Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Morning!

So I've uploaded another set of images to Flickr and now I'm only a week behind on uploading images!

And thus far I've had quite an enjoyable Monday morning. It was my week to drive on the carpool to school and so I got to take the Mazda (2009 Mazda 3!! - instead of the junky Ford Escort with peeling paint and bald tires). We were running right on time, but we don't have a parking pass so we have to search for a parking spot that isn't residential (I'm NOT getting a ticket, thanks.) After 10 minutes of looking for a spot I dropped Jaime off so she could get to her 9am class and drove around for a bit longer. Then I found one! but it was just barely big enough for my car, and required parallel parking (which is not one of my skills). But it wasn't a busy road so I took my time and made a 15-20 point turn and made it into the spot! I didn't hit either car and I parked next to an Audi, so I figured if anyone wanted to break into a car they'd go for the Audi over my Mazda. ;] I was so proud of myself.

Then I spent some time looking up recipes and browsing the internet. My brother stopped by to say hi (we're supposed to meet up for lunch soon, but he hasn't called). And then I got to editing photographs. I love (and I know I say this over and over and over...) but I love love love the school mac computers! they are so fast and so much screen real estate to use! I can multi-task like no other! ;D

Not having class until 2:30 really makes Monday's enjoyable. Sure, since I'm carpooling I have to be at school by 9 am, but that means I have dedicated on-campus time to work on homework or photographs or whatever. I'm going to start volunteering in the photo lab from 9am-1pm on Mondays, so I won't get to sit in the Library's computer lab, but I will still have access to computers, or I can bring my own.

so in other news - I've decided I need a bike. So if anyone wants to sell theirs or knows of someone else that'd be willing to sell theirs - please let me know! I'm looking for a used road bike or mountain bike and I'm just looking to pay $10-$30. (Yeah - I'm cheap.. I just want a better bike that I could take on campus to ride around. I have a beach cruiser that I got for $10 but its not exactly gentle to my bum and it doesn't take hills well.) This morning I was looking for some bikes on craigslist and instead I found lots of free cute kittens! Oh how I wish we could get a little kitty. But I'm not sure how Gracie would do.. She's probably think it was a toy. Not to mention I don't know how our landlords would feel.

This weekend was really enjoyable. I still didn't have much homework (just a short french paragraph), and so I got to relax for the most part. Jeff and I stayed up way to late on Friday night. And then ended up sleeping in until 11:30 am on Saturday. [which is unbelievable because I haven't slept past 9 or 10 for the last couple years!] Sunday we spent the majority of the day at church, came home and took a nap (we're such old farts! But I love our naps). I finally got my photography page for facebook setup on Sunday night. You can check it out here.

Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll get into the swing of things and I'll start uploading 365 project photographs on a daily or almost daily basis, and maybe I'll even get to start blogging more!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Getting Caught Up!

Today was my first week of school and it was overall pretty good!

Monday I spent the morning editing a number of backlogged 365 pics. Then I had an IS (information system) class which was ridiculously hard and so I spent my 15 minute break before french class running to two other possible classes that I could switch into. Long story short.. I need more 300+ level classes in order to graduate. And unfortunately those are hard to get into because most of them you need some prereqs for. I have the IS prereqs so it was one of only a few classes I could get into. But I was the only non IS or Accounting major in the entire class. I quickly learned it was going to be a hard class.. way harder than I need it to be for just needed misc upper level courses.

I spent the rest of my afternoon evening fretting about which class to try to switch into (and wondering if I'd even be able to get in.. they were all full!) My options were try to get into Listening (com 300 something), Human communication (com 400), or bookarts (art 414). But the two com classes would fit perfectly with my schedule, while the bookarts was another late class (M/W 4-6:45).

I finally decided Tuesday night to switch into the bookarts class. I heard from some photog friends that it was a fun class and figured I'd rather put my time and effort into an art class I would at least enjoy rather than some communications course or is class that would be hard and a little bit pointless.

Wednesday I had photography (kind of nervous, but excited about shooting 4x5 film... which reminds me I need to buy my film soon!).
Then I had a 2.5 hr break that I was going to spend doing more catchup on 365 in the library.. but I ended up chatting with some friends and getting almost nothing productive done. Then I went to french (its slowly coming back to me - summer was a long timeperiod to not study). And finally I went to the bookarts class. I was so nervous. And I really don't know why. I guess I'm just a big nerd and I thought that missing one class would put me so far behind. But it was a so fun! and the teacher and other students filled me in on everything that I missed. I am really really glad I switched classes and I think I'm really going to enjoy this class! [it made me laugh sitting in the class... I realized I really am an artist at heart... I love being crafty and creative and artistic]

Friday I spent the morning catching up on more 365 pics [ check out flickr as there are a number of new uploads!] Then I had a business finance course that should be interesting and not too difficult.

