Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sitting in the Student Lounge

9 am

Late for work.  Parking lot full.  See straggling student approaching the building.

“Will!” I shout from the spare car I was using because my normal car was on the fritz.  Again.  “Tell the others I’m coming!  The lot is full!”

Drive to the far away parking garage.  Walk from far away parking garage back to my building.


Teach two classes. 


Coffee shop.  Meet with two students while typing in grades for my students at University 2 (U2). 


Teach a third class. 


Drive to U2 in North Carolina.

Teach a 4th class.


Toss son the car keys and ask him to fill the car with gas.  He has difficulty with the card and pump.  Has to send me to get an attendant.


Eat dinner at Panera with son. 

Go to favorite coffee shop.  Change into exercise clothes, in hopes of making it to the gym back in Virginia in time for Bootcamp.


Drop son off back at U2.  Begin mental calculations to determine likelihood of making Bootcamp.


Hear familiar popping sound.  Car shakes.  Smell Rubber.


Survey scene.  Decide to ride shoulder to turn into local car-ish looking business.


Struggling to get to spare tire.  Nice man approaches.  Says he’d be glad to help.  Exercise class morphs from fading hope to instant no-go but at least I’ll make it home.


Man extracts spare from car.  Spare is blown to smithereens.


Park car by dumpster.  Call son, attempt to explain where I am.  Phone dies.  Assume son will come.


Worry that son has not arrived.  Nice men from car-ish business check on me, loan me phone.  Son found a ride but they are lost.  Redirect son and driver with help from nice men.


Son and friend arrive.  Head back to campus.

Husband says he’ll come to North Carolina when he’s done with his own class.


Sitting in Student lounge making bitstrip comics while a dreadful monster show plays in the background.  No end to the crisis in sight.

Ponder how to fast track purchasing my very own Spark like the one I rented several breakdowns back.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I tried Grammarly's check grammar free of charge because using bad grammar is like trying to write with a broken pencil—your point is lost.

“Vacca is the worst,” Billy Not-His-Real Name scoffed in a less-than-subtle stage whisper to his fellow wrestlers.

I was Vacca, an insecure junior trying to up my social stock by trying out for the cheerleading squad.  Billy was rotten, mean, and equally insecure, but he was also right: I was dreadful. I had no business attempting on-beat, synchronized moves in my basement, let alone in a public forum.  I pretended not to hear Billy’s cruel remark and continued flailing my arms and executing jerky kicks across the gym floor. I bombed the tryouts in epic fashion, and returned to the newspaper room and the art studio at the opposite end of the campus.

My high school self didn’t know what I’d later learn as a teacher in a classical school: every discipline has its own “grammar” or essential principles upon which the whole body of thought operates.  The “grammar” of math, for instance, is likely plus and minus signs or the order of operations (I can’t speak authoritatively on numbers, though), and the grammar of my art classroom consisted of the elements of art (line, texture, etc.) and the color wheel.  The idea of knowledge as grammar-driven  --and this is my own twist—leads to the inescapable conclusion that a working knowledge of all languages is simply not realistic.

Which brings us to last week. Groupon and a 6-year struggle with flab led me to a bootcamp program across town.  It took all of 3 minutes for me to discover that the structure of the program was based on many of the same moves I’d fumbled through on the gym floor in 11th grade.  Accentuating my inherent gawkiness was the fact that I was a demographic minority on the floor.  Most of the women were African-American and wired with an inborn fluency in the grammar of movement.

Because this was a workout facility rather than a high school gym, I had a constant visual of myself in the wall of mirrors.  A sea of mocha-toned skin moved in unison while my gangly frame bounced to an inaudible inner rhythm.  I was having a good time, and more interested in fitness than popularity, a mature attitude that was challenged just days later.

I’d been struggling to find a class that fit my crazy, triple university schedule, when I notice that there was a late evening Zumba class listed, kind of off to the side on the gym schedule.  I’d heard of Zumba but have never experienced it.   Showed up ready to give it the good old college try.

The gym was aglow with disco lights in stunning range of hues. Lean, muscular dancers covered almost every square foot of the gym floor.  The instructor, a petite waif of a thing seemed surprised to see me.  She patiently explained that the Zumba party night wasn’t a part of the bootcamp program, but since I was there and dressed to work out I was welcome to join them.

