Monday, August 31, 2009

Here we go!

My 101 things officially start at midnight! I am going to conveniently ignore the fact that I might have already started one or two. ::wink::

I think I am going to start with the positivity challenge right away though. I think I really need it!

I'm the "ethnic" person in my office

I don't know how this happened, since I thought I was as Caucasian as they come, but I guess anyone can appear ethnically diverse when you are surrounded by true wasps.

I noticed this when I brought dolmades for lunch the first time, maybe a month ago? Now, this is the food of my people. I might be almost 75% European mutt, but I am also 1/4 Lebanese. Never mind the fact that Lebanese are also considered Caucasian. Anyway, stuffed grape leaves have been a part of my family heritage my entire life. My family used to make them with lamb or sometimes ground beef, but I prefer just the rice filling with the spices. Although it might be fun to see what other yummy combinations I can come up with. But I digress.

So my stuffed grape leaves are sitting in a tupperware container inside the fridge at the office and my CW freaks out. I mean, FREAKS. She was so grossed out and couldn't comprehend that anyone would eat something like that. Huh? I was shocked. And maybe a bit amused. I never considered myself an adventurous eater. I don't eat octopus or squid or shrimp. I tried sea urchin once, and won't ever do it again.

So when I packed my lunch for today, I included some dolmades and giggled a little. Maybe next time I should pack some tabbouleh too and really freak 'em out.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

WW Weigh in, Week 30, Week 3 of Maintenance

Goal Weight: 156.0
Current Weight: 155.6
Difference: -0.4

Three weeks down, three to go! This week was another binger for me, and I didn't run as many miles. I need to crack down again, at least for the next week before I go out of town for Labor Day!

Also, today the leader asked me if I had ever thought about being a WW receptionist or leader. I would LOVE to, but my current shitty work schedule prevents me from a lot of stuff like this. She did mention that it was a very flexible schedule, so maybe it would work after all. I think I will look into that.

Anyway, I weighed in early because I am going to see one of my favorite bands tonight - Cake! Wheeeee! I hope I'm not too tired to enjoy them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weight Loss - what works for me

I thought it would be nice of me to share what has been working for me as far as weight loss goes. Most of you probably already know I am on Weight Watchers, which is a plan I highly recommend. Everything I do is within those plan guidelines, but I hope you can utilize some of my secrets even if you aren't following WW.

First tip, or how I can be satisfied on very few calories
WW is a low calorie plan which assigns points to food based on the number of calories, fat and fiber the food contains. Most veggies are zero points, fruits are 1 point, and it goes up from there. The last month or so I have only had about 21 points a day, which considering a point is about 50 calories, give or take, less than 1200 calories. But when you add in fruits and veggies, you increase your calorie intake without impacting your points too much. If I have no points left, I can always eat veggies with some vinegar or lemon pepper. I happen to like vinegar and lemon pepper a lot, so this totally works for me. Also, I totally believe eating fresh fruits and veggies helps with weight loss beyond the calorie savings.

Second tip - exercise is key
I like to eat. I really like to eat things that aren't so healthy or low calorie. I LOVE cheese. I love olive oil. I love butter and bread and tortillas. The list could go on and on. There is no way I would have lost any weight without running. Really, any exercise works - Running just works for me because I burn a lot of calories and I have a very specific goal. I am inherently lazy - if I didn't have a marathon looming ahead of me, I would have skipped at least half my runs, if not all of them. The more calories you burn, the more you can eat. And I do not believe in eliminating your favorite foods - it just makes you want them more. Exercise allows you to eat them relatively guilt free.

Tip three - enjoy in moderation
This is a really hard one for me, but if you can master it, your body will thank you. The trick is to combine your favorite foods with healthy ones and only eat until satisfied. For example, I LOVE cheese enchiladas, but a plate of cheese enchiladas with rice and beans would kill my weight loss. So when I go to a Mexican restaurant, I will often order a big salad with salsa as dressing (0 points!) and one cheese enchilada a la carte. Don't get me wrong, I love rice and beans too, but the cheese enchilada is the piece de resistance. And that way I can have a margarita too! Also, ordering smaller dishes (a la carte) helps prevent you from stuffing yourself. I can hardly even stop eating when I am satisfied - if that food is in front of me, I want to eat it. So I try to prevent that by ordering smaller portions.

