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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Orchestra Fail

This is the funniest dang thing I have experienced in a very very long time!  I am not even exaggerating when I say that it left me wheezing, crying, gasping for breath, and convulsing from laughter.
I've listened to it about six times already and I have definitely had my ab workout for the day.

I don't normally do disclaimers before blog posts, but this definitely needs one:

Warning! Do not view while in public; including, but not limited to, work, school, church, a bus, a train, a plane, or while in the company of anyone who you would prefer to not see what is sure to be an embarrassing display of uncontrolled laughter.


Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Top Ten: Breakup Songs

Ok everybody, this should be a good one.  It had better be after all the dang work I put into it!  I had to first figure out what songs I would use(not an easy task), then I had to figure out how to embed stupid .mp3 files into my dang blog.  Then I had to register for some weird file sharing thinga-ma-jig, then I had to upload all the files.  Then I realized that some of my music files weren't even in .mp3 but were in other weird formats like .flac, or .ogg.  So then I had to figure out how to convert those weird files into normal .mp3 files.  In case you are wondering, I used Audacity with the Lame file conversion add-on.  That went well except that once the dang files were converted I had no idea where they had been put, so I had to figure out where they were, and then move them to a more accessible file location.  Then I had to re-upload all the newly converted files, and then copy and past all the respective embed codes with the .mp3 file address into my dang blog!

See how much work I go to for your benefit?  You can thank me later.  For now, enjoy my personal ten favorite songs about breaking up. :)


10. The Boys of Summer - Don Henley

Ah, the classic summer heartbreak song.  "The Boys of Summer" tells the story of one man's lonely summer as he spends his time thinking about a woman who has already forgotten him.  He doesn't understand what happened to their love, but he promises to still love her when she comes back to him.  Yeah right...like that ever happens!  That's a long wait for a train that ain't comin'.  I still like the story though.

9. Cautioners - Jimmy Eat World

This one is a little more reflective, but I like the imagery in the lyrics:
You'll change your mind come Monday, 
and turn your back on me.
You'll take your steps away with hesitance.
Take your steps away from me.
I'm making my peace, making it with distance.
Maybe that's a big mistake.
You know I'm thinking of you.
I miss you.

8. Chocolate - Snow Patrol

This one seems to speak of regret, and the desire to make amends. There are several lines which I like. First:
Just because I'm sorry doesn't mean
I didn't enjoy it at the time
I think anyone who has been in a relationship can identify with this line. It can apply to many different situations, but generally, looking back, things were good for a while, even though the end result is often sorrow.
The other line I like, which is rather haunting, is actually the final verse:
What have I done it's too late for that
What have I become truth is nothing yet
A simple mistake starts the hardest time
I promise I'll do anything you ask...this time

7. And So It Goes - Billy Joel

I love this song because it not only talks about heartbreak, but also about recovery, moving on, and finding someone new.  It is both sad and hopeful.  Just sit back and listen to the lyrics. :)

6. Early Winter - Gwen Stefani

Most of the songs on this list were songs I had already heard at various times in my life, and then, after studying the lyrics, realized that they were about breaking up.  This one was a little different.  This one I actually heard for the first time shortly after one of my various heartbreaks.  The song seemed to capture my feelings, especially the imagery of "an early winter".  The song probably isn't one I would normally listen to, except that I have memories associated with it now.

5. The Scientist - Cold Play

I love songs that tell stories, and this is one of the best.  This song plays out in my head like a movie.  I can see every part of the story.  Maybe it's because I've lived that story before.  It addition to the amazing imagery, there is a portion of the lyrics which really hit home for me.  It's kind of haunting actually:
Nobody said it was easy, 
It's such a shame for us to part. 
Nobody said it was easy, 
No one ever said it would be this hard. 
Oh take me back to the start.
After everything has ended, who hasn't wished to go back to the start?  Back when things were new, and exciting, and euphoric, and wonderful?  I know I have, many times.

4. A Long December - Counting Crows

I've used the word "haunting" several times already to describe some of the lyrics in these songs.  This one is no exception.  "A long December, and there's reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last," is exactly how I would describe the prevailing feeling through most of my single years.  Those words perfectly capture the loneliness, and the tired hopefulness that I usually feel.
If you think that I could be forgiven
I wish you would


3. Shattered - O.A.R.

Ok, I will confess that I don't like this song very much.  The only reason it is so high on my list is because of the lyrics: "How many times can I break 'til I shatter?"
I have no idea what he means by turning the dang car around.
Anyway, whenever I am going through my biannual heartbreak, these words always seem to come to mind.  Thankfully, I don't think the heart can completely shatter, but even if it does, the pieces are always there to be picked up, and mended, by someone new. :)

2. Walk On By - Dionne Warwick

I don't think this one needs much explanation.  As far as I'm concerned this is the classic of all classic breakup songs.  Plus, Dionne Warwick has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard.  I love it!

