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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Free Books For A Year!

I know there are a lot of you out in the blogging world that are very much into reading - so I wanted to post this link for you to take advantage of a contest for free books for a year!  Why not enter?

Turner Publishing is offering a free book [of your choice] each month for a year to the winner {click the badge to be redirected to the contest entry page}:

You only have until October 31st to enter - so get on it people!  Feel free to steal the badge and post it yourself, for your blogging friends too.

Friday, September 25, 2009

September Pictures

Finally got around to dumping my pictures... here are a few (Dana, after a few pictures I'm going to tell you to stop reading on as I'll be posting some pictures of my dad's spiders, just FYI - tread lightly)

 Caught newlyweds through a window on Mill City Ruins (click to enlarge)

... to have goals

Wanna see the new Twins Stadium - inside?!!

Jordan at Como Zoo

My dad's kitties/bird/dog: (All the following pictures are with my new lens)

Ok Dana - stop reading (and anyone else who has a fear of spiders..)

Remember these things are in a cage, so there is some reflection, oops.

We put a grasshopper in for him...

he took it...

That's it for now... happy weekend :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SO Behind!

I'm so behind with my life and blogging, I don't even know where to start!  This post will be minus any photos, as I don't have my camera with me today and I feel the need to get this stuff down, so that I can be current!  I'm going to use bullets to help sort my thoughts, ready?

  • Let me start by talking about why I've stopped my 365 Days of Hope - The last day I have posted is Monday August 31st - I do have pictures from a couple days after that, but have yet to hook up to a computer.  Basically its like this; the first week in September was spent trying to clean my house and do laundry so that when I started babysitting my niece on Labor Day (the 5th), I'd be ready.  There is a certain feeling of comfort coming home after a week to a clean house, so I wanted it done, plus I needed laundry in order to live away from home for a week.
    The couple days before (aka the weekend) was busy for me with a dentist appt, a friends birthday, meeting with my SIL to go over the coming week, etc.  It also happens that I sold my van that weekend, I spent a bit of time dealing with that guy, which was more than okay as I wanted (and needed) to get rid of that thing before winter!
    In any case, the 365 project took a backseat to my busy agenda - at the time I didn't really think about it too much, but it did bother me some.  However it was quite nice to be able to travel around the state, to and from work, and everywhere else without having to worry about my camera bag being with me all the time.
    Then fast forward to the week of babysitting... do you have any idea how much cargo you have to haul around when you have a 2 year old at your hip?!  HOLY DIAPERS BATMAN!  So you have a diaper bag, you have a stroller, you have snacks, you have water... the last thing I wanted to do was haul my camera along with it all!  It's really too bad though, case I wanted to make Jordan my little model and test out my portrait vision... but there was just too much going on~ I do have a few shots of her at the zoo though, I'll post another time.
    So by this point I'm over a week behind on taking the pictures and I'm upwards of 2 weeks  behind on posting the few I did have... imo, you can't really recover from that.  So I just kind of stopped.  It makes me sad, and I feel like a quitter (which I don't like to be) - but I made the conscious decision to stop, so I can only blame myself.  That is the reason there is no longer a 365 Days of Hope :(
  • Now, I mentioned in the last bullet that I babysat my niece (Sept 5th-Sept 12th) - surprisingly, without pictures there is not a whole lot to share about that week.  I did survive, and I was worried I wouldn't. Jordan and I bonded in such a neat way, I'm honestly very glad I did it.  Her and I had some great times together, and she really wasn't bad but once or twice near the end of my stint... I chalk that up to missing mommy and daddy.  We went to the zoo, we went to parks, we had taco poop... she got to see her grandma, her grandpa, and TONS of doggies!  Its so neat to watch her grow and learn new things.
    The one {bad} thing I took out of that week was my vocabulary dropped a peg or two as I was walking around uttering "oopsie" and "uh-oh".
    I loved my niece going in to the week and I loved her more (and in a much different way) coming out of the week.  I still don't want kids :)
  • So, moving on to the following week... which was last week... my week was just average, back at work, back to my life, trying to gain some normalcy.
    My week ended with a migraine, as you may have read about here, never a good way to go into a weekend.  I was to house/dog/bird sit for my dad starting Friday - so I did that a pretty much took it easy the whole weekend.  Steve came and joined me up there, which was nice and made my mom feel a million times better as she was extremely worried about me after the whole migraine episode.
  • I did add a new lens to my collection over this past weekend (after selling my van, I felt I deserved it, and it was cheap in comparison to other lenses) - I bought a 35mm f/1.8 Prime lens, which basically means it has one focal length, no zoom.  The benefit of this is the aperture setting can be tweaked to really enhance the photo.  I've taken some photos with it and I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it, I'll get them posted soon!
A few other bits of information:
  • I booked a trip to Denver with Steve in October - simply based around Randy Moss! LOL... Steve has a man crush on Moss and the Patriots play in Denver in October, so we're hoping to get to a game.  Other highlights of the trip to be visiting the mountains and spending way too much money on a rental car to get there.  In all seriousness, we used Priceline's name your own price option for a hotel, and got a killer price on a 4-star hotel right near the happening area in Denver.  The flights were also extremely reasonably priced, so I feel very good about the money spent thus far.  I've never spent any time in Denver, so I'm very excited to hang out and see all it has to offer!  If anyone's been and has tips or suggestions, throw 'em my way!
  • I booked, this morning, a flight to Branson, MO to visit my friend Renee (who I've taken 2 road trips in the past year to see - here is the link from Spring 09, and here is a link for one of the blogs from last fall) - I think it goes without saying (but I will anyway) that I am WICKED EXCITED to see her, and her family.  We were joking around about me coming to see her soon and upon checking some flight prices, we decided we'd be stupid not to book something (flights are ridiculously cheap to Branson with Sun Country).  The flight options/days are not the best, so I'm only staying 2 nights, but 2 nights is better than not going at all!
  • I got a call from a buddy of mine the other day asking if I'd be interested in photographing his band.  I agreed and we decided to fine tune the details in the coming days/weeks... hopefully we'll be able to work something out with our schedules - I'm super excited, especially with my new lens!  Good practice for me for sure!
Ok guys, this blog is LONG enough!  See what happens when I don't post for weeks at a time?!  I'll try to be better about it, but we all know how that goes.

