[Taken 20 May 2005 | Three studies in light and shadow at the Venetian | The Venetian Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV]
What do you think of the title? Tres pretentious, no? Since I am about to be leaving on a business trip to Philiadelphia, and won't be back until sometime July 2, I figured that I would post three images. (A rare treat.) The third is my personal favorite.
Speaking of which, I had better pack.
[Taken 28 May 2005 | Paper Birch | Centerville, OH]
I almost ran over a tiny fluffy little baby bird with the lawnmower this morning. Fortunatly, the connection between my eyes and my brain and the rest of me happened in time and I was able to stop the mower, and stand there for a few minutes blankly wondering what to do. I eventually picked up the baby bird (I know! I know! Bad! But I couldn't think of anything else at the time.) and moved it into the shade in the flower bed so that it would 1) not roast in the direct sun and 2) not get run over or stepped on by yours truly. Then I finished mowing the lawn. When I went to look for it, it was easy to spot the nest it fell out of, and it was only about 10 or 12 feet off of the ground. As I am short (and as I had no idea how to make John's strange folded up ladder unfold into a real usable ladder) I called John for help. John is mightly tolerant of such things. (Thank you again!) He came out to the house, set up the ladder, and shooed the mother bird away (temporarily) while I got paper towels to pick up the baby bird with (in an attempt to minimize the amount of scent left on it). While the mother bird (a mourning dove) did its little "look at me, I have a broken wing" flutter and flop down the streen in an attempt to distract us, John put the baby bird back in the nest. When it comes to wild animal rescue, this was probably also not the best thing to do, just picking it up and putting it back, but I couldn't just go off and leave the baby bird lying there in the flower bed either. I really hope that when I swing by the house tomorrow to check on things (and I won't be able to not check on things) that I don't find the baby bird on the ground under the nest again. That is all I ask.
[Taken 19 June 2005 | Antiques | Ann Arbor, MI]
The first thing I said this morning was "Why is the alarm on?" as the alarm had indeed gone off, and on the holy weekend no less. This did not impact my ability to immeadietly fall back asleep, however... when I finally staggered out of bed about an hour and a half later, it was still hours earlier (7:30am) then I generally get up on a day when there is no work to go to.
Last night John and I killed the last of our once copius collection of alcohol. The final holdout was the bottle of Blue Curacao, which we finished off via shots while playing cribbage. A while ago, shortly after we bought the house, we simply stopped replacing the bottles of alcohol and various mixers as we emptied them during our martini mixing kicks. We never actually discussed this... we just sort of stopped replenishing the supply by silent mutual agreement. One less thing (actually about a dozen less things) to move when the day comes, right? We will, of course, need to re-stock once we are moved into the house, as a celebratory martini party will almost certainly be in order. I fear the hit that our joint account will take when we make that booze run.
[Taken 28 May 2005 | Perfect Blue | Centerville, OH]
Ever since seeing The Grudge I have been a little freaked out whenever I need to go to the office after hours in the evenings. You know... those pools of darkness between the dim, all-night emergency lights are just so dark and deep. It is easy to imagine that there could be monsters of some sort lurking in the cubicle next door, or across the hall, just waiting for youto become engrossed in whatever it was that you came in for and drop your guard. And when you walk back toward the stairs after completing your errand, you inevitably notice the echo of your footsteps, which sometimes seem louder, and sometimes softer (darned odd office acoustics) and give the eerie impression that you are being followed.
If you have seen The Grudge you know exactly what scene I am talking about here, and can appreciate why I find it creepy to be in the office alone at night.
I had to be in the office alone for quite a while last night... from about 8:30 until after 10, and it was very dark indeed as I was leaving. Work has been a bit schizophrenic of late... some days you just sit back and relax because there is not a heck of a lot going on, and other days it seems like everything is an emergency that has to be taken care of right now. It was one of those emergency days, and I had brought my laptop home with me to finish up an important document. However. I neglected to bring my power cord home as well, and when the inevitable happened, I thought, well, the hell with it... and just went back to the office to finish. And thought a little too much about a spooky movie and creeped myself out.
This little story is not nearly as entertaining written out as it was when I was just thinking about it.
And, yes, I am aware that the title of today's photo is a reference to a very very creepy and well done anime.
[Taken 18 June 2005 | Kerrytown | Ann Arbor, MI]
This is one of the historic old buildings in Kerrytown... I used a wide-angle attachment on my Lensbaby lens to get this shot.
So I have been taking bellydance classes two nights a week since January.
Since Sarah is not in my class (she is in the class right before mine, which is the next level up) I have been forced to socialize with other people – total strangers! – all by myself. Now, I am not so good with the socializing and the small talk, as I was probably sitting on the stairs reading when social skills were passed out. Despite these handicaps, I have been getting pretty friendly with a handful of the girls in my class. (They all knew each other previously, from work and college, and I am still not sure how I managed to insinuate myself into their group.)
