Hello, Friday | “United”

screenshot united1

Every so often, I watch a movie and really like it. Then I come here and tell you about it.

I think the last one I did was about the fashion in the Emily Blunt / Bill Nighy / Rupert Grint movie, Wild Target. Well, a while ago I put United in my queue.

United deals with the 1958 plane crash (dubbed the “Munich air disaster”) that killed most members of the Manchester United football club (soccer team). Let us count the ways that this interests me:

  • historical moment: check!
  • plane crashes: check! (I’m a bit weird and like to read about plane crashes… they are just so fascinating)
  • created by the BBC: check!
  • David Tennant: check!

The movie is relatively short (1.5 hours), and surprisingly doesn’t show much soccer at all — just practice scenes. It’s more about the connections between players and the coaches. The movie opens with bloodied snow and the main character, Bobby Charlton, waking up still strapped to an airplane seat in the middle of a snowy field. Then it jumps back to two years earlier and builds the rapport between players. Then the accident happens, and Jimmy Murphy (played by Tennant) tries his best to keep his team from crumbling.

From the first five minutes showing the snow, I knew this movie was going to be gorgeous. So I screen-capped a few of my favorite frames to share with y’all. It’s a really good movie and it’s streaming on Netflix now, so you should check it out.

screenshot united

Heidi & Adam | San Antonio Restaurant Wedding

san antonio restaurant wedding

“Where is Adam?” Heidi said breathlessly to me when she showed up at La Fonda on Main on her wedding day. Her soon-to-be husband was standing in the back patio of the restaurant, heeding her wishes to stay out of sight. Heidi straightened her blue shoes and breathed. She sat in the front of the restaurant at the bar, with her sister.

I walked to the back patio and saw Adam. “Where is Heidi?” he asked. She’s in the front, I said. He smiled.

He rustled about, greeting guests and getting ready for that short, important walk. The ceremony began, and all of Heidi and Adam’s closest friends and relatives watched as the groom walked out with his mother.

And when Heidi walked herself, alone, down the cobbled aisle of bamboo trees and rounded the corner to meet the gaze of her adoring partner, the moment was just amazing.

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A few more credits: florals by Central Market; cupcakes by Kate’s Frosting

The New ElissaRPhotography.com!

In case you hadn’t noticed, Elissa R Photography (dot com) has a new look! And I’m so excited!

I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful it was to work with Dameian Lott, the genius who designed and coded all of this for me. This is essentially going to be a giant love note about Dameian, and a long advertisement for you to hire him if you’re on the lookout for an awesome web guy.

new website by dameian

When a person starts thinking about “re-branding” or “updating the website” or whatever else, one always always always hears horrible stories. How designers don’t respond to emails for weeks, how they don’t listen to your criticism for what you want from your website, how it takes ages to get new revisions and your project goes past the deadline you’d like, and so on. I was actually very hesitant to redesign my site, even though I’d been using a template for about 2 years and was tired of looking at it, because I was scared of hiring someone and wasting a ton of money.

I’m happy to say that with Dameian, those worries were unfounded. He emailed back within minutes, listened to me carefully and encouraged constructive criticism, and while the site wasn’t launched exactly on time, I blame my two international trips for pushing back the timeline by a few weeks.

Ages before I’d even hired him — or had even considered redesigning — Dameian had shown such sweetness of character that I already wanted to be his friend. Fielding random WordPress questions I had, offering to host my site when I got frustrated by Bluehost’s excessive outages, helping my friends out when they updated something and broke their site — I already knew he was a good guy. When I saw what he had coded for Caroline Ghetes and Shari DeAngelo, I knew I had to get on his waiting list if I ever wanted to redesign.

(Oh, and this happened in Vancouver:

dameian club

Caroline and Shari and me, all Dameian clients, all ended up rooming together! I think this was a pic from Caroline’s iPhone.)

At the beginning of the project, I sent Dameian my “re-branding mood board” on Pinterest and he sent an initial mock-up. It was not my cup of tea — too bright, too peppy. I explained what I didn’t like about it, and the second mock-up was dead-on perfect. It was like he was in my mind. We just tailored all the little bits that had to be fixed, he coded it, did some trouble-shooting, and voila! While the project took a bit of time, it never felt wasted. The entire time we were exchanging emails to get the pieces lined up and perfect, and if there was a long silence I knew it was because he was doing stuff in the background that didn’t require my involvement.

Anyway, it was amazing working with Dameian. I sometimes felt as though I was incredibly needy — in all, we exchanged over 200 emails, emails that discussed all of the development in plain English so that I could understand what was going on — and he never seemed put out by it. Oh, and did I mention that in those emails he included nerdy lines referencing ASOIAF, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings?

I mean, really, how could you not want to hug the person who is working his butt off on your site and sending you gems such as:

This staging site is obviously not ready for prime time and is like the 2/3 built Death Star at this point, so never mind the messy and incomplete bits.

I moved the date to the left. I was drawing a total blank on what to balance it with on the right so I put a kitty cat over there. (Elissa’s note: And there are cats! On every post! Do you see them? I’m such a cat lady that I think it’s the maraschino cherry on top of this awesome chocolate sundae.)

I’ve been going off nerd-adrenaline for the past 48 hours and if I don’t rest soon I’ll snap out of a haze tomorrow morning to myself in the garage sewing Rohirrim horse lord costumes or something.

There’s just no way.

I don’t know all the technical specs of this site — runs off WordPress, of course; Dameian set up some pretty grids for me, and it seems much more efficient than the template I was using before. I’m totally in love with it and would definitely recommend that if you want to spend your hard-earned dollars with a good person who runs a good business, take your money to Dameian!