Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Birds

Brooke and I stopped at Supa' Stop & Shop to pick up some Pub Cheese. Brooke says it's to die for.

In the parking lot I saw Monica feeding bread and crackers to the birds. She feeds them every day.

Friday, December 29, 2006


I went to a coffee shop and spent five hours working on my portfolio.

This image won't make the final cut, but I enjoy it. It's one of the last frames I took in Michigan.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Morning Commute

This morning I had the privilege to commute on the trains from Boston to Salem.

My sister and I are having a work day. Sara is preparing for her first teaching gig next semester at Newbury College. I'm working on both an on-line portfolio and end-of-the-year portfolio.

We're still wondering how productive we can actually be.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Johnson Family Christmas

Ye humble Christmas tree at the house of my sister and brother-in-law in Salem, Mass. This is where our Christmas story unfolds.

Christmas dinner.

Impromptu portrait session.

Passing of the sacred coconut cake.

I kicked over my father's milk. Then I got yelled at for taking a picture before helping clean it up.

My pops.

Dave keeping us warm.

The Johnson family tradition of worrying about health and anticipating death.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Johnson Family Christmas: Part Deux

"I will eat your face," Dave says to Sara after our tour of The House of the Seven Gables.

The traditional Johnson family Christmas breakfast: egg casserole, ambrosia, and a cinnamon roll derivative.

One of my father's many holiday naps.

At The House of the Seven Gables.

My father attacks my mother.

Father and Daughter.

Dave, Sara and my mother watching Little Miss Sunshine. And my father sleeping through Little Miss Sunshine

Dave tries out his new battery-less flashlight at the dinner table.

Christmas Portrait

Here's a sneak preview of the Johnson family Christmas. I'll post an essay in the next day or two. Maybe I'll include some of these portraits. I did the whole family.

Here is Dave.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Santa Came Early

Today was the Smith Christmas in South Strafford. Conner, Patrick, Jasmine, Nicole, Josh, Lisa, Courtney and Jeremy came to celebrate with Wally and Barbara. Lots of gifts. Santa did good this year. He even got me a vegetarian cookbook.


Patrick as Santa.

Conner goes to town.

Courtney and Jeremy.

Conner checking out his Spider Man shirt in the mirror that he gave to Barbara.

Conner and Wally go head-to-head.

Jasmine after she took the family portrait with her pink camera.

Courtney gets an iPod suffle. It's so cute, she says.

Christmas Cookies

Last week Brooke was up past midnight curling ribbons and putting the finishing touches on her Christmas Cookies.

They were delicious. Big hit in the office.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Job Shadow

Here's another one from the archive taken on March 29, 2006. I was asked to take some pictures of students job shadowing in the newsroom when Geoff decided to sabotage.

Friday, December 22, 2006


On Monday night Brooke and I walked to the drug store to buy god-knows-what. I think it was a hole puncher.

I stood by the magazines the whole time and read The Source.

On the way home we stopped at Charlie's on the corner for some pizza. Brooke paused to stretch out her leg.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


This photo was taken by Brett Marshall on January 1, 2006.

Today I started the annual review of my work. I go back through every assignment looking for little gems I missed on deadline and in the context of news assignments.

Few gems ever emerge. But I like seeing how I approached assignments. Hopefully I see how I have grown throughout the year.

So far this is all I've found, and I didn't even take the picture. I'm only through February. Perhaps I'll post others along the way to December 31, 2006.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Introducing once again . . . my sister . . . my genetic aquaintance . . . Sara.

We express our love for each other by constantly trying to figure out which child our parents love more.

Sara is so cute when she thinks she is ahead in the parental favor competition.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Kick, Push

Brooke and I stopped by Underground to see her brother, Travis, this afternoon. It was cool to finally see him skate.

Then we stopped by the Orpheum and saw Ray Lamontagne. Never a disappointment.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


I arrived safely at Brooke's house moments ago.

At a stop light along the way I spotted this man with a beautiful white beard. I asked him how long he had been growing it, and he told me without hesitation. Eight weeks.

I stroked my whiskers and told him I, too, was growing one. He threw his arms in the air and told me, "It will be pretty!"

I hope he's right.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


I came home from work today and found a live, well decorated, and aptly lit Christmas tree in the living room.

The house smelled really good, too. I thought it was the tree, but in fact it was the cast iron kettle boiling with cinnamon atop the woodstove.

