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Books

Magic 2.0

Magic 2.0 is a series of books that mashes together two of my favorite topics: magic and computers! The premise of the series lies around characters the discover a file that controls and reflects the state of the world around us and the consequences of changing things for their own personal gain. They tackle topics of time travel, changing matter, building Atlantis, and surprisingly some social issues!

Apart from being the somewhat-newish genre of  computer-magic-fantasy, the humor was just short of being campy and right in the middle of being enjoyable and worth a snicker periodically. Think Monty Python-esque humor in book form. : They’re all fast reads, with easy language. You can complete the books in a couple of days so I recommend buying them all at once!

Definitely pick up some copies if you’re looking to enjoy some lighthearted fantasy. I enjoyed them thoroughly.

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Life, Photography, Travel

Blood Mountain

Jeremy and I hiked Blood Mountain this past weekend! Our friend Jenny joined us and we made two new friends! I had never been camping overnight before so I was a little apprehensive! The hike up the mountain was pretty strenuous. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath but I never felt completely winded. This was a huge change from when I tried to brave Black Rock Mountain a few years ago. That was also pre-boot camp, pre-lifting, pre-running Sunira. It felt good to take on the challenge and come out on top, literally.

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Books

All The Light We Cannot See

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The way I choose books is to check the ‘related’ list on Amazon, inspired by the last book I’ve bought. The big shiny pulitzer price medal on the cover narrowed it down and the book was dropped into my kindle. It was a good gamble to take as the writing style resonated with me. The book had refreshing language set amidst some pretty dark circumstances. The juxtaposition of the two stirred a type of enjoyment in reading I hadn’t felt since high school. I’ve always been a fan of writing that helps you think about the situation or feeling in a different way, framing it with images that wouldn’t come to mind.

“Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.”

The setting is World War II, and the story follows the lives of a German orphan boy, Werner, enlisted into the military and a blind french girl,  Marie-Laure, daughter of a museum employee. The details of their situations stirred with the sparks of thought within their minds makes for an intriguing read. Other characters I really connected with were Frederick, another student in Werner’s class who valued his internal ethics and Volkheimer, a german soldier in the field with Werner, who served his country, doing as he was asked.  Werner is really the balance between the two and how it tears at him is on of my favorite themes in the book.

“Your problem, Werner,” says Frederick, “is that you still believe you own your life.”

Marie-Laure is the embodiment of courage, working within her means to inspire those around her as well as push the limits of her faith in herself.

“There is a humility of being a father to someone so powerful, as if he were only a narrow conduit for another, greater thing. That’s how it feels right now, he thinks, kneeling beside her, rinsing her hair: as though his lve for his daughter will outstrip the limits of his body. The walls could fall away, even the whole city, and the brightness of that feeling would not wane.”

The scenery and the settings were dissimilar to the repeated storyline footholds of most books I’ve read of late. They were rich and painted a detailed visage of each place in my mind.

“None more complicated than the human brain, Etienne would say, what may be the most complex object in existence; one wet kilogram within which spin universes.”

I don’ want to ruin any of the story, and so I have to write vaguely. Each scene and character should be enjoyed through the exquisite writing of Doerr.  The book is a big long, but never feels like it. It’ll be a quick read if only because you learn to love the characters and the desire to know the outcomes of their lives overpowers your ability to sleep.

I highly recommend this novel!

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Photography

Lindbergh

 

We tried to go to the Atlanta Food Truck Festival this weekend but poor management and overcrowding prevented us from even making it to the Park.

We wound up getting off at Lindbergh Center station and walking around. I’d come to the area several times before, but never near the MARTA station. It’s an interesting little patch of nice buildings and landscaping that devolves quickly within a block or two.

I took a few photos of the area. :)

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Food, Review

Paper Plane

If you’re in Decatur and looking for a chill spot to spend an evening, Paper Plane is it! They have really cute outdoor seating in a little alleyway draped with hanging lights, some potted herbs and just enough sunlight and shade to keep you comfortable but let you enjoy the summer evening.

For libations, we ordered the Brighton Punch and the drink special that evening. Brighton punch did indeed pack a punch. It was flavorful, light on the tongue, strong on the kick. I only needed one with my entire meal. My husband enjoyed an Emergency Drinking Beer and a Nomader Weisse. Both come highly recommended.

