Saturday, May 31, 2008

sale! sale! sale! today only. five posts for the price of one.

I haven't been writing much lately. I know I'll bounce back, but I just haven't been inspired to write. Hence the many photoful posts recently. I've also been lurking but not commenting much either. I think it may have something to do with this being tired thing. I'm looking into it. I'll let you know what's up with my exhaustion as soon as I know.

My absence has caused some unfinished business so I thought I'd use this post to answer a few questions that were left in my comments and maybe I'll even do a meme. How exciting for you.

Without further ado and for your enjoyment, here are some leftovers:


I've had a couple of questions about what kind of camera I use. My dad gave me his hand-me-down Nikon D70s Digital SLR for my birthday last year and I LOVE it.


I will never go back to the standard point-n-shoot with it's unbearable shutter release of the three-second-delay-fame which has left me with far too many photos of Csilla's backside. (Although her bum is very cute, even I have my tipping point.) The reaction of the shutter release on my Nikon is instant. If you have the means, I highly recommend a digital SLR for toddler photography. Actual photos of your child's face can be achieved.

I have two different lenses. The one I use the most is my Nikon 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5 zoom. It's incredibly versatile and gets me most of the shots I want to take. I rarely take it off the camera. (This is the one I had on for my gosling pictures Corey.) My other lens is a Sigma 70-210mm zoom, which gets me to places my Nikon lens just can't. (I can't find a link for the Sigma because it's a bit old-school and I'm too tired to take a photo of it so the two of you who care can see it.) Super exciting awesome. My dad just brought over a new lens for me yesterday. He calls it a "long term loan". Wicked. It's a Sigma 28-300mm zoom with a Macro feature. An upgrade from my previous Sigma zoom. I haven't had the chance to test it yet, but I'm thrilled to be the third in my family to pick up the photography hobby. The hand-me-downs are awesome!!

Last Wednesday I did another one of my BeautyHunts when Csilla was in preschool and the best part about the walk was my brother's Tokina Macro 100 F/2.8 Pro-D lens which he loaned me for a few days. Yowzers! Let me tell you. This lens kicks some serious photography butt. For those of you not familiar with what a "Macro" lens can do, check out these two shots I took with it (click to enlarge):

Awesomeness. How cool are those? A Macro lens lets you get really, really, really close to the subject and still have it in focus. So fun. Man I wish I was rich. I would have ten of these lenses. One to actually use and nine more just to smile at all day.

I wonder if my brother will notice if I, er, forget to return the lens to him??

Next subject:


Thanks to all of you who have wished me a speedy recovery on my bad back situation. I know I'm not only one with back problems so I'm sure I'm in good company when I say it really sucks to "throw your back out". I don't even know what that phrase means. But I'll tell you what I did to cause it:

Something stupid.

That's what I did. I forgot to turn on my brain and did something stupid.

Here's the story:

I'm a lightweight. I weigh about 110 pounds soaking wet. Csilla weighs more than me and she's only three. I don't even know what muscles look like, let alone have any. But sometimes I go to Costco and think I'm a superhero. I approach the Costco-size box of San Pellegrino with a mental image of myself that strongly resembles the Incredible Hulk after he's turned all crazy and green (minus the ripped shirt because that would be a little too risqué for Costco). Anyway, you get the picture. (Silly side note - I actually typed Incredible Hunk first which I think would be way better than an Incredible Hulk. They should make a movie about the Incredible Hunk. Leo could star. Or Matt. I love you boys. Call me!)

Moving on. So there I am at Costco staring down this box of San Pellegrino that looks like a box of feathers to me, but as I heave it over my shoulder, it turns out that it's not a box of feathers, but it's actually a big huge box of heavy glass bottles filled the bubbly water. And unfortunately the bubbles don't make the box any lighter.


There goes my back. Again. Stupid.

Which leaves me screaming just to tie my shoelaces. (Actually, I never tie my shoelaces. I'm a slip-them-off-fully-tied kind of girl). But again, you get the picture.

I'm stupid about my back all the time. You would think I'd learn.

There's this amazing Hungarian casserole dish called Rakkot Kel that I make in a ginormous pot which always kills my back too. It never fails. Again with the Incredible Hulk thing. I look at the dish as I'm about to slide it into the oven and I always think it looks really light, but in fact it weighs a ton and I kill my back as I lean over to put it in. Every. Time.


I don't know when I'm going to learn, but let's just say my acupuncturist loves it when I make Rakkot Kel because cha-ching. There I am the next day on his table with 10,000 needles sticking out of my back. He's probably thinking, "Dingy broad. She was probably making Rakkot Kel again..."

