Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dress Rehearsal

 Tonight was the Dress Rehearsal for the big musical variety show that our local elementary school puts on every spring.

Last year, I was asked to join the photography team, that shoots the show, and then sells prints to eager parents as a fundraiser.  This year was more of the same.

I love it.
This year, I rented two low light lenses, and then realized that I didn't want to be switching the lenses off on my D90 every two minutes, so I put out a call, seeing if anyone else on the team had a 'spare Nikon body lying around'.  Alas, everyone shoots Canon around here, but one of the other shooters said music to my ears, "I have a friend who works for Nikon... let me check with him."

And so it went that I had a brand new D5000 to play with this evening.

Which would have been great if I'd had even the barest sweet clue how to use the blasted thing.  I was really fumbling in the dark (literally - the lights went down just as I got the lens onto the body), and so I must say that I'm less than satisfied with how my shots from that camera turned out.  I can see how they COULD have been great.  I can see how I COULD have really shone with this thing. But what I see instead is that I accidentally jacked the ISO up too high, and, as a result, most of my shots are WASHED OUT!  How could I do that????

Oh well.  I took about 400 shots on that camera, and I kept 168 in a 'first pass' culling and cropping.  I'll go over them again tomorrow to do any color correction, if I think that any of the shots are ones that parents might want to purchase.

I have my fingers crossed that I didn't make such a neophyte gaffe with my own camera body, which I had the 70-200 f/2.8 lens on all evening.  There are 850 photos on that memory card, and if I can get one keeper in three or four, I'll be pretty darned pleased.  I've already decided that I'm going back for Opening Night to shoot the bits that I missed with the D5000.  And TOMORROW, I'll be bringing the ISO down out of the stratosphere, into the, oh, 800-1000 range.

Note to self.  Check the ISO, stupid.

Right now, I'm waiting for the 853 photos to copy over from the D90 memory card.  This card gives me absolute kittens, in that it routinely is un-readable by my computer. "Would you like to FORMAT THIS MEMORY CARD before continuing?" it will ask me... and the freakish default is YES, so I have nightmares about accidentally formatting the card with all the preciousssssss shots getting the digital equivalent of tossed into Mordor.

Ah.  853 photos are ready to edit.


Also, for those of you playing the "Will she ever make an honest living? The Home Game", I dropped off my 'intent to apply for a classified position' paperwork at the school district office this afternoon.  It was kind of fun having a group of friends and colleagues beating a path to my door to see who I would pick to write the letters of recommendation.  Affirming, sort of.

Now I wait.

Also?  Shhh, it's a secret.  I'm keeping Kelly home from school tomorrow morning, so we can paint.  I haven't figured out what sort of 'medical reason' it will be for me to keep her home, but I'll think of something when it comes time to phone the attendance line.

Maybe I'll have another hair emergency.  What's that?  Well, I had one the other night... I stayed up MUCH too late, and then, when I should ahve, you know, ALREADY BEEN IN BED, I walked into the bathroom, and said, to my reflection "You look dowdy and drawn, and why don't you wear lipstick, do you want me to look on you with pity?  And you'd look better with five inches less hair in the front!"  So I took a pair of scissors and (look away now), just started cutting at my hair.  When I finally came to my senses, I had FILLED THE SINK with big chunks of hair, most of it 5-6 inches long, and when I cleared out the sink, it completely filled the waste basket.

I think my head feels a bit lighter.  Nobody even noticed that I cut my hair.  I'll have to cut more next time.
It's now 11:52.  I still have 838 817 photos to go.  I'd better start culling faster.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A short to-do list

 So, Ken is off in Ireland for a while.  He's having fun working in the rain, and spending time with his brother-the-professor-in-Cork, and his 5 teenagers.

Since he's been gone...

We moved Skip out of his too-small-for-him bed.

We moved Nate out of his too-small-for-him bedroom.

Nate's now in the process of moving into Skip's big bedroom, with the loft bed.  Although right now, he's one step away from an episode of Hoarders.

Kelly had a fine time doing basic home-improvement-with-tools.

(she does need some help with non-girly tool-holding techniques)
And then she got positively giddy using the floor cleaner, aka MOP.

And now Skip is in Nate's freshly cleaned room in a big giant bed that I had delivered on Saturday afternoon.

Ken doesn't know that any of this has happened.  We've decided to 'surprise' him.

I bought paint to re-paint the bannisters in the house, as it's about time I repaired all the chipped and peeling paint.

I took down all the pictures in the stairwell.  I want to repaint that, too.  it's got a freakishly high ceiling, so I still don't know how I will get that done.

Kelly wants to plant a cherry tree out front.  That's on the list... if the rain ever stops.

I want to paint the front door a slate blue-grey, and re-paint the grey trim on the house.

I'd like to replace the shutters on the front of the house, as we lost a lot of slats in the storms last week.

I would like to paint the upstairs hallway, and also get all the downstairs trim painted the new "Swiss Coffee" color while I'm at it.

But all this needs to wait for a minute.
I just got off the phone with a woman who works in the school district.
Apparently, on the hush-hush, the librarian at our school just resigned.  And I think you may recall that we've all had trouble coming to an accommodation with this librarian.  But Pam called, wanting me to know the news.
She and the other librarians in the district know about me, and wanted to see what they could do to get me to apply for the vacant position.
This is such a monkey-wrench.
Do I really want to get tied down to the routine of an actual job?
Do I really want to step my foot into a political morass that the previous librarian has built up this past year?
Do I want to give up my gig playing the piano for the middle school choruses, (which I really enjoy)?
And most concerning, what about giving up my Babies and Books gig, which I have been doing for the last 13 years.
I kind of wish Ken wasn't ten thousand miles away, so we could hash this out.  He'd have some good advice for me.