29 October, 2009

That Guy Thursday #3

If you don't recognise today's That Guy, you can't have watched any television for the past twenty years. Even I was amazed at how much stuff this guy has been in.

His name is Stephen Tobolowsky.  If you're a Glee fan, you'll probably recognise him as Sandy, the teacher who was fired for inappropriate behaviour at the beginning. If you managed to get into season 2 of Heroes (I didn't, but I watched it anyway) he was Elle's evil father. In movies, you will have seen him in: The Time Traveller's Wife, Wild Hogs, Failure to Launch, Miss Congeniality 2, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton, Freaky Friday, Memento, The Insider, Groundhog Day, Basic Instinct, Single White Female - and that's just the tip of the iceberg. This guy has been making a living out of being a That Guy since the early eighties! He's also guest-starred in tons of tv series', including Will & Grace, The Practice, The Closer, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Deadwood, Desperate Housewives, CSI Miami, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The West Wing.

Ste-phen  To-bow-low-sky. Say it with me now. :-)

26 October, 2009

Last year this time...

...I was freaking out. It was T minus 5 days, and I was completely overwhelmed and stressed and just generally being a weepy, snappish mess. I don't think I'd ever want to go back there, but I wouldn't trade the actual five days later for anything.

I'm so glad I have this blog, because I've forgotten so much of that time. This excerpt from this post on the 29th of October last year made me laugh:

I have Bride Brain (def: a sieve). I left today to go print the menus and table listings. Halfway there I realised I'd forgotten the cardboard I was to print on. I turned around, went home and got it. (Actually I went upstairs, patted my cat, Gollum, grabbed some water, went outside, locked the door, realised I still didn't have the cardboard, unlocked and went back inside). Got to the print shop and discovered I hadn't embedded the fonts in the documents, so they were all Arial. Yuck. Back I went home again. Returned finally, printed the stupid things, had the lady there slice them up so I wouldn't have to, got into my car, realised I had no food for supper, hurried back to the supermarket and then came home.

Attempted to breathe.

I can still feel my panic. But in the end, it was worth it, because I have this:

and this:

and this:

Mr Ruby Slippers and I are going on a mini anniversary holiday to the Drakensberg on Thursday. Our actual anniversary is on Saturday, and we'll return home on Sunday (in time for my rehearsal, boo). I can't believe it's been a year. They say the first year is the hardest, and we have had a few bumps along the way, but on the whole I'd say being engaged was a lot more stressful on our relationship. That was when we were snappy and short-tempered and weepy (me) and frustrated (him). Planning a wedding isn't easy on a relationship. If you can do that, the first year should be a breeze!

Happy almost one year, Mr Slippers! I love you.

22 October, 2009

That Guy Thursday #2

Hey look, it's that guy!

His name is Larry Miller,  and he's in everything you've ever seen. He was the father in 10 Things I Hate About You, crazy lawyer Edwin Poole in the early episodes of Boston Legal,  the smarmy shop manager who sucks up to Richard Gere in Pretty Woman, and the haidresser who has to transform Mia into a Princess in both of The Princess Diaries movies. He's also appeared in lots of Christopher Guest films, including For Your Consideration and A Mighty Wind, and had roles in Get Smart, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Nutty Professor 1 and 2, Runaway Bride and LA Story. Finally, he's guest-starred on a ton of sitcoms, including Seinfeld, Mad About You, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Monk, Desperate Housewives, 8 Simple Rules, My Wife & Kids, and Just Shoot Me.

Yes, THAT guy.

16 October, 2009

I ♥ Faces Fix-it Friday

I have to admit, I really struggled with this one. The lighting in the original was so bad that I practically had to paint half of her skin back on, and I can never make that look 100% natural. See what I mean:

The left side of the picture is completely blown out, and the right side completely underexposed. I immediately knew that the only way this photo could work would be to make it monochrome, so that the colours of the lightened shadows on the little girl's arms and back couldn't be seen. I also had to soften this area a lot.

This is what I came up with:

I have to admit, I'm not blown away by it, but it's better. I hate oversoftening that results in images looking like they were taken through gauze, so I tried not to go that far! 

