Thursday, August 28, 2008

my show

I'm briefly borrowing my roommate's computer so I can update everyone on my show at the local coffee shop tonight. It went really well! I had at least four people ask me if I sold prints, I gave out a ton of business cards, and I really hit it off well with the owners, Laura and George. They've even asked if I'd like to have a more permanent display of some of my photos in the coffee shop! So, once I get my computer issues straightened out, I'll get to editing and will pull something together!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

brief hiatus

Sorry everyone, but I will need to take a brief hiatus from posting due to computer issues. I took my laptop to a data recovery guy in the hopes of recovering some of what was lost. I'm cringing as I think of what the bill will end up being... The guy called me last night and said that one of my drives was so corrupted that it wouldn't even boot. This may change my plans of trying to squeeze one more year out of the computer. I might just have to go deeper in debt and buy a Mac in the next few weeks.

Until I either get my computer back or buy a replacement, I will have limited computer access. I'll try to post updates about my computer when I can, but I don't know when I'll get back to pictures. I'll try to check everyone's blogs, even though I can't post my own entries!

Monday, August 25, 2008

first day of classes

First Day of Classes
August 2008

My iTunes: Erlking by Schubert

Today is the first day of classes. I thought this picture would be appropriate. Why? Because almost all my classes are music classes, and all of them are somehow related to music. None of them necessarily have anything to do with guitar, but you get the idea.

Normally my first class on Mondays will be at 11:00, but that class doesn't start until the 3rd, and I still have to place into the aural class which would be at 12:40 (that placement test is tomorrow). Because I won't have those two classes today, my classes start at 2:00. I have Vocal Pedagogy with my voice teacher, immediately followed by a lesson. Then I'm free for the rest of the day. Pretty nice deal, huh?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

peeling paint

Peeling Paint
August 2008

My iTunes: Overture from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro

Sorry for missing yesterday -- I moved into my new room (or should I say, closet?) and couldn't get the internet set up until this afternoon.

My nickname for my room is The Closet. It's tiny, and we don't even have a closet, so my joke is that we got a closet instead of a room. It doesn't seem bad when you first walk in, but as you look around, you realize that between the two beds, two upright dressers, two desks, and armoire, there is NO wall space left. I had to stack my nightstand/shelving unit on top of the dresser. I went to Target to get the organizer cubes to make some more storage space, but they won't fit anywhere. So, I loaded up my car with what won't fit, and will have to return the cubes. The sad part is that I had already majorly down-sized what I brought.

I also found out that my roommate is studying abroad in the spring (surprise, surprise!). I hope she has a good semester -- I think much of this semester will be spent in tears getting over last semester's break-up. Luckily for me, one of the girls in the MASSIVE double upstairs (it has a bedroom the size of ours, PLUS an equal size room with the desks and such!) is also studying abroad, so I can move up to the other room next semester. I will have had 5 rooms and 5 roommates in my 4 undergraduate years.

The worse news -- I realized last night that the 50-page Latin paper I wrote in gone. Really gone. I could cry. I'm going to see the professor tomorrow. If anyone would say, "I'm sure you did the paper, I'm sure it was excellent, so I'll just give you a grade and not make you rewrite it," it would be this professor, but I don't know if she really will. Maybe I can negotiate taking that independent study as "Pass/Fail" and not have to rewrite the paper.

If it wasn't for losing my 50-page paper and possibly all my senior seminar research, I'd be excited about the start of the semester. As it is, I just feel slightly sick.

The happy thing about the past few days -- since connecting my phone to my computer apparently kills my computer, I finally gave in and bought a new ring tone. It's what I'm listening to on iTunes right now. It makes me happy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

after the storm

After the Storm
August 2008

My iTunes: Trumpet Concerto in Eb, Third Movement by Haydn

I have spent hours and hours trying to fix my computer. I guess the silver lining is that with so much practice reformatting my hard-drive, I've gotten pretty fast at it, but it is still a lengthy process. I reinstalled all my programs, re-uploaded software, re-downloaded TRA (they were so helpful!), did several system scans, spent hours working with restore iTunes, and now am to the point where I'm burning DVD upon DVD of back up files.

I guess you could say that I'm in the "after the storm" phase of this round of computer issues. Like with this picture, I'm trying to find little things to be joyful about, like the fact that I only lost 3 iTunes purchases instead of all 500+.

GREs went well enough -- I may not have to retake them, which would be a blessing. Surprisingly, I did better on the quantitative portion than the verbal, probably because I lost steam for the one verbal section. I like the instant scoring for the verbal and quantitative sections, but it will be a few weeks before I get the analytical writing scores.

