Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday Reflections

It's been a great lazy day. Sometimes, it's good to have a lazy Sunday, isn't it?

I found the best Italian pasta and pizza place around. It's called Carmine's and it's actually in the nearby town of Hutto. Hutto, Texas, yes, there is such a place. Just on the other side of Round Rock, home to the "Hutto Hippos" which has to be just about the cutest mascot a high school could ask for. There, over there, in Hutto, is the wonderful Carmine's Pizza and Pasta, where Carmine (from Brooklyn) makes the best pizza I've had since New York City. Yum. I can dream about Carmine's pizza now. It brings me back to the City.

Speaking of foodstuff and the like, current nectar of the gods is Sweet Leaf mint and honey green tea. Oh my God, is that stuff to die for.

Doesn't go well with pizza but, other than that, life is perfect.

Until next time...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Socks as Props


LostSock, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Ok, so I told you about my venture to Sears to get a new washing machine. Maybe I didn't tell you all about how I picked out my new washing machine.

I went on-line to check out the washers, to read the reviews, and all. Needless to say, you can get lost in reviews on the internet, these days. I believe it's entirely possibly to endless read reviews and end up never actually buying anything, but I had to start somewhere, right?

I wanted a top-loading washer (I think the front loading ones look really cool, but they don't last as long and don't get your clothes as clean.) My washer has to be able to wash a queen-sized quilt because, well, I have a dog and he sleeps on the bed sometimes (usually he's up there when there's food involved-you know, the "cookies in bed" type of stuff but he's been known to snooze next to me.)

So, the practical side of me wants a basic washer, one with like one knob and as few as possible moving parts. Also, as cheap as possible would be nice.

But then, I saw this model that had a glass top. One really cool thing about a glass top is that you can see through it-you can watch your clothing going around in there. Being a photographer, well, naturally, I thought this might make for interesting photos. I imagined a whole gallery wall, filled with enlargements of my socks spinning around, getting clean. Just think of how cool it would be to be able to shoot your socks spinning around, getting all cleaned up and all. (If I had a cat, that too would have pushed me over the edge. I mean, a glass-top washer would be like catnip without the hyper.)

But then, I stopped myself. I was turning my washing machine into a giant prop. It's not supposed to do that, it's not supposed to be that-it's not a prop. It's just supposed to be a machine that cleans your damn socks, not an infinite source of amusement.

The glass top model had fewer features and was $100 more than the "regular" one. $100 is not a lot of money-I mean, heck, I would spend that on props if they were good. Still, I want the socks to get clean, not make good enlargements.

So, what was I to do? Go for the economical but boring model or go for the prop?

Oh the humanity! Somebody pass me some Tide so I can float away!

Until next non-glass-top-so-it-better-damn-well-clean-my-socks-model...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I've been Schmapped


BalconyAbstracts2, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

I found out this week that I've been Schmapped. Now, don't worry, it's not a bad thing (and it's nothing you have to worry about catching, really.) I found out that one of my images from the Garden District in New Orleans is going to be included in the next on-line edition of Schmap. (For details on Schmap, visit, Schmap.com)

For those who don't know (and don't want to follow the link) Schmap is an on-line "build it yourself" kind of a travel guide. Sort of like a combination between Mapquest and Fodor's. It falls under the category of "funny name, nice guide book."

Oddly enough, I believe that the real estate in question belongs to a certain actor (who shall remain nameless-hey, I don't even need to give you a link anymore. You know who he is. Oh the humanity! Pass the remote...) So, if my ranting and raving all over the internet isn't enough to get me arrested in 42 different states, I'm probably about to be sued. Oh joy! (And, just for the record, I did not receive any compenstation for said image. Or, um, actually, the "Schmapping" of said image. Well, unless you count the hours of, ahem, "enjoyment" I've since spent "unbooping" oddball movies from my TiVo, but I don't really consider that "compensation" now, do you?)

Maybe I should start selling T-shirts that read, "Nicolas Cage Schmapped my TiVo and all I got was this Lousy T-shirt"

In other NOLA-related news, the new show K-Ville is now part of the new fall line-up over at Fox. I was lucky enough to catch the first run and, I have to admit, I liked it. It's a bit of a gritty street crime/police drama, set in NOLA. I recognized some old hang-outs in the French Quarter and miss that place already.

I've been so busy getting my house back together after the flood that travel (right now) is kind of out of the question. Even so, watching K-Ville, seeing them run around in the Quarter like that made me stop and think, "God, I wish I were there."

I can almost smell the fresh beignets from here.

