Monday, August 8, 2011

Getting Out (221/365)

Really, there's nothing like getting out of the office when the sun is still shining.  You're thinking about all the potential of the evening, all of the photos to be taken, meals still left to be eaten, time to be wasted with viral videos, and potentially even some yoga or running to be done.  Yes, that feels like freedom.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sundays (220/365)

My mom was always a huge fan of calm Sunday evenings.   She never liked us to go anywhere or do anything too exciting after dinner on Sundays; we were supposed to be settling down and planning for the week ahead. It was sometimes frustrating, but I think she was right in that you can undo all the good of the weekend with being too hurried or unsettled on Sunday night.  Sunday night's not my favorite time of the week, because thinking about work feels like work, but I try to take my mom's advice and stay centered and peaceful.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Filth (219/365)

Ironically, I became covered in all of this dirt at a yoga festival, in the midst of all of that deep breathing, and all of those pro-biotic vegan smoothie samples.   I tried to be healthy, but I just got filthy.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Some Things are Better in Theory (218/365)

My coworker and I walked past this carousel today.  We got quite a fright when we saw the animals.  As we stared, gape-mouthed, we realized that the figures are meant to be 3-D transformations of children's drawings of animals.  Above each distorted figure was the original drawing; they were quite faithfully rendered.  It was a charming idea, but I almost had a heart attack when I saw the deformed rabbit, wild grin and smashed, nostrilly nose.  It bore a disconcerting resemblance to Frank.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Disembodiment (217/365)

I could see my shadow walking along at the bottom of the subway, except not my feet attached to it. That was weird.  I'd never thought about the fact that I've never seen my shadow disembodied.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Evening Light (214/265)

I left the office late today, but it was absolutely worth it.  By the time I left, it was the golden hour.  I love that tangerine, apricot glow that appears like flourishes in unexpected places, as unexpected highlights.

It was a "blessing in da skies."

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sqares of Light (213/365)

Kind of still playing with the whole composition thing, but this time with colors.  Obviously, this is a sign, but it's also little squares of color.  Can you see it as an abstraction?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Composition Study 2 (212/365)

My super and his crew (assistants? helpers? henchmen? none of these words seem quite right.  They're very nice, so henchmen shouldn't be right, but it somehow seems to fit) changed the light bulbs today and fiddled with the fixtures.  I couldn't make out why but it seemed like they just weren't satisfied with the way things were fitting together, or lighting.  It seemed like they were working on the project all day.  When I got back from dinner with friends, a bulb was in but the shade was down.  The hallway was bright but stark and I enjoyed and pondered the new lighting.  It seemed like a good opportunity to keep working on the composition study I started on Friday, considering dark space and light space and the feelings evoked thereof.

Composition Studies (211/365)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yikes! (209/365)

For the most part I try not to complain about the trains.  In general it's my belief that it's akin to complaining about the weather: futile and annoying to those around you. But I've finally had it UP. TO. HERE. Every weekend and now many weeknights there's a service disruption, trains rerouted or skipping stops to accomodate construction projects that may or may not be making progress.  I've learned (I thought) to check the service alerts ahead of time and be prepared.  And I've learned, I thought, to allow plenty of time if I want to get somewhere or get to bed at a reasonable hour.  But tonight's trip home was a saga of epic proportions; of signs posted had nothing to do what the trains actually did and trains that just didn't come.  "Why bother to post service alerts if you then just run the trains helter skelter?" I asked myself. "I try to make healthy, responsible choices and head home at a reasonable hour, but you make a 35-min trip take an hour and a half," I grumbled.

Anyway, to make a long story short, when I got home I really needed that Nutella on toast.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Break (208/365)

I loved the the way the clouds looked against the silver and aqua buildings.  They echo the colors but not the shapes; a softer, free-er accompaniment to the towers.  And that little break in the clouds: there's hope! It won't always rain.  You don't always have to be in your office.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sweet Relief (207/365)

It was TWENTY degrees cooler today.  Twenty!  So refreshing that I'm currently wearing a cardigan!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

No. 28 (206/365)

This bridge is named, very romantically, "Bridge Number 28."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shadows and Sunshine (205/365)

I've taken so many pictures of surf, and waves, and beach umbrellas, and the pictures all look the same after a while, even if each beach looks unique to the naked eye.  I figured that this would be a little different.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bread (204/365)

I accidentally bought $24 worth of artisan bread coupons, which were due to expire, so I used 'em all and got six loaves.  My mouth is watering! I'm thinking of all the things I can spread on them!  Nutella, olive oil, blackcurrant jam!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lazy (203/365)

Holy crow, it's hot.  No, but I mean really.  It is so hot (how hot is it?) that my street is actually quiet, no one lingering to talk outside, my clothes are stuck to me, my boss let us out early, I drank two liters of seltzer water and then some, I'm shining, even the thought of the beach is not refreshing (the sun!) and I could fry an egg on the sidewalk.  It's hot, and I'm lazy. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Inspiration (202/365)

