Thursday, October 27, 2011

Muddling Through and Looking Back

Two years ago today, I sat in my room on the rehabilitation floor of the hospital. The surgeon came into my room after lunch, and with a few snips of thread attached to my neck, cut and lifted out my tracheostomy tube. With little more than a wide strip of gauze across the open slice in my throat, I was told... "that's it."

Sitting there, exhaling with emphasis to feel the hot air pushing out of my throat... has to have been one of the most odd experiences in my life. No restrictions on food or drinking. It wasn't like they had to line things up in my throat, or sew things back together. Just pull out the tube, and all is well and normal. Weird!

Now here I sit, two years later. All the weight that had melted off while I sweated through fever after fever in the ICU, is back on (minus about 15 pounds.) I have more issues with my health than I can shake a fist at. I thought, at the time (in the rehab unit) that all I needed to do was get out of the hospital, start walking and everything would be fine. 

We never dreamed I would herniate so massively. We never expected the colostomy to be so problematic. I never imagined that diabetes would determine the course of my life. I certainly never thought that I would have heart issues or sleep apnea to contend with. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Two years on... and I am planning to go in for a gastric bypass surgery this winter. Yep. I am going to let them turn my stomach into a mini-pouch. The plan is to lose the better part of a hundred pounds and then the surgical team in Rochester will rebuild my innards and remove this colostomy. They also aim to remove the hernias and fix all of my abdominal muscles. Should be exciting!

In the meantime, I struggle. 

It's the little things... like trying to tie my shoes while maneuvering around this distension in my abdomen. I feel (and look) like a pregnant woman. I struggle with the MRSA that I picked up in the hospital... as I go through outbreaks on my skin about every 4-5 weeks. No fun. 

I try to think about what life will be like two years from now, when all the surgeries are done and healed. 

I try to think about going out in my kayak and not worrying that getting in and out of my boat might cause my intestines to burst out of my stomach. I try to imagine being able to lift groceries from the van, or hugging my wife as hard as I want to. And when I think of how it will feel to not be carrying around all this massive weight... it is wild. Strange. Wild. Alien. I am excited about the prospect. Scared out of my wits too. The PTSD makes damned sure to raise its ugly head every time I am in the hospital or meeting with a doctor. 

Which brings me to this week's self-portraits. It has been a good week. Lots to think over. Lots of things, small things, being accomplished. Some new opportunities. Some old issues coming to the surface. 

All of that shows up in these portraits. I think that's what draws me to photograph things every day. The pathos. The life. The hope of catching the story with just a glimpse and a flicker of light.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hands Off! (or Finding Other Ways to Reach Out)

These images were shot this weekend as an exploration into the hands of one of my friends. Gordon is an artist on so many levels. He makes beautiful cut paper images, which he will be featuring the next two weekends in his studio during the Ithaca Art Trail. Gordon is also an accomplished musician, polyglot/ linguist (specializing in "dead languages"), amazing writer of compelling fiction.... which doesn't even touch on his day job!

Gordon and his wife Carol, have brought music, games and laughter into our house. For the first time in years, our weekends are filled with life. Last weekend we went out geocaching. Going for a meander across the lanes dividing farms, out away from town... is such a wonderful way to welcome Autumn. Carol's artwork is something to behold. Creative, surprising, focused and best of all, it requires the viewer to engage on more than just a visual level. Her paintings, drawings and etchings all combine to create works unlike anything I have ever seen.

These portraits of Gordon's hands were made for a fellow blogging writer, who is writing a series of blog posts about writers of fiction and their hands. I like the idea that in some way, the writer's hands are somehow a window into their being. Gordon's hands have always struck me as having been worked hard and put away tired. Lots of stories locked up in those hands.

I encourage you to check out Gordon's fiction both on his blog and at Barnes & Noble or at
If you use an e-reader, Kindle, Nook or iPad... you will love sitting down to one of his stories!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Taking Another Look

Two years ago, it snowed. It was the earliest October snow I had ever seen. In between the fits of delirium and drugged sleep, I could make out the quiet snow falling outside my ICU windows. It wasn't much snow. Probably amounted to less than three inches or so. 

I struggled with the idea that it was possible that a month had passed and I missed fall. Most of the color had fallen from the trees. The leaves had blown far and wide. The sun hung differently in the sky. 

