Saturday, March 10, 2007

Is America Just Stupid When It Comes to Music?

I just watched the results show from this week's "American Idol" and I all I can say is:

"America? What were you thinkin'?"

To keep Sanjaya and kick Sundance? And to keep Haley and bump Sabrina? What? Are all the text messengers on drugs? That was just simply insane!

I have to say I think Sundance made a terrible song choice last week, going to rock with his song by Pearl Jam. I think he's more a Sammy Kershaw kind of guy. He could have done "Tennessee Girl" or one of his older ones. Didn't they say near the beginning that Sundance's dad was a country dude? He completely stole the show last week with "Mustang Sally."

Sanjaya is sooooo boring that we have fast-forwarded past him every week. And Haley? Isn't she the one that Simon said he couldn't even remember her name? The only one that came close to being as dull as she was Antonella. At least America got that one right.

Although I think it was a travesty to choose Sabrina over Haley, I don't see Sabrina going too much further. She's just not that great.

But definitely better than Haley.

I'm delighted for Gina Glocksen. I had her pegged for a rocker the moment I first saw her. My suspicions were confirmed when the took the stage by storm last week.

I do love this show. I'll admit. But it's also frustrating as all get out. And it makes me worried for some of the truly great singers. They tend to get kicked before the very end.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Respecter of Plungers

It began as an innocent conversation on the phone with my friend Sarah. We each were enumerating the errands we planned to run yesterday afternoon.

"Target," I said. "I have to go to Target. Prescriptions filled, Kleenex to buy..."

"Oh, Target!" she said. "I have to get there and buy a plunger."

"Well, you said you were just passing Home Depot. Why didn't you just stop in there?" I asked innocently.

"Because there is a certain plunger at Target that I want," she replied. And proceeded to describe it for me.

I began to laugh. Kind of snort, actually, I admit.

She paused.

"Most people do not have preferences when it comes to plungers," I ventured.

She exploded. "Oh. My. G*d! How could you not have a plunger preference?"

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Human Alphabet

This morning I got up and googled "human alphabet." I'm looking for letters that have been shaped by people. I'm not necessarily looking for real people. What I have in my mind's eye are drawings.

Colorful drawings of the alphabet where the letters are people.

I want to print out two particular letters to give to a friend of mine. I thought it would be cool.

I stumbled upon a wealth of information about people and alphabets. None of the sites I visited were what I was looking for, but one was a very interesting website about the history of artists using the human body to make letters of the alphabet. This particular site had naked people making the alphabet.

It was an interesting and...informative...way to start the day.

I'm still looking for an alphabet comprised of people.

Free, of course.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Self-taught Camera Games

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic.
This weekend I played with my new camera, a Nikon D40. My beloved Fuji FinePix quit a couple of weeks ago. Well, it didn't exactly developed ( pun intended) a tendency to not open its' lens all the way. This made my photos very short! So I took it to Best Buy and had them send it for repairs.

Estimate: $263.

YIKES! That's more than the camera would be worth to replace.

So, at my request, Mensa Boy commenced researching the next camera. It's just too much information for me to digest.

He recommended a Canon Sure Shot. We both wanted a Canon Digital Rebel, but felt it would just be too spendy...because I needed more zooming power.

But I wanted a digital SLR.

So, after he did all that research, and asked his band of freelance photogs what they suggested, I went out and got exactly what he didn't want me to get...a Nikon.

He was wistful in his disappointment. Which, of course, heaped burning coals of guilt on my head.



Love it!

The book that came with it is good, too. (Although after you've had a Fuji, pretty much any instruction book is going to be better.)

So I've been carrying it around since Thursday night, shooting photos with and without flash and on different settings, trying to learn some basic techniques to get me through the next few stories. My friend Jenny, also a writer/photographer, will go with me to take some camera classes this spring. That will be fun.

This photo of Taylor was taken in the "sports" mode. I consider it to be a great feather in my cap because the first attempt at this mode yielded a lot of blur. Apparently, you can't just set the thing to sport and expect it to capture motion well. That doesn't make sense to me. Anyway, Mensa Boy mentioned increasing the ISO sensitivity, so after I checked the book on that, I found that was the thing to do and learned how to do it. I set this one to 1600. This allowed the camera to continuously focus and "freeze motion" enough to capture it. In this photo, Taylor is doing this odd, burlesque-style shuffling thing he does with this feet and arms, sort of running in place and waving his arms.