Excuses, excuses

Chase

So this is pretty much how I’ve felt the last several months—chasing around, with everything out of focus. This little photography gig I’ve got going? It’s kinda caught on! Since returning from Minnesota at the end of June, I’ve done nearly 25 photo sessions. (Thankfully, the photos I show clients are technically much better than the one you see above. Some are in focus even!) With my regular job I can really only handle about a session a week, so it’s really been keeping me busy.

Let’s see . . . what other excuses can I come up with for not posting? Well, there’s Twitter. I’ve made 600 posts/updates there since April 24—does that count? How about Facebook? Any points for that? Nah—I didn’t think so.

Oh! I know! I have things going on three nights a week—Tuesdays are camera club, Wednesdays are band, and Thursdays are church choir (exciting, no?). That must be the reason why I haven’t posted.

::Mrtl-style tangent (with photo!)::
Incidentally, I took first place and second place in the camera club’s November competition. The theme was Children. Hey—I photograph kids all the time! Here’s my second-place entry (note the ever-present drool hanging from his chin):

Almost!

I wish I could show you the first place winner, but for privacy reasons I can’t.
::End Mrtl-style tangent (with photo!)::

Then there’s Guitar Hero. We got GH3 this summer, and recently got the new World Tour version. J.P. plays guitar, and I play drums (badly). I even tried my hand at singing the other night. Um, yeah . . . it wasn’t pretty.

Regardless of all the excuses, you may be asking yourself why I’m posting now. After all this time. See, on Wednesday, Susie‘s sponsoring the Fourth Annual Blog Cookie Exchange party. I’d hate to miss out on the tradition (I can’t believe this is the fourth year already!), so decided to come out of “retirement.”

::Mrtl-style tangent::
Didja know that I actually met Ms. Fairchild this summer? I did! I was traveling for business, and we managed to get together for lunch. I got crabs. She did too. Oh, get your mind out of the gutter—it was a seafood restaurant!
::End Mrtl-style tangent::

Now get moving! Head over to Susie’s to learn more about the party. Put up a post of your own (or don’t), and then visit all the other guests’ sites to have a good time! I’ll be serving hot buttered rum—DEEEEEE-lish!

The Beyonce Experience

Have you seen the header that Beyonce took during one of her recent concerts?

Looks painful, doesn’t it? Know what? It is! Multiple steps not required—a single curb will do. Last week I was walking out of a camera store in suburban St. Louis, and as I headed back to my car I somehow missed the fact that there was a step down between the sidewalk and the parking lot. (Am I the only one spotting a trend here? And here?)

I went down hard on my left knee, and my body continued its rapid descent. I reached out in an attempt to slow my momentum with my hands, but I couldn’t avoid the three-point landing. Finally, my chin met the pavement. All of this happened in the span of about .3 seconds, and I’m sure the sound of my body smacking asphalt and the involuntary “Ooomph!!” sound I made were pretty much simultaneous.

Things I am thankful for:

  • The car that was coming was driving slowly, and was far enough away to stop before running me over.
  • The car’s driver rolled down her window and called out, “Are you okay?!?”
  • I still have all of my teeth.
  • I still have my entire tongue.
  • I didn’t break any bones.
  • I had not purchased any fragile, expensive camera gear.
  • I was able to walk away, and could drive after a few minutes of surveying the damage.
  • The co-worker who picked me up for dinner 15 minutes later was sympathetic and stopped at the grocery store so I could buy an ice pack.
  • Restaurants that serve 22 oz. margaritas. (Said co-worker took me to an excellent Mexican restaurant for dinner after the trauma.)
  • Suzie was not there as a witness.

Now . . . would you like to see the damage?

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Where to start?

Bobbledog

As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been gone for a while. Oh, I’m still here, I just haven’t been here. I have no excuses, but hey, this is my blog—do I really need an excuse? The longer I stay away, the easier it is to stay away. And now I feel like I need a really big-deal post in order to return. If that’s what you’re expecting you might as well bail now, because there’s nothing too exciting here.

You may or may not wonder what I’ve been doing during my absence. Let’s see what I can remember . . . .

For some reason, I just love this one

I did a photo shoot for the daughter of one of my co-workers. She was a sweetheart, and she loved these beads. I even made the tutu—can you believe that? It was super easy (otherwise I would’ve had to outsource), and I may have to make some others in different colors.

My mom was in town for a few days, and we took her to the dump. She was begging us to take her there. Who wouldn’t want to visit a pile of trash? Well you see, this dump is just a little different. Oh, there’s trash there, of course. But on Sunday afternoons, they open the place up as a scenic overlook:

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump!

You can literally see for miles in all directions. They have those binocular thingies like Mount Rushmore or the Empire State Building (only these are free!). And believe it or not, there are picnic tables and playground equipment. At the dump! How cool is that? Even the local Amish families like to spend time there.

Sunday afternoon activity

Don’t worry about Mom—we did other fun things while she was here too. We took her to dinner, did lots of shopping, and she went with me to a camera club meeting. The speaker that night was Bob Caputo, who’s worked for National Geographic for 27 years. His photos were amazing, of course, but he also had great stories of how he goes about capturing them.

Speaking of camera club . . . we meet twice a a month, and one of the meetings is a competition. I entered my first competition last week, and I got third place! I was pleasantly surprised. Good ol’ Maggie!

