March 1, 2009

Questions that are Answered

Since it's March, I thought it was high time for me to go ahead and answer your questions...

1) Phairhead asked me to name the last three books I've read.

I'm assuming whole books. I've been reading lots of parts of books, but I have only read one whole book since the beginning of the year. So, so sad, considering I used to devour books.

Anyway, in February one day I needed a break, so I read There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar. I read this book as a kid and loved it, decided to revisit it as an adult. I wasn't sorry. I have yet to read a Sachar book that I don't like.

Back in December, I revisted another book I read when I was younger: Fall into Darkness by Christopher Pike. Damn. I loved me some Christopher Pike in junior high. I don't love him so much anymore, but he's good if you want to read something easy.

And for the last book I read, it'd be The Arrival by Shaun Tan. The book consists entirely of pictures - beautifully crafted pictures - and no words. It is an amazing book. Read it. Absorb it. I loved it. (You can read more about the book - and see some of the pictures - here.)

I'd like to note that most of my reading time has been taken up by reading various books related to pregnancy, childbirth, parenting, breastfeeding, etc. (For obvious reasons.)

2) Angelina asked about my favorite cartoon.

Well, I really loved Donald Duck as a kid, so Donald Duck cartoons are the first thing that came to mind. I simply love how pissed off he got all the time. I loved how I could sometimes hardly make out what he was saying. Above all, he was just so cute.

3) Tootsie asked about my favorite vacation.

Well, I've had some good ones, so this is a toughie. I'm going to go with our anniversary trip to Minneapolis this past summer. There wasn't much about this trip that I didn't like. All in all, it was pretty damn perfect. Minneapolis is a great city. If you want to read about our trip out there, click here.

4) Jenn asked what I talk about when I talk to myself.

Love this question. Well, I talk to myself quite often when I'm doing my French homework. It helps me absorb the material for some reason. I tend to talk to myself when I'm experiencing some dilemma having to do with another person. I am able to deliver the best arguments when I'm having my own private monologues, which never happens when I'm engaged in conversation with someone else.

5) Erika asked, and I quote:

What are you views on breastfeeding??

I mean for example: I was having dinner with my family couple years back and i remember my cousins uncle's wife started to proceed to breastfeed her daughter right there at the dinner table while we were eating. I mean of course she covered up but, I felt she should have gone to the bedroom or something.

What do you think???

This is a tough one. Personally I don't mind if someone nurses their baby around other people or in public if they are covered up. I don't find it distracting. What I do find distracting is if someone just kind of pops out their boob and lets it all hang out for everyone to see. Do I think that's wrong? Eh, not necessarily. The best word really is "distracting."

I think an argument can be made that in nursing a child, a mother is providing that child its food. We don't ask other people to leave the room when they eat, so why do we expect this of a nursing mother?

On the other hand, we tend to view breasts as sexual objects, and I imagine there is some uncomfortableness surrounding breastfeeding for this reason. Is it wrong that we view breasts as sexual objects? I don't really have an answer for this; it really is such a huge part of our culture, it's just one of those things that just is.

I wonder what kind of breastfeeding mom I will be. I am pretty modest about my body; I don't get naked in front of my girl friends or anything like that. It's no one's business what my boobs look like. I imagine I'll be pretty well covered when others are around but will be more than willing to let it all hang out when it's just me and the baby (and Roy, of course). I'm not sure if I'll leave the table or the room if I find myself in the same situation that Erika's family member did. I think part of being a mom is knowing how to multitask, so if a mother can feed herself and the baby at the same time, that's awesomely fabulous, in my opinion.

That's all of the questions that were in the comments, but if you have any, please ask!

I've received a number of emails about photography. I thought I'd talk about it a little on here to kind of bring everyone up to speed on what's going on in that area of my life.

Well, photography has become a huge part of my everyday life. I thought about starting a photo blog (and even registered a new email address for it). This is something that I may eventually still do, but for the time being, one blog is enough.

The reason I wanted to start a photo blog is to give potential clients/photo enthusiasts/etc. a place to go to view my work without being subjected to my random ramblings about life and pregnancy and other crap like that. It was my first step in setting up a photography business, something I've been chewing on for quite some time now.

My original goal was to start charging a small amount for photo sessions starting in 2009. However, one of the most important things that I realized at the close of the year was that I was stretched entirely too thin with trying to work full time, attend classes, be pregnant, and start a photography business. Something had to give. It's not like I put down the camera, but I stopped making the business aspect of it a priority. I still take photos every day. But I haven't really been doing any sessions or trying to drum up any new clients. It's just not where my head is right now. It can't be. I have a million other things going on. If someone wants me to take some photos for them, that's great! I'm not going to turn them down. I'm grateful for the experience, and I know it'd be a grand ol' time.

I also realized that as much as I want to start a business and make photography my focus (or one of my focuses) - no pun intended - I just don't know what my specialty is or will be. Some people pick up the camera and snap some photos and know they want to do portrait (or whatever other kind of) photography. It just hasn't been that straightforward of a journey for me. There are some wedding and portrait photographers whose work I adore, but honestly, while I enjoy taking these kinds of photos, they don't usually speak to my soul. (I happen to love photography of the everyday. I love dirty dishes, dusty shelves, and peeling paint.)

And lastly, I would really like to be a better photographer before going into business. There are many, many bad photographers out there, and frankly, I don't want to be one of them. Some people have expressed that they enjoy my photos, and while I am always grateful for those encouraging words, I really don't have any illusions that I am a great photographer. Many of my shots are flawed or boring or both; I sometimes get some good ones, but for each good photo I take, there are several bad ones. I would really love to take some photography classes once I'm done with my MA; I'd love to attend workshops; hell, I've even considered trying to get an MFA in photography.

I may never have a career in photography, and I feel okay with this. To me, this is something I really enjoy and also feel passionately about. My whole life it's always been about the writing, so it has been very cool to fall in love with another mode of expression. I don't know where either one will take me, but I do feel that as long as I stay true to my own convictions, I can't really go wrong.

So for now, I'm just doing my thing, whipping out my point and shoot when I see something cool, editing photos when I have time, working on my 365 project, lugging my huge ass DSLR camera around. Photography has never been more pure to me than it is right now, and I can't think of a better place to be.

Thanks for the questions, guys! As usual, I don't know how not to be long-winded.


Angie Eats Peace said...

I think you have the right idea about photograohy.
You have waaaay too much on your plate right now, and if you try to force it, you may take the fun out of it.

phairhead said...

AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Freaking out over here. Love love love Christopher Pike. I still read his young adult books. He wrote an adult novel 2 years ago which of course I don't remember the name of. If yr ever in upstate NY, come up and see me sometime

amber said...

working in public health, the breastfeeding thing really doesn't bother me. i'd agree that it's distracting if someone just whips out a boob without being somewhat discreet, but otherwise, not a big deal. i find it a bit amusing though that some people get so bent out of shape about it. come on folks, it's what they were designed to do. chill out!

love your attitude about the photography stuff. it'll all happen the way it's supposed to.