• Archives
  • April27th

    Watch this:

    May our lives one day be filled with acceptance, peace, and wonder…this is my wish for you and me. That is my wish for the world.

    – Ross

  • April17th

    I’ve had an iPhone since the first one came out – I actually WAITED IN LINE for one! hahaha I was one of those people…but I could NOT wait for it! Now, 3 iphones later, Apple has truly surpassed all expectations. With the help of the App store, the iPhone is a photographer’s dream! All of these are taken with an iPhone 4 and edited using random apps on the iPhone – I even used the iPhone to combine the before-&-afters and uploaded them to WordPress straight from the phone!

    I did a presentation on photography at the Lincoln Parish Library once as part of their summer learning workshops – I told everyone about what to look for in cameras, both small ones and large ones; however the most profound thing I said (in my opinion) was that the BEST CAMERA is the ONE YOU HAVE WITH YOU. You can have a $30,000 Hasselblad at the house, but if you see something you want to take a picture of and you miss it due to lack of a camera…well, that doesn’t make for a very good picture now, does it?

     

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    Greatchadayis!

     

    – Ross

  • April16th

    A lot of people I know are getting married this year. A lot of people I know were married by the time they were my age. I’m only 22.

    A lot of people have started their careers, many (most of them) not far from home. I already have friends from high school with kids for goodness’ sakes!

    I don’t plan on this happening to me…for some people, such things are just what they need to fulfill their dreams and live their ideal life; I totally understand, every once in a while I get the inkling to settle down, live near my family, start my career, find a partner, buy a house, adopt a puppy….

    But the other day I heard some advice I really liked: “give yourself your twenties.”

    I’ve been thinking a LOT lately about what to do next, and I won’t pretend that it hasn’t been the cause of most of my recent anxiety.

    However, I think I’m going to take that advice…I’m going to “give myself my twenties.”

    I mean, let’s be honest here – is there a better time to try to “find oneself” and explore the world than one’s twenties? I’m healthy, I’m intelligent, I’m able, I’m friendly, I’m open-minded, I’m a traveler, I’m single, I’m in zero debt – after September I will have a masters degree and will be free…from any and all obligations…when will a better opportunity to “find myself” appear?

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t claim to have an identity crisis! I know myself and I know I’ve got a lot in this world to accomplish, but I have my whole life ahead of me, and I don’t need to have my name on the side of a building by the time I’m 30. I want to travel and volunteer and use my skills for other purposes before I begin my corporate life / career. I want to see the world – I want to learn new languages and cultures, new skills and ideas!

    I want to feel alive everyday.

    So here’s to finishing up school, taking a sigh of relief, crossing my fingers, and “giving myself my twenties!”

    – Ross

    P.S.

    “Don’t lose who you are, in the blur of the stars!
    Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
    It’s okay not to be okay…
    Sometimes it’s hard, to follow your heart.
    Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,
    Just be true to who you are!”

  • April7th

    So I saw THIS comic from The Oatmeal the other day, and naturally it made me think of here…where I’m living…right now…Seattle, my ass, Belgium has to be worse.

    Now you may be thinking to yourself, “But Ross, isn’t is Spring?! Surely the weather is getting better and it’s probably AWESOME now!” Well…this is true, and you should understand that if you read the comic. The reason I’m writing this now, because we’ve now entered the time of the year when people are now saying “oh, this weather is just so great! blah blah blah blah Makes it worth living here!” It’s almost as if the past two/three days of sun have completely erased the memory of having to walk around all day with an umbrella and scarf on MONDAY…that’s right…THREE DAYS AGO. Now after a week, people will probably have completely forgotten the past 7 months of hell: no real sun, cold all the time, 100% cloudy 100% of the time, everyone sneezing and coughing and blowing their nose…even on the sunny days, it was too cold to go outside and enjoy it. You got to “enjoy it” in the sense that the 2 inches of your face that was exposed got exposed to the sun for ~30 seconds on one side of one street between your house and the grocery store.

    People don’t really account for that…when the sun shines (which truthfully is rarely…) in the winter, it never gets over the buildings because we’re so far north – it rises then glides across the horizon until it sets about 6 hours later. We’ve even gotten used to the term “partly cloudy” meaning it’s “partly” in the sense of having only one cloud, it’s just a really big single cloud covering the entire country. I’m convinced that they are required to use “partly cloudy” in order to give people hope…which Belgium desperately needs seeing their high suicide rates…

    This image represents Belgium’s satellite image for most of the year:

     

     

    So…yeah…it’s pretty crazy. For some perspective, I’d like to show you this map:

     

    Google does a really good job here of keeping down distortion, because usually when you spread out a map into a rectangle, it doesn’t really work…afterall, I think there’s enough evidence to prove the world is round…despite these people possibly disagreeing with that statement…guess they haven’t seen the satellite photos…or I don’t know…ever been to a science class. Either way, I digress.

    The point of that is to show that where I’m from…it’s equal in latitude to BAGHDAD, IRAQ, and where I live now is equal with Calgary, Canada! There is not even a part of the US (forget Alaska…everyone else does) that is further or even as far north as where I currently reside. Now, obviously you’ll notice a few differences between Iraq and Louisiana…notably the lack of muslims in Louisiana and the lack of Baptists in Iraq (pick your poison…)…but there’s also that whole “desert” thing – but to forego a science lesson, I’ll suffice it to say that the ocean plays a large role, and North Africa more or less gets screwed over with super dry air. You can google all that on your own.

    Now…the point of this post has kind of gotten lost, and I will be the first to admit that I get a TAD carried away, so back to the point:

    If you’re thinking about moving…TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE WEATHER. If you’re considering moving to North Europe (aka here), ask someone about the weather while they’re living through the Winter, because I can assure you, 1 month ago, I’d have never recommended someone move here…and if you asked what the weather was like in North Louisiana during the Summer, I’d have NEVER…EVER…EVER EVER EVER…recommended someone to move there. You could’ve asked me in the Spring, Winter, and Fall, and my answer would’ve probably been similar…but nonetheless. Louisiana Summers are brutal, Belgian Winters are brutal…So if you’re moving somewhere you’re unfamiliar with the weather, ask someone about it during the worst part of the year; afterall, to paraphrase a 30Rock quote, the Native Americans probably would’ve warmly recommended European blankets….until they began to die of smallpox.

    So…in my research of where to go next, after I finish school here (if…), I’ve basically decided that I’ll be living above the red line and below the blue line; barring deserts, super high altitudes, etc. etc. I know there is no area with perfect weather- and if such a place does exist, it’s probably some small island with limited job opportunities. Plus, I WANT a Winter, I enjoy jackets and scarves, but I don’t need it to last 6 months and I’d like to see the sun then, too. Also, I WANT a Summer. I want to swim in the pool and lay out in the sun, I want to wear shorts, sandals, and t-shirts and feel warm; however, I don’t want it to be so hot that your school mascot (a bulldog) suffers a heat stroke during orientation or that the morning news has to warn people to “stray away from strenuous labor outside in direct sun, seek shade when possible, and drink plenty of water.”  (all of that is serious, y’all…it happens…Welcome to Louisiana, enjoy that gulp of water with that breathe).

    If you know of a place with nice weather, 4 seasons, nice people, good job market, and all around perfection, let the world know, because I’m sure we’re all looking for one!

    – Ross