1. Dakota - Stereophonics

This is my number one because this is the most sentimental of all the songs on my list.  Have you ever heard a song for the first time, but it felt like you were hearing an old favorite that you hadn't heard in years?  It feels like coming home.  That's how I felt the first time I heard this song.  I went to considerable effort to try and figure out where I had heard it before, but I couldn't come up with anything.
Just listen to the lyrics...
Good memories, good feelings, and some reflective thoughts.
Remembering you
What happened to you?
I wonder if we'll meet again
Talk about us instead
Talk about why did it end
These lines, and the song in general, really speak to me.  I often wonder if I will meet her again...
I kind of don't think so.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

I read this novel several months ago, wrote my review, and then decided not to publish it.  Sometimes I like to discuss these things with people in person before I blog about them.  This was one of those things.  Anyway, here is my original review from May.

I recently read Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. This was recommended to me by a close friend, and while it's quite different from the sort of books I normally read, I really liked it.
The story is simple; it is about a young woman named Tess who is raped, and how that single event follows her through life, slowly leading to her destruction.
I didn't know that this novel would hit such a soft spot for me. I really had some strong feelings and impressions while reading this book.

Something about me, that probably only my closest friends realize, is that I am very protective, especially of women, and most especially for my close female friends. I'm not a violent person at all, and I rarely get angry, but if someone were to harm a friend of mine, I would probably go on a rampage.
Recently, I heard on a radio interview, that 1 in 3 college age women have experienced some form of sexual assault. 1 in 3! And that statistic is not for the nation, but for Utah! I know more than 3 women. I'm close friends with more than 3 women. Just thinking about my friends being made victims in this manner makes me shake with anger! This is getting a bit off topic though.

There are several things that I wanted to address about the book.
While it sounds depressing, there is a good portion of the book that is delightful and charming, and generally very happy. I liked this part. Tess is a fantastic character, and an amazing woman. The real tragedy of the story is that Tess cannot forgive herself in an era where victimized women were considered sinners.  Moreover, the people who know about her tragedy forever label her as impure, and without virtue.  This is unacceptable.

I am so glad that today we are beyond this false stigma.  Despite our cultural advances, I worry that even today, many women who find themselves in this kind of situation are unable to forgive themselves of something that needs no forgiveness.  I worry that women who have been made victims struggle needlessly because of a falsely diminished sense of self-worth.

I feel very strongly that one of the roles of honorable manhood is to safeguard the sanctity of womanhood. This book demonstrates this fact by giving us the example of a man who fails in this regard. If I learned that one of my close friends had been raped, the first thing I would do would be to assure her that she has done nothing wrong, and is still 100% pure. The second thing I would do would be hunting down the offender, and making him pay.  Ok, maybe not, but I would really really want to, and I would seriously consider it.  After those initial reactions, I would do everything within my power to help in any way that is needed, and to reassure my friend that everything can be made right again.

Another key point to this book is the importance of forgiveness. Forgiving others, and being willing to forgive yourself. Again, I remind you that Tess has no need of forgiveness, but considering the prevailing philosophy of the time, if she, and those around her, had been willing to forgive, her life could have been full and happy.

The book is very well written, and is full of symbolism, innuendo, and foreshadowing. Going back through some of the passages that I highlighted, I realized how shocking some of the foreshadowing actually is. I think that this is a book that would actually read very differently the second time through.

One of the interesting things about the writing and the characters, is that so much of the book consists of high praise for Tess. She is compared to women of scripture and mythology, and esteemed of all the highest virtues possible. It is tragic that when her past is discovered, suddenly all the previous praises are forgotten, and Tess is left alone and abashed.  I hope that this sort of thing would not happen today.
The story stands as a warning to anyone who would forget about all the praises for a person once one flaw is found, that the greater sin lies on the forgetful one.  Hypocrisy, in this manner, runs rampant throughout the book.

