I’m quite sure that I enjoy pulling all-nighters because it’s the closest thing to getting high that I do these days. (For the record, I stopped smoking pot/getting high a decade ago. So these days, catching a natural sleep-deprived buzz is about all the “partying” that I do any more.) I do love my sleep, I really do, but there’s just something about romancing that space at the edge of dreams…walking in that head-space…that I really love. When coming upon the 28th hour or so without sleep, things start getting a little goofy and slap-happy. It’s so much easier to smile in that place. And smile I do. 🙂
It’s only been about 23 hours without sleep so far; not so bad, really. I know that if I were to come back to this post in a few years, I’d have no recollection of writing this (right now) at all. Well, now that I’ve pointed that out and have just retrieved those encoded thoughts from my episodic memory- I sort of screwed that up, haven’t I? Too late for that thought cluster. (At this point, I’m wondering just how much of this rubbish monologue that I’ll even be able to comprehend later on down the road.) My eyelids feel like they’re made of concrete, but I’m more rebellious than sleepy, so I’ll check back in a bit and see if I’m still making sense.
Things have been going SO well lately. My semester has just ended- I’ve added two more A’s to my grades- whew! I’ll be honest; I thought getting my Master’s degree was going to be a cake walk, I really did. But DANG if I don’t have to write 15 pages of APA-stuffed papers weekly. This is so writing intensive. Two more classes and I’ll have wrapped up my first year. I can hardly believe it! Time is just flying by.
My next two classes will be Substance Abuse Prevention and Neurobiology of Addiction. I’m going to absolutely devour the latter one. I’ve waited patiently for that class and am really excited about taking that one. I love most anything to do with neurobiology, but especially addiction issues.
Josh doesn’t work for Calvin any more. He’s worked for him (off and on) for 11 years. He realized that as long as he stayed with him there, he’d never advance and grow and blossom and all of that good stuff that he’s needed to do for the longest time. So he called another flooring company and it just so happened that the owner had a position on a small crew that had an immediate opening, and in fact, they needed another man. Right on the spot, Josh was offered a position with that company at $3 per hour more than what he was making with Calvin. We couldn’t believe it! Proof that when God opens doors, He lets you know that it’s Him– without a doubt. He makes it so that all you have to do is simply walk through that open door. We complicate things, we humans- we really do. We put up fleeces and practically dare God. As if we’re challenging Him, or playing a game of some kind. But really, all we need to do is cry out to Him, seek His will in the matter, be willing to accept a “no” just as much as a “yes”, and wait patiently on Him.
God is the ultimate mathematician, and artist, and linguist, and everything else one can think of. We just need to trust Him.
So Josh and I are starting a brand, new chapter in our lives. We’re so excited! We’ll have a lot more money, and the fact that Josh is making decent money now means that I’ll be able to sock away some $$$ into my savings account without touching it. I can live with that. 😉
Well I can hear the sheep bleating over the hilltops; they’re coming for me!
I won’t fight ’em off this time…
Lensbaby Composer- Somewhere in the woods
And it’s called that because it’s my last day of my bachelor’s (in Psychology) program today, and I’m taking my last final exam in the morning. I can’t believe I’ve made it through! As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be graduating with honours and I’ve finally been fully inducted into the Society of Leadership and Success.
I’m so excited to be getting my life back. Everything feels SO GOOD right now and I’m beyond ecstatic. There’s a certain feeling a woman has after giving birth. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a feeling of indescribable triumph. As if she made it through death itself and escaped with her life.
Well that’s how I feel. 🙂
Anyway, I didn’t want to go on about all of that again. Just had to jot these feelings down while they’re here, because God knows that those dark clouds are just over the hill and they’ll be rolling in soon enough.
But today, it was beautiful. The sun was shining down and there was a golden-grey glow covering everything in sight, despite the cool rain falling down and splashing on me…
Lensbaby Composer/ f/ 5.6-Spring Mill Park
Cattails/Lensbaby Composer f/5.6- ISO 400
Everything looks better in black and white. 🙂 (I know a few hundred people who’d agree.)
