Monday, May 11, 2009

Movin' on up

Big announcement people! Elfini (the blog) is moving!

That's right, after much soul searching (read: Help Forums), I've finally made the move from Blogger to Please go to:

or if that's how you like to roll. They will each get you there.

Bookmark the new site and enjoy! And if you have included this site in your blogroll - thank you! I'm sorry to put you to the trouble of having to change the url, but after all I've just been through, well, suck it up eh?! Updating a link is a walk in the park. While I've been cruisin' around the lower levels of hell! Go to the new site and read all about it!

So, bu-bye Blogger. We've had some good times, but we've grown apart. It's not you, it's me... Let's stay in touch - we'll do lunch!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Shit-kickers. A wedding story...

Ah yes, the cow-pie wedding. You’re intrigued, I can tell.

Cayle and Holly from Dolphin Divers got married last Saturday. And we were honored to have been invited! But before we could attend this event, logistics needed to be addressed. First up we needed a babysitter. But even more important to me was – what am I going to wear?! The wedding was in Napa at 5:00pm. But the note in the invitation said to arrive at 4:30 for a leisurely walk to the wedding site (cars available for those who do not wish to walk). Ok. I had questions. I gave Chris the job of calling and finding out exactly what the deal was (i.e. what should I wear?). At this point I’m starting to fret a bit. My closet is severely lacking in potential spring wedding wear. I have several skirts, but no tops to go with them. And what about shoes?

Chris finally gets back to me with the specifics: the wedding was not being held in a vineyard as you might assume. It’s in a cow pasture. And the wedding site is on a hill, up a gravel path. And the last pitch of that path is steep! Ok. Now my eye is twitching. I have to scale a small mountain during the hottest part of the day in nice clothes?! Do I need to bedazzle my Keens?! And what about the cows?! It was obvious I was going to have to go shopping.

So, I headed to the mall. Bought several tops to go with my several skirts – I like to have options. I figured I would wear my Keens or pink tennies (depending on which skirt I wore) for the hike and then change into nice sandals for the reception. And then it started to rain. And rain changes everything. Silk skirts? I don’t think so. Open toe sandals? Not so much. Fuck. Back to the mall. Were I found these:

Sharon did not believe I was going to wear these to a wedding. Even a wedding in a cow pasture. But I did! And they were a hit. Not only that, they were a necessity! I’m pretty sure that wasn’t just wet dirt we were truckin’ along in.

Here’s how things ended up- Due to the rain, the ceremony and reception were moved inside the barn. This was a working cattle ranch and the cows were in the next barn over. I waved and then plugged my nose. It poured on the drive there, but stopped when we arrived. Nice. So I ended up wearing the long silk wrap skirt over my jeans - because it was cold. I never took my jacket off so the worries over the top were for naught. And we had a great time! They had draped fabric and twinkle lights over the steer-showing pen and hung lights from the ceiling. There was a wooden dance floor in the middle of the barn surrounded by hay. The tables were around the perimeter in the hay. And it was actually quite lovely. Weddings are just happy ya know? Even if the ‘facilities’ only consisted of his and her port-a-johns.

There were only two things wrong with the evening: #1 – I got to shoot with Holger’s Nikon D200 {swoon} and #2 – we had to leave before they cut the cake!

Sure, we stopped and got shakes on the drive home to satisfy our missed dessert cravings, but how will I assuage the camera lust I now have? Cause oh baby, that camera felt good…

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Voter apathy

Well, the public has spoken. I was going to give you a month to vote – like India’s rolling elections, but I guess 6 votes is all I’m gonna get. So without further ado, an updated photo of the painting*:

That was the work I did on the background, way back on Sat April 18th.
And on the 19th I worked on the jeans and jacket:

It's coming along nicely. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to work on it since that weekend. The 25th was the day Kyle and I attended a photo class at the California Automobile Museum**. Then I promptly got sick for several days. This past Saturday was the cow patty wedding. And yesterday... well, I don't really remember yesterday. But I didn't get a chance to paint. And I won't be painting next weekend either since it seems we're going coastal again. So, I'm feeling kinda twitchy about the whole thing. I hate losing my momentum. Especially when I'm faced with painting the hair. I'm dreading the hair.

* Sorry P. You were out-voted 5-1. Next time do a bit of campaigning for your cause!

