Somewhat randomly Steve had a very fancy camera in his possession for about 20 hours or so early this week. Some of those hours included our walk at Como Park on Monday so we took it along and I got to play a little bit. Big fun. Especially as there were just tons of puppies in the park that day.
If you look closely, there's a big ol' bumblebee on that flower.
There is a puppy hiding in those bushes!
Looking down at a bit of the man-made waterfall.
Some ivy or something growing on the rocks around the waterfall.
Some late afternoon light shining on this absolutely beautiful lily.
Look at how deep that red is. Just gorgeous.
We always seem to see something completely random when we go to Como. An unicyclist is no guy walking around with a full-grown monkey on his shoulder (oh how I wish I'd had my camera with me last week) but it's random enough for my tastes.
A very happy puppy. I think I saw this dog "pulled over" about four different times so he could be pet by small children who were clearly in love with him.
A nice view of the lake.
A shot of a wild rose that was blooming a little way away from the bench where we were.
A cool looking plant that I was fascinated by a the time.
I liked the way the light was hitting the leaves on this tree.
An adorable little puppy that was very, very happy to see every single person that passed.
A cool lakeside house.
The actual waterfall (now that I've posted pictures of the stuff around the waterfall.)
This was such a pain in the butt. It was still as can be until I decided I wanted to take this picture. Then the wind started blowing like mad. It figures.
Some cool sort-of back lit thistles.
An interesting collections of greens around the edges of the lake. (Not shown: the disgusting, SMELLY scum/algae that's still covering a good portion of the lake.)
A nifty Birch tree. I always try to take cool pictures of birch bark because I think it's super cool, the pictures usually turn out lame though.
Some very deeply veined bark.
This tree had some weird stuff hanging from its trunk. It kind of looked like old clothes or something. The sun was shining right on it so it was rather hard to tell.
I have this serious weakness for wet plants. I love getting pictures of plants in water, with drops of water on there and/or with drops of water falling off of them.
I hope I don't have to tell you this but immediately following a thunderstorm? Really good time to find these conditions.
Unfortunately the light was awfully low at this point so a flash was required in most cases. Most of the time I really hate the flash. I think it tends to just wash everything out rather than enhance anything.
As it turns out I rather liked the effect I got from using the flash. That and I certainly don't have the ability to sit still enough to have taken pictures without a flash for how long the shutter was taking.
We had a right proper thunderstorm last night. Actually, it was a bit more than that really. Watching it on radar was like watching a giant purple blob scream toward the Twin Cities. There were thunderstorms, tornado watches, flash flood warnings, etc., etc., etc. But here's the thing - I loves me some thunderstorms. I have ever since I was a little kid. I remember sitting at the patio door with my brother as a small child watching the lightening illuminate the yard.
My brother likes to say there's nothing better than watching a good thunderstorm; it's better than fireworks. I must say I disagree. Fireworks are the shit. Ain't nothing better than fireworks. Thunderstorms are close though.
I'm also a big fan of clouds. I feel like clouds don't really get all the attention they deserve. They can do so much to change the mood of a scene. They can convey danger, softness, lightness, or peace with nothing more than slightly different formations. That's pretty cool.
Anyhow the moral of the story is after the good lightening passed through I was lying in bed watching some TV when I noticed our dark green curtains were turning the strangest color orange I've ever seen. A quick peak outside revealed some of the most surreal, eerie light I've seen; especially without an actual tornado about to touch down. Unfortunately I took entirely too long to locate my camera (located, rather logically, in my purse) and what follows does not particularly capture that eerie surrealism. But much of the cloud cover that remained was still pretty cool. It just doesn't nearly stand up to what it was about ten minutes beforehand.
This one is probably the closest. I should point out - it was not sunset. At all. There was still a good hour and a half to actual sunset, though it quickly became just plain dark.
In a way I kind of liked this photo when it was in color. These flowers are just so incredibly pink! Looking at them was just like PINK! HI! IM PINK! DID YOU NOTICE? DO YOU SEE ME? IM PINK!
It was actually kind of like an assault on the eyes. The photograph in particular was so overwhelmingly PINK! that it was kind of hard to look at.
After playing around with the color in Photoshop I still wasn't happy with it because muddy PINK! is no better than simply PINK! So I eventually just tried desaturating it altogether and I'm pretty happy with the results. It's sort of like the original photo took an elephant-sized valium and just chilled out.
