The Fremont Troll Chronicles

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Everyone thinks the troll is made of stone.
His long terraced fingers rest inanimate and no breath shoots from between his closed lips. His body is grey and ever-locked in a soulful expression of grief, lost in thought. Encapsulated in one grand silver eye, his wandering expression gazes over the hill, seemingly through the bridge, seemingly through the haze of Seattle's drizzle and outward into the empty universe.
Everyone believes he is made of stone, for the only trolls they have ever encountered were in the pages of storybooks and tabloid magazines. They take pictures with his cold hands, let their children laugh and kick at his worn claws, and their couples steal precious moments to eat their lunch and smooch beneath his giant nose.
The troll is impassive.
He has no ambitions, but at night his mind wanders. He lets his troll arms, lost beneath a pillar of sand long-paved over as a roadway, jostle back and forth to create miniature earthquakes for the houses above.
The troll needs nothing. He ponders this thought. Is he nothing because he needs nothing? All the people and animals that scatter themselves about his earth, near his bridge and his chest - each has a need or desire they wish to fulfill. But the troll sits, motionless, sand and pavement coating his limbs in a thick blanket, and wonders. He constructs long theories about his own existence, then abandons these thoughts at first light. The troll is made of stone, yes, but this stone is a clever material.

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More writing and stories are also available for your reading pleasure.

Finally... Finished...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

View me larger! Click me! Then you'll understand!

I am about to fall on my face out of sheer exhaustion... my eyes have dried out from staring at the computer screen for so long...
Today was my foray into panography (thank you, Photojojo, for introducing me to another really cool technique!), which is where you take a bunch of pictures while standing in one position and then put them together in Photoshop. That was where the tiredness came in. When I got home from book shopping/photographing the Fremont troll (pictures will be up later!), I began to work on this little beauty. At first it was simple to put together the images... and the time didn't seem like a lot... but before I knew it, I was ordering pizza and working for 6+ hours trying to fit overlap minuscule details over one another so that the image would coalesce.
As you can see, not all of my efforts were rewarded (the left side has some wonky angles - the best way to view all the details is to click on the picture for a larger version, by the way!). However, I really like the way it turned out - and I think I'm going to do another panography for the Grand Canyon (that will be sweet!)
In other news, I scored 15 books at the Half Price Books warehouse sale in Seattle today - hopefully I can read them all before I leave; otherwise, I'll be lugging them back East with me...

I just realized... these panographies make perfect banners! Maybe when I get better at it/use a tripod/get one of a really cool place, I'll change out my Cowation banner... yay!

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Experimenting with Light Painting

Friday, July 10, 2009

Today was all about the photography (or, at least, mostly about the photography).
Josh and I went hardware searching for remotes for our cameras - we went to 6 different stores, but they were either out of stock or it cost too much, so we finally ordered online. All that work... But, we did have the opportunity to do some cool photographic tricks today - namely, our first experimentation in the world of light painting.
Josh bought an LED flashlight and we went out later in the evening (after stuffing ourselves with Taco Time and hanging out with the guys) to a forest-y area of Ardmore Trails and started playing around with long exposure photographs.
It was pretty frickin' sweet.
Above are the two pictures that I liked the most that are on my camera (he has some that are really nice too - mine are pretty much all in red; his are in blue). I played with some brightness/contrast features for them when I got home, but I've included the originals as well - I don't know yet which way I prefer it. We'll try again soon!

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Up and Down at All Hours

I have had the strangest sleep cycle for the past day and a half; I took a monstro-nap this afternoon after going to bed only 2 hours later than I normally do and getting the same amount of sleep. Now I'm here again at 12:30am wide awake and feeling kind of strange. Maybe it was listening to all that Loveline or the nerdy camera conversations with Josh, but I'm just feeling really weird.
I finished writing my letter to Chiara though, and this time it's going to be in pamphlet book form! Pictures will come later - once I've worked out how to print the pages so that it doesn't go 1, 7, 5, 3, 8... you know how it is.
Other than that, enjoy this miniature post in the middle of the night for it's promises of better (Photoshop'ed) pictures of this beaver. I have ratcheted myself up to work with Photoshop again - hence my scrambling for many many tutorials and interesting websites. Ah, the wonders that are to come!

