Tuesday, March 31, 2009

piano

As I mentioned in my last post Casey has finished school. To fill his time he's taken to his piano. He is a brilliant musician turned math nerd, which strangely fits for him.

I was surprised to find out that a lot of the people in his life haven't heard him play. I was lucky enough to have a front seat for his DJ gigs, for silly guitar time and for "Clocks" on the piano at the Paramount. I've been wanting to pull out my 50mm on a piano and this gave me a great opportunity to add a dedication to my favorite friend.

piano at 1 point 8
"piano at one point eight"

Monday, March 30, 2009

OK Go and a restaurant review

Bah, I hate being sick.

I had been fighting it, but succumbed on Friday and took the day off from work to lay in bed all day watching Iron Chef America. When I slept, I dreamed of a three way between me, Alton Brown and Mario Batali. I'm pretty sure cheese was involved. I dragged myself out of bed for dinner at Bleu with Lucas, but he was sick as well so we called it an early night. This was my second time visiting this restaurant and it didn't disappoint. Each little table is tucked away behind dark velvet curtains making the place feel ridiculously intimate. My manhattan was excellent and the salads were so large I hardly made a dent.

Saturday brought a celebratory breakfast with Casey for his completion of classes at SCCC the previous week. We had been wanting to check out Oddfellows for breakfast after our excellent meal there on Valentines Day and although there has been some conflicting reviews online, I really enjoyed the food. I've learned at one of the other restaurants in Linda Derschang mini empire of eateries, Smiths, that the chef can have a wildly varying take on the menu items depending on the day but it was not the case here.

I was thrown off immediately as the set up for breakfast is different from dinner service; you have to order at the counter and they give you a number. I was used to this from my days at Alcove, but I was kinda sick and sleepy so I was a little hard on the waiter who let us know of the breakfast ordering process after he saw us sitting at a table waiting. He wasn't offended though and later we chatted about my restaurant experiences down in LA. He had just taken a trip down and was staying around Los Feliz, which is where Alcove is located. My breakfast panini arrived and I was delighted to find it on brioche bread which soaked up the runny egg yoke perfectly. It was heaven. Casey's baked eggs with ham looked excellent and he assured me it tasted just as good as it looked. If you order that particular dish, I recommend ordering the toast and jam as well unless you like a carb free breakfast. We sat chatting, drinking coffee and soaking up the ambiance in the large dining hall that once doubled as the meeting hall for the fraternal order that founded the building before my back could no longer stand sitting on the hard wooden benches.

setting up
"setting up"

After a little nap I headed down to the Gibson Showroom for an interview with OK Go, who you might remember from their fun treadmill video "Here It Goes Again", which was filmed at Damian Kulash's sister's house after practicing the routine for two weeks. Apparently she's a trained ballroom dancer and choreographs their videos. Although for "Do What You Want" they put out an ad on Craigslist looking for people with strange talents. Check out the video to see the interesting people who answered the ad.

talking shop

One of my boss's had family in from out of town so he wanted to bring them down to check out the performance. After the few songs they played for us Damian took a moment to sit down with Brian's son Ryder to chat about music. A.d.o.r.a.b.l.e

vintage wawa
Dan Konopka, Andy Ross, Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind

The drummer Dan Konopka was sick and sat out the performance but I guess their normal set up for acoustic shows is sans drummer, however he did join in on the interview. I asked him if he felt threatened by his replacement; a cup of change and the back of the guitar, but he was interested to see what Tim Nordwind did with the change. Apparently it was a last minute idea which turned out pretty cool.

here we go again

I was glad that I drug myself out of bed for the interview, but it lasted for quite some time and after a couple hours I was exhausted. I had a date for the evening and I wanted to get home in time for shower and rest before going out again so we packed up and headed out.