Anyway. After Monday's class they started to make plans to meet tomorrow afternoon for pre-class snacks and drinks, and they invited me along with them. Egads! I have been invited out socially! And by people who I meet after I left the warm, friendly insulation of institutions of higher education! Hopefully I won't make an idiot of myself.
[Taken 18 June 2005 | Parsla's Veil | Ann Arbor, MI]
An update on cornholing: it is an unholy combination of skee-ball and horseshoes. Furthermore, it is called cornhole because the bean bag is filled with corn kernels (I was indeed correct on this) and the object is to get it in the hole. Creative naming at its finest.
Anyway. I left the picnic before the cornhole tournament. The fact that I needed to leave so that I could finish getting ready to leave town to attend a friend's wedding was a handy excuse as I do not care too much for that sort of "forced fun" activity.
About the wedding?
Parsla looked beautiful. Mike was handsome.
I joined the rest of the Cynnabar Collegium in singing up at the front of the church before the ceremony. It meant quite a lot to me that Parsla still wanted me to sing, even with being almost a year out of practice. (I was worried that I wouldn't be able to "keep up", vocally, but fortunately the songs that Parsla wanted were old favorites that I didn't have much trouble with.) I have really missed singing with the group since I moved down to Dayton…
The ceremony was Catholic and quite long. I am sure that it was also quite beautiful, but as I am short, and was surrounded in the pew by taller people, I saw very little of it, despite being near the front of the church. (Chuck does a good job of describing it in his journal.) I got a couple of pictures during what I figured were probably kosher moments to whip out the camera (the ring ceremony, the unity candle, presenting the couple, the procession out…) but most of those were rather marred by the heads of other people who kept moving into frame. I resisted the urge to just stand on the pew and get a better vantage point.
I did the best I could. I still got some good photos, both during the ceremony and during the reception. I even managed to get a few of the happy bride and groom where they looked like they were actually enjoying themselves and had genuine smiles. This rarity of genuine expression is something I have noticed at the last couple of weddings I have been at (and in). After a while, when they have been standing and posing for numerous photos, the bride, groom, and attendants adopt an expression I think of as "photo face" with a fixed smile and a slight glaze to the eyes... Actually, come to think it, you get this sort of expression a lot from people who know they are being photographed. Hm…could it be me? Maybe I ought to just stick to landscape and architectural photography.
At the reception afterward, Sondra pointed out some special additions to the veil… a couple dozen little snowflakes that she had crocheted and sewn onto the netting. Gorgeous! Sondra and the other bridesmaid also showed off their fabulous striped socks which they had wisely not worn during the actual ceremony.
The reception itself was in a ballroom at a nice hotel on the other side of town. Most of the friends of the bride and groom were seated at two tables next to each other. (The "troublemaker tables" according to Fritz.) Oh, the poor cousin of Parsla's who was seated with us… I hope that we did not scare him too badly.
The food was good and the company was even better. Magda made the wedding cake, and it tasted as good as it looked.
After the reception started to wind down, a bunch of us left and reconvened at Chuck's house to play a couple of games of Catan. Which is exactly as it should be.
It was way too long since the last visit (last October) to Ann Arbor, and it was nice to see some friends and catch up with people a little bit. (Adamant note to self: do a better job of staying in touch!)
John and I wanted to swing by fencing practice on our way out of town Sunday to try and catch some of our friends who weren't at the wedding. We wanted to... and we tried to… but when we got to north campus, all we saw was a lot of construction and a very big muddy hole in the ground right where we used to practice. We had no idea where to go from there, so we just continued on down to Rt. 23 and toward home.
I have gotten a decent start on editing allof the photos I took this weekend, and I have some posted to my flickr site. Check out the Parsla and Mike get married set, and watch for more additions over the next couple of days. And if anyone wants to have high-quality copies of anything (digital or prints) just let me know.
[Taken late October 2004 | Fall colors in the Ohio Valley | Dayton, OH]
Today is the EDIT (Elsevier Dayton IT) summer picnic.
The picnic will feature typical company picnic stuff, with one addition that appears to be uniquely southwestern Ohio in nature… CORNHOLING. No, really…cornholing. I swear that it is not what you think. It has absolutely nothing to do with guy-on-guy buttsex porn. (As far as I can tell.) When SW Ohioans talk about cornholing, they mean throwing little beanbags at a piece of plywood with a hole cut in it. Strictly county faire/carnival games stuff. Why then, for the love of god, is it called cornholing? Maybe there is a picture of a bushel of corn painted on the board. Maybe the beanbags are stuffed with corn kernels. I really don't know…
Sarah and I can't keep from giggling like middle-schoolers whenever we talk about the big cornholing tournament that will take place at the company picnic, while our co-workers state at us, wondering what the heck is so funny about cornholing, and thinking, “Boy, those people from Michigan SURE ARE WEIRD.”