I am grateful for...
Lenticular photographs! They're so cool... turn them one way, it's one picture, the other way, it's another! In case you don't know what I'm talking about, check out this easy tutorial on how to make them:
How to Make Lenticular Images

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm going to the Grand Canyon! Ahhh! I am so happy!
It was a tense battle of wills, but my father finally allowed me to go on vacation with Josh and his family. We are going to California and then to the Grand Canyon and, hopefully, there my creative output will be revived.
There are so many ideas that I want to carry out, but I have little motivation! Gah!
Today I was looking through Photoshop work that I had done a while ago and it renewed my interest in working with images - I also worked with photography today and it totally made me want to go out and make more and more art (especially because my boyfriend got his new Nikon in - that's him, in the picture, which I took with my camera and he edited in Photoshop to have burned edges). Ah! And that made me want to write and make books and this this that that... I am ready to explode with creativity! And yet... it's not that I don't have the time - but I don't have the drive to do anything. It's terrible.
Second to that, I believe my health is declining. Goodness, all of that comes back just as my relationship problems right themselves and my happiness is level again. But I guess that's how the pendulum swings - now I can focus on balancing creative works and personal wellness again.
Ah, life.

I am grateful for...
Concessions. Such as the one my father made for my happiness, to allow me to go on vacation. Such as the one I made to allow forgiveness into my heart to replace anger. Such as the one that lets me be alive in the United States and cared for and loved. This I am grateful for.

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Photographic Adventures: The Summer Broke Ope

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

These ones were total randomness - they come from every place and every day!

These were from Snoqualmie Falls - so beautiful...

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The Summer Broke Ope

Monday, July 6, 2009

So, it's been a crazy summer sojourn since I was last here - I have been out literally every day since school got out... it feels so strange that it was only two weeks ago, and yet every day has been so filled that it seems as if it were yesterday. Hmm.
I have put graduation itself into a Memoirian Highlight to incorporate the pictures (courtesy of Heathy!) and also one for Heathy's visit here - just so that each post isn't crazy long! Here are some other highlights though.

