Smile For The Camera!

I absolutely LOVE taking pictures. Photographs of people, where ever I am at the moment, my dog, whatever. It doesn’t matter. I have tons of photo albums in my bookcase – years’ worth of memories, all bound into multi-colored books. I’m probably one of the only people left in the world who still prints out pictures and puts them in albums.

Before every cell phone had a camera, I used to take mine with me everywhere. Since I’m naturally blonde, I’d take photos to help me remember certain occasions.

Company trip or Girls Night Out? Whether they liked it or not, I was there taking photos. Many times this really came in handy if alcohol had been involved. Who was the guy Jill was dancing with? What happened to Nicki’s shoes? Why is Carl wearing a cape? Hmmmm. Well, let me just reference my handy-dandy digital photos.

Company having a party? Check. I was there, camera in hand, ready to document. (One of my coworkers nicknamed me the company “Documentarian.” I thought it she was kidding until I Googled it and realized that it’s a real word – someone who documents things.) Okay. That was me.

This came in handy each year when the company would take all of the employees to Florida. As usual, I packed my camera. And the crazy and fantastic group of people that I worked with always provided me with opportunities for great pictures.

I have to include a bad one of myself.  It's only fair.

I have to include a bad one of myself. It’s only fair.

It’s funny how people act like they don’t like getting their picture taken, but as soon as I would take a photo, people would want to see it.

“Oh, that’s terrible of me! Take another one!!!”

Now, that always made me laugh. If you didn’t like me taking a picture in the first place, then why do you want me to take another one?

It’s because PEOPLE LIKE PICTURES. They’re memories you can see.

V on a stuffed horse.

V on a stuffed horse.

My friend, E.Y.* says I have a knack for getting people to do things that they normally wouldn’t do, and then I take a picture of it.

“Hey E! Go stand by that fountain and it will look like you’re peeing!”

“Okay!!!”

Click-click-click.

“Hey E! Wrap yourself up in this beach towel and you’ll look like a baby!”

“Okay!!!”

Click-click-click.

Flying back from the Fla trip, the airline said babies could board first, so here E is acting like a baby.

Flying back from the Fla trip, the airline said babies could board first, so here E is acting like a baby.

What’s REALLY funny is that E doesn’t drink so these pictures were taken when he was perfectly sober.

E said that I’m the friend that will take really crappy pictures of you all year long and then give them to you on a CD as a Christmas present.

Yep. That’s how I roll. And now that I have a camera on my phone, those great pictures for next year’s Christmas CD are just a quick click away.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

*E’s name and people’s faces have been hidden to protect my life for including these stories in this blog post.

Bra size?  C - for cakes.

Bra size? C – for cakes.

It's a bird...it's a plane!  It's a man on a piano!

It’s a bird…it’s a plane! It’s a man on a piano!

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Star Wars vs. Nicholas Sparks. Who would win?

By Dana McIntyre @DanaMcIntyre1

My husband, Dale and I are very similar in so many ways – that’s what really attracted us to each other. We both love to camp, participate in triathlons, and so many other things. His parents have been married for 38 years, mine for 52. We both share the same religion, are non-smokers, and have the exact same political views.
But when it comes to movies, we are on complete opposite sides of the RedBox. I am a hopeless romantic so I’ve always loved movies like “When Harry Met Sally” and “The Wedding Date.” But I also love rough and tough movie like “Slap Shot” and “Gladiator.”

My husband however, loves action movies and…wait for it…..sci-fi. And I mean ANTHING sci-fi. Star Wars. Star Trek. Tron. Flash Gordon. If it has the word “Universe” or “Droid” or “Legion” in the trailer, then it is on his list of movies to watch. (Please don’t get me wrong though. I know a LOT of people like sci-fi…It’s just not for me.)

One afternoon Dale and I were kidding around and he started quoting something from Star Wars. I was completely lost. What the heck is a Boba Fett? Why would I know any of that? He started to clue in when my eyes started rolling back into my head.

“WHAT?” he said. “You have never seen STAR WARS??? Not ‘The Empire Strikes Back?’ Not the ‘Phantom Menace?’ NOTHING???”

Unknowingly, I had committed the cardinal sin of being a software programmers wife: I was not geek-worthy. Clearly I would never win at “Jeopardy!” if the category was science fiction.

One evening when we were trying to figure out what to watch on TV, Dale had the brilliant idea that we should finally watch Star Wars. He was completely serious. He said I could finally find out what a Sith was! YAYYYYYY! A sith? I was thinking hey I already know what that is. It’s what you use in the kitchen to drain your pasta. What’s it got to do with science fiction?

When I gave him a scowl, he then suggested “War Games” and I asked “Is that the movie you wanted me to watch where the guy lived in the computer game?” This time HE scowled and said “That’s Tron, doofus.” I just smiled and said ‘Did you seriously just call ME the doofus here?”

We ended up watching “21 Jump Street”.

Dale has suggested that we have a “Star Wars” marathon one day. That’s fine. Because if we have a “Star Wars” marathon, I have told him that we will also be having a Nicholas Sparks marathon.

I can’t wait!  He’s going to LOOOOOOVVVVE “The Notebook.”

 

I used Face-In-Hole and StoryMark to create the great picture above! For more information visit www.storymarklife.com or download for free at the iPhone app store or Android Marketplace.

Have you ever had TV wars with your spouse about what movies to watch?

Bailey’s Birthday Minus Mom

By Dana McIntyre      @DanaMcIntyre1

It’s so hard for me to believe, but my husband and I have been married now for almost three years. We don’t have any kids together but we both brought kids from our previous marriages into our new one.