Now I'm in the process of choosing pictures for the show on Thursday. I'm putting a few favorites into a set on Flickr, so if anyone cares to take a peek, I'd love some feedback!

Tomorrow is a crazy day -- I'll kick it off with move-in at 9:00, so I'm going to load up the car this evening...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

technology update

I have the latest technology update (although still no pictures). The good news -- I didn't loose completely everything (apparently my D: drive is still intact). The bad news -- the D: drive didn't have my research on it, so unless by some miracle it is still on the external hard-drive that died and is in CA getting either fixed or replaced, it's gone.

I'm in the process of installing updates, drivers, and programs. I expect it will take at least 10 hours, many of which will be spent on the phone with Norton Internet Security, I'm sure. I really hate this.

So, even though I should be able to get my computer back to a functional state, I doubt that it will be stable. Every 6 months it seems to have a major issue, whether that means hard-drive failure, the smell of burning and melting plastic, or some other catastrophe. I just can't do this anymore, so I may be purchasing a mac. After two terrible experiences with PCs (both of which have lasted 1.5 years), I have lost faith in them and regardless of when the next computer is purchased, I will be switching to a Mac. Right now, my next step is figuring out the financing of such an endeavor: loan, savings bonds, 529...

I just wish this weren't happening the week that I'm taking the GREs and the aural placement exam. I'd appreciate any and all prayers for the computer, the finances, the GRE tomorrow afternoon (12:30 p.m. my time), and aural placement exams.

I hope to have pictures up and running in the next week.

The good news:

I've been asked by a local coffee shop to exhibit my photography next Thursday evening.

Monday, August 18, 2008

no picture today...

Sorry to disappoint, but no picture today. I have bad news...

My computer died. Again. I'm reformatting the hard-drive for about the sixth time since I bought it two years ago, and currently using a friend's computer. So, add that to the crashed external drive last week, I may have lost everything that isn't on discs...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

opera glasses

Opera Glasses
August 2008

My iTunes: There She Goes by The La's

Quick post -- tonight I had a birthday dinner with my family and my grandparents. We went to a restaurant that I've always wanted to go to, but never had anyone to go with. It was nice -- I had Main Street Honey Bourbon Shrimp, followed by Triple Chocolate Layer Cake. This is a shot I snapped of the gift my grandparents gave me -- opera glasses! I love them (and can't wait to use them)! They're made by La Scala Optics, who make several different style of opera glasses, all of which are named after operas. I thought it was appropriate that the name of this style is "Aida," and the next opera I'll be in is Aida.

I hope I'll be able to post tomorrow, but no guarantees... The day should be a good one -- voice lesson, coffee with my best friend, and then a nice dinner out on the town with the girls!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

my new baby

My New Baby
August 2008

My iTunes: Der Hölle Rache Kocht In Meinem Herzen from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte

I am back from the middle of nowhere and getting over my internet withdraw slowly but surely. I, along with a few other adults, watched 21 kids, more than half of which were under the age of 4, for the past few days. It was exhausting. I took a few pictures, which I may share over the next few days, but I had to share this one today -- completely uneditted (except for the watermark).

This is a shot of one of my new babies. I have six in all. A friend of mine told me that he knew an older lady who was selling her husband's old lenses from his Nikon N90, so I drove down to D.C. this afternoon to take a look. I came back with six new lenses, the N90, and three speed lights, all for under $200. I'm in photography heaven.

The lens I used to take the picture is a Micro-Nikkor 55 mm f/2.8 manual focus lens, and it's a beauty. I love being able to take macro shots again. It's such an old lens that I can only use the camera on the full manual setting, which means it takes me a while to set up the shot. But I love it. In addition to that little beauty, I got a 70-300 mm, 28-85 mm, 28-70 mm, 20-35 mm, and 50 mm. So far I've had success with all but the 20-35 mm. I'll have to dig up the directions.

Friday, August 15, 2008

barbie shoes

Barbie Shoes
August 2008

I was at Payless the other day and saw this pair of Barbie-pink high-heels. I just had to take a picture. They're so retro that I thought I would edit the picture to feel even more retro with a "pross-crossessing" filter a-la-TRA.

I'll be back in town Saturday, which if you're reading this is "tomorrow," although as I type it's 5 days from now. Hopefully I will have gotten some good pictures while I'm away, and won't be in complete internet and cell phone withdraw...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

mary, mary, quite contrary

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
August 2008

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

looking up at me

Looking Up at Me
August 2008

Day one of being gone and without internet. Thank goodness for scheduled posting!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ten little toes

Ten Little Toes
August 2008

Aren't they precious?