Wally and Barbara's grandson, Conner, helped decorate.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Matt reaches for the sky.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Brother's Keeper

My beloved brother-in-law, Dave.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Tivon tries to figure out Katie's Cloodle the other night during Cranium at Peter's.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dark Room

I stumbled upon Geoff dabbling in archaic film processes again. He tells me this is what they used to call a dark room.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Dance Dance Revolution

Tim shows me his Dance Dance Revolution skills at his apartment in Concord today.

I was on my way home from Boston, and I spent a few hours with Tim to talk shop and share pictures. I haven't really sat down with a friend to talk critically about my work in over a year. I do it regularly at work, I suppose. But, I haven't looked over a body of work like this in a while. It felt good. And looking at Tim's personal work was motivating in its self.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Carrie, Brooke and I hit up The Holiday tonight. I liked it. I'm not too proud.

But, to all of you who think Channing has fallen off, you should know I recommended The River to someone just on Wednesday.

During a quiet, intimate scene in The Holiday when Cameron Diaz realizes she does, in fact, have the capactiy to love, someone behind us lost their manners. While I was cramping up trying to keep my laughter quiet, I couldn't help but be in awe of the silent and mature movie audience around us.

In the parking lot, Carrie reflected my sentiments when she said, "I don't think I'll ever stop thinking farts are funny."


Dodging taxicabs and pedestrians, Brooke drives me safely down Comm Ave. last night.

The Boston oldies station is playing 24/7 Christmas songs for the next couple of weeks. We've been singing along as loud as we can.


Caitlin, left, congratulates Steph last night on the big news of her engagement to Pete.

We went to The Melting Pot and paid money to stress about cooking our own meat. My cynicism is surpassed by how much fun we had. And it's true, the food was really good. Especially the cheese, Brooke says.

When the ladies started squealing about the rock on Steph's finger, Pete leaned over and shared a funny observation with me: A few days ago he was distracted by a Victoria's Secret commercial when Steph commented on how simple men are. As Pete repeatedly sees women freak out over Steph's long-awaited bling, he couldn't help but draw a comparison in how "simple" women can be about a little shiny mineral.

Women and their diamonds . . .

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Peter put on a culinary magic show last night with all the right ingredients: onion, garlic, and butter. Lots of it, too.

Later on, Peter, Katie, Tivon, and myself played a friendship-ending game of Cranium.

I'm really going to miss Peter. We got along pretty well for awhile.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Goodbye, Terry

One of my favorite Valley News employees has left us. After 25 years Terry, our librarian, retired.

Terry consistantly had the best gossip around.

She said she would have me over to dinner at her home in Enfield. I hope she meant it. I will miss her.

Here our Editor, Jeff, gives Terry a hug as she leaves the paper for the last time.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

An Open Letter to Jennifer Hauck

Dear Jen,

First, I want to ease your mind about the house: It is still standing. The cats are healthy. Flex hasn't been eating his special kitty-food, but he also hasn't had kitty-diarrhea in the house either. I think he's fine.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to housesit for you while you are in Scotland. Have I ever told you how much I love your home? The demensions are perfect. All the space you need, nothing more. I have fallen in love with the little office upstairs. It's the size of a small bathroom, but feels like a creativity womb. I think I could get a lot of work done in there.

Where do you keep the broom? A little ash dust is starting to gather outside the stove. Speaking of which, keeping the fire going hasn't been a problem. I feel like I can control the temperature pretty well by now. I guess it's just one of those things you have to do to understand. By the way, where do you keep the matches? So far I haven't had to start over with kindling except after one long day away. I found the last ember glowing underneath gray ash and was able to catch the newspaper with a little blowing.

I started my day with Harvest Moon this morning. I cooked some eggs and brought in some more wood. On my way to work I picked up your mail and Netflix DVDs. Your post master was very nice.

Yesterday a neighbor dog came over. He's an old yellow dog that slept on the porch chair for a couple of hours. When he started shivering I was tempted to let him lay by the fire to warm up, but I decided against it.

I picked off the last bits of meat from the chicken carcass, but I didn't want to put it in the trash where the cats can get to it? Where do you think I should dispose of it? I've also eaten some of your olives, cheese and crackers, and when Peter came over last night we got into the Oreos. We watched that South Korean film Memories of Murder. I think you would like it a lot, even though you have to read the whole damn thing. Also, Peter didn't fall asleep this time. I did.

Anyways, I hope you are having fun in Scotland. Are you going to bring back any goodies? I'll try to keep Peter out of the scotch until you return.

Safe travels.


p.s. The barthroom window upstairs is cracked open. Should it be closed?