Friday, March 21

first days

the first days of spring have been roll-down-the-windows-and-blast-the-tunes warm. heads turn, skin is bared and everyone is smiling with their faces to the sky. i went for a run in the fading light and cleared dead leaves from the yard. the smell of daffodils and fresh laundry waft through the house on a cross breeze. spring has never been so long in coming.

Sunday, March 16

week o' multimedia

had the chance to work on some interesting stories this week.

the first was an ancient bur oak getting a facelift from some volunteer arborists. this tree was 150 years old when lewis and clark passed nearby. it's ginormous and might be the biggest bur oak in the country. i got a ride to the top in the volunteers' cherry picker (sweet!) and hung out long enough to pull an audioslideshow out of the deal.

the next day i covered the local spelling bee sponsored by the paper. i had a fun idea lurking in the back of my mind and brought along the audio recorder. the piece took on a life of its own and kept me up until 1am. it was fun to produce though.

i had flashbacks to my own spelling bee experience from 5th grade. or was it 4th. i can still remember the word i went out on. just a few people left until advancing to the next round and i forgot the "e" in planetarium. oh so tragic. i found out years later i was dating the guy that won that spelling bee way back when. it's a strangely small world.

our town outtakes

there will be a story about this eventually. exhaustion got the better of my on this shoot. 200 teenagers on rollerskates. of course most of the action was off the rink.

and who doesn't text a friend on the sidelines from the middle of the rink?


tutus. i could easily kill 9 hours shooting ballerinas in tutus. my inner six-year-old came out on this shoot: wanting to embody a dancer's grace and poise, wear pretty things, walk on my toes. and then i saw their feet after a 15 minute performance. ugh, ouch. no thanks.

there was another solo dance that incorporated this giant projection of the galaxy. sometimes i feel like this looking out at the world. overwhelmed with possibilities.

nfl scout day at mizzou.

the rock bridge girls won columbia's first-ever state title in basketball. i was glad i got to be there for the final game. it's been neat to watch them go all the way, but it is a pang of regret that i didn't follow them strazzante-style for the season.

Friday, March 7

and just when i thought poyi had no more surprises....

we found out earlier this week that a photo column entry for the tribune won an award of excellence. a big thanks to our boss gerik for putting the entries together. two of parker's photos and one of mine composed the winning entry.

i have a lot of fun with the "our town" photo column, that is unless i'm running around at the last minute freaking out about it. i hope i can spend more time with people in the coming year. or just take better photos like my friend tamika at the birmingham news who took home first place in photo column.

she started the column just a year ago, and wow, amazing stories and personalities. can't wait to see where the columns takes us in 2008.

Wednesday, March 5


the film festival blasted through columbia last weekend. i vow to see more movies next year. we had to cover most of the chaos, but there should be time to partake next year.

the line for ticket sales stretched down the block.

i wandered around downtown with a documentary boot camp for teens. you can see the slideshow here.

and then there was mucca pazza, a punk marching band from chicago. they came to town to lead the March into March parade. i shot way too much video and ended up having to edit on my laptop because our software isn't up to date. imovie sucks, but it's all we have for now. i hope to re-edit this once we have final cut.

the saga of mama bessie's

sometimes working with reporters doesn't go so well. at least i got to spend time with willie and margaret at their cleaners for a few days. willie is one of those people that knows everyone. i think he'll be a great source for future projects.

margaret started her photo wall when she opened for business in 2004, but there's decades of people represented. the whole community appears there at some time or another.


we did a short story on new research in autism and i got to spend the morning with blake and one of his therapists stacey. blake has no relatives in his extended family with autism, which researchers say might help them isolate a genetic key to the condition.

stacey works with an Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) curriculum that seeks to keep an autistic child engaged with others and prevent self-stimulatory behavior. what struck me about their interactions were the long pauses where blake would go off into his own world for a minute.

it made me wonder what was going through his mind in those instances? where does he go?

blake also likes to roll on his bed. stacey let him roll after working on his language skills for a half hour. he asked, "right left? right left?"

he only got upset a few times when he wanted to engage in stemming behavior and stacey refused to leave him alone to do it. she tries to keep him engaged in activities and personal interactions.

blake draws the "magic house" a lot. it has an escalator that goes up and down. it also has a doorbell, which is what blake wants to tap over and over again.

blake does connect with people and shows considerable improvement since starting eibi and a glutten-free diet.

it was great to spend the morning with them. i love assignments with actual people going about their day.

infant massage

when i got this assignment, gerik and i joked about having an 18-month-old walk on our backs and apply tiny hands to our aching muscles. haha. alas, this was a class about massaging infants instead of training infant masseuses.

the training doll was a riot. do they really need t-shirts telling people which side is up?

andrew was completely blissed out by the end of the session. his mom theresa massages his chest as instructor deanna demonstrates the move. because of liability issues, infant massage is usually only performed by the parents. this class was a "train the trainer" session so local women can instruct local parents.

zion and teddy get a foot massage.

nothing quiets a room more than cooing infants.


seemingly random singles but a thread on aging ran through them.

Sue Johanson, host of “"Talk Sex with Sue Johanson," speaks to reporters before taking the stage at Jesse Auditorium for a Valentine's Day.

Debra McDannold came to Pela Cura for lime-light treatments after visiting another facility and coming away unsatisfied with the results.

Charles Jefferson was born on Leap Day in 1904. He turns 104 on the 29th, but officially he's just 26.

a different fate

the end of any high school sports season means emotional seniors stepping off the field of play for the last time. the rock bridge boys dropped out of championship contention against the same team that bested them last year.

Rock Bridge senior John Worley, right, is comforted by a teammate after the sixth-ranked Bruins lost to Fort Zumwalt South 42-37 last night in a Class 5 sectional game at Union High School. It was the third straight sectional loss for the Bruins.

the rock bridge girls have advanced to the final four, but were still teary during their last home game.

Senior Kelsie Shearrer, center, is congratulated by junior Katherine Harry, left, after leaving the court for the last time during the Bruins final regular home game of the season.

Rock Bridge seniors Kelsie Shearrer, left, and Andrea Seabaugh, right, share a moment on the bench during the final minutes of their last regular home game of their high school careers.

good luck to them in the state tournament. they've been fun to photograph this season.

the day the flu hit

got knocked out by the flu the day the grand prix started in columbia. ugh. what a weekend to be down a staffer. luckily my co-worker parker kicks ass. i'm just sorry you had to pull some super-long shifts, dude.

as the virus started taking over i was on the mizzou high-dive making frames of warm-ups. layered bodies in motion and clean backgrounds. who can resist?