The book is also very interesting from a literary point of view. He did something towards the end of the book that is difficult to describe, but he created a sense of urgency without every saying that anyone was in a hurry, or rushing about from place to place. It felt like his descriptions became more brief, whereas before, he used to elaborate on everything. Before, he used to take up several pages talking about a character walking from one town to another, but now he just started saying that so-and-so traveled to such-and-such a place, and then proceeded with the events. He also introduced several new items, mainly the telegraph, and the train. Prior to the last few chapters people had only written letters, and drove in carriages, now suddenly, they have faster modes of travel and communication. The whole feel of the book changed near the end to create an overwhelming sense of urgency. It was a very interesting trick.

One final thought that I would like to bring up, is the interesting issue of confessing your sins to your spouse on your wedding night. Is this something that is commonly done?  Should it be done? If so, should it be done before or after marriage? How open should couples be about their past sins? What about repentance? How do married people address each others sins? Should they be aware of them? Or do they just figure them out over time?  I don't really have answers to any of these questions, but I do have my own opinions.  I feel like specific sins should not necessarily be addressed, but the more general topic of weaknesses should.  I think that these things should be addressed while courting, and well before the marriage.  I think that people need to go into a marriage with a mutual desire to forgive and start anew.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles is a very thought provoking, well written novel, and I highly recommend it, though I recognize that it is not for everyone.  It is pretty heavy stuff.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another Major Achievement

When I lived in Logan, I always wanted to go eat at a little Italian restaurant called Le Nonne.  It is really fancy, is in a cool old house, and supposedly has the best Italian food outside of Italy.  I desperately wanted to go there, but I never did.  The reason I never did, was because I wanted to go there with a date, but it was too fancy for a first or second date.  It was more like a fifth or sixth date sort of place.  I never made it that far with anyone...

Well, folks...I finally made it!  I spent some time up in Logan this last week with one of my closest friends.  She and I have had sort of a colorful relationship.  We have been friends for a long time and have interspersed casual dating with much hanging out.  I have no idea how many real dates we have been on because our various activities sort of get all jumbled up and combined, but I'm fairly certain that we have been on more than five.  Anyway, we wanted to go out to dinner a few nights ago, and we decided to go to Le Nonne!  Hooray!
The setting is nice, the service is fantastic, and the food is amazing!  It totally lived up to my expectations!  I'm really glad that I finally made this major achievement.
I will say though that a place as nice as Le Nonne really needs a fancier bathroom.  It was pretty nice I guess, but for it to conform with my classy bathroom rule, they need to take it up a notch.

Inception

I just got back from seeing Inception.  I feel really bad about this, but I don't think I liked it.  I'm probably the only person in the country who didn't like this film.  There were things I liked about it, but overall, not so much.
First, I thought it was kind of boring.  Weird right?  I know it was action packed, but I didn't find it gripping at all.  I just thought it dragged on and on.  I even checked my watch several times, which is something I almost never do during movies.
I also thought it seemed overly contrived.  It was as if they got the cool idea of a movie about dreams within dreams, and all the cool stuff you could do with that, and then slapped in an abundance of action sequences with an overall weak plot of corporate espionage.  It just didn't seem to amount to anything.
That being said, the concept that I LOVED from the film was that of being trapped in a dream.  Or rather, if a dream is so vivid that it seems real, how do you know when you have woken up for real?  Speaking as one who has actually had a dream within a dream, the disorientation that results is most definitely real.  That being said, somehow you can still tell when everything is finally real again...at least after a minute or two.
To me it just seemed like it was trying to be complex for the sake of complexity and not because the story required it.  Christopher Nolan is a brilliant director and writer, however this was not his best work in the realm of complexity and audience disorientation.  The better film is Memento.  It was complex because the nature of the story required it.  There was simply no other way to effectively present the plot, and this resulted in a mind-blowing movie experience.  To this day I've never seen a film that challenges the audience as much as Memento.
The complexities in Inception were pretty easy for me to keep track of, and in a way, rather predictable.  Predictable is probably the wrong word since I didn't necessarily anticipate all the plot elements, however everything did play out roughly how I expected it to.  They hinted at a few concepts early in the film, and then once certain things were explained later, I suddenly knew where they were going with everything.
I also didn't think that they went as far with the abstract dream world as they could have.  They make the point that things feel real in dreams, and we only realize that something was odd once we wake up, well pretty much everything they did seemed pretty ordinary and un-dreamlike to me.  I was expecting something much more surreal.
This is definitely a good movie.  It is thought provoking, well acted, well written, visually stunning, and action packed.  I can't say anything bad about the quality of the film, as everything was top notch.  For me, all of these excellent things just didn't seem to come together to make an enjoyable film.  I would say that the overall feeling I had throughout the film was frustration.  Not frustration as a result of confusion, but frustration because I wanted to be having a good time, but wasn't.  I would kind of like to go see it again, and maybe then I will have a more favorable review, but for now I would give it 3 stars out of 5.