** That was a lot of fun! Kyle discovered the joy of using a tripod -my tripod- and got all the good shots! I've put Lightroom on Kyle's computer and now I need to show him how to use it. Photos coming to flickr soon. Well, probably in a couple weeks. You know how it is...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Prodigal Son

Due to circumstances most unfortunate, our friend Cynthia recently moved to Santa Cruz. Crapitola to be exact. Just down the road from the uber-in-laws*. How convenient. Again, the reasons for her move sucked but the end result is win/win for everyone! She has returned to the town that she loves and I now have a local friend when we go down for weekends. I’ll probably see more of her now than when she lived in Sacramento or Auburn! Coolio. Not only is Cynthia a fab painter, she recently got a Canon Rebel of her own, so camera-buddy!** She’s got Lightroom up and running and I’m looking forward to seeing her photos. (hint hint. hello?)

Speaking of painting and returning to the mother-ship… I got another two days of painting under my belt this past weekend. I’m pleased as punch with how the painting is coming along! So, the question I have for you, gentle reader, is this: do you want to see the progress photos I’m taking after each days work? Or would you rather just wait and see the finished painting? And since you people seem to be so damn reluctant to leave comments, I'm trying something new, fun, and easy - a poll! Vote now and change the world!

* And let's not forget what today is... Happy BEarthday P! I couldn't imagine a better mum-in-law. I left a present for you on my flickr account. Enjoy!

** Chris – don’t even begin to think this is letting you off the hook, the van is still the ultimate drive-by vehicle!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

100 Proof

I was going through some photos in Lightroom and I realized that I never followed up with how that Mather Golf Course Second Saturday event went... probably because not much came of it. The morning was cold and windy, there wasn't much foot traffic besides the other vendors, and I only sold one print- a framed 5x7 I pulled off my office wall to use as an example piece on the table. Speaking of my table, here's how it turned out:

and here is a shot with my fancy new canvas print rack full of all the prints I made.

Pretty slick eh? Well, I'll be ready if I ever decide to do that again. In the meantime, I've got a lot of prints for sale. Call me!

Moving on...

Did you hear that little birdie* announce that I've started painting again? It's true. 2 weekends ago I finally started a new canvas. It has been around 2 years since I've painted! And I know you are going to jump to the easy assumption that I blame the baby**, but I don't. That was all Chris's fault!** ok ok it wasn't really Chris's fault. The painting muse was on an extented vacation, but now she's back!

Day One - put a wash on the canvas and started sketching in all those damn limbs!

Day Two - blocking in the color.

Kyle thinks it's done. Silly rabbit - not even close! I missed working on it last weekend as we were in Santa Cruz for Easter and birthdays! There was Chris's b-day on the 2nd to celebrate and Erin's on the 13th. Yep, the baby is now 2! I just got the pics off my camera. I'll post those photos "soon". I've got a couple other things to finish up first. Remember, patience is a virtue!

* Twitter baby. Keep up.

** The running joke around here is that I'm just too damn happy to paint. Tortured artist and all that...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I miss all the fun. /frown

This is the awesome! Thanks Andrea.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

a Hodge-podge, but no Brady

Damn woman - have a little patience!

The uber-in-laws called while I was cooking dinner. Over the speaker-phone I promised to post a pic of Kyle's new haircut. 20 minutes ago, while I was still helping Kyle with his homework, I received the following email:

"I rushed home (okay, there was a pizza stop in the ‘rush’ part) to see Kyle’s haircut on your blog!!! I was promised!! Oh, deceiving phone calls on speaker."

Well then. As promised! The new and improved Kyle - BEHOLD!

I had forgotten that he even had eyebrows!

Reading list

And while I have your attention P, how is Lamb coming along? I finished Island of the Sequined Love Nun and it did not disappoint! It wasn't as laugh-out-loud as some of his other books, but the ending had me grinning like a fool. 5 Stars. Classic Moore. Yum!

2 days ago...

Sunday afternoon, I finally scanned the negs from the roll of film I shot with the Supersampler. Today I uploaded 7 of the 12 'keepers' to Flickr. I'll post the rest tomorrow - but gee wiz, if I don't get them up right away, cut me some slack eh?!

Monday, March 23, 2009


I am procrastinating. I should be changing into a pair of pants that fit so that I can go to the grocery store. But I made a quick stop by my desk and here we are. And here a couple photos of the kiddies that I did some Photoshop magic to.

Yes, another tutorial. This one was the Stylized Comic Book Effect by Corey Barker of PlanetPhotoshop. Fun for me!

