30 December 2005

Katrina Kitchen Kits

So the church is putting together 70,000 kitchen kits for victims of Hurricane Katrina. They have just about everything I can think of on the assembly line: knives, forks, spoons, pots, plates, bowls, glasses, scrub brush, vegetable peeler, sharp knife, dish drainer, ice trays, salt and pepper shakers, colander, trash can, rags, rubber gloves, oven mits and I am sure there is more stuff. This photo was taken on my 4th trip to help out. Anna Paget is with me. She was visiting for Christmas. I do love that Paget family so it was fun to hang out with EVERYONE!

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28 December 2005

Katrina: The Aftermath T+4 months (Slidell, LA)

It's been 4 months since Hurrincane Katrina. I was home for Christmas and only had time to visit a few neighborhoods. I never made it to New Orleans, or even to the lake for that matter. These 2 images were taken around the Kings Point area. There are FEMA trailers in front of maybe half the houses most of which have been gutted and a few have been demolished. This McDonalds is still not open. Actually, that area isn't even closed to being open. They say that in the "toxic soup" that covered everything there was sewage-related bacteria at least 10 times higher than acceptable as well as a surprising amount of lead.
This was part of the Christmas decorations in Lakeside Mall in New Orleans. I think it's hilarious with the blue tarps and the people stuck on roofs and such. My dad says that so many people complained that they had to take it down. Then, so many MORE people complained that they put it back up. Come on, People! Have a sense of humor!

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25 December 2005

My Family Christmas 2005

So here's ma familia on Christmas Eve. Not the choicest of locations but Padre didn't really want to move furniture inside the house. Everying else had a blue tarp in the background. Stupid Hurricane!

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13 November 2005

Atlanta Georgia Temple

I just wanted to take some pictures of the temple this evening. I missed the "sweet" light but I think I did okay anyway. I do love the temple!

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31 October 2005

Halloween Party - Round 2

So Halloween night Liz (Mary Kay) and I met up with Laura (Blair from Facts of Life) and some of her friends at Brick Room Pub in Decatur for some good ol' fashioned costumed fun.

1) Edwards Scissorhands - 2nd Place. I've seen better but he did actually grow his hair out for the part. That's some major forethought. 2) The Tooth Fairy - I thought it was funny that this burly white fairy was hoovering over his beer. 3) A Borg - 1st Place. He said he'd been working on his costume for 2 months! Now that's dedication!

1) Kip and La Fawnduh from Napolean Dynamite with the roles reversed. When I came up on the and asked to take a picture, she was putting gloss on him. That was classic. 2) The Carpenters - 3rd Place. I thought it was ingenious. He even sang! But she didn't. 3) Blue Oyster Cult. This one is going to haunt me and if it's going to haunt me you all might as well come along for the ride. Yeah, the back of those red pants - a thong...

Me with the crowd in the background and a strange light glowing through my forehead and the stair railing going through my arm... It's artsy, extended exposure photography. Work with me people!

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Halloween Party - Round 1

The Kucks had another fully attended Halloween party and here are some of my favorite costumes.

Nancy Pulsipher (Before) and Liz Cranford (After) as Extreme Make Over. Shannon Henry (that's me) as an Egyptian Tour Guide/Muslim and her roommate Natlalie Douglas as Daisy Duke. Okay so our costumes weren't part of my favorites but I wanted to put us in anyway.

The Georgia Tech boys as the guys from the Beastie Boys "Sabatoge" video. Michael Beaver as a Coach - complete with pit stains and augmentation. Michelle Louis, one of the Young brothers, Jennifer Markham and Kristen Young as a polygamist family. *tee,hee*

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Making Strides - for Cancer

This Saturday I participated in my first walk-a-thon, of sorts. It was for cancer research. I walked with some ladies from the gym I go to. I could have been my own Mardi Gras float if I'd had on green pants. Jeez. Yeah, so, in the second picture, the guy with the fro, yeah, he cracks me up.

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Children of the Corn

Every year the singles ward goes to the corn maze and every year I go even though every year I end up aimlessly following 15 people around in the cold, cryptic corn. It used to be a fun thing to do. I guess it's still true that it's the people that make the moments. This is me being a Farmer with Cory Stephens as Crow and Greg Allen as Corn.

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The Bearded Lady

I stole this picture from another friend's blog for 2 reasons. #1) It reminds me of all the cute little Taiwanese kids I used to teach. #2) Ben as the Bearded Lady for Halloween just cracks me up. I wanna go back to Taiwan. Hmm. What am I doing over Christmas break???

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18 October 2005

It's All in the Family

So on Sunday I went to visit my aunt and uncle, er, my dad's aunt and uncle in LaGrange, Georgia. Mel and Earleen are always excited to have me visit so that makes me feel special. While there I realized where I get some of my quirky behavior from. My aunt Earleen cut up some red pepper for our salads and she said they looked like lips. Her idea, not mine! So what if we're not related by blood...

