May 31, 2008

i heart youtube, volume six

Time for more of my favorite videos of the week!

I saw this one in one of my classes last year but was reintroduced to it on The Year in Pictures. It's one of those that really makes you reconsider the world around you, if only for one second.

This next one features Amy Walker, who has 24 different accents. I found it on A Cup of Jo.

And finally, from Cute Overload:

May 30, 2008

Double Exposure #5

Howdy and happy Friday! Today I'm going to bypass the photography again and talk about a couple of other blogs I like to visit.

First up: Indexed. This blog is awesome. It cracks me up. Here's why:

Hilarious, yes? I definitely think so.

All righty, the next blog that I must tell you about this week is The Dairi Burger. The writer of this blog re-explores young girls' favorites such as Sweet Valley High and Baby-Sitter's Club. It is yet another die-laughing blog (written in the same satirical vein as BSC Headquarters) that you (yes, you) must visit.

Perhaps the best part of this blog is that she sometimes makes LOLcat-type captions for book covers. Check it out:

Because of this blog, I've started stocking up on Sweet Valley High and Christopher Pike books for summer reading. Let's face it: I can't be bothered to read anything difficult for fun this summer. It's just not going to happen.

Oh, and my teaching today went totally fabulously. I also turned in my proposal. For the time being, all is right with the world. I hopefully will have some time to blog about the experience this weekend. It really had a wonderfully positive effect on me. Thanks for believing in me, interpeeps.

May 28, 2008

Tomorrow = Big Day

Tomorrow marks a pivotal day in my graduate career for two reasons:

1) I am teaching college seniors for a full class period.

2) I am turning in my thesis proposal to be reviewed by the graduate committee next week.

I am stoked, tired, anxious, elated, and relieved all at once, and I know I will be even more so come tomorrow evening. Despite the fact that I've been working towards completing these two tasks for almost three years now, I didn't think I would ever get here. And now, well, I'm here (almost).

There are still quite a few things to do before the end of this quarter:

1) read two novels for my fairy tales class
2) write my research paper on a fairy tale-related topic
3) finish commenting on student work for my internship
4) lead the class presentations on the last day of class
5) write my paper about my internship experience
6) catch up on my posts on the internship message board

But all those things are small potatoes compared to what's coming tomorrow. I can and will handle them all. I might even do it successfully.

May 26, 2008

Wonderful Weekend

I wish I had the time and energy to write out a recap post about this weekend. Alas, I don't, so I'm going to resort to list form.

Here's what went down:

- Slept a lot (boy, I needed that!)
- Watched some good stuff, including the new Indy Jones movie
- Went to the local farmer's market and got some awesome produce and pretty flowers
- Went to my friend's daughter's birthday party
- Had Memorial Day dinner with Roy's family at his mom's house
- Managed to avoid the bulk of my homework. However, I did complete another draft of my thesis proposal and annotated bibliography and sent it off to my readers. As this was the most important school-related thing I needed to get done this weekend, I'm very happy to have completed it.
- Enjoyed the weather

Only three more weeks until school's out! Mentally, I am already on summer vacation, so I know finishing up the quarter is going to be very challenging.

May 24, 2008

i heart youtube, volume five

Once again, my favorite videos of the week!

I found this first one via Aline's blog. Hilarious.

This next one is from my love for you is a stampede of horses, just for all you other creative types out there. Be warned: it's a little creepy (but way cool).

Lastly, I found this one on d. Sharp's journal. So awesome!

May 23, 2008

Double Exposure #4

Today's Double Exposure post is going to be a little different. While there's a plethora of good photography out there just waiting to be showcased here, I want to instead turn your attention to two blogs I love. I'm picking these blogs because today they've made me feel better.

itty bitty kitty committee is a blog about foster kittens. What's not to love about kittens?

I love that these women take in these baby kittens until they can find them good homes. I would love to foster animals someday as well.