1. Finishing high school and meeting a cluster of bees outside my boyfriend's house the day we got out. Happy end of high school!
2. Picking up my family at the airport - Tiina, Uncle and Natalia have been here ever since the 18th.
3. Watching the pretty awesome Senior Highlights video at senior breakfast (and subsequently signing a silly number of yearbooks - everyone wanted a little piece before we all jumped off to the next lilypad; sadly, I don't think I put down very good yearbook entries, but just know that you will be remembered!)
4. Going to a bookmaking class: it was a 3 Saturday class and I made 3 pamphlet stitch books, 3 hardcover books (2 Coptic bound and 1 traditional hardcover book like you see in the bookstores). Since I found the awesome decorative paper that I bought during pre-college, it was great fun to actually use the stuff. I am totally going to get back into zines and bind a lot of stuff now - it's great fun! Also, I discovered that Seattlites hate Bellevue (something I already knew, but didn't intuit until we started talking about the jail and protesting, Gay Pride and other such things; it was pretty awesome to hear all the intriguing stories though - like crack being sold from an ice cream truck and traipsing about the best art supplies places in the area)
5. Picking up Heathy at the airport to complete our full set of house mayhem [7 people living in a house that usually houses 3 - fortunately, it's big enough that it wasn't too much of a burden, just "interesting" to have all those personalities conflicting in places like the shower and the kitchen...]
6. Meeting up with all of my good friends at Olive Garden for an explosive night of debauchery - Chels, Ka-chan, Heathy, Kita, Josh, Amanda, Natalia, and I sitting around a table laughing it up and then heading over to Sophia's house for a post-meal cooldown. The odd part of the evening was getting there and waiting for a table; we took two cars since there were so many of us (and Josh was jumping out of his seat to avoid my dad's glare...) and then there was an hour long wait, so we went to get fresh ice cream at the creamery nearby [so good - yet I did gain 1.8 pounds that week; I'm at 131 right now though, so it didn't dent me too much]. But once we were in, the food was good and filling and we all were compatible enough to not kill each other so I call it good. Ka-chan, Chels and I went to get makeup at Bartells following Sophia's house and had an interesting time deciding whether I said 'peachy' or 'PG' - ah... the joke never dies.
7. Picking up my diploma the day after graduation and talking to Madame for the last time - she gave me a book and it was a nice goodbye. I didn't get to see Goldstein, yet I know our paths will cross again. All is well; I can leave Interlake in peace.
8. Separation anxiety when Heathy left - that same day, everyone traveled to Eastern Washington except me and I went to my bookbinding class all depressed... it just felt like the summer would be empty without her and without constant motion. Though it took me a few days, I did raise myself out of that slump. People make me happy, you know?
9. Hanging out with Sophia and Amanda in Seattle. Amanda got her first Dick's burger (another addict has been created!) on Broadway and we went to Bailey/Coy Books and all over Broadway. Then we went to Volunteer Park and there was a random crane in a tree! It was totally awesome and it flew down and we chased it with cameras (and I hung up on Kita out of excitement to go follow it... ehe...) Overall, it was a really relaxing day and a nice goodbye celebration for 'Manda since she left for China on July 4th (and Sophia leaves for Vietnam on Wednesday!).
10. Hearing from Charlotte. In Rome. She called me and we talked a bunch of girl talk and figure out our lives... the phone cut out just as we were getting to the recent news of Michael Jackson's death (I am really sad about that actually... I didn't realize how sad I would be until I started hearing his songs again and realized that there would be no more King of Pop. Along with the other celebrity deaths last week, that was definitely the worst moment...) The next time Charlotte and I contacted was on Facebook with messages - she's moving to Israel! It was a quick decision because of some problems with Seattle and UW and all that good stuff, but I think the move will do her good and give her an exciting lifestyle (and me an excuse to go to the Middle East - yes!) She's the real light in my sky sometimes; she inspires me and helps me out with my problems at the same time. Love.
11. Having Ka-chan come back from California! Everyone had left, and then they returned. She had a great time from what I can tell, everything was exciting and interesting while things here were pretty chill as well [albeit, a lot of problems did arise with the relationship] When she came back, we hung out hardcore with Molly in Seattle, traveling once again to Broadway and sorting out our problems with retail therapy and talk. I bought a gold scarf from Red Light and need to learn how to wear it with flare, so to speak. Haha. I stayed over at Molly's place and watched Bridget Jones' Diary as she napped, then we went out for late night food in Beacon Hill and heard about crazy ladies crying "SATAN!" across the street... ah, Seattle.
12. Spending time with Sophia in her final days before leaving for Vietnam - she, Josh and I watched Public Enemies last night and it was really interesting (crazy confusing at times, but since I was reading Gunsmith Cats and have always been sort of a shooter fan, it was a lot of fun) We went into Barnes and Noble and now I totally want to buy Bonk by Mary Roach so I can learn about the neuroscience of sex - did I mention that I've been enticed almost entirely to the nonfiction section lately? It's so weird... Oh, and shrimp pizza is awesome. One of those things that you don't appreciate till you try it. Trading clothes with Sophia at her house and finding really cute tops to steal - ahaha. I got my first pair of leggings from her and I think they're pretty awesome; not yet sure how comfortable I'll feel walking around in them.
13. And that brings us to the final! The lucky 13! Or maybe unlucky, I don't know... But, other than all the actions that are going on right now in my life, there are some interesting intentions going on as well. As I type, I am hoping that my dad will let me go on vacation with Josh to the Grand Canyon (yes, he's actually considering it! I'm overjoyed). So here's to knocking on wood, making wishes on your birthday time, and crossing fingers because tomorrow will determine the fates.

