Thursday, December 22, 2005

The New Best Christmas Song

Ok. Last Christmas I posted a Christmas song that I really liked a lot. Today, I have found one that I like even more and I think that it very fitting considering that I went to Italy this year.

Here are the lyrics. Enjoy them!

Hey! Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
It's Dominick the donkey.
Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
The Italian Christmas donkey.
(la la la-la la-la la la la la)
(la la la-la la-la la-ee-oh-da)

Santa's got a little friend,
His name is Dominick.
The cutest little donkey,
You never see him kick.
When Santa visits his paisons,
With Dominick he'll be.
Because the reindeer cannot,
Climb the hills of Italy.

Hey! Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
It's Dominick the donkey.
Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
The Italian Christmas donkey.
(la la la-la la-la la la la la)
(la la la-la la-la la-ee-oh-da)

Jingle bells around his feet,
And presents on the sled.
Hey! Look at the mayor's derby,
On top of Dominick's head.
A pair of shoes for Louie,
And a dress for Josephine.
The labels on the inside says,
They're made in Brooklyn.

Hey! Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
It's Dominick the donkey.
Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
The Italian Christmas donkey.
(la la la-la la-la la la la la)
(la la la-la la-la la-ee-oh-da)

Children sing, and clap their hands,
And Dominick starts to dance.
They talk Italian to him,
And he even understands.
Cumpare sing, Cumpare su,
And dance 'sta tarantel.
When jusamagora comes to
town, And brings du ciuccianello.

Hey! Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
It's Dominick the donkey.
Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
The Italian Christmas donkey.
(la la la-la la-la la la la la)
(la la la-la la-la la-ee-oh-da)
Hey! Dominick! Buon Natale!
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
(hee-haw, hee-haw)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

One More Addition to My Christmas List

Ok. So there's the camera that I'm really interested in trying. It's called a Woca. It can be found here.

The good news is that unlike my Canon Digital Rebel XT, this camera costs about $30 delivered to the doorstep.

Jared's Edited Christmas list


So I found out after the fact that Jared didn't want his desire for new underwear published. Just kidding. I have had people take certain of his items. If you are one of them, no big deal. But, here is the revised list. If you're going to get something for him, let me know.

A new pair of jeans
A new pair of sweat pants
RAM for his computer
a 250 GB hard drive for our server
the website
Warm slippers

There you have it. Let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Paying for college? A broke student's tale...

OK. So I'm really the broke student in this scene, but at least I got your attention. I'm trying to pay for my next semester in school. I need 70 people to donate 20 dollars each. In exchange, they get art.

Check out the official website (which I made by the way).

Pass it on to as many people as you possibly can. I have 9 days to make my goal.

Monday, November 28, 2005

My Christmas List


Right now, I am just interested in big ticket items like plane tickets for Greece and college tuition, but I've also come up with other things for my Christmas list that people can look at if they desire to get me a gift. Of course, all of them are photography related.

1.) A plane ticket to Greece Approx.. $1500
2.) Help paying for my current semester in school Approx... $1100
3.) One of these. Specifically a snazzy one that I can use to archive CD's. Approx... $35.00
4.) 512 MB CF cards for my camera. Approx... $50.00
5.) One of these.
6.) Some NICE looking photo albums about this size. These need to be pretty nice so that I can use them for handheld portfolios.
7.) A nice electronic dictionary so that I don't have to carry a paper one around with me all the tine.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Jared's Chrismas List


I'm posting this up here in case anyone was wondering what to get Jared for Christmas. He is pretty easy to shop for. Let me know if you have any questions.

Warm Down Ski Coat
Warm Shoes
A new pair of jeans
A new pair of sweat pants
RAM for his computer
a 250 GB hard drive for our server
the website
Warm slippers
New underwear

There you have it. Let me know if you have any questions.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Interesting Digital World

You know, it is an interesting world that we live in where you can do everything online. Only from a string on the back of your computer, or if you're even more high tech WIRELESS. You can find out the news without ever turning on the TV or having a paper delivered. You can research almost anyhthing. You can even order flowers with such websites as Just thinkg of all the possibilities for the future. Many people can do all the shopping they need from the comfort of their own homes by looking online. The service fee--shipping :)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Jimmy Neutron in Trouble Again!

Who will save him this time? Hurry, before the Sherwood Express runs through town.
 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 30, 2005

What's for Dinner

Tonight, I was missing Greece an especially lot, so I was looking online for something to satisfy my need to have something Greek. Well, in that situation, the best thing to do is look at food. When I was in Greece, I remember having this incredible pastitsio that was just the best. So, I made arrangments to make that. While I was making it, I was thinking about how much I miss souvlakis, so I started to put chicken on skewers to cook. I also figured that while I was at it, that I might as well make spanikopitas, so I got everything ready to do that. I was in the kitchen for more than 3 hours just painting phyllo dough with butter and cooking noodles for my pastitsio. However, nothing is better than coming out the other end with a fully Greek meal. I told my husband that the only thing he should expect from me foodwise for the next couple of decades is Greek food.

My latest and greatest adventure involves being able to speak Greek fluently. I'm not too shabby right now, but I've got to figure out a way to learn it faster. Time to go to my other favorite site, to post and see if there are any Greeks that are willing to talk it out with me!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Reunions and the Amazing Things About Old Friends

Ok. I haven't been posting so diligently, but I guess that it's time that I start again. This weekend, I went out to Delphi. There was a reunion of all of the Alumni that have ever gone to the school. It was good to see old friends and find out what everyone has been up to since the last time that you saw them. I really enjoy seeing the people that graduated in the same class that I did and talk about how things have been going.

I got to meet up with someone very similar to me. She graduated from Delphi as well. She then immeditaly went on to Greece to the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts. She spent two semesters there and then went on to NYU. I then went this last semester, and we hadn't talked about it before. We were roommates before at Delphi. When I saw her, we immediately launched into talking about Greece. It was totally amazing. It was just like being back there. We got eachother very excited about being in Greece, and we have made plans to return next fall together. I'm excited about that.

I also met my friend Nicko that is Greek, and he just got back from a vacation there. All in all, it was a very productive trip out to Delphi. More plans for Greece to come in the future.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Another Hurricane Katrina Photo

OK. So this one is a little more scary! Posted by Picasa

Hurricane Katrina

This is a picture of hurricane Katrina coming in. Very pretty, but I wouldn't want to be there! Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 30, 2005

Photos of Our Condo

To those people that wanted to see our condo and didn't get to. Here are the photos of it. Enjoy and pass them on!

Photos of Our Condo

To those people that wanted to see our condo and didn't get to. Here are the photos of it. Enjoy and pass them on!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

My Doggie--Flaff

This is my totally cute doggie. Doesn't he look like he just needs some love? Please pet me Chris. Posted by Picasa

Chris In Greece

So, What do you think about that huge cliff behind me? Am I going to fall down it? This is my new wallpaper for my computer, and I love it! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The New Things in My Life


So it really has been a long time since I last updated you all on my blog. I'm going to try to be better, but isn't that what I always say when this stuff happens :) I am now, at the very least just going to update you on what's going on in my life.

I am working in Portland right now helping out at my Church. I'm having a lot of fun doing that. It looks like in the next week that I'm going to be helping out with several hundred people that are going to be coming to live here in Portland. All the people are victims of hurricane Katrina. It will be really nice to help those people that need help.

Jared and I adopted a pug. He is really cute. We found him online, and we inquired about him pretty quickly. It turned out that he was a breeder, but he wasn't being used anymore, and they wanted to get rid of him. He was sent to a shelter place that takes care of animals, and he is really cute. We adopted him with a lot of red tape. Can you believe that we actually had to fill out an application that said who our vet is and name all the pets that we had previously? Also, we had to have a house inspection where they saw where he "reacted in his new living space." It was pretty crazy. However, all in all, he is very cute. He has a kennel at our house and a bed. He likes being around us because Jared really stays with him all day long. It's actually been a good move because Jared and him go out for walks all the time, so Jared doesn't spend his entire day in the same house all the time. It's been really good for the both of them. Actually, the dog (Biff but renamed Flaff to match the character in Jared's book), was abused we think because he flintches every time you bend down to pet him. He's getting much happier though with us. I'll keep you updated on this, and I'll post pictures as well.

Another exciting thing is that my sister Melissa and her baby, Eli have moved closer over here to me, so I get to see them more often. Eli is very cute, and I plan to visit as much as possible . :)

I recently got a new laptop, and it is helping me do my job a lot better as a photographer. It's been very worth it. I'm actually getting more photo assignments now, so I take it to the shoot with me and show it to the clients after the shoot. That way, the shoots are way better.

I've officially decided that I am going back to Greece next April or May. Jared is going to come with me, and we'll be there for 1 months together, then I'll be off to do my European tour adventure alone.