And I can't list what I did, because in the end I think I used about thirty different actions on this one, not to mention all the cloning for the skin! The major thing is that I made it B&W, warmed it up with a little cinnamon toast from TRA, and softened using Super Fun Happy and something else, painting back the bits I didn't want soft, and then added contrast, painting back the bits I needed to keep soft! Oy.

15 October, 2009

A house, take 1

Yesterday I found a house. The house I want to buy. I love it, and I've only seen pictures. It has all my prerequisistes:

1) It has a high wall and electric gate.
2) It has a little garden of its own so Gollum can do his kitty business.
3) It's part of a little set of five houses built on one property, but all separate, but therefore small enough not to have to maintain a big area.
4) It's bright and airy with big windows
5) It looks fresh and new and makes me feel happy.
6) It's in the same suburb that we live in now, and I like living here.
7) This wasn't a prerequisite, but we know the people who are going to be selling it, so they won't try to stiff us or mess us around.

We can't afford it. Unless I get some fantastic kickass fulltime job and make my new photography biz pay in big time simultaneously, we can't afford it.

I feel sad.

Hey, it's That Guy!

It's no secret that as well as being a blogstalker, I'm a movie nut. And along with being a movie nut comes an obsession with:
1)owning everything I might ever want to see again,
2) a desire to know lines off by heart, and
3) the need to know who every actor or actress is in every movie I see.

Most people (except my brother-in-law, who is appallingly bad at recognising actors) will know who the main actors are when they go to see a film. But it drives me crazy if I recognise someone in a film and I know I've seen them in something else, but I don't know what their name is. Call it one of my quirks. I have to know, so the next time I see that guy, I know who he is. You've probably come across some of these yourself. And so, in the interests of helping my fellows (assuming you care), I introduce:


(This, hopefully, will help me blog more often as well.)

You probably do it all the time. You're watching Grey's Anatomy/CSI/House/whatever, and a recognisable  guest star appears. "Hey, it's that guy!" you say. "What guy?" says your spouse, partner or significant other. "That guy! He's from...I don't know...he's in stuff! I saw him in something just the other day!" you reply. And you get a funny look in return. Unless, of course, your spouse, partner or significant other also recognises That Guy, and you spend the next hour not enjoying the show, because you're trying to figure out who the heck he is, and where you've seen him.

Or maybe it's just me, and you guys don't let this stuff bother you. :-)

Anyway, my first That Guy is one of my favourites, because he's been around for absolute ages, and he still hasn't graduated to a known name for most people. Some of you might know him, but I had to explain to THREE PEOPLE tonight who Stephen Fry is (I nearly fell over), so I'm not assuming anything.

So today's That Guy is DAVID MORSE.

Who? This guy:

You might recognise him from movies like Twelve Monkeys, The Green Mile, The Long Kiss Goodnight (is it just me who totally loves that movie?), The Rock, Contact, The Negotiator and Disturbia. Recently, he was the cop who hated House on season 3 of House. He was also apparently in 40 episodes of Hack, which I've never seen. Maybe you all know who he is after all! And if you were old enough in the eighties, he was on St Elsewhere as well.

Hmm, I just read up on St Elsewhere, and now I totally want to watch it. We never got it here.

13 October, 2009

Today, I...

...tidied out my closet (well, my part of the shelf section, anyway), and actually found stuff to give away! I have this terrible habit of hanging onto clothes for sentimental reasons. Actually, I don't know why that's terrible, but I get the impression it is.

Look how neat and tidy!

Maybe having clothes in neat, folded piles is normal for some of you, but my usual approach to putting clothes away is throwing them on the shelf and hoping they stick.

And here's what I'm donating, when I get around to it!

Notice how pretty much all my clothes are black, white and blue. It just happens that way! And yes, that white bag you can see on the cupboard door in the background is my wedding dress. I don't know where else to put it. :-)

Tomorrow...well, I'd like to say tomorrow would be tidying my chest of drawers and that I'd start painting those boxes we bought, but I have to go grocery shopping, get photos printed, stand in line to hand in a repeat prescription at the pharamacy (LOVE doing that) and then go to my Mom's for her birthday. So maybe Wednesday.

