Archive for the 'Photography' Category

Reading, Theater, Management

It’s been nearly a month since I posted anything, and over a month since I posted anything that wasn’t private. I went to London and had a great time. I saw a ton of stuff and took photos of some of it. I can’t wait for my friends to come back to the states. Most of them are going to be on campus for the summer (like me) and I am very excited.

I got my butt kicked by school work when I came back, and then show week was going on, and then there was the show itself. I basically took a month-long break from the internet. I’ve been easing my way back into it, but I’ve been having a great time reading books. I’ve read some personal novels as well as books for class and I should definitely write about them.

While in London I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintanence. When I got back I dove into book 11 of The Wheel of Time: Knife of Dreams. After, I started in on other books on my shelf that I hadn’t read before like Snow Crash and Mona Lisa Overdrive. Now that I’ve finished those I’m starting Stranger in a Strange Land.

For class I read Hamlet, Prince of Denmark for the third or fourth time. Now we’re in the middle of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. I’ve been reading some poetry as well, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and Wallace Stevens in particular. I don’t have any favorite poems, but a couple stanzas always stick out. From “Sunday Morning”:

VI

Is there no change of death in paradise?
Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs
Hang always heavy in that perfect sky,
Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth,
With rivers like our own that seek for seas
They never find, the same receding shores
That never touch with inarticulate pang?
Why set pear upon those river-banks
Or spice the shores with odors of the plum?
Alas, that they should wear our colors there,
The silken weavings of our afternoons,
And pick the strings of our insipid lutes!
Death is the mother of beauty, mystical,
Within whose burning bosom we devise
Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly.

Or from “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”:

V

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” I especially like the epigraph:

S`io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocchè giammai di questo fondo
Non tornò vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

It comes from Dante’s Inferno (XXVII, 61-66). Allen Mandelbaum’s translation of the Inferno reads:

“If I thought my reply were meant for one
who ever could return into the world,
this flame would stir no more; and yet, since none—
if what I hear is true—ever returned
alive from this abyss, then without fear
of facing infamy, I answer you…”

Outside of all this reading, I’ve been doing the usual programming homework and keeping busy. I had this great conversation the other night about relationships, “jump offs”, racism, music, and art. He articulated what I seem to be looking for in a relationship so articulately that I have to write it here. He said, and I’m paraphrasing, “You’re looking for a girl who is a locked box. You want to be the one to open it up and be privy to everything inside.” It’s very close to the truth. I don’t really want to spend any time analyzing what I think I’m looking for, since that will always be in flux, but I felt that I needed to record that for posterity.

In other news, I decided that I am going to finish my degree in English literature and write a thesis; I’m running for vice president of SDS and I’m working hard on my speech so I give myself an earnest shot; and I’m looking into taking on more managerial roles in projects and within SDS.

I think that last thing is important. I’ve been ASM (assistant stage manager) several times in the past, and each time has been a learning experience. Understanding your responsibilities and getting better at them is a rewarding experience. This last show I was props manager. This was my first time as a designer for a show and it presented its own set of challenges. I found that not only did I have to design, but I also had to communicate with an assistant and with other departments to make sure that everyone was on the same page.

This experience reminded me of attempting to manage my group project for databases. My job was to be organized and to have concrete goals in mind for where the project was heading. I was supposed to lay a framework and assign deadlines and mini-projects to members of the team. I failed to do that effectively and it reflected on the project as a whole.

One of the problems with being in power is the feeling that you need to exercise that power. This isn’t the case at all, but many people who are placed in this sort of position for the first time (or couple times) try to exercise their power and react poorly to others trying to usurp any of their power. This is detrimental to the entire process. The real job of a manager is to serve as a moderator between different parties and to give the project direction.

I’m just starting to see this now, and now that I’m starting to understand the purpose of a manager I feel that I can be a better manager in the future. Of course my focus is in technology, but having good managerial skills is a benefit no matter what environment you’re in.

