Chardon Shootings

What a whirlwind today has been.

13 years ago I still vividly recall the horror of watching the scenes unfold from Columbine.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget watching the teenager climb/fall out of the window, bloodied, into rescuers arms below live on television.  My Dad and I both couldn’t turn away and were shocked, shocked! at everything unfolding.  While Colorado is worlds away from Ohio, my cousin lives in the town where Columbine is so it was a bit close to home.  In the years since there has been other shootings and each of them strike a sad note but none have gripped me like Columbine did.

Today that changed when I woke up to find out that a gunman had opened fire and shot 5 students here in Ohio in nearby Chardon.

Words fail me.

It’s also been interesting to watch as things unfold online vs. only having the TV and chat rooms years ago.  Now news is hitting Twitter long before it’s hitting local media or the national news.  Some is wrong but today, much has been correct long before the media outlets could verify.  However, people are also making quick and fast assumptions.  The shooter was bullied.  Homeschooling is the answer.  Guns should be banned completely.  The shooter was living a goth lifestyle and that’s what happens from those kids.  I am curious what the “real story” will be as time unfolds.

The bullying angle often infuriates me.  YES, bullying is awful and shouldn’t EVER happen but you know what?  It happens.  I think my friend’s son said it best on Facebook, “I don’t care if you’re bullied you never take it to the point of taking anyones life or even your own, you tell an adult and avoid the situation.”  I couldn’t say it better myself and this is a kid that is a Junior in a High School very near to Chardon.  I hope that more kids take his advice and avoid the situation and/or tell an adult.  Bullying sucks but violence isn’t the answer.

The one thing that was the answer today though was preparedness.  Due to the drills that Chardon had in place they immediately were able to go into lockdown and get things rolling to minimize the impact of the shooter.  No one knows for sure but it sounds like he had more killings planned that did not take place.  Much of this is indeed thanks to the drills in place at the High School and the response time from the police and other emergency personnel.  Thanks to Columbine, today’s disaster was minimized as much as possible.  Hopefully from today’s tragedy, a future attack is even further minimized or hopefully eliminated.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends, family and victims of today’s senseless tragedy in Chardon.  Give your loved ones an extra hug tonight, even if it has to be a virtual one.



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On the Eve of 33

My birthday is tomorrow.  Technically it’s not until 1:59AM but we won’t get all technical lol.  I’ve always thought it was so cool that I was born at 1:59AM though… not on the dot or any other number but the last minute before the new hour.  Not sure why but when I was a kid I totally thought it was one of the more awesome things about me.  Ahh, when you were 6 and things like that (you thought) gave you street cred.

No big plans then again, there rarely are plans for my birthday.  My birthdays tend to be epic fails. 9 times out of 10 I’m sick on my birthday (ok once was on my 21st when I had the awesome idea to be at the bar when I turned 21 at midnight and proceeded to drink WAY too much in a matter of an hour, that was self inflicted and my only hangover to date).  I’m getting over a cold right now so I’ve already got that against me for tomorrow.  Last year was one of the few years where I can say I had a good birthday but even still it had its pitfalls (husband FORGOT my birthday).  I just have learned to not put too much stock in birthdays and no, I don’t do that whole birth-week, birth-MONTH shit.  Holy cow who ARE those people?

My exciting plans include getting my license renewed (god how awful will this picture be!?) and going to the post office.  Here’s hoping that hubs actually gets me a cake.  That is one thing I’m big on, CAKE! He better get me a cake… That’s all I am saying.  😉


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Titanic 3D Review


I just got home from screening Titanic 3D and all I have to say is WOW.

I am a huge Titanic fan.  Back in the day I had one of the most popular fansites (Collide With Destiny) and still contribute to Back to Titanic which my friend still runs.  I honestly wasn’t sure going in how I would feel about it.  Would things change?  There were rampant rumors that things had been edited.  I knew he wouldn’t mess with the storyline too much but still… Then there is the 3D.  Generally, I’ve never been a big fan.  I end up with a headache and nothing really wows me.  I was excited to see one of my all-time favorite movies return to the big screen but I was apprehensive about the treatment of it.

I shouldn’t have worried.