Until next time...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Black Sand Beach


TideLikeC, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

It's Friday! Life's a beach!

This was taken on the black sand beach in Kona, sometime in April. I love the black sand, it's very pretty. When the water hits it, it turns into shiny shades of grey and the white foam from the tides really stands out against the black background.

This is my Photo Friday entry for Beach.

Until next time...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Little Miss Fix It


DriveByStripedBuilding, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

So, a few weeks ago, I was sitting around thinking, "Hmm. I should start to get my house together. I should start to fix all the broken things in my life." Yeah, yeah, I know, that's impossible (starting with the mind and working your way down, would take an entire lifetime, right?) but, at the time, I thought it might be a good idea to try. I started with the tile, trying to fix things up after the flood, and that actually got done, although it seems to have made more work for me in the long run (now I have to paint, and move things around, and do more work to finish up the job.)

Well, in the middle of the tile installation and moulding repair jobs, the 'fridge went out again. If it's not one damn thing, it's another, right? So, I called the 'fridge repair dude who came and tried to fix it but couldn't really, and had to come back for a few more trips. Not to mention the fact that he couldn't walk around here, since, well, since the tile and the moulding dudes were in the middle of doing their "fu" and left the house in shambles.

Then I'm thinking, "ok, that's it. I've GOT to do some laundry," in the middle of all of this. I look down at the washer and think, "Hmm. This thing is getting old. It's probably going to drop a knob or something," when, sure enough, I got to turn it on and presto! The knob comes off in my hands.

The washer still worked, of course, but it's 15 years old. It's been getting unbalanced a lot recently (I have to keep shuttting it off, sticking my hand in there, and hoping I get my hand back-not to mention hoping my clothing just sort of "mushes" clean.) The knob falling off really was the last straw (or knob, as it were.)

I called Mom, to ask her if she thought I should try to get it repaired or get a new one. "Oh! You need to go to Sears," she tells me, "your washing machine is older than dirt itself." She's right (sort of, I'm mean, dirt *has* been around a looong time but the washer is old) so I went to Sears on Sunday, to pickout a new one.

There's a lot that's still broken. The tile has been installed, the moulding put back, the new washer to be delivered but the car still makes that expensive knocking sound (and is horribly overdue for it's whatever-thousand-mile checkout.) The 'fridge is working again and I'm still in a state of semi-broken but it does sort of feel like things are getting back together again.

Hey, at least I'm going to have a new washing machine soon, right?

Until next spin cycle...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Still Alive and Kicking


FloatingGreens, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

No, I did not forget about you. Last week, I had new tile put into my house and I had the carpenter over to rework the molding that was trapped in the flood. It's starting to look a little better around these parts. (Pictures to come at some point.) I also got a new washing machine. (Funny story about that to come as well.)

I will try to resume normal blogging this week, though I'm still a bit busy, with the touch-up painting I have to do and the basic "getting your house back in order after several people came in and ripped up the floor" type of stuff going on.

Don't you just hate it when life gets in the way of blogging?

Until next time...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Why the NFL Should Let Vick Play


DogFightNo1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

So, Michael Vick has been banned from playing football after striking a plea deal for dog fighting. After his plea agreement, the NFL banned him from playing football. I think this is wrong, and don't agree with their decision, but not for the reasons you might suspect.

First off, let me start by saying that I detest dog fighting or cruelty to animals in any way, shape, or form. What Vick did to those animals was cruel and he should be punished under the fullest extent of the law for his crime. But, this isn't really about Vick. It's about the NFL. (For reference, in case you're wondering, the dogs in this picture are actually playing.)

Football players in the NFL routinely use drugs (steroids or not,) get arrested for DUI's, are known wife-beaters, regularly use the service of prostitutes, and are known to carry illegal firearms. This is their culture, this is the culture the NFL supports, encourages, and spreads throughout the country. Most "college" football players cannot read at an 8th grade level. I put the word "college" in quotes because they seldom (if ever) attend classes, are routinely given illegal drugs (pot, steroids, other stronger drugs are actually in some "college" player contracts as well as the services of prostitution. These are illegal acts and yet larger "football" schools, such as UT, provide for these routinely in player contracts.) Football players are given special dorm rooms, separate gym facilities, do not attend "regular" classes (most don't attend classes at all) and do not own any books (makes sense, since they don't know how to read, right?) This behavior pattern only escalates and continues when college NFL players turn professional.

When stopped, questioned, or arrested for a crime (any crime, from spitting on the grass to murder-just look at OJ Simpson) football players are routinely given a "free pass." Football players, after all, are "DA BOYS" and this behavior is excusable if not acceptable. "Boys will be boys," society seems to say when it comes to football players.