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My Chinese Pen Pal

So this is my Chinese pen pal, Zhang Jian Jun, that I've had since high school with his wife and son. I got to meet him when I went to China in 2001. His wife didn't like me because she thought I was going to steal him and take him back to America. One day he took me to take a nap in his room and there on the table was all the pictures I had ever sent him torn to shreds. I just know she's put some sort of Chinese hex on me. Anyway. I post this picture since I pretty much just got it from him. It sort of looks like they were shot on a green screen and the background was added in later. Weird. Hypercolor. (he he, remember those?...)

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15 October 2005

Blood Mountain

So some people from church went hiking this morning. I kept debating whether or not I wanted to go but since I always complain about how I don't get out enough I couldn't really justify not going. It was cool. It's the highest peak in Georgia for the Appalachian Trail: 4,458 feet. And it turned out to be such a BEAUTIFUL day. My friend, Cory, tried to point out a view for me. I didn't think it was that picturesque. Am I becoming tainted by all the beautiful places I've been? I mean, I appreciate nature and all but not every view is amazing, right? Right?! I did finally find a view I enjoyed (see above) so I know I'm not past feeling at least.

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06 October 2005

Cute Fruit (and other inspiring photographs)

These images came from an email my sister sent me way back when. I love this kind of stuff. Simple. Imaginative. Clean. Funny.

Or like Irving Penn's frozen vegetable photograph. He's the one who made Clinique ads famous with his sharp, clean style.
Or Mark Laita who I was going to intern with during college but he was going to be in New York and Africa. I told him I would go too but that didn't fly. It's images like this that attracted me to him. Simple. Clean. Evocative.
He's got tons of good stuff - http://www.marklaita.com/panergi/main.html.

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30 September 2005

Joe Hits the Hump (at 25!)

So Joe Smith turned 25. I'm 29 and he tells me to go ahead and kill myself. No sense waiting around those extra 6 months. He HATES that he's getting older. Irregardless, his best friend, Andrea threw him a surprise party. What a sweetie!
Note the "Over The Hill" candle...
Andrea and I had fun making up the "Joepardy" game. If you thought some factoids were crazy, you should hear the things we DIDN'T put in.
Sometimes Joe had fun with the game too.
And sometimes, not so much...
Nothin' but love Joe! Don't hurt me...

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18 September 2005

Katrina: The Aftermath T+3 weeks (Slidell, LA)

My family had not even been home (because the power was finally back on) one week before I ventured up there to help with the clean up work. My ward from church was assigned to go to Hattiesburg, MS but I went down a day earlier to help in my hometown of Slidell, LA. I spent the morning raking layers of pine straw and pine cones from our front and back yards. My father had done a majority of the work and still we didn't finish. You can only work for so long until it is just TOO hot. I spent the afternoon at the Bishop's Storehouse helping to get all the work orders arranged for the crew coming from the surrounding areas to complete the next day.

I'm standing at the end of the driveway at my parent's house looking left in the below picture. That's our mailbox at the bottom left. That's the tree at the edge of our property that had to be cut down. It's just hang out there. You can kinda see the street lined with all the cleaned up debris and trees chunks just waiting for the government to come pick them up.
This one is looking straight forward from the end of the driveway. It's a much better view of all the rubbage lining the entire subdivision. You used to be able to see houses instead of dead foliage.
The apartment complex as you enter the subdivision. The entire thing is blue tarped. The fence what surrounds it is completely gone too. That mess you see in front is the pavillion where we used to play at kids before it was smashed by at least 4 trees.
I didn't have time to get into the city to see the damage there. I would rather be working and being helpful. My subdivision seems like it cleaned up (the outside yards, at least) rather quickly. Besides, you don't know what it looked like before so you really wouldn't know the difference.

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Katrina: The Aftermath T+3 weeks (Hattiesburg, MS)

The next morning after helping in Slidell I went to Hattiesburg, MS to meet up with others from church to fulfill our assignments. Basically we cut up trees and hauled tree chunks, branchs, pine cones, pine straw and other yard debris to the street to be picked up at a later date.

The first 2 houses we went to were horrendous. They practically lived in a forest. In some cases, we cleared and cleared only to feel like we made no headway. From this picture you can see how the trees fell over with their comeplete root system intact. I find that amazing! Those were some powerful winds.
This house couldn't be saved. There are going to bulldoze it but the owner still needed to get as many of their belongings out as they could. We were just asked to clear a path to the house so they could get inside, which they hadn't been able to do yet.
This is about half of our group from the Northpoint Ward in Atlanta, GA. The other half got a different set of work orders. One lady commented how we could be doing the work we were doing and still have such smiles. Another man, who worked at Lowe's so has been there since the hurricane, thanked us profusely and started to cry as we were doing a service for him that he could not do himself.
I learned how to fall a tree. That was cool.

