treeholes & a-holes

Thanks Paige, you have the greatest blog title ideas.

TODAY IS A GLORIOUS DAY! Well, maybe a little bittersweet, but only a little bitter.
But alas...my job is OVER! I realize I never talked about it in detail, so here's your introduction. I worked for the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement. What did I do? I'll just let the picture speak for itself. 

I'm a certifiable Tree bg/yn (thanks Courtney)! Please tell me why this picture was a good idea--oh WAIT it's NOT. Alas, this job did give me my first cover page story in a newspaper. I'm not kidding. This bad boy was on the front page of the Salt Lake Tribune, and I don't know about you, but with a picture like this I would be dying to know what in the world was the reason for doing what is being done in said picture. But good old Francisco Kjolseth did what he could to make the picture...interesting? If you're really interested about what I actually did, check out the article. It does a pretty fair job of explaining it.

It was tough work sometimes. Especially that day that we worked in Liberty Park and it was 103 degrees. The 20ft ladder felt that much heavier. Fortunately Jake Hurt Hughes decided he would write me a poem about me and how beautiful I looked while carrying that ladder. Strangers are funny, and probably one of the best parts of this job, for me at least. My partner was terrified of strangers which is really a whole other story in itself, but I've met some crazy people and some awesome people. A random side note, I recently found this mini zine called "Utah Stories" which has a bunch of great interviews of locals in the Salt Lake valley, which quickly reminded me of the cool people I've met while working, so if you're into reading about local peeps and their coolness, check it out! ANYWAYS, I really enjoyed my job and I am incredibly fortunate to have had the job that I had. It had all the pros you could ever ask for--consistent schedule, good pay, no weekends, and it wasn't retail. IT WASN'T RETAIL.

That's where the a-hole part comes in. I've been working at good ol' Mrs. Cavanaugh's in Bountiful for 4 years now. And I don't know why, but some of the people, customers specifically, are complete jerks there. And it doesn't help that we have a marquee that consistently has Mr. Cavanaugh's political agendas preached. Regardless of what he's actually talking about, it NEVER ends up being a pleasant situation for the workers because no matter what it says, it's bound to piss somebody off. And then that somebody comes and yells at me. Ah. I could go on and on.

Thankfully, I had two jobs to keep me busy. And thankfully, I really enjoy working. I always have. I really hope that attitude sticks.

Also, co-workers can be some of the coolest people you know. Like 1000 Awesome Things says, it is pretty awesome when a work friend becomes an outside-of-work-friend.  Or in my case, your co-worker becomes your roommate. WICKI-WHA?! Love you Lil' D.

Now I have a ton of free time. And I'm loving it. I'm going to force myself to produce some good stuff in this down time that I have because I'll have little time to do anything like that while in Ecuador.
I also got a bike! The abatement sold their bikes at a super cheap price, so I got a 200 dollar bike for a fourth of the price. I'm really excited about this. I gave up on the bike that I had last year. It was my sister's and I'm pretty sure her/her friends completely destroyed the gears making it difficult and embarassing to pedal a zillion rotations and only go 5 feet. Enjoy that mental image of me doing exactly that and you'll understand why I wanted a new bike.
Sunday, I went to look for some locations for an upcoming shoot, and I think I found a really great spot. In the mean time, here's two photogs I snapped while exploring, neither really showing the location, but hey, WHATEVEZ.



mirad a vuestros pequeñitos

After much musing and meditating, I've decided to stop thinking about myself all the time. I've been craving some sort of direction and, while we're being dramatic, a so-called "reason-for-living," and I've decided to lose myself to...find myself? Sure. 