Tues/Thurs I worked and my days went by pretty quickly because there was so much to do!

But I had an overall really good week. I carpooled with Jaime [yay for a carpool, and not only that but a super fun carpool friend!] I'm excited about my art classes and I'm hoping I'll learn something useful in my business course. And I was able to start getting caught up! I'd be hopeless without the amazingly fast computers at the school.

I hope anyone else going back to school had as good a week as I did! ;]

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gbye Summer...

Today is the last thursday of summer. I spent it working and cleaning.
Tomorrow is the last friday of summer. I'm hosting bunko [and it is going to ROCK!]

I am exhausted.
Last summer was over way too quick and I distinctly remember at the beginning of this summer thinking to myself, "I am not going to let this summer go by as fast as the last one." Well I failed, miserably. It went by even faster.

I've been working full time (which is draining!) and it makes the days and weeks just fly by. I'm worn out to the point of needing a break and so I'm actually excited to go back to school.

School gives me a balance between home/chores, work, and me-time. Driving to/from class gives me time to pray, relax, think, and brainstorm. Some of my best photography ideas are created while driving. I've come to realize that the driving time I originally hated and complained about has become my personal wind up and unwind time. It only took 3 years and a quick summer full of work to help me recognize it.

Monday I'll enter my final year of college (Lord willing). I start my honors thesis and finish my final classes! I can't believe I'm already so close and though it feels like it is going to take forever to complete the year, I know it will fly by just like the last few have. And then I'll be done.

But for tonight... its off to sleep to work a half day and get ready for Bunko night.

[and yes I'm practically 2 weeks behind on my 365... I'll catch up eventually]

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

San Fran -part deux!

We had such a blast today!

We got to Vallejo and just caught the ferry around 8:30. We spent the majority of the ride out on the railing watching the water and other boats and bridges. It was so windy and humid that my hair went from smooth to fluffy frizzy in an instant! Thank goodness for ponytails.

We got to pier 39 just before 10 and most of the small stores were still closed. We walked around and through the stores that were open. One gallery was of stunning nature photography done with a large format camera - gorgeous photos! Next we got some salt water taffy and watched a street performer's juggling act.

By noon the pier was starting to fill with people and as we browsed a few shops we were invited to participate in a market research survey & taste test for a new coffee product. In exchange for our time, they promised $20 bill per person. We figured why not... We had time. And it was an adventure.. They have us three different "coffee" drinks to give our opinion about. I say "coffee" because it wasn't. It was supposed to be a refreshing coffee-fruit drink. All I have to say is disgusting! I seriously wonder who came up with the idea. All three versions were horrid. Imagine taking a pot of week old coffee, mixing it with a smoothie, adding flour & fake sugar, and then leaving it in the fridge for a month. Would you drink it or try to get anyone else to? But we each got $20 and had fun together.

We'd seen pretty much all of pier 39 at this point and decided to try to find a musuem or something to go see. Eddy mentioned king tut was on exhibit. We found a park it was by on a map and decided to walk there.. We thought it'd take like 30 mins... But it turns out none of us are good at estimating distance on a map and it took almost 2 hrs!!!

Then we discovered we weren't even at the right park/museum for the king tut exhibit. It was on the clear other side of town!!!!
We were all exhausted and decided to get some good and pick what to do next. We ate at Chevys (I wanted to eat at a local resrurant, but Chevys was within view and so we settled). Lunch was yummy and replenishing.

Turned out the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art was right where we thought the other one was going to be and I'd seen some ads for Richard Avedon's exhibit that was showing there and so we decided to go there instead. I'm so glad we did!!

We used our coffee taste test money to pay for the museum tickets. I am so bummed that I forgot my student id- I would have saved like $6. But essentially it was still free.

There were some very modern and strange pieces of art on the few floors and Jeff and Eddy were so confused and not thrilled to be there. "Is this really art?!?" was plastered across their expressions. I began to doubt that spending my $20 coffee money was a bust.

But as we moved through mote rooms and floors it was so neat! I saw work by lots of photographers and painters I learned about in my art history and photo classes these past years, but instead of seeing a mediocre slide or tiny 1" print in a book... I was seeing original art! Beautiful full size paintings and photographs!