Monday, August 11, 2008

la barista

La Barista
August 2008

My iTunes: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by W.A. Mozart

Meet Emily. She is a barista at Starbucks, an artist, and an all-around lovely person. We even have the same birthday. One of us is older, the other is taller. I'm not telling which is which. I just spoke with her on the phone a few hours ago and the poor thing has to work the REALLY late shift tonight. Apparently some brand-new video game is being released, so Starbucks is staying open until 12:30 for all the gamers. She wasn't too pleased. Hopefully this shot will brighten her day (or night?) when she sees it.

I will be leaving tomorrow morning to go out of town for a few days. I'll be taking care of a gaggle of kids for the rest of the week, and will not have access to internet or cell phone reception. (I think I might go into withdraw...) I will, however, be taking my new camera! And thanks to blogger allowing me to pre-schedule a post, I've set up posts for the next four days, so keep visiting even though I won't be here!

And while you're checking blogs, Lacey Lichi is back! I've been anxiously awaiting her next post for a few weeks, and it has finally arrived! Make sure to visit her blog here.

I mailed off my external hard drive to CA this morning. Sadly, I lost many, many pictures. I still have the wedding shots, anything I've uploaded to Flickr, and all my travels to Europe, but beyond that I'm not sure what is left. I'm anxious for them to send me a replacement because my laptop hardrive has about 3 gb of space left.

I just finished putting the songs I'll want to listen to over the next few days on my ipod (a 2 gb ipod means shuffling songs a lot) and I ended up with 6 operas on there... Wow, am I a music nerd or what?

See you when I return!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


August 2008

My iTunes: My Girl by the Temptations

Meet Jack. He is almost one year old and one of the sweetest little guys I know. I was fortunate enough to have the afternoon free to spend with him and his family. I haven't seen them in a couple months and have really missed them -- his mother is like my sister. I played paparazzi and this is one of my favorite captures of the day. I love the little tear rolling down his cheek! I'll be posting more on my Flickr, if anyone cares to look at adorable baby pictures!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

atop the wall

Atop the Wall
August 2008

My iTunes: ABC-DEF-GHI by Big Bird from Sesame Street

Yes, I am listening to a song from Sesame Street. I grew up with a CD called Sing: Songs of Joe Raposo, which has all my favorite classic Sesame Street songs, like ABC-DEF-GHI, Would You Like to Buy an "O"?, C is for Cookie, Peanut Butter, Bein' Green, Doin' the Pigeon, New Way to Walk, and more. I've been watching my friend's 4-year-old daughter, XiXi, lately, and whenever it's bath time, we have to (or rather, I have to) since ABC-DEf-GHI. It's not your typical alphabet song -- you basically go through and pronounce the whole alphabet like a single word. Check out the YouTube video of it here. I'll have to dig up the CD, because they seem to be hard to find, and expensive once you find them -- Amazon has two used ones starting at $38.99, has one for $36.75, eBay has one for $24.99, and iTunes doesn't even have it! If you have kids and are looking for a fantastic CD, this is one of my top recommendations, though!

While I'm not listening to Sesame Street... I've been working hard at aurals. Scales were easy, but identifying chord types in all their different inversions is NOT. The next two weeks are going to involved me frantically trying to prepare for the placement test so I can take the right course in the fall so I can take the last one in the spring so I can graduate. If I think about the big picture, it's easy to get overwhelmed. But if I take things one step at a time, I make progress. It's like this picture -- focus on one brick at a time and eventually you'll make it to the end of the wall, but if you try to just look for the end, it seems too far away.

In closing, did anyone watch the opening ceremonies for the Olympics last night? WOW! They were phenomenal! Personally, I loved all the art history given during the artistic portion, and I thought the visual and musical production was absolutely glorious. As one of the commentators said, "This is what happens when you give an artist practically unlimited resources!"

Friday, August 8, 2008

the chapel

The Chapel
August 2008

My iTunes: Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz

This is the large chapel on campus, affectionately known as "Big Baker." I like how the leaves for a sort of silhouette frame around it from this angle. I've taken pictures of the chapel at several different times of year, and I think it would be nice to display them all together. Unfortunately... my external drive, where I kept all my back-ups and most of my pictures (about 250 gb worth!) died the other day. I don't know what happened, but it won't turn on and it makes horrible clicking noises. It seems like I can't have 6 months go by without experiencing some sort of computer trouble like this. I think I have some of the pictures backed-up on DVDs, but they are all in storage and I can't get to them at the moment. So for now, I'll be shopping the sales for a new external hard-drive.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

flower bed

Flower Bed
August 2008

My iTunes: Mon Cadavre Est Doux Comme Un Gant by Poulenc

Yesterday I had time to kill (when does THAT ever happen?) while I was waiting to see the inside of the house I'll be living in next year, so I walked around and snapped some pictures on campus. I love brick, so this shot called out to me. I wish the flowers had been facing me, but oh well. I'll tell the gardeners to fix it for the next time :)