I was one of the lucky ones that managed to snag a pass for the Valentine’s Day screening online a couple weeks ago.  The site was terrible and was totally bogged down but I persevered and secured my tickets.  Keep in mind they were free which was even more awesome!  You could have two people per person which was even better.  The night before I saw online that they were expecting a full house and I was worried that our projected arrival of around an hour before may be cutting it too close but there wasn’t anything I could really do.  We walked into the theater and the local radio stations were there doing giveaways and prizes.  When walking into the theater the movie was in, they handed you a boarding pass (to get in and out), a voucher for a drink/popcorn and Titanic themed 3D glasses.  Every 50th person got selected to have a sketch done by an artist.  There was a string band playing at the front of the theater and people were dressed up in Titanic like costumes.  On the way out of the theater we were each handed a Titanic themed swag bag with a Titanic t-shirt, a mini-poster with some coupons in it.  It was pretty impressive!

The movie itself was awesome. It’s been so long since I’ve seen it on the big screen (the last time may have been Valentine’s Day 1998) and I forgot how much more amazing it is to see at that size. Since almost everything is in 3D there were lots of bits and pieces that were new or new-to-me. I found myself watching the scenes that were going on behind the main scenes more than the actual storyline. I found myself captivated by things and people that would have originally been blocked/partially obscured by the original 2D shot. It was just awesome to see.  I wish I could sit and go over every awesome scene that was almost new-to-me with the 3D but I’ll stick to the highlights.

The scene that wowed me the most is probably one that others wouldn’t have paid attention to but the lunch scene was done amazingly well. The beams of light shooting through the cafe were amazing and the breaks in the light when people walked through the beam were what sold it. Maybe since I am a photographer the light grabbed me the most but regardless it was a splendid scene!  Much of the rest of the scenes were similar – just enough 3D to make you say, “wow” quietly to yourself but nothing that made you duck and cover.  I will say that the more crowded the scene, the harder it was to focus as things got blurry.

The sinking was just was amazing as one would think it would be. It’s a whole new dimension with the 3D added – although I as prior in the movie when things got moving often things got a bit blurry.  Still, it really made you feel like you were right there with them – especially when you’d be in the POV from the water looking at the ship. You also got more of a feel for the depth of the water as things were submersing into the water and being 3D you could gauge JUST how deep the water was and how fast it was coming at you.  I think the most impressive shot in the sinking scene though was the boat returning at the end. You really felt like you were in the water with the bodies. Creepy and cool.

I definitely give this two thumbs up! I wasn’t sure what I’d think of it not being a normal fan of 3D but I loved it.  I can’t wait until the full release so I can see it again.  I may give the IMAX a whirl this time to see what the difference would be between that and the RealD 3D.

P.S.:  The ONLY downside to the entire experience was this group of morons in front of us.  There was about 8 or so people that all came together.  After the movie started the Mom handed out bags of chips so for the first portion of the movie I couldn’t see the bottom of the screen because the kid in front of me had the  bag raised above her head eating the chips out of it like it was a cup.  Then after that finally stopped the two girls on the end (caddy corner to me) were texting each other for the whole movie.  It was so.rude.  I haven’t been to a theater in a while and I just wanted to smack the kids and their Mom.  I’m still not sure how she managed to get that many tickets since the max was 2 but beyond that, tell your kid to put the damn cell phone away in the theater.  You don’t need to sit and text through the whole movie.  The bright screen was so distracting and I know I sound like a grump but there you have it.  I was so excited for this and while it didn’t ruin the experience it was definitely annoying.

P.P.S: PLEASE VOTE FOR ME AS TITANIC’S BIGGEST FAN!  That would make me the QUEEN of the world!  ha!

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Valentine’s Day

Do you have your gift for your loved one(s) in your life all set to go?  If so I am jealous as I’ve yet to even think of what to get my husband.  Yes, I realize I have less than 2 hours before it is officially V-Day but he is quite frankly one of the hardest people to shop for.  I think I’m still burned out from expending all of my energy on Christmas for him (Keurig machine FTW at the last moment!) so I am out of ideas.  This is how it generally happens so I’m sure he’s not surprised.  At least I have another month before his birthday (and I’ve got an idea cooking for that!) so I may phone it in with his favorite gift: Amazon gift card.   My gift is the gift of him going to see Titanic in 3D with me!!  I’m SO excited!

This blog isn’t about THIS Valentine’s Day though, this is about my absolute worst one ever in history of Valentine’s.  To be ended with a story of best one ever that I remember to keep it all sweet and stuff.

