Monday, November 21, 2011

COME TO THE OTHER SIDE!

After much trial and tribulation, or maybe just trial, less tribulation, or vice versa, I have had to change my blog URL. I have been so appreciative of the feedback and enthusiasm for my writings and life nuggets on my blog, and sincerely hope that you follow me to the other side, which is a bit more esthetically pleasing, and hopefully easier to read. Slowly but surely I am transferring posts from his blog to the new one. Any and all honest feedback on the new design, look, readability is welcome! so without further adieu, voila my NOUVEAU BLOG

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

MONK

Tai Chi - The strength and intent of every movement is a powerful thing.

This is Zhou Xuan Yun, a taoist monk I met in China in 2006, teaching me kung fu in the mountains.

I shot this video as a little taste n sampling of Xuan Yuns focus and determination.

Untitled from erika@erikadufour.com on Vimeo.

Friday, October 21, 2011

ITSY BITSY THOUGHT

It takes courage to care

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

WANT TO SEE MY UNDERWEAR?

Last Sunday, my bud Sonia, my pup Ninja and I were chillaxing in Wicker Park soaking in the unusually warm sun for an October day, observing people tossing footballs, people walking their dogs, dudes doing pushups, and little kids having sad moments as well as moments of sheer joy.

A little little girl, couldn't be taller than 3 feet scampered over to us and asked if Ninja (my dog) was friendly and happily started petting her and having a good time doing so. A few minutes later, a little blonde fellow, about a foot taller than the little girls sauntered over and with a serious pontificating look set in his brow said to us "she can be so annoying sometimes, she just goes up to people to get attention." this kind of sentence made me think, wow, this little fellow heard some of this kind of talk from a parent.

the little girl danced and twirled and was having a joy of a time while the little boy started up a conversation with Sonia and I about this little girls behaviour. I then noticed that he was wearing the same kung fu shoes that i was wearing which is pretty rare, I proclaimed "hey! your wearing the same kung fu shoes as me, do you do kung fu??" he had a stunned and pleased look in his eyes and said, "no, I do Karate!" I asked him if he took lessons and with all seriousness and earnestness in his eyes he said "no...I just happen to know it", this made me smile on the inside because I could see him glowing with esteem. he started showing us his moves flinging around kick punching, chopping and twirling, making psshhh and pppkkrrckrrr noises while he let loose on his super karate moves. we applauded and told him how awesome he was (cause he was).

The little girl with a juicy smile looked at me and told me she had invisible shoes on, I looked at her cute dirty toes and said, well yeah!!!! the boy said in a tone "shes not wearing invisible shoes, shes barefoot" the girl ignored him and kept dancing and twirling with joy.
She then ran up to my face and in all innocent earnestness said "do you want to see my underwear?" Before I could answer, she did a cool handstand in the splits and her underwear was smack right in my face, i said, well, there it is! she must have loved her underwear to want to show me.

meanwhile this boy continued in his dialogue and demonstrations of karate/kungfu and explanations of what the power rangers do. before the parents wisked the kids off the little boy asked Sonia and I if we were Ninjas, we told him yes and that we met at Ninja school (which is true) and he asked us if we had a teacher, we told him we did, he once again put his serious look on his face and sid "well, you can show your teacher this move and teach it to him" he then went in to precise demonstration on the hand positions and the options of hand positions to use. He said "you can show your teacher that and teach it to him" We both agreed that we would definitely do so.

His mother then came over and put his little red suspenders on and he wandered off to play and show the world his moves.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

IM SORRY

For about a year and a half now I have eliminated the word "sorry" out of my vocabulary. In this word elimination diet, I have noticed more and more how and when I used the word and realized that it was just a filler to say what I really meant.

Every time I would say "Im sorry" , it felt like I was apologizing for myself repeatedly, leaving a feeling of inadequacy inside me. During the beginning stages of this word elimination, there was a pause when I was about to utter "sorry" and not know what to do instead.

I noticed a shift inside me more and more and felt less sorry for myself, less sorry for my actions, and more of a realist of my actions and behavior.

The challenge is, what words fill in the void left from this word removal? Acknowledgement and ownership. below are examples of what it looks like.



-I totally blew you off by not calling you back which is disrespectful to you.

-of course you would be mad! I changed plans at the last minute without telling you which is so unfair.

- I totally bumped into to you and made a huge frikkin mess!

-of course your mad! I hit your car and made a huge dent in it which is frustrating and maddening because its expensive.