The day after it snowed it warmed up significantly. By lunchtime it had warmed up into the 50's. My pulmonary intensivist, Dr O'Mara noted the change in weather as well as my increasing health, and suggested that I be taken outside to get some sun. For most folks that would entail hopping into a wheelchair and being wheeled out by an aide. In my case, I couldn't begin to hold my body upright, so my nurses and aides moved me to a reclining lounge chair, bundled me up like baby and rolled me out. As we passed through the hospital, I realized that these chairs were never really intended to roll down the hall loaded down with patients. They definitely were not meant to cross thresholds, concrete and asphalt. By the time they parked me across the main entrance from the hospital, I was through the fear and shock of the ride. All I could think about was the sun and that massive warmth that encompassed me. 

I had spent so many days indoors in the ICU that I was suffering from acute ICU syndrome. I heard bells and alarms going off all the time (even when they weren't going off). Being outside was like having a warm shower. For a few moments, I could shrug off the horrible life I had been struggling through. 

I had been running a fever for over a month. Between the peritonitis, sepsis and the pneumonia, I burned my way through over a hundred pounds of my body's mass. I was so accustomed to being hot, sweaty and sticky that to be outside was like being reborn. I started peeling off the layers of white blankets they had swaddled me in. Layer after layer, I tossed them aside. The aide and the nurse realized (just in time), that I had nothing on underneath all the blankets (due to soaking all my gowns and sheets thanks to all the fevers). So there I was, sitting/laying on this reclining chair, near the parking lot of the hospital, facing into the sun, blankets tossed aside, bare chested to the cold breeze. People passing by must have had such a sight! I was just a huge ball of steaminess. I have never been so happy to see the sun in my life. 

I sat there, like that, face to the warmth, for over twenty minutes. Sucking in every ray of sunshine. It was only when the first clouds passed in front of the sun that they decided I had been outside long enough. They swaddled me back up and started rolling me back towards the hospital's front doors. Just before we crossed the threshold, the sun shot one last bolt of sunshine my way. I was able to turn my head just enough to catch the light. One last look. It would be another week before I got to go outside again. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Run Like Hell

Another short story:

I was helping a young woman find book in the town library. Mind you, I wasn't the librarian, but since I handled all the reshelving and finding of books it was my job. She was looking for an old edition of a magazine and I knew we had bound volumes of this journal on our third floor. Rather than send her up to find it, I told her I would bring it down when I finished my final reshelving for my shift. She wasn't in a huge hurry and sat down to read some of the books she had already amassed.

A quick jaunt up the staff stairwell and I found my booktruck right where I left it. I finished reshelving a dozen or so books and then found the volume of Craft Horizons that she had asked for. Flipping it open I was greeted with a flood of memories. I could see my mother opening the January 1977 issue, all of the clay dust on the cover and the red iron oxide stains on the pages with glaze recipes. I saw potters long-dead that I had never met but knew from our shared history. I saw woodturners whose woodwork had inspired me along the way.

Closing the cover of the hardbound journal, I felt my heart stop for a moment. Unsure why, I quickly raced down the stairs, hoping that the young lady was still waiting. Reaching the first floor, I quickly scanned the reading tables and found her at the main desk, checking out a small stack of books. I brought over the journal and laid it on top of the rest of her selections. She was very curious as to how I could find it so quickly and I explained that I had spent a lot of time going through that section due to my interest in ceramics.

She and were talking about clay and glazes and other potters as we made our way out towards the entrance.  We were just under the threshold when the floor shook. It shook and throbbed. The walls vibrated and rippled. The ceiling over our heads twisted and tore like old parchment.

With a sudden shock, she looked up into my eyes, as though I should know what was happening. At that moment, the floor lurched and I was tossed back into a supporting pillar. The floor beneath us dropped away. The space that moments earlier had been century old hardwood flooring with oak and elm framing was suddenly gone. Rotting earth stared up at me with an open maw.

The next few moments took years to pass. My arm reached out to pull the young lady to the firmament I was planted on adjacent to the pillar. My hand, fully outstretched... her fingers so close. And that look in her eyes. There was no chance. Even if I had reached out sooner, there was no way to reach her. I watched her fall twenty feet or more before being lost to me.

I held tighter to the column, hoping that the rolling tremors would stop and that somehow everything would be okay again. The shaking stopped. Then the floors above me began to give way and suddenly the air around me was filled with huge walls of books from the second and third floors crashing through the floor and passing right beside me.... anxious to choke the gigantic opening in the earth.

Between the smell of decaying wood, of mold and mildew, of old wood dust, of wet earth... between all of these ripe raw smells that assaulted me, my own imminent fall to my death... and all I could think about was that I didn't even know this young lady's name.

