7 Day Black & White Photo Challenge

A lot of my friends were tagging each other on Facebook to encourage them to participate in the “7 Day Black & White Photo Challenge”.  The idea was to post a random black and white photo to their Facebook timeline every day for seven days. The catch was that it couldn’t include people or an explanation as to what the photo was about.

Quite a few people were annoyed by it and ignored the challenge. When a friend finally included me, I was delighted and couldn’t wait to get started. My inner photography nerd was beating its chest and rearing to go.

I’m a big liar. I took my seven photographs but they were hardly random. I already knew what I wanted to capture and share to my Facebook. Then I spent probably fifteen minutes on each photo carefully crafting the right shades of black and white in Photoshop Express on my iPhone.

I blame it on that inner photography nerd that was beating its chest. It was a total out of body experience and I have no control over that guy or gal. Whatever that inner photography nerd identifies with. Believe me, I just rolled my eyes as hard as you did.

The challenge is still active on social media. If you get tagged to participate, I hope that you’ll embrace the idea and take part. I thought it was a lot of fun.  If you’re friends are lame and won’t tag you or are ignoring the challenge, then I challenge you.

My submissions are below. They are set to appear in random order so they are not in order.  I didn’t add any explanations but I will gladly explain if anyone has a question in the comments.

I’m considering having prints made.  *looks away*

 

 

 

 

 

Mourning the Death Of Celebrities- A Rant

Last evening, I published a personal tribute for Prince. It is titled Farewell Sweet Prince: The Death Of Prince Rogers Nelson.  It took me five whole days to be able to put some thoughts together. I started and restarted a piece that I wanted to put out into the universe to share my own personal story with the world.

Five days. Five whole days and it still is lacking something. I don’t care if people like it or not or even if anyone reads it. I just felt like I had to write about my feelings as I am grieving the loss of this man.

The passing of Prince was a big deal to me. I’m shocked and confused.  I loved Prince. Did I know him personally? Sort of. He put himself out there artistically. Physically, no. We didn’t hang out. Still, his death affected me. I am sad. I am disappointed. The world lost a wonderful, decent and beautiful human being.

I hate it when anyone passes away. Celebrity or not. It’s sad. I feel badly for anyone who is grieving for the loss of a loved one. It’s such a horrible thing to have to face.

I also hate it when people voice their often loud and nasty opinion of who they think is and isn’t worthy of my grief. Somewhere, people became opinionated about this.  There is apparently a list of groups of people who are and aren’t worthy of our sorrow.

I agree, it’s sad and tragic when a member of our military is killed. I also agree that it’s sad and tragic when a police officer is killed in the line of duty. I think we all know where I stand on law enforcement deaths. I’ve been involved in law enforcement for the past fourteen years.

In fourteen years, I have attended seven police funerals. Since 2003, my county alone,  has lost seven officers. Eight if you want to count the K9 and I think he counts. When I was still in high school, I lost a cousin who was an Indiana State Trooper.  If anyone understands the pain when it comes to law enforcement, I get it. I cried uncle a long time ago.

Who decides who I can and can’t grieve for?  Just because Prince and even people like Robin Williams didn’t wear a badge or serve in the military, doesn’t mean that  we can’t do special things to celebrate their lives. Or *gasp* talk about the fact that they died on television or in the media.

Locally, the city of South Bend put a tribute up on some billboards to note the passing of Prince. The billboard that I saw had three very beautiful and creative tributes. You can see them in the gallery from my post about Prince here.

The East Race/Riverwalk on the St. Joseph River is near downtown South Bend. The section of the Riverwalk just to the north and west of the East Race and past the dam has multi-colored lights that light up this area at night. On the night that Prince passed away, the entire area was lit up in purple.

It rained all day and night the day that Prince died. The whole area was lit up and it reflected off of the water. It was really  beautiful and I was so happy that the city had done that. I thought it was so classy.

St. Joseph River- South Bend, Indiana

St. Joseph River- South Bend, Indiana

I should have done myself a favor and stayed off of Facebook. Later that evening, one of the local media sources posted a picture of the area on their timeline. As usual, this drew a group of “haters” who had to run their mouths and turn the whole gesture into a political platform.

I did some hard eye rolling as I scrolled through the comments.

Basically, some people were really upset because they used the lights to pay tribute to Prince but they’ve never turned the lights red, white and blue to honor the military.