My sister worked at an orphanage in Quito, Ecuador for three months two years ago. And as we all know that I think she's probably one of the greatest humans on the planet, so I try to be a grade A carbon copy of her. Some things work (like we have the same last name), others don't (like everything else). But I do know that she came back a changed and better person because of that experience, and from that point on, I have always been intrigued by the program and this idea of submerged service.
I've been thinking about this for a while, wondering when the time would be right, and really wondering if this could be a worthwhile thing for me, so as any cutie-patutie Mormon would, you turn to The Guy Upstairs. The cool thing about God is that he likes you to think for yourself. The not-so-cool thing about God is that he likes you to think for yourself. I prayed forever about this, and I got absolutely nothing. And it freaked me out. How in the world is someone supposed to make a fairly large decision like this without any hint of confirmation as to what I was doing was right? I don't know about you, but sometimes faith is hard. But that's where your brain, your intuition, your GUTS comes in.
So I filled out the paperwork. I got my references, got my tentative plans together and said to hell with it. If I felt like it was right, then I'm doing it. I don't need no confirmation! I have GUTS, I tell you--GUTS!!! And nothing goes better with a heaping of GUTS than a big 'ol confirmation that presented itself as I slipped my application into its precious manila envelope. And again when I dropped it in the mailbox. And again when Ali from headquarters called me and said I was accepted and she'd actually like me to leave two weeks earlier. Thanks Big Guy, I knew you wouldn't let me down.

So here goes. I'm heading down to Cuenca, Ecuador on December 22, to dedicate my being to some kids who've got practically nothing. I'm going through Orphanage Support Services Organization of which several Davis County girls I know of have gone through including my sister and another one of my pals from high school. It is a truly incredible organization that have been superb to work with thus far. And to insert this in now, I know that sometimes prayers are answered through others, and if you've had any sort of desire to do something like this, please do this. We can build schools, we can build wells, but coming from a person who has done several forms of humanitarian work, there is nothing so powerful than directly seeing a soul in need of some sort of serenity. This may be preemptive on my part, but there's a reason I was asked to come two weeks early. The organization is in dire need. They have several options set up for long-term volunteers (two to twenty-four weeks) as well as a great short-term volunteer program (two to fourteen days) that's geared for families as well as individuals. (More info on both HERE.) If you have any questions at all regarding the organization, you can contact them directly at info@orphanagesupport.org.

Anywho (I really need to stop saying that), I know most of the people who will read this post are famished college kids who are living off canned foodstuffs, but if you're interested and/or willing, I am accepting sponsors/donations to aide in the expenses it will take for me to work there. If you'd like to make a donation on my behalf, please contact me at anna.james@comcast.net. And just to put it out there for anyone who may be interested, donations may also be made directly to OSSO (Orphanage Support Services Organization (OSSO) P.O. Box 345 Rexburg, ID 83440) to help with needs in the actual orphanages, such as purchasing milk, food, clothes, paying for tutors, helping pay for school registration fees and school supplies and uniforms, paying for physical therapists and other necessary professionals, etc.

Blah blah blah...thank you so much for taking the time to read this and be relatively concerned about me and my life decisions. I have am surrounded by such supportive people, it amazes me on a daily basis. THANK YOU.


The Wilderness Downtown

This is absolutely incredible. I watched this half an hour ago and I'm still in awe.
The Arcade Fire has produced the first interactive music video that features you. WHAT.

in accordance with

My love for bathroom photos continues...

My expression in the top image is quite haggard, but I think it adds to the photo, right? (Right). The middle image is creepy (and it shows my ample amount of junk in my trunk), but I like it. I'm starting to realize that the more my taste in art develops, the more I like creepy things, or maybe it's just Halloween coming up on us, or maybe it's a combination of the two. Either way, I'm liking creepy pictures done tastefully that imply mildly heinous things. Like this, and this. The thing I like about these photos is that they play on the imagination. This guy, Joshua Hoffine (WARNING...really, if you can't do gore, don't even click through), has a whole series of "horror photography" which is all incredibly well done and meticulously thought out, but I can't do the blood and guts all the time. The same goes for scary movies. I would much rather watch a movie that mentally freaks me out for days versus chopped up bodies everywhere. That's just gross and unnecessary. 
Anywho, there's my theory on creepy images/movies.

I think my body is partially giving up on me. I fell asleep after work today and slept for an embarrassing amount of time (6 hours). And since we're all entitled to a little venting, I'm going to take advantage. I'm tired. It isn't pleasant when you're at work before the sun rises, and you come home from class long after the sun has set.