I found a small patch of room waaay in the back of the room—at the doorway to the locker area, to be specific.  A deep bass beat rocked the room and the instructor began executing dance moves I’ve not often seen outside a screen.  The group mimicked her moves in mass as the gym rocked with the lyric “I Can Be a Freak,” which I took as a signal that my off-beat twitching in the closet was perfectly acceptable.

The tunes flowed one into another and the lyrics became more ambiguous.  At one point, we seemed to be keeping time to a query on the whereabouts of BeyoncĂ©, which morphed into a refrain concerned with a grey goose dripping in the bathroom.

The moves were less ambiguous.  A several minute segment featured a fair amount of that twerking we’ve all heard so much about in the wake of that Miley Cyrus flap.  The crowd then began grinding in unison before breaking into a jubilant round of jumping such as is common on the summer music festival circuit.

I couldn’t see the mirrors, such was the crowd, but I did not need the feedback to know I was, hands down, THE WORST dancer on the floor.  But you know what?  Synchronized movement isn’t my first language.  Just like I tell my Eastern European students in my Basic English class, considering the second language factor, the work was rather impressive. So let's be a little easier on ourselves, readers.  We're all language learners in something.  My foreign tongue just happens to be coordination.  What's yours? asked me to try their digital editing service free of charge.  I gave it a test drive with the above post, which, in it’s current incarnation earns a score of 75/100. In my classroom that’s solidly a “C.”  The reasons for my lackluster score revolve primarily around context issues: the digital editor is unfamiliar with twerking, preferring I use tweaking.  Also out of favor is my exaggerated waaay…even though I set the editor to “creative” mode, as opposed to “academic,” “technical,” etc.) Other of my deductions are mystifying: evidently my use of the word “specific” was too “vague,” and although I really appreciated the editor pointing out overused words, it’s really inconsistent.  (it’s concerned, for instance, of over use of “rather”—which I can only find once—but ignored my frequent use of “grammar”). The service DID save me the embarrassment of using “crow” instead of “crowd,” something that MS Word missed, and reminded me that Zumba is capitalized.  Since my use is a freebie, I’m delighted to be saved the embarrassment, but I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to pay the listed sticker price for the information.  In all, the whole experience seems akin to using the virtual trainers on the wii Fit program—kind of fun and novel, but a bit low on results.  

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Back in Style

When I was 19, I had a close brush with being a hair stylist.  Overcome with grief over the fact that I would, at some point, have to come to terms with math--solve for x, figure out which was locomotive was fleetest of rail, and the like—I dropped out of college to pursue what, to my own mind, seemed an ambitious and glamorous enterprise.  I envisioned opening a business I described as a “travel boutique;” part travel agency, part beauty salon, because, duh, everyone wants to look their best on holiday.

People regarded my business plan—which consisted of first going to beauty school, and then working at a travel agency and subsequently leaving with all my clients—with some combination of skepticism, bemusement, or scorn.

Things began reasonably well.  I enrolled in beauty school and sailed through the academics, getting 98% on my haircutting practical exam, which involved giving a boyfriend a haircut.  The next step involved a several month stint working on the salon floor, which really seemed like an, um, job.  And it was summer.

Because I’d spent most of my life looking forward to graduation, I hadn’t yet realized that I was an academic, and, by nature of the beast, wired to eschew summers in the workplace.

I figured in light of the stellar haircutting grade and the completion of the texts, I’d gleaned all there was to glean from the experience and I became a beauty school drop out. I spent the summer in a Kerouac-like state of experiential drifting, settling into an entry-level job at a travel agency in the fall.

The travel gig fell apart late the following spring.  It was really sort of droll, because all you did was sit in the office and arrange for everyone else to do what you’d rather be doing. By that time I had decided that I was really an academic and needed to take the summer off before settling back into university life come fall.  The travel boutique was never spoken of in any serious capacity since, and my haircutting skills utilized by a small client base which consists of The Minister and his father.

Because I am an academic, it is in good conscience that I now spend summers in places like Haiti.  And so it came to be that on a hot day on a dusty patch of Haitian soil that I became a hairstylist once again.

In June, The Minister and I were part of a team that worked in both our Mole St. Nicholas base and two other remote villages, where we set up a medical clinic, eye clinic, and hair salon along with a Vacation Bible School-type program for the children.