Morning walk

Remember the Blessing of the Animals that I mentioned last year? It’s coming up again next weekend, and J.P. and I are taking portraits to help raise money for the rescue. Last year we used the blue backdrop as seen here:

Hangin'

Since we’re always going for repeat business, I like to mix things up a bit from year to year. But I didn’t want to shell out big bucks for a backdrop that dogs will most certainly pee on. So last weekend I bought a HUUUUGE paint drop cloth at Home Depot and painted it in the driveway using a couple colors from HD’s “oops bin” and a couple colors that were left over from projects around here. It didn’t turn out half bad! Maggie begrudgingly helped me test it out today. Since I probably won’t post again this week, she and I will just say it now: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Trick or Treat!

Five!

Five

I did it! I survived! No, no . . . not that five year thing. I survived the re-birthday party we had on Saturday to celebrate the five year thing. I think we had about 55 people total, and thanks to your suggestions I think everyone had a good time.

The celebration actually started on Wednesday, when my co-workers sent me a video (link removed) that they’d made. It was so cool!

My mom arrived on Thursday, and we were able to have some fun in the midst of the party prep chaos. Shoe shopping and pedicures were involved, and my broken toe (which I stubbed again on Saturday) is now painted a lovely shade of pink. It’s a nice complement to the purple bruise.

Friends from Chicago arrived on Friday, and we met them and some other mutual friends for dinner on Friday night. Then we all came back to our place for dessert, games, and waaaaayy too much Ninja Warrior. They must’ve been having a marathon this weekend, because that show was on EVERY time we turned on the TV. And it’s oh-so-easy to get sucked into it.

Oh, so you want to hear about the PARTY! Let’s see . . .

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Ouch!

Ouch!

Would you believe I don’t know exactly how this happened? I got up around 4 AM to go to the bathroom. I *think* I took a step away from the bed and my knee buckled, but I can’t say for sure because I don’t think I was fully awake until I hit the floor.

I just sat there, stunned, for a minute or two. Maggie crawled out of her crate to make sure I was okay. J.P. must’ve heard the commotion, and he got up saying, “Did you fall out of bed?” No! I did not fall out of bed!

I limped to the bathroom and took care of business. Then I got back into bed and was asleep within minutes.

No alcohol was involved in this incident. Pinky swear.

Party time

Birthday cake

Okay, internets, I need your help! We’re having a shindig next month to celebrate my five years of cancer-freeness. Tonight J.P. and I put down a deposit on a hall, and now it’s time to figure out a few details. I’m working on the guest list and invitation angle, but we need to figure out the food, drink, and entertainment. I *think* I have a theme to work around, and I’m curious to hear your ideas on how to pull it off.

Since we’re celebrating five years, I’m leaning toward a Five-year-old Birthday Party theme. I have a few ideas already . . . what do you think?

  1. Pink. It’s a cancer party—gotta have pink. But no pink ribbons! I draw the line there. I’m thinking of asking people to wear something pink.
  2. Games. When I was a kid, we played games at birthday parties. So what “kid” games would you play with a bunch of grown-ups (despite the theme, I would prefer not to have children there)? My idea was Pin the Boobs on the Sharkey, but I’m not sure how that would go over with J.P.’s aunts. He thought Hoots and Ladders would be fun, but it’s not really practical since it’s a board game. So what other game ideas do you have? A pinata? Musical chairs? Relay races—what kind?
  3. Food. Now here’s where I’m kinda stuck. What kind of food to serve? I’m thinking we’ll start around 7:30 or 8:00, because I don’t want to have to serve dinner. Would you serve kid food? If so, what kind? PB&J, mac & cheese, and hot dogs seem a little too casual. And they don’t necessarily go well with mixed drinks (we’ll have a bartender).
  4. Cotton candy? I’m thinking of renting a cotton candy machine. Because kids love it AND it’s pink. But will adults love it? One bite is generally enough for me. What do you think?
  5. A “signature drink.” You know how when Oprah and Rachael Ray are talking about parties, they always say you should have one fun drink and then beer and wine so you don’t have to worry about stocking a full bar. We will have a full bar, but I’d still like to have a signature drink. Something pink, of course. What would be good?
  6. Decorations & favors. So far, I’ve got nothin’ here other than the color scheme.
  7. What else? What are some things I’m forgetting?

So let’s say you were invited to a party like this (maybe you will be!). Would you bring a gift? Because you know that’s the only reason I’m doing this, right? Okay, okay. Not really. But I am curious about your answer to this question because I DON’T want gifts. If people are thinking of getting me something, I would rather have them donate the money to cancer research. I’m thinking about putting that on the invitation, but I don’t want people to think I’m expecting gifts. If I received an invitation like this, I’m not sure it would even occur to me to bring a gift. Opinions?

All right, please get your creative juices flowing. Talk to your five-year-old (or your husband!)—what does he think would be fun?

Neglect

ne·glect Pronunciation[ni-glekt]
–verb (used with object)

  1. to pay no attention or too little attention to; disregard or slight: The public neglected his genius for many years.
  2. to be remiss in the care or treatment of: to neglect one’s family; to neglect one’s appearance; to neglect one’s blog.

Hey, it looks like I’m three-for-three on that last one. Let’s see . . . I spent most of the weekend Flickring because I participated in a contest. J.P. was neglected on Saturday because I had to create my entry, and I neglected him on Sunday because I was busy refreshing the results page every three minutes. (I didn’t win.)

I’m neglecting my appearance today. I did shower this morning, but skipped the make-up and then got dressed in sweats and worked from the kitchen table.

And, well . . . you KNOW I’m guilty of neglecting the blog. I think this may be a record for the length of time between posts.

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