Category Archives: Julie

RWPE #26 – Market

We’ve officially reached the halfway point of the Random Weekly Photo Experiment. I think that the holiday weekend took its toll on submissions. There are only 3 for this week:

Dawn Krause

Julie Johnson

Christopher D. Bennett

Michael Vest

Dawn’s Weekly Poem

A Random Chat Revisited

Shopping at the market today
My mind engaged in wondrous play

Four apples, apples, on a stick
Egg plant, egg plant, won’t make me sick

My old friend from the park bench day
Stopped me with a few words to say

“I loved him once you know,” she said
“My heart no longer fills with dread”

“I’ve learned to simply let him go
My quest for love no longer show”

“My coltish days of youth are gone”
And from the ash emerged a swan

“My heart fills tender at the thought
Of what it was I hadn’t sought”

“I’m reminded now love’s slow burn
A real connection at every turn”

“Tender love with no childish games
No high emotion, hidden shames”

She tossed an apple in her cart
Turned her hips with intent to part

“Our hearts are growing as we age
Turning us from student to sage”

So many loves has this one known
In search of love her desires hone

I should take lecture from her past
Not accept the role which I’m cast

Explore each love when it’s new
Be open to the one that’s true

And so I go about my life
A tranquil heart without due strife

Until we chance to meet again
I’ll ponder her heart’s loss and gain

The Random Generator has spoken. This week’s theme is:


I will be interested to see what comes of that…

RWPE #24 – Colorful

COLORFUL did light the imaginations of several people. Here are this week’s submissions:

Christopher D. Bennett

Dawn Krause of Impassioned Versifier

Debra Krause

Julie Johnson of The Joy is in the Journey

Justin Whitaker of American Buddhist Perspective

Mike Vest of Waxen Media

Dawn’s Poem


Brighter thoughts fill the mind
Happiness feels sublime
Heartstrings begin to bind

Pink of admiration
Journey to destination
Welcome inspiration

Passion red fills the soul
Overflowing empty hole
Giving back what it stole

Yellow hope of sunshine
Making clouds worth our time
Every sunset feels fine

Blue of clear brighter sky
Natural love flying high
Take a deep breathe and sigh

Lavender enchantment
Whispers of contentment
Dancing with enthrallment

World becoming rainbow
Sets complexion aglow
As warmth and feeling flow

The Random Generator has been primed, fired up and it has spit out this week’s theme:


Now those of you that are observant will note that in the Photography 139 Artistic Gallery there is a Still Life Album. The truth is that by the strictest definition of the term, most of the stuff in there isn’t really STILL LIFE. It is mostly just stuff that is leftover that doesn’t belong in the albums: Flora, Fauna or Sapiens.

A good definition of STILL LIFE photography comes from Wikipedia:

Still life photography is the depiction of inanimate subject matter, most typically a small grouping of objects. Still life photography, more so than other types of photography, such as landscape or portraiture, gives the photographer more leeway in the arrangement of design elements within a composition. The still life photographer makes pictures rather than takes them.

I admit that last sentence sounds like it was written by a still life photographer, but you get the point.

Here are a few examples that fit the basic mold:

Piano Ruins

Toast 'Em

Hearts Beat High with Joy Alternate

Weekly Photo Challenge Plant Alternates

Of course, no reason to be too literal with the theme.

In an unrelated final note, there was some curiosity about the gargoyles in the Journal Entry Slice of Life Vol. 2. I have done a little bit of research into that house and I have posted that information in the Comments section of that journal entry:

Slice of Life Vol. 2

Good luck with STILL LIFE and I look forward to seeing the submissions!

RWPE #18 – Wild

Here are the submissions for last week’s theme – WILD:

Dawn Krause A

Dawn Krause B

Michael Vest of Waxen Media

Christopher D. Bennett

Carla Stensland

Julie Johnson of The Joy is in the Journey

There were a couple of late submissions for FEET. They can be seen on the FEET post:


The Random Theme Generator has been generating and this morning it spit out the following theme:


The best definition of LEADING LINES is a photo with very strong lines in the composition that lead the viewers eyes through the photograph. A simple example would be almost any picture of railroad tracks or of a highway. A viewer will naturally follow lines through a photography, so it is a powerful compositional tool to put your subject at the end of lines.

