curiousillusion

The blog, not the person. :)  Seriously though, my blog has just been moved, with MANY thanks to my fabulous mentor, Matt.

So if you’d like to keep up with my blog, I ask that you bookmark/subscribe to… wait for it… are you ready?

http://curiousillusion.com

Wow, that was hard, wasn’t it?  I’m actually kind of excited that I have curiousillusion.com – how cool am I? Okay, maybe it’s just me. :o)  Anyway, if you have me on your blogroll or a feed reader or anywhere else (and how exciting if you actually do), could you please change the address?

Anyway… see ya there, and say hi when you get there!

About this picture… at around 2am I woke up to this really loud thunderstorm. I sleep with a pretty noisy fan in my room (can’t sleep without it) so I usually don’t wake up too much but this storm was loud and there was a lot of lightning. We haven’t had a GOOD t’storm in ages and my first thought was, ‘try to take a picture of the lightning!’. Just when I was about to call myself crazy, some friends on twitter encouraged me to do the same thing. So I dragged myself out of bed and outside in my pajamas to try to take pictures of the lightning.

I tried using the self timer on the camera but in the 5 seconds before it would take the shot, the lightning would happen and then it would be over by the time the shot was taken. So I just went with the good ol’ ‘cross the fingers and take a picture randomly’ method. This is what I came up with. I’m actually pleased with it, good for my first attempt and so even though the buildings are blurry, I’m going with it.

Now, I have to do a mini movie review. I know, it’s not Sunday but this is more like a “I just saw a movie and you HAVE to watch it”. The past few days, the movie “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” (also spelled Pyjamas) was the talk of the kindergarten teachers. One of them raved about the movie, and shared it with one teacher, who passed it on to the next teacher. Eventually I ended up with it and was seriously forced to watch it. I wasn’t really into it at first, playing on twitter and flickr while it was on in the background. Then suddenly, it got really interesting. Very interesting. Horrifying and tragic but so very interesting.

Anyway, I don’t recommend you find out about the movie before you watch it, just know that it’s set during WWII and it’s about a boy who befriends another boy, who is on the other side of the fence at a camp. Know that it’s sad but powerfully moving. And that I recommend it.

Another movie that I recommend is called “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father”. It’s a documentary and the best thing I can tell you is do NOT google it. Seriously. Don’t. If you google it, you will ruin it for yourself. Just know that it is one of the most amazing documentaries I have ever seen, and it really is powerful.  I watched it back in January and it got me sad, it got me angry… I ranted about it for days after I saw it. It has nothing to do with “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”, the only reason I thought of it was because I went into both movies knowing nothing and I think that’s part of the reason why they affected me so much.

I bet you guys are off googling now, aren’t you? Stop that and leave me comment love instead!

Project 365 is a funny beast. 365 is a long time. (Sidebar: yes I haven’t even made it halfway through, I’m sure I’ll have a LOT more to say about the rest of the project down the road.. I’m only speaking from what I’ve learned thus far.) The first 100 are mostly easy, although at some point just before or after it gets a bit tiring… and there are times when it’s easy to pick a picture from the dozens you took that day… and there are times when it’s a drag to lift up the camera. And then there are days like today where it’s all just… funny.

I had a picture in my head, which would have gone well with a blog post. I took the picture at work but it didn’t come out right and I didn’t feel like reshooting at home, dealing with the lighting and all. I tried to edit the picture in Photoshop but it was getting tiring and finally I thought to myself “ugh, I don’t even feel like posting a 365 tonight”. Which has never crossed my mind in the past… even when I lack inspiration, I’ve never thought I wanted to quit.

So I got up and looked around the room, to take a picture of something. I found this rubber ducky, sitting on the kitchen counter, and put it on top of the TV, taking a few shots. My cat kept headbutting me, making all the pictures blurry but I kept trying… different angles, close up, far away..

When I sat down to go through my pictures, this one popped out at me. It made me smile. Something about the ducky’s expression just captures me. Plus I like the interesting colors in the background (the left is actually the corner of the wall, hence the darkness) that I happened to capture.

So no, this picture isn’t perfect. Won’t win any awards, heck won’t even make Flickr Explore. But it made me smile. And to think only a half hour earlier, I was thinking of not posting a picture at all.

152/365 – bubbles!

Originally uploaded by curiousillusion

So far June is shaping up to be pretty good. Knock on wood, cuz I don’t want to jinx it, you know. But let’s see… next week I get to see Coldplay, and next weekend I get to watch Wicked (I think next weekend… we’re still deciding). I just learned about the McNay Art Museum here in town, and since it’s free on the 1st Sunday of every month, I’ve decided to go there this Sunday. Not sure what I’ll do Saturday though… maybe I’ll go back down to the Riverwalk. Or maybe I’ll go find the other 2 missions. Or the zoo… So many choices! I wonder what there will be to take pictures of when I move to Houston…

Anyway, what else will June bring? Well obviously my move to Houston the last weekend of the month, which I’m definitely not looking forward to… but it also brings the end of the school year, summer vacation, sleeping in and staying up late and going out… I’m getting excited. Hope it’s not a let down!

I have to talk about my bubble pictures. Today was bubble day at work, so the kids got to bring in bubbles and I took them outside 3 separate times to let them blow their bubbles. Of course I brought my camera along and they had fun, blowing them at me and trying to get me to take their picture, or a picture of their bubbles.

Meanwhile, I’d like to say that taking pictures of bubbles is hard! Very hard. So much to worry about – lighting, background, focus… plus the wind kept blowing the bubbles up and away. Or the kids would try to pop them from right under me. I got a few that I’m happy with though…

P6019344
I thought this one was kind of neat, although I wish the background could have been different.

