This Photo Contest

I fancy myself a burgeoning photographer. Not the kind who transforms weddings into memories. Not even the kind who captures the zeitgeist of an ordinary moment and makes it extraordinary. I just want to be someone who takes pictures I enjoy, and that others can enjoy. I blame Instagram for this, for the idea that … Continue reading This Photo Contest

Utica: My Photographic Journey

This is the historic Stanley Theater right downtown on Genesee Street. I saw Jason Mraz here two years ago, and it was fantastic. The theater was renovated and enlarged a few years before that.
Tones of home. This church is right next to the Utica Public Library, and I think it’s ironic that the sign is in English when the church is predominantly a Spanish-speaking one.
This statue graces the newly constructed traffic circle downtown. I love the smaller statues that make it up.
I imagine this candlelight park lit up at night with the light of a thousand candles scattered throughout. It stands beside the Planned Parenthood clinic.

Continue reading “Utica: My Photographic Journey”

Lights! Camera! Autographs!

I remember the first time I beheld a signed copy of a popular novel. It was one of those Lawrence Block tomes about a seedy character named Matthew Scudder, books that I used to eat up like Frosted Flakes. They were vapid, but somehow kept my interest the way few books did in the early ’90s. Then, I saw a book in a bookstore (I don’t even remember what book it was, but it was in Borders) that had a sticker on its cover that proudly read “Autographed Copy.” I wondered at how a book could blatantly lie like that, but then when I opened the cover, there it was, just as advertised, the author’s signature. I thought, “It’s got to suck to be famous because everyone wants a piece of you,” and then I realized that particular author wasn’t famous. Oops.

Then I became an English teacher and headed off to the mecca of all English teacher hangouts, the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) national conference, held in Pittsburgh one year. At the conference, to my great surprise, were all kinds of authors who sat at booths at prescribed times, and, you’ll never believe this, SIGNED BOOKS FOR TEACHERS. I know. I’m still trying to catch my breath over that one, and this was a number of years ago when I was at the Pittsburgh conference. I was like a kid in a candy store. I met Nicholas Sparks, Lois Lowry, Laurie Halse Anderson, that guy who wrote the Uglies series, and many more. I was hooked. Continue reading “Lights! Camera! Autographs!”


I was at the Mohawk Valley Down Syndrome Support Group Christmas party this evening, and it was a wonderful affair. This year it was the largest yet, at almost 300 people. It’s always amazing to me how many people you wouldn’t imagine to be there were there. It truly affirms the “6 degrees” theory. People … Continue reading DS