Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Downtown Wilmington

When I lived in Wilmington these are some of my favorite places to both visit and just look at. I really miss living somewhere that I can take a relatively short walk and be near restaurants and old buildings. Nikki's is my most favorite restaurant in the whole world. I miss it dearly. I've considered moving back just so I can eat there on a regular basis (though the lack of jobs in the area usually cancels out that idea). And, of course, yummy fudge and the good smells coming from the ice cream/chocolate shop cap of a downtown Wilmington visit.

Still super busy here. It should all change tomorrow. My sister is off to Hawaii and I have finally finished designing my DVD. Finally, peace in the house. I hope.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Photo from the Past

Things have been so busy here that I haven't had time to scan any new pictures nor take my film to the lab. Soon I will be back logged with photos, but for now I thought I would repost this photo. For some reason it makes me very happy.

On Wednesday my sister is moving to Hawaii and she is in the process of getting rid of all of the things she has acquired these past years. Between helping her and working on job applications. I have been swamped and even at this very moment I hear my daughter crying out for me. So I gotta go. I'll try to be back soon.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Holga Photos at Battleground Park

Tree Trunk
Forest Light

Today my sister gave me her Diana F+ camera and it reminded me of these photos my husband and I took with our Holga before we left for Vermont. She also gave me a book printed by Lomography that included many pictures taken with the Diana. It made me want to got the beach to take pictures. Or maybe I just want to get out of Greensboro, if only for awhile.

It is the first week back to school for everyone here it seems; the public school and the colleges/universities. A few weeks back it was odd to not be preparing syllabi and thinking about new ideas for my classes. Now I miss my students and that first week back when every one is coming to see you and explaining how the summers flew by. The college I worked out was very small and I am very close to the students. So not only do I miss that beginning of the school year feeling, but I miss my students!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Moments in Downtown Burlington

Here are more pictures from our recent trip to Vermont. Every year I go to this conference and it is always in a different location (wherever a hosting college/university is located). Last year it was in New Orleans and the recommended hotel (if you didn't want to stay in the dorms and you wanted to take advantage of a amazing conference discount) was the Ritz Carlton in the French Quarter. Vermont was very calm in comparison.

Vermont has a walking mall similar to the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, CO. I thought it was a little inspired by Pearl, but I'm biased. While we were there they had an outdoor art display of various cows decorated for stores and Vermont attractions. They were cute (though they did something similar in Denver a few years ago, I'm just pointing it out).  They also have similar pigs on display in Lexington, NC, which is sort of sad since the town is all about barbecue so those pigs aren't safe.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Busy Day

My daughter is getting her molars and has been very fussy. Today I needed to paint a chair that I am fixing up for our living room. Of course my daughter wanted to "help." So my husband had to keep her occupied, which normally isn't such a big deal if it wasn't for the teething. She wants to be near me all the time. In the afternoon my sister called and asked if I could make cupcakes for her going away party (she's moving to Hawaii) and the party is tomorrow night. My daughter and I had to go to two grocery stores then my husband went for a third tonight for some items I had missed. I just finished them (it's 11 pm) and will frost them tomorrow. I also need to do a third coat on the chair and it will be done. It's amazing to me how busy I stay.

Through all of this my husband has been aiding the poor baby with swollen gums while I bake and paint. It made me think of when we were in Vermont and my husband would take the baby out for the day while I attended the conference. One such day they went to the wildflower farm and he took the above pictures to let me see where they had visited.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

German Chocolate Cake

 For my husband's birthday he wanted a German Chocolate Cake. Now this is a special request because he usually wants a Carrot Cake. So this threw my for a loop and at first I wasn't thrilled about this cake, but it now is one of my favorites. I used this recipe. If you choose to make it, be aware that it took me 6-7 hours to make it. The were many special directions such as separating the eggs, adding each yolk one at a time, and then beating the egg whites into peaks before adding it to the batter (though I think it is fun to beat egg whites, small pleasures). It would be in your best interest to make the cake the day before you put it all together. Hands down the most amazing part is the filling, which you can see on the top of the cake as well. Excellent.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Flip'n Friday: Early Morning

Early Morning from Chelsea Wayant on Vimeo.

For Flip'n Friday this week I don't have an edited piece, but instead a single shot from early this morning. I believe there is still a subtle pay off at the end and portrays the busy sounds of morning here in Greensboro. Yesterday, I think I tweeked a muscle in my lower causing my to go to sleep early (and spend today not being able to pick up my daughter). Everything is fine now and I feel much better. That being said I couldn't get the editing done as planned. I have some great footage from a farm in Vermont with newly born piglets, but you'll just have to wait until next week to see it!