Cool eh?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Chris Making the News!

Christine Anderson, a 2002 graduate of the Delphian School, recently returned from a semester abroad at the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts in Greece. She is the third Delphian School graduate to attend the program.

The Aegean Center for the Fine Arts is a school based on the Greek

island of Paros. The school focuses on small classes of students who

come together to raise their ability in the arts. Anderson studied photography, digital photography, painting, drawing, figure drawing, literature, art history, photography history, mosaic, drama and writing.

When she arrived home in May, Anderson held a seminar for a group of Delphian School literature class students who were reading Homer's The Odyssey. She explained what the school was like in Greece, demonstrated how to pronounce Greek names, taught the students how to speak a few words in Greek, and cooked a traditional Greek meal for the class so that they could get some real understanding of the Greek culture.

She told the class: "I had a lot of fun in Greece enhancing my ability as an artist. One of the ways the school intends to educate is to surround a person with so much beauty that they can't help but be inspired to create something beautiful on their own. It was just what I needed to become inspired to produce beautiful works of art.

"My education at The Delphian School gave me the ability to balance studying many subjects at the same time and to succeed in all of them."

The Delphian School is an independent, co-educational day and boarding school offering college preparatory, English-as-a-Second-Language and summer programs for elementary through high school students. The Delphian School is licensed to use Applied Scholastics(TM) educational services.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Very Exciting Wedding

So, I've been doing a lot of weddings and things lately, and I've been trying to get odd jobs here and there to make money doing my absolute passion as a photographer. A couple of weekends ago, I was out shooting a wedding, and someone came to me and asked me if I would be willing to do their wedding. I said of course, and since then we have been coming up with agreements and things like that!

I put together a super small and super fast portfolio. It is temporarily available online, and you can see it. It is available at

Chek it out!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Brand New Bathroom

The other day I was in my bathroom looking at how boring it looks. It was totally white, everything was white, and the tub had some stains on it. There were also the remnants of a glass shower door that didn't exist anumore. I decided that I was going to take down the metal tracks from the door. However, that one small project turned into an entire makeover for the bathroom.

I went to Target--twice and to Home Depot--twice. I bought new everything. A new towel rack, a new shower curtain. A new soap dispenser. New baseboards, new towles--EVERYTHING! Then, I decided that I was pretty tired of the ugly old white, so I bought green paint and went at it.

I spent two days until midnight painting and cleaning and redoing and screwing in new fixtures, but the result is much better. The bathroom is very clean and beautiful. I love the green paint, it just works so well. I've never been able to paint something before just any color. Now, every time I catch a gimpse of my bathroom, I just adore it. It's so much better and so much more exciting.

I also bought some bubble bath, and after I was all done, I sat in my bathroom and just looked at it.

It was rather enjoyable. The one remaining project in the bathroom now is to tile the floor and get a new cabinet and tile the top of it. However, that's much more expensive than just a new paint job!

Monday, July 11, 2005


Here is my one update for Melissa. I was redoing my bathroom until just after midnight last night. I promise I'll tell you all about it with photos when I'm done!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ok, I know I disappeared

Hello everyone.

I know that from all appearances that I have disappeared from the face of the planet, but, in truth, I am still alive and actually doing quite well. I have been pretty busy recently, so excuse the lapse, and I am going to try my best here to start posting a lot more often.

Things have changed a lot for me. When I got home from Greece, I was pretty burned out from having worked so hard before I got there and then working so hard while I was there. I was very happy to have the opportunity to help take care of Jared and sleep a lot and get things ready and set up for my next greatest adventure.

In that time I

1.) Got set up and got all the supplies ready for me to paint.

2.) Built an entire darkroom in my closet that is going to work very well for the professional work.

3.) Worked very hard to get some photography jobs and got at least one! I am going to be working to do a wedding for a friend, and that is very exciting. Though it poses some interesting problems!!!!!

4.) Made my husband very healthy so he is off and running on his job and just generally doing very well in life, which is more than I can ever ask for.

5.) I signed up to take two college classes this summer, Geography and Poetry. They are two more core classes that I need and I am very happy to be working on them. I love college, so this should be another step on the path of me getting me degree, which will prove useful I KNOW!

6.) Paid off the last of my student loans regarding my high school education.

7.) Unpacked our house so that it is now beautiful and in use, my favorite!

8.) Cooked, A LOT!

9.) Worked on a course in Professional Photography and have almost completed it. I must complete it by June 24th, and I've got a ways to go! Wish me luck!

10.) Made arrangments to return to my beautiful country of Greece WITH the husband.

11.) Turned 21.

12.) Bought a bike that I use to ride everywhere. It is my new best friend, and I really like it!

13.) Started to work at the church for 40 hours a week, this is really good.

With all of these things in total combination, I am quite possibly the happiest person I know! So, that's the update on me. I will continute to write, so now, please do keep checking!


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Thank you John Pack


I've been meaning to write you an email to tell you how much going to Greece meant to me, but I just kept getting sidetracked, and here today I realized that I needed to say hello at least.

I know that people are going to start leaving for the semester tomorrow. I will and do miss that group so much and I think you for bringing us together.

I'm doing very well here. I have built my own darkroom here in my house, and I really enjoy it. I also have photoshop on my computer and I'm working on getting set up to do digital things.

I have been asked to do two exhibitions here in Portland. One in August and one in September. I'm so excited to do them, but I've never done one before so I'm going a little crazy trying to figure it all out. Not to mention what I want to display and getting them all ready. It is exciting. And also, rather than go back to a mundane job, it looks like I'm going to make it as a freelance photographer at least until I return and finish up the rest of the semester! I've got two weddings lined up too!

I wanted to thank you so much for the experience over there. I can't really put it into words, but I've been back for a month now and there are some definite changes in my life that never would have happened without your help. You are one of the most wonderful people I've ever met John Pack and I'm just sorry that my experience with you had to end so abruptly. I have made several very needed changed while I was in Greece including making the decision that I can make it as an artist. I have more direction and determination in my life. Not to mention the fact that I am hopelessly in love with that country and I WILL return many times in my life. So thank you.

I went through some notes that I wrote while I was there and here are some quotes to express my thanks.

"On the art side of life, I am making some pretty incredible breakthroughs in all areas at once, and it is overwhelming to me (in a good way) every day when I am in class. I realize how much I have progressed, and I am just so happy to know that I am making such incredible progress. I still wonder what I am going to look like on the other side, but I know that if I progressed no more at this point that I would be incredibly happy."

"The help of the people here at the Center is so incredible and I am ready to forge ahead with where I am going now."

"It’s just incredible, and if you could see the difference in my work now and…ever, you would be so proud of me."

And here is a piece that I wrote after you showed your portfolio to us all.

War with Art

When I was younger, I was at war with art. I had this understanding that it was an unnecessary thing in society that children were forced to study because it was something that our less sophisticated ancestors did, and the tradition needed to be continued.

I was deeply, deeply wrong.

Since the beginning of time, people have described religious experiences. These have occurred on many different levels including seeing a physical spiritual being. For the most part, however, these have consisted of deeply personal and inexpressible moments in time that shape our lives forever.

Somewhere in the middle of my high school career, I realized that there was something missing in my life, so I took up pottery as a recreational activity. I didn’t really realize that I had been mastering an art form until one day my friend invited me to attend a seminar where young artists get together and develop their skills further. I reluctantly joined, but realized that it would be at least half-fun when I realized that one of the people I admire most in the world was going to preside the meetings.

This was the thing that was going to fill the hole that I felt in my life. However, I didn’t realize how gaping the mouth was and how deep the crack until I began this weekly ritual.

I believe that I will never be able to describe what happened in that room. This was the first truly spiritual experience that I ever had. I passionately consider each second of these meetings week after week to be deeply-spiritual, religious experiences, and they have shaped my view of the world and of myself permanently.

Several things came from that:

· I realized that I am an artist at heart and that is what I do every morning, I get up and create what will happen that day.
· I realized that I can create beautiful things that communicate to other people and that they can appreciate.
· I realized that everyone on earth is an artist in his own way and that he strives to create in one way or another—some people just happen to make a profession out of it.
· I gained the confidence to really be an artist.

This shaped me in ways that I can’t explain, but it patched a big hole in my life and set me up for the rest of my life, or so I thought.

I actually had a spiritual experience today that I hold at that level. It struck me by surprise because I guess somehow I felt that I had received my allotment for my life.

I decided to study at The Aegean Center for the Fine Arts to continue my studies in the arts and put final touches on my ability to create art and get it out into the world. I never dreamed that I would experience something on a higher plane, and here, three weeks into the program, I’ve had such a profound experience that I can’t help but believe that this again will be one of those life-defining moments.

