An Open Letter To My MacBook.

Dear MacBook,

We need to talk..

I wanted to let you down easy, but really.. It’s not me, it’s you. We’ve spent the past four years together in blissful Apple harmony. I really enjoyed every virus-free minute. All of the Youtube videos we watched, photographs we uploaded and said, “blech!” or “hooray! I’m not going to delete this one until I change my mind!” Of course you remember our awkward times.. You know, what I’m talking about. The facebook message “I like you’s” we sent to boys. Were we ever virtually ballsy!

But, here’s the thing. No matter how perfect our track record may be together, you ruined it instantly. Maybe it’s my fault.. I trust you so much. I rely on you for everything and never even bothered to give you a RAM upgrade. (I did get you snow leopard though!.. not the same? oh..) Lately, you’ve been showing your age. I can hear you wheeze when I open Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. We’ve discussed this. I’m a photographer. This is bound to happen. Yet you still sigh and moan until I restart your white ass. I turn you off every night and put all of my files on an external hard drive! What more do you want from me?! Are you jealous of my Xbox time? What is it? Whenever I have questions, you are where I find my solutions. So here I am.

However, the next time you decide to shut yourself down while I’m in the middle of unsaved work, I will easily hurl you through the window. Or, at least, I will easily hurl you at the window. And I’ll promptly buy a brand new iMac.. from an iPad THAT WORKS.

Thanks for the five hours of work I’ll never get back,

Yes, I’m still mad,

Taylor

Why My Dog Is Better Than Yours.

I have only grown up with dogs. First we had a cockapoo, Chester, who was probably the dumbest dog I have ever met (he used to burry pancakes in the dirt… or if he was inside, behind a chair). Then we had Chrisy, properly known as Lady Christmas given her birthday, who was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Chrisy was the smartest dog we ever had. She figured out that when people ring the doorbell, we answer the door. That’s a genius epiphany, even for a smart dog.

Our third dog was a black teacup poodle, Snack. His official AKC name was Lord Samuel Snackwell. I don’t know why we had such royal names for our dogs, but it is Pierce tradition. My only memories of Snack was that he was a nervous pee-er. If you yelled at him… puddle. However, his life was cut short by a tragic death. He had jumped off of our kitchen counter and broke his neck. And thus was the end of poor Snackwell.

Winter 2009

Two years after the loss of Snack, Chrisy had the chance to be tortured by another puppy, Duchess Sydney Grace. Sydney is a miniature pinscher and was the scariest puppy I have ever experienced. She was so tiny (fit in your hand tiny) and had so much energy that I did not know how to play with her for a while or how to walk without stepping on her. She would run and growl until passing out. I thought she had narcolepsy for the longest time. Sydney was so crazy that we enrolled her in two obedience classes, canine good citizen, and then through therapy dog training. All in the name of getting control of this wild animal. Every dog in therapy training was a lab mix who only wanted to take naps.. and then there was Sydney bounding from wall to wall, excited to be breathing the same air as me. We finally made it through all of the training and she is a great dog now. I still wouldn’t recommend this breed to anyone. They are insane.

Fall 2011

I know I have rambled about our past dogs, but Sydney is the dog I want to talk about. She is nine years old next month and has completely changed my life. We have an unexplainable connection from what we have gone through together. Or rather, what she’s helped me get through. I’ll explain.

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in the fall when I was fourteen. I lost my ability to ride horses or play outside with my friends. I had to give up a lot. So at Christmas time, my parents gave me little Sydney. This cute little bundle of nuclear energy kept me from getting depressed about my lack of a social life. It was impossible not to be happy around her.

Fall 2010

When I was seventeen, I started having episodes with my heart. I would get a racing heart rate and then chest pain. Like a heart attack, but backwards. I would be in and out of the ER weekly because I couldn’t stand the pain. Nothing seemed to slow my heart rate and there was no drug that could cure the pain. I would have these episodes three to four times a month, each needing a week of recovery afterwards. It was a wreck.

The whole time I had to barricade Sydney away from me because she wanted to get so close to me. I knew she could sense something was wrong and wanted to be near me. My chest was so sensitive from months of pain and all she wanted to do was sit on me! An extra twenty pounds was not anything I could handle.

Spring 2008

One morning my mom came upstairs to see me and forgot to put the barricade up so Sydney quickly followed her. Sydney jumped on my bed and hurriedly laid on my chest. My mom and I tried to get her off of me, but she wouldn’t budge and that’s when I felt it happen. My heart was slowing. My dog was slowing my heart down.

