30 June 2007

Damn you, formatting!

Hmm. Well after much work arranging photos to look decent in Firefox, there's still that weird overlap thing happening in the atom feed.

And I hit my limit in free-mode Flickr which made it more of a hassle since new blogger doesn't let you adjust image size in the cool free wheeling manner of old blogger. Bah.

Looks like you can still click the images from the atom feed for larger versions since blogger sized down some of the text images a bit. Oh, that'll let you see the pic that's overlapped as well.

I need to find an easier way to compose photos posts...

Let The Pictures Do The Talking: A Road Trip, iii

(Parts i, ii)

moleskine 7a
moleskine 8awall 1

wall 2

soldiers sculpture large
moleskine 9a
(Click to enlarge text.)

Hirshhorn 1Hirshhorn 2

moleskine 10a
Arch St
Blgs Grass fountain

Lincoln Memorial Columns Lincoln
moleskine 10bmoleskine 11a


Two years ago at TTaT: You know you're into blogging when..., The Nudists Are Gone
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28 June 2007

I want to be an asshole

Really I do. No less than three times did our waiter Mike give me a hard time for getting a Dr Pepper instead of an alcoholic beverage. Once was enough to get me mulling over sobriety comments that would make him feel like an ass, but I just couldn't bring myself to say them.

The second time, I even smiled at him, an autonomic response to teasing for which I wanted to kick myself.

The third time, I brainstormed additional unpleasant reasons one might not be able to drink. Interaction with medications and the conditions they treat could provide slews of comebacks to make Mike to feel like a jerk. I dismissed allergies since that would likely lead to the idiotic, "Oh my god, how do you live?" sorts of comments.

Then this occurred to me:
"The money I saved on my drink was going to fatten your tip, but now, not so much."

Next time, Mike, next time.

Let The Pictures Do The Talking: A Road Trip, ii

(Part i)

Biltmore Ticket

Moleskine 5a

Biltmore 3a Biltmore 2a
Biltmore Fall

Moleskine 6a

Camera acting up? Yes, I'd say so. Instead of the shutter firing when I depressed the button, it would wait until I'd given up on hearing the click of the mirror returning to place. Then when I'd smack the base of my camera on my palm to dislodge the mirror, it'd shoot resulting in a motley variety of low angle shots.

I'm fond of this one anyway though:

Biltmore 1a

Moleskine 6b

If you've made it this far, you may be thinking about how terrible my handwriting is. Well, yes, when I'm only intending to write something for myself. Writing fast while walking doesn't help legibility much either.

Moleskine 3b
Moleskine 4a
Moleskine 5b


Two years ago at TTaT: A Prelude to Bewitched
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27 June 2007

Let The Pictures Do The Talking: A Road Trip, i

October 31, 2002

old apt.Boo leaned against my car and I sat at the base of the stairs. The maintenance guy who was supposed to meet me for the final walk-through of my apartment was 45 minutes late. I'd only just finished packing my car, but I had a long drive ahead of me and I wanted to get on with it.

I apologized to Boo for the holdup, but as usual she was very mellow about it all. Seven years younger and she was already more well-balanced than I would likely ever be. When I freaked out that there was no more room in my car for a final bag of clothes, Boo had the answer: throw the shirts on top of everything else loose. It seemed absolutely brilliant at the time because I was too anxious to think of it.

15 minutes later, the maintenance guy arrived full of apologies, and we walked through my apartment. He took a cursory glance around and said, "Looks better than when you moved in, right?"

The building had changed owners since I moved in, so the new management had never seen the initial state of my apartment. It happened to be true though, so I said, "Yeah." (Seemed like I could've skipped a lot of cleaning and still gotten my deposit back.) I turned in my keys, and Boo and I headed over to Jimmy John's for a quick bite.

We ate outside and Boo showed me more features of my new cell phone. It was my first which she had helped me pick out the night before when I was massively stressed out. I focused on the basics, "So the line is like the hook switch, right?" When I went to the restroom, she took my phone and programmed in her number with a special ring.