Happy Autumn - hope your busy lives are keeping you good and sane :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Migraines Hurt

It always is a sad day when I have to take the time to write because I have something I want to track.  If you follow this link, you'll find all the blogs I've written to keep some sort of history on my battle with migraines.  I'm super luck that I'm not writing these blogs daily, weekly, or even monthly.  The last time I had to do this was August of 2008 - over a year ago.  You won't find me complaining... much.

So let me record my story, feel free to read if you'd like, but please don't feel obligated as this is strictly my own informative history.

Yesterday, Thursday, I get to work at 6am on the button.  I do a few things around the office,  fill my coffee mug, and grab a spoon for my yogurt and go sit at my desk.  As I'm sitting there eating my yogurt and starting into my work for the day I start to have some blurry vision - now this isn't extremely alarming as it was early and sometimes I just don't wake up that fast, so I rub my eyes and try to refocus.  I still can't see very well and it seems to be getting worse... crap I think.  The last thing I want is a migraine.
Well as it went on the vision got worse and my head started to hurt a little bit.  The pain is pretty intense so I did shed a tear or two as the sharp pains went ripping and roaring through my head.  Shortly after this started Jayne came in for the day and I told her right away what was going on.  She looked at my pupils and said they look really small (which may explain why I can't see?) - and she told me to just hang out and see how it goes.  My vision slowly started to return and Jayne suggested I go lay in my car as it was still dark and it might help my eyes a bit.  So I did, I went out there for about 15 minutes, then I could see again.  So I go back in work with a throbbing headache and figure I have to get somethings done before my week is over, luckily it wasn't anything super time consuming.  I start in on my work making sure everyone knows I'll be leaving once I have these few things done.  My head is killing me and the lights and noises of my job are NOT helping.

