Photography Class Assignment #2: Depth of Field

  • Posted on April 29, 2007 at 9:42 pm

I’m taking an 8-week photography class at Glen Echo Park called Basics: F Stop, Shoot and Shutter. This week’s assignment was to practice depth of field (the distance in front of and beyond the subject that appears to be in focus.)

For the asssignment, I picked up some gummy bears and plastic army men from CVS. The next thing I knew, there was a full-on battle of plastic soldiers versus gummy bears in my living room, henceforth called The Great Gummy Bear Battle of 2007.

Gummy Bear Army

The Enemy Approaches

Bears Beat Plastic Men

Hand to Paw Combat

Lined Up

Gummy Bear Army Looking Fierce

The gummy bears won the battle. But then I ate them.

BODIES…The Exhibition. Not for the Faint of Heart.

  • Posted on April 28, 2007 at 8:09 pm

These last couple of weeks have been extremely busy at work, and I haven’t had much time to devote to the blog. Now that the craziness has subsided, I’m back. I was even able to take off work on Thursday and Friday. (Though I can’t stop checking my email and responding to requests and calling into meetings on my days off. Seriously. I need help. Someone unplug me.)

Yesterday I did break away from the laptop long enough to have lunch with Amy at Tallula, one of my favorite restaurants. Then we went to Bodies….The Exhibition at The Dome in Rosslyn. Oh. My. God. We knew that the exhibit was a collection of real human remains that have been through a process that preserves by plasticizing them. We were expecting to be pretty grossed out, because yes, they are all dead bodies.

It wasn’t gross though—it was fascinating to see what the inside of the body really looks like up close, three-dimensional and life-sized, and to see how all the systems and organs work and fit together. Some exhibits are just muscles, some are just arteries, some are bodies split in half, and one is a body sliced into thin pieces that reminded me of pork chops. They even had fetuses, some as young as 21 days after conception (and it made Amy and I wonder exactly how they got the fetuses, but we tried not to think about it.) They showed healthy lungs, diseased lungs, a brain aneurysm, and even a goiter. And we saw a lot of penises.

My favorite part of the exhibit was the pulmonary section, which displays the intricacies of blood vessels and arteries. By themselves, they looked like beautiful red trees. The most disturbing part was an exhibit that showed just the skin of a man, laying on a table like a tanned hide. It was too Silence of the Lambs for me.

The exhibition was so cool, and I’m not even saying that on behalf of my hidden dark side, heh heh.

I don’t have any pictures because they didn’t allow photography, but the Washington Post has a photo gallery you can check out.

Kimonos, Karate and…Starbucks?

  • Posted on April 15, 2007 at 2:46 pm

Yesterday, while my dear husband cranked away at his Master’s Thesis all day long and did not even stop to watch a single video on YouTube, I went downtown to the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival, part of the Cherry Blossom Festival. I was expecting some Japanese lanterns, women dressed in kimonos, some sushi, and maybe a samurai or two.

Well, I didn’t see any samurai, but it was hard to see anything. There were thousands of people. Everywhere. It was much bigger than I thought it would be. I wandered around for a while, and I did catch a martial arts exhibition and a presentation of traditional Japanese dance and music. I also saw some people dressed up like what I assumed were Japanese anime characters. Oh, and a Japanese rocker chick band. And what I think was a cross-dressing geisha. It was very cool, and I loved the people-watching, even if I really didn’t get a chance to check out any of the booths.

There were many food stands, mostly offering sushi, lo mein, egg rolls, deep fried meat dishes and meat-on-a-stick. (and are funnel cakes really Japanese? hmmm…) But the lines were so long, it just didn’t seem worth it to me. At these kinds of things, the smells are typically better than the tastes. Even the line for the free sample of the dulce de leche Frappuccino from the Starbucks booth was unbearable. Seriously, Starbucks?


Not the cross-dressing geisha. This one is a woman.

Karate Chop

Kung Foo Fighting.

Three Dancers

Chocolate Decadence at the Ritz Carlton

  • Posted on April 14, 2007 at 7:13 pm

A chocolate lover’s paradise? A chocoholic’s dream come true? A diabetic’s worst nightmare? I really can’t even begin to describe it. If you have the chance, I highly recommend going to Chocolate Decadence at the Ritz Carlton. It was truly the most decadent display of dessert I have ever seen.