-of course you'd be pissed, makes total sense, my dog just took a shit on your property and I didn't pick it up, how disrespectful of me.

-It makes sense why you would feel ignored becasue I am totally ignoring your emails and not responding to you which is disrespectful to you.

-I said mean and hurtful things which makes sense why you wouldnt trust me or want to talk to me

-WOW! I totally messed that up!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FUR FLESH AND FLOWERS


Model - Erica Miramonte - Ford
Hair/Makeup by Beth Follert - Timothy Priano

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SECRET PONG


Today a friend told me about a place on Chicago Avenue near my house that is a dollar store in the front and in the back, a ping pong court filled with tables to play on until 10pm. So... tonight I investigated and its true! This dollar store is run by this thai couple and in the back is what you see in this photo.

The city is such so filled with gems like this. My mind is blown!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

THIS NEEDS NO EXPLANATION





Videos By : Kyle Frere

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

CLICK N CLACK

About a month ago I went to get my tires fixed at a new auto repair place highly recommended by a friend. As we all know, finding a car repair place is like finding a needle in a haystack. So I walked in and told em about my tire woes, and they told me to sit while I wait. I looked across the room and I saw these fellas sitting there. Admittedly I shot this without asking them (I couldnt resist), but later emailed to see if it was OK to post on my blog.
Meet Todd and Craig

I had the great pleasure of chatting with these fellas for at least an hour and half. The conversation started about how women should have long hair and shouldn't cut it short, to a disagreement (between craig and todd) that heath is better than any hair style, to theories on how to make women happy (I think an expensive purse is part of the equation). The the conversation migrated to their love of cars. Craig recounted how he rebuilt a Corvette from a burnt up wreckage and gave it to his wife, painting it yellow way before yellow was a fashionable color in sports cars. These guys have a long history of relationships with cars and they mean business. Talking to them felt a bit like the NPR talkshow "Car talk".

This was one of my most pleasurable experiences at a car place, as I listened to these two friends converse about life, their love of cars, and pontificating on theories about the world and people.



Sunday, September 11, 2011

HAND CANNON

A little weekend adventure to get over a cold. I think it worked! This last Friday I had a hankering to learn the proper way to shoot a gun, and the opportunity presented itself to me, so...continuing on with the fuckit philosophy, I embarked on an other Erika adventure.

I learned that you have to keep your shit together when your handling this chunk o metal, I am not a huge proponent of just any Tom DICK and Harry, or should I say Harry Dick Tom owning one of these things, because I am sure not everyone who ones one keeps their shit together. I am frightened of hot tempered douchebags owning guns, I am frightened of angry people owning guns, I am frightened of people who believe the solution to getting things done is to point a gun at stuff. This aint no toy for sure.

I am glad to have experienced holding and shooting this thing as I now know what it feels like. It is definitely an addictive feeling of power, combined with a "dont fuck with me, and I mean it" feeling, with a big helping of different flavors of fear, with short doses of adrenaline pumping through the veins. Kind of a stew of conflicting emotions that I cant quite put into words.





HAND CANNON 2






Thursday, September 8, 2011

EAT ME




Eat fruit - its sexy

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

MY NEW HOBBY WED NIGHT


here is my advanced studio lighting class at columbia college!! we had a lovely ice breaker learning about each others preferences and hobbies. what I learned the most is that most people dont think shit is a bad word and that Christmas is not peoples favorite holiday.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

EEE EYE EEE EYE OOH


And on that farm there was some cows, eee eye eee eye oooh!

Last weekend I had the great fortune to open my door to a fundraiser for raising the awareness of our innate human right to consume what is good for our bodies, RAW UNPASTEURIZED MILK!! This stuff is illegal, and farmers are being violated by the government and law enforcement raiding their farms without warrant and being held at gunpoint for producing raw milk and distributing it to people who are in need of this life saving nectar.
How this event came to be was a fascinating fluke. 5 years ago I was researching and becoming aware of the great health benefits of raw milk and how our intake of store bought milk skims the levels of health benefits raw milk has. In my research I plopped my name down on an email list and moved on with my life. I was forgotten and never hear any updates since. Two months ago I began receiving emails about a movie that would be aired at the Gene Siskel film center.

Farmageddon - Movie Trailer from Kristin Canty on Vimeo.