For those of you that are new to this blog every Friday I post a video for the week. Normally, I shoot the pieces with a simple Flip Camera, but every now and then I will use my Canon or edit footage from one of my films into a trailer or whatnot. It just depends on the week. You can see all the Flip'n Friday here (or just check out this and this, two of my favorites).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Scenes From Lake Champlain

I thought I would share some photos from my trip to Vermont. These are of Lake Champlain in Burlington around sunset. It's a very beautiful place. Though when I was there I kept thinking of what the town would look like blanketed in snow as it probably is for many months of the year. It's probably just as beautiful, but not as easy to maneuver.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Film Class: Lymelife

Last week was a very busy time and I was unable to begin watching Film Noirs as I had planned. I will use this week to focus on them.

However, before we left we watched a recent film, Lymelife. While not a perfect film by any stretch it has some interesting elements. It is reminiscent of Ang Lee's The Ice Storm, which was never a favorite of mine though I haven't seen it for awhile. Lymelife stars two of the Culkin brothers, Kieran and Rory, as well as Julia Roberts' niece, Emma. The cast is rounded out by many other notables such as: Alec Baldwin, Timothy Hutton, Cynthia Nixon, and Jill Hennessy. None of which really did anything for me; they were quite lackluster.

The story follows two families during the late 70s in Long Island. It's a coming of age film for Rory Culkin. The plot gets a little bogged down and starts to drag toward the middle. When I got up to get a snack I didn't even pause it. So be prepared for that if you choose to watch it.
 What impressed me the most was the primary cast; the Culkins and Roberts. Rory Culkin's character is in teenage love with Emma Roberts. It is clear that she is interested in him, but she appears at first to be aloof. Since the Culkin's so often played children roles you think of them as being cute and adorable and this film plays with that notion, but allows them to grow up as well. Kieran Culkin is not adorable at all, he plays a soldier home on leave before being shipped out. One of the first things his character does is beat up a bully that is terrorizing Rory. Yet, the only reason we did not fast forward to the ending was due to Rory and Emma's performance and the chemistry. Though some scenes were just way to long.
The ending is the only part that could be better. They included an alternate ending, which I usually hate to watch, but in this case the alternative worked better for me. The ending, as is, makes the film be more about whether or not so and so was shot. Whereas when it is clear who was or was not shot and it ends with the Emma and Rory on the bus the film clearly states that the story is about them and how they will deal with the consequences of their parents indiscretions.

The film could really benefit from another pass in the editing suite, but if you are at all intrigued by the Culkin's this is a good film to check out. By the way it is not a comedy at all, not even a dark one. It is a drama. For some reason it was pitched that way to both myself and my husband. So be prepared. Also it does not feel like the seventies in any way, shape, or form. There are random comments thrown in about Star Wars and such, but that could just as easily be today. Check out the trailer here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thoughts on Biscuit Making

We arrived back from Vermont somewhat late last night. It was a good trip and my daughter is very good at making friends. She was running around and going up to just about anyone hoping they would smile at her. Luckily, pretty much every at UFVA is easygoing and likes kids so she was a hit. I took two and a half rolls of film while in Vermont so hopefully I will have some good photos soon. 

Before we left for our trip my husband made biscuits for dinner (as pictured above). It made me think of a story my dad tells about his grandmother, my great-grandmother. I believe the story is of my great-grandmother who was raised on a farm outside of Paris, TX. She moved to Winfield, LA, which is where my grandmother was born. In her cupboard she had a drawer (one of those triangular metal ones that pulls out at an angle) where she stored her flour. When making biscuits she would take the ingredients to the drawer pour everything on top and knead the dough in the flour so that she would be able to use the exact amount of flour without measuring it out.

I have heard others tell similar stories of biscuits made in the flour bin. I wonder if this is a lost art of baking. Often I think of bakers having to measure everything perfectly, yet, clearly that is not always a case. In this day biscuits are probably not made from scratch as often as in the past and our skills have gotten weak. I would try it just for the experiment of it all, but unfortunately I store my flour in a jar and it would be hard to knead dough through the jar opening.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Flip'n Friday: Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville from Chelsea Wayant on Vimeo.