As the dust cleared and the books and shelves stopped crashing, the sheer magnitude of the event was made clear. The entire structure had been undermined. It was gone. No floors, no walls, no people. Just the outer shell of the building. This library had been a large barn in its first incarnation and as a result the outer shell was incredibly strong. The subsequent additions had made the barn into a library. Rooms for offices, storage and of course storage for books.  Looking around me, it seemed like somehow the building had shrugged off the last hundred years and emptied it into this gigantic earthen trash can beneath me.

In a desperate act of self-preservation, I started making my way across the rubble, clinging to structural members as best I could. Outside of the library, people were doing their level best to reach those trapped inside. Cars, trucks and tractors were all shining their headlights into the now-empty shell. The glare from their high beams made it impossible to see where I was going. It was worse than the sudden darkness from all the falling debris. I had to get out.

Each time I moved I had to check my feet to ensure that I was on solid ground that would bear my weight. When the soft roiled earth started to move under my shoe, I was sure the upheaval had begun again. Imagine my shock when I could finally see down into the cloudy debris... and through the dust, through the beams of light cast by the townsfolk, I could barely make out the bodies. Dozens of them. With layers of fallen wood, timbers, earth and years of books... these bodies were crumpled under the massive weight. No one made a sound. There were no cries for help.

With only a few feet ahead of me, the only thing blocking my way out was a huge rift in the ground. Perhaps only five or six feet across, with those bright lights in my eyes, it may as well have been a mile. I couldn't take the chance. Looking over my shoulder, I saw a clearer, safer path. With the light behind me, I could see to either side of my shadows. Bit by bit, I reached, clawed and cried my way to the farside of the building. Just a matter of inches away from the staff entrance, I saw that exit completely blocked with piles of timbers and fallen shelving. I could hear the townspeople just outside the way. All of the plaster and lath had cracked away in the upheaval. As a result, I could see cracks in the outer shell of the structure.

Like any old barn, those boards and battens were held in place with old nails. A few swift desperate kicks and I had one board loose. Enough room to get my head part-way through so I could breathe and scream for help. No words came out...just spittle and desperate whines. There was no way I could wait any longer. With one huge push, I shoved aside the adjacent boards and with a loud creak and then snap... I was free. I was outside the building. All the action was happening on the other side of the library, but I was outside at last. The cold gravel from the driveway felt like soft summer grass as I laid there and thought about what had just happened.

Sleep found me long before the searchers did.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Finally Fall

There is something so reassuring about the onset of Fall. The chill rainy days, the unexpected gusts that get you wet in places normally saved for the shower... and the sudden bright beams of sunshine.

This old barn has certainly seen better days, and maybe with a little luck it will survive its current owner. A lot of the barns in our area are derelict and falling down. It's a sad sign of the depressed state of NY State's agricultural industry. The only ones starting farms around here are young families going CSA/organic and the Amish.

Aurora and I were out for a short while this morning, while the sun was still shining. Within just a few minutes of us getting out the door, clouds started piling up in the West. Not half an hour later the sun was gone but for a few slivers that came down here and there.

Aurora has such a great eye. She picked out this exact same spot last fall. Her shots from last year were a little more vivid than this year's. I think we missed peak-color by about a week. Last night's rain took some of the color and pulled it off the trees. Blame the hot dry summer and short wet fall.

There isn't normally a lot of drama in our CNY skies. Usually we get some puffy clouds in the summer, bleak flat streaks in the winter and early spring. This sort of storm system really makes for an exciting skyline!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Wife

Today we celebrate Nancy's birthday. We also celebrate today as the day I awoke from my month-long coma. Tomorrow we celebrate our ninth anniversary. We also celebrate every day in October when the sun comes out and the air is sweet. Far and away, this is our favorite time of year! No comparison. We live for these few glorious weeks in October. Georgia Rose thinks that Fall is the best time of year too. It is cool enough for her to run and romp. There's lots of new things in the grass for her to find and discover. 

The vertical form of the "Hover Doodle".

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cold Steel Doors Of The Mind

The past few weeks have been extraordinarily stressful, to the point where my normal coping mechanisms have failed me repeatedly. Not surprisingly, Nancy has had the greatest insight as to how to deal with these breakdowns, as well as the unceasing compassion to help me through this. What is not surprising is that so much of my stress revolves around trust and responsibility. Even less surprising is that these same issues also trigger my PTSD response.