And... that's what's going on! Whew... that was a lot. One of the first things that I didn't mention was that I saw Ka-chan graduate the Friday before I did; it was amazing and her speech was inspiring (she didn't stutter once and, even though we didn't work on our speeches together, our themes were pretty similar) I saw Chels for the first time in months too! And Waymon and I randomly traveled to Snoqualmie Falls! We've been hanging out a lot more together out of total and utter boredom... Oh! And I got my IB Diploma - yesterday actually - which is rad. I get my credits and am going to college with them! TAKE THAT!

Photographic Adventures: The Week of Heathy

I believe that all of these were taken on the walk between Idylwood and Marymoor. Yay!

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Memoirian Highlights: The Week of Heathy

The week of Heathy was filled with waffles, speaking at the same time, bad food eating (which ended, literally and actually, the day that she left), hanging out with the menfolk and laughing until we cried (and no, I'm not joking). It was pretty good and mildly annoying at the same time - since we're such silly people, sometimes it seemed like we were more explosive together than life really warranted, but that was also a bit of the fun. Overall, I was sad to see her go, and hope to see Heathy again when she actually moves up here in August. Cat face!!

- Ah... tea. It brings us our very favorite memories - exploring the rich flavors and intercontinental merits of one tea over another, basically growing into minor tea snobs as we debate the merits of loose leaf over bagged... but then, I took Heathy to my favorite little tea shop in RTC and this tea-ful beauty changed.
It started as a friendly encounter with a tea merchant - and ended with the guy giving Heathy his phone number and a lot of free tea. Apparently he thought she was cute and, just as in niche manga everywhere, totally hit on her without her even realizing it. Now, whenever we discuss tea, we have to avoid the Tea Guy - code for the 30-something that totally freaked us out, even though he seemed like an upstanding guy. Though I suppose it was a single incident, it definitely makes me wonder about unwanted male attention...
- Heathy and I had our ups and downs this week; there were some moments when things became trying because our personalities clash when we live together. I think it's because we have such different routines. Though we laugh together and have a lot of fun talking about things, I don't think we're very similar in our lifestyles. I am quick to get ready, she takes a long time... she gets sad, I get angry... things like that. Although there were some issues faced that way, I think it's just good to note that being best friends doesn't mean that the pressure isn't on when you live together. That is the same principle that kind of takes apart couples that live together for their first year - things just aren't the same when you see every little detail of their lives.
- Going to the sushi place with Josh and Heathy wasn't terrifying, but it did make me feel somewhat bad that I didn't like the food... I tried some things that I liked, but I found that most of it was still not something I'd prefer to eat. Ah well, here's for the trying.
- We went shopping and chatting, like true girls, that week. I bought some cute brown shoes (which, sadly, are slightly too big for me so sometimes my feet slip out) from Plato's Closet and we went hunting for a bathroom cup that Heathy's dad [apparently] collects. We settled on a mug and chocolate and a Japanese toy for Will (who she was talking about during the entire vacation - I guess I can understand the separation thing for couples, it's hard).
But my favorite memory of the week with Heathy was definitely going for a walk from Idylwood to Marymoor. Despite the fact that Heathy had blisters and I was wearing a somewhat sexy top and got honked at, we decided to take a walk and read/talk/photograph/write. It was very relaxing to just walk and talk about life. We took photographs of the natural life of Washington and I really appreciated just being able to live here - it is beautiful, you know? Then, when we got to Marymoor, we stepped on the rock stones to soothe our feet and had an interesting experience with "pleasure" and the foot. Whee, randomness!

Photographic Adventures: Interlake Graduation '09

All photographs courtesy of Heather H. Thanks!

Just me, looking like a weirdo and scaring people around me again...

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