I stole this meme from tessibean so hopefully I will upkeep it.
My name is Hep. I look am 35yr old and I look like this:
I am a professional photographer in San Francisco. really I work as a second shooter for a bunch of other studios, then occasionally on my own contracts. I am a good photographer, but there are a lot of parts of my job that I actively hate, from the culture surrounding some of the areas I shoot in, to editing which is always the bane of my professional existence. I get to shoot some pretty cool stuff tho.
I have three kids, Evan, 18, Zoe, 16, and Zane, 14. Evan has graduated high school and is an astronomy/astrophysics major at CCSF. Zoe is a junior at the same high school I went to, she is on the Cheer Squad and currently doing the photography heavily lifting on the newspaper. Zane is a freshman at the same high school Evan went to, and she is in the process of adjusting to high school life, and high school timelines. Getting up at 530am is a huge shift for her (the kids go to high school 15+ miles away from us in a completely different town. Our town is extremely small, and despite having a grade school and middle school, the kids from here go to high school in another district.) since before school started at 830, and was only 6 blocks away.
I also have a full house of weird animals, and we live in a super wild rural area despite being 10mins from downtown sf, literally on the edge of a mountain right above the bay. It is not unusual to wake up to mountain lions or coyotes in the backyard. I am romantically involved with my lifemate, Yuriy, a russian ex-pat who works as a software engineer. he is super into fishing and brewing beer. i am super into photography and astronomy. collectively we enjoy camping and traveling all over california. We hope once Zane graduates to do a lot of traveling around the US, but for the next 4yr we are very firmly planted here.
I want to write about this weekend because it was amazing. Yuriy and I went camping down near Santa Cruz at a beach dunes camping spot called Sunset Beach. We have been looking for a decent, open campsite for forever, because I hate huffing my telescope up somewhere high in the dark. This place was perfect. There were trees around the edges for shade and cover, and most of the rest of the campsites were under the trees, however our campsite had a lovely almost full horizon view. Perfect.
We headed down Friday morning. The kids were originally going to come with us when we made the reservations at the beginning of summer (for almost all of coastal california you need to make reservations at the good state and county parks at least 6mo if not a year in advance, it's super lame. This year in Jan we are going to be reserving like 20 camp trips so I don't have to worry about it later in the year. That is part of what this trip was, to figure out the best campsite so we can claim it in Jan.) but they are all already super impacted with regards to their school and activities schedules, so they had to cancel. Evan had a major test in calc over the weekend, working in his group so he couldn't come. Zoe and Zane both had zoowork, plus Zoe was marching with the cheer squad in the FogFest parade (our local festival in Pacifica). So they did not get to come, something they HIGHLY regretted by the end of it. So yeah, Friday morning headed down. Yuriy ate some zinc on an empty stomach before we left, and it destroyed him with pain for like 2hr. So I had to finish all the packing myself which was kind of a pain, but it meant that I decided to bring my camera at the last minute (I have been really burned out on photography, and was considering leaving it home.) We drove down the coast of hwy 1, stopping briefly in Pescadero. It was gorgeous. Got to the campground, checked in, set up camp. We are such camping pros now that it takes about 15mins to get our camp completely set up, and less than an hour to totally tear it down. I was a little cranky and tired all day, last week killed me workwise. We spent the rest of the day on the beach finding shells and hiking around. Saw lots of birds, dolphins and seals. Made a delicious dinner and went to bed fairly early.
Saturday: we got up early, made breakfast, packed lunches and headed out to explore. We decided on a whim to go to this spot Yuriy has fished before, the slough in Moss Landing. Best decision ever! The second we pulled up we noticed about 40 sea otters were congregating in a big social grooming mob in the middle of the slough. Also endless birds of all kinds (I guess it's a tern nesting ground there, because there were about 2000 terns. terns EVERYWHERE.) and a whole posse of seals and sea lions swimming around. We fished there for several hours. Otters came up and tried to steal bait. At one point I had about five otters swimming within inches of where I was sitting on the jetty, curious about what we were doing and if we were interested in playing. I guess there was also an airshow going on in Salinas, which meant we were treated to a bunch of random flybys by cool planes and neat stunts. Eventually we got tired of fishing and headed down to Monterey, where it turned out that World Superbike Expo was happening, and I ended up seeing some people I knew. We walked around Cannery Row, heard Native American styled renditions of Phil Collins songs (Yuriy loves Phil Collins for some reason.) and walked on the beach next to the Aquarium.
