Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.: music
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August Book Reviews: Love of the Sirens and Batgirl Vol 2 Family Business

Hi Friends,


Yet again it's been a while, but this summer has definitely been a long, hot, and sad one in the news.  So I hope you all can understand my absences, as they have honestly been for my own mentally health, not because of you all!  I'm doing ok, but sometimes being online too much when there's bad news almost everywhere is just hard for anyone.  So I took a rather impromptu break....maybe I shouldn't have because I really enjoy writing.  It makes me glad to be back.  But let's get on to what you came here for, the book reviews!

August Book Reviews




I've got two for you today, and I want to keep up with at least two interesting book reviews each month.  I know some of you readers love it, and I'm really glad to share anything interesting I've read with you all.


Love Of The Sirens




The Love of the Sirens by Edith Zack is a little bit off my typical path of fiction and comics, but I really loved the format of small historical biographies of women in music.  If you get to know me well enough you know I enjoy my history and women's studies.  So this book is a fantastic combination of both.  It allows many of the women who were well known in their time to be made known now to modern music and history lovers despite the fact that many history of music textbooks leave these ladies out.

There are twenty different women profiled in the book, all in historical order from 1098 CE to the last who was born in 1931.  There's also a nicely written prologue that gives a bit of an overview of women in the world of music and what has at times kept them from being as popularly known as their contemporaries.

I'll be honest, I haven't read all the stories yet, but none of them are terribly long.  It just right for a lunch break or before bed reading.  The women detailed are all what we might think of as more classical musicians or composers and lived in the western world.  There's nothing too crazy or exotic among them that I've discovered, but the fact that there aren't any women I could name meant I had to read this book to find out more!  I was given a copy of the book for free by the publisher to review, but as always this review is my own thoughts.  If you'd like to check it out you can find out more here through my affiliate link on Amazon.com.


Batgirl Volume 2 Family Business




Some of you may have read my somewhat frustrated review of the first Volume in this series The Batgirl of Burnside.  There was some rather sexist bits in what was otherwise a great story, and it left me conflicted.  It took me a while to get back to it, but I decided I'd add it to my birthday list, and then I did indeed get it for my birthday a couple weeks ago!

It's a much better volume, with a lot more emphasis on character development, and it includes some really fun storylines as well.  Barbara has to deal with family and friends who she wants to protect instinctively, while also learning to allow them to choose their own paths.  There's less drawing for the male gaze too, I really only noted it one or twice, whereas the other volume seemed to include it in every story!  If you're interested you can find this book on Amazon via this affiliate link or in your friendly local comic book store.

But Wait There's More....


I've got a lot of exciting things coming up, including another post about another amazing subscription food box.  It's not really the kind it's easy to just do a video about either, so I'm looking forward to sharing it here on the blog with you later this week.

Thanks for sticking with me.  I'm really excited to get back into the swing of things with you all as summer is finally winding down.  See you again soon!



Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine's Day Celebrations, Beauty Swap, and Card Exchange

Hi Folks,


Update

I've been busy this past week and fighting off a cold.  This winter is just a tough one for my body apparently.  But there are lots of good things to appreciate as well.  I've been filming a bunch of videos, mostly unboxings of fun beauty and lifestyle boxes.  I also have that darn winter capsule wardrobe post nearly ready to post.  I know I keep saying it's coming, but I keep running into snags while putting it together.  It'll be here soon, promise!  (Maybe today!?)

MuteMath

Friday I headed out with my brother in law Michael to see MuteMath at The Cat's Cradle.  The last time I saw them live was back in 2006...the last time they were at the venue with Switchfoot actually.  While I don't think they allowed SLR cameras at the show I did take some reasonable phone shots and a little video I thought I'd share.  The show was just amazing, MuteMath is one of my favorite live bands hands down!



02-12-2016 Mute Math

video

Hopefully you can get a feel for their energy!  I think I was dancing almost the whole time!