9 years ago (holy moly it’s been that long… wow) I had just fallen on a patch of ice going in to see my friend’s fiance’s band play.  Wait.  I need to back this up further.  At the end of 2002 one thing was glaringly obvious, I needed a divorce.  The marriage was not working for me, for him, or for anyone.  I summoned a great deal of courage and met up with my Dad after work at a bar and finally told him what I was considering doing.  He bought me a drink and congratulated me.  No joke. Then again, I should not have been too surprised given that this is the man that told me JUST before he walked me down the aisle that, “you don’t have to do this you know.  You can call it off and we can still have one hell of a party.”  Needless to say, he wasn’t a fan of my ex-husband.  It took a bit of time (and I’ll blog that whole story someday) to finally ask for one and at the end of January I moved back home with my Dad.  Boxes were EVERYWHERE in the house and paths went from here to there due to literally just throwing things down and adding more to the pile.

After a week of moving and boxes I wanted a night out.  I went and saw some Collin Farrell movie with a friend who was OBSESSED with him and another friend called when I was on my way home begging me to come keep her company while her fiance’s band played at a local bar.  I agreed even though all I really wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed.  So as my luck would have it as soon as I stepped out of my SUV, I stepped on a patch of ice and down I went, ruining my new shoes that I ADORED.  I still miss those shoes but they had a wood sole and were destroyed.  Sniff.  I felt my ankle snap after the fall and while there was no immediate pain, I knew that it was bad.  My cell phone was in my SUV – which while it was close it was also UP.  I was totally stuck and unsure what to do.  So I did what any other self respecting woman would do, I whipped up some tears as soon as I saw a couple cute guys coming near me and asked for help.  They helped me hop into the bar, my friend was retrieved and off to the ER we went.  Long story shorter – I had a broken ankle and not just an ordinary one!  I had an S shaped break through the joint which required surgery.  YAY!  I saw an orthopedist and surgery was scheduled for that Friday.  Valentine’s Day.

Up until this point in my life the ONLY surgery I’d had was when I had my wisdom teeth out.  I’d narrowly avoided one as a child for a clogged tear duct (I was just being put under when they discovered it’d finally broke loose) but other than that I’d been lucky.  I was scared shitless.  I was a total absolute wreck.  On top of that, my Dad’s first question about my surgery was where the closest bar was.  I loved him to bits but staying sober was never one of his strong suits.  This meant I had to call in reinforces – which was my ex as much as I hated to do it.  He wasn’t very kind about it either but agreed to come.  I had also needed him to get prescriptions and the like for me while I was out and since we were still married he could do that for me.  My surgery went well, so well that the nurses were SHOCKED with how fast I came out of it in post-op and how quickly I was “normal” and ready to leave.  My ex left while I was in surgery when my Dad decided not to go to the bar so I had the added bonus of not dealing with him post-op, BONUS.  In the end, it all went swimmingly and the day was okay.  However I’ll NEVER forget that absolute craptacular Valentine’s Day.

As for the BEST Valentine’s Day ever… it’s quite silly but still warms my heart.  I can’t recall the year but I’m thinking it was my Senior Year (definitely know it was when I was in high school).  My Dad usually always left for work long before I would wake up for school so I never saw him in the morning (and if he was up when I got up I generally avoided him as he was NOT a morning person).  When I opened my eyes as they were adjusting I was so confused.  My room was always a mess and I knew there was something odd but while my eyes adjusted I couldn’t figure it out.  Eventually things became clear and I was able to make out a box with an item perched on top.  I got up to inspect it and my Dad had left a box with a stuffed dog (puff a lump style if those recall them!) with a rose in his hand.  You could tell the hand was designed to hold something as it had a clip like mechanism in it.  I’m guessing it was from Hallmark or something similar – at that time I think he was working at a mall (he was a local union electrician so worked all over).   Regardless, I was so touched that my Dad went out of his way for me like that and surprised me.  It’s rare that I am surprised by gifts and this one shocked me!!!  I wish I’d thought to preserve that rose.  To this day it amuses me that it’s not a gift/event from a romantic partner that I remember but a gift from my Dad!

What was your best and worst Valentine’s Day?  Do you celebrate it or not?

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Whitney Houston

My husband’s best friend was asking me for advice on a hotel in Montego Bay as his Mom is currently stuck in Jamaica. The hotel the cruise put her up in is terrible so I hit up good ol Twitter for advice and then said HOLY SHIT very loud.  Hubs was on the phone with work (oops, sorry about that) and asked what was going on.  I told him Whitney Houston died.  He said holy shit too.  At least I’m not alone in my cursing upon hearing the news.

