Bittersweet Memories

I’m terrible at taking pictures when I’m with people. This weekend I went driving with a friend, no pictures. My parents were visiting for the weekend and I have no proof that they were here. I talked with my sister on the phone and got ready for dinner and discussed the merits of air conditioning in Southern California. We went to eat at a restaurant and I didn’t even take a picture of the dessert. I’m a terrible instagramer. Breakfast, church, and a softball game and the only pictures I posed for live in other people’s phones.

The world of technology and social media demands photographic evidence. Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest (which I’m not even on), and Facebook all want me to upload pictures of my day, my night, my weekend for my friends to see and provide commentary on.

Honestly, I just forget.

I leave my phone at home or forget that my DSLR is in my bag. My battery dies. I’m just plain bad at taking pictures.

And I don’t care.

Instead of pictures I have memories. This weekend I combed through a box of things to see what I wanted and what to send back to San Francisco with my mom. I remember reading the New York Times while my dad made his way through the Wall Street Journal. I remember a delicious dinner and a beautiful breakfast. Introducing my parents to the world that I live in now and some of the people in it.

It’s so strange to me to be emotional about seeing them. They live a short 6 hours away. I spent 2 and a half years going back and forth to Chicago and almost never feeling homesick. I guess now it’s real. I live here now. My job is here, my church is here, my everything is here. And I wont be going back.

Talk about bittersweet.

From My Lens: Seattle in Pictures

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I wanted to share a few pictures from my weekend in Seattle… you know, about a week late.  I went to visit my friend Allason and we got a chance to hang out with another friend from our high school and see some of the city.  Al has also been an intern for the Seattle International Film Festival, so we got to go to one of the SIFF parties so I could meet some of her co-workers.

These pictures are mostly from the Ballard Locks, and from the Olympic Sculpture Garden.  Allason also took a bunch of portraits of me in the Sculpture Garden, one of which is my new profile picture.

I’ve noticed that I tend to be drawn to geometric shapes that appear in everyday life in my photography.  I like the order that they allude to, while at the same time, there is usually some amount of randomness in the frame as well.  I don’t know what that means for my photography (if anything), but I like the affect.

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Halfway Mark

I never really cared much about my half birthday until a few years ago when my friend and I decided that we were internally 7 and 5 respectively and we turned the next age on our half birthdays.  That said, I am “turning” 8 this year, specifically  last Wednesday was my half birthday.

That being said, halfway is a great place to check in with my goals for 21, the things I thought of when I turned 21 that I wanted to do during the year.  From this post, my goals were:

  • being intentional about my choices
  • establishing a habit of devotionals
  • scheduling time to get things done
  • routines for… health, beauty, photography, and blogging

How’s that for vague and ambiguous?  I’ll start with the things that I’ve done.  I’ve done very well with establishing a habit of devotions.  While I don’t know I would claim to have a routine for blogging, I have been keeping up with it quite well.  Meanwhile, photography has majorly stalled.  There has been no movement on beauty routines and any movement made on health over winter break has come to a screeching halt upon moving to Los Angeles.  I will claim to have been pretty good at scheduling over the fall semester, but that took a nose dive over the break.

As to “intentional choices”, the most ambiguous of them all, I’m really not sure how to respond to it.  I made the choice to come out to LA to do this program, something I didn’t foresee last September at all.  I spent a lot of time praying about it, and especially praying about where my life will go after moving.  Will I stay here or go back to Chicago?  As I’ve said multiple times through this transition, I have a lot of options and none of them suck (at least from my perspective).

But does praying over a decision make it “intentional”?  I’m not sure.  What about other choices I’ve made?  Since September I’ve gone to industry events in Chicago and LA.  I’ve made many knitted things and spent time with friends and family near and far.  I’ve gone home for Thanksgiving, and then spent two and a half months living at home.  I’ve started and finished many a television series.  I’ve planned and plotted a few of my own TV shows (both in reality and in the hypothetical).  What makes any of these things intentional?

The think that seems to be missing from this intention equation is what the intention should be leading toward.  It’s hard to have intent without a goal set in that intention.  So what was my goal in setting this intention last September?  Honestly, I’m not sure there was one, and I’m not sure what I would add to it now.  In intend to make the most out of the opportunities that have been given me, but that’s still not measurable.

Perhaps the best way to go about it is to say that instead of making my choices with “intention” whatever that means, I want to consult God when making be decisions.  That is measurable and solid.  With changing to that as a goal, I can say that I have done that so far this year, and I hope to continue doing it.

I don’t know what opportunities will be available to me in these next six months, but I know that whatever choices I make I want them to reflect God’s plan for me.  He has a perfect plan for my life and He will tell me what to do next.  I don’t know where it will lead, but I know He’s got this.

And who am I to mess with God’s plans?  Nobody, that’s who.

From My Lens: Around Here Lately

There has been so much going on in the past few days and weeks that I’ve barely gotten a moment to stop and think so much as even try to figure any of this out.  I thought it might be a good time to take a step back and look at what’s been going on around here lately.  Friends, a new space, and new productions abound and I couldn’t be more blessed to have them.

I also am being forced to take stock of my photos while I struggle to find my camera battery’s charger.  Bonus, I think I may have messed up the card reader on my computer when I put the protector back in the wrong way.  Real life y’all.  Sometimes it comes up when you’re trying to be all pensive and thoughtful.

