Monday, June 28, 2010

168. Monday.

Super fun-time weekend, again!

Friday night John and I had grabbed a tasty happy hour dinner at Boom Noodle. I had the Wild Salmon Udon, and he had the Ahi Fish Tacos. NOM! I couldn't resist the Edamame Puree, as well as happy hour priced cocktails - My favorite being the Kyoto Blossom (Absolut Pear, Triple Sec, fresh lemon juice, and grenadine). Afterward we stopped at Cupcake Royal for dessert and coffee, just to kill a little time before the doors opened at Neumos. I am a fattie, yes? Yes.

I was really excited about this show because I got to see two of my favorite bands together, for one fairly reasonable ticket price, as well as enjoy the company of Ayako and her pal Cooper. Yes!
Builders and the Butchers & Portugal. The Man.

Neumos was sweltering, per usual. Bad dancing in tight quarters ensued. Friendliness with a fanboy from Alaska named Chris who "knew the band from elementary school". Strange and enthralling light displays by PTM. Overall, fun fun funnn! But for crying out loud, Neumos, fix your damn sound already. Treble should not be a luxury upgrade.

Saturday morning I got up early and spent three hours in a Canon EOS Basics class. Most of it was so remedial I wondered if maybe I had wasted $50 in signing up. In the end, I learned about some settings I wasn't aware of, so that alone was worth the price. I also got a beginner's crash course in flash, which I probably needed. I may go back for the intermediate class if I can scrounge up the cash, but we'll see.

I got a lot of bike riding in this weekend, and even managed to make myself go running on Saturday. Not far, but it's been sort of forever since I went with any sort of regularity, so I think it was a good start. Now if only I could stop cramming my yap full of deleeshus foods all-day-every-day.

I made this horrifying discovery on Friday night that not a single pair of my trousers/capris and most of my skirts no longer fit me. I couldn't even get my can into a pencil skirt that fit like a glove 3 months ago. DISTURBING.

Admittedly, I haven't been exercising enough.
And I lurve food.
I could marry it...

So what was just a single pair of "goal pants" a month ago has become half my wardrobe. Obviously, the half I hardly ever wear, but still. I'm left with nothing but t-shirts, jeans, and a couple of dresses. Poop. Time to turn on the willpower.

Oh, know what else is stupid? Cutting your thumb on a table knife. OW!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

167. Fishie

A twitch, a grin,
and lightning quick
I snatched it from its bowl.
Stuffed my mouth
and held my breath,
felt it flop across my tongue.
Thought about it swimming
round my belly while I slept -
Changed my mind,
and just like that
I spit it out again.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

166. Say You Will

Over the course of the past year, I've come to realize that saying no is what holds us back. We love our friends, but maybe we balk at invitations to things we aren't sure of because we're afraid. We let fear of social situations decide for us that maybe we'd rather just stay home - doing nothing, watching movies, eating ice cream. And sometimes that holing up with ourselves to reflect and explore feels amazing. Sometimes, it's exactly what we need. But lately I find a lot of people (myself included) have been using it as an excuse to avoid social interaction.

I don't want to blame the internet, or text messages, or any other technological advancement for our reliance on social crutches. But I can't help but notice that more and more, people are becoming less reliable. More likely to back out on plans, and more likely to make promises they have no intention to keep. Myself included; I'm not trying to get self-righteous in any way.

My point is, I think that maybe we've reached the point that we have begun to manipulate our interactions beyond our own good. We are allowing ourselves to find boxes in which we feel comfortable, and we choose to stay there rather than branch out and learn more about ourselves and the people around us. We make plans with people and then back out in a sense of social panic. We claim illness, when the illness we're referring to is just a panic attack, not an actual affliction.

What if we quit finding excuses not to? What if instead, we just went? We accepted invitations, and went, and made the best of the situation, even if we didn't think we'd have fun? Obviously, sometimes we'd prove ourselves right. We'd go, and it might suck, and we'd be affirmed that we should have said no in the first place. But what if we went in thinking we'd have a miserable time, and it turned out to be something amazing? At the very least, what if we had a really great time and didn't regret going at all?

I might be speaking to a very small audience. I might just be coaching myself right now; I have no idea. I just get the impression lately that it isn't just me saying no because I'm afraid. I think that we're all analyzing the value of our time versus the possible uses of, and we're missing out on things that could really broaden us as people.