And here is a super simple Halftone Dots and Linear Light Effect:

In other news, I am reading Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore. It's...

Now I must find pants and get out the door. Chris just came upstairs and told me to buy drugs. Lots of drugs.

I'm sure he will clarify exactly what he is looking for before I leave. He knows me a little too well...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Intergalactic Translator

Were you aware that Erin turns 2 next month?! Holy Aging Me Batman. That’s crazy. So I guess that means she is right on the mark of the developmental scale. Cause as I’ve said before – that baby is crazy.

And she is getting big. Some long lean little girl who is all limbs has disappeared my cute chubby moon-faced baby. She probably ate her. I swear Erin eats twice as much as Kyle! She’ll eat her dinner, then mooch off Chris’s, mine and Kyle’s. And now she’s making requests at breakfast! She will ask for eggs. In a bowl. Sometimes after she has already eaten her yogurt, banana, bread and a handful of cheerios. Damn. Its kinda scary how much the girl can eat.

Since she is so advanced, she has already been displaying the typical Terrible Two’s most endearing behavior – the temper tantrum. By now you know about her lung capacity, so you can well imagine how much fun those fits can be. And just who taught her to dislocate her shoulders so that you can not pick her up?! She can also go the other way – pressing her arms tight to her body so you can’t lift her out of the crib. She’s obviously brilliant! I also detect quite a bit of talent in her line-drawings. You might also file them under scribbling.

Erin also has a lot to say. She chatters on almost as much as Kyle. And I’d say about a third of what she says is in English. Baby is bilingual! Although Chris and I can not agree on what the other language is. He says it is Vietnamese, I say Swedish. (By the way, Chris does not know pig-latin! How can you not know pig-latin?! Gah, we are going to have to start spelling soon!) Anyway, on the off chance I can convince you to come over and baby-sit, I’ve put together a handy Erin-to-English translation sheet for you.

Erin-ese     English

Bears cranberries (will also accept raisins)
Baby yogurt (because the Yo-baby containers had a pic of
a baby on them)
Beer, wine just what you think! Do not let her have any.
Linner dinner (or lunch – really any meal)
Moon spoon
Buttas boots
Ollies glasses
Hammer helmet (bike)
Bella Isabella (baby-sitter’s granddaughter) or crayons
Minny Mickey Mouse – or Manny from Handy Manny (damn! Now
I’ve got that Handy Manny song stuck in my head)
Mama Grandma (Papa is Grandpa and often uttered in a low
growl. Do not be afraid.)
Mote remote control
Pie pacifier (only to be used in bed)
Cracker animal crackers (she does not want a Scooby snack)

The rest of what she saying you can understand pretty well. Unless it is in Portuguese.

She also has quite a few short sentences she'll throw down:
"Where’s (insert missing object)?" - comes with arms out, palms up, slight shrug
"I don’t know"
"No want" (or "No want to") - she usually puts her hand over her mouth – funny

And our personal favorite:

"Okay, bye later."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Progress. It's what's for dinner.

or Progress. The other white meat. I couldn't decide.

I hate having to push the picture of Erin-in-the-hood down the page, but life moves on. And so does this blog. Albeit at a much slower pace. But hey! Tomorrow is that thing. The Second Saturday Event at Mather Golf Course that has been ruining my life for the past month and a half. Besides adding the rest of the price tags to the prints, finding my folding chair in the garage, withdrawing cash from the bank for change (which I better well need!), and packing the rest of my stuff – I am done. I think.

I talked to Sharon yesterday afternoon. Told her that at this point in time, I no longer feel the need to cause her physical pain. Although, Chris might, when he goes to balance the checkbook and sees how much money I have spent on this affair! And then I told her that while I was not necessarily looking forward to Saturday, I wasn’t dreading it either. Yup, that’s as much as I was willing to give her. She who finagled-tricked-hoodwinked me into this gig. And she’s already talking about next month! Um, lets wait and see how tomorrow goes first eh?

Hmm. All this brings me back to thoughts of trying to sell prints on-line. I was toying with the idea at the beginning of the year and doing some research into Going that route, I would post the items for sale, and do the printing and shipping myself. Another option is Imagekind. For them, I would create a gallery (up to 24 images) and they would handle the rest; printing, shipping even framing. Which seems like a no-brainer. Except it’s not. The big problem is aspect ratios. Good god how I hate the whole concept of aspect ratios. The skinny is that my camera’s sensor creates a picture that has the same aspect ratio of a 4x6 print. Now if you go and make an 8x10 print of that file, you are cropping off A LOT of the picture as I had intended it to be! Because I frame my shots in camera. So, using Imagekind puts my photos at risk of unwanted cropping whenever someone orders an innocent 8x10 print. 99% of my photographs do not work at 8x10inchs. The stuff that would be cropped off needs to be there! Ugh. Now I want to hurt someone again. Maybe a mathematician (or Chris). I knew I was correct in blaming math for all my woes.