It kind of feels like that's all I did today. Oh, I went to rehearsal and sat watching everyone else for most of the time, and got freaked out because I cannot remember the moves to "You can drive a person crazy". Words, I can learn without even trying. Movements are something I have to concentrate really hard on, because they will never, ever come naturally. If I lose concentration I can finish singing a whole song without knowing how I got there. But the moves won't happen. :-/

12 October, 2009

Five Photographers I want to be

As you all know, it's no secret that I'm a huge blogstalker. Especially wedding photographer blogs. Don't freak out, but I have 129 blogs in my "favourites" folder alone. And that's the small folder! I tried to count the rest but I got tired when I hit 180-something and I wasn't nearly finished, but take it from me, it's a lot. Most of the time I don't even get to look at some most of them, but I can't bring myself to delete them. I'm a frickin hoarder, people. Didn't you know you can hoard online? Oh yes, you can.

So when people ask me who my favourite photographers are, I don't know how to answer that question. I can't have 129, obviously. And I do know that I like some of those more than others, but that I can't keep dividing the folders into more and more subdivisions: "Perfect Photography", "Near Perfect Photography", "Usually Awesome Photography", "Really Great Photography", "Pretty Good Photography" - yeah, those are the types of categories I would need to start having. So, for now I just have favourites, 2nd tier, and The Rest. But to pick the favourite favourites out of the Favourites? How do you do that?

Well, when I started thinking about it, I realised I could look at it in another way: Which photographers do I want to BE? Whose style and use of colour, lighting, settings and imagination do I want to emulate? Whose portfolio gives me the same feeling that I want my clients to have when they see their photos for the first time? Hmm. This was slightly easier. You see, while there are numerous photographers I admire and love, their style just isn't mine. I'm excited to look at their work, but I can't picture myself producing work like that. It isn't "me". So that immediately cut the list down...a bit. The rest was just a long hard look and an even harder cull. But here is my list, in no particular order. Getting them to five was difficult enough. Ordering them would be impossible.


Oh, the bliss. The HAPPINESS that I get from pretty much every single one of their pictures is indescribable. The colours are saturated while still being light and fresh. I don't believe that every one of their weddings can possibly be so beautiful and perfect in real life. But somehow they make them look like it! Feast your eyes on some more:


Magical is the word I associate with Cameron Ingalls. His photos feel like stepping into a beautiful wedding-fantasy land. I wouldn't be surprised if he had a lens filter called "fairytale magic" that he uses, because, whoa, are his pictures gorgeous. Take a look and see what I mean:

A rainbow? Are you freaking kidding me with the magicalness? Or is that "magicality"? :-)


Fresh, clean and simple. That's what Christime Meintjes' photos always say to me. I love her use of light and how bright and happy her photos are. And yes, it was her workshop I attended some weeks ago. I really want to steal emulate be inspired by her style! :-)

Here are some more:



The magic light photographer. That's what I call Susan Stripling in my head. Because somehow she seems to take any light she has, and turn it into a magical glow. I don't think I really appreciated this until I started photographing myself. Now I have deep admiration and huge respect (and a lot of envy) for how her pictures turn out!



Delicious light, can I marry you?

I chose Chelsea Nicole for this last spot because her work really stands out for me. There's something "fashion shoot"-ish about it, but it never looks overposed or overflashed. It still has a natural look for me, and I'm sure it takes a lot of hard work to achieve that behind the scenes! I want to learn how to do that!


PS - If you want to see the cutest dog ever, go see this engagement shoot Chelsea did! ADORABLE.

Trista Lerit, DrewB, Andrea Carlyle, Shooting Gallery, Bobbi & Mike, Ed Pingol, Ksenija Savic, Lauren Clark, Mario Sales, Leigh Taylor, Tinywater, Natasha Du Preez, Lizelle Lotter, Sarah K Chen, Clayton Austin and Marie Labbancz, you totally rock my world as well. Some of you are beautiful, some of you are funky, some of you are fashiony, but you're all brilliant.

Today, I...

...nearly freaked out at the sight of a parktown prawn on my floor, till I realised it was an old leaf that had blown in under the door. Then I came downstairs later and did it again. My husband obligingly stood on it and crushed it to smithereens. It definitely wasn't a parktown prawn. They aren't killed that easily.

I really need to get a doorstop of sorts so this doesn't happen again.

