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Monday, August 31, 2009

PSH #5

Kristi over at Photo Hunt Challenges is posting a PSH every other month - August is the month, so here it is.  

I'll be doing everything the same as before; posting the list and adding pictures as I get them.
(Click HERE to see the list of participants)
20 Items:
1. A Fountain - Downtown Minneapolis
2. A Road or Pathway - A path down the winding stairs
3. A Fence
4. A Symbol
5. A Black & White Photo - Top of the Witch's Hat Tower
6. A Clunker Car - The remains of a race car
7. A Cool Car
8. A Portrait - My Buddy Joey painted this of me last summer
9. Amusement - tell me this is not amusing :)
10. Back to School
11. Urban/ City - Minneapolis
12. Suburban - Townhouses (Little Boxes)
13. Country/Rural - Silo
14. Something Domestic - Locally Grown Wine (on-a-stick) @ The State Fair
15. Something Wild - Wild Grapes
16. Something Silver - Padlock (notice anything unusual about it?)
17. Something Gold - Mickey's Fine Malt Liquor
18. Something Shiny - Diamonds (or are they?)
19. Something Miniature - Eiffel Tower (I swear it's miniature!)
20. Something Delicious - SAKE!

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Banner 8.28.09

Well, it's as finished as it's going to be before I start to get sick of working on it and never post it because I've grown to hate it (I have a few WIP banners that will never be posted because I've spent so much time working on them that I now despise them).  This one, for whatever reason, seems to be lacking in quality now that it's posted on the site, but whatever... I've played too much trying to make it work.

This one took some time, I'll tell ya!  Gotta love PS tutorials :)

I'll update my picture once I get a good one of me with the new haircut... could be awhile.

Hope you guys like the new look... it's pretty simple, kind of.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

UE: Second Attempt

Second Attempt: Gasoline Alley
Let me precede this entire blog by saying that I may have gone over-board in PS again... but I really dig this look for my UE adventures.

So far my partner in crime and I are 2 for 2 in our UE missions.

Gasoline Alley is a place a vividly remember as being a huge part of my childhood.  When we lived NE, it always seemed like such a far drive out to Blaine for Go-Karts, but so worth it!  It was a special treat each time; one I never took for granted.  Since GA closed their doors back in the early 21st Century I've always wondered what will come of the space left behind.  Well, as it turns out, to this day everything remains almost untouched.  The building remains, along with the track and bumper boat pool... the mini-golf course is quite grown over with trees/weeds/grass - it was hard to take a picture and clearly see that it had been mini-golf at one point.  The go-karts are gone and only a few bumper boats remain, as you will see in my photos.  All photos you are about to see are of the outside, the building is completely boarded up and on this day, it was [next to] impossible to get inside.
{click on any picture to enlarge}
Standing on the bridge that crosses over the race track:
Remember waiting in that line?
The only remaining race car carcass

Walking around the race track didn't really offer much for photos, however I did snap a few:

In my expert opinion, the bumper boats had the most to offer for interesting things to see:
As you enter the area, the ferris wheel used to be covered with a blue tarp (see ground)
Can't really say we were breaking any rules; they were asking us to come in ;)
Remains of boats...

As mentioned above, the mini-golf course was pretty uneventful:
The 'greens' had a new color green on top of them
I was just glad to see someone was still using the garbage cans
Just an FYI for everyone, I am posting pictures on my Shutterfly (more than what I've put on here) - if you want to check them out, go for it.  I have a tab at the top of the page called Urban Exploring, click on that and it will take you to the albums.  If you want to become a member of my site, just click to become one (accounts are free), then it will send you weekly emails ONLY if I add or update my site in that weeks time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

{real-life} Adventures in Babysitting

So, coming up in exactly 20 days (so far yet so close) I will begin babysitting my niece for 6 days.  I'm taking time off work and everything, so it's a 24 hours a day shindig!  I'm freaking out!