Then we headed back to camp, made dinner, looked at Venus and Saturn through the telescope, and I took some nice pics of the Milky Way since there was so much less light pollution than in SF (I only had to struggle with mild horizon glow from Santa Cruz and Monterey). Viewing conditions thru the telescope were ok, there was a lot of air interference tho which made focusing hard. I need more filters clearly. filters solve everything.
Sunday: we got up early and broke camp after making breakfast. Headed up to Santa Cruz to spend the day at the Wharf and the Boardwalk. Randomly USA Cheer Championships were going on, so I snapchatted a bunch of cheer videos for Zoe, who deeply regretted not coming camping at this point. I won a million tickets at the shooting gallery and got a space raygun squirtgun. We ate a bunch of fair food. Later we packed up and drove back up hwy 1 (i hate 17) home. Basically the best and most productive camping trip this year, even tho Yuriy did not catch any fish.
2. People keep fkn trying to merge on top of me, then getting mad that I am just goin' along in my lane, as you do. The fact that you can't exit at the last second isn't my problem, bro.
3. At one of my photo jobs today my boss brought like 100 people into my studio as I was trying to work, "to watch how cool it is". Then got all surprised that I didn't want to work with a ton of people all up in my space. Especially as I was working with a model (meaning having to direct via voice from across the studio) and not just shooting shit on the table. Fkn warn me next time and I will be happy to arrange it so I can shoot some bullshit "cool shoot" stuff that doesn't fkn matter don't fkn do it when I have 5 boxes of inventory to move through. So I went home early.
4. I might have a kidney stone. I can't even wear pants right now because the pressure is too much.
5. The PG&E guy saw me in my underwear. Because no pants. Don't judge me, electribro.
6. Yuriy has a work dinner thing this evening that I really want to go with him to, but kidney stone. I don't want to have to spend the whole night gritting my teeth to keep from crying. And I will have to wear pants.
Things that are keeping me from killing all humans:
1. und1sk0 scored me a free work ticket to go with him to see "The Fifth Estate" tomorrow evening which will be super fun, perfect company to see it with, and awesome because Yuriy totally won't go see it with me anyway.
2. Not working today means I can hobble around my dining room and continue organizing it. Aces.
3. I found space leggings and space tights at Target for super cheap.
WEEKEND: So this weekend was completely fkn non-productive. I wanted to clean my house. It has just been steadily sliding more and more into disaster zone all summer as our summer has been even crazier than usual. With the girls working a ton at the zoo, and GISHWHES, and all the other stuff we did, I have really only been doing maintenance cleaning since spring. I was hoping to really get in and clean a lot this weekend, but little bullshit tripped me up. First: the kitchen needs way more than one weekend alone. Second: The garage needs to be reorganized so more bullshit can go down there. Third: I actually spent all weekend dealing with bullshit that should have taken 5min but instead took 3hr (like getting our redundant phone line canceled with tmobile, literally on the phone for 3hr.) I really need to get on it though because football season starts Friday and Zoe is doing cheer again this year, which means football every friday for the foreseeable future.
WORK: we are right in the middle of post-fashion week. I hate fashion week. I hate fashion. Remind me why I put myself through this again. Other than that things are going ok. I have a ton of projects. I am hoping to put two of them to bed this week, barring any last min changes. I am tired of the Marissa Mayer vogue shoot. So tired. WHYYYYY. I love *fashion* as in the clothes and creativity but I hate fashion, as in the apparatus that surrounds that. The bridge is finished and opened. I didn't have to shoot the opening ceremony which was awesome. I still have several months on that job tho as I document the teardown of the old bridge. I am going to pick up several pieces of it for me and other family, and for Heather, so if you want a piece of the old bay bridge speak up and I will try to snag one for you.
