Thursday, June 21, 2012

Grand Circle Tour | Day 1 | Vegas a Visual Delight

Summer is upon us and we're all scramblin' here in the Midwest to enjoy every ounce of sunshine and warmth. We have to pack in all our shorts-weather-activities in a condensed period of time.  Plus I started a new 'day' job 2 weeks ago, which requires extra focus and brain cells.  And so much computer time.  Too much computer time. So, that's my way of saying, I've been busy doing other stuff and not editing my vacation pictures.  There you have it.  My first excuse(s) of the day.

Day 1 of vacation was spent in Las Vegas, we flew in and out of there.  It was my first trip to Vegas.  Yeah, it's even hard for me to believe.  I'm not a gambler, though I did spend $20 worth of slot machine time.  And I'll never get the money or the time back but it was fun, and an integral part of the experience.  More memorable for me was the incredible architecture, stage sets and atmospheric extravaganzas.  So much effort and money expended to make you feel like you're not where you are.  Impressive and overwhelming.  And done well.  I appreciate you, Vegas.  You're a visual delight.

More pictures here: Las Vegas

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Parade the Circle Gives Great Face

Parade the Circle, a beloved 20+ year tradition in University Circle, is an awesome opportunity to strut your stuff, especially if your stuff is theatrical or musical.  This is a wonderful opportunity for people to dust off their stilts, Mardi Gras masks and steel drums to show their creative side.  There's also a wonderful sense of community and camaraderie all packaged nicely in face paint and shiny stuff.  Friends and co-workers come together to create a cohesive and creative group expression.  The enthusiasm spreads out to the 70,000 or so spectators and it's hard to determine if the show is the brightly garbed marchers or the brilliant spontaneous smiles of the onlookers across the street from you.  I guess all of it makes up the eclectic fabric of this event.  We're all participants.  It's why it's such a great success.

In addition to the massive floats, balloons and other colorful props, the parade gave great face this year and that's where I decided to focus my camera.  I dare you not to smile.  

To see my entire set click here: Parade the Circle 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Brilliance of Horseshoe Bend

He first came to my attention across the canyon as he cautiously inched his way out on to the precipice.  His inching wasn't fearful, it was respectful, even reverent.  He took a moment to just look and absorb the intensity of the scene.  

To say it was beautiful is a pathetic understatement.  This place, this view, is heaven-like in it's depth and breadth. This, I suspect, is how Mother Nature paints the town and kicks up her heals when she's given the opportunity.  Clearly words fail me.  

Rod eventually worked his way over to us.  We chatted and took turns taking each others pictures.  He was traveling with a relative but he was alone at this location and said no one would believe he was there if he didn't have a picture or two to prove it.  His soul was obviously that of an explorer.  His curiosity and appreciation for the site was warming and mirrored our own.

I was completely enamored of Rod's camera.  It's a vintage View-Master Personal Stereo Camera.  Still snugged up in it's original leather case, it oozed history and pure fun.  This stereo camera has 2 lenses that are about the same distance apart as your eyes and was made to create images that more closely represent what we see.  Rod's camera was made in the 1950's and was developed to make 3D effect images used to create View-Master reels that would be viewed on a View-Master Viewer.  Which of course brings back all sorts of great childhood memories.  I took Rod's picture using his camera.  It had nice heft and felt very much like looking through binoculars.  And damn, it just looks great!  Thanks to Rod for adding color to an already very colorful evening.

We had all converged on this spot to view the sunset over Horseshoe Bend just outside of Page, Az.  The Colorado river has carved out this bend in the canyon that is only viewable in full when you get very close the edge of the canyon where it immediately drops off 1,000 feet.  But if you don't get close, you don't get the full view because the edge of the canyon cuts off the bottom of the shot and you lose the "horseshoe"concept.  

Many brave souls went up to the edge but the strong gusting winds, stinging sand and my basic fear of falling to my death caused me to approach the edge in a slightly different method.  Putting elegance and my vanity aside, I got my shot. Actually I got about a hundred shots because I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be here again.  This was the moment. This was my opportunity.

Life is about knowing when to take the opportunities presented to you. I accept. And thank you very much.

The Brilliance of Horseshoe Bend

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Vegan Food Swap

I've just returned from a very special vacation in the southwest visiting several national parks and I'll have a lot to share with you soon.  But before I get to that I have a bit of house keeping to take care of.

I recently joined a Vegan Food Swap organized by fellow Ohioan Cat at The Verdant Life.  She has a lovely blog and I thought it just sounded like a fun idea and great way to shake things up just a tiny bit.  I was the "lucky recipient" of Celeste's gift box.  Celeste has a sweet and informative blog called Growing Up Veg.  Her package arrived promptly on schedule and at a moment when I happened to be VERY hungry.  I had to force myself to take a few pictures before I dove into the goodies.  I immediately opened the Bean & Rice chips and enjoyed them thoroughly throughout the day.  They were delicious!  I was particularly excited about the eclecticism of the package she put together for me.  I love variety and she really delivered!  I've worked my way through the kale chips, sour worms, and hazelnut butter (my favorite so far).  All were very enjoyable.  I look forward to the instant dosa mix (an Indian pancake made with rice and black beans) and bee free honey (made with apples!).  I highly recommend the food swap to others looking for a bit of a food surprise.  A very big thanks to Celeste and Cat for tons of fun in a box!