Afternoon munchies and things to eat to get through it
I often have the afternoon munchies. In fact, there are days when I have the "all day munchies" and end up eating my lunch and all my snacks for the day before noon. Now, if I have packed well, I probably have some carrots, celery, broccoli and even pickles somewhere in there to fill me up and slow me down. If not, or it was a particularly munchy day and they are already gone, I have a stash in my desk that keeps me from the vending machine. Sugar free candy and gum. I have sugar free Werther's hard caramels, sugar free life savers, and assorted gum flavors. It's something to stick in your mouth without impacting your calorie intake too much. I also avoid keeping money in my purse so that I have no way of buying anything from the vending machines. This unfortunately does not work as well when you have CW's that bring in snacks. That's where the minty gum comes in. H+P

Planning ahead
Planning ahead helps me all the time. If I am going to a restaurant I always look on their website for nutritional information. If they don't have it listed (which I hear is going to change in 2010?) then I look at the menu for something relatively healthy. Since I work in the restaurant industry, I know all the hidden places chefs like to add fat, so I usually stick to cold salads. I will look for a salad that has the most healthy items (a variety of veggies, maybe some legumes) and the least amount of bad things like cheese, bready things like croutons and tortilla strips, and bacon. I will write everything down on a post it and bring it with me to help me stay on plan. Then I will order like a crazy person - no this, no that, and dressing on the side. Dressing always on the side. Even if they say the dressing is awesomely low fat/calories. I don't trust them.

Planning ahead can also help with just your day to day eating. I have found that it is very easy for me to overeat on even healthy things, or get a bit lax about getting my veggies, dairy and healthy fats in. If I plan out my days meals in advance, then I don't get into a situation where I run out of points or even go over. It also helps me stay on plan because I know what I am supposed to be eating rather than walking into the kitchen and reaching for the first thing I see. It even helps me logically plan out my splurges, because I know if I have a little wiggle room.

My Biggest Obstacle
My support system, or lack thereof. Don't get me wrong - I have so many people who are supportive! But they aren't usually there when it is time to eat. My husband is the absolute worst. He has no idea what is healthy and what isn't, nor does he have any idea on portion sizes. He would like to lose weight, but isn't very motivated, and when he wants to eat bad food, I have three choices: 1. Be a major BITCH about it until he gets mad at me and gives up, 2. Give in, or 3. Let him order the pizza/open the wine/etc. and watch him indulge.

I need to have a heart to heart with him about this, I know. Fortunately, it doesn't happen often enough to have really derailed my progress, but it pisses me off.

Anyway, I hope this has helped some of you, at least to think about your biggest obstacles and how you might be able to deal with them in a way that works for you!

Anthony Bourdain is more eloquent than I am

In his Montana show this week, he described planned cookie-cutter communities (exactly where I live) as "sterilized."

This is exactly how I feel. I feel like our entire world is being sterilized, especially my current city of residence. I would also like to point out that sterilized is not the same thing as clean, nor does it automatically indicate safe. It's just sterile. And that's not how I prefer to live my life. I don't mind getting dirty or messy. Life is not sterile, at least if you know how to live. The world is not simple, it's complicated. And trying to control it, contain it, sterilize it, doesn't change what it is. Sorry to beat a dead horse, it just resonated with me.

Maybe I should start paying more attention to life lessons brought to me via Anthony Bourdain!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thanks - I feel better

I appreciate everyone letting me vent yesterday. It really helped to get it all out, and to imagine that people will read it. Thank you for your comments, because now I know a few people did!

Yes, I need to remember that stereotyping is not the way to go. I'm better than that. I also know that many, MANY people have been through similar experiences, and many had/have it worse than I do. I am lucky to have people who care about me. And while there are those rude people that piss me off, I must remember that they are probably miserable people that I should actually feel sorry for. That's my belief and I'm sticking to it.

So back to my life - as you can see below, I am starting a project to encourage me to get more out of my own life. To have goals, written down and public, so that I have something to focus on when things get tough. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The harder they come, the harder they fall. While this song may not apply directly, it was one of the songs my mother and I would play when I was just a kid, and it seemed like the world was against us.

101 things in 1001 days

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

For more information, visit The Day Zero Project

I am starting my 101 things on September 1, 2009. My final goal date is Tuesday, May 29, 2012. I will be pushing 39 years old. I sure as hell hope this list is complete and error free. I am pretty much sick of looking at it.

UPDATE, May 11, 2012: Well, I didn't quite finish, but I'm not giving up. I have decided to give myself until September 30, 2013 and I have adjusted some of my goals to make them more realistic as well as reflect my current lifestyle, since it has changed so dramatically.