My Bathroom Theory...well, one of them.

Ok, so I have this theory about bathrooms.  Basically, I think that you can tell how classy a place is by checking out the bathroom.
Example:  I've been to two different country clubs in recent years.  I made a point of checking out the bathroom on each occasion.  In one we had tile floors, regular type counters, a wall mounted soap dispenser, paper towels, and a swivel-top trash bin.  In the other, we had marble everything, a nice pump soap bottle, actual cloth towels, a hamper, and a nice wooden bench.  Yeah, you can tell which one was clearly the classier joint.  The club with the ultra-posh bathroom was above and beyond the other club in every way.  I felt bad just for walking on the carpets in my shoes!
I have tested this theory in a variety of locations, and so far it has generally held true.

Anyway, I recently took an awesome girl out to eat at one of my favorite SLC eateries.  The Rio Grande Cafe.  It is a Mexican restaurant inside a cool old train station.  You walk in and it's like stepping back in time 50 years.  You have the original wooden bar and barstools, tons of vintage looking furniture, a model train running along the ceiling, a juke box, and other cool features.

My absolute favorite thing about this place is the bathroom.  First, just outside the bathrooms is an old fashioned coat room, with benches, an old phone booth, and big double doors that open to the main train station area.  Inside the bathrooms you have a tile floor, carved wooden stall doors, original porcelain toilets and sinks, and really old fixtures with the long spouts and old handles with the white centers labeled "hot" and "cold".  I make a point of checking out the bathroom every time I go, just because I like it so much.
Anyway, it had been quite a while since I'd visited the old Rio Grande, so when I was there the other day, I made a point of going into the bathroom, even though I had no need of its services.
To my dismay...they remodeled!!!  Gone are the original fixtures and porcelain, gone are the toilets of ancient origin!  In their places are new fangled sinks, and modern urinals with little dividers between them!  It's awful!  One of my personal pleasures has been ruined forever!  I'm really depressed about this.  My favorite bathroom has been destroyed!
At least I had good company to make up for it. :)



P.S. I had the chicken burrito smothered in chili rojo sauce.  It was a good choice.  I highly recommend it.

Did I Ever Tell You About the Time...

...that I went to hang out at a gay coffee shop?
Yeah, that's right!
There is a little coffee shop in SLC that is the home to the gay and lesbian something-er-other organization of Utah.
I went there one time to hang out with a bunch of homosexuals.
Why was I hanging out with homosexuals?  Thanks for asking.  It has nothing to do with me being gay...cuz I'm not!

Years ago in college I took a class called Gender and Contemporary Issues.  For the class I wrote a paper on homosexuals in Utah.  I don't really remember much about the paper I wrote, but to do research I went and participated in one of their special gay meetings.  The meeting consisted of a bunch of dudes flirting with me (CTTI was most definitely present), and then playing a bunch of "get-to-know-you" games that were way more sexually suggestive than all the other times I have played them when not at gay meetings.  It was kind of like a homosexual family home evening.  After the "meeting", I interviewed several people for my paper.  In general, I had a good time.  It was awesome.

I had almost forgotten about this little excursion into the land of the gays until the other day when I again drove past that little coffee shop. I hadn't been in that part of town in years.  I noticed that the name had changed, but it still had the little rainbow flag hanging outside, so I assume that it is still their homosexual headquarters.
I can't remember what the new name is, but it used to be called the Stonewall Cafe.  That name paid homage to the Stonewall Hotel which was the site of some significant gay riots in the late 60's.  You should really look into it because gay history is a fascinating subject.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to recount my gay coffee shop experience.  I hope you enjoyed it.



(Author's Note)
Please don't chew me out for being flippant towards gays.  It was meant to add to the comedic nature of this post, and not a reflection of my feelings towards homosexuals.  I'm not anti-gay, I don't hate gays, I don't even particularly dislike gays.  I just wanted to emphasize the humorous image of a non-gay person like me hanging out at a specifically gay coffee shop.  This was intended to be a humorous post, not a slanderous one.  To quote a license plate that I once saw parked on a street in SLC..."GAYSROK".

