minervacat: (Default)
Livejournal! I am not dead. I am currently so exhausted I want to die, but I am not dead! I just kind of ... acquired a life, I guess? Started doing ill-advised things like going to five shows in the same week? I don't know.

What I have been doing:

-- Taking photos. You can see how busy my year has been, a lot of it contract work for pub companies and a music blog I started working with, here. Or here, which features one bathroom self-portrait for every show I've been to. Which is, as of right now, 61. Uh. My goal of 100 shows this year is going to be blown right past, I suspect.

Slightly less overwhelming is here, my personal favorites set for 2011.

-- Watching baseball. The UNC baseball team has had a quietly, surprisingly excellent year, and while they are no rivals for the 2007 or 2008 or 2009 teams in my affections, they are a good deal of fun. They scored a totally random national seed in the NCAA tournament and will hopefully make a serious run at getting back to Omaha this year.

-- Dating. Met a dude New Year's Day, got serious, broke up, starting over with him, slowly. Dating takes up a lot of time, you guys.

-- Watching Doctor Who and Game of Thrones. I gave up on How I Met Your Mother and Bones when I started dating the Cowboy in January, because I had no time all of a sudden and also I really wasn't enjoying either season, frankly, but Who and Game of Thrones are really doing it for me lately. I love everyone on Who, but especially Rory, and Game of Thrones is so fucking gorgeous and fucked up, so I'm loving that, too. The violence makes me cringe -- less spurting, please, HBO -- but I'm digging it.

The Cowboy and I are watching The Wire, too. It's awesome, as everyone told me it was. I'm just slow.

-- I am home today and thus able to post because my car died on I-40 last night. Only upside: I have the savings to fix it, it died in a completely convenient non-dangerous spot on the highway, and I have the vacation time to take today off unexpectedly. I am listening to podcasts and reading YA novels while I wait for the mechanic to call me back and tell me what's wrong (the mechanic and my father both THINK it's the alternator, but neither was positive).

-- My Flickr PRO account is about to expire and I have no money to renew it because see also DEAD FUCKING CAR GODDAMNIT LIFE.

-- I also have no money to buy art on Etsy like I want to but that's less of a pressing professional problem. Fuuuuck being broke. And also living somewhere that I love but where I have to own a car.

-- I made a really good pot of coffee this morning.

-- So far my five favorite albums of 2011 are: Ha Ha Tonka -- Death of a Decade; the Booze -- At Maximum Volume; Dave Hause -- Resolutions; the Smith Westerns -- Dye It Blonde; the Low Anthem -- Smart Flesh.

-- I am going to have a caprese salad today for lunch.

-- I am on Twitter as brandnewkindof. I mostly twitter about stupid baseball player hair, beer, music and photography. I don't autofollow back -- I use it professionally, to follow people I know IRL, and to get college baseball info -- but if you feel like following me for short album reviews and griping about mullets and opening bands, go for it. If I don't follow you back, I promise it's not personal.

-- That's all I've got! Need more coffee.

-- How are you guys? What are your favorite albums of 2011? What's taking up your time this year? I miss you. I keep trying to post and then just ... not. But I will do better.
Mood:: 'anxious' anxious
Music:: TBJ_Ep_719 -- Score Media -- The Basketball Jones (Audio)
minervacat: (to the sweet sunny south take me home)
isle of palms, south carolina

We went to the beach this weekend and the level of my desire to go to work tomorrow is negative right now.
minervacat: (reflected in your screen)
Unrelated to the rest of this post, I am pretty sure that nothing will make me laugh harder today than this post from MJD at the Dagger. On the upside, all that coffee out my nose really cleared my sinuses.

So it's April. We're a quarter of the way into my take-at-least-one-photo-every-day year of month-long projects, I've had Six, my beloved Nikon D60 for more than four months, all I think about these days is photography, baseball, and sleeping, so let's do a What The Hell I've Learned In The Last Three (But Really Four And Change) Months. Since I don't have anything else to talk about, apparently, given that I haven't posted anything substantial in a week and a half.

