Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Stuff: Amanda Allen

Amanda explains:

1. Origami - My friend Gabriel made this for me before he moved back to Montana. I always thought it was inspiring. I keep it on top of my computer.

2. Key - I got this as a present from my friend Patricia for my 26th birthday. I think it came from an antique store in Chelsea. She got into a bad bike accident shortly thereafter. I have a tattoo of this exact key now.

3. Cup - Before my parents were married, they had a set of camping cookware. There are only two remaining artifacts of that set. I have one, and my dad has one.

4. Horseshoe - I bought this at an antique store on South Congress Street in Austin. I bought it on my last afternoon of the trip. For no particular reason I had a goal of bringing an old horseshoe back with me. Maybe I was listening to too much Ryan Adams. This was the dingiest one, the one I wanted. It's one of the best reminders of a solitary trip/

5. Scissors - I bought these in July at a stationery store. They're Indian tailor scissors, and they are incredibly sharp and precise.

6. Dracena Palm Tree - My mom bought it as a start on Maui when I was a kid. It's a good 16 years old now.

7. Record - This is my mom's original copy of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Right before my mom and I moved to Hawaii, we had a huge barn sale, and my mom was selling all her original Pink Floyd and Beatles records for a quarter each. I knew that was a mistake. Thankfully, most of them didn't disappear.

8. Kodak Camera - My grandpa gave me this and two other cameras. I think this one was made in the '30s. My uncle once described it as a Wizard of Oz camera.

9. Bobo the Bear - In 2008, I found him in a free box in front of my house. He's kind of ratty and disheveled, but I felt some kind of affinity for him. Later that year, I was having a lot of anxiety, and I would wake up in the middle of the night. If I snuggled Bobo, he calmed me down.

10. Where the Sidewalk Ends - My grandma bought this for me at Village Books in Bellingham, Wash., when I was 7. We used to spend many rainy afternoons at Village Books. If I had to set fire to my bookcase, this is the book I would save.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

But there's something about the summer

Last summer I borrowed Quentin's Canon AE-1 film camera. He left for Nebraska before I finished the roll, so the film took a ride to Omaha. He mailed the roll back to me a little while ago, and I finally had it developed. I miss the heat!




Monday, November 15, 2010


   /ˈwɪstfəl/ Show Spelled[wist-fuhl]
1. characterized by melancholy; longing; yearning.
2. pensive, esp. in a melancholy way.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday Night Lights

More photos from my life in 2010 attempts. When I was a teenager, I spent most Friday nights clutching hot chocolate and vaguely paying attention to the score at football games. I haven't been to a game in more than a decade, but Friday night I went to the Aloha high game. Aloha is this unincorporated community I cover. I'm busy working on a series of articles about it right now, and the football team has a kind of rags-to-riches story. Seemed like as good a chance as any to get some good reporting in. The picture-taking was just a bonus.




(This previous photo is of two pre-teens. The girl (left) is asking the boy if he has a girlfriend).





Thursday, November 11, 2010

@the Ace

For the last assignment in my photography class, we're supposed to take a bunch of pictures this week (ideally 360 a day!) of life in 2010. After class, I made a list of places in Portland I wanted to go. First up was the Ace Hotel. I kept trying to be surreptitious, which does not make the best pictures. I just don't know if I have the guts to be one of those 50's-era photographers who just walk right up to people and take their photos. And I'm too nervous to ask a person in a coffee shop if I can take their photo. So here is what I came up with:

Ace Hotel

Ace Hotel

Ace Hotel

Ace Hotel

Ace Hotel

Ace Hotel

Ace Hotel

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow ...

Ev got kittens. They look artificially large here, but those little things did grow up fast. When we met them, they didn't even weigh a pound. Now the boy (George) weighs almost 4, I bet. The girl (Joey) is smaller. They don't understand the rules of photography, and therefore are very squirmy when I try to take their picture.




Saturday, November 6, 2010


Here's my taxidermy story. I had a really fun time going out and talking to this guy. He's super interesting.

CORNELIUS -- Brian Snyder's phone rings off the hook. People ask: When will my deer be ready? (Next year.) When's the best time to hunt? (Dry days.) Why can't I get a kill? (You just have to put in the time.)

People knock on his door, too. "'Scuse me," Snyder tells one customer. "Let me get that skull for you."

Snyder, 44, is a taxidermist -- one of the best in the state, according to online hunting forums. This time of year -- smack dab in the middle of deer season -- is his busiest time. But don't let all the phone calls and door knocks fool you. This is the worst deer season Snyder has seen in 20 years.

Read the rest on

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wall bearings

A few weeks ago, I interviewed a taxidermist in Cornelius. My boss encouraged me to write more "people stories," so this was my first shot at just going to find someone interesting and writing about him. The story, which runs on Saturday, turned out pretty well I think. Here is a bear-in-progress on his wall.