Captivated By Light

theMan signed us up for a seminar on lighting for photography (specifically weddings and portraits) and then did the awesome thing of inviting the crew from the Chicago Strobist Flickr pool to join us. Ended up being a fabulous get together and we even went to a brewing company afterwards for a more intimate meet-up.

I never would have thought I'd meet people on the internet and then forge friendships. Fun!

(More to come: 5 hour baking day, Media cleanse, and my $2.75 shirt....)


Failed, again

I just cancelled my subscription to Weight Watchers.  So far I have lost 8.8 lbs. since Feb. 1.My goal was to lose 20 lbs. by June 1st.  Over the past 3 weeks my mood, commitment, and overall outlook has been rapidly declining.  I haven't been tracking what I'm eating, I'm not getting enough water or vegetables and I only recently started exercising.

I hate wasting money so I'm giving myself until April 10th (when my subscription runs out) to get back into it or forget it.  If I forget it, then I'm using the money for therapy again.  Seems like I need to get my shit together, one way or another.

It's a great program, but I don't know.  I think I'm just down.  So maybe by April 10th I'll get back in there.

We've joined a gym so I am doing something.  I just feel like a giant asshole lately honestly.  A giant, fat, lazy asshole who is wasting $65.00/3 months.  Someone slap me.  I'm annoying even myself.

Bonus: Media cleanse is going surprisingly well.  I'm finding I'm very productive at work, I've been tearing through new books and magazines, and I feel like I have more time in general.  Now if I could only use it for eating properly.  Ugh.


Media Cleanse

This woman did an experiment and turned off all media for an entire week. Called it a “Media Cleansing.” I think I might do this with the internet. Heaven help us if I don't keep up on what Britney Spears is currently doing to ruin her life or theMan doesn't get on Craigslist to look at all the deals we are constantly missing on photography equipment.

Here is how she describes the experiment:

“…The problem is not tv, or movies or the web. There is a lot to enjoy in all of these media. There is a lot of great entertainment and gorgeous works of art. I will not tell you to kill your television. (Although more power to you if you do)

What brought this on? you are probably wondering. Mostly, it is because I feel overwhelmed. I've noticed that my mind is cluttered. I feel scattered. I feel a bit low. I feel exhausted. I have defaulted to tv and the internet for the easy fix. But my sense is that it is costing me something too.

Like I said, this is an experiment. I am looking forward to seeing what shifts for me in simply having a consciousness around these habits. I am not necessarily looking to change them permanently, only to see what shows up in the space where those things were. Will there be more music? books? Will we play board games? write love letters? take more walks?”

For several years now we have been without cable television, much to my mother horror (Hi mom!). I’d say television totally but we still watch movies semi-regularly and purchase TV shows on DVD to keep up with on our computer monitor. I like the time we spend cuddling up to scare ourselves witless with Jason & Grant and those adorable kids on Paranormal State. But the sentence: “...I've noticed that my mind is cluttered. I feel scattered. I feel a bit low. I feel exhausted. I have defaulted to tv and the internet for the easy fix. But my sense is that it is costing me something too.” That really struck a chord with me.

I also notice that our non-cable watching time is being filled up more and more with shows we’ve downloaded or video podcasts. It’s starting to become a habit again, even if we aren’t inundated with commercials. I also got to babysit Coen all weekend and the number of times I defaulted to letting him watch Sesame Street was a little more than I’m proud to admit. Have I really run out of things to do with him? I only see him twice a week, it’s not like I’m stuck in a house all day and I still had to turn on the tube? Eeeek.

Mostly though I’m feeling very overwhelmed and pulled in a 100 directions. My resolution was to have a lot more time for myself. To not plan out every weekend until July and I’m not doing a good job with it. Yes, all of our plans are fun and rewarding but to sit at home and relax and read makes me feel anxious, like I should be getting something else done instead. I'm to the point where I have to convince myself to nap.