Ever since then, I haven’t had an episode. When I feel like my heart is racing, Sydney is already close to me and knows what to do. She lays on my chest and my heart rate normalizes before the pain can start. I told my cardiologist this and he told me that there are medical journals (Sydney, of course, is now published) showing dogs doing miraculous things for their owners without any training.

Currently, Sydney is laying in a soft bed on my bed, heaving huge sighs that I haven’t turned off the light yet. She has no idea the impact she’s had on my life. Nor is she aware how she has inspired me to help others with their illnesses. Sydney is just annoyed we are not sleeping yet.

Good night!

ohheytay

The Only Time My Mother Humiliated Me & When I Met Nicholas Sparks.

When you live in North Carolina, you are aware of the existence of Nicholas Sparks. For those of you who are not avid readers, he is the author of The Notebook, A Walk To Remember, Dear John, etc. He lives in one of my favorite cities, New Bern, and bases all of his novels in NC. I think it is safe to say that if you live in North Carolina, you are separated into two groups: those who have met Nicky Sparks and those who know someones who has met him. However, I haven’t researched this so it isn’t 100% proven. This is my story of when I met Nicholas Sparks.

It was a Thursday, years ago, my dad picked me up from my riding lesson and drove to the Barnes & Noble in Cary. There, my mom had been waiting a couple hours to get her book autographed by it’s originator. My dad dropped me off at the entrance and promised me dinner if I ran inside to wait with my mom.

As I entered, I was shocked to see that the line wound around the store all the way to the entrance. I followed the long line of middle aged women, who were all staring at me (some scowling, some smiling at my riding gear), to near the front of the line. Finally, I made it to my mother and she was BEAMING. She was so excited, it was as if she had been waiting in line for Jesus to heal her. I remember this because she didn’t pay any attention to me, which caused me to get bored of this “exciting” book signing..

When it was our turn, my mom gave me her loot of cameras and went over with her friends to talk to The Nicholas Sparks. I was not amused. I remember he was smiling and completely gracious to my mom and her friend. Everything was going well. We would be out of here and getting dinner in no time. But then it happened..

My mom and her friend walked behind Mr. Sparks for a picture. I had three cameras in my hand so it was a process for me to get everything straight. The first two cameras were fine, but I had a hard time with the last one. I was trying so hard to do everything efficiently and quickly. Finally when I got it to work, I looked in the viewfinder (see? this was a long time ago) and that’s when I saw it happen: my mom was playing with his hair. Not touching, playing. Before I could stop myself, I yelled at her and the roll of laughter started. Seriously, everyone was laughing. The line of women surrounding the store, my mom, her friends, this random author I didn’t know. I was absolutely mortified and my face was the color of a tomato.

To summon up the story, I quickly took the picture and we left. I didn’t look at anyone on the way out, just the carpet. It may not seem like a big deal to have a Barnes & Noble full of people laugh at you when you’re a little kid, but it is. On the bright side, my mom has never embarrassed me since. Well, except the time she proudly told me in public that she didn’t understand how a USB drive worked.

Nicholas Sparks’ new novel, The Best of Me, came out today. Pick one up! I bought my copy at that very same Barnes & Noble this morning. The clerk asked me if I was going to be around on the fourteenth for his book signing and I politely declined..

 

Be kind to one another,

ohheytay

Friends Don’t Let Friends Come At Them With Scissors.

Earlier this morning, I noticed that I could see my scalp and I panicked. I suppose I should remind you that I have recently come off meds that gave me severe hair loss. My hair has been growing back, but it is always a slower process than you wish it would be. Anyways, this morning I panicked and my friend offered to give me bangs. I wasn’t just panicked..  I had a manic panic. I wasn’t in my right mind! And with my judgement faltered, I let her.

She started snipping away and I quickly realized how terrible this idea was. Seriously, I’m letting some girl cut my BANGS? Not just a trim, but bangs.. something I haven’t had since I was in third grade. She only had finished one side when I stopped her and ran to the nearest hair salon. They are not even, but in two weeks I will have the beautiful bangs I wanted today.

So that was my morning. I learned a lesson I won’t forget and I will keep learning it until these bangs grow longer. Wah. Here’s some pictures.

Xx ohheytay

My brother says you look cooler in pictures with sunglasses on. Is it working?

 

A Ketchup Story.

Once upon some french fries, I put ketchup on. I don’t know why I did this as I do not appreciate the taste of it. Anyways, I did this and without realizing I announced to everyone around me that it was REALLY good. REALLY good. Ah mah gad. Sa good.

