Thursday, September 8, 2011

Beautiful weather

I really hope the Washington weather stays as it is. Sunny, clear skies, and 70 to 80 degrees. PERFECT. I know this is wishful thinking and it will quickly go back to dreary rain in a few weeks, so I'm trying to soak it all in while I can.

I had the past two days off so I went exploring with Riley. Yesterday we went to mom's work and Riley hung out with some of the old folks. She enjoyed herself, and it made their day as well. Once she's a bit older and better behaved she can go to work with mom. She's surprisingly good. Today we went to Priest Point Park in Olympia. I took a few photos, and she again did well. People love her. She sits right down and lets them pat her and she jumps minimally. Doesn't mind kids around her either. Success so far. She's pooped now so sleeping under me at mom's desk. We've had two or three days free of accidents in the house- hooray!

Work's going well. I've had a few days where we've had a good lunch rush. The owner is really good about helping me out. He'll run my food, bus tables, anything to make sure I'm somewhat out of the weeds. I enjoy being busy, so it's good. I'm working a double tomorrow, on during the day by myself and training behind the bar at night. Friday nights are their busiest, so it'll be good training for me.

I went to Portland over the weekend to visit with Erika. Went out to a bar on Saturday night near her house which was a fun time. Old school hip hop and 90s music- fabulous! Sunday we went to Sauvie Island, about 30 minutes outside of Portland. Laid on the beach and played football and frisbee in the river. Aaaaand it was a nude beach. Haha. We preferred to keep our clothes on, while others (mostly old men) chose otherwise. Either way a fun time. Had to drive back early Monday morning to get to work on time. Woof. But, no traffic. I was able to sneak in the house while mom was out with the dog to get an extra hour's sleep before going in.

I'm waiting on my WA plates to come in the mail. BAHSTON it is! I see people every so often with Sox hats. Not so much Celtics gear. Dad don't worry, I have your old school jacket out here with me and my jersey's. Season or not, I'll be representing something. When people compliment me on my tattoo I make sure they know the meaning behind the shamrock.

Okay, people should start visitinggggg! Jack might come around my birthday (BUY YOUR TICKET!) and everyone else should come too. Anytime!

Here's a few shots of Riley from today.





Until next time- love ya!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rollerderby. And golf!

Growing up my dad always told me the first rule of golf was to wear funny clothes. I would rather watch paint dry than watch golf on tv, and am horrible at mini golf, so there's no way I would have ever thought I'd end up on a golf course.

Well, I did. Barb and I photographed the Cuffs and Trucks tournament at a local golf course. I was the designated golf cart driver. We had quite the time. I was able to use mom's camera base and Barb's lens. Took a TON of pictures (Barb tell me that I'll eventually go from 800 pictures to 20 GREAT shots), and had a good time! We hung out with local sheriffs who were hysterical to photograph. Barb's in the process of doing basic edits to them and will post on her website. We'll see if anyone purchases our works of art!

Here's a video I took of us. Bear with the tipsy turvey upside down iPhone driving while videotaping quality haha.

video

This past Saturday night mom and I went to see the Oly Rollers show off in two roller derby bouts. One against Tacoma and the other Eugene, OR. They're damn good! It's crazy how good they are. It was great experience for me to try and perfect shutter speed, lighting, and getting THE shot. Well, I got about 500 shots, and a few that I'm quite proud of. Here's a few that have been tweaked a little bit.







I loved that the one girl painted half of her face- it was a great contrast and something to capture. I tried my best to tell the STORY of what's happening. I don't know much about derby, but I know that the person with the star on their head is always trying to push through the pack in order to get points. Thus all the pushing and blocking. 

Okay, I feel slightly more accomplished now that I've updated. 

Also! I can't believe all the damage Irene caused back home in NY. I've seen clips online about Windham, NY and how it's all been under water. Bad pictures up on facebook about Tannersville and Hunter area. Sad. Hope everyone is okay and staying safe. I know my dad is without power in NH still. At least it's warm out and not freezing like the last time he lost power for a week. 