This has been a long and far reaching post. I didn’t mean for it to be like this, but I think I said a lot of the things I needed to say. I know there’s probably another post rattling around in my head but I need to think about it some more before it ends up on here.

I shall forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year,
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favorite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And oaths were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far,—
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Welcome to August

jeans

The summer always holds so much potential. In May, when classes end, September lingers at the other end of the world. There will be countless sunny days to go outside, spend at the beach, wander around the city, jump in a pool. And then you get a job. Sure, it’s 9 to 5. You have all afternoon to do what you want. You can still say up late with friends and the weekends are all yours! Yeah, it’s amazing how quickly your free time disappears. Get out of work, sit for an hour recovering from your day. Get/make dinner. Watch a movie. There goes your afternoon. Weekends? A weekend always holds such promise. Friday night is the greatest night of the week. And then it’s Saturday, and then Sunday, and before you know it it’s 9:00am and you’re at the desk again. Time just disappears, except for when it would be convenient.

I need new jeans. Actually, I think I need a whole new wardrobe. It’s not because my clothes are wearing thin and I don’t want to look homeless (my clothes happen to be in excellent condition, I make things last) but rather because every time I look at myself in a shop window as I’m walking by I see myself wearing these clothes and then wish I look snazzier. I am a simple man, but lately the urge to be trendy has been too much to ignore lately.Lucky for me the urge to spend money is very easy to resist when it comes to something like clothes. Those costs just start adding up. Pick up a shirt, two shirts, some slacks, two pairs of jeans, a belt, a new pair of shoes, and you’re talking about $200+. Sure, I have the money, but I don’t really want to spend it. I’ll save it for when my credit card bill creeps up on me at the end of the month. That thing must be a mutant of some kind, it just grows. Sometimes I don’t think I’d even need to use it and I’d get hit with a $300 statement. How 10 little charges comes out to $800 and I’m not even halfway through the month boggles the mind.

But back to jeans. I did what I always do, go to Google. Google is like older sibling, parent, counselor, boss, and grand-parent all rolled into one. If it can’t tell you the answer, nothing can. So I searched for jean recommendations online and common jean styles. Why do jeans cost $120? I think my previous estimates of $200 were a little low. Yes, I am a wal-mart, marshalls, and kohls shopper. I go straight for the bargain bin. I guess it doesn’t look as good on me, but you can certainly stretch a buck a whole lot further. But back to jeans, so I looked up different styles, what women online had said about them, and it became obvious that there was no general consensus as to what the best cut was. And its not just cut, there are different washes and they “rise” differently. That’s it, I now need a woman to go shopping with me and help me pick out clothes.

Jeans

I think this means I won’t be getting new clothes anytime soon. None of the girl I know have any fashion sense. Well, that’s not entirely true. They have fashion sense, they just happen to be on a boat in the pacific (if you ever read this, yes Jen, I’m talking about you). I wish there was something like “dial a girl with fashion sense to take me shopping.” That sounded a lot more eloquent in my head but you get the picture. If there is anyone out there who wants to help me shop, please let me know, I could use the help (and no, I’m not buying you things, I’m buying me things).

Random thought of the day: you know that nursery rhyme “Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mothers back,” well I guess when I was little I really took that to heart. Maybe it was the fact that Ducky (that great little dinosaur from The Land Before Time) said it that I truly internalized it. Who knows, but whenever I’m walking I will instinctively avoid cracks and dimples in the sidewalk. Those spaces between sidewalk tiles are a curse. I have to actively modify my stride just so I don’t step there. Curse you nursery rhyme, curse you!

I just found this the other day, and it is truly amazing. Want to listen to a song but you don’t have it on your computer? Don’t want to have to scour the internet looking for that mp3 to play for your friends? Well look no further, SeeqPod is right up your alley. You can search the web for any song, drag it over, stream it, and even make a playlist of songs. I find it particularly useful when I don’t have my full iTunes library with me or I want to play an obscure track. Check it out (it works on the iPhone as well, so awesome).

