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27th May 2009

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New York = fabulous.

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I conquered NYC. And managed to do it without meds, thank you very much. It helped that I saw and experienced most of it from a double-decker bus and ferry, but I still did it.

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I did not get to see any Broadway musicals (it didn’t fit in to plans very well, was horridly expensive, and I hated Times Square so much that the thought of lingering there to try to grub for cheap tickets made me want to cry. Perhaps once it’s closed to automotive traffic, it’ll be more manageable (ha!)), nor any of the museums, so that will have to wait until next time.

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I took 569 pictures. The majority of them are crap. Taking pictures from a bus means that I have lovely pictures of stoplights, and people’s heads as we were jolted around. The rest are exposed badly as I moved from shade to bright sunshine and didn’t always remember to correct.

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Sam’s baby is delicious. Seriously contemplated sticking her someplace in my luggage, but then realized that since it was all carry-on, I’d be discovered before I made it very far.

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All in all, a fantastic weekend. Too short as always.

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Select photos can be found here and here

**
This weekend, I am visiting Susan and her own delicious child, Alice, and we are finally, finally going to go country dancing. Susan has also arranged a date for me (!!) with a guy who is excited about the prospect of english dancing(!?!!!), which sounds too good to be true, but I am optimistic nonetheless. And on Sunday night/Monday morning, my parents arrive in town for a week’s vacation. Which means I should have spent tonight cleaning rather than fussing with my pictures, eh?

posted in All About Me, Cuteness Overload, Friends, Photography, Social Life, Susan, Those Rare Days Off | 3 Comments

12th May 2009

what a different some post-production editing can do

I went to see Chris this weekend. He moves in just a little over a month. I have so little time off between now and then, that I’m not sure if I will get to see him before he leaves. So I’ve been grabbing whatever chances I have, even if its just a short Sunday afternoon visit. We had lunch with his surgery colleagues, watched a movie (Kramer vs Kramer, which I had never seen. I think the movie’s overall story means less now than it did 25 years ago), looked at pictures from their trip to India, went for a walk, ate decent Mexican food, and just had a quiet visit. My favorite visits with my friends are exactly like this, being immersed in the mundane, everyday moments. Gretchen asked questions about life in medical school, and once I stopped teasing Chris about his “player” reputation, I struggled to answer them. The junior high-like sagas seem so surreal and so long ago, that it’s difficult to find the right words to convey why those events meant so much, changed so much. Without the fallout from Candice, without the literal shunning from that group so that Chris was the only one who talked to me for months, we wouldn’t have been as good of friends and in all likelihood, he’d be decorating my Facebook friend hall of fame, and not much else. Strange how little, stupid things like that can alter an entire life…

Anyway, I attempted to take pictures of Chris and Gretchen, capture them in tender moments. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be advertising my services any time soon as a professional photographer, as I completely forgot until after I had shot 5-6 pictures that I had adjusted the shutter speed to take pictures in the bright spring sunshine, which didn’t translate very well to florescent lighting. All of the pictures were crap. With the magic tools of photoshop, I did manage to salvage this:

and turn it into this:

Still grainy, but so much improved, I’m rather impressed with myself. πŸ™‚ The others are completely worthless though.

A few other (entirely unedited) pictures from this weekend can be found here.

And now that my headache has finally dissipated, I am returning to bed. I do love the (very, very rare) rotations where coming in just before nine is perfectly reasonable.

posted in Chris, Friends, Photography, Social Life, Those Rare Days Off | 0 Comments

9th May 2009

what i’ve been up to

A visit to Chicago and meeting my favorite musician, Vienna Teng.

From Vienna Teng

Back to the Grand Geneva resort, this time with my internal medicine peeps. I’m going to miss these people.

From Medicine retreat – 2009

A murder mystery party. There is a serious lack of pencil-thin mustaches these days.

