Tuesday, January 31, 2012



Tabasco and lemons for our oysters on the half shell tonight.

Sometimes I marvel at how far I've come. When I was in my early 20s, fish sticks were the extent of my seafood adventures. Thank goodness M taught me the importance of trying new things. My life is so much richer because of it.

Monday, January 30, 2012



Out of town again. I laughed at the irony last night of simultaneously packing (a suitcase) and unpacking (boxes). Even though I'm used to traveling now, it was strange to leave my home of two days this morning. And frustrating. My mascara was inexplicably separate from the rest of my makeup, and my MacBook power cord is nowhere to be found. Thankfully I had enough time to run into the office and unwire my desk to bring my "permanent" one with me.

I meant to work tonight, here at the hotel, but waves of exhaustion are saying otherwise. I think I might actually get to sleep before 10. 9:30 if I'm lucky!

Sunday, January 29, 2012



Today we moved. Again, essentially. Well, I guess the correct phrase would be "we moved some more," but it really felt like we moved again.

Tomorrow, for the first time this school year (because timing is a bitch), Zoe has a project due. She had to choose 100 of something and glue it down to posterboard as they are celebrating 100 days of school. She chose pennies. Cool. She counted them all out and created her design. Then looked at me expectantly. "Oh, right! You need glue!"

Well, okay. I know we have glue. I know this because I packed it. In one of the eleventy billion boxes that hold all our stuff. Shit.

I found three boxes labeled "Zoe Art Supplies" in the office. Ironically none of them had glue. So I eyeballed the stack you see here, that currently resides in her room. Took a deep breath and dove in. Took about four boxes, but I found it. We glued, and she's thrilled, and I unpacked more boxes.

Dining room table is clean. Only 1 box in sight in the living room. Our bedroom is manageable, and all the clothes are put away.

We're doing good. Tired, but good.

Saturday, January 28, 2012



And so we were today. Movers.

Tonight? Tonight we are The Moved. Very, very tired, but moved.

Still a few things left to bring from home to the "lifeboat" as my FIL so aptly named it, and several boxes to unpack, and the office to set up. But we have beds, and clothes, and cats, and when we are done with boxes they get put away, not stacked along walls and in halls. So it is all very, very good.

Friday, January 27, 2012



Thursday, January 26, 2012



Cabinets aren't the only things that are empty. We are spent. Running on fumes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This week's observations

Although I select one shot each day to feature here, I take many more. Here are some little samples of what I've seen lately.



My hard drive started failing in Orlando. One day it bogged way down, then took me four tries to get it to reboot. I gimped along and worked on it for 2.5 days after returning. Monday afternoon I went to the Apple Store where the Genius plugged in a diagnostic cable and wrinkled up his forehead. "Are you backed up?"

I wasn't. Because our old, decrepit network at the office is full of outdated garbage and wouldn't hold my 96GB of files.

I'm not sure if it was exhaustion or having a hundred other things on my mind or blind faith in my beloved Mac, but I did not lose my shit. I didn't even wince. I marched over to the accessories wall and selected a 500GB external drive. I handed it to the Genius along with my Amex. "Here. Back it up, then replace the drive. Call me when you're done." The new drive is covered under warranty, and the external unit was $110 and something I need for backups anyway since the network is worthless.

He said he did not think he'd be able to back it up, but he'd try. I said, "It'll work."

Then I left, picked up more banana boxes from the grocery on the way, and came home to work on my personal Mac.

At 7:38 that night the Genius called. "I got everything backed up. Your new hard drive is being installed and you should be able to pick it up tomorrow morning."

I picked it up, along with my new external drive, but continued to work from home as I had pressing deadlines and no time to reinstall all my software.

That was this morning's task. Took me four hours to get everything reloaded and configured, but I'm back in business.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I'm such a huge Apple fan.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

date night


Date night with friends. Cicero's for dinner, then Craig Ferguson at The Pageant. Lots of f-bombs. F*ckin' funny. Great f*ckin' night.

I'm hoping that M will think it's too late to pack any f*cking boxes when we get home. I'm f*cking tired.

Monday, January 23, 2012

bubble beards & birthday


Happy birthday to my awesome hubby!