In progress tasks will look like this.
Completed tasks will look like this.

Health and Fitness
1. Run a Marathon - Blog Post
2. Do a Triathalon
3. Get my Weight Watchers Lifetime Status - Blog Post
4. Become a Marathon Maniac
5. Complete the 100 pushup challenge
6. Complete a round of Body For Life workouts
7. Complete a round of New Rules of Weightlifting for Women workouts - Done!
8. Climb Mount Whitney
9. Try Stand Up Paddleboarding
10. Try Pole Dancing - Blog Post
11. Boycott restaurant meals for seven consecutive days - Blog Post
12. Break a 5 hour marathon

Family and Friends
13. Have a family photo taken with the dogs
14. Visit my Grandmother's grave site
15. Visit my Grandfather's grave site
16. Become a mommy - I am a mommy to an angel
17. Visit my mother
18. Watch the Perseid meteor shower with my husband
19. Write a letter to my grandmother
20. Snowboard a powder day with my husband
21. Write a letter to my uncle
22. Host a dinner party
23. Make a new friend - Blog Post
24. Make a mix CD for H - Blog Post
25. Get a couple's massage with my husband
26. Go on a picnic with H
27. Compile a family recipe book
28. I have no idea what was here!

Community/Environment
29. Join a CSA  - Blog Post
30. Volunteer
31. Give blood - Done!
32. Pay for the next person's order
33. Donate $5 to charity for every goal I don't attain on this list
34. Participate in the Positivity Challenge - Blog Post 
35. Work in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving
36. Mentor for Team in Training - Blog Post
37. Send a care package to a soldier through anysoldier.com
38. Grow an herb garden
39. Grow a veggie garden
40. Tip 100% to a really good server - Blog Post
41. Send and receive a postcard through Postcrossing.com
42. Eat vegetarian for one week - Blog Post
43. No idea what was here!

Money and Finances
44. Pay off all credit card debt

Travel and Experiences
45. Visit Manzanar
46. Swim in an alpine lake
47. Road Trip!
48. See the Grand Canyon
49. Float the Owens again
50. Visit Napa/Northern California Wine Country
51. Hike to 1000 Island Lake
52. Go white water rafting
53. Do an overnight hiking trip to Iva Bell
54. Visit Bodie again
55. Eat at Walker Burger - Does the BBQ place next door count?
56. Go Camping
57. Go to Magic Mountain
58. Visit Legoland
59. Wallow in the mud at Glen Ivy
60. Hike to Mono Pass
61. Have a beach bonfire
62. Visit Hearst Castle
63. Eat at a place featured in "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives"
64. Take H to Catalina
65. See the Winchester Mystery House
66. Attend the Gilroy Garlic Festival
67. Go to Yosemite
68. Take H whale watching - Blog Post
69. Go fishing
70. Take a trip on a train
71. Kayak Mono Lake
72. Hike to Spark Plug Mine

Career
73. Get my CMP Certification
74. Get a new job - Blog post
75. Start a business

Personal Development
76. Write a short story
77. Learn the fundamentals of Photography
78. Work a gig as a photography assistant
79. Print and frame one of my own photos
80. Get a photograph into an art show
81. Upload a photo to iStockphoto.com
82. Do a Project 365
83. Participate in NaBloPoMo - Blog Post  
84. Participate in NaNoWriMo
85. Learn to crochet
86. Knit a pair of boot socks for the winter
87. Enter a recipe contest
88. Perfect my handmade pasta recipe
89. Be able to define all 100 words every high school graduate should know
90. Read 10 unread books from the Banned Books List (0/10)
91. Enter something into a Local Fair

Random

92. See every movie on AFI's 100 years...100 movies list (42/100)
93. See a play

Silly
94. Stay in bed an entire weekend without being sick - Blog Post
95. Invent my signature martini - Blog Post
96. Invent my signature cupcake - Blog Post
97. Get to level 100 in Mafia Wars - Blog Post
98. Make homemade limoncello - Blog Post
99. Make Skittles Vodka - Done!
100. Perfect my trout recipe

101. Make my next 101 list

Monday, August 24, 2009

District 9 and why I am such a bitch

I really liked District 9. I can't say I enjoyed it though, because it was yet another reminder as to why I hate people. This is not going to be a spoilers post, because I am only going to talk about the basic premise of the movie, which you can get just about anywhere. This post is also timely because there are many out there in cyberspace that just don't like me. They think I'm a bitch. I felt I needed to get my side out there, whether they want to read it or not.