Sunday was an excellent end to my weekend. I was starting to feel a bit better, but still spent the majority of the day in bed. Luckily I had company this time, although we did head up to the Coastal Kitchen for a yummy breakfast around noon. Funny thing about this restaurant is that there is always a long wait for a table but if you pass the crowd you can almost always find a seat at the bar, which is what we did. The menu showcases a new country every couple months and the fare was Tunisian on this day. I decided to stay with one of their constant menu items, a goat cheese "rumble" which is scrambled eggs with caramelized onions, spinach, sage and goat cheese. Yummy.

I realized as I was writing this that I had a restauranty kind of weekend, visiting three excellent examples of local fare. And although I'm still sick today, any weekend that ends with me in a sheet being handed a beer with a kiss leaves me with little to complain about come Monday morning.

Monday, March 23, 2009

self portrait

I don't have much to say about this...I just wanted to post them.

simply me
"simply me"










restless
"restless"














cabernet
"cabernet"










...
"..."


I care little for my body she said
I couldnt care less about my soul
And as she led me upstairs in whispers
My whole summer turned cold

Ill lead you upstairs
If youve got no worries
Then Ive got no cares
Ill lead you upstairs

I told her people had been talking
About how dark she was inside
She said my hopes are buried in the soil
Deep in the earth outside
And with one twist of the world
She brought me to her side
She asked me for the truth one time
And I all I did was lie

Ill lead you upstairs

I used to fight with Bill about how I felt that lyrics were actually modern day poetry. There was this documentary on the "Live at the Point" DVD about how David Gray's music was pure poetry. I remember showing it to him, then taking him to the show at what I think was the Wiltern in LA. Bill pushed out tears when David Gray played "Shine", which is one of my favorite songs, and I remember being so mad because Bill knew that I was right. That music can be poetry and that an artist can be not only a musician but a lyricist, a composer and a window to your soul.

texture

if only I could drive

Playing with a little texture today. This shot is the road down to the lighthouse at Discovery Park.

church on a hill

I wanted to capture the feel this church left with me. I don't know the story behind Discovery Park, but when I saw this structure I wanted to try an older treatment on the photo.

wrapped squared

I had processed this photo one way, and when I was looking through the thumbnails on my flickr page the original shot was showing up as a square. I cropped it up a bit and actually like this one more than the original.

blossoming process

And one last blossom photo, because I'm addicted and I love the flower bokeh.

Speaking of addiction, I bought Cadbury Cream Eggs last night...and ate them all.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

can't think of a title

deconstructed daffodil
"daffodil deconstructed" diptych

The first day of spring has come and gone, and with it's arrival brings the blooming daffodils that are covering the city. I met up with Casey on Saturday for dinner out on Phinney Ridge and when we passed Woodland Park Zoo I caught a glimpse of all their daffodils and knew I had to head back out there on Sunday.

silver springs
"silver springs" composite

I've had an interesting weekend. Friday was a lovely night, as it always is when hanging with the tall one. An evening where I finally slept was followed by a morning pilgrimage to Dim Sum, which fittingly means "touch the heart", in the International District. This being the second (food) craving the big L has given me (I count the Pho and cream puffs as one as those little fuckers would kill me if I ate them alone) it makes me giggle when he mentions that he doesn't like food. I can't wait to see what the second month brings.

string
"string" Forsythia at the Woodland Park Zoo

After yummy breakfast and a little fun at my front door, I headed out with Zach to my cousin Stephie's new house in Maple Valley. It's an adorable little 4 bedroom place on a golf course under some power lines. It was the first time I had seen my family since everything went down with my mom and I was bracing myself for awkward conversation, but it went well. My aunt was very supportive of me and even said that she's a regular follower of my flickr page, mentioning photos by name, which made my heart just leap. There was one moment when I was looking down at her (my family is really short) and she looked so much like my mom that tears sprang to my eyes. I had to step away for a moment so she didn't notice.

wrapped around your finger
"wrapped around your finger" Woodland Park Zoo

I made it about two hours before I knew I had to go. The strange dichotomy between my life in Seattle and this suburban existence of my family at times is too much for me. I didn't succumb to the normal temptations of liquor, I was proud of myself for that, however a decompression was needed after so Casey and I hit up El Chupacabra on Phinney Ridge and then drove around for a while listening to music. Wagner never sounded so good. A little drama came at Smiths, but I know it was just because I was still in the midst of my transition so I don't hold it against him.