A little about my year of month-long projects: I've had fun doing them, in their own ways, and I've committed and I'm excited about a few of the upcoming months and I'm sticking to it, but I'm finding that it's not as challenging as I had wanted it to be. Partially that's the subject material I've picked -- letters were harder but less interesting than I had hoped, sometimes I take cheap easy shots of doors or windows instead of pushing myself -- and partially it's just because ... I don't know. I don't regret doing this, but I'm not finding it as satisfying as I'd hoped. There's other shooting I've done this year that's been more satisfying and interesting and difficult. I'll change how I do a year-long project or sets of projects next year.

I am not a great photographer; I am a reasonably decent photographer who's learning. There's a ton of technical stuff I still don't know. I'd love to know more about lighting techniques. I want a good mid-range high-end zoom lens (18-105 or 28-105 would be perfect). I hold my camera funny and lose a ton of shots to camera shake. But I've busted my ass in the last 18 months to get better, and I am getting better. And I want to talk about why, a little (or, actually, a lot), and what I've learned that has helped me.

This is advice that works for me; these are the things I've learned. They may not be for you. Some of them might help you; some of them might not. To each their own, yes? Yes.

what i've learned (and what i'm still working on) )

Anything in my photography bookmarks on delicious is something I thought was useful, in some way -- although there's a lot of stuff in there that's just there because I want to buy it later -- but I really love Advice To Young Photographers: Wear Good Shoes. Pros telling you the most important things to know, in their opinions. It's good. If you don't want to read all of it -- and if you want to take photos, I think you should, but if you don't, the best advice in it is this:
If you are bored or unhappy with your subject it will show up in the pictures. If in your heart of hearts you want to take pictures of kitties, take pictures of kitties. -- Alec Soth
The stuff I've loved best of mine so far this year is in this set. Want to know why I think it's good, or why I love it even if it's not a great photo? Ask. I'll tell you.

Dude, that was epic. Sorry.
location: in the office, listening to the sounds of construction
Music:: I Will -- Langhorne Slim -- Slim Pickens
Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful
minervacat: (and a star to steer her by)

And this is why:
  • [American Aquarium @ the Lincoln] 03.13.09. Raleigh, NC. Supported by Cary Ann Hearst and Bain Mattox. Still my favorites of favorites, still the band I love the best. A fantastic fantastic show, and now that they're on the road so much, it's always a particular joy when they come home and play here.

  • [Holy Ghost Tent Revival @ JJ's Bohemia] 03.14.09. Chattanooga, Tennessee. ... look, sometimes you just have to drive to Tennessee to see a band.

  • [the CH to the 'Noog] 20 hours in a car in the rain over the mountains -- but Chattanooga is actually a really adorable little city, and holy fuck are the mountains in Western NC and Eastern TN beautiful. Plus, Civil War battlefields! And angry anti-liberal bumper stickers! And road trips!
And so I am fucking exhausted, because we hardly slept this weekend and there was a lot of white-knuckle driving (all done by [livejournal.com profile] quicknow, who is one of my favorite people in the world ever and also the only person I would trust to drive me through the mountains in shitty weather) and two late shows over two days and SO TIRED.


*falls over*

OH HEY ALSO: raise your hand if you're interested in an NCAA basketball tournament pool this year; winner will get a print of one of my photos of their choosing, I think. I might actually get that done, unlike the last two years of prizes. I still owe [livejournal.com profile] herrgooch a music spam, I haven't forgotten. But I'm not going to run a pool unless I've got a bunch of people interested.
Music:: Baseball America Podcast: 03/11/09 -- J.J. Cooper & John Manuel -- Baseball America
Mood:: 'tired' tired
minervacat: (i walk the line)
  1. [Baseball: Clemson @ Carolina] 03.06-08.09. Goddamn Clemson. (No offense, Clemson fans -- wait, no, actually: total offense, Clemson fans. Every single Clemson fan we encountered this weekend behaved like a total asshole, and a lot of them walked around looking like the CH smelled bad. Which, frankly, if your alma mater is in Clemson, South Carolina, you don't really have a leg to stand on, in my opinion. Also Chapel Hill doesn't smell bad. >:() Carolina took the series, and it was worth it just to send the Clemson fans home slightly less cocky than when they arrived.