Oh. I apologize. I spoke too soon. In going to their website to create the above link, I found out that Imagekind “will never change the aspect ratio of your image (the ratio between height and width) or arbitrarily crop your images.” Well, that changes everything. I’ll probably start there and save Etsy for a later date. Depends on how many prints I end up bringing back home tomorrow afternoon.

And I’m not going to edit the above paragraph about Imagekind and aspect ratios because that rant about aspect ratios has been a long time coming! That is why I had to cut so many damn custom mats for tomorrow’s event. When the hell are the mat-makers that supply Michael’s and Aaron Bros going to get on the 3:2 aspect ratio band-wagon?! Half the world is shooting with cameras that have this size image sensor. Make us mats that fit our pictures! Must I do all the work?!


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Lidsville - Street Punk Edition

If you encounter this baby in a dark alley - run the other way. That baby will mess you up! At the very least, she'll steal your hat.*

This hat used to be mine. I bought it in Fort Bragg several years ago. I gave it to Kyle last year to take camping. At some point Erin got her hands on it and won't give it back. That's cool. I'm not gonna try and take it away from her - have you heard her scream?! I've got another hat.

I took these photos on a Saturday morning - this is how the baby kicks it around the casa.

So, I was going to tell you about Sharon and why she should pay for my suffering. Well, somehow she managed to get me to agree to be a vendor at Mather Golf Course's Second Saturday Event on March 14th. omfg. How did that happen? I don't drink, so I wasn't drunk. Why would I agree to such a thing? Selling my photographers? Sure, it sounds so simple. Wrong. It is a major pain in my ass! And it will probably be the death of me. Or a small part of me. Hey, I'm definitely losing sleep over it! I'm not even going to tell you about the traumas I am having over printing these photos. Then there are the logistics of displaying the prints. And at some point I'm going to have to figure out pricing! I am so going to kick Sharon in the shin the next time I see her. Damn it! She was just here on Saturday and not only did I NOT kick her, we fed her abalone, and then I took photos of her (106!) so she would have a new profile pic for freakin' Facebook! Ugh. Now, I'm really mad. I made her look good, and I'm sitting here having heart palipitations while some Canon bigwig is buying another Mercedes on my dime!

Ok, maybe it is time for a little yoga break. While I go stand on my head, you can ponder the cuteness of the Bean. In this shot she looks just like Chris!

* She's also been known to sticky-finger a cell-phone out of a purse without anyone noticing. Next up: Mug shots!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I have a cold. Or the flu. Possibly a random plague. I blame Julie. She cursed me – a pox upon my house no less! Sure, sure, she promptly lifted the curse, but obviously not fast enough. Because a couple weeks ago Kyle got sick. And Kyle never gets sick! And then while we were in Santa Cruz, Erin started getting sick. She was sick all last week, poor baby. And now I am sick. So yes, I blame Julie. Although I believe she has paid for her sins. She was also sick last week. And then yesterday she called me for tween anecdotes for an article she is writing. Ha! she ended up listening to an almost certainly feverish me babble on about Kyle for 30+ minutes. I have no recollection of what I said to her. More ramblings of a lunatic. She should have been recording that shit. Chopped it up, added some random images and a funky electronic dub, uploaded to YouTube, and become an instant internet phenomenon. Oh well, maybe next time she’ll be ready for me.

Warning. Abrupt change in subject.

I have been collecting images of Erin in all her hats. Girl likes to wear hats! And if Chris wants to point his genetic blaming finger at me for that one, well I’ll take it. Hats are cool. Use to wear them all the time myself. Still have a couple funky hats, but most are of the practical and warm variety now. Hmm, will have to remedy that situation at some point. More funky hats for the people! Anyway, Erin loves to wear random hats around the house. She’s also obsessed with her bike helmet. Shocking. This hat was pilfered off a stuffed dog that Kyle gave her. It always cracks us up when she wears it. She looks like a stoned snow-boarder, or one of the McKenzie Brothers.

