Steven Seagal

Sometimes life puts you in the way of Steven Seagal, and what’s a girl to do but to take a picture with the man.

Celebration Random

Happy New Year!

From the entire Arizona Republic Graphics Desk!


Awkward Family Photos got nothing on us.

UPDATE: Keri (@khegre) called me out on it, that she also does graphics at the AZ Rep…



On the first day of Christmas…

One moment you’re happily fake-ice skating at the Desert Botanical Garden’s Luminarias…


The next, you’re in the emergency room being told you need surgery…


Merry Christmas, Wendi!


We interrupt this website for some adorable photos

While Jacy was running around playing with her 3-year-old nephew, I hijacked her camera and snapped some photos of Baby Van, who is just so cute!

Alright, alright, enough of the cuteness… stop it Van, seriously, I can’t be having that around here or I’ll lose my street-cred.


Amazing! Phoenix Random

Tropical Storm

Honestly, is Patricia that weird of a name that it deserves a Tropical Storm?

Let’s see, I’m sure you’re all dying to know about what happened with my dentist’s office turning me over to a COLLECTION agency! So I went in and asked to speak with the Doctor but he wasn’t in the way, so I spoke with the receptionist who at first seem sullen that I had the audacity to imply she hadn’t updated my new address. So she looked up the reminder postcards we fill at the end of every visit, to be mailed out to remind us of our future visit. Oh, what’s that? The postcard has my NEW address? Right. You’d think that would’ve been followed with an abject apology.

You’d be thinking wrong.

The Dr. eventually did email me and said I could call him at my earliest convenience.

Moving on.

My neighbor in #3 decided to have a Prince-themed party in our little courtyard, so I decided to take it to the next level and invite all the Republic peeps (aka those of us who toil and moil for the Arizona Republic). My Photoshop skills were put to the ultimate test with the invite…

How could you NOT want to go THAT party? Prince? Pirates? Prince on a Segway attacking Pirates?

That’s me with a purple jacket I got at Salvation Army for $1.99. And I might wear it at non-Prince related public outings, because I think it’s pretty snazzy. And one of the winners of the night, my Crying Dove. You can sorta see the tears, but you can ask anyone who attended. They were witness to The Amazing. At some point in the night, I thought it best to put on my pirate coat from Halloween a few years ago and, obviously, a Mexican hat… So technically I was Prince-Mexican-Pirate. I don’t believe that was recorded. Probably for the best.

And just because this post isn’t random enough. A photo of the Greyhound dog races in Phoenix, where we celebrated a friend’s birthday. Yes, at the dog-races, which, I might add, was a cool place. I can totally picture in its heyday, full of people betting and screaming. Although our party did do a fair share of both. Now, it’s about to close down, so get all your dog racing in while you can.

I’m all ready for the Kentucky Derby. Note to self: upgrade from Mexican hat.



Arizona Graphics Phoenix Random

Good things happen

First update in some time. I haven’t had any concerts to shoot lately due to the fact that… well, we won’t get into that, but I assure you I will try my best to claw my way back to doing them, even if I have to offer a sacrificial medium-sized, porcelain Baby Jesus. 

Speaking of Baby Jesus, Grandma Lapadula (keeper of all-sized Baby Jesuses), The Matriarch, Da Original, is coming to the the United States of America, and she has a scheduled visit to Phoenix (scheduled meaning, Stand-by tickets with my dad’s airline). What to do with a 70-year-old lady who doesn’t even want to be taken from her house, let alone sent to another country? Who, when asked if she wanted to come to Phoenix while she was visiting my dad in North Carolina, asked “can we drive there?”. No ma’am. My point being that she doesn’t even know what or where is Phoenix. So if you have any ideas, do pass them along. Are there any Church Tours, with an optional Salvation package? 

Salvation or not, I think it’ll be interesting for her to see the Phoenix area. It being such a different landscape than anything she’s ever seen before (did you know that the ONLY place in the world with Saguaro Cacti is the Sonoran Desert?), particularly Sedona. It’s just breathtaking for anyone, let alone someone who has lived in the jungle all their lives. 