comes in threes
"comes in threes" Woodland Park Zoo

Sunday had me wandering around the Zoo grounds taking pictures of daffodils. A fellow photog joined me for a while, he with his D40 and me with my little Canon. He asked me about my lens, and I mentioned that I was shooting solely with my 50mm today. He said "ah, all I have is this little thing", which is the kit lens for the D40 (an 18-55mm VR that kicks the crap out of my little 50mm) but whatever. He went after some chipmunks and I headed towards home.

a mess of flower
"a mess of flower"

On the way home I spotted two trees that I shot the hell out of. I added this last shot to show you how intense the blooms were on this tree. I look forward to playing around with the shots I got of this and the other beautiful pink cherry tree.

noisy daffodils
"noisy daffodil"

I think this is the most pictures I've ever posted. I've actually been composing this post (and editing it) for the last 3 hours. I've also been consuming a bottle of wine during that time...And now iTunes is playing Arcade Fire or, as Panda likes to call them, the guy who sings like he stubbed his toe. bah, what does a bear know.

all things go
"all things go"

I've been listening to a lot of music over the last few days. This one is named after a Sufjan Stevens song, whom (or who...whatever) I used to confuse with Yusuf Islam, who was Cat Stevens but I thought he went by Yusuf Stevens now...but he doesn't. Damn folk singers.

Friday, March 20, 2009

one more

through the window

I've been playing with this one set of photos for days and today I located a new action and tested it out on this shot. yay photoshop. I go home now.

a toast

a toast

"I would like to toast to lying, stealing, cheating and drinking. If you lie, lie for a friend. If you're going steal, steal a heart. If you're going to cheat, cheat death. And if you're going to drink, drink with me!"

Have a great weekend everyone, cheers!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

flowery randomness

more flowery goodness

I can't stop playing with my iPhone. After almost three months of having a cracked screen, finally my phone is whole again. I was up late last night restoring everything and adding new music. I fell asleep with the darn thing in my hand waiting for iTunes to update it.

My cousin Zach has been staying with me for the last couple days. It's strange walking into my house and there is someone already in it. I now know it's nothing I want to do, voluntarily, again unless it's someone I can cuddle up to at night.

My cousin Stephie is having a housewarming party on Saturday, so I'll be seeing even more of my family this week. I think I'm stable enough to handle it.

Speaking of cuddling, I love my daily good morning text. They cause me to have a case of the smiles all day.

I can't stop reading comics.

And in honor of said hipsterific comic, my favorite band of the moment is Florence and The Machine Check out the Optimo Remix of "Dog Days Are Over". It's technoey goodness. Then listen to "Kiss With A Fist" to get the gist of their sound...oh and "I'm Not Calling You A Liar"

ah hell, just listen to all of it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

once in a...

oh so punny.

blue ttv

I've done this photo different in the past and although many people compliment me on it, I always wanted to make it blue.

So I did.

So there.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

discovery at low tide

Although the iPhone application doesn't like me, the tall one mentioned that low tide was in the afternoon this weekend. My previous attempts foiled by the setting sun, I decided a Saturday afternoon visit would be a lovely idea. However, after spending my morning entangled in his arms, I opted to spend the day in bed watching the entire season three of Buffy which is now streaming on Hulu. He spent the day destroying his liver, which is always fun. Casey dropped by to gift me with some Thin Mints that afternoon...asshole...but I ended up bailing on him and an evening of David Lynch after a sandwich left my tummy in a state of shock.

the green returns

Sunday morning brought snow early, but then a nice blue sky opened up so I pulled myself out of bed for a walk down to Discovery Park. Music dominated my morning and as I pulled into the south parking lot the lyrics of David Gray were lifting my spirits so high that when I discovered I had not put my camera in my bag all I could do was laugh. It was the polarizer that saved me. Had the sky not been so bright I would have made it all the way down to the beach before even noticing.