Goodnight all. xoxox 

Updates!

I have a few posts that I need to write, and I've been slacking a bit. Lots going on, good things!

First- we got a puppy! Her name is Riley. After much discussion, back and forth, searching online, pretending the fish was a real dog (his name is "Dawg"), mom and I agreed on getting the real thing. It's been a while since we had one, and it's time for another go at it. Mom found Riley on craigslist Friday night and we went up to Bothell, WA to get her Saturday morning. Lady is a bit, well, crazy? We consider it a rescue mission. Riley is 3.5 months old, cocker spaniel, brown- super cute. Needs some socialization with other dogs, but she's getting better each day. She has her own room (aka the spare half bath) where she is gated during the day while we're at work. Today she did really well! We took her down to Tumwater Falls this evening for a walk, and she's now asleep under my feet. And mom's asleep on the bed. I guess they're both pooped.

I haven't taken any great pictures of her yet, so here's a couple mom took on her iPhone.






In other news, work is going well thus far. They seem to like me and I'm mostly on day shifts. It's nice because it usually goes fast- 10:30-5ish. I'm the only server on so I'm managing the dining room and bar area. Never gets packed (watch, tomorrow I'll get slammed more than ever haha), but has a steady stream of lunch people. Lots of locals and frequent customers which is good. I have the weekend off and think I'll end up in Seattle at a music festival. We shall see. 

I've been on a mission to take decent photos of Mt. Rainier. Mom and I went up with the pup on Sunday to Paradise, part of Mt. Rainier park. Very pretty. Gorgeous outside (while the East Coast was getting hammered by Irene), but I still can't perfect the shot. All in due time. I have a few pictures of the mountain that I need to edit, but I'm too tired to do so tonight. 

Tis all for this moment. I'll post again in a few with ROLLERDERBY pictures! And talk golf. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jonny Lang

Mom and I went to see Jonny Lang and J.J. Grey last night in Tacoma. We've seen Jonny Lang before, but probably 8-10 years ago. He was just a teenager then, back in Annapolis, MD at the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival. He was amidst drug and alcohol addiction at the time, and I remember dying for his autograph and he never came out to greet fans (all the other performers did), but mom taught me well and I was able to get a security officer to take my hat to him to sign. Since then we've continued to listen to his music and he's since found a higher power and his music totally reflects it. Clean and sober now and he sings about his spiritual journey.

Anyway, mom and I had FRONT ROW seats at the Emerald Queen Casino. Small venue, not the best acoustics as it's in a tent, but oh my lord, it was so good. J.J. Grey opened who we hadn't heard of before, but he too was phenomenal. Great voice and good band with him. Jonny performed for about two hours, I think mom cried through the first half at least! He put on one hell of a show.

No cameras were allowed in the venue, but fear not, iPhone's to the rescue. I took about 200 on my phone and mom probably took a bit more. I've edited some. The quality isn't the best because no flash, but they're cool regardless.


J.J. Grey 


Jonny Lang 

 Jonny Lang and Band

Jonny Lang

Jonny Lang
Jonny Lang

Jonny Lang and Band

















Tis all for now. I have to work tonight at 6pm. Blah. Work's going well so far, but I'm not enthused about it per se. But, it's a job for now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

heyooo

So, an update as it has been a while...  In order to keep track I shall number my updates. They will likely be random and in no specific order.

1. I've started a job waitressing. Very different from the east coast. This is not the Sea Ketch kids. Smaller restaurant, good food, but just so different. I can't even explain it because I'm still wrapping my head around it. During training the girl I followed told me I need to smile more. .... hmm. I smile, but when I'm busy, I just get in the zone. I'll smile at you when I'm at your table, but you want me to smile the entire time? I don't know. She told me it might be a Boston thing- I guess there's another girl who works there from Boston. I'm dying to meet her, mostly because I want another Boston friend who doesn't smile. The shifts at the place are weird- tomorrow I work 6-8pm. Random. But, unlike NH wait staff make minimum wage, which is around $8, as opposed to $2.36. So, that is a plus. Not SK tips, but hopefully the hourly wage will help.