Below are a couple of examples of LEADING LINES:

2009 - Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2009 - Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

Wild Goose Chase

2009 - Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee


Des Moines Regatta - 2009

Remember, the lines don’t have to be straight. An “S” Curve in an image is a very powerful compositional tool. Of course, as always, no reason to be too literal with the theme.

RWPE #14 – Symmetry and Patterns

The submissions for last week’s theme: Symmetry and Patterns.

Becky Perkovich

Michael Vest

Christopher D. Bennett

Dawn Krause

Julie Johnson

Dawn’s Weekly Poem

Symmetry and Patterns

See the parallels in our lives
Lines drawn in to the sands of time
Running forever side by side
Just like a perfect worded rhyme
From pain to sad to glad and joy
We’re all alike more than we think
Foundations in stone bind our hearts
Just open our minds to that link

The theme for this week is:

Long Exposure

I don’t know if there is a good way to define “long exposure”. This is how I’m going to define it and while it most likely isn’t technically correct, it is good enough for me. The human hand can only remain steady for 1/15 of a second. Therefore a long exposure could be defined as a picture with a shutter speed longer than 1/15 of second.

Of course you can define “Long Exposure” however you want. Maybe you have a pasty friend with a sunburn. Maybe you have a friend that keeps chili in the fridge well past a time when it should have been thrown away.

It will be interesting to see what people decided to do with this theme.

RWPE #13 – Macro

The submissions for last week’s theme Macro:

Julie Johnson

Dawn Krause

Michael Vest

Christopher D. Bennett

Dawn’s Poetry Submission


With tendency to over think
And analyze the motives
We watch our world slowly shrink
And stress hit like locomotives

The Random Theme Generator has been spun and it spit out the following theme for this week:

Symmetry and Patterns

That should be a fairly interesting subject. Hopefully we get several contributors next week. I’ve already heard rumors about a possible new first time contributor being on the horizon!

RWPE #11 – Motion

This week we have a first time contributor in my sister Carla.  She did break the one and only rule of RWPE (the picture has to be taken the week of the project) but I’ll let it slide since it was her birthday last week.

This week’s submissions:

Michael Vest

Carla Stensland

Dawn Krause

Becky Perkovich

Julie Johnson (In Flight)

Christopher D. Bennett

Although as a general rule I don’t like to comment on my RWPE, I will point out this time that this picture is completely motivated by the fact that Stephanie Kasper would be abnormally freaked out by it.

Julie has started a blog and I wanted to include a link to her blog so you can enjoy much more of her photography, writing and just general Julieness. For those of you that are like me and can’t get enough Julie Johnson (despite being treated for the medical condition) click on the link below:

The Joy is in the Journey

Dawn’s Weekly Poem


The tenderness you want to convey
Revealed itself in your words today
It beckons me to come out to play
But lingers for you to lead the way

Why don’t you put your plan in motion
And show me your secure devotion
Seduce my mind with romantic notion
Your signal is that magic potion

The theme for this week is:


Hopefully we continue to get lots of contributors. This is a fairly accessible subject, but of course there is no reason to be literal. There are all sorts of different kinds of signs in the world. Maybe the CEO of the William McAlpine Excuse Factory will even grace us with a contribution.

For those who had the same idea that I had, I looked it up. Tesla isn’t touring right now. Darn the luck.  I guess I’ll have to look for another subject that will be “blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign.”

RWPE #8 – Self-Portrait

Final Reminder

This is the last blog that will be posted to:

Don’t forget to update your links, bookmarks and RSS Feeds to the new URL:

Last week’s theme was SELF-PORTRAIT. Although there wasn’t any new people to submit pictures, there were still several submissions. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was hoping that more men would submit pictures now and again, but we aren’t very far into this project, so maybe a few more guys will ante up in the future.

This week’s submissions:

Monica Henning (Fairweather Friend)

Julie Johnson

Dawn Krause

Becky Perkovich

Michael Vest

Christopher D. Bennett

Dawn’s Weekly Poem includes an Artistic Adaptation.

Self Portrait

A rose
yearning to be a daisy
vulnerable and
open for the world to see

shattered into pieces
broken, mended
brought together in new form

smooth and resistant
with scars
damaged but still strong

full of hope
warming souls
joy with simple pleasure

The theme for this week is:


That is a theme that would have probably been more fun to do in the summer, but what can you do? The Random Generator has spoken!