This movie is social commentary. Basically, aliens land on our planet, and we decide we know what is best for them. We keep them in concentration camps, make up racial slurs for them, try to keep them controlled, and then try to railroad them. What is even more sad than that, is we do this to our own species, even today. I believe that humans are inherently evil, and only religion and social morals keep most of them in check. This has been my experience with people for most of my life. Self-centered, self-important, and selfish with a strong sense of entitlement, and suburban sprawl just makes it worse. I have found that people who live in an actual city are less outwardly rude, as are people who live in small towns.

I hate that I hate people, but when faced with rudeness day after day after day, it's hard not to become super jaded and bitchy. That being said, I am still relatively polite - I let people with only a few items go in front of me in line at the supermarket. I let people pull out of their parking spaces. I allow people to merge. I smile at random strangers. But one small slight can set me off and ruin my day, because I care about humanity as a whole.

I was raised my poor hippie parents in a small beach community. I jokingly make fun of hippies, mostly because some of them go too far and make themselves look crazy, which I think hurts their mission. But in all, I think they have the right idea. Don't harm the earth or each other. Live sustainably. Money isn't everything. As a young child, I didn't know anything about nice cars or designer clothes. My hand-me-down jeans with the patches and my thrift store shirt were just fine in my local community.

Then I was accepted into a magnet program and my world changed. I was suddenly thrust into a school where smarter kids from all over were bused in. Many of these kids came from "nice" neighborhoods, and suddenly I realized that I was considered "inferior" because I didn't live in the right area, didn't have the right clothes, and my parents didn't drive the right car. I don't even think we had a car at that point. But I digress.

The nicest that these kids were to me was to ignore me. The rest tormented me. I tried so hard to fit in. My mother spent as much as she could to pack me the "right" kind of lunch, and scoured thrift stores and yard sales for the "right" kind of clothes. My school work suffered, and eventually I left the magnet program. It took me a few years, but I was able to re-build my self-esteem. With that self-esteem came enough bitchiness to give me a buffer zone for those superficial people that would try to cut me down for being different. I stopped caring if these people liked me or not, and I also started to look at their superficiality as idiocy.

So that brings me to who I am today. I live in a place where I am surrounded by the same people who tormented me in grade school. Why? Because my husband moved me here. I find the sterility of this planned community disgusting, because many people who move here do it to get away from "those people" - insert your own racial slur. The others move here because of the appearance - "it's such a nice area." It's the kind of place where you can ignore everyone else and get caught up in your own little self-centered world, and it's pretty much accepted. Valet parking, all the shopping your little heart desires, impeccable public facilities, manicured landscaping - all this adds to the feelings of entitlement. It looks like Stepford, but I would much rather live in "bad" neighborhood - it's more honest. At least you know where you stand in a bad neighborhood. The people who surround me now would just as soon run me down than have to stop at a stop sign or even slow down. Their kids will vandalize your car or rob your house just because they are bored.

To those of you who think I should move away from here, don't think for a second I haven't been trying. Ask my husband. We probably have a screaming, crying fight about this at least once a week. I want to move, he does not. So, currently, my only way out is to leave my husband, which I am not willing to do. Because when I make a commitment, I take that seriously. I also hate myself for being a hypocrite - I buy purses and shoes, makeup and clothes to fit in, mostly for work. I am actually embarrassed to say that my newest purse cost about $125, but I know in the grand scheme of things, $125 is chump change to most. I usually don't buy anything over $30, and that's only if I REALLY like it.

So I continue to be miserable and be a bitch. It's not an excuse, and I don't like this side of me. But I'm not going to apologize for how I feel, because it's who I am and I have just as much of a right to be bitchy as others have for being superficial. There are consequences to both. Regardless, this is already much to long. I could go on and on, but instead I am going to click "Publish Post" and move on. And a huge gold star to any of you who got this far. My bitchy ass probably wouldn't have. ;o)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

16 miles

Furthest I have ever run. I am so glad that I have a running partner that likes the 5/1 intervals as much as I do. My body is a little achy today, but not too bad. Definitely not as bad as I thought it would be.

The hard part is going to be running 18 miles by myself over Labor Day Weekend.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Butler Bag!

I got one and I lurve it!





