Friday, February 29, 2008

Spring Break!!! (60/366)

Ahh, this is spring vacation:  catching up on homework while accompanied by Mostest Favoritest in the Whole World Sports Team.  They cracked out a splediferous win in their first preseason game tonight, while Best Catcher Ever hit a home run (and Baby Canadian Catcher knocked in a three-run homer - wow!)  And I was so excited to see them again!  

I wasn't, however, too excited about the quality of any of my pictures (turns out basement family rooms don't have the best lighting), so I seriously funkified this one.  It was fun.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ridiculous (59/366)

... how many sweaters I own.  In my defense, I live in a city with cold winters and exceedingly air-conditioned summers, so I wear a sweater almost every day of the year.  Seeing them lined up like soldiers in my closet, though, definitely tickles my conscience.  What am I doing with all of this stuff?  Is it weighing my spirit down? Are these extra sweaters really, as the saying goes, stolen from the poor?  What to do?  Just my little thoughts.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sunflower Seeds (58/366)

My thesis is due in two weeks (if you're reading this, Mom, don't panic*), but I spent part of the evening bagging up a whole bunch of sunflower seeds as favors for an event at my placement tomorrow.  Not how I planned on spending my evening, I guess, but it was a break from thinking for a while.

*I will panic for us both.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tea and Lava (57/366)

I'm pretty amazed at the way these candles melted.

But I really liked this picture, too.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Runner Down for the Kickball Award (54/366)

Last summer the psychology department challenged mine to a kickball match.  It was really a terrible amount of fun: almost everyone from our department came; some of the guys had made t-shirts especially for the event; the visiting Australian students taught us to cheer, "Aussie-Aussie-Aussie!  Oy Oy Oy!"  I took a terrific, screeching slide in the sand as I rounded third base on my classmate's kick into the outfield, but I still managed to score - and from first base.  At the end of the summer session, I got an award (!) for my spectacular baserunning: the "Runner-Down for the Kickball Award."  I've kept it; you've got to admit that pathetic little kickball is adorable.   And even though he doesn't have his own thesis to write or work-related stresses, I feel like he is commiserating with me today.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hatherly Road (53/366)

There is a Hatherly Road in my neighborhood, which I had never been down, but which always made my heart skip a beat when I passed it, because there was also a Hatherley Road (with an 'e') in my town when I lived in England.  In fact, I went to a hospital in the village of Up Hatherley (isn't that the coolest?)  to get my allergy shots - or "jabs," as injections are so adorably called there.   I finally took a walk down this Hatherly Road today, and it was just as delightful as I had hoped.  

In other news, my thesis is getting me down a little today.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bloom (52/366)

One of my roommates brought all of us girl roommates flowers for Valentine's Day last week.  They were buds then and are just starting to open now; they should be bringing our living room cheer for quite some time!  (I have to say that this photo looks a lot prettier on iPhoto than on Blogger.  Not sure why.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunch Break (51/366)

Hurray!  I got to take a walk downtown on my lunch break today, because my boss sent me out to pick up a newspaper.  The project I've been working on all year at my field placement got some exciting press today!  It was actually on page three - right up in the front! - in one of the two major papers in my city.   What a satisfying feeling!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Catalog (50/366)

Today was a day that was preposterously beautiful:  the world was full of light and everything shone brightly; the clouds were like guests from a fairy-world.  When the sun set, it filled the sky with tongues of hot-pink flame.  So I didn't take a picture of it; it would have been in vain.

I was fascinated instead by the card catalog.  Since the days of Google and electronic catalogs, I approached have card catalogs with an air of awe and trepidation.  How did scholars of old do it?  I mean, it worked when I was in elementary school and was researching the polio vaccine - I looked up "Salk, Jonas," and "poliomyelitis" - but how would I function now that I'm so used to WorldCat and Ebscohost and multiple search terms?  The sheer majesty of this library's card catalog system inspires admiration and reverence - both for the librarians who made it and the scholars who relied on it. 

