klena: (before it all becomes the same old song)
So, as Death Cab for Cutie sang, it's the new year. 2012 is upon us which is great because a really good chunk of 2011 seriously sucked dick. There were a lot of questions about almost everything in my life, including my mental health and my coping abilities.

However, I made it through the year. I've got a lot of work to do this year. I need to spend more of it away from Dave. Not because I don't love him, I really do, but I'm always quite close to that "I could strangle you" boundary because I spend something like 80% of my week with him. Yes, really, we live together and work together and spend most of our nights together. Which sometimes is amazing. Othertimes, I just want to be living on my own in a house I've decorated by myself and doing exactly what I do or don't want to do with my evenings.

But that's relationships. Just before my birthday (and hey, yeah, I'm totally 25 now - first quarter of a century over me! I will accept all rounds of applause) I redrafted my CV and applied for a bunch of jobs. My aim is to have one before January is over, although I know how hard things are in this climate.

But I am getting ahead of myself! This is my first post of 2012 just to let everyone know that I made it out alive as apparently every Twitter crossposting service I used over the course of the year have just died. And none of my Tweets were shipping over so anyone who hasn't/doesn't follow me on Twitter probably thinks this is an abandoned journal. It's not, I promise! Also, our internet and phoneline went down the day after I got home so I was an entire 10 days without any of the internet. Oh the internet, it's strange how I both did and did not miss you!

I will recap Christmas and all that jazz tomorrow, I think, as I have photos and stuff to put up including just thoughts I want to get out but for now, I just want to say this:

I hope you had an amazing festive season, with loved ones or having adventures or having a quiet family affair. You all still mean so much to me, even though I am so absent, but you are all still always in my thoughts. I love you. Let's make this year glorious ♥
klena: (the motion makes me strong)
Mother's Meeting again tonight, as per Wednesday ritual!

I thought about something [livejournal.com profile] rogue_dreams said during it, that we can talk about everything. It's something that I don't believe is appreciated enough by people, when you have a support system of people that you can just be yourself with, as awful and petty and furious and ridiculous as you really are. Sometimes you are that way with people that you don't mean to be, and then you can feel concerned about the way you presented yourself. That sort of friendship that is built on a sort of barter of respect and opinion. But with my Mother's Meeting, with my girls, there's none of that. There's no concern about how they think of me because they've seen me at my best and my worst. And they will always be honest with me, sometimes in a blunt way and sometimes just in a "seriously, how do you not see this, you are a moron, why are we friends :)" way.

Not a lot of people get that sort of circle in their life. That they can establish such a level of comfort and trust - especially not with people that they see weekly. We may have a few that we know online, or who have moved away or that we only see when we go home for the holidays. But every week, to have that - to have them. Well....it just reminds me to count my blessings where they lie.

klena: (all the way up to heaven)
Now, unless you were under a rock today, you may have heard today was the Royal Wedding. So we had a party at Han and Guy's today. I missed almost the entire ceremony because of picking up some food and stuff for the party but I dolled myself up and spent the day in marvellous company. It would have been lovely if Dave could have been there, but it wasn't meant to be apparently.

We had Prosecco and strawberries to toast the couple when they shared their first kiss as a married couple, which was a really nice tradition. So I got a little pissed and comfy and sleepy which we cured by watching "The Queen" and then having more tea and playing "Balderdash". [livejournal.com profile] rogue_dreams made a fucking glorious cake and we had strawberries and cream and summer foods and om nom nom tasty.

Friends of ours also got married today, [livejournal.com profile] mofette and her partner Richard, who won the Hobgoblin "Alternative Royal Wedding" competition. I look forward to seeing the photos of that.

Today made me feel a lot better, but I know it's a process of highs and lows. I just hope this all get resolved sooner rather than later. I feel so ready to start moving on with our lives. Even all the scary settled adult shit we've discussed, all that seems just...exciting rather than scary. Weird!