From Great Uncle Seymour’s Birthday Party

I’ve taken over 2000 pictures with my camera since I got in December. To say that I love it is an understatement. If I die, I may end up bequeathing all of my earthly belongings to it. My friend, Vaishali’s husband brought his D300 to the medicine retreat, which is such a massive camera compared to mine (it weighed a ton. I’d never be able to keep it steady) and, it took beautiful pictures, but I think mine does a good job too and will be even better once I get more practice and become a better photographer. He lent me his 50mm f1/8 lens for the evening though, and oh, that is heavenly. It is going to be my next (and likely last as I can’t really see needing anything else) lens, I’m just saving my pennies. My next project is learning how to create high dynamic range landscapes; I took some photos during that rainstorm a couple of weeks ago, when my basement was flooding again and if I had known that HDR existed then, the pictures would have been phenomenal, instead of just pretty.

From Wisconsin spring

posted in All About Me, Friends, Milwaukee, Photography, Social Life, Those Rare Days Off | 6 Comments

8th April 2009

budding neurologist

Today, I woke up and thought to myself that for the first time in almost three years, I like neurology again. I’ve taken care of some really interesting patients with diverse diseases; I’ve come up with diagnostics and differentials that my attending agreed with; and I had a chance to read so I was starting to feel like I understood the difference between polyradiculopathy and polyradiculoneuropathy (don’t ask). It didn’t hurt that we had maybe 1 consult a day, so I could really sit and think about my patients care.

Of course, right after I thought that, my pager went off nonstop all morning with new consults and complicated questions (as well as stupid questions), making me feel like a freshly chopped chicken and the love faded. It’s still there, dimly trying to stay alive. Who knows, if I manage to survive tomorrow and clinic, it might take up permanent lodging; that would be nice.

Other thing going on in my life:

  • I have just about caught up with all of the little requirements that residency piles on me. I completed the last of my dictations (it was nine months old, but, as I discovered when I dictated it, I had never even taken care of the patient and it really wasn’t my responsibility. So I suppose that evens out). I finished all of my evaluations. I’ve stayed caught up on my clinic notes (that will probably change tomorrow). So I’ve finally been able to concentrate on something else: my house. It’s been a disaster since January when I got sick for a month and was working close to the 80 hours/week limit. But this week, I went through all of the papers that I’ve collected and recycled three entire boxes of junk mail and have collected another 3 boxes of patient information that I need to bring back to the hospital for shredding. No wonder I felt like I was drowning. I’m focusing on the progress and ignoring for now the pile of dishes, the laundry that needs to be washed and all of the sweeping. All in due time.
  • My beloved mommy finished my Regency dress this weekend and mailed it on Monday. I hope to get it tomorrow. There will be pictures. πŸ™‚
  • I had a fabulous weekend, visiting Chris and his friends. We went to the symphony (incredible pianist!) and out to eat and then made crepes the next morning as we watched Sicko. Three years ago, as a fresh idealistic medical student, the documentary might have inflamed me to action. Now, after experiencing the multiple complexities of the medical system, I am become more cynical about the likelihood of success with medical reform. Doesn’t mean that I don’t support efforts to do so, but I see much more of the pros and cons of all of the proposals. Surprisingly, Chris was as conservative about the movie’s premises as I; residency has changed him as well.
  • In any case, there is some pictorial documentation of the weekend at my Picasa site. It already hurts thinking how much I’m going to miss this.
  • I’m getting an elliptical machine and a bench press from my friend who is also moving away (*sniff*). I’m so excited to have my own little gym. Now, the bitter cold of Milwaukee won’t be an excuse to keep me from exercising AND I won’t have to endure endless ball games. As soon as my house is in order (I’m hoping this weekend) I’ll get to retrieve it.
  • It’s actually been really hard recently, thinking about all of the friends that are leaving this year. My medicine resident buddies are graduating and going on to fellowships and careers, leaving me behind for another two years.
  • I am trying to get the courage to buy tickets to visit Sam and her little one in New York over Memorial weekend. In New York. I start hyperventilating at the thought (serious phobia issues here!) but I think my love for baby Meghan’s poofy hair might win out over my fears. I may not see anything more than central park and in the inside of her apartment, and I may just be one quivering jellyfish the entire trip, but it’d be worth it. Right?