So, given that the majority of the players in the NFL cannot read, write, or speak a coherent English sentence, are all drug addicts, most have committed crimes, if not beating their wives, then murder or some kind of felony charge for which they were given a "free pass," who are they to judge Micheal Vick? Wasn't he just behaving as expected? I mean, he is part of the NFL, isn't he? Why should he behave any differently from the rest of the lot? Why should the NFL suddenly have morale standards? Why should Michael Vick be singled out?

If we as a society are going to continually value these illiterate drug users who sleep around and routinely commit crimes, then Michael Vick should be celebrated. After all, he's a "star" football player-he's one of DA BOYS. The NFL should welcome him with open arms into their felony club. The NFL is a national disgrace but nobody seems to care. It's all about DA BIG GAME and DA BOYS.

Michael Vick should be right where he belongs-playing with the rest of the illiterate drug using screw ups who commit crimes and sometimes toss a ball around on a lawn like a moron.

Until next time...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

It's all about the Toys


PathOfToys, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Yesterday, Apple announced a new line of iPods. Yes, folks, we're going wireless now.

I love the idea of wireless song downloads. It's just so right in so many ways. Why should I have to be chained to a dock to get some music, right?

They also called in a new iPod with a touch screen. Kind of like an iPhone without the phone part of it. I think that's a welcome additional to the iPod family. The colors of the pod are still vivid and the new upgrades seem pretty sweet so everybody should be happy in Apple-land (well, everybody except that ogre Bill Gates but then, do we really care about him anymore?) More storage, nice colors, easy to use, yeah, sounds like a "typical" Apple product announcement but still it's music to my ears. You can't expect me to go all Amish on you and listen to a radio anymore now, can you?

Speaking of "toys" (sort of) tonight is also the annual Heart Gallery unveiling and gala downtown at Spazio's. The only art show in Austin that features valet parking (!) it also promises to be packed with some "local celebrity action," including some of the news media. Look for me in brown hanging out in the photographer's crew area slurping on some bubbly if you dare.

Until next time...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

This is Yellow


YellowFlowerInnards, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

A funny thing about color and me-I never think in terms of color yet, somehow, I always think in terms of color.

Let me explain. I go out into the world, and I see things in color. I'm very color-oriented. I'm actually very good with color, naturally good with it. I don't try too hard and yet, somehow, I always end up with trippy, brightly colored images. The colors almost always work well together. It's not something I've tried to improve, rather, I just really, really like color and work it when I can (which, well, it's almost always, isn't it?)

But I never label things or break things down in terms of color. I never think, "ok, today I'm going to go out and shoot something 'yellow' because I need something yellow." I don't really have favorite colors that I look for when shooting either. I have a friend who shoots a lot of red stuff. Another friend puts yellow things in the upper right hand side of an image. Not me, I'd never do that. I just shoot what I see and work with the color pallette I'm given, at any given moment.

I do think in terms of combinations of colors and I do alter my compositional style based upon "warm toned" or "cool toned" colors but I don't actually go out and filter things based on color. I guess you could say I think in terms of groups of color and work at what goes well with other colors, rather than selecting or elminating one particular color above the rest.

Maybe I should work with color more, but I just don't. But then, maybe I do and I'm not really aware of it. Like I do it on some level but not the one that's busy designing, composing, editing, moving about and doing the "tripod dance" to adjust things.

The colors (yes, even yellow) somehow always just seem to fall into place.

Until next time...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Covet Worthy


Ouvert Light, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

I know, I know, we're not supposed to "covet thy neighbor" but I thought it about time to rattle off my list of things I lust for so, in no particular order, here goes:

More Compact Flash, a really high quality telephoto lens (like 80-300 or something,) a "nifty fifty" or a 50mm fast (1.8) lens (with really good bokeh,) more Compact flash (I've already run out. Again.) a Fisheye lens (not an "almost" fish-eye, I want one that makes everything all round on me) an infrared converted camera (preferrably a Canon Rebel XT or XTi,) more Compact Flash (I can't even lust for it fast enough) a trip to the coast (actually I want a lot of trips. Sigh.) A really good lighting kit, a light box, a really good softbox, a tripod that's not so heavy, a bigger hard drive, more Compact Flash...well, you get the idea.

Of all those things, the thing I'm mostly likely to get first is the "more Compact Flash." Of course, it's also the thing I'm most likely to run out of (again!) so go figure.

It's good to want things, isn't it?

Until next time...