Most of the team, including me, was scheduled to help with the VBS program.  But on location at our first remote mission, I received a field promotion from Sue, an accomplished stylist and business woman who operates a shop and beauty school here in Hampton Roads.

Sue and I had formed an unlikely bond during the 13-hour road trip that began our Haitian adventure.  Although separated by age and culture—she’s older than my parents and speaks basic English with heavy Korean accent—in Sue, I was happy to discover a confidant, ally, and co-conspirator.
Sue often needed an interpreter of her own to talk with the Haitian interpreters, who had a hard time decoding her accent.  The communication barrier, along with a lack of counter space to keep needed supplies near at hand led Sue to insist on having me as her salon assistant. 

In the absence of running water or electricity, our services were limited to chemical hair relaxers, a three step process that included the application of a Vaseline-like jelly followed by the relaxer, and then sending the client home to wash it all out with a special shampoo.  I began by holding the various jars for Sue, but quickly became a full practitioner with my own clients.

The women would sit down on a metal folding chair.  Their hair would be in one of two states: bushy and somewhat matted, or tightly braided.  The braids would have to be taken out, and the matted hair worked through with a comb.  The hair then need to be separated into little partings, and the petroleum jelly worked into their scalps.  The chemical relaxer was a thick, lotion-like cream that had to be worked completely into each section of hair. 

To get an actuate mental picture of this process, it’s important to remember that our clients did not have access to running water in their homes.  This meant that they lived their daily lives in an environment engulfed in heavy, red dust without an easy way to shampoo on any kind of regular basis.  Translation? The jelly and chemical cream mixed into dirty hair became a thick mud that needed to be thoroughly massaged into these women’s scalps.  I did my first couple clients without gloves. Even after I found the gloves in a pocket of Sue’s kit, the reddish-brown mixture of chemical filth transferred effortlessly to my clothes and skin.

Which brings me to the much-needed final step of the process.  The chemicals had to be washed out of the clients’ hair in a timely manner to avoid the ill-effects of over-processing.  Furthermore, the wash had to be done with a special shampoo, a fact lost on even me until it was too late.

Our lack of running water—of, really, any water—meant that the woman had to leave our salon with the shampoo to wash it out.  I don’t know exactly where, or how they did this—the Haitians are resourceful, and will find a way to get done whatever the situation requires, if properly motivated.

Sue had two bottles of the special shampoo.  For several hours, she had been sending both bottles out at the same time, and the women had been bringing them back, until the inevitable happened.  Two bottles left, and a very long time passed.  A client was sitting in a metal chair, waiting for the shampoo to come back so that she could go wash her hair and complete her relaxer.  Sue was getting upset, and, as I mentioned, I did not completely grasp why (recall that I got a 98% on haircutting, not chemical processing). 

“Sue, let’s just have the interpreters explain the problem to the women.  I am sure someone has some shampoo.”

The only phrase I could clearly catch Sue repeating was, “Eighty percent!  Eighty percent shampoo!”

Finally it hit me what Sue was saying.  Most of the success of the relaxer depended on washing the chemicals away with THAT shampoo.  And both bottles had been stolen.

It’s a fact of Haitian life.  I do not love the people any less because of this fact.  Hey, if I lived there and some blancs showed up and handed me a bottle of shampoo, who is to say that I would return? 

The interpreters explained the real problem to the women, many of whom were sitting around reveling in the glory of their newly-tamed locks, and some who came with the poor woman whose head was covered in chemicals.  We asked if they knew who had the shampoo, and if anyone could find them.  The women discussed the situation among themselves, and came to the conclusion that neither bottle of shampoo was ever coming back.  Sue said the chemicals needed to come out of our client’s hair, shampoo or not, right away.  Somehow a basin of water appeared and Sue washed the woman’s hair right there in the basin.  The woman looked beautiful, and was thrilled, and we were happy for her and also a bit saddened by the knowledge that the next time her hair was washed, it would return to its original frizzy state.

And, with that, we closed shop, the shampoo gone, and the rest of our chemicals depleted.  I asked the interpreters to explain to the women that they were very beautiful and special and that God sent us there that day to tell them so.  The women were suitably impressed, since, as a people, they do not believe in coincidences and take it very seriously if someone comes to see them, particularly if sent by a deity. 