"Beauty Clark!"

"Take off, eh!"

And that’s all I’ve got for ya today. You too can blame Julie. Or Sharon. Sharon has not yet paid for all the suffering she’s causing me. I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow. Or as soon as Julie’s pox removal cream starts working. The nice man on the TV said the results were guaranteed or I’d get my money back less shipping and handling. That’s a good deal right?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I love a Tutorial

More than a parade! Although there was that one time at Ventura College when I saw a line of students walking across campus all carrying globes – now that was a parade.

Anyways, I am following a bunch of web designers on Twitter, and they are always sharing cool links to articles, graphics, tutorials, etc. Apparently the look of Pressed Lettering (embossing) is all the rage is web design for 2009! Yeah, you heard it here first! Unless you already knew about it. But hey, I like to be trendy – ha! Ok, I like a good tutorial. We all can agree on that yes? So, this one looked cool and lord knows I need to be honing my rudimentary Photoshop skills whenever I can. So, I followed along and made this:

Pretty nifty eh? We’ve got the starry space background that it so en vogue right now. Really, if you start to look, you’ll see it everywhere. And then I cut out the Blanchfield Photography letters so that background shows through. If I told you how I did it, I would have to kill you. Or – you would die of boredom as I rambled on about layers, masks, radial gradients… although I think Kyle hung in there pretty well. My little designer-in-training. Either way, don’t worry about the how , "oooh pretty" is the proper response.

And I will save the rant about my name for another day. Lucky you. Chris wasn’t so lucky. He never is.

So. There I was with this... thing image... that I created.* What was I going to do with it? Well, first I resized it to 160x107 pixels. Then I did a bit of html cut and paste and viola! It is now a badge over there on the left that links to my photo website. Cool. Except at that tiny size you can't see the stars or the cut-out effect of the letters, so I had to write this post to show it off and here we are. And it is still to small in Blogger to really appreciate it. I advise you to click the image to view it in all its glory! By the way, have you calibrated you monitor recently?

*Ooh! I'm going to make a monster next so that I can say "I've created a monster!" And I won't be talking about the children. Chris frowns upon that.

Actually right now I'm making spirographs designs in Illustrator. When I'm done with those I'll make a monster.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Event Horizon

The call from the vet was not good news. Bodhi’s kidney levels were through the roof. Apparently she had been sick for some time and was suffering renal failure. It was just a matter of time. So we said our goodbyes, and I took her back to the vet’s yesterday afternoon. What a heart-breaking day.

Kyle’s friend picked him up later in the evening and took him to a band event at the school for a couple hours. Chris went to bed early. I watched a little TV and then grabbed my book – I’m almost hesitant to tell you what I was reading, lest you think I am intentionally trying to re-read my youth. Which I’m not, but an interesting idea all the same.

I was reading Neuromancer. Which I’m pretty sure I read the first time while I was still in Detroit. Which means – hold on, gotta do a little math and that’s always painful – 17+ years ago. Holy crap. That can not be right. I no longer trust my math skills. Anyway, I read this book a long long time ago. And unlike Jailbird and The Watchmen, I remembered none of it. At points I even doubted that I had really read it before. Science Fiction was not (still isn’t) my usual genre. But I did read it, and at several times throughout the book, I really wanted to go back in time and ask the younger, completely not-geeky in the sci-fi way, me it I enjoyed it. Did I even get it then? 20 years later, the concepts of AI and the matrix are not that hard to wrap your head around. But in the late 80s?! Yeah, not so much. I really would like to have been in my poor brain on that first run – man, that must have been one hellofa mind fuck! Or I was completely lost. Yes, I know – I was in my brain that first time, I just don’t remember the experience. Don’t remember any of my thoughts about the book. Nothing. Nada. Kinda strange don’t you think? Maybe it was completely over my head, so I just moved on, retaining nothing.

But I hadn't planned on reading this book. I was in the Science Fiction section at the library looking up books by Neil Gaiman, when I noticed Neuromancer by William Gibson on the shelf below. And I remembered that Chris, who is always reading SciFi, had told me he had never read it! I, of course, gave him some shit about it being a classic and that even I had read it blah blah blah. So I checked it out for him. But he’s reading some work related books right now, so when I finished The Watchmen, I picked up Neuromancer. Simple as that.