The song that I'm listening to is one I'm working on this summer. The whole cycle is gorgeous. Can anyone translate the title? (It's a fantastic title -- I'll share in tomorrow's post what the translation is.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

diptych quadrants

Diptych Quadrants
August 2008

My iTunes: Maria from West Side Story

This is one of the projects I was working on yesterday. We're working on putting together flyers and mailers to advertise events and such at the beginning of the semester, and were hoping to get them printed and mailed before the freshman move in. My project was to design images for the flyers. This one is for the flyer about small group Bible studies. I love that I get to use the word "diptych" here -- having been trained by a medieval art historian, I have looked at my share of diptychs (and triptychs and polyptychs), so it's exciting to get to create my own. (Although I have to say, I prefer the old ones in some ways.) Too bad it wasn't a paid project.

Today has been a very productive day, with the exception of the 2 1/2 hours wasted in my evening class. I took a 50-question final exam this morning (I got out in less than 20 minutes, having not studied at all), mailed two packages, practiced piano, straightened up my car and my room, created the images for the flyers, studied a little theory, cleaned up my schedule for the next two weeks, caught up with some correspondence, and finally started studying aurals.

For those non-music-geeks, aurals is a nickname for aural musicianship, which basically refers to ear training. After hearing something once, I have to notate and/or repeat it perfectly. Eventually the sequences are quite challenging (long and multi-layered). I hadn't looked at (or rather listened to) aurals since March, before my back surgery, and the longer I put it off the more daunting it became, which is not good because I have to place into third semester, having never taken an aural course. No pressure, right? Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised, but as I was working on dorian and mixolydian scales at 11:45 p.m., I decided that I like them. I must be a glutton for punishment.

But now it's time to hit the proverbial sack (if I can stop thinking about dorian and mixolydian scales!)...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


August 2008

My iTunes: Dieu, Qui Fit L'Homme A Ton Image from Gounod's Romeo et Juliette

I didn't expect this shot to turn out quite so well! I just snapped it over coffee at Starbucks after church on Sunday, and with a little editing, I have quite the shot. I'll attribute the real glamour and beauty of this capture to the lovely subject, my good friend, Kelley! I always look forward to our occasional morning coffee/chai dates (although now that Kelley has discovered she likes Starbucks' mint mocha frappuccino, we can both get coffee drinks!).

Two of the many things I have come to appreciate and love about Kelley is her kindness and her openness. Conversations with her hardly ever feel superficial, and she always has a kind and encouraging word to accompany her cheerful smile. I think it is appropriate that the TRA filter I used on this is entitled "Super Fun Happy."

One day, I'd like to do a whole photo shoot with Kelley -- she has some of the most beautiful eyes and eyelashes I've ever had the privilege of photographing!

Here ends my brief "Ode to Kelley" -- for now, at least, but perhaps it will continue tomorrow if I post the other shot that I snapped of her...

Monday, August 4, 2008

by the lake

By the Lake
August 2008

My iTunes: Come Away with Me by Norah Jones

I grabbed this shot down by the Farm Museum when I took a walk the other day. I love taking pictures of reflections in water. I like the burnished, fall-feel of this with the editing. It reminds me of how the trees look like they're burning in the fall. Although with a little help from Photoshop, that same effect can be achieved in August...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

take me out to the ball game

Take Me Out to the Ball Game
August 2008

My iTunes: Soundtrack to Pearl Harbor

I took so many shots at the baseball game that it was hard to decide which to post. I was tempted to post a shot of a baby's first game -- he had big, blue eyes and his dad, who was an avid baseball fan, had him in a little baseball jersey. We shared our first baseball game! But in the end, I decided on this shot. How'd I do, Robert?

Saturday, August 2, 2008


August 2008

My iTunes: Take Me Out to the Ball Game

I got to play with my camera today -- finally! I went to a near by lake/park/playground and took some fun shots to get used to my camera. I love it! This is one of my favorite shots from this afternoon.

Tomorrow I'll share a picture from my outing tonight: my very first minor-league baseball game!

Friday, August 1, 2008

the vows

The Vows
August 2008

My iTunes: Fleurs by Poulenc

Well, my paper is not entirely finished yet, but all it needs is a conclusion. I decided to take the day off from paper writing and edit more wedding pictures instead because I could multi-task and study for the GRE's while I edit -- thanks to actions and batch processing! I'm obsessed... I spent most of my time with black and white conversions this afternoon, so I thought I would post one of them.

I'm still not finished with the wedding pictures, but I'm uploading to Flickr as I go, so make sure to check out more pictures here. I can't wait to see what the bride thinks of them all!