It was a long and drawn out comment war that boiled down to Prince not being worthy of tribute because he’s a celebrity and he wasn’t a soldier etc. How dare the city use those lights blah blah blah!

I call this “grief shaming” and I  commented on it.

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I don’t want to come off as rude or harsh to anyone but I am beyond sick and tired of people telling other people what they are allowed to feel or not feel based on their opinion of what someone else was worth.

Get over yourselves.

As a woman who has grieved the loss of murdered friends and a family member who were killed just going to work, I am not offended by the city’s decision to throw some tributes up on a billboard or their decision to illuminate the St. Joseph River in purple lights.

To be fair also, the city has done a lot to pay tribute to our fallen officers and firefighters. Let’s be real here. There have been parades, billboards, media coverage and other mentions at events etc. These events are even recalled on anniversary dates.

Also, I pay taxes in St. Joseph County, Indiana. I paid for the roads, that particular bridge, those purple lights etc and so on. So if you want my endorsement somewhere to give my permission of our precious purple lights for the night, you’ve got it.

People, don’t be ashamed if you’ve shed a thousand tears for your beloved artist. It isn’t about publicity or recognition. It’s about what you feel in your heart and soul. If you want to express that by talking about it on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat Instagram AND your WordPress blog, then do it.

Pay no attention to the people who are so wrapped up in their own negativity that they can’t get past themselves. They don’t get to pick and chose what you feel and who you feel it for.

We mourn the loss of “celebrities” because they are more than just famous people to us. They are the ones who help us get through our day to day lives. They inspire us to push forward.  They are our rocks. They get us out of bed. They are the shoulder to cry on. They make us feel happy and sometimes brave. They created the soundtracks of our lives. Our inspiration. They tag along with every single step we take in our lives and they are a part of it.

Who wouldn’t feel sad to lose someone who was a part of that?

Prince touched a lot of people through his work. He donated his money to various music programs all across the country in addition to other causes. He was a generous man, kind, unapologetic, and beautiful. We were lucky to have him and it’s a shame that he had to go.

It’s only my opinion but I think that he was worthy of our grief.

In other news, I am rocking out to my collection of Prince ( and company ) on iTunes. Right now it’s on “Controversy”. There is a thunderstorm making some noise and a phenomenal lightning show happening. It all just seems so fitting for the moment.

 

 

 

 

On This Day- Your Daily Facebook Reminder and Aggravation

This morning my “On This Day” app on Face Book reminded me of how awful our winter weather had been in January of 2014. In addition to significant snowfall, we also went three weeks with the temperatures staying well below freezing.

Two years ago I was whining expressing my frustration regarding my neighbors adult, and also unemployed son,  parking his car in front of my house after I spent a great deal of time shoveling it so I could park my own car there.

Duh right? I was clearly keeping that space open for him after he sat on his ass all day and I was at work for the past 8-16 hours. Did you catch on to the sarcasm? There is nothing more aggravating than coming home after a 12-16 hour shift to find that your neighbors crappy adult kid has parked in the spot you shoveled hours before. This often resulted with me having no place to park.

Its an ongoing chore. Snow plows come through to clear the street and will push the snow back up against the curb. There’s no avoiding it. It just means that you have to shovel again. It does however make it worse when people don’t move their cars like the city asks for them to do on even and odd days. Now the plows have to go around cars and can’t get through and this creates a mess and a problem.

Here, in the photo below I am also talking about how I have to keep shoveling a trail out to the road and the snow is piled up approximately five feet from the curb and our street was getting narrower by the day.

My house on January 26, 2014

My house on January 26, 2014

 

It’s ironic because the neighbors son and his family have moved back in with them again. His son might be working but he’s still a an asshole difficult personality.  You can tell by the look and demeanor of his father that he is equally as annoyed with the situation.

I could do blog posts just about the neighbors son. It’s comical the way this guy appears to go out of his way to be a jerk a difficult personality. From the poor parking to the dirty looks to the way he closes the blinds on the one side of the house when he knows I am home.

Anyway.

I really do enjoy the snow. So far this year, we haven’t gotten all that much. When we have had a significant snow fall, the temperature rises and it’s gone within a few days. Last night it started to rain and now we are left with mud.

Boo. I would love to have a big snow storm like they had out east. I know, be careful what you wish for. Like I said in another blog post though, around here, we just call that “winter”. I like the cold nights and the snow cover. I really hope that I get to use my snow shoes at least once before Spring.

I hope that everyone is having a happy Tuesday!