The Perfect Puddle Fail.

I’ve been a bit obsessed with puddles lately. Which is convenient, since we just had a Tropical Storm come all the way up the middle of our state.

(Granted it wasn’t a Tropical Storm when it reached me, but it was still pretty dang wet.)

I don’t usually get hung up on getting a specific shot, but in my head I’ve had this “perfect” puddle jump for months that I just needed to capture.

The original idea was to be directly above a child who was jumping down into a puddle while looking at the puddle, and get the top of their head and body going down, but their happy face in the reflection of the water.

(I don’t know if that makes any sense but it’s BEAUTIFUL in my head.)

However, this particular shot, I have discovered through scientific analysis, is impossible in a Physics sort of way.

It turns out that puddle reflections are super tricky – sometimes they’re in color, sometimes they’re in black and white, and if you’re directly over the puddle shooting down, they’re not there at all.

I spent parts of three days trying to get this specific shot, with much help from my kids (especially Ali, as Noah prefers contrariness.) But I haven’t been happy with the results.

I even named this entire night of photos “Failed Puddle Jump.”

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I mean they were cool, but they weren’t what I wanted.

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I was puzzled by myself, because I’m really not usually this particular and specific with my photography. But there was just SOMETHING missing. Something I had to capture. And these weren’t it.

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So I tried again Tuesday at The Botanical Gardens. Ali was all in, so we shot several rounds of jumps while Noah whined and loitered in the background.

I was fairly happy with the results – Ali looked completely dreamy in a few – but they still weren’t *quite* there.

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Tuesday night, Chris took us all on a surprise End Of School Year Celebration Night. We ate dinner at a new restaurant, then he took us to Target and gave us each gift certificates to blow on whatever we wanted, then we went up to a downtown parking deck for me to get to shoot the sunset. I was informed that this was the third of four stops, the fourth one being another mystery stop.

While we waited on sunset, I noticed that there was a perfect puddle. And Noah was in an especially amenable mood. So we worked on getting my unattainable shot.

We tried it from one angle.

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Oh yes. The reflections were in color (aided perhaps by the fact that he was wearing the outfit in which I’ve nicknamed him “Dayglow.”)

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Then another angle, and it was even better.

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We were SO CLOSE.

After circling the puddle and studying it with all of my analytical geometry skills intensely tuned in, I finally decided on the perfect angle/lens combination to shoot with the fullest city backdrop.

I realigned Noah and humbly requested his ongoing participation…

“Just one more time! And by one more time I mean as many times as it takes to get it right.”

Shockingly, he was all in. “Okay, but let me take off my shoes real quick. They’re getting super wet.”

No problem.

So he backed up.

We rechecked the angles.

I gave him leap coaching (“one leg out – not a hop – a leap”), and we lined up the shot.

He took off.

I snapped.

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Yes! Yes! It’s going to be PERFECT!!

…But then his lack of shoes suddenly and quite violently caught up with him.

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He slid straight through that Public Parking Lot Puddle, coating his butt with the layers of slime from decades of tires and shoes and bubble gum and spit and who knows what other unspeakable bodily and non-bodily fluids.

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He came out the other side looking like a bog had attacked his backside, and also crying and holding his shoulder.

I feverishly rooted around in the back of the car to find a towel, but only found a blanket – good enough. I wrapped him up and checked on the rotationary abilities of his arm – it still functioned, and he had calmed down.

Then I checked my camera.

And WE GOT THE DANG SHOT.

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And we all lived happily ever after.

(Except his shorts.)

(And possibly his puddle jumping career.)

(And also there is the issue of my Mommy Guilt.)

(But Mommy Guilt never goes away so you might as well get the shot if you’re going to suffer from it anyway.)

The End.

p.s. – My apologies to the Ice Cream Shop that was our fourth stop. I do hope we didn’t leave any Parking Lot Bog behind in your cozy booth.

Why Alabama Lost.

So Alabama lost. Did you hear?

My husband handled it awfully well – I think he nearly tuned out the last fifteen minutes of the game, clearly as a psychological coping mechanism. But it was effective, as the children didn’t get woken up by screams of agony and defeat, which is a much better fate than most of the children in our great state.

I have a theory about what happened this year. Why they lost a game in the regular season, and why they lost this playoff game that they were clearly supposed to win.

It was the fashion.

Every year I collect the latest and greatest of Alabama Fashion Trends for you, and this year was no exception – at least, in the fact that I tried.

But the fan’s hearts just weren’t in it this year. Gone were the grown ladies wearing tutus and the grown men wearing curious houndstooth rice farming hats. No more were the bedazzled and appliqued jeans or matching full-length sequined robes (with the fur.)

And if the fans weren’t plugged in, how were the players supposed to be powered?