Jordan is 2 now and talking more than ever.  She can't say every word perfectly yet, but boy does she try!  My brother and Brooke encourage her to "use your words, Jordan" rather than allowing her to point; probably a good thing.

In trying to prepare for the 6 days, of what I'm hoping will be full of joy but realistically know will be hell, I've been doing little babysitting stints.  A couple hours here, a few hours there... I think I mentioned that a few blogs ago.  It gives Jordan the chance to get comfortable with me and it gives me the chance to get comfortable with her.  Overall it's a good thing, even though it's exhausting, especially after a day of working my actual job.

She is a doll... full of energy.. but adorable.  I finally figured out last night one thing she kept saying to me: "Hamma?  Hamma, Auntie? Pees" (Pees is Please) I hadn't been able to figure it out, but last night she added "backpack" to the "Hamma" and I figure out she was trying to say "Camera".  Do you think it's good or bad that my niece associates me with my "Hamma"?
The one thing that sucks about being over there and having my camera out is the lighting... there is not a lot of natural light, so I get blurry pictures.  If I use my flash I get washed out pictures, assuming I can get a shot off before Jordan reaches out to push the flash back down.  She's done that since I got my camera, every time my flash pops up, she gets a huge grin on her face and pushes it back down; she's a good helper :)

Jordan's "CHEESE" face (8/15/09):

... and cuddling with Auntie (excuse the extra chins, I didn't know my camera had an optical illusion button):

Here's to finding optimism in 6 days of babysitting a 2 year old....

Monday, August 17, 2009

UE: First Attempt

(ETA: Sorry for the horrible formatting on this post, I have no clue how to fix it!)

So - a bit of background on me, I don't really do scary movies very well because I am always terrified of the person jumping out from behind the door, curtain, etc. This same fear applies when trying to become an Urban Explorer. Looking into a room with an open door is terrifying to me. I will attempt to get over this fear, until then you will most likely see pictures of open doors and nothing featuring the room beyond the door.

A bit of background on how or why I wanted to start this great experience of Urban Exploring (UE) - once upon a time I was presented with the thought of exploring a farm at night (SCARY!), I didn't even humor the thought. It continued to come up in conversation... The Hollywood Theater in NE has always been a place I wanted to get inside and see. Then it spread to wanting to see inside other places and, as it turns out, it's a very popular thought to have!
The other week, on a Sunday, we were out driving around and we decided to stop and see the Witch's Hat Tower in Minneapolis, right by the U. Upon stopping we discovered that someone had been there before us and taken the hinges off the back of the door, so any passer by could stop and walk up the stairs to the top of the tower. Did we join this fun? Of course we did! As proof, here is a picture of the new Gophers Stadium from atop the tower:

Now, the desire is growing inside of me and I've been reading a lot online looking for places to explore. This weekend was the first intentional journey out to explore.

Goal #1: Get inside any building!
Mission accomplished.

How f'n scary is this thrilling way of life?!  

It was gross walking up to this buildings entrance. It reminded me what a frat house would smell like after a huge kegger (vomit, vomit, and more vomit - yuck!). I had to do everything I could to keep from added my own.

So you get inside and it doesn't improve much. The stairs inside are scary and dark, you know people have made it to the top because you've done your research and you've seen the picture online... so you keep climbing.

After exploring the floors available to you, you look up and see something moving a few floors up and think... that has to be a person! Being that this is your first real experience urban exploring, you decide not to proceed up any further and make your way back down the stairs taking the lord name in vein and uttering common expletives in your vocabulary, did I forget to mention you may have a small fear of heights and these stairs may be metal grate and they provide the full view looking down?

Ok, so your visit might not go this way... you may actually make it all the way to the top, but you've gotta start somewhere and this was just perfect!

So, here are some shots from inside (click to enlarge any photo)! Enjoy :)

Ok, so I may have had too much fun with Photoshop... Hope you enjoyed.


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