Sunday, August 30, 2009

Always a procrastinator

Today I got all of my packing finished for my first trip up to the house tomorrow afternoon. I got all of my bathroom, kitchen, bedding, and laundry things packed and ready to go. I still have to pack my clothes, school materials, and computer stuff, but I'm not going to worry about that right now. I've got from now until Labor Day to get around to it.

I'm a huge fan of making lists when it comes to getting things done. There's something about crossing items off a list that's extremely self-fulfilling. I constructed a lengthy list, separating everything by categories, and I'm not ashamed to reveal that I had the time of my life completing it!

Also, I can honestly say that talking to myself has kept me sane throughout the day. If it wasn't for my constant blabber to myself, I would probably still be packing.

Here's to a happy move tomorrow!

Yours truly.

There's nothing like the feeling of wearing the same pair of jeans for days on end.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 5: The Otherside

Today has been rather chilly and I honestly hate having the windows closed during the summer. All day it's been a constant battle of deciding whether to keep them open or closed; one second it gets too hot and the next it's too cold. I don't think I'm going to win this one...

I wasn't alone in today's Port Colborne photography adventures as a friend tagged along with me. We met up at the market in hopes of finding some decent pictures. I don't know if it was the weather, which was rather gloomy, but we found nothing awe inspiring. Although there was a man playing a very fine beat on his keyboard at one of the corners. He seemed to be enjoying himself and certainly wasn't camera shy when we pointed our cameras his way. I haven't given up hope for the market just yet and plan on trying it again next week to test my luck.


It was a little early to call it quits, as it was probably around 11:30 am, so we decided to be brave and go across the bridge to the East Side. It's fair to say that every town or city has their weakest spot that nobody really likes to call attention to... Port Colborne has Lidsville. Run down buildings, tiny houses with chipped paint and failed porches, a bar called the Queen's, and a nickel plant fill up this hidden treasure of Port Colborne.

It's been a while since I've walked around Lidsville and this time we made some interesting finds. For starters, a woman held a yard sale in her backyard which had furniture, VHS movies, and numerous amounts of safety glasses that looked like they expired in 1977. W
e also walked up close to a building that belonged to Inco. Any word that I use cannot describe how tall and intimidating it was. Even the pictures don't do it justice. It seemed that you could touch the sky if you were to stand on top of this building. Nevertheless, it's height and is something that needs to be experienced in person.

Before we experienced the great, menacing wall, we found this.


I am completely infatuated with this house. And the fact that Inco is around the corner makes it that much more appealing. I'm not even sure what the inside would begin to look like, but the outside alone is interesting enough. The combination of the worn down house and the white picket fence makes a statement far from the projected all American dream.

The white picket fence is normally associated with the middle to class and is a sign of prosperity and accomplishment in achieving the ideal life. When the fence is paired with this house, instead of a suburban dream home, it catches our eye because it is not an image usually seen. Although a different structure, it carries similar means as any other house with a picket fence. It may not be an ideal home, in the eyes of society, but it could be the world to this family. Whether they choose to live like this or not, the white fence shows a sense of establishment and hope. It shows how anyone is able to display their own a white picket fence and chase their own dreams, regardless of status.

Anyways, here's another depressing picture. No one wants to play baseball beside a nickel plant.


I'm sad to say that I didn't see as many shoes hanging over the power lines as I used to a couple years ago. Maybe bullies have eased up on throwing kids shoes up there or maybe there aren't as many drug deals going on in these neighbourhoods.

I also found out that my Holga prints will not be in until tomorrow. I have been nervously been waiting all week for them and am excited to see what the end results will look like.

But on a side note I managed to finish cleaning my entire room today. That includes vacuuming, dusting, washing, and rearranging. Now all I have to do is motivate myself to begin packing for school.

Yours truly.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sending out an SOS

I've been meaning to clean my room the entire summer. It's a mess... Random things have been piling up for a couple weeks now on my desk because I dump out my pockets once I get home. My room hasn't been dusted or vacuumed for at least a year or more; I don't even want to think about what's under my bed. I also have a piece of bread that's been sitting on my floor since last Saturday. 

I finished my wash earlier this afternoon, but where do I go from here?
 

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Set the washing machine to quick wash

I can't recall the last time I had such success with my shopping in one day. It seemed like everything that I needed, or wanted for that matter, ended up in my line of sight. 

For starters, my mom and I found sheets and a mattress cover to fit my bed at school. The total cost ended up being quite reasonable since I am sleeping on a King size mattress this upcoming year. THEN we found a plain, white bookcase at Home Depot that was exactly what I was looking for. I plan on painting it and decorating it in some way so that it doesn't look so bland. We'll see what happens once I figure out the theme for my room!  