I looked over the directions she gave me for the scenic route to Asheville, NC.

Directions Clip 1
Always a bit leery when someone says "you'll see what I mean."

Directions Clip 2
The details in her directions amused me greatly
and made me think of her as even cooler.

I got a little misty saying goodbye but held it together- not so much goodbye as until next time. The sadness quickly subsided once I was on the road because leaving Tallahassee, FL felt so right. I would travel the country and find the perfect place for me to live.

Moleskine 1a
Moleskine 2a
Moleskine 3a


One year ago at TTaT: The Neighbor's Cat

26 June 2007

The Longest Journey

The title already feels like a misnomer- in a broader metaphysical sense, I still have far to travel- but in the technical sense, it's currently accurate.

The 19 day trek I started writing about last summer, known here as The Road is my Favorite Place, took me almost seven months to finish. Considering the trip on my current mental docket lasted seven months, I think I'm going to let the images speak for themselves. Otherwise, I might never start.

Sound good?

One year ago at TTaT: Monday Mayhem
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25 June 2007

22 June 2007

Happy birthday, Joss!!!

Can't Stop The Serenity:
Joss Whedon's Serenity on the big screen.
On (or around) June 23, Joss Whedon's birthday.
To benefit Joss Whedon's favorite charity, Equality Now.

Very cool. If there were one near me, I'd so be there. But maybe there's one near you- visit Can't Stop The Serenity to find out.

From Joss Whedon:
There are two ways to fight a battle like ours. One is to whisper in the ear of the masses, try subtlely and gradually to change the gender expectations and mythic structures of our culture. That's me. The other is to step up and confront the thousands of atrocities that are taking place around the world on an immediate, one-by-one basis. That's a great deal harder, and that's Equality Now. It's not about politics; it's about basic human decency.
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Things I shouldn't carry

Months ago I read a tip that suggested photocopying all the cards in your wallet so that you'll have all of your account numbers and stuff handy in case your wallet gets stolen. Come to think of it, I tried to do this last January or December, but that's when my printer stopped printing.

Anyway, after fine-tuning how to arrange my first set of cards so the fronts and backs lined up correctly on the same piece of paper, I pulled out all the cards from my tattered plastic insert. It was then I noticed that two of my 3 blood donor cards have my social security number printed on them. Damn, Sam. They have separate ID numbers on them as well so it's not like they really needed it. That's what I get for keeping cards in my wallet that I haven't looked at in years.

The third donor card has an old address on it. If I were in an accident, wouldn't they just test for my blood type rather than look for a donor card listing it? Looks like my wallet's going to be a little thinner- woo!

Two years ago at TTaT: Mmm, Bacon; Another friggin pen
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21 June 2007

Noticing oddities

For the first time in the two and half years since I moved here, it occurred to me that it might be odd that the radio station I listen to most in my car is programmed in the sixth slot, furthest from reach. It's the very same alt rock station the boy I had a mega-crush on introduced me to back in high school.

In the event of commercial breaks, I will then choose the station on 4, then 3, then 2 or 5, and then I'll try 6 again. NPR is on one since it's the lowest frequency, but I rarely listen to it since I'm almost always looking for music. Actually I think the rest of the stations are in ascending frequency order except for my favorite station which I seem to have purposefully programmed to the furthest button.

I can reach them all fine; it just occurred to me today that it might be odd.

On a semi-related note, I was listening to "Jane Fonda" by Mickey Avalon on the way home.

Made me laugh. Oh yes, I did more than one of the Jane Fonda Workouts in my youth.

One year ago at TTaT: #28, ahead of schedule
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20 June 2007

Plot keywords?

Since when did "Busty Heroine" join the ranks of plot keywords? I was looking up some episode information on Star Trek: Voyager when I noticed it.