Here's a few photos taken from today under the cut

The Royal Union of Prince William and Catherine Middleton )
klena: (the motion makes me strong)
I'm really tired with all the strain, and being on a knife-edge waiting for news. I honestly don't know what I would have done without [livejournal.com profile] rogue_dreams yesterday. That's a lie, I do, I would have had another mental breakdown or "episode" or whatever the technical P.C. term for it is now. She's amazing, I just couldn't ask for a better friend or soul-twin.

Royal Wedding tomorrow! Now, being Northern Irish, the Royal Family/Britain is a bit of a touchy subject just because of the politics and stuff. However! Hannah and Guy are holding a Royal Wedding party where there will be stawberries and cream and cake and booze and an indoor picnic (because the weather forcast is crap). I am looking forward to it, and seeing Guy and Han before they go off to Japan for a month.

A whole 4 more days off! April, you have been a strange month - fact.

Music inspired by a twitter conversation between myself, [livejournal.com profile] whitehaiku and [livejournal.com profile] adellyna about Jude who I have not listened to properly in about a year or so? Definitely before my laptop was stolen. But I had an urge today to put it all back on. Turns out buying the CDs in first year was an excellent life choice

In order to cheer myself up, and everyone else, have some Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his amazing face.

klena: (ohmygodYAY!)
Hello there beautiful people.

Has your weekend been good so far? Has it been sunny and everything you wanted? I hope so

I am here to help some friends out! Namely, the lovely [livejournal.com profile] mofette, who used to be my boss at Fab Cafe, and is a good friend. She and her fiance Richard have entered a competition with Wychwood Brewery, who make Hobgoblin Beer.

The competition is to win an Alternative Royal Wedding, to take place on the 29th April (the day Kate Middleton and Prince William get married), and they've made it into the final 3! Voting closes today, so I'm asking for a last minute push to help them out :)

Please go to Wychwood Brewery and vote for Aileen and Richard. I'd really appreciate it, and I know they would too :)

klena: (sunlight surrouds you)
The first big thing to say about this entry is:
1000 ENTRIES, FUCK YEAH

It's only taken me nearly 9 years to get here, and has been stupidly helped out by crossposting of my tweets. I never thought I'd get to a point of 1000 entries! But here I am. Have some celebratory dancing .gifs!





I feel that adequately celebrates 1000 entries! I've been planning on writing this entry for about 3 weeks, but just haven't got around to it, or wanted to have a lot of good content and then I got distracted by lots of Inception fics so. Well. But I did go back and look at my very first LJ entry, oh my Lord.

I was 15, and this December I will turn 25. I honestly cannot believe how much has changed in that time. But then again, it was the period where people go through the biggest personality overhauls so it's not much of a surprise. It still was a little embarrassing, and also sort of sad to see me discussing people who aren't in my life anymore. But that's the way it goes.

I was going to do this huge thoughtful entry, but it's not really in my head, so instead I'm going to post a few little bits from the internet that have made me happy the past few weeks.

First! Poetry! One of Audrey Hepburn's favourite poems.

Unending Love by Rabindranath Tagore

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times,
In life after life, in age after age forever.
My spell-bound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms

In life after life, in age after age forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together,
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:

You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount
At the heart of time love of one for another.
We have played alongside millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell -
Old love, but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you,
The love of all man's days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life,
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours -
And the songs of everypoet both past and forever.

How beautiful is that?

Second! An excellent quote from Tim Minchin that I discovered, when trying to find a download of his song "White Wine in the Sun" , which is a gorgeous non-Christian Christmas song. Here's the song on Youtube if you fancy a listen! White Wine In The Sun.

Anyway, he was discussing the controversy behind the song and was asked "Your song "White Wine in the Sun", which includes lyrics critical of Christianity, caused controversy last week in Australia when it was used on an album of Christmas songs sold to raise money for the Salvation Army. What's your take on the fuss?