...went shopping for the first step of my home improvement program, and bought four sturdy wooden boxes to stand our computer screens on. Why they don't just make screens the right height for your head, I'll never know. But these will be a huge improvement on the magazine piles and old cardboard box we've been using, and we can also use them to store things we never use. Ooooh. I love storage. Mr Ruby Slippers was quite excited by the trip, mostly because he loves boxes. "They're so full of potential," he explained. I love him.

...had to sing Le Jazz Hot for the first time holding a microphone. It wasn't easy, but it sounds so much nicer! We also had to work out how to pass the four microphones around the six soloists during "You can't stop the beat". That was...interesting. Five and a half weeks till opening night. Yelp.

11 October, 2009

Home improvement

A few months ago, I was whinging  complaining mentioning that I really wanted a house of my own. I just have this idea that once I own a home I can decorate it the way I want, and it will all by beautiful and matchy and fabulous, and I can take you on virtual tours of its awesomeness, like Blue-Eyed Bride does with her yummy home. At the moment we're renting a garden cottage, and we've been here for three years and four months. And I haven't really done squat to decorate it. Why?

Well, partly it's the age-old money issue. We don't have the cash to buy matching furniture (or a dining room table) or pretty things. The other thing that's holding me back is we don't own this house, so we can't paint anything or put up shelves (we asked). We have hung a few pictures; I hope they don't mind those holes. I don't want to make curtains because every house has different sized windows, and "when we move out" (our constant phrase for the past three years) they might not fit the new place. And that would be a waste...and I hate waste. Thanks for that, Mom. :-)

But we're not moving out anytime soon, it appears. So why the heck can't I bring myself to make the place a bit more...I don't know.... How I'd like it?

It's funny, because the type of rooms that appeal to me are bright, clean, and minimalist. And I think that's only appealing to me because I've never had it. I am a Hoarder, people. It's not like those scary shows on tv, but I have bits and pieces everywhere, and tons of books and dvds and albums and mementos and a gazillion little thingymabobs and whatyoumacallems and doodymalairys. So I figure I'm just hankering after rooms that look like THIS because I've never had them, right?


I mean, come on. Could I even keep a room like that clean? Never mind tidy??

As proof, I offer you these photos. I can't even believe I'm doing this. I just took two photos of our computer room (affectionately known as the Spare Oom) and one of our bedroom. I didn't pick up or move anything. This is how untidy we are. I also apologise for the bad quality pics. I didn't feel like unearthing batteries for my flash.

Ok, so it's not 'crazy hoarding people on tv' material. But look at the piles of clothes by the bed (especially Mr Ruby's side!) Look at the stuff on the floor between my bedside table and my bookcase. Look at the stuff ON the bedside tables! And the cute kitty sleeping under the window on the left hand side :-) He makes more mess with his hair and little pawprints than we do.

This is our Spare Oom:

Yes, we each have two screens, because we're nerdy like that. Just look at all the crap on the desks, though!
And here's the opposite side of the room:

(Yes, we have a sink in our computer room. We don't use it, though. As far as we can tell, our house used to be an office, and this was their kitchen. It also accounts for the fluorescent striplights in the bedroom). Anyway, just look at all that random stuff on the floor and on the sink. It makes me sad.  How pretty are my dvds, though? :-)
A few days ago I stumbled upon a darling little blog called Life in the Fun Lane. Thank you (and I mean that sarcastically) to whoever linked me to it, because I'm completely enthralled by the author's adventures in renovating and in refurbishing old furniture and making it look all white and beautiful and shabby chic. I want some of that shabby chic action in my house, please.

LOOK at this. I mean, come on. No house should be that adorable, right?

The Halloween decor - elegant and delicious!

One of the items of furniture she's revamped.

And then, to make matters worse, I found these two pictures lurking on photography blogs, and they just leapt out at me and made me crave them. Seriously. I desire them in an unhealthy way.

Not the baby. The TREE. The beautiful, gorgeous tree, spreading its branches protectingly and lovingly. Swoon.


The BIRDS. Flying free from those cages that I love so much right now. I could cry, it's so beautiful. Waaaaaant. So badly.

And actually, this shouldn't be too hard, because I have a husband who can paint. I just have to convince him that he wants them too :-)

The other day that same husband of mine made me have an epiphany. I said, "I want to decorate our living room in black, white and green one day." And he said, "Why don't you start now?"

And I said. "Why DON'T I start now?"

Sometimes I'm so obtuse it frightens me :-)