Am I shocked?  Yes.  Am I surprised?  No.

I know I am not the only girl (hell a few guys too) that has belted out “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” a few too many times, cried over the lyrics of “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” when we got dumped, vowed to the dumper that no matter what “I Will Always Love You” and listened to it on repeat and then rebounded with “I’m Every Woman” when we were back on track with our lives.   Without fail, there is a Whitney Houston song for about every emotion felt – especially to the teenagers who feel everything tenfold.

My childhood is peppered with momentous moments that often had something to do with Whitney’s songs.  I took an acting workshop and the grand finale had us dressing up and singing to “The Greatest Love of All.”  Of course, we can’t forget The Bodyguard which was the first rated R movies I ever saw in the theater (New Years Eve, 1992, friend’s Dad got us tickets).  It’s sad to see how many of my childhood touchstones are dying – all far too young!

I think we all knew this was coming but were hoping she would pull through and make a change.

“Didn’t We Almost Have it All” – indeed.


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OK, I am a photographer so I know this makes me look like a total jerk but… am I the only one that says “you are trying too hard” when you scroll through your Instagram feed?  I actually had quit Instagram for almost a year at one point because I got so sick of people trying way.too.hard.  Yes, I know sometimes I do too but there are people there that just… wow.  I also don’t want to see every single step you are taking through the day and don’t even get me started on the kids.  I don’t need to see your kid shitting on the toilet thankyouverymuch.

Then…. THEN!  Camera pictures posted on Instagram.  I’m not talking about pictures OF cameras (although those get freaking annoying too) but the ones where someone has taken a picture with their SLR and then loaded it to Instagram.  The whole picture uploading to make a hipster picture makes me laugh.  I’ve even seen people try to pass it off as legit iPhone/Instagram work which makes me laugh even harder.  Give it up man, the iPhone camera hasn’t evolved that much!

Please, please tell me I am not alone.


P.S.: Don’t even get me started on that “I’m an iPhone-ographer” thing.





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Allergic to Cold Temperatures

One of my claims to fame is being a freak of nature.  I am allergic to cold temperatures. **pause**  Did you just laugh?

That’s what I’ve dealt with my entire life.  Whenever I’m at the doctors and tell them I’m allergic to cold temperatures I get a hearty chuckle and they say they are too.  I have to stop them and correct them and tell them while it is funny I really AM allergic to cold temperatures.  It may not be a medicine but generally it’s one the docs should know so I list it.

I can’t tell you how many times I had to prove my allergy as a kid to my classmates and friend’s parents because they didn’t believe me.  If you are curious to easily prove this allergy you can grab an ice cube and hold it against your skin and you get hives.  Fun times I assure you but it usually was the only think to stop the mocking.

It is also a deadly disease for me although I haven’t managed to die yet from it.  The worst thing for me seems to be cold water and as a kid I didn’t want to be different and only swim for a few minutes so I’d stay in a cold pool in those early June days far longer than I should have and twice it was close to killing me.  The first time I was at the local pool and got out during the requisite break and got in line for snacks.  By the time I’d got to the front of the line I’d lost my vision.  To this day it still freaks me out a bit to think of.  Suddenly I was blind and all I could see were neon highlights were things were raised.  I begged the snack lady to call the paramedics and passed out.  The next thing I recalled was them asking for my Mom’s number (she was at the bar, that’s another story for another day) and then the paramedics were there and were totally clueless what to do besides warm me up.  When I was warmed up I was ok.

The other time I think was the same summer and I was in a cold pool and stayed in far too long again.  By the time I got out I passed out again and I came to in the shower.  My Dad was on the phone with Elizabeth City (the closest hospital to us, over an hour away) and they had no idea how to deal with my allergy either.  They told my Dad to have my Mom strip down (she was the bigger of the two) and me and wrap us both up together in a blanket for body heat.  I remember vaguely being weirded out by that LOL.  Eventually though it worked and my Dad would later say that he truly thought I was going to die.  I guess it was pretty close for a while there and he knew that we wouldn’t make the hospital.

After those incidents I got a dose of reality and realized I needed to pay attention to my hives more and stop whatever I was doing when I got them.  It sucked though and even though I still could play in the snow a bit it was never for as long as I would hope for.