And so it was that I spent a day elbow-deep in real-life salon work and found it to be ironically what I wanted all along.  I got to travel, and, even though I was looking a bit rough, covered as I was in a patina of thick chem-mud, I found that I’m not the kind of traveller that needs to look polished.  I’m the kind of traveler who finds adventure in bringing the beauty to glamour-less places because, duh, everyone wants a chance to look their best.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Post I Promised in Continuation of Last Week's Thoughts

The email made my palms sweat just a little. That made me worry, which made them sweat just a little more.

I had agreed to do a final piece for my editor at the Hyper Local Times before hanging up my invisible press pass to focus on my MFA program, and teaching my freshmen.  When my monthly assignment came via a late August email, I was expecting to profile another lawyer, CPA, or banker, as had seemingly become my beat.

On my screen instead were the names of three breast cancer survivors and an oncologist, along with details about the breast cancer story my editor wanted for the October cover.

So why the soggy palms?

Simply put?  I don’t do well with medical drama of any kind.

The longer answer is a bit more complicated.  See, for the past year, my anxiety has been totally in control, probably for the first time in my life.  But situations requiring me to focus on scary medical realities happen have always been triggers. Oh, and I was a week overdue for the once-every-two years mammogram that I had negotiated with my doctor, and was, frankly, considering foregoing.

Doubtless a result of my status as a life-long student of literature, I also am a big believer in the concept of everything having meaning.  As in: everything that happens must be foreshadowing significant plot events; otherwise it’s just bad writing.

For my off-kilter cranium, I knew the situation was a potential recipe for disaster.  The mental math for me works this way: I usually get a boring banker story, but because I was going to skip my mammogram, I have been given A Sign in the form of an assignment that will force me to have conversations that will scare the $%^&#  out of me so I will turn myself in for a mammogram and they’ll find the tumor.  Crap, I have cancer.

This logic makes complete sense to me. Particularly since the last time I almost didn’t go for a routine medical appointment was 12 years ago; I ended up going and discovered that I had a furtive pack of precancerous cells requiring surgical removal.  See, proof.  But even as I considered the assignment, I realized that I was more worried about having an anxiety relapse than my assumed bout of cancer. I decided that the thought was rational, and a Really Good Sign that my head was screwed on tighter than it used to be, and that I just might be able to approach a sensitive topic like a professional.

When I was a child, my father was a disc jockey in a large market.  He told me that to be successful in his line of work, professionalism was key.  He recounted a story that, to him, defined the kind of professionalism media demands.  A fellow DJ was on the air when he received word that an accident had claimed the lives of his entire family.  Within seconds of absorbing the devastating news, the song that was playing ended which would mean Dead Air (evidently the worst thing that could happen in a Major Market) unless he did his job and announced the next song in his most crisp and clear Radio Voice.  Which he did.  The ultimate pro.

I hated that story.  If that was professionalism, I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to be a pro, even though I was sort of interested in radio at the time.  Instead, I chose a different kind of media, and I really have no idea what being a “pro” writer is all about, but perhaps I am beginning to learn.

A meeting was scheduled at the home of one of the survivors.  The house was on a shady street in a quiet neighborhood behind my university.  The lawn, sidewalk, and porch was inviting and well put together, but not in a manicured, trying-too-hard sort of way.  As I approached the door, I remember thinking that nothing bad could have ever happened in this house, that “bad” was too incongruous with the porch’s cozy white rocking chair, the well-tended plants and the stone walkway.  But of course that was silly.  Neither “bad” nor “good”  respect boundaries in this world.

The door flew open, and, as if to prove my point, three beautiful women welcomed me inside the home (that was, incidentally, my kind of gorgeous in every imaginable way, punctuated with pieces of art from all over the world, and colors straight from my own personal palette) and made me feel like I was walking into a brunch with old friends. 

Over the next couple hours, I learned about some of the scary things happened to these women.  Things like Lucy’s hair falling out all at once during a wash at her salon, a story she actually catalogs among her blessings. “Wasn’t that a wonderful way for it to happen?” she asks, as though she were explaining a proposal, or a promotion. 

Dora’s mastectomy happened on the day of her grandmother’s funeral.  And Veronica? The vibrant, fun loving owner of the beautiful house continued her job as a funeral director during the entirety of her treatment.  How did she cope?  By explaining that  in her line of work she sees people all the time who never had a chance to fight the thing that killed them. Of course, it got more challenging the times when breast cancer was the reason someone’s story ended with her signature on their final paperwork.