Right as I'm wrapping up my vision starts to go again... WTF?!  So I sit there, make a call to Walgreen's to have them check the instructions on prescription, and just wait.  I have 2 different kinds of medicine: a quick dissolve tablet and a capsule.  I took one of each and waited a few minutes.  At that point I couldn't stand being in the office anymore and my vision was on it's way back in, so I talk to Jayne and Bob (who play work mom and dad when things happen to me), and tell them I'm starting to see again and I'm going to go sit in my car until my vision is perfect then drive home.  They were trying to figure a way to get me home and I didn't want to trouble anybody, let alone leave my car at work.  I could get myself home just fine (stubborn huh?).

It's time to drive.  Start the car and go, the drive home was ok, I could see but had some nausea going on (which is a new feeling for me).  I get home and lay down right away.  I sleep for about 2 hours and wake up feeling pretty crappy.  Sore, tired, headache... I lay around for a bit - lost vision again, had some numb limbs, nausea persisted, etc.  I took another nap... blah blah.

My sweetie brought me some food because I hadn't had anything to eat since the yogurt; I was barely able to eat any soup but managed to finally get it all down and I skipped the sandwich altogether.  We also went to pick up a Mt. Dew, my dad suggested caffeine and I thought it was probably a good idea as I didn't have but a half cup while I was at work.  I took a pill before dinner and one during - slowly I was starting to feel better.

I went to bed still with a sore head but feeling a lot better than I had all day.  I had to wake up and clean my gma's apt this morning, and I felt pretty good when I woke up.  As I moved things hurt more, bending over to pick something up, sneezing... not very cool.  I continue to feel better as the day goes on, still very tired, but feeling better, which is a good thing.

Overall, this was the worst and longest migraine I've had to date - and I just pray they aren't going to continue to get worse.  I guess if I only have to deal with them once a year I can manage ... but really don't want to!

I think that about covers it... not very detailed recored keeping as it was pretty much just a crappy day all day long :(

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Out to Sea with the Vikings

Plinky Prompt: What specialized rooms does your new multi-million dollar yacht have?

These are just 2 of the rooms my yacht would have. The bedrooms would be off the chains and of course it would have a movie theater!

"Go Vikings"
.. but I still hate Brett Favre.

As, first, a Vikings fan, my yacht would have a room solely dedicated to The Purple and Gold. I live for this season, and what better than having a year round room for it?

Clearly the room would have the latest and greatest HD flat screen on the market, an amazing surround sound system, and what's a sports themed room without DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket and every other sports package out there?!

Unfortunately for me and my fellow Vikings cohorts, the Purple and Gold only play a few months out of the year, so the room would have some memorabilia from the other local teams, including but not limited to: KG bling (T-wolves) and Mauer's autographed lips (Twins). Really the coolest things out there, even though KG is no longer a T-puppy and Mauer wouldn't be quite as sexy without his luscious lips.

The one thing you will look for many times over but never find is anything relating to the number 4. Just because he plays for the Vikings doesn't mean I have to like him (I've written a blog or two about my feeling on this subject, so I'll spare the details here). Let's just say he will never be worthy of any wall space on my yacht!

Of course there is a Beer fridge as well, cause really what is a game without a beer? Is there even such a thing?

Last and pretty important is a Wing dispenser. Think Rosie on the Jetsons , you push a button and get the wing sauce of your choice in the quantity desired. Boom, done.

As a huge lover of all things food, a state of the art kitchen is a must for any 'homes' I own.

Obviously you need a kitchen to feed yourself and your crew. I'd also want my kitchen to be a hangout though, so it would need to have very comfortable seating. Since the kitchen is already huge, we may as well put a couch in there, something round-esque as to make it comfortable for everyone but personal enough for more intimate gatherings.

My kitchen would also have a huge island in it, because I feel islands are fantastic for standing around while you're cooking and chatting with friends.

I'd have every appliance known to man, including all the "As seen on TV" gadgets! I'd have a flat screen that raises up from the counter top, a fridge that cools itself, a fully digital modern stove full with convection oven, and LOTS of counter space to layout all the food my personal chef will prepare!