Spring Mill Park- Mitchell, Indiana – a warm day in February, on a day trip with Josh and Brianna- very little editing/Lensbaby Composer/ f/5.6
I don’t remember a crazier time in my life than the past 6 months.
I’ve been dealing with a dying family member, the hospitalization of one of my children, an ongoing legal situation that has drawn on for more than 3 years, and 9 months of freezing cold “Arctic showers”, thanks to a rickety old water heater.
Believe me when I say, those cold showers are no joke. I’m not at liberty to expound on any of the (aforementioned) scenarios- save the water heater- but suffice to say, this year has already damn near killed me.
But, you know what they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you
stronger bitter as hell! 🙂
But really, thankfully, we’ve finally been able to replace the water heater and are at long last taking scalding hot showers once again. The legal situation seems to be coming to an end, my child has made a miraculous recovery, and life seems to be slowly stabilizing once again, making me believe that it just might be doable. What’s made everything particularly challenging is the fact that I’ve battled through all of these things tackling 5 classes as well. The 5 classes alone are enough to take someone down, but combined with everything else, it’s really tested me to the fullest.
As long as I can come through it all with some compassion left in my heart and serenity in my soul- I really can’t ask for more than that. Understandably, I blew an exam in one of my Psych. classes- (unacceptable!)- but still have 4 strong A’s in my remaining 4 classes, so I’ll be working extra hard to repair my grade in my Psychology of Personality course. My GPA is still right at 3.6, but I’m working hard to try and boost that up to a 3.8 before applying to grad. school over the next few weeks.
I’ve been working hard trying to complete all of my requirements (on the side) for the Society of Leadership and Success, and I’m 3 small projects away from being fully inducted. Afterwards, I’ll be able to take advantage of most of the Society’s scholarships. I’m racing against so many deadlines! I’ll be graduating in May, so I’m continually racing against this merciless clock- and the world seems to be spinning so fast. The days are just flying by.
I’m so busy that I haven’t been able to go out on a proper photo shoot, except for the picnic at Spring Mill Park last weekend that Josh and I were able to take with Brianna. She’s been staying with us for the past week and I’ve been so happy to have my little girl back, if even for a few days. Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences is going remarkably well; I can’t believe I have an A in the class still. On that note, I can’t believe I’m still making the Dean’s List so far this semester. I’m almost at the halfway point: I just have to keep hanging in there. I nabbed a shot of a few (mock) soldiers out at the Pioneer Village on Saturday; it would have been better if the modern-day cars weren’t included in the shot, but I don’t have time to clone them out right now. Still, it’s a cool shot. And that super furry dude isn’t Wild Bill Hickok, it’s Josh, with his winter beard that I love.
The last of the snow- taken last week
Josh, overlooking the Ohio River at a restaurant called “The Overlook”
View of the Ohio River at the Overlook
Spring Mill Park/Lensbaby Composer/ f/5.6- manual- Feb. 20- Pioneers
Note to self: clone out those cars!
Josh and Brianna on our picnic
Josh, in the Weaver’s House- Pioneer Village
One of my favourite pics of Josh ever- love that BG.
Taken yesterday. Lensbaby Composer f/4.
The obligatory selfie/taken yesterday/Lensbaby Composer
This is the sunset that almost got me arrested yesterday:
Modified Lensbaby Composer + Canon Rebel XSI + golden hour lighting
Josh and I were out driving through the beautiful country of Starlight, Indiana. We’d had a glass of Apple Spice wine from the orchard and were enjoying the sunshine. I glanced over through the trees and saw the sun beaming through and knew I had to get that shot (shown above). I didn’t alter any colours in it: it’s SOOTC (Straight Out Of the Camera). What you see is how it looked in person. It was incredibly beautiful.