But I really can't emphasize enough how good I've got it. Over the summer, I think I really realized that, mostly because I had two drastic surroundings to compare. The majority of my co-workers went to school while working full time or they had two jobs--one co-worker in particular worked 12-14 hours five days a week. And then there's the other side. I don't want to get into specifics, but realize that if you've got spare time to read this blog from what is probably your personal computer, you've got it better than more people than you'd think.  I don't mean to preach, but it absolutely drives me nuts to see people constantly gripe about their situation when you have it so good. I have so much to work on myself when it comes to humility and gratitude because I, for one, can't handle not having a computer or having a crappy camera, but when so many other essential life situations are handed to you on a plate, and you are still focusing on what you don't have? I'm sorry, but I can't understand that. 

Sorry for the killjoy, but these thoughts have been cultivating in my brain for a while now, and I gotta let it shpeel.



I, and every other northern hemispheric human, am embracing the most glorious season of the year that starts today--AUTUMN!!!! Everyone loves Autumn. Cereal. Errbody does. I mean just LOOK AT IT!
But the best thing about fall is how it is a sensory overload--the rainy smells, the chilly air, the analogous colors everywhere, crunchy leaves, and pumpkin pie. Oh pumpkin PIE. Autumn brings some of the best feelings out there. I'm not sick of school yet (usually), Halloween is soon, birthdays (specifically mine, and it really does bring a neat feeling that you're a little bit smarter than you were the year before), and just the overall sense of championship. It'll be a long time before I get out the school year mode where years and eras begin and end in August and May, so fall has always presented a new start. Which is refreshing, and terrifying at times. But it's gonna be GREAT. Alas, fall does bring cold season, of which my apartment has now morphed into one giant germ. Ali is the only one who hasn't fallen victim to the plague that's being passed around, but never fear, she's sweetly sleeping in her bed while I'm coughing on her toothbrush. 
Huzzah for fall!
Also, I was featured on the one and only profane tumblr for redheads! Here,  here,  & here.
By rachel.am


newz 4 youz

I went to The Lion King at the capital theatre. Fifth row seats make a world of difference. I mean, I could SEE THE SWEAT ON SIMBA! Neat. I made sure to express how neat it was by dancing after the show. With a giant cell phone in the back pocket. Cute, huh?

I finally explored campus. Well, kind of. 

My roommate and I went to this bookstore on 15th & 15th in SLC called "The King's English." Just look at the front of the place and tell me you don't want to go there.

A face card?! Pa-chaw.

Redfest was this weekend as well. I'm an idiot and missed everything but the last half hour, but that's okay. It was free. Mates of State is great if only for nostalgic purposes. They are definitely unique and are not an full-album listening band (at least for me), but this band sums up my happiness in 9th grade. Plus, this music video is really, really cool. And they're cute. And married. And have cute kids. They pretty much OOZE cuteness. I mean, just look at them?

Woot Woot! My blog is turning into a "look-how-many-concerts-I've-been-to" blog. Hmmm. I don't know how I feel about that.



I recropped this picture from this.
I'm about 97% percent certain this is cooler than it was before, so why didn't I just crop it earlier? Who knows. 

Don't you wish you had an itinerary of your life from God?  I don't need to memorize it or have it photocopied or anything, just let me have a peek at it, eh?

In other news,

I'm listening to Bibio. It's groovy. Listen & be happy. Specifically you, Mandy Allen.

And I mith ma thith. She's going to kill me for posting this, but I can't help it. It's too funny. 



Chris McCaw

I discovered this guy a few years ago at an art gallery in Moab, and boy was I glad to see his work. I was at a period of art confusion, not knowing if photography was a valid or viable form of art in comparison to formal mediums like painting or drawing, but after seeing these images, it was impossible to deny the pure artistry that was McCaw's luminary work.
"The Family Farm" is a series that he created after the death of his grandfather. He realized that these kinds of farms were quickly becoming extinct and his grandmother is facing pressures from developers to surrender her property & essentially her personal history. He says, "because of all this, I am committed to capturing a sense of what this family farm, my family's farm, is like. It is my intention for this project to stand as a document of my family's history, and a way of life that is ending in California."
After my grandpa died earlier this year, I came to this same realization, and his work has largely inspired my desire to visually document my grandparents' lives as well.

See more at his website.



Some more goodies from Friday nights show which also featured The Second Estate with Joshua James & Mudbison which includes Spencer Russell, of the infamous Russell brothers, and my sister's friend, Caitlin Duncan, on whom I have a lady crush.