as big as the sea, as wide as the sky

On my way back to grab my camera I called my favorite Jen to wish her a happy last day of her 29th year. Tomorrow she turns 30 and I couldn't be more happy for her. I remember shopping with her and her sister as she looked for a cardigan to go over this beautiful dress she bought for a special date. We were wandering the mall and she saw a Forever 21 and wandered in. She thought aloud, in typical Jen fashion, "Will it still be ok for me to shop at these places when I'm over 30?". Part of me wanted to smack her because I was 30 at that point and still shopped at stores that catered to a "younger" demographic...if you will. Restraint won and I kept my mouth shut because I knew one day she would hit that mark and realize that she is older, wiser, more calm and most likely happier than she ever was in her 20's. Jen, I wish you a very happy birthday. Wish I could be there to celebrate it with you.

weather patterns

Like I mentioned before, the weather was very erratic today. Although the skies were bright blue with puffy white clouds, there was a high wind advisory in effect. With up to 50 mile an hour gusts weather patterns can move in fast. I was pretty far out on the beach when I looked behind me to see this monstrosity heading my way. I made my way back to the shore and hit the trail just in time to hide under the trees when this thing hit. It wasn't rain but hail that pelted me from the side at almost 30 miles an hour. It lasted for 5 whole minutes before completely dissipating, leaving behind only a small rainbow. If you take a look at this on black you can see the scale of it by the relative size of the people on the beach.

canvas

This shot is a little backhanded, but I wanted to show that you can use the flaws in your shot to make a beautiful picture. I actually didn't have any problems with this photo, but I added a canvas texture to it and dropped the opacity to half. The great thing about photoshop is that with a little practice you can either clean up those errors that you find in post processing, or you can exploit the hell out of them.

touch

Before the weather hit me I caught this couple sharing a moment. Funny thing about an online journal is that people read the damn thing so although I want to share why I took this photo, too many people read this so I won't. Instead I recommend you take a look at the larger shot on black . It's worth it.

And if you want to know, just ask. I'm sure it can be beaten out of me...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

diptych

walking under the flowers






the illusion of solitude in the middle of chaos.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

12th Ave

With my computer back after it's crash and CS4 installed, it seemed like a good time to celebrate with a photo walk. I decided to take a jaunt down the street I live on, 12th Avenue on Capitol Hill.

starfishy

I'll admit, what first drew me to the idea was this tree outside my apartment. The flowers are starting to bloom telling me the start of spring is just a couple weeks away. The sky was such a stunning blue and the sun was still bright in the sky at 5:30, but it was deceptive as the temperature was a chilly 38 degrees. Factor in the wind funneling up the long streets leading down to the water and you've got the makings for some frozen fingers!

purple haze

After a quick detour to 15th to grab a free...oh I mean totally paid for coffee from Casey I walked back down towards 12th. I began to see these little flowers popping up in my neighbors yards. There were a few different colors, but I loved the purple ones.

fading away too

Since I was wandering with my 50mm on the camera (18-55 safely tucked in my pocket, just in case) I looked for bokeh opportunities. This little patch of flowers was kind enough to give me just want I was hoping for.

12th ave bike shop

Panda had brazenly broke into my neighborhood to continue his Seattle series and I was surprised not to see this bike shop included in his tour. We drove by it one time and I remember him asking if I had ever wanted to shoot it. I had, and have wanted to, but the lighting was never right. I wanted to capture the street sign shadowed against the wall. And now I have.

farewell

Soon the PI will close, and these stands will no longer hold a paper that contains one of my favorite features: Take A Hike. It's a shame, but Karen Sykes does have a website and blog, so not all is lost. Well, except a 150 year old newspaper...sigh.