Most parents will agree that one of the most difficult things about getting divorced is not having your children with you all of the time. (Although for some people, they consider that a vacation!) For me, the hardest part was missing important holidays and events in my child’s life. He would spend Thanksgiving at my house one year, the next at his dads. Splitting Christmas day right in the middle…half at mom’s, half at dad’s.

This year, my step-daughter, Bailey was with us on her 11th birthday. We planned the usual birthday festivities – cake, balloons, gifts, friends, grandparents, etc. But as a mother who has been there, I knew it would be difficult for her mom not to see her on that day.

We used StoryMark to document her special day with tons of pictures (even using Instagram to add effects), but we also were able to add the sounds of the party and the ear bleeding result of our family singing Happy Birthday to her off-key. Bailey e-mailed the StoryMarks directly to her mother, allowing her to share in the party festivities.

So the next time you can’t attend a birthday party or a school chorus recital, consider using StoryMark to include the other parent. Bridging the gap between divorced parents can be so beneficial to your kids, and can start with the most simple gesture .

So Happy Birthday, Bailey! Cha! Cha! Cha!

Baileys Birthday – YouTube.

So what about you?  Have you ever been away from your kids on a holiday or birthday due to a divorce?  How did you cope?

For more information on StoryMark, visit http://www.storymarklife.com or download for free on your iPhone or Android.

My Imaginary Date With Zac Efron

By Dana McIntyre

My husband and I are always joking back and forth about our “celebrity crushes”.  When we are choosing a movie, he will say “And oooooh, it has your boy Zac Efron in it.  We are definitely going to have to watch that one, huh?”

My answer?  “Well, duh.”   I’ve decided that if my husband ever follows through on his threat to make me sit through a Star Trek marathon, then we are having an Efron Marathon too…Hello Charlie St. Cloud!!

(So now, everyone is well aware of my Cougar crush on the high school musical star.  Sigh…)

So one day I played a joke on him by using another photo app on my iPhone called Face-In-Hole, where you can use pictures and impose someone else’s face on the picture, and voila!  You’re on the red carpet with your favorite celebrity!

To  make it even funnier, I used StoryMark to ask my husband a question…

Funny 1 – YouTube.


And he responded to me like this…

Funny 2 – YouTube.

 

So I sent one back to him…

Me & Zac – YouTube.

And although my red carpet walk with Zac Efron only occurs on my phone and in my dreams, and I am painfully reminded that I am old enough to be his mother, I can still cherish those imaginary memories thanks to StoryMark and Face-In-Hole.

And, by the way, do cougars growl?  Because if so, Zac, can you hear me?  I’m growling.

For more information, check out http://www.storymarklife.com or find the free StoryMark app in the iPhone store or for Android (Google Play).

Happy Father’s Day, Mr. Fancy Pants

By Dana McIntyre  @danamcintyre1

Father’s Day is coming up and this year is more special to me than ever.  Six months ago we were not sure my Dad would even be around for Father’s Day.   He was diagnosed with a blood cancer and started chemo treatments immediately.   (He recently underwent a stem cell transplant, and I am blessed to say that it was successful!)

This year for Father’s Day I plan on doing something different for him.  I am going back through my old photos and finding the ones that make me laugh, the ones that make me remember and the ones that make me happy.  I want him to know how much those memories mean to me and how lucky I am to have the best dad in the world.

I want him to know that I remember seeing the thousands of jellyfish in the water on our beach trip to Panama City.  I remember camping in our 1970’s VolksWagon van and catching my first trout in the river up in the north Georgia mountains.  I remember going to the pool and being mesmerized by the tsunami that he created by doing a cannonball off the diving board.  I want him to know that I cherish every one of those memories!

And I plan on giving those memories back to him through StoryMark.

And as much as I love my dad, I will have to make fun of his short sleeved turtleneck shirt and plaid pants combo from 1974.  It’s classic.

 

 

Uncle Fred & The Dizzy Video

My Uncle Fred had spent his life working on B-52 bombers and various other airplanes during WWII and then worked at Delta Airlines in Atlanta until his retirement in 1970.  Many years later, I decided to surprise him with a video showing him how much the airport had changed since he left.  I went around Hartsfield International Airport taping tidbits of places that he might recognize.

Days later, I was eager to see his reaction as we watched the video of planes taking off overhead, the enormity of the Delta hanger, the Plane Train from concourse to concourse, and various other places around the airport that had clearly changed in the many years since he had left.  However, when I turned around to see his face I realized he was sound asleep!   I asked him what he thought about the video and he said it made him so dizzy that he had to close his eyes, at which point the Sandman entered.

It was then that I realized a lot of people have a hard time watching videos filmed by hand.  Unless you have a tripod it is hard to get really good shots without the shaking.  Even then it can be difficult when the action is moving fast – take a hockey game for instance.

With StoryMark, you can take a clean, crisp still photo and add your own audio.  Imagine a clear shot of a hockey player right in front of the net, ready to score.  A regular – a “silent” photo is fine, but where is the excitement? The yelling?  The obnoxious hockey moms? And what about the sound of the buzzer when someone scores?

Take that fantastic photo and add the audio of the fans screaming, the buzzer buzzing, and the familiar beat of the drums as the “Hey” song by Gary Glitter starts blaring through the speakers.  Now that’s a picture with emotion – all without the dizzying side effects of motion!

I’ll bet Uncle Fred would love it.  Now, if only we can bottle up the smell of engine fuel for him…

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