Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Malice in Derbyland - Rollerderby Exhibition

We were handed a pair of free tickets to see 'Malice in Derbyland', a rollerderby game (match? exhibition? what the heck do they call them?) being held in Calgary this past weekend, and so off we went on Saturday night, not really knowing what the expect. If you pictured girls on rollerskates going around in circles, you've hit the mark. But you have to also add in that the girls really ham it up for the crowd in their cheesey to the point of being tacky outfits and player names, and that they are unrelentingly vicious towards their opponents during the match. I can't begin to count how many times girls were sent flying off the track by merciless hip and shoulder checks, with the crowd shuddering in unison as they landed on their knees, elbows, wrists, and occasionally flat on their backs. The meaty thuds and entangled mess of limbs that accompanied these not so graceful landings made you grimace, yet you couldn't peel your eyes away, as you watched wondering if the latest blow was enough to actually injure or not (thankfully, none were).

I stupidly brought a manual focus 58mm prime lens to the event, and so had a hell of a time trying to get anything in focus. Eventually, I gave up trying to pan with the action, opting instead to pre-focus to a set area, and when the girls would come screaming through there, I'd snap away. I shot at a fully wide open f/1.4, whose limited DoF made focusing even that much harder to nail.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie w/ Bright Eyes - Live in Calgary

Anita and I went to the Death Cab for Cutie show this past week in Calgary, almost 5 years to the day we first saw them together locally. That was our first concert date, shortly after we'd just started seeing each other, and I have vivid memories of the intense feelings of euphoria we experienced that first time Ben Gibbard and co. made sweet love to our ears with his melodic voice, emotionally charged lyrics, and live act that amazingly managed to match, if not outdo, all the different nuances and richness to their recorded work. So here we are, 5 years later, 5 years older, but the crowd around us largely hadn't changed. They were still the 15 - 25 year olds, and WE were now the elder statesmen, minus the one old dude beside us, who appeared to be chaperoning his two kids. At least we weren't THAT old. But as it turns out, that 'old' dude had made his way to Coachella recently specifically to see Bright Eyes, and so Anita and I didn't feel like we were young by comparison anymore. :(

I won't go into a full blown review of the show, as there are far more qualified folks that could do that. All I will say is that the set list spanned a really nice range of their discography, and I may have peed my pants a little when they played the first few bars of "Movie Script Ending". Oh, and the way the drummer POUNDED his drums to the ending of their encore set closing "Transatlanticism" was one of the most visceral images I've seen in a long, long time. Absolutely sonically and visually mesmerizing.

And I guess I should also mention that Bright Eyes opened the show with a really good set as well. I (echoing almost every other girl in the crowd) screamed like a schoolgirl when Connor played the first couple notes to "Lover I Don't Have to Love". Okay, gotta go. Enjoy. And check out both bands if you're aren't familiar with their work. Youtube is your friend.

Enough rambling, on with the images. All shot with the Leica D-Lux 4 point and shoot, including the 720p video of "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" at the end of this post (if you're reading this on facebook, you may have to hit 'View Original Post' to see the video).

Ben gave a bit of a spiel about how he hates it when bands insert names of cities into their songs... that is, until they actually have the chance to play those songs in the named city. In this case, the crowd goes a bit nuts as expected when he does a solo of "I Will Follow You Into The Dark."

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Mach Diner

I'd been wanting to try out a recipe for German pancakes for a couple weeks now, but we'd been so busy with travelling for leisure, travelling for work, packing and unpacking, and generally having no time to do so. Well finally, on this third day of our long weekend, I whipped up the motivation (and a batch of batter) to give it a whirl. I present to you: German Pancakes with cinnamon apples topped with icing sugar a la mode. Garnish with market fresh blackberries.


1 tsp canola oil
2 large eggs
3 large egg whites
2/3 cups flour
2/3 cups milk
1 tsp butter

Cinnamon Apples
1 tbsp butter
3-4 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, cut into slices)
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
icing sugar (as much as you like)
Ice Cream

1. Heat oven to 450 deg. F
2. Grease pie pan, heat in oven for 5 mins.
3. Process eggs, egg whites, flour, milk, and butter in food processor until well blended.
4. Pour batter into hot pan, bake 20 mins. Reduce temp to 350 deg. F, and bake 10 mins or until puffy.
5. Prepare apples in skillet - melt butter, add apples, sugar, apple juice, and cook uncovered over medium heat for 10 mins until apples are soft (I like mine mushy, so add more time).
6. Cut pancakes into pie slices, top with apples, and dust liberally with icing sugar. Serve a la mode. Garnish with fresh fruit.

Love Hate Relationship

I'm in a Love Hate relationship with my iPhone 3G (I know, who the frack still uses one of THOSE? That's like someone I know who chose to buy a new Motorola Razr a couple years ago)... Anyways, the point is, the Love Hate thing has shifted pretty dramatically to the HATE side. It's like there was a general election called, and all the citizens of George-land surprisingly voted a HATE majority into power, leaving the LOVE supporters decimated, deflated, and without purpose.

In a nutshell, the phone barely manages basic functions like checking email. Don't even think about trying to launch google maps unless you've got nowhere to go for about 3 hours. And don't even get me started on how slow the fracking notepad is (who knew Notes was THAT intensive of an application). Now I don't want to be a sucker and buy an iPhone 4 knowing a refresh is just around the corner, but every day I go through this routine is another day I'm tempted to throw it out the window, and run it over repeatedly with a forklift.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I draw nekkid people

Went to another session of life drawing at Harcourt House in Edmonton with Dean. I mostly stuck with the Pentel Brush Pen and Copic Markers this time, cause the combo of these two produce results that mask my clear lack of skills.

Update - May 23/11: Bonus look - Here are the ones Dean drew using his MacBook Air/ Wacom/ CS5 combo. Click to view large.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

"...a different sort of elevator music"

A couple days ago, I'd been thinking about the concept of personal space and also about how isolated we are from each other in our communities, even though we live in such close proximity. And then as if on cue, I had a strange encounter on the elevator at work yesterday that closely examined BOTH of these ideas at once.

There was a bearded brown gentleman in a turban and a suit jacket lingering in the hallway by the elevator, but he hadn't pushed the button to call a lift. So I press down, and patiently wait to get in. The lift arrives, I hop in and hit '2' to go downstairs. The dude looks at me from outside and as the doors begin to close, he decides to hop in as well, staring at me the whole time. So I move over to one side as per elevator etiquette. Unspoken rule number 1: divvy up the total square footage between the number of riders, meaning we each should've had half the elevator as our personal space. But as he enters, he stares at me, and stands right beside me. Unspoken rule number 2: in general, thou shalt face forward in an elevator. But nope, this guy decided he was going to face sideways so he could continue looking at me. And then he began singing/ mumbling a tune that resembled a Bollywood song, and started to sort of dance on the spot. I'm not even joking. If I wasn't so uncomfortable with the way he was essentially breathing into my ear, staring at me, while making a different sort of elevator music, I think I would have laughed at the absurdity of the whole experience. Instead, I chose to deal with it in the way that typical city folk do, I pretended he wasn't there.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Black and White Portugal

We're back from 18 days in Portugal, and I have thousands of photos to sort through, let alone 13 rolls of film to scan. Based on my current rate, we will likely have gone on another overseas trip before I get around to scanning all that film. In the meantime, I edited a few b&w shots that I liked from Lisbon.