Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Undeniable Appeal of Clean Laundry

It's tough to keep laundry clean in my house when it seem like such a comfy playground. 







Saturday, November 15, 2014

Leu Gardens

My boyfriend and I decided to got to Leu Gardens. It is one of those lovely little hidden gems of Orlando that tourists often miss out on. Nestled away in a modest neighborhood it is easy to overlook. 




Leu Gardens is most noted for its Rose Garden and the staff works hard to ensure blooms are present year round. However, I found that the Arid Garden was much more captivating. What can I say? I guess I'm a sucker for unconventional beauty. 








Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Day I Quit

After several years of working for Starbucks I decided to find another job. It took a few months of hard work but I found a sales job that looked very promising. I had gone through the process of leaving Starbucks. Over the course of being with the company for seven years I had made a lot friends with fellow coworkers and customers alike. Some good byes were heartbreaking. I had a lot of history in this place. But I felt the desire to change pulling me in a different direction. I wanted to do something completely different. 

The sales job was a very welcome change of pace. I relished the opportunity to learn new skills and make more money. I was meeting new people and I felt like I was stretching my wings and taking risks is ways I hadn't been in years. 

I struggled a little with learning this new job. Some things felt awkward but I would calm my nerves by reminding myself that I was comfortable at Starbucks and I needed to patient with myself as I harnessed new abilities. 

One my second day of training I was paired with a man a few years younger than myself. His sales territory was in New Smyrna Beach, the farthest from the main office. We began visiting the local businesses while he lead with his sales pitch. We visited business after business and he became increasingly rude with the people he was trying to sell to. In a few short hours I began to question his behavior. He made some off-the-cuff remark about how "that was how the business worked". It was the coldness of his tone when he said it that shocked me the most. I endured his lack of empathy has he became openly racist with one woman and almost got us kicked out of another business. I remember walking side by side with him to the next business; my hands were shaking as I stared at the ground. He was never rude to me but his remorseless lack of ethics made him uncomfortable to be around. He told me that he wanted me to make the sales pitch at the next office we were about to visit. 

There was a brief pause before I answered him. 

"To be perfectly honest I don't want to do the next one. This isn't the job that I thought is was and it is not the job for me. We can finish up the rest of the day here but when we get back to the office I'm going to quit." 

He was a definitely surprised by my decisive candor but the only response he had was a dry "Yeah, it's not for everyone." 

He made one more pitch before abruptly deciding to take me back to the office about three hours early. The drive was long and silent. His fancy car was reminder of all the money that the employees of that company typically make. After my bold declaration it was clear that I would not come close to making that kind of pay. It didn't matter. I was relieved. I just stared out the car window at the beautiful formations of the clouds. I was free. 

We got back to the office and I unceremoniously signed the paperwork. It was only my second day on the job. I rode the elevator alone and walked down the main hallway to get to my car. I thought about the money that I could have made, I thought about how my friends and family would react to my quitting a job I had just gotten. I thought about how it had taken me months to find this job and how I would have to start all over again - this time without the security of having a job at Starbucks. I was completely unemployed and that just begun to sink in. 

I got to my car and called my boyfriend. All I could say was that "I quit". He got off work early and we met at a restaurant in Winter Park. I told him what happened and I said that I firmly believed I had done the right thing by leaving that company. He agreed and supported my decision. Then we began to cheer up and laugh. Our waiter came to the table and asked us what we were celebrating. "I just quit my job" I cheerfully explained. 


It was scary trying to find a new job and then suddenly leave after getting what looked like a great opportunity. The truth was that it didn't feel right and I knew I could find a better job. I knew it would have been a waste of time to try and make it work. I have better things ahead. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Little Snail

After a nice long rain I decided to go check my mailbox. As I turned the corner of my building I happened to glance at my window sill and see this adorable little snail.




Saturday, September 6, 2014

Lovely Dining With You

Early in 2014 my friend Matt decided to move to Tampa. In the months that followed we would make plans to meet. We would normally catch up over lunch and I always took photos. 

Thrilled at Einstein Bagels.

Trying to find peace at Bikkuri Sushi.

Avoiding the paparazzi at Tijuana Flats.

Trapped in my apartment.


Trying to enjoy a hamburger at Checkers somewhere in Seffner after coming to rescue me from the highway after one of my tires exploded. 

Remarkably, after all this, he still agrees to meet up with me.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Bet

Back in high school I took an art class with a friend who was a very devoted fan of anime. I love the human form. I was always interested in people and how to capture everything from their powerful movements to subtle gestures. I would argue with my friend that although most anime was very detailed it often lacked the intricacies of anatomy. 

My friend was offended at my statement. "Yeah, well I bet you couldn't even draw anime" 
"Are you serious?" I boasted "Of course I can!" 

I borrowed one of his manga comic books called Oh My Goddess! and set to work. 


Within a few days I produced this illustration featuring five of the main characters from the story. Two of the characters feet remain unfinished to this day. However, when I showed the drawing to my friend his jaw hit the floor.

"You're right" he conceded "You can draw it extremely well."

So far this remains my one and only attempt at drawing anime.