There are just some things that are so compelling, so captivating, so enthralling, so can't take your eyes away, because they cause the human spirit to be stirred and the heart to ask, "What ... the heck ... IS it?  And why? And ... and just, WHY?"  That was my reaction to these toadstool structures at the shore of the otherwise beautiful lake.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

City Rainbow (201/365)

Dad (my firefighter dad), I know what you're thinking, and I'm thinking it too: "It's not safe - the pressure's depleted! When there IS a fire, the hydrants'll be no good!  And, ahh, two open hydrants on one block? Oh, they'd better hope no sparks from a passing cigarette land in an open garbage can to smolder!"

I was thinking that as I walked through the spray, but boy did that spray feel good.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Powerless (200/365)

I'm powerless against you, Nutella, utterly powerless.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Skywriting (199/365)

I had a heckuva time figuring out what that said!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Oh my word! (197/365)

It's a curtain in a doorway.  Oh, I'm so uninspired today!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tides (196/365)

When I came to City of Ever-Available Food and Endless Desserts, I got to reconnect with one of my closest friends from grad school - the first one I made there, actually.  She was living with her husband just a hop, skip, and jump away as she finished her PhD.  Our reunion was exuberant and joy-filled.  We had tea the first weekend we saw each other, and the next, too.  We celebrated Mardi Gras together and encouraged each other through Lent.  She applied for jobs and confessed she didn't see herself staying in City of Desserts but Also Hassles.  Then the word came that she had been offered a job - a good job - in the City Where the Water Bends.  And she and her husband are off to the place I just left!  I'm both sad and joy-full.

Tonight was the night before they moved.  The storage folks came during the day to collect their things and ship them south, and then a bunch of friends gathered for one last good bye dinner, outside our City of Desserts and Also Hassles, right on Steel Grey River, which was peachy-blue and turquoise.  Even though I didn't know everyone there we were at ease with each other right away.  As it turned out, my friend and her husband aren't the only ones moving: one friend is going to Alaska, a newly-minted MSW.  Another has graduated and is headed overseas.  The only other friend who's staying here has started a new job on the other end of the city, and I'm still new here.  It was a beautiful dinner: good scenery, good food, yes; but more than that good hearts, compassionate for one another, taking joy in one another, excited at what was to come and so grateful for what had been.

I'm thinking now of the professor my friend and I had together; he had a few catchphrases he'd say over and over in his Irish lilt (made subtle by years in America).  I'm thinking about my favorite one:

There's an ebb to every tide but the tide of God's grace.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

193, 194, 195

I forgot.

I forgot.

And I forgot again.  Terrible.

 I thought I could make it the whole year this time.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cables (192/193)

A famous spot looking not-so-famous.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Looking Through (191/365)

Today my boyfriend and I went to a sculpture park that was featuring an installation about sight - the idea that the way you look at something impacts what you see.  Most of the sculptures invited you to look at the work from a certain vantage point, or to look at the landscape through a viewing hole.  One of them was made of camera lenses nestled between sandbags. It was accompanied by a depiction of a hand holding an iPhone to the camera lens and taking a picture through it.  We complied - me with my camera, not my phone.  The shot looks more like an iris than anything else.

 After a walk and dinner and another walk (it was a big dinner), we stood on the elevated train platform and I noticed the bright color of watermelons and flowers through the slats.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bad Luck (190/365)

1. It's broken.
2. It looked really pretty sitting there, reflecting trees in its facets, so I decided to be brave for once and stop and take a picture of something interesting.  So I messed around with my settings getting ready to take a shot when the garbage truck game.  Of course.  I tried to take it as quickly as possible but the garbage man was looking at his watch. I didn't get the shot I wanted.  But this turned out well.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Haircut (189/365)

I did take a picture today, but it's of myself.  I cut my hair into an asymmetrical long-bob with layers (it was nerve-wracking!) and took a picture of the result.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Finally (188/365)

We used to have these really annoying shower curtain rings that popped open at the bottom, so the shower curtain was always falling off.  There were three holes in particular that refused to stay attached, and before each shower I used to thread the hooks back through the holes in the curtain and pop them closed, which usually lasted at least as long as the shower.  I recently treated myself to new hooks and I hung them today; then I admired my handiwork and I sincerely thought to myself, "Wow, I now live in one of those swanky apartments with a shower curtain that does not dangle!"

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why is this necessary? (187/365)

These posters are all over the subway system and the buses.  CGI Smurfs. Or 3-D. Or whatever.   I just ... I just don't know.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Farm Stand (185/365)

Knee high by the Fourth of July,
In my tummy all the summ ... y.

