved down here. That class dealt specifically with black and white 35mm film, which we had to process and develop ourselves in the darkroom. As much as I love working in the darkroom, developing the film itself could be such a tedious task at times. We’re not doing that in this photo class though. We just have to take it to Walgreens or a photo place and they develop the film for us. It’s so much easier that way. Instead of black and white, this class deals with color film, so it’s a brand-new playing field. And we get to play around with Photoshop…which, of course, is always fun to do. Well, for me, at least.

We’ve had a couple of 2-D classes so far, which isn’t too bad. The professor is old school, so the lectures are pretty long-winded. After the first class, I seriously contemplated dropping the class and registering for a different one. I really wasn’t looking forward to spending 6 hours a week absolutely bored out of my mind…or having to do all the drawing and painting that’s in the syllabus, for that matter. It’s not that I can’t draw…because I can. I just don’t like to. The same goes for painting. Unfortunately, it’s a foundation course, meaning I have to take it whether I want to or not. Hopefully the pace was pick up soon and ease some of the boredom. Hopefully.

I start work on Friday…which is really exciting. I think I’m going to like working there. I really do.

It still feels a little bit surreal to me that I’ve already got a job down here in just a couple of weeks time. It’s also really scary because now it means I’m going to have a reason to stay come summer and not go back to New York as I’d originally considered. I still feel a little guilty about it…contemplating not going back. I’m still having moments where I wonder if I’m doing the right thing or if I made a mistake by moving here. I don’t feel like it was a mistake, but the uncertainty is still there. It’s hard to imagine myself building a life here, 900 miles away from everyone I know and love. Honestly, I never thought I’d do it. If someone had told me 5 years ago that I’d be living here in Nashville, contemplating setting down roots here…I wouldn’t have believed them. But here I am…and I’m happy. Really and truly happy. I love this city. Now, I can’t imagine moving back to New York and ever leaving this place. I feel like there’s so much more here for me than there was in New York. I mean, there’s my family and friends, but excluding them, there’s really not much else. I feel like I can finally be myself here. I don’t have to pretend anymore that I was happy when I really wasn’t. I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder, running from and trying to hide from the gritty parts of my past. There’s no one or anything holding me back. No impossible expectations thrown at me, expecting to be met. I’m in control of my own life again…finally. I’m where I’m supposed to be…

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