April 5, 2011

Updated URL: ailinawillis.blogspot.com

Please note: I've updated my URL to reflect my married name. Please update your booksmarks.

old URL:  http://lailinalaranang.blogspot.com

Thank you!

February 23, 2011

Off the Page

I think the loony bird is lighting atop my head again. I suppose it's about time for it to since I've neglected my meds for so long now.

When it comes, I go through moments when I'm not sure if the fog is lifting or clearing, whether I'm seeing reality grotesque or seeing how grotesque reality really is. So settles the rage and rage at the rage because I'm uncertain whether or not I should be raging at all.

And I all at once resent him and pity him. What a shame. For both of us.

And I recall something I've known since the very, very beginning: the awful truths -- that is, the truths that are awful -- enjoy the singular privilege of documentation. Why?

He's always thought it's because the awful truths are the sum of my sentiment which is neither true nor fair. Not true, because the everyday and dominating joy aren't recorded because that is one of the gifts of this life...to enjoy the days, breathing them in and out, LIVING them and not lamenting them. And not fair because what is and is not written has never been written or not for him, but for ME, because writing has been a sixth sense of mine since I could construct a meaningful sentence. To write, to understand, to purge and store awful truths in a way and place that should be exempt from judgement and anyone else's analysis and report.

What he's never understood is that the paper is my counselor and confidante. A help and comfort to me, not some sort of sick weapon.

So, when he digs up what's written in search of the truth, he does not find it -- only the sprawling landfill of the awful things I've cut out of myself, and he thinks this is the whole of the landscape.

And then his own defenses and offenses raise up against me because apparently, "All she sees of our life is a landfill." No one knows what paradise surrounds it.

I believe he's read every word I've ever written, and yet, I've read only a snapshot or two of his. No truths, awful or no, partial or full, have been mine to judge or not judge.

So it is injustice and condemnation. And shame in writing the things I need to in order to try my best to maintain some distinction between reality and delusion.

Some day, the kids will read these things freely, and I fear they may, too, buy into the deception the landfill is all there is.  How tragic, but who is to blame? I don't know why my paper only burns on pain.

January 10, 2011

Self-Taught Photography: Aperture

So I've been trying to teach myself how to use the digital camera we've had for three years now. It's finally time to move away from the "auto" setting and make use of all the great refining features we paid for. Figured I'd start out simple and learn what in the world "aperture" means since Photographer-Brother throws the word around so frequently.

I swear understanding did not sink in until I'd watched at least seven or eight different YouTube tutorials, listened to Miner try to explain it in twelve different ways, and drawing myself a little diagram and chart to memorize.

Epiphany. It finally clicked (no pun intended), and I THINK I get it now.

Greater aperture number (f-stop) = greater "depth if field" = greater area of focus.

Lesser aperture number = lesser "depth of field" = lesser area of focus.

In a sunflower-seed-shell: (re: focus) high f# INCLUDES, low f# ISOLATES.

Off-topic but not entirely unrelated...I learned the term "bokeh" ('bo' as in 'bone' -- 'keh' as in 'kennel') refers to the technique of photographing a foreground subject over a blurred background. This would best be achieved with a lower f-stop setting. Good for me to know, because I've always naturally tried to create the bokeh effect in pictures I've taken.

And I've also found a free autodidact-style website with free photography self-study articles -- PhotographyCourse.Net:


January 1, 2011

2011: Rockin' the Supermom

2010 was the Year of Choosing the Right Thing. I did my sincere best to fulfill that ambition last year. Didn't always succeed, which I could only objectively discover in hindsight, but I gave it a heroic effort, and I feel all the better for it. Now on to bigger and better ambitions.

2011 is the Year of Rockin' Supermom. The goal is to focus HARD on bringing peace, order, and enrichment to this home. Working on a plan of attack.

Battle 1: ASSESSMENT. An honest (and likely painful) survey of where this family is in terms of finances, education, communication, health, faith, etc. (not necessarily in that order).

Battle 2: PURGING. Of all things wasteful, including the worst habits, purposeless items in the home, junk food, junk TV, junk purchases.

Battle 3: THE ALMIGHTY ROUTINE. It's gonna get ugly before a new scheme takes, but the Routine is key to the success of this entire campaign.

Battle 4: REWARD. Equally important...we've got to make time and arrest the resources for enjoying the family. Otherwise, what's the point?

So, clear vision, strong management, and focus are going to win this war. I know I've got what it takes. I'm in love with this family, and that's all the motivation I need.

(God, suit me up.)