My mom and I decided to eat a real lunch, as opposed to the fast food lunches, once we hit the Pen Center. We ate at the London Arms, where we found our new food love. It's called a Cobb Salad. Both of us had never tried it and upon reading the description thought we would go ahead and try it. My mom's justification being, "It's my vacation". It's actually turned out to be one of the greatest salads that I have ever eaten! I described it as being, "A sandwich turned into a salad". 

(taken from http://www.plu.edu/~absherlt/CobbSalad.jpg)

Lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, shredded turkey, roast beef, and ham, sliced hard boiled egg, cheddar cheese topped with sundried tomato vinaigrette come together to make up this refreshing salad. 

Today's shopping was centered around taking my birthday presents back and finding replacements. I managed to find a pair of navy blue cords, on sale at Smart Set, and I am just crazy about the colour! I found two bras, which required no hassle when I tried them on, from La Senza. I thought it was going to take a while, like it normally does, but today I was in and out of the change room in no time at all. I also found a mustardy yellow purse that extends long enough to sling over my shoulder from RW & Co. 

My mom had been talking about getting lunchbags from Sears, but I had no idea why they were so special until I saw them. Are you ready for this? They're lunch bags that look like purses on the outside! They have a lining of cooling material on the inside and purselike qualities on the outside. I was in utter shock and I had to get one for school next year! 


I also managed to get some useful information about a cell phone plan that I should have got in the first place. It's a student plan which allows me to talk and text to 10 people without getting any extra charges. I've had nothing but bad memories and constant struggle with my cell phone this past summer so I'm glad that I was finally able to interact with a real person rather than a telephone voice. Happiness. 

Last purchase of the day was a pair of blue jeans from the Gap.

Now I know most people are not crazy about the Gap, but it's so hard for me to find jeans that fit nicely and feel comfortable. It's been many a year that I've been able to put on a pant and feel like a million dollars. They aren't exactly the perfect jean as the legs are too long, but nothing a little hemming can't fix! I actually can't wait until I wear these jeans... I don't think I've been this excited about clothes in a while!!

I've always loved shopping at the end of summer to buy clothes in preparation for the fall. It's a nice way to start off a new school year in style :)

(taken from: http://www.wayfaring.info/category/topics/airlines/)

Yours truly. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 2: Childhood Revisited



I am actually really happy with today's results. I woke up with a ton of energy, which has been quite rare this summer, so I knew that it was going to be a good day. I shot mostly with digital, but used the Holga for the random shot. I am truly satisfied with how the blue the sky turned out in most of the photos. I was practically making out with my screen as I flipped through the photos on my laptop. 


I started my day by the old gas station on King St. Of course there are never any old, abandoned arcade games dumped there on the days that I want to photograph them! Sometimes there will be four or five arcade game boxes standing together in the middle of the station; today there was only one lying on the ground in shambles. I have no idea where they come from or who places them there, but their mysterious presence intrigues me so! 

In the back of the building I found what seemed to be some kind of lighting system. The front of the box had been ripped open to reveal wires and electronics that I would not have any idea what to do with. On the top were three lights, one had a red gel on the inside. I could only imagine the life this thing had... 

I felt ashamed of the pink and yellow paint and graffiti splattered on the walls and the amount of collective debris on the ground. It's sad to think that this gas station probably served many happy go-lucky drivers and now it's home to people who think that it's just a dump site. There is obviously history in this building and we honor it by writing on it and leaving garbage everywhere. 


My next stop was a more pleasant one as I walked around Port Colborne's Museum. The main building showcases different artifacts and there are a number of log cabins outside open for exploring. Today was the first time that I actually spent time looking through the buildings when it wasn't Canal Days. The craft show used to be held there so it gave an excuse to give attention to these buildings. 

I guess it never occurred to me that the Museum would be open for regular hours during the week. I first thought that I was trespassing and was making the effort to hide from the gardener. Once I noticed that all of the doors to each building were open did I realize that it was supposed to be like this. 

Adrenaline rushes through my body every time I come across a new and unfamiliar setting which makes me become completely obsessed. I only saw two other people, not counting the gardner and employees, walking around the area which gave me the opportunity to become absorbed in the atmosphere. However, everyone that I did see, smiled and said hello which made me feel welcome.  


It didn't seem like it, but I spent 45 minutes walking around and observing the Museum. I almost didn't want to leave, but I realized that I wanted to get some other places photographed before the afternoon was over and started feeling tired. 

I stopped by the mini park which is located next to the Museum and the library before driving off to get a banana slurpee. It's been a while since I've swung on any swings and after a couple glides I remembered why... I was only on there for a minute when I started to feel dizzy and my stomach started going for a whirl. Those days of seeing how high you can swing are long gone for me. 

While I was in my happy mood, I decided to venture over to my old neighborhood to take a look around. I haven't been in that area for a while now, but old memories hit me hard once I turned down Sheba Crescent.

