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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Photo Scavenger Hunt 3

Man oh man... what fun!  Time for PSH3 - visit Nicloe's blog to vote.

View all the entries and VOTE HERE!!! 

Here is the list:

1) a souvenir - Cup from Yankee Stadium, ticket to the game, Subway Card and Hotel Key
2) a fish
3) a religious building - St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, NY
4) a fire department - Ghostbusters Fire House, New York City
5) a manhole cover - Brooklyn, NY
6) a postcard - Pacific Cafe; San Francisco, CA
7) water - Coon Rapids, MN
8) a communication device - Braille Typewriter
9) a Life event - Pre-School Graduation; Walnut Grove, MO
10) a foreign stamp - Claddagh (an Irish "stamp")
11) a tree
12) the living space of a non-human - The Silk Tent of The Tent Caterpillar
13) a street mirror - (LOL)
14) a decoration fixed on a house - Weather vane
15) a foreign flag - United Nations, NYC
16) a fire - Lighting a Match
17) an antenna
18) a phone booth
19) a “verboten”[forbidden] sign
20) a beach - Long Lake; New Brighton, MN
21) a cityscape - St. Anthony Falls; Minneapolis, MN
22) something goofy - Lion's Head Drinking Fountain @ a Park; Coon Rapids, MN
23) something carved - Bear @ Bass Pro Shop; Springfield, MO
24) an eye - Two-Toned
25) something rural - One Room School House; Willard, MO

Thursday, May 28, 2009

TFT: Response Time

I had a HR meeting this morning to go to, in place of Jayne because she is out on vacation, and just before I left I got to thinking about how I'm going to be away from my computer for an hour... which lead me to thoughts about  replying to emails and such.  My thoughts kind of exploded from there and it made me wonder what peoples expectations are in response time; for email, text, phone calls, etc.

So this TFT is more just out of curiosity... I don't even know what I expect!

So, Thoughts For Thursday:
You send someone an email; how long before you expect a reply?
You text someone; do you automatically expect a person to reply right away because most people have their phones near them a lot of the time?
You leave a voice mail and ask for a call back; how long before you call them again because you haven't heard from them?

I'm sure there are different expectations for each form of communication; what are yours?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Missouri, in a nutshell

Nutshell with pun intended!  Last fall when I was in Missouri you may remember my Walnut Adventure (oh, how I forget how long and beautiful my hair was) - none of that this time... but it sure was fun.  As you know I'm into these Scavenger Hunts... little did I know there would be a lot of hunting going on!
I don't even know where to begin, so let's start with the beginning!

Thursday waking up was a piece of pie... I was excited to get on the road!  The drive down was nothing worth mentioning; I drove, the road passed, I arrived.  Nothing exciting happened.  In total, it took me just over 10 hours to get there.
Once I arrived and after I showered, we pretty much took off to a night filled with extra curricular activities.  Ty plays flag football and Katie plays volleyball; I wanted to make sure and make it both games to let the kids know I care.  We made it to Ty's game, stopped for a bite, then made our way to Katie's game... the kids are so cute when they do what they do.
Afterwards, it was pretty much a relaxing night... the kids had school the next day and I was pretty well beat.

Friday Renee and I set out to get some shots for my scavenger hunt; we were able to find a few things but ended up driving a good part of the day.  Afterwards we had to stop at a thrift store so I could try on a wedding dress... here is where I explain, for those of you curious about my Facebook status on Saturday.
Renee's father, David, is a photographer by hobby - and a damn good one at that!  He mentioned something about doing a "Trash The Dress" photo shoot on Saturday and needed to find someone that fit into a size 8 wedding dress.  After thinking about it a bit I asked more and wondered if I might be that person.  Turns out I didn't fit in the dress, so we went on a hunt for a wedding dress at other shops.  We ended up at a store with some marked down dresses... but still nothing cheap enough to want to destroy.  We ended up with a $16 Bridesmaid dress, that fit perfect (with the help of a couple safety pins).
Friday night Renee's father treated us to a nice little BBQ of Chicken, Scallops, Shrimp, Salmon, hot dogs, etc.  The night was spent eating, talking and having a great time.  I got to meet Renee's sister for the first time, as we are Facebook friends, we felt it was necessary to finally come face to face :)