I've had about fifteen years to figure it out and yet I don't. My bad back started out it's life as a nice big whopping case of whiplash courtesy of some useless turd who rear-ended the teeny tiny car I was a backseat passenger in way back in university. I've never been the same since. My neck, my back and my head ache a lot of the time.

And even worse, every time I wind up on the acupuncture table at - cha-ching - 70 dollars a pop, I am reminded of my ultimate stupidity when I signed my life away for about $1,500 so I wouldn't sue the car insurance company and the useless turd driver who forgot to hit the brakes before slamming into us.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Monumentally stupid.

Over the years I have spent more than $1,500 on Tylenol alone for my sore neck and back and all the resulting headaches. Not to mention physio, acupuncture, massages and whatever other hair brained new-age treatment I tried out in the hopes it would alleviate my discomfort.

Did I mention the word stupid?

Next subject:


I'm trying to learn how to take photos of balloons so they don't look incredibly boring, but it's not easy because balloons really loose something when you stick them in a photo and take away all their floatiness. So what do you think?

I took these photos a few weeks ago and I'm trying to decide if they look artistic and interesting or if they look like an overexposed mistake. You tell me:

Cool? Or not? Take the poll:

Next subject:


When I posted about the article that Buzz wrote, I mentioned that I participated in the Canada Summer Games. Not to embarrass anyone, but, er, to the wonderful lady who shall remain nameless (ooops, did I just post that link?) it wasn't the Olympics. I'm amazing, but not that amazing. (Love you, J!)

When I was about 16 I participated in the Canada Summer Games (not the Olympics) on a BC Provincial Team in rowing. But as I mentioned above, I only weigh about 110 pounds soaking wet so I wasn't one of the rowers, I was the coxswain. For those of you who don't know what that is, the coxswain is the tiny person who sits at the back of the boat and yells "Row!" (Not really, but the real version is a long story that I'll save for another post.)

Anyway, I was actually an excellent coxswain, so perhaps I'll write more about my amazingness another time. I love boasting about myself, but this post is already too long, so I'll save it. The short version is that our team won two gold medals in the coxed fours and eights with me at the helm. It was exciting and it's an accomplishment I am very proud of.

Next subject:


Retired and Crazy tagged me for a meme. As you may know, I've poo-poo'd memes in the past, but this one is quick and dirty, so why not. The meme is to write six things about myself that you may not know. So here they are, in no particular order:

ONE. I have my basic sea survival certification. So if you ever get stuck on a life raft in the middle of the ocean after your ship has sunk give me a call because I'm your girl.

TWO. The skirt of my wedding dress (pictured here) turned out to be a perfect bug catching net. Following a walk through some buggy grass after our wedding ceremony in Hungary I spent most of a romantic horse drawn carriage ride through the cobblestone streets of Budapest picking tiny gnats out of my lap.

THREE. Despite some crazy-serious injuries, including this one, I have never broken a bone in my body. Knock on wood.

FOUR. The light above my shower has been flickering lately when I bathe late at night. I pretend it's a ghost trying to make contact with me. It's probably just the lightbulb slowly dying.

FIVE. I've never been very good at telling time on traditional analogue clocks. You know, the ones with the hands? Not the digital kind. I'm not that dumb. I think I missed that day in elementary school when everybody else learned to tell time because I still have to take a long pause to figure out what time it is when I see hands on a clock. Other than that, I'm actually quite smart. I think I have an IQ of 137, but who's counting?

SIX. I was extremely stubborn as a child. Once, when I was about six, I refused to clean my room and was so adamant about it, that I infuriated my calm and loving mother to the point where she threw all of my precious stuffed animals out my second floor bedroom window and onto our front lawn. On a Sunday afternoon. While all our neighbours were outside watching and listening. And I wouldn't back down. I still refused to clean my room for another few days and my animals slept on the lawn. My poor mother.

And that's about it... I won't be tagging anyone to do this meme, but if it interests you, consider yourself tagged and let me know when you do it. I'd love to learn something unknown about you.

And although I was stupid again and hurt my lower back while making the bed yesterday, I'm back in the blogging game this week. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up on everybody's blogs and visit some of the new commentators I've had recently. I don't know if I'll have the time to hit everybody, but I'm working on it.

Thanks for hanging out and thank you all so much for missing me. It feels wonderful to be missed once in a while.


Daryl said...

Actually the top photo is very good .. I dont like the formation in the second w/the mylar at the top .. for me its wrong. But the light is right.

