Monday, February 12, 2007

Proof That I'm Insane. Or a School Volunteer.

Feb 6th, Tuesday, at the school -- I’m so excited! The teachers have asked me to take the pictures for this Saturday night’s Valentines Dance at school! It’s going to be so much fun! I can’t wait!!! Lots of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!

Feb 7th, Wednesday, school -- Hmmm. I’m not so sure I like the photo prop ideas they’re suggesting. I’d really like these pictures to be nice. Quasi-fancy. Almost like a prom picture. The kids *are* supposed to dress up, after all. Maybe I’ll just run out and pick up a few things myself.

Feb 8th, Thursday afternoon, shopping -- Wow. It didn’t look like that much in the cart. Cream sheets to use as a back drop and floor drop, pedestal, flowers and vase for the pedestal, rose petals to scatter on the floor. How did that possibly add up to sixty dollars? SIXTY dollars??? You know, that’s ok, though. It’s still going to be fun, so it's worth it.

Feb 8th, Thursday night, home -- Yes, Blaine, I said sixty dollars. But we can use that stuff, for ourselves, um, later. Sometime. In more pictures. And stuff. Just think of it as an investment in my photography future. And remember how much fun this is going to be! I'm still using exclamation points!!

Feb 8th, later Thursday night, home -- I think I’ll go to Best Buy tomorrow and "invest" a little more, just to be on the safe side. I’m worried the lights on the stage won’t be bright enough and I want to buy an external flash. I think I can get one for around a hundred dollars.

Feb 9th, Friday morning, Best Buy -- $300??!??! Are you kidding me???? Is it an external flash made of solid gold?? That will illuminate all the way to Africa??? Well, I’ll just spend a few minutes tweaking the pictures in Photoshop afterwards and brightening them up, if I need. I’m not spending that kind of money. Probably the stage lights will be enough, anyway.

Feb 10th, Saturday morning, home -- I wonder if I should have splurged for that external flash …. I really want these to turn out nice. Oh well, I’ll just toss these new sheets in dryer with a load of kids’ clothes and fluff them for the photos, to get rid of that crease the packaging always causes, so they'll hang nice as a backdrop drape.

Feb 10th, twenty minutes later on Saturday morning -- Who the SAM FREAKING HILL left a tube of Chapstick in their damn pants pocket???? My BRAND NEW CREAM SHEETS have grease stains all over them!!! ALL OVER THEM THEY ARE RUINED!!! Who did it? Who? Did? IT?!?!?!? No, no, I don’t even want to know !!! It’s too late to do anything about it now, and we’re running late. Has anybody seen my #(*$&#(* tripod?!?!? Somebody carry the vase and for God’s sake be careful, it’s glass! No, we’re not going to have time to come back here after Kellen’s basketball game; we have to go straight to the school so I can set up the photography area for the dance!!! I don’t care that you don’t want to go; you’re going! It’s going to be fun, damnit!

Feb 10th, Saturday afternoon, the school cafeteria -- Oh, for fuck’s sake, no matter which way I hang the damn sheet you can see the damn grease stains on it !!! Damn, damn damn!

Feb 10th, early Saturday evening, home -- OK. I feel much calmer now. All is right with the world again. Brayden looks beautiful; her hair and make up have been done and we’re excited for her date to get here.** The photo shoot area at the school looks really nice, now that Blaine helped me point and turn the stage lights and get the sheet to stick to the wall and arrange everything.

Who cares that it took an entire roll of duct tape? That parts not going to be in the pictures, anyway. Deep breath. I think it’s all going to be just fine.

Feb 10th, 6 pm, Saturday evening, back at the school -- Yes. See? Look at this, I'm pleased with the way it turned out, considering I'm not even close to being a real photographer.

This is going to be fun, after all. The teacher said anywhere from twenty to thirty photos, half an hour tops, then my friend Ilene and I will go to dinner. It’s all turning out OK.

6:30 pm, Saturday evening -- I’m pretty sure I’ve taken more than twenty photos, and there is still a line waiting. What’s up with this?

7:00 pm, Saturday evening --- Geez, it’s getting hot up here under these lights. I'm totally starting to sweat. I thought we were supposed to be done in half an hour … the dance is half over and there’s still no end in sight. I've got to be up over seventy or eighty photos already. Is every single kid here tonight getting their picture taken by me?

