Wednesday, August 11, 2010

171. Swearing: A Visual Reference Guide

It has come to my attention that I may swear too frequently at times which are inappropriate. As it is not my wish to cause embarrassment to my companions, or potentially offend unsuspecting grandmas and children, I have created the following reference guide to help me remember when swearing is appropriate, and when it is not.

*A special thanks to Janelle for providing the information compiled herein.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

170. Thursday.

My hair needs to grow faster.
Or I should cut it.
One of those things, pretty sure.

Friday, July 30, 2010

169. Music Videos for a Friday Afternoon

Somewhere over the past few months I've become painfully bored with music. Like...I am so sick of everything sounding the same all the time that I've been choosing silence instead.

Fortunately, I think that the break has done some good, because I'm starting to find (and like) new bands again.

Here's a couple I've been stuck on the past two days...(because sharing is fun!)

Cinnamon Chasers

and a local punk band from Seattle, Tacocat

Monday, June 28, 2010

168. Monday.

Super fun-time weekend, again!

Friday night John and I had grabbed a tasty happy hour dinner at Boom Noodle. I had the Wild Salmon Udon, and he had the Ahi Fish Tacos. NOM! I couldn't resist the Edamame Puree, as well as happy hour priced cocktails - My favorite being the Kyoto Blossom (Absolut Pear, Triple Sec, fresh lemon juice, and grenadine). Afterward we stopped at Cupcake Royal for dessert and coffee, just to kill a little time before the doors opened at Neumos. I am a fattie, yes? Yes.

I was really excited about this show because I got to see two of my favorite bands together, for one fairly reasonable ticket price, as well as enjoy the company of Ayako and her pal Cooper. Yes!
Builders and the Butchers & Portugal. The Man.

Neumos was sweltering, per usual. Bad dancing in tight quarters ensued. Friendliness with a fanboy from Alaska named Chris who "knew the band from elementary school". Strange and enthralling light displays by PTM. Overall, fun fun funnn! But for crying out loud, Neumos, fix your damn sound already. Treble should not be a luxury upgrade.

Saturday morning I got up early and spent three hours in a Canon EOS Basics class. Most of it was so remedial I wondered if maybe I had wasted $50 in signing up. In the end, I learned about some settings I wasn't aware of, so that alone was worth the price. I also got a beginner's crash course in flash, which I probably needed. I may go back for the intermediate class if I can scrounge up the cash, but we'll see.

I got a lot of bike riding in this weekend, and even managed to make myself go running on Saturday. Not far, but it's been sort of forever since I went with any sort of regularity, so I think it was a good start. Now if only I could stop cramming my yap full of deleeshus foods all-day-every-day.

I made this horrifying discovery on Friday night that not a single pair of my trousers/capris and most of my skirts no longer fit me. I couldn't even get my can into a pencil skirt that fit like a glove 3 months ago. DISTURBING.

Admittedly, I haven't been exercising enough.
And I lurve food.
I could marry it...

So what was just a single pair of "goal pants" a month ago has become half my wardrobe. Obviously, the half I hardly ever wear, but still. I'm left with nothing but t-shirts, jeans, and a couple of dresses. Poop. Time to turn on the willpower.

Oh, know what else is stupid? Cutting your thumb on a table knife. OW!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

167. Fishie

A twitch, a grin,
and lightning quick
I snatched it from its bowl.
Stuffed my mouth
and held my breath,
felt it flop across my tongue.
Thought about it swimming
round my belly while I slept -
Changed my mind,
and just like that
I spit it out again.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

166. Say You Will

Over the course of the past year, I've come to realize that saying no is what holds us back. We love our friends, but maybe we balk at invitations to things we aren't sure of because we're afraid. We let fear of social situations decide for us that maybe we'd rather just stay home - doing nothing, watching movies, eating ice cream. And sometimes that holing up with ourselves to reflect and explore feels amazing. Sometimes, it's exactly what we need. But lately I find a lot of people (myself included) have been using it as an excuse to avoid social interaction.

I don't want to blame the internet, or text messages, or any other technological advancement for our reliance on social crutches. But I can't help but notice that more and more, people are becoming less reliable. More likely to back out on plans, and more likely to make promises they have no intention to keep. Myself included; I'm not trying to get self-righteous in any way.

My point is, I think that maybe we've reached the point that we have begun to manipulate our interactions beyond our own good. We are allowing ourselves to find boxes in which we feel comfortable, and we choose to stay there rather than branch out and learn more about ourselves and the people around us. We make plans with people and then back out in a sense of social panic. We claim illness, when the illness we're referring to is just a panic attack, not an actual affliction.

