(taken from flickr, verbatim, because i'm lazy)
i think it's the 1st pic i've taken with my camera (on manual, even) that basically was not changed whatsoever when i hit "i'm feeling lucky" on picasa. perfectly exposed! or, uh.. does that mean something else?
i was killin' time while chris was at mass, by the way. still figuring out the camera.
i'm awake too late!
chris was out late last night, so he was agreeable to hanging out in bed for half the day... big change, since he's usually out of bed long before i even wake up the FIRST time. so anyway, we were lazy today.. ate-breakfast-at-3pm lazy. we watched star wars tonight.. he fell asleep early.. i'm still awake..
but anyway, sleepy. we may take the boat out tomorrow, maybe i can get some more pictures then. i've been reading up a lot, want to put some things into practice!
oh! ha! my "new" phone won't turn on.. since wednesday. i'm cursed. i figured out how to unlock my old nokia from cingular.. but it turns out this model isn't compatible with metropcs since they don't do SIM card phones. bummer, right? so now i have to buy ANOTHER phone. !!!! cursed, i tell ya!
things get all messed up when you have to be up while it's still dark.
which i did today, for work.
i was back home by early afternoon. napped. woke up when chris got home at 6. by 9:30, it felt like it was the middle of the night. here it is at 11 and i feel like i should've been asleep for hours by now...
not much of interest going on over here. i've been tired beyond belief (it always happens around this time of the month)...
last night, in anticipation of this work thing, i went and stayed at alli's in south beach last night. we went to this place named pasha's, which was good.. so that was nice. i, of course, did not get enough sleep, but it all worked out.
uhh, what else? oh, it's been raining here, non-stop. for days and days, seriously. it's ridiculous. the dogs, i feel so bad for them.. they're used to running around all day, but because of this they stay in their respite crate in the master bath all day so they don't get wet. as for the cats, because of this, oreo has finally gotten to stay inside during the day. i actually don't think she's been outside in days at this point. the other cats have the garage to stay warm and dry in, but since she's the backyard cat...
i've been trying to bring elliot in more and more. the rain is good for that, since i don't have to chase him through the bushes; he can usually be found relaxing on the mattress in the garage if it is actively raining outside.
oreo is so darn mean to the other two cats, though. tonight she got after kitten for daring to use the litterbox. it caused a catfight i could hear from the shower, in the next room, through a door. and my lord is elliot scared of the dogs. it all adds up to an environment that i'm sure is scary for elliot... but i'm trying to get them all to be harmonious.. oreo and the dogs at this point get along very well, so i have high hopes for the other cats and the dogs.
blah blah blah, time to go to sleep. almost the weekend again!
i went to key largo today with the hoes and their friends, two retired plastic surgeons who spend most of their days underwater with their matching D200s, trying to get nice pictures.
it was nice! the highlight? a goliath grouper on the bentwood wreck.
i'd never seen one before. this fishy was huuuuuge. huge! according to the internets, they grow up to 680 lbs and can be seven feet long. !!! i have noo idea how big this one was, but BIG. very cool. he swam away from us, then went and hid under a ledge, and i spotted him again and pointed him out to the photographer dude. he got scared off again, went into the wreck. at which point we officially lost him. but, oh, it was neat. :)
viz was nice, esp. at the second site.
really nice , and now - oh, i'm tired.
so work has this volunteer program. a one-month, unpaid but expenses-paid-for (minus airfare & spending money) volunteer program. they started it six months ago, but it was never something i thought i could do, because of school and bills and the animals and all that. i really never gave it a second thought, but it was always an "it's too bad i can't do that" sort of thing, because i'd love to.
so anyway, i had to print out the FAQ on the program for something the other day, and happened to have it in my planner last night during class. after my test, i started looking at it. the one program is in guatemala. you stay with a guatemalan family, and for your volunteering, you teach little children! you help them with their reading, math, science, etc. you give them english lessons. it's a full day, 8 - 4. you also help with projects in the community.
you are living in a town on lake atitlan (pictured above).
i got to thinking about it, and by the time everyone else was done with their tests, my heart was beating fast and i was all excited because i realize i COULD do it. assuming chris is willing to act as single daddy to all the pets (he is, later confirmed) and i could save up $$$ in advance to pay for my airfare and my bills for the month, etc., it is totally doable.