Amazing Weekend

Daily Reminder

Don’t forget to update your links, bookmarks and RSS Feeds to the new URL:

I did have a couple of late submissions for RWPE. Here are a couple of bonus FRAMING pictures.

Julie Johnson

Michael Vest

I had an amazing weekend. I would just like to share a few of the highlights. In no particular order, besides chronological:

  • I ate supper on Friday night at Jeff’s Pizza with Teresa and Jesse. I love their pepperoni rolls.
  • I got to watch Jesus Christ Superstar at Stephens with Mom, Jesse and Teresa. It was an awesome production, with the exception of the geriatric Ted Neeley, who has continued to suck it up into his 60s. I firmly believe that the only acceptable definition of Hell is “separation from God”. But if I were to believe in a personal punishment vision of Hell, it might be that I get up to what I think is Heaven because Jesus is there. But then he opens his mouth and sounds like Ted Neeley. I would have to pump my fist and scream, “You win this round vengeful God! You win this round!” Sorry Shannon, but that is the way it is.
  • I got to chauffeur Jim out of the Cyclone State for only the 2nd time since 1987. It was the first time he has left the state for an “extended” period of time since 1987 when he took Nate to see a St. Louis Cardinals game. I think he might have enjoyed it as he is considering leaving the state again this Summer to see the Twins play the Braves on June 12 & 13.
  • I got to see Bethany’s new house. It is pretty sweet. They have managed to put down a new wood floor, new tile in the kitchen and new carpet in the rest of the house. Her new fridge is the coolest fridge I’ve ever seen. They painted all the rooms and they got the paint for free because they bought it on Christmas Eve and the Sherwin Williams employee just gave it to them as a Christmas Present because they were the only customers he had that day.
  • I got to try my first (and won’t be the last) Jucy Lucy. Yes, there is no “i” in Jucy. There are two restaurants that lay claim to having invented the Twin City curiosity. We went to Matt’s Bar based on the recommendation of Becca’s boyfriend Gelli. He insisted that they have the superior Jucy Lucy. A Jucy Lucy is a cheeseburger that has the cheese inside the meat patty rather than on top. A piece of cheese is surrounded by raw meat and cooked until it melts. The end result is a hamburger with a molten core of cheese. The sandwich is both incredibly tasty and slightly dangerous. You have to be careful with the first bite because if you bite into it too aggressively you are rewarded with an explosion of boiling cheese. This cheese explosion is both tasty and painful. A rare combination. The two restaurants that claim to have invented the burger are only a few blocks apart. Matt’s Bar does not use the “i” in juicy. The 5-8 Club does use the “i”. They both have used this spelling in their marketing. Matt’s Bar boasts “if it’s spelled correctly, you’re at the wrong place.” The 5-8 club boasts “if it’s spelled right, it’s done right”. In a future trip to Minnesota, I will give the 5-8 Club a try. I might also venture into St. Paul to try the Cajun Lucy served at the Groveland Tap.
  • Stopped at a quaint little store called Tom’s Popcorn Shop. I picked up 4 types of popcorn. A chocolate popcorn that ended up being terrible. Jill compared it to Cocoa Puffs and that was a very accurate assessment. A double caramel and mixed nuts variety ended up being very tasty. A caramel and peanuts variety was tasty. The banana popcorn I am munching on right now isn’t too bad.
  • I got to see the bank where Bethany works and pick up two new pairs of shoes at a nearby Burlington Coat Factory. My injured foot is already starting to feel better since I switched shoes.
  • I made Sara’s dream come true by wandering around IKEA with Bethany and Jim. Okay, mostly with Bethany. I think Jim was ready to go 5 minutes after stepping in the door. I didn’t get to see all of IKEA, but I did get to see a group of girls acting out the scene from (500) Days of Summer (have I told you lately how much I love that movie!) that is set in IKEA. That warmed my heart a bit. I also fell in love with their collection of butcher block tables and I have decided to get rid of my kitchen table and replace it with a small butcher block table. To create both some space and so I have a food prep area if I ever decide to cook. Or the more likely scenario, for the next time somebody comes over and cooks for me.