Valentine's Day Celebrations

Next up is the real reason for this post - I wanted to share a pair of videos I made for Valentine's Day!   I did a card exchange with some fellow bloggers and YouTubers from the Geeks & Beauties Community.  And I also participated in a beauty swap challenge where Zainey Laney and I bought each other the makeup for a Valentine's Day date look for under $10!  These were both loads of fun and if you hop over to the videos on YouTube you can see links to other folks from the group joined in as well.  Part 1 has the cards and me opening the items for the beauty look.  Part 2 is putting on the makeup and chatting about life!




The cold I've had also made me have to take off the makeup almost immediately after putting it on....my eyes were just so itchy.  It made me sad.  And things stayed that way for our actual Valentine's Day date as well.  So I went with some extra bright lipstick and a couple doses of medication to help me make it to our double date with Bryan's parents.  We decided to see The Force Awakens again, and went out to lunch once we realized we'd have to catch a slightly later show than planned because the show we wanted was sold out.  It gave us a chance to go eat at Chili's together, and do a bit of shopping before the movie as well.  We oogled some board games at Game Theory, a great local gaming shop.  There may need to be some board game review posts here in the future!  We also discovered once we arrived at the theater that it was newly renovated and had super nice reclining seats.  We had a wonderful time watching Star Wars a second time and came up with more fan theories (you can hear some of my initial ones in this post) and discussed what we'd observed since we listened to the Hello Internet podcast on The Force Awakens this past week as well.  Here's a parting shot of us!



Thanks for reading, I'll see you all again soon.

www.lydiadickson.com

Monday, September 7, 2015

My First Camera Stories

ALL the cameras!

That was my prompt for this post.  Really when I start thinking about all my cameras, the old ones and new, I end up thinking about what made me love photography in the first place.  Above all that was the magic of film.  I don't remember when I was given my first camera, but I was pretty young, and it was just a simple one that took 110 film.  Who remembers what stuff?  haha  110 film is even smaller than 35mm and honesty makes it hard for whoever processes it.  Not as hard as the film my next camera took though.

Mine looked something like this, though the image is from https://irishbear3455.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/why-do-we-love-photography-a-thirty-somethings-photographic-journey-the-early-years-1976-1986-part-six-week-three/ who got it from Google images....an image chain.

My second camera was an APS film camera, a weird little format in hard to open cartridges that I hated having to deal with when I worked for Ritz camera years later.  It's advantage was that it had a switch for making different format images, and recorded which you selected so lab techs would know which to print later.  It led to some expense since the panoramic shots cost more to print.  However it was perfect for trips as a teenager.  I ended up losing my first camera after a couple years during a fall weekend retreat, while out in the woods.  It was found the next summer in a creek, full of grit and inoperable, but the film was still intact.  In the meantime I have saved up my babysitting money for another similar model that I kept using until I finally got my first digital camera in 2004.

Switchfoot, Purple Door Festival in Shippensburg, PA, 2003
It was a humble little model, outdated almost as soon as I bought it, but it was what I could afford between my pay at a bookstore and all the concert tickets and trips I went on that year.  But the little Fuji A330 lasted for a long time with all of 3MP at its disposal.  I went from taking photos like the one above to photos like the one below.

Red Umbrella, GMA week show in Nashville, TN, 2004


Meanwhile, I decided to try community college out and one of the classes I thought would be fun was photography.  My brother had taken a photography class and liked it when he was in high school, but he was hesitant to lend me his camera.  But one of my coworkers, Jim, lent me his camera for the semester.  I was shocked because it was so nice I was almost scared to take it from him, temporary as it might be.  But he was incredibly kind about it and insisted I should.  I think he knew I'd do well at it.