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Katrina: The Aftermath T+3 weeks (Waveland, MS)

On the way home on Sunday, we went to Waveland, MS to attend sacrament meeting with a friend. Waveland is closer to the coast and much of it was reportedly in matchsticks, if that. We didn't have the opportunity to stop and take pictures so these are taken from a moving vehicle. I did the best I could...

This house has an "X" on it. I've heard diffenent stories about what it means. Some say it means there is someone dead inside, some say it means they've checked the house and it's empty, some say it's ready to be torn down. I don't know. Either way it was interesting to see how primitive, I guess, the marking system was.

Everything people owned would be out on the side of the street as it all took water damage and was rotten now. You can kind of see the mold on the brown dresser towards the bottom left.
People wrote there addresses and other information right on their homes. This one tells us that they have State Farm insurance and gives their contact numbers if an agent were to come by and not find them there.
A little red house just picked up and dropped on it's side somewhere else...
Everything has to be gutted. With the wind damage and the water damage, everything pretty much has to be destroyed.
--More information written directly on the homes. --A taped up ice box. I guess they decided to put it out taped up rather than clean it out. --Martial law. The miliary was there keeping order, directing traffic, what-have-you. --This one is not real clear but it was supposed to show you the water line on the trees by the trash that's still stuck there. --Billboards that don't exist anymore. --The dried, cracked mud that exist everywhere now (driving in, the whole state smells like dead aquatic life). --Cars that floated away and were deposited on the side of the road somewhere (just one example). --Boats on top of boats.
The church building in Waveland took at least a foot of water. This is the removed sheet rock, insulation and other debris from the building. I don't know where they put the carpet but it's gone too. Still... the building was being used as a command center for the area. The second picture only starts to show the amount of stuff there. They had family kits with a tent, sleeping bags, water containers and food. Also cots, clothes, chainsaws, cleaning supplies, water, food, and other aid products. Anything I could think of was there.
They say that all the active memebers of the church in that area had actually moved away before the hurricane hit. A bishop there said it a wake up call for him to reactivate the numerous members who were not coming to church. I don't know if it's spiritual or temporal help they are looking for but people are returning to church there.

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12 September 2005

Egypt - The Destination Point

So I went to Monte Carlo for work and was lucky enough to grab some time off to extend my stay in that part of the world. My thought was that since I was so close to Africa, I just had to make it there. Africa was next on my list of big places to go and I told myself that I wanted to get out of the country this year so, with a little flight arranging, I made it. I know Egpyt is more Middle Eastern than African but it still counts!

I stayed at King Tut Hostel in Cairo and was greet by Ahmed #1 and Ahmed #2. I ended up on Ahmed #6. Ahmed #3 was a waiter, #4 was a guide, #5 was a driver and #6 was my felucca captain. Anyway. Ahmed #1 (black shirt) went out with us to get cash, go shopping, visit an Internet cafe when we first arrived. He seemed a little stressed being responsible for 2 little American girls on the busy streets of Cairo. Auto traffic is nothing to be triffled with and crossing it with us nearly gave him a heart attack. I was hardly ever alone in Egypt so I felt safe. That seems to be the first question out of everybody's mouth.

If you can see the red cirlce, that's me and Laura on the largest of the Pyramids at Giza. There are actually about 120 pyramids in Northern Egypt. The three that everyone visits were built as tombs for a father, son and grandson.

At Queen Hatshepsut's Temple. She ruled Egypt for 20 years and was very successful because she ruled with her heart as well as her head. Her husband died and her son was very young so she sent him away to boarding school and decided to rule Egypt. In my own words, she paid a high priest to tell the people that she was half-god and that the god part was not the female exterior. So she dressed like a man and went about ruling the country. I like this picture because it shows her in a false beard but the remaining red coloring looks like she has rosey, feminine cheeks. It's not supposed to look like that but it does and it makes me laugh.

Partial statue of Ramses II at the museum at Memphis, former capital. They say Ramses II was in love with himself. Maybe that is why there are so many statues of him. He also used to put his name all over things that other pharohs had built. To prevent that from happening to him, he wrote his name all over the things he built.

The next 2 photos are inside some of the tombs at the Valley of the Kings. You aren't supposed to take pictures there either but I tried to see what I could get away with. Hence the photos aren't great but it gives you an idea of what's inside. I can't believe the colors have lasted so long.

This is my special friend, Atef, who happens to own the King Tut Hostel (go there, it's nice). He was very kind to me. I hope to be able to spend more time with him soon and see Egypt the way the Egyptians do.

More often than not I was able to watch the sunset while I was in Egypt. I miss that. Even if I had the time, I wouldn't know where to find a good viewing spot. I must work on that...

Atop the hotel in Luxor.
On my felucca ride in Luxor.
Giza desert.
Overlooking Cairo.
With the pyramids.
Along the Nile River.

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