Dramatic Monotony

Friday, July 29, 2005

Off to Cali tomorrow! I'll get there on Sunday.

I'll be looking for an apartment. I'm hoping that I will be able to move in quickly. However, if anyone wants a visitor for a night, I love couches. And/or floors. I'm bringing my air mattress. I don't hog the bathroom. I cook and clean. Basically, I'm a perfect houseguest.

I hope I find an apartment soon. Wish me (and Brandon!) luck.

Monday, July 25, 2005

I've just found out that several of my old residents are now RAs. That makes me happy. Maybe I did a good job, then. I influenced for good! Wee!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Okay, kids. I'm beyond excited.

Besides the fact that I can't afford my rent, I don't think I can afford school, and I have no job... my life is fabulous. Because my daddy gave me my birthday present three months early.

It's a Canon 10-22mm 3.5-4.5/f wide angle lens. And a 58mm split neutral density filter for my 18-55mm lens.




I'm really very excited about this lens. I've been drooling over it for about 8 months. And I've had the need for one since last summer when I went to China and realized that I "didn't have enough room" to get all of the monuments in my pictures.

Let me show you example of the greatness of the lens. Also, be warned, the horizon is slightly off on both of these pictures, but I didn't want to crop anything so you can see the difference.

Here's my normal 18mm lens:

And here's the 10mm lens:

Yeah. You can also see the difference with the neutral density filter... look at the clouds in the two pictures. The 18mm has detail and more vibrant blues... while the 10mm is slightly blown out. I might want to get a 77mm solid neutral density filter for the wide angle lens. I haven't decided yet.

But now I have a few toys to play with!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Well, VBS is over. It was fun, but it was time to end. I spent a long time making a kick-ass scrapbook for the preschoolers, though. Kari and Susanne, the head honchos, really liked it, I think.

I had my first bonafide cooking disaster on Sunday. Raad Na... it was sad. I felt like crying about it, but don't worry, I didn't succumb to tears.

Oh, and because I can't go seven minutes without opening Photoshop, here's my latest redux version of San Diego Zoo pictures.

A South American Scarlet Macaw:

An Ocelot, also from the Americas:

Oh, and yeah... Harry Potter was a disappointment. But I blame that on Max and his scandalous Dumbledore Photochops. I wanted to shoot him. But I can't, because he's 1600 miles away. Good for him, eh? However, I will be coming back to Los Angeles soon. I was feeling Cali-sick so I called Ebonee, my favorite Northern Californian. And she made me even more excited about coming back. Hopefully things will work out.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Today, one of my co-workers at Vacation Bible School remarked, "Taking care of 10 pre-schoolers is probably the most effective form of birth control available."


I'm working on my final "gift" to my five kiddies. I wanted to do something special for them, so I've been culling through my San Diego zoo pictures to find my favorite photos of African animals. I'm not quite done with my photo editing. The hippopotamus is surrounded by strange orb-shaped discolorations. The rhinocerous is stricken with a bad case of too little midtone contrast. And my zebra photo cannot be salvaged; the wire fence just created too much of an obstacle. But there are some contenders for my final "Serengeti Trek" present.

An okapi in the trees:

Marabou Stork on a stump:

Orangutan on jungle gym:

Roan at rest:

Two giraffe photos --

The indecent one:

The artistic one:

Which one do you like the best? I'm open for suggestions, and I'll be updating with revised pictures as soon as I pump them out.

By the way, I'm tired. And I have a new pair of glasses. They kinda look like Ana's. Sweeeet!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sorry about that melodramatic outburst the other day. I was upset about the London situation, so that was my somewhat trite response to a crazy event. I've calmed down now, and I want to quote an elderly London resident who said it best.

"We've been bombed by a better class of bastard than this."


So, in a more sane tribute, I'd like to share a couple of snaps taken from my excursion to the Tate Modern with Jonathan, aka Inertia.

Bridge over the River Thames:

View of St. Paul's Cathedral from the Tate Modern footbridge:

Strangely enough, these were almost all of the photographs I took during that trip. Normally, I'm a bit shutter-happy. But it just didn't click on this particular adventure.

Get it? Click?

I'm sorry, puns and Jennifer should not be allowed.

