Friday, June 30, 2006

Going Postal!

I've never understood what people mean when they say they are "going postal" on this or that, but I am pretty sure I've heard more than one person say that.

I'm going postal too, I guess. Check out my new stamps! I just ordered them, but they should be in next week! Yes, they are legitimate US Postal Stamps. How vain is that? But very cool! I'll be sending surprises to my peeps every month in the mail and they will always have a new stamp design. Here's my first, for July! :)

Pretty soon I'll be sending a surprise gift to all of my peeps, so if you are one of my peeps and want a surprise in the mail, you better send me your mailing address! I'll be using my cool new stamps, but as edible as they look, you probably ought not to try to eat it.

The cake featured in this month's stamp is from Marie's wedding, Troon Golf Club, Scottsdale, AZ.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Jill and Jose, Arizona

Last weekend I had the pleasure of shooting a wedding for the daughter of one of my dad's close family friends in AZ. They got married at Our Lady of Carmel, which just happens to be the same church that my dad's family went to as kids! Small world!

The bride, Jill was in a great mood on Saturday. I think it was probably because she was GETTING MARRIED!!!!!! fact she was so psyched, that she started spinning around with joy!

Suddenly a gust of wind came and things took a turn for the worse...

Tune in to FOX for their shocking collection of "WHEN VEILS ATTACK" the veil proceeds to choke the bride, much like a python! Onlookers laugh and refrain from helping!

This is our family friend, Bob! Bob has known me since I was just a sparkle in my mom's eye. I have seen him on occasion throughout my life and he is one of the nicest guys ever! Totally genuine. I love his mustache, he's had it for as long as I can remember and his eyes are always happy. I don't know if that makes sense. I guess you'd have to meet him...

Jose is a sharp looking guy with an incredible Hispanic family full of tradition and culture!

Jose's sister is way too serious.


Father Daughter Dance

The band was a really cool Salsa band. Jose's family is really in to Salsa dancing and this band totally wore every one of them out. They were AMAZING. They are called Orquesta Salsabor! They had drums, bongos, trumpets, saxophones, a keyboard, and two singers who also played tambourines and morraccas!
The singer had a great voice, was totally energetic and SAUCY!

Featured Peep: Nonnie!

This whole week's posts are from my weekend in AZ! It was a great weekend and I got to spend some good time with the Cafiero Family, mostly my Uncle Sal and my Nonnie!

We scooped Nonnie out of her old-folk's home that reminds me of the one from Happy Gillmore! "Meesta! Meesta!", or (Gillmore's granny at her first day in the old folk's home to Ben Stiller, who played the Nurse):

Grandma to Ben Stiller: "Could I trouble you for a warm glass of milk? It helps put me to sleep".
Ben Stiller to Grandma: "You could trouble me for a WARM GLASS OF SHUT THE HELL UP! You will go to sleep, or I will PUT you to sleep! Look at the name tag... you're in MY world now".
Grandma: "ohh dear".

OK, where was I... Oh yeah we grabbed Nonnie and got her makin some meatballs!

Here's the Italian Mamma Mia doing what she does best:

Nonnie was so happy to roll some meat balls, that she did her hair and put on lipstick!

...and off she goes!

She can roll like 80 meatballs per minute!

Nonnie doesn't like being photographed while she's rollin meatballs, so here she is taking a cheap shot and throwing a meat ball at my expensive L Series Lens.

Sadly I had to leave and I didn't get to eat any. Oh well it wasn't splurge day anyway. But apparently it was the dog's splurge day.

Joe's Mandolin

One thing I wanted to do while I was in Arizona last weekend was to get some shots of my grandfather's Mandolin.

To hear the story of my new logo that was designed by Jenny, and the story behind it, click here and scroll down a bit! New Logo

My Grandfather (or Crampa, as we call him) bought this Gibson back in his 20's I think and played at his father's Pizzeria in New York. He played and played and played until he died, which was about 12 or thirten years ago now. We still listen to his music at family reunions, parties (we had it on at my 30th bday party!) and over the holidays. His music has a real classic Italian Jazz sound, with quick melodies like the Tarentella and sumptuous slow Italian ballads. Maybe when I get my iBlog going, I can get some sound clips on the blog. But here's the mandolin he left behind. It's been all over the place and my grandfather's hands have worn through the varnish. My dad and my uncle take turns keeping the mandolin at their homes. Every year or so they make the exchange. My dad played Ave Maria at my little sister's wedding with this mandolin. There's just so much history behind it, I want to keep yackin about it, but I'll spare ya, so here it is!

I love the case. It's totally aged, rivots are missing, old stickers, scratches and scuffs, give it immediate character!

I left the pick in the strings intentionally because it's one thing I always remembered about the mandolin. My grandfather made his own picks.

...And some detail shots

Guadalupe Water Fiesta!

Last weekend while I was in AZ, I had a really fun day with my Uncle Sal. We started the day at 6:00 AM... (the morning AFTER my wedding which went till midnight!) and ran up the tallest mountain in a hiking/mtn biking area called South Mountain. Then we visit Nonnie, I got to hang with my cousin Nick, and the day was just action packed. On our way back, my uncle drove us through a short-cut through a town called Guadalupe. It's not a resort town. The people there are pretty poor and I think the majority of the population is hispanic. We saw a sign...

...and saw water flooding the following street. When we drove by, we saw this:

So basically the water festival of Guadalupe is a firetruck, hosing down the residents. There's no way I wasn't interested in stopping for photos! It was so hot and these people were having the times of their lives! It looked painful to me, so I didn't join them, but I did get some cool shots!