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ten Highlights from Bryce Canyon

If you read my previous post, you should be aware of my awesome trip down to Bryce Canyon.  That post was mostly pictures, so here are my ten personal highlights from the trip.

10. Seeing all the excitement and energy that is present at a marathon/half-marathon.
This was the first time I have ever been present at one of these events, and it was cool!  They really treat the runners like celebrities, with all the special treatment, and gift bags, and staff.  There is definitely a neat feeling to competing in this sort of thing.  I liked it!

9. Frolicking.
Yeah, so I like to frolic sometimes, you got a problem with that?  This time I felt like frolicking around Bryce Canyon while we were hiking.  My personal favorite frolic was in the hills of Ireland...yeah, that was awesome.

8. Learning the effectiveness of earplugs.
I've been on enough roadtrips, with enough guys, to know to ALWAYS pack earplugs.  This trip made me grateful that I had them.  I was probably the only person who got a decent nights sleep.

7. Driving a stick shift.
I LOVE driving manual transmission cars, and luckily Jason's car was a manual.  I drove the whole way home, and it was refreshing being able to drive stick again.

6. Seeing Bryce Canyon close up.
All the other times I have visited Bryce Canyon, the only parts I saw were from the scenic overlooks.  It was really cool hiking down into the actual canyon, and seeing a lot of the neat formations up close.

5. Seeing my friend Camilla cross the finish line.
I knew she was going to be down there, but I hadn't managed to catch up with her before the race.  Luckily I kept my eyes open and was able to see her as she came around the final bend to cross the finish line.  She did really well, and I'm glad I got to see her.

4. Supporting Jason and our other friends who ran.
Most of the people who came on the trip, just came along for the camping and hiking.  I was really excited to cheer on Jason and everyone else who ran.  I enjoyed hanging around the staging area, taking pictures, and helping out in general.  It was a cool experience.

3. Lick the Hoodoo!
Jason has this theory that hiking should involve all five senses.  So the motto for our trip became "lick the hoodoo!"

2. Talking the shuttle driver into driving us to our cars.
The hike we did turned out to be a little more than we bargained for.  We thought it was going to be a nice little four mile hike, but as it turns out, the four miles was just to the main overlook thingy.  We still had to hike back out, and the other end wasn't even close to where we had started.  We were about three miles up the road from where we had parked our cars.  We were all pretty beat, especially the people who had ran 13.1 miles just a few hours earlier, and none of us wanted to walk another three miles.
We were sitting around at the lodge we had ended up at, when I noticed a park shuttle nearby.  I decided to go have a chat with the driver.  He said that it wasn't on his normal route, but he would be willing to drop us off by our cars.  Awesome!  I hollered to my companions, and we all jumped on the shuttle.  It all worked out really well.  For all that, we tipped him two dollars.  Hey, it was all we had on us!

1. Making new friends.
Most of the people who came along were friends of Jason's from BYU, and a few people were friends of his friends.  Either way, I didn't know most of them, so it was a lot of fun getting to know so many new people.  Hopefully a few good friendships will come out of this trip.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bryce Canyon Adventure

Last weekend some friends and I went down to Bryce Canyon in southern Utah.  We went down because my friend Jason was running in the half-marathon, and figured it would be fun to turn into a weekend of camping and hiking.  We went down Friday, camped out Friday night, did all the half-marathon stuff Saturday morning, spent some time hiking, and then came back Saturday afternoon.  It was a quick trip, but we had a blast!

Here are several guys from our group getting camp set up.

Here is my buddy Jason coming up on the finish line!

Another friend, Camilla, was also there for the half-marathon.  Doesn't she look great?  At this point she is mere feet from the finish line.

Here are all the runners from our group stretching and relaxing after the race.  They all did really well!

After everyone was all recovered from the race, we headed into the park to do some hiking.

We decided to hike the Fairyland Canyon trail, so naturally we had to attempt to look as macho as possible.  I kind of failed...

Macho fail number two, this time with all the guys.

Yeah, we hiked clear the heck down in there!

More of the group.

Check me out!

I loved how vibrantly green this tree looked amidst all the red rock.

Triumphant Jason!

We felt like we were walking into Mordor!


"Do I look heavyish to you?  I feel heavyish... Put a note on my desk in the morning...think thin."


Tower Bridge


The trees smelled like Cream Soda!  I'm serious!  I wanted to lick it!

On the way home...
Ah...precious...