The picture at the beginning of this blog was taken of the hill at the memorial park located in that sub-division. It's located next to No Frills and overlooks the West Side Arena and the baseball fields once you get to the top. We used to climb this hill to the top and then roll all the way down to the bottom. Something my stomach probably couldn't handle anymore. Today I ran up to the top, something that I haven't done in eight or so years, and my instant thoughts were, "I remember it being so much bigger".


Garbage and green bins lined the roads and I realized that Tuesday is garbage day for this neighbourhood. A smile ran across my face. 

In the beloved book, A Secret Garden, Mary's nurse believes that being outdoors has a positive affect on a person's overall being. I'm beginning to believe this as I've been in a feel good mood since yesterday. 

Yours truly.

The Antlers

Youtube's homepage introduced me to this band. Their song, "Two" was the first song I heard and the music video rules! It basically centres around this animated guy who sits on the floor while bubbles emerge from the guitar that he plays. I liked how I was able to get absorbed into the instruments and the singers voice and not have to really pay attention to the lyrics to be put into a good mood. I found more of their songs on Youtube and I think I'm hooked. 

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just in...

I stumbled upon this website called Savage Chickens. Artist Doug Savage uses ink and post-it notes to create simple comics illustrating chickens as the main characters. 


Take the time, check it out. It's FUN! 

What's on my playlist?

It's the songs that help make the gruesome 30+ minutes of exercise enjoyable. 

1. Rush - The Spirit of the Radio
2. Coldplay - Viva la Vida
3. Animal Collective - Summertime Clothes
4. Journey - Don't Stop Believing
5. The Killers - Dustland Fairytale
6. The Ghost is Dancing - Battles On
7. Garbage - When I Grow Up
8. Bachman Turner Overdrive - Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
9. Editors - Fingers in the Factories
10. Editors - The Racing Rats
11. Flogging Molly - Drunken Lullabies 
12. The Proclaimers - I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)
13. Violent Femmes - American Music
14. The Strokes - Heart in a Cage
15. Katy Perry - Hot 'N Cold
16. The Killers - Sam's Town
17. Flogging Molly - Rebels of the Sacred Heart
18. The Smashing Pumpkins - The End is the Beginning is the End
19. Queen - Don't Stop me Now
20. Girl Talk - Here's the Thing

Photo Story Day 1: Weathered Tombstones


Today was a great start to my attempt at completing a photo story about Port Colborne. I am happy with today's photographs which has motivated me to continue! Also, my mom generously loaned me the car for the day as the weather was looking temperamental. I'm the WORST for making decisions, but today the weather beat me. One minute grey clouds would cover the sun and then they would soon be replaced by fluffy, white clouds and blue skies. However, I am thankful that no rained poured as that would have been a downer. 

I decided that Hopkin's Tomb and the cemetery would be the first stop because it takes around 15 minutes to get there (from my house) by car. In other words, it's far. I also hate driving down Lakeshore Road, which is nothing but curves and narrow lanes, so I wanted to get it over with. 

As you drive around the bend, it is not hard to miss Hopkin's Tomb because it is sectioned off from the other tombstones. Climbing up the few stairs, you open the black, detailed gate and follow the 10 foot path up to the front of the tomb. A two foot wall marks the perimeter, making you and the tomb the only things present in the entire vicinity. 
  
Read this site to learn about Samuel Hopkins and his cursed tomb : http://www.hamiltonparanormal.com/hopkins1.html

I don't usually take to cemeteries, but for some reason this one appe
aled to me today. Behind Hopkin's Tomb were tombstones so old and worn that the inscriptions were no longer visible. They appeared as white slabs of stone covered with black spots and limestone. Some were broken in half while others stood crooked. As I knelt in front of each one, I couldn't help but imagine the rotted corpse punching its hand through the dirt. 

I gained some respect for those old tombstones today. Even though they appear as blank slates, there are still centuries of history incorporated in them. They have withheld Mother Nature's powers, especially the Blizzard of '77, and have remained untouched as new tombstones have surrounded them. 

I also saw something new today. Never have I seen one of the lakers emerge from the canal and make it's way into Lake Erie. I normally watch the ships pass through the canal from one of the three bridges, not from a spot so far off from the main inland. It was quite amazing to see something so common in Port Colborne from a different perspective. I guess that's what they call good timing. 

I was parked by Surfside Sandy's, a restaurant along the lake, hoping to score some nice shots of the Marina and the Maple Leaf Mill from a distance. It was when I was walking down the path, away from the car, did I notice the laker coming out of the canal. I was able to see the waves crafted by the ship from where I was standing. For the first time I noticed how much lower the stern is in comparison to the rest of the ship. It made me realize that there are some things never seen when you are standing so near to something.


