Monday, November 30, 2009

#75 - Complete

75. Have a photo published somewhere other than flickr or my blog.


This picture was published in the Houston Press, a local independent arts paper (similar to St Louis's Riverfront Times) in their review of "Falstaff". Opera in the Heights also submitted my photos to the Houston Chronicle, but as far as I can tell, they never made in the paper. I was out of town at the time and the one paper I had a friend pick up, didn't have it.

I'd love to have been published in the Chronicle, but I'm pretty darn proud of being published in the Houston Press.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to have shot their dress rehearsal and to the opera company for choosing my photos to be a part of their press package.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Lists: A Year In Review

A year of Happy Lists, from late 2008 to late 2009. A lot happened in the last year.

I've been asked if I'll continue. Most likely. I think that I'll probably post them when I can/want to versus weekly. Life's going to get kind of busy soon so I don't want to make promises that I can't keep. My 365 project is my priority right now.

Happy in review:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Weeks 10 and 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

Week 17

Weeks 18 and 19

Weeks 20 and 21

Week 22

Week 23

Weeks 24 and 25

Week 26

Week 27

Week 28

Week 29

Week 30

Week 31

Week 32

Week 33

Week 34

Weeks 35 and 36

Week 37

Week 38

Week 39

Week 40

Week 41

Week 42

Week 43

Week 44

Week 45

Week 46

Week 47

Week 48

Week 49

Week 50

Week 51

Week 52

Friday, November 27, 2009

#49 - Complete

49. Start Assignment: St. Louis.

When I started to get into photography more seriously as a hobby, I joined a group in Houston called "Assignment: Houston". Every month, there would be a new assignment. A color. A theme. An event. Everyone could submit up to 3 photos into the pool along those themes. There were newbies like me to outright professionals in the group. Everyone has a slightly different eye. I've learned so much from them.

When I knew I was moving to STL, I started researching St Louis flickr groups, and noticed there was nothing like Assignment: Houston in St. Louis. I asked permission from the founder of Assignment: Houston to borrow her idea and adapt it, and she gave me her blessing.

After participating in a meetup at the Botanical Garden, I bounced the idea off my walking companions and they seemed into it. So I adapted the rules for St Louis and started the group. The initial invites were for three people.

Today, Assignment: St. Louis has 37 members, including me. We've had three assignments so far and I love what I'm seeing. I think we have varying levels of photographers in the pool and I love seeing St Louis through someone else's eyes. I haven't been able to participate in the themes since the first one, but I love seeing what the group comes up with. The response has been positive. I'm looking forward to it becoming a more active group/community with meet ups of our own and/or more interaction.

Thursday, November 26, 2009




Maya, being uncharacteristically calm and sleepy. I think she knew something was up when I started packing. I'll miss this cute little face!



After flying all day, it was nice to be welcomed home by my parents and my pups. This isn't my greatest picture of mellow Tom, but I was tired...



I'm not quite sure how this started, but it's a roommate tradition now. Every time there's a big event (starting school, starting break, coming back from a gig, etc), we give each other Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate. This is one of the yummy bars awaiting my arrival. I like these kinds of traditions.



It's a little chilly here in STL, and these super-soft slippers keep my feet nice and warm.



One of my holiday card options - I figure its not too much of a giveaway since not everyone will get one of these.



LA, who got me hooked into Twilight, and was gearing up to leave STL/USA for Germany, wanted to see this movie. At the 'last minute', we decided to see if there were any tickets left for the midnight showing. Not quite sure why, but we did. And there were. The first movie was re-released into theatres as well and we decided to see it. Probably not a bad idea as it killed time so we didn't fall asleep before the midnight showing and prevented us from being in too many stupid long lines. However, this was my first and last midnight showing. Rabid and screaming fans (of all ages from tween to adult) are just not my (or LA's) cup of tea. It was an experience and the movie was worth it. Let's hope she's back for the next one...



Sometimes you find beauty in the most unexpectedly places. This is Weldon Springs, MO.



This is Eli, LA's dog. I helped LA get last minutes details together/pack/sort/etc. Eli doesn't like his picture taken too much but he obliged for a few cute photos.



Here's my lovely Pippin, who gives me a great big smile. I love this pup.



I really don't like mushrooms unless they're disguised. My roommate found a great stuffed cap recipe that makes them tasty to me.



Hands down my favorite crackers ever. Thank you, Trader Joe's for stocking these delightful snacks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Life List - updated

Almost a year ago, I published my life list here on this very blog. I've been meaning to alter it/update it throughout the year but have only now gotten around to do it. I felt that the original list had too many unquantifiable things on it, and I hadn't included some things that I realized that I did want to do/accomplish. So without further adieu, here is the updated list. Some items on this list have indeed been accomplished and I'll cover those in future posts. Some items I'd like to elaborate on, and I may cover those in future posts as well.

