Thursday, June 30, 2011

Get over it

I'm sitting in the auto mechanic waiting room while the Zoemobile is being inspected.  Nothing like waiting until the last day of the month to get my license plates renewed, but whatever.

Being the multi-tasker that I am, I have my trusty Macbook out, and my smart phone, and I'm happily continuing to work just as if I were sitting in my office.  God bless wi-fi.

A couple minutes into a phone call with one of my Kansas colleagues, an old bag gimps in, sits in the chair closest to me, and turns her attention to the TV.  Which, at the moment, features the Casey Anthony trial and specifically, what is involved in smelling something foul in the trunk of a car.

The old lady proceeds to get royally pissed at me for being on the phone.  I am not a loud talker on the phone.  In fact, I tend to speak more quietly on my cell than on a normal phone, just because I'm hyper-aware of loud mobile users.  And I can't stand them.  M gets hacked at me regularly because he can't hear me.  So it's not like I'm screaming, "Hey, yeah, let's go ahead and use that graphic for the front of the new employee handbook, YO!"

She sits there and huffs, and puffs, and shifts, and gives me nasty looks.

Gee, lady, I'm sorry I'm interrupting your riveting courtroom drama where they've repeated the same damn thing 15 times since I got here 30 minutes ago.  About something that is none of your damn business anyway.  Sorry I'm trying to get some actual work done and be a productive member of society.

/end rant

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Rainy morning

But her raincoat and her smile made everything bright.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

A thought

One should run barefoot through the rain regularly as an adult. It is good for the soul.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Instagram Fun

This app is way too cool.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011


Any time we near a bridge, I feel compelled to pull out my iPhone.
I love architecture. Especially architecture that embraces form WITH function. Lately, this view has gone beyond architecture into the smaller objects that make up our everyday lives.
Utilitarian products and technology aren't required to be ugly. There's no law somewhere that says the more useful something is, the uglier it needs to be.
And yet, far too many manufacturers live by that idea. They neglect to consider the necessity of aesthetic design.
Now, ya'all know that I'm a huge fan of Apple. Not to be all fan girl or anything, but there is a company that GETS it. Function AND form. High quality products that work well and look good. Pleasing to the eye. An enhancement to our surroundings even when not in use.
We recently purchased some Motorola radios for the Corvette. They work fine, but man, are they ugly. I look at them and cringe. They're all bumpy and knobby. They look like giant bugs. Who wants to look at giant, bumpy, ugly bugs?
I've been noticing form as it relates to function a lot lately. I recognize the value in objects that look great while they function. I don't think that's too much to ask. Shouldn't we all strive to make our world beautiful, as well as useful?
Yep. All this from an iPhone snap of a bridge. My brain likes to go off on tangents sometimes. A lot of the time. Nearly all the time.
Aren't bridges beautiful?

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We saw Poison and Motley Crüe last night. Gorgeous weather, awesome music, and phenomenal people watching opportunities.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Oh poor, neglected blog!  Why have I forsaken you?

Well, because I've been writing my ass off for work, and a girl has only so much write in her.

Work is good, very good, but insanely busy.  At home, I am reading a book right now called The Power of Less, and it's got some interesting observations about productivity.  The lesson I'm practicing this week is one of disconnection.  In other words, "How to Wean One's Self from the Internets."  It's been difficult.  I'm accustomed to working always logged into e-mail, with it always up on my screen.  A message pops in, I look at it, and 9 times out of 10, I answer it.

While this is incredibly helpful to my colleagues, it's been shit for my long-term projects.  I can't get anything big done if I'm constantly handling small stuff.  The big projects have been stacking up, looming, and are now threatening to surge through the office like a tsunami.  Something had to give.  And that something, my friends, was cyberspace.

For the last two days, I holed up in my office and (gasp!) minimized my e-mail.  I couldn't quite bring myself to log out completely - what if there's an e-emergency?! and my superhero mad e-mail skilz are required to save the day?! - but I minimized it.  Which is a huge step for me.  Then I had to keep myself from checking it every 20 seconds.  Also a huge step.

I'm pleased to report, though, that I was able to do it, and it worked.  I have made such good headway on my large projects!  I have been a writin' fool, and have accomplished way more in two days than I have the last two weeks.  And I learned that it doesn't kill me to be "off-line" for awhile.  I checked my e-mail about five times each day over the past two, and while it was a little intimidating to see unread e-mails stacked up in there, I learned that most of them didn't require immediate attention, and in fact, a few of them presented issues that resolved themselves by the time I read them.

I've fallen off the wagon a bit today, due to one's need to have some socialization during the day, and meetings that interrupted my work flow.  But I'm determined to get back on, and commit to this new way of life.  I have to, or I'll never get anything done.

Things I'm thinking about this week:

  1. Why on earth is Roger Ebert being blasted by suddenly-sensitive insensitive jackasses for speaking the truth?  A celebrity was a jackass, and he made very good money for being a jackass, and he drank and he drove and he killed himself and another person.  Thank God he didn't kill more people.  I refuse (REFUSE) to lionize stupid people. Yes, people can grieve.  But do NOT bemoan a perfectly preventable tragedy as something unfair or unjust.  And don't blame film critics for calling it what it is.  What the hell is wrong with our society?
  2. I have learned that having a child of my own does not make me more tolerant of other peoples' little assholes.  Turns out I'm just as intolerant as I've ever been.
  3. How many stupid, stupid men are there in the world?  I'm really tired of hearing about "respected" men cheating on their wives. It seems like there are more today than when I was growing up.  It seems like news has devolved into a peep-show mentality, while real news is thrown out the window.  When are we going to learn that sensationalism should not dictate what information is disseminated? Are people jerks?  Yeah.  That's not news.  So stop reporting it.  Infidelity, while reprehensible and morally wrong, is a.) not a crime and b.) no one's business but those directly involved.
  4. I wish there was less hatred in my country.  I am continually saddened by the outright hate (there's no other word for's just plain old hate and despising) portrayed by members of our political parties. I have always been, and probably always will be, staunchly independent.  I've voted Republican, I've voted Democrat.  But I really, really don't want to participate in anything that involves personal attacks and outright lies.  For decades, the two major parties in the US haven't gotten along.  That's to be expected.  And healthy debate is good.  But when reasoned, intelligent debate and common courtesy dissolves and all that's left are extreme demands and the mass distribution of untruths...that's just scary.
  5. M's travel budget at work has been eliminated.  Well, everyone he works with is currently grounded, but I'm really only concerned with him.  While I know this is not his preference, and that he's pretty well going stir-crazy from being chained to his desk, secretly I am enjoying every single minute of him being home.  Okay, maybe not so secretly.  We have been such a normal little family lately.  Swim lessons, what to have for dinner, don't forget the sunscreen, are the damn cicadas gone's nice to have some routine and minor issues.  Yesterday morning he left before us.  As I was getting ready I heard the thunder, then the rain.  Shit.  I dread running through the rain with Zoe in tow, trying to get us in the car and on the way to school without being soaked.  When we went to leave, my keys weren't in the key box.  I couldn't believe we had left them in the car overnight (but then again, we left the car door open on a stormy night last week so it's not really out of the realm of possibility).  We opened the garage door to go out and lo!  He had seen the clouds rolling in, pulled his car out, and then took time to pull my car in so we wouldn't get wet.  Yeah.  I am loving having him home.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Mass first, and now breakfast at Spencer's. Father's Day isn't official unless you eat at a greasy spoon.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Business Trip

Back to Lenexa this past week. Not much to shoot while there, being trapped in meetings for two days straight and all. Had to make myself content with shooting travel images. Sometimes you just gotta take what you can.
1. Ceiling of East Terminal
2. My favorite pictogram ever. Mainly because I've been in this position before. More than once. Sigh.
3. Huge storm front rolled in as we prepared to depart. Awesome storm clouds, but the flight attendant nazi made me turn my phone off.
4. After a bumpy flight, sunny upon arrival in KC.
5. The rental car facility at MCI, while waiting in line behind a "Ummm, I dunno, I guess maybe I need a rental car? No, I don't have a reservation. No, I don't know what I want. No, I don't know how long I'll need it" traveler. Grrrrrr.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

From the other day...