(Don't forget about the little Wing Rosie roaming around the halls!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

{Game Answers}

Kristi asked: How did you meet your Bf?
Answer: The simple answer is through friends of friends of friends - When I moved to Andover I was very fortunate to meet a very close group of guys who grew up together, they let me in and I formed close friendships with many of them.  From those friendships, I met others in the 'group' and slowly formed more friendships.  Steve and I have become pretty good friends over the course of the last couple years and things have grown from there.

Krysten asked:  Where is your favorite restaurant in the Cities?
Answer:  This is the hardest question to answer as I LOVE food!  It really depends on my mood and what I'm trying to get out of the meal.  In all honesty, I love Buffalo Wild Wings because I love wings and they have a great many sauces to fit all my moods!  For sushi I love Fuji Ya in Uptown and Akita in St. Paul has a great All you can eat sushi deal with super fresh and awesome sushi!  If you like burgers, The Bulldog NE (and I think they have a St. Paul location too) has a great selection!  Figlio in Uptown is also bomb, great food, a bit more expensive, but a nice treat!  A real gem in Edina is Broders Pasta Bar.  St. Paul also has Cossetta's, which is such a great place to eat and a pretty neat experience as well.  I really could go on forever.  I am really in to trying new things and lately I've been expanding my horizons in spicy food... so I may have some new favorites soon!

Lovi asked: If you were on a reality TV show, which would it be?
Answer: This one is easy; Big Brother!  Its the only reality show I watch and I just feed on the drama of it.  I sent in an application and audition tape one year, but never got a call from them :(  I can lie with the best of them, so I'd be perfect for it!

Dana asked: What's your dream job?
Answer: wellll... I'm not exactly sure.  I would love to travel somehow for a job.  I would love to somehow incorporate photography in that travel.  I would also love to somehow incorporate food [reviews, maybe?] into both the travel and photography aspect.  I wouldn't want to be some pretentious food critic, but something very casual and honest, a person that everyday people can relate to and places that people can afford (with the occasional 5-star restaurant mixed in).  Maybe the photography aspect would be of the food or of the travels as a side [personal] job.  I don't know if there is a job like that out there for me... but it would be dope if there were! (sorry, I got a bit carried away with that answer!)

Steve asked: Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along to us?
Answer: Yes; it's a bad idea to do shots of Tequila and drink a bottle of wine at the same time!  Some may call it mixing, I call it stupid.

Thanks to you guys for playing... I had fun!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Almost Back

Wanted to take a quick second to say Hi and let you guys know I'll be back tomorrow answering your questions from this post - so if you haven't taken the time to comment, you better do it now.  I have a good start to the blog, but just haven't had the proper time to finish it... tomorrow for sure!

Other than that.. I hope to talk about my week with my niece at some point this week and also talk a little bit about why I've stopped my daily photo blog.. and just a general update on me and my life... I feel so behind.  I've spent most of my day trying to get caught up at work.

SO... go comment, otherwise look for answers tomorrow and more to follow coming soon!

What do ya think of my cute little signature?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blogging Hiatus

So, for those out of date with me and my life.. I am babysitting my niece until Saturday.  My laptop can't pickup a wireless signal here and my brother's computer keyboard is lame and makes me angry.

I think its just best to say that I won't be blogging for this week... no time anyhow - I nap when she naps, Ieat when she eats, etc.

You also may have noticed my 365 Days of Hope is a bit out of date... I'm pretty sure I'm giving up on it, but I'll talk more about that after Saturday.

I will answer all of the questions from this post after Saturday as well...

Have a good week everyone!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

{Let Us Play A Game}

I'm fairly certain not many will play along with this, mostly because I have posted things before trying to get something from those of you reading... to no avail.  It's a good day today and I want to learn something about each of you (and give you the chance to learn something about me), so why not try again ;)

Play along; leave a comment with your answers to the following questions (I will reply with my answers in a separate post):

Name (First or Nickname is fine):
Where you're from:
How you found my blog:
Something interesting about you:
Anything you'd like to know about me:


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