pull back the curtain

I wrote a note to my friend Dane today asking for his address. He's been down on his luck and I want to send him a gift card to go buy something nice for himself. He sent it back and said "Instead, why don't you just bring it with you down to LA and move into the master bedroom we have for rent." This being my second invitation to come back down to LA in as many weeks I found it amusing. He mentioned, however, that my recent facebook status updates may have alluded to reasons for me to stay in Seattle. I said to him that regardless, my happiness is stemming from the blue sky, the snow crisp against the backlit mountains and the feel of spring in the air. I wouldn't leave this town right now for anything. I feel home, content, at peace...happy. I think he was a bit jealous.

towards the sunset

My walk ended just as the sun began to set and the orange hue made my tree take on a whole different color. I'm enjoying these last few days of winter but when March 20th ushers in the spring I'll be grateful that I've survived my first winter home and that the warm weather will be on it's way. My list of hikes is growing and I'm ready to get started!

Friday, March 06, 2009

flowers and a lesson

There is this movie called Picture Perfect with Jennifer Aniston. It's a silly romantic comedy, one that I'll watch in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday when I'm home sick from work and be entertained just enough to not fall asleep. The movie tells the tale of a single 28-32ish career minded female who is trying to move up in her company. She finds the only way to be noticed by her boss is to pretend to be engaged. Of course she's in love with the bad boy in the office who, upon seeing her with another man, must have her now. Then the pretend boyfriend falls in love with her and hilarity ensues.

Ok fine, I've watched it more than once...but I digress.

buried

On Wednesday, after a spirited text messaging battle over No Country For Old Men (which, I've come to the conclusion, utterly sucked...except for Javier Bardem. He was brilliant) I was brought flowers by my UPS guy, and I don't mean my delivery driver. I was shocked, speechless; and he got the biggest kick out of it.

venus

Then came the strangest thing. My boss noticed them and said "I bet I know who those are from" to which I replied "Oh no you don't". And hilarity ensued...The idea that I'm hanging out with someone new gave him the impression that finally I was settled. I wasn't the girl who didn't want to commit, who might leave for LA at a moments notice. He asked me about my mom (him: "how is she, last time I heard she was missing about a week ago"...me: "um that was about a month and a half ago, but we found her, thanks for your concern") and mentioning that I've been smiling more lately and that must be the guy who brought my smile back. I was Jennifer Aniston, just not as hot.

falling inside
Processing #1 - dark lomo

While I'm not going to say that the tall guy in brown hasn't made me smile just a little bit more, I'd like to take most of the credit. I've exercised every day for the last two months. I've drank almost a gallon of water every day, reconnected with my friends in LA and have planned two trips in the next couple of months, began the slow process of letting my mother back in my life...but honestly have just generally taken care of ME over the last couple months and it's just now starting to show in my smile. I almost resented the idea that my boss felt as though my happiness would only be realized in a man.

cross pollination
Processing #2 - cross process w/purple

I've come to accept that the older I get the more I will be forced into the conversation with people about being in a couple, settling down, having babies, getting married; all the things that you are "supposed to do" when you get to a certain point in your life. It happens more often in Seattle. In LA most of my friends are out of their 20's, and some almost into their 40's (I promise I won't ever tell!) and only one couple is married, none have children. I hope one day to prove that you don't have to follow the norm. That the happy ending doesn't always come with a ring and a wedding. Sometimes the couple end up friends who text lyrics from T-pain to each other at 2 am.

And I'll be fine with that, thank you.

rafael saadiq

Tony! Toni! Toné! has done it again.