Kyle didn’t get home till around 10pm last night. I stayed up to 11:30 finishing the book. When I finally got to bed I was completely exhausted. Emotionally beat-up by the week, and up hours past my normal bed-time, I hoped I would fall right to sleep. No dice. My head hit the pillow and I closed my eyes…

I was in the exam room. Petting Bodhi’s gaunt frame. Waiting for the doctor to come and…

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Move along, nothing to see here

Typically, the day after a migraine-induced post that is barely lucid, I like to follow-up right away with something light, sunny, and well - sane. Push the ramblings of a lunatic down the page some on the off chance that a new reader might stop by. Hey, it could happen! Leave a girl her dreams eh? I have gotten a few comments from complete strangers over the years. Although to be perfectly honest, it kinda freaked me out.

Sadly, today you're not going to be getting that happy post. Our cat, Bodhi, is sick. And the outlook is not good. Chris took her to the vet last night. She has a mass in one ear that has basically paralyzed half of her face. And she has stopped eating and only weighs 7 lbs. We won't get the results from the blood work back until tomorrow, so we don't really know anything conclusive yet. But still, I'm a bit of a mess. We all are. So, yeah. It sucks. She is only 10. We've had her since Kyle was 2 1/2 and she sleeps on his bed every night. So as you can imagine, they are kinda tight. Well, as tight as a boy and an aloof cat can be. And I'm not even going to think about how much thumpin' that crazy cat gets from Chris every morning, or how he carries her around upside down...

And where the hell is the part of my brain that tells me to wear water-proof mascara when I need it?! Stupid brain. Stupid mascara. Stupid mass.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And the ones that mother gives you. Don't do anything at all...

Hmpf. This blog needs a new post. I finally have a little breathing room this morning while I wait for IT to call back, and what do you know- I feel like crap. I’m border-line contemplating getting a headache. So, fun for you. Buckle up. Odds are this will make no sense at all. Hmm, I wonder if Bob Mould is on Twitter. No. So onward for better or worse. Ya know, somewhere there is a smart-part of my brain that is shouting “take the pill now!” I’ve heard it’s message faintly a couple times this morning. I suspect that part of my brain is being sat on by the ‘you-only-get-6-pills-a-month’ pill-horder part of my brain. The same part that has enough vicodin to choke a cow stashed away in the bathroom, but never sent up the suggestion to take some while I was suffering excruciating pain pre-ER visit last month. Yeah, that part. The evil s.o.b. part of my brain. Oh dear, this is not going well. Must focus.

So, last Friday was a good day. I had planned to write a nice post on Friday afternoon, telling you all about this wonderful chickpea sandwich that had brought me one step closer to world domination. But no. As soon as I got home – woosh! I was swept away by Chris’s Big Weekend Project. His plan is to get rid of our storage unit. To do that we need to make room in the garage for the stuff from storage. Of course this can only happen after a giant purge of crap that we no longer need. So Chris started to go through all the boxes and sort the things we wanted to keep and the crap to toss or items to donate. Now, my possessions were already pretty streamlined. But Chris has been luggin’ around a lot of stuff. Like all his college text books! All of them! To the dump they go! In fact much stuff went to the dump. Two van loads of stuff. And then a van load of stuff went to Goodwill. That's a lot of stuff!

It was a weekend trippin' down memory lane. Chris looking through boxes of old climbing mags – literally – boxes! Photos. I won't even mention the love notes from high-school girl friends. Yikes. I went through all my old artwork. Whoa, the Blurry years watercolor phase is some seriously weird shit. Sadly for you, I didn’t think to pull out the camera and photograph any of it. Now it is all repacked is nice new portfolios and back up on the shelf. But my old canvases are still to come back from storage so we have that to look forward too. I’m sure that some twisted stuff in that stack too. I did find the self portrait I painted while I was going to Wayne State. I don’t think Chris will let me hang it in the house.

So, the point – yeah, like there is a point to any of this! - is that we worked in the garage all weekend. And we got a lot done – beside my canvases, a couples chairs and the shelves, the storage unit is empty! But my thoughts of world domination were lost. And when I got back to work on Monday, I was faced with an email migration that still is not working right. So blah. What’s a girl to do? I babbling on one monitor and staring at this on the other.

All while waiting for someone from the IT dept Helpdesk to call me back. It could happen.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

its like a Commandment or something...

President Obama didn't mention anything about not stealing in his speech right?

