Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Levity Project

So my second story at Salt looks like it is going to be on a wonderful woman named Katie West. She is the founder of what she called The Levity Institute. She is a life coach, and a laughter yoga instructor and a joy-spreader extraordinaire!

She asked me the other day how she might get more hits of her newest video put together from her car-dancing-micro-movement. And so I thought I might help her get at least 8 more hits from my blog!

She asked participants of her project to take a video of them rocking out in their cars, and she had a swell of videos come her way. Just a little video to make you smile today!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Bowling Photo Blog

So here was my first shot at photographing moving subjects... aka. people.
We went out last night for a good old fashioned bowling pizza Birthday party. We went to candlestick a bowling alley, a "New England thing" I'm told. There is a lot of blurry pictures but that is because we are all lightning fast bowlers! Enjoy!








Bradley & I

Hand-made Pizza Break!

The End.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Warning: Tears may ensue

I don't usually post two things in one day... in fact I don't usually post two things in one week. BUT, I really just felt like you needed to see this. ("You" is broad because I really don't actually know who is reading this, other than the people who have to!)

This is a multimedia piece done by a Salt alum named Maisie Crow (yes, that is her real name). She did some great work when she was here, and even better work after she left. She is a perfect example of a documentarian who does it all themselves. She shoots video, takes photos, interviews and collects sounds. And somehow she edits it together into genius. I only wish one day I can do what she does.

It is beautiful, and touching and heartbreaking. But she does it gently. With respect.

Here is the link: (If you cry... at least I warned you)

A Life Alone by Maisie Crow

For the first time ever...

Today is a historic day in the world of Avery. It is the first time I have taken money out of the bank machine since I've been here, and the amount taken out of my account was exactly the same amount in US dollars. You cannot imagine my excitement. I feel somewhat validated. It means for a short time, the price of everything is the same in Canadian dollars. It means I can stop calculating in my head what the real price of every item is in Canadian dollars. It also means it probably won't last too long. But for now... it is almost like I am in Canada! (except there are American flags everywhere, overpriced food, and you need a car to get to a Tim Horton's).

In other news, I am short for inspiration on a blog post. Mostly because I mistakenly reformatted my camera's memory card. The good news is I had already uploaded a lot of the important pictures to my computer. But all my pictures of my trip to Danbury are gone. The beautiful pictures of Nowhere, Connecticut (not a real town, just a feeling) have been wiped away. The picture of the large cast iron dog statue on the side of the road in New Hampshire. And the adorable pictures of my photographer's niece and nephew in Rhode Island... gone.
I am not too upset about it... I can always take more pictures... and the ones I had anyway were gray and depressing. Connecticut didn't turn out to be the beautiful place I remember from Gilmore Girls. But, then again, I also hardly left the highway. Rhode Island though, was beautiful and I only got about 20 minutes in.

However, the trip was totally worth it. We got to see the barbershop quartet we are following perform for the first time. In tuxedos and bow ties and the whole nine yards. All they were missing were top hats and canes. They really did a great job. And I got some great tape (Radio fact: we call capturing awesome moments in radio "getting great tape" even though we don't use tapes anymore. Not even close.)

And, in an effort to leave you at least something to look at... here is a poster that is up on the wall in Radio B (I live in Radio A) that I like. Seems to say it all...

If they had bumper stickers like this... I would put one on my car! ...If I had a car...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

L.L.Bean University

I spent some time on the weekend up in the mid coast of Maine. I was in Hallowell, which is only an hour's drive (all made possible by the use of Kelly's car...Old Bessie -- I think I am the only one that calls her that) north of Portland. It sits right on the shores of the Kennebec River... which I took a photo of... and I apologize that it doesn't show you how beautiful it is... It was a pretty gross day.It was also the first time since I have been in the great America that I have come across a sign written in both English AND French. (I guess for some reason I never thought about Spanish being the other language here.) But, upon seeing this sign I had a great sense of pride... even though all the French I can muster is to read the ingredients on the side of a box. In any case, It was great to see a sign, meant for Canadian to read! And I did!

I was up in Hallowell to interview Jim, a member of the barbershop quartet I am documenting. He had a cozy little house on the top of the steepest hill I have ever driven up. I was afraid Old Bessie wouldn't make it. She always seems to pull through in the clutch (I hope I am using this term right... I never got into sports journalism). We did an interview, and his wife Karen made blueberry muffins, and we talked about the state of radio. And of course they named all the names of Canadians I should know. It was really nice.