Saturday, most of the morning/afternoon was spend on this photo shoot.  It was such a crazy unique experience... David is in a camera club and travels all over for photography!  It was so neat to see how they operate and help each other out... one person may see a perfect angle, another might notice a unwelcome shadow, and someone else might find the perfect prop.  It was an absolute treat for me to be a part of it as a model and as an aspiring photographer.  I can't wait to see all the photos (I had like 15 people at any given time snapping my photo); here are a few shots that he posted on Facebook, once I have them all I will put them in an album on Shutterfly and link to it from here.

All Photographs courtesy and property of David Strong
I'll post more about it from a personal perspective when I have all the shots... give you some background and whatnot.  It was a thrill.  I'm told that I will have shots from each person and I cannot wait for that.. some of the places and things had to turn out pretty f'n cool!

Saturday night was a blast... it was a night out for the adults!  We started the night at the Springfield Brewery for dinner and a drink.  We then made our way to The Skinny Improv, which was hilarious!  They had a board at the front door for people to write down suggestions for skits... my 'friends' thought it might be funny to write something about how bad Minnesota sucks - the improv turned it into "How bad does Minnesota stink" and pretended they were in a car driving through the state and talking about the foul smell.  I didn't laugh. :)  After the show we hit up a karaoke bar, I was the only one who got up to sing :(  Drinks were had as well as laughs.
Just so happens there was a cowboy who kept getting up to sing, and I thought he was rather good, maybe I was wrong, I had been drinking after all.  I wasn't really interested in this guy at all... just enjoyed watching and listening to him sing.  So maybe I was staring... only because he sang with little to no emotion or effort, I was kind of curious, so I watched.  Well, we had a few moments of awkward eye contact (awkward for me anyhow) and I was just planning to go about my business once the night was over; he had other plans for us.  He walked up to me and attempted to make small talk, which was fine, but he mentioned a few times that he 'noticed me looking' and wanted to come introduce himself.  Joy.  Anyhow, we talk, it's just grand (with a huge hint of sarcasm) ... I ended up giving him my number because I don't know how to turn someone down in a nice way... and believe it or not, I can't be mean.  Cowboy called twice the next day and text'd once.  I got another text from him on Monday and haven't heard anything since.  I hope he got the picture.  He's a private investigator though, and I did tell him I'm from Minnesota!  Creepy.  Guys are silly - I told him off the bat I live in Minnesota... why would you even bother; guess I'm that hot!
After the bar we went back to Renee's place and played a bit of Rock Band, which was my first time playing, so I sucked.  I was drunk and got pretty tired... as did most everyone, I think.

Sunday I had to get up and leave, well I didn't HAVE to, but I needed to get home and get caught up on some stuff.. so I woke up to a little girl and a cat knocking on my door ;)
We sat around a bit in the morning and talked... then I had to be on my way home.  I will spare you much of the drive, because it was only a little bit more exciting than the drive down.  About an hour or so into my drive , I was cruisin' along (and I do mean cruisin) and all of the sudden a State Patrol, or whatever the fuck he was, busted a wicked fast U-turn in the middle of the highway... I knew he was coming for me.  FUCK!  Long and painful story short... I got a speeding ticket, one that is extremely NOT cheap!  My fault, I know... I blame myself.  UGH, I can still be crabby about it.
The rest of the drive was just a drive... I was tempted again to stop at Worlds of Fun (the Amusement Park in Kansas City).. but with the wicked expensive ticket on my mind, I made the responsible decision and kept driving.  I think I made it home in just over 10 hours.

As always I had a wonderful time with Renee and her family.  I appreciate, so much, them letting me come down and crash for a weekend... Lord knows I can be quite a pain in the ass :)  Renee, thank you for driving me everywhere looking for that dress!!

I'm going to be posting some pictures on Facebook, but I may throw a few up in a separate post here as well.