Charlie Ray Wiggins (also known as Raphael Saadiq) was performing at the Showbox at the market and we were asked to do an interview before he went on that evening. We showed up at the venue early and began setting up in the Green Room, which is the bar next to the venue. Unfortunately it began to fill up quickly with fans who were going to the show later. Fans + alcohol + the artist = trouble for an interview. Talking to the tour manager, it seemed the better place was inside the venue.

through the viewfinder

With ninja stealth we headed into the Showbox and set up at one of the bars. The band had a new bass player for the evening and Raphael decided to keep playing rehearsal until just about show time. For the interview, this was not a good thing to hear as we wouldn't have that much time with him; but for a lover of music, it was awesome because I spent an hour watching them rehearse the show.

teaching the bass

We had about 10 minutes with him, but he was very gracious and humble. After a couple quick questions, a few drops, two silly pictures and the signing of a few posters the interview was over. Overall, I think it was one of my favorite interviews. It's not that often that you get that behind the scenes, and as I walked out into the sea of fans waiting for the show I felt a little special that I got to see a side of their favorite artist that they may never experience.

rehearsal

Check out his music at: http://www.myspace.com/raphaelsaadiq

Be prepared to want to make love to a brotha.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

more iphone fun

I completely forgot about Saturday morning, probably with good reason as I can only remember one other time I was that hungover. Two words, Eastern Washington.

In any case, Casey called me around 10:00 am wondering what I was doing for the day. He was wandering my way and mentioned that he saw Sir Mix-A-Lot driving out of Dicks in his orange Lambo. As exciting as that is, all I heard was Dicks. I requested two cheeseburgers and a coke, perfect hangover food, and to have it delivered to my door? HEAVEN

film noir

Film Noir fun. Even a hangover can't stop me from taking pictures...even if from the comfort of my own bed.

drive home

This was taken for Casey as he asked me for a new wallpaper for his phone.

cabin in the woods

Last spring I took a hike to Blue Lake. It was one of my first hikes with my new camera and I discovered dust for the first time and proceeded to scratch the hell out of the mirrors in my camera for the next 30 minutes. Needless to say, I took the rest of my shots that day with my iPhone. I could never figure out what I wanted to do with the log cabin shot that I took that day, but I think this works out nicely.

I can't stress enough how important it is to have fun with photography. It may be a profession, it may be a hobby, but life is too short not to enjoy your craft just a little bit with some silliness. Or maybe I'm just saying that because I'm coveting a 40d right now :)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mt. Index

My weekend went as such:

Friday evening was uneventful, right Lucas?

Saturday evening was spent spurning the advances of a youngin', leading me to believe I kinda dig someone.

Sunday was spent in heaven...want to see?

1745.3

I started driving early on Sunday morning. Per usual I didn't have any idea where I wanted to go so I headed north and let the mountains be my guide. I made it to Highway 2 and looked to my right. Mount Index was beckoning and I answered the call. Panda and part of team Notna had ventured out there last weekend, and upon reassurance from Panda that the roads were clear I figured my little blue could handle the drive.

sultan

I stopped in Sultan, just as the mountains came into view over the Skykomish river. I followed a road which lead to a little path to the river. I was surprised at how sandy the shores are. I'm guessing most of it was from the floods recently as the shore went for at least 1/2 a mile before reaching the river. I wasn't really paying attention to my surroundings until I started hearing noises. I looked around me and realized that I had stumbled upon a homeless camp. I tried to stay calm and backed out slowly until two dogs started barking and running towards me. I booked it out of there.

mt index road

I headed towards Stevens Pass, but saw a forestry service road that was labeled "Mount Index Road". It was surprisingly well maintained and it lead me to two surprises: the view of the mountain that you see above, and the trailhead for Bridal Veil Falls which I will be heading to next weekend. I've heard reports that Lake Serene is still snowed over so that will have to wait until Spring.

mt index

I decided to drive up to Stevens Pass, or as far as the road conditions would allow me, and I'm happy to report that I made it all the way up to the pass and then some! It was spectacularly beautiful up there and I spent a good 20 minutes watching the skiers come down the mountain.

In the last week I've heard news of many people around me losing their battle with the economy. The one constant I've heard from them is that although times are hard and sometimes they feel like giving up, there is always the hope that it's going to get better...and that's what keeps them going. As I took my drive this weekend, kind of sad from all the news I've been hearing, I looked up at those amazing peaks and felt grateful for living where I do, for having the friends that I have and for the continued strength to get through the shit in life and always find the pretty.