The second blog is not nearly as light, but it's just as necessary. It's called Dear God. Here's a post that really resonated with me - it's from Trent in Los Angeles:

Dear God,

I am really worried about the current state of the world. People are working way too hard; almost no one I know enjoys life even though they are touted as "accomplished." There are still so many injustices; gay people are thrust into deviant acts out of passive rebellion to established authorities and women are still second class citizens in many societies. Body image controls the media and chips at so many people. What ever happened to those thoughts and feelings of purity when we were young? Do those ever return? Please God, bring back that sense of innocence and freedom. We’re all dying here. Bring back honesty, love, and care to the world. Please.

I am not a religious person by any means, but this blog touches me deeply. We all need something to believe in, whether it's some manifestation of a god or just ourselves. And in my opinion, it's not to whom these letters are being written that really matters; it's the fact that they are being written at all.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

A Request

Remember when I told you about Uncle Chuckleberry's staph infection?

Well, unfortunately it's not gone completely. As a matter of fact, after being on some very aggressive antibiotics with some really nasty side effects, he is being put on stronger antibiotics with even worse side effects. He has already lost about 50 pounds. He can't really afford to lose any more.

Folks, I'm really worried. My uncle Chuckles is not a young man, and he's the closest thing to an emotionally-involved and functional dad I've got. So even though I don't normally do this, I'm asking you for your good thoughts, your healing vibes, and your prayers for his complete recovery.

I appreciate it.

May 21, 2008

There's so much truth and wisdom to be gained from LOLcats.

Best site ever.

Someday I'll write a real blog post again. And someday I'll comment more on other people's blogs.

But that day is not today.

A Day in the Life

I go to work and take random pictures of things in my office.

I take several trips to the bathroom during the day. Sometimes I am lucky and find something interesting like these pieces of soap.

I go to class and wear sunglasses in the classroom. The future's so bright I gotta wear shades.

I come home and wonder what happened to my life. I seem to have little autonomy these days. So in a small moment of rebellion, I take time to read some blogs, hang out with Roy, and edit some photos. Here's the latest thing I've done. It's Paul on his wedding day. I like it.

This is my life right now. Only a few more weeks to go until I reach relative freedom status.

May 20, 2008

I'm busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

To make up for my lack of posts, read this. You won't be sorry.

May 17, 2008

i heart youtube, volume four

My favorite videos of the week!

Roy and I watched Across the Universe this past week, and I loved this version of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand":

I found this next one on my love for you is a stampede of horses and think it is so wonderfully odd:

This next one was featured on Kari's blog awhile back, and my heart was in my throat the whole time I was watching it. It is simply amazing.

May 16, 2008

One May Day

I've been meaning to blog about Mandy and Paul's wedding last Saturday, but things have been so incredibly hectic that I haven't had much time to write out the whole story. I still fully intend on doing that (if time allows, which it probably won't), but for now I thought I'd share some photos.

I took all the getting ready photos, and there are some good ones in that bunch. I didn't get to take a lot of photos at the reception (because I was concentrating on getting my drink on) or at the ceremony (because I was in the wedding), but I know Mandy and Paul will have great pictures from their professional photographer.

Let's start with the pictures of me. I had two gigantic zits that day, one of which you can see in this first photo.

But Mandy's hair and makeup gal fixed me up really nicely, as you can see. I really loved my hair. I alternated between loving my makeup and feeling like a tranny. I'm still undecided.

Mandy looked so beautiful!

Posing was necessary.

And then Mandy put on her dress.

And then she went to go meet Paul.

Paul was really happy to see his beautiful bride.

My husband looked so cute that day, as he does everyday.

And Jake (my brother-in-law) cleaned up nicely as well.

And that's all I got.

Full recap hopefully coming soon!

Double Exposure #3

Take a gander at msthames' photostream on flickr. Here is her blog as well. Aren't these photos amazing?

Also, I am very taken with the photography of Sheye Rosemeyer:

She takes the most beautiful portraits as well. You must read the story of her daughter here, but I'm warning you: it's very sad.

