Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Forgetting a Friend (rough draft)

I've mostly forgotten your favorite author Tom Robbins
and the winning word in our Scrabble game.
You said you were different
but you left me the same.

The lines of you soften from blue into gray
blurring your face in my fading memory.
I cared but it wasn't enough
and you only noted my apathy.

I'll forget your middle name first and your first name last
and the things you told me names meant.
We were friends only in name
that much is apparent.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Check it out!

This is amazing! I think I just wasted like an hour messing around with this. Just type in something you want to see pictures of, and it grabs the most popular photos from Flickr and puts them on a spinny globe. Okay, it's a little cooler than my description of it right now. I typed in "goat" and actually saw my famous goat photo on the globe.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In Between

It's in the shapes of my life
that I find the spaces.

I am in Between.

I find them
never without edges
never without falling
or climbing
or jumping across

I want out of Between.

Between is just a donut hole
people eat when they don't want
the calories of something
more filling.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Demolition Derby!

Demolition Derby!
Originally uploaded by emster214
I went to my very first demolition derby on Friday night at the Rockingham County Fair. What fun! I truly believe part of living in a place is participating in the local activities. So that's what I try to do. And let me tell you, the demolition derby is definitely a local activity. But I have to admit, there is something pretty satisfying about watching cars crash into each other. This image is from the compact car competition. The little blue car on the right was the car that ended up winning. If you look closely, the guy actually has his eyes closed and both hands up. Ha!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

On Friendship

Well, as some of you probably know, it's been kind of a trying time in my life recently. Without going into detail, I'm just gonna say I've had the opportunity to reexamine friendships, relationships, love and family. I've felt trampled in the last month or two; I'm still moving forward, but a little bruised in the journey.

I've been reflecting on the nature of friendships lately... An important component of friendship is, obviously, the give and take. Part of my frustration stems from feeling worn out from the giving. I truly believe that being friends with someone means you don't give up on them. Or at least not without a load of effort. I guess as a result, I've invested more into my friendships than I'm seeing in return. It takes me awhile to open myself up to people and develop lasting friendships, and when I do, I expect that they will be reciprocal. I've been hurt in the past few weeks in realizing that apparently friendship doesn't always mean the same thing to everyone else. And, people are human. They aren't perfect. I get that. But I think preserving friendship means believing the best about people. Maybe it's seeing people not always for who they are, but more for who they're trying to be. Which is why I will continue to try, even when people disappoint me and let me down. And I certainly make mistakes too. I'm not the perfect friend, but I can say in good faith that I consistently try to be. Friendship means being there for your friends, even when it's not convenient or easy. It's realizing that hurdles are just that - hurdles - NOT barriers. I want to jump over them and keep running.

I don't want to give up.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Pandora Radio is cool. It's even better than however great you think it is, I promise. Thanks Jamie for clueing me in.

Monday, April 14, 2008

live on, oh milk eternal

My most recent half-gallon of milk is blessed with longevity. The sell-by date is March 27, but I'm still drinking it. Every day I sniff it and wonder, will this be the day the milk dies? But no, to my extreme delight, it's still good!

It's the small things in life...

parental advisory

parental advisory
Originally uploaded by emster214
This definitely cracked me up and made my day. I think it's my favorite shot from the wedding this past weekend.

I guess if you're gonna have a tattoo, you might as well get a unique one.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

baby steps

Well I'm back after a long weekend in Charlotte, NC, for the Southern Short Course. My feelings are mixed. I am inspired and I am depressed. I saw so many phenomenal images and met so many accomplished photographers... it was kinda like a hot poker being stuck up my butt. "Get off your ass Emily and do something!" On the other hand, I am daunted by the knowledge that I have so far to go. And I'm 25. I always thought I'd be well into my perfect job and perfect life right now but I still feel caught in transition. I'm standing at the subway station of life watching the cars whiz by and I know I want to be on one but I can't seem to get off the platform. It's not bad, on the platform, but I can't wait there forever.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I've been experimenting with texture lately. I think it's important to keep up with the trends happening in wedding/portrait photography, and I'd definitely say texture (among other things) is now trendy. Some of it I like, some of it I don't. I think it fails when it becomes gratuitous - not contributing to the photo's value, but instead becoming a distraction. I guess I'm opposed to texture for the sake of texture. There are, however, some photographers that use it successfully and artfully. Jesh de Rox comes to mind. There's hardly an image this guy doesn't texture the heck out of. And he's made it his signature style. I guess maybe I'm still finding my "style." Right now that seems to be borrowing everyone else's techniques and ideas. So with that said, I'd love some feedback on the texture issue. Is it actually enhancing the image?

texture sample

texture sample 2

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

ACU makes news...

Texas University Giving Freshmen iPhones and iPod Touches

Unbelievable. Apparently, now ACUers can worship God and Steve Jobs. And what more could an incoming freshman want? Ha ha...

