wlotus: (Motorcycle)
I posted one version to [livejournal.com profile] fortysomething, but after further thought, this is what comes out of me...

1. Your dream vacation? Where? Who would you take with you? What would you do there?

That used to be Trinidad; I'd vacation there for almost a month every year. Back in 2006 I saw some things there that really turned me off, so now it is a motorcycle ride across the United States with T. (See #3.) I have not seen most of my own country; why do I need to go overseas when there is still so much for me to experience in my homeland? We'd make our way across the country making photos and camping and enjoying the open road.

2. Your dream career? What would you do if you could do anything for a living?

World-class violin soloist. The music and the international travel would be divine!

3. Your dream possession? What do you want? Really, really want!

At this phase of my life my dream possession is a 2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Nomad. Can you say, "Road trip"? I knew you could.

4. Your dream meal? What, where, who would be at your table?

Me, T, and my best friend from college would have a private table with our own wait staff. I don't think any of us are picky eaters, so who knows what would be on the table? I only know we would have a blast!
wlotus: (Introspection)
Meme from [livejournal.com profile] acoustics1220...

1. My username is __________ because ____________.

My username is [livejournal.com profile] wlotus, because I identify with the lotus flower, and my first name begins with 'W'.

Out of a muddy pond, ten thousand flowers bloom.
~ Calypsonian David Rudder, in "Dedication"


A lotus flower spouts in the bottom of a muddy pond. It gradually pushes itself through the mud and water until it reaches the surface. When the blossom opens in the sun, it is bright, vibrant, and unblemished by the muck it has passed through.

The story of my life. ;-)

2. My name is _____________ because _______________.

My name is Wanda, because that is what my parents named me. It is ironic that my name matches my personality. Wanda means "wanderer or adventurer". My mother can testify that many of her grey hairs come from me living up to my name. :-)

Even more interesting is the fact that my middle name, Louise, means "hero", which fits the role some people have said I play in their lives.

Quite frankly, I enjoy living my life as a natural-born heroic adventurer. I went for a solo walk around our Brooklyn block at the age of two. (And thus began my mother's grey hair!) Public speaking has never phased me; I have done it since age 6 or 7. I've been overseas alone multiple times. I've been scuba diving (resort dive only...certification will come in the future) and snorkeling. I began a career change at age 38. I earned my motorcycle license at 41. And then there was the time in my twenties when I went static-line sky diving...

3. My journal is titled ____ because ____.

My journal is titled "Inside My Velvet Rope", because the title is inspired by Janet Jackson's song "Velvet Rope".

It's my belief that we all have the need to feel special,
And it's this need that can bring up the best in us and the worst in us.
This need created the velvet rope.

We have a special need
To feel that we belong
Come with me inside
Inside my velvet rope.

~Janet Jackson


A velvet rope at clubs and parties and other special events divides those on the outside from those privileged enough to be invited in. I'd like to say anyone can come inside my velvet rope, but that would be a shallow attempt to appear more enlightened (or perhaps more foolish) than I am. I can say, though, that I am learning how to recognize the magic in all people. It's a step towards getting rid of the velvet rope altogether.

4. My friends page is called ____ because ____.

My friends page is called Reading List, because it is a list of journals I like to read, not a list of my friends. My friends know who they are.

5. My default userpic is ____ because ____.

My default userpic is a self-portrait of myself bending over a candle. I call it Tending the Flame, and it represents me basking in and nurturing the essence of me.

Because that is what this blog represents.
wlotus: (Face)
I am giving you a chance to tell me (and the rest of the people who read my blog) more about yourself! Please comment with the answer to these questions, so we can know more about you. I'm screening comments so only I can see them; let me know if you would like me to leave your comment screened, otherwise I'll unscreen comments as I read them.

Some really interesting people read this blog, so I'm looking forward to reading your comments.

01) Are you currently in a serious relationship?
02) What was your dream growing up?
03) What talent do you wish you had?
04) If I bought you a drink what would it be?
05) Favorite vegetable?
06) What was the last book you read?
07) What zodiac sign are you?
08) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Explain where.
09) Worst Habit?
10) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?
11) What is your favorite sport?
12) Do you have a Pessimistic or Optimistic attitude?
13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
14) Worst thing to ever happen to you?
15) Tell me one weird fact about you.
16) Do you have any pets?
17) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?
18) What was your first impression of me?
19) Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
20) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
21) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
22) What color eyes do you have?
23) Ever been arrested?
24) Bottle or can soda?
25) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
26) What's your favorite place to hang out at?
27) Do you believe in ghosts?
28) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
29) Do you swear a lot?
30) Biggest pet peeve?
31) In one word, how would you describe yourself?
32) Do you believe/appreciate romance?
33) Favourite and least favourite food?
34) Do you believe in God?
35) Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?
wlotus: (Princess)
[livejournal.com profile] verucas_chaos gave me five words about me some time ago, and I am just sitting down to write about what they mean to me. (I'm not going to promise to give all commenters five words, because I don't want to break that promise.)


Strong: I miss lifting weights, but I have not motivated myself to restart, even a few minutes a day. I tend to over-think these things and feel I must commit to a detailed, 30-minute workout each day. Bah, humbug! Once I stop psyching myself out I will incorporate some kind of strength training into my everyday life, even if it's a just few minutes a day.

Creative: I am a far more creative person than I gave myself credit for in my teens. At this stage of my life I focus on nurturing my creative side, whether it's writing, doodling, singing, photographing, knitting/crocheting, or even dancing! I like making something out of nothing.

Hats: I did not like hats all that much as a kid. Now I like knitting/crocheting and wearing them. T's hat collection is growing, as I am a sap and cannot resist her pleading when she asks for another. I've enjoyed making some as gifts, and I'm enjoying selling some. When the weather gets warmer, I am going to experiment with cotton yarn, I think. That will be cooler and allow me to make fun hats for summer.

Lens: Camera lenses, what else? :-) I am happy with the lenses I have and am not craving any others. Instead, I am craving a pair (at least) of flash units I can manually control. I'm currently looking at Vivitar, because the price is far more manageable than the Canon Speedlight series.

Spiritual: My stance on spirituality right now is noncommittal. Whether or not the spirit realm exists is not the point. Whether a particular spiritual/religious philosophy is true is not the point. The point is that if it gives a person strength to face another day and guidance for treating others with the respect they are due as a fellow human being, it is meaningful.

As for me, I identify as agnostic and have reserved judgment on the existence of a spiritual realm. My spiritual/religious background did not comfort me; it gave me a constant sense of not being good enough and of being helpless/powerless. My life is far more peaceful, now that I am not attempting to live up to a religious belief system. I let my conscience be my guide.
wlotus: (Standing Out)
When given the chance, [livejournal.com profile] acoustics1220 wasted no time coming up with questions to ask me.

1) When was the first time you picked up a camera and thought, "I want to do this"?

When I was in elementary school and saw my father use his 35mm SLR on family vacations. The camera seemed SO UTTERLY COOL, even though I never could have expressed why. (Probably just because it was my dad's. *smile*) He used to travel a lot for work, and I would love to see the photos he would bring back of the places he's been. When I got my first film point-and-shoot, I was in heaven, because I could take pictures just like my dad.

Believe it or not, I did not think about doing professional photography until a year ago. Until the summer of 2007, making photos was just something fun I did to document life as I saw it. Then friends put a bug in my ear about selling my photos, which led me to start taking classes and teaching myself the technical aspects of photography. Now I think I might, maybe, eventually be able to make a living for myself making photos. Perhaps. If I keep working hard and networking.

2) Writing: What was your first love in writing? For example, I took a creative writing class last year, and poetry/prose absolutely captivated me. What was that 'genre' that did the same, if there is just one?

Journal writing has always been my first writing love. I have always been fascinated by people's stories as written in the privacy of their own journals. That is where they put their true feelings without thought for an editor or audience. In my early teens I read Anne Frank's diary, and that inspired me to start keeping a detailed paper journal. I've been at it now for nearly 25 years.

3) Your favorite photograph that you have taken, thus far.

That's easy:


Self-Portrait
5 March 2009


4) For your cell phone, do you use an included ringtone that was on your phone when you got it, or have you customized it so that it has a song playing when someone calls you?

I customized it to be the first 10 seconds of the Prelude to Bach's Partita for Solo Violin No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1000. If my 'phone is on and goes off in a crowded room, I don't have to wonder if it's my 'phone or someone else's, because I have never heard anyone else use that as a ringtone.

Why, yes, I specialize in being different. Why do you ask? :-)

5) Do you have any regrets that you think about on an almost daily/weekly basis?

No, and I am pleasantly surprised by that fact!
wlotus: (Peaceful)
Sauntering Soul has taken up my invitation to interview me! Here are my answers to her questions.

1. Since taking your photography class, do you enjoy taking photos more than you did before the class with all of the new tricks you learned, or do you feel like it's made you a more "technical" photographer and taken part of the spontaneity out of it?

I enjoy it more, because most times my photos come out in my camera the way I see them in my head...if not better! I learned how to handle shooting situations that gave me trouble in the past, like low-light conditions. I learned to respect my artistic preferences and not think I have to like everyone else's photos, even if they are more experienced or well-known than me. And I learned a bit about quantifying what I like and don't like about a photo, so I can give and understand/receive constructive criticism.

2. I have another question related to your photography (my dad was a professional photographer so I've always been fascinated by those who are talented in the area). Your photos are absolutely breathtaking and I feel strong emotions when I look at a lot of them. Do you normally go out with specifics in mind as to what you want to photograph, or do you find that more often than not you are fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time?

Thank you! Most of the time I am just in the right place at the right time, but sometimes I go to a place with a specific agenda. When I did my Coney Island series for class last summer I had an agenda: capture the essence of Coney Island before Astroland closed down and construction began. But I carry my camera with me just about every day, and whenever something captures my eye, I make photos of it.

3. I hope this next question doesn't stir the pot up because it's political. Now that Obama has been in office for a couple of weeks, has your opinion of him changed at all(either for the worse or the better)?

No. Not a bit. Nyet. Negative. Unless he publicly denounces the race-baiting and misogyny of his campaign, discloses the sources of his campaign funding (which he had said he would disclose, but then changed his mind--surprise surprise--just before spending an obscene amount of money), acknowledges the DNC broke numerous rules to give him delegates he did not earn, makes reproductive rights and marriage equality a priority...okay, short of him admitting he has no business being where he is and stepping down, I do not see anything he can do to change my opinion of him. That is the only thing he can do to earn my respect at this point. Anything he does that is the least bit good is the least he can do. Anything he does that sets people's teeth on edge is filed under I TOLD YOU SO.

4. If you were offered the job of your dreams but it meant you had to relocate, would you leave New York?

That is a far more complex question than I am at liberty to publicly answer in depth. "It depends" will have to suffice, because, quite frankly, my dreams involve far more than just a job. :-)

5. We all make mistakes in our lives. Is there one mistake in particular which, in hindsight, you're glad you made because it taught you a valuable lesson that you really needed to learn in your life?

My last job was a mistake. I am glad I made it, because relocating to NYC for it got me out of a suffocatingly conservative part of the state. Besides that, it taught me (in retrospect) how to recognize bullshit when I see/hear it from people in authority. :-) It also taught me I would be far happier working for myself, and that losing a job can mean gaining a life.
wlotus: (Contentment)
Who is your best friend? How long have you known him/her?

I have a couple of best friends. B is my best friend from university. We have known each other 20 years, this month. KD is my best friend in Trinidad. We have known each other 3-1/2 years.


When was the last time you bow-chicky-mow-mowed?

I have no idea what that is. Is there anyone who cares to explain?

ETA: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Thanks for the explanation. Ummm...I will not answer that question, but good for you for asking what people often wonder about each other, but are too shy to ask.


If you were in a band, what kind of band would it be and what would you play/do/sing?

It would be a steelband, and I would play six-bass, with occasional appearances on the other pans (especially four-pan or triple-guitar). Our repertory would be eclectic, ranging from jazz to show tunes to pop to ethnic to classical and then some.

Then again, I enjoy playing drum kit, too... :-) (So many instruments, so few hands!)


Does the fact that Will Smith became a Scientologist affect your views of how hot he is?

I have never thought Will Smith was "hot". It doesn't change my opinion that he is a talented man I am proud to share my ethnicity with. You never hear garbage about him in the media; whenever he and Jada's names are mentioned, it is usually because of a new project, a premier they are attending, or something respectable like that.


What is the story of your first love?

My first love was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy in my first grade class. He laughed in my face when I told him I liked him. The End.


How often do you post private LJ entries?

I rarely do; that is what my paper journal and fountain pens are for. But when my thoughts are flying, private LJ entries come in handy. I type over 85 WPM. :-)

You can ask questions, too.
wlotus: (Smile)
Adopted from [livejournal.com profile] qos:

Ask me a question about EACH or ANY of the following:

- Friends
- Sex
- Music
- Religion
- Love
- Livejournal

No matter how naughty, sexual, or confidential. Then post this in your journal (if you feel brave) and see what questions you get asked!

And just so people don't have to show how weird/perverted/funny their questions are, all comments will be screened, and anonymous questions are permitted.

Even though this post is public, I reserve the right to answer certain questions under the appropriate filters (or not at all), depending on how much I feel like disclosing.
wlotus: (Princess)

[livejournal.com profile] rockbirthedme tagged me to list ten things that have delighted me. Let me think...

  1. Listening to the live webcast of this morning's worship service at my church. I had intended to be there, but I went to bed far too late last night to get up in time. (That is, if I was going to stay awake for the entire service!) With temperatures barely reaching 20 degrees F and the wind making it feel at least 6 degrees colder, I am happy to stay indoors, today.

  2. Waking up this morning and realizing my whole life is before me.

  3. Walking through Central Park yesterday taking photos.

  4. The piney smell of the Christmas trees on the curb.

  5. Knowing those trees will be turned into mulch and not wasted.

  6. Realizing (again) I can embrace those things in Christianity which give me comfort while not worrying about the rest; my brain will sort the rest out, in time.

  7. Playing "Monopoly Here & Now" with The Child on Friday afternoon (and wiping the floor with him, I might add).

  8. Having the wherewithal to focus my time and attention more thoroughly on the relationships and pursuits which are meaningful to me.

  9. Making time to call a friend and reconnect with her last night.

  10. Finding so much about my life to delight in right here, right now.









I tag [livejournal.com profile] muse, [livejournal.com profile] smileyali, [livejournal.com profile] bluesilverkdg, [livejournal.com profile] mage_girl, [livejournal.com profile] zyzyly, [livejournal.com profile] warkitty, [livejournal.com profile] catling, [livejournal.com profile] denimdoll, [livejournal.com profile] denimpeanut, and [livejournal.com profile] redrain.

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