my top three (well, only three…) photo apps for iFail…

 

So I’ve been sucked into the great iFail void from which there is no escape, by which I mean I use iTunes, own an iPad and an iPhone, and as much as the Apple software bugs the crap out of me, I continue to use it, because in theory (meaning that if it worked correctly 100% of the time) it should be awesome, easy to use, and totally worth having.

Well, its not.

But I still use it, I’m assuming much like the majority of the Apple-users, because I know we’re not all crazy diehards…

I have to admit though, they have some pretty cool apps, photo apps in particular, and I thought I’d share my three favorite photo apps that are also currently the only photo apps I have because the other ones just weren’t worth keeping on my iFail (read: phone).

Instagram (http://instagram.com/)

Well duh, I had to start out with the big one!  Instagram is a lot more than just being able to share photos, you can add some cool effects, post a description or comment, and “heart” things (so basically, it’s Facebook, but only for pictures).  There’s also a bunch of spin-off sites that offer compatible services for use with Instagram, check them out here (granted, this list is tailored specifically for weddings, but there are plenty of other situations where you would want an Instagram postcard, Instagram magnets, or instant Polaroid-like prints of your Instagrams…)

ColorSplash (http://www.pocketpixels.com/ColorSplash.html)

This app is really cool because it lets you do those neat combination color/black and white photos without dealing with all those pesky developing chemicals.  Simply take a picture, select whether most of it will be color or black and white, and then zoom in and add/remove color from the other areas, zoom back out and you have a pretty darn cool picture 🙂

ToonCamera (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tooncamera/id392538848?mt=8)

This one has gotten so cool!  When I first got it, it had some neat effects, but now there are more!  You take a picture, open it in ToonCamera, and decide what medium you want it in (pencil, charcoal, chalk, paint, whatever) and at what level you want the effect to show up (different shades from light to dark) so awesome!

The best part is mixing effects to get some really cool pictures, it’s like you’re a photo-Picasso!

Does anyone have any other iFail photo apps they love?  Tell me about them in the comments!

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getting healthy: you just have to jump in

So.

I have decided that my life needs an overhaul. All of my friends have quit smoking, are working out, and I have become “the fat one”.

Peer pressure: a terrible reason to get in shape, I know, but nonetheless effective.

The truth is, I don’t want to be fat. I’m not happy when I’m fat, and the stupid thing is that I’m perfectly capable of staying in shape and feeling totally fulfilled. I think my problem isn’t just a love of food, it’s an obsessive need.

I was diagnosed with a “mild major depressive disorder” while I was in the Navy, I was placed on antidepressants and sleeping medication, but one thing they never addressed was my severe anxiety, which anyone that knows me at all can see that I have.

I get overwhelmed, I stress out, and what do I do? I eat. Carbs, mostly. I freaking love pastries and bread and cakes and all that really bad stuff that you should only eat like once a month. I eat my feelings. It sucks. But it was the only thing that worked! I still haven’t found a better combatant to stress than eating something super yummy and super starchy. There’s a reason it’s called “comfort food,” mmmk?

But I’m sick of it, I’m tired of feeling like my only options are to eat, sleep, or die (seriously, if you’ve ever had a panic attack, you know the feeling, and if you haven’t – consider yourself lucky). So, I have made a little pact to myself: I will no longer smoke, I will do some form of exercise every day (except that went bust yesterday due to a sore throat and fever, and today’s not looking so good either, but we’ll see), and I will go to this mental health appointment I have with the VA next Monday and I will request something to help with my anxiety, preferably in pill form that I can take when I feel the stress building, I’m pretty sure I’m way past “talk therapy” and “breathing exercises”. I am just too freaking high-strung, I always have been, and it’s time to say “enough is enough, this is serious, and I need help.” Because it’s not just my mental health, it’s my physical health. I was over 200 pounds not too long ago. I’m 5’5″. That’s gross. I am so embarrassed, I don’t want to go anywhere, I don’t want to be seen by strangers who I’m paranoid will make fun of me, even if I can’t hear or see it, I know they are… I don’t want to be crazy thin (it would be nice, but that’s too hard, I’m almost 30, it’s just not going to happen for me at this point), I just want to get back into a size 10 or 12, and I’ll be okay with that, I think. Honestly, I’m hoping I’ll get addicted to working out like I did in A-School, just so that I won’t hate it as much while I’m exercising. Please, please let that happen again…

I’m also working on incorporating more fresh veggies into my diet, and I’m trying to figure out how I can cut back on the breads, pasta, and rice and not feel sad. I wonder if the boy would be down for just eating veggies and lean protein, I wonder if that would go over well. We can have our “cheat day” on Friday with our delicious pizza and wings, but the rest of the time would be all meat and steamed veggies/salad. I wanted to try vegetarianism, but I don’t think the meat is the problem, it’s the processed carbs, and my unwavering love for them. I need to go back on my standby diet of nothing but salads with different meats: tuna or chicken salad, ham, grilled chicken… The good thing is that if you put tuna or chicken salad on lettuce, you don’t have to add any dressing if you mix it all up, offsetting the calories of the mayonnaise, and the rest of the time oil and vinegar is delicious (yes, I know olive oil is fattening, but it’s good fat, and I’m Italian, let me at least keep some of my heritage, if I can’t eat the bread and pasta!).

The toughest thing is that I’m doing the diet, the exercise, and the quitting smoking at the same time, but I feel like doing stuff one at a time isn’t for me, it seems like it will take forever to end up where I want to be and I quit. So I figure I’ll just attack this all at once, and maybe I can stay focused long enough to say “hey! These jeans don’t fit! Let’s go shopping! And then to the pool, where I won’t feel gross in a swimsuit because I’m not a whale!”

why the “chick-fil-a thing” is not about free speech…

So there’s an awful lot being said about Chick-Fil-A, and I’m so sick and tired of people on the Internet calling out censorship and that Dan Cathy should be able to say what he wants because “this is America, and we have free speech!”

This is not about free speech.

This is about Dan Cathy, the owner of Chick-Fil-A, using the profits he makes from his company to fund anti-gay groups [two of which are classified as “hate groups” (EqualityMatters, 2011)] which in turn use that money to fund things like “Gay Camp” (which is pretty much like “Fat Camp” except you “pray the gay away”) and lobbyists working to deny equal rights to gays.

That is the problem.

That is so totally wrong.

That is the reason that a lot of my Facebook friends hate me and have either unfriended me, or, at the least, constantly argue with me about it (and I’m totally guilty of arguing back because I was raised by a feminist who burned her bras in the 70’s and taught me that I have the right to have an opinion, but that I need to be informed before I formulate one).

Here’s my take: You absolutely have the right to believe whatever the hell it is you want to believe.  You have the right to start clubs and organizations and churches that are made of a community of shared values, and you can exclude whomever you choose.  That is your right.

But when you start taking those “club values” and start trying to push them into law, I get angry.

Not angry. Incensed.

You have absolutely no right to push your religious agenda into law.  Period.  I don’t care if Christianity is the largest religion in the West, the United States of America is not a theocracy, nor do we have a religion of State.

If Christians are going to cite Free Speech, allow me to cite the rest of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Yeah.  It goes both ways, guys.

I think this video by Jackson Pearce captures it nicely: “Hate, Love, and Chicken”

So that is my issue with Dan Cathy and his “agenda.”  I don’t care what his “Christian values” dictate is right and wrong, he has the freedom to follow his beliefs as he chooses, because they are protected by law.  Gay rights aren’t.  Just like women’s rights weren’t, or African-American rights, even all the way back to the Native Americans, and if you want to look outside our country, how about the Jews?  How about the Christians which were seen as a Jewish cult and were persecuted, beaten, crucified, and murdered?  Have we still not learned from all of this?? Un-freaking-believable!  Human beings are the only species with the capacity to learn from each other, the only species that actually records its history, and we refuse to get a clue!

You know what?  This isn’t even about Gay Rights.  This is about Human Rights, and I never thought, that in 2012, we would need a movement like this to set things right.

Also, check out the follow-up video to Jackson’s first one, I think I like it even better 🙂

Jackson Pearce “It’s Not About Chicken”