Monday, February 18, 2008

Security (49/366)

I love my cupboard.  It's one little space in the house I share with other students that is all mine, and I take great pride in keeping it neat and well-stocked.  I love going to the store and returning home to stuff my cupboard and perhaps reorganize — the joy!  I always know exactly what I have and where I can find what I need; plus, I delight in the comfort of a full cabinet. I had one roommate last year who hated to have food in her cabinet - she was always on a mission to use up her supplies and eat all of her snacks.  Not me!  My provisions last as long as I can make them.

Last spring, we read excerpts of Dorothy Day's The Long Loneliness and From Union Square to Rome.  Dorothy reflected on the funny ways of people - how so often we surround ourselves and bolster ourselves up with insignificant material things in a quest to feel secure, not remembering that our security comes from God.  I sat in class and thought about my little cupboard at home, full of spaghetti and spices and safety. 

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Forget about it (48/366)

That's the way I feel about my ab roller, too.  

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Good Aftermoon! (47/366)

I love the transluscent moon in the afternoon sky; I love the way the sky bleeds blue down to the ground.  I love the way the trees and the heavens show through the towers and the wires of the city, never drowned out,  never gone.  

Where can I hide from your spirit? 
From your presence, where can I flee?
If I ascend to the Heavens, you are there;
if I lie down in Sheol, you are there too.
If I fly with the wings of dawn and alight beyond the sea, 
Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand hold me fast.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Shoes (46/366)

I  think I'm too tired to write anything today.  

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day! (45/366)

I was sick today, so I spent the evening cuddling with my two fluffy Valentines and a blanket with Mostest Favouritest of All Time Sports Team's colors;  I decided that the whole team could be my Valentines, because they reported for spring training today!  Hurray!

Love and happiness to all! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

From the Andes with Love (43/366)

Valentine's Day roses seen through the supermarket window

"This is an upscale neighborhood; the shop charges $150 for the flowers and the square green pottery vase it comes in.  If you were to price it out, you might find that the customer paid close to $5 for each 'Limbo' rose in the bouquet.  The florist bought the roses for $1.50 or $2 a stem, and that's a premium price that befits an upscale rose.  When that same flower left the farm on Monday and made its way down a dusty, eucalyptus-lined road toward the Pan-American Highway and on to Quito, it earned thirty cents for the grower who nurtured it along and prepared it for its long journey.  And what about the workers who cut the stem, stripped its leaves, graded it, packed it, and loaded it onto the truck?  Their wages represent less than four cents for every 'Limbo' sold."

"Usually we see ten to twelve flights a day from Colombia.  Around Valentine's Day, it might be forty flights.  You wonder why roses cost so much this year? I'll give you one reason.  With this many planes coming in every day, they've got to fly them back empty.  And fuel's not cheap these days." -Bunny Schreiber, Marketing Specialist, Miami Airport cargo division

Quotes from Amy Stewart, Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers (Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 2007).

Monday, February 11, 2008

Problem (42/366)

Something's been bugging me about my photos ...  I often see a scene with beautiful soft light and interesting shadows, but have trouble capturing it becuase 1) with the flash, the beautiful soft light and interesting shadows disappear, and 2) without the flash, the darker areas are fuzzy-wuzzy with visible pixel patches, if you know what I mean.  Today's shot is a classic example.   I like the first one, up top, but it's not ideal; the other two illustrate the conundrum even better.

Any suggestions?  

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Winter Weather (41/366)

My students drifted into confirmation class and quickly settled in to their journal-writing.   As I've said, they're a quiet bunch, so all inside was still and calm.  But the snow was driving outside, blown parallel to the ground by blasts of wind.   My students and I were both a little startled when one of the boys (arriving late) burst in as if blown by the wind himself, shook the snow out of his hair, and yowled, in what was surely the loudest thing ever spoken in my classroom, "It's a HURRICANE out there!"
He was pretty much right, though.  Today's weather was almost apocalyptically strange.   I woke up to a bright and clear day, the sun sparkling off of the snow that had dusted us yesterday; the world was gleaming and crisp.   Around noon, though, the skies darkened and belched out snow, in big wet clumps, and thunderclaps.  The weather changed again by the time I left for confirmation class; the sun had appeared and all was calm: deep blue sky and clouds draped like strands of pearls across the sky.  It changed again by the time class started, and we watched the flakes and sleet blow across our window, across the churchyard, across the sky.  