2. Visited Seattle last Tuesday night with Erika, and went back today to see Vanessa who I used to work at HarborCOV with. Vanessa did quite the job of selling me on Seattle, just like Erika did with Portland. Sigh, makes me want to go back to school! I got to see a different side of Seattle that I didn't see before, mostly around UW area and Capital Hill. Cute areas and little cafe's. I might look into moving up that way depending on how things go.

3. I miss traffic. People here are "Oh my, so much traffic today!" when it's really nothing. I miss Storrow Drive and Rt 1. Driving in Seattle traffic today made me happy.

4. Mt Rainier disappears. It's unexplainable unless you're here or have experienced it. I went on a search for it last night to photograph because it was clear. I thought I knew where to see it, and then it wasn't there, but then it was. I probably sound crazy, and that's okay, but it's interesting. It's been super clear the past few days, so wherever I go the mountain follows.

5. Taking lots and lots of pictures. And editing many of them. I've posted a few on facebook and I'll load them on here tomorrow maybe. All of them are on my external hard drive which is plugged into mom's computer (So much nicer to edit on a BIG screen as opposed to my LITTLE one), and she's sleeping. And I'm too lazy to get up.

6. WA police are serious about no talking on cell phones when driving. Found that out yesterday when talking with my dad on the way to work. Whoops. But I talked myself out of the ticket.

7. I officially have WA plates and a license here. I requested "BAHSTON" as my plate. Very different here- I had to fill out an application for my top 3 choices (2nd was "WICKED9" <--1st vanity plate I had back in NH, and 3rd "HEYOO"), and I won't know if the plate is approved for a few weeks. When I got my license all I had to do was show my old MA license and tell them where I live. Very different from MA where you need lots of proof.

8. Thank goodness for skype. And apparently now Facebook has video chatting. Got to skype with Rob and wolfpack members in Long Island. Yayyyy.

9. my favorite number.

10. I'm going with Barb and one of her students (who is a HS senior and soooo talented and smart and great) on Monday to photograph a golf tournament. God I hate golf. I really wanna just wear funny clothes (dad always said the 1st rule of golf is wear funny clothes) and go off roading with the golf cart. Both of which I'll probably do, while being a good assistant to Barb and taking lots of pictures.

11. Anyone have a nice RV they wanna give me and Barb? We wanna go on the road and do street photography, but it'll be way more fun with an RV to store all of our stuff.

12. Need your pictures taken? contact me and Barb (barbrakates.com). We'll go anywhere. We're fun, hip, and take good shots. Enough said.

13. I think that's all for now. I'm sure I'm forgetting things, but wanted to give an update. For everyone back east, miss youuuuuu. Send me post cards (PANTS!!! Send the damn thing), or come visit.

14. JK pulled a few pictures off my email I've edited. Enjoy.

Mt Rainier in the distance. Not the best shot, but it's something!




Me with the Space Needle in the distance. taken today by Vanessa at Volunteer Park, Seattle. 


The CAPITAL in Olympia. I call it the State House cuz it's what I'm used to in Boston. But no, it's the CAPITAL.


ok, goodniiiiight!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

woo!

Heyoo this kid has a job! I got called from the restaurant I interviewed at twice here in Olympia and voila! I got the job. I start today, which is exciting. Waitressing and bartending for now, which is good, exactly what I wanted. We will see where it goes from here. I'm looking forward to having a schedule of sorts so I can plan things out --  photo gigs with Barb (we're gonna be big deals and take lots of cool pictures of people on the street), mini excursions and vacations, and so on.

Alright, that's my update for today. No cool pictures. Sorry! Much loooove.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

All settled...

It's been a while since I've posted- sorry! I'm all unpacked and have made my room my own.The apartment mom has is great and I'm learning the area. Not relying on Samantha (my gps lady) as much anymore.