I think the Salvos are idiots. I didn't know they would benefit from the CD, but by the time I found out I didn't want to make too much of a fuss. So I gave my song free, then they turn around and say that they don't agree with the sentiment of the song. Obviously, they are talking about how I think Jesus is not magic. Part of me is hugely outraged by what imbeciles they are, to bite the hand that feeds them and put their proselytising above charity.

It's a terrible paradox that most charities are driven by religious belief. I believe very strongly in giving only to secular charities, because I don't think there should be a back end to altruism. I won't make this mistake again. I tweeted that if people want to buy my version of the song independently, I'll give the proceeds away, as I did last year, to the National Autistic Society, a non-proselytising charity.

Christmas means much to billions of people who don't believe in Jesus, and if you think that Christmas without Jesus is not Christmas, then you're out of touch, and if you think altruism without Jesus is not altruism, then you're a dick.


What a wonderful sentiment, and really true. That last paragraph is the most important part, and the bit that made me nod and smile at the screen. It also doesn't hurt that the song is wonderful, and makes my heart just clench with joy listening to it.

Third and final! Who thinks today's A Softer World strip needs to be have an "Inception" re-imagining?



Fucking heartbreaking, but could turned into any pairing that people wanted. The first idea I had was a Mal/Cobb version, based on those arguments that Mal actually was right, and did wake up, and watches over Cobb as he lives in his dream!reality. Which also really works with the alt-text over the image: "Please don't leave me alone with our stupid children"

Yes yes?

To everyone who read this, well done! You deserve nice shiny things. Since it's been a 1000 entries, maybe I should start being more active with posting. If you still read my journal, then you should comment! Or let me know, especially if this is the only way you know me :)

klena: (a virgin losing a child)
I haven't blogged properly in a few weeks because of the fucking extra-ordinary circumstances I now find myself in.

I'm not going to pour my heart out about it here, it's not the time or the place. And also, whilst I have a large circle of friends who I believe should all get to know what's happening, I don't want the additional stress of wondering who they'll tell and the potential judgement that comes with everything we say. So better to keep my mouth closed.

It's much easier functioning from day to day now, but I think that's only because there is no option for me to run away from the business. This is something that I have to get through, because burying my head in the sand would destroy something that a lot of time and effort and dedication has gone into.

It'll be a month on Friday, which is strange. I keep wondering if I've actually just cracked mentally because surely I, with my history of falling apart, should have had a proper breakdown by now? Although maybe that's what those first few days were.

In another way, it is nice to know that I do have inner strength. I always wondered if I did.

There is the possibility of big news next week which will give me a possible end date to work towards. I wasn't expecting any news on that topic for at least a month so it was a little startling to hear it today.

These past few weeks and everything that has come with them has made me think a lot about the nature of love and of being in love.

I love a lot, even though I feel like a twisted, bitter old crone sometimes. And I am a bit of a wretched person sometimes, I don't work hard enough to maintain friendships and I'm a hermit when things get hard, and sometimes I just can't be bothered. But I do honestly care and love a lot of people. I love some people that I know no longer think of me, I love people who I see everyday, and I love people I've never met.

But when it comes to Love and of Being In Love, well...

I always assumed that you just knew when you were in love with a person, that it was as obvious as the days of the week, as your very own hands stretched out before you.

And it's not like that at all, is it? Being in love is quiet, and catches you unaware when you remember - like a small gesture, the cupping of your cheek or seeing them breathe beside you at night or the look in their eyes that you half-catch. Being in love is a background thing, that waits to remind you patiently of its existence, like your distant awareness of your limbs during the day when you aren't doing anything crucial with them.

It's not fireworks and torrid passion and burning intensity, although those definitely do happen too. Yet those things happen when you're not in love with someone, you just think you are. Sadly, been there, done that and what a fucking mess that was!

