Tuesday, December 8, 2009

an explanation, an absence, and a bribe

absence: I will be away from the blog for approximately a month.

explanation: I am going to have a white Christmas! Marjorie and I are fortunate enough to be going to Ohio with Doug and his entire family. We would prefer to spend all our time shooting in the snow, rather than going through photos, so there will be no posts until we return.

bribe: Since I cannot seem to function without a camera, I will be taking tons of photos. I have a nifty planner that I intend to take semi-meticulous notes in so I can offer captions with said photos and truly write a letter home from Ohio.

As a bonus, I'd like to share with you a Hanukkah tradition in my family.
Hanukkah cookies
We have been getting together and baking Hanukkah cookies since my mom was small. We use the same recipe for dough that Aunt Eitchey used as well as her cookie cutters. (Aunt Eitchey was my mother's aunt and one of the coolest people on earth.) Her daughter, my Aunt Mar, continues this tradition with my generation. We always get together about a week before the family Hanukkah party and bake an obscene amount of cookies, most of which get buried under mountains of sprinkles when we play around with the shakers.

To any of my readers who won't be seeing me this winter break, happy holidays! And to those that will, let's make this the happiest holiday season of our lives.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

playing catch-up might require ketchup

I feel like I haven't been posting enough lately, especially when it comes to words. I'm tired, it's 1am, and I'm trying to be productive with regards to my photo backlog since I am pretty much exhausted studying for finals. Maybe exhausted is the wrong word; I'm more burnt out than anything else. I spent the past 5 days without my beloved Marjorie, whom I tend to refer to as "the love of my life" and all my pent-up creativity has just been smacking me around. I've had no outlet to vent all this frustration and inspiration. But now she's back and you're stuck with ramblings to go with a few pictures.
I'm pretty sure no one else notices but I uh... need to be smacked upside the head if I don't resize my photos before I post them to flickr. If I'm just blogging, full-size photos take up my allotted space before I hit the end of the month and then I have to link photos from Facebook. I've also stopped watermarking since I don't feel it makes much of a difference either way.

For those of you who read my crazy rambling, I present to you a glorious moonrise as I was waiting for Doug to kidnap Marjorie and I to go to the Camera Store:
moon over Abacoa
Perhaps I should explain the context. Marj's sensor had this icky spot on the left side. In trying to clean it, Uncle Alan left a bunch of lint. So I spent a week clone stamping out every particle I could find in my shots for hours on end and generally sulking. I'm not proud of my behavior. I was planning to take her to a shop down south while I was packing to go to Ohio (Wait, you don't know about Ohio yet. Please disregard the previous statement.) but Doug rallied his family to surprise me with a sensor cleaning ASAP. He basically called me and told me to wait for him to pick me up because he had a *surprise*.
On the way to the shop was a glorious, color-fueled, fae Florida sunset and I took a few pictures from the car on the way.
Marjorie repair sunset
That's the way I feel about Doug's family fixing Marjorie and I am so excited.

It is now finals week so I may have one or two more posts before I take a leave of absence. At the least, I will explain my leave of absence in detail. But for now, I'm mildly sleep-deprived and prone to shout about a desire to have hashbrowns with ketchup so rather than sound more deranged, I'm going to go cuddle with my camera and whisper about snow.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

withdrawal is painful

Dear home,
I miss you. I'll be back as soon as finals are over to take long-exposures before sunrise on the main street. In the mean time, I'm going crazy on campus. My camera is in the shop being fixed. I have papers to write, presents to share, and no way to document my insanity. But life will go on. In the mean time, I thought I'd show you how it looks to head back to Jupiter.

One more week...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"...you are like a sunset to me"

This post is future-dated so that it goes up when the date changes (or at least that's my hope). I warn you: this might get kind of sentimental. Read at your own risk.

Today, November 25th, is Doug's birthday. Chances are, you know who he is and what he means to me. He's the McGee to my Abby, the Mary Jane to my Peter Parker, the doughnut to my cupcake.
He's the kind of person I can just lay with and watch the sunset. Or watch the stars. Or watch tv and be completely 'relaxed'. (He's always telling me to relax. It's kind of funny because I can't seem to sit still or shut up but he hasn't given up yet.) He appreciates me for who and what I am. And oh, how I adore him.
He's been my knight in shining armor, the person I cry all over, and the one who tickles me until I can't breathe.
I could go on and on about how he makes me feel but anyone who knows me already knows.

Doug's room sunset

Doug, I know it isn't nice to repeatedly ask you "how it feels to no longer be a teenager anymore" so I won't ask you again. Happy Birthday sweetheart. May tomorrow's sunset be even better than tonight's.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

home is where the gators are

Dear home,
I can't wait to see you. It's almost Thanksgiving and that means I get to sleep in my own bed and explore the familiar territories. This year, I want to go visit the local gators. It's a shame all my babies are up by me. I'd sure like for you to meet them. They can eat the leftover turkey. (I jest. Feeding gators is a BAD idea!) I meant to post more pictures for you but I've been reading all about 'natural resource management' in a Floridian community. In other words, I've been reading about the fight between a town's inhabitants and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission as to who should be allowed to catch catfish and hunt gators. See? So many color-coded notes.