7:20 pm, Saturday evening -- What is up with this cheap piece of shit tripod, anyway? It keeps leaning to the left and all the photos are lopsided. Is someone dimming the lights? Who keeps dimming my lights?!?!? And for goodness sake, someone turn the air on, I'm dying! These pictures look underexposed ….. Just how long is that line??? This isn’t going quite like I thought it would …..

7:40 pm, Saturday evening -- Thank heavens I brought my extra battery and extra flash card …. Where the hell are all these kids coming from??? There’s not enough light …. There’s not enough light ….. I JUST KNOW THERE’S NOT ENOUGH LIGHT! THESE PICTURES ARE GOING TO TURN OUT TERRIBLE!!! THE KIDS ARE PAYING FOR THESE PICTURES AND I FEEL RESPONSIBLE AND THEY’RE ALL GOING TO SUCK BECAUSE I SUCK!!!!!


8:15 pm, Saturday evening, STILL at the school -- I can’t believe I had to stay here the entire time and take pictures and there was STILL a line waiting when the dance was over! They only planned for forty photos, tops …. I took over two hundred pictures, which I have to narrow down to just over a hundred portraits, and they only have forty of those cheesy construction paper frames pre-made! Who the hell else is going to make the other sixty frames????? Not me, I can tell you that!

1 am, Sunday morning, home -- {yawn} I’m exhausted. I’ve spent the last three hours sorting through these pictures; downloading, uploading, deleting, burning, etc. I probably shouldn’t have had that drink when I went out with Ilene because it’s making me reaaaalllllyyyyy sleeeeepppppyyyy. {bigger yawn}

8 am, Sunday morning, home -- OK, I feel refreshed! Ready to go, and face the day! The dance was fun! And exciting! And the kids looked beautiful! Sure, I got a little tired and grumpy there at the end, but that’s all right …. I’m still so glad I agreed to be the photographer. Now, I’m just going to sit here for an hour or so and tweak some of last night’s photos so they’re good for the kids … they paid for them, after all, I’d like them to look as professional as possible.

5 pm, Sunday afternoon, home, ass formed into shape of computer chair, totally bleary eyed --- Oh dear heavens. I can’t believe I had to clone and retouch that (#&$#(*&$ grease stain out of every single picture. AND lighten the photos because naturally, the stage lights weren't bright enough …. AND add a soft edged vignette and text to each picture because it just won’t do to settle for ordinary, now will it? OH, no, I’ve got to sit here in this computer chair until I can’t see straight and my eyes are falling out of my head but by golly, each and every one of these photos has had the contrast and balance leveled out and been sharpened or softened or whatever looks best with the kids clothes and I’ve printed “Valentines Dance 2007” or something or another on every one, too. PLUS crop out the stupid duct tape that is in half of the damn pictures .. I swear, I am in the bowels of photo-editing Hell. Because I’ve got nothing better to do with my time … like ….. like ….. oh, crap, we’re supposed to be celebrating Brayden’s birthday tonight and I haven’t made the cake OR wrapped the gifts … I’m never going to get these pictures finished and they want to pass them out to the kids tomorrow at school! Why on earth did I agree to this??? What was I thinking?? I should have just spent the three hundred dollars on the flash and saved myself eight hours in front of this #(*$&#(*& computer!

8:30 am, today -- Thank the stars above for one hour photo labs, is all I have to say.

9 am, today -- Are you kidding me? I really have to cut and decorate over sixty of these stinking construction paper frames??? Well, who else did I think was going to do it? Back to Michaels I go, to buy the #($*#(*& cardstock to make the #(*$&#*& frames --- oh yeah, uh-huh, this is turning out to be SUCH a fun project and I’m SO HAPPY I agreed to do it. (If you can’t “hear” the sarcasm in my voice, go back and re-read that sentence. Insert sarcasm. Sarcasm with lots and lots of #(*$&#)*$&).

Noon, today -- I’m not going to make it … not going to make it .... I’m not going to make it by the end of the school day. There are too many pictures …. Too many …… too many ……

1:30 pm, today-- Oh gosh, the clock is ticking ..... I'm running out of time .... my desk is a disaster; paper and photos and stamping supplies everywhere, but at last, the stack of completed pictures is almost done. I think, it just might be possible, maybe …………….

2:30 pm, today -- Triumphantly, pictures delivered to the teachers! I. AM. VICTORIOUS!!!!