I never want to stop growing. I never want to stop experiencing, or discovering, or adventuring. But it's a conscious decision that I have to make, to say yes to the invitations that feel like they're outside of my comfort zone. But I can honestly tell you, that even if I don't necessarily enjoy myself, I never regret having gone.

Say yes. Even if it seems like something you might not enjoy, go. Broaden your perspective and who you are and never stop.
Because living in a box is no way to live.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

165. A Broken Camera & An Abandoned House

As if being plagued by a malfunctioning camera weren't enough to destroy most of my shots from the abandoned house, my favorite photolab had to have a go at it too. I was relieved to find the slides themselves came out ok, including a decent couple of portraits I was actually very happy with. The lab's scanner was off center though, causing most of the images on my disc to be part of one image and part another. Unintentional diptychs. Sorta neato, actually, if the images were better.

Anyway, I was able to crop a few of the ok-ish ones, and I thought I'd go ahead and post them for you to see, since I went on and on about the house.

The living room:


View from the second floor looking down on the center of the house (note the 8 tracks sitting on the record player):


Found on the floor of one of the bedrooms:


View of the pool from a broken second story window (see the tv's?):

Monday, June 7, 2010

164. On Safari

Saturday we revisited the abandoned house to prowl around taking photos and trying to get some headshots done for John. We were excited to discover that one of the arched doorways was completely void of a door, allowing us to wander freely throughout the house's interior. It was just as demolished and delightfully dated in the upstairs portion as it was down.

Unfortunately, I had some technical difficulties with my camera, and I can't say that I'll get much out of the two rolls of Fujichrome I shot. The shutter button started sticking about halfway through, refusing to fire until I was pointing the camera at the ground, cursing at it and trying to figure out what the problem was. I think I'm going to need to take it to a shop for a cleaning and adjustments. If I can find a shop willing to work on such an old camera, that is.

We also spent a little time working on the settings for my 30D, so I'm hoping to be able to shoot at ISO's under 1600 now. Since the AE-1 appears to be malfunctioning anyway, we're planning to bike back over and try round 2 on the digital later this week. If I can find time that is...I feel like I have entirely too many appointments and lessons lined up to be able to have any sort of fun until Friday at the earliest.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

163. Sigh!

Oh, 3 day weekend, you were so sweet. I only regret you had to end.

Some highlights from our adventures:
-Cocktails at Flowers Cafe on Friday night, talking sweet vermouth and origins of the French 75 with the bartender.
-Exit Through the Gift Shop (because we meant to see it last Wednesday, but had to put it off).
-Saturday afternoon thrifting, which resulted in the acquisition of an adorable $15 coffee table and a fitted 80's style jacket.
-Crying our guts out over Finding Neverland and a bottle of chardonnay.
-Schmancy Sunday brunch at Tilth!
-New Tank Girl comics and vinyl treasures (Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone).
-A flat tire on 45th and subsequent rescue by Soren.
-Grilling kabobs in the fireplace because it was too rainy to grill on the porch.
-Late nights fighting our way through scourge-infested dungeons in Baldur's Gate.
-Walking the Frankster to Emery's Garden to browse herbs and visit the koi pond.
-Prowling around an abandoned Spanish style villa with 1960's interior and a lot of broken windows.
-Rambling at one another for hours on end and still never running out of things to talk about.

The 8 rolls of film I ordered from B&H arrived this weekend as well, so I'm hoping to revisit the abandoned house to obtain photographic evidence of its awesomeness. I've loved it forever, and now that I've seen the inside I'm even more disappointed to know it's going to be torn down. It looks like something out of a movie.

The inside is destroyed, with broken glass covering most of the floor. Mixed in with the glass are all sorts of items; binders of cassette tapes, 20 year old magazines, old vhs tapes. The sliding back door is completely shattered into a mound of tiny glass cubes, all the kitchen cabinets are torn open, and the tiled swimming pool in back is half full of garbage. The stairs leading from the foyer to the second level are curved and carpeted in red shag, with scrolled black wrought-iron railings. The red shag continues throughout most of the first floor. Peering in through the side doors you can see a sunken living room with a brick fireplace, flanked by a curved black leather built-in sofa. It felt like the set of an old James Bond film, post fight scene.

John asked me to try doing some headshots for him this week, and I was thinking the house might just make for an interesting backdrop. In any case, I'm looking forward to the chance to practice my portraiture, and to hopefully save a little piece of the Bond Estate before it disappears forever.