i'd miss chris and all the animals, but at the same time, it's just four weeks. i would know that i should just enjoy my time there because i would soon be going home. that was a sticking point because, um, i have hardly been apart from chris for more than a night or two since i've met him, and i kinda like it that way. but yeah, it would be worth it. i tried telling chris he could come visit me, but he doesn't seem very keen on the idea.
as for school, i would have to have have some really flexible teachers who are willing to let me do my first two weeks of class assignments in advance (for this good cause, maybe they would be?), or take the summer term off.. but honestly, i think for a monthlong experience like this, it would be worth it.
i could really help these kids.. not only hands-on, but the money my work would pay for me to participate goes towards their school and community. in addition, i would get to learn about the foundations my work has that are working in the community where i would be stationed. and getting to live for a whole month in a totally different place? speaking spanish all the time? ahh, i'd love it.
i think the application progress starts soon.. they choose something like eight for our state to participate. man oh man, i hope i get to go! it's still a long shot at this point, but very much a hopeful one.
today i have learned that i should never, ever work in a bakery.
i ate a banana on the way to the bakery (to take pictures). i intended to leave around lunchtime, so i'd stop at the store next door to pick up something healthy. well, i never left to eat so instead i just ate the things the folks at the bakery offered me.
so what did i eat today? 1 blueberry muffin, 1 cinnamon bun, and then for lunch? a cupcake. a chocolated-frosted, absolutely-delicious yum-yummy cupcake. but now i feel absolutely god-awful. i stopped off to get some tofu salad to try to balance it all out, but it didn't seem to help.
they told me i could take home whatever i wanted. i chose this key lime cake, decorated with palm trees. but it was out all day, and then it went outside in the hot sun with me... this is what it looked like by the drive home. cake is the absolute last thing i want to eat right now anyway, but i decided to salvage it by re-frosting it and sticking it in the fridge. it's a $30 cake, after all!
okay, so this dude t pain... he does the "buy you a draaaank song"
you don't know it? go listen.
also, chris's version of "cute with chris" is funny. it's actually the FIRST place i heard the song. now i'm always sayin' it: i'm-a-gunna-buy-you. a draaaaaaaaaaaaank.
also, he sings the bartender song that i'm always singing. "she made us drinks - to drink! we drunk 'em - got drunk!"
tonight i heard this song "apple bottom jeans" again and had to download it. and it's t pain again! again with the t pain!
certainly not for everyone (ex. chris), but it's the type of stuff that'll get your booty movin' for sure....
we took chris's friend from out of town, dawn, and six of her friends out last night.. as usual, i suggested bahia cabana. hehe. the place has a lot of things going for it, namely that it is OUTSIDE, has MUSIC, and MORE THAN ONE thing on the menu that i like. also, we can BOAT THERE. :)
anyway, that makes NINE OF US on the boat. and no one had to stand! i was impressed! :)
i had THREE mojitos! three! i was gone, wheeeeee! such a lightweight. :) i was acting as bartender at the concert the other night, and finishing off luis's beers when i couldn't finish pouring the whole thing in the cup. literally, it was like two swigs, and i could FEEL IT. is that sad or what? so, yeah, three mojitos? chris kept warning me i would regret it today, but i was actually fine. no headache or nothing.
although i did regret something - i talked some poor girl's head off the ENTIRE WAY BACK. i get kinda chatty when i have been drinking. which is why chris told me to sit down, claiming that the boat's weight was off-balance. today he admitted that was, "well, partially true." :D
oh! chris is home! and i have a test! and photography to do! must go! :)
not many! i had my camera confiscated, after all! that was fun!
no time to write right now!
i found this funny.
also: NEEDLES WAS HERE FOR OZZFEST 2006.
"needles" eh? nice!
I found this chick on Flickr last night. Her pics are SO AWESOME.
She does the engagement / wedding picture thing, only.. Oh my gosh, they’re so not the typical cliché things you usually see. Seriously, go check them out. Her website showcases them even awesomer. http://www.anneruthmann.com/ If I ever get married, would it be too going too far to get her flown out from Terre Haute, Indiana to come take the pictures?
I did note she uses a Canon. Oh, goddammit. Repeat, Stacey, repeat: it’s the photographer, not the camera. Photographer, not the camera.