KIDS: Girls are back on weekend shifts at the zoo (my two younger children, Zane 14, and Zoe 16, both work at the SF Zoo as Jr. Zoologists. It's kind of a huge responsibility, you have to compete for places with like 40 other kids per spot, and it's treated like a real job even tho it is all volunteer. They both plan on being biologists or vets so this is really important to their college and work experience plans.) Zoe is also taking journo this year, which is AWESOME and I am so excited she is following in my footsteps (literally on the same paper I did journo on since I went to her high school) but again, no free time. Zane has started high school at Evan's old high school (btw he graduated with honors, I don't remember if I ever posted that.) and loves it. She spends most of her free time working on her game of thrones blog and tweeting as a raven on twitter. She decided against doing cross country this year so as to settle into high school. Good thing too because, since her school is project based and on block schedule, there is WAY more work than she is used to handling, so she has been working on trying to balance her work load and life load.
HOUSE: I need to clean it. I need to clean my garage. At least the reorg in the girls' room is done, much easier to move around in there with all the room now. Evan's room is next (mostly this is just moving old unused stuff out and getting new furniture. We bought a truck so I just mine the craigslist free section for furniture pieces that we need hehe!) I want this all handled before XMAS, and ideally before Halloween, because I want there to be room for all the new shit that will come in. I also need to rebuild the chicken coop before winter sets in. We recently redid the tortoise habitat, brought him into the dining room entryway, and he is much happier.
LOVE: Yuriy and I are awesome. We recently celebrated our 8th anniversary. He is still working at the same horrible job, but I am prodding him to get a new one. That soviet work ethic man, 20yr after communism fell, still can't get out of the mental gulag. We have been camping a ton this year now that we have a truck. In October we plan on going up to see demure and the newest lil baby to join our internet family. Very excite.
ANIMALS: dog doing well. cats all doing well. found another kitten on the side of the road, and Zoe won't let me give her away now that she is rehabilitated from being a feral. Other cats are all well even tho tiney is still a horrible little snot. Tortoise is much happier now that everyone gives him dandelion leaves every time they pass. soon he is gonna be too fat for his shell.
thru my pocket microscope:
Tonight as of 8pm the East Bay cantilever span of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco will close forever. It's not a very picturesque bridge. In most articles or references, not having to do with the replacement construction, its more graceful sister the Western Span is the star. But the Eastern Span is deeply entwined in Bay Area history. Some of us grew up on the story of when the jet hit the Bridge. Many of us remember personally when the Bridge broke in the earthquake. The earthquake was an event that left a huge impact on people living in the Bay Area at the time, and the Bridge breaking along with the Cypress Freeway collapse were the most visible scars left in the aftermath.
For me personally the bridge has a lot of connections. Some of my family worked building the Bay Bridge. Most of my family worked on the earthquake repairs and retrofits. My dad worked on the Temp Span as his last job before retirement. My whole family history is wrapped up around the Bridge. I learned to photograph via the bridge, the Eastern Span was one of my first photo 101 assignment subjects (light and shadow iirc, b&w). I have worked covering the Bridge for both media and commercially. I have been a part of protest actions involving the Bridge. I might have at some point in my youth trespassed the Eastern Span in a variety of ways in the name of art.
No one can deny that San Francisco is changing more and more every couple of years. With rents rising, whole neighborhoods are getting priced out. People have to leave, friends, family. Most of my family has had to move away, some farther than others. The Giants don't play at The 'Stick anymore. 2013 is a year of more change than usual. Something called an America's Cup is happening. The Niners are moving to Santa Clara, wherever that is. Candlestick is getting demolished. And the Eastern Span is going to get replaced by something shiny and new, which I am sure I will eventually come to love. But it kind of seems like an allegory for the city as a whole. Most of the older well-worn, functional but cool things about the city are being replaced with showy, glossy versions. We are getting a glass cube Apple store, like we don't have enough glass monoliths downtown, or Apple stores (p sure they won't stop until everything is glass and brushed metal.) Tech elites slowly replace all of the working class areas of the city with carefully cultivated rip-offs. The area of SF that is still the hometown I grew up in slowly shrinks every day. I know the old bridge has to be replaced, but that doesn't mean I am not going to be a little sad that it has to go. And I know it's not really a symbol of the ever-changing landscape of the City, and the feeling that I may not have a place in the new SF, but tonight for a moment it seems like it is.
i took a break from lj since april. i needed to figure out how to reorg my life a bit better. it hasnt worked, but i miss you guys. catch me up on what i missed? point me out to any posts with must-have info? im gonna try and reread back, but i assume i will miss a ton.