What if we quit finding excuses not to? What if instead, we just went? We accepted invitations, and went, and made the best of the situation, even if we didn't think we'd have fun? Obviously, sometimes we'd prove ourselves right. We'd go, and it might suck, and we'd be affirmed that we should have said no in the first place. But what if we went in thinking we'd have a miserable time, and it turned out to be something amazing? At the very least, what if we had a really great time and didn't regret going at all?

I might be speaking to a very small audience. I might just be coaching myself right now; I have no idea. I just get the impression lately that it isn't just me saying no because I'm afraid. I think that we're all analyzing the value of our time versus the possible uses of, and we're missing out on things that could really broaden us as people.

I never want to stop growing. I never want to stop experiencing, or discovering, or adventuring. But it's a conscious decision that I have to make, to say yes to the invitations that feel like they're outside of my comfort zone. But I can honestly tell you, that even if I don't necessarily enjoy myself, I never regret having gone.

Say yes. Even if it seems like something you might not enjoy, go. Broaden your perspective and who you are and never stop.
Because living in a box is no way to live.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

165. A Broken Camera & An Abandoned House

As if being plagued by a malfunctioning camera weren't enough to destroy most of my shots from the abandoned house, my favorite photolab had to have a go at it too. I was relieved to find the slides themselves came out ok, including a decent couple of portraits I was actually very happy with. The lab's scanner was off center though, causing most of the images on my disc to be part of one image and part another. Unintentional diptychs. Sorta neato, actually, if the images were better.

Anyway, I was able to crop a few of the ok-ish ones, and I thought I'd go ahead and post them for you to see, since I went on and on about the house.

The living room:

View from the second floor looking down on the center of the house (note the 8 tracks sitting on the record player):

Found on the floor of one of the bedrooms:

View of the pool from a broken second story window (see the tv's?):

Monday, June 7, 2010

164. On Safari

Saturday we revisited the abandoned house to prowl around taking photos and trying to get some headshots done for John. We were excited to discover that one of the arched doorways was completely void of a door, allowing us to wander freely throughout the house's interior. It was just as demolished and delightfully dated in the upstairs portion as it was down.

Unfortunately, I had some technical difficulties with my camera, and I can't say that I'll get much out of the two rolls of Fujichrome I shot. The shutter button started sticking about halfway through, refusing to fire until I was pointing the camera at the ground, cursing at it and trying to figure out what the problem was. I think I'm going to need to take it to a shop for a cleaning and adjustments. If I can find a shop willing to work on such an old camera, that is.

We also spent a little time working on the settings for my 30D, so I'm hoping to be able to shoot at ISO's under 1600 now. Since the AE-1 appears to be malfunctioning anyway, we're planning to bike back over and try round 2 on the digital later this week. If I can find time that is...I feel like I have entirely too many appointments and lessons lined up to be able to have any sort of fun until Friday at the earliest.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

163. Sigh!

Oh, 3 day weekend, you were so sweet. I only regret you had to end.

Some highlights from our adventures:
-Cocktails at Flowers Cafe on Friday night, talking sweet vermouth and origins of the French 75 with the bartender.
-Exit Through the Gift Shop (because we meant to see it last Wednesday, but had to put it off).
-Saturday afternoon thrifting, which resulted in the acquisition of an adorable $15 coffee table and a fitted 80's style jacket.
-Crying our guts out over Finding Neverland and a bottle of chardonnay.
-Schmancy Sunday brunch at Tilth!
-New Tank Girl comics and vinyl treasures (Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone).
-A flat tire on 45th and subsequent rescue by Soren.
-Grilling kabobs in the fireplace because it was too rainy to grill on the porch.
-Late nights fighting our way through scourge-infested dungeons in Baldur's Gate.
-Walking the Frankster to Emery's Garden to browse herbs and visit the koi pond.
-Prowling around an abandoned Spanish style villa with 1960's interior and a lot of broken windows.
-Rambling at one another for hours on end and still never running out of things to talk about.

The 8 rolls of film I ordered from B&H arrived this weekend as well, so I'm hoping to revisit the abandoned house to obtain photographic evidence of its awesomeness. I've loved it forever, and now that I've seen the inside I'm even more disappointed to know it's going to be torn down. It looks like something out of a movie.

