Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Fall Reflections

"Reflection Tree"

All you Summer-lovers out there who are still trying to eek out the last bit of use of your tanks, shorts and flip-flops... you might want to cover your ears (or eyes, as it were).  'Cause here's the thing... I LOVE Fall!  I mean, I very much enjoy summer sun-dresses, water sports and barbecues, but I love everything about this season between Summer and Winter. 

I love the fact that we don't sweat when we're outside.  And all the cute sweaters and jackets.  I love the crisp air that hints at all the changes yet to come.  And the colors - ohhhh the colors.  The changing of the leaves in Oregon was beautiful, and I can only imagine what it will be like out here, where the Fall Colors are 'famous'. 

Every Fall causes me to reflect on the changes in my own life as well.  And inevitably there are many.  This Fall is no different...

The biggest change is a new personal passion that has recently come to my attention.  As I've already discussed, I recently realized the extent of my photography obsession which has been growing for years now.  With a little encouragement from my mother-in-law and husband, along with a dose of self-realization, I decided I might be able to do something with this obsession.  I'm far from "doing something" truly meaningful with it, but at this point I am enjoying the digital photography and Photoshop learning process.  There's just so much to explore!  And you know what they say - Do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life!  That's a pretty good goal to aim for.  You can follow my journey over at Just a Bud.

As I continue to reflect on the changes in my own life this season, I'd love to hear what the crisp air of the changing season has brought into your life!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Is that really necessary?

It's noon, and I'm still mentally disturbed by what I saw this morning. 

Tim and I had a nice little stroll to the Metro where he "dropped me off" with a kiss goodbye and the usual well-wishes for a good day at work.  I snagged my daily Express newspaper (news. brief.) from my favorite Express distribution dude at Capitol South and headed for the escalator as usual.  That's where the pleasantries stopped and the creepies crept in. 

At the top of the escalator there was a man (I assume it was a man) dressed as the grim reaper.  I couldn't see his face (does the grim reaper have a face?), but I could hear his evil laugh and I could definitely see the very large poster he carried. On it was a blown up image of a bloody fetus' head.

Are you disturbed yet?

As if that wasn't enough, Grim had some form of voice amplifying device that made it impossible to block him out.  He was laughing the most evil laugh I have ever heard in my life.  (Worse than Heath Ledger as The Joker or the laugh from MJ's Thriller.  And, no, I am not exaggerating.)  Once his sinister laugh dissipated he proclaimed, "Keep fighting for the right to kill your babies and I will reward you for eternity...." punctuated by more evil chuckles.

Can you see why I am still disturbed hours later?

Monday, 14 September 2009

Shutter Bug

In this season of swine flu scares I feel it would be good of me to warn you... I've caught a serious case of the shutter bug and can't seem to shake it.

Saturday I took the plunge and invested in a quality digital SLR camera.  After hours and hours of research, and years of yearning for a camera that made that dreamy shutter sound, I went with the Nikon D90 and am extremely pleased so far.  Of course, anything of higher quality than my little point and shoot Canon PowerShot SD 750 would have me in awe I'm sure.

I spent most of Saturday snapping photos at every turn and playing with all the dials I've never had before.  Fortunately there is always something to capture in DC, and if the cityscapes and public protests aren't enough, my husband, friends and kitty have been very patient "models" (so far).  A word to the wise, however, if you'd rather not have a camera in your face I'd stay away from me for the foreseeable future, or the next, oh, 2 years at least.  I figure that's how long it'll take me to learn most of what I want to learn about portrait photography.

And if you're interested in following my journey as I learn about photography and Photoshop ... among other things, I'm sure ... you can check out my new blog over at Just A Bud.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


I'd never been to New York and I guess I didn't know what to expect, but it was nothing like whatever I didn't know to expect.  I suppose I had glamorized the city...  Unbeknown to me, my imagination had created a vision of a clean, beautiful city where everyone was fashion forward and the air smelled of roses and cinnamon rolls and the streets were paved in gold.  Ha!