So I parked the car a quarter of a mile down on the side of the road, and as I tiptoed through the field (barefooted, naturally), I happened to notice there was a man standing on the road directly to my left. He didn’t speak, he just watched me. If I could count the times strange people just showed up to watch me shoot. Grrr.
I took my cue to go, and as I was going, he said, “I just wanted to make sure everything was alright.”
That translates to, “I live right down the road and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let you take a picture of this here field.”
I showed him the shot and let him know I was harmlessly taking a pic, and skidaddled off to our Rodeo Isuzu. Not even 45 seconds later, we passed a cop car going in the direction of where we had just come. Jimbob had called the law.
Not that we were doing anything wrong. But out in redneck country, you’re either going to get shot at, or have to outrun the police like we did. And so began our hurried exit, snaking through every jijagged turn we could make, and flying back to the city. Believe me when I say, photography is not a boring hobby! “Dealing” with the cops is part of the package.
Alas, it was worth it. 🙂
And a few more from the day:
Modified Lensbaby Composer + Canon Rebel XSI
And last, but not least, my partners in crime!
So after an insanely strong cup of espresso and 12 pages of morning note-taking on mentalism, dualism, and materialism (and many more behavioral isms), a most necessary distraction has arrived: my Lensbaby Composer! It’s only the most awesome lens in the world because it bends the sides of the frame outward- stretching it in a really trippy way. It makes for really wild images, but done subtlely, it can be aesthetically pleasing yet mild.
I’m off to go give it a spin.
I may or may not go out today and experiment with my new Lensbaby lens: the plastic optic from the Swap Kit. It’s so darn hot.
I took this SOOTC/straight out of the camera pic using the plastic optic:
I like the soft focus haze it puts over everything: in the right setting, this would be perfect. Of course, it wouldn’t work for everything. A street scene or a detail-oriented shot such as facial features wouldn’t be ideal for this lens, but a forest shot, any flower shot, or landscape (barn, abandoned house, etc.) it would be great.
I’m still stuck on the Double Glass optic- I love the focal control it gives you while allowing the warped blur in the rest of the frame.
I’m looking at another solid day of schoolwork. All of these toys and no time to play!
Taking a break from the schoolwork.
Jeffersonville Marina- early this morning in the fog.
Lensbaby Composer/Double Glass/ f/4/ISO 100
Lensbaby Composer/Double Glass
f/2.8 -natural lighting/ISO 100
sh. sp. – 1/4000/Falls of the Ohio
I may or may not be showing several of my water pieces in a “water exhibit” soon. (More on that later.) For now, it’s hush-hush.
I went out today down to the Falls of the Ohio (which I actually named “Fossil Rock” when I was a child, 30+ years ago) and grabbed some water shots with the Lensbaby. Although I’m not exactly a novice with this particular lens, I’d be a fool to be so comfortable to think that I don’t have much room to improve. And, truth be told, the more I learn in photography, the more I feel that I need to learn. I’m always restless and, artistically, never satisfied- always pushing to grow and learn new things. Years ago, I had considered going to art school. I’m glad I chose to study Behavioral Sciences instead. With art (and photography in particular), the world is my teacher, the camera is my canvas, and lighting is my brush.
Josh and I are headed back out to the dam area. The (possible) exhibit allows only 3 pieces to show. It’s a juried exhibition- I’m excited. (But again, more on that later. It’s not quite “in the bag”.) I can rap off 500 shots in under an hour, and I do that frequently. Selecting only three pieces from a day’s shoot of thousands of pics is like trying to find a flea on a mountain.
I’ve also been invited to show several pieces in a Berlin exhibition. (Yeah- that Berlin!)
Again, it’s a juried exhibition and I want to do it, but I have to be selected first: it’s a bit if a waiting game. I’m still pretty behind in some of my classes and I’ll really need to put my nose to the grind because the exhibition deadlines are within the next week. Time to set my alarm to 6:00 a.m. every morning!
Off and running…