Sunday, August 31, 2008

Featured again!

I came home tonight from a lovely concert to find out that I'd been featured once again in the Houstonist Photo Block.

Check the entire thing out here.

Blue Lights

I'm so pleased!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

East Coast Adventure, Part 1: New York City

Technically speaking, my East Coast Adventure started in DC, because that's where I flew in. But I was only there for less than 24 hours before I hopped onto the bright orange Bolt Bus to NYC.

SB met me in NYC and greeted me with smiles and a surprise: a boat tour of the 4 waterfalls that I was dying to see. We wandered around with a friend of hers from back home and then went on our tour.

NYC Skyline

The waterfalls were pretty amazing, and eco-friendly (no fish or other creatures were harmed in the flowing of the falls) and they were gorgeous to behold.


As an added bonus (perhaps because our boat was delayed for mechanical reasons), we ended up getting super-close to the Statue of Liiberty and I took some amazing photos of Lady Liberty.

Ms. Liberty

That evening found us with an old pasttime for us, playing darts, which is how she met her lovely husband. As usual, she kicked my rear. Ah well, next time! Besides, I was sorely out of practice.

The next day found us running errands, including a trip to Mecca: aka the Fifth Avenue Apple Store. Unfortunately, it was because I needed a new charger for my laptop as mine had frayed to the point of dangerous and she was seeking a case for her new iPhone. My iPhone lust increased to incredible proportions as both she and her husband have them. I proved to her that they were quite handy and now she is loving it more than before. We also wandered around FAO Schwartz for the hell of it - it amazes me the stuff that is located within that store. We stayed and watched a pretty impressive demonstration of the big piano made famous by "Big" the movie.


BIG Piano @ FAO Schwartz

That night found us making a trip to a nearby-ish Dave and Busters (think Chuck E Cheese for grownups) on motorcycles. It was certainly a new experience for me and a lot of fun. Have no fear, however, of me becoming a biker chick.

All in all, I had a blast - I adore SB and her husband and the trip was a bit brief. But I can't wait to come back and visit... and maybe go for another ride. :)

Next up: Boston.

[I'm a bit behind due to lack of internet access in Boston. I'll play catch-up soon. As usual, check flickr for all the rest of the pictures!]

Monday, August 18, 2008

I was featured!!

in the Houstonist photo block!


I have always submitted photos in the past in hopes of one day being selected as a Photo of the Day and/or in the Photo Blocks. Every time one came out, I would check to see if there was anything familiar, but alas, none. I haven't checked out Houstonist in awhile because I haven't been in Houston since May... and last night, I got a notification from Flickr.

I'm so excited!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gearing Up... more ways than one.

The start of my vacation has been a lot about spending time with family, being away from the phone and the computer and playing with my pups. Recently, my days have filled up with internet research, hands-on research and procuring of goods for upcoming East Coast Adventure.

(Note: Boring camera talk ahead. Don't say I didn't warn you.)

During my summer adventures, especially those at the zoo, I discovered how much I did miss my 10x optical zoom on my old Fuji Finepix S700. But having just spent a decent chunk of change on my new camera, I wasn't ready yet to buy a zoom lens. Until now. Knowing that I will likely be walking around cities on my own and entertaining myself, I realized that I would be wanting to take a TON of pictures... and I might want that zoom. And most importantly, there are pandas at the National Zoo. The panda is my all-time favorite zoo animal, hands-down. So I must be able to take good panda pictures. So after seeing someone with my same camera and a good zoom lens at the St. Louis Zoo, I jump-started my research. After a lot of wading through useful and not-so-useful reviews, I headed to Creve Couer Camera and Schiller's (local good camera stores) for some hands-on research. I had been told to look at the Sigma 70-200 OS Lens by my uncle and at the Canon 70-300 IS and Canon 55-250 IS lens by CameraMan.

Ultimately, I came away deciding on the 55-250mm over the highly recommended 70-300mm. The price difference was just too much to be worth the extra 50mm at this stage of my photography. It's a serious hobby, but I'm not yet taking pictures for $ yet. If that time ever comes, I will most likely have to spend some serious $ on some serious glass. But I'm not there yet.

