Monday, November 25, 2013

NCTE - The Authors

This past weekend, I had the chance of a lifetime through my school. The entire English department of University Prep Science+Math High attended the annual National Council of Teachers of English conference in Boston. I'll give several posts to this experience, but this one had to come first -- the Authors. Through sessions, signings, and a luncheon, I was able to hear from many acclaimed authors, and sometimes got a chance to photograph them. Here they are:

First up, Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

 He was insightful, he was funny, and he was very candid and real about the incredible life he has lived, and the changes that he never expected. I managed to score an advance copy of his forthcoming book Radiance of Tomorrow, and also this photo of us:

Also amazing was hearing Temple Grandin speak on the nature of all minds in the English classroom:
No one with autism has done as much for people with autism as this woman. Seeing her live was fantastic.

I didn't her Neal Shusterman speak, but I got a snapshot of the man during a book signing. Here he is looking exactly like you expect him to look:

And finally, back to the start: the conference opened with Judy Blume. I didn't get a great shot, but her interview was a fantastic kickoff to the conference. Here she is accepting an award:

More NCTE to come! Amazing conference.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Election Night - A Victory Party!

Those that have known me for more than a few years know that politics run deep with my family. I'm not one for running, personally, but through my father and uncle I grew up working a plethora of campaigns -- everything from writing literature to knocking doors. This past weekend I went out and dropped a piece for my good friend Jeremy Mahrle, as well as the coordinated party on his campaign, Sharlan Douglass. Both were on the ballot for Royal Oak City Commission, and both were victorious! I moved from Royal Oak about a year ago into neighboring Clawson, but I still have ties to the community and feel they will be a great voice for the growth and prosperity of the town.

Anyway, canvassing on Sunday led to an invitation to the election night party at 5th Avenue in Royal Oak. It was great watching the results roll in again, and hearing victorious speeches from Mayor Ellison (who ran unopposed, but still) as well as Jeremy and Sharlan. Also sharing in the event was One Royal Oak, a campaign that celebrated the victory of a human rights ordinance that now prevents discrimination against LGBT individuals along with those already protected. Here's a few shots from that evening:

Mayor Ellison looks on as the head of One Royal Oak campaign thanks supporters for backing the successful Human Rights Ordinance.

Jeremy and his campaign manager, Alex, to the left of Mayor Ellison.

Sharlan, one of the new commissioners, thanking supporters.

Jeremy, also now a confirmed winner, thanking supporters as Sharlan applauds their victory.

Jeremy Mahrle, Royal Oak City Commissioner 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Collision Six - 11/2/2013

A good friend of mine, Kerry, is in a local cover band named Collision Six. I made it to one of their shows this past weekend, and while pictures don't display the fantastic quality that is their fun, upbeat performance of well-known hits, I will post a few anyway.

Feel free to check them out on Facebook at or at a local show, because they play all over the Metro Detroit and Lansing area.

Also, special thanks to the staff of Jamboozie's in Sterling Heights for allowing me to take a few pictures that evening. It's a great place too -- check that out at

Lions vs. Cowboys - October 27, 2013

Ford Field was kind enough to allow my camera and I inside, and my wife's company got us some AMAZING seats. These things happen when you do a great job, and she's pretty wonderful.

So was the game.

Touchdown Megatron!

Being that it was the Alumni game, Barry Sanders stopped by!

The game winning kick, putting the Lions up 31-30.

I took a lot of pictures at this game, and if you'd like to see more, please feel free to check out the FULL ALBUM here: