Sunday Snapshots: Catching up on May over Pan Fried Fish

May is about the craziest month of the school year around here. School ends on the Friday before Memorial Day, and, if there are several days in May left after that as there were this year, May becomes a very short school month for us. End-of-year performances, state-level competitions, piano recitals, graduation parties, Balvihar picnic, not to mention finals were all crammed into 24 days of May, of which only 17 were school days.

We also had two bomb threats in our high schools, one real and one not, and an 'accidental' spraying of pepper spray that added to the stress of May. No parent needs this kind of excitement.

I cooked a lot of fish last month. We experienced protein cravings more often, given that we were in overdrive when it came to our schedule. Pan-fried fish is the simplest kind of fried fish to make. There is no leftover smelly oil to dispose of either!


The recipe is on the Whole Foods Market Cooking Blog. It's pretty darned good and saw us through several nights in May. 

On to the pictures!

Band Triptych
Everything Band: Marching Band Banquet, Concert Band, and Jazz Band

The Marching Band Banquet was where Medha got her first letter. I did not know what this meant until she explained it to me. For every year that she marches, she will get a letter for her high school. She received an F which, in this case, is good!

PhD Graduate
PhD Graduation

One of our dearest friends took the walk after graduating in fall last year. It's a wonderful feeling to be in a stadium where there is so much positive energy and cheer!

Belly Dancing with a sword
On the Edge Belly Dancing

I was the official photographer for a 50th birthday party where the surprise for the evening was a sensuous belly dance performance by a dancer from Boulder. It didn't matter that her body was not chiseled to western advertising norms but was that of a real woman!

Ultimate Frisbee, State Competition
Frisbee against the backdrop of the mountains

I spent Mother's Day watching Medha's high school frisbee team chase an elusive spot in the championship. They placed 5th in the state and left me with a nasty sunburn even though it was only 70F. My skin is still sore and I have to cover myself up when I step out into the sun. Yes, I'm that freak wearing long sleeves when everyone else is in tank tees.

I finally made it to the Erie Balloon Fest, held every year in Erie, Colorado. Thirty-one hot air balloons that were launched that morning. I got to talking to a fellow photographer, David Harris of Loveland, and before I knew it, he had offered me his 70-200mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens to play with! There are very few people who would let a random stranger walk around a crowded park with such a precious piece of gear! If I only coveted that lens before, I desperately want it now! Look at how wonderful the pictures are!

Full of hot air
Shooting balloons with a 70-200mm Nikor lens

David shoots mostly concerts and landscapes. He is currently working on his web site, which I am sure will be fantastic, especially given the advice he gave me at the park. Really, there are very few people who give of themselves like this!

Waving from up high
Waving from up high (70-200mm Nikkor lens)

My favorite balloon
My favorite balloon from the Fest (24-70mm Nikkor lens) 

I missed out on an adventure the next day because of bad allergies that seemed to come out of nowhere this year. My friend Lisa, also my partner-in-adventure, was allowed to join a balloon team as a volunteer, hold the balloon down as it was being filled and then go on the chase to the spot where the balloon landed and bring it back to base. I kicked myself for opting out but I needed to be able to attend Medha's piano recital, followed by back-to-back graduation parties.

Happy after a good recital
Happy after a reasonably good piano recital

Piano recitals are amazing events because they show me where Medha began and where she's at now. The recital starts off with the younger kids as well as adults who are beginners and with each performance, the bar is raised with more refined skills and techniques. Medha played Mozart's Rondo Alla Turca and Mendelssohn's Scherzo, Op.16, No.2. She also played soothing seating music, River Flows in You by Yiruma. Of course, there are mistakes even though she was playing all pieces flawlessly at home and that's really fine. Take a listen if you have more than a few minutes to spare. Each piece is about 3-4 minutes long. I do not have an external microphone for my D300S so if you hear clicking sounds, that's my camera saying Howdy!

I did not run, jog or walk the 10K BolderBoulder this year and, therefore, missed getting the best hugs from my friend Geneva. Instead, I volunteered with our Band Boosters at Mile Marker 5, handing out water to the runners. The first to come by are the wheelchair cyclists. I am always completely in awe and have deep respect for these athletes. Their arms are stronger than all my limbs put together.

Untitled
Respect!

BolderBoulder, Memorial Day
Volunteering at Mile Marker 5

Dunked thrice over
She stood no chance; dunked thrice over!

Apart from being used by the runners to quench their thirst, the water was always used to dunk anyone from our high school that came by, especially any band kid. That meant Medha stood no chance. She was dunked at least three times, including by me, and she was thoroughly soaked!

How to rock BolderBoulder tees!
How to rock boring BolderBoulder tees!

Yes, I know the picture of this gorgeous mother-daughter duo was photobombed but isn't this the coolest way to rock boring tees?

We hit the ground running as far as June is concerned and life shows no signs of slowing down or becoming boring. I'm hoping to get back to my regular blogging schedule of at least one post a week from here onwards. Fingers crossed for me!

9 comments:

Manasi said...

All the pictures are fabulous. The pictures of the hot air balloons are amazing! Please do share some photography tips with us.
Of all the pictures, my personal favorite is your picture with Medha.
I really like the expression and depth in her eyes and her open smile. And I do envy you your hairstyle! I wish I had beautiful soft silky hair like that and I could wear it short like you do. sigh!

Poornima Krishnan said...

What a wonderful post. Been seeing Medha over the years in the few pics you post. She looks really pretty and so do you with that cool hairstyle! And of course you must be a proud mom with Medha's recital etc. Wish her the very best in her future endeavours and thanks for sharing such lovely stories with us!

Poornima Krishnan said...

Just listened to her recital and WOW! She is so good. Congratulations to her. Ok recital? Sounded fantastic to me.

Anita said...

What a busy May! But you scraped through just fine if your pictures are any indication!

June is like that for us - 6 birthdays in the family! Plus, we are expecting NRI family #1; family #2 in July-Aug with another couple of birthdays and 2 sets of anniversaries thrown in - it is going to be hectic here!

Happy Hols to you!

Manisha Pandit said...

Manasi, thank you! I have no tips that aren't already out there on the tutorials that abound on the net. For me, it's very subjective and I'm still trying out and learning new things every day.

And, isn't the grass always greener on the other side? Which woman is happy with her hair? OK, maybe me but I have my share of pain. I have almost always had my hair short except for a few years in between. It's easier to manage. Long hair literally gives me a headache as I cannot bear to have any pins or ponytail holders in my hair for longer than a few minutes. I cannot explain it but I experience pain!


Poornima, thank you! And, yes, I am very proud of her! My mother's family is filled with artists and musicians, with some of my great-aunts performing on stage and radio in the 40s and 50s -- a not very common thing at the time. My great-grandfather played the veena and was a sculptor. I like to think that maybe some of the genes that skipped me, made it to her! She does have to work hard at it though. This was one of her better recitals even though she fumbled several times.

She wanted to quit in 7th grade but I worked with her teacher to change the type of music she was taught in order to keep her interest. It was a struggle but now we're at the point where *she* wants to continue. Music is a wonderful thing to have in your life, and to be able to create it -- whether your own or someone else's -- using an instrument is even more precious. Playing the piano is one of her ways to release some of the stresses that come with high school.

I am so glad I did not let her quit! My parent support group did not agree with my decision and felt I was being Tiger Mom-ish in my attitude a little over two years ago. I was willing to make compromises in all other aspects of parenting but not this.


Anita, and there is so much more that I have not even mentioned here! We always make it through May but this past month has been the busiest ever.

Your June sounds a tad like mine: filled with family and friends. And, I am sure lots of good food! I wish I was visiting you, too. In another 4 years, we might even be able to make that come true and do Valley of Flowers together! Ah! That would be a dream come true!

Poornima Krishnan said...

I am sure she must also feel glad you did not let her quit. I think it's the same story with kids everywhere, they start with no interest and sometimes need a lot of push and shove from us to keep up their interest. Anyway for you it's paid off! And like you said when they go through stress in life having music at their finger tips,literally, helps enormously. I speak from experience...!

indosungod said...

School goes on for another couple of weeks here. What a month you have had but rest is coming with the summer holidays (or not!).
The pictures are beautiful! You give all the credit to the lens but the photographer had something to do with it ?

Manjusha Nimbalkar said...

Fish looks so yummy. Is that tilapia ??
Medha looks so beautiful as well. Looks taller than you....

Manisha Pandit said...

Poornima, very true!

indosungod, no rest for the weary! Summer was brutal in that respect but it was full of family and lots of fun!

Manjusha, yes, it's tilapia and no, not yet taller than me. She was wearing heels!