That was weak, but well-intentioned.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Trick! (184/365)

I'm at my mom's house.  She directed me to sniff her beautiful flowers and then chuckled because they are FAKE and they have an incense stick stuck in them to make them smell nice! WHAT? How could she trick her only daughter that way??

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Baby's Here! (182/365)

My best friend asked me to a paint a picture for her baby's room.  It took me a while to get started - I had to choose a subject that matched what she wanted but that was still "me."  When I thought I had a good idea, I worked on sketches and took photographs of a reference point.  It was slow going, but I reserved a day to start the painting that I thought would give me enough time to complete it before the baby arrived.  The day that I had slated to finally begin the painting - the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend - my friend went into labor.  So a month later, I'm finally finished and I'm coming home this weekend to present it.  Hope they like it!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thanksgiving (181/365)

Today's just about the last day of the fiscal year.  Some of our funding was lost. (It wasn't cut so much as a held up in a perpetual waiting game.)  So it was the last day for our housing counselor, who's losing his job as the new fiscal year begins.

My coworker, the bookkeeper, rounded us all up for a goodbye lunch and recruited us for the preparations.  She had already brought spaghetti and rice and beans from home; what else could we contribute?  I cut up some apples and oranges; someone got some roast chicken; I went to the bakery across the street and got five pieces of different cakes, so that everyone would have something that they liked.

I looked at the table and thought of Thanksgiving.  With all of the little things we brought it was a feast, and it was a Thanksgiving in a way.  Just since I've been here the counselor has helped so many people, and his clients have so much confidence in him.  I could hear it in their voices when they called on his off-days, eager to talk to him and disappointed that he wasn't in.  He spent a lot of time with each one of them, and it didn't matter how often they had to come back to have their case resolved; he would work until the end.  So I'm very thankful for that, and I know his clients are too.  It was a bittersweet Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Walking Home (180/365)

Almost there.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Self-Portrait 3, In Friend's Room (179/365)

My friend came to stay with me for a little while, after one of my roommates was accepted to a grad program on the opposite coast.  It was nice to have her here, in the room I started to think of as hers.   Then her sojourn took her back to her family's house, where she is cozy and happy with her parents and sisters, amid a forest of green trees outside and steam from tea inside.  A week after she left I stood in her doorway with the light from the hall behind me and felt a little forlorn.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Iceland Art (176/365)

My last full day in Iceland! I'm glad to be staying in Reykjavík for the day.

I still get the sense that Reykjavík is a fishing village-turned-artists' colony.  I really, really wonder what it's like to grow up here.  I get the sense that in Reykjavík, everyone believes they can create and be whatever they want and that artistry is very much prized.

I went to Kjarvalsstadir, the branch of the Reykjavík Museum of Art that's dedicated to Johannes Kjarval and his legacy.  He's something of a national treasure, and I could see why.  His paintings of the Icelandic landscape captured the energy and motion of the landscape.  They were enchanting and warm and inviting, even when they depicted snow and darkness.

I went to the gallery of the Icelandic Printmakers' Association and met the artist responsible for the current exhibition.  Her work was fascinating:  graphic representations of statistics like financial data from Iceland's economic collapse, mean temperatures in Reykjavík since the 1970s, and results of the happiest countries survey. It was so much fun to get to speak with her, too.

After that gallery I saw the second branch of the Reykjavík Museum of Art.  It featured a spacious and curious installation on the intersection of philosophy and art.  It explored  the idea that works of art were not static displays but the accumulation of effects over time, and that the passing of time was part of the work itself.  Etc., etc.  It was thought-provoking.

Of course there's art all over the city in the form of murals - one of robots wrestling in space, one fashioned from hot pink chinks of metal in the shape of a giant drop of paint rolling down the side of the building.

And then there's fashion.  I saw one lady step out of her car in front of my hostel, dressed in skinny metallic pants, high heels, and a thick, voluminous, abstract-patterned kimono-like jacket, her hair piled in an elegant ballerina bun.  She went into the hardware store and emerged with a single paintbrush.

And amidst all the art and energy and boundless creativity the gulls spin and the cool sea air blows in, down the alleys and the streets of Reykjavík.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Look Around You (175/365)

I took a ferry from the mainland to Vestmannaeyjar, a small chain of volcanic islands off of Iceland's south coast.  The route was dotted green and black islands, cliffs black with rich soil and hills green with turf.  As we came into the harbor at Heimay, the largest island, I was enthralled by the lava fields on the east side of the island.  Some lupines and moss sprouted from or clung to the red rocks, but otherwise it looked like Mars.  So that was what I thought Heimay was: red rocks, rough peaks.

When we entered the harbor I turned and faced the other side of the ferry. The bright blue sky sparkled against crisp, golden limestone; the green pastureland where sheep could graze rung the tops of the cliffs.  It was so utterly different from the other side of the harbor, so utterly beautiful.

So I learned an important lesson, for life and for Photo 365:  Observe all 360° of your surroundings.