Friday, April 8, 2011


Photo & Film

Photos are remarkable. They freeze a particular moment in life, a point in time that you can never return to (whether you would like to or not). While film can portray so very much, a picture has captured and paused life. Likewise, it makes us pause and consider the still. Film, in all its moving glory, is simply a manner of pictures. Photo & film: The mediums are forever happily married, never capable of cheating or divorce. We want both and we need both and we have both... so why not use both? Well, we do.

iPhone Memories

Months ago I began an album on Facebook called "iPhone Memories." It was a place for me to post the pictures taken on my iPhone that I most prized. Today I have deleted that album and will henceforth post their likes here, on my life's blog. I do not want another place one might look to find them.

The iPhone in question is my current 3G (16 GB). When I returned home from my mission, my parents picked me up at the Las Vegas airport. It was there, waiting between baggage carousals, that my folks handed me a nicely wrapped parcel. A gift! As I held it in my hand the contents began to ring. The box (made of two incomplete boxes) slid open with ease. Within was this iPhone and Tara, my sister, was calling (I later learned that father or mother had texted her when the moment was right to give me a buzz). I had no idea how to answer the device, father had to demonstrate the sliding madness. Gone for just two years and the whole world has evolved, including my parents... they were texting!

We hear that "a picture is worth a thousand words." That is surely true, but I beseech that we do not stop there. I may not write a thousand words for each "iPhone Memory" entry, but if time allowed I would and could. Of course, it helps that I am posting and writing about pictures from my own phone and, more importantly, from my own life. Writing about a picture with no evident relation to you is still worth a thousand words, they just might not come as soon.

Why iPhone photos? Well, I do not always have a camera with me (I know, heresy!), but I usually keep my iPhone in my right pocket or otherwise close at hand. One never knows when a "Kodak moment" might arise. Besides it being the lone source of visual documentation at times, it is fast, cheap, and easy all around. The quality is nothing to write home about, but the subjects truly are. "iPhone Memories"... tis quaint.

The forewords are solely because this is the beginning of a new series. In future "iPhone Memories," I will get right to it. I shall resort to a simplistic format: write the photo's (un)official title, post the photo itself, supply the date and time and day the photo was taken (just underneath it), and then write. Come what may!

Nancy's Grace

August 22, 2010 at 7:28:13 PM (Sunday)

This is the gorgeous woman I have had the joy and blessing of calling my girlfriend for the past 13 months: Nancy Zhou. She plays the piano almost as beautifully as she is herself. Here she is playing on the piano that currently dwells in the Kearl residence (the surname of the man who took my sister unto himself - with my family's consent of course). (I like calling their home the Kearl Kastle.) 

This brute of a piano has been in and out of my life. He was in our home when I was young. He appears in my first short film, "Earthquake." My mother made me take piano lessons (as all mothers should). At home, I would practice on his teeth. I remember sticking pennies between the keys. Would they not fall within? I vaguely remember that sound. He could be a piano bank if you wanted him to. (So many objects can be used for other unintended purposes. Possibilities are untold.) I believe he has made a modest sum... one day we may break and collect.

He was well-worn. One day my father bought a baby grand piano for my mother. This old piano was spurned and left alone. When we moved down to St. George, he did not come with us. Like a foster child he went from one relative's home to another, only to end up with Tara when she longed for a place to play. And there he remains today.

Curious is what I learned today when talking to my mother on the phone. Turns out they had this piano in their home before they had any of us kids. Curiouser is that my father grew up with this piano in his house. Did he play on this piano as a boy like I did? Might there be some 1960s pennies within his chasms, put there when they were fresh by young hands of my father? Apparently, "Scott" is carved into that wooden soldier (where?). As a child, my father claimed it was not his doing (though it certainly was his name). What say you now father?

Back to Nancy. I believe she was playing Debussy's "Clair de Lune" at this instance. It is a pretty piece that we have all heard. It is well-regarded, known, and used in a different film every single year in recent memory (except 1994 for whatever phenomenal reason). I want a woman who can make music and she can. She does. Her slender fingers have practiced and she skillfully dances them off the ivory. I doubt she knew that grizzled piano's history. Heck, there's surely chapters of his existence that I am unaware of.  This much I know, when I was boy I would begrudgingly practice "Springtime Symphony" on that very instrument. I had no way of knowing then that years later the woman I love would press upon those same keys.


  1. I like this new thing; this iPhone memories thing.

  2. Great entry, love the intro, and the history lesson. Curious its gender is of the male persuasion. "He" was in my young life, squatting in the corner of our basement, taunting me to practice 'Frere Jacques', my small hands stretching to complete an octave. I know not his history before my arrival, though I know he is my senior, and lived at the Lewis home prior to me. The carving is a mystery to me as well. Perhaps my mother sat at that edifice, looking at the letters etched, and decided to name her next male offspring that majestic moniker. Hence you may also be named after that wooden inanimate musical instrument.

  3. That picture was taken on my birthday! I think that should be noted. :) great post Bubs. I too think pictures are worth a thousand words and since having an iPhone I've been able to catch memories I would have otherwise lost. For that I'm very grateful. :)

  4. Look at all the comments from our family. Tara is suspiciously silent. Roger is expectedly so. Great way to bring in an idea and apply to your loved one...and I thought you were talking about the piano, silly me.

    This old dinosaur of a piano served my three children, my husband and myself well. We have all played, all practiced, all moved on with one returning. I hope it may be in Sophie and Jameson's future as well.

    I enjoyed Jared's posts and everyone's comments.

  5. I finally read it. Wow- who would have thought there would be so much to say about that picture? Fascinating! I consider myself very blessed to be the current owner of the piano. I love it!

    And yes, Nancy is very talented. I love hearing her play as well.