The first day we stepped into the darkroom I was terrified.  I felt like I couldn't handle all the chemicals and was scared of making mistakes and of the potential toxicity of the chemicals themselves.  I almost dropped out of the class then and there, and I think I must have said something to my instructor about being worried.  Ms Talbot, being the lovely person she is took it in stride and told me to just keep coming and she'd help me out if I needed it.  So I came back the next week, and everything went perfectly.  I excitedly developed my first roll of film from that beautiful Olympus OM-2 camera and started down a path that changed my life.

Image via Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-OM-2-35mm-Film-Camera/dp/B0084X2RIS

I think Jim knew he was influencing me back then, and I'm so thankful he was a part of shaping my life and career.  Not too long ago Jim passed away, but I will remember him as a wonderful, kind, Christian man who put a camera into my hands when I needed it most.  Thanks Jim.

I will write more about cameras at a later time, because I want to share more about my current set up and what I used while in school, but I wanted to end my post on this note as a way of thanking everyone who helped me find my passions.

Love,
Lydia

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Beach Week Aftermath

Welcome back everyone!

I ended up taking time off of blogging while at the beach.  Obviously I didn't intend to, but the week ended up being a busier one than I anticipated.  I didn't even get any reading done!  However, I did spend lots of time with a great bunch of people playing board games, card games, computer games, going on a double date night, having late night chats, making a trip to the outlets, and celebrating my birthday.  I've been reviewing all the photos I took today, but also relaxing because I don't feel so hot.  It's really rather nice to have an excuse to relax after such a busy week.  I know most people don't feel like a vacation is work, but when I'm around a lot of people and get no real time to myself for a while it can be really draining.

Here are some highlights from the week at North Myrtle Beach:

On our first night there the moon was still nearly full and begging to be photographed, so I did!

The yard leading up to the beach.

I stayed up all night Tuesday because the air conditioning was out at the beach house, but in the morning when it was a bit nicer out (it was incredibly muggy all week and mostly very hot with the occasional thunderstorm) I went out to the beach and watched the sunrise with my camera and a couple of the guys.








And finally a little close up nature shot, my favorite kind!



As for the indoor activities I didn't take many photos at all.  Just a shot of the tournament poster I made for our Magic: The Gathering tournament, which I did surprisingly well in.  

On the way home we grabbed Michael to make things more fun and stopped at South of the Border, one of the kitschiest little bits of America that ever happened.  There we saw:
A terrifying jaguar with an unhinged jaw, the horrors!

Our brother Davey, flying his kite.

A very fake shark.

The sad mannequin, with tear stained cheeks, the poor limbless guy.

King Kong and a menagerie of other fiberglass creatures, real and imaginary.  My favorite was the lavender jackalope, I should have taken a picture of it and now kick myself for missing the chance.

The giant sombrero tower.

And the iconic sign.


We also saw plenty of fiends of old corn, peanuts, and tobacco (what's pictured above).  We got stuck in traffic on I-95 multiple times before and after lunch, and eventually got off of it altogether.  But we did enjoy the side trip for a fantastic Cuban lunch in Fayetteville, NC at Habana Cuban Restaurant.

We may have gotten home Saturday, but Sunday was busy too as Allan (Bryan's dad) and I went to see Garrison Keillor on his Prairie Home Companion: The America The Beautiful tour.  I had heard about it only a couple weeks before and near the same time heard of Keillor's upcoming retirement.  Having listened to the show with my parents many Sunday afternoons I had fond memories of his show and wanted to be able to see a bit of it live just once, and thus asked for a ticket as a birthday gift.  While the performances on this tour aren't all aired on the radio they have many of the same features as the show, plus some delightful sing along elements too.  We had a wonderful evening with perfect weather, and a fantastic venue in the Koka Booth Ampitheater in Cary, NC.  I'm hoping to take Bryan (and anyone else inclined to go) back this fall for some of their more moderately priced bluegrass concerts.






I'll be back Wednesday with another set of book reviews.  Thanks for reading!

Love,
Lydia

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Two Years and a New Year!

Good afternoon everyone!