Busty Heroine is listed first, presumably to indicate its greater importance since the plot keywords are not arranged alphabetically. Alien Contact, Alien Technology, Creature, and Warp Speed follow.

I really would've thought Space Travel or Space Exploration would've made the top five.

One year ago at TTaT: Hurdles
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19 June 2007

The Butcher Conspiracy

I just had some spectacular steak for dinner. That I'm particular about steak, I will be the first to admit. If it's not the filet, I'm not really interested unless it's Porterhouse or Delmonico grilled by my dad. Even then, I will diligently cut off any fat or white bits I deem "weird stuff." My dad is usually more than happy to eat my castoffs for another succulent bite or two of filet. (The filet side is always divided evenly in my family.)

Mom deserves special kudos for procuring tonight's steak because she had to fight the butcher for it. In the meat case behind another display, my mom spied two Porterhouse steaks on sale for $5 off. She asked for the one in back and the butcher said, "Lady, these are some nice sirloins," pointing to another row of steaks as if my mom was ignorant.

Mom said, "I don't care what those are. I want the Porterhouse in back over there."

Begrudgingly, the butcher moved to that part of the case and started pulling out the thinner steak in front.

"Not that one," Mom insisted, "The one behind it."

This is the second time this has happened to her this summer. Not even the same butcher. Dad and I agree that if they wanted the steaks for themselves, they should've bought them and stuck them in an employee fridge. It seems clear they intended to save the steaks for someone. All I can figure is that maybe they get a better discount if the steaks are still there at the end of their shifts.

If you want the steaks, pony up the cash, suckas. Otherwise, my mom's gonna beat you out every time. Color me proud.

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18 June 2007

Bring it, Brenda

Season 3 premiere of The Closer tonight at 9 on TNT. COMMERCIAL FREE- so get your snacks in order before it starts.

And if you can't wait, a marathon of episodes is running on TNT right now. I couldn't help but stay up and watch some late last night.

One year ago at TTaT: Until the Violence Stops: NYC
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17 June 2007

And there it is

Went out to dinner with the folks last night. When I saw the hostess, all I could think was: What is she, twelve? Realistically, she had to be at least sixteen, maybe even eighteen depending on the restaurant chain's hiring rules. She didn't actually look twelve, but it was my brain's way of processing just how young she looked.

I still get carded on occasion, but I don't have that fresh-out-of-high-school look. Having noticed the difference, I feel one step away from grumbling about young whippersnappers.

One year ago at TTaT: And now for some cacti
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15 June 2007

Not quite the breakfast of champions

Fritos, clam dip, sun tea, and a pepto bismol chewables chaser (original flavor).

I'm sick of drainage from sinuses and allergies and weather changes.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed of late. In part, it's the father's day/dad's birthday combo this weekend, but it's more than that. Tuesday, I didn't turn my computer on at all so my email and feed reader were packed on Wednesday. There's an acute awareness of my lack of direction. The best gift of living up to my potential that I ever gave my dad was the year his birthday and father's day fell on the same day, the day I graduated valedictorian from my high school.

It's not like it's all been downhill since then, but it doesn't feel particularly auspicious; the past couple years have been downright aimless. Watching segments here and there of The Big Idea makes success seem just a few steps away. One passion away but the inspiration just isn't there. Shake it off, Claire, shake it off.

One year ago at TTaT: Relieved

11 June 2007

Bricks on the brain

Plastic bricks, plastic Lego bricks, virtual plastic Lego bricks.

I'm obsessed with Lego Star Wars II. I've never had so much fun playing a video game even despite my novice abilities. (Science help me if I become a true gamer.) When my mind wanders, I wonder if Greedo's explosives will take out the barrier I haven't been able to pass in the wastelands, if Sandpeople and Imperial commanders have any special abilities I haven't yet discovered, and just how the disguise extra works. (Don't tell me! I want to figure it out for myself.)