In producing my art, I got pretty stuck in the mundane technical aspects. You put this type of paper in this developer and it comes out like this and you could do this or that to it to change it and make it perfect. I think that I got pretty stuck in the fact that I was just making an image and it was going to create an effect, and I guess I felt like I had no more control after I hit the shutter. Bam! That photo was made.

I met someone today that really loves the process. This man had a communication to deliver to the world and he knew exactly what it was the second that he clicked the shutter. He had the technical aspects down so well and all that was going on was the fact that he saw the world in a new way or he had a new experience that he was interested in sharing with the world.

I also discovered again that through the things that the artists have been saying through history, they really have effected the changes in this world. Through the things that they are saying results are created. People become aware of the artists view of things and they realize something deeper there and change.

I guess I kind of forgot about that part. It all came and hit me at once. As he sat there going through photo after photo showing us the things that he had to say about the world, I realized that that was what I had been missing. I was being sucked into the technical aspects of what it was that I was doing. Of course, I needed to be patient and do whatever it took to get the effect that I was trying to create, but what WAS the effect? What was my communication? I was trying to say something when I was pressing the shutter. My frustration with the arts shattered, and I realized once again that I wasn’t trying to duplicate reality exactly. I have something to say, and I’m here studying how to get that thing said!

I love your Center and the experience I got.


I hope all is so well with you, Jane and Gabriel.


Chris Anderson

My Own darkroom

I've been a photographer for the past five years, and have ever so conveniently lived at a school that had all of the darkroom materials necessary. It was great. However, I moved three months ago, and the darkroom was something that I was going to need. In addition to that, going to art school really put the flame under me to get something set up.

On our patio, we have a closet that is very small. It is probably 5 feet by 5 feet at the most, and it was filled with the stuff that we weren't using in the house. I decided that I was going to convert it into my darkroom. I took everything out, took the entire shelving system down and started from scratch. I painted it, carpeted it and then put the whole shelving system back into it. Then I set up the darkroom with everything I need. These are the things that I still need.

8 8X10 or 11X14 Developing Trays
A safe light, though it is possible to work without this.
2 or 3 more packages of paper to print on
A grain focuser or magnifying glass
Some Selenium toner
4 or 5 gallon chemical holders

Other than that, I should be all set up. I am totally excited about it.

In addition to all of that, I have my own digital darkroom as well. I've got my new printer and scanner and I have Photoshop on my computer. I'm really ready to start promoting myself as a photographer. It is DEFINITELY an exciting thing!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

European Politics

I know that politics can sometimes be a boring subject, but I can get really interested in what is going on in the world. As you may or may not know, the European Constitution is being put to vote in every single member state, one at a time, as they did in the United States two hundred years ago with out consitution. It passed in Spain, but it looks like France is going to deny the Consitutition.

I decided to do some reserach, so I read the entire 65 page EU proposed Consitution. If you're interested and crazy like me, go here to read it At first I was very impressed by it. I wouldn't actually mind, at this point having the consitution put into effect in Europe. These are my qualms with it. Strangely, I haven't heard anyone else talking about these.

The Constitution talks about the European Convention on Human Rights. It honors and resepects that document. It is very similar to our Bill or Rights, but it is a little more comprehensive. Here's the text

One thing scares me though. It confers all of the rights on the people and then with a few little clauses, gives government or other people the right to infringe on those rights.

"The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or the rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary."

Yuck. It's like the US Patriot act where they basically have the right to totally monitor you for no reason in the name of "National Security."

With this consitutution, Europe is setting up to actually have something very similar to what America had set up in the beginning. The definition of "state" in 1700 was country. We, as Americans were really supposed to have things turn in a totally different direction. If the founding fathers really saw the country right now and how it has been mishandled, they would be disgusted, and they would advise us to tear it down and build it back up again (as Mr. Jefferson states in the Declaration of Independence). Europe's purpose in uniting together is basically to put all political strife behind them and, united, to continue on into the future. Not a bad thing at all, but when even the constiution allows for higher powers to come into the state and fix it or take over if it is doing something the EU doesn't agree with, that's going a little farther than the stated purpose. Don't get me wrong, it's mostly a good idea, but if not handled very carefully by only the smartest of people, Europe could be heading it's way to the United States of Europe and 1984 here we come.

I'd vote NO too, good job France. I'm watching your polls.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Popular New Blog

For whatever reason, people who aren't my friends and families are finding their ways to my blog. I have gotten at leas four contacts in the last week or so detailing how they found their way to my blog and how much it helped then with...blah. So, if you are reading my blog and passing it on, contiue to do so. I promise I'll keep writing!


Cell Phone Batteries

How is it that cell phone batteries always die at the most inconvenient of times? It's not like they have one certian lengh of time that they last and then they die, at least not for me. My phone will stay on for days and days at home and then when I go to the movie store and try to call my husband to consult which movie to watch, the cell phone dies? And now, as I'm expecting a call to come in, one that I've been expecting for days, my phone calmly announces that it won't make it. GEEZ!!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2005

New Found Love of Running


For any of you who think that I'm going to stop writing because I'm home, you're wrong. I'll try to be posting as much as I can here but definitely stay in contact because I'll still use this as my way to communicate when I go back to Greece.

BUT. I have this new found love of running that's returned to me I guess. I used to love to run and then somewhere in my life it just totally turned around so that I didn't like it anymore, I hated it. But now, I just feel like I can run and run and run, and it's really odd. I get up every morning before I take a shower and do some sort of physical activity. Many times it's running. Weird, but kind of cool really! Maybe it was hiking through all of those hillsides in Greece, but I really don't know!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Kenny Really off the Market

Hearts really are breaking. My husband told me the news, and now I know I'm really stuck with him :(

Anyway, Good luck Kenny! Hope all works out as planned.

Kenny Chesney Married
Hearts are breaking all over the country music world. Yes ladies, Kenny Chesney, one of countrys most eligible bachelors, has reportedly married actress Renee Zellwegger.

The marriage reportedly took place on the island of St. John in the carribean where Kenny loves to spend his off time and owns a home. The wedding was attended by a small group of close friends and family. The couple met in January while doing a benefit for the Tsunami relief effort. Kenny, CMA's Entertainer of the Year for 2004, and Renee, Oscar winner for best supporting actress in "Cold Mountain" are certain to be a busy couple, not much time for a honeymoon, he is on tour promoting his new CD and she is promoting her new movie.

It comes as a surprise to his many fans, he has said in recent interviews that he didn't feel he had time to devote to both his career and a relationship. Though he has stated that Renee has been his favorite actress for while, even being inspired to write a song after seeing her in a film. Both try to keep a low profile and keep their private lives private.

This is a first marriage for both and I know this fan wishes the newlyweds all the best.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

My Nephew

Here are some photos of my nephew Eli. He is so cute!

Adventures on the Way Home

Ok. So, here are the compacted version of my adventures. I just ask that you actually IMAGINE going through these situations, and you too can feel my pain (though it is good to be home).

I left Paros, crying, on the night boat to Athens on April 30th. This was the day before Easter, and I would have been able to stay one more day if the boats had been running on Easter, but that's beside the point! The boat was nice, much nicer than the one that I went in on, and I found a little nook in a hallway and fell asleep. At about 11:00, we got into Athens. Two hundred people poured off the boat only to find that the Greek transportation had been closed. There were no metro lines or bus lines running. People asked for taxi assistance, but they were charging between 100 and 150 Euros to get to the center of Athens. We deiced to find a hotel (we being some girls from Slovenia that I ran into). However, none of the hotels were open either, and when we got back to the port, there were no more taxis.

We were kind of sitting at the station trying to figure out what to do when four men from the Ukraine came up and tried to pick us up as their whores! Needless to say, it wasn't a good night.

Some people that saw how much "fun" we were having came over and invited us to stay with them in their "hostel" basically, it was the space outside of the metro station that they had set up. We planned to sit there all night until the metro opened at 5 the next morning!

And stay up we did. I called my husband and tried to sleep, but it was basically a waste of a night!

When the metro did open up, the two girls invited me to have coffee with them at their hotel, which I did, and it was very nice. After that, I headed to the metro and just went to the airport. I was going to see if I could get on an earlier flight to Rome.

I WAS going to go and leek at some of the museums, but they were all closed as it was Easter Day.

I made it to the airport, and discovered that the only other flight to Rome took off 10 minutes from then, and it was impossible to get me on it. So, I had another 8 hours to wait in the airport. I slept.

When I woke up, I found a man sitting next to me. We got to talking, and I showed him my art and gave him some of my prints. It was nice to have someone to talk to, and he seemed really nice!

I finally made it on my plane and ended up sitting next to two girls from Rome. I was to spend the night in the airport in Rome, but they told me where to go and how to get there, so I decided that I would follow their advice and go out.