Now instead of PINK! ALL PINK ALL THE TIME! There's some really cool line and texture happening.
Nothing against PINK! exactly. It's just that this is way cooler.
I almost didn't convert this to black and white. This rose was a really very beautiful buttery yellow with just the tiniest bits of pink blushing around the edges. But when I looked at it in black and white I just loved how the light shown through the petals. It's really kind of peaceful and lovely.
Seriously - I'm in love with this photo. I would seriously marry this photo if I could. And I cannot believe I actually took this. It must have been some kind of accident or something. Maybe my camera grew a mind of it's own and took this by itself while I was distracted by something shiny? I mean, I don't want to blow my own horn here (in fact I'm trying to do the exact opposite of that) but this picture kind of makes me look like I have some actual talent. Like I might actually be kind of good at this or something. Because I seriously think this is an absolutely fantastic picture.
Well shit. I think I might actually be proud of myself.
So last night I was thinking about what I wanted to do today. What with the whole "job" thing getting in the way all over the place I suddenly put a huge amount of stock into my weekends. This is usually bad because my body (the bastard) seems to think the weekend is the best time to get sick/have a major allergy episode/give me a migraine. (Hey, Body! I have sick days you know! Not all five because I didn't start till February, but I still have some!) So here's more of less what I was thinking (you'll notice this isn't terribly exciting and even includes some responsible actions. Ridiculous, I know.)
Wake up Saturday morning, go grab some fancy coffee, take a book/computer out on the patio and read in the sunshine for awhile. Watch some trashy TV. Make some tasty food to take as lunches next week (because the Health Choice Mixer you had yesterday was disgusting. Sorry, Healthy Choice. A lot of your mixers are tasty, tasty lunches. Just not the one I had yesterday. That was more like punishment.) Work on the baby blanket I'm knitting for some friends of ours (who are having a baby). Do some laundry. Make some dinner. Maybe play some games or watch a movie with Steve.
See - the boy (i.e. Steve) has to work today (major booness) which means the apartment is all mine for a good portion of the day (major yeyness). Now I love Steve very much and he's wonderful and all. But every so often I do love being able to watch America's Next Top Model without comment. Generally speaking he doesn't care what I watch (especially if he's playing video games, which he always is) but there usually is some point where the dreaded "What are you watching?" is uttered. (Terrible word, uttered.) I think he usually asks me this because he's under the (woefully misguided) impression that I'm an intelligent, interesting person with good taste. Seriously I don't know where he came up with this idea. I've been vain, shallow, stubborn and bratty since the day we met. He likes me anyway, God bless him. So I think when things like ANTM are on he starts to wonder if maybe I just lost the remote. Because I like shows like Rome and How I Met Your Mother and Dexter and Battlestar Galactica and, you know, stuff that's... good. So I can't be serious with this Tyra Banks stuff right?
Well that's the catch. I can't help it, I'm addicted to bad TV. But it's like if I just watch some every now and then (like a half day marathon of something) it's like I get my fix and go back to being intelligent (and by that I mean fairly pretentious) for a few weeks.
But I'm not about to share that theory with him.
Of course he's one of my two readers (and that second one might have been a fluke, I don't know) so he'll probably figure it out pretty soon. Damn.
Anyway getting back to the original point, here's how my morning actually went:
Woke up. Was delighted to find that my body had actually allowed me to sleep in until 9. This has not happened for several months. Yey, body! Check my email on my phone, see email from male friend with subject line "Soon To Be Father." Have small heart attack. Open email. Father will not be him. Am relieved. Chastise male friend for scaring me first thing in the morning. Get up and dressed and whatnot, about to leave to get fancy coffee when I check the weather. It's raining. No patio reading for me then. Decide to get fancy coffee anyway, I will read inside when I get back. Get back, fancy coffee in tow, and turn on TV. Cable is out. That's very weird. Open laptop. Internet is down. Also weird. Reset the modem. That doesn't work. Start to worry. Go check TV and internet in bedroom because my laptop can be very persnickety (awesome word) about working sometimes and the living room TV... usually doesn't give us problems but you never know. Cable and internet are not working in bedroom either. Text boyfriend:
Me: This is probably going to sound foolish but we did pay the comcast bill, right?
Steve: Pretty sure... can check the old joint account to see when the last payment was made.
