Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Looking ahead...

The best part about this time of year (aside from finally escaping from a seemingly endless winter) is being able to look forward to the many great things that happen in the summer. It seems I always have a handful of events to look forward to and this summer is no exception. Here's my planned itinerary for the coming months:

  • June 4-7 - San Diego, CA for a development conference for work--will be attempting surfing for the first time!
  • June 9-12 - Portland, OR for Hooch's wedding (sometimes he also goes by Jimmy)
  • June 12-15 - Seattle/Tacoma, WA--Katie and I will drive from Oregon and visit with our dear friend, Erica, who traveled to Uganda/Rwanda with us in '07. It'll be my first time in the state of Washington. MAYBE we'll even drive up to Vancouver, BC...maybe.
  • July 9 - Hamilton, ON for my friend Jess' wedding
  • July 15-17 - Norwich, CT for another friend's wedding! This time it's for Eric and Beth. Katie and I will be staying with our friend Jillian in Nyack, NY!
  • July 19-22 - New York, NY with Upward Bound. This will be the 5th time I've done this trip with my good friend Eileen and a group of 11th graders-to-be. Should be great!
These are just the things that I know about now! This list is almost definitely for my own benefit, but it's fun to look ahead. Of course, I'll also be frequently in Buffalo and Toronto as per usual. Summer of 2011, I'm ready for you!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I'm like many people I know--I don't like the transitions between seasons. I'm one of those people that wants the weather to just make up its mind. I love each of the four seasons in their full glory. That's a big part of the reason I enjoy living in the Northeast. But the in-between...that's just frustrating to me (a reason I am not particularly fond of November). We (everyone who shares this sentiment with me) often see these times as drab, uninspiring, and ugly. However, today God offered me a different perspective.

This afternoon I took a walk in which I ended up in the woods. Sometimes you just need a walk in the woods without a plan. My end goal wasn't to have some deep thoughts to share, but rather, to simply get my butt out of my apartment. It wasn't especially warm out, but the sun was shining. One of those days where you feel like you could stay outside forever, but your ears still get red and your nose gets a bit runny. Once I was in deep enough I stopped to look around and listen. Less than half of the ground still had snow on it, but only in the shadows where the sun hadn't gotten to it yet. The tops of the trees swayed from the wind that hadn't made its way down to me yet. The only noises I could here were the trees aching and my boots crunching on snow and leaves. It was beautiful. Often, clarity comes in moments unplanned.

While I was there I didn't want full-blown spring. The sight and sound of this 'half season' was perfect. Without wanting to be too philosophical, it reminded me of where I am; this current season of my life. I'm nearing a time where I have to make decisions. Will I stay put or move on to a new place, a new job, a new life? What today did for me was help me to realize that the transition between seasons is not only necessary, but it's beautiful too. It sets the stage for the next season, in all its glory, to be something to behold.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


There was a sadness that came over me yesterday as I saw footage on the news, not only because of the images of despair and destruction, but also because there are people in this country that say that Japan somehow deserves this because of what they did at Pearl Harbor in 1941. It's unfathomable that people can say such awful things.

Sure, the events of Pearl Harbor were reprehensible, but so was our response of a-bombs. The fact that a small minority of people still hold bitterness towards Japan is unbelievable to me. Additionally, most of these vocal idiots are too young to have even been alive at that time. Perhaps this hatred is being passed down through generations much like racism is. Perhaps they just want to be different. Perhaps they enjoy shocking people. Whatever the reason is it doesn't change the damage this does.

During my short time in Japan this past November I was amazed at how hospitable everyone was. I experienced such a warmth from the people and really enjoyed my time there. Not that my reaction would be any different to the tragedy there if I hadn't visited, but it's just a more vivid picture in my mind after being there.

My heart breaks for you, Japan. I wish I could do so much more.

Monday, March 14, 2011

R.I.P. Rick Martin

I never watched Rick Martin play, but I went to preschool with his son, Corey. From the age of 10 (when I first started really watching the Sabres) I always heard his name. My mom and grandma would talk about 'The French Connection,' the line Martin played left wing on with legends Rene Robert and Gilbert Perreault, with great affection. He's been part of the story of Buffalo sports since the early 70's. As a kid I would see his #7 banner hanging in the arena beside Robert's #14 and Perreault's #11 and not far from Tim Horton's #2. They all seemed larger than life to me and it was like they looked over the always changing Sabres lineups throughout the years and kept watch over the ice. They were the constants, the immortals. They were always there. Now Martin joins Horton cheering the team on from a place further away than the arena. R.I.P. Mr. Martin.
(Photo by Steve Babineau, Getty Images via Montreal Gazette)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I love night photography. It's the type of photography that excites me the most. I'm not someone that takes a lot of photos anyway and I almost never take photos of every day events. I take photos when inspired and for me to feel inspired it usually means I'm experiencing a unique place, time, or circumstance. Skylines, lights, and impossible night skies never cease to get me excited.

I'm not sure why I have such a strong response to the night when I look through a camera lens. Maybe it's because by virtue of how the picture needs to be taken I'm not just capturing a quick snapshot in time, but rather, several seconds of time strung together into one moment.

Maybe it's movement that I find so compelling. The science of motion in art form. Being able to see something in an image that is never displayed in reality. Or perhaps it's how they have a dream-like feel to me.
Or maybe it's simply the different sort of challenge this type of photography demands. Getting everything right in split seconds. The shutter being open long enough (but not too long), the right aperture, the proper ISO. The moment I see before I even take the first shot is what draws me there, but the experimentation is what keeps me there.

Whatever the reason may be, I love it. At the risk of sounding philosophical, images like these remind me of the many intersections our lives make with others if only for fractions of seconds. I think there is something really beautiful about that.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I feel hurt when a part of the population within this community makes my job, recruiting students to this place, much more difficult than the inherent challenges already make it by being so reckless with what they say and by criticizing all possible minutia.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Another 'thought from the shower'

Traveling gives me perspective (and motivation). I think I'm better in my friendships and I'm better at my job if I've been traveling. It both fills my mind with new things to think about and also clears my mind of unnecessary thoughts I seem to get bogged down with. I never lose the urge to travel and I think that if I'm not traveling, even every once in awhile, I get bored and antsy.

Can anyone relate?