UPDATE:  After I posted, the gale force winds picked up and actually blew my roommate's window out of the frame and into his room, where (luckily) it landed on his bookbag and did not break.  He said (not knowing how I had described the weather in the post above) that he was so scared he thought it was the second coming.  All of the housemates mobilised and quickly secured the window again, and we are all cosy and comfy.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Cheers (40/366)

I like this shot because of what's left out as much as for what's in.  I also like the little drop of drink that's left in one glass, a little reminder of what was in side.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sunbathing (38/366)

I totally could not resist drawing little faces on these pistachio shells today - who could?  They were the perfect shape and each one was just a little different, giving my pistachio people quite a lot of character.  I suppose I had better things to do, but this was a tremendous amount of fun. They appear to be enjoying the sunny rays of my desk lamp.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Leatherbound (37/366)

Libraries are interesting places.  I wonder how many hands have held each book, especially these old ones that look so storied.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Yerba Maté (36/366)

I like the way different tea leaves look.  I was in high school when I realised I wanted to know what was inside a tea bag, and my mom let me cut one open over the kitchen sink.  I thought it was so neat to see all of those little green bits of leaf and tiny specks of spice and orange peel tangled together in a smoosh.  (My mom and my brother, observors of the experiment, were less impressed.)  Since high school, I've discovered the wonder of high-quality looseleaf teas, which provide not only superior taste but also much more interesting opportunities for tea-leaf gazing.  Today I tried a new kind, yerba maté, a South American herbal that boldly promised health benefits and invigoration!  Its leaves were unlike any other I'd seen before:  thick and flat, torn into small pieces, and laying stacked against each other like tiny sweet lentils.  

Monday, February 4, 2008

Broken but Beautiful (35/366)

It was only after taking these photos that I realised how many of the flowers were looking rather rumpled and tired.  And yet they're so beautiful still.  The images are poignant for me, I suppose, because so many of my friends right now are coming to terms with their own brokenness and beauty.    

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super (34/366)

Every year I make it a point to gleefully ignore the Super Bowl.  This year I'm planning on enjoying some quiet studying, a little sewing, and the Jane Austen biopic on Masterpiece Theatre.   What a perfectly relaxing evening!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Forlorn (33/366)

As I've undertaken my photographic adventures, keeping my eyes open for interesting little sights tucked away here and there, I've noticed a whole gaggle of things left and lost on the ground.  I've seen tupperware nestled against a snowbank and a gorgeous red scarf knotted in a mud puddle.  This was especially sad, though: a band of buttery crackers abandoned on a ledge.  I wondered how they got there, and I wished they were safe to eat.  It seemed like something a child would leave behind, and I was sorry he missed his snack.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Safe and Snug (32/366)

My elementary school bus took us on a long ride every day.   The furor and chaos of school could be hard for me — I was quite shy — and on the bus rides, when I wasn't reading my book, I snuggled down in my seat and nestled my head on the window to be still, and think.  The window shook against my head a little as we coursed through the neighborhoods and over the highways, but I never minded.  I looked out the window at the clouds in the late afternoon sky, at the marshes and water and Bread and Cheese Island.  
I loved it when it rained.  I would watch the drops as they glided down the glass: they never fell straight, but wiggled and changed course.  I liked to find one drop to follow, and guess what its course might be.  It always surprised me.  Sometimes two droplets raced each other to the bottom- one would hit a dusty spot on the window and be slowed; the other would find the quickest route around the drops that hung in place, or join them to its own weight.  The streams of rain were like rivers and marshes in a miniature landscape, and I was an explorer.
Today's rainstorm made me think of those days.  Today, too, I am watching those rivulets and thinking about where I am going, all the while glad I am safe and snug.

Note:  I also found my long-lost umbrella today.  I knew it had to be around, but it's good to have it back, so I need to credit St. Anthony for helping me come across it on a day when it was most needed.