I had the hardest time locking up my bags, but when I did, I went into Rome. I saw the Roman Forum and the Colesseum and then I went down to a piazza. When I got there, there were about a million people in the square listening to a concert. I hung out for a while and took some photos, but I then made my way back to the airport.

I slept in the airport for a while.

The rest of the day was ok. I got on a plane in Rome at 7 Am and got off the plane in Portland at 6 PM 21 hours later!

I stopped in Paris, and Cincinnati. But at least I was on my way home.

Needless to say, I was hungry and tired. I've spent the last week catching up on my time, but other than that, all is pretty well!

Freelancing It


Now that I've spent so much time an energy going to a photo school, it's time that I put all of my skills to use!

I'm trying to break into the freelance photography world, and what a ride it's been! I've got a book with listings of places to contact for information on freelancing (magazines and all that), but I'm wondering if anyone out there knows anyone that has been able to do this before?

OR, do you have any ideas for local Oregon magazines, newspapers, publications, etc? My book is national and doesn't have anything available locally. Give me an idea if you've got one!!!

Help Greatly Appreciated!


She's Back

Alright, Hello, Etc. To all who read my Blog on a regular basis,

I'm sure that you all know by now, but I have made my way back from Greece.

My husband was quite ill, and we agreed that me coming home to help out was the best thing to do. I left on Saturday night April 30th and made it home on Monday May, 1st. It was an interseting and exciting adventure to say the least! I'll write about it in my next post.

Basically, I'm fully contactable again.

Phone: 503-560-8600

660 NW Gleneage Dr.
Unit #50
Sherwood, Or 97140

I would have posted this information earlier, but we were trying to surprise my friend that I was home, and it took a while to get her to my new house!!!!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Giacomo Upsets Field to Win Kentucky Derby

LOUISVILLE, Ky. May 8, 2005 — Giacomo, a 50-1 shot, defied the odds and won the $2.4 million Kentucky Derby in a gigantic upset Saturday, running down a game Afleet Alex in the final strides and generating a huge payoff.

Even though trainer Nick Zito had five horses in the field of 20, including the favorite, George Steinbrenner's Bellamy Road, this Derby belonged to a 3-year-old gray colt who won just once in seven races.

Giacomo, who always managed to stay in contention, finished fourth in the Santa Anita Derby, and trainer John Shirreffs was confident his colt would run well in the 1 1/4-mile Derby.

Did he ever.

The winner, named for the rock star Sting's 9-year-old son, was ridden by Mike Smith, who, at long last, grabbed his first Derby victory in his 12th attempt. Smith was also aboard Holy Bull, Giacomo's sire, when he finished 12th in the 1994 Derby.

Bellamy Road, the New York Yankee owner's first real Derby contender, never mounted a serious threat and finished seventh.

Closing Argument, a 70-1 shot, finished second with Afleet Alex third in the largest Derby field since 20 started in 1984. It was also the richest Derby ever run, up from $1 million last year.

The wild results produced the second-highest win payoff in Derby history. Giacomo returned $102.60 on a $2 win ticket. The Derby record is $184.90 by Donerail in 1913.

Under gorgeous sunny skies, and with the second largest crowd in Derby history 156,435 roaring as the field turned for home, it appeared as if Afleet Alex was on his way to a victory.

But Giacomo came on with a rush and won by a half length.

The winning time for the race was 2:02.75.

Zito, who saddled one quarter of the field, has to be wondering if he'll ever have a better chance at winning his third Derby.

Earlier in the week, Zito said: "If we don't get No. 3 now, then I'll have to have Secretariat himself."

When it was all over, he said: "I thought I was in good shape. Obviously, it wasn't our day, and that's what makes racing. It was a great experience, but a great disappointment."

Friday, April 29, 2005

The Holy Easter Week

It's been demanded of me that I give a Greece update here. It has been very, very busy, and for the last week I have neither emailed my husband or done anything that wasn't art at all. There have been no classes this past week and it has been nice.

Last Friday, we went on that nice, long hike. This week is the super holy, super exciting Greek Easter week. I have been making daily journeys to the church to listen to the church services and also to just admire its beauty. After all, it is the second oldest church in the Christian world built by none other than saint Helen and her son Saint Constantine. Pretty cool stuff. I really like being in there, though I'm a little wary of the different traditions, and things, so I always have to watch out a little with what I am doing.

I have spent many, many waking hours this last week working on my photography. Yesterday alone, I worked for well over 15 hours on darkroom and digital prints. It was a of fun though and I plan on doing it again for part of today. I really got a lot done though. Now, the plan is to take as many photos as I can over the next couple of days. I'm looking at taking about 1000 photos mostly with my digital camera.

Yesterday, my friends and I bought some Easter egg dye and we dyed thirty eggs. It was incredible. They are so beautiful. Imagine what it's like to dye Easter eggs with a bunch of art students. I have some now that I am going to take photographs of because they are so, so beautiful. Tomorrow, am going to take the boat to Athens to spend the end of Easter there. I am promised a lively trip and a lively day, so we'll have to see what befalls. I'm looking forward to going to the museums there. So that's the update for now. I'll keep you all posted.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

A long, Greek walk

Hello, Today my day was really cool. I woke up straight and went to the bus stop (an hour early, but that was just a good excuse to get a bogatsa). We got on the bus and went to a town in the middle of the island called Lefkes. We got some food there and then went out on a hike.

The day was perfect because the sun was out but the clouds were out as well and because we were at a really high elevation, the wind was blowing. From there we walked to the house of a man that has now died, but he endowed the school with a scholarship. He is supposed to be very, very sweet and he had a garden with every type of tree you could think of (figs, peaches, plums, almonds, grapes, olives, cherries, etc.) It was really, really incredible. I took several photos, but it was a place that had the feeling of incredible care. I wish that he was still alive working the earth the way that he has.

After that we walked all along the country side up mountains and along goat paths that were so incredible (yet so spin!) We walked and walked and walked and the finally stopped for lunch in an olive grove that is older than America (much older, it's 1,000 years old). It was incredible and I marveled in the olive trees and the grape vines. It was just incredible! After that, we walked to John's house and had some fresh ginger lemonade. It was such a wonderful day and I really can't describe what's it's like to walk 15 miles across such an incredible Greek island. I invite you to come see the donkey paths of Greece!

Friday, April 22, 2005

15 Mile Hike

Hello, Here is another quick word from me to give you the news from Greece. Yesterday I had a really good day. I went into the darkroom and got some really good photos printed, which ended up being a really, really good thing for me. I’m very excited to have a portfolio when I get home! Today, I went on a 15 mile hike. We went from one side of the island to the other and then on farther than that. I have attached a photo of me from the hike to this email. Along the way I picked up enough herbs for many dinners to come. They were 1.) bay leaves, 2.) oregano, 3.) rosemary, 4.) thyme 5.) chamomile. I really had a good time on the hike. My toes are now fully blistered and my ankles swollen, but who else can say that they hiked across a Greek island today? Enjoy the photo and keep reading my blog. Chris

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Big Day!!

Basically, big, fat blowout win; hugely happy girl; girl wins the war; happiness has returned again; super inecredible things. Don't know what I'm describing? It's my life in the darkroom.

Today, I actually went into the darkroom with my instructor, and we went over how to develop and then did an entire session together for three hours. It was hugely amazing. I learned so much and I found out where it was that I was falling down so many times before. Basically, I have rehabilitated as an artist in the field of photography. I bought the really expensive paper (17 Euros for 10 sheets, but it can be cut) that I can use to get real results, and that's exactly what I got. I was so happy and excited and just relieved to discover that I CAN do my art, the one that I love and have held so close to me forever. I now have at my disposal any way I want to get my images shown to the world. It's just incredible, and if you could see the difference in my work now and…ever, you would be so proud of me. It's so exciting.

This morning, I printed a photo of a Cypress Alley, and it was cool. The proof prints were ok, but when I actually made a final print, I took it out into the light for the first time and actually said, "That's beautiful," about my own work, it really was a spiritual and mythic moment…I LOVE it!

I fell in love with the process of photography, but I was tricking myself into believing that I wouldn't be able to do it and that I really didn't like it, but I was so dead wrong. My impatience and frustration all dissipated as I watched my images appear under the developer while I watched the clock and agitated the tray. It was SOOOOOOO amazing. I just adore it! I am addicted now and I have prints now of another subject that are just ready for the last little chemical touch (selenium toning).

I have also gone through all of my negatives (that I was convinced were horrible) and discovered several photos that I want to work on. I'm so excited. I have a series of three donkey photos that I want to work on and I also have a portrait of my favorite Greek person on the planet. I have plenty of work to do, and I know that I will spend the next month in the darkroom creating some of the most incredible images possible!