I'm falling behind in my blogging. Too busy Instagramming to FB and Twitter.
Must not forget my blogging roots.
Two exhausting days in Lenexa, crammed with meetings. Returning home tomorrow with about eight pages of to-do lists (I wish I were kidding) and a computer case stuffed full of poultry vaccine information.
But at least I shall be home!

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Sunday, June 12, 2011


Unpacked. Presents for Zoe given. Mail sorted. Litter box cleaned. Trash to the curb.
In other words, back to reality.
Time for bed!

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Night ride

I asked M to take me for a drive outside the Dells tonight, our last night in Wisconsin. He obliged.
I really enjoy hitting the road with no map or itinerary. Mostly because I so rarely get to do it in everyday life. It feels decadent. And it's always enjoyable.
He enjoyed the straightaway where he took the car up to 120 before backing off the throttle.
Okay, I enjoyed that part, too.
It's been fun, but we are ready to come home. I miss my sweet girl.

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Clouds & Coaster

The House on the Rock

Holy insanity, Batman.
M said Alex Jordan, The House on the Rock's creator, was a kook like Frank Lloyd Wright. No way. Mr. Jordan was a bipolar schizophrenic nutjob with way too much money. FLLW was just an egomaniac. I went on sensory overload less than halfway through.
Still glad we went though. It's a once in a lifetime must see.

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Wine run

A wine tasting and tour of Wollersheim winery. Let's just say the views and photo opps are better than the wine. But I did purchase some wine mustard. And stole lots of pictures and good memories.
Cell phone coverage up here has been horrendous at best, so my uploads are spotty and at odd times. Got tired of battling one bar of reception on the Edge network and gave up for awhile.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

O, Taliesin!

Wisconsin is seriously beautiful. Taliesin is amazing. FLLW is a kook, but back to being adorably so in my mind. I can't be in his work and not like the man. I just can't.
An incredible experience today. A bucket list check-off. Am so, so lucky to be able to do these things. And to share them with my best friend. Even when he's too tall to fit comfortably inside the walls of Taliesin.
It means "shining brow," by the way. Taliesin is Welsh for shining brow. Which I knew already but didn't understand until today when I saw how he situated the house on the hill. Genius.
These are just iPhone snaps. Lots more (exterior only, unfortunately) with the Nikon, for processing after we return home.

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Thursday, June 09, 2011


at Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty.
All you can eat family style.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Rainbow for Zoe

The last time I came to Wisconsin, for the 2010 sprint triathlon, I saw a rainbow for Zoe.
Now I'm back, and I'll be darned if I don't see another one my first night here.
I gotta bring my kid to Wisconsin, clearly.
Hard to see in this shot, but it's there. There was just no way a camera, any camera, would capture the beauty.

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Passenger seat view

It's amazing what one can see from the passenger seat of a zippy car.
Well, okay, that last one was taken once we got here. I have a thing for ominous clouds.

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More artsy-fartsy

But too in not to share.
BTW, I've had enough to drink tonight that it took me way too long to type in "artsy-fartsy" just now.
And damn, I had to do it twice!
First photo: "Have a gin & tonica"
Second photo: bridge (the word for today, boys and girls, is infrastructure)
Third photo: X (at an Illinois toll plaza)

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Yay, us!

Well, us in a squished, distorted form in the side of a shiny tanker truck, but whatever.
Having a crapton of fun. And we just got here today!

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Mighty Arrow

Mmmm. Belgian ale!
We're not local anymore.
But I'm beyond caring.

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Moved on to a Fat Squirrel.
In a Horny Goat glass.
We're all about the nature here in Wisconsin.

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Local brew

Asked the barkeep to serve me his favorite local brew.
I'm drinking a Spotted Cow.
And it's good.

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At the toll plaza

Does it cost more to take a tank on a toll road?!

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Power in the fields


Road trip!

Probably not a lot of writing the next few days, but hopefully lots of pix.

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Friday, June 03, 2011

Images everywhere

I seem to have gotten my eyes back. After months of seeing nothing, now I see images everywhere again.
Having a ton of fun with the iPhone and Instagram app. Have connected with some fellow "Shutter Sisters" via Instagram, too. It's a whole new little community for me, inspirational and motivating and supportive. Call it e-bliss.
(If any of you are on Instagram or Twitter, PM me and we can exchange handles. Mine contain my last name, so I won't post them here for safety reasons.)

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