And that’s all folks. Tune in next time for another addition of Glimpses of Julia’s Oh So Boring Life.

posted in All About Me, Chris, Friends, Healthy Living, Resident Life, Social Life, Those Rare Days Off | 1 Comment

28th March 2009

-blows off dust-

Mom has a lists of blogs from family members that she follows on a regular basis. I don’t think she’s quite ready to tackle blogging herself (I can set you up if you are, Mom!) but she enjoys staying involved in the lives of family who live far away. Of course, that doesn’t work very well when the blogs don’t get updated. My sister updated her blog Feb 18 (even though she had plenty exciting news to tell), my cousins the early part of March, and me, well, I haven’t updated this since March 1. So much for my goals of writing about Tolkien.

Thanks to Mom’s persistent pestering, you now all get to hear about my very busy life.

The first part of March, I actually went on vacation. As a resident, I get 4 weeks of vacation a year (which I have to plan out a year in advance. I also have to plan out my 4-days-off-a-month 3 months in advance, which makes spontaneous outings nigh unto impossible) and I haven’t had any vacation since October. I was pretty ready for some time off, believe me.
cut to be nice to your bandwidth! Click to read and see more!

posted in All About Me, Family, Photography, Social Life, Those Rare Days Off | 3 Comments

12th February 2009

a question for my photographing peeps

Anybody out there know any good tutorials on how to figure out aperture, shutter speed, f-stops and ISO? So far, I’ve read Ken Rockwell’s tutorials on how to set up the Nikon D40 and how to use the different menus, which was very helpful, and Pioneer Woman’s tutorials, but I think I need a step-by-step explanation. What I’d really like to do is take a class through the college, but I have neither the time nor the money for that. So online it is.

I got some lovely pictures during my weekend with Susan:

Alice with dimples

but I’d like to learn how to blur the background more. And take better pictures of flying model airplanes.

Beuller? Beuller?

posted in Photography, Susan, Those Rare Days Off | 2 Comments

7th February 2009

Photographic evidence

Thousand words right here.

From Visit with Susan

I’ve taken over 210 pictures in the last day. Mostly of the baby, who moves very fast and doesn’t trust me (I rather startled her this morning when she walked into the bedroom and found me instead of her mother), so there are a lot of blurred, blank stares. I promise that she does smile very becomingly at her parents who dote on her. There should be no question in this child’s mind of how loved she is. I’m going to try to experiment with family photos (and maybe repeat “engagement photos” with Suz and I. It’s been 7 years now, we’re due for another set) tomorrow. I can’t wait!

The day’s events included waking up to a breakfast of crepes, playing with the baby, going to eat at a Thai restaurant, where the mild green curry was definitely not mild, visiting every single Asian market in the area (4) looking for masaman curry paste (every store had a different fish odor), napping, eating homemade vindaloo curry and chocolate chip cookies, and going to the model airplane show, where I got even more blurry pictures (see the above masterpiece). Maybe I’ve a future in abstract art? There is a surprising number of middle-aged men who are into model airplanes, I was hoping for a slightly younger crowd. Had fantasies of meeting eyes across the controls and I’d become a airplane junkie, traveling the model airplane circuit in support of my special someone (kidding, just kidding).

Now, Suz and I are sitting next to each other on the couch, each blogging about our day. πŸ™‚ For my part, it’s been just about perfect. Even the weather warmed up into the high 50s (luckily, since I accidentally left my winter coat at home) and has been gorgeous. Can I stay here forever, please?

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6th February 2009

bliss

Plans for this weekend:

  • visiting the library
  • going grocery shopping
  • watching episodes of LOST
  • getting Alice (the babe) to warm up to me (it’s been a few months since I last saw her, but maybe she’ll remember me?)
  • taking pictures of the babe (first chance to really play with my camera. Could I ask for a better subject than a two-year old’s grin?)
  • sewing my regency dress
  • cooking and consuming delicious food
  • E-fest amateur electric plane festival!! (a pylon race! helicopter crashes! combat! night-flying!)
  • staying up way too late talking and opening up my heart
  • remembering exactly why Susan has been my bosom friend for so many years (almost 12 years)

This was exactly what the doctor ordered. πŸ™‚

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19th January 2009

just a little homesick

Flaming Gorge

There are times when I get really, really homesick. Usually it’s when I’m tired of dealing with the layers of responsibility and the daily rush, rush, rush. Today is one of those. I’m getting claustrophobic again, when I get need to get out of the city and breath fresh air and not be around anybody for a few hours. Growing up in a town of 250 people was in many ways difficult, but I do miss the slower pace of life and the solitude.