By the way, an internet acquaintance from a photography forum sent me this fabulous action that SHARPENS and SATURATES at the same time. I'm super impressed; it's done with high pass filters. I'm in love. Now, I just need to turn out beautiful landscapes like his. Don't neglect to visit this link. I've never seen such beautiful photos of Boston.

Tomorrow is the first day of Vacation Bible School. I'm in the preschooler section. I hope I can cope with them... 3 & 4 year olds have a lot in common with college freshmen. I just need to remember that in order to stave off intimidation.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Does anyone have a quick fix for hiccups? I can't seem to stop. And they've been going on for about forty five minutes. I've tried water, holding my breath, scaring myself... nada.

EDIT: They've been going on for almost six hours now. This is getting to be a problem.

On a sadder note, my prayers go out to my friends, family, and all the other people affected by the bombings in London. I watched BBC America all morning; it's strange seeing one of my favorite cities devastated by a needless act of terror. This hurt me even more than 9/11, to be honest. I've never been to NYC or Washington DC. They are faceless, nameless places for me. But London? Some of my best memories are from the countless times I've ridden the tube or wandered around King's Cross. Picadilly Circus and Bond Street are firmly impressed on my mind. The people and the bustle - I feel connected to them. Even my favorite novels and movies are based in this beautiful city. I'm proud of the way English people have reacted. Beyond the senseless grief, there's a spirit of courage present on the countenances of the mourners. Shame on the terrorists who seek to hurt such beauty and heritage. There is no dignity in this kind of attack.

I finished the second picture in my religious series. It's called Horizon in Blue. I loved the countless churches and cathedrals in the beautiful city of Dijon. Very little compares to a skyline of steeples.

I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

So, I just had a dream about visiting Mary Louise and Mark in Waco. MLB (I love that I can still call her that!) was telling me about her history of infatuation with him while we were walking around a mall. But as she went to buy herself a chocolate concoction from a store, I realized that I did not bring my purse. Then, as I looked down at myself, I realized I was wearing a leotard from my drill team years. I was so embarrassed, I asked MLB to buy me a bus ticket back to my house. And then I got lost on the bus system of Waco, Texas, with Faith Schorre, her mother, and Yael Adef as fellow passengers.

Needless to say, I woke up a bit chagrined this morning. How silly - buses are not that complicated, especially in a small town. And why would I want to squeeze myself into a spandex outfit? I rejoiced the day that I didn't have to wear another. Craaaaaaaaazy.

By the way, Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver is another fabulous book that I'm recommending. I whipped through this 441 page behemoth in hours. Set in the Appalachian Mountains, Prodigal Summer addresses issues of desire, ecology, and family. I'd venture to say that this book works a lot better than her previously acclaimed novel, The Poisonwood Bible. I especially enjoyed the sections concerning Lena, a gal from Knoxville transplanted in the backwoods.

Now, I must finish Middlemarch by George Eliot. This one's a stinker. But I'm debating whether or not I should take the Literature GRE, so I need to be prepared in either case.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Wow, one of my previous posts just... disappeared. Creepy. I guess "Safeguarding God's Children" is not a high priority for blogger.

Just when I was really feeling down, I got a pleasant gift in my email inbox. Turns out Hogarth, my Orangutan love, persuaded Max to take a few photos. And Max decided to send them to me. I was so excited, I wanted to share my love for a couple of primates.

Photo #1: See no Evil.

Photo #2: Speak no Evil.

Photo #3: Hear no Evil. (But Max and Hogarth are too involved with the book to cover ears properly.)

God, I'm just getting depressed about how little money I have. What a lame thing to whine about.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Oh, and before I forget, I've decided to do an art series called "Religions in Technicolor." Here's my first subject: The Virgin Mary.

I needed something to amuse myself; plus, this would be a fabulous decoration for my apartment. I still can't get over those idiots who stole my vintage movie posters...

It's been quite a while since I've updated. June has passed in a blur of activity... yet I struggle to identify what I actually DID.

I've been reading a lot. I just finished Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. Kevin, you need to read this book. Don't be intimidated by its 529 pages. Remember all of those conversations we had about ambiguous gender and sexual identity? This is a fictionalized account of a family's experience with a hermaphrodite. The genetics synthesize with a dramatic personal history of a Greek family from Turkey. I was able to fly through this novel in a couple of days. And Kevin, being a theater geek, you might recognize the traditional elements from Greek mythology that are dispersed throughout the novel. I had to dig up my old copy of Edith Hamilton's Mythology to identify a few... but I've always had problems with Greek names. The timeline of the Illiad confuses me like no other. And I was the most clueless person in my History of Literary Criticism class due to my infantile "knowledge" of Greek philosophy.