May 14, 2008

One of Those Days

I was lying earlier when I said that today is a happy day. Truthfully, today has been a really crappy day. I feel extremely overwhelmed with all that I have to do for school, hatred of my job, lack of sleep, and other life things.

I took the day off from both work and school, hoping that I would feel rejuvenated and refreshed for tomorrow. But instead I just feel more worn out.

So this is going to be a short entry, because I can only share so much of my negativity with the world.

Triple Whammy

Okay, so today I have a triple whammy celebration going on.

1) It's Mandy's birthday! She is 31 years young today. Happy Birthday, Mandy!

2) It's the two year anniversary of our getting engaged! I haven't told our engagement story on my blog yet, so maybe I'll do that one of these days.

3) It's our tenth monthiversary! I won't lie: this month has been challenging for me. This is the first month where I've thought, "Hey, this marriage stuff isn't so easy sometimes." We are good, but there have been times this month that I've felt some tension and distance between us. Roy and I are complete opposites, and we don't know how to handle each other sometimes. However, I think the fact that we are opposites is a big reason why we are such a successful couple. We really do complement each other, and we respect each other's differences. Every marriage has its ups and downs, and frankly, there's no one else I'd rather experience those with than my cute li'l Roylet.

So, yeah. Today is a happy day.

May 13, 2008

I've got mail. Really cool mail!

Last week was an awesome mail week, but I just haven't had time to blog about it until now. Here's why I love the postman right now:

1) Claire sent me two CDs (sorry, her blog is private). We have very similar taste in music and decided to do a music swap awhile back. So I got some awesome music for free. What's not to like about that? Thank you, Claire!

2) I got four packages of Polaroid film in and got to bust it out for Mandy's wedding.

3) My Desperate Housewives swap partner Robyn sent me some awesome stuff! She really did go above and beyond the call of the swap. We were only required to send three things, but she sent way more than that. And all of it is stuff to feed my creative soul. Thanks so much, Robyn! You are incredibly thoughtful.

It's hard to see everything in the picture above, but she sent four post-it pads, a sketch pad, a journal, modeling clay, and Stardust on DVD. Thanks to Kimberly for graciously hosting the swap!

I'm thinking of hosting a music swap this summer. I think it would be awesome to trade music with a stranger. What do you guys think? Is this something you'd participate in?

May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

It's days like today that make me really miss my mom.

It has been almost a year since I've seen her, and even though she drives me crazy, I really wish I could see her more often. She's truly a solid and wonderful person, and I am so honored to be her daughter.

My mom has been both a mother and a father to me for most of my life, and for that, she will always have all of my respect and love. She is my hero.

Mandy and Paul are married!

Mandy and Paul's wedding was gorgeous, and I got totally blitzed. I came home to find pictures in my inbox from our friend Julie, but I'm just going to share one right now.

I have entirely too much to say about this wedding, and I'm exhausted. So I'll leave you with the text of my HOH toast, which I delivered successfully (albeit a little shakily):

Hi, everyone! I’m Leslie, Mandy’s hausfrau of honor. I know most of you, but for those I don’t know, here’s a short introduction. I’m married to her brother Roy, which technically makes me Mandy’s sister-in-law, but Mandy and I have gotten to be so close that I consider her my long-lost-but-now-found sister.

I remember the exact date I met Mandy. It was March 16, 2005. Roy brought me over to the duplex that he and Mandy shared, and I remember him introducing me to her. He said, “What do your friends call you?” And she said, “Mandy.” Looking back on it, it seems like that little piece of conversation foreshadowed the bond that was to eventually form.

Like me, Mandy is a big ball of complications and contradictions. She’s messy and disorganized, but she’s very centered and calm. She’s assertive and maybe even bossy, but she’s tender and dependable. She’s funny, smart, and a whole lot of fun. She is always the first to engage with me when I am being extremely silly and the first to laugh at my jokes and antics. When someone enables me in that way, they're pretty much stuck with me forever. Which means that I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. (Sorry, Paul.)