I love it. I am just so, so happy that I'm so sorted out now and that John and Liz were there to pull me out. It's so great. I'm sorry for using the expensive paper, but the way that it rehabbed me and really showed me what I can do, I'm willing to not eat for weeks to keep up this addiction! In other news, I went to painting today and did really well. I have had several paintings in progress and it's been a little interesting balancing them all, but to my great surprise today I actually just turned around and finished them all. They have all had their finishing touches put on them, and I like them so much as well. As soon as they dry, I am going to take them off their stretchers and roll them up to bring home to you. They are so cool, and I am getting better (no famous museum artist or anything), but I'm at least able to use it as a medium to express myself. Additionally, I got a lot done on my mosaic, and it was nice. I am getting close to putting some of the finishing touches on it and then I will pour the cement and get it ready to bring home! That will be so cool!

And if that wasn't enough, I had a really good writing class and I am convinced that I can conquer any type of poetry now, but I'm enjoying writing things to my husband, so I will continue to do my collected poems of my life with my husband. So that's how my day went!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Political Mumbo Jumbo

It's been so long since I've actually sat down and gotten everything that I have to say written, so here I am again ready to pour out everything that I have. I have realized that I have an exhibition to prepare for here in the next four weeks.

Starting on Sunday, I plan to be in Crete for 5 days or so and then I will be back here working like mad for the next three weeks trying to pull together everything that I have been working so hard here for. That involves a lot really to.

I am starting to write up and follow very closely the products that I wish to get here, and there really are a lot of things that I have riding on needing to be done. I love it though because I know that as soon as I come out the other end of this experience I will have grown so much as a person. It just thrills me so much to know that. I was in the darkroom printing the other day and something struck me very hard and very profoundly. I'm realizing now that I am paying for all of the shortcuts that I had taken as a photographer. I don't know what happened, but somewhere along the way, I took shortcuts in the darkroom and my lack of photographic knowledge dug me into a hole.

I have spent the last three weeks rediscovering that there is a hole and then finding where the bottom is. Now that I have reached the very bottom, I decided just to start over again from the top. John Pack is a super amazing photographer and he has studied with two of my most admired photographers of all times Ansel Adams and Jerry Uelsmann. Anyway, he has taken the care to really take me under his wing and help me really go where I want with photography. I went to the darkroom with him today and he gave me tips and answered some questions that I have had since day one of being in the darkroom, basically, he has saved my photographic career. I am now learning so much, and the learning curve of where I am at with photography is so amazingly steep that I can't even imagine where it is going. I'm so excited. My discovery of myself was that I was missing some of the basic parts of photography and I became so frustrated with the holes that I couldn't see that I quit altogether. However, that just got me deeper and deeper into the soup. Mainly the reason was that because I am a photographer and an artist and I had become so discouraged with my lack of technique (and ability to see my own holes) that I had quit art altogether and took up watching movies and doing other things. I was at a place artistically speaking three years that brings me to tears at the thought of it. Really and truthfully it has taken me these 7 weeks here in Greece to rediscover who I was before I decided to quit.

The help of the people here at the Center is so incredible and I am ready to forge ahead with where I am going now. I am SO SO psyched to actually go into the dark and make a print in an hour or so that I just CAN'T wait. I have come up with a photographic project here. I want a portfolio of 10 excellent prints. It is going to my Greece silver portfolio. What I am going to do is devote a roll of film (or more if that doesn't do it), to one single subject. Then I am going to print that subject in the most artistically sound way possible. I will bring home 5 copies of each of the prints. I just can't wait to work with them. My subjects currently are. A portrait of a donkey A portrait of the donkey produce man A portrait of Paroikia's cobbler A photo of an olive tree A lily An archway A photo of a church More will be added soon, but that's where I'm going.

Part of being detached from life here is the fact that I can think about things that don't often come into my head while I am worried about more practical things. Just for your interest, here are some of the thoughts and concepts that just continually appear in my head over and over. I think it is interesting that different words, nouns and concepts appear in almost all languages. Not necessarily that people have a word for chair (though it is odd that all cultures around the world have found it necessary to sit on something and to have a word for what you sit on), but I'm talking about more abstract things. The best example is the word for love. People in English say that there is no way to describe love, but it is obviously a thing because it appears in all languages throughout history. And, if it didn't appear in a language, how much would that limit the ability of the people of that culture to experience that emotion? Odd thought eh?

Since being in such an ancient land, I keep wondering to myself what they are going to find when they dig for us. You know, Ancient Greece was a great empire at one point, but even it fell and had it's dark ages. We are finding poems from some of the greatest poets in ancient times on the bodies of mummies because the Christians didn't find it necessary to pass down the traditions. What if in the future people look at us and think that our ideas of things are not appropriate for the culture. There is a song that says that they are going to find white plastic lawn chairs when they dig for us, but seriously, what will it be. Who will the famous poets be and will someone take the time to actually preserve us and our ideas to such an extent that the people of the future at least don't make our mistakes (obviously not because look at who we just elected as the pope.) I'm also wondering if our culture really is so full of hubrus that we believe that we will survive, that our culture will endure through anything.

Hello Bush, read some history books while you're at it. I can take you to some ancient ruins not 100 meters from here that were from a civilization far greater than ours (they even had running water and flush toilets). Where are the places to be going to have been in our century? Who is going to make them and how? Who of us are going to be remembered as the Picassos and the Degas? In other news, I had written down in my notebook that I should say something about the Pope. For whatever reason, being so close to Italy and Europe and the countries that the Pope had worked so hard to make tranquil, I have felt a very deep connection with what is going on in Catholicism. I'm just amazed at how much a unifying thing it is (as it was meant to be all the way back to Constantine). I think that our last Pope was a really, really great man and that we are regressing with where we are going. John Paul was able to really help keep his country free. There were so many things about him that were off (like that he was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years), but he really understood on some level that he would be able to really do some good. I think that he was one of the most calming factors in Europe during his reign.

Our new Pope, I believe, is his opposite, so it will be interesting to see where this goes. The position is famous for being corrupt, and I believe that John Paul was able to stay mostly good despite any crap around him. We'll have to see what this one says and does. Maybe he'll keep it all together or maybe he'll lead Catholicism into where the Greek Orthodox church is going, just look at the scandals and crap going on there. (Don't I sound like a political girl now?) A couple of other things that have come up with people here that I noted down to at least comment on. America is dumb, really dumb.

Sometimes I wonder if the people in government are taught history in school and if they just forget it. Look at what we are doing. I can understand in the 1700 colonizing America to gain more land and power and what have you. Of course we took the land from the Indians, but we were much stonger than them, and there were a lot less of them back then. Just look at how we can justify all this. Anyway, America, I really think is trying to colonize around the world again. Only we're not even looking into countries that could be of any benefit to us (hello, it gets to be 140 degrees in Iraq), we are doing it for much more corrupt reasons.

Here we have men and women being killed in the Middle East for all of the wrong, wrong reasons, and now we have to stay there to hold their hands. Hello America, can we move on from the colonization idea into a new era please? We have enough land on our own and what do we want with Iraq, there ARE such things as electric cars. Ok, now all of the lines of my notebook are clean and I can talk about other things.

Yesterday we had our art history class in the church. It was amazing. I was standing in a church that was personally built by Helen, finished by Constantine and then later remodeled by Justinian. Isn't that amazing. There are so many amazing things about the church. For example, it has the only standing Greek baptisery because they decided sometime after the founding of the church that they should do the baptizing of children (hence why it was so hard to get baptized in the Greek Wedding movie). There are also so many other things. We saw the tomb of a woman that was made a Saint. She is from this island, and there is a footprint from her in the marble of the church (from many, many years ago). We also saw a healing icon and all of the gold that was donated to the church due to it's healing powers. It was a super powerful church, and it is thought to be the most beautiful church in the Byzantine style.

I'm told that there isn't even a church in Athens as nice as it because THIS one was built by Constantine and his Mother. I have been informed about Easter here. It is really a week worth of celebrations and I have the film ready for all of the incredible things they do. People make pilgrimages to this island because of the church and there may be a million people here. I am so excited to eat lamb and just get the groove on. Easter is better than Christmas here by 500 times and I can't wait to take part in it! And now that I've gone off on so many political and religious tangents, let's come back to reality.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Story of a Girl...

For whatever reason, I had an urge to look up the lyrics to this song and post them on my blog... Enjoy them. I LOVE this song...