All of which means it's time for another story:

When I rolled over, I could see the floor beneath my hospital bed. The room was silent and warm. For most folks it would have felt comfortable, but for me it was a touch too warm. If I could have gotten out of bed I would have opened a window, turned on a fan, something to move the air. I couldn't leave the bed. From my new, rolled-on-my-side position, I could see the floor and it was covered in small hypodermic needles. Dozens of them.
As my eyes regained focus, I could make out the small post-it note left on the bottom edge of the television. It said something to the effect of "take one shot every four hours for diabetes". Okay. That couldn't be me because I wasn't diabetic. It would explain the needles scattered around the floor though. I realized that I must have been out for quite some time because I was mildly hungry and thirsty... a strange sort of thirsty. Dry throat, raw from abuse, and my eyes were so dry that they burned each time I blinked. 
A note on the bedside explained that my nurses were gone for the weekend and wouldn't be back till Monday. If I needed anything, I should call my friend Bridgid and she would bring anything I needed. I found a chart near the bedside note and started reading through the scrawled information. Apparently I had become diabetic after suffering from hyperkalemia. Mind you, I had no idea what hyperkalemia was. The news that I needed insulin injections to treat it though was quite a surprise.
Looking around the room, I assumed I would find a nurse-call button somewhere. Usually they left the call button near my right hand, with a small heart monitor-sensor taped to the call button so I could distinguish it from the other buttons on the remote. Nothing was there. I tried calling out, yelling, in hopes that someone would hear me and would come help. The whisper that was my dry shredded throat didn't make it past my doorway. I started to panic realizing that I HAD to have these insulin injections before too long. 
Across the table, not far from the notes and patient status forms, there was a small cell phone. Surprisingly I could remember Bridgid's number and after three rings was able to reach her answering machine. As I was nearly finished leaving the message, she picked up. She'd had a very busy day and wasn't there someone else who could come down and bring more insulin? I was at a loss. At that moment I heard a heavy metal door downstairs slam closed. Some quick footfalls followed and another nearer door opened and closed. Two quick gunshots followed, then more running and doors slamming closed as the runners made their way outside. Another louder gunshot rang out as the huge steel door closed. 
Time held still. Holding my breath. Hoping that whatever was being looked for had nothing to do with me. Time passed slowly.... each breath held as long as I could. I fell asleep expecting someone to come banging on my door. On waking the hunger was worse, except this time it was accompanied by nausea and an odd flavor in my mouth. I felt like someone had stuffed a ball of tin foil in my mouth. Somehow, I knew that I needed an injection immediately. 
Banging my hand on the wall near the door, I suddenly heard more rushed footsteps on the stairs. This time it was a policeman, walking up the stairwell with Nancy in tow. Once he'd established who I was and that Nancy had come bearing fresh meds, the officer left. Nancy sat down at the foot of my bed and quickly pulled together the alcohol swabs and prepped the injection. A quick jab in the stomach later and we were past the fear. Looking into her eyes, I tried to explain my fear and all the crazy stuff that had happened. The gunshots, the needles on the floor, the inability to speak... and Nancy put her hand across my forehead. "You're running a fever again." With that, she left the room and returned briefly with a wet washcloth. Dabbing at my neck and chest, she kept talking about how it was okay and how we would get through this. She kept saying it wasn't permanent. I closed my eyes and waited for the heavy steel door to slam.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Crying The Dust From My Eyes

A week from now, I will celebrate my second anniversary of the most emotional day of my life.... October 11th, 2009, I woke up from my coma.

I've had my hands full lately trying to wrestle with all the complications brought on by my failed surgeries two years ago. Not everyone understands how completely botched my surgical procedure ended up... or what the long term consequences have been. I'll save that recap for another night. For now, let's just say that recovery doesn't happen overnight and the stress never really goes away.

How does one go about celebrating a horrific event? Do you throw a party? Do you bake a cake? How many candles are you supposed to blow out? Do you exchange presents? I feel like our culture really lacks for ways to mourn and grieve. We have a million ways to party into oblivion, thousands of ways to excuse our indulgent behavior, but so few ways to share grief.

Given this obvious lack of cultural guidance for mourning, I will do what I do best.... I'll share a story.