Please let me photograph some gators. I need it. And I'm sorry I neglected you. Forgive me?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

he has +6 charisma

sophomore portrait

I considered just posting a teaser and making everyone wait a few days but I couldn't torture myself like that. Doug really does have a pretty decent charisma modifier. It makes me want to spend more time with him, talking and laughing and generally doing rediculous things like stealing each other's chairs. Just strolling around campus in the sunshine with him is enough to banish the graphite grays.

sunflower statue

He's pretty quirky sometimes, which makes him the perfect match. At the risk of sounding all mushy, I consider myself lucky to find someone who will indulge me and climb on random statues so I can take pictures.

in the spiral
climbing the statue

Truthfully, Doug's charisma isn't the only reason I keep him around. He also has these killer blue eyes that I love love love to photograph.

reflection of affection
Can you blame a girl? I mean, really... I melt.
doe eyes

Doug is really more of a video game person than a "let's go for a walk and take a million pictures" kind of guy, but he tolerates my shutterbug habits pretty well. He strikes a pose, lets me fire off a shot (singular), and tries not to knock my camera around when he tickles me.
rockstar much
I suppose it's a reasonable compromise for me spending my free time watching him play Lord of the Rings Online.

This has gotten much more sappy than I had originally intended. But I suppose that's what happens when I decide to save my favorite photo for last. I suppose I was subconsciously building up to this. It makes me really happy every time I see this:
I heart you
I really want to frame it and hang it on my wall.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

counting sheep sort of put me to sleep

Last night was sort of long because my creativity kicked in around 1am and I got more involved with my post-processing. Of course, as soon as I finished all the sheep photos, I fell asleep. I can only hoping I'm not putting any of my readers to sleep (except maybe my mom, since she stayed up with me while I was working on these).

Naturally, most of these photos look like dreams to me.

fairy tale sheep

I kind of want this one to be my Christmas card (that I'm not mailing out because a. I just showed it to you and b. mailing cards requires me to know people's addresses).

Or maybe this one.

And I would love to put up a collage of these on my wall.

Maybe I'm just easily amused but it looks like Woolsy has a small range of facial expressions.

I was definitely having too much fun with this.

feeling sheepish

I know I promised I'd share something amazing. Well, uh... it's taking longer than I expected. I apparently took 120ish photos of Woolsy, the plush sheep I won in French class. And um... 8 hours of post-processing isn't enough time. Plus, I can't play favorites.

In the mean time, I thought I would at least share why I have so many photos.
stuck sheep diptych
Woolsy is one crazy cutie. He was trying to be a cloud.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

nowhere near professional but somewhere in the garden

Today I was in the butterfly garden, working on a surprise project. Since I had my 70-300mm lens on macro mode anyway... I figured I might as well shoot anything on wings that came close enough to be in focus.

So along comes pooh bee, as I call him. He is big and fluffy and I assume he likes honey. I also managed to catch him mid-flight. His wings did not stop for a second and I'm amazed I had a fast enough shutter speed to capture him.
flight of the bumblebee
flight of the bumblebee 2

I continued wandering along, shooting the super secret sort of macro project when along flew this gorgeous little butterfly.
Be still my heart!
I think I'm in love...
Seriously though, this is one tiny little butterfly. She's so cute when she follows me around.

I hope to have the macro project up on flickr by the time I go to bed tomorrow but who really knows? I noticed while post-processing these that my camera was still at ISO 800 from the stars shoot so uh... grain that is going to drive me insane. See what I mean about not being a pro?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

traveling by Babylon candle

Sometimes when I need to think or be alone, I go for a walk. I just put in my headphones, grab my camera, and go. It helps me to clear my mind or to process through all the thoughts that churn around and around.
stars and trees
Sometimes I just feel so small and meaningless so these walks give me a chance to reevaluate my place in the world.
chasing ghosts
When I look up at the stars, I remember my place in the world. My place is wishing on stars with my camera cradled in my arms.
stars and trees and powerlines
I tend not to travel too far from home when I need to think. I'm not quite up to traveling to Babylon by the light of a candle; I'm not up to chasing a fallen star just to prove that I love.*
stars and powerlines 02
stars and powerlines 01
I've looked at this scene countless times and always wanted to photograph it. Tonight I did. There aren't any shooting stars, nothing mystical or magical about it. This is just a familiar landscape, the stars I wish on and the humming power lines I like to sit under when I need to think.
sign and stars
If Babylon was the ideal city, then I need to keep traveling. But in the mean time, there are signs to lead me home.

*In case this literary references are foreign to anyone, I'm referring to Stardust, one of my favorite novels ever and to a nursery rhyme referenced within the book

Monday, November 9, 2009

"queerer than a clockwork orange"

Once again, this isn't going to be much of a post. I'm rather tired but I had a very interesting moment today.
I spent some time this morning with my roommate and she ate an orange. No big deal, right? I went down to lunch with Doug and when I came back, I saw this.
clockwork orange
clockwork orange 2
You are not seeing things. ┼×elale, in fact, carved the peel from her orange to make gears and assembled a clockwork orange on our living room table. I don't think she actually spoke to me in a Cockney accent but she might as well have. Sometimes I just need to shrug and acknowledge that my life is strange.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

life can be pretty in-tents sometimes

I apologize for the lame title but I couldn't resist. Last night was Enviro Club's In Tents event which meant camping on the rec field. Although I didn't camp out because I'm sick, I certainly wouldn't have missed the opportunity to eat some s'mores.
in tents 01
I mean, come on. We got to make s'mores. S'mores are totally hardcore.
in tents 02
See? Barbara and Al are demonstrating exactly how tough you have to be to be able to go camping. I'm just not tough enough (yet!). Personally, I'm more interested in taking photos than ensuring my own survival.
in tents 03
There were tents. And clouds. And lights. And I got distracted. It was all so pretty.
in tents 04
Besides, it's not like there were any bears around.
This is my life. I make jokes about bears and take pictures of tents on manicured grass. It's pretty much the opposite of intense and I love it. I miss exploring dark, dangerous places filled with alligators and wild boar but really, it's so much safer to stay in suburbia. I need an adventure!