Third Eye Blind - Story Of A Girl Lyrics (Refrain)
This is a story of a girl
Who cried a river and drown the whole world
But while she looks so sad in photographs
I absolutely love her when she smiles (Verse)

How many days in a year
She woke up with hope
But she only found tears
And I can be so insincere
Making the promise is never for real
Is long as she stays there waiting
Wearing the holes in the soles of her shoes
How many days disappear
You look in the mirror so how do you choose
Clothes never wear as well as next day
Your hair never fell quite the same way
You never seem to run out of things to say

(Refrain) This is the story of a girl
Who cried a river an drown the whole world
But while she looks so sad in photographs
I absolutely love her when she smiles (Verse)

How many lovers would stay
Just to put up with this shit day after day
How do we wind up this way
Watching the mouths of the words that we say
As long as we stand here waiting
Wearing the clothes and the soles of her shoes
Clothes never wear as well as next day
Your hair never falls quite the same way
You never seem to run out of things to say (Refrain)

This is the story of a girl
who cried a river and drownd the whole world
but while she looks so sad in photographs
I absolutely love her when she smiles (Instrumental)

(Part of a verse) And your clothes never wear as well the next day
And your hair never falls the same the next day
You never seem to run out of things to say

(Refrain) This is the story of a girl
Who cried a river And drown the whole world
And while she looks so sad in photographs
I absolutely love her (Refrain)

This is the story of a girl
Who?s pretty face she hid from the world
And while she looks so sad in photographs
I absolutely love her (Refrain)

This is a story of a girl
Who cried a river And drown the whole world
But while she looked so sad in photograohs
I absolutely love her when she smiles
When she smiles

Saturday, April 16, 2005

A Greek Life

Things are going really well here. On Thursday, I worked and worked away and got a lot done on painting, that really made me happy because I am almost done with my third painting. That is really exciting for me too because I worked so hard on it, and every time I look at it I realize how much I actually like it, so that is a good thing. It is a reflection of a Greek column and a flower.

The painting after that that I'm doing is a calla lily with two leaves. It is a really good painting as well, and it is actually starting to develop into something. The next painting is a painting of very abstract things. The only part of it that is really an object is my hand. I like it because it is just a painting I am doing to play with the paint and see what I can do, so I really like it. I started my Impressionism painting today, and it just turned out terrible.

The paintings I have been doing were with what is called the earth palette. Basically, I have been using yellow ochre, burnt sienna, black and white to paint. It DOES work and you can even get blue and purple from those three colors. The painting I am working on now has an entirely new palette, and it is just driving me up the wall! I don't understand it very well, and I am horrible at mixing the colors. I managed to get most of the painting to look really nice, but one of the most important parts of it is just a mucky purple brown color. I didn't like that. It is a painting of flowers on a chair.

The flowers came out very nice (except that I was painting poppies and they look like roses) but the chair is the UGLY part. Also, I kind of figured out how to mix color in the very end, but the background is hot pink. I'm going to have to just keep adding layers of paint on top I thing because what I have right now (at least on the chair) doesn't work very well. But I'm working on that. Also, I have a sketch drawn for another painting of a boat! In the future, I plan to copy a Greek vase painting, paint my boat, paint a church dome and do a tree and a Greek city landscape. I'm excited for them all. After that, I will come home and buy all of the paints I need to just make some incredible paintings at home.

I took my first two paintings off of their stretchers and got them ready for the ride home! I'm excited about all of the photography that I'm doing now. I have now taken a lot of photos, but I have to finish developing them and making contact sheets and everything. As soon as I see them I will know what I think about them, but I'm sure that there are some things in there that I like. I'm excited about doing my portfolio of black and white photos. I also have another 500 or so digital images that I need to sort through and decide what to work on. It is going to be real cool to bring them home (I may only print a few of them here though because it is really expensive).

Yesterday, we had a guest come who did some lectures. One of them was on the mummy portraits that were painted 2,000 years ago by Greek painters and the other one was her take on a painting that they have in London that is supposedly fake. It was really cool to listen to her talk as she was very knowledgeable.

I spent most of the day yesterday with my Greek friend here. She took me for a 2-mile walk and we found some really nice spots to take photos. On the way back, we were teaching each other Greek and English. We walked by the shop of a man whose photo I wanted to take. She turned to the man and said in Greek, "This girl passes by your shop every day and wants nothing more than to make a photograph of you." He smiled and was very kind. I hope the photo comes out, but if it doesn't I can always go back and talk to him in Greek myself!

Last night we had a mid term exhibition and we each talked about how we had improved as artists.

Today, we were supposed to go on a hike with John, but he wasn't feeling well so his wife put us on the bus and sent us off to another town. We scaled a very steep mountain and it was really fun.

I liked coming home though because I have gotten a lot done since I got back. I fully cleaned my painting studio, and I know don't have to think about my painting work until Tuesday at least (but I'm having so much fun there I will probably do more before them). It was fun though and this man stood outside my studio and watched me paint and stretch canvases for several hours. He was fascinated with me. FUNNY!

I did some work-study work then and here I am writing. After this, I am going to go eat dinner and then go to an art opening. To make a very long story short, one of the Greek ladies here made a video of our school making our earth works, and she is showing it tonight. And then after that, I am going to go to a concert in Greek. That should be fun! And other than that, there is just generally a lot of work/play.


It is so wonderful to get your e-mails, and now read your blog! I am so, so happy for you. I want to come and do what you are doing so badly now. Maybe I should once I have a little more of my work turned over...we will see if that can happen. Today I am working out in the country close to a house that my Uncle just bought, it is a fantastic day here in Missouri. It has really been beautiful, but I am sure it does not even compare with the sites that you see every day! It was great to read about the burrow in your e-mail. I think it would make a great print for putting in my new house/condo in the bathroom, maybe you could make some prints and I could buy one from you or barter for a sculpture. I am planning on driving to Oregon next week, and then the following weekend I go to L.A. for a real estate seminar and following, I am going to mexico for 3 weeks to learn the jeans trade. That is what I am up to, but I mainly just wanted to say my postulates are with you, and I am always so happy to hear and read of your adventures.

Much Love,

Note to All

It's been a while since I've written, and I just wanted to say hello to everyone that means so much to me at home. I am doing so well here. I am super busy, but that's the type of life that I enjoy, and there is plenty to see and learn.

I am working very hard on my painting. I have just started my seventh painting here, and it is an Impressionistic painting. If you thought those people didn't have to have skill to paint the way that they do, you were wrong. It ended up in total disaster, and I am now just waiting for the paint to dry so that I can redo most of it. At least I learned eh?

I've taken nine rolls of photos over the past two days, and I am waiting for the film to dry so that I can lock myself into a dark room and produce some beautiful pictures. I have also attacked meter in poetry, and I am writing standard poetry in many of the forms that have been used for up to 7,000 years ago. That's been an adventure also to say the least. I had the day off today, and I went to the other side of the island with some of my friends and we scaled some rocks up to the top of the hill. When we got there, we found some ancient ruins and it was a lot of fun. After that, we went back down to the beach. It was a beautiful beach because it was actually a sand bar, and you could walk into the ocean and only go up to your knees. My friends went out about a half of a kilometer, and it still didn't get deep. It was really fun though. I have now driven around the entire island. That's kind of cool to know.

Last weekend, I went on an island adventure to the island of Santorini. It is by far the most popular Greek island and we had fun. It is actually an old volcano, and it is the number one delegate for being the island of Atlantis (because almost all of the island sank and a volcanic eruption 100,00 times greater than Mt. St. Helens and caused a title wave that wiped out most of civilization in Greece).

I am planning a trip next weekend with my friend. We are going to go to Crete for our spring break. We are going to rent a tent and pitch it there. I'm excited to see all of the ruins then.

Other than that, things are just going well here on Paros. I went for a walk the other day and discovered that the poppies are blooming here. That's an exciting thing to. The fields are all deep crimson, and I just loved it. I took my two camera and sat in the middle of the field taking photos until my hearts content.

And I must admit that I have a new love. I have discovered a donkey here that is just wonderful. Every day he is tethered somewhere new around the city I am in, and I make it a point to seek him out. It's actually a fun little game and I have now taken his portrait. I will bring it home for everyone to see. He seems so lonely until I come and sneek him some barley. It's kind of funny to see a donkey tethered in the middle of the city, but because donkeys are my absolute favorite animals ever, it's just good for me.

Tonight I am going to an art show and a concert, then it's back to the dark room for some more work. Tomorrow I will play in the sun and work even more. Greece is wonderful, and I hope that these emails inspire you to travel more (especially to here). It is totally worth it. I am going to try to attach one of the photos I took in Santorini, so Enjoy! Feel free to let me know how things are going. Also don't forget that I post writing on my blog about every other day. The address is

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Todays Notes

Sorry that I couldn't get an email to you last night. After my photography class and my painting class and my art history class and then my Greek class, I got down to the computer lab, and things just kept going wrong. First, I turned on the lights, and that was enough to throw a circuit. I then had to go searching the school looking for the box, which I did end up handling. Then, I got onto the computers and the Internet was down. I tried to reset the dynamic IP address, but I think I did it wrong, and the computer got really mad at me. Then, I decided that I was just going to work madly and get things done on writing, and I tried to connect to the hard drive that has ALL my work on it, and it was totally down. I took it as a sign, and I just walked away. I ended up cleaning my house and getting a little bit of some extra sleep. It was actually kind of nice.