The cool night breeze that spilled through the vents in the camper trailer was just enough to take the edge off the last remnants of the day's heat. The aluminum trailer walls were still warm to the touch. All day through the hundreds of miles, the trailer got hotter and hotter. Now, the sweet wind that trickled in was so welcome. 
The hardest part was trying to decide if rolling over was worth the slippery unsticking, and repositioning, or would it be too much effort to try to cool off the side that had laid against the sodden mattress? So much pain, so much fatigue. The delerium came in waves like nausea. Even turning my head was too much work. The many bags of overripe potatoes that held me down to the bed made moving almost impossible... until I realized nothing was resting on me except a thin sheet. 
By the time the first recoil of revulsion rolled through me, I was able to make out sounds outside. We had stopped for the night. Judging from the sounds of loose fine gravel underfoot, I guessed probably a parking lot. It wasn't overlong before I could begin to make sense of the strains of music outside. I knew I had to be in Hell since only in Hell would they play modern country music over a cheap PA system just loud enough for it to sound like cats fighting in a two liter soda bottle. It wasn't long before I heard another person walk by. The gravel made sense now. We had to be parked somewhere. The trailer had stopped all the shaking and rolling. We were definitely parked.
When I heard the many throated roars pull into the parking lot, I couldn't quite count the number of motorcycles, but my guess was a good half-dozen. As each biker shut down their ride, and the silence returned, more feet outside my world made me aware of just how thin these walls were. Their exhaust hung too long in the air and was now coming in on the night breeze. Great. The nausea returned and with it, whatever remains of my lunch I had, came right up.
Each passing person sounded so close but no one came to open the door of the camper. Wishful thinking had me praying for someone to stop, perhaps hearing my breathless pleading. My whispers amounted to nothing. I pressed on the walls but even my hardest pounding was but a feather touch on the aluminum sides. I had only enough strength to gag again as I tried to breathe my way through the pain. Blinking hard to push dry-salted tears out in hopes that they might rinse clean the bits of vomit that I couldn't reach before falling back asleep exhausted.
The music outside changed while I slept. By the time I roused, the only sounds were of argument and bravado. My guess was that some of the bikers had done or said something to someone and now were itching for something to get angry with. The violence was palpable. I waited for the sound of breaking glass, of screaming, of fists and leather. 
Instead I was surprised to hear the soft metal hinge of the trailer open. The blast of cold desert night air rushed in with just enough dust to steal away my breath. I coughed twice and tried to open my eyes. Finding them crusted over again and weeping burning hot salt tears, I just wept. When I heard her voice ask how I was doing, I fell. I fell and fell. Over black empty space. As she pressed the cold wet cloth into my eyes, clearing away the debris, I could see the concern and worry across her face. She passed a new, fresh, colder cloth over my brow, running it over my neck, ears, and back over my brow again. Her gaze met mine and we both realized I was awake. 
The trailer was gone. Replaced by small and boisterous Italian restaurant. The heady rush of  rosemary and oregano permeated the air. Olive oil and simmering tomatoes... definitely an Italian restaurant. On the wall in front of me was a small space reserved for waiters to process their orders, write up checks and other miscelania. Just to the left of that was a small alcove that had two small wall plaques made of plaster and painted; one of fruit and one of vegetables. A small way past the waiter's station and slightly to the right was a short set of stairs and a door to the outside.
Standing in the doorway was the most amazing sight I have ever beheld. My wife leaned against the counter, hands on her hips as though surprised I noticed she was there. Refocusing my eyes, I could see our dear friend Mary Ellen standing beside her. They moved closer to me and for the first time in years, I could clearly  make out what was being said. 
Nancy pulled closer and was so happy to see me that she was crying. Fighting everything holding me back, I pulled and pulled but couldn't budge. I opened my mouth and nothing came out. Nancy looked into my eyes and tried to explain what had happened. It didn't make any sense. All I wanted was to hold her, to kiss her, to tell her I wasn't gone. 
In the end, all I could do was cry. The tube in my throat made it impossible for me to say what I so desperately wanted to say. So I cried. Nancy brought her head closer to me and tried to figure out what I was trying to communicate. Standing back up she asked if I was trying to tell her that I loved her. I didn't know tears could be so hot. She knew. It was her birthday. All I could do was cry. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thinkin' 'bout Time

Anyone who has known me for more than a day, (or who's read this blog)... knows that these last two years have been difficult. That doesn't sound right. It has been more than difficult.

In an effort to avoid hyperbole, I have tried to keep most of the medical tribulations off of my blog. By now I figure everyone knows the back story. Then along comes a week like last week, where I have to explain it all again to a fresh face. I have to tell the story as quickly and simply as I can. Just enough information that they get the gist of it, but not so much that I become emotionally tied to the telling of the story. I am so tired of having to relive this stuff. It isn't enough that my medical record span a dozen doctor's offices and at least four hospitals... they want more information every time. I feel like I should have a bound copy I can just sign and hand over when I walk through the door.