The inside is destroyed, with broken glass covering most of the floor. Mixed in with the glass are all sorts of items; binders of cassette tapes, 20 year old magazines, old vhs tapes. The sliding back door is completely shattered into a mound of tiny glass cubes, all the kitchen cabinets are torn open, and the tiled swimming pool in back is half full of garbage. The stairs leading from the foyer to the second level are curved and carpeted in red shag, with scrolled black wrought-iron railings. The red shag continues throughout most of the first floor. Peering in through the side doors you can see a sunken living room with a brick fireplace, flanked by a curved black leather built-in sofa. It felt like the set of an old James Bond film, post fight scene.

John asked me to try doing some headshots for him this week, and I was thinking the house might just make for an interesting backdrop. In any case, I'm looking forward to the chance to practice my portraiture, and to hopefully save a little piece of the Bond Estate before it disappears forever.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

162. Ga-Ga-Gaultier

I want to live on Jean Paul's planet. Holy wow.
(All except the first 2 denim pieces, that is.)

I think this might be what you get if Queen Amidala was cast in a Sci-Fi Spaghetti Western topped with Barcelona sauce and Aztec sprinkles.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

161. Dinner and a Movie

Very very excited for this evening, a.k.a. date night with the boy. We're going to see the Banksy "documentary", Exit Through the Gift Shop:

It starts at 7:30, so that should leave enough time for a run this afternoon. I haven't had any sort of workout since John moved in last Thursday, and we've been cooking so much together that I mos-definitely need one. Last night's dinner consisted of turkey chili and beer bread (with the leftover beers to drink, of course).

Our recipe looked like this:
1 lb of ground turkey
Half a large white onion (chopped)
1 Serrano pepper (chopped, seeds removed)
1/2 a red bell pepper (chopped)

Sautée together until the turkey is browned.
Add about half an amber beer. (We used Moe's Tap Room No. 21 Amber)
2 cans of 3 bean mix (Kidney, Black and White Beans)
2 cans of diced tomatoes with jalapenos

Season to taste with the following:
Red pepper flakes
Seasoned salt
Fresh ground pepper
1-2 tablespoons Cocoa powder
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
Chili paste
Garlic powder
A generous amount of chili powder

Let the chili stew on a low-medium heat for about 40 minutes to an hour (basically until the beer bread is done). For super simple beer bread recipe, click here. *I did find that I had to add a little extra beer to the dough. 1 didn't seem to be enough to get the right consistency.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

160. Arrival Impending.

Only four more days remain, and I think I've made the best of my last weekend alone.

-Hung out in my bathroom texting my best friend.
-Vegged out to a mini Lost marathon with a bottle of wine and woke up the next morning on my couch.
-Downsized my closet and organized my bathroom storage in preparation to share my space.
-Played fetch with Frank in the park.
-Went on a completely unplanned shopping spree for new summery clothes.
-Took lengthy naps in a sunny bedroom.
-Practiced my viola.
-Took Frank to the dog beach where I spent some time staring out at the sea, watching the sun set over the
mountains and reflecting on what I want from life.
-Had breakfast with Soren and then took the dogs to Marymoor for adventures in tall grass.
-Went grocery shopping.
-Made a pot of stoup (stew/soup, anything goes).
-Daydreamed about the future.
-Bought the new CocoRosie album...lovely!
-And now I'm going to go burn a little steam at the gym before bed.

I think I'm ready.

Monday, May 3, 2010

159. Working Out The Details

Two weeks left - I'm down to the wire on my living alone. I've enjoyed having my own space, though I think I'm getting pretty tired of it. The boredom has been both maddening and good for my creativity at the same time, but I miss having a reason to go home besides letting the dog out or needing a nap.

Last night the fantastic blonde bought his plane ticket. His one-way, "I'm coming to Seattle to stay, and I'm not leaving unless you come with me" plane ticket. He's leaving his car and pretty much everything else he owns behind for now, and will share my space until I get laid off in September.
Excitement would be an understatement...I'm actually bouncing in my chair as I type.

I also have a new four-legged roommate, as of this weekend. I was doing fine with just the Frank-dog, but I missed the sound of soft little cat feet padding across the carpet (among a million other things). Some of those things can be replicated, and some will never come back. I hadn't planned on adopting a new cat at all, but I ended up bringing one home this weekend after stopping by the shelter just to visit.

(Muppet cat)

I named him Mayday because I adopted him on May 1st, and because the thought of him in a tiny bomber jacket and goggles made me giggle. He could easily be the character in a children's book about a feline fighter-pilot. His personality is very different from Salem's, but there are certain qualities that remind me of him at the same time. He has a nice way of easing the loss without feeling like a cheap imitation.