And I couldnt tell time forever as a kid .. all this 'til' and 'of' stuff .. confused me .. why not simply says
its 10 minutes before whatever' or after .. less confusing .. and quarter vs 15 min .. no brainer there


Jan said...

Aren't you glad you have me around so that you can feel extra smart. My questions are cracking me up after I think about it. Oh well. It's just the way I am..

Your pictures are fab. Love the bee. I can't believe how close you can capture detail. Wonderful.

I should hate you for your 110 pd. ordeal. Not fair..

Love the balloons. They make me very happy inside.

Your dad rocks by the way. Give him a hug for me, because I love the pictures your poppin out from his generous gift to his daughter.

I am not going to ask any questions.

Kaycie said...

My husband has back trouble, too. From the same kind of incident. He was rear ended. He was poor. He settled. For the longest time, he hurt his back frequently. He started to worry about getting old a while back and started to work out on our treadmill, his bowflex, and an ab lounge. He hasn't thrown his back out once since then. I think it's the strong abs.

I hope your back is better soon.

Jules said...

Oooo..... i have a Nikon too. A D50 with the 28-105 macro lens. It's my baby. I love it, I love it, I love it, i do.

You have my total sympathies on your bad back. I have one too and I know just how horrid it can be. It gets better and you forget you have problems and then..... poof....... in an instant the pain is back! Wishing you a really speedy recovery.

Huge congrats on your 2 medals and my chubby hips hate you. Just kidding.

You got married in Hungary!!! How fabulous. There has to be a great story behind that???!!! See the question marks? Hint, Hint.

Oh, and next time I have a bug problem, a ghost problem or my toilet springs a leak and I start drowning, expect a call. I'm putting you on speed-dial right now.

Jennifer H said...

I have camera/lens envy now. Those photos are amazing.

I like the first balloon photo best.

You have got to start flirting with strong-looking men (or women) in stores. Stop lifting heavy stuff.

Corey~living and loving said...

Loved the name of this post. :)

and Your excitement over photography lately is lovely. As if we didn't already have enough in common. :)

Retiredandcrazy said...

Thanks for doing the tag. Your answers are great. One question. Can I have Balazs when you have finished with him? I went to Budapest on my Orient Express trip so we will have a lot in common!

Retiredandcrazy said...

PS your baloon pictures are wonderful.

Maggie May said...

Enjoyed reading about your meme. If I'm ever unfortunate enough to fall into the sea, I shall think of you as I'm drowning & how far away you are!

Love your photos. I am getting a bit more into photography these days.Seeing as you're all talking cameras, mine is a Pentax Optio 430RS. Not much good for very close up detail, like a wasp! good for general things!

aims said...

I don't know if I told you this - but I'm waiting to get in for an injection on my back. They are going to do cortisone and then some nerve blocking. I can hardly wait.

What about looking into this?

Millennium Housewife said...

Excellent, I always love a good sale. In fact, even if there isn't one, I get the shop to put the clothes/shoes/makeup/Things I Don't Need into a sale bag. Less questions from Husband about How Much I Spent.
Good girl on the Acupuncture, my job in my previous child free life. MH

MamaGeek said...

I love those shots! I, too, could never go back to point and shoot cameras after owning an SLR.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Glad you are back in the swing of things and yes you were missed. The photo's are just stunning. I am darned sure you have inherited your dad's talent.

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

OK, I'm still inwardly digesting all that lot! When youlet it go, you really let it go don't you!!? ;)

I have a Nikon D70 too and it rocks!! And I haven't forgotten your beauty hunt - I have the photos, I just have to edit them and get them loaded.

And the balloons look fab!

I'm sure there'll me more comments later when I've read it again!

quinttarantino said...

I'm not expecting you to respond to this today or tomorrow, so don't worry ... :) afterall, it's just a response to your question about the landscape ...

And the answer is: yes, it's between Albufeira and Vilamoura, almost arriving at the so called Praia da Falésia.
I see you know your Algarve!

Nice knowing you recovered from some back problems and are know being able to carry that Rolls Royce of camera called NIKON!

Jen said...

I love the pictures!!! They are incredible!!! And hello. . . you weigh 110 lbs? Man, I can donate some of my weight if you ever need any? LOL! I'm so sorry about your back though. I have a horrible back. I get stuck on the floor playing with my kids all the time and just cry in pain. It scares the kids. Oh and CONGRATS on the gold medals! What a great accomplishment! :)

lingovise said...

love, love, love those Macro shots. Gorgeous girl! I've got a birthday coming this summer & will be sure to add these lenses to my wish list. coolio.

Lindy said...

*sigh* I wish I had family that would give me those kinds of hand-me-downs!