I was thrilled when I turned a corner and there was a huge piece by Mark Rothko! I love his work, but I've only ever seen it in books or online. He was influencial in my color space emotion pieces last year. I think I spent at least 10-15 minutes just standing there. So incredible!!!

Then around a few more corners were three pieces from Josef Albers' homage to squares! He was another artist that I referenced in my colorspace photographs.

The majority of the next floor was devoted to Robert Frank and his series The Americans. Over and over it was so neat and shocking to recognize various photographs I've seen multiple times, but never in person and up close! There were so many images and it really gave me a better appreciatarion for his work. It was fun having Kirsten there with me. I'd point out some of my favorites and she'd do the same and we'd discuss them. :)

Then it was up another floor to Richard Avedon's exhibit of work throughout his entire life. I've always loved his work, but books and ppts do not do his work justice. Seeing the prints made me love his work even more. His focus and lighting and detail and tonal range are exquisite! And his rendering of pure human emotion and variety is inspiring. Many of his prints were around 8x10in to 11x14in... But in the last room they were at least 4 feet wide!!! These were my favorites. The focus and tonal Edition:3rd on these were perfect! The subject's eyes were striking and every detail of their skin and clothing stood out. Wish I'd had more time to spend in this room. If you ever have a chance to go see this exhibit, you should.

It was getting close to when we needed to leave and so we rushed through an exhibit focused on select work of Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keefe. There were also some images from Paul Strand, Edward Weston and others mixed in with their exhibit.

There were so many other recognizable artists throughout the musuem! Andre Kertez, Rene Magritte, Frieda calloigh(sp?), Henri Matisse, Georgeann Braque, & Picasso to name a few...

Needless to say I had a blast at the museum. I am so glad we went to the wrong spot!!!

We were not about to walk the 3 miles back to the pier and ferry, so we caught the city bus. It was relatively boring - except for the crazy driving, Chinatown, a woman nearby getting her hand smashed in the door of the taxi, and a cute little old woman witnessing to the man sitting beside her.

We relaxed on the pier for the las few minutes then caught the ferry back to Vallejo, and started our journey home. Eddy and Kirsten napped for a bit, then we stopped and got In 'N Out in placerville. The remainder of the trip we spent discussing the art and not-so-art from the musuem.

All in all it was an extremely long day, but I had so much fun just enjoying the company of my husband and friends and exploring the city. Definately going to have to take another trip soon!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

San Francisco!!!

This morning I woke up at 3:40am and thought to myself, "Who's great idea was Otto wake up this early?!? Oh yeah.. It was mine. Am I insane?"

Jeff and I decided to take a weekend roadtrip to San Francisco as a way to celebrate our third wedding anniversay. Our good friends eddy and Kirsten are coming with us. We originally were thinking about driving down fri night, getting a hotel, spening sat exploring and stay in a hotel sat night and drive home Sunday. However after we looked up the costs of a hotel room... I convinced jeff it'd be cheaper to drive down early sat morning and then either also drive home late sat night or get a room and drive home Sunday.

So we woke up bright and early (or as jeff put it, dark and early) and started driving. It's weird that it's 7am on a Saturday and I've been awake for over 3 hrs, I'm in California and I'm blogging on my phone. :) what a way to start a day.

On a side note I've been horrible at blogging lately. I blame my iPhone. I don't spend as much time on my computer anymore because my phone has email, etc. However, the blogging app I downloaded only let's me type plain blog posts. No pictures and no editing once you've posted it. And you see,l I'm the kind if girl that types a blog, posts it, and then proofs it and realizes I made a ton of errors. So I haven't been to into that process on my phone. I'm sure there are some great blogging apps out there, but I'm cheap and want to try out the app before I buy it, and most don't let you.

Anyway- so were driving, or rather jeff is driving, I'm blogging and Kirsten and Eddy are both sleeping. I am so excited to just walk around and explore. I way over packed: my dslr+2 lenses, extra battery, flash & tripod, my point and shoot & an extra battery, my lomography super sampler and a handful of random rolls of film. I'll probably have so leave some locked in the car because I doubt I'll be able to carry them all all day.

Out plan is to take the ferry from Vallejo to pier 39 and then walk or catch a trolley around San Fran. So the car will be over an hour away, and whatever I bring I'm stuck with all day. I'm still debating whether to bring my backpack so I can stash my camera or if I should just carry my camera on it's own the entire time...
We'll see!

More to come as the day progresses, but for now, good morning!


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