Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I finished reading my 8th book of the year -- Intuition by Allegra Goodman. I'll talk about this later because the heat is just too unbearable right now.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wedding in Narragansett, RI this weekend.

I shot a wonderful wedding yesterday in Narragansett, RI. After so many days of rain, it was wonderful to have a clear weekend. Luckily, there were some nice clouds in the sky to diffuse shadows, creating some very dramatic portraits by the sea. AND incredibly, in the evening around 7:30 we had a rainbow in the sky -- without the rain! My assistant Amy and I posed the couple out on the deck of the Towers with the rainbow behind them. It was beautiful. The couple themselves were very photogenic as well -- here are the engagement portraits I took of them back in February. I didn't get back from the wedding until 12am and didn't get to bed until around 2am.

I woke up this morning at 7am and drove an hour west to North Grafton to meet my clients who are getting married on August 5.

Then Ken and I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2. I think Ken enjoyed it a lot more than me. I think it was a bit too long and neither as witty nor tight a script as the first one. The effects were fun, and there were great moments. An interesting discovery was that the actor who played Norrington was actually Jack Davenport, the same guy who played Steve in Coupling (a British sitcom that Ken and I absolutely loved). We had seen Pirates 1 before watching Coupling so we didn't realize it then.

I met with the book club this past Thursday and talked about Intuition by Allegra Goodman. I have 60 more pages to go, but I am enjoying it a lot -- I just keep getting interrupted. This is probably the best recently published book we read in the book club since I joined. Allegra Goodman is really skilled at character development -- she gets into every character's psyche and shows their different motives in this drama in a medical research lab. I know that doesn't sound too exciting -- a drama in a research lab, but in fact, it is. It's a story about overachieving young scientists trying to make something of themselves, and in the process, we get jealousy, politics, whistle-blowing, fraud, and sabotage--all stemming from the desire to achieve something great and having a successful career. I never worked in a research lab, but I had lived through my twenties in a corporate world just as competitive as the medical research world depicted in the book, and the Allegra really captures very well the mindset of someone fresh out of school.

Hoping to both catch up to Ken's recommended list AND satisfy my book club required reading, I brought in several books to recommend to the ladies, and I'm thrilled that they agreed on Silk by Allesandro Barrico. That will be the September book club selection! I'm already done with the August one because I wanted to hand it off to another book club member. The book for August is The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose Lee. We had chosen this because Gypsy, a famous burlesque dancer, sounded so intriguing in the book February House -- an earlier non-fiction book we read on, well, the February House, essentially an artist commune in Brooklyn that housed Gypsy, W.H. Auden, Benjamin Britten, Paul Bowles, Carson McCullers, and Salvadore Dali, among others.

I would like to add Call of the Wild to my reading list for Alaska, but I have to first finish Initution, Silk, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I'm searching for other books with Alaska settings too. I think it makes a huge difference when you're reading about a place that you're actually visiting. I think I loved All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy that much more because I was visiting Texas at the time.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

More Thoughts on Superman

Superman is probably the most boring of all the superheroes. Yet, I can't help but like him. It might sound corny, but I was moved when Superman went down an elevator shaft and raced through fire rushing up a building -- I thought of the World Trade Center and how nice it would have been if we really had a Superman. And same with the plane crash scene. I'm sure director Bryan Singer shot the scene this way with that in mind. It worked on me.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Superman Returns

We wanted to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest but ended up seeing Superman Returns because it was completely sold out.

A few thoughts on the movie. Kevin Spacey played a wonderful Lex Luthor. James Marsden's character is very much like Scott in the X-Men (fighting for a beautiful woman's love with the main lead--he ends up with her but she is still in love with the main lead). Branden Routh looks like Christopher Reeve. Lois Lane is stupid because she does not see a connection between Clark Kent and Superman--even though she slept with Superman, she never once sees a resemblance between the two. It's a bit frustrating.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Thursdays are supposed to be my day off, but I had been bad and had not actually taken Thursdays off for a while (been working from home, but nonetheless, working). But I made a bargain with Ken to take one day off per week so he would stop chewing on his fingers, and I had to keep my promise.