Unfortunately, I'm also severely allergic to him, much more than I have been to any cat in a long time, and this is made worse by the fact that he refuses to sleep anywhere but on top of my head. For now, my bedroom will unfortunately have to remain a cat-free zone.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

158. Love & Loss

My cat Salem died really suddenly this morning. I have no idea why, but the emergency hospital thinks it was a stroke. He was fine last night, running around, playing in a cardboard box and sitting on the back of the couch while Soren and I watched a movie. But overnight he started sounding extra sniffly and wheezy, which I didn't think much of at the time because he has bad allergies and always tends to sound stuffed up or snores.

Around 2am the wheezing was getting pretty bad, and occasionally he would meow in a frustrated sounding way. I picked him up off the floor and put him on the bed next to me to pet him and try to make him feel better. He seemed to relax at first, but then lost control of his bladder and began coughing blood everywhere. I panicked and called Soren to come and take us to the emergency hospital because I wanted to be able to hold him in the car on the way. As we were waiting, he started to scream and try to run to another spot in the room every couple of minutes, but he could barely control his legs. He could make it a few feet before he collapsed on his side panting.

By the time I met Soren outside, Salem's gums were pale and he was struggling to breathe. Soren drove us as fast as he could to the emergency clinic, but Salem died in my hands just as we were pulling into the parking lot. I ran inside yelling for someone to help me, but they weren't able to revive him.

Based on my description of what happened, the veterinarian guessed a stroke, possibly caussed by underlying heart disease. I just don't understand how that could happen. He had allergies and bad knees, but he was healthy otherwise. He was up to date on shots, and had just gotten a dental last year. I fed him the highest quality food on the market, and didn't give him any junk food except for the occasional bit of ham or tuna as a treat.

I had never really owned a cat before, and he was incredibly special. When I adopted him, I had been working at the vet's office where he had been living for about a year and a half. The office had taken him away from a little girl who had been throwing him into walls as a kitten. She had done it more than once, and knocked him unconscious. Sometimes his pupils would dilate differently from it. He had food allergies, but was living on a prescription diet for cats who are overweight because that's what the other cats roaming loose in the office ate. He was too skinny, and bright red and blotchy, and he walked with a swagger (I was told because his pelvis had been broken and healed on its own, but my vet later said it was just because he was born with bad knees). His tail was crooked at the tip from being broken. He hated everyone except one receptionist, and even she wasn't allowed to hold him.

I spent 4 months getting to know him and we became good friends. I never tried to pet him more than he was comfortable with, but I would leave treats for him where ever I went. After a while, he would wait for me to come to work and follow me everywhere. He tried to defend me from the dogs I walked by slapping them in the face, and would jump into the cages I was trying to clean and roll around in my way.

I finally decided that I had to have him. No one else was going to adopt him, but I was terrified that someone else would, and that they wouldn't love him as much as me. The office didn't even make me pay an adoption fee, he had been there so long. They just gave him to me with a bag of food, and I took him home. He hid under my couch for three days, and when he finally came out, he seemed amazed by the concept of carpeting. He rode 2,000 miles with me in an overheating Chrysler Lebaron when we moved from St. Louis to Seattle, howling and flinging cat litter at me until I finally agreed to let him out of his crate so he could ride on the back of my seat while I drove. He survived falling out a second story apartment window that had no screen, causing me to spend an entire day sobbing my eyes out and plastering my neighborhood in lost cat fliers until it finally got dark enough that he came out of hiding.

He was never a lap cat, but he loved to try and suck on my hair (I assume he was taken away from his mother too early). But the longer I had him, the friendlier he became, until eventually, in the past couple of years, he finally would sit in my lap and just let me pet him. He was always waiting by the front door when I came home and would follow me from room to room. He loved when we had company and liked to be part of whatever was going on. He would tolerate almost anything from me, even baths, when anyone else would have been torn to shreds. He made me laugh, and he always knew just what to do when I wasn't feeling well.

I think this may be the last photo I took of him, earlier this month.

He was by far, the greatest cat I have ever known, and there will never be another quite like him again. In 6 1/2 years, he never stopped saying thank you for bringing him home with me. He was the love of my life, and I wish so much that I could have done something to help him. It's hard to make myself believe that he won't be waiting for me when I come home today, or ever again. My heart is broken, and I miss my friend.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

157. Bread!

Lately I've become sort of cooking obsessed, which I think is due to a combination of being ridiculously bored, desperately in need of more creative outlets, and sick of eating turkey bratwurst over my sink like a bachelor.