This past Tuesday, December 30th marked the second anniversary of my marriage to Bryan.  I can honestly say neither of us had any idea of the changes both good and bad that would be in store for us over the first two years of our marriage.  However, both of us knew we wanted to meet whatever challenges might come with the other, side by side, as best of friends, and deeply in love.  That love has only deepened since, and I know I don't talk about it too often, but that's mostly because I'm private, and have no complaints!  I am ever so glad to to have him in my life.

He may not read my blog much, but I wanted to do a little photo recap of our past two years.  Hopefully you all will enjoy it too!

December 30 2012
We had a small ceremony, with mostly just family.  Photos taken by the fantastic Arielei Kinzer!

Bryan and I headed to Florida for our honeymoon, spending time in Savannah, GA, St Augustine, FL, and Orlando, FL.  You can see we're really just big kids at heart!
After the honeymoon, in February Bryan lost his job at ACHC, which was really an old internship from when he was in college that had let him stay on after graduation.  This led to a tough month for us as he searched for a new job and in March happily started working for the NC Dept. of Agriculture as a programmer.

In May we moved out of the little apartment we were sharing with Bryan's brother Stephen and into a little rental house of our own.  We got to paint and decorate a bit and have really enjoyed living close to both Bryan's job downtown and his parents in North Raleigh.


We went to the beach with family and friends that August, where I tested out a new lens for my phone's camera.


During the fall of 2013 I worked on my domestic skills, making chili (recipe for that here), growing my own tomatoes (everything else I tried to grow that year died), and working on my computer out on the screened in porch as Carolina Wrens occasionally visited.

Bryan and I headed to our first concert together, Switchfoot! And not soon after saw Neko Case, though no photos were allowed at that show.


In October Bryan was rear ended, totaling our old Buick, so in early November we got a little Honda Civic hybrid, which was a huge improvement in gas mileage and our first car of our own.



We also went to the NC State Fair together and made silly faces while enjoying ourselves.


As part of our Thanksgiving week that year we also went to DC for a couple days to visit the Smithsonian.  On day one we went to the National History Museum.  We didn't know my friend Samantha was going to be there, but we ended up meeting with her to go to the Natural Science Museum the next day. The butterfly house was amazing!


And we celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple!


Throughout 2014 we spent lots of time with family.  Some of it was at home and a bit at the family reunion, the beach, and the weekend in the mountains.  We spent our time having friends like Stuart over to visit, road tripping with brothers, exploring caves, playing board games, and fixing flat tires!


So you all have mostly heard about all that has gone on with us this year.  However, in October Bryan heard he'd soon be laid off from his job with the state.  He had enough notice that he was able to get a new position at a great educational programming company in Durham that he started immediately after his job at the state ended.  I couldn't believe how hugely blessed we were by that one.  I tried working for Anthropologie for a bit after attempting the Kickstarter in January, but am now simply working as an artist.  I had my first local show in December, and we also got our lovely pet rabbit, Scarlet, which has made the last month of the year exciting.

And finally, our next big announcement is that we'll be buying a house this spring!  We need to move closer to Bryan's job in Durham (it's 45 minutes to an hour each way!) and the new job has allowed us to afford buying over renting.  So we've found a new neighborhood that's being built and will be getting a house with some custom features built for us.  We're currently starting the design process, and are really excited.  I can't wait to share more with you all as we make the journey to home ownership!  Here's a shot of the rendering of our home (top image), plus the siding and door colors, Thistle Green and Tuxedo Gray respectively.  Any advice and such is welcome as we're learning along the way and love hearing the stories of others as we work our way through the process.


I'm looking forward to all 2015 has to offer, and can't wait to share it with you all!  Each weekday I'll be working on Pinterest projects and sharing the results with you all.  To start things off I'm doing a January Photo Challenge where each day I'm taking pictures which I'll share here.  Today's shot is "new" so you get to see the new home plans above.  More soon!

Love,
Lydia