I was also talked into getting a 50mm prime lens, also recommended to me previously by Yankeediva and CameraMan. There was one that was quite affordable and one not-so-affordable, and guess which one I got.

Additionally, I picked up UV filters for all three of my lenses by recommendation of both camera shops for simple protection, added visual bonus and a small hit to the pocketbook; and I got a chance to talk to them more about filters and such with them which was nice. (I hadn't fully understood the benefits of them.) Maybe I'll spring for a polarizer the next time I feel the urge to update my equipment (that will be a good long while, darn it).

I also had to part with my favorite camera bag the LowePro Slingshot 100AW, in favor of its slightly bigger sister, the 200AW. The camera and all the lenses would fit in the old one, but it was really tight and that didn't include the last item in my photography buying frenzy: the Gorillapod.

I'd seen these, but I had never really seriously considered them until recently. I've heard they're highly useful and there's no way I'm packing that great but clunky tripod of mine into my small suitcase. I'm now a proud owner of one of these. I also bought one for my parents for their new camera (still TBD which model/manufacturer) for their upcoming month-long New Zealand Adventure. (Yes, I'm very jealous.)

I've also had to pick up just plain necessities for the trip in travel-size versions for ease of packing (I'm trying to pack as light as possible.)

Now that I've spent that $, I'm onto the 'free' portion of my pre-trip planning: research. I checked out several guidebooks from the U City Library so I can make lists of places I'm interested in going in the various cities. I'm not particuarly attached to any save the National Zoo. I just want to have a plan of attack, know vaguely where I'm going and how much I'll have to fork out for admission.

I'm really looking forward to seeing all these cities and to seeing all my friends that I haven't seen for a long time. This trip is long overdue for many of these friends... I just haven't had the free time in my schedule until now.

Enough yapping, I promise the picture posts will return soon. :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This was a summer to remember.

It was the summer that I was introduced to the many addicting joys of Sonic and the deadly delicious chocolate shakes from Braum's.

It was the summer that marked my long-awaited return to musical theatre, something I haven't participated in since college.

It was the summer that our cast and crew did a very good deed by rescuing 5 pit bull puppies: nursing them back to health, overwhelming them with love and finding them safe and loving homes.

It was the summer of great picture opportunities and great pictures with my brand-new camera.

And now, it is time to enjoy the absolutely amazing schedule of having nothing specific to do except just be. And play with my pups. And catch up with friends, movies, tv, family.

I begin my East Coast Adventure on the 21st, I'm sure there will be at least one post from every city, if not more. And of course, plenty of pictures.

I'm supremely enjoying my camera and am seriously researching an affordable telephoto lens for aforementioned trip. The best of the best are of course far out of my price range, but there are several decent in ones within reason. Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

An Overload of Cute

All attempts so far at a family portrait of all five pups have gone up in smoke. I can get 4 out of 5 in focus and paying attention, but there's always the one wandering pup. More likely two.

These five pups have crawled into the hearts of the Urinetown cast and crew. Which is where their names have come from. Only one, the one taken in by M, has a non-show name: Sadie.

This is Lockstock. So named I believe because he is one of two boys. However, I'd also like to point out the white blaze on his chest that is in the shape of a star. Coincidence?


The other male is Barrel. He is the lightest colored, and probably would've been called Pennywise had he been a she.

Barrel, the blond.

Then there's adorable Little Sally, our runt of the litter. Don't let her size fool you, she's got a lot of personaility in that tiny body. And she loves to sleep all nuzzled up into a corner. Or a sister or brother.

Adorable Little Sally

Snuggled Up

And finally, Hope. The one who doesn't look much like the others with the brindle boxer coloring. She's absolutely adorable and slightly awkward. Her legs don't quite fit her body and she's prone to staggering around a bit. It's absolutely adorable.


And here's adorable Sadie:

Stand Up Sadie

Here's a picture of all save Sadie:

Fab Four

I sincerely hope you're saying "Awwww" right now...

Today's long tech rehearsal means our first day in awhile absent of the puppies - we're all sorely missing their presence. They're away at "summer camp" aka the prop assistant's parent's house for the weekend having the times of the lives playing in a huge backyard all of their own.