He wanted lasagna for dinner, and a quiet family night. I ran for carryout while he picked up The Bug and got her bath started. I got home just in time to hear the giggles in the bathroom, where she announced to him that she was successful in being "a boy and a girl at the same time." She accomplished this by giving herself "pigtails and a beard." We laughed, and that's when I knew we had given him the perfect birthday night.

Love you sweet M. Here's to 40 more years of laughter!

Sunday, January 22, 2012



Those of you who know how much I like order and organization, simplicity and calm, etc. know just how much my inner voice is screaming right now.

Try as I might, I can't keep this house from looking like a tornado, hurricane, tsunami and earthquake struck simultaneously.

I am dangerously close to hauling it all to the curb and starting over from scratch when the new house is done.

One week left. One week, then we move. We'll live greatly scaled back for a few months, and I'm really looking forward to that after getting a startling view of just how much we own.

Who knows...maybe when it comes time to move back I really will just chuck it all and start over!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

birthday boy


Probably the biggest surprise tonight was that he wore the propeller beanie all night.

Great night for a great guy. Love you, M!

Friday, January 20, 2012



Thursday, January 19, 2012



Today I used a candy thermometer for the first time in an attempt to make caramels for M's pending 40th birthday. It's a vintage Betty Furness candy thermometer. She is pictured on the front gleefully holding the thermometer and I imagined her saying, "Easy breezy!"


Not so much.

Turns out that making caramel requires a skilled hand and dedicated attention. One can't, for instance, also handle a barrage of work emails and a ringing cell phone.

Trust me.

Two scalded pots. The smell of scorched sugar. And no caramels.

M took it in stride and said that it's the thought that counts.

Good man, M.

Unlike that b*tch Betty Furness.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

gate wait


It's good to be home.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

going down


Details of yesterday

My eyes were wide open yesterday.

Monday, January 16, 2012



Lots of good images today but this one is my favorite. My British boss (as opposed to my French boss and my American boss) always wears great socks. I have shot them many times before but today the light was finally right and he was sitting just this way. He's used to me trying to photograph his socks so he didn't move a muscle when I rounded the corner, pulled out my iPhone and dropped to a squat. He just laughed.

Sunday, January 15, 2012



Saturday, January 14, 2012



Friday, January 13, 2012



My company sponsored this adorable 14-week old black Labrador to become a leader dog for the blind. She'll undergo over a year of training and then have to pass a test before she's given, for free, to her partner for life. It costs about $40,000 to train one puppy.

I am grateful to work for my company, and now I'm also really, really proud.

PM me if you want the deets. She's got her own FB page where you can follow her through her training and adventures. Right now she's here in Orlando with me!

Thursday, January 12, 2012



I got 20 minutes of outside time today. It was heaven.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012



Meeting kicked off with a bang this morning. I debuted a new global video with Collective Soul's "Better Now" as the music bed, after four days of arguing with a Brit whether it was the right song. It was.

Long day, and it's not over yet. I spotted these spoons on a tray in the meeting room turned dining hall as the stewards were flipping.

Time to go change my shirt and freshen up what's left of my makeup so I can plaster on a permagrin before dinner.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012



At least when I walk through the atrium between meetings I can catch a glimpse of the sky. The indoor trees also help.

It's still not the same, though. Sigh.

Monday, January 09, 2012

nice digs


Home for the next nine days. Here we go...

Sunday, January 08, 2012



We've been getting good moving boxes for free off Craig's List.

Today, I picked up a box to take it into the bedroom to pack and heard a noise. Upon inspection I discovered a few lonely puzzle pieces at the bottom. They were hiding under the flaps at the bottom of the box.

They are going to seriously piss off someone who tries to complete the puzzle some day, but today they made me laugh.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

And then there was dark

M started taking down the lights today. We stood outside last night for 15 minutes before they went off, just watching. We have done this for years, but last night had special significance since it's the last year in this house. Like a lot of experiences these days it was bittersweet.

living amongst the boxes


We pack pack pack. Then we pack some more. Basement and darkroom are nearly done. Library and dining room completely done.

We are tired.

