my dad goes through points in his life where he becomes and expert on something crafty (i don't know ANYONE like that, how is he even my father). first he decided that he needed to use chalk pastels to draw ridiculously amazing things. those are hanging on most of our walls. then he became master plasterer and re-plastered all the walls in our house (dry-wall be damned). next he decided to learn how to do stained glass. aside from my lead poisoning worries for him, he did fantastic at that as well. the latest is baking bread without a bread maker, that's cheating. lucky US!
so far his need to craft has really worked out for me.
what's next for pop? raising chickens. for real... they come april 19th. baby chicks peep! i can't wait.
i don't really have anyone to play camera with or talk photography. that's alright though because i use the intertubes to do research and find like-minded individuals. no problem.
i joined a photography forum and asked a question about where people go to print their pictures. i'm having trouble getting prints that don't look like arse color/contrast/brightness wise. you can print the same picture different places and have drastically different results. :S
in amongst honest and helpful answers was a butthole who took issue with the fact that i don't usually use capital letters (on the INTERNET). he was pretty sure it's because i didn't understand how they worked. seirously, how is that even germane to what i'm saying? it's a stylistic choice anyway... not an idiotic one. fucker. anyway, it turned me off of the forum, honestly. people get behind a computer and they feel very, very strong and bold. i doubt that zitted dough-boy would ever say it to my face. KEITH, YOU LOSER! ugh, i feel better now.
anyway, i'm trying out portraits now. well, by that i mean i tried them out for the first time today. just natural light portraits from the window. i realize i have a ton of work to do, but i thought i'd post them here for your general interest (alicia).
anyway, those are my first attempt results. i know i have a lot to pay attention to, not least the crooked backdrops and cut-off chins.
but you have to do it for the first time some time...
it's pretty much all shits-n-giggles around here otherwise. i'm back to work during the week as well as weekends now. it's good, you know, to not be home in your pajamas every day. well, scrubs are basically pajamas... but at least i talk to adults now. it started to warm up but today is the effing tundra again. that's why i hate spring. EITHER IT IS OR ISN'T WARM, GET IT TOGETHER, WEATHER!
anyway, i'll let you know if i ever post somthing for KEITH and his little photo forum friends to critique. if i don't even type to his liking, i'm sure my earnest attempts at learning photography will be met with more ASSHATERY.
at least i have you guys. val, nid... you're supposed to give me feedback on the photos dudes.
because when you see it a gadzillion times a year, it's less wonderous and more... just misty.
but if you add a hotel to it, i'm all for it.
eli had business in the falls so we all tagged along. let us go on a journey through pictures.
one hundred percent, and i mean, 100% of the time eli and i drive through the falls together, we fight about what way to go. i don't think we've ever entered on the same road, and i can certainly tell you it's never been correct anyway. even when we use the signs, we end up everywhere BUT the falls. and seriously, 4 or 5 times a year this happens, we still can't get it right. this time was no exception and we entered in a completely new way! the back way. here's a shot of the falls i took as we whizzed by in anger:
somehow we got upgraded to the top floor private elevator requiring 2 bedroom suite with panoramic balcony. pretty nice. but there was no time to think about that, because someone was insisting we hurry up and get to the 3 acre indoor water park. you can tell he's canadian because... well, the boots.
sam and eli hit the slides immediately. i don't know if you know this (i didn't) but indoor water parks be hot and humid. my hair... my hair was indescribably curly. eli laughed at me and sam said "you look the most beautiful i've ever seen you look" but of course, he was in water park heaven. there is no picture of the hair. only curly haired people understand the hatred for EXTRA curliness. all you straighties think it must be awesome, but for us any additional curl is reason for an "ihatemyhair" comment. can i get an amen?
henry did like a thing where he was crawling on all fours (sans knees) and going out deeper and deeper. eli kept telling me he was "swimming" and when i finally bothered to look down at him, i realized what he was doing was "drowning." see:
this is sam's hair after the water slide. it was a fast slide. i didn't know this about myself, but i am a ninny because i was CONVINCED he was going to die on a waterslide. i couldn't even look, literally.
after 4 hours of that we went back to the room and took a little break.
then off to see the falls for the bajillionth time. well, first up close for eli and not from a car, and 3rd for sam who still think's they're the bees knees, but bajillionth for me.