Having begun with that preface, I want to tell a simple story. A happy story. A story I never expected.

Eleven years and one day ago, I made plans to stop by the Friends of the Library Booksale in Ithaca. I knew that in the morning, a friend of mine would be coming over to help me off-load a lawn tractor I had won on eBay. After we finished moving that beastie, we were going to head down into Ithaca, watch a performance at the Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival, and then head to the Friends of the Library Booksale.

Anyone who has lived in Ithaca more than a year or two knows full well that October is a cruel month. It can be brilliant and blue, or it can be grey and sleeting. It can piss down rain or sock in with fog. What Ithaca in October promises though, is that the Apple Festival will always be chilly and wet. Eleven years ago was no exception. The weather alternated between constipated spurts of ice and sleet, followed by gusts that pushed that precipitation right up your pant legs and down into your socks. Wet followed everywhere.

In that Ithacation (as we have come to call it), I met Nancy. On the second day, Sunday, of the Friends of the Library Booksale. Our mutual friend had her heart set on finding some Swedish language books, and Nancy had already made a thorough pass over that section and was holding her loot outside when we walked up. Brief introductions were made and my friend quickly ran inside to find what was left of the Swedish section was left.

To this day, I remember looking into Nancy's eyes, noticing her incredibly cool, almost iridescent glasses whose frames seemed to change color depending on how she moved. I saw the scar she had over her left eye and the first thing I asked was how she came by that scar.

I can't remember the conversation in its entirety anymore. I know that I did more listening than I am accustomed to. I know that she and exchanged ideas that we would normally hold close to our chest. I know that I had never heard a more beautiful voice. Folks around me knew that my divorce had knocked me around and then some... so I certainly wasn't looking to fall in love with anyone. I really wasn't interested.

But as she walked away, with her Carhart jacket on, sleeves torn from real use, and her logger boots clodding away... I realized that I wanted to hear more. All through the rest of the day, as my friend and I worked on her projects and cleaned her porch, all I could think about was Nancy. Luckily it was Sunday.

Monday morning came and found me with my head still filled with Nancy's voice. Not just what she and I had talked about, but the melodious reassuring sound of her voice, resonating constantly. By the time the rest of my office staff arrived at the Library I had accomplished my usual morning fare and was beginning the part of the day where I tried really hard to look busy. My dear friend Robert tapped me on the shoulder. When I swiveled my chair around to face him, I realized that he had been calling my name for a while. Robert had known me for just over a year, sharing an office side by side for that whole time. He was the reason I bought my home in Trumansburg. So when he asked me what her name was, I was taken aback. I had to ask him twice what he was talking about.

He said, "whatever her name is, go and find her, because you are useless here." I explained that all I knew was her first name and that she worked in one of the other libraries on campus. He let on that there couldn't be more than a few Nancys working in that library. He then told me that it was imperative that I get out of the office immediately and only come back when I had completed this mission of his. I laughed as I left the library. I was dead-certain that there was no way I would find Nancy. It didn't take five minutes before I found her.

It's been eleven years and I am still there, standing in the sleet, looking into her eyes, every day.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

More Concert Footage

Enter the Haggis!  
I had really high hopes for their performance, especially given how much I love all of the albums of theirs that we purchased over the past 4 years or so. Instead of the kind of celtic punk/ humor we were expecting, they played schmaltz. It was almost as bad as a Billy Joel concert. No power, no oomph. Nothing. Probably our biggest disappointment of the night.

BEER truck

I have been going to concerts since long before I could drive. Never in my life have I seen a "beer truck" where the beer flowed from taps in the side of the truck. After asking around, this is apparently the norm for festivals of this sort. We arrived at 5pm and by 7pm there weren't very many folks who could walk straight! 

Meeting up with Kate made the whole weekend AWESOME! 

Gaelic Storm

Gaelic Storm

I had pretty high hopes for Gaelic Storm. In the end, they were content to play mostly tunes from their most recent albums which were pretty lame. Nothing to really drive a crowd. We ended up shooting a few images and then moving back outside the tent since the music just wasn't mind blowing.  We were able to get some so-so shots of the band, but with the speakers distorting from someone not knowing how to mix the soundboard, it was tough to endure. We were pretty disappointed.

A few more shots of Enter the Haggis. I was really hoping they'd perform Gasoline, or the Scottish Mexican Man, or Ride My Monster.... something from their repertoire of really fun tunes. Nope.