I am still in Vermont, but before I left I made a piece for this weeks Flip'n Friday. This was shot during our trip to Wilmington. We will be back on Sunday and I will be able to catch up with the week. Enjoy this peaceful video.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Going to Vermont

This morning we are preparing to leave for Vermont. Somehow we are ahead of schedule so I thought I would try to at least post some pictures.

These are from our recent visit to Wilmington. We are at the Battleship NC looking across the Cape Fear River at downtown. The last picture of the basketball court is where they shoot scenes from One Tree Hill (in case anyone is a fan). As I was taking pictures of the river there were various girls wandering around it taking pictures so I thought I'd get one too. 

Our plane leaves in about an hour and a half. I'll be touch when possible.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Weekend of Organization

It still feels very much like summer here even though it is August. Lot's of rain and everything is green. Yet, it is hot, Hot, HOT! And I hear the rain has probably stopped for the time being so it will somehow be getting even hotter.

We have had a busy day with an impromptu visit to Ikea. For the past month or so I have been looking for shelves to put up in our living room to organize all of our piles that have been accumulating. When we struck out at Lowe's yesterday I was pretty frustrated. So this morning over breakfast my husband and I decided to head down to Charlotte so we can be down with the shelves. We were in and out of Ikea in forty-five minutes and got everything we needed without dealing with the stress of the crowds. Now, our living room has been transformed. It's amazing what some wall shelves can do! I will take pictures once I have organized them enough to be picture worthy.

On Tuesday we are going to Vermont for the annual UFVA conference. My film, Drowning Slowly, is playing on Wednesday. I will do my best to continue to post this week, but it may be slightly sporadic.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Flip'n Friday: Natashia

Natashia from Chelsea Wayant on Vimeo.

This week for Flip'n Friday I have posted a piece featuring one of my students, Natashia (check out one of her films here).  She has a confidence and strong sense of identity that is so hard to find among girls/women. So often females put all of their self worth into a boyfriend/husband/child; sometimes it is important to think about ourselves as well. Natashia has always impressed me with how strong her convictions are and her resolve to stand by them. We can all take a cue from her (though we can still believe in marriage if we so choose).

For those of you that are new to this blog every Friday I post a video for the week. Normally, I shoot the pieces with a simple Flip Camera, but every now and then I will use my Canon or edit footage from one of my films into a trailer or whatnot. It just depends on the week. You can see all the Flip'n Friday here (or just check out this and this, two of my favorites).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thoughts on Music Down by the River

Yesterday around dinner time we were listening to our Avett Brothers Channel on Pandora. If you haven't listened to Pandora before it's an interesting take on a radio station where you put in a favorite band/artist and the program chooses similar music for you. By the end when I was cleaning up and it was just me and my daughter dancing (my husband cooked so he was relaxing) we rocked out first to The Band's The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and then to Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone. I suddenly realized I could have been a kid in the kitchen with my mom because the music hadn't changed. Just maybe my attitude.

When I was young I defiantly hated Bob Dylan and The Grateful Dead. I remember admitting that Dylan's songs were good, but his voice was unbearable. "Mom, he can't sing," I would say. She would shrug, in a that's not what really matters kind of way. I'm not sure about the Dead, the songs were probably too long or something. I don't think it was my mom that won me over, but more than likely D.A. Pennebaker; having watched Don't Look Back so often I finally had to learn to love appreciate the voice of the reluctant prophet. And so I dance in the kitchen.

Thinking about downtown Wilmington, the Cape Fear River, and the Grateful Dead reminded me of a few months I spent years ago grading standardized tests. We had this very dry, very boring grading scale. The only "essay" that I remember is one where the student had written down all the lyrics perfectly (I sang it in my head to check) to Friend of the Devil. I had to give that student a zero, but I often think I wish that I knew who he/she was because I think there was a spark there. The student could have left the essay area blank, but didn't. This is why teachers need to grade their own tests.

Some of the music my parents listened to I didn't object to so much, in fact it was mostly those two, I needed to rebel against something. My parents also listen to John Prine on a fairly regular basis and when he played with Patty Griffin (a personal fave) a few years back my husband and I had to go. You can check out a clip from the show here, though it's not the whole song it's still enjoyable. Be prepared to sing the song all day long, it's that good. Though I do have to say if I had a nickel for every time either of my parents has said, "Jesus...the missing years." I'd be fairly well off.

And, yes, mom I know you're smiling right now. Enjoy it.