Here’s the kicker: generally if you have this allergy as a kid YOU GROW OUT OF IT!  As an adult with this allergy you generally acquired it secondary to an infection or mutated gene.  So I’m a double freak of nature because while I have the childhood allergy that I never grew out of, I have some of the factors of the other form of “cold allergy” called FCAS.  I get flu like symptoms and just generally feel like hell now after I have an outbreak of hives but I still get the hives fairly quickly rather than the hours later like FCAS.  Fun times I assure you.

Maybe there are others like me that will stumble on this blog and not feel so alone.  When I met the first person I ever knew to have an allergy to cold, a friend remarked it was like I’d met a long lost sibling.  It WAS like that because until then I’d never known anyone else to have it.  However it was him telling me that he’d grown out of it and he thought everyone did to get me to look further into it.

To my fellow “freaks” out there, HELLO!

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Project 365

I completed a 30 day photo challenge back in November of 2011 but after everyone talking about doing a 365 challenge this year I figured, why not and joined the masses.  I guess you can consider this a resolution if you will – or just being a sheep and following the herd.  Either way, I’m doing a photo-a-day challenge this year and so far I’ve done good.  If only sticking to weight loss goals and dieting was this easy!

I did however save myself some agony and decided to keep it to iPhone photos since there are some handy apps (I prefer Photo365 over Project 365 because the month on Photo365 matches a normal calendar where Project 365 doesn’t).  I know that if I tried to take real pictures with my SLR that I would fall behind quickly like I did when I attempted it in October.  I just get too busy in the “wedding months” to make it happen with taking the picture and editing.  iPhones make it a bit easier.  We shall see how it goes!

Here’s hoping I actually make it the full 365 days but I know that I will feel like I am phoning it in and often.  If you are on Instagram (where I am posting most of my photos) I’m c0reyann if you want to follow and laugh at my lameness on 80% of the days.

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I’m usually on the beginning wave of most social things.  Not usually by design or on purpose but it’s interesting to see how I was an “early user” on a lot of social platforms.  Live Journal?  I began using it in 1999 (well that’s how far back my archives go) but I know it was earlier than that.  Twitter I joined up with in 2008, not quite early adopter but WAY before it was mainstream.  Pinterest I’ve been on for at about a year.  So it’s funny to me when friends are asking me if I’ve heard of that “new” site Pinterest… oh honey, been there, pinned that!

I originally started using Pinterest for clever sayings and pinning wedding inspiration.  Not for my OWN wedding mind you but for posing inspirations for when I’m shooting.  Then more users joined and my horizons broadened and I saw the value of pinning recipes.  Then I found out that they are not always as good as they look in the pin (but that canned biscuits to waffle one is a keeper I tell you!).  Eventually Pinterest pretty much became the stomping ground for everything and anything.

I do have to say though, I kind of dislike the self-pimpage that goes on there.  I don’t mind the occasional post-my-own-photo/product/blogwhatnot pin but those that have more than a 2-to-1 ratio of their own vs others really irritates me.  In fact, I have unfollowed a notable celeb photographer because all he did was post his own stuff and beg for it to be repinned.  I rarely unfollow anyone but it appears that egotism is the quickest way to do it.

I’m still in the what-the-hell-do-I-do-with-this-blog mode but I think eventually I perhaps may do some Pinterest food reviews here.  I’ve had some epic wins (see waffle biscuits) some meh results (angel chicken) and some flat out fails (forgotten kiss cookies).  I do have a board for recipe successes but blog format may be a bit more fun?  Who knows, it’s something I’m kicking around.



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I always intend to make resolutions, really I do.  However, I know myself.  I’m not one of those people that have a lot of what some call stick-to-it-ness.  I really stink when it comes to resolutions.  I have NO willpower.  I just don’t.  I am lazy.  Yep, confessed lazy person here.  If you are appalled, run away now.  I won’t mind I promise.  So I know better than to do resolutions and even TRY to make an attempt at going a whole YEAR working on them, why set myself up for failure.

Last year I resolved to lose weight (didn’t happen) and make my bed every day (did great until April, then crash and burn).  In fact, the only resolution I’ve EVER made that stuck was putting moisturizer on every night.  The only reason why that worked was because it wasn’t a resolution on New Years but was something I decided to start doing when I saw friends my own age start looking 40+ because they’d loved drugs, alcohol and/or tanning too much.  I’ve not taken the best care of my skin and decided to start then and there.

Resolutions are just a way to make you feel even worse about yourself – at least in my experience.  So I’m not doing any.  Are you?

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