This self-induced project born out of a bet helped me realized that I could create anything with pencil and paper.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Skull Study

Recently I had gone through some of my old drawings and I found this: 



A study of a skull that I had done in college. It reminded me of how much I loved my drawing classes. The funny thing is that I have drawn that skeleton so many times I was sure I would be sick of it. But the truth is that I can only see it as a thing of beauty. The roundness of the cranium, the angles of the jaw, the way the cheek bone sticks out to define the face - it is structure and definition at its finest. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cloudy

"What a lovely day; there isn't even a cloud in the sky". 

What makes a cloud-less day so perfect? 

That pleasant blue hue that hangs over us every day is a back drop for those ever changing clouds. 

The atmosphere is huge but the clouds are what gives it dimension. We would lose our grasp of how expansive our sky truly is without clouds. When you look at those gorgeous cumulonimbus clouds that look like giant pile of fluffy mashed potatoes you can see the way the sunlight and shadows gives it  such depth and texture. Like if you could somehow get close enough to touch it would be the most luxurious thing to grace your finger tips. Or the cirrus clouds at the very edges of atmosphere. So far away and so delicate it is almost a wonder that they hold any shape at all. 

And then you have my favorite type of sky: a mixture of many forms. enormous fluffy clouds layered in front of swirling levels of altocumulus and cirrostratus. Then, looming off to the side is dark, all consuming rain cloud unleashing all of its water over some distant patch of land. All are moving at different rates depending on the wind and what place in sky they hold. Some existing peacefully, others about to collide. From one perspective the clouds could look like an inviting day-dream; a weightless playground. Then you could turn your gaze upon a cloud that feels like devil himself could be just on the other side and he is about to bring hell with him. 

The most beautiful days can be cloudy. You can be standing in one spot and see everything the weather has to offer. You can be grounded to this earth while a sky filled with clouds dances for you. 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Feet: Part 8


I was waiting to meet my friend Meghan outside of a Tijuana Flats for Taco Tuesday. I liked the way the rapidly diminishing sunlight was grazing the hoods of the park cars and bouncing off the gravel in the parking lot.


My bright pink sandals against the Tetris styled Publix bathroom tile floor. 


Standing in a park pavilion in downtown St.Petersburg. Those beautiful magenta petals had recently fallen off of the trees that surrounded the park. 


I was on my way to DRIP when I got caught in the rain. I took shelter at a nearby Bahama Breeze restaurant and enjoyed what little cover their awning provided.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Surprise Trip to the Beach

My boyfriend suggested we make the drive to the beach after I picked him up from work one evening. I was skeptical about the time frame but I liked the idea of adventure. We changed clothes and made our way down to Cocoa Beach. The weather had begun to get stormy but it made for some beautiful photos. 


To my right the fading sunlight lit up these plumes in the clouds. 


To my left the clouds turned fluorescent and seemed to mirror the waves as they rolled up to the shore.


A close up shot of this beautifully rosy sky. 


My boyfriend basking the the simultaneously calm and stormy nature of the beach. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Vibrant Rainbow

I stepped outside my apartment to grab the laundry on a rainy evening and ended capturing a stunning rainbow. It was a perfect double rainbow that was facing the sun at dusk. The beautiful evening sky after the rain set the scene for a dramatic, almost glowing rainbow. The rapid sinking of the sun created an intense changing of colors in a matter of moments. All pictures below were taken over the course of approximately seven minutes. 

 Hands down, the most striking rainbow I have ever seen. 




Friday, July 18, 2014

Lowry Park Zoo

Lowry Park Zoo is a wonderful zoo located in Tampa. I always have a fantastic time and one of my favorite places to take photos is within the free-flight aviary located just inside the entrance. 


A pair of Pied Imperial Pigeons from Southeast Asia.


A Sun Bittern from Central and South America showing off its beautifully patterned feathers.


A breeding pair of Red Legged Seriemas from Brazil with their two chicks. 


A young Orangutan munching on some leafs. 


An adolescent Orangutan joins the younger one who was eating. I was able to capture this dynamic pose of the older one reaching for the Orangutan below. 


One of my favorite animals from the zoo - a Yellow-Footed Rock Wallaby. Just adorable!


The incredible thing about the Wallaby's was that they were held in an enclosure that the guests could walk through. You were able to be inches away from them as long as you did not touch them. The enclosure also had two attendants standing by the entrance and exit. Apparently the Wallaby's were a little too curious about the rest of the zoo. 


An Alligator Snapping Turtle. 


A resting Pine Snake. 


A Bald Eagle framed beautifully by the branches of the tree. 


A decorative bust in the Asian Gardens.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Kobi

At the end of March one of my coworkers had a stray cat take up refuge in her backyard and gave birth to three kittens. I took one of the males and named him Kobi. He has proven to be a lively and wonderful addition to the family. 


The terrible "First Bath".


Completely wiped out after his first visit to the vets office. 


Learning to snuggle. 



I was surprised how quickly my ten year old male Jet had adapted to the newcomer. 


Both kitties sharing the bed while listening to the curious noises of my boyfriend brushing his teeth. 



He loves to perch on the cat scratching post. 


All curled up on a warm pile of laundry.