On my way back to the great little peninsula I stopped in at the original L.L.Bean store. How could I not? It was noontime when I arrived, but had it been twelve hours later my experience would have been the same. It's open 24 hours! I presume, just in case every once in a while someone wakes up in the middle of the night before a camping trip and remembers all the supplies they forget to get. Or, a rainstorm hits at 2am and the roof falls in and you really really feel the need for a new Goretex rain jacket to put yourself back to sleep. Or you just HAD to see that giant rain boot one. more. time. Too literal?

The place is filled with wildlife... mostly stuffed. But there is a trout pond and a salmon aquarium. They advertise on TV about this piece of "moose artwork" that every MUST see. Apparently, they found these two moose who had been fighting and got their antlers stuck together and died in the process. So obviously L.L.Bean had to preserve it and put it on display. A taxidermist's dream... or maybe nightmare. In any case, it is apparently a very rare find, and I have to admit, one of the attractions that pulled me off the highway into Freeport, Maine.

I cannot really impress on you how big this store is... stores I should say, because it is a campus of L.L. Bean buildings. They really do overshadow the rest of Freeport's outlet shopping district. There are whole buildings devoted to Home and Garden, Bikes and Boats, Hunting and Fishing, and Retail. It is way to much to take in all at once. It is more like a day out than a stop in.

I must add this link because today Bradley (who is in my radio class) and I were commenting on the validity of this idea. L.L.Bean has come out with a Signature line. (click on the link) It seems to me to be a ploy to take the Maine out of the L.L.Bean. No lobster man would ever wear this stuff... I would... but that is against the point. At this point my mom has probably already found 3 things on the site for her wish list. The sense that I get from people around here is that Maine people wear L.L.Bean. Outside of Maine, the only people who wear it are the kind of people who have yachts (according to the friend to my right). I guess they are just trying to appeal to their new generation of customers... the ones that don't live in this state.

Sorry about the sarcasm today, I am under the weather... it changes blogging.

This is Avery and Old Bessie signing out!

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Photoblog of Yesterday

Date: Sunday, March 7th, 2010
Place: Portland, Waterfront
Weather: Sunny, Blue Skies, 54 F (12 C)

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Little Olympic Spirit


I bought this old pair of speed skates in Portland at the Good Cause Thrift Store. They came to a total of $6 US> That seems cheap, yet it took me 4 visits to the store to decide whether I could pay such a lofty price. But, they fit me perfectly, and they came with a 'pocket sharpener' so how could I even deny myself?

In any case, they became the inspiration for my weekend adventure... TRY SPEED SKATING! Turns out, the Great Atlantic Speed Skating Club in Falmouth, Maine holds this event twice a year. And the winter session just happened to be yesterday!

So... I rounded up the brave troops!

L - R: Cassidy of Tennessee, Me, Emily of Michigan, and Sarah of Montana

We may look like professionals, but believe me there were some shaky starts, and some crash landings. We had a little lesson first and then we moved on to skating in a line... and then we had to trade in our skates. Just a short jaunt on the long blades. But, not surprisingly, it was really fun! I think we all feel like we need to try it again soon.

However, before we go back we need to work on our form! They taught us the "tuck" position, which essentially means that your torso is parallel to the ice and your behind is tucked in. (You're not allowed to "Moon your mama" as our instructor said, you have to always be tucked in!) So essentially, you are hunched over, holding yourself together with your ab muscles... AND THEN you have to skate! Imagine! So suffice it to say that some very odd muscles hurt this morning. I would like to think that I have finally found a sport that does not frown on my poor posture!

Look at me go!

Overall, it was a great experience! It was an awesome sport that I definitely want to continue learning... kudos to my dad for always telling me I should do it, and shame on me for always saying "no way!"

Here are some other actions shots:

Our weapons!

Somehow the girl from the South has the best form!

Whoa, whoa, whoa, crunch down girl! (bad form) Emily is about to exemplify how easy it is to get DQ'd in speed skating, a simple touch and you're outta there!

Emily and Sarah channel Apolo Ohno intensity.

(If you don't know Apolo Ohno, he is an American hero of sorts. He appeared on Dancing with the Stars, and is best known for his signature soul patch beneath his bottom lip, or, of course is eight Olympic medals... you choose.)

It was great to get out there on the ice, while things continue to melt down here in Portland downtown. Not one piece of snow!

We ended the say with a warm and tasty breakfast from Becky's Diner (Nothin' Finah!). Mmm... Maine blueberry pancakes!