  • I got to see Jill’s apartment. It was disgustingly clean. Meaning if I spent now until my birthday party cleaning my house it still wouldn’t be half as clean as Jill’s apartment. But it is a well-known fact that the Gorshes are cleaners. Anybody that ever worked a closing shift at the Boone outpost of the Evil Clown Empire with Derrick can tell you stories about the cleanliness of the grill area when he was done. They can also tell you other stories, but I’m concentrating on how much that guy liked to clean for now. I got to meet her cat. I don’t think it is a major surprise that her can’t didn’t like me, but the theory is that this was just laying the groundwork. The next time I visit, the cat will think I’m swell. It is similar to my theory that the next time Jupiter gets together with Jackson and Bailey they will get along swell because of the groundwork I did on Dog Playdate when I was borrowing Jupiter for Sara’s trip to Florida. I also got to ride in Indy for the first time since I got to drive her several months back. We ate at this sweet restaurant called Jade 88 Chinese Cuisine. We were the only people in the restaurant. Literally. My favorite aspects of this restaurant were that they called crab rangoons – cream cheese powder puffs, they had a chair sitting in the women’s bathroom stall (Jill reported this fact, I did not go into the women’s bathroom) and they had the largest collection of cleaning supplies I’ve ever seen sitting on top of the toilet in the men’s room. That isn’t to say the food wasn’t good, because it was great, but to know me is to know what type of weird things tickle my fancy. After the meal, Jill returned my copy of the 2 Disc Special Edition of A Clockwork Orange that she had borrowed a few weeks back. My Stanley Kubrick boxed set is complete once again! I was also able to loan her The Departed and give her the final piece of Halloween candy. A piece of candy that almost ended up in Willy’s stomach.
  • I had lunch with Jim, Becca and Nate at one of Becca’s favorite restaurants Quang. It is a Vietnamese restaurant that reminds me of one of Sara’s favorite restaurants, A Dong. (Yes, immature people, that is really the name of the restaurant. Stop giggling. I know who you are.) While we waited for a table, Becca and I checked out an Asian grocery store across the street. Now just going to a normal grocery store is kind of an adventure for me. (If you don’t believe me, ask Jay) But going to this grocery store was a special kind of adventure for me. I actually didn’t take my camera out of my backpack on the whole trip. Even though I thought about doing my FRAMING picture for RWPE up there, but in the end I admittedly just kind of phoned that project in. However, at the bottom of this list, you might just find a few low quality images I captured with my phone in this market. The food at Quang lived up to Becca’s hype. We had some kind of fried yam things called Banh Tom Chien. They called crab rangoons cream cheese wontons. Tasty, but not as cute as cream cheese powder puffs.
  • After Quang, I allowed Becca to drive my car (without a small amount of consternation on my part) to give us a tour of Uptown Minneapolis. I really liked Uptown. We got to drive by Gelli’s parents’ restaurant “It’s All Greek to Me…” (a place I will no doubt try in the future) and hear Becca’s sermonizing on how much she doesn’t like hipsters. Nate liked to point out that Becca is a borderline hipster, but she doesn’t see the similarities. Even though she does want to drive a Prius, she is not a hipster she insists. Mostly because she doesn’t ride a bike. But perhaps the most exciting part of the Uptown tour was driving by the Uptown Theater. Although I had missed it, they clearly proclaimed on their marquee that they had a midnight showing of A Clockwork Orange. Jill is going to look into this phenomenon and hopefully a midnight showing of A Clockwork Orange is in our future.
  • After the Uptown tour we stopped at a grocery store so Nate could buy the ingredients for gumbo. On the surface that doesn’t sound particularly exciting, but in fact it is like watching Van Gogh buy paintbrushes or Eric Clapton buy a guitar.
  • Becca made a Coastal Seafood Salad that included shrimp, squid and roughie. It was incredible. Nate made gumbo (no need to point out how phenomenal the gumbo was) and we settled down to watch the Super Bowl. I would have to say that my favorite Super Bowl commercial this year was the commercial with the beaver playing the violin. Like Jen, I’m partial to beavers. The team I was rooting for also won. That was a surprising bonus. Nate also tried to convince me that Metallica had redeemed themselves with their most recent album. I’ve never been much of a Metallica fan, but at some point I will be giving their new album a listen in order to make my own assessment.
  • I pulled into my driveway at 1:30 in the morning. It had been a successful weekend on many levels.