The selection was incredible—pastries, cakes, pies, cookies, lollipops, chocolate bar squares, mousses, napoleons, tarts, and candies. They even had chocolate paninis made to order. My friends and I sampled as many as we could, before we nearly died from chocolate over-consumption. It wouldn’t have really been a bad way to go, though.

A word of warning to the single–it might not be the best place to go on a date, at least if you don’t want to look like a complete pig. Because you’re going to want to try everything. Go with someone who already knows you’re a pig.

Thank You for Visiting the Nation’s Capital

  • Posted on April 14, 2007 at 5:36 pm

Dear Tourists,

When a sidewalk is mobbed with people and you are walking through the only narrow path, please do not just stop and stand there. There are people walking behind you. When you stop, you block that narrow little path for the rest of us trying to get by. And I get very annoyed.

Thank you.

P.S. Yes, Ford’s Theater really is interesting. So I’ve heard.

To be 18 again

  • Posted on April 8, 2007 at 11:44 am

Despite the bone-chilling weather yesterday, I had a great birthday. It was a complete pampering, all-about-me kind of day. Everybody needs those once and a while.

I started the day with a manicure and a pedicure. I was sitting next to an old lady at the nail salon, and we were chatting about our nails, our favorite restaurants, and tennis. I announced that it was my birthday, and she said “happy birthday! So you’re about 18, right?” I told her that no, I was 29. She couldn’t believe it. That made me feel pretty good.

Later, when I was getting a facial at David’s Hair and Day Spa, the facialist told me that I had…the skin of an 18 year old, nice and elastic and full of collagen! I nearly fell off the table. Twice in the same day, on my 29th birthday, I was told that I look eleven years younger than I really am. Thank you, mom and dad, for those great genes.

In between the manicure and pedicure and the facial and massage (and I actually had three hand massages in one day), we went to the rotating sushi buffet down the street at Matuba. It was my first rotating sushi buffet experience, and it was awesome! Sushi would spin by on the conveyor belt, and we’d grab plates of whatever looked yummy. The only thing was, I felt like I had to eat really fast to keep up.

Edamame on the sushi bar

For dinner, we went to Jose Andrés’ Oyamel in DC, a Mexican tapas restaurant. We had salt air margaritas and small plates of sea scallop ceviché, french fries with molé sauce, grilled skirt steak, guacamole made table-side, a suckling pig taco and a grasshopper taco. That’s right, whole grasshoppers, with legs, heads and all. It wasn’t my favorite dish of the night, but at least I can now say that I’ve eaten grasshoppers. Like it’s really something to brag about.

Grasshopper Taco

I also have to mention dinner on Friday—we went to Rustico in Alexandria with Martin and drank Bells Beer on tap! Rustico had great food and a great beer selection. We went to Buzz across the street for dessert. I might just have to move to Alexandria so I can go to both places more often.

Buzz Buzz Buzz

Chocolate Bourbon Cake at Buzz

Pizza is good

Thanks for an awesome birthday weekend, Larry, and thanks to everyone who wished me happy birthday!

It’s My Birthday Too, Yeah

  • Posted on April 7, 2007 at 11:02 am

Today is my birthday! My wonderful husband booked me a massage and a facial, so I’m off to David’s Hair and Day Spa soon.

Normally my birthday marks the start of Spring, but not so much this morning:

Purple Ice

Snowy Spring

Oh well. It’s still going to be a good day.

Congrats, Jose

  • Posted on April 1, 2007 at 10:25 pm

Our hometown chef Jose Andres just beat Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America! I love Jose and all of his delicious restaurants. All his dishes looked really amazing, and I never imagined that there could be so many interesting things made from goat (the secret ingredient, revealed at the start of the show.)

I can’t wait to go to Oyamel next week.

Highlight of the Weekend

  • Posted on April 1, 2007 at 8:44 pm

We got a new trash can. Notice the brilliant oval design. Don’t be jealous.

New Trashcan

I also got these gold ballet slippers. That makes four new pairs of shoes in a week. Again, don’t be jealous.

Golden Toes

Ah, I love DSW.

Four New Pairs of shoes

And I love the new trash can.