Cause I swiped this pic from and I'm not sorry. Because it's too funny to not share. And I'm a small fish in this bloggy sea - more like a little tiny baby krill - so I don't think she'll notice. I would have asked, but she's a bit busy today with the all the happy happy joy joy dancing she's got going on. So, I'm just gonna spread the Miyagi-love on her behalf...

And my favorite Inauguration Tweet of the day from redwhiteandnews: "What would rock is if Carrie Fisher came out and put medals around Obama & Bidens necks while the Star Wars theme played."

Hell yes!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Wow. I just finished re-reading The Watchmen last night. Damn. On so many levels.

And with that stunning assessment, it is time to catch you up on what I have been reading. After finally finishing The Shock Doctrine last fall, I hunkered down in the fiction section to nurse my wounds and regain my strength.
According to my Goodreads* account, I've read:

  • I Was Told There’d Be Cake – Blah. Didn’t finish it.

  • Pagan Babies – Good ol’ Elmore Leonard. Started out kinda slow (coulda been the Elavil) but wrapped up nicely at the end!

  • How to Be Good – Nick Hornby being not so good.

  • Jailbird – pulled this old Vonnegut book off my bookshelf. It had been so long since I had last read it that I had forgotten everything, but would remember/recognize it as I went along. So it goes.

  • American Gods – Oh yeah baby, this was good. There should be more Neil Gaiman – such a great story teller. And you can never go wrong with gods right?I must convince the Sain’tly one to send me the rest of the Lucifer series.

  • The Glass Castle: A Memoir – Cynthia lent this book to me and I must say, I avoided it for the longest time. But I picked it up between books and was quickly sucked in. Amazing story.

Which brings me back to The Watchmen. Damn. It was fanfuckintastic. The Sain’t gave it to me to read the first time in – let’s see, we determined it was my second stay in San Francisco, so that would have been ‘92? Early ‘93? And like the Vonnegut book, I didn’t remember much of anything about the plot, yet turning each page there was a familiarity, a “oh yeah!” moment. I did remember the comic with-in story, but the end was a complete surprise. How nice. (It seems 15+ years does the trick. There was a postcard for a gallery opening dated 1992 in the Vonnegut book.) And now it’s finished. And I'm feeling rather lost. But hey! The movie will be out soon! And when it comes out on DVD later this year, I’ll finally get to see it. I'm not worried. Those uber-in-laws will take care of me. Bob's TV is large enough to rival any movie theater. And there will probably be cake. Whether I like it or not.

What am I reading now? Dreamweaver CS3 – The Missing Manual. Cause I just can’t stand not lugging a big heavy programming book around with me everyday. It’s an illness I tell ya, an illness.

* ya know, I was just talking to Chris about my FBI file. Everyone has one right? Mine should have a flag on it by now don’t you think?! (I’m now following Karl Rove on Twitter!) Anyways, "they" say they track your library records and searches on Amazon etc. Well and its ilk make sure they don’t miss a thing! Books bought at a garage sale? Loaned from a friend? Handed to you in an airport with a marigold for a bookmark? Let me just add that to my Goodreads account. It’s the equivalent of polishing the silver tray, donning white gloves, and spoon feeding the info right to the data miners. Damn. I should quit everything and start focusing on the JFK conspiracy full time! And UFOs.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Dead Kennedys** Ear Worm of Love

Wow, we were barely unpacked from our last trip to Santa Cruz (hey remember Christmas? yeah that was only like 2 weeks ago!) and we turned around and went back last weekend (check it - the grandparents still have their tree up!). Seemed rather sudden, but the waves were pumpin’ dude. So, we threw our bags in the van, and 3 hours later were back at the beach. It appears that our travel plans will now be based on the swells. Bitchin.

And you know what else is bitchin’? My in-laws. In fact I’m upgrading them. They are henceforth to be referred to as the uber-in-laws. Cause my in-laws are better than your in-laws and that’s all there is to it. There is no need to go into any long drawn out list of how and why they are better, no need to mention mercury glass, or Sigg bottles piled on top of all the love, all I need to tell you is that they read this blog. And they saw my last post and they were ready for me when I came back.

While the boys were surfing, Bob and Paula took Erin and I to the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park so that I could get my big tree fix! That’s right, there is a redwood forest right down the road - 6.25 miles from the comfy bed I sleep in! I knew there were redwoods nearby, but this was right there in Aptos. Behind Fleur, and that little shop were I spend too much money on fancy barrettes for Erin’s hair. Happiness was so close all this time!! So we strolled thought the trees for an hour and all was right with the world! I'm now thinking we're gonna have to put bike racks on the van.

