Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Turkeys and Trails

Leadville, formerly known as Cloud City, has been treating me right. For someone living a "normal" life for the first time ever, things are quite better than normal, I'd say.
After torturing myself for the last few years about taking the business graduate entrance exam, the GMAT, it was time to bite the bullet, pay the $250 fee, and drive my freshly studied-up brain to Denver for 4 hours of computer adaptive madness. What does one do before the most important test of your life? Oh, roast a bird. The "old country" comes out when I get stressed and I cooked an impromptu Thanksgiving dinner a few hours before I left in a blinding snowstorm for the lowland of Denver.
After the initial culture shock and freak-out which simulated going to the capitol city after living in my Peace Corps village, I spent a day at fellow RPCV Lizzy's studying and dreading the exam. Upon arriving at the nondescript testing center (which I spent a full hour seeking out the night before) I sat next to a girl taking it for the second time who confessed to breaking out in hives her first time due to nerves. "Lovely, well... good luck" I smiled while inching across the room and hexing her with my third eye. No bad vibes needed! A relatively painless 4 hours later, I walked out confused but satisfied with my results. Who knows what they actually mean to the admissions committee at Colorado State but advice to the young, if you are even remotely considering grad school, take the test as soon as you can after college. Those formulas just don't get any fresher with time.

Since my last post showed us all biking in t-shirts, I thought it appropriate to represent Leadville in its true form, a winter wonderland. Since starting my gig as a backcountry diva, snowmobiling and schlepping wild game with the best of 'em, I've had the opportunity to get out cross-country skiing more than I thought I would. I really think this is going to be my sport. It's as hard or as easy as you want it to be, you can carry camera gear without too much worry of crushing it, and the prep is minimal.

In addition to being an outdoor sports mecca, Leadville is also a historical vault. I took myself to the National Mining museum a few weeks ago, located just a couple blocks away. Wow, did you know the same stuff that makes shaving cream white also makes Oreo cream white? One more thing to scratch off my lists of appropriate treats. My self-timer camera and I had a great time perusing the exhibits and enjoying the building all to ourselves. It's been really fun getting to know the community and its resources! Bittersweet to know I'll be packing up again in 5 months.

The latest news, I won a local photo contest and they gave me cash! Curiously, they emailed me the news the day before I took the GMAT and it covered the test fee exactly. Stoked and surprised! The photo was published in Rocky Mountain Reflections, put out every semester by Colorado Mountain College. Here's the link but fair warning, it's a huge PDF.
I treated myself to a real DSLR, the Sony a33. Oh. My. Gawd. Talk about in over my head. This thing does EVERYTHING! And I don't even know what everything is. It has translucent mirror technology which allows it to shoot still and HD video at the same time and that's really just the beginning. I've been experimenting with filters and lenses but at the end of the day, it's hard to take a poor image up here. Every angle is a postcard or calendar shot waiting to happen. I've been updating photos on facebook but below is an example of the panoramic feature. A nice, fire-y sunset I took while standing in my socks in the front yard.

Happy Holidays, time to head into the light once again.