Friday, April 26, 2013

Foto Friday: Ghostly Night Blooms

So this week's Foto Friday is based on a very American Beauty-esque moment at night this last week (i.e. "the-world-is-just-so-beautiful"while filming a plastic bag & leaves in the wind).  I wanted to capture the way that some white flowers glowed in the light of the full moon.  Unfortunately, and rather obviously, the pictures came out super dark and it was a major fail... until I remembered that my (now-not-so) new iPhone has a flash. 

So while my initial idea didn't work out, I ended up with a very different set of photos. To me the images evoke a spooky loneliness in the void where a background would show up in the daytime, but they also have this wonderful sense of hopeful color amidst darkness.

Have you ever tried to do something creative only to end up with something completely different? Tell me in the comments below or on twitter @itzbizr

Friday, April 19, 2013

Foto Friday: Tuliptastic

**I'm not normally serious here and in the next paragraph I am, so if you don't want to hear my beliefs and just want pictures, you can skip straight to the next header.**
     I want to take a moment and send prayers to Boston and West, Texas on the tragic events this week. Such reminders that we live in a broken, fallen world definitely create an opportunity to reassess our lives and what's important and what we believe in. I think it's important not to forget the beauty of this world when we face the ugly, just like we must hold onto hope when faced with despair, and always remember the saving grace and mercy of our Lord and the promise of life though what Jesus has done and is doing through the Holy Spirit to change sinful human hearts like mine. 

Tulips of the DC Tulip Library

So on my way to a kickball game last light I meandered through a library. But this was no ordinary a library of books (although those are quite wonderful as well), this was the DC Tulip Library, located between the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument. On display, over 100 tulips bask in the springtime sun, content in their beauty, even if they are the lesser known sibling of DC flowering season.

I had to be yelled at numerous times to break the spell they cast over me and leave (not uncommon when I enter any library). Since I didn't have time to read the names of my favorites, I've decided I get to name them myself!  [ICYDK ("in case you don't know") you can click on any picture for a larger view. Also, unlike previous Foto Fridays, I didn't use any no editing app or filters, just my iPhone 4s]

"Purple Rose" LOVE this one, want. need!
"Shark Teeth!"
"White-Lined Wonderfuls"
"Good Morning Sunshines"
"Good Morning Sunshines" or their scientific name  Tulipitous biensolis
"Fiush-, No Fucsh-, Anyone Know How To Spell Fuchsia?"
"Pink Panther Fur"
"Nursery Rhymes"
"Tall & Mighties" Can you spot the hidden butt?
"Reddy Steady Let's Goes"



My Mom's Tulip Library

I would be remiss if I didn't also post pictures of the tulips that first caught my eye this Spring in my mom's colorful garden.



Which tulip was your favorite? Do you have a better name for some of them? What flower do you most look forward to in Spring?
Leave a comment below or let me know on Twitter @itzbizr

Friday, April 12, 2013

Foto Friday: Go Fly A Kite!

So on March 30, I headed into DC with a friend and my sisters & brother-in-law-to-be to see the cherry blossoms, however since the groundhog lied, there were only buds on the trees, but lo and behold there was a kite festival on the National Mall. Here are some of the pics I snapped (if you click the pictures you can see them full-size/larger):

The blue kite is the official cherry blossom kite; The Nation's Capital: Capitalizing  on Two Festivals at Once

I'm surprised no one got taken out by any kite strings!

So many kites & people!

They're dancing for us!

Kites even make scaffolding festive!

Angry Bird eyeing the octopus

Giant scuba man, fish, & octopus (& woman who walked right into my shot)!
I know I wanted to fly a kite after watching all these people. Is there any childhood activity you wish you could do with thousands of other people? I know I could go for a National Hula-Hoop Festival! Let me know what you think in the comments or on twitter @itzbizr!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Musical Monday: Spring Fever

Spring is in the air, which means invest in some tissues for those seasonal allergies... wait I don't mean that type of spring fever. I mean the birds singing in the trees and flowers blooming and the type of spring fever that made high-school-me a bundle of angst hoarding my emotions in a box of undelivered (and sometimes ill-delivered) love-notes. So here's this week's list:

Fey Moth: Alexander

This electro-pop band out of Seattle, Washington (another KEXP find) takes the "love is a battlefield" metaphor to epic proportions with "Alexander" in which the female vocalist challenges a boy that if he wants to make her his empire, her he must be willing to wage war and conquer.  I imagine 2 armies of soldiers clad in ancient togas and sandals, amazon warrior women toe to toe with Alexander the great-esque men building statues and legends. But really, as I listen what I really hear is a girl who just wants a guy to rise to the occasion and

Then I heard the rest of the digital album White Blind released December 2012 and I knew I had to break with tradition & include a whole album in this week's Musical Monday. It fit the Spring Fever theme so well, I had to include the whole thing, especially with cover art like this:
You can buy it for any price hereI have been rocking out to these 5 songs all weekend.