    This isn't the best shot I took all weekend, but I think it's my favorite.

  2. [Caitlin Cary & Thad Cockrell @ the Pourhouse] 03.06.09. Raleigh, NC. Supported by Ivan Howard (the Rosebuds). What a killer show. Caitlin and Thad did a bunch of songs from Begonias, their duet album, to open (right after Christmas, I spent about three weeks listening to nothing but that album), and then Thad played a solo set, and then Caitlin came back and they covered Buck Owens and Thad played "She Ain't No You" for Caitlin and it was really, really fantastic.

  3. shep. and I have bought ourselves a farm share this spring! I am super excited about it, because we're trying to eat better, and eating more vegetables is a big part of that. It starts in April and it will be amazing.

  4. ... basically we have reached the stage in the year where everything I own smells like sunscreen and sweat and fresh-cut outfield grass and will continue to for the next three months, and the things my brain is devoted to basically narrows down to: photography; sleeping; live music; the Carolina baseball team. I would apologize in advance but I love those short dudes who ball unreservedly, and thus I regret nothing!

  5. Speaking of sunscreen, internets, please recommend to me a sunscreen that would be good for super, super sensitive skin. Because we have baseball season tickets that are in direct sun, we really have a need for good sunscreen; Banana Boat Sport works fine for all skin but my face -- but my face is so sensitive that Saturday's sunscreening caused three fresh zits to erupt. So: sunscreen for skin that takes offense at being breathed on wrong. Anybody? I'm willing to pay good money for a SPF30+ that won't make me look like a teenager after I use it.

  6. My new camera strap arrived Saturday and it's super cute and the perfect length for me -- long, so that Six sits at my hip instead of my waist when I sling the strap across my body -- and I can totally recommend this Etsy seller. She just sells camera straps and they are all super fantastically cute and reasonably priced. *thumbs up*
This is such a Monday sort of Monday. I have a ton to do and I keep staring at it like it's all written in some language I don't understand instead of actually just doing it.
Music:: Already Dead -- The Rumble Strips -- Daytrotter Session
Mood:: 'restless' restless
minervacat: (reidfronk is what you do in the bedroom)

if you need us, this is where shep. and i will be until the middle of june. try not to have emergencies on sundays, shep. has a really busy schedule of verbally abusing our sunday starter pencilled in for the foreseeable future.

p.s. the high here tomorrow is projected at 80. :D
Music:: last regular season gameday! GUYS. <3
minervacat: (and things that go more than 200 mph)
  1. [Tim Barry @ the Local 506] 02.28.09. Supported by Josh Small and Austin Lucas. At first I thought I was having trouble with overexposing everything because a couple of weeks ago shooting outside, I had dumped my ISO down to 200 and promptly forgotten about it; and, while I can get away with that in the Lincoln and the National (all my Jason Isbell photos were shot at 200ISO), I can't in the 506, but then it turned out that even with the 50mm lens, there's not really a way to overcome the nights when the 506 goes with their lovely two-lights-and-both-of-them-are-gelled-red scheme. (This lighting scheme makes me want to punch people in the face.) Also, Tim Barry was flaily and twitched a lot. That said: the lighting sucked and I was frustrated with what I got shooting, but all three guys were fucking kick ass performers, Tim Barry especially was totally amazing, shep.'s company is always A+, and I did take one really killer shot. So there's that.

  2. This is what it looks like in Chapel Hill today. This is what I, consequently, look like: >:((((((((. The weather forecast for this coming Saturday here? Highs in the mid-70s. I DON'T EVEN KNOW ANYMORE, EXCEPT THAT I KNOW I AM DONE WITH WINTER. >:(

  3. On Friday we caught up on BSG and Bones. Saturday we went to the farmer's market (cold, rainy, oddly empty of vendors for this time of year, likely due to a) cold and b) rain) and did the grocery shopping and went to the library, and then we watched a lot of basketball before we went to see TIm Barry. Sunday I cleaned the bathroom and did a load of laundry and made soup in the crock pot and we had a fly-by visit from [livejournal.com profile] quicknow, on her way home up I-85, and then I watched most of all three LOTR movies on TNT and spent a fair numbers of hours fucking around on Flickr.

