photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Archive for September, 2014

Awesome Sale- Awful Vacation

I came back from my vacation with a notice that I made a sale: that’s always nice! Somebody bought a framed print of:

 The Longest Dream

flat,800x800,070,f.u3 It’s a nice feeling that somebody would pay almost $200 for one of my prints. So, to whoever the mystery buyer is, thank you deeply! That made my day.

Unfortunately, our vacation was like a bad SNL skit. It really was the vacation from hell. I blame both of us being overworked-like two highly pressurized pots that have been on the stove for far too long. The best part was sleeping in the car on the first night. We read books on our Androids on an air mattress- priceless! But then we got semi-lost the next day and all hell broke loose. I can’t go into detail, because I don’t want to paint anybody black. There was yelling and cussing and that’s all before we even got to the cabin!

The location was absolutely stunning. But then it all went downhill very quickly, starting with the two large dogs (the size of small horses) which jumped all over us as soon as we got out of the car. The owner, Fred (who took a liking to hanging over his front porch), failed to mention that he and his wife actually lived on the premises too. We weren’t going to be alone as the website indicated; their cabin was only feet away from ours. Strike one.

And then there was the whole no-WiFi thing. The website said there was Wifi- nope! Fred told us that the teens who had stayed there prior to our arriving had used it all up. (Fred conveniently neglected to tell us that part on the phone while booking with him just days before.) Strike two. But the worst part of all was those damn acorns. Not the dry kind that bounces off the roof quietly- no no- these were the heavy, green kind that hit the tin roof with an ear-shattering CRACK. CRACK. CRACK. Every 25-45 seconds- just like clock work, without fail. Strike three.

Kiss your sanity (and any hope of a good night sleep goodbye). I couldn’t go out on my front porch without seeing Fred on his. The entire time, Fred let his dogs roam free, up onto our deck when we were grilling ribs- it didn’t matter. Between the dogs, the lack of internet, and the blasted acorns, I really couldn’t wait to get back home. I did manage to get 10 gigs of beautiful shots. I was only able to edit a few, as it’s back to the grind! Josh is working 12 hours days and I’m back to my 5-7 page research papers. It’s intense, but at least it’s predictable!

Post trip- still sane!

selfieMJbnw

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   Josh on the boat
Josh on boatMJ

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Reflections of trees

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Josh, rocking out on the suspension bridge at Red River Gorge
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Pics taken with Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/3.5 film lens + Canon Rebel XSI/natural lighting/manual

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One Day to Go

Cross Cultural Communications test- A
Research Methods for Experimental Psychology test- A

Apart from my Ethics class (which I hate), I’m maintaining all A’s in my classes. I’m used to my little 100 and 200 level classes. These 300+ level classes are kicking my butt! Really though, it’s nothing compared to what I’ll be doing when I’m working on my Master’s/Clinical Psychology.

My favourite class so far is definitely “Research Methods”. Naturally, there’re a lot of dependent and independent variables and such, but it’s not as heavy on perspectives as I thought it would be. Really, much of it deals with the precision of APA so I’m grateful that I have a good professor who cares about her work and her students. It’s a tough course! I love it though. Although I was only supposed to get a 50% refund for dropping my Statistics course (because it was during the 3rd week), I filed an appeal with the school and attached 10 emails to back up my claims that my professor was grossly under-prepared to teach the course. I have always fought for what I believe in, especially where school is concerned. My appeal was granted, and despite the fact that it was already the 3rd week, I was granted a full refund- 100%. Triumph!

All of my school work is done for the week and I’m super excited: Josh and I are heading to the hills of Kentucky tomorrow! We still need to pack, but we’re both acting positively giddy and can’t wait to leave. We’re wanting to get out of here so bad, we’re thinking about leaving a day early and sleeping on an air mattress in the back of the Rodeo. For me, there’s something romantic about camping out in the truck and listening to the sounds of crickets in the middle of nowhere. Then on the 2nd and 3rd nights we’ll be at the cabin. I can’t believe it’s been a year since our last vacation together! This is long overdue.

I plan on taking all 3 of my film lenses: the Super Tak 135/3.5, Helios 44-2, and my Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.8. I’m loving my Zeiss at the moment. It has a great film quality texture to it that I just don’t get with digital lenses and the exposure has a bit of a natural glow to it. I took a solitary walk on my birthday the other day at a place that Josh and I named Bullfrog Creek. Here are some sample pics from my walk (the train bridge was high up in the air- about 11 stories up- my dog was terrified):

Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.8 film lens + digital camera/Canon Rebel XSI

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It’s 2:21 a.m. and Josh just left to go get chocolate truffles, Jolly Ranchers and Pringles for me (after working a 14 hour day). What a man! I’m wiped out. Time to call it a day…


Did he Really Just Say That?

I was watching a “controversial sermon” (as the interwebs is calling it) made by the wife of Joel Osteen, Victoria Osteen, on serving God and self. I don’t think this is controversial at all. People are going bananas because Victoria Osteen was preaching and said that when we serve God, we’re really “doing what makes us happy” rather than God. She was endorsing this particular method of serving God and telling the congregation to do just that, because when we make ourselves happy, we make God happy. This shouldn’t be taken out of context! For example, if a person is a kleptomaniac, it’s not going to make God happy if they steal, if stealing makes that person happy, etc.

However, I do think Victoria Osteen is on to something in that when we are playing into our altruistic ways and doing good for others, we are in fact “serving ourselves” in our deeds too. She was merely highlighting this aspect of “self” which can be seen throughout various psychological perspectives, as I’ve learned through my studies. I can’t say I’m in 100% agreement with her, but I can’t dispute her claim altogether either.

But this isn’t the jaw-dropping part. Steve Camp, a pastor and former chart-topper in the Christian music world, said in a Huffington Post clip (at 2:55- 3:28), “Victoria seems like a sweet person but an uninformed person. She can’t be a pastor of a church- there’s no place in the Scripture for a woman to be a co- pastor of anything, and…she needs to be discipled. She seems immature yet very sincere in what she’s claiming.”  (http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/highlight/christians-react-to-victoria-osteens-controversial-sermon/540e11b5fe3444535b0001dc?cn=tbla)

Dude! What?

I cannot believe in 2014 that such ignorance is still thriving. How in the world can a person think that God is limited and that He cannot move His Spirit upon a woman if He so chooses? This level of ignorance is shocking. I could pop off a fat handful of  Scriptures right now- from memory alone- that proves that God can and indeed does encourage women to preach- and not only encourages them but ordains them.

The very fact that God says that we (both male and female) are created in His image tells a person that God is not just male, but female too.

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Gen. 1:27)

Here’s something else to consider: There’s a place in the book of Numbers where God sends a prophet, Balaam, to go and speak to the people in a town. The prophet decided to not go and changes his direction. When the donkey he was riding on actually corrected the prophet’s misdirection, the prophet smote the ass, hurting it. This happened three times, causing the donkey to actually speak out- as in- using actual words so that the prophet understood it:

“And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass and she said unto Balaam, ‘What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?”‘ (Num. 22:28)

What does this Scripture tell us?

It tells us that if God can open a donkey’s mouth and cause it to speak, don’t think He can’t open a woman’s mouth and cause her to preach.

And here’s one for the road, which eradicates sexist claims, such as what Mr. Camp offered:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:28)

And here’s another important Scripture to chew on. Deborah, who was a prophetess, judge, and warrior–mentioned in the book of Judges–was chosen to lead Israel out of the hands of their oppressors. The people had prayed for a leader, and they were given Deborah- a woman.

People came and sought advice from her under a palm tree, where she used to sit:

And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. (Judges 4:5)

Barak, a warrior, sought advice from her about going into battle. in so many words, she told him that sure, she would go with him (being a warrior too), but that there would be no glory in it for him and that the Lord would deliver their enemy into the hands of a woman:

“And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.” (Judges 4:9)

Sexist men, who think a woman must “remain silent in the church”- please- educate yourselves in the Bible before opening your mouths, calling women “immature” and saying that they have no place to preach. Be a disciple yourself and stop limiting God’s strength and power. Does Jesus not say that all things are possible with God?

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, ‘With men’ this is impossible but with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

If you are truly a “believer”, then believe.


My Head is a Wreck Again

It’s been a while since I’ve battled one of these migraines: I’ve grown a little too comfortable without them. Life has been a dizzying whir of cramming chapters again, quizzes, and posting a ton of forum posts per class. Some professors are asking for 6 posts in a week. (That’s an unusually large amount for one week.) I ended up dropping my Statistics class because…well…my professor was less than competent. On the first week of class, he was still vacationing in the wilderness of remote Alberta. By the end of the week, we still didn’t have a syllabus or our course ID number for the MyStatLab. (Um, what am I paying for again? Can I get a competent teacher up in this mug?)