A Few Highlights (good and bad):
- I got a [really expensive] speeding ticket
- While I almost killed MANY birds, the only things actually killed were bugs
- I gave a cowboy my phone number and have been avoiding the calls and texts since
- I had my first ever experience as a model
- I got to watch a photography club in action and observe!
- We didn't do any scrap booking :(
- I love Renee and her family

Total Spent in Gas: $ 76.10
Best MPG: 40 MPG

Total Trip Cost after the speeding ticket: WAY too fucking much!

Some special thanks go out to, of course, Renee and family for letting me stay and entertaining me while I was there.  David Strong for taking some amazing photographs of me and letting me be a model for a day, something I've dreamed of my whole life! Thanks to Steve, Jeff, Shannon, and Dustin for the phone calls and good conversations.  A special thanks to Steve specifically for calling after my speeding ticket... you helped improve my mood GREATLY and get my mind off of it, and I deeply appreciate it.  Many musicians who provided me with lyrical content and a voice to sing along with: Eminem (you're new disc is dope and your old ones never get old), Sara Bareilles, Hollywood Undead, Sevendust, Justin Timberlake, and several others.

He Lives!

You have no idea how excited I am to be using my 'Hitchhiker' label again!

A quick history - It was September of 2007 when I wrote the first story about my Hitchhiker friend.  I was a myspace blogger at the time, I had been working at Matrix for 2 years... out of nowhere I start to see this hitchhiker all over the place on my drive home, click here to read the full story with detail.

August of last year (2008) I mention him in this Random blog, because people asked me about him all the time.  He has to be the most captivating thing I've ever written about.
In that Random blog I mention that I hadn't seen him since September 2007, and I was pretty sure he was dead, drugged himself to death or took a ride from the wrong person.

On to the present, yesterday [crap, that's still the past] I was in my carpool riding shotgun when all of the sudden I see a person up ahead hitchhiking.  Now, over the past 1.5 years I've seen many people hitchin' a ride on my way home but upon approach, none of them have been my hitchhiker.  So we continue to drive forward, Bob is in the back seat and I say "Hey Bob, look!  It's a hitchhiker, I wonder if it our hitchhiker"  He looks and says "Wow, it sure does look like him!"  We continue forward and can clearly see that it is in fact our hitchhiker!  I almost piss my pants with excitement!  He still looks just as dirty and worn out as before, but he looks like has lost a bit of weight and possibly shaved.  The entire drive home all I could think about was how excited I was to have seen him, how happy I was that he is still alive... as the day wore on I began to think that maybe my seeing him is a sign of bad things to come.  After all, I did question whether or not he is my guardian angel... maybe he is back because I need guidance, maybe he is back to protect me from harm.

At this point I'm not sure and I'm honestly not going to worry too much about it.  He is alive and that is all that matters.  I will be sure to keep you posted on if he continues to come around.  Isn't it strange that I get so excited over a dirty stranger?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nothing Like Love

Since Plinky is having problems publishing to my blog and I worked just so dang hard at this answer... I'm just going to copy and paste [turns out that works just as well :)]

Plinky Prompt: "Let's settle this: Is it better to have loved and lost, or never to have loved at all?" 

There is so much to learn from love. The act of loving is something every person needs to experience once in their life. Sure it hurts to lose someone, sure it pulls at your heartstrings when a relationship ends; no one wants to hurt. 

Being loved is a wonderful feeling and being able to love someone back makes it all the more amazing - it's like a high you never want to come down from. 

I think loving someone takes guts - for me, it's easy but I love with my eyes open. I let all 5 senses guide me - with a mix of women's intuition and logic. Sounds silly to equate love with the 5 senses but think about it; Touch, Sight, Smell, Taste and Sound. When you're "in love" your senses are completely amplified. To touch someone you love feels better, to see someone you love brings a huge smile to your face, the smell, albeit not always good, makes you want to wrap your arms around them and never let go, pressing your lips together and tasting each other is a special thing that you don't share with just anyone [or maybe you do...], and lastly there is sound... to be able to hear the person you love, laugh with them, share with them.. sound is probably not the most amplified of all the senses but isn't it nice to hear the person you love? 
All that being said you have to be logical while still doing what feels right and good - many people can be blinded by love, in turn causing more hurt than what is necessary. 

