Thursday, March 6, 2008

Spring is here

I've always thought that summer was my month just because it is so wonderfully warm. I love the heat and that is no secret. But I must admit that when spring comes my mood begins lift and I am much happier. So, yay for spring.

Monday, March 3, 2008

"This is wondrous strange" ~ Hamlet

So we've pretty much spent all year trying to keep with the same style and not stray so far away that we either lose professionalism or bastardize the beautiful simplicity of my newspaper's print edition. One thing I have learned this year, as I've continued to learn in all of my journalistic studies, is that when you try and stick to a set style (whether it be in layout or in interviews) you tend to back yourself into a corner.
Case in point, my newspaper, while it has gotten cleaner and cleaner as far as technicalities, the design has backed itself into a corner by feeling forced to stick with one design. But it was okay because we were sticking to the status quo (essentially not breaking any boundaries) and getting done around 4 am (early by Captain's Log standards).
But status quo was leaving us with basically two or three layout designs that we would recycle our stories through. It got to the point where we have to have the last issue sitting by us in order to make sure that this issue wasn't the same layout, but with different copy and art.
Last night, we finished the issue at around 230 am. Very early, and yet it just didn't pop. I was ready to call it a night and not care that this would be just another weak layout with clean technical details. Thankfully my staff is proving itself ready to step up and took it upon themselves to experiment until around 5 am. Well, I fell in love with the experiment and we decided to keep it. It would have been perfect, and in the end it was perfect, but the computer deleted the file (we'll have to get on fixing that) and we pretty much had to redesign it all in about an hour in a half. Which we did.
I love the layout (if you know me personally please pick up a copy of the paper and let me know how you think it looks) and am so happy to finally be hitting a stride with the staff that isn't about the status quo but more about varying the stride with the end result being a better race (sorry for the horse-racing metaphor).
I must admit I stopped caring about the Captain's Log. I just wanted this year to be over. Now I'm excited to get things going again and really start improving this paper. Sometimes it's the late breaker that really makes the race worth it (again with the horse metaphor!).

And it really is, in the word's of Shakespeare's Hamlet, "wondrous strange" the things you will want to start fighting for when you had given up all hope of making life better. This whole experience has made the creative life of striving seem worthwhile again.

But because this is sure to make you smile I leave you with this:

Visit Exploding Dog because it's awesome...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A little lost...

Sorry it has been so long, this semester has been unimaginably difficult. And, again, I'm pretty much not doing this resolution. I realized, that pushing myself to be creative, as I've realized before, does nothing but make me hate myself for not succeeding. I have a bad problem with failing or even seeming to fail.
This is not to say that I refuse to post pictures, in fact I promise to post them as the need actually arises. Such as today when I finally picked up my prints from Oregon.
Which, I admit, aren't that good. Mostly, this is because it had been so long since I had taken pictures that all of manual settings were off. It was rainy, so it was difficult to get a good shot anyway. Though, that of course is no excuse, because rainy days make for beautiful moody shots, which I have always preferred.
The image above is at a lake in a state park in Florence, Ore. It is near where my Aunt and Uncle live. It was actually quite wonderful because the lake was so big and surrounded by trees so it offered wonderful opportunities if only I had bothered to exert the knowledge I have to make my photos better.
Some of my other great photos were from the coast. I love the Oregon coast. The wild abandon that the waves show as they throw themselves on the rocks and cliff faces makes me more introspective than I usually allow myself to be. It's wonderful.
This above image is on Highway 101 between Newport and Florence. One of the best roads in the country for breathtaking vistas, in my opinion anyway. And, during the winter, the wet season makes for some spectacular skies. The darkness of this image is what really draws me in I think.
Overall, my experience of Oregon has made me fall in love with it. I want to end up there one day. I know I do. I found out the other day that Dr. Lee knows someone who used to teach at University of Oregon and that he thought it was a great school. I agree. My only pause is of course Travis. He says he'll go anywhere with me, but will he really want to leave his family? Do I want to lose my chance at experiencing more of the kind of family life that I would want my children (if I do indeed have them) to have, the kind of family life I never experienced?
Questions beat at me in waves. Or I am those waves, constantly beating myself up on questions about the future? All I want to do is share Oregon with Travis. All I can really do now is dream of it for myself.
Questioning the Darkness
Quote of the day:
"So remember when we were driving, driving in your car
Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped round my shoulder
And I had the feeling that I belong
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You've got a fast car
Is it fast enough so you can fly away?
We gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way..." ~~"Fast Car" MYMP