Sunday, April 30, 2006

To Nap or Not to Nap...

Windmill in Cape Cod

Lighthouse in Cape Cod

View from my hotel room

View from the concierge lounge

So, I took another "nap" tonight. I just wasn't in the mind set to go to bed (which would have been a smarter idea), so I figured I would nap for an hour. I know myself well enough to know this is just asking for trouble. I did finally rouse myself after an hour and forty minutes which is somewhat of a miracle as I got less than 4 hours of sleep last night.

Now that I'm awake, I should be studying for my final on Monday, but my brain still hurts from my earlier study session. There is just too much information to cram into my brain. So I will pick up again after I wake up tomorrow (well, really just later today).

Since my brain is too tired to come up with any inspiring or entertaining blog thoughts, I've posted the above pictures which I took last May when I went to Boston for my sister's graduation (from grad school at Boston University). A friend of my mom's from Nursing school lives out on Cape Cod, so we went out to meet them for lunch. I was sick, but I still had some fun and got the windmill and light house shots.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Evolution of a Sunset

For all the photos I've posted here, I haven't really talked much about my photography and how much I love taking pictures. Photography gives me an outlet for my creativity. When I get busy and don't use my camera for a while, I get this restless feeling inside me that says, "Time to break out the camera!"

The hardest thing is finding a subject that inspires me. I'm not much of a people photographer; I usually get peeved when people walk across a scene I'm trying to capture. As with other things in my life, I like bright vivid colors. Therefore I tend to like photographing sunsets and flowers and such. I also love clouds, especially after a storm. One subject I'd like to get more into is the night sky, the clouds and the moon. But for that, I need to invest in a tripod and possibly another zoom lens.

I've taken some of my best pictures from my parents' backyard. Aside from a great setting, luck, patience and persistence are also key to my capturing some of my favorite moments. To demonstrate, I thought I would show some pictures in progression on an afternoon last January (2005) where I was out taking photos.

I started out intrigued by the clouds after a storm and their reflection in the swimming pool:

After a little while, I noticed an interesting cloud formation moving in and some vivid color where the sun was setting:
I kept watching as the clouds moved in further and the colors changed:

After a while longer, the cloud formation and color reflecting off them became more vivid and I experimented with both wide angle and zoom shots:

After a while, the light started going and it became harder to get a shot with enough light:

It's amazing how the sky changes in just a short time. If I had just shown the first picture and the last couple, most people would not immediately think they were taken on the same day let alone within an hour of each other. It also shows the reward for patience. If I had gone inside after those first reflection shots, I never would have gotten those amazing later pictures...

***NOTE: I have been constantly changing the title of this post because I can't quite find one that fits the way I want it to....sigh***

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mr. Fickett's 7th Grade English Class

So after posting about my love (ah, sarcasm) of English and the tear-filled poetry project, I started thinking more about Mr. Fickett’s 7th grade English class. He liked to challenge the class; so much so that it was a yearly ritual for each class to have t-shirts made proclaiming that we survived his class.

As I was thinking, another project from that class came to mind: the Mythology project. Now this one, I thoroughly enjoyed. While I may have had some frustration, I don’t recall any tears. Part of the project entailed acting out a myth in small groups in front of the class with costumes and props and everything. And then we each had to create our own original myth and the characters involved. I actually scanned my finished myth into the computer a few years back when I had access to a scanner. So I went back and re-read it just now and man, reading what I wrote 17 years ago sure did crack me up.

I’m embarrassed enough just reading it, so no, I won’t be posting it here (unless I have a moment of total insanity). It would need major revisions lol. But I did have some interesting thoughts while reading through it. First was, where the heck did I come up with the names I used?! Names like Flowrina, Ferminosa, King Menesta, and Indeus (and those are the least embarrassing of the names). The second thing I noticed was that the one woman in the story was a total control freak. She kept telling all the men what to do and they kept coming back to ask her what to do. Ah, the almighty woman! And finally, I realize I had a love of romance even back then; my myth ended with the hero and heroine falling in love and getting married. Of course going back to my second observation, the heroine pretty much told the hero that they were getting married and that was that LOL!

Oh, and did I mention that the “antagonist” in the story was a man-eating plant? LOL!

Monday, April 24, 2006

This is What Happens When Your Grandmother is an English Professor...

I never particularly liked English. And when I say English, I mean the subject in school and not the entire language (though they are quite connected). Maybe that confusion is why they've started calling it Language Arts now, but I digress. Back to not liking English...Once I got to the junior high level, English and tears seemed to naturally go together. Trying to get a 12-year old to write a poem containing onomatopoeia or personification? On a deadline? Come on! Maybe it's just my perfectionist tendencies that gave me such a hard time...

Oh, it got better after a while. I even had fun doing some creative English projects (puppet shows!), but English was never my favorite subject. That is a bit odd because I looove to read; I just didn't necessarily love to read what my English teachers told me I should:P I think my math/logical brain just rebelled. I'm more of a "Say what you mean or don't say it at all" person. But I made it through both high school and college and learned to see what might (or might not) be between the lines.

But what does all that have to do with my grandmother, the English Professor? I remember my dad correcting my English when I spoke to her on the phone as a kid (say "Yes" and not "Yeah"). And I was always worried about my grammar when I wrote letters to her (still am!) And now I find that reading incorrect English (when I notice it) is like nails on a chalkboard. It didn't bother me so much in the past as far as I can recall. And it's not like I'm some master of the English language (I make more than my fair share of mistakes). We're all human and prone to making mistakes, right? But the ones I notice just make me grind my teeth.

So what are the things that bug me most? The one I notice most often is when people use "your" when they really should use the contraction "you're." For example, when people say "Your my best friend" when what they really mean is "You are my best friend" or, using the contraction, "You're my best friend." The other big one is when people say "then" when they mean "than."
For example the sentence:
I have more apples then Nicole.
should be:
I have more apples than Nicole.

I have other language pet peeves, but these are my top two currently. And I'm sure I misuse things that bug others! My dad's big hot button is the word shrimp which is both singular and plural, yet you still hear people asking how many shrimpS you want:P My mom's is using I when you should us me and vice versa. And as for my sister, well... She once worked as an administrative assistant to an executive director, so she would edit letters and such. Her boss didn't have grammar issues so much as she made up and/or misspelled words like:
bidness envelote (instead of business envelope)
asterfick (instead of asterisk)
margarine (instead of margin)

So do you have any language pet peeves? Maybe I'll learn to correct something I'm doing wrong!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Gazania Pictures

Once again it's been a while since I've blogged. It's been a busy week and the next two weeks may be just as crazy! Anyway, my sister flew home from Boston for Easter and I went down for about 24 hours to visit. I'm posting some pictures of the gazania's in my 'rents backyard that I took yesterday...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Flower Pictures

Flowers on a Sunny Day

Bird of Paradise

Coral Tree Blossoms at Dusk

Haven't blogged in a week?! Sheesh, time sure flies. I'm tired tonight, so I'm going to attempt to keep it short (for me, anyway). I'm posting some pics I took in my parents backyard. I figured I'd share some more pics from my "collection." Not really much to say that's all that interesting. I'm still in school, applying to jobs, and in shock that I graduate in just over a month! Oh, and I'm becoming addicted to Teddy Geiger's CD (some of the songs anyway)! I keep playing the same songs over and over...Well, I'm fading fast, so this is going to have to do for now. I may check back in later...