Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dr. King

I have spent the past 45 minutes reading the words of Martin Luther King, unable to choose a favorite passage. As someone who treasures a well-crafted sentence and an elegant turn of phrase, I have long appreciated King's oratorical skills. Today, as I read some of his most famous words, I marveled as always at his mastery of language, but what really struck me is how relevant his words remain today.

We have certainly come a long way in fifty years (I wonder if King himself could have imagined that an African American family would reside in the White House during his children's lifetimes), and yet we still have so very far to go before we live up to the dream that Dr. King laid out for us.

There were too many wonderful words of wisdom to pick just one, so I'll probably be back later with more.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tide Poolin'

My brother and his lovely fiancée Erin are in town, which means that we get to do all of the fun, touristy San Diego things that we never seem to make time to enjoy unless we have visitors in town.

First stop, Cabrillo National Park at low tide.

We looked long and hard, but no one spotted the elusive octopi.

photo courtesy of Erin

I don't know why I don't come here more often. It is one of my favorite places in San Diego.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Upward Facing Dog

I miss yoga.

via on Pinterest

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Words to Live By

Seeing as I spent most of last week in hiding and this week was crammed with beginning of semester madness, I have nothing interesting to say and I have not taken any interesting pictures. So I will leave you with Robert Kennedy's wonderful, hopeful words.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Distraction

I am sitting here watching the news, unable to turn away from coverage of the atrocity in Arizona. I am going to hold my tongue for now. At the moment, I am too angry, frustrated, and sad to put together a thoughtful summary of my reaction and what I think it says about our culture.

The cable news channels have gone back to taking commercial breaks, and they are providing a welcome distraction from the news itself. Particularly enjoyable was an ad by the World Wildlife Federation. Over breathtaking footage of beautiful wild tigers stalking through the jungle, a concerned voice enumerates the many threats to the giant cats. The speaker goes on to explain that for as little as $25, anyone can "symbolically adopt a tiger."

Don't get too excited, it says symbolically. I would love to know what happened to prompt the WWF to add the symbolically disclaimer to their literature. I'm picturing an outraged donor calling to demand a refund when he realized that no one was going to deliver an orphaned tiger cub to his door. "Oh. It's not a literal adoption? You should say that!"

I realize that this seems random, but try to follow my train of thought...

Here is a picture that I came across and saved two months ago. I am jealous of this girl. She's wearing a wedding dress, she probably gets tons of free clothes from J. Crew, and a baby leopard is whispering in her ear. Bitch.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mythical Beast Spotted in San Diego

Thanks again to Groupon, I attended a photography workshop today. It was well worth the four hours and sixty bucks because I am now comfortable-ish in manual mode and I finally figured out how to get a shallow depth of field...not particularly complicated actually.

Combine these two and you have a pretty good idea how I look at the moment.

I skipped the photo safari since I am three days post chemical peel and rather disturbing to look at. Where my skin isn't cracked and peeling off, it's red and wrinkly. It's truly unsettling.  I was afraid that one of the other photographers might inadvertently capture a picture of me in the background of one of her shots.  I can just imagine her going home, looking through the pictures from the afternoon's photo shoot, discovering my horrifying visage in the corner of a shot, and assuming that she has photographic evidence of the existence of Chupacabra or La Llorona (an evil, child-stealing ghost of Mexican lore). Next thing I know, I'm in line at the grocery store and there's my disfigured mug on the cover of the National Enquirer... So, to avoid that outcome, I came home and hid hermit-style in my apartment for the rest of the afternoon.

Before disappearing for the day, I did take a couple shots to test out my new understanding of depth of field.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

To Do Before...Death

I love lists, particularly to-do lists although top ten lists, shopping lists, and wish lists are pretty great as well. There is just nothing like crossing things off of a to-do list to make me feel productive and like I at least approximate a contributing member of society. My list of thirty things to do before I turned thirty was a kind of glorified to-do list, and as with most to-do lists I make, some things got done and some things didn't. Still, it was nice having a list of things to do that went beyond grade essays, go to the store, clean the bathroom. Plus, it's easier to blow off grading, grocery shopping, and bathroom cleaning for hot air ballooning when it's on the list.

I've had a life to-do list in the back of my brain (and probably a diary somewhere) since at least high school, and Tom and I started writing one on our honeymoon, but I thought it would be nice to have it all in one place. I'm posting it here, hoping that the public posting will help hold me accountable and give me the push I need to resist the lure of an America's Next Top Model marathon in favor of crossing something off the list instead. Beside, if it's not on the internet, it's not real, right?

I'm gong to shoot to have one hundred things on the list, but if I wait until I come up with that many,... Well, let's just say, I may be able to resist Tyra, but I can't abandon Oprah now. I owe it to her to do my part to help her new network succeed, and those episodes of Gayle's new show are not going to watch themselves. Here it is so far.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Preview

I have tons of pictures of Florida fun to go through, but I couldn't wait to post these. On New Year's Eve, Tom, his parents, and I headed to Lido Beach for sunset cocktails. It was the first warm day of our trip, so we were all excited to be outside. The sunset was gorgeous, and a couple of dolphins showed up to complete the quintessential evening beach scene. I didn't have much hope of capturing anything, but I set my cocktail aside to try out my fancy new telephoto lens.

The dolphins seemed to enjoy the audience of twenty or so people who stopped to watch them, and they hung out, breaching and frolicking for at least fifteen minutes. By the time they disappeared, I knew that I had gotten at least a few shots of fins, but it was hard to tell much from my camera's LCD screen. It wasn't until I transferred the pictures to my computer that I could see just how lucky I got. The pictures are pretty grainy, but my heart started pounding when I saw them because I was so excited that I had managed to capture on film what I couldn't even see when I was standing on the beach - dolphin dinner hour.