i was really annoyed that eli insisted on taking the stroller down SEVERAL stairs, but if you know eli you know that he thinks strollers are like totes with wheels and that it's completely reasonable to carry them sometimes when needed. need i remind everyone of him putting sam's stroller over the lion cage wall at the toronto zoo? yes, there WAS a wire fence past the wall as a secondary barrier, but still. anyway, eli is making that face because i was bitching which meant he started to kick the stroller down the stairs and make a stupid face. mission accomplished, eli. ...
then we stopped for coffee and henry removed his hat (on his own which, yay! but mostly annoying).
after this, eli went to his meeting and we toured around a little.
here's a shot of the deathwheel skywheel at night taken from the window of the restaurant. the restaurant was... well eli described it as having "abysmal yet entertaining servce." for example, we were given quite a few menu items that we DIDN'T order, yet getting parmesan for pasta was a bit of a trick. eli said she brought it over like it was a great new idea "HEY i just thought of something! DO YOU GUYS WANT CHEESE FOR THE PASTA?" yes, we do.
here are some pictures of the falls i took from our balcony. i certainly prefer the falls at night when they're lit up.
oh... eli made me take this one:
it's the hotel room TV. maybe we're used to las vegas hotels where there is not one, but two flatscreen TV's by every bed (no one has a good idea as to why, but there are 2)... but this TV was a little archaic even when not seen in that light. eli said the TV's in the elevator were better, and he was right.
we fell asleep by 10:30, which as most of you know is UNHEARD OF for me... i usually fall asleep somewhere between 2 and 3am... but that misty air makes me so tired.
here's a picture of sam that eli took in the morning just before we left:
well, considering the entire trip cost is... no wait, we MADE money because of mileage, it was pretty great. and in fact, even though it's not my idea of a fabulous destination, we did have a really good time.
finally, i just wanted to say, may god take you to lie in jesus' arms, RIP Elsie, my aunt who died February 12th, 2011.
eli's yelling at the TV. NO, eli is yelling at donald trump on the TV. he also yells at maury. why does he watch maury? well, he doesn't. i mean, he does, but he doesn't. but he does. how do i explain it? eli will watch maury if he catches it on when he's looking for golf to watch and there is none. he insists that he and i crave awful reality TV because we think all day. i don't know if that makes us bad or worse, but the point remains, we can't get enough trash.
of course, if i want trash, all i REALLY have to do (and i do... i do) is take sam out to the bus in the morning. i've deduced that after colonel sanders and bag-o'-tits drop their child(ren) off at the bus, they take the city bus to the methadone clinic. i see them come back on the city bus around... noon.
who? you remember colonel sanders and bag-o'-tits, don't you?
here's eli's courtroom drawing (and i DO know that it being on a magnet pro adds a touch of class):
that's the colonel ^ although it's hard to tell because eli didn't draw his belt buckle, short hemmed pants, and shoes with enough of a heel to be called a heel... but i guess the day he drew that he was just dressed as trash. bag-o'-tits is his... partner. she doesn't have any teeth, well actually the colonel doesn't either which adds further evidence to my theory that they were pretty heavy drug users. having said that, their children don't have any teeth either... which i have mentioned before because it worries me. where are their teeth (the childrens', that is)? eli named her that because her boobs sort of drape down like a hobo bag in front. a bra is really all that's needed to clear that up, but maybe they smoked those. *i* think it's a little crazy to be threatening beat-downs at 8:50am on the way to school, or yelling "little bastard!" at them, but then, i might just be really stuffy. point is, maury is at the bus stop, alive and well. no need to catch it on TV.
all i want is to go to the beach.
he'd like you to give that pencil back, he was enjoying shoving it into his throat:
i guess i let the baby do this to sam because it prooves my point that he needs to let me cut his hair:
k, i gotta get up and watch col. sanders and B.O.T. in the morning so... nighty night.
eli's got a subscription to lynda.com which is... well i don't know exactly but you can watch training videos for a subscription fee. they had some instructional videos which were... well, instructional and so i think i have the ASPECTS of exposure figured out; whether i've gotten any further with actual photography, i don't know.
however, there are 3 variables that will have an impact on exposure:
ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed. i'm not going to go into them because i'm pretty sure blogher will lose its MIND if i change blog themes one more time (JK). but suffice to say i totally understand the theory of all three aspects now.