Since I ended up spending my entire Saturday night baking a loaf of bread that came out not only tasting really great, but pretty easy on the eyes as well, I feel I have to show it off. I should apologize up front for the image quality, however. Food photographer, I am not. In fact, these are from my iPhone, and I realize they have a sort of stark, strictly functional feel that I'm not in love with. Still, you get the idea:

It's called a Challah Braid, though I left off the poppy seeds because I didn't have any. I found the recipe in this old Betty Crocker cookbook I've had forever. I didn't realize it at the time, but it turns out it's actually a traditional Jewish bread made for the Sabbath and holidays. Definitely going to have to make it again; it was delicious.

In other culinary news, I made hummus for the first time last night. Just an excuse to try out the swanky new 14 cup food processor I bought this weekend. I think I used just a little more oil than necessary, and it's a bit saltier than I would have liked, but not salty enough to ruin it by any means. And now I have homemade hummus with raw broccoli for my lunch. Eee!

Tonight I'm tackling pizza (again). I have yet to perfect my crust, but it is improving. The boyfriend and I made a pretty tasty pie while he was visiting, but we definitely used too much wheat flour. The crust was super dense and rigid and much too chewy. My fault. I'm thinking I'm going to give the crust from this recipe a try, but run it through the food processor instead of trying to stir the ingredients. There may be a picture to follow, we'll see.

156. Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thursday night I had my first riding lesson since November. This is EXTREEEEMELY exciting to me, obviously. I rode my buddy Roy, who let me know exactly how much he'd missed me by snapping his head around and biting me quite hard on the back of my right arm while I was tightening his girth. He's a big baby about the girth portion of tacking up, and is always throwing a little temper tantrum about it, squealing like a pig or stomping around. I have a rainbow colored bruise from it that looks like I was pelted with a grapefruit shot from a ball launcher.

In fact, to further illustrate, these are Roy's chompers:

(It's been a while since he's seen a dentist)

Fortunately, I survived nearly being eaten by my trusty steed, and we had a really fantastic lesson. He was responsive, and I was surprised to find that I wasn't as out of shape as I'd thought. I mean, I'm still sore from head to toe, but muscle memory makes an enormous difference. I had sort of assumed that 1) I'd be practically starting over, and 2) I would probably eat dirt by the time the night was over. Neither ended up being the case, and by the end of the hour I was cantering over poles almost as if I'd never stopped riding. I cannot WAIT for next Thursday.

Last night I came home feeling so sore that I was actually nauseous and like I was made of cement, so I made a quick dinner (roasted potatoes and grilled shrimp!) and then took a nap. I woke up around 7:30 feeling much better and not at all like staying in. A quick text to my friend Ashley, and an hour later we were on our way to the casino with her very adorable Russian friend, her brother, and their friend who was in town for a wedding. Since moving out on my own I've really tried to say yes to invitations out, even when it doesn't necessarily sound like something I'd be interested in. As long as the company is good, I'm fairly certain I could have fun doing just about anything.

The boys had plans to gamble of course, so we wandered into "Canoes Cabaret" in search of drinks and dancing. I had no idea that we were going dancing, or I would have worn dancing shoes. There was a cover band playing, dressed in matching black button ups with white suit-vests and white trousers. The lead singer was stout and sweaty and his vest seemed as though it were visibly straining to contain him. The music was terrible, but reasonably danceable. It was clear, however, that we were not in Seattle anymore. It was like stumbling onto a tiny island populated by all the worst parts of the Midwest. Being on the reservation meant smoking indoors was allowed, scantily clad cougars and skinny girls with trashy tattoos abounded, I was constantly being asked for high fives from douchey boys or chatted up by exceedingly creepy old men. Fortunately, traveling in a small pack of friends creates a sort of force-field which is virtually impenetrable by all things douche. Anyway, it was a good time, despite the location. Like I said - anything can be fun in the right company.

Today I am on a mission to purchase a food processor so that I can nerd out in all my foodie glory. So far, I've done really well with my decision not to purchase a microwave. I don't miss it at all, and my leftovers aren't pumped full of strange tasting little micro-waves. But I am missing a few key kitchen essentials, like the aforementioned food processor, a cheese grater, and I could totally go for a waffle iron, as I enjoy waffles much more than pancakes.