“Abuela in the Desert: Why am I here?”. That should be an interesting photo story. 

I finally got some of the Matt and Talat wedding photos printed out. Yes, it’s a slow process. I have to let them simmer in their own Photoshop juices for some time for maximum impact. I reluctantly took them to the local Ritz Camera. Reluctantly because I used to work for Ritz in NC for years, and let’s just say we weren’t the most conscientious when it came to printing. Come on, would you really want to go editing one by one, 500+ BAD digital photos from someone’s trip to Mexico? At least with film there usually was a limit to how many BAD photos a person could take. With digital cameras and inexpensive giant memory cards, people feel the need to take a photo of EVERYTHING… TWICE for good measure, that oughta show ’em. 

As an aside, during my days as a lab technician, I color corrected some of the most ridiculous photos. Yes, we see them. Keep that in mind next time you decide to drunkenly take photos of things best left unrecorded for posterity.

I really have to give props to the guys and gals at the Phoenix location (the only one that survived after they declared bankruptcy). Since my monitors at home or work are not calibrated to their printer, the photos were coming out somewhat dark. They went through each photo and even printed some three, four times, to make sure they came out looking great. I will definitely be returning there soon. 

On a graphics note, here’s a Double Truck project I worked on for a special Good News section at work:

I’m particularly proud of the railroad tracks! Combination mad Illustrator and Photoshop skills! Although I sometimes feel like I overuse drop shadows. Thoughts?

I think this drought in concerts will give me a chance to catch up with re-editing and posting the photos from my photojournalism days. I’m excited to show you some of those and relive the good ol’ days. Like the photo of me hanging out with the long-bearded, one-toothed bikers at a redneck bar. God, I hope I can find that one. Good times!!

Arizona Music Random

Smokey Robinson

@ Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix.

It’s been some time since my last posting, and a lot has changed. At work, I feel like I’m living in two worlds, the one before layoffs and the one after. Most of you already know that the graphics desk at the paper was pretty much decimated that fateful Wednesday. I’m obviously not going to go into details but I will say is that the whole affair of notifying people was sadly mishandled there at the end.

Congratulations on my preservation poured in the next day. Was I happy to still be employed? I guess. But the idea of having lost the people we did was shocking. The implications were overwhelming, and yet thinking about them seemed selfish, part of me felt like I had to be in mourning.

Some people’s careers were tied to the paper, having worked here for decades. If I had gotten laid off, I would’ve lost a paycheck, not a career.

Can a company, any company, really take away so many years of a person’s life, just to throw them out on the street during tough times, with hardly any compensation? The thought that such behavior is considered normal gives way to all these hopeless feelings.

I keep waiting for some realization about my future to hit me, because I just cannot force myself to think about where I want to be in 15 years. And while I wait, some days I feel like I’m wasting time. I’m afraid that I will blink, and I will still be sitting here in two decades, wondering why I never had to guts to move on. I will look back with regret and justify it all thinking that I was trapped by bills, leases, laziness, people, fear. Some days I’m infuriated by my inability to just DO SOMETHING.

I don’t know how to fix that.

American Idols Live show tomorrow night. Hopefully some good pictures coming outta that. I still have to post photos from my latest sailing trip to Long Beach, and the Michael McDonald/Boz Skaggs concert. Till then…

Music Random

Random musical interlude

Recently I started catching a few episodes of “Rescue Me” on hulu, and I’m totally digging the opening credits song: C’mon, C’mon by The Von Bondies. 

Just wanted to share that, plus a photo of T and me.  

Arizona Graphics Random


A speed cameras map, which I like to think of as my area of expertise (my beat if you’d like), ran on Friday’s A1. Cool to see my name on the cover of the paper, and I’ve yet to receive any angry emails about mistakes, though it is the weekend, so maybe I just need to give people some time.

Update: AtlasRider just asked for a link to a speed cameras Google map, which is totally helpful for us speeders! Here is it: Now kids, just remember these are only DPS cameras (basically only the ones on the highways). Every city has it’s own separate set of cameras, not shown.