1. Make a weekly happy list for a year and publish it here.

2. Live in a city I love, or at least, don't hate.

3. Help someone else cross something off their list.

4. Learn another language.

5. Visit all 50 states. (And stay at least a night, or more. Driving through doesn’t count, unfortunately.)

6. Go back to writing good old-fashioned letters.

7. Fall in love.

8. Get paid for my photography or a photo of mine.

9. Lose weight and keep it off.

10. Incorporate exercise into my daily or weekly routine.

11. Teach someone to read. Bonus points if it’s an adult.

12. Become a better photographer and master my camera.

13. See a movie at a drive-in.

14. Take a picture every day for a year.

15. Take a road trip across the US.

16. Raise and train my own dog.

17. Remove money as a driving concern in my life.

18. Make a high-school reading list of books I never read. Read them.

19. Fly first class, preferably internationally.

20. Train a dog to help others (seeing eye dog, therapy dog, rescue dog, I’m not picky.)

21. Live in a house with a porch, preferably wrap-around.

22. Visit all the national parks in the continental United States.

23. Spend New Year's Eve on a beach.

24. Have a baby.

25. See Northern Lights in person.

26. Grown my own food. (I’m talking like an herb or vegetable garden, not farming.)

27. Learn how to do my own taxes.

28. Build a house for Habitat for Humanity.

29. Visit South Korea.

30. Build some of my own furniture (IKEA and DIY kits don’t count).

31. Go on a hot air balloon ride.

32. Visit the Crater of Diamonds and find hopefully find one.

33. Get over my fear of needles and join the Bone Marrow Donor Registry, and maybe save someone’s life.

34. Own my own home.

35. Consolidate my possessions and learn to live less materialistically.

36. Eat more locally.

37. Learn how to cook less like a college student again.

38. Learn how to play a stringed instrument (violin?) don't have to be good

39. Make more time for reading books.

40. Take a calligraphy course, in order to improve my handwriting. (worked the last time, for awhile)

41. Travel via train, preferably cross-country.

42. Own a piece of Chihuly glass.

43. Be a bridesmaid.

44. Donate to a charity regularly, despite my non-richness.

45. See a really spectacular fall foliage display since I’ve lived in areas without seasons for too long.

46. See the Cherry Blossoms around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC in full bloom.

47. Donate blood despite my fear of needles and tendency to pass out when donating said blood.

48. See a sunrise or sunset on a beach.

49. Start Assignment:St. Louis.

50. Throw a surprise party. Because those are the best kind.

51. Try my hand at non-camera related visual arts.

52. Locks of Love. I’d love to be able to help someone out by growing my hair long again.

53. Have one of my photographs hung on the wall of someone else's house.

54. Reconnect people from my past that I've lost touch with.

55. See 'classic movies' that I haven't seen. Will take suggestions.

56. Learn how to use Photoshop to enhance my photos - just to see what I'm missing.

57. Photograph a Day in My Life and Blog about it.

58. Learn how to budget properly and stick to it.

59. Learn sign language. Don’t have to be fluent, but it’d be nice to learn some of the basics besides fingerspelling.

60. Travel overseas again. I’ve only been twice, and I should go again.

62. Get hired overseas.

63. Learn how to make pottery.

64. Make a stained glass window.

65. Learn how to make my own jewelry.

66. Teach myself origami.

67. Have a piece of my writing published somewhere other than my blog.

68. Meet a panda outside of a zoo. Going to a panda sanctuary counts.

69. Hold a koala. Or meet a kangaroo.

70. See an opera at the Met.

71. Float in the Dead Sea. Apparently, it's drying up and maybe I should go before it's a myth.

72. Drive along Route 66.

73. Enter a photography competition. Bonus points if a finalist or winner.

74. Visit Laura Ingalls Wilder’s house. (Or re-visit, as it were).

75. Have a photo published somewhere other than flickr or my blog.

76. Visit Auschwitz and/or Dachau.

77. See famous works of art in person. This may involve a trip to the Louvre.

78. Achieve some of your life goals with friends and family.

79. Sleep under the stars. (Yes, I've camped, but I'm talking sleeping outside of a tent).

80. Blog about each item done.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

#1 - Complete

1. Make a weekly happy list for a year and publish it here.

I plan on making some alterations to my Life List in the near future, because some of them are repetitive in nature. I've been doing some research on making it a better list.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy List, Week 52

Perfect Rose

1. Family picking you up at the airport. It's the best.

2. Being home again... both at my parents, and my own apartment. Being around one's stuff is absolutely great.

3. Unpacking.

4. Enthusiastic greeting from your dogs who didn't know you were coming. I love and adore my dogs.

5. Cuddling with aforementioned dogs. There's nothing like it in the world.

6. Spending time with your roommate whom you haven't seen in ages.

7. Spending time with a really good friend who is leaving the country for about a year.

8. Seeing a guilty pleasure movie with aforementioned friend at a scary midnight showing. Never again - die-hard fans are scary.