when i looked at the pictures i've taken so far i learned a couple things. 1. my laptop monitor thinks EVERYTHING is too blue, which means when i've been editing my pictures on here i always make them way yellow which i see when i put them on another screen. sorry about that. 2. they aren't overexposed... i was really exhausted that day and also, my monitor makes everything look like a lightening bolt.
i've been taking pictures in all kinds of modes (oh, p.s... thanks for the information, Val... everything you said was nicely reiterated in the videos, you're so right!). i can see how different modes (aperture priority, shutter speed priority, program mode, etc...) would be ideal for different shot compositions and looks and i've been playing with those lots.
anyway... because likely NONE of you really and truly care about this information... here are some pictures for you.
alright, first off (and this isn't an artistic or even AT ALL good shot, but it's for documentation purposes anyway), Henry is driving me berskerker with his crawling. he's dumped SO many bowls and cups of water, he pulled my laptop onto the floor today, he is just... a menace. i literally didn't make coffee today because i couldn't NOT be touching him for that length of time without assured desctruction of one or more things, so... i had to do it:
this next one, i was playing with capturing movement. i hadn't learned about adjusting shutter speed yet, so these are me being REALLY still and taking the picture at his... what's it called, when his vertical speed was zero, you know before when what goes up comes down and you're essentially motionless. anyway... most of them are a blur but some of them we're doable and pretty cute.
modesty scribble heart:
don't ask me HOW, but Sam inherently Vogues... observe:
i didn't take this next shot, and it's blurry but i love his little face in it:
well anyway... that's that.
oh... that video i watched on Lynda.com, by the way, was called "Foundations of Photography: Exposure" by Ben Long. it was fantastic.
alright, talk to you later, lovelies.
so far, i hate this camera. that's right, my new Canon Rebel T1i to replace the Canon Rebel XS that I originally bought and returned. i'm having such a hard time getting any good photos. SUCH a hard time. i'm willing to admit that it's 90% likely because i don't know what the eff i'm doing, but every shot looks over-exposed and grainy to me. i think i know why, but i can't be sure...
like, WHY'S EVERYTHING SO BRIGHT AND WHITE!?!??! i know we're caucasian, but henry is hurting my eyes in most shots.
here's a shot of Louie's pisnarse, sorry about that, but the point is that Lou was NOT standing at the gates to a bright white heaven... she was standing at the gates to the kitchen. so why does it look like her eye balls just burnt out looking into light that bright?
what i'm guessing is the problem based on my very extensive knoweldge of photographic techniques(7 days of casually skimming photography literature) is that the ISO is too high which is why the images are grainy and that images are over exposed. i guess this is a low-lighting problem. but all i have is low light.
you know what else this could be? exhaustion, because right now the montior is hurting my eyes. and those twinkle lights, TURN EM DOWN! perhaps everything just looks too bright when you've slept no more than 4 hours.
anyway... i am having issues.
but here are some more shots with the T1i anyway.
No! It's a naked baby who is so because he dumped the dog's water bowl on to himself AGAIN in a stupid hat that his father put on him because he thinks it's awesome and it all happened to be in front of me when my camera was in hand.
two very skilled women came and cleaned my house today and for real, you can't tell already. it's like a whirlwind of child and husband clutter and dirt hours afterward.
in closing... Lou.
if i had to describe myself, that sentense would be first. or second.
i bought the Canon Rebel XS, as you know, and i took many a picture with it... until the camera i REALLY wanted again became available. the XS is a great little camera, i can't lie. it's an incredible step up from any point and shoot, it had my heart as soon as i walked through the door with it.
but what i actually wanted based on my reserach was a Canon Rebel T1i (500D). it was the absolute best bang for my money i could get because it was a WHOPPING $370 off during boxing week. when i got to the store, they were out. i went online, they were out. i needed something at a discounted rate, so i bought the XS instead.
but because i'm insane, i checked online stock of the T1i like a cute boy was going to email me on that page any minute and i saw them RESTOCK IT. i bought one at 2:00am. and lest you pass judgement on my middle-of-the-night purchases, by the morning they were GONE again.
so i've returned the XS to the store, and the t1i is scheduled to arrive some time this week. so i'll show you how that one stacks up, but in the meantime... the last ever pictures taken with the XS.
