what a wild year 2009 ended up being. for the past three years, life has been fairly simple. get up, go to work, put 40 hours in, relax and enjoy the weekend. it's amazing how deleting one piece of that formula changes everything. like it did with a lot of people, the economy slapped me in the face this year. although slaps can hurt and sting a bit, they can also be an awakening. if 2008 was a very [internal] year for me, 2009 was the complete opposite. not only was i able to expand my view on the world by traveling more than i ever have, but by reading and studying, my thoughts on my professional and personal goals were questioned, explored, changed, and strengthened. here are a few pictures representing the "sting" and "awakening" during the past year.
last january i attended the kansas aviation museum's open house. i took this shot because i liked the way the silhouette of the plane looked in the light. i would have never guessed this would have made the top ten photos of the year, but after going through my albums, reminiscing on the past, this photo, with it's setting sun mixed with the idea of travel seemed to be the perfect foreshadowing of the year to come.
last march a group of local photographers were allowed to photograph the inside of an old player piano building before it was cleared out. decades of piano repair had created five overstuffed stories of objects, gadgets, and things...basically a photographers dream. walking around, taking pictures, there was something exciting and depressing about the whole experience. a building that had served it's purpose for years, filled with it's tools of the trade, being cleared out for something new. change always brings about that feeling.
the very next day, i was laid off. that exciting/depressing feeling hit me again. i boxed up my "tools of the trade" and headed home, unsure of what might lie ahead.
not long after i was laid off, i was enjoying a few drinks with friends. that night, a couple sat next to me. before too long we struck up a conversation. the couple ended up being mark and beth, traveling artists from wisconsin. they had booked their art in galleries across the mid-west, and were on the road, following their art, eventually to end up in austin. naturally we talked about art, and architecture, but that led to deeper discussions about following one's passion, no matter what the sacrifice. after last call, they left, and although we'll probably never cross paths again, the discussion we had was the most perfect and inspiring, i could have had at that point in my life, and gave me a new sense of direction. they will forever be my muses of 2009.
in may i, along with most of my college friends, traveled up to portland to witness the wedding of one of our buddies. although most of us were unemployed, it didn't stop us from enjoying the city. the days were filled with late brunches, coffee, and beer. it had been three years since were were all in seaton hall, working late nights, and that weekend proved, nothing had changed.
what year wouldn't be complete without a decemberists concert. in may, i was able to see them play the entire "hazards of love" album non-stop, from beginning to end. always a wonderful and beautiful time.
kansas city. my wonderful and gracious friends eric and lauren, offered me a job helping them finish one of their projects. although this did give me a chance to get out from behind the drafting desk and get my hands dirty, what i really enjoyed was strengthening my friendship with these two.....living and working with someone seven days a week for two months tends to do that.
this year i started reading "on the road", agian, but this time i was bound and determined to finish it. while in the process of reading it, i took a trip to denver. not only is denver mentioned several times in the book, but specific address are given. finding an online guide, i spent the better part of a day visiting a few places mentioned in the book. the above picture is of a bar neal cassody, the real life dean moriarty, use to frequent. soon after this trip, i finished the book.
wanting to use the free time i had been given with my unemployment wisely, i started studying for my architecture exams. along with a lot of reading and test taking came a lot of iced coffee which, through the course of the summer, i was able to perfect.
austin city limits music festival. i was able to snap a picture of this girl mid way through one of her spins. her "hippy-ish" look adds to the delight of this photo, but i just really enjoyed her care free, no worries attitude, and i was glad to capture a bit of that feeling on film.