14 June 2008

And... we're back!

The triumphant return of lunaticraft to the world of blogging. How exciting. New layout, new start. I'm really not happy at all with the new layout, but it will do for now until I have the time to actually sit down and really work something out.

Plenty of exciting things went down while I was on my unannounced sabbatical from this thing, the biggest being the main reason I went on unannounced sabbatical in the first place: I graduated from college a year early. Yes, you read right. I'm officially a university alumna.

It kind of came as a surprise to me. I had been working towards it for a while, but I never thought I would actually pull it off. And then I got the call from my advisor, and lo and behold, I was approved for graduation. It's been almost a month and a half now since I got my diploma, and I'm still kind of holding my breath for when the telephone rings and it's someone saying, "Oops, sorry. You have to give that back and return in the fall, we were wrong."

So anyway, I had to make all sorts of arrangements for work, grad school, and the actual graduation itself, so that's mainly what kept me away from March until mid-may. After that, it became clear that I'm the slowest unpacker in the world, and trying to fit an apartment's worth full of shit in to a third of the space accounted for the rest of the absence.

Along with graduation, comes graduation presents, and my parents got me grand tier tickets to the met for The Last Emperor, conducted by Tan Dun himself (the composer) and featuring Placido Domingo. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Amazing. The opera was fantastic, the met itself was fantastic, and any excuse to get me back into the city for the first time in years becomes automatically fantastic.

I was actually really surprised by the people around me's reaction to the opera. We were seated in the section where all the season ticket holder's tickets are, and shockingly, a lot of them complained about the opera. They apparently didn't think it sounded like "music." It really baffled me, and sort of deflated my expectations of the met audience. I had always assumed that it was full of people who really appreciated opera for what it was. That they embraced the new and innovative, that they understood what they were hearing. I assumed that they went to the met to hear great opera, not to be seen.

But it doesn't matter, because I loved it. I mean, the plot was certainly... big, if you will. Really dramatic. For example, the emperor's crippled daughter sleeps with a guy and all of a sudden she's magically healed and can walk again! But let's face it. Opera isn't opera without stuff like that. The music was really awesome. It really integrated traditional Chinese sounds and traditions into it, including a trio of Tibetan singing bowls and a water gong. One of the characters in the opera itself was actually written for and played by an actual Beijing opera performer, who was awesome. Beijing opera really is awesome stuff. If you are a fan of martial arts, don't think Mozart is the be all and end all of music, and can hear the beauty in what western music considers dissonance, then I highly recommend you do a little youtubing.

It felt so good to be getting back into the city too. I've gone back in a whole slew of times since. I'm not sure why I didn't go for so long, I mean, I live so close to it, that it's really stupid for me not to. Well, actually I do know exactly why I didn't, and exactly why I suddenly started again.

What it boils down to is that I've finally gotten rid of an influence in my life that was simply holding me back and keeping me from doing all the things I know I love to do, and from going the places I know I love to go in lieu of sitting on a couch and watching TV. I haven't really talked about it at all on here, mainly because my personal life is my personal life, and I'm still going to stay a bit vague, but the freedom is really fantastic. I've really been having so much more fun the past 6 months or so than I have in a long time. I actually went out on my 21st birthday, and had a good time, even though it had been something I had been dreading for years. I went out, I had a great time with fun people I enjoy being around, caught up with some old friends, had a few drinks, and never once felt like I was being patronized, made to feel guilty about being social, or like I was doing something wrong for consuming alcohol (responsibly, I might add).

Another exciting new development came with my first car purchase. I bought a brand new Pontiac g5 with a souped up stereo system, and a remote starter. It's pretty damn awesome. The actual car shopping experience was the most interesting part of the whole process, but I think I'll save more about that for a separate post after it's sunny enough to get nice pictures of the car.

I've also been working on my photography skills. As it turns out, reading the actual camera manual is a big help (duh). I'm not sure why I hadn't figured it out before. I mean, I only have a little point and shoot Canon Powershot Asomethingorother, but damn... it's actually capable of all sorts of things that I didn't know about. So I've been learning about how to adjust all sorts of things on my camera in order to get cool lighting effects and color things... I'm particularly fond of how the picture above came out (p.s.- the pictures without animals in them are from the Met).

Because clearly I know what I'm talking about using terms such as "cool lighting effects" and "color things."

But anyway, I'm going to keep learning, keep experimenting, and hopefully you'll see a drastic improvement in my photography in the future. I haven't been doing much on the craft front, but hopefully I'll have some stuff to show off in a few days. For now though, I'm going to go and make some lunch, and leave you with some puppy love.


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