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Man that was fast. Feels like I was just thinking about all the pictures I have to take this month and suddenly it’s time to make my May mosaic. Edited to add: so I had originally taken a different shot of the blackberries but wasn’t happy with how it turned out.  Turns out the ISO was at 1600 so the pic came out grainy.  Once that was pointed out to me, I reshot it, and since I turned on the overhead light, I think it made the bokeh more sparkley.  Yay, I’m happier with it now.

So here’s my May mosaic:

05 May Mosaic

Seems more random than usual, lol.  I kind of dig some of the macros but I’m more proud of the San Antonio pictures… and I’m really looking forward to taking more of those pictures in June.

Oh movie review! So after much debate, I went to see “Angels & Demons”. I had originally wanted to see it because I read the book back in college, but then the friend that I saw “The Da Vinci Code” with reminded me that I fell asleep during that movie. Not a good sign. Anyway, I ended up going… and since I read the book over 5 years ago, I went in knowing absolutely nothing and expecting the same.

I’m still not sure how I feel about the movie. I didn’t love it enough to watch it again (or buy it on DVD for that matter) but I didn’t hate it enough to tell people not to see it. I loved the way they captured Italy, it was really beautiful to watch and made me more determined to go there and take pictures of my own… I thought it was quite violent to a point… there wasn’t a lot of violence but what was portrayed was, I thought, particularly gruesome… which I didn’t really appreciate. Beyond that… I guess I’ll say, if you are looking for a thriller, you might enjoy this movie. Looking for comedy, or a light ‘sit back and enjoy’ movie… this isn’t it, it requires a bit of thinking.

One more note. You might have noticed that my reviews (if you could call them as much… they’re more like my random observations) don’t contain any spoilers. They never will. Last night I was directed to a blog that had a review about “Angels & Demons” and the author of the blog totally spilled the beans as to a major plot point. (Sidebar: saying SPOILER in capital letters a mere space away from revealing something isn’t helpful… my eyes move faster than my brain and I read the spoiler before my brain could process what was happening. Or something.) Having forgotten what happened in the book, it was kind of a bummer because as soon as the actor she referenced came on the screen, it was all I could think of and I think maybe I would have enjoyed the movie more if I didn’t see it coming.

Last thin, I promise.  During the opening (and end credits) I had a funny thought: you know you spend too much time on flickr, when you’re watching the beginning of “Angels & Demons” and all you can think is, “ooooh look at all the pretty bokeh dots!” Lol!

So I’ve been looking forward to today for a few weeks, as soon as I learned that today was the day they were opening the new part of the San Antonio Riverwalk, called Museum Reach (because, yeah, it reaches the museums).  I knew that I was going to take pictures of the Riverwalk at some point before I left town, I figured this would be perfect. I did NOT realize that the new part of the river is pretty long so I didn’t get to do the whole river… I’ll have to go back one day to get the older part.

Anyway, I had a great time. Everything was decorated and everyone was festive, the weather was great… the only thing is that it was hot. Very hot. Over 90 degrees. I was melting. I mean, they at least thought it through and had some little booths where they were passing out water and paper fans, but still… I got a slight sun burn… on the tops of my arms, stopping where my sleeves were. Yuck.

Oh and I did a LOT of walking… I guess that was what I was aiming for right, exercise? The new part of the river is 1.5 miles long and I did it in a loop, so that was 3 miles in itself. Plus I walked down and back part of the regular river. Not too shabby!

Okay, more pictures.. but first one piece of unrelated, good news: I was talking to a friend who I haven’t talked to in ages and I mentioned that Coldplay was coming to town in a few weeks. Right on the spot, he said we should go and so… we’re going! I’m excited!

Colorful
I love how colorful everything looks… plus it just shows the gorgeous sky, the riverboat, and the Riverwalk.

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Maybe it’s just because I was a relatively good kid… or maybe it is because I went to a private school.. but these kids that I work with just amaze me. And I don’t mean in a good way. They really floor me.

Today I had a student glare at me multiple times during the day, ignoring me when I talked to her. Another student (not in my class) refused to come into his teacher’s classroom, standing out in the hallway until an administrator came. Another student (in a different classroom) threw a horrible fit when the teacher corrected him, screaming in her face, crying hysterically and kicking and hitting her. But the real kicker… yesterday, another student (not in my class anymore, but he used to be) decided that he didn’t want to go to the bathroom IN the bathroom and whipped it out in the outside hallway, peeing on the trashcan. In front of a little girl.

These are 6 year olds that I’m talking about. 6 years old. I know I don’t have kids of my own so I can’t really speak much about kids but… my word, this is ridiculous. These children (and so many others) are spoiled, they tell their parents what to do, they tell their parents no and question their actions… and the parents are too… something! to do anything about it. Which of course leads to similar behavior in the classroom and I’m sorry but that’s not right.

It’s exhausting. I’ve taught 4 years and 4 different grade levels (in 2 different schools) and this year has been the worst. I have never met any children like this. I’m honestly afraid for what next year will bring… I’m hoping I get into a good school with good (or somewhat good) kids.. and an administration that will HELP take care of these kids.

Oh and in other news… today after work I went out for drinks with some co-workers. Not really a big deal, even if you take into consideration that I usually don’t go out all that much… but the exciting part was that right across the street is a outdoor track. Track might be the wrong word, but a place that is open to the public, where I could walk or jog. I’m hoping to start going, it looks nice and very popular… it could be a start!

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