Here are a few low quality pictures from my phone:

Mmmm… Pork brains. But you can’t prepare that without edible beef blood!

Fresh clams!

Lobster. I wanted a picture of the crabs, but the water in their tank wasn’t clear enough to get a good picture.


Of course I also wanted to share today’s love letter from The Writer’s Almanac:

Franz Kafka wrote stories about human beings transformed into vermin; unsettling legal battles over unspecified crimes; and a father who sentences his son to death by drowning. Kafka is often thought of as neurotic, and rarely as romantic, but he wrote a great many love letters — many of the anguished, helpless variety — to a Berlin woman to whom he was engaged for five years. Their relationship was carried out almost entirely by letters.

In the autumn of 1912, he wrote to Felice Bauer about how much she had become inseparable from his composition process, and also how anticipation of her writing kept him awake at night. He wrote:

“Lately I have found to my amazement how intimately you have now become associated with my writing, although until recently I believe that the only time I did not think about you at all was while I was writing.

In one short paragraph I had written, there were, among others, the following references to you and your letters: someone was give a bar of chocolate. There was talk of small diversions someone had during working hours. Then there was a telephone call. And finally somebody urged someone to go to bed, and threatened to take him straight to his room if he did not obey, which was certainly prompted by the recollection of your mother’s annoyance when you stayed so late at the office. — Such passages are especially dear to me; in them I take hold of you, without your feeling it, and therefore without your having to resist.

… [It takes] every imaginable effort to get to sleep — i.e., to achieve the impossible, for one cannot sleep and at the same time be thinking about one’s work and trying to solve with certainty the one question that certainly is insoluble, namely, whether there will be a letter from you the next day, and at what time. The night consists of two parts: one wakeful, the other sleepless, and if I were to tell you about it at length and you were prepared to listen, I should never finish.

Eleven days later, Kafka wrote to her:
“Fraulein Felice!
I am now going to ask you a favour which sounds quite crazy, and which I should regard as such, were I the one to receive the letter. It is also the very greatest test that even the kindest person could be put to. Well this is it:
Write to me only once a week, so that your letter arrives on Sunday — for I cannot endure your daily letters, I am incapable of enduring them.
For instance, I answer one of your letters, then lie in bed in apparent calm, but my heart beats through my entire body and is conscious only of you.
I belong to you; there is really no other way of expressing it, and that is not strong enough. But for this very reason I don’t want to know what you are wearing; it confuses me so much that I cannot deal with life; and that’s why I don’t want to know that you are fond of me. If I did, how could I, fool that I am, go on sitting in my office, or here at home, instead of leaping onto a train with my eyes shut and opening them only when I am with you?”

And a week after that, he wrote to her:

“Dearest, what have I done that makes you torment me so? No letter again today, neither by the first mail nor the second. You do make me suffer! While one written word from you could make me happy! … If I am to go on living at all, I cannot go on vainly waiting for news of you, as I have done these last few interminable days …

I think the thing I’ve liked about these letters is their common theme of thinking constantly about the woman they love and how that gets in the way of their work.

RWPE #4 – Plants

Last week’s Random Weekly Photo Experiment Theme was PLANTS. It is exciting to have Julie Johnson as a first time contributor! Here are the submissions:

Julie Johnson

Dawn Krause

Jesse Howard

Mike Vest

Mike Vest

Christopher D. Bennett

Shannon Bardole’s Artistic Appreciation Selection of the Week:


Dawn Krause’s Poem:


As bee and butterfly flit through the green
Amid a summer day
On a rose flying-beauty paused to preen
While bee begins to play

The garden sways gently to the breeze
It’s rustle fills the air
Aroma and beauty with aim to please
A sensual gift so rare

The theme for this week is FRAMING.

The best way to describe FRAMING is it a compositional technique where an object (usually in the foreground)surrounds the subject. Essentially creating a frame.

An example of this technique can be seen in the image below taken by my nephew Logan on Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day - 2009

However, don’t feel obligated to stick to that definition. A picture of somebody framing a picture or framing a house would qualify just as easily.

I do actually have several other photos that from my PLANTS photo session that I will publish later this week. I took several more pictures than I usually do for RWPE and I don’t want them all to sit on my hard drive collecting dust. Like the picture of the aftermath of me tripping over a fence, during the SOOTHING photo shoot, always will.