[Taken 9 May 2005 | Fields of gold | Centerville, OH]
I am not a big fan of the recent Star Wars movies. I was deeply disappointed by the first one, I fell asleep in the theater during the second one (someone woke me up for the big lightsaber battle), and I never went to see the third one. John once likened the first two movies as being asked to decide which was better, getting kicked in the balls or punched in the face.
John wanted to see it so that he could talk smack about it. I didn't want to have anything to do with it, so I went and packed up the contents of my desk drawers, and then went to dance class.
John reported that Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was every bit as bad as he had expected.
Will I ever watch it? I don't know… I just don't know if I want to lose over two hours of my life when I could be doing something better.
[Taken 9 May 2005 | Bluebells and a bee | Centerville, OH]
If you have stayed late at work to finish a document, and if you have stayed so late that you are on the verge of running late to another appointment, then as soon as you finish your document and go to email it to your colleagues overseas, then both Word and Outlook will crash so hard that you need to restart the entire system. It is a law of nature. It is Murphey's Law. It will happen.When your system finally reboots, you will be so very very glad that you saved the document before it crashed, and now don't have to try and recreate pages and pages of it. You will also curse Microsoft and all of its products. Then you will email the large (4 MB) document and leave.
[Taken 28 May 2005 | Stone | Centerville, OH]
The kitchen and the computer room are the only rooms left in the apartment that have been left relatively untouched by the boxing and moving of non-essential items. And over the course of the week, I will move most of my computer peripherals to my office in the new house. At this point, I would say that John and I are somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 moved. Regardless of how much or how little furniture is in the new house, the day that we are "really" moved in is the day that the cable and high speed internet (especially the high speed internet) are hooked up.
Interesting sociological note: The couple living across the street from us are a "mixed marriage", which, in south-west Ohio (maybe in all of Ohio) has a slightly different meaning then might otherwise be expected. By "mixed marriage", I don't mean racially mixed... I mean different sports alliegances. In this case, the husband is a UM fan, and the wife attended Ohio State, which is about the most bitterly acriminous football rivalry that there is. The husband was rather pleased that two more Wolverines were moving in nearby. (Hopefully, though, he won't expect us to watch the games with him...)
[Taken 28 May 2005 | Bridge, reflected | Centerville, OH]
[Taken 20 May 2005 | Watching the fountains | The Bellagio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV]
So this one is already in my set on flickr... so sue me. I really like it.
My old stereo ended up in the trash bin today. John and I brought it over to the house during the weekend, intending to hook it up so that we could listen to some CDs while we unpacked books. Unfortunalty, it died before we could get any music out of it. I have had this stereo since at least the beginning of high school (1990) and may have gotten it earlier... I can't remember. It went to college with me, surived several moves in Ithaca, came to grad school with me, survived several moves in Ann Arbor after I graduated, and then moved down to Centerville with me. And then it gave up the ghost. I'd say that it had a good long run. 15+ years is a good stretch of time to own a stereo. (As a measure of its age... it had two cassette decks, and the CD player was a sort of ad-on.)
John and I have also been having some internet connectivity problems out at the apartment over the past few days... intermittent signals, weak signals, and signals getting dropped... stuff like that. However, the cable guy has been out, found the problem (faulty wire from the signal box outside) are a repair man will be out shortly to fix it up. Which is good, because niether of us can survive for very long without the warm, glowing, warming glow of the internet.
[Taken 6 March 2005 | Closeup | Centerville, OH]
I think that we moved about half of the books today, and by the end of the week hopefully we will have finished moving all of the rest. By the time my folks come in July to help us move, we should already be about 75% moved, with only the heaviest pieces of furniture left in the apartment. I have never moved quite like this - gradually, only a load or two of stuff at a time - but it is certainly more relaxed then the traditional rush to throw stuff into boxes and on a truck.
As for my other weekend of getting a good selection of my Vegas photos online... I am the proud owner of a brand-new Flickr.com account. I have posted the Vegas photos here. More will come... I took a lot of photos in Vegas, after all.
It is oppressively hot today. I am sure that this is a sign of what the summer will be like.
[Taken 20 May 2005 | Detail of the Fountain | Venetian Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV]
I really like the subtle color and texture in this one, as well as the glaze of water on the base of the fountain, and the droplets of water, frozen mid-fall.
The new washer and dryer (Kenmore, with apologies to my friend S~ from grad school who is now a human factors engineer for Whirlpool) were delivered today, and John took the opportunity to do an inaugural load of laundry... celebrating our new freedom from ever having to hoard quarters in order to do laundry ever again. He also broke in the kitchen by prepairing our first ever meal - pizza margerita - at the new house.
G~, the co-worker who I did the Vegas trip with, put her Vegas pictures online and sent me a link. Not to be outdone, I resolve to put my Vegas shots online as well. All of them. (Well, all of them that I deem worthy, anyway.) I spent a couple of hours this evening editing in Photoshop. This Vegas photo album will be, along with cleaning the carpets at the house, my big project for the weekend...
[Taken 20 May 2005 | The Strip | Las Vegas, NV]
Bright lights for such a small section of a surprisingly large and sprawling city...