Friday, January 06, 2012

gear guilt


Work bought me a new Canon 5D Mark II. I recommended it because Nikon doesn't have a single body even remotely comparable right now. And partially because I was curious to try The Other Side and could now do so without spending my own hard-earned cash.

I feel guilty. Like I'm cheating. On Nikon.

Yes, I realize that Nikon is a big, faceless mega-company that couldn't give a flying f*ck about what system I use. But still. When I was a kid, just dreaming about becoming a photographer, I lusted after Nikons. And that was way back in the film days.

My first film body was a Minolta. It did a pretty decent job, although looking back our saleswoman was an idiot and over-sold us with a bells & whistles camera a high school student didn't need.

When I started shooting again after years of dormancy (aka college, then engagement, then newlyweddedness) and found the Minolta busted, I realized my dream and got myself my first Nikon. She's a beautiful little N80 that feels great in my hands and has a shutter that is music to my ears.

After a few years, digital increased in quality and I converted to a Nikon D100. It was heavier and thicker, but the shutter sang and I was completely smitten with digital.

By this point I had acquired quite a few lenses. Which is what really ties a photographer to a brand. You can't just wake up one day and decide to go Pentax because that would render your entire camera bag obsolete.

The D100 was trusty and true, never failing. It simply became a relic like all other seven-year-old DSLRs. M bought me a gorgeous D300, which has been by my side more than any other camera since that Minolta in high school. It's a fantastic body. Reliable, sturdy, comfortable.

But then...

The crop sensor on the D300 started bugging me. Not that it is failing...just that my NAS kicks into high gear every so often and I start hankering for something new. Better. Bigger. Like...a full-frame sensor. Drool.

So I started looking at them. And was appalled to find that my beloved Nikon doesn't have shit in the way of a 21MP full-frame sensor DSLR that also shoots 1080p hi-def video.

But Canon does.

I feel like a noob all over again because I can't intuitively shoot any more. Things are backwards and I'm anything but graceful just trying to fire off a few snaps. I'll get there, but right now I'm struggling.

I'm also struggling because there are things about the Canon that are simply done better than my Nikon. Yeah, my Nikon is 3 years old now, but there isn't even a current Nikon to which I can compare this Canon.

So with every click of the Canon I feel a little guilty. The shutter sounds different, and I feel guilty that I don't hate it. The focusing screen is strange, and I feel guilty that I don't mind it.

M is having a heart attack that I might seriously want to switch.

I'm not there yet. I have the work Canon to keep me amused for awhile.

But you're on notice Nikon. Step it up dudes.

And get rid of that idiot Kutcher you have shilling for the consumer stuff on tv. Take the money you're paying him and put it towards much-needed R&D.

Or I just might drop the guilt and just go for better gear.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

luggage claim


Good to be back. Would be even better if the damn parking shuttle would get here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

early flight


Up at 4 this morning. 6:25 a.m. flight that got me to KC with barely enough time to drive a rental car to Lenexa for a 9 a.m. meeting with one of my three bosses.

Given that I didn't go to sleep until after midnight (M finished packing the library while I de-ornamented and then disassembled the Xmas tree), I'm tired.

Good day though. I do have a team dinner tonight, before which I hope my second wind kicks in. Good food with good people, can't ask for much more on a business trip. Except maybe some sleep. Yawn.

About today's image: I enjoyed the benefit of being A-List for the first time today, when this nice gentleman fast-tracked me through a huge crowd of people waiting to get through security. They all looked about as awake as I was, and then grumpy to boot when I scooted right through. Doesn't make up for having to leave my family, but it's a nice little perk that gave me enough time to grab some breakfast before boarding.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

morning light & shadows


Every morning I watch the lines creep across the wall of my office while I work. I don't know why, but I find it comforting. Maybe it's the gentle reminder that no matter what chaos is happening in my life the world keeps turning and my issues are pretty inconsequential. It's a lovely little grounding that helps me keep things in perspective.

Monday, January 02, 2012

clouds & lines


Dramatic clouds today. I love how much the Midwest sky changes.

I think my company is the only one in the US that gave Friday as the New Years holiday and not today. Made for an easy drive into work this morning, and quiet phones. I'm not complaining...it's nice to dig out of a huge email backlog with little interruption!

Sunday, January 01, 2012