under the sea (on film)

Holy flu, batman. Like, seriously. Last Thursday, I was strolling along the oceanfront with my Composition Class, slightly raspy, and by Thursday evening, halfway through an email I started feeling chills. Within the hour, email still unsent, I was in bed with a 103º fever.

Let's not do that again shall we? On Mother's Day, I dragged myself to lunch no matter how bad I felt (and you would too for chicken and waffles with red velvet waffles with maple cream) but halfway through, Neel developed a fever. We're so glad Cal is driving now! We could barely make it home. That's just how we roll around here.

But let's talk of better things, shall we? Not my ongoing raspy cough, or how much my chest hurts or how I've taken to using my kid's inhaler. How about we talk about clear blue skies. Wide, white sand. And the clear green waters of the sea? Oh, and my underwater camera.


She squeals gleefully. We spend so much time in and around the water here that I have long wanted an underwater camera, or at least an underwater housing for my digital camera. Uh, have you seen how pricey those things are? I mean, I know we could GoPro it, but that just didn't appeal. Fits Cal's demo more than mine maybe.

And then I saw this article. And then I frantically/excitedly/gleefully started asking around. And then enter the Nikonos. Designed as a diving camera in the 1960s, and built like a tank, this guy can go fully underwater or shoot some sweet pictures on top of the waves. If I tell you it felt a little weird to walk into the Gulf of Mexico carrying my camera, will you believe me?

But oh, such sweet images. And on my first try! This little guy is a trick to master, so I'm looking forward to spending a lot of time together this summer. Toes in the sand.

All images shot on a Nikonos V with Fuji Superia 400.

spring training on film

We've had just the most miserably cold and rainy weekend. Neel said that if you'd told him it was November instead of late April, he'd have believed you. My fingers are cold, my nose is cold. I'm cold. By Sunday, I thought I'd spend the afternoon warming up to the film photos of our trip to Clearwater Beach, FL and the Phillies' Spring Training. I'm not gonna lie. We've traveled all over the world, and this was one of our best vacations ever.

If you have even the barest interest in baseball, I can't recommend Spring Training enough. Follow a team religiously like some in this family follow the Phillies? Well, it's practically a requirement. At Spring Training, every thing is like the MLB, writ small. Ball parks are smaller and friendlier. Crowds are more manageable. Ticket prices too.

We got to Florida right at the start of the Spring Training Season, so we got to see Opening Day ceremonies for the Phillies, the Yankees and the Astros. We sat behind home plate, like directly behind home plate, for all three. Cal lined up for autographs at all three parks, and the players and coaches were approachable, friendly and happy to oblige. In town, Clearwater and Clearwater Beach, home to the Phillies, was like little Philadelphia. Dinner at local dives could have been as easily in Jersey as it was steps away from crystal-clear water and sugar sand. The crystal-clear water and sugar sand is somehow better. Florida retirees work the ballparks as ushers and ticket takers, and let me tell you, that looks like one sweet gig. Our waiter at one restaurant asked Neel if he was from Philly and proceeded to pull out his cellphone and show us pictures of the hoagie the last time he was "back home." Our neighbor Paul, in Tampa visiting family, texted that he was at the game, and we had a long chat. He lives down the street and it was the first time we'd seen him in months. I swear, it's the happiest place on earth. It's warm, so everyone is happy. It's pre-season, so everyone is happy. Hope springs eternal at Florida ballparks in March.

I'll be honest. I could have used a bit better balance between beach and ballpark, and I'll share my beach shots next week, but honestly? There's nothing like stepping on an airplane that has to be de-iced before it can take off, and getting off of said plane to sunshine, palm trees and 80º. Neel and I had a lot of time to talk while we watched Cal vie for autographs, and we decided that this was indeed the life. Our new life plan? Retire and move to Florida and work at Phillies Spring Training Games. We think we might start next year.