Last weekend was pretty quiet. I drove up to L.A. just for the game and on my own this time and was a bit nervous about all the media focus on the fact they were closing the 405 which is the route I usually take to the stadium where L.A. Galaxy team plays. So, imagine my relief when I heard it was going to be at the Memorial Coliseum which is just off the I-5. Until…someone said “where do you think the traffic from the 405 will be??”. Zoinks~ Take that and that I’m famous for getting lost and voila…we’ve got a disaster waiting to happen and even with that knowledge I only left an hour earlier than I normally would (“I also like to live dangerously”). I was so surprised to find myself in the midst of free flowing traffic all the way up to L.A. and when I took the wrong exit (as I usually do) there were signs everywhere pointing me to the Coliseum and I couldn’t help but wonder when my friends joke that I’ve got a 1,000 angels assigned to my case if that just might in some way be true. For some reason someone wants me to stay alive on this earth. Maybe I’m some kind of project and the scientist who pushed for it keeps scooting me out of harm’s way so the project doesn’t fail and jeopardize his/her career. Yup, my body may be achingly slow these days but, my imagination is as active as ever…So, anyway…I get within a couple blocks of the stadium and find the jam. I find a looooong line of cars so, I pull into an open parking area posting $20 to park (exactly the amount of cash I had on me) and ask the woman if I was close. She said yes but, that there was stadium parking too and gave me directions. Lazy me opted to crawl back into the line to park at the stadium but, this nagging voice in my head said “If she’s charging $20 to park down the street then how much would be the Coliseum parking be? Oh, I’m sure they take credit cards…the stadium is built to look like an old Greek stadium but, we are in modern times…”. After about 20 minutes and 4 lengths of cars later (with 60 more to go) that voice popped up again and this time I listened to it “Either way, the walk will do you good”. So, went back and parked and then walked along several groups of fans who’s faces were all lit up and you could just smell the anticipation on them. At that moment I wished I had a bionic eye that could photograph their faces (one day I swear they’ll exist). Pulling out my camera in that moment would have put them ill at ease and ruined the moment so I just smiled and observed these moments as they walked on by….
As I walked past the cars in line to pay I passed a signboard that said “Stadium Parking $25 – CASH ONLY”. I laughed and smiled and did a little thumbs up to my “scooter” and made my way to the Media entrance and down to the field area. That cranky guy who works for the Galaxy was there and yelled at me again because I approached from the wrong side of the fence. This time I yelled back about how I ask for direction, someone tells me what to do and then he comes along and shouts that I did it wrong. “It’s not me so BACK OFF”. To which he responded “I guess we’re getting to understand eachother”. I guess we are. Someone kicks the boy so the boy kicks the dog. I get it. I just refuse to be the dog.
Once I got settled in the outdoor makeshift photojournalist section (which was directly behind the galaxy goal) I went out to my area to stake a spot. All the chairs were lined up with biz cards taped to them so I guess I should’ve left that hour earlier but, I didn’t mind. I was in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by 3x as many fellow photojournalists and fans that were roaring with excitement. My pics would come. Ironically, though I was just at the back corner of the goal net so very limited range and yet, I got some of my best photos during that game. Which brings me to the pics below. The story I sensed from it and feel compelled to tell. I’m a Sounders fan, we all know that but, after photographing the L.A. Galaxy team for so long they’ve kind of grown on me and well, I like em. They don’t fake injuries, they fight really hard and my camera seems to love them so what’s not to like? Before the game starts, there’s a tradition where the players walk onto the field (both teams) and each on is hand in hand with a child (though this game had some teens which seemed to twist the spirit of it a bit). This is one of my favorite moments of the games because I love the capture the excitement on the kid’s faces and the sometimes wide contrast between their expression and the younger’s. Beckham is consistently aware of his impact on the kid. Most of the others aren’t. Someone explained to me that it’s just before the game so they’re mentally preparing themselves. I don’t know which is better but, it just occurred to me when I looked back at these two pics…do they know the impact this moment has on these kids? They probably wouldn’t remember their faces if they bumped into them on the street even a day later but, these kids…they’re going to be talking about and reliving this moment for the rest of their lives. It made me think about that beach kid from Ana’s wedding “excuse me…excuse me…excuse meeeeeee”. What it meant to him to come up to me and tell me what he thought of my singing. If I could go back I would’ve taken a moment and asked him his name and maybe high fived. It’s so easy to forget (or even be oblivious) to the effects we have on others and yet it doesn’t change the fact that an impact we make whether it be a good memory or a worse one. I want to sing but, I want to stay invisible. I think that’s why the pics hit me so hard is that if you want to be really good at something you have to accept (in most cases) it means others will notice you and be effected by it. I don’t think it’s vanity to acknowledge it (though my Catholic upbring keeps pressing that button) but, rather that acknowledging it is a form of graciousness. Can you believe two little pics brought on all of that? I guess it’s true what they say about a picture being worth…
Music wise, I stayed in this past weekend and worked on that song that Glen Campbell keeps inspiring and heard back from the Copyright office that the files I sent them back in October (man, are they backed up) were the wrong format so I have find and reformat all 20 0f them this week and get those back to em.
I also got a call from Julie who was the volunteer advocate that helped me sort out financials while I was going through everything. She’s brilliant at finding resources for financial support. She’s been bugging me to be in a promotional video she’s making to promote her new business doing pretty much what she did for me only helping a lot more people at it. She’s working on a contract with the US forces to helping injured soldiers get the help they need with financials and mental and health support. Pretty cool, huh. So, I put vanity aside and said I’d put my big ole butt in a chair next week and do this (watch now, this is where it gets good) so she tells me that she’s working on a fund raising idea and when it hits she’d gladly pay me (I don’t care about pay, I’d do something like this for free any day). So, I went to the site she wanted me to check out and it’s a fundraising site for Indies…There were people who were raising money for Cancer patients…there were people raising money for their band’s tours…there were people raising money for just about everything and then it hit me as I stared at my pile of medical bills and the depleted CD II account…why not put it out there? It can be a donation exchange even for t-shirts (did I mention I have a friend who just started her own t-shirt print business?) and so it goes…
I haven’t looked into it enough to commit to it. Just thinking out loud right now but, good thinking eh? Will keep you posted.
Right now I’m working on photos I took yesterday at SeaWorld San Diego. Why was I there? Because my client wants a giant poster sized image of a sea turtle on the wall of her new gym and SeaWorld is the closest I was going to get to one around here. Pretty murky waters though so I’ll be lucky if any of the shots turned out but again…how cool is it that I got to spend the day taking pictures of sea turtles??
I also got word that there are only 2 more open mics at the old Gibs. The new owner decided to replace it with some kind of Irish session. Mixed emotions there. Love Irish music but, also love open mics and JD runs that one and does a killer job of it. Hopefully, he’ll pick up another one locally but, at least we’ve still got the FishJoint/Hill Street Cafe open mic that he runs. As much as I love music, I love being outdoors and that’s what makes the JF/HSC open mic the best of em all. There’ll be a lot more visits to that one over the next few months I can promise you that.
Tomorrow night will be a class in session. I’m going to check out the infamous Tim Foley who’s performing downtown. This guy knows how to work a crowd so it’ll be a great experience I know already. And I’ll get to see some friends I haven’t seen in a long while so there’s another something to look forward to :).
So, there’s what I know about the week ahead but, it’s anyone guess if it’ll go as planned or if something surprising will crop up…
Till then, thanks for listening and following along~