I had also planned to order a subscription to Gourmet magazine this week, but was disappointed to discover that Gourmet no longer exists. They still have a website, but the magazine itself went out of print at the end of 2009. Sadness. They instead refer you to Bon Appetite, which I suppose is fine, except that I don't feel it comes anywhere near the awesomeness that was Gourmet. Mostly, it's the photography. Gourmet had stunning food photography, and Bon Appetite just can't compare. I ended up dropping by Barnes and Noble yesterday afternoon to pick through the other foodie publications available, and I think I've found an acceptable replacement: Fine Cooking. The photography is lush and mouth-watering, the articles are interesting, and the recipes are inspiring and approachable. Already, I have all sorts of new creations to try. This month's issue features nooooodles! Nom!

Now, if only I could master my digital camera. I might be able to start posting some sexy food porn of my own. ;)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

155. The Fur Suit

I would never in a million years have expected Chanel to make a super shaggy yeti suit and call it "outerwear", but there it is.

I totally want one.
And then, I will build a tiny Himalayan village out of snow to tramp about in, terrorizing the citizens and devouring all their goats.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

154. Saturday, Saturday

My apartment complex finally got around to repairing/replacing our gym equipment, and I finally got sick of sitting around eating and feeling sorry for myself, so last night I went and worked out. I let myself go much too long without any activity and I'd forgotten how much better it makes me feel.

Today I feel a little slimmer, I'm happier, and I'm actually in the mood to try some photography with my 30D. Ashley is coming over at 10 to go hiking (not sure where yet), but I think I'm going to bring it with me and see what I find.

I'm still completely at a loss for editing my higher quality .CR2 images in Photoshop, but at least I can play around with the .JPEGs in the meantime. I think I'm going to have to take a class. I spent two hours trying to edit digital negatives from Chicago the other night, but came up with nothing.

Tonight is Bastille Cafe with Kelsey, Corrie and Chelsea. I might bring the camera to dinner too, though even my smallest lens has a little trouble shooting subjects that close. I tend to get a lot of super cropped face shots and not much else. French food is worth the attempts to photograph, though. So pretty!

I was supposed to see Spoon at The Moore, but tickets were $40. And I hate The Moore. Gorgeous little theater, but there is NO leg room, and I was going to be sitting alone anyway, because no one buys their tickets together. It's just not the ideal venue to see a rock show, and I can't justify it to myself when I'm trying to save enough money to start riding again next month. I think I could forgo seeing just about any band to be able to get myself back on a horse. Excluding Tom Waits. Tom Waits trumps everything.

Friday, April 9, 2010

153. Love Long Distance

I've never tried to do a long distance relationship before. I expected it to be hard, but you can never picture just how something is going to feel until you actually experience it. I can only imagine how impossible this would seem if I didn't have unlimited texting. It's the one thing that's making this bearable.

Six more weeks to go. And at this point, time and distance are pretty much the same thing. 2000 miles is equal to however many weeks I have left.

Anyway, Gossip is one of my very favorite bands, especially when I'm trying to shake a miserable mood. Since the lyrics seemed appropriate, here's a really awesome video for Heavy Cross that I just found. I'm pretty sure it's a fan video, but I liked it better than the official version.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

152. Analogue Girl

When I moved into my one bedroom apartment 2 1/2 months ago, I made the decision not to sign up for any sort of television service. I'm on a budget, and seeing as how I really don't watch much anyway, it didn't seem like there was much point. This didn't stop me from spending $380 on a flat screen 32" television, however. I should have just bought something off Craigslist, but at the time, it seemed that wall mounting a tv was really the only solution for my living room. Ironically, I lost my receipt shortly before I discovered that hanging a television over your fireplace is not a good idea if you intend to sit on the floor and play video games, as it will undoubtedly lead to a lot of neck pain.

So anyway, I've been experimenting with new ways to spend my time, now that I have freed myself of being a complete couch potato. At first, this involved a lot of drinking while obtaining and listening to music, or watching episodes of Lost on Hulu (which is virtually the same as being a couch potato, except with less commercials). And of course, I spend the majority of my free time texting this really fantastic blonde boy. But now that I feel like I've finally settled in to my apartment, I'm beginning to find better uses for my energies (except of course, the texting - I have no intention of cutting back on that). Recent projects have included the very tedious hyper-organizing of the photos stored on my laptop, the sending of postcards, and making crude doodles on every piece of notebook paper I find lying around.

I'm discovering I kind of like writing letters. Which I only started doing because I felt that I owed my brother quite a few, considering he's been writing me intermittently for nearly a year, whenever he isn't living with me. Unfortunately, this has led to the realization that my life is fairly uninteresting, and I find that I put off writing anything to anyone because I'm too bored with myself to bother. So my new plan is to begin fabricating complete and total lies for fun. Fictional letters, I guess.

