Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

from two pandas and Bob Dylan


The Cycle cycle

In September, I only biked 30.4 miles. In October, I biked more -- 47.6 miles -- but I would still like to bike more than that. It was so much easier when I was bike commuting! Now it's hard to find the time during the week. My goal for November is 55 miles.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fast all slow

I finished up my Fast Draw video for the Oregonian earlier this week. I'll post it when it runs on the O's Website. In the meantime, here is a tiny clip I shot and visuals editor Rob Finch slowed down. It sounds like a bowling alley!

Slow-motion fast draw from Casey Parks on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

These boots were made for ?

This month's "Readers Write" prompt at the Sun is "Shoes." Here is my short contribution.

When I was 13, every cool kid in my school wore brown, six-eye Doc Martens. The specifications were important. Black “Docs” meant you were goth. Twelve-eye Docs meant you were weird. But six-eye, brown Docs meant you were preppy, cool.

I didn’t own a pair.

Never mind that my hair was two colors -- the result of a bad Sun-in Highlight job and ever-emerging roots -- or that I was bossy and awkward. Never mind that I tucked in my t-shirts or that my mother still applied my makeup in the morning. My entire future would be changed, I thought, if I owned a pair of brown six-eyes.

I knew we couldn’t afford a pair. The cheapest pairs cost more than $100, and my parents had filed bankruptcy. They owed thousands of dollars in medical bills. My mother hadn’t bought a new pair of shoes for herself in half a dozen years.

I didn’t ask for Docs, but I must have talked about them because one Saturday morning, my mother woke me up early. “Get dressed,” she said. “We’re going to the mall.”

She took me straight to Gadzooks, an alternative store filled with Mossimo t-shirts and Girbaud jeans. She kept walking until she reached the back of the store where the Docs -- every color and size I could imagine! -- lined the wall.

“What size are you? Six?” she asked.

If I had been a better kid, I would have demurred or at least promised to do extra chores. But I wasn’t that kind of daughter. I wanted -- deserved to be, I thought -- popular.

“Yes, size six,” I said.

I wore the shoes to school on Monday, and no one noticed. Soon, every dork like me had a pair. No one asked me to the dance. No one nominated me for student council. My life stayed exactly the same.

I didn’t ask my mother how she paid for the shoes until years later. I was in college then and had seen a boy wearing Docs. By then, the boots were woefully out of style. But I didn’t care about style anymore. I had given up on being cool (for the moment, anyway).

I called my mom after class. How had she paid for them? She hadn’t eaten lunch for three months. She had gone without a coat. She kept the money under her mattress.

She didn't remember that my life didn't change. She just remembered the day she bought them, how I put them on and walked around the neighborhood with a powder compact in my pocket, proud as all get out.

"You looked so happy," she said. "You looked beautiful."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tell Me This (part 1)

The first of a two-part Questions series. Amanda and I worked on this about a month ago:

Questions: Who did you want to be when you grew up? from Casey Parks on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

From the archives

My brother reminded me of this video the other day. It was our (OK, mostly his) attempt at a cooking show style video, and it seriously cracks me up.

Dining with Deeter: Sinful Sorbet Shake from Casey Parks on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Every old barn needs some paint

This week's assignment in my photo class was to make a self-portrait that reveals some inner thing about yourself. These are mine.

When I was in high school (and even junior high), I wore make-up. My mother used to take me to the Clinique counter to buy eye shadow and foundation. I always felt so embarrassed, sitting in those high seats as the make-up artist brushed blush across my cheeks. Do it just like this when you go home, they'd say.

I was never good at putting on my make-up. My mother told me women are supposed to wear makeup. If she wasn't wearing hers, she said she didn't have her face on. "Every old barn needs some paint," she said.

I felt like I'd never get used to putting a mascara wand so close to my eyes. I would never know how to make blush look natural, how to blend foundation in so that it looked like your real skin, only better. So when I went to college, I just stopped wearing it. Secretly, though, I always suspected I would be more beautiful if I wore makeup. Some nights, after a few cocktails, I would ask sorority girls to put makeup on me. Outside and done up, people would tell me how pretty I looked.

I don't wear makeup now. But the reason isn't because I don't like makeup, or because I think I look better without it. The reason I don't wear makeup is because I know I'll never be pretty that way. I know I'll never be good at putting it on, at being the kind of woman who would make the South proud. A beauty.







Sunday, October 17, 2010

Luck of the draw

Yesterday, I drove out to a bison ranch about 45 minutes away from town to cover a fast draw competition. The cowboys who participate in the competition were all great guys and even strapped a holster and gun on me. As soon as I saw this guy -- Bad Eye Lefty -- I knew I had to have a picture keepsake of him.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I read your diary

I've enrolled in my first-ever photography class (yikes!) at Newspace in Portland. For our first assignment, we had to take a series of photos of something people don't normally look at (Would You Jump Rope readers might notice that I repurposed this for our collaborative blog). I chose personal journals. Here are some photos from my series. The rest are in a Flickr album.