From the beginning, I have admired Mandy's fierce independence and her stoic commitment to doing things her way and not settling for less. She sticks to her convictions and doesn't let anyone tell her what to do. Mandy is definitely not a doormat. She’s a perfect example of a strong woman. In the first year that I knew her, she didn't seem to need or even want a boyfriend.

And then along came Paul. I heard about him several months before actually meeting him. Mandy first described her feelings about him as a “little crush,” and I was immediately intrigued. I had a feeling that she was downplaying her feelings for him, because Mandy just doesn’t do little crushes. They did that little dance around each other for awhile. You know, the one where they both know what’s going on but neither one is ready to admit it yet? I noticed Mandy was getting a little anxious about Paul not calling her, so I gave her a few helpful instructions from that now famous book, He’s Just Not That Into You.

Obviously, it turns out Paul was very into Mandy! My first impressions of Paul were that he was just this all-around great guy: funny, friendly, and just really in tune with the needs and feelings of others. My first impression of their relationship was that it was going to last. Mandy and Paul seemed very comfortable with each other from the start. I mean, their relationship has always been so natural that they probably started playing their fake tree game on their first date and continued on with it just to drive everyone else crazy. If you have never been in a car when Mandy and Paul are playing the fake tree game, count yourself lucky.

Not only are they totally comfortable together, but it's completely obvious to me and the whole rest of the world that Mandy and Paul are crazy about each other. I've seen Mandy change and soften as a result of Paul's presence in her life. I've seen Paul drop everything and put Mandy's needs first. I've witnessed them just having a great time no matter what they're doing. They know how to have fun, and that's such an important component of a relationship. They also know how to really love each other and how to give themselves over to that love and respect. They have faith in their relationship. Judging by the turnout today, I'd say that everyone else does too.

And so I'd like us to raise our glasses today in honor of Mandy and Paul, because, as cliché as it sounds, when they found each other, they found a missing piece of themselves. I love you, guys.

Many congrats and lots and lots of love to Mandy and Paul!

May 10, 2008

i heart youtube, volume three

Mandy is getting married today! In honor of the special occasion, here are a couple of videos that she and I both love (and reference often).

Also, I saw this one on Offbeat Bride and thought it was pretty cool. It's wedding related, so it's the perfect video for today.

May 9, 2008

Cancer Free

That's me!

I got my biopsy results for my scary mole from my dermatologist today. Everything is fine. I feel so relieved.

It could so easily have been skin cancer, even melanoma. I'm lucky that it wasn't. Maybe I won't always be so lucky. If you look at the "Inspiring Places" on my sidebar, you will see that a great many of them belong to people who were not so lucky.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Now is the time to educate yourself about taking care of your skin, limiting your exposure to the sun, wearing sunscreen, and giving yourself monthly mole checks. Lydia has been writing different blog posts related to skin cancer prevention this month, so check it out.

Lastly, watch this:

Yes, I know I'm preaching. But somehow melanoma has become my pet cause, and so many people choose to remain ignorant about the devastation it can wreak upon the human body. I consider it my duty to tell anyone who will listen about melanoma and other types of skin cancer.

Thanks for listening.

Double Exposure #2

Okay, here are two more fabulous photographers for your viewing pleasure!

From the wonderful world of flickr, here are some photos from the incredibly talented DAMN YOU:

I love the ethereal, dreamlike quality of her photos.

This next photographer is from Vazaar, another great resource for amazing photos. DCR Photography really produces some absolutely beautiful pics. Here are a few of my favorites:

These photos make me want to meditate. I love how they capture both stillness and movement at the same time. He does also produce color images, but I love love love these.

May 5, 2008

out of focus

Lately I've been experimenting with shooting things out of focus, and sometimes I get some cool results.

(I hate the black hole in the middle of the picture, but whatever.)

I like this one (above) because it sort of looks like a Polaroid.