I had an incredible day yesterday and a super-incredible day today. I'll tell you about them, but first I have to tell you about the less incredible thing that happened today. I really have to communicate with someone about it, because even talking it over with the people here hasn't helped, and maybe, I thought, talking to you about it may help me, so bear with me if this isn't exactly pleasant. I am doing a painting for impressionism, so I was going to go an collect flowers. John told us that there were some really good flowers around the cemetery. We wanted to look at the cemetery, so I went there with four other friends and we went in and looked around and took some photos. We weren't going to go in because they were doing a service, but we decided to work around the service. We were walking around, and we noticed that people were buried with personal items (photos, olive oil, cleaning supplies, etc.) in a box next to their heads. We noticed that all of the graves were fairly recent. At the service, there was a woman in total and absolute grief over what was going on. THEN we realized what was going on. It is tradition in Greece (a thing of the Greek Orthodox church) that three years after a person dies, that they dig up the grave and give the remains to the family. They do it to save the space in the cemetery (it was really small). They were digging up the bones of a husband to give to his wife. They pulled the body out of the ground and put it in the basket and carried it off. This man walked right by us with the body. I was so upset by it, so we were going to leave the cemetery as we started to walk out, they did another one of them and I ended up seeing that body too. Needless to say, I was totally shocked at the idea and it was really odd. It totally put the shock of death and what they do with people and the fact that a body doesn't always have life in it. This wasn't a bad thing, and it was an experience that I probably needed to run into, but I just really needed to talk it out with someone!

Other than that, things are going really, really well. Yesterday, I went through the whole day having fun. I took some photos and did some experiments in the darkroom. I also decided where my work is going here in photography and I am ready to get moving on it and really make it what I want it to be. Because I do a lot of travel and things, I am going to have different portfolios of the places that I have been, and I am going to make a portfolio that communicates what Greece is to me.

In addition to that, I am going to do some prints of Night Photography, Still Lifes and other things, but that's where my photography is going. I was really trilled with that. Then, I went to painting. I have been working on a painting for weeks, and I was making some big breakthroughs with it, but it just was taking forever, and I didn't know where it was going, so I really just got a grasp of it and then I worked like MAD to get it going. I made a beautiful painting, and it just now needs all of it's finishing touches and it will be done. I painting for hours and in all of my spare time yesterday. It was so exciting. I got so into my painting that today I skipped my classes until 3:30 to just sit there and paint. I made so much progress and I am finally starting to get pretty caught up on the paintings I am working on. I adore painting, and I can do it pretty proficiently. I'm so excited about it! I'm working on an impressionistic painting next. I'm so excited about it. I am painting a bouquet of flowers on a chair. It should be nice!

I learned a lot of Greek last night, and I realized as I was walking down the street today listening to people talk that I really know quite a bit of Greek. I'm at the point now that I can pick out certain words that I don't know in a conversation, and I am really good at following along what is going on. I took a nice long walk today to the hardware store to buy some paint supplies.

On the way back, I went to the store and bought as much fruit and vegetables I could stand. I'm so excited to eat them all up now. And one of the coolest parts of the day was the fact that the poppies here are blooming. I'm actually very excited about this. They bloom in the fields, and sometimes a whole field can be totally crimson with them. It's not a great poppy year, but with a lot of work, I found a field, and I was out in this barley field laying down trying to get some great photos of poppies. It was actually really nice.

Can't you imagine me photographing the poppies and then picking them for my painting tomorrow? It's so exciting! I did a drama workshop tonight, and it was fun. We're going to do a performance. I also decided to go to Crete in the next week or two. I'm so excited about it, but basically, my friends and I are going to go camp on Crete. I'm so excited about that. I also got a taste of what light is made up of. We played with lights and made the colors red, yellow, green, blue, cyan and magenta. It was crazy! Life is so nice here…!

Monday, April 11, 2005

My Religious Day

I think that there is a time in every life of every artist where there is a struggle. Actually, I'm quite sure that there are many of them. However, I'm talking about that very first one. The one that if the artist doesn't make it through it that he isn't going to make it as an artist at all. I think that it's a general struggle to find out what there is to communicate about and how he is going to do it. If there is a time to give up, I think that it is now. I know that I have reached this point in my photo career. Somehow, it is comforting to me to know that I have made it this far. I have actually done a very, very good job doing what I do here, but the problem is that when you run into a really big struggle with something, generally people feel that they should just quit. I'm at that point with traditional photography. It's aided even more by the fact that the art form that I have loved so much and tried to hard to work in is losing it's spot in the world to the world of megapixels. I know that it's OK, and I even agree with it, but I need to work on the mastery of my own art before I can move onto the megapixel world. I've alluded to this many times before and I'll probably talk about it many more times again, but I'm just talking about breakthroughs that I have had.

Today was incredibly interesting in that world. I had a lot of things go wrong (for example, I washed my memory card and batteries in the washing machine, I accidentally ruined a roll of film and I had some other general problems). I came back to the office quite upset and frazzled about what had happened. I ran into John Pack, and he told me that I should just keep going. I knew that, but it was reassuring to hear it.

So, rather than get upset about any of it, I decided to push through it all and make it work. I dried off the memory card and put it in my camera to find out that it worked perfectly. The batteries only need to be recharged, and I went out and took photos with the roll of film. I now have about four or five more rolls of film planned out to take before the end of the day. I went for a long walk to a Byzantine chapel that has been carved into the side of the mountain.

It was just lovely. I took some photos, and really cooled off enough to get something done. I realized that I didn't not know as much as I thought. I was working very hard thinking that I didn't know much when I found out that I really knew a lot. Go figure! I'm all revved up and ready to actually get some photos taken. I went back out with my camera and got some good shots of things around me. I decided that the only way to do things was to just take photos of whatever I enjoyed. I did that, and It really made me happy.

Today, I was able to go to Byzantine churches for the first time ever. It made me so incredibly excited because I went around to the Church of a Hundred Doors. It is just an amazing church here that is the oldest church in Christianity (that has been continually used). It was built by Helen, the mother of Constantine. It was so amazing.

My friend, Ageliki took me there and bought two candles and we lit them and looked around. I had a really good time. I completely enjoyed it there. I really had an experience in the building. It is really amazing to me how a place can be holy. I loved it.

When I was taking photos, I went to a little chapel. I had to walk down the side of a cliff next to a very secluded beach spot to get there, but I did it, and it was really nice. It was a chapel that was build over the spot that Athena used to be worshiped on the island. It was beautiful and half of it was made out of the cliff actually and the other half of it was actually made out of marble. It was incredible. No one was in there, but I watched the candle burn and I took some photos and left. The whole chapel was surrounded by flowers. What a beautiful scene. I am looking at where to take my portfolio here, and I really think that I am going to do things that remind me of Greek life. Marble and churches and doors and people. I'll tell you more when it gets more and more concrete!
\ I had a figure drawing breakthrough today. I was having a hard time with it, just didn't want to be there, but I stayed. At the end, the model did a pose for 15 minutes, and I drew and drew away, and it was just neat at the end. I'm starting to get better and better. It is making me happy that I can do it!

And…tonight I did a drama class that was nice. We acted out scenes from Greek mythology. It's only a workshop for 4 hours, but I'm really loving it! I've got to get some photography and painting done here. Lots of love Chris

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Santorini WAS so Exciting

OK. I had a beautiful weekend this weekend. On Friday, I got on the boat at 11:50 and headed to Santorini. It was beautiful. We stopped at the island of Naxos on the way, and I got to take a few photos from the boat.

Then we headed to the island of Ios, which is supposedly the party island around here. From there we headed straight to Santorini. It was one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen. It used to be a huge whole island, but when the volcano blew it apart in 1,700 BC, it turned into one ring and a few smaller islands. The sides of the island are sheer cliffs that go up probably about 1,000 feet, and there are only a few places that there are beaches! The beaches are all black and red sand and rocks because of all of the volcanic activity. We got there in the afternoon and we watched the sun set over the island's caldera, it was beautiful. I also quickly found a really good place to get a suvlaki. We then talked and sat around drinking good wine and eating good olives. We found a great hotel to stay in that was only 12 Euro per person per night. It overlooked the water on the other side (not the caldera), and it was just fabulous. I was very happy to be there.

On the three hour ferry ride on the way over, I ran into some people that had been backpacking Europe for some time. One was a girl from Canada. She went to school in the south of France for a semester, and when it was done in December, she trekked around Europe from then on. It actually sounded really cool. She ended up being my roommate, and it was totally awesome because she gave me really good travel advice and reinstilled in me my feeling of being a unique human. She told me that she thought that there was something different about me when she met me. It was really nice to hear from someone else.

I got some really great travel tips from her, and she invited me to come and visit her in her home in BC (Victoria) when I got back. As I have other friends up there, I am going to do it! I also met a man from Australia that lives in London because he wants to travel. It was very nice to meet him, he was a good person. There was also a man from Michigan there. He has been traveling for months, and he is going to finish up on June 8th. We are heading to Prague at around the same time, so we may meet up again there, and I think that would be awesome!

On Saturday, we went to the museum there. We looked at artwork that had been there since before the explosion in the 7th century BC. It was pretty amazing stuff. I loved it. I am totally amazed at the Minoan culture. I am going to copy one of their paintings. You can find out a little bit about it at this website. We then went to a black sand beach, and we fell asleep in the sun for several hours.

After that, we went walking around and I took some photos. We walked down deep into the caldera, and it was interesting. I got some really good photos taken at night. This morning, we were going to go to a very important site which was where they were actually doing the excavations of the prime town from 1700 BC, but apparently it is closed for the next 18 months, so we didn't get to go there! Instead, everyone in the group went their own separate way. Many people went shopping, but I went to find the donkeys that people ride into the caldera (the center of the old volcano). I wanted to ride one, but I was looking to actually take some photos. However, some guy talked me into paying 3 Euro for a ride. It was awesome. Actually, it was kind of interesting. I rode a donkey down the 600 steps into the caldera. It was fun. However, when I got down there, I knew that I was going to have to walk back up because I didn't want to pay to go back up. It was really dumb for me to do, but at least I KNEW that I was being gypped. I ended up having a lot of fun and walking up. I took lots of photos of the donkeys along the way. It was a real dream come true.

As soon as I had done that, I was tired, but I walked up to another museum and looked at some of the most breathtaking art ever. I love the ancient vases with war scenes painted on them, and I am going to make a copy of them in one of my paintings! This is where I went.

After that, I was tired and it was time to come home, so I spent time not taking photos, but walking around and shopping. I loved it. I bought nothing, but I got to be a tourist for a while, and it was really fun. Then we came home. I am so glad to be back in Paros. Not that I didn't love Santorini, but I know Paros so much better, and it less full of people, and it is just one of my permanent homes. Time for me to get back to work. Chris

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Complete Update

Hello, It’s been a while since I’ve written, but I’m going to try to describe what’s been going on here as accurately as possible. I will also try to write more, but I get really into describing things and such, and by the time I am done working (sometimes at 2AM) I’m exhausted and ready to just fall over in hopes that I can make it to my next class at 8AM. Though that sounds like torture, it is exactly the correct balance for me in life, and I am enjoying it more than I can possible use written words to describe.

First of all, I must say that “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is as accurate a movie on the Greek lifestyle as can me made. I laugh every day at things that come up that are so accurately described in that movie. I just can’t tell you how amazingly funny it is. And the name Niko is everywhere. I was at a festival last week and everywhere I turned there was a person named Niko! Anyway, if you want to get an idea (culturally) of what I am getting here check it out. It’s accurate right down to the lamb roasting on Easter HMMMMM (can’t wait). Speaking on the food line, I must divert to talk about food. I must say that about 80% of the outside of class conversations that I have involve food. 1.) good ways to make it, 2.) good ways to eat it, 3.) good things to eat 4.) good places to eat, 5.) the general goodness of it and so on. I suggest incorporating Greek food 100% into your diet. It is hard to get used to at first, but it is much worth it. And I must say that the Greeks are actually some of the healthiest people on the planet (at least they were before things like Cheetos became available here). The first two ingredients in every Greek meal are 1.) Olive oil and 2.) Garlic. Without those, you are completely lost. Together, they make a purely Greek and delectable starter that is the beginning of any meal. Many Greeks consume 50 kilos of olive oil a year (note that a kilo is 2.2 pounds). That said, I do miss tacos, and they are so rare here that I was talking to a Greek the other day about them, and they were completely unknown to her. Needless to say, I explained it in terms of pita bread and lamb! I’m not kidding! I have had unforgettable experiences in food since eating here. First of all, there are the cheapest food item. Suvlake’s. I love them. They are a baked, warm pita bread with your choice of lamb, pork and chicken inside. Then there are your choices of vegetables (never get them with onions). On top of that, there is this stuff called Tutziki. Needless to say, I will be eating a lot of them when I am at home. Tutziki is yoghurt with garlic and cucumbers. Disgusting sounding, I know, but actually quite enjoyable! I got to eat musaka (please excuse all spellings, as I only know them with the Greek alphabet, which doesn’t always translate) the other day. I loved it, and I will be eating it forever.

Needless to say, I have been doing some cooking at home myself. Every day after my afternoon classes and before my evening classes, I make pesto spaghetti (I love this stuff), bread fried in olive oil with cheese melted on top, fried zucchini and fried cheese. I look forward to this part of my day every day, and I wish that it would last forever! I do need to expand my horizons a little though, but it’s rather hard to do with one frying pan, one plate, a fork, a butter knife and a spoon! My friend, when she was here, scared me by telling me that the ketchup was really bad (which it is), but the other food more than makes up for it. And all of that isn’t even starting to talk about the pastries that I get at the bakery. I like to just go sit in front of the bakery and smell it. If I know someone going, I will walk with them, and yes, I am guilty of eating a bugatza, tiropita, milopita, croissant, or chocolate croissant every once in a while!

On the art side of life, I am making some pretty incredible breakthroughs in all areas at once, and it is overwhelming to me (in a good way) every day when I am in class. I realize how much I have progressed, and I am just so happy to know that I am making such incredible progress. I still wonder what I am going to look like on the other side, but I know that if I progressed no more at this point that I would be incredibly happy.

This week, I worked with my photography teacher with some personal one-on-one time again, and we are starting to understand what it is that I am doing that I shouldn’t be doing, and my knowledge and professional quality of products is coming way up. I was getting some good photos before I came here, but they were by accident, I can now produce more consistent results (at least with a little more practice). I am going to study many areas of photography while I am here. I have already done some work with night photography and I have also done some work in the studio. I plan to do many still lifes and also to do some portraits. I have pretty much decided that I am going to do a series of architecture, and I am going to try to get about 15 prints to go in my portfolio along that line before I leave.

In digital photography, I have taken almost 2,000 photos, and there are more to come. I have some final photos that when I print, will go in my portfolio. I am so excited about them. I am pretty dedicated and excited to set up my own studio at home. I may lose the way of the darkroom in some ways when I am complete. I feel that transition here. Most importantly, I have gained the confidence here to be able to work as a photographer. It has been a dream of mine, but I was sure I couldn’t do it. I now see it happening right before my eyes, and

I am excited about it. I know that I can make money doing it, and I am very excited! I am currently working on 5 paintings, and I have three more in the works. I have two that are completely done, and just waiting to be taken off their stretchers to come home for you. I hear that I am making incredible progress in painting, and I really feel that way too. Especially considering that I was scared of it when I came here, and now every spare second I have is in my studio. What a wonderful art form.

I have also had the great pleasure of working with one of the world’s mosaic masters. She had done quite a bit of study on art, and she is this incredible artist. I admire her so much, and I understand her on so many levels. She is teaching me more than I could ever ask to know, and my mosaic is coming out beautifully. I plan to do more when I come home, as commissions in the area are possible. I saw a mosaic that she is working on for a church. She has spent probably more than a thousand hours on it, and I just adore it. I will have to take picture of it to show to you!

I also attacked meter the other day and was able to write a poem using perfect meter and rhyming. My writing instructor was impressed, and I have tackled yet another area that was scary to me! I have officially completed the Odyssey, which is one of the most incredible books in history, I love it! I am now reading the poems of a Greek poet from the very same island that I am on. I visited the cave he used to write in and he is credited with the invention of iambic pentameter. I love the poems, and we will be doing Sappho next! I am going to tackle the Iliad next. I am very much so excited about that. I know through what I am developing so much here, and I LOVE it every day.

Last night, I worked with a good Greek friend of mine Ageliki on taking some studio photos. She is just incredible, and she promises to give me some Greek recipes. I hope to see her married soon, as that’s what all Greeks want, and she wants to come to America at some point, so you may meet her. These are the things that I am doing. Going any further into specific would drive you and me crazy with more and more pages of my rambling writing.

The next and most exciting hi-light is that in about an hour I will departing on a boat for the island of Santorini. I explained all about it earlier, but I am so excited about taking photos there, I know that I will come back with a memory cards stuffed and full! So on that note, I am signing off until I get back on Sunday night!

Adoringly, Chris

P.S. If you want to get an even greater understanding of where I am, you can go to the following websites. (many of the places listed on the website I go to frequently) (the most accurate site I know of) ( a live camera view of the port that I see more than 3 times a day)!