It's exciting to want to share daily happenings with someone else, to be able to be stupid and appreciated all at the same time, to just want to be around someone else.. that's huge! 

Even so, taking the 'boyfriend/girlfriend' thing out of it - think about your parents or a friend you love. Could you imagine having never loved that person? Could you imagine what your life would be like without having the loving experiences with that person? 

I love with my whole heart because love is nothing without heart. 
When that love comes to an end it can be the most painful thing you've ever experienced, but look at what you've learned and how much you've grown in the process. Time heals all - that statement is especially true in love. 

There is no way I would ever want to go through life not having loved... I can't imagine how empty I would feel if I hadn't.

Monday, May 18, 2009

New York Semi-Recap

I feel like it's been FOREVER since I've just sat down to write.  These scavenger hunts are taking over my blogging life... seems I'm either out taking picture or adding them to my blog.  Lucky for you [or is it] I forgot my camera cord at home today, so no picture uploads are happening anywhere!  On the topic, I managed to get some good shots in New York this weekend [I think I got: A Fish, A Religious Building, A Foreign Flag, maybe Something Goofy, I have a few shots of Manhole Covers which may replace the one posted, and I have the Souvenir but still have to stage a shoot of it] - so that knocks a few out.  Today is the 18th... I leave for Missouri on the 21st, I feel like I may not complete this PSH - but I'll have a week back home to get anything I'm missing.

I'm so tired this morning.  I didn't get off my plane last night until about 10:30p and obviously home later than that.
As silly as it is to say, one of the highlights of my trip happened at Yankee Stadium.  Obviously not a fan of the many Twins losses while I was there, I was able to experience 2 different sides of Yankees Fans.  The left field on Friday night and the Right Field on Sunday.  Right Field is like nothing I've ever seen before.  First you have a group of Yankees fans donning their "Bleacher Creatures" T-shirts proudly, then you have the entire section stand before the first pitch and clap until it's thrown...  After the first pitch is thrown you have the entire section stand and chant each players name until the player gives a nod or pay some sort of attention to the section {aka Roll Call}, starting with the center fielder Melky Cabrera (think the tune of "Let's go Yan-kees") So it starts... "Let's Go Mel-ky [clap, clap, clap clap clap]" over and over until he give his gesture.  Next in line is left fielder Johnny Damon, same tune "John-ny Dam-on [clap, clap, clap clap clap]" until Johnny gets down on one knee and shoots over a double fisted shooting gun action.  Right fielder Nick Swisher is next in line, mind you the fans do this in the same order every home game, "Nick-y Swish-er [clap, clap, clap clap clap]" at the break in game action Nick takes his glove off, turns to the section stands at attention and gives his best salute.  The fans then move onto the infielders, starting with 1st baseman [whoever he is]... I'm pretty sure he showed off his longest finger on his right hand... hard to tell for sure.  The other infielders were actually quite lame with their responses... which proves they are largely over-paid egotistical assholes {Jeter and A-Rod, specifically}.
As learned in left-field.. if you sit in the stands and wear a Boston Red Sox hat... not only do you get heckled almost the entire game, but it's common practice for fans to stand, point and you and yell... "Asshole, Asshole, Asshole", over and over again.
All tradition of Yankee Stadium, and I found many articles this morning about it... it was one of the neatest things I've ever been a part of.  Too bad it was at NYY.
Aside from the lame games... ugh... I had a great time at the stadium, with the exception of my friend getting punched in the face after the Twins lost and we tried to sneak out unharmed (ugh, whole 'nother story)... Twins held in there but couldn't quite pull it off.  We have game 4 tonight and I hope we can walk away with at least one win in this series.  Those damn Yankees just seem to ride on streaks... once the first bat makes decent contact... the rest keep the trend up.
I was too scared to take my nice camera in [being a Twins fan and all], so hopefully I ended up with a few decent shots on my point and shoot that I can show off somewhere.