Still looking for a job. Annoying! But need to keep "pounding the pavement" as mom says.

I went to Portland last weekend. LOVED it there. An old friend from college is living there, and it was really nice to see her and spend time with someone who knows me from Boston out here.

I've been taking some pictures while here, and learning photoshop elements. huge program, but I like it! Editing is fun and Barb is taking me under her wing. Headed out with her tomorrow to take pictures. We want to get an RV and go on the road, so keep an eye out for us.

Here's a few pictures I've taken recently and edited.


Erika swinging on a tree near Mt. Tabor in Portland. 


A typical iPhone shot that washed my face out. But I like the look of her mohawk. 


Portland, OR


Driving out to Barb's. When it's dark I swear Sasquatch is going to come out. 

Alright, that's all for now. Back to editing. Miss everyone back east. Come visit!! 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

They are here!




Liz and Natalie arrived on Thursday night, the 7th. They have been exploring and Natalie has been unpacking. The weather has been great for them the whole time and they have been able to see some really neat things. We had lunch with my friends Barb and Dave yesterday down by one of the marinas in Olympia. Liz heads back to Boston tonight, after she and Natalie spend the day touring Seattle. This is the end of the move! YAY!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yellowstone


The one room schoolhouse in Cooke City, MT



Bison! 




Lots of bison! and a baby nursing! 


Oh hey buddy. 



Liz at a waterfall. 



Me and SB. 



I forget the name of this one. 


Trying not to fall over. 



Liz at Mamouth Springs. 

Ok tis all for now. good niiiight! 

so close!

Ahh, to be in a comfy hotel bed before 11pm. Today was another busy busy day, but absolutely beautiful. I looooove Yellowstone and want to go back there ASAP. We saw bison, a black bear, elk (I think?), and some very cool things. I want to go on a photo expedition throughout the entire park which will take forever, but it's exciting. We only saw a tiny portion of the park, and it was great. I got quite a bit of sun, and in typical Natalie fashion it's not even in the least bit, but oh well!

Now that we have decent internet I'll post some pictures from yesterday as well. We saw Mt Rushmore which was awesome.


Mt Rushmore from tunnel 1 on 16a. 


Lookin' good guys. 



Spongebob hanging out on the way up the big scary mountain to Cooke City, MT. I think it's called Bear Tooth Pass. 


We're alive. 



Amazing. 



The road ahead...



Can't even explain it.


Oh hey huuuge snow banks. 




The blog isn't finding all the pix I added today so I'll try another post.

Quick post

Good morning!
Liz and I made it to Cooke City, MT after one hell of a road we traveled. For those of you who know the mountain road in Tannersville, this has nothing on it. Very very high. Steep. Windy. Never been so close to the sky or moon in my life. We ended up going at a beautiful time, right around sunset. I took some of the best pictures, EVER, and am wicked excited about it. Internet here is slow so I don't have time to post many as Liz is finishing getting ready (poor thing caught the cold I had- sorry!!) and we're off to explore Yellowstone.
Real quick though, the "town" we're in has a full time population of 98, the school house (I just took pictures of it) is for k-8, one room. 3 kids will go there this year. For high school families have to decide where to send their kids and for the family who owns this lodge (we're in the CUTEST cabin- NOT waterfront lodging mom and Barb!) will send their child to Cody. To get there in winter they'll take a snow mobile down to the parking lot a few miles away and then drive to the school. Roads aren't plowed. There's still snow here. We drove through huuuuge snowbanks last night. Very surreal, but beautiful.

Here's one picture. We also took two video's that I'll be sure to upload once to WA. 


We'll be saying in Missoula, MT tonight about 4-5hrs away from here. Then it's one last push to Olympia. Yee! Though this is all beautiful scenery and Liz and I will never experience it again with anyone else, we're ready for home. I'm sure she's ready for the lights and sounds of Boston, and I just want a home cooked meal by my mom.

Alright, Liz has surfaced and we're packing up. Absolutely no cell service until who knows when. We're alive! Love to all! xoxoxo