9. Sleeping. (especially in one's own bed).

10. Crossing stuff off. (See tomorrow's post).

Friday, November 20, 2009


Massive catch-up post again. Now that I'm off contract for a bit, I may get back to regularly updating this blog again. Which I'm sure will please my vocal readership of one (yes, you know who you are), and perhaps my silent readership of who knows how many. I'd certainly like to get back in the habit. That being said, I'm still amazed that I've kept this 365 project going, despite the absolutely crazy schedule I've been maintaining lately. Sure, some of the pictures aren't my best, but they are an accurate log of this year so far, and my experiences. And that's truly all I can ask for, right?



Day 173 was our Orchestra Dress. This is a shot of the fly rail, stage right, where I call the show from.



A make-up artist's cheat sheet for our clown faces for our three principal clowns. Day 174 was our Student (aka Final) Dress, our first audience!



Day 175 was my first official day off since I had arrived in Alaska. This is a lovely ornament hung in my host's kitchen - I never left the house all day and it was wonderful



Opening night flowers from the company. Lovely, aren't they?



Another blissful day off and some quality time spent with this lovely pup. Look at those eyes, don't you just want to melt?



A sunset drive along Seward Highway with TP. Alaskan sunsets are simply stunning.



I took a trip to Seward, which is about two hours in the car each way. Most things were closed but it was worth it to be down there, even if it was just for an hour.



Our first snow of the season! Two days short of a record 'warm' spell.



A lovely mirror hanging in my host's home.



A lovely gift from my lovely and talented hostess!



Enjoyed a lovely lunch with WTH, a fellow Korean food fan who has a braver palate than I.

This is a long enough post, more for next time!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy List, Week 51

Perfect Rose

1. First snow. The first snow of the season is always the best.

2. Alaskan sunsets. WOW. They're gorgeous and they last forever. Amazing.

3. Beautiful Alaskan scenery. Even if I'm denied seeing some of it due to winter closings.

4. More snow. Its really beautiful, until I have to drive in it.

5. Days off inbetween shows. A lovely thing.

Short list, but that doesn't mean that I was unhappy...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy List, Week 50

Perfect Rose

1. Shorter days. Mornings off provide opportunities to sleep in, pay bills, and do laundry. But they're such a tease.

2. A good night's sleep. Something I haven't gotten since I got here. Yikes.

3. Maya, my hostess' dog. So sweet. So adorable.

4. Eating meals at home. It may be simple since I haven't had time to go grocery shopping, but it sure beats microwaveable meals.

5. My bed. Did I mention how comfortable it is? I can't tell if its the bed or the opportunity to sleep in but I've gotten so much sleep these last few days and its has done wonders.

6. Diet Coke. Without it, I would not have survived this past week, not to mention this past month.

7. Finally opening. What a relief.

Friday, November 6, 2009




If you look closely, this is a recipe for Long Island Iced Tea... in Italian. A prop for "Suor Angelica". PG, our props guy, has some great attention to detail.



Sunrise over the Chugach Mountains in our last day in the rehearsal space.



Our first day in the theatre - behold the tent for Pagliacci.



Happy Halloween - my halloween was spent in 6 hours of spacing/tech rehearsals. Wheeee. My costume? Red sequined horns.



A backstage view of our sets... the arches from Suor Angelica with the Pagliacci tent in the background. If you look carefully at the photo stats, the photo claims to be taken on Nov 2nd. In fact, it was taken at 11pm Alaska time on Nov 1. Daylight Savings Time cursed me on this particular day, but the photo was taken ON Nov 1st. I haven't missed a day yet.



I lent a hand in the costume shop and this is what I got to stare at while sewing patches on clown suit.



This was the sitzprobe day, which is also known as the first orchestra rehearsal WITH singers, on the stage. Usually, they just sit in chairs, but not for this one. They were on their feet, all the time. Since these are active shows, with offstage singing, wandering around was what was needed. This is the harp, played by the harpist who also happens to be a nun in Suor Angelica. No kidding. Talk about multi-talented.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy List, Week 49

Perfect Rose

1. The end in sight. The 9am-11pm rehearsal days are drawing to a close - moving to the theatre means slightly shorter days.

2. Denny's. I haven't had a good breakfast since I got here. Just cereal or muffins. What a welcome change. I missed eggs.

3. Good colleagues. They do make a show better.

4. Being in the theatre. I'm surprised at how much I remember. (Like how to get around, and my massive ring of keys).

5. My really comfy bed here. It's been wonderful.

6. Daylight savings time. Because I really needed that extra hour.