Posts Tagged ‘la jolla’

Water Again

14 August 2009

Dear J-

Yesterday I came home and found figgy at home, early; she’d been pulled from day care — the cardinal sin there is leaving or sending a sick kid. Later that night we debated it a little but ended up deciding that I should stay home — whereas I’m a fairly replaceable cog in the machine (with sick time, natch) theVet is, well, the Vet most of the days she works and it would be nigh-impossible to find a short notice fill-in.

Nevertheless I’d been contemplating a Friday off for a few weeks now; between extended traffic in the afternoons and the usual barrage that comes for asynchronous schedules Fridays have been less about getting psyched up for the weekend and more like dreading the coming Monday for the next three days. Today was doubly nice because of the sudden notice; though figgy was up at 2 (between hunger and dehydration, she had a rough night of it), it gave me an opportunity to make some early calls — precluding the inevitable awkward conversation.

This morning was slightly hectic, as we ended up bouncing from store to store getting the usual bland diet supplies — cottage cheese, applesauce, bananas — before we found ourselves at the beach, drawn as if by magnets to the salt air and surf.

Sand Feet 0488 -sm

We are indeed lucky in where we live; if not for the traffic and lack of parking, we would have been fifteen minutes from house to sand. On our honeymoon we spent a week in Maui; we could be found every afternoon in the sea, rain or shine, because of the proximity to the water. figgy and I, we plunged into the surf this morning; we waded in until our hems were wet and splashed like loons. Today we let the water pull at our ankles, sand rushing out with the waves; as soon as I turned off the freeway she was already asking about the ocean, going to see the ocean, going to feel the sand give slightly under bare feet, going to swing and skim the water. Our steps quicken; shoes are discarded and before long we’re in the water again, always.

Mike

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Aquarium Lens

22 June 2008

Dear J-

As part of the campaign to find air conditioned spaces in San Diego (the four major malls closest to us — University Towne Center, Fashion Valley, Mission Valley, and Horton Plaza — are all outdoor malls) we spent part of the afternoon going through the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography.  When I was younger my imagination was sparked by the romance of the sea, specifically treasure-hunting sunken-ship divers like Mel Fisher (who discovered Atocha) and, later, folks with a more scientific bent like Robert Ballard (Titanic and Bismarck).  Dr. Ballard worked for Woods Hole, who always maintained a friendly rivalry with their West Coast counterparts, that same Scripps we visited today.

But onwards to the lens; put simply, bring along the fastest lens you can lay your hands on.  Today, I used a f/1.8 lens wide-open at ISO 800 and still found myself wishing for a bit more speed for some situations.  The angle of view was equivalent to a 100mm lens on 35mm film (10 degrees, horizontally), which turned out pretty much perfect to frame most of my shots without getting in anyone’s way, or getting anyone else’s fingers in my way.  Maybe for 10% of the shots I would have chosen something a little wider — the octopus in full fury, cruising along the glass was a sight to behold, and some of the larger sharks would have been nice to get a full-body shot of up close — but the humble little Nikkor did the trick today.  In fact, the only thing that would have been better would have been a macro lens — thus the Digital Zuiko 50 f/2 I keep telling myself I need to save for.

It’s a nice aquarium to visit; not so huge that figgy got bored halfway through; this time she delighted in pointing at the numerous fish all capering seemingly for her entertainment.  The crowds were thin enough that we never had to wait an interminable amount of time for our turn at the window.  Funny how all at once it strikes you, sometimes; I asked theVet several times today when it was that we had this daughter.  For some reason it feels both like forever and forever new, all at once.