(Not my picture. Stolen from here which has some absolutely lovely pictures of Utah. This is not five miles from where I grew up.)

***

My talk went well, by the way. I didn’t get nearly enough time to prepare and had my usual pages of random quotes that I shuffled around (I’ve gotten quite good at reading out of the corner of my eye since I started teaching Sunday school), but I did have a good opening, I made people laugh and I didn’t lose my place too many times. I even used last week’s horribleness as a object lesson as how one ought not to be the foolish virgin. Hopefully the next time I speak in church (which I doubt, now that I’m back on the radar, will be another 7 years), I’ll remember this lesson.

And I’m done with all of my clinic notes. This week will still be busy as I have to finish the discharge summaries that I neglected last week, but it should definitely be better. I’m on call tomorrow; guess that probably means I should be getting to bed, eh?

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

13th December 2008

holiday cheer

I took over 150 pictures of the ward Christmas part tonight. Probably 120 of them are crap, but it was fun playing around with the flash and ISO and driving other people nuts. I just love it so much.

It’s raining right now. Earlier today, I had to wear an extra sweater because it was so cold. Supposedly it’s suppose to get warm up to 50 tomorrow and then down below freezing the next day. Makw up your mind, Wisconsin weather!

I have to be to work at 6ish tomorrow morning so I can be done and be to church on time as it’s the Christmas program. My microwave heat bag has just finished getting warm and I’m ready for bed. πŸ™‚ I do love these cozy winter nights.

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8th December 2008

elephants in the room

From white elephant FHE

I love white elephant gift parties. I gave away a stuffed whale and got this loot instead. The sword came in handy when Jared stole the Bop! magazine from me. It had pictures of Hanson in it! *pout*

Imagine my delight when I discovered that not only did I get a sword, but a DVD of Bonanza and postcards of painted cow statues! Wow!

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

7th December 2008

O tannebaum!

I bought a Christmas tree!! It’s fake and cheap and sparse on the full, fluffy branches, but hey, Charlie Brown loved his little tree and I’m rather fond of mine. I gave in to my inner desires and bought all purple and silver ornaments. With the ornaments up, it doesn’t look too bare. My friend Erika came over tonight; we assembled the tree and arranged ornaments and topped the evening off with hot apple cider.

It also gave me a chance to play around a bit with my camera. Still learning (Erika performed in her church today and I brought my camera and took fuzzy photo after fuzzy photo. It was only afterward that I discovered that the lens was in manual focus mode), but I’m so overwhelmingly in love with the pictures that I’m getting already.

From Christmas

(Click for the other pictures of my tree)

Rounding at seven tomorrow morning, which means I have to have my patients seen by then. So I guess it’s goodnight!

posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

6th December 2008

clueless socialite

After moping today for being left out of activities and gatherings, I realized this evening that not only had I forgotten about the formal masquerade ball tonight (some of my friends were really excited about it; I’ve already attempted to get all of the guys involved to dance before and was much more realistic), I completely and totally spaced my friend’s Christmas party on Tuesday. I did nothing that night, just went to bed early. I feel absolutely horrible.

I did get to see a few hours of sun this afternoon, finishing work a couple hours earlier (it’s hard not to get cranky when you woke up at 6 with the thought of getting done early and your fellow announces at noon as you’re putting the finishing touches on the sign out sheet that your patient needs a central line (he didn’t) and he expected you to do it) and took the opportunity to play around with my camera a little bit. The problem with getting a new camera in December is that there isn’t a lot of varied scenery to shoot. Snow. And more snow. I still haven’t done much more beyond the automatic settings, but that will come. Some pictures will be forth coming. πŸ™‚

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5th December 2008


room


(Mom couldn’t remember what blanket she had sent me to keep me warm. Hence, the inaugural photo of my beautiful new camera. Love it already.)

posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

24th November 2008

Catching the bouquet

Some friends of mine got married a month or so ago. Lindsay (the bride) is a romantic and planned the wedding to have a Jane Austen theme. All of the guests were seated at places named after Jane Austen locations: Bath, Mansfield Park, Lyme (which was actually where we were seated), Northanger Abbey, and of course, Pemberley, the table where the bridal party sat. There were horse-drawn carriage rides and silhouette portraits and of course, dancing (although not English line dancing to my disappointment). The gentlemen from my church in attendance were, as I should have expected, dolts and lacking any sort of a romantic sentiment:

Me, teasingly: How long do you presume to reside in Lyme, Mr. B? Are you here for the season? Will I have the opportunity to make the acquaintance of your sisters?

Mr B: What are you talking about, woman? I can’t understand anything you’re saying.

Excited about the prospect of dancing and a formal wedding reception, I had dressed up for the evening, wearing my bridesmaid’s dress from Sam’s wedding with the long flowing skirt that I love so much. Lindsay and Tracy (the groom) were good on their word, there was dancing. Live, big band dancing playing Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong. And I couldn’t get anyone to dance with me. I finally did manage to drag out every one of the boys from my church out there to the dance floor, away from the food where they lingered and insisted that they escort me off the floor (I’ll save my appalled rant on the lack of common decency and manners later) and had a fabulous time anyway. I caught the bouquet, did I mention that? The pictures make it look like I had staked out the front row position, when in reality, I had just come in from the side. The bride threw the bouquet over the chandelier where it hit the ceiling, bounced off another girl’s chest and landed in my arms.

I thought I had recognized the photographer as the guy who had done the pictures for Liz’s wedding. What do you know, he was a friend of the bride’s sister. I started whistling “It’s a small world” and my friend Sarah remarked that she recognized the guy who followed him around with the flash as the photographer for her friend’s wedding once upon a time.

In any case, the wedding photos were posted online today. There weren’t any pictures of me dancing and I don’t like the pictures of me catching the bouquet (I look manic), but there is a sweet one of the groom and me.

Click for pictures

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

17th November 2008

a few of my favorite things

I’m exhausted. I crawled home in bumper-to-bumper traffic amidst what weather.comm called a “flurry” and I called a blizzard (shortlived, true, but pretty intense driving for a while). I’ve already napped on my couch here these last couple of hours; I think I’m making it a early night. Hopefully it doesn’t snow too much tonight, I really don’t want to start shoveling already.

In exchange for a real post, I’m sharing my favorite doctor blog link:

http://www.freshmd.com

I discovered her blog a few months ago and just love it. She’s a family medicine doctor in a small town in western British Columbia, taking care of an immigrant population (mostly the Karen from Cambodia) and has beautiful posts on the doctor-patient relationship. She also takes the most amazing pictures of her family and the area that they live in, which I find so relaxing that I have to remind myself that, no, I can’t pick up my bags and go move there, because I haven’t been invited. And who would have thought that it would have been a physician blog that got me lusting over making a quilt like this cathedral quilt?

Her blog may be part of the reason that I’m reconsidering my desire to do critical care, because I’m not sure that the hustle-bustle is what I really want. The idea of finding a smaller community with a smaller hospital that I can work in is becoming more appealing.

Hope you enjoy!

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

17th October 2008

For mom

Who couldn’t be here this week: a taste of Milwaukee in the fall.

More pictures can be seen here

Have I mentioned recently how much I love this city? And having a camera again? And autumn? And time off work? Bliss, I tell you, life is bliss.

posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

24th August 2008

saturday night ramblings

Apparently, my ladder was also among the casualties of the recent heist of my garage, as I discovered this morning when I tried to find it to examine my garage door that has now started making grinding noises and loud squeaks when it closes.

The ladder was heavy, folks. 50 pounds or so. I could barely lift it. It changes this break in from a neighborhood kid going around, testing doors and lifting a camera. This appears more orchestrated than I had thought.

I’m so tired of feeling vulnerable. Now I get to add nightmares of nefarious thugs using the ladder to break in my upstairs. I already freak out every time I open my garage access door. I peer out my screens before leaving the house to make sure that the back gate isn’t open. I’m jumpy, and just two weeks ago, I felt safe.