THE END

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Madder Red

Have any of you heard the song Madder Red by Yeasayer?  I heard it for the first time the other day and now I am obsessed!  Seriously I listen to it all the time!  It has sort of a different sound, which I love, and the lyrics and vocals are sooooo goooood.  Anyway, if you haven't heard it yet, I have conveniently embedded it for your listening pleasure.  If you want to read the lyrics while you listen, they can be found here.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ten Reasons You Need Validation

Hi everyone! The other day I came across a wonderful short film on Youtube called Validation. I feel like everyone should watch this film, so today I thought I would give you ten reasons why:

1. It's a love story.
2. I guarantee that it will brighten your day and make you smile!
3. It will make you love parking lot attendants, and DMV employees!
4. It has already won numerous awards for short films.
5. I promise that it will make you laugh.
6. It is simply the best short film I have ever seen in my entire life!
7. I am confident that this film will give people hope in life, and the confidence they need to be nicer to one another.
8. It has all the emotional impact of a full length feature film, packed into only 16 minutes!
9. It is so good, it actually made me tear up a little bit. Ok, maybe more than just a little. ;)
10. Because YOU are GREAT!

Now that you are all convinced...here is the film. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Number the Stars


A few nights ago I finished reading Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. This is only the second book I have read by Lois Lowry, the first being The Giver.
For a children's book I would say that it would be pretty interesting and exciting, however, as an adult, it seemed very shallow and watered-down. I've been reading a lot of world war 2, and holocaust books lately, and this one just didn't seem to contain anything of any real significance.
The plot was pretty good, and the characters were good, but there just seemed to be a lot of stuff that was shallow or underdeveloped. The first being the stereotypical Nazis. All of the soldiers seemed to be these overbearing, rude, tyrannical grunts, who took pleasure in making everyone's lives more difficult. I don't get this feeling from the other books I have read. Like most soldiers in the world, I suspect they were mostly young men from German homes and families, out doing their duty for their country. I doubt so many of them were blatant bullies.
There were also a few plot elements which seemed thrown in for convenience without any development. The idea of getting Jews to safety in Sweden because "for reasons of their own, the Nazis want Sweden to remain free," and then adding, "it is very complicated." It seemed very sloppy to give an undeveloped explanation for why getting the Jews to Sweden would make everything better. A kind of deus ex machina to suddenly solve all problems with as little explanation as possible. It just seems contrived to me.
The other problem I had with the story, and it isn't really a problem so much as a personal disappointment, was that the story of Peter and Lise wasn't emphasized nearly enough. Peter was the most complex character in the story, and his relationship with Lise was by far the most complex plot element. We didn't really get any details about their situation until the very end of the book, and, for me, it was the most powerful part. I think it would have been a much more compelling story had Peter and Lise been the focus.
Overall it is a good read, but probably not one that becomes more meaningful as an adult. If you read it as a child and liked it, I would suggest leaving it at that.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Top Ten: Ansel Adams Photographs

I love photography! I took several classes in high school, and dabbled in it for a few years, but I was never very good. Despite that, I really gained an appreciation for quality photographs.

When I have a home of my own, I would really love to fill the walls with some of the world's finest photography and art work.

My favorite photographer of all time is Ansel Adams. Last year I got to visit the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite National Park, which was a very memorable experience. I also purchased a few of my favorite prints, which I now have hanging on my walls.

I have WAY MORE than ten favorite Ansel Adams photographs, but these are the ten that I would like to own the very most.

10. Aspens (Vertical)

(I just love the simple elegance, and the incredible lines.)

9. Moonrise Hernandez

(This is Ansel Adams most famous photograph. I have this one proudly displayed in my bedroom.)

8. Evening Clouds and Pool

(Breathtaking!)

7. Oak Tree, Sunset City

(Eerie, and kind of spooky, but also amazing!)

6. Sand Dunes, Sunrise Death Valley

(Here is another one that I already own. I love the contrast and distinct lines!)

5. Gates of the Valley

(I need this!)

4. Oak Tree, Snowstorm

(Another amazing example of the kind of stark contrast that makes black and white photography so incredible.)

3. Tetons and Snake River

(Love this! Another one which I have proudly framed and displayed.)

2. Clearing Winter Storm

(I want this one so bad! Sadly the gift shop at the Ansel Adams Gallery was all out of this print.)

1. Mount Williamson

(My absolute favorite! This one is the centerpiece of my small collection, and prominently displayed in my room. I was so glad that the gift shop had one large print left!)

I hope you enjoyed this little mini-gallery. I would definitely recommend that you check out some of Ansel Adams other photographs. He is simply the best that ever was!