Some people asked me if I was foreign and never had ketchup before and I dumbly responded that ketchup is a global condiment. Stupid idiots.

But then a random smartass man came up to me and said, “But you are having Heinz. That’s not real ketchup!”

“What?! This isn’t real? I just ate fake ketchup? Like movie ketchup?” I responded.

“Uh..”

“I ate ketchup that looks like real ketchup but in fact is not? Oh my god. How could this happen to me?! Is this even a real hot dog?”

At this point he was embarrassed at the attention I drew and said quietly, “Dude [I love being called “dude”], calm down. Listen, I just wanted to say that Heinz uses a lot of corn syrup and Hunts uses more tomatoes. Therefore it is not real ketchup. That’s all..”

“You killed my ketchup buzz over corn syrup?”

“Sorry, I didn’t know you would take it so hard.”

“Have you had chocolate covered bacon?”

“Yes? But what..”

“Well, I haven’t because I don’t really favor pork and I have SOME dignity left!”

Anyways, I like ketchup now so yeah that happened.

Shut up,
ohheytay

What’s Wrong With You?

Imagine, if you will, a girl in a class room full of computers. There are two rows of computers, which come together like a V to the professor’s desk. The girl is sitting towards the back of the class. She is not listening to the lecture about line photographs. No, instead she is surfing the web for who was the best on Dancing With The Stars. But there is this person next to her. A tall person. They are intently listening to the professor speak about lines and how to draw in the eye. But I am pretty sure they are watching me check to see if Fall Out Boy really broke up. And that really freaks me out. So, I am going to take the normal route. I’m going to look at them every three seconds and then back to my monitor. If they look away, I’ll repeat these steps. But when they stare at me, I’m going to smile. Oh, and I’m going to look like this:

Calling the girl next to me Michele Bachmann was a low blow, but for two hours she whipped her eyes back and forth, she whipped her eyes back and forth at me. And then when I held her gaze as if to ask, “What’s wrong with you?” she smiled a HUGE CREEPY SMILE.

Needless to say, I will not be late to class again.

 

Shut up,

ohheytay

A Zen Parable & Things I Like.

From Wayne Rowe, Zen and the Magic of Photography.

During the course of my college studies, I came across a Zen parable about a man who encounters a tiger in a field. The man flees, and in his efforts to escape the tiger, he lowers himself by a wild vine down the face of a cliff. Trembling, he suddenly realizes that the tiger he is fleeing is directly above him and that another tiger is waiting below. His life now depends upon the strength of the vine. If this situation were not bad enough, two mice, one black and one white, begin to gnaw at the vine. The story ends as the man sees a luscious strawberry growing near him on the precipice. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucks the strawberry with the other. “How sweet it tasted!”

The following are part of my first photography project. It’s simple: Thing I Like. I am trying to keep in mind that I did just begin school.. but all the mistakes I can see are so bothersome. Whatever. I uploaded them anyways because I don’t care. Nope. Not at all.

GAHHH! Xxx, tkp

Hey Guys.. It’s Me Again.

Today I received a text saying, “Remember when you had a blog? I do.” And I realized that all of these blog posts I have started and loathed, I probably should’ve posted one of them.. Anyways, I’m back and I downloaded an app for my phone so I will post pictures and tweet their existence. Never before has a sentence brought you so much excitement!!

Before I give you an update, look at the top of my dresser! I am kinda in love with it & I don’t kno why. I love the Wicked poster, but it is so damn shiny that I couldn’t take a picture without light smacking me back in the lens. I have some of my nice perfumes I have collected out and of course my life saying, “Life every week like it’s shark week.” One of those three cameras is an actual camera. The other two are either: a piece of wood or a pencil sharpener. And there is also a three inch, three terabyte external hard drive hiding there somewhere. That goes with me everywhere.

A lot has happened since we left off. I started eight new medications for my arthritis, including chemo. They are working tremendously better than what I was on before. To be honest, it was a really rough summer so I am welcoming this less painful life style with open arms. I am probably more excited about taking chemo than you think I would be. Before I was taking a drug called Leflunomide, which works similarly to methotrexate (chemo), and it caused me to lose a lot of hair. I have always had a lot of hair. A lot a lot. And I lost about half of it. It should not be a big deal then, right? Wrong. I started to see my scalp when I pulled my hair back and then I started to see it when it was down… that was that. Apparently I can deal with a lot, but hair loss is not one of them.

We just really love each other.