  4. I have a shitload of work to do this week and I don't want to do any of it. I want to go home and sleep for another six hours, and then I want to watch a bunch of CSI reruns on the TiVo and eat some soup, and then I want to go back to bed. It's too gloomy to do anything else.
Holy crap, my life is so boring.
Music:: The Breaks -- The Black Keys -- The Big Come Up
minervacat: (reidfronk is what you do in the bedroom)
What I Did On My Wednesday Afternoon: a photo-essay by [livejournal.com profile] minervacat, aged 29-in-three-weeks.

we? we have spring. )

The rest of the set is here. The new Bosh -- Carolina invested $17 million into renovating the incredibly out of date Boshamer Stadium last season -- is spectacularly gorgeous (the women's bathroom has five stalls and doesn't smell like a pit from hell!), our outfield is sort of a mess (we lost two starters to graduation and one to the draft), and at one point, a relief pitcher ran by us as the public address guy was talking about our upcoming series versus the Seton Hall Pirates and said relief pitcher made pirate noises.

It was sunny and warm -- we sat around in jeans and sweatshirts -- and Carolina won.

It was well worth skipping out of work for.
minervacat: (she's a streetlight)
things that [livejournal.com profile] traveller thinks about when she thinks about me:

five things )

i can't promise to give you topics but if you'd like me to talk about anything else that you associate with me, say the five things and i will try.

now i have to buckle down and get some work done, because i am hoping to skip out of the office early and watch the first couple of innings of the carolina baseball game before i go home.
Music:: Ep. 393: Not Your Everyday Buzzerbeater -- No Dunks Inc. -- The Basketball Jones
minervacat: (what i'm doing here or why)
  1. [Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit @ the Lincoln] 02.20.09. Raleigh, NC. This was a fucking kick ass night.

  2. [Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit @ the National] 02.21.09. The National has such great light, Jason never puts on a bad show, and that's really, really all I have to say about that.

  3. In other Richmond related news, your traffic is bad, Richmond, and your rivers are dangerous, and your best venue has a shit photography policy, expects me to pay four bucks for a PBR, and only uses Ticketmaster for tickets. THAT IS THREE STRIKES, I AM D-O-N-E DONE. Richmond, Virginia, I am finished with you, you rotten third rate piece of crap, and you can stuff that anywhere uncomfortable that you want to. (On record: the staff at the emergency room at the VCU hospital are fantastic professionals. They are the best part of Richmond, though I generally recommend just staying out of the emergency room in general. I know [livejournal.com profile] quicknow agrees.)

  4. Last week I ordered a card reader for the SD cards that live in all the cameras in our house, and it is seriously the best five bucks (19 cents plus 4.50 in shipping) I have spent all year.

  5. The song I've got stuck in my head this morning: [OutKast -- "Spottieottiedopaliscious"] 7MB, .mp3. Hip hop is rarely my default go-to genre -- that would be Americana-esque stuff, usually -- but I've been on a big old OutKast kick for the last 24 hours. This is such a great song.

  6. The song that's most appropriate to my mood this morning: [John Paul Keith & The One Four Fives -- "Rock N Roll Will Break Your Heart"] 6MB, .mp3.

  7. The Poodle has reached the stage in my growing out of my short haircut that, on Saturday, under the weight of itself, it suddenly stopped wanting to stand up all over my head and started hanging nicely (albeit a little like a very curly mop) on my head instead. I am well pleased by this, except that I'm not sure what I want to do with it or how long I want to grow it. I'm also not sure why I felt you guys needed to know this, but apparently I did.

  8. Today is one of those deceptive days in February in the NC where it looks sunny and gorgeous outside, and then the wind starts up and slices right through any coat you put on, and it's no Chicago but god damn it, I am really, really ready for spring.

  9. For those of you following along at home with last week's poll, I have decided to go with the reversible strap. Stripes are too awesome to pass up.
I like lists because then I don't have to think up segues between the stuff I want to talk about.
Music:: The Blue -- Jason Isbell -- 2009-02-20 @ the Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC