Thursday, January 27, 2011

365 days???

I have been reading a lot of camera and photography forums. Probably more than I should. Sometimes I think I should just get out and take pictures and quit reading about taking pictures. In most of the forums I read they discuss and give "topics" for a 365 photography project. A photo a day. What I am wondering is, can I take on this challenge? Will it completely burn me out? Will I get frustrated with it and just abandon something I really really enjoy? I am tempted in the hopes that it will improve my photography skills. That would be my goal. Maybe I'll do it.....still contemplating.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I can't wait!!!!!

We're going to see Rush in concert!!!!!!!

I have to admit I am fairly new Rush fan. I had heard everything about this band and it wasn't very good. Things like, "Eww. No thanks." "Nerd band" "He sounds like a girl" So, when Russel said one of his favorite bands was Rush I remembered the reviews I had heard in the past. I knew I had heard some of their songs on the radio but I was lazy in expanding the diversity of my music. I asked him to let me take them for a test drive and he gave me some CDs to try. Then we went to the Drafthouse to watch Rush:Beyond the Lighted Stage. I really started enjoying their music.

Russel was also kind enough to lend me a book that he mentioned when we first started dating. It was written by the drummer Neil Peart after his wife and daughter passed away and how he simply got out on his motorcycle and rode. It was an awesome book. I would suggest it to anyone. Here is the link from Amazon: Ghost Rider. I moved on to the next book called Roadshow. I really started to like his writing style. Then I went back and started reading Traveling Music and I have been trying to get through that for a few months now. I just haven't had the time to read much since I have been spending a lot of time with my camera.

So, now that I have been swept up by the "nerd band" with a lead singer who, "sounds like a girl" I am completely excited about seeing them in concert. I didn't know what I was missing.

And of course I have to list my favorite songs:
1. Presto
2. Workin' Them Angels
3. The Spirit of Radio
4. Subdivisions
5. The Working Man
6. Marathon
7. Tom Sawyer
8. Time Stand Still
9. Freewill
10. YYZ

I can't wait to hear them in person. I am even more excited than I was about going to see Journey in concert and that's saying a lot.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Remember the old days?

So, it might not be the old days for some but I have been watching some "classic" 70's and 80's TV series like The Incredible Hulk, Star Trek, Alien Nation and 21 Jump Street. All of them have some serious cheesy-ness but 21 Jump Street is tops it. Of course most people think about Johnny Depp as a superior actor who is diverse, cool and sensative. 21 Jump Street was pretty early in his career. I am always pretty critical of shows about cops, because hey, that's what I do. Maybe that's the way they did it "back then," but wow, we definately do it differently today. In the pilot episode Johnny Depp is involved in a pursuit of a vehicle which just committed an armed robbery. He gets on the radio and directs his radio traffic to "Control." Ummmm air traffic control? Command control? Janet Jackson control? It just caught me as something pretty funny.

While I am on the subject of things that bother me about movies and tv series, I have to say the absolute worse is when they have a diabetic character who starts going into some type reaction because, "they need their insulin" Ok folks, here is the deal: Panic Room did it wrong. Steel Magnolias did it right. I would have thought that Jodie Foster was smarter than that.

Now most people would complain that most movies aren't accurate because of science, or cars blowing up on impact and things like that. Yeah I don't care about that stuff as long as it's spoon-fed, mind numbing action. Just hide the wires and get the small stuff right.

I remember sitting down religiously to watch these shows with my mom. She was a big movie buff, especially sci-fi. I remember as a kid, I loved watching The Incredible Hulk with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. I covered my eyes and just couldn't watch when Bill Bixby's eyes turned scary green, but it was awesome. I think my absolute favorite was watching Star Trek, the original series and The Next Generation with my mom. We were both really concerned that there wasn't a Vulcan like Spock when the Next Generation came out, but I think we quickly warmed up to Data who was the "logical" replacement. Still, Spock holds a very special place in my heart.

So, in a world full of reality shows that suck and aren't really representative of the REAL world I long for the days of good shows full of cheesy-ness. The Real Housewives of "Generic" County??? Really? Keeping up with the Kardashians? Who are these people and why do we gravitate towards watching people with a lifestyle that isn't real? The Biggest Loser? Wait, let me finish eating my jelly donut before I criticize that one.

How about a list of the worst and the best? Ok maybe just a short list.

Shallow Hal or anything with Jack Black
Anything with Jim Carrey
American Beauty
Rosemary's Baby
A Christmas Story- once was enough
The Thing
The Thaw
Manos: The Hands of Fate - even Mystery Science Theatre couldnt help this one out.
Jersey Shore
Keeping up with the Kardashians
Real Housewives...
The Biggest Loser

So many more that suck

The Terminator
Star Trek 2009
Halloween (Original)
The Color Purple
Places in the Heart
Lonesome Dove
The Thorn Birds
Gone with the Wind
The Shawshank Redemption
Schindler's List
The Green Mile
Apollo 13
Man on Fire
Die Hard
Rear Window
Cops series
Star Trek orginal series
The Incredible Hulk series
Forever Knight series
Alien Nation series and movies
A Haunting series

So many more that are great.

Those are my thoughts for the night. Time for bed.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tribute photo

I have been meaning to try and re-create a photo that moved me as soon as I saw it. I was reading a book by Neil Peart who is the drummer and lyricist for the band Rush. His wife, Carrie Nuttall, is a photographer and took a very simple but moving photograph of Neils hands holding his drumsticks. I suppose I saw myself looking through the camera lens and seeing Russel's hands holding his drumsticks. So, that was the inspiration for my re-creation of her awesome photo. I also have to thank Russel for his patience with my amateur photography skills and holding a pose for quite a long time.