I payed attention but in moderation. I then glanced at an email and it read as follows

"Hello Chicago Farmageddon (Raw Milk Movie) promotional Team,

We are in desperate need of a venue for an "after the movie" event. If you have a connection for a venu anywhere in Chicago, please email us with your phone number so that we may call you to ask further questions. In your response please give the address of the venue. After movie event with be from 5:30pm - 8:30pm on Saturday, August 27th.

We are seeking a Venue to accommodate 70-150 people with ample parking.

Please respond asap with your venue connection.

Thanks!
Max Kane

My left eyebrow raised and there was a twinkle in my eye. I wrote back immediately without further thinking that I had a 2500 square foot empty space and that I would be glad to donate my space to such an event.

As you now probably know, if you read my blog at all, I am an advocate of the "fuckit" philosophy, sometimes it pans out well, sometimes, not so much. this time, it exceeded my expectations.

Before people started arriving, my stomach was hiccuping a bit wondering WTF have I gotten myself into, but yet also thinking that this would at least a great study of human behavior. The amish farmers showed up, the dietitians showed up, the politicians showed up, the filmmakers showed up, all people from different walks of life showed up, with a common thread of frustration and passion for what they believed in. I was overwhelmed with joy as I am a great admirer of people who have conviction, passion and love of life and will do anything to retain their integrity.
The lecture started off with Max Kane who delivers raw milk from the farmer to the customers who already have paid for this product. He is in battle with the supreme court of Wisconsin for not divulging the names of farmers who are producing raw milk for the customers who demand it. This was the complete lineup and there was more on top of that.


I met fascinating people I wouldn't have ever dreamt of meeting, I am now an even bigger advocate of the "fuckit" philosophy.

I cant help but wonder what will arise next on the docket, BRINGIT !

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NEW PHOTOS





Here is an other successful shoot with the fantasmical ladies at twentythirtyforty.net
Hair n makeup - Maggie Kerr - Ford
Model - Stacia -Ford

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

THE ANTIDOTE TO THE BULLSHIT

This list is the truths about work, revealing why the prior list about work is false (SEE BLOGPOST - "A BIG FAT LIST OF BULLSHIT")

-the amount of time you spend in work doesn't equate to the quality of your work
-give your life to your life
-work is secondary to life
-money amounts do not reflect the quality of your life
-working as a bartender, repair person makes you an equal to anyone
-having a hard time at work does not reflect your quality of life
-you are a winner if you work only 3 days a week
-you are a winner at work if you are not working 60 hours a week
-you are wonderful no matter how much cash you make
-you are wonderful no matter what kinds of things you have or don't have
-success is having valuable friends
-it is inexcusable to use work as an excuse for not being there for your family
-emotionally supporting your family is by far more valuable than any amount of money you make
-downing gobs of alcohol after work to decompress is dysfunctional
-ignoring your children because you have "too much work" is inexcusable
-people care more about who you are more than what you do
-you are interesting no matter what your job is
-working until you are exhausted is abuse to yourself
-life can be fair if you choose to make it so
-giving your respect and attention to people who respect you is important
-your own opinion of yourself is more valuable than anything else
-kissing your bosses ass is undignified and sad
-if you aren't perfect at work, you are human
-skipping a day or two of work is fun and well deserved
-if you aren't making enough money, you are trying hard but just need a bit more time
-if not enough work is coming in, it is doubtful that it is your fault
-women are very hard workers just like men
-a woman in the workplace showing boundaries and clean communication will be respected
-a softer personality woman is as intelligent as any other kind of woman
-your ranking at work has no relevance to your intelligence
-your financial gain has nothing to do with your intelligence
-you being the top dog in your company doesn't mean that you are smarter than others
-if you are not working, you are working on other things
-if you have financial distress, it is normal
-no matter what you do or who you donate to, being an asshole means being an asshole
-being an asshole to your coworkers is just being an asshole
-being an asshole means low self esteem
-being an asshole to other people means you will gain distrust from them
-being an asshole to your coworkers is inexcusable and is abusive
-if you are not better than your competitor, who cares
-you need to be whomever you are and that is enough
-being number two doesn't exist
-having friends, family and support is as crucial to life than work
f-riends and family support you in your life and help support you to achieve your goals
-your families love for you shows your success
-burying yourself in your work is lonely, sad, and isolating
-your soul and being is what defines you as a person
-your personality is your passion

Monday, August 8, 2011

MEOW MEOW


shoe....art....shoe....art....shoe....art.........

Sunday, August 7, 2011