All in time. So much for reading more over the summer... ;)

One year ago at TTaT: Brenda's return
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07 June 2007

Sometimes narrow expertise is all you need

With all the Star Wars anniversary reminiscences of late, my love for the original movies has been rekindled despite those odious prequels. Now that the price of Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy has been reduced by half (the game has been out for a year), it seemed an opportune time to pick it up. With the games I received with my PS2 for xmas, that would bring my total video game collection to 3.

As I walked up to peruse the video game case at Walmart, I overheard a woman and her tween daughter asking an employee for "the dance game."

"This one?" the salesman asked, pointing to a large box with the Dance Factory game and a dance mat.

"We already have a dance pad," the mother said.

"Just the game," the daughter interjected pointing at Dance Dance Revolution Supernova.

Noticing the Dance Factory kit was the same price as the DDR game, the mother asked what the difference was. There was a pause as the salesman crouched down to reach for the box. He started reading from it aloud; clearly, he didn't know anything about the game.

Having researched the various dance games pretty extensively, I pointed out some of Dance Factory's quirks: the game will generate dance steps for any CD you own, but from what I've read it works best with songs with strong beats, and even then it works better with some songs than others.

"We don't have a lot of CDs," the mother commented. "Does it come with any songs?"

The salesman consulted the box again and was able to answer, "It comes with five songs."

"We'll take that one," the mother said, pointing to Dance Dance Revolution Supernova.

I smiled and said, "I play DDR all the time."

The salesman got up and retrieved the game. "OK. Are you done with your shopping?"

"Can I pay for that now and keep shopping?"

"Certainly." The salesman lead them around to a register. The mother paused, turned back to me and said, "Thank you for your help."

"You're welcome."

Had they asked about any other game save one, I would've had nothing to offer. Sometimes narrow expertise is enough. Being able to use it to help: goodza.

One year ago at TTaT: I've had it
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06 June 2007

Leaf density II

The canopy has returned: dense maple leaves, dispersed points of blue, sparse sun diagonals.
Enjoy the bokeh!

("Bokeh in Spring" image is available for sale at my shop on a variety of products.)

Two years ago at TTaT: tip of the week- opening stuck windows Technorati tags: ,

01 June 2007


Girl stuff is not my forte could easily be a series title for me which is why when something is explained well, it captures my attention.

A couple nights ago when there was nothing on tv and I was folding my laundry, I stumbled upon Swimsuit Secrets Revealed on WE. They took 10 women of diverse body shapes and skin tones off the beach and helped each of them find a flattering swimsuit.

Don't mistake me: I'm a board shorts, t-shirt kind of person and even if I weren't self-conscious, I'd still probably wear that because I burn really easily. Nonetheless, I thought their tips were pretty good, so I thought I'd pass them along:

Swimsuit style tips

The show airs again tomorrow (June 2 at 11:00 AM), and its sequel More Swimsuit Secrets Revealed airs tonight at midnight and then 4:00 AM.

Good hunting!

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In writing to a friend you haven't communicated with for months, have you ever composed an email that you realized was rather erratic just after you clicked send?

No? Um, yeah... me neither.

So much cooler than a spreadsheet

In 2004, I started keeping track of the books I read. My system has evolved since then. At first it was just a numbered list, the next year I added -, /, + ranking which morphed into -, /, +, ++, +++ before the year was out. In 2006, I switched to a spreadsheet and a 0-5 scale that allows halves.

GoodReads is so much more visually appealing though. Add a book to your list and it'll show you the cover, let you rank it 1-5, mark the month and year you read it, add a review, and even recommend it to a friend. You can add friends to your profile so you can see what they're reading, and you can rank any books from their list that you've read. GoodReads will then tell you how well your ratings match up, so you can see if your tastes jive.

You can also organize your lists by creating "shelves," which can include what you're currently reading or even books you want to read.

Pretty cool and fun to play with.

Two years ago at TTaT: This might work
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