In my own little fantasy world, this shot reminds me of something you'd see by legend photographer, Henry Cartier Bresson. I'll never be the next Bresson, but I feel like sometimes I relate to his style. His style, by the way is just totally random. Images that sort of tell a story. SORT OF... :)

Getting hosed is also a spectator sport. I feel kind of ashamed of myself, actually because my first reaction to this scene was me laughing at these people. But when I got up close, I was overcome by all these people just having a great time. To some people, getting hosed by a firetruck on a hot Arizona summer day is like a simple pleasure. I'm an advocate for simple pleasures... although I don't count being hosed by a truck as one of them, but potayto, potahto...

Here is one spectator. He looks like he's been out working construction all day. Now he's just chillin, watching his neighbors, and maybe even his own kids, having fun in the water fiesta...

I love this shot of my Uncle Sal. Just like the guy above, he's not worrying about work, or money, or getting old, or whatever. He's just enjoying the moment. It doesn't get any better than that!

Birthday Boy Part II, and Belated Fathers Day!

So, where was I... last week I celebrated my 30th and Fathers Day (since I was working in AZ that weekend) in Monument with my Dad and a whole bunch of friends.

Meet my dad, Mario Cafiero! He's a hard working optimist. Someday I'll post about my own three categories of people. There are pessimists, optimists, and optimist achievers. That's my dad, an optimist achiever and the inventor of the Schmop. It's a shoe/mop. He can mop your floors with his feet. He made millions off that invention. OK, not really. But his floor is totally clean!

Here he is with the pasta machine, my sisters and I got him for Father's Day. I'm posting an extra shot of his gift so my sisters can see what they got him for Father's Day! ;)

Thank-you hug to one another. That's my dad! I love that guy!!! Photo by Jenny!

We also got him som gourmet extra virgin olive oil, a parmesan cheese knife and a sweet black leather and steel peppermill!

He whipped up an AMAZING spread that included Eggplant Parmesan (of course), Lasagna, Roasted Leg of Lamb, Penne with meatballs and snausage, Antipasti, olives, good bread and cocktails! Oh and dessert, what else but a nice cannoli!

Nothing beats a Manhattan and Olives! The Manhattan is an old-timers drink, but it's a special cocktail in the Cafiero family. My Dad used to drink Man-attans (my grandfather didn't pronounce his "h's") with his dad, and now I can't go home without having one with my dad, too!

The Antipasti!

More photos by the talented Jenny you all know about...

No, it's not a human heart. Get your mind out of the gutter! Those are delicious roasted peppers, waiting to be cut up and arranged beautifully! There goes my dad, he's a cook-a-holic!

Thanks to all my peeps who made it to the party. It was a gggggggggggreat time!

Here's Jenny and Terence, holding a big honkin piece of bread. I'm heading off on another outdoor adventure soon with T. Lookin forward to it!

The grand finale of the event was a surprise that Jenny made for me. Bless her heart, she just is the sweetest thing! She went to my parent's places and dug up all these photos of me from baby-sized to the more large size, and put them all together in an awesome DVD slideshow to music. It was so cool because I have been working my glutes off these days and it's like my childhood was starting to disappear in my mind, but these photos really brought me back to some really special times in my life! It was strange, seeing me as a little shaver, even though I was a complete angel. :) I loved it though, and as my Uncle says, "everyone had sand in their eyes" after watching it. Thank You Jenny!!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Birthday Boy (Part 1)

Welp, yesterday was my 30th Bday and I decided that I wanted to start it off right, so I woke up at 6 AM and drowe out to Boulder and ran Mt. Sanitas, which is a short 3 mile loop, but with about a 1600 vertical gain. I just wanted to run the whole thing without bonking out and I did! I used to run that trail when I was living in Boulder a few years ago, and training for the Pikes Peak Marathon. It's a quick run to excersize your lungs! Here are some shots taken with my little point and shoot camera. The best part of my birthday was the Italian dinner party I had at my dad's home. I'll post those later because I have to catch another flight to AZ for the Erickson wedding!

Self-portrait, about to head off for the summit. My old P.R. was 26:52 to the top, when I used to run it weekly. I surprised myself and ran it in just over 27 minutes today.

Shot at the summit of Mt. Sanitas. You can't see the start of the trail, but it's all the way down there. It's a really beautiful jaunt!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Alethea and Nema

Last weekend I shot another beautiful wedding, this time at the Villa Siena in Scottsdale, AZ! Alethea and Nema are Persian and I am loving these multi-cultural weddings! I feel like I have been travelling the world, seeing all the cool food, tradition and dancing! I photographed my first Persian Wedding last season, also in Arizona, the Boojum Tree, Scottsdale. That's how I got this wedding, through word of mouth, which is how I am getting most of my jobs these days.

The Villa Siena is a really cool spot for a wedding. It's a photographer's playground! I had so much fun! Never got bored!

Rose petals in the fountains. I love rose petals. Does that make me "metro"?

Meet the bride, Alethea!

There's creepy photographer guy! Hey it's a tradition!

Tears smear mascara. I don't know from personal experience. Here a bridesmaide drys tears of anticipation!

The couple! Alethea and Nema!

Nema's dad is awesome. He reminds me of my dad. Just always smiling and I LOVED photographing him!

Anyone who knows me, knows I live in my flip flops. These are too pretty for my feet.

These flower girls were very cute. Here they are getting primped up before their big walk down the aisle!

The guy on the right is the brother of the bride from the Persian wedding I shot last season. Super nice guy!

Here are the flower girls doing their thing!

I knew when I caught the couple making out in the halls, it would be a keeper!

Aletha, looking just RAVISHING...

OK, I have blogged about how the Koreans and Indian people dance. Now the Persians love dancing more than any culture I've seen so far!

This is Nema who interesting enough had a complete choreographed dance to "BYE BYE BYE", from the Backstreet Boys.