(Think to myself - no I can't because old bank doesn't have app for phone and the internet is down. Think to myself further: really do like new bank and especially that they have an app for my phone.)
Me: Well no I can't - the internet isn't working.
We discuss the situation some more. He checks something on his phone (app I don't know about?) and says it shows that he did, in fact, make the payment. Come to the conclusion that I should call Comcast.
So here I am.
Our apartment complex includes a "Library." It's not a bad set up really. Free books if you're interested in the variety here. (Looking around three popped out at me, all biographies but not near one another at all: Nancy Reagan, Shirley Temple and Prince Charles. Oh! Billy Graham too. Suffice to say these are not books I'm interested in. Now I do see that they have a copy of Kirby Puckett's I Love This Game, so the "library" is slightly redeemed.) It smells kind of funny in here (not like mildew or normal smell of books, just a little funny.) The fluorescent lights are pretty loud and I'm right next door to the office and apparently there are a lot of people calling them today. But there's free wifi so I certainly can't complain too much. I've been here for just under an hour; reading a bit and writing this post.
I'm attempting to get myself into a zen enough state that I feel I can deal with Comcast. (I'm actually hoping I'll get back to my apartment and the problem will have fixed itself.) I am notorious for HATING being on the phone and particularly being on the phone with random customer service lines. They make me feel inadequate because the whole reason I need to call them is because I don't know what's going on. Yet they still feel the need to talk to me like I'm a moron for not knowing how my cable actually works. I know I plug it in and turn it on. I'm not a cable guy(lady), I shouldn't need to know how my cable actually works. (In fairness, the customer service people probably don't actually talk to me like a moron, I just feel like they do because I go into the situation feeling inadequate and therefore read too much into their tone.)
So yeah.... Dear Saturday Morning, you effing suck. What the hell? Let me tell you, you better improve your attitude by next week or we're going to have a serious problem.
UPDATE: Holy shit!!!! The problem fixed itself! I was just kidding, I didn't actually expect the situation to be any different when I got back! Okay actually the situation wasn't any different when I got back - the modem was still doing the same thing. I went to the bathroom and when I came back from that? BAM! Cable and Internet are back! I think Saturday morning read my post and realized it was dropping the ball. Woo!
I don't even know what to say about this. It's just so fantastic. I mean, the grace of the petal; the amazing contract between the green and the burgundy; the subtlety of the texture. I don't even know.
That's seriously just one fan-freaking-tastic flower.
I don't know what these actually are. But they look (kind of) like four leaf clovers. And that's pretty sweet. Plus they're also just hanging out, floating in the water. If these plants could speak (which they can't because they're plants but I'm going to pretend anyway) they would be saying "it's all good."
Because in my head the talking plants are also living in the year 2001. Obviously.
When I was a wee little child (there I go again) my mom had almost an entire garden (thinking back I'd say she had no fewer than five distinct gardens in our yard) devoted to ferns. The lady loves her some ferns. And I became pretty familiar with the various stages of fern life. I've always been a big fan of fiddle heads. I just think they're neat, especially because if you pay enough attention you can actually see them unwinding and turning into actual fern leaves. It's pretty amazing.
So when I caught a glance of this soon to be fern - that was a variety of fern I don't believe I'm familiar with (I don't recall ever seeing a fuzzy fern before) - I had to get a picture.
It's kinda hard to tell because the water was really, really still but what's actually happening in this picture is the stalk of this flower had fallen over and was floating on the surface of a little pond. So half of that flower is actually the reflection of the rest of the flower. So it's really kind of trippy. But it's also very peaceful, just floating there without a care in the world. Not only because floating on a pond sounds very relaxing but also because it's a flower and automatically doesn't have a care in the world.
But I'd like to think that if flowers could have cares in the world, this one wouldn't because it's just chillin' out, floating on the pond.
I've always had a hard time narrowing down my "favorite" things. Even as a small child I had four different favorite colors. So I'll simply try to keep my favorites here updated to what I'm currently watching, listening to, reading, etc. and how I'm feeling about it.
Current Book: In non-fiction I'm reading "Positivity" by Barbara L. Fredrickson. In Fiction I'm reading "Doomsday Book" by Connie Wills
Current Movie: It's baseball season so I'm going through all those standards - The Sandlot, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, The Natural, A League of Their Own... and so on and so forth. 42 will definite be added to that list when it's released for home viewing.
Current Music: I've been listening to an awful lot of Fleet Foxes lately.