The food we did order came out quickly and was delicious. We had fried balls of cheese, chicken and crab, a vegetable tartare, and a charcuterie board. All were delicious. I particularly enjoyed the fatty duck prosciutto.

We particularly appreciated the server with us that night that explained every dish, was well versed in the food and drink and really made some good recommendations!

This is a great place for a date or an intimate gathering of friends! I’ll be back!

Entertainment, Music

Pop 101

While browsing last week, I came across this great parody music video on Pop and how it’s pretty formulaic. Unsuprisingly, I still loved it. Check out the video!

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Photography, Review

85mm

A couple months ago, I picked up two lenses: an 85mm 1.8 and a 28mm 1.8. These weren’t L series or anything like that but they came highly recommended and I got the itch to finally buy a couple of lenses in this range.  I have been really pleased with the resulting photos I’m able to produce. Specifically the 85mm has been great for really singling out the subject from a comfortable distance. I find brides are more comfortable, animals maintain their position more, and the wide aperture lends itself to beautiful bokeh and great light collection.  I’ve used them in two weddings and they’re actually pretty darn fast.

Bokeh is smooth, on the 85mm and I’m able to maintain a healthy distance from my subjects. This could be especially useful when dealing with children and pets but I found it particularly great at capturing nice portraits of people unawares.

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I was able to take a nice photo of my coworker Nick, while he was engrossed in his phone.

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And I was at a comfortable distance from my other coworker, Logan, when he was trying to figure out whether or not I was taking his photo.

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The 85 stops motion in very low light situations, and the wide aperture makes unpredictable light situations much, much more manageable. The Decatur lantern parade was a great opportunity for me to try out the low light capabilities of this lens, and I was not disappointed!

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It allowed me to shoot with relatively little noise and was able to stop motion successfully.

Last but not least, it is a pretty good macro lens. I found it was perfect for some of the ring and detail shots.

 

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All in all, the 85 is a very versatile lens. I’m completely sold on getting the L series version of this glass. :)

 

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Art

Arbitrary Day 2015

I’ve always been a gift giver. It’s how I most naturally connect with people and show the people closest to me that I love them and am thinking about them. Redditgifts has been a fun little outlet for that part of my personality. In a nutshell, you get matched with a stranger and you buy them a gift based on some theme. I’ve been part of several gift exchanges in the past but this is the first time I’ve got something related to this blog! A kind person bought me a framed piece of art called ‘Unbroken Horses’. It’s one of the more thoughtful things I’ve gotten. :) I love it and it looks great in my shelf. ^^

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Life

Neighborhood Nestwatch

Our good friends Sam and Val had someone from the Neighborhood Nestwatch program come down to do some bird documentation! They were kind enough to let us come watch and hold a few birds. It was a pretty great experience! Here’re some photos of the little adventure. Continue Reading

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Movie

Jurassic World

Spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned! :) Jeremy and I caught Jurassic World last week and I can’t say I was completely disappointed. I can’t say that it hit it out of the park either. Chris Pratt … played Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard could’ve really used a little more depth. They tried to bring realism to her character and it was akin bringing emotion and relatability to a cardboard cutout. I think that’s my biggest gripe about this movie was that the editing and the script made the relationships forced.

Okay, that one gripe out of the way, the dinosaurs were awesome.

Every dinosaur scene was a rush, and the ending (which I won’t spoil) was especially satisfying. I didn’t care about the actors anymore about 50% of the way through the movie because they weren’t worth the space in my mind that was being taken up by dinosaurs!

I’d rate this movie a 4/5. Worth seeing, but expect to sit through some really stiff acting and shallow characterization.

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Photography

Midtown Phone Tour

Last week I had the opportunity to take on a little bit of midtown with phone cameras with a good old friend of mine! We focused on architecture around the arts center area and practiced our phone photo-fu! Scroll through the results!
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Photography

Contentedness

Coming home from work, I feel a bit drained some days. But looking at this fluffy mass of complete contentedness is a relaxing activity that feels as good as a nap. :)
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