Ken Rockwell of KenRockwell.com (excellent resource for all things camera/photography, by the way; I keep meaning to make a donation) says you can get the same results from a $500 camera as you can from a $5,000 camera, but why is it that all the pros are using cameras that cost $3-5,000 cameras, then? Her camera, for example, costs around $3,000. HMMMM, Ken Rockwell, WHY IS THAT?
Anyway. I gotta go. Alli’s birthday concert is tonight – Dave Matthews Band. I dunno their stuff and I don’t particularly like it, an opinion I’ve learned to keep to myself over the past few days (everyone is so excited for me for getting to see them that I feel like an ass for saying I don’t really like ‘em), but eh.. She’s 30 this weekend. Who knows how many good years she has left with us? ;)
i just love these pictures.
it took me a minute to realize that the little street cat was little kin's humble beginnings.. what a difference a loving home will make, right?
this dude junku has a blog, but sadly it's in japanese so i can't read the story. i'm assuming came across kin and thought it was far too nice a cat to be living on the street, and thought, "hey, we only have three other cats at home, of COURSE we have room for another!" and the rest is history, as they say. :)
ahh, pictures... i wish chris would come back in here so i could show him these!
i learned to set my white balance using a grey card, and that makes a world of difference.
i learned that my camera's pictures look best when set +.03 or +.07, unless they are closeups. since you can't bracket for BOTH of these, i set my camera to default to +.03, and then bracketed for +.03, so i wind up with one of +.03 and one of +.06 (although the photo info always says +.07, so i don't understand that!). if i have to do closeups, i guess i'll have to set the default back to normal exposure.and keep up the bracketed exposures, because i like it.
as for what i shoot in, after tearing my hair out with manual for a while, i've decided to LET IT GO. instead, i see what the camera thinks. then i put it into aperature priority mode and shoot. i think it's a happy medium.
anyway, this is the result of playing with the lighting and the above-mentioned white balance and exposures. obviously, my focus was not on composition nor on choosing a subject which would not REFLECT EVERY DAMN LIGHT IN THE ROOM ON ITS SURFACE, but hey, whatcha gonna do?
i found out today i need a cream background to shoot the cakes on. the camera store only had green. ha ha ha! so i get to figure out now if i can use something from the craft store or something.. i have the perfect seamless background for something smaller (scrap large-format printer paper from work.. huge, huge pieces of it, but nothing for a job this big) but i'm kinda stumped.
ok, i'm tired. :)
i had me a delicious meal and two mojitos for dinner, and we had a lovely ride back here... then we all watched ruthanne get a bath in the sink.
then i had to take a math test. tipsy on two mojitos. i got an 80, so i won't complain. no help from chris, even! well, except on one problem.. :)
okay, i'm tired. off to bed!
so i turn my phone on yesterday and it's EMPTY. just empty!
i can add contacts, but it won't save even the last number i dialed...
i realize i gotta get a new phone. i looked around on craigslist and found the perfect one - a nokia with excellent battery life and a camera to boot! the girl stopped by my office today, so now i have a phone that holds numbers again! yay!
okay, anyway, but this is the weird part - as i was telling chris about my empty-phone woes yesterday, he told me his phone went to shit too. it started shutting off by itself and acting all wacko. he ordered a new phone yesterday, too.
THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE STRIKES AGAIN! so next time we go to the bahamas? we leave the phones behind!
So while we were en route to Bimini, I realized I had forgotten all but one day’s worth of Topamax.
I was pretty mad at myself, but then relaxed and said, “It’s okay – maybe they have a Walgreens there and I can just get a refill.”
Chris said, “Stace, you have no clue.”
He had the same reaction when his duct tape wouldn’t stick to anything and I tried to cheer him up by saying once we went “into town” we could buy some better stuff. Again, “Stacey, it’s not like that here.”