For those of you out of the loop, I attended Abilene Christian University, a fairly small school in west Texas that is now giving away an iPhone to every incoming freshman. While I'm sure this is built into tuition cost, I kinda think it's cool. I know the idea isn't new (Duke's been doing this with iPods) but the product is. And I think there are more educational applications with the iPhone than with an iPod. Although, I imagine there will be more distractions as well. Can you imagine everyone with an iPhone at chapel? Utter disarray.

Anyway, props to ACU for implementing what I think could be a really neat idea. I just hope they realize all the implications for the campus.

Hmmm... wonder if I can get one retroactively?

I'll have to pray about it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

bowling league, here I come

Over the weekend I BOWLED A 132!!!!! Holy cow! Maybe breaking my wrist actually made my bowling skills improve. Maybe it's sorta like Peter Parker getting bit by a spider and becoming Spiderman. Who knows, I could be the next __________ (insert name of famous bowler here... I don't know any)

Hmm... another thought... maybe all of my Wii bowling is paying off.

P.S. For you anonymous readers (if I have any), I'm very well aware that a 132 is not exactly phenomenal in the whole scheme of things. It is, however, pretty darn good for me. If you've ever bowled with me before, you know what I'm talking about.

P.P.S. For inquiring minds, NO there were no bumpers.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

an observation

Tonight I realized I am getting old.

I consciously planned my grocery store trip around watching Jeopardy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

2008 Books I've Read

So, inspired by my fellow blogger/friend John, I've decided to keep a list in 2008 of all the books I read. AND include a rating of each book on a scale of 1 to 10, just to clue you in on what I thought about it. I'll be updating this regularly. (John, I'm totally pirating your idea. Hope you don't mind.)

43.The Shack - 6.5/10

42.In Her Shoes - 8/10

41.Love the One You're With - Emily Giffin 8.5/10

40.Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult 9/10

39.Election - Tom Perrotta 8.5/10

38.Through Painted Deserts - Donald Miller 7.5/10

37.Captain Alatriste - Arturo Perez-Riverte 7/10

36.The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald 9/10

35.The Green Mile - Stephen King 8.5/10

34.False Impression - Jeffrey Archer 7/10

33.Empire Falls - Richard Russo 8/10

32.The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch 9/10

31.The Prophet - Kahlil Gibran 8/10

30.The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy 9/10

29.Little Children - Tom Perrotta 8/10

28. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving 10/10

27. Dry Ice - Stephen White 7/10

26. The Know-It-All - A.J. Jacobs 8.5/10

25. Good Poems - edited by Garrison Keillor 9.5/10

24. Skinny Legs and All - Tom Robbins 6/10

23. The Appeal - John Grisham 7/10

22. Sideways - Rex Pickett 4/10

21. Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller 9/10

20. The Abstinence Teacher - Tom Perrotta 8/10

19. The Twits - Roald Dahl 10/10

18. The Nasty Bits - Anthony Bourdain 7/10

17. Cherry - Mary Karr 8/10

16. On the Road - Jack Kerouac 7/10

15. Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel García Márquez 9/10

14. Gilead - Marilynne Robinson 8.5/10

13. Possible Side Effects - Augusten Burroughs 7.5/10

12. The Liar's Club - Mary Karr 9/10

11. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini 8/10

10. Coal Run - Tawni O'Dell 6/10

9. Must Love Dogs - Claire Cook 8/10

8. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen 8/10

7. For Men Only - Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn 9/10

6. Back Roads - Tawni O'Dell 6.5/10

5. For Women Only - Shaunti Feldhahn 9/10

4. Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer 8.5/10

3. The Tender Bar - J.R. Moehringer 9.5/10

2. Tara Road - Maeve Binchy 7/10

1. Crossing California - Adam Langer 8/10

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Texas sunrise

Texas sunrise
Originally uploaded by emster214

Student of Clouds
by Billy Collins

The emotion is to be found in the clouds,
not in the green solids of the sloping hills
or even in the gray signatures of rivers,
according to Constable, who was a student of clouds
and filled shelves of sketchbooks with their motion,
their lofty gesturing and sudden implication of weather.

Outdoors, he must have looked up thousands of times,
his pencil trying to keep pace with their high voyaging
and the silent commotion of their eddying and flow.
Clouds would move beyond the outlines he would draw
as they moved within themselves, tumbling into their centers
and swirling off at the burning edges in vapors
to dissipate into the universal blue of the sky.

In photographs we can stop all this movement now
long enough to tag them with their Latin names.
Cirrus, nimbus, stratocumulus-
dizzying, romantic, authoritarian-
they bear their titles over te schoolhouses below
where their shapes and meaning are memorized.

High on the soft blue canvases of Constable
they are stuck in pigment, but his clouds appear
to be moving still in the wind of his brush,
inching out of England and the nineteenth century
and sailing over these meadows where I am walking,
bareheaded beneath this cupola of motion,
my thoughts arranged like paint on a high blue ceiling.