I can't say that I rested very much today, but I did manage to do a few admin things--namely shipping out some eBay auction items I sold and delivering my darkroom equipment that I also sold in Mission Hill. I also had to stop by Dick Blick, an art supply store near the area, to pick up another print rack. Our current print rack (on loan from Michael Seif) is getting overwhelmed with too many prints. Then I drove to Everett and picked up a new can of white paint for the second wall (we spackled and repainted the first wall--the white is so much better than that creme color). We're preparing for a reception with artist talks July 27. Lots of exciting new works. This Saturday, we are also going to be at a community picnic at the Brooks Estate, selling some prints and cards and promoting our reception on the 27.

I should also mention that I started painting again. I've been taking some painting lessons fairly often from Adele Travisano in her garden--a beautiful, unfettered place overgrown with weed and flowers wild and intentionally planted. I love Adele's expressionist style -- so much energy, so free, just like her garden. When I take lessons in the morning, I feel so much happier. Painting is such a different medium from photography. When you paint from something that's live in front of you, you have no limits of the depth of field that a camera superimposes. It makes you appreciate every petal in a flower because you have to look at it for so long.

I also did some more work trying to recruit more volunteers to help out at the Medford Arts Festival (September 9) for the Medford Arts Center, Inc. of which I am now a board member. I've taken on the task of recruiting volunteers. I have 4 so far, but we have time.

This Saturday, I'll set up at the Brook Estate and then Marc Gurton, my accountant/business manager, will take over for me -- he loves talking to people. In the afternoon, I'm going to head over to SandT's gallery artSPACE@16 in Malden. I can't say enough good things about SandT. She's such an inspiration to artists. This woman converted her home garage into a non-profit art gallery that received many critical acclaims -- including the Boston Globe and the WBUR website. Not only is she prolific, but she's so generous in her moral and PR support for other artists. Her new show features 60 artists--emerging and seasoned.

SandT is also the reason for Malden's burgeoning art scene. She was a main proponent for Malden's recent church conversion into an artist community/live-in studio.

I just get so energized just being around her.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Okay, I'll try again to blog... I had forgotten my password to my inactive bloggers account and because I had to have a bloggers account in order to view Maya's Tunisia blog, I started a new account... So typical of me.

Ken and I went to Plymouth yesterday to check out the Plymouth rock and the history of the Pilgrims' arrival. Ken took lots of great photos with his new Canon S3 IS with his 12x zoom lens while I tested my newly acquired all-manual vintage Minolta film camera with my fixed 45mm lens. The meter on this camera does not work (I have yet to replace the battery) but I decided to shoot with the "sunny 16 rule," which is if on a sunny day, with ISO 100 film, you should be shooting on F16, bracketing at 1/125 and 1/60 of a second. This is really the first time I'm testing this camera and testing this rule, so I'm going on blind faith.

I broke my roll of film last night because I was rewinding the film the wrong way -- again very typical of my using brute force with everything... But we have great images from Ken's camera anyways.

I managed to succeed using and rewinding the second roll taken in Hingham at our campsite, so not all the images were lost -- though all the ones taken in Plymouth were in the first roll.

So, yes, we went camping for the first time last night. Originally we wanted to stay at the Myles Standish State Forest, but it was full -- we should have reserved since it was the weekend of the 4th. They sent us to Wampatuck State Park up north (35min south of Boston) in Hingham. It was pretty, but we were way too close to Logan Airport, and hence the constant sound of airplanes over head until about midnight, and again early in the morning around 5am.

A few valuable lessons: Our Quencha 2-second tent worked perfectly -- no pitching necessary. However, I now know never again to buy this same brand of insect repellent -- it had no effect at all on the mosquitoes, which were abundant and aggressive as all hell.

We went on a nice hike this morning and saw a doe. She ran when she saw us. We also saw a raccoon last night -- I think she wanted to come towards our picnic table but decided against it when she saw me. On our hike this morning, we also saw a variety of colorful mushrooms and lichen. I wished I had a zoom lens in moments like those. A fixed focal lens is very limiting. I forced myself to bring it so I could learn to compose better within these limits. But damn! A close-up macro shot of these would have been so nice!