The door’s gotta be replaced… there’s no way that it’s going to last this winter and I can’t leave things open and leave like I did before. So I’m researching doors and deciding between Lowe’s and Home Depot and will be getting it professionally installed so it’ll last a little longer.

***
There are two trees near work that have red leaves on them. It’s still August, trees! The weather last week felt like autumn had arrived. A friend and I were going to go camping today… and then it turned into summer again. Hot and humid. And supposedly rainy. It hasn’t rained a drop. So we ended up not going. I haven’t been camping yet this summer and I start inpatient wards again next week so I think I’ve missed my chance.

***
I went to a baseball game last night with the rest of the neurology department. It was so much fun. I love baseball, have since the fall of 1992 when the Toronto Blue Jays won the world series and since moving to Milwaukee have made it to a least a couple of games every year. The Brewers stadium (Miller Park) is awesome…we always get the nosebleed seats that are a hundred feet above the field, which always freak me out until I get settled. Last night’s game was the first where the roof was open. I saw with my friend Rehan and his 4 year old son who was shyer than anything… which was easily cured by the spun-suger cotton candy. We made faces at each other with our blue tongues through most of the game and were good friends by the end. Lots of pseudo-nephews and nieces has taught me well.

***
I did go by Best Buy and look at cameras today. I’m going to have to postpone my purchase of the SLR for a couple of months because of the expense of the garage door (natch). But I have decided that the D40 is the camera for me and I will be getting it to celebrate my birthday in a few months (gotta have some reason to look forward to that milestone). It’s small and featherlight, which because of my multiple shoulder surgeries is a necessity. And I think it’ll be just as portable as my last camera. It never fit well in my pocket anyhow, so the one camera will probably do me just fine.

Although I hadn’t realized that the camera doesn’t have live preview on the LCD. I’ve been so used to taking pictures using the LCD only for years that it might take a bit to get used to that again. I loved being able to angle it and getting those shots that were impossible before because I’m short.

Thanks for all of your input! It was sooo helpful and I was so excited to see that many of you had similar cameras and were taking gorgeous photos with them. It makes me feel more and more that I would not just be throwing my money away on a frivolous purchase. πŸ™‚

I did walk out of Best Buy with a copy of Summer Magic on DVD. I couldn’t help it; it was on sale and I need a little more “femininity” in my life. It’s not available on YouTube folks, and sometimes the urge for Old Time Disney can be a little strong.

***
I’m not entirely sure what to make of Joe Biden as Barack Obama’s running mate. I hadn’t even realized that he had been in the primaries and haven’t heard of him before. It looks as if it is going to get ugly, though, and I had been impressed that both candidates had refused to get really ugly. The jabs about Obama being a celebrity candidate and McCain’s 7 houses (seriously??) were pretty mild compared to elections in years past. I guess that’s all going to change now.

At least it’s not John Edwards. I guess I can be thankful that he turned out to be a cheating louse just prior to the decision for running mate (sorry to those who like him. I could never support a guy for president who’s entire career was based on cerebral palsy malpractice lawsuits. But that’s the doctor in me).

My favorite personal speculation was Senator Harry Reid as running mate. I like him a lot and his acerbic tongue and I giggled at the thought of both Harry Reid and Mitt Romney as VP candidates and the chaos that would cause. The Mormons would be all up in arms, questioning if they could really continue to be a card-carrying member and vote Democrat. And the rest of the world would freak out that the Mormons were taking over and soon there would be “National Green Jello with Carrots Day” in March and no alcohol in the country. Good times. Such a missed opportunity. πŸ™‚

***
Strictly Ballroom is still one of my favoritest movies ever. If you haven’t seen it, you should. I watched it again for the hundredth time with my friend Erika who had never seen it again. It’s one of those movies that I can watch over and over and it still cracks me up and turns me into a sappy romantic. I miss dancing…

posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

21st August 2008

Shoot!

My camera was stolen.