Still, I managed to get the 100+ Statistic problems finished that he asked for- all without extending our due dates up a week. Unfortunately, that much math ended up causing me to be late in another class, and although I was only late for one forum discussion board, my professor- my communications professor– cited me as a “risk”- all because I was late for ONE FORUM POSTING. Let’s keep in mind that I emailed her 3 times and she never responded. Communications my ass.

But that’s not the bad part. The bad part is that she herself had a family tragedy and forgot to post week 3’s assignment. For 3 days. But I’m a “risk”. (Hello? Is there a button I can push to notify somebody of my professor being a risk?) If you can’t walk the walk- don’t talk the talk!

I have a heap of assignments due still by Sunday but after 6+ hours of straight schoolwork- I’m toast. Normally, that would just be my starting point, but 6 hours with a brooding semi-migraine is quite an accomplishment. Josh has gone to retrieve the remedy. I won’t say what the remedy is, but if you know me well enough, you know what that remedy is. (It’s not pot and I sort of wish it was.) Alas, I hate pot.

So tonight, I’ll lounge in bed with my laptop watching Project Free TV, nursing my head, and I hope I’m eating bad crap and feeling really good about it.

Grrrr…

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Painting with Light

Pics taken manually with the Super Tak film lens + Digital Rebel XSI. Natural sunlight- some SOOTC/straight out of the camera/Spring Mill Park- Mitchell, Indiana 9/8/14 (“Painting with Light” my interpretation– start out with total blackness. Bring in the light subtly via ISO/sh. sp./ & ap.) 

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SOOTC/straight out of the camera- cropped only

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Another SOOTC/cropped only
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Unhappy Customer

It’s 3:10 a.m. and I’ve just finished up 7 hours of Statistics. Why 7 hours you might ask? Because my professor was unable to get our class up and running for the whole first week (and our corresponding online homework site) and it set us back a week. Rather than move our schedule up by a week, he’s left the due date for 100+ 3 and 4 part math problems (some taking a 10 minute completion for one problem) at Sept. 6th at midnight. I was only able to access the site 3 days ago, so this left me trying to complete a GAZILLION freaking problems today. I actually managed this insane task- barely. (My only other option was to drop the course and that ain’t happening.) 

Rather than sleep, I’m going to jump right into my assignments in my other classes, because:

a.) They’re due today by midnight, and

b.) Who needs sleep anyway?!

The good thing about this schedule is that you’re both too busy and distracted to be depressed. 

Josh hasn’t had a day off in more than a month: We see each other in passing these days. We still managed to sneak in a dinner date last night at the river where we dined on Vietnamese just before midnight. 

I need a freaking vacation already…

The  Big Sleep


This and That

I’m honestly too tired to think of a clever title. I’m beginning to think I was mad to attempt 5 classes this semester! Alas, the boat has left the shore so onward I go. Here’s what my schedule’s looking like for the next few days:

Cross-cultural Communications– Read chap. 1 & do DB/Discussion Board-respond to 2 classmate’s posts/take exam

Research Methods of Experimental Psychology– Complete CITI training/DB postings/Read chap. 4- take Ethics exam

Ethics– “Think & Write” assignment/Read chap. 1/Read Plato’s Republic (various chapters), Lord of the Rings commentary and chapter excerpts & discussion along with The Rings of Tolkien & Plato, DB/Discussion Board on Chap. 1/Respond to 3 classmate’s threads

Everyday Psychology– Read chap. 1/Journal entry/Do both DBs and take exam

Statistical Techniques for Health Professionals– do 90 more Stat problems on descriptive and inferential Statistics + 2 quizzes and 1 test

That about wraps it up for week two!

My day began with me taking my Mom to her doctor’s appointment at 9:00 a.m. Her medication levels were off and she was toxic. Thankfully we caught it in time. Afterwards, my day was a flurry of activity but I managed to squeeze in a mile walk at the park with the dog- back to flurried activity- supper (Mom and brother fed- check!) 5 hours of schoolwork- milkshakes at Steak ‘n Shake with the fam-back outside for another late night walk with the dog. I’m pretty sure my punctuation is blown all to hell but I’m too tired to check. 

So, at almost 2:00 a.m., I’m off to slap some Proactive on my face and brush my teeth- slam an Ambien and drift off into blissful nothingness. I’ll be back when I come up for air!

Taken today at the park- Helios 44-2/manual exposure

form

punch

Louisville

Downtown Jeffersonville/Louisville, KY in the background


Old Leaves- New Day

leaves Canon XSI + m42 (to EOS) EF adapter + Helios 44-2/manual/natural sunlight/ ISO 100/ f/2
The marriage of digital camera + old (Helios) film lens imported from the Ukraine
Taken today