And the next morning, sans fils, Chris and I went back downtown and stumbled upon a street fair. Oh the joy. I picked up a couple books. Snapped some pictures. And then found the treasure of the day. An Argus 75 Twin Lens Reflex camera. Hot damn! I can't wait to try this baby out. Just looking though the ground glass viewfinder makes me happy. Chris said I actually "squealed" when the guy said it was ten bucks. I can believe that.

So yesterday I dropped off the first roll of film from the Supersampler* to be developed! Then I stopped by the camera shop to get a quick lesson in working the new Argus and picked up some more film.

Ya know, I’m gonna have a heck of a time convincing Chris I need to upgrade my digital camera body sometime in the future if I keep buying cheap film cameras.

I can stop any time I want to.

* for the record - that camera was a Christmas present. Oh! and the Holga was a gift/payment for design work done. So technically, the Argus is the first film camera I have purchased. So there.

** because I have far too much time on my hands, I found California Uber Alles on YouTube. Damn, that's some funny shit.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Lookin' good Billy Ray

So, here we are, 6 days into 2009 and I’ve got to tell you, I’m feeling pretty good.* I don’t want to jinx things, but since I’ve already declared ’09 to be the year of Health and Happiness, I’m going to go all out and be… happily optimistic. Down right cheery. Good things are happening. Yippy! Alright. Enough of that. Everything in moderation people.

This is the first time I’ve ever really been jazzed about a new year. The whole new year/resolution thing was never the big a deal for me. But having survived 2008, and on Chris’s prompting, I actually wrote out a list of goals for 2009. Top of the list were Health and Fitness goals. Easy. Easy to put on the list, not to accomplish. Although more yoga should not be a problem. The rest of the list was pretty much art related. It would be nice to start painting again. But I don’t worry about it. That’s one of those ‘it will happen when it happens’ zen things. In the mean time, I’ve got plenty to do with my cameras. I even have some design work to do. And over the weekend, Chris added another baby gate across the office/tv room so that the Tasmanian Devil we live with can no longer get to our desks! We may now be able to get some actual work done. That in itself is going to improve our lives 1000%. It’s going to be amazing.

Hmm, I’ve nowhere to go with all these positive thoughts and good vibes. This post is 2 days in the making now and it’s flopping around like a fish outta water. Lucky for us, the always loverly JulieT has tagged me with my very first meme. I am to name 6 things that make me happy. Well, that shouldn’t be too difficult right?! If I get hard pressed, I can always use Kyle and Erin for 2 of the 6. Ha! I know! That is really funny. And then I have to tag 6 other poor saps with the meme. Cause meme’s are the internet equivalent of chain-letters but without the “something bad will happen to you if you don’t” part. Cause if you don’t do it, I don’t care. God speed and more power to ya.

So, without further ado, 6 things that make me happy (in no particular order and not counting my family and friends who are a given right?):

  1. Cheap film cameras – Santa brought me a Supersampler to keep my Holga company! I can’t wait to get the first roll developed and see what I’ve got. Experiment art at it finest baby.
  2. Yoga – there must be more yoga. I’ve even been toying with the idea of teaching again. Maybe later in the year.
  3. Getting things in the mail from friends – really is there anything better?!
  4. Trees – being in the Redwoods, a forest, climbing a tree, or the shade of a really big tree on a summer day.
  5. Books – and libraries! How am I ever going to have time to read all those books?
  6. Paint in my fingernails - it’s been a while, but I dig the reminder that I have been doing something that I love. And the stained fingernails last longer than that smear of paint across my forehead.

There. That wasn’t so hard. In fact, that list has made me really happy! Especially thinking about the trees. I really need to get down to Big Sur one of these days. Get my big tree fix. Hmm, maybe the next long Santa Cruz weekend. But not this next weekend. Next weekend is all about the surfing. And the Supersampler!

Oh yeah, I need to pay the happiness forward. My super6 are:

Katie Jean
Mistress Potty Mouth
Nifty Images
Sain’t Christopher
Spa Diva
Slices of Stacy


* Except when I go to sit down. Or walk down stairs. My thighs do not appreciate that particular range of motion after the lunges I did Sunday afternoon whilst strength training on the Wii Fit. The quads, they are a burnin’. Actually, I suspect many parts of my body are sore, but my brain can only process one set of signals at a time and the pain receptors from my legs have got the system all tied up right now! Bandwidth hogs.