What else...Photoshop still mystifies me for the most part. I need to do something about that. I've fallen in love with double exposures and want to try them (thanks Flickr, for reminding me!). I just need to order more film first. I'm also cooking a lot more, since eating like a bachelor over my sink is getting a little old. I'm perfecting my own version of curry, which is probably dangerous. It's not exactly healthy, and I could totally see myself eating it almost every day. And then the viola. I am slowly becoming more disciplined about practice. Because it's not that I don't like playing...I just have difficulty making myself do it for some reason.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

151. Happy Belated, Charlie Brown

It occurred to me just now that I missed my cat's birthday. It was two days ago. His eighth, though I have no idea what that equates to in cat years. In fact, now that I think of it, no one ever refers to anything cat years. Fortunately, cats don't seem to mind when a person forgets to say things like, "Happy Birthday, Mow", or "Many happy returns". I did manage to give him a mound of tuna on top of his kibble that day, so perhaps I subconsciously remembered somehow.

Better late than never, I suppose. Happy Birthday, Salem!

Monday, March 15, 2010

150. Haiku

Fingers etch patterns
in your spine, as if seeking
some deeper meaning

Monday, March 8, 2010

149. Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm debating what to do with this blog. Frankly, it's a scattered mess. I feel like it was sort of a place to store bits and pieces of my brain when they had no where else to go. Only lately, I have less and less of a need to put things here. Maybe because I've compartmentalized myself into other places, like Flickr and Facebook, and a private blog I'm using as a journal. Mostly, I think it was intended to cheer me up when I was horribly depressed. Only now I'm not depressed, so the whole thing feels a little pointless. I mean, I named it Spilt Milk for a reason.

That's kind of huge for me be able to say that I am actually happy. I spent so long being unhappy that finally being on my own and living my life the way I want is a huge relief. I have all the freedom in the universe to be anybody I want. It's easy to say that I had that freedom all along, but it isn't true. I'm still discovering how much being with the wrong person can affect you, in ways you don't even realize until you can stand back and see things from outside the situation. I don't regret being with him at all, but I am glad that I was finally able to admit to myself that it wasn't working.

So I'm reorganizing everything. Making all the changes I've always wanted to and trying to get myself moving in the right direction. Which leaves the question of this blog. Do I save it, or start something fresh? I can't decide. I just know that I keep coming back to it and wondering what would make anyone other than me want to read it. What do I have to write about now that I'm not unhappy?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

148. Spring Cleaning

Being that my life is in a sort of transitional phase at the moment, I thought it might be the perfect time to clean up one of my favorite places; my Flickr account. I was almost as ruthless in my deleting of photos as I was cleaning out my closet. I think I've managed to trim it down to a more focused sort of portfolio, though I'm still finding shots scattered throughout that I'll probably cut.

Photography is my favorite thing, no question. It's the most approachable and satisfying form of creative expression I have. I just wish I had the motivation to spend more time working at it. Lately I find that the majority of the photos I take are with my iPhone. Partially because I haven't gotten Photoshop installed on my laptop to be able to work with my Canon 30D and because the cost of film development exceeds my budget, but also because the iPhone just happens to be the one camera I have with me all the time. Fortunately, it takes pretty great photos for a phone.

Since I use it so much, I've invested in multiple photo editing apps to give myself a little more creative control over the final product. Of those, my favorite is one called Camera Bag. If you have an iPhone, I'd definitely recommend it. I'm having so much fun with it I actually added a set to Flickr just for my artsy iPhone shots.

My only other excuse for not shooting nearly enough is the weather. It's been really rainy for months, and I just can't bring myself to take the schmancy equipment out. I'm hoping that will change soon, but I really should have been working on self portraits or something this entire time. I have all of this lighting equipment that came with my 30D, but no clue how to use it. So this is me, kicking myself for sitting around wasting so much time. Get on with it, would you?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

147. 2 Weeks Notice

Only 2 more weeks until my visit to St. Louis. Terribly excited by this. It's getting harder and harder to concentrate on work. Ever since the outsourcing announcement I've felt like I put in my 2 weeks notice. Except my notice is about 9 months long. Fortunately for me, everyone else seems to have checked out as well, so we're all just sort of killing time waiting to move on. It's not bad, really.

I've spent a lot of time recently wandering around on Lonely Planet, daydreaming of of the fascinating places I hope to visit one day. Currently a bit obsessed with Iceland. Volcanoes and glaciers and hot springs, oh my!

I'm 28 years old and I have only traveled beyond the US border once. And that was only for a weekend, and it was only Vancouver, BC. Which is practically a neighborhood of Seattle and hardly counts at all.