So, this week is going to be busy and hectic. I have to pretty much spend all my free time doing homework in order to make up for the fact that on Saturday I will be enjoying myself at Mandy's wedding (and thus will not be doing homework). But I am super excited for Saturday (the wedding) and Thursday (the rehearsal dinner). It's going to be awesome.

May 4, 2008

Hungry Eyes / A Sphincter Says What?

Recently it's come to my attention that I have a debilitating handicap. I have had this handicap since I was 9 years old, but I never thought of it in that way until recently.

Folks, I have really bad eyesight. I have been fine with wearing glasses for years. I tried wearing contacts in junior high and high school (due to that oh-so-low adolescent self-esteem), but I have some sort of eye virus that flares up when I wear contacts. The result of my trying to wear them is not pretty. So for years it's just been me and my specs. And I am fine with that.

From a cosmetic standpoint, I really am fine with that. But actually, emotionally my level of blindness is beginning to bother me. I'm afraid of losing my glasses and thus losing my ability to do anything. If there was a really bad earthquake (or some other disaster) and I lost my glasses, I would be screwed. Granted, the chances of something like this happening are small. But I've had a few mornings lately where I've had to search the bedroom floor with my nose pressed up against the carpet to find my glasses that wandered off my nightstand in the middle of the night.

For this reason, I'm thinking more seriously about having my vision corrected through Lasik. The possiblity of not having to have corrective lenses excites me, but it also makes me sad. I've always been the girl in glasses. I even wore my glasses when I got married, which seemed to shock some people. Someone even told me how brave I was for wearing my glasses that day. Seriously?! I can't believe that this culture values flawless beauty to that degree.

Oh, wait. Yes, I can.

So last night Roy and I watched Wayne's World. Love that movie. Seeing it took me back to junior high and high school when everyone used to tell me I looked like Garth.

I have changed some since those days, but it's nice to see the resemblance is still there. And it's all because of the glasses. (Well, I'm sure the blonde hair helps as well.) I'm not sure who I'll be without them, but I'm fairly sure that I won't be able to change my nerd status that easily. And truly, I'm a cool nerd.

May 3, 2008

i heart youtube, volume two

My favorite videos that I have found or rediscovered this week!

Very socially conscious set to very good music, from Black Eiffel (who always posts the best videos):

Very funny, from Cute Overload:

I can't remember how I originally found this one or whose blog I saw this on again recently. It is so cute (definitely worth a watch or seven).

May 2, 2008

Double Exposure #1

I am so glad it's Friday. Not only do I have two days off from work, I got my new lens, filter, and photography book in the mail today - just in time for weekend exploring!

So I have become obsessed with flickr. I subscribe to I-don't-know-how-many feeds, and I don't know how I lived without it before. It is such an amazing space full of beautiful photos and tons of inspiration. There is so much talent out there; it's amazing to see so much of it in one place. I can only dream of producing such gorgeous photos, but let's face it - I do fantasize about it.

Because I love flickr (and photography) so much, I thought it might be fun to do a recurring post showcasing some different photographs/photographers I've noticed. "Photographic Friday" sounds really cheesy, but I can't think of anything else right now. So, if you have any ideas, let me know.

Now, onto the good stuff!

One of the first flickr people that I started paying attention to is lauren {elycerose}. Her photos are seriously amazing, especially her nature pictures. Love them.

Holy crap. Color me insanely jealous of this woman's talent.

Next up is Metro Blue Photography. I actually know the husband and wife team (Jacob and Tanya) who run this business. My family has known Jacob's family for-flipping-ever. Jacob and my brother (who, by the way, just started his own blog here on Blogger) were even each other's best men at their weddings.

Anyway, I recently reconnected with Jacob and Tanya and found out about their wedding and portrait photography business. They are really talented. Check 'em out:

I really love the above photos.

So anyway, this concludes my gushing for now. Thanks for tuning in!

edited: I decided to call this new feature "Double Exposure." I like puns.