And I’m pooped.

2:40 pm, today --- Oh, she did NOT just say there would be a 5th grade dance in May and they want me to do this all over again, did she???

No, I didn’t think so. And if she did, I'm going to need something stronger than that Sonic cup of Diet Dr. Pepper in the background.

**This warrants its own journal entry, is all I can say, but I warn you ahead of time that I will be using the phrase “how stinking adorable” about a million times.

Brayden's were the pictures I practiced on. You can tell in this one I still don't have the grease stain completely smoothed out, and there's a reflection on the photo and I was getting lazy with the text so I only put the year ... but I'll show you more good ones of Brayden and her DATE tomorrow. :)


Anonymous said...

You seriously need to be a writer for a comedy show. You would totally make tons of money. You just freakin kill me. I love to read your blogs. They make my day!

Anonymous said...

oh yeah and the picture of Brayden looks wonderful. You did a great ((@?%^(( job.
Lori (again)

Anonymous said...

I love the story! Though I am a little afraid of a dance for kids that involve dates?! Is that a southern thing?! :)

Leeann said...

Love the entry, love the picture of Brayden! Great work (and lots of it, too)

Rena' said...

You did a wonderful job on the photos. Brayden is beautiful. Wish I could of been there to help you. We could of had an assembly line going.

Amy said...

Don't you just love when we overextend ourselves and volunteer to "help" with things for our kids' activities???!!! It's that "thrill of victory" afterward that gets me every single time though! LOL! I'm glad I'm not the only one. Thankyou Kristie for reminding me that I'm not the only insane one!


Anonymous said...

It must be a guy thing I just can't see a grease mark anywhere. Im sure I've said it before but the world really needs more people like the Enscoes

Donna said...

Now, that is the journal of one dedicated mommy! I can vaguely recall some similar situations (like building a cheesy preschool float pretty much ALONE in one day) and still can't quite figure out how or why I ended up there...

Allow me to appreciate all of that hard work now to tide you over until those kids turn 30-something and start digging through their old school papers and pictures and have a wonderful moment remembering Valentine's Day 2007.

JoAnn said...

WOW!!! You are one amazing woman! I hope everyone who's life you touch realizes just how lucky they are. Your blog is just a part of my day now. And also the blogs you link too- and OH.MY.GOD. Are they hilarious or what??!!

Anonymous said...

Do you ever feel ilke crawling back in the womb and starting over?
With any luck you should be able to get the grease stains out of the sheets in time for the dance in May. Anyway you slice it, that school is mighty fortunate to have you.
Brayden looks so adorable!!!!

kim said...

HAHAHA, Kristie, YOU ARE SUCH A VIRGO!!! And, from one of them to another, even with all of the #@*! work that you put into all of it, I know that when you were finished and finally able to breathe, you were proud of how great everything turned out! Think of it this way--it was your practice session for the May extravaganza; I can't wait to hear what you'll come up with for that one! You are just such a consummate Mom...which is a wonderful, wonderful thing. And Brayden is absolutely beautiful. I've said it before, but I'll say it again--you Escoe parents did "good" with the kids!

Anonymous said...

Brayden is a stunningly beautiful young lady!!! We already knew that, but the photo is adorable. I got such a kick out of your entry. (Glad SOMEBODY can laugh, huh?) And hey, I really DO have a remedy for the grease stain! I did it when I discovered that our sons had crayons in their pockets after going to a restaurant and ruined an entire load of laundry (or at least I thought it was ruined). Even the laundry sites on the Internet said I was out of luck. But I put everything back in the washing machine with HOT water and I added one cup of Stanley Degreaser Concentrate straight from the bottle, not concentrated, and I swished the load and let it it overnight. EVERYTHING in that load came out PERFECTLY CLEAN. I was quite proud of myself. Great product.

Claire in Indiana

Sue said...

Kristie, you're making the rest of us volunteers look bad! That being said, I'm sure that the kids and their parents will appreciate your efforts with the pictures. Brayden's picture is adorable!

Renee said...

Go you, Supermom! Wish I was there to help!

Briana said...

I can't see the grease stain, but I DO see a beautiful girl! And I love the backdrop and the special effect with the edges. I'm just glad 5th graders at Madison's school don't have dances that involve dates. The heart attack can wait until next year when she is in 6th grade. Uggghhh!