Being in love makes me feel a little embarrassed to phrase it like that. It sounds soppy and overly cute or even borderline nauseating. But I know I am. Because he's made me better for being with him, and made me worse in some ways (but only in little things).

But possibly the biggest thing that makes me know that I must be in love with him is how I will do what needs to be done for us and the thought of our future together. And I'm doing it, without a mental breakdown (just mini flaps of distress) and without anger or resentment because I see this as something we need to do, a hurdle that needs leapt over (or a wall that needs climbing really) in order for us to move forward with our lives.

It's not easy. But I feel the end result is going to be worth it. And even if it isn't, and we don't last forever like we want to, I know I'll be able to say to people in years to come that yes, I was definitely in love at least once in my life and it was real and I wasn't misguided and it wasn't one-sided.

And that's enough for me, at the moment. So I'll wait and continue with everything, and keep living until all this is done, and then we'll get to move on together. And I think it's going to be fantastic.
klena: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy at advice to new photographers
I'd posted this in my own LJ, but it might be useful to people here:


A Reader Writes: I want to be a photographer someday. Any advice?


Yes, lots.


Photography is a mixture of Artistic Ability and Technical Skill -- the magic of the mix isn't written in stone. The world is filled with technically proficient but artistically uninspired photographers, there seem to be a smaller number of artistically gifted but technically unsavvy artists, but they're out there as well. But the most successful people have a mixture of both -- they have an artistic vision, and they posses the technical skills to know how to make that a reality. The technical skills are the easy part, you can learn them from a book -- f-stops and shutter speeds and light modifiers, etc. The difficult thing to come up with is an idea.


0) Possibly the most important thing of all: Find creative people and make them part of your world. They don't have to be photographers. They can be writers, or musicians, or actors or puppet makers. Have a peer group of people who are doing things. They'll be your inspiration, your facilitators, your idea makers, your artistic partners. Do this for the rest of your life. Artists rarely survive in a vacuum.


1) Get a camera. It doesn't matter what kind. Eventually you'll most likely end up with a Digital SLR but in the meantime a point and shoot, your cell phone, a 1946 Brownie Box Camera, all these will work to start out.


2) Study photography -- this doesn't mean go to school for photography, but it means pay attention to photographs tear photos that you like out of magazines and keep them in a scrap book, get photography books from the library, from the bookstore, at yard sales. Learn what types of photography you like. Landscapes? People? Bands? Artificially lit? This will start to provide you with your visual vocabulary -- which will be important in figuring out what you want to photograph. Given a camera many new photographers are left baffled as to what they ought to be taking photos of. Subscribe to photography magazines, fashion magazines, travel magazines.


3) Take photos. What is it you're interested in? Enlist friends. Take trips, set up elaborate hoaxes, copy great works of art, copy not so great works of art.


4) Make a portfolio of your 12 best photos. these can be 4x6 1 hour prints. Every month try and replace at least one of these with a better photo. Do this for the rest of your life.


5) Evaluate your equipment. When you know specifically why what you have can't do what you want, it's time to think about upgrading. Do this for the rest of your life.


6) Find someone who will pay you to take photographs. It's always easier to learn on someone elses dime. It doesn't matter what the job is -- assistant to another photographer, part time local newspaper, photographing houses for a Realtor, etc.


7) Go to school. You can learn a lot more quickly this way. Things like advanced lighting techniques, gallery framing, etc. can be more quickly figured out in an environment like this.


8) Show your work. It doesn't have to be in a traditional gallery, it can be in your parents garage, or in your stairwell. Some friends and I used to have an open-air art gallery we called "Show up and Show" where we'd meet along a length of chain link fence, hang out photos up and stand around and talk to passers by.


9) Take lots of photos, throw out the bad ones, only ever show people your best. Do this for the rest of your life.


10) Stay busy. The opposite of busy is bored. Don't visit that place. Do this for the rest of your life.


Hope this helps.


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