I was supposed to visit Alaska this summer, until my brother informed me that the round trip cost alone was going to be somewhere just under $1,000. I still intend to go, but it's going to have to wait until Summer 2011 I think.

Until then I plan to save and pay off some debt, and hopefully once I do, I can start having the sort of adventures I've been imagining all day every day.

Monday, February 8, 2010

146. Nutrition Fail.

Yeah, I just ate cake for lunch at 8:00 in the morning.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

145. Materialism and You: The First Step is Admitting You Have a Problem

I think that I'm pretty much moved into my new apartment. In the process of doing so I have reached a very important conclusion; I own entirely too much stuff.

While I was ferrying it over, I unloaded at least 4 trash bags of stuff on my local Goodwill. Yet I still can't find space for everything I kept. It's actually making me sort of clausterphobic. It seemed like a one bedroom would be plenty big, but I perhaps I underestimated the quantity of junk I own.

I'm not even sure why I keep it all. What good are a bunch of old year books and piles of clothes you almost never wear? But I do wear all of my clothes sometimes, and people are supposed to care about things like high school memories, right? It just feels overwhelming. I hate feeling like I have this enormous ball and chain to drag with me everywhere I go. None of it seems terribly worth keeping except for things like books and records. Or stuff I use on a daily basis.

I suspect it may be time I began to embrace a more minimalist existence.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

144. For Your Sighs Only

Sometimes, the best thing to ever happen to you isn't anything you could have planned. Sometimes, it just falls in your lap out of the blue, catching you entirely off guard.

Friday, January 15, 2010

143. The Week in Review

In the past 5 days, I have ended my marriage, dropped out of college, leased an apartment and discovered I have virtually nothing to furnish it with, and found out that in 8 months, my department is being outsourced to a company in Albuquerque.

You'd think that I'd be upset...but strangely, I feel amazing. Not just relieved, or like I'm getting a fresh start. I'm deliriously happy.

I signed a 6 month lease that ends July 31st. I have a job until September, and if I don't find another position in the company before then, I get 9 weeks severance pay and a lump sum to cover 3 months of Cobra insurance (or anything I want).

I haven't decided what I want to do yet. I love Seattle, but I feel like a change of scene might be a really good thing for me. I'm considering moving to Chicago to be close to the friends I find myself missing more every day. I hate the weather in the midwest, but I hear the summers in Chicago are slightly more bearable than St. Louis. Or maybe I will stay in Seattle, who knows.

I'm just done feeling trapped, and I really hope I'm over being so indecisive about every little thing. It isn't ever too late to change your life for the better.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

142. Argh.

Annnnnd I dropped my poetry class.
It's too much to deal with right now and I would rather withdraw completely than get a bad grade. Hopefully Spring quarter will be a little more stable. Who knows.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

141. Nard Dog

The slow prowl,
executed like a rabid dog
stalking the neighborhood
children hoping to snag
a late afternoon snack.
Sensibilities have gone
and all that's left is
the instinctual
(less the intellectual).
Seemingly deliberate but
driven by something
not entirely conscious.
The goal, once identified,
makes forward motion
invariably unavoidable -
accelerating toward conclusion,
whatever that may be

This wasn't an assignment. Just emptying the recycle bin to make some room. It lacks subtly, unfortunately. Ce'est la vie. I feel like I've become too serious over the past several years, and I'd like to get back to more entertaining sorts of scribbling.

I miss sleeping.
I actually fell asleep sitting in front of my computer just now, homework only partially finished. Off to bed.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

140. Winta Quarta Sorta

Class started Monday. I was enrolled for two, but as of last night, am down to one. I wasn't ready for math. I'm having trouble committing to classes I don't care about. I think this is because I still have no idea what I want to do with myself, so I'm taking my sweet time about it. Anyway, all that's left is poetry. And poetry is the class I've been waiting forever for.

I'm hoping this will motivate me to write more, even if it's terrible. If I do, it'll end up here of course. I sort of trailed off because I'm not a very focused person in general. I'm working on that.

Tomorrow I'm headed off for adventures in Chicago. I'm actually feeling really nervous with excitement. I may explode from anticipation. I shouldn't even be sitting here, I have so much left to do.

What else...I am exceedingly irritated by my haircut. It won't do anything I want. I really like my stylist, and she seems to be doing exactly what I ask her to do...yet my hair is terrible. I can't figure out what the problem is, but I think the length is just awkward. It's not quite short enough or long enough to hang properly. I'm about to scream.

I guess that's all for now.