On a happier note, I traveled to Boston to visit my brother and his wife. It was so good to see them and I had a lotta fun… except all of my pictures that I have mostly involve food. I really love traveling and I usually have crazy stories when I fly, but everything seemed to go smoothly this time. Once, when I was on my way home, I was in an airport in Tennessee. I was riding a little shuttle to my plane and all of a sudden the shuttle driver slammed on the breaks and turned a sharp left. I was standing and holding onto a pole and almost fell out. Apparently, there was a plane… and we almost collided. On the bright side, I got a free meal voucher.

Thirdly and lastly, I started a new college this week. I am majoring in Photography which is a little different than Biology, but I am so excited. I love my teachers. I love that we only use iMacs. I love the opportunities this college is going to be giving me to showcase myself. It seems a little too good to be true when you realize you can have a career doing what you have a passion for. Hopefully as my photography improves, so will my blog.

Thanks for reading! If you didn’t like it, shut up.

TKP

Why Would You Vacation At A Place Called Dead Island?

       Warning: I Nerded All Over This Blog

      DEAD ISLAND IS OUTTTT!! I have a small obsession with zombies so I’m excited. However, I have not been this excited for a zombie game since Left 4 Dead 2. And that was a game to be excited about.

Finding this game was no easy task. I went to Gamestop, Playntrade, Target, Best Buy. Even little stores that sold a few new xbox games. They all said the same thing: everyone is sold out of this game within 50 miles. I searched nine stores. NINE. I talked with the woman from Gamestop and she said, “The only people who knew this was going to be a big deal were the ones who made it…”  I don’t really understand this because: there haven’t been any good zombie games in the last year. I have only heard good reviews of this game from the internet and friends who played it at VidCon. So, I would think that this game would be sold out just based on the demographic of zombie killing lovers, like me. But alas, we cannot all swim.

On the way home, I decided to try one more store: Walmart. I live fairly close to the sketchiest Walmart you will ever see and so this was a little bit scary for me. When you walk in, you are pretty sure that A. This store is bigger than you wished it to be. B. There are more than ten homeless people staring at you. C. Ten seconds in the store and you’re hoping your car is in one piece by the time you have checked out.

LUCKILY, no one shops at Walmart here so they had a whole shelf of them. In fact, I told the guy that every store is sold out and his direct response was, “I have never seen a girl buy a video game before.” Okay.

disregard the flash. I am a camera phone expert.

I played the game for a couple hours now. The graphics are pretty good, but the scenery is awesome. When I’m inside, there is a lot of low lighting and I remember how scared I was playing Dead Space 2, which only makes me grip the controller harder. This game does have the predictable story line of a zombie game, but you have big missions for your team and then little ones for each individual person. The best part is that it has less annoying character than Left 4 Dead. I wanted to shoot myself in the face after a while.

I think my favourite part of this game is that it has the option to watch all of the cut scenes. No need for a Christmas present, Deepsilver, you’ve done enough for me.

I do have to say that this game is rated R or mature. Hoooollllyyy crap. When you kill zombies, their money is either in their butt or their crotch. Whether or not you like buttcrotch money, you have to take it to survive. Even when everyone is dead, you still have to pay for energy drinks and weapons. Also, I walked into a room and there were two zombies er.. making a movie. Tis mature, ya’ll. Tis mature.

If you like the sound of this, go to Walmart, sponsor, to find it. That’s all I have to say about that.

The Calm Before The Storm

Pictured with Sydney. She is longingly watching Jack eat his breakfast.

Jack appreciating the sundried tomato, basil & egg white bagel I had this morning.

We are about to have a huge party tonight, which means it has been nothing but stressful & doing things I don’t understand for the past week. For example, yesterday I cleaned the house for the cleaning ladies to come today. I don’t know why we have to clean for people to clean, but I’d rather that than face a menopausal argument.

Anyways, it is quiet. I’m outside drawing signs on the back deck and enjoying the early fall weather. Right now it is 79! 79 glorious degrees fahrenheit. I’m drawing a picture of Abe Lincoln playing the guitar with a caption saying, “Sign Here!” – makes sense, right? I was only told to create “fun drawings” for the signs.. There will be many pictures from the party and I’ll explain a little more about it later.

I’m going to write a review on Dead Island sometime soon. It was an adventure buying it and it would be a waste not to share. Also, I have a few things to say about this game versus other zombie games. But don’t worry, I’ll always warn you when I’m about to nerd everywhere. Okay I have to enjoy this peace and quiet before a couple hundred people show up..

Did I say anything of value today? Nope!

ohheytay