Is it bad that now I want the slightly bigger size in a different color?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

WW Weigh in, Week 29, Week 2 of Maintenance

Goal Weight: 156.0
Current Weight: 155.8
Difference: -0.2

Week number two went okay. I didn't really count over the weekend, and that combined with PMS was kind of a bad thing. But I made an effort to stick to the plan during the week. Part of me would love to be 2 pounds lighter than goal, but the idea is to stay within 2 pounds of goal, so I'm doing great. I might eat a few more points this week to see how it affects me. On to week three!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

WW Weigh in, Week 28, Week 1 of Maintenance

Goal Weight: 156.0
Current Weight: 158
Difference: +2.0

Week one of maintenance was kinda hard! I was really curious how it would turn out. As of Tuesday, I was a pound down, but I kept eating (and enjoying it!), and now look at me. :/

I think I am going to go back to losing for a bit - I can weigh in up to two pounds below goal, and I wasn't kidding about the scale and water bottle. Seriously. So this week I am going to be better food wise (no Fair to worry about) and I probably won't eat all of my activity points, just to see.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Orange County Fair

Fair Time is the best time of the year. I know I look forward to the Fair mostly for the food, but I love almost everything about it - the animals, the vegetables, the entertainment, the people watching. I just never get my fill of it.

This year, I made plans with some of the girls to go to the Fair. When we arrived, we decided to look at the livestock while we waited.

Cow



Baby cows!





Sheep



Piggy!



Baby piggies!



The girls didn't take long to get there, so we headed towards the food stands, since that was the main reason to go, right? We walked past the Al's Brain exhibit.



Never did get in there! Oh well.

And then we spotted the roasting meat. H was enthralled.



My first purchase was the chocolate covered bacon though! I was dying to try it and knew it would be spectacular!



The best pieces were the ones with only a little chocolate - it really allowed the salty smokiness of the bacon to shine through with just enough sweetness. Of course, the heavily dipped pieces were fine - the excess of chocolate just overwhelmed the bacon, so all you tasted was the chocolate. Not like that's a bad thing.

Next we hit the fryer - fried oreos



And a fried twinkie



The fried oreos were kinda disappointing. The sugary filling oozed out and the whole thing was lacking something. Maybe it was lacking bacon, since it was so overly sweet! I didn't try the twinkie, but I'm sure it was fine, for a fried pastry. It probably needed bacon too, though.

WTF is up with the toys at the midway games?



I also resisted the corn dog that was the size of my forearm. I'm a little sad though.



Next we moved on to the fried zucchini and bbq corn. The zucchini was greasy, but the corn was good enough. Someone like me with a penchant for fat isn't bothered by the grease by any means. I ate what my husband did not. LOL



And then we saw the "Zucchini Weenie" - I was sad for my H. I know he would have loved that!



Next we saw these cheese stuffed roasted peppers. This was immediately on my must eat list.



It was good, but they left the seeds inside the chile. It wasn't hot, but the seeds did add a bitterness I could have done without, but the cheese was ooey gooey perfection, so I'll let the seed thing slide.



Perfect Fair shoes? Sorry for the blurry pic, but you get the idea. I can't imagine walking in those shoes for 20 feet much less around the whole Fair. My feet would fall off!



Next up, Funnel Cake! Buena got the cake with the strawberries, and Staycee got hers with Raspberry syrup. I had a bite (or three!) of each and both were delightful.



But H showed up with a pulled pork sandwich, so I quickly moved on to savory things again :)



It started to get late, so the girls left. H and I were still into walking around and people watching... and of course, still eating. I really wanted to try the Australian Battered Potatoes and while we were wandering around trying to find them, we spotted this:



PINKS! H and I have wanted to go to Pinks for so long, but never really make it there. Plus waiting in the never-ending line doesn't usually appeal to us. They had a limited menu for the Fair, but we were able to get the "Huell Howser" - a Chili cheese dog with onions, ketchup, relish and mustard. It was all kinds of messy awesome.



While we were eating our Pinks, I spotted the funniest looking balloons ever. What the hell are those - chickens?



Apparently the NON Foster Farms Chickens were making an appearance. We could have gotten our picture taken with them, but I preferred to take photos of them from a safe distance.



The funniest part was the hats they made their poor staff wear. I actually think they are worse than the Hot Dog on a Stick uniforms.





Before we went home, we wanted to check out the livestock again, namely the babies. :)

The little baby piggies were still as cute as ever!





