Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Et Cetera

Here is the direct transcription of the pertinent task on my Wunderlist task list:
Blog! Sick, focusing, academia, QD, etc.
In an effort to keep things simple:


I got sick on the very first day of classes. Felt it coming on, then fought like crazy to keep it from getting bad. A few days later, I was feeling mostly fine, so I tried to jam way more into my days, and ended up getting sick again, but much worse. Took a week to find the end of it, where I found a sinus infection waiting for me. Getting rid of that was a pain, and now I'm...mostly ok. Still teetering, but trying to treat myself right with fear and trembling.

Also, herbal remedies. The next time you find yourself with a sinus infection, try this (apple cider vinegar tea). It works. Several times a day, for several days. It'll clear you out and allow your body to do the heavy lifting of actually getting rid of the infection. Seriously. I did it. It was great.

Being sick, by the way, is horrible. Not that you didn't know that, but I was reminded very forcibly of this most fundamental truth after the year (almost) I spent forgetting it.


Back in the Utah, I divided my time between so many and such varied activities that I never really got good at anything. By now, I'm sure it's clear that I came here to focus on writing. I told myself that I needed to pick something, focus on it, and stick with it until I really developed the talent. Easier said than done, just like everything. It turns out that I still want to do all the stuff I was doing, and not doing it feels a little like giving up on life.

Of course, that sentiment is only exacerbated by my failure to write as often and as consistently as I VERY MUCH NEED TO, so that has been, or is becoming, my primary focus, as it were. I must write write write write. More on that later.


I'm not used to this. I feel like I spent a couple of years being a semi-professional, not getting paid, but doing all kinds of project-oriented things. I was doing things I loved, and things for which I would have been paid had I been out in the real world, but now I'm back in classes. Homework is hard, I'm rediscovering. Going to classes. Following syllabi. Frankly, it sucks. But I've only got a couple more years. They'll go by quick, and then it will be, quite literally, over for good.

QD (or, Quiet Dignity, for the uninitiate)

So proud of these guys for keeping it going after I left. I've been putting out feelers for how to go about setting up a coordinating group here in Boston. If you're a Bostonite, and you're reading this, and you're interested, let me know.

Et Cetera

Life is busy, and it's good. Quality. Full of good work and shining possibilities. But I'll admit I miss my old life pretty desperately sometimes. OK, often. But I brought it on myself by getting so close to so many wonderful people. And here I go again, trying to do the same thing here. I'll never learn.

Well, anyway. Check. Time to move on to my next task.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Story about Taking Pictures of Married People

I wrote this post over a month ago and forgot to post it. Look at me go. I promise a more current set of thoughts very soon. 

Last week, I had my first experience with wedding photography. It turns out I'm...well, about how I expected to be. Not great. Not terrible. Out of 1,060 pictures, I forced over 200 of them to be useable in some way, so I guess that's something.

I did it for free, because it was for a couple of dear friends, and it was my first time. I figured a practice-run photography gig was a suitable wedding gift. And while I most certainly don't regret doing it for free, I doubt I'll be able to afford the same generosity to anyone else in the future. The event went from 4 to 8pm, approximately, and then sifting though the seemingly endless pictures I had taken, and editing the ones that were salvageable--I think I clocked in another 8 hours. I will never begrudge a photographer his or her fees.

One of the reasons I was so eager to do this, though, was that I knew I'd learn a whole lot, and I was right. For instance, I found myself phobic of closing the aperture; for some stupid reason, I kept it stopped down as far as I could get it--all day long, in blinding sunlight. Instead, to limit the exposure, I throttled the shutter speed between three and eight hundred. If you know anything about cameras, you can go ahead and laugh at me now. Here's the other part: keeping the aperture open decreased my depth of field to the point that I had a devil of a time keeping anything in focus, particularly for a lot of the candid shots I tried to get.

I also ended up underexposing about half of all the shots I got, having failed to adjust appropriately for drastic lighting changes. Listen. Photography is hard, it turns out.

But it's hecka fun. I did learn a ton, and I think my friends will be happy with some of what I give them. Here are some of my favorites:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And Now I'm Here

It's been a long time, I know, and I'm sorry.

Here's what's been up:

I moved to Boston.

Undergoing such a huge move turns out to be psychologically, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and creatively draining. It's sort of like going into survival mode, where all I could really focus on was making it through the whole thing in one piece.

And now I'm here, in one piece. And classes have started, and I'm still a wretched writer, in that I almost never actually sit down and write. That's going to change, though, you'll see. Or, probably you won't see, but you'll hear abou--er, you'll read about it here, when I decide I deserve to let off some brag steam. But no such steam exists at present, so that'll have to wait.

Here's the deal with BU: it's different than BYU. Like, a lot different. I won't say it's better or worse, because I think it's an impossible comparison to qualify. They are different worlds. I guess there is one qualitative thing I can say--different is good. I love these buildings that are hundreds of years old, with dust on the windowsills that I'm willing to bet is older than my grandparents. I love the way everything in this city is crammed together, or was, a hundred years ago, and everyone has to just sort of shoulder past each other to get around.

I love that yesterday, it was so hot and muggy I thought I would drown when I walked outside, and today it's cold and rainy enough to be November in Utah.

I...well, I really hate that I have to furnish my own room in my new (very, very old) apartment, and I have no car to help me do it. But I LOVE that as soon as I step out of my door, I'm in Davis Square in Somerville, which is at least fourteen times cooler than any square in Provo.

I love living here. I'm so glad to be back. Immediately, I want to claim this as my home. I know that I need to put in some time before I get that right, but I'm willing to put that time right in.

So those are my thoughts right now.

And here's my "expert film student" advice for the day: Love where you are, or move.

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