How do you say goodbye?

As many of you know, I lost my family dog, Lila, to cancer less than a month ago. Even though my family and I knew our days with her were numbered, it still came as a huge shock. I will not go into too much detail, but to simplify, I was playing with her that morning, everything was fine and then things were not and by 3pm, we had to say goodbye.

She was one of my favorite things to photograph, but also one of the hardest. Black is always tough because it absorbs light. Never the less, I would always try to get funny or adorable candid pictures of her.

Looking through photos of her is helping me grieve, I think.

I honestly have no idea if I will post this or just leave it in the drafts folder, but if by chance you are reading this, enjoy?

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She loved carrots. Once I got her a giant one at the Soulard Market in St. Louis. She was not exactly sure how to bite it.

DSC_0034 - CopyShe would sometimes get bored with my just taking pictures of her, and she always made that clear by the expression on her face.

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She braved surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on her side and the even worse ordeal of having to wear a Pujols shirt to protect her stitches while she healed.

CameraZOOM-20130531125421842Her ears, smile and tail were my favorite. I never knew dogs could smile until she came into my life.

She was who I always turned to when I was hurting. Now I have no idea what to do.

St. Louis, more than what Chicago fans say it is.

Chicago fans and especially Cubs fan enjoy bashing St. Louis fans for their jorts and nasty city that has nothing to do in it. I find these jokes amusing, but sometimes wonder how many people actually think they are completely true.

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Yes, the city of St. Louis has seen better days and while I am not here to support their sports teams, I am here to try and open your eyes to see the city for what it really is and show you some hidden gems. No, I am not going to make one giant, long St. Louis post. I know I would lose your attention halfway through, but I will sporadically post some photos and little blurbs.

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Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals

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Going to another baseball park is always an experience, one that I highly recommend.  Sometimes you can see  the ballpark blocks away. Sticking up high above the builds so you now it is coming, which is much different than visiting Wrigley.

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And yes, as you can see, there were Cubs fans at the game. The couple pictured above was friendly. I shouted “Go Rizzo” and she returned a cheer with enthusiasm. The guy wearing Freese told me “Don’t encourage her” in a teasing manner.

I actually did see some Cubs apparel being sold both inside and outside Busch Stadium. These were my favorite, I saw them at a stand outside of Busch Stadium.

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Well I was not sure if the Baseball Village was being built in a previous post, as you can see, it is under construction.

Check out the rooftops they will have on at least one building. I wonder where they got that idea.

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Since the Cubs will be getting a jumbotron, I payed a bit more attention to the one at Busch Stadium. I could not find the pitch count anywhere in the park, which really shocked me.

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Though I did think that this was a neat idea. Showing a player’s scorecard for they day during their at bat later in the game.

One other thing I noticed was the mini boards above the bullpens. In case you cannot see the number of the pitcher that is warming up, they tell you.

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My seats were very high up, so I was not able to get any close up shots of players. Though I did enjoy the view of the skyline and the breeze.

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Knife Party at Lollapalooza

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For those of you who do not know, Knife Party is an electronic dance music (EDM) group made up of two guys, Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen. So you can probably guess that lights are a big part of their show when performing.

Knife Party performed at Lollapalooza on Sunday night and I was lucky enough to be able to go see them. Of course, I took pictures during their performance.

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Busch Stadium Adventure Sunday

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In case you have missed my gleeful tweets, I am going to the Cubs vs Cardinals game on Sunday afternoon.

Now as much as I enjoy disliking the Cardinals, I have to admit Busch Stadium is a good looking place to watch baseball. (Not as good as Wrigley of course)

Now the only other time I was there was during a night game, so this will be my first day game, but I thought I could take the opportunity to share some of my photos from my one other trip there in 2011.

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I am not sure if this is still here, I know the Cardinals are building a “baseball village”.

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Los Angeles Dodgers vs Chicago Cubs

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I was lucky enough to not only go to the first game of the series against the Dodgers, but I also got to sit very close on the first baseline. (Thank you, Grace!!)

I learned about the awesome website Borrow Lenses and rented a 18-300 mm lens just for this game.

Sadly I did not give myself enough time to get used to the lens so this happened.

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I really wish this picture was in focus!!

Aside from that, it was interesting to see how Starlin Castro and Junior Lake hung out with each other during warm ups before the game.

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You never see this on TV and sometimes you forget how much preparation goes into playing a baseball game.

Of course since there are big names on the Dodgers, I had to capture of few of them.

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Starlin chatting with Jerry Layne before the start of the game. I can imagine Pat Hughes making a joke about Starlin dropping a twenty to get some calls in his favor.

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Dioner Navarro giving Lake a congratulatory slap on the butt after his homer in the first inning. This was also right before Anthony Rizzo hit a solo shot of his own.

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Everyone has been gushing about Yasiel Puig for the past month and a half, well here he is on first standing next to Rizzo just to give you an idea of his size.

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Stan on Twitter brought up last night how Welington Castillo makes fantastic faces, I’d have to say Starlin does also.

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Another observation, Travis Wood seems to have taken Matt Garza’s spot pitched right by the dugout stairs.

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Rizzo jumping out of the way of an inside pitch. I could not help myself and had to make a collage of it.

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An exciting bunt, 5-2 was the scoring.

In case you need another reason to love Rizzo, here he is giving the bat boy a hug after he hit is second homer of the night.  You cannot see the bat boy’s whole face, but just look at his eyes and you know he is grinning.

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I mentioned Castillo makes some amusing faces earlier, here is one from when he was in the on deck circle in the bottom of the ninth.

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I honestly felt like this post was getting too long, but I have many more photos to share. I will be making another post about this game.

Brewers vs Cubs

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If you were not able to watch last night’s game, you would have missed that there was a promotion for Cubs luchador masks in the Bleachers. And with that giveaway, it only makes sense to have Chicago native, CM Punk to sing the 7th Inning Stretch.

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As I was waiting for the awesome Mike Shoro to show up with our tickets (and the gates to open) I got a shot of wrestler CM Punk heading into Wrigley. (If you look, you’ll see Keith “Zonk” Moreland in the background.)

I did get a mask, tried it on and found it very uncomfortable. I am not sure how some guys wore them the entire game.

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But enough about the masks for now. The big story of the night was Jake Arrieta making his first start as a Chicago Cub.

Now I remember Harry Pavlidis commenting on my spring training post how he liked the collages of pitchers and hitters going through the motions, so I made another for Jake Arrieta.

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By the way, left center is a great spot to get shots of the starter warming up for the game.

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David DeJesus and Carlos Gomez saying hi in shallow center before the game started.

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Segura jersey sighting. I did not see any Braun or mutilated Braun jerseys.

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I tried my best to get photos of the Junior Lake show in LF, but my lens was not cooperating with me.  So here is Lake diving back into 1B.

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A shot of what the masks look like from behind.

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Rally mask. Enough said.

It rained off and on lightly all evening, but picked up enough to qualify as a steady rain in the top of the 9th.

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Guys were not the only ones wearing the masks.

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The half inning were it went bad.