This picture is pretty much Bimini’s main road. Note the absolute and total lack of Walgreens.
i was messing around with my f-stop to make the land look out of focus. it worked. :)
this camera was such a good gift! anything chris needed to do that took lots of time? paperwork, reading his boating book, adjusting stuff, etc.? i just snapped pictures. LOVE THE CAMERA. :)
we made it! awesome time! and i felt FINE! quite amazing, actually! chris and i had a really, really nice time. :) today the water was a bit rough - we were "camping" at a dive site so had a pretty rude awakening at, oh, 3 a.m... it has since been a really long day. but it was just a great time, and adventure all-around. i'm so glad we went. glad, again, that i have this wonderful boy to be experiencing things with. :)
quick upload.. i gotta go through and delete the similar pics (obviously i didn't upload everything i took, but i realize there are four very similar pics uploaded, etc.).
anyway, back to the real world; have to be at class in an hour. we just got home at 3! d'oh!
go look at the pics. lots are just focusing on how damn pretty the water was because, well.. it WAS. wow. :)
But hey, at least I'm still going.
We didn't leave today. Obviously.
Last night, I was still hellbent on going, despite feeling like total and utter crap. They call it bull-headed.
I walked over to Winn-Dixie to fullfill my part of the "Stacey prepares the food & bedding, Chris prepares everything else" bargain for this trip. I definitely got the easy part of that. Anyway, so I walk over there to buy fruit, which is the only thing I had left to get. It was SO HOT in there. Finally, I had to ask, "Is it just because I'm sick, or is it actually hot?" It turns out their a/c was broken. Winn-Dixie strikes again! So anyway, I get home and set the bag of stuff on the kitchen counter and then go sit at the table and start crying. And yes, I still thought I was going to the Bahamas in less than 12 hours, in that condition.
A bit earlier last night, Chris realized the windlass (for the anchor, don't ask me why they call it that) wasn't working late last night and mentioned leaving Sunday instead. A hopeful lightbulb went off over my head. But, of course, Chris was being just as stubborn about leaving today as I was being stubborn about going period. I think it eventually sunk in how miserable I was feeling and we decided to call the trip off for Saturday, and try again for Sunday.
As for today, I'm definitely still sick, but it's much better than yesterday.
I spent most of the day in bed. Kitten liked this, because this meant she got to keep me company, by hanging out up in her new favorite spot, the windowsill over the bed. It's both very private, plus unlike under the bed, she's never had her ass kicked by Oreo on the windowsill. Plus, she can see birds and everything else from up there. It's very narrow, but she doesn't seem to mind that, even when she falls off once in a while. ("I meant to do that, duh.")
I think this is horribly cute, especially when her little feet get all pushed up against the curtains.
The bonus is that then Sebastian will come in and not realize she's there and, at some point, she'll wake up or wake up and jump down and all hell will break loose. Today, he was napping with me and she was on the windowsill when she fell down. Sebastian was dead asleep, but JUMPED OUT OF BED. Panic all around, from both species. Lordy. Hopefully he'll eventually come to remember that sometimes there is a furry little creature up hiding behind the curtains. He even gets confused just when she stands up and stretches. Like, "OMG, what's that?" I'm like, hello, remember the kitties? We have three! You see them every day! Every day in the house, even!
Anyway, I did eventually get up to shower, which was a move in the right direction, and then I did get out of bed to go do my usual triangle-about-town to the camera shop and bookstore. Usually Whole Foods is a stop along that route, but today I skipped it.
I did get little comments here and there from shop clerks like, "Oh, I'll hurry dear, you look so tired," but I did make it all the way home without crying or taking my pants off in the car because I was so hot.
The cabin-fever bookstore trip is always the sign that things are looking up. :)
What did I get there? An in-depth D70 manual, as I talked to a professional photog the other day who told me to LEARN MY MANUAL, but sadly I lost my manual and can only find the Spanish version. I tried reading that, but uh... yeah, I'd rather have it in English.
Also, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Season Two. No more impulse buys, dammit, because I could have saved $20 plus tax by buying it off of Amazon! But I had re-watched the entirety of season one over the past week in bed (thanks again, Byron! your christmas gift from YEARS AGO is still giving!!!), so what am I to do? Criminal Intent is definitely my favorite of all the Law & Orders. Favorite show EVER. That Bobby is so good. So smart and so thoughtful! We all know how I feel about him. :)
Aww, and look at how he's looking at me. (I'm normal, right?)
So anyway, we leave for the Bahamas manana, with me and my kleenex in tow. Hopefully we will find someone to cross the Gulfstream with, an issue only thanks to my shitty timing on getting sick. I have big hopes that I will feel ever better tomorrow, and even better on Monday, etc. We'll be coming home Tuesday, and then I have class Tuesday night.
Wish us luck!