And the baby cows were ready for bed.



I never did get those Australian Potatoes - I was pretty much stuffed after the Pinks Hot Dog. Oh well. But what a great night! It made me wish I had gone more than once this year. BUT the LA County Fair is coming up, so I feel like I have a second chance! Now I have to figure out when...

Monday, August 10, 2009

This maintenance thing is kinda hard

Don't read this is you are going to hate me for losing more weight.

I have not been restricting my calories. I ate Fair Food on Saturday complete with beer, and made full fat Ceasar dressing last night for dinner. I even drank like three glasses of wine. So why am I a half pound lighter??? Gah! I should be happy, but FFS - I am trying to maintain! Hey body - it's just for six weeks, so stay with me, okay? Then we can go back to losing. I wonder if I will need to stash a scale and a bottle of water in my car to ensure I can weigh within that 2 pound guideline when the time comes.

Friday, August 7, 2009

This made me LOL

At my desk. I understand if you don't want to read it, because it is birth story with all the unpleasantries of birth detailed, but it's HI-fuckin-larious. Enjoy.

The Labor Story

Thursday, August 6, 2009

WW Weigh in, Week 27

Previous Weight: 159.6
Current Weight: 156.0
Lost this week: 3.6
Total lost: 23.4

I was looking for a kinda big loss this week, just to stay on track for my goal of 155 by 8/20. This was also my leader's last week with my meeting, and I was kinda sad that I wouldn't hit goal with her. Then she asked me what was so magical about that last pound? Nothing. So I made my goal 156, and now I am in maintenance! She also said that I could come to one of her other meetings in 6 weeks to weigh in for lifetime. I am paying until October anyway, so this gives me a couple extra weeks if I don't weigh in within two pounds of 156 in six weeks.

I think I know who the new leader is, and I think I like her. She has subbed before, and was funny, although a REALLY strong personality. We shall see how this turns out. Otherwise, I could always switch to my lunchtime meeting that I go to when I have to work late on Thursdays. She's not bad. Unfortunately, none of my curent leader's meetings are convenient for me.

So on to maintenance! It almost a little scary, knowing that I have to maintain this specific weight loss. I know I seemed to do it a lot when I wanted to lose, but trying to do it feels like a different animal. But it's also nice to know that I can drink some wine and eat some popcorn tonight. :) And since I am going to the OC Fair this weekend, I know I will be getting some calories in. I guess if I'm not up a bunch next week, it will be a good thing!

Last, I am going to take advantage of these 6 weeks of maintenance to start lifting weight again - maybe I can manage some muscle gain and fat loss to maintain my weight but make me look better too.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Le Sigh

This course is not working out the way I had hoped. The saddest thing is that my camera does not have the range of settings the course assumes. First lesson with aperture asks you to take three sets of shots: one at your camera's absolute lowest setting (mine is f/2), one at f/8 (mission accomplished), and one at f/22. My camera only goes to f/11. Fail. :/

Next assignment was ISO and shutter speed. Well, since it was night, I was shooting inside, so the lesson recommended I set the ISO to 1000 or greater. My ISO only goes up to 320. Fail. So I move on to shutter speed anyway. Lesson wants you take a photo of running water with a shutter speed of 1/80, 1/1000, and 2 seconds. Wouldn't you know, my camera's fastest shutter speed is 1/640!

My mother was right - if I can learn to take photos with this hand me down, I will be able to take pictures with anything.

Incidentally, my little Sony digital point and shoot has ISO settings all the way up to 3600. Go figure.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm taking a photography course

Free and online of course! I was looking for a recommendation, since I Googled and none of the 1000's of classes stood out. My Nesties came through though and Lenox came through with a great recommendation! And Weezermonkey paid me a major compliment too!! I'm going to try to not let it go to my head, but it totally made my day. I think she is an incredible photographer and blogger, an inspiration for someone like me. She is also NOT the kind to blow smoke, so I'm just going to take it at face value, and work on getting better.

So today I ordered a few things I need for the camera - a card reader since the DSLR I got from my mom doesn't plug in with a normal USB cable, and some lens cleaning paraphernalia. Yeah, I know I could find those if I just did a little shopping, but it's been months, and my lazy butt hasn't bothered to do it yet. This way, I know it's coming and I don't have to get off my ass.

I plan on starting the course immediately, but I won't be able to download the photos until the card reader comes. Hahaha! Don't worry, I'll be posting the good, the bad and the ugly.