But despite the treatments, the uncertainty, the prognosis—Lucy, almost a decade removed from her diagnosis, refuses to know either her cancer’s stage or likely outcome—these women spent most of the afternoon laughing and talking about life.

As for me?  Although I have to admit to making my mammogram appointment within 5 minutes of returning to my van (it was scary stuff, OK?) I really didn’t think about it again until I went a week later.  I can’t tell you I enjoyed it, but I can say that I didn’t cry, hyperventilate, or annoy anyone with ridiculous questions, as is my usual MO.  I learned, in time, that all is well for me, for now, and, in that, I have a tiny bit in common with Lucy, Dora, and Veronica, who, for now, are just fine, too.

I went on to write my story, during which time I received a great deal of response to the survey I posted to collect woman-on-the-street data.  From the flood of messages and feedback I received in just over a day, I felt like a struck a chord, which made me think about who I will end up becoming as an MFA.  After all, I was accepted based on a portfolio of humorous stories, which quite literally makes me the class clown. Is that OK?, I wonder. Can I say enough as the class clown?  Will I ever feel as important, and smart, and vital as I did during those days on my semi-real story, as though I am tapping into a societal nerve?  Are class clowns required to exhibit professionalism?

These are the things I do not know, but might find out as I get closer to being a full-fledged MFA.  But for now?  I’m as cool as a cucumber, and with dry palms to boot.  And my Hyper Local Times cover story is hot off the press. 

Friday, October 04, 2013

Sitting at the Coffeeshop

It's Friday.  This morning, I taught three classes in Virginia, at my main post and alma mater.  Today the students received back their first papers.  Due to layers of bureaucracy not worth documenting, my students are now submitting physical copies of their work, instead of getting their grades and feedback online.  There are pros and cons to the old school approach.  Pros: having lots of space to write comments all over their papers, using circles and x's and colors to communicate in an immediacy not available online.  Cons: actually having to see their faces at the exact moment they see their grades for the first time.  Sweet M, for instance, my eager, kind, intelligent student blinking back tears over a B-.  Mild mannered H, raising a vaguely sinister eyebrow at the sight of his C. Heartbreaking, all of it.

Coffee sans brew, with a former student-turned-friend in the comfy chairs at the campus Starbucks, on a between classes break.

A 45-second meeting with my department head, setting my schedule for next fall-yes, an entire year hence.

Then through one of the two bridge tunnels I cross every week, past the black trail of burned rubber that marks the spot where Wednesday's commute ended in an a dramatic explosion of rear tire across the bridge.

On to my secondary post: a tiny Bible school in a picturesque-yet-decaying outpost in North Carolina to teach students eager from the moment I entered the room for me to bless the class in benediction and send them off on their week-long fall break.

Now I'm sitting in my favorite coffee shop with a dirty chai and a bag of beans, gearing up for another commute through Virginia's Hampton Roads Southside, pondering a different sort of post, as in the blog post I didn't finish yet, the one I promised you yesterday.  I could be polishing it up right now, but I decided I'd rather join you for a cup of joe here, just breaking down the events of the day.

I hope that's OK.  How was your day?

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Smalltime Big Portraiture: Divesting My Interests

I watched intently as David Carr, journalist of New York Times fame, glowered across the table.  The interview was not going well.  The source was blathering pre-fabbed corporate talking points in place of real answers to Carr’s questions, and it was clear even from my vantage point at the far end of the table that Carr was having none of it.

“I don’t do corporate portraiture!” Carr said, slamming a fist on the table.

I applauded inwardly.  No matter that my spot at the conference was a treadmill in my living room and my attendance courtesy of Netflix in the heat of last winter’sdocumentary fest; I took a lot away from that meeting.

Because the truth was that over the past two years, my writing life had devolved into little more than corporate portraiture, writing for a hyper-local business publication and the fact had been troubling me greatly at the time of the meeting, for so many reasons.

First—and least important—the money was not enticing.  I say least important because it’s fair to say that this blog stands in testament to the fact that I’ll write all day, for free, if I have something I need to say.

Which brings me to the second point: my assignments were becoming increasingly difficult for me to care about.  I began dreading the monthly email from my editor, detailing which banker, accountant, or CPA I was tasked to profile.  And since I was clearly not enjoying the writing, in light of point number one, why did I persist in turning out these who-are-the-people-in-your-neighborhood pieces that served as little more than PR for firms I didn’t even know if I supported or believed in?

Because, simply and sadly, it was all I had going.  I’d become lazy in my writing, resting on decaying laurels of limited merit, failing to invite risk into my sleepy little writing world.  In short, I had lost my edge.

Things began to change after the meeting.  First, I vowed to somehow slide the phrase “I don’t do corporate portraiture” into my next interview, which happened to be with a lawyer.

At this point, I was operating within a maxim I’d embraced as an art teacher, which basically stated that if I was ever feeling bored, the problem was with me.  The guideline proved invariably true, as no job on earth is more action-packed and exciting as that of an art teacher.  Chances are, your own job is rooted in a deep-seated intrinsic passion. Returning to those basic ideals is a worthy pursuit, and should happen often.

True to my word, I let Council X recite his Party Line for about 30 seconds before I cut in.  “Council X,” I said, summoning up a Carr-esque firmness I had never used in the duration of my tenure at Hyper-Local Times, “I don’t do corporate portraiture.  Tell me who you are as a person.  Tell me why you chose this path.  Why, Council X, are you a lawyer?”

Now, getting to the personal, story-behind-the-story is not a new idea for me.  On the contrary, I am known in some circles as possessing a knack for behind-the-scenes reportage.  However, insisting on it up front, in lieu of listening to the “pitch,” and later wading through reams of scrawled notes in search of the real story—that was kind of new, and I liked it.

Mostly, I liked it because I had a better time, and, I think Council X did, too.  See, Council X is a seasoned man and, accordingly, has a lot of stories.  For instance, I learned that the pristine lawn at my university—thick and lush, with a manicure rivaling what even the swankiest of salons can do for digits—used to be a pig farm.  Plump sow of all sizes and persuasions used to roll through a muddy muck, the remnants of which must still lie beneath the Chem-lawn upper crust of campus earth.  I learned that the people I know today as the Who’s Who movers and shakers of our urban burb were Council X’s childhood playmates and high school peers. 

In short, Council X and I talked a lot about foundations, and values, and community, and very little about civil code and criminal cases. 

I went home and wrote a heartfelt piece entitled “Decency on the Docket;” a few weeks later I received a thoughtful, handwritten note from Council X, thanking me for the story.

But as nice as all that was, I can not truthfully say that fixing my angst was a simple matter of stepping up my game.

Indeed, it wasn’t too long before I gave notice to my editor at Hyper Local Times that I would be leaving to pursue my studies as an MFA candidate, which has now replaced Hyper Local Times as The Only Thing I Have Going.

But I accepted one last writing assignment (and well nigh a dozen photo shoots, but that is a different story), and it just so happened to turn into a real story.  Or maybe I turned it into a real story.  It’s hard to say at this point.

What I do know is that my last story at Hyper Local Times made me feel like a reporter again, at least a little bit. 

I was assigned a piece designed to highlight an upcoming fund raising walk for breast cancer research, as it was late August and my swan’s song was to be the October cover story.  But my editor—who is really an amazing business woman in her own right, not to mention a fabulous human being—gave me a couple great leads that allowed me to just run with the assignment.

First, I spoke with the organizers of the walk who happened three strong, vibrant survivors who happened to be good friends, each with very different and somewhat shocking stories—each, in their own way deviating from the typical breast cancer scenario (if there really is such a thing).  I was also given access to an oncologist—a breast cancer specialist, which I realized begged for a bold approach.  So I did some research, in the form of an online survey, in hopes of finding themes that average women—my facebook friends, your facebook friends, random tweeps, etc. would ask if they had access to a specialist.  My blood was circulating, my heart was pounding—for the first time in a long time, I was on assignment in a way that had nothing to do with corporate portraiture.

What resulted was a piece of reporting that challenged me as a writer and a woman, particularly as a woman with hypochondria/ocd/anxiety.  It made me think: about the uncertainty and beauty of life, the power of attitude, breast cancer, and my future in non-corporate, nonfiction portraiture.

All of which will be discussed right here, tomorrow.  I hope you will join me.


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