Unless you live under some obscure rock outside of the United States, you know that yesterday was Superbowl Sunday. Superbowl XLIX, the Patriots vs. the Seahawks. I’m still unsure how I feel about the win, but the action at the very end was mind-blowing! I headed out to a super-fun get-together hosted by a friend of mine of about twenty years. I’m not sure how we came up with twenty years, because as I tell him… I was in kindergarten. Ha!! Yeah, right! I was slightly older than that and nothing was too important in that decade for me to remember exactly, so I can’t remember when we met! He says twenty years… I insist it was in kindergarten. Anyway, the get-together was a big mix of people from around LA, some familiar faces over that last twenty years, and a few new ones. I brought my friend Janna who is always a joy to hang with on our days off or on our child-free days. Continue Reading ->
This winter break, I had five days on my own for the first time in, well, nine and a half years. As a divorced mom, and a mom with a kid on the spectrum, that five days can be both an eternity, a savior, or a sudden source of anxiety… what will I do with myself?! It was a mixed bag of emotion for me. At first I thought this was great, Charlie gets to hang out with his dad, winter break is so long, that would be a relief to the boredom. I felt excited to not have to deal with therapies, driving all over town, and then… what will I do and why would I want to do any of it without the coolest kid there is? Continue Reading ->
|Charlie’s 1st day in this new school|
It was the second week of school. All of us parents are still getting our routines down, standing at the gates of the school at 2:30 waiting for our anxious little ones to pile out of classrooms at the ring of the bell, ready to get home after a long hot day. I think all of our kids are the same at that time of day: a mix of exhaustion, excitement, silliness, eagerness to get out of a seat and play, a little hunger on top of it all. None of our kids are any different at 2:30.
In only the second week, us parents are getting to know each other as well; we see a few familiar faces at those gates, a face or two from last year, a face from summer activities, a few we recognize may belong to our own classroom. My son’s class is Special Ed, so we only have nine students, nine sets of parents. It makes it pretty easy to make connections. In addition, we all share a big commonality: our boys have autism, so we can easily bond over shared struggles and experience. A particular mom and I have really bonded over the years; in the few minutes at school pick-up in the years since kindergarten, we have shared quick quips of struggling to get services for our boys, who we like of therapists, what agencies we’ve chosen (we’ve shared so much of that, we actually share a therapist), a few quickly-shed tears over a hurtful incident for our boys, an unpleasant comment made in the cafeteria, or an equally unpleasant comment made by an unexpected family member. These are the kinds of things Special Ed parents can chat about in the few minutes at the gate at school pick-up. I’ve learned with this particular amazing mom, that she lets things roll off her back more easily than I do. Perhaps it’s because she has had to. Maybe I should also have developed this practical ability, but I haven’t. I clearly let things stew over a long weekend, and then, wishing I had the quick-wit and verbal agility typically reserved for a sit-com or movie heroine, I dream of being able to simultaneously knock the offender down a few pegs while eloquently educating them on their apparent lack of understanding and obvious stupidity. Continue Reading ->
So for a “Throwback Thursday” I’m sharing a few old shots of my dad. My dad was a big musician, way “back in the day,” and I have some of his old headshots… wow, how Mad Men!
My parents eventually opened a restaurant when I was in high school and I would hang out in the kitchen tasting anything and everything. But I couldn’t cook until I was an adult and I discovered the cooking channel and Food TV! So, note to parents, tv can be good sometimes! 😉 I learned and watched and tried. I also have an obsession with cookbooks and I have a massive collection. But I am equally concerned with health these days. As a model, I hated seeing the girls who would diet and starve themselves in order to be thin, so I would study nutrition and try to argue with them. I also was a fitness-fanatic. I believe in moderation and living life, but I truly believe in the power of overall health, good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle with exercise. And I despise diets and fads!! Despise!! One more time… despise!
My father, the reason for this Throwback-Thursday/Food post, is why I am writing. My father was a musician all his life. He smoked by age 13, worked in bars around the same time, drank well, and ate anything that “walked past the kitchen.” (His words for describing a rare steak!) Vegetables? Hell, no! Drink water? Water’s for bathing! Well, you get the idea. And after years of this, he had a heart attack while on vacation in Denmark. But here’s a kicker: he couldn’t tell the difference between that and the heartburn he was accustomed to, so he ignored it! And my mother helped him “walk it off!” Really!! Then even more years later, he had two more! This time putting him in the hospital, no kidding around. That was 13 years ago. That finally made him quit smoking, that was huge. After all, he was quarantined to a small corner behind the garage because my mother is actually very healthy. He was still extremely stubborn about his diet and food choices though. And my mother couldn’t compete with him. Butter, salt, meat, sweets, soda, beer and a good scotch. End of story. “I’m going to live my life.”
