Since Amanda’s been pregnant, most mornings I’ll get up at 6:30 when the alarm goes off and feed the dogs and cat then go back to bed.  She used to do this, and I’m not completely sure, now that I think about it, why I’m doing this now and she’s not.  I think it had something to do with her not feeling well, and possibly something about how she’s not supposed to handle cat litter while pregnant (although feeding Cobb and cleaning his litter are, in fact, mutually exclusive actions).  I could make an issue of it, but Harvey’s favorite times of the day are when he’s fed, and if you don’t get up to feed him right away he gets anxious and starts letting you know it’s time for him to go outside then eat.  On top of that, Amanda usually will go to the bathroom before taking care of the animals, and I’m afraid that when Bruce gets up he’s ready to use the bathroom, whether he’s let outside right away or not.  So I take care of the animals in the morning.  I generally don’t have any trouble getting back to sleep (which is a change for me), so it’s not a big deal.

None of that is the point.  What I was going to get at is that this morning at what I thought was 6:28, Harvey was already awake and ready to go.  Two minutes makes little difference to me most of the time and helps me avoid hearing Amanda’s alarm anyway, so I got up, let Harvey and Bruce out in the driving rain (nasty weather this morning) then fed them.  Harvey stays in his crate when we feed him and I’ll usually let him out later in the morning because he tends to be obnoxious when he’s let back in bed after he’s eaten.

Anyhoo, the point of all this was that when I got back in bed I noticed the hour said 5, not 6, so I took care of the animals an hour early.  Wow, wasn’t that a pointless story to tell?

I also took care of Gipper, Nick and Amy Warkentien’s cat, today.  I ended up having a hard time getting back to sleep for long once Amanda left, so I decided to go ahead and get up to do that.  I haven’t seen Gipper, but I’m assuming, since the food was eaten and the litter box was relatively freshly full, that he’s still alive.  He’s a shy cat, so I didn’t expect to find him, but I looked around a little anyway.

Traffic heading down College was pretty bad, which I guess it always is around and before 9:00 in the morning, so I stopped off at Burger King to order a sausage egg and cheese croissanwich and orange juice, which I finished before getting back home.

Work was okay today.  I was kept pretty busy for the most part and went to the post office to send a client a backup CD of his newsletter list.  I talked to my little sister, Andra Sawyer, on the way there.  She said that my nephew, Jackson Sawyer, hadn’t been behaving today.  She put him on the phone and he proceeded to semi-coherently complain to me about his mother and the things she wouldn’t let him do today.  And something about the cracker was down there and it had gotten dirty.

I had mainly called Andra to check on her about her impending c-section.  She’s scheduled for one tomorrow, which is exciting.  I really hate that I can’t be there for it.  The whole family was there when Jackson was born, but Lila (the assumed name) won’t have me, Amanda or Adam there, at least.  It’s not that it’s any less special or exciting, but it’s hard for us to get to Charlotte right now.  Still, I feel a little guilty for missing the birth of my first niece.  On the plus side, everyone will be all together in a couple weeks for Thanksgiving.

I worked on a newsletter for work today.  I made a couple graphics for it and am pretty proud of how it’s coming together so far.  I hope to have it all ready to send out tomorrow.

Amanda and I swung by Little Caesar’s to pick up a pizza and went over to Billy Supplee’s apartment after work.  We were there to watch The Office but we got there early and played a bit of Guitar Hero World Tour, which, like Rock Band, has a microphone for singing and drums for banging.  The drum set and guitar are a bit different though.  We had a pretty good time with that.

On the way out from Billy’s we stopped by the apartment of another co-worker of Amanda’s, Charity Lane.  Her family lives two floors directly below Billy and she had contacted me about doing some family pictures.  We stopped by there and discussed business then talked for a few.

I feel bad sometimes when I quote prices for doing photographic jobs for people I know.  I always knock the price down from what I intend to tell them then I still feel a little guilty.  I mean, could I do photos for free and just give the images away?  Sure.  But look at the costs of photography.  I paid a grand for my camera, used.  There’s the battery grip plus extra battery, which I think totals to over $200.  I’ve got a few hundred in lenses (also used).  The flash was $750.  My  camera bag was about $40 I think.  Photoshop is, what, another $1000?  I’ve got maybe $150-200 in memory cards.  Then there are countless hours spent in honing some decent photography skills, even more time spent over the years learning Photoshop.  Then add in the time I’ll spend taking the pictures, which is probably a quarter of the time I’ll spend going back through them and tweaking them in Photoshop.

I need to remember all of this when I’m pricing photographic services to people.  When I put it like that it helps put the money into perspective and makes me not feel quite so bad about charging.  Knowing what full time photogs charge makes me feel even more secure about it.  I’m glad I took the time to write all that out.

Zach Dotsey