Today I shot my photographs with my Nikon D300 and my 35mm Holga camera that my cousin RenĂ©e bought me for my birthday. It was the first time I have used the Holga and I became quite involved in it. I was able to upload my digital files onto my laptop once I got home, but I have to wait until Friday to see my film results. I will be kept in extreme suspense until then! 

Yours truly. 

Goal

Not many people know about Port Colborne, let alone where it is in Ontario. It isn't until you drop the names, St. Catharines or Niagara Falls, do they get a general census of where it's located. 

My goal for this upcoming week, August 24 - August 30, is to hopefully change that. Even if I do not become that successful in spreading the word about Port, I will still have accomplished something this summer. I plan on creating a photo story about Port Colborne, outlining the landmarks and such that, in my opinion, define the town and what it's worth. 

I love a good adventure now and then :)

Yours truly. 

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Legal Beagle

It seemed like yesterday that us four cousins sat in that booth at the Winchester Arms celebrating my brother's 19th birthday. It was July 2006. Together we reminisced about past memories and thought about the new ones that were to be made once I became legal.


I've been 19 for three days now and I honestly don't feel any older. I guess I expected bells and whistles and the whole kit and kaboodle to go off as soon as the clock switched from 11:59 to 12:00 midnight. We get used to being a set age for 365 days that one day is just too short for us to realize that we are a year older. Most people don't even believe me when I tell them how old they are. I actually had a woman ask me what year of high school I was going into. Eee.

Maybe the legal feeling will sink in ONCE I AM OFFICIALLY CARDED SOMEWHERE. I got carded once the entire day and that was at the casino... and they card everyone. Although Mr. Cheerful security guard, who was actually the happiest man, showed me a great surprise: he swiped my license through this machine and it read, "Happy 19th Birthday!".

I feel like a burden has been lifted from my shoulders on Friday. I have high hopes for the upcoming year, unless I travel to the States where it seems like my past birthday didn't exist. I look forward to those dirty clubs, those concerts where all you smell is BO and weed, and those packages of cigs that I won't be buying.


I want to thank my brother, my two cousins, the bartender at Planet Hollywood, and everyone else who was somehow involved in my birthday for making it an epic night. 19th birthdays mean free drinks, awful beer, intense dancing/singing, and advice from strangers who encourage you to, "Stay a lady".

Yours truly.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Even though you hog most of the bed and your breath stinks...


There's nothing more rewarding than seeing the look of utter happiness on your dog's face when you walk through the door.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lightning Strikes

Almost every lightning photograph that I've searched reveals the precise moment when the bolt comes into contact with something. I thought I would document something different...

Okay, that's a lie. Truth is, I've never made the effort to go out in a storm. The potential is there, I just haven't accessed it yet.


I had been watching the storm from my bedroom window a couple weeks ago and found it quite marvelous to see my entire backyard glow with every flash. The shadows looked like they were dancing with each other; disappearing and reappearing in intervals of mere seconds.

I was currently involved in my "brainstorming week" as my mind was exploring possible photography ideas to be tested by my future self. I set up my camera, the lovely Nikon D300, on my tripod and positioned it in my darkened room.



These photographs illustrate what I'll call a little bit of luck and good timing as bright flashes emerged while the camera was exposing. I'm not overly pleased with the compose of them. It was more of an experiment to see what I was capable of doing in the midst of a thunderstorm. Perhaps someday I will venture out and retrieve my very own lightning bolt.

Note: I zoomed in on my camera with the last picture and I was able to read the temperature on the thermometer... It was 22 Celsius that night.

Yours truly.

Now it's time for a big art attack

The other day I learned a valuable lesson about paper mache. Not only is it a messy craft, but time consuming as it ate up most of my afternoon. Neil Buchanan made it look so easy. 

My birthday is right around the corner, this upcoming Friday to be exact, and I figured it was time to start putting some plans into action. I can't remember how I got the idea, but I thought it would be fun to have a pinata present at my family birthday party. You know, something fun that the cousins could smack the crap out of. 

Mixing 3/4 glue to 1/4 water, I placed strips of newspaper on the balloon with my fingers and then applied the mixture. My floor and my arms were both covered with drops of glue. It looked like my arms were peeling skin by the time I finished applying the third coat of paper. 

Now all I have to do is wait for it to dry and hope that the humidity doesn't screw things up.  



Yours truly. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What a great start to the day


Who doesn't love waking up to 30 degree weather at 9:30 am.

Didn't we meet that one time... you know at your sister's friend's baseball game?

Every new relationship has those first bits of awkwardness. It's inevitable. Located in the fine print of the contract that nobody wishes to read. Awkwardness is a virus, and depends on human civilization to remain constant. The only way to fix this problem of awkwardness is to remove a variable from this equation, like us humans. I have a feeling this won't be happening anytime soon, so stick around. I cordially invite you to experience these awkward sessions through a new medium.

Yours truly.