Thanks go out to Chris George for refining the look of the map. I think often times designers go unrecognized, since they don’t put their names in credit lines. But they truly deserve as much credit as reporters or graphic artists.

Something I’ve also been pretty excited about is the growth of my html and css skills, learning how to use jquery. More on a project I’m working on for the sailing team once I have it further along.

Nothing much going on… the heat is getting up there, but that’s not new.

Ever since I housesat Manny’s place, where I caught a random episode of Showtime’s The Tudors, I’ve been hooked. Granted, I can’t afford Showtime but that’s what the internet is for, so I’ve been catching up with previous seasons. Just as good as the show is the Pop Tudors website that they have as a sort of “modern” day companion to the series. Hilarious. Check out the video recaps. Oh and the pie charts! Too funny.

Arizona Random Travels

Random post-moving thoughts

It’s been a brutal couple weeks. Moving: cruel and unusual punishment. Not to mention, damn expensive. Between deposits, installation fees for internet, electric, deposit for gas, furniture, etc., I’m broke. Oh, and it took the gas company TEN days to send someone out here (you’d think I live in the middle of nowhere, right? Nope, downtown Phoenix), so I spent several days taking cold water showers, which might not have been that bad this week, but the previous two week, it was not pleasant. Now I see why the peeps back in the day did not shower every day. Painful. Luckily, Manny asked me to house sit his place in Avondale, which amongst other perks like tons of movie channels and an awesome dog, had hot water. I’m all about the simple pleasures, people. 

Remember that sailing story I was writing? Well, it’s up on Cool site for the adventurer (or wannabe adventurer like myself), where you can make list of things you’d like to accomplish in life and then write about them once you do, post photos and such. It’s kinda awesome to see the different things people have done, and interesting to see what some people dream of doing. Who knows, maybe it’ll give you some ideas. 

This weekend, I made some time from the moving craziness to go a favorite spot of mine over at Cave Creek Coffee Company to check out Eddie Elliott, a local musician. Good performer, definitely a lot of stage presence and swagger, and great guitar skills too. The whole set up of this place is really different. It’s outdoors, but since the shows are at night, it’s not hell-fire hot. It’s a very intimate setting decorated with typical Arizona memorabilia. Here’s a not very good photo, but something is better than nothing. Blame the economy. What? Don’t you blame everything on the economy? I know I do… 

Speaking of hell-fire hot. It’s getting up there this week. The AC is currently on 85 but it still doesn’t shut off. Oy for power bills. Also, to my endless dismay, the Today show had a list of worst cities for hair, and Phoenix was number 5. Which I totally disagree with, because we have low humidity and second, who does these lists? And how did they research this? And I know I joke about it, but would people seriously consider not moving somewhere because the hard water might make their hair less shinny? FYI, San Diego, my dream city, was number 2 of best cities for hair. Exciting!

That was random. 

At work this week, we’re losing the talented Joey Kirk, who kindly donated his desk to the charity otherwise known as me. Here’s to hoping I inherit some of his multimedia genius (and overall genius too!). Here’s a vintage Chelsea and Joey shot: 

Vintage because it was taken a WHOLE year ago, thus appropriately Black & White. We’re going to miss them at the Republic. It’s sad to see how we’re bleeding all this amazing talent. I think it speaks volumes that, even though all media companies are struggling, Tribune Interactive recognized his talent, and it’s making room for him. THAT right there, my friends, is mad skills. 

Bon Voyage to them on their Chicago adventure. I’ve always liked that city, ever since I took a history class in college about the history of Chicago and subsequently read The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Beautiful writing and historically based. I’ll leave you with a short passage, hoping you go out and do some summer reading:  

At the time Mudgett described this encounter in his memoir, he was sitting in a prison cell hoping to engineer a swell of public sympathy. While it is charming to imagine the scene, the fact is the cameras that existed during Mudgett’s boyhood made candid moments almost impossible to capture, especially when the subject was a child. If the photographer saw anything in Mudgett’s eyes, it was a pale blue emptiness that he knew, to his sorrow, no existing film could ever record.