Overall the trip was good - We were able to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge again (always exciting), the weather was almost perfect (no rain that mattered, not too hot, not too cold), and we were able to see some new spots in New York.  I, hopefully, have some great pictures to share (and maybe frame), but I'm really happy to be home.  Getting away is nice, but like Dorothy says... "There's No Place Like Home".  My cute little kitty missed the crap outta me too.. I shoulda named him Toto :)

Happy Monday everyone.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hope's Dope

So about a month ago I created a Shutterfly account and I've been uploading some photos to it here and there... I'm not sure how well I'm going to keep up with it or really anything at this point, but I thought I would finally share the link with you now - because I finally figured out how to 'share' it and get my own link!

It's called Hope's Dope - don't know why, it just is.  Check it out, you can become a member if you'd like.  I'm pretty sure being a member only allows you to view and comment on my photos, you won't be able to upload or anything.  It's still pretty new to me, so I'm not 100% sure how things work... if anyone knows more about it [since I refuse to read], please fill me in!  I think I have a pretty good understanding for it... but tips are always nice.

Anyhow - here is the link again, Hope's Dope.  I've also linked to it on Facebook.

Hope you enjoy what is becoming a pretty huge part of my life!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Still Tasty?

I wanted to share this website with all of you; seems like a great find!

How many times have you peered into the refrigerator, freezer, or pantry and wondered if a particular food item is "still good"? Making that determination isn't always easy, but StillTasty can help. The site features answers to questions like, "I left pizza out overnight-is it still safe to eat?" and, "Does olive oil last longer if you store it in the fridge?" It also lists the shelf life of hundreds of foods and offers helpful hints on how to safely defrost food and interpret expiration labels.

Click Here -

Monday, May 11, 2009

Update on PSH

Kristi has been going through all the PSH posts and taking pictures from them to post a different way of voting... and a different way of viewing - I can't even imagine how much work she has put into this.  She's posted blogs on her site [click here to check it out] with her favorites from each category.  So, a top 5-10 shots of "A Drink", top 5-10 shots of "Pair of Shoes", top 5-10 shots of "A Statue", etc.  It's nice to be able to see the top shots in each category... and all are open for voting, if you feel so inclined.

My shots have made it into several of the tops [which is very exciting to me], so I'm not here suggesting you go vote for me, but I'm putting it out there for those of you interested in looking at the top shots in a specific category.  I know it was hard and extremely time consuming to go through each post and I'm sure only a few of you did it... so here is a way for you to see some other shots, again, if you are interested.

Here is the link again to Kristi's Blog -  she's been working on it all weekend.

It's a neat thing - Thanks for taking the time to do this Kristi.... how do you have a life of your own?!

Friday, May 8, 2009

An Admirer’s Photo Challenge

I had a friend ask if they could give me a short, almost personalized, list for a PSH {Photo Scavenger Hunt} and I accepted the challenge.  So far I've been having a hard time getting motivated and getting ideas for my PSH3, although since I'm going to be in New York and Missouri this month... some of my ideas have to be done in those places.
Anyhow - the rules were simple... I was given the list on May 1st and had 2 weeks to complete it (I obviously got it done in less time) and, like the rest, it's open to my interpretation; here is the list and what I came up with:

1. Something or someone you love - Minneapolis AND The Stone Arch Bridge; 2 of my favorite things in the world
2. A crack - a floating device at my house
3. An act of kindness - Recycling is being kind to our planet
4. A jagged edge - A knife
5. Something you don’t like - Laundry (UGH!)
6. Ten - Roman Numerals, Tic Tac Toe at a park
7. Something that symbolizes how you often feel on a Friday - carefree, happy, beautiful, sunny, lazy, peaceful
8. Lots of color - been researching NYC Subway
9. A verse from a song - (next to impossible to get a whole verse, so I went with as much as I could get) You're a Grand Old Flag, You're a High Flying Flag...
10. One of the oldest things around you - Rum River; this is the Rum River Dam in Anoka, MN

Number 7 was my favorite because I've had Friday's off for 3 years... it's one of the happiest days of my week and I often find myself happy to just be alive that day.  I wake up on my own time, drink my coffee, and do whatever I want.  It's amazing and I think a beautiful spring day with some clouds in the sky is a perfect way to show that... lets face it... I often wake up a bit cloudy as well ;)

As per normal, all photos were taken with my Nikon D60; one post processed.
(lots of blue in these shots....)