Judging Amy is still fantastic. TNT started the series over again, so I've been watching the beginnings of the show. Wow, Amy is self-absorbed. And Vincent is annoying. I can't wait for Kyle's storyline to replace his. I wonder how that happens...

Recently, I met up with some friends who went on the infamous People 2 People European Adventure from the summer of 2000. Janine just graduated from Cornell, while David is working on his degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Houston. I also met David's lovely girlfriend. We pigged out on plaintains from Amazon Grill, then shared some ice cream at Marble Slab. I enjoyed myself very much - topics of conversation ranged from the idiocy of the Walkers (our sponsors on the trip) to contemporary political theory to regional Mexican cuisine. Janine was kind enough to share her pictures... so I'll do the same.

Here we are in front of the Eiffel Tower. All of us were still in high school.

And in front of Marble Slab, almost exactly five years later.

The next day, Ryan came to visit from Atlanta. I had an absolute blast with this boy - he's one of my favorite "New" friends. We went all over Harris and Galveston county; in fact, I drove over 300 miles during his trip. Pretty impressive.I have lots of photos, so please join me in this pictorial tour of the Houston area.

This is me, in the lounge. Ryan and I just finished watching Top Gun because we are obsessed with Tom Cruise. But like this picture shows, I'm also obsessed with shoes... mmm...

Ryan in front of the San Jacinto monument. I like this picture because it makes him look tall. And buff. And strong. And manly. Not that he doesn't look like all the time.

The Kemah Boardwalk - like Santa Monica, except cleaner. Without a beach.

And here's an infamous carnival ride. Ryan refused to go on one with me.

Because I'm crazy, I took pictures of children playing in the fountains. Ryan refused to stand next to me because he thought I looked like a pedophile. I was just trying to capture a couple of good shots!

Shot #1:

And Shot #2:

We finally left Kemah and journeyed to Galveston Island. We took lots of crazy pictures of old buildings; Galveston is one of the oldest communities in Texas, so we had to embrace what we had!

Old Building #1: Abandoned Grocery Store

Old Building #2: ???

Old Building #3: Bishop's Palace

Old Building #4: Sacred Heart Church

And... the roof.

We walked along the beach, where there's a curious influx of red seaweed. Evidently it's great for the fishing economy, but it smells terrible. And feels weird to walk on. And we almost drowned. Well, not really, but we had a horrible time getting to THIS set of stairs on the seawall. I was in seawater to my knees, dodging propane bottles and other miscellaneous items in the ocean. Icky.

We also found a crazy old-fashioned soda fountain, looked around the Moody Railroad Museum, and watched some guy paint seascapes with spray paint. Here's Ryan, looking kinda small. Trust me, he's really this short in person.

Then, as we were trucking away from Galveston, we decided to watch the Houston Pride Parade. I'm always popular with the gay crowd, and who doesn't like a good homegrown parade? So, we camped out on a sidewalk and enjoyed the show.

I like this picture of Ryan because he looks like a redneck.

And here's my favorite photo from the parade, a fat guy dancing on a float with a cowboy boot. This pretty much sums up the parade. But it was enjoyable! And we had a lot of fun.

We finished off the night with a huge portion of fajitas from Taco Cabana. I love 24-hour Tex-Mex food, especially when the restaurant is painted pink and torquoise.

This past weekend, I went to see Bob Saget with Noah. We laughed a lot; boy, that man is DIIIIIIIIIIIRTY. Noah was nice enough to splurge for the tickets, and I loved my night out with him. Plus, he sent me the "Aristocrats" joke, as told by the dudes from South Park. Hurrah for APO bros in Houston.

All day yesterday, I installed plywood on top of countertops with my parents. This sounds lame, but trust me - I'm a whiz with power tools. There's nothing quite like the feeling of a pneumatic nailer or an electric drill. Maybe I should buy a piece of 2X4 to make into a spice rack. I never had shop class. Silly private schools... I was learning how to program C++ instead of creating something with my hands.

By the way, I think the dog likes me. That's an exciting development.

This entry is ridiculously long. I should stop typing now before "They" take away my blogging rights.