Connie F-G said...

And, was it your chap stick in the dryer? I know I've washed a few of mine over the years since there is one is most of my pockets!

Brayden is beautiful....just too grown up for me!


Anonymous said...

All I have to say is BRAYDEN IS BEAUTIFUL!!!

Tracy said...

What a wonderful picture of Brayden!! I love your timeline of the events. I got a new camera for Christmas and I'm trying to learn how to use it. Well, I am thinking that I need to learn how to use it. What do you use to edit the photos?

I am really impressed with everything you did. I am sure as Donna said, those children will be 30 something and look back at those pictures and appreciate them even more.

Jeanette said...

That's what you get for being so @#$% good! :) Hope you got lots of candids of Brayden at the dance in between the thousands of formal shots...I'll bet the parents were all very pleased- it sure beats a Polaroid!!

Mom on Coffee said...

Too damn funny! I thought you weren't allowed back at school after the Ipod incident, they must forget quickly when they need help!!! Thank you though, for giving a clear example of why I will say no if ever asked to photograph a school dance or anything of the like. Live, learn, and warn. Should be every moms motto. Thanks for the warning!

Abbie said... are TOO funny! Well, should you decide to do the 5th grade dance I would have 4 suggestions for you:

1) Buy the new lense.
2) Make sure the teachers have a picture "sign-up" sheet the week prior to the dance so you have a better idea of what kind of a photography marathon this is going to be.
3) Having the pics to the kids on Monday is're the photographer, you set the date. Greedy little things...not everyone can have everything NOW.
4) Wash and dry the linens BY THEMSELVES...obviously your children were trying to sabotage your photography debut. :)

HA HA! As always...thanks for the laughs!

Anonymous said...

Kristie, I was rolling on the floor laughing about your "volunteer" extravaganza.....until....I spotted your t-shirt!
Hey! Is that a 'Lighthouse' shirt?!!!, she said with many exclamation points!
(It's almost that time!)
Lots of hugs and love.......Ice Girls

Anonymous said...

I love this post...simply hysterical!! I love the photos!!!

Marysienka said...

Oh my mom would love to have you in her class to volunteer! She loves taking pictures of the kids, but she isn't nearly as good as you ;) So if you are ever interested... she teaches grade 1! ha ha ha!! :-)

Renee in Canada

Anonymous said...

You had me rolling on the floor with this post! Brayden looked beautiful, and I am sure there are many grateful parents out there! I especially loved your photo's! I have had days like that myself. I tend to take on more than I can handle myself on a regular basis. Good thing I work for the worlds largest adult beverage company! Can't wait to see Brayden and her date!

Postcard Cindy

Michele(nurse in ny) said...

The pictures are beautiful. Just a hint cheap Suave shampoo gets chapstick stains out of most anything (other greasy food stains too!)Just rub alittle in, let it set a while and normally. Works like a charm!

Michele(nurse in ny) said...

The pitures are beautiful! Just a hint, cheap Suave shampoo gets chapstick out of most anything. other greasy food stains too.

Michele(nurse in ny) said...

the pictures are beautiful! Just a hint, cheap Suave shampoo gets chapstick out of most anything! other greasy food stains too. Just rub a little in, let it set for a while and wash normally. Works great!

Michele(nurse in ny) said...

sorry thta posted 3 times. I didn't think it went thru.

Natalie said...

I feel sweaty and panicked just reading about it. I can't believe you did all that. I would have faked my own death to get out of it. My hat is off to you. . .if I wore hats.

Lisa said...

Happy Valentines Day Escoe's. A day full of love and your family is certainly not short on that ingredient. Love and prayers to all - hope Blaine is holding it all together ok.

Lisa D said...

Hey Kristie,
Glad you got through the photo shoot!!! All I have to say is welcome to my world! You did a great job and Brayden looks beautiful! Say hey to the family for me...Lisa D in hamilton, Oh

Liz from Maryland said...

I'm laughing so hard after reading your post that I think I'm going to wet myself. When my kid's were in school, I used to volunteer all the time, also, and can relate to you. The picture of Brayden was beautiful. You did a great job!
Happy Valentine's Day!!

Kristin Hicks said...

THIS post cracked me up! I am room mom for my 1st grader and the look on your face is exactly how I feel trying to plan holiday parties each time.


Patty House in Jasonville Indiana said...

Brayden is beautiful!