A few eye-opening observations from my first trip to NYC:

- This city overwhelms the senses (and not in the cinnamon rolls and roses kind of way). It is a loud, dirty, smelly, huge city. Most of the time, except for Central Park and the MoMA, I felt like I couldn't get a deep breath of air. My lungs apparently knew not to take in that much fowl "air" at once. The streets are covered in litter and everything seems to be in disarray.  Nothing is kind or gentle about this city. Everything is in your face (or up your nose, as the case may be). Times Square is the best example, of course. And that was our first stop after we dropped our stuff off at the hotel (which is another story entirely).

 Times Square
- The Statue of Liberty is not nearly as big as the movies make her look.  I thought she would tower over the city, but the skyline actually dwarfs her.  Which just seemed so wrong!

- A dump of a motel is more expensive than the Hilton in Oregon. 
I'm not so clueless as to think that for $200/night on Labor Day weekend that we were going to get a stellar hotel. (or am I?)  But what we did get was still a shock to the system.  There were two double beds in our room each butted up against the wall, and there was almost enough space to walk between them.  Nothing matched (see photo below).  The bathroom had mold growing on the ceiling and along the tub, toilet and sink.  All at once Laura managed to pull the curtain rod above her bed down on herself while trying to shut the curtains for privacy, Tim nearly fell through the rock hard bed (did they screw up and put the box spring on top?) in an attempt to fix the curtain rod, and I realized there was no TP in the bathroom (mid stream of course).  That pretty much sums it up.  I slept with my hands between my face and the pillow in an attempt to keep from breathing whatever was surely inside. 

On the plus side...

- Central Park is as beautiful as one would imagine an 80-block green space in the middle of a huge city.

- The food is amazing! We planned our trip around Laura's favorite restaurants and other places recommended to us.  The food might have been my favorite thing about the City.

- One can easily catch a cab at any hour of the day or night.
This is in stark contrast to DC where you practically have to order your cab online in advance unless you're on Pennsylvania Ave. or at the airport.

By Labor Day even Tim was saying, "I can't wait to get home to DC!"  Which is saying something for a guy who has no great love for DC (or any city with a population larger than 50,000).  And upon arrival back in the District we were both shocked by how clean (sterile, even) our city felt.  It was kind of refreshing.

I have to admit that I do not *heart* NY (does this make me un-American??).  But I DO *heart* the view from the top of the Rockefeller Center!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Call me Uncaring

I have a confession to make: I'm pretty sure DC has turned me into a B.I.T.C.H.

- Here's the proof -

I used to be an idealist. One of those annoyingly optimistic people who think they can fix all that is wrong in the world. After just five months living in DC, when I walk down the street between the Metro and my office I don't want to be stopped by people out to save the world. I don't want to be annoyed daily by people from CARE, Greenpeace, PETA, or those people who make Obama out to be Hitler. I most certainly don't want to be approached (and made to feel guilty for not stopping) by three people from the same organization while walking from my office to the post office two blocks away. I'm just trying to go about my life. I don't want you asking if I have a moment to save the planet, or a moment to help abused animals, or a moment to solve world poverty. Your incessant attempts to stop me on the street drive me crazy. I'd like to think that I'm just annoyed by their patronizing ways - treating me as if I'm not already doing my part to help make the world a better place. As if every person walking by is not already helping, but maybe I'm just completely uncaring and heartless.

Not only that, but I have become the most annoyable person I know. People who don't follow the "rules" of the Metro system make my blood boil. I have too many stories to share on this topic for the short time I've been using the Metro Rail system. And if I recount them my blood pressure will likely shoot through the roof, so I'd better not. But suffice it to say, people are crazy. And when you put them into small spaces like mass transit trains and tunnels they seem to lose all common sense and politeness that their mama's (should have) taught them. About once a week I leave work in a pretty good mood only to arrive home fuming. I've got to find a way to control this pent-up frustration. I can't control them, I can only control me. *deep breath* I can't control them, all I can control is me.