I took some photos tonight

I’ve been taking lots of photos for the latest SDS production, Little Shop of Horrors, and I was going through some of the photos that I copied to my computer. I was looking at what was on my SD card before I cleared it and I found an interesting photo of me.

It was only interesting because my hair was shorter. In the past I’ve always felt that my hair was very long. I had never grown my hair out, so I had no way to gauge how long hair felt. Well over the last 2 years my hair has been steadily growing longer and longer. I’ve had it cut a few times in between, but I’ve been going for the long hair look.

Looking at this photo vs. how long my hair is now showed a noticeable difference. I wanted to document how long my hair is now so that in 6 months I can look back and take another photo. So I snapped a bunch of pictures and uploaded them to Flickr.

In other news I have a research paper to write this weekend and I’ve been reading parts of Boccaccio’s Decameron. Just the fabliaux. They’re the topic of my paper so I wanted to read some other than the ones in the Canterbury Tales. They’re interesting and I like feeling well read.

I watched A Scanner Darkly for the first time today. I thought it was interesting and I liked the rotoscoped style. I’d like to read the book (as I’d like to read a lot of books) but I don’t have the time right now. It mentioned Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and made me want to read it again. Why anyone would want to read it more than once bewilders even me, but I’d like a refresher. Maybe I’d get it more the second time.

I tried playing a video game today. I haven’t been in the mood to play anything other than Guitar Hero for the last few months so I figured I’d give Zone of the Enders – The Second Runner a shot. I played the first 20 minutes of the game and then turned it off. Maybe I’ll go back to it later.

Infected Mushroom came out with a new CD recently: Vicious Delicious. It is definitely a new sound for them and I’m not sure if any of the songs will join my favorites. Admittedly I haven’t spent enough time with the album to really get to know the songs. Bright Eyes also came out with a new CD. I also haven’t had time to digest that one but I don’t know if I really need that kind of angst in my life anymore. He used to epitomize everything I though I was and how I felt but it’s just not me anymore. Maybe he’s changed too. I’ll give it a few more listens before I decide anything.

The “About” Page

For once, I put a decent amount of effort into a page about me. I tried my best to cover all the common questions and attributes, and fill in most of the cursory “what do you likes?” I left out a physical description. If anything I would suggest looking at a photo of me. Make up your own mind, my words probably wouldn’t help.

I wanted to include a list of all the movies I have (over 850 titles) and so I looked for a nice online database where people could see a comprehensive list. I don’t claim to have seen all of these, and it would probably be more useful to have a list of my favorites, but I would hate to leave a good movie off the list simply because when I compiled it I wasn’t in the mood for that movie. I found that iMDB had built in functionality for this, but its not very pretty, so I would caution you against it. I think I’ll make a separate page (like the About page) for movies. Eventually.

I also decided to use last.fm for my music page. I could have just listed the myriad of artists I listen to on a regular basis, but I have a very wide range of tastes and didn’t know how to best represent that. I’ve had an account for a very long time, and I fear its a little weighted towards my tastes from two years ago. However, I’m sure that over time it will even out and give a nice summary of my tastes. I still like those bands, I just don’t have much of that music anymore, most of them have stopped making good music, and they never find their way onto my playlists. C’est la vie.

I want to do a page for TV as well. I use a nice tracking webpage, MyEpisodes.com, to let me know when new episodes of all my favorite shows are airing. It doesn’t have a nice page to list show the public, but compiling one should be easy. I could also check and see if TVRage has anything like that. If not, I’ll surely compile a list of my own.

A list of books couldn’t hurt either. Or a list of blogs I subscribe to (thanks to Google Reader). There is certainly a lot more information I could compile about myself, but who knows if it would even be remotely useful to anyone. I suppose we’ll see.

In a few hours (after some sleep) I’ll probably write an update about revision control software, Flyboys, and whatever else tickles my fancy. I’d quote something from Hamlet, but I’m too lazy. Maybe another time.


Categories

RSS What I’m Reading

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.