Also, my dear friend Heather emails me daily back and forth with everything she accomplishes in a day and even though she watched an episode of Cops here and there, the girl is non-stop!! She’s my inspiration for this as well.

Finally, I’m also anxious to see if our house will not be as filthy, if all the projects I’ve got in my head/closet will get done and if, please sweet baby Jesus, theMan and I will spend more time talking and cuddling without the use of our marital aid (Ghosthunters).

So hey...starting tomorrow, March 25th until Monday, March 31st...I’m signing off. Will report back.

Who’s with me?


His love is unconditional

Sorry I've been light on posting actual content about my existence lately. Guess I've felt a little pulled in all directions. To keep you on the edge of your seat (totally kidding here) I've put a snippet of an email from my dad I received last night. To say that I adore this man, would be an understatement. Mostly because he's insane, but in a good way.

From Dad:

Well, I'll look forward to c-ing yew when yew arrive,and yew won't recognize Grandma. She's signed up to run in the Lane House high hurdles, yew go down the hall with yer walker an step over some pencils. So there's that. I loves yew unconditionally as long as you don't pull any stupid shit, dad.


More Co-worker stories

From an IM with co-workers:

DD: There is no such thing as Holy Thursday!?

A: Don’t ever question my knowledge of Holy Week. When I am not busy hating my catholic religion, I am busy studying it, in order to find new ways to hate it. But not Holy Week. It’s the only time I don’t drink goat’s blood. So suck on that!

Me: But what I can't figure out is why do they call it Good Friday when it was “not so good” for the Jesus?

A: It was supposed to be good for all of us; for that is the day we were cleansed of all sins and started anew, until all of those heathens blew in with their homosexuality and recreational abortions.

Me: Oh yea, right.



Hey all. Sorry for the lack of updates. I've taken a few days off work and traveled to IN until tomorrow morning to help my family clear out our grandparents house as we've put her in a nursing home due to back injuries.

This sucks and I've cried about 35 times. We're selling their farm too, the house our great-grandparents built. A house we love. I just want to bottle up the smell of old wood and linens.

So between seeing their house all torn apart, to finding birthday cards to Grandpa, to her pile of clothes pins, hell I'm even sentimental about the doorknobs...and then seeing our grandma look like she aged about 30 years since a couple months ago. I hate this and I kinda want to drive until I forget where I'm at. Just to be properly dramatic.

I hated leaving her in that nursing home last night. She looked so excited we were there. I think I died a little. My dad, brother & I got some beers last night and sat around and listened to music and drank. I also ate so horrible that I was sick. But in times of sadness, hey, we all have our vices, right? Ha!

I just want to look at everything and soak it in and collect every square inch of her and the house and....I don't want to forget anything, ever. It's like we have to protect our memories because they are being taken away.

It's just stuff, I get it. But it's what it represents. An end of an era, an end of seeing that little house at the end of the long drive and knowing you are going to be welcomed and everything is right in the world while you are there.

Nothing makes me apreciate my health and life like this shitty week.


Strobist Meet-Up

Chicago Strobist had a meet up in Downers Grove, IL today at the Microsoft Office Complex and we were lucky enough to attend! (thanks due to theMan getting us in the sign-up before it was closed.)

We got the run of the place (even utilizing elevators and front desks). I met a ton of cool & talented people and learned SO FREAKING MUCH. However, that is mostly thanks to theMan. He let me take the camera (mostly), set up shots, show me what I was doing wrong and when no one would start clicking or it got awkward, he jumped in and modeled for most of the day.

Overall, it was amazing to meet up with fellow Flickr-ites and photographers. Everyone helped each other for the most part. Even when we were holed up in the men's bathroom b/c a couple of us got the idea to stick flashes on the toilets.

Days like this make me feel glad to be human. If you have a Strobist group in your area, I highly recommend checking them out. Even if you're a novice photographer like me.

Here are some of the shots from that outing.

EDITED: Now you can see all the photos from the meet-up!