If the fans weren’t committed, can we really expect Saban to be able to work magic?

No, fans. We cannot.

Alabama Football is fueled just like Neverland – on belief.

If you don’t show your belief and show it loudly, Saban Pan can’t fly, the Lost Boys can’t defeat Captain Hook, and all the cheering Tinkerbells in the world won’t be able to bring magic back to the island.

No. Instead, this year’s fanwear was largely made up of dead things.

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I mean. A LOT of faux animals died to be paired with a pom-pom stuck in a boot.

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And I wasn’t the only one noticing.

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That’s right, Houndstooth Legging Lady. You are SO last year.

Seriously. How many Ewoks should have to die for one girl to attend a football game?

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And the dead things weren’t limited to vests, either. If you don’t have anything else to wear, just cut the last twelve inches off of your Abominable Snowman Outfit and wear that!

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Snowman says hi.

C’mon, Alabama. We can’t fuel a team with such indifference. If you’re going to wear a dead animal, at least do it right.

Even Florida can do that.

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And then there were the tight things.

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Taking Lace where no lace has been before…

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Everything so Boa-Constrictor tight that their owner might be the next dead thing to be worn by another fan.

Gameday Fashion 11Lifts and separates – all the way up!

(But I will admit that it did give me a tiny thrill to see that someone actually did buy the Ace Bandage Hosiery from HauteLook. I’m sure it was on my recommendation.)

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And of course there were doilies as shorts.

Paired with boots,

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Paired with jerseys.

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Because doilies are the new black.

It’s just the facts – the fan base didn’t play offense or defense with their fashion choices this year.

Okay no there was a little offense.

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But between Ill-Fitting Plaids,

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Eternally confusing butt messages,

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And frightening onesies,

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The team just couldn’t pull it off this year.

In fact, almost all of the fans seemed much more interested in themselves than in what we were all supposedly there for – the players.

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But let’s give it up for the few fans who still cared – who still believed – who still did their part to help create the ever-needed football pixie dust.

It was to them that we owe our twelve wins.

Thank you, Top Hat Man, for reducing the earth’s supply of natural houndstooth with the making of your fantastic show of belief in the team. But no thank you, for standing between me and my sunset.

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Thank you, Spandex-Wearing Man, with your wig conspicuously on opposite sides than your shirt and socks, for doing your part. For showing your belief. For powering the team.

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(No thank you, sunglass-wearing-man in the background, for laughing at he who is committed to the program.)

Thank you, Cruella De Vil’s daughter, for stepping right out of 1986 to come believe in your team. In our team. In the nation’s team.

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Thank you, Awesomely Hip Baby, for stealing Saban’s hat to infuse it with some of your infant magic.

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Thank you, Grandma who put a little something extra over your work pants and under your hoodie, for reminding us of the power of the houndstooth miniskirt, regardless of its pairing.

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THANK YOU, Pom-Pom Girl, for giving Saban the pixie dust of ten Tinkerbells. No thank you, Pom-Pom Girl, for reminding me of my rather traumatic Junior High days.

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Thank you, Coordinated Couple, for bringing the Yin and Yang to Gameday.

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And thank you, Converse-Wearing-Santa, for asking Saban what he wanted for Christmas….

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Even if you didn’t deliver.

But it’s not your fault, it’s the other fan’s.

Next year, people. I expect you to trade in your dead things and doilies and put on the Spandex, Pom-Poms, and Fuzzy Hats.

THEN we can win a National Championship again.


To see my collection of Gameday Fashion posts, click here.

Hosepipe.

If I understand the differences in regional dialects correctly, some of y’all don’t call this a hosepipe.

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You call it a “garden hose” or just a “hose” or some other type of gibberish.

In Alabama, we call it summer entertainment.

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That is, unless you’re not the one holding the hosepipe. Then it’s called a source of great anxiety.

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Or, more likely, a sure thing.

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But once you get past that initial moistening and it melts the southern summer heat off of your overclothed legs, you realize it’s not such a bad fate after all.

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The hosepipe holder, however, must take occasional moments of solace to ponder the gravity of his position,

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As well as study the Geometry of the task at hand.

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Like a Royal Guard at Buckingham Palace, he must also perfect his posture and carriage of weaponry.

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But don’t worry. He’ll remember you exist.

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And he’ll take care of all of your cooling needs.

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ALL of them.

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Until you start to wish that you didn’t exist.

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At which time you can simply move along, and let him get back to his training,

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His marching of the perimeter,

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And his technique testing.

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Because it’s serious work.

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Grueling even.

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But if the hosepipe is taken away, great heartache will commence.

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Grieving will become necessary for all involved.

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Well – almost all.

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Because turnabout…is fair play.

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