I think it was after my little boy stole his heart; suddenly, without acknowledging there might be some reason behind eating well, my father started to listen to the rest of us. He has very slowly come around. Over this last Christmas holiday, he had a health scare again. Not as severe as a heart attack, but enough at his age to startle us all. Since then, I’ve also tried to step up my healthy eating. (I just need the energy to chase after a 7-year old!) And I am trying to cook for my parents as a way to give back for all they do for me. So it’s lots of kale, avocado, tomatoes, chick peas, cauliflower, broccoli, quinoa, grains, and fish! I think it’s more delicious than anything! I’ve discovered some really yummy meals! My dad might even be listening to me about cutting out soda. (Do you know that one 16-ounce soda depletes your body of enough calcium and minerals to shut down your immune system for 6 hours! It doesn’t just take the rust off nails!)
|Note the cigarette… on an airplane! (My shiner is another story!)|
Yesterday his cardiologist made a special call to him, really amazed!
“What have you been eating?!”
“What changed? Have you eaten more vegetables?!”
My dad then called my mom, all confused, “Am I eating more vegetables?!” (Lol!) He has to change and decrease his medications immediately! There is noticeable improvement and remarkable changes in his blood this quickly! I’m so excited! This is proof!! The body continues to heal itself even in old(er) age, we just need to give it what it needs! Woo-hoo!! Go Dad!
I’ll post another recipe and some food ideas shortly!
I have to apologize… I’ve been so swamped I haven’t gotten to post much. But here’s a few more oldies but goodies, a little inspiration for my shooting.
So lately I’ve been getting back into fashion. And so much about it brings me back to where I started – on the other side of the camera. Thinking about poses, thinking about models I want to work with, or stories I want to create, I keep thinking back to shoots that I’ve done. I instagrammed a shot of my old portfolios last week. I was doing this for a long time, so I collected a lot of photos, tearsheets, catalogs, and portfolios as I worked in different cities and with different agencies. It feels like a lifetime ago, yet yesterday. But all this time later, it is kinda fun to go through the old boxes and look through stuff. And it gives me tons of ideas! I thought I’d share a couple of my faves…
10. Sometimes you have to take a hundred shots, to get one that comes out the way you intended.
9. Sometimes it’s just not necessary to have people looking you in the eye.
8. Sometimes the light is too damn bright.
7. The details can mean everything, but focus on one thing at a time and let the rest fade out.
6. A picture is worth a thousand words… Who needs words anyway?!
5. Persistence and hard work get you everything.
4. Develop from the negatives.
3. Often, you just need to put everything down and recharge your batteries.
2. If things don’t work out, just take another shot.
For Father’s Day few weeks ago, I was stumped on what to do for my dad. Without going into how many Father’s Days he’s celebrated, he has sported far too many ties, dutifully worn too many shirts, and gotten so many cards, what more is there to read anymore?! And everyone who knows me knows I love photos, I love new photography but I love the hundreds of old family albums my mother and her mother have collected for years. I have a stack of albums from the 70’s that my mother has given me to try to do something about, the albums then had acid and my baby pics are hard to even see anymore. It’s too bad, as compared to my grandmother’s, her photos from the 1930’s are crystal clear and in perfect condition. I can’t wait to share some of those. Anyway, I looked at those old albums and decided to put some of my history with my dad in a sort of video card montage to him. It also gave me the chance to fix up those old images. Then I burned it to a dvd and gave it to him in a nice dvd case/card. It was such a hit, my dad looked sincerely touched. I also posted it on Facebook and I got so many comments I wanted to share it with you.
If you have something in mind you’d like to do like this, and you have that stack of old photographs that you’d like to convert to something a little more in the digital age, just let me know.
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My name is Kristina Bant Jenkins. I am a photographer, writer, model, marathon- runner, devoted yogi, designer of awesome PacificSUP boards, Dane in California, creator of THISisAutism™, founder of Aut2bFit™, and… mom to THE coolest boy there is… who happens to have autism.
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This is Life Through the Other Lens.