i don't know what her problem is (Louie) but i imagine its starvation because i keep putting her bowls up so henry will stop dumping them and then forgetting to put them back down so she can eat. i also forget her outside at least once a week. bad times for Lou. i begged my sister to take her so she was safe, but she refused.
there's been a lot of fighting around here (which is actually called talking) about how similar sam and henry actually look. i'm a really good mom, so i can always tell them apart in pictures (just look at what clothes they're wearing, duh). i can see how they were very similar initially but i thought they were starting to diversify. to quiet eli's argument that they're identical, i put this shot together:
this isn't my business to tell so i'm not going to say too much about her opinions on the matter, but my loved one with the missed miscarriage trauma continues.
the prescription to naturally miscarry was a bust. i went into my clinic with her (we're also an early pregnancy clinic in addition to fertility) and her body was on my procedure table which was quite distressing to me. i started acting weird and jabbering about the door to the lab through the window.
the docs came in and her little belly went up on the ultrasound screen and THERE. IT. WAS. a little caccoon of a perished fetus attached to a quite nice looking placenta that WON'T GIVE UP THE GHOST. my heart sank, we were so hoping it had come out with all the initial bleeding. she got upset and i watched her husband wheel up to her head in the wheely chair to comfort her and show her support, a scene i've seen a squadrillion times which never fails to warm my heart. but not with my own sister and brother-in-law... only strangers, or highschool acquaintances. never my own family.
i am not speaking of my emotions about the whole thing to her, because that's incredibly selfish, but it hit me tonight that i can't take anymore. this little exhausted caccoon needs to get OUT of her so she can start to heal physically and emotionally. she has an increased and prolonged dose of the drugs (misoprostol) and if by wednesday there is still material retained, she's going to do a D&C. she said to me yesterday, which broke my selfish little heart "i'm not sure if i can go through this again, i really don't know if we will try again soon." i understand that. i do. but i don't want her to not try again because of the fear of this happening again, especially since the chances are so low that it would happen again...
but after my 2nd miscarriage i was pretty sure i was not going to try again, and my husband seconding that opinion was the only thing that slapped me out of it. i think she just needs time to heal emotionally and you can't FUCKING DO THAT WHEN YOU CAN'T GET THE EXPIRED FETUS OUT. i can't imagine what the hell she's going through. she is holding up so well. SO well... but this has to be eating her up. and i can't take her suffering anymore because it hurts to see her living with this failure inside of her.
all i want is for this to have never happened to her, to never see this in her eyes ever again. but there it is, every time i see her... in her eyes. and i know that worse things can happen. FAR worse and yes i'm thankful for that. but i still wish she had her nice clean hopeful record, and she just can't ever again. her GTPAL went from 00000 to 10010 and that's a stat that doesn't change; in your chart or in your heart (which rhymes but i wish it didn't because it makes it sound corny).
anyway. big-sisterage is hard, yo.
My back hurts because I chased a baby all over the effing floor all day... because... he can now crawl.
Watch it all go down... yes, I took pictures instead of helping, encouraging, or enjoying his first crawly moments.
When I got home from running errands (okay, shopping) with my mom and sister I found him sitting under a very, very disheveled Christmas tree eating a moose ornament. Yes, his father was there... 3.5 feet away. Good work, Eli.
So screw the Christmas tree, I disassembled it to avoid further snacking on it.
My sister achieved pregnancy, I didn't tell you. You cannot imagine my joy and excitement. Serious elation. I've been taking care of her like she's growing it for me and I'm childless.
Last Thursday the 23rd, she went for an ultrasound. I had butterflies waiting to find out if there was ONE or TWO in there... she's gotten such a round little belly! She slipped into maternity pants about a week and a half ago.
However, at that ultrasound, we found out that she had a missed miscarriage... no heartbeat. I got off the phone after hearing and I kept saying quietly, "no heartbeat... no heartbeat... no heartbeat..." like a crazy person to myself until I heard my mom yelling "SARAH!?" on the phone, apparently I didn't hang up.
I don't know how to comment on the situation. All the obvious applies. I feel helpless, I can't fix any of this. And try as you may, you can't avoid the pain of miscarriage anyway... physically or mentally.
Well, not much more to say about it than that, to be honest. Heartbroken, but I know from experience, at some point it'll all be in the wash and the whole thing will be a couple moments of sadness once every 2 or 3 months when she thinks about it while all the other kids she'll have are running around driving her bonkers. That's what I want for her. :)