July 29, 2012

I herd there were sheep.

Brianna and I had a photo adventure the other day.  She had asked me to pose for her final project in her black and white photography class and, well, I wasn't going to say no!  I'm excited to see the results.  She's been taking some really neat photos that are well worth checking out.  This one is probably my favorite thus far (there's more she hasn't been able to upload), but the others are quite superb too.
While traversing the local streets, we discussed her desire to be more of a fine artist.  Her senior schedule isn't lending to that -- apparently they're not even offering drawing and painting 1 anymore -- and so I gladly said I would get together with her and teach her what I could!  I figured I have some tips and tricks to pass on, maybe more than most.  My high school art teacher was very savvy and often had her way of doing things that were often helpful.  What'd she call them?  Old granny tips?  Old lady shortcuts?  Something like that. 

Along the lines of arts and crafts, I worked my bum off to finish making all the summer mix CDs and their album covers these past few days.  Blogger Family members, expect to see packages in your mailboxes sometime next week!  I'm mailing them out Monday because I (stupidly) missed the noon deadline yesterday and, as we all know, no post on Sundays!

I still haven't seen any of the Olympics, including the Opening Ceremony, after constantly getting hyped for "the 27th!"  I feel like a hypocrite.  Seriously. I just know Floridian swimmer Ryan Lochte won some race over Phelps.  I bet the kid I babysit for is happy.  He is a junior Olympic swimmer himself and entirely man crushing on Lochte.  More power to him, I suppose. 

I hate getting irrational when someone doesn't text me back.  Fortunately I know if Stephen doesn't respond he's busy watching Breaking Bad.  Amazingly, he has now seen more of the show than I have.  He's basically almost done with season four.  I'm happy (because now we can talk fangirl about it together) yet also mighty jealous (I really love the show. Like, really, REALLY love the show.)

Last night I watched the first episode of Sherlock.  I finally get it.  I finally understand all the hype surrounding it and adoration for it.  I still don't see the appeal of Benedict Cumberbatch, if I'm honest, -- perhaps because I've seen him like this in Starter for 10 -- but I'll admit he does play one hella awesome Sherlock Holmes.  The chemistry between him and Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman) is undeniably fantastic as well.  I'm eagerly looking forward to watching more!

Film-wise I also saw Hugo recently, which was magical and definitely worth seeing, and The Artist, which wasn't too special.  Yes, it was a silent film and in black-and-white -- big deal.  So were hundreds of other early movies.  Besides, I fell more in love with the sets and costuming than the characters or plot, if that says anything.  If you're ever curious what my succinct thoughts of a movie are, I'm working on making my Goodfllms profile up to date.  It says I can share said thoughts (more like 140 character blurbs) via Twitter and I might start doing that, provided it's not too annoying.  I would probably only do it for things just out on DVD or still playing in the cinema.  Besides, do you really care if I'm re-watching something starring James McAvoy?  Well, you should care.  Ah, you know what mean...

I'm out to Thai Thai with Emilia tonight.  I haven't seen her in FOREVER.

I hope your summer days are going well!

Days until I start college: 33
Days until my birthday: 73

July 24, 2012

Another year.

These past two years, defining moments in my summer have surrounded around Puja's and Regina's birthdays.  Given they have the luxury of time to plan and not worry about school, they usually host parties or more extravagant get togethers.  For comparison, Aniesa and I have been merely bombarded with  cake and presents during lunch at school.  The only flaw is that the "party" lasts for about 30 minutes and then we go take a math test or something.  And weekends would be a time to hold a better event, but inevitably there is a huge group project worth a chunk of our grade due around that time too and it's just not feasible. But I digress.

Her 18th birthday was fairly similar to years' past: She opened her presents.  We ate dinner.  We watched Hercules.  We made stupid comments about it.  It's becoming a tradition of ours to watch the Disney classic together, specifically at Regina's house.  I think this time made it three?

Afterwards we went to the local midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.  I personally loved the movie.  But maybe I'm just biased towards Christopher Nolan?  I'm not sure.  I have small gripes, but nothing looking at Joseph Gordon-Levitt and listening to a gorgeous score couldn't fix.

We slept over at Regina's house once it was over.  When I awoke after a meager five hours of sleep, Regina told me about the shooting in Aurora, Colorado at a similar midnight screening of the movie and I was saddened.  Why must these tragedies occur?  I wish I had something more poetic to say, but I really don't.  Must be the lack of sleep.

This quote helps sum up my feelings, though:
"The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about Basketball Diaries?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it. The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.” In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy." -- Roger Ebert

Recently, I made a profile on a site called Goodfilms, which is essentially the Goodreads of, well, films. I'd love to be friends with anyone via it, should you be interested!  I think it's pretty neat to keep track.

I think by now everyone is flying to and/or packing for the Seattle Trip of Dreams and Wonder!  I hope you guys have an AWESOME time and I can't wait to Skype with everyone.  Travel safe and be smart!   I'll eagerly read all about it when you get back.

Days until I start college: 37
Days until my birthday: 77

July 18, 2012

The Twin Cities

I can't believe it's almost been a year since I visited.
P.S. I apologize for the shakiness (in the first video especially).  What can I say?  I am not a professional film crew and I was in a moving car for the majority of the trip.
P.P.S. I hope to film awesome things when I go for Orientation and stuff. Yup.

