Tutorial, with lil’ Christian

This is a technique shown to me by one of my genius co-workers. Using small files, put a series of images into one multi-layered image, stacking them in order starting with the first one in the time sequence. Click the colorful ImageReady icon at the bottom of the toolbar in Photoshop. This opens the image in Image Ready. Deselect the eye icon in the layers menu for all layers except for the bottom one. Click the “Add New Layer” icon in the edit bar at the bottom, and add as many frames as there are layers. As you do this, enable the visibility of the first layer for the second frame, then the second layer for the third frame, and so on until you have a frame that has each layer showing by itself on it. Then select all layers, right click over the number that’s just below the image in the first frame, and choose the time that you want each frame to be showing. then click play to test the timing. Under file, choose “Save Optimized As”.
The file takes up a lot less space if it’s black and white.

Christian Holden Murdy, being sung “happy birthday” to by friends and family on his 1st birthday:
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Visiting my cousin in Chicago

I finally went through all the photos from visiting Gabe, Gwenn, Aunt Pat, Jacob and Carly in Chicago. I haven’t seen Gabe and Gwenn since their wedding in ’97. I got to meet their adorable kids and we all had a big BBQ together. Afterward, Jacob demonstrated his skills with the basketball and also the football. Carly demonstrated her cuteness. I’m sure she’s good at sports too, but the camera and her were having a nice visit that day. She also took some photos; I think she took the one of me.
I hope I get out there more often than once every twelve years, because otherwise I won’t see the kids again until they’re in college!
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Angela and Summer

I met up with Angela and Summer at Angela’s BBQ in Oceanside on Saturday. We all first met in the 2nd grade. I don’t have a pic of us all together at that age, but I have our class pics from that year. Angela and Summer had long hair and wore it in braids and pigtails, and I wore mine windblown. There was a lot of hairspray for all of us, in later years, because that was what you did in the ’80s.
I also got a pic with Angela’s sister, Shelly. The pic that follows it was taken around 1980, by their Mom, Evelyn, after we all put on her shoes and some lipstick. She had the coolest ’70s shoes!! I wish she still had them.

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Marrakesh

I met up with my family at Marrakesh in Costa Mesa for some Moroccan food, a great plan put together by Ian’s girlfriend, Melissa. I guess I’ve never been to a Moroccan place. The inside is all tented and colorful, and I wanted to take all the teapots home with me. We sat at these low comfy tables and they poured water over our hands and into a bowl and gave us towels to dry them with, and we feasted. Oh did we feast. The food was delicious, just when I didn’t think it could get any better, some great loud Moroccan music came on and a belly dancer came out.
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Christian’s 1st Birthday

We celebrated Christian’s first birthday at Laguna Niguel Regional Park on Saturday, with family, friends, cupcakes and delicious food. He was very happy that he was getting sung to by a group of people, and very receptive to this ritual that is so brand new to him. He even blew at the candle, just after a breeze came along and helped him out a little.
I’d say it was a perfect day.

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Red rum

Last night I had a dream that I was in a hotel room that was haunted. I was in no way scared, and when Tim had to leave to go on an errand, I stayed in the room by myself and watched the walls move. The drywall was getting sucked into the frame, and the room would suddenly expand. I still wasn’t scared, and I took out my camera to see if I could get photos of the ghost. A smoky figure of a man started appearing and then disappearing, and I was able to get photos of it. It was only when the lights went out and it got noisy that I did indeed become afraid, and I left. Tim came back, and I shared my photos with him, pleased with the shots.
I have come to realize in recent years that I don’t believe in anything except science. I guess that belief was just as strong in my dream. I am an atheist, but I also don’t believe in magic, luck, the devil… I don’t know what else there is to not believe in. I just looked inside myself one day and realized that that was how I felt. I used to think atheism meant some sort of negative feelings towards God or gods, but it does not. It just is what it is.
However, I have yet to reconcile my feelings about ghosts. I’ve spent too many years thinking that they were real, and if I sat down and really thought about it, I would have to admit to myself that I don’t believe they’re real anymore. I have also had a handful of negative peripheral associations with ghosts. My friend had this whole “The Entity” thing going on, where ghosts were living in her house and following her places. She also did speed. She was progressively doing more and more speed, and seeing ghosts more and more often. I wanted so badly to point out to her that even a medium wouldn’t take her seriously if she was doing methamphetamines, but our mutual friends kept reminding me of the pointlessness of it.
There was also a ghost in the building we were staying at at the river in the summer of ’01, and I thought that god damned ghost should have had better things to do that hang out around me and my friends. There were plenty of vulnerable drunk men whose heads it could mess with. My friend, though, had to get up in the night and made me get up with her so that she wouldn’t have to walk around by herself in a building that was haunted. I thought that was a pretty good argument for her not to have been told about the ghost in the first place. How many times do I have to point out that a spirit floating around in between worlds does not have a body to hurt you with, so there’s nothing to be afraid of??? And this is why I don’t like people to talk about ghosts. Because eventually I will have to get out of bed and accompany somebody to the f**king bathroom!
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