The world of _ vs. _

I seem to have accidentally gotten into a camera showdown with my roommate the other day.  She’s  a Canon Girl and my fingers have never known anything but Nikon.  I was checking out her camera and she was explaining all the things she loved about it.  I was curious, and wound up bringing mine in for a side-by-side comparison.  I hope she didn’t take it the wrong way, because I know she loves her camera, and I love my camera.  They’re just really different beasts.  Everything from the way the body’s settings adjust to the way the lenses move.

Here’s the thing though, and this is true for a lot of things, neither one is better.  People get into arguments good over evil, and they’re discussing things like Mac verses Windows.  Cat verses dogs.  Pirates verses Ninjas.  And if we really look at it we can see that none of that is really constructive.  It just pits people against each other and makes enemies out of people who otherwise might be really good friends.

People are different.  Unique.  That’s the way the world works.  And if it wasn’t then we would all be the same and the world would be boring.  But you know that.  You’ve heard it a thousand times.  Our freedom of choice is what makes us human and what, in turn, binds us together as humans.

Hmm, that got a little preachy-er than I intended it to, but the point remains.  I am going to go and do some chores and homework and get on with this day I have because I’m actually fantastically excited to be getting so much done so early in the day.

A Proper Dinner?

I have been wanting to have a proper dinner party for a while.  It’s even on my 21 Before 21 list.  I don’t really consider this a proper dinner party.  There were no invitations.  There were no RSVPs, but it was a sit down meal which is a step in the right direction.

There are no people in these pictures, but there were people there I promise.  I’m just not sure that the people who were there would like me to post their pictures.  I know them, but they are more Emma’s friends than mine.  Sort of.  But we don’t have to get into my whole I don’t really know who is my friend in college issues, that seems like a post for another time.

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Around Town: Friends and Newness

The Embarcadero at Christmas time.

Just a collection of pictures taken over winter break.  Soaking up San Francisco, spending time with friends, and getting ready for the newness of the coming semester.
The roommate took me out to sushi.

Waiting for the fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

Around Town: Climbing SFMoMA

I’ve got climbing on the brain.  After a trip to Sports Basement last week all I can think of is when I’ll get a chance to climb again.  I haven’t been since October, and I’m really itching to go.  This lead to a lengthy discussion of instillation piece that’s in the atrium of SFMoMA with my Grandpa.  I’m still a little puzzled as to the exact logistics of how it was done, but I think it’s one of the coolest things there.

Of course, the exhibit we went to see, on Richard Serra’s drawings, was no photography allowed.  I was a little ticked, but it was still a great exhibit.  Richard Serra is one of my favorite artists, because he forces you to experience his work, not just see it.  This showcase of his early work was a bit different then what I’m used to, but it was beautiful nonetheless.  One room in particular had two black canvases stretching to the ceiling.  When you enter the room completely you can feel the walls grow around you.  So cool.

These pictures are just general around the museum pictures.  Mostly the aforementioned instillation piece, and the sculpture garden.

From My Lens: We Smell Like Smoke

The Birthday Girl with her lovely boyfriend.

My friend Brittany’s birthday was this weekend and so a bunch of us hung out at the beach, made a bonfire, and ate hot dogs and s’mores.  We watched the sunset and we were all taking pictures of everything.  Oh, the Waldorf children that we are.

This was the first time I’ve used this camera, it’s a 6-year-old Nikon D50.  My dad got it for my mom as a present, but it was one of those presents that you say is for the other person, but is really for you.  When he upgraded, my sister laid claim to it, as I was uninterested at the time.  I commandeered it for while I’m home and may even take it with me back to Chicago.  Though, it doesn’t seem to want to let me adjust the settings, so I’ll have to get it checked out before I drag it all the way back.

Hanging out just before sunset (note the long shadows).

Owen finally arrived.

Playing with the light.

And practicing my framing.

My shoes.  Because I want to.

Manetteie!

New Layout!

Anyone notice anything different?  It’s a new layout!  Granted it’s not a custom design or anything, but I made the header myself and I’m pretty proud of it if I do say so myself.  I don’t have photoshop so this was a picasa and picnic dealio, which is fine with me.  I do wish the image was a little sharper, so maybe once my photoshop expert comes back from vacation he can help me out.

{Trevor if you’re reading this, come home!  I miss you and our late night IM conversations discussing TV shows and our crazy families.  Also, I need to show you pictures of new IKEA furniture}

Anywho.  I’m very excited about the new header for two reasons.  One of which I’ve already mentioned, that I made it myself.  The second reason is because I’m working on creating multiple versions.  Since I am so lucky as to be able to call so many different places home, I am creating different banners for different places where I feel at home.  Whenever I change locations the banner will change to show where I am.  The banner right now is a picture of San Francisco that I took while waiting for the bus.  I am working on a banner for Chicago (because that’s where I actually am right now), and possibly one for traveling as well.  I’m hoping that this will be an effective way to say where I’m blogging from without having to mention it in every post.

I’m very excited for this whole thing (can you tell).

Edited to add: Chicago header is now up.  You should have seen how excited I was with how both of them came out.  Very happy.