The nature imagery throughout this album is perfect for spring and as metaphors for infatuation, love, and longing. A perfect example is the last track, where she serenades her "peach, out of reach."

Phosphorescent: Song for Zula
On a completely opposite side of things we have Song for Zula off of the recently released album Muchacho that compares love to a wild animal who must be caged else it disfigure its victims.  The floating orchestral melody contrasts so well with the weary heart-broken lyrics.

Atlas Genius: Trojans
This tune is a Trojan in my head! Depending on what stations you listen to, you've either heard this song too much or not at all.  The first single to make it big in the US from the Australian band's album When It Was Now I have found a miraculous balance where I've heard it just enough to want more. Which is what I imagine the song it about but rather than a song, it's a person who's Trojan-horsed her way into his head. I LOVE the part where the melody drops out and it's a slow build with the singer with the drums clapping and the guitar repeating a single note. Something about that moment in just gives me so many feels ("feelings" for any non-tumblr folk)!

Spring Fever is all about the "feels." What song's right now give you fever? I'd love to know. Tell me in the comments or on twitter @itzbitz

Friday, April 5, 2013

Foto Friday: Rock(Climb) On!

Sometimes I rock climb. And sometimes I try to stealthily take my pictures with my iPhone. Today's Foto Friday focuses on indoor rock climbing. There are so many colors and movements to capture, it was fun trying to figure out how to get good photos, while trying to avoid anyone falling on my head! I succeeded in the latter, and hopefully in the former with my pictures below:
Like exploring another planet 
A talented climber shows off some bouldering skills

Same climber: no feet, just skills
"They will see us waving from such great heights"

Climbing = Fun colors & fun names: "Seabiscuit Sandwich" & "Run & Gun"

Dramatic chiaroscuro shot 

Again, looks like exploring another world "*chhhh* Houston, we have found alien colored land-masses" 

Tiptoe higher

I saw the gorrilla-face hand-hold as we were leaving, a perfect end-shot!

All pictures taken at SportRock in Alexandria (a really great - albeit always crowded - indoor climbing facility) and edited with Camera+ for iPhone. Again one of two apps I paid money for but for some simple fixes & filters, it's totally worth it!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Musical Monday: April's Showering Songs

So in the spirit of fun and April Fools, this post is exactly what the title suggests: the best songs to sing in the shower! A good shower song needs a catchy melody and not too complicated lyrics, and plenty of wiggle room to add your own lyrics, a vocal run or throw in some "La-la-las."

I'm gonna suggest some of the best songs of the moment to sing in the shower to either help wake yourself up, put you in a good mood, or maybe even impress fellow roommates/family members/or apt. building livers!

Morning Showers in an Apt. Building w/ Thin Walls or Roommates:

Things to Consider: When there's a chance of others hearing you sing, the range has to be pretty simple so you can be quiet or loud depending on your confidence or what time of morning you're singing. The lyrics cant be easily mistaken for something inappropriate or something only a crazy person would sing. You also have to pick a song no one will get mad at you for getting stuck in their head all day.
Chosen Song:
Florida Georgia Line: Get Your Shine On
Why It Works: This song has a bright tune and encouraging lyrics, perfect to wake you (and anyone else who might still be sleeping) up with a smile on your face. I think country is one of the best genres to wake up to, well at least the happy country songs. Florida Georgia Line has some great mellow and party tunes on their first studio album Here's to the Good Times, and this is their second single off of the late 2012 release. The chorus is easy to learn and simply repeat if you find verses too much to memorize, and it's simple enough that you can create your own riffs, runs, or melodies.

Living on Your Own or Showering With No One Else Around:

Things to Consider: You can really just belt out anything, but still keep it pretty simple because if someone were to be able to hear you or return home they wouldn't call animal control to put down the obviously dying cat trapped somewhere in the walls.
Chosen Song:
Bruno Mars: Locked Out of Heaven
Why It Works: Why it's not really a new or even still hip song, that's OK cause there's no one else around to judge you. Also, you can sing/do the background sound effects out loud while singing the lyrics in your head and pretty soon you'll just be laughing at yourself, and if that's the end result of any activity, then it was a success.

When Showering = An American Idol or The Voice Fantasy:

Things to Consider: Obviously you are the world's most talented singer and the more people who are lucky enough to hear your voice the better so volume isn't an issue. You have to pick a song the network can easily acquire the rights to but you can't be the 15th person in a row to sing Florence or Adele (and even in your fantasy, you realize they're still better than you).
Chosen Song:
Foxes: Youth
Why It Works: I posted about this song earlier and I think that British singer Louisa Rose Allen created a great song that's not only catchy but also highlights her range of notes and vocal textures. While the beat and mixing is excellent, it would sound great acapella and could really impress Simon or Adam Levine if you did it right.

Do you have any songs that are your favorites to sing in the shower? Comment below to let me know!

You can also follow me on Twitter: @itzbitz