I'm not posting this as a challenge for everyone to judge, per se, but if you'd like to have a little side project or just want the added challenge for yourself, please feel free to take this list and roll with it; I suggest sticking with the 2 week time limit, but do whatever you like!  It'd be a great way to try out a smaller hunt if you don't feel you're ready for the longer lists.  I would love to see anything people come up with, so if you do it, why don't you jump on back here and post the link in the comment section so I, and anyone else reading, can take a look!

Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoyed ;)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dear Vikings, Don't Be Stupid!

(some links in case you have no clue whats going on.)
I'm distraught!
As a LOYAL Vikings fan, I have been keeping my eyes and ears open for news since Brett Favre announced his retirement, again.  I told myself that there was no way... no way he'd come out of retirement, again, and that there was no way I'd hear talk about the Vikings signing him, again... I can't do this for a second year in a row.  He became so hated after he 'retired' last year then decided he wanted to play again... now he is "at this time retired", again and there are rumors all over about him playing another year - with the Vikings... maybe.  So he'll be even more hated and this time he'll be hated while he's a Viking?!  No one is talking though... how the hell do we always end up in these shitty situations?

A horrible coach, a kid who has failed at QB (Jackson), talk of moving to LA (whether you think it will happen or not), the inability to get a new stadium, constant headline making activities by players... and now talk again of Favre.

I want attention as much as the next person, actually probably more, but I don't do stupid shit like this to get it!  He's had his moment; he was great, [to some] he was a God, he had an arm like no other... is it really worth destroying, whatever is left of, a reputation just to throw it in Green Bay's face?  Can people still follow him after this shit... 2 years in a row?  I hate the Packers too, that's what Vikings fans do... but I'd gladly back The Pack if Brett is a Viking.

I said it last year and I'm saying it again this year... if Brett Favre ends up wearing my Purple and Gold, I'm done.  It'll be hard to become a Vikings fan [ever] again if they make this stupid decision...  I don't want a super bowl win if he is the one at QB - He's washed up, half injured [aka old], a self-righteous asshole that no one cares about anymore... and if you do, screw you!

I really can't take this... day in and day out... all anyone is talking about.  UGH.  I'd rather hear about the pig flu or the horrible state of our sinking economy!

Extra note: If Brett Favre does, in fact, play football again... does this mean one more season of John Madden announcing?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

April09 Photos

Last month I posted this blog with pictures that didn't make the final cut for the first PSH, and some that weren't quite good enough for the daily photo blog... being that this Photo Scavenger Hunt thing is taking off HUGE (I've already read many comments by Kristi stating that she will be hosting another in June!!  YAY!!!!)... I figured I may as well make it a beginning of the month tradition to post photos that didn't make the cut for the PSH or 365 Days of Hope.  
Here we go, yo [click on any image to enlarge]:
found some bitchin' graffiti
A few from downtown Minneapolis one night
A day spent downtown during the day - The Basilica
Light fixture found in the bathroom of The W Hotel in the old Foshay Tower
It's Britney Bitch
Neat reflection inside the Guthrie
HILARIOUS.... look at Jordan's face!
Parking lot holding all the pieces of the old 35W bridge
Cemetery shot... too many damn lights in Anoka!
Spent the day around Fort Snelling
Some shots from the car graveyard
Smokin' Tea {Famous Dave's version of a Long Island}
Harry's in Minneapolis, I love all the Premo bottles on display
Last but not least... A Turduckin Burger (Turkey Chicken patty with Duck Confit on top, with goat cheese and onion), very interesting meal. Harry's in Mpls.
Hope you enjoyed... that's my April 2009 collection of faves.


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