Oh, wait you guys already knew that. πŸ™‚

My camera was stolen, which means that I need a new one. I had a Nikon Coolpix 7900 which was a very nice camera. It took some lovely pictures all across Africa, Ireland and the US over the last few years. The battery cover latch had recently broken and I was contemplating that I’d probably need a new camera in another year or so; it’s just become a little more urgent of a matter.

So, now I’m trying to decide which one. Ah, life’s decisions.

The 7900 is no longer made, so going back to my old camera really isn’t an option, unless I want to track down a dubious ebay auction (um, no). Which is okay. I liked the landscapes, but unless the light was perfect, portraits were always of low quality and he flash washed everything out. Plus it was super eager to turn on the flash for everything, even when there was plenty of light which drove me nuts.

So, something new then, and boy, am I torn.

Logically, I should just find a replacement. There’s some very pretty, new Coolpix that take some gorgeous, clear pictures.

But…

There’s a part of me, a big part of me, that really wants to get into photography. I like taking pictures, getting just that right shot with the right colors and contrast. I remember being in yearbook as a freshman, positioning myself underneath the basket on the basketball court to get the perfect shot of the ball swishing through the net. Then, I knew absolutely nothing about photography; I learned a little about developing film and exposure and focusing (not enough about focusing as evidenced by the blurry yearbook that year… but the layout was awesome!) that’s it. I know a little more now, but only a little; I’d like to learn more.

I was under the impression that the digital SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras cost thousands of dollars. And they do. The really good ones do. But there are some other options out there. Like this Nikon D40, which is basically marketed as a SLR on training wheels for those who are just starting to learn. It’s smaller, lighter, and according to all of the reviews takes gorgeous pictures and it’s almost affordable. Emphasis on the almost. And by report, I’d probably need a good point and shot camera in addition, anyway, because you don’t always want to be carrying around fancy equipment to capture those blasΓ© moments. So I’d probably have to get 2 cameras and that just makes my pocketbook hurt.

Anybody out there have any opinions? What kind of camera do you use? Do you like it? Would you buy it again? Should I splurge (modestly) on a hobby or save my pennies for that garage door that needs replacing and paying back those student loans?

posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

12th August 2008

oh, this is fun…

When I was walking up the sidewalk to my garage this morning, I noticed that my back gate was slightly ajar. This was odd. I rarely open my gate because the wood has warped slightly because of all of the snow and thaw/freezes of this past winter and so it doesn’t close without a very good prod. I scratched my brain, trying to recall if I had recently taken out the garbage (I hadn’t). With building trepidation, I opened my garage door. No one was there… but my car was unlocked (I have such a reflex of locking my car door that I have locked my keys in on a few occasions), and looking in, my glovebox was open with papers strewn across the seat

Yep, my car was broken into. Whoever it was didn’t make away with any great loot (I don’t even have a CD player in my car)… but my camera was there, as I had taken it to get pictures of last night’s pool party (which I didn’t even end up taking any!) and it’s now missing and I think they took the little power snow shovel that I bought with the first snow storm that didn’t do anything. But they didn’t break any windows. My car is intact. my lawnmower is safe. My snow blower is safe. The car title and registration and insurance information is all there. They didn’t take my white coat or stethoscope or badges (which would have been a huge issue with concerns of identity theft and security at the hospitals). I had just downloaded all of my pictures from my camera, so I haven’t even lost those memories.

I’ve already let my neighbors know (and have finally gotten introduced, yay!). One of them had an attempt on their garage a few days ago. Another had seen neighborhood kids wandering around late at night, which could or could not mean anything. I wasn’t able to call the police before I left this morning, because of my clinic responsibility (sometimes being a resident really, really sucks).

I’m feeling extremely vulnerable and jumpy now. I’ve always felt completely safe in my house. I have lights in my backyard that practically light up the neighborhood. I have motion sensor lights at my backdoor. Funny enough, there was a security salesman who visited last week, and I was strongly considering getting a security system; I just wanted to research a little more before I committed. I knew that with my schedule and not always being around and living alone, I was at risk, but I had convinced myself that this was a quiet neighborhood, forgetting I think I was ignoring some nudges of inspiration there, will do better next time. πŸ™‚

I’m off to home depot to research home security devices. If anybody has any suggestions (except that of getting a dog) I’d sure appreciate them!

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