Tuesday, September 29, 2009

relinquish [ri-ling-kwish]
to renounce or surrender; to give up; put aside or desist from; to let go; release
Synonyms include: let go, surrender, withdraw

Everytime I hear Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” I always well up. In the song, she sings metaphorically about letting God take over when situations feel out of our control. A minor leaguer in control issues, I am guilty of often placing myself in a miserable hole when things don’t go the way I hope they would or when I find myself outside a position to determine a likable outcome.
I never want to be the one who gave in, which, I used to think, is what "let go, let God" meant. I had it so wrong. Sometimes, when you feel like you've done all you can, hoped all you can, prayed all you can, the only thing left to do is hand over all you can to heaven and have faith that no matter how bad a situation appears or feels, it will all be ok in the end.
We all think we're superheroes in this life; that we can do any and everything absolutely...with hopefully little to no help from anyone but ourselves. But it can get tired, and sometimes, as Carrie suggests, you have to let God drive. I'm sure He knows where you're headed...
Jesus, take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
To save me from this road I'm on
Jesus, take the wheel

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

wisdom [wiz-duhm]
the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight
Synonyms include: acumen, knowledge

Lately (possibly the last couple of months), I've been experiencing some frustration. Actually, I wouldn't call it frustration. We'll call it apathy instead, which in my eyes is worse than being frustrated. I've been learning to train my "photographer's eye" for quite some time now, looking at photoblog after photoblog, hoping that one day, my images would evoke the same emotions I feel when I look at pictures by other photographers. It's not that I've stopped caring to keep learning. I just feel like I'm trying too hard manipulate an image into what I THINK it should look like, that I've grown apathetic towards the one thing that made me want to learn in the first place - the simple love of taking pictures.

My writing regimen has suffered for this same reason. Until recently, I hadn't felt inspired much to write in any form - a submission for possible publication, blogging and even journaling. I used to have a lot more to say and lately I seem to have lost interest in discussing anything, even on paper. Then Twitter and Facebook came along - well, why blog when you can provide hourly details of your doings phrase by incomplete phrase? Oy...Where was the furious scribbler/typer I once knew? She got lazy and she didn't want to talk about it.

Then...I got some advice from two great guys - my friend, Ja Tecson who is wise way beyond his years even though I still think of him as a child; and Derek Fisher, whose book Character Driven, I'm milking for every drop of wisdom I can get. Two ballers, two nice guys, two men who, of late, have helped me figure some things out.

"There are 2 journeys [to finding your style]: One is learning to shoot and being confident to adapt to most situations, mastering the craft, which we'll always be students [of], and then...mastering your style is the next journey. You just need to figure out what style you love most, [but] the truth of the matter is - your style will change every year. [And] you'll just know when you look at your photographs. Only you can judge it in the end. You'll either say to yourself, 'I love it...or I'm not happy with it.' That's the hardest part I guess - rebelling against what you've created and trying to turn it up a notch." ~ Ja Tecson

"Work hard, develop your fundamentals, attack your weaknesses, and always do the right thing." ~ Derek Fisher

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

persistent [per-sis-tuhnt]
lasting or enduring tenaciously; persisting, esp. in spite of opposition, obstacles, discouragement, etc.; persevering
Synonyms include: determined, insistent, incessant, perseverant

I just finished listening to my aunt tell me and mom the most amusing and amazing story of my cousin's recent engagement. Long story, short, she'd been single all her life (she just turned 41 years old in July) until she came into contact again with an old classmate who she hadn't seen or spoken to for more than a decade. Now, she's getting married. Before we got off the phone, my aunt said, "Good things really come to those who wait patiently."

I've been told this so many times, on so many different occasions which called for one of the most common cliches (is that redundant?) in the world of cliches. Hearing it the first few times, I said, "I know. I will be." Hearing it 525,600 times? You learn to turn a deaf ear because the apparent waiting had yet to produce those good things. Waiting is frustrating, but I didn't realize until lately exactly why.

Chemical Engineering flashback (eeeks!): There are two kinds of energy - potential and kinetic. Potential Energy gives you the capability to do work. Kinetic Energy is the energy possesed by objects in motion.

Like energy, there are two types of waiting - the kind that makes you sit and wait for something or someone good to happen to you, and the kind that makes you do something to get the waiting to stop. I'm a shameful fan of the first type of waiting, and it's mostly due to fear - fear that the waiting will never end and I won't be able to do anything about it. And if I did decide to act, the fear of failure was even greater. Hmmm....I'd rather be kinetic.
"Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion." ~ Michael Jordan

Friday, September 11, 2009

"The grand essentials for happiness are something to do, something to love and something to hope for." ~ Chalmers

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What I'd give for one of these right now...

Off to the UK we must go!!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Look who finally came out to play...

Half Riann...half Joe...

Born on September 1, 2009 at exactly 8:28 am...

Baby Mary-Clare aka MC!
Welcome to our world, dearest one!
You're loved so much by so many already!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

opus [oh-puhs]
a musical composition; great writing of music or writing
Synonyms include: composition, creation, piece

When I think of musical geniuses, it is not only images of Mozart or Beethoven that come to mind. An individual who lives in our time, and has a unique aptitude for creating sounds that not only complement our moving pictures, but truly make them come to life is none other than John Williams.
John Williams is truly a modern day genius. He composes a unique harmony for practically every character, every scene in a movie, yet somehow manages to bring each sound together to create a most distinguishable, and easily identifiable melody for that particular film. I am no expert at identifying what instruments are making which sound, no matter how intently I'm listening to a song. That's why attending a concert like the L.A. Philharmonic playing John Williams pieces is something that I will always appreciate. It's funny how actually seeing someone play the flute or the harp during a song makes you say, "Oh! That's what's making that sound!" Well, it's funny to me anyways =)
Last night, John Williams spent the first half of the concert conducting an orchestra of L.A.'s finest instrumentalists through a tribute of Harry Potter's mystical, magical melodies. Legendary English actress, Lynn Redgrave introduced each segment of music, while scenes from the past films played on a big screen. It only took a few notes of the xylophone for the audience of over 13,000 to sit in silence, reveling in the abstract machinations of J.K. Rowling, not to mention John Williams.

The second half of the concert was like a night outside with a tribute to the world's most famous movie soundtracks: Catch Me If You Can, Casablanca, Witches of Eastwick, Dracula, Superman, ET, and of course, so as not to disappoint the lightsaber-wielding attendees, Star Wars.

The Hollywood Bowl is, byfar, my favorite place to watch a concert. On a summer evening when the heat (even at 9:00 pm) can be bothersome, it's nice to sit outside beneath a cloudless sky, sipping champagne from a red plastic cup, and listening to music that you know you'll remember always.