You can view the photo on Carrie Nuttall's website: 

Here is my tribute photo.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Acts of kindness from "Little Brother"

I first met Matt in 2001 at work. He was a tiny little thing, very young and all of the single girls were, shall we say, curious about him. I had already been with the department for about 3 or 4 years so I knew most of the younger generation didn't stick around long unless you were like me and had some nepotism going on. Matt and I worked together on the evening shift and he tried his hand at dispatching. He caught on quickly and the officers seemed to like him. He fit in great with me, Larry and Jonezy. We made a great team. Then for some weird reasons I decided to go to night shift. I was single with no life and a night owl. Matt and I didn't work much together for a few years and just saw each other at shift change. Fast forward a few years and when I returned to UT he and Kathy helped me settle back into the groove of things on day shift. This was the first time I worked day shift at the department. Since Larry and Jonezy have found other career paths our new team was made up of me, Kathy and Matt. It felt like home again.

Matt and I are sort of gadget heads. We both love electronics. Computers, mp3 players, car stereos, dvd players, ipods, anything and everything electronic or that I could break. Matt would always help me when I managed to break my computer or it had a virus or it needed more memory. Every time he helped me I learned how to do it myself so I wouldn't have to bother him the next time I broke something. Most of what he learned was from trial and error or stuff he taught himself. Always impressive in my book. I went through several computers through the years and Matt managed to make them last as long as possible. He even installed a new car stereo in my truck that my dad bought me. Everything Matt did for me was for free. He never asked for one red cent! I would try to help out when he went out of town and needed a puppy sitter.

Ipods: Yeah I have had my fair share of hatred of all things Apple, but destroying my first Ipod touch was my own fault. I managed to dump a 32 oz. Monster Energy drink in my purse where my Ipod was. I cried! I cried some more. Then after that I really really cried. I bought that all by myself and I was so happy with that Ipod. I loved it. I didn't have the money to get a new one and of course it wasn't under warranty anymore. Matt had a go at it and tried to open it up and dry it out. That didn't work and Apple doesn't make their products repair friendly. I was just going to have to deal with not having this luxury item for a while and maybe pick up some overtime so I could afford another one. One day while Kathy and I were working a weekend shift Matt stopped by. It was a little out of the ordinary to see him because all of us enjoy being away from work on our days off. Matt walked up to me and asked a very strange question. "Do you believe that good things happen to nice people?" I think my smart-ass response was, "Only in the movies Matty." He pulled out a brand new 32 gb IPod Touch. I could not believe my eyes! I could not believe that he put together a little scheme without me knowing involving himself, Kathy, Robin and my boyfriend, Russel. They all pitched in and bought me a new one. I cried again....happy tears. Tears of disbelief. I couldn't stop saying thank you to everyone. It turned out he got Russel's phone number from my cell phone and called him to recruit him as co-conspirator. Sneaky sneaky!

Kathy always referred to Matt as "Little Brother" because thats what he is to us here in our little work family. So, I started calling him my lil brother also. And Matty as well. Well, for the past few months I have been looking at new computers even though I can't afford one. My computer is about 5 years old and though Matty has kept it running all of those years I could tell she was slowing down and it was time for an upgrade. money so I was content with just making it last as long as possible. I received a text message from Matty on my day off asking if I was going to be at work the next day. Hmmm, felt like a trick question or a trap. I told him I was and he said he thought he may know a way to make my computer run better. I said thanks and I was curious to see if he found some new software or hardware that would help my poor girl run better. When we all got into dispatch he pulled out his laptop computer and put it in front of me and said, "Now you won't have to worry about your computer running slow anymore." WHAT????? Wait!!!! I asked him what he meant. He said he was done with electronics forever. Ummmm yeah right Matty! You lie worse than I do. :-) Then he pulled out a shiny new Alienware laptop computer. Instant melt for us gadget people. But wait! He just put his awesome "old" computer in front of me and told me it was mine.
That's not all he did. He gave Kathy a nice Bose Surround Sound system. He was casually cleaning out his closet and found something he wasn't using. Wow. Lil brother. You have outdone yourself here. You always do.

So, I don't have much to offer but I will write about your kindness and your thoughtfulness and what a great person you are. I am blown away by you sometimes and I will try to raise my level of kindness and thoughtfulness to your level. Thank you Matty. I couldn't ask for a better friend, co-worker, and lil brother.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

In training...

I am in my own little training bootcamp right now. I am trying to learn the in's and out's of my new hot-rod beautiful wonderful camera. I have started taking notes and practicing on whatever I can focus on. I have started a flickr account to upload the pictures I am happy with.

Feel free to take a look and critique.

I am thinking I will probably have to resort to buying a dummies guide but I am ok with that. Long long ago I took a photography and dark room class in high school, but I have long forgotten all of that stuff. Of course that was back in the day when film was all you had. Now you are in a realm of megapixels.

Can you see my bottom toofs?

Get that camera out of my face!!!!!
I am anxious to get some days off and really practice. I am sure my Fraggles and Dinah are tired of the flash going off in their faces.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ready, Set.....wait!

Yeah, I am not ready for the new year. Today I happen to be putting off paying my bills. I know it's already the 5th and I should just work on it and get it done.

I also found out that I should wait until Mid-to late February to file my taxes because of the late tax law changes...quoting from their website,  "The Internal Revenue Service announced today the upcoming tax season will start on time for most people, but taxpayers affected by three recently reinstated deductions need to wait until mid- to late February to file their individual tax returns. In addition, taxpayers who itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A will need to wait until mid- to late February to file as well.",,id=233449,00.html

I am not ready yet! I still need a few more months to get ready. I guess I will grudgingly be pulled into 2011 whether I am ready or not.