Saturday, December 27, 2008
Every year, usually on December 26th, I travel to my old stomping grounds in Kalamazoo. My primary objective on this trip is twofold: 1.) Spend the day with Kayleigh, who also visits our old home town this time of year, and 2.) Eat. This year was no exception. The following are a few photos of the foods we ate.
Bilbo's Pizza in a Pan is easily the best pizza I've ever had (in Michigan). It's almost the best pizza I've had period, but there's a close contender in Pizza Luce in Minneapolis, and then, of course, there's Chicago style Chicago pizza. Kayleigh and I always eat there when I come out to visit. The following is the remnants of some cheesy garlic bread.
Then we move on to the main course: stuffed spinach and mushroom pizza in a whole wheat crust. My god is it delectable.
The past couple of years we've ended up at a little place called The Corner Bar in downtown Kalamazoo. We often meet up with a few friends there, play cards, reminisce about our high school adventures, and eat fried foods. Here are some friend zucchini, a new one we tried this year. Delicious.
Of course there's always the beer. Even though Kalamazoo has some great brew pubs, like the renowned Bell's Brewery, the Corner has the widest selection of beers we've seen in the town. In the foreground is my Bell's Amber Ale, and in focus is Kayleigh's Great Lakes Porter.
Fried Pickles are probably Kayleigh's favorite. I don't think I actually ate any this year, though . . .
Oh, and everything comes with ranch, seen here refracted through a beer glass. Kinda cheesy, I know, but I need to experiment with these sorts of things.
I've been writing half hearted blogs for years now. For a while, back in the doldrums of college, I had a particularly emo LiveJournal blog that ended up being about girls I pined for yet did nothing about. That one was a real downer. Last year I decided to start a blog with a a more optimistic flavor to it, but I lost interest pretty quickly. See, the thing is, I don't have a ton to talk about. I'm a relatively private person, and I would rather keep most of my private life, well, private. I then thought about writing a news reaction blog, but there are a million of those around, and mine wouldn't really offer anything new.
Well, a couple of things have changed since then. For one, I realized that I love taking pictures. This was somewhat of a shock to me because I've never been attracted to taking pictures of random places and people before. I can tell you lots of stories about my college days (there are actually stories that have little to nothing to do with girls I pined for) and my high school days, but I can show you very few, if any, corollary pictures. Taking them just always seemed like a waste of time.
Over the past year, though, I've come to realize that I really do enjoy photography, just not the usual sort of "Oh look, here's a group of 10 girls smiling!" sort of photography. This realization came when my good friend Cammila had me take a few pictures of her for her fashion blog. I loved her camera. It was capable of so much more than all of the old point-and-shoot, washed out color and grainy display cameras I've dealt with in the past. Holding it, I was able to take into account all that I've learned about artistic compositions over the years and apply it to the photos I took. After that, I became the unofficial photographer at group functions that both Cammila and I attended; I would take her camera and just start taking photos from all sorts of different angels, through glass, catching all those little emotions that people never pose for. I loved it.
My girlfriend, Annie, noticed this at the last party we were at. She's a wonderful person in so many ways, and apparently in one way that I wasn't aware of: she's willing to drop big money on gifts for Christmas. So Christmas Eve, we exchanged presents, and much to my surprise I found a Nikon D40 6.1 mpxl DSLR with an included lens beneath the thin veneer of recyclable wrapping paper. My jaw dropped, quite literally.
Now, I do hope she got a great Black Friday deal on the thing, but either way, she spent far more than I did. This means only one thing: I must use this camera all the time and learn to use it well. As an added impetus (added to a bit of guilt, truth be told) I have decided to begin a photo blog. Here you can see my progress as a photographer, give me tips, and see what I see in the world.
I hope you enjoy it. And let me begin with just one photo. These are Annie's vegan cinnamon rolls that she made for Christmas morning. I hope you enjoy it.