The Second Estate
Joshua James being profound
Once again, all images except for the top are unedited. HOLLAAA!

And this because I thought it was hilarious.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic


P.S.....THE WEIRDEST images are showing up while the gif loads like "The Grudge" posters, a Mexican girl, and various other weird images. SORRY. 


swiss miss

My parents and I went to Swiss Days in Midway early Saturday morning. Before I say anything more, go watch Waiting for Guffman. 

Got it?
Midway is a slightly European/heavily Mormon Blaine.
Now I just need to find Corky.

I'm pretty sure Swiss Days is the biggest thing that happens in this little town, but it is great every time I go. It's mostly just a smorgasbord of cheesy vendors that all are selling the same stuff, but occasionally you run into some really great stuff, one of those being Rustico.

These guys always have a huge selection of leather bound journals & sketchbooks, all of which I'm convinced I need. They can be a little pricey, but when you buy them at events like Swiss Days, they drastically cut all of the prices. Enough to buy myself three "writer's log" journals & a bracelet all for $25. YEAH! They also make some beautiful Book(s) of Mormon(s) that I try to coerce my mother into buying for me every time. But she's anti-word-of-God. I kid.

BUT, the best part of Swiss Days has and will always be Kerry Christensen, master yodeler (that video is a WINNER). My family geeks out every time we see him. We own the majority of his music. We love him. Enough to get fan photos with him.

Bashful, are we? It's the lederhosen. It gets me every time.

My roommate can't get over the fact that this guy exists. HE IS REALLY GOOD AT YODELING, OKAY? And I have Swiss roots, so BACK OFF. This is my heritage. And I am PROUD.

Anywho, here's a few more mediocre pics of our day in Switzerland.


The middle photo is as fake as it gets. And I have no idea who the lady to the right is.

My dad and I decided that every city I go to, I need to take a picture of me dancing by a sign, or some sort of landmark. It's not that original of an idea, but I don't think my dad has been more proud of me after seeing this picture of me in the wonderful town that is Mallad, Idaho.

I won't deny it, it's a pretty fantastic picture. I am SO PROUDZ. So in accordance with my new photo project that may or may not actually become a photo project, I give you more dansability than you ever wished to see in two forms in Midway, Utah (and this is the Blainiest it can get).

P.S. To give credit where credit is due, my dear Paige took the infamous Mallad picture, and my dad took most of the Swiss Days pictures. LOVE YA PAIGE & POPS.


the woos & woes of a russell brother

Friday night at Velour plus tasty music spells a good time.
I've been a big fan of Isaac Russell since the first time I saw him two years ago. Formerly known as RuRu (which has such a nice album cover),  Isaac took it solo after being signed to Columbia records. And get this, he's only 18.

From his new Ep.
I ran into him and his shmucks playing "Girl" by the Beatles on the side of the street when I was in New York a few weeks after the first time I'd seen him play. I swooned. We shared a nice conversation and reminisced about him signing my bodyworlds pamphlet. He's a cutie.
I think I've finally figured out how to get good concert photos in less frames with less guess work and less post processing. In fact, each of these photos are straight out of the camera with no editing. That's a pretty big deal.

And whadaya think, when you produce fair images from the get go, it makes editing that much more fun and a hundred times easier. So here's two post processed images that are a little edgier

Primary color schemes make me randy.

One of the best parts of the show was when we were introduced to the production company that is The Occidental Saloon. We watched a music video of dear Isaac playing an acoustic version of "Lighthouse" from his latest EP and sported a coonskin cap & a pair of goggles all while floating down the Provo river in a canoe. People, including me, can bash Provo all they want, but when stuff like this comes around, I craaave to be in their scene. The collaborative efforts of some really cool dudes make up an incredible music video production group. I'm telling you--AUDIO VISUAL COMBOS ARE THE BEST. One of the best parts of this group is that they're on itunes with their videos ipod-accessible through the wonderful world of podcasts.

I can't endorse these people enough, but it is so exciting to see such quality artistry coming from the great state of Utar (PEOPLE WORKING TOGETHER!!!! UTAH!!! WHAT A GREAT PLACE TO BE!!!!).

P.S. To any and all ya'll that are reading this blog. I love you. Thank you for supporting me with page visits and profile views. It boosts my cyber confidence.