Stay awesome.

Days until I start college: 44
Days until my birthday: 84

July 15, 2012

Simple math.

As I write this, I am listening to Amy's 2.10.12 mix she sent me recently.  It's suburb.  I also can't wait to listen to her favorite Regina Spektor songs she compiled!  Thanks for sending those, m'dear!  My plan is to send yours summer '12 mix tomorrow. I find I enjoy sharing music with friends.  Thus, when I go buy more blank CDs, (because at the moment I only have six left) I think nearly every member of the Blogger Family will end up with a unique summer '12 playlist from yours truly.  I hope you don't mind.

We -- Aniesa, Andrea, Puja, and Regina -- ate at CiCi's for Puja's belated 18th birthday celebration.  Amidst shoving our faces full with delicious pizzas -- and in Aniesa's case, cinnamon rolls -- from the buffet, Regina told us about a 'pretty' guy who dressed as Flynn when she was Rapunzel for a Disney photoshoot.  We rightfully gave her a hard time for not putting the moves on him and she (probably rightfully) kept saying it would've been awkward and blah, blah, blah.  She made a big deal about he and she were practically the same person so if that's not divine intervention, what is?

So I'm really not sure if this photo alone does the fun evening/night/early morning of July 10/11th justice, but it will have to suffice. P.S. I love the look Puja's giving me, though I'm sure she'd hate it. Then again she hates almost every photo she's in, which is silly.

We headed to Marble Slab Creamery afterwards, yet only after trying to google their hours as Puja maneuvered the parking lot at 1 mph.  I'm not kidding.  She literally drove at 1 mph for a minute or two until we confirmed the place was still open and we busted out laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation.  Thankfully no one else was around to know or care.  
At Marble Slab we had a hard time choosing what we wanted.  My camera hung around my neck and unexpectedly the girl working there complimented me on it; saying she had one just like it before it was stolen.  We continued carrying on a nice conversation as she made mine and friends' bowls of the advertised gourmet ice cream and I took pictures.   
I learned the girl's name was Sophia and I introduced myself in return. She kindly offered to take a group picture of my friends and I, but I declined on account that I like being the photographer on outings.  Maybe this will change. 
She told me about her life; how she lived in New York for a long time and then moved to Florida, where she met her boyfriend, Steven, who was actually working alongside her at the creamery.  I asked if I could take her picture and she was happy to oblige.  Afterwards we exchanged full names so we could become Facebook friends, and I could tag her in the photos I took.  I like that I can talk to complete strangers and end up meeting perfectly pleasant people.  I think this bodes well for the rest of my life, but especially these next four years away at college!

We still had the adventure of bowling ahead of us.  The parking lot was fortunately uncrowded. (We didn't get to bowl last time we came because a league was renting the alley out.)  But then we walked in and they were announcing they would start check-ins for the free bowling night at ten.  So Aniesa got the five of us on the waiting list should a reservation not be redeemed and lo and behold we got a lane.  That doesn't mean we didn't wait around about twenty minutes just shooting the breeze and trying to devise a back-up plan. Putt-putt golfing was on the table, but I'm ultimately glad we got to do what Puja initially intended to do.
They turned the lights off and the alley was transformed into a cosmic atmosphere (no pun intended).  I took other pictures and video as we bowled to our hearts content, which coincidentally was until half past midnight, which coincidentally was also when they were telling us to leave.  We finally made our way home in Puja's car, blasting old songs like "Kiss Me Thru Da Phone" and enduring Regina's screeching voice. 

A minute from her house Puja slowed down to 1 mph again and Aniesa leaped out and ran a lap around the moving car.  Convinced we should all do it, we did, laughing hysterically as we got back in, obviously proud of what we'd just accomplished.

Like I said, it was a pretty fantastic night.

I don't feel like going in-depth about any one of these, but my other adventures include: Breakfast and a photoshoot with Brianna, Starbucks and catching up with Tova, babysitting, and hanging out with Stephen.

In college related news, I learned I got the First Year Course I wanted!  I had to pre-register for the class at the end of last month, but this decision is final.  The class is called Studies in Literature: Art and Violence and these are the likely texts I'll be reading for it.  We'll also be watching a selection of films, yet I'll be honest and say I haven't memorized the list.  I know quite a few are adaptations of novels, though, like V for Vendetta, and Trainspotting.  Needless to say I'm unbelievably excited for the fall!  All my other friends are either leaving or just coming back from Orientation and I'm still here patiently waiting my turn.

I hope you're well.

Days until I start college: 47
Days until my birthday: 87

July 06, 2012

Point me in the right direction.

I've started a new 365 project.
Don't ask me why I get the urge to start these mid-year.
All I know is that I have a passion for photography,
an awesome camera I should use more often,
and moments worth documenting.

I'm only eight days in so far, 
but unlike last year's failed attempt,
I am determined to make each deadline.
I can't guarantee they will all be breathtaking,
or necessarily that interesting for the viewer,
(though that is certainly one of my goals,)
but I can assure you they will all be meaningful.

I also have plans for two other photography projects,
which I will disclose at a later date.

P.S. If you're interested in a copy of my summer playlist, let me know!
I'd be happy to send you one!