Thursday, December 03, 2009

the end of this story

In case you were still wondering, I've decided to put this blog to rest, for good, forever. It is kind of sad. Although I haven't updated it for almost a year, it was my channel of expression for a good few years of my life. I spent so much time with that stupid HTML code to get it just right!

Lots of things have changed. I'm married to an incredible man! I'm graduating college very shortly. In short, life is just at another stage. I just wanted to thank you all for your kind reading and commenting. If you're reading this. If you write on a blog, and no one sees it...??

But, amongst the tears and waving of handkerchiefs, the good news is that Justin and I are going to be starting our own blog. Well, mostly me, because he doesn't really like to write on blogs anymore, but I still get those urges all the time, and he'll probably write some, if I promise him cookies. He is a good writer, and no one except me would ever know.

So, even though our new blog isn't written in yet, it's already "there." Turn the Page.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


first of all, if you're reading, could you be so kind and leave a comment? i hate saying this because if no one comments, then i look lame. i guess this blog is lame. but i do know how many hits i get per week...and it's not too shabby. still, i want to know who exactly you are. so make yourselves known, if you dare. :)

i really enjoyed gift-giving this year. i did something a little different: i tried to generally not buy commercially produced stuff. i tried to make gifts, purchase handmade ones, and re-use when i could. i did fairly well. i certainly don't think there's anything wrong with businesses and retailers but it actually felt kind of good to buy local and/or handmade and/or reused. it was actually refreshing, and i felt like i was snubbing the million lame and stupid commercials. take that, Verizon! hiyah, Target and Walmart and Sears and RadioShack! i can do it all myself and i don't need your help! here are some of the things i bought:

-a french press coffee maker for Dad - from the Mill (made in brazil, but at least i supported a local business...?)
-necklaces, candles, and soap from Ten Thousand Villages - for various people (handmade, fairly traded stuff from various countries)
-professional framing on an photo collage Mom had made 18 years ago (did it myself, using a frame someone had left at our shop)
calendar and book of my photography
-a knitted hat for Justin (i mean, i knitted it myself)
-a DVD set of Bonanza episodes for Johanna (ok, that one might have come from china, come to think of it.)
-a sterling silver guitar pick (handmade by a guy in Canada, found on
handmade purse for Rachel (actually i bought a simple purse at a thrift store and embellished it myself)

i stayed far, far away from "popular gifts" and attractive advertising. and the interesting thing about this was that i didn't set out to do it this way. the noncommercial aspect was just one step in the decision process for each gift i decided on. i was really trying to spend less, too...and doing homemade stuff can definitely cut down on what you're paying for (though it's easy to get carried away!).

so, knitting is fun. i spontaneously decided to both learn to knit hats - and knit a hat - in the week immediately preceding Christmas. it turned out rather well...i'm still going to get a photo of Justin in his hat, but here's the best photo i have. here you can see the fleece lining before it was trimmed up:
it was quite the process. i had to learn to Purl, Cast, SSK, Reduce and Bind. but my hands ended up sore and my shoulders were tense and my eyes were strained. i definitely can't do it for more than ten-minute increments. but it was fun, though imperfect - a few Purls where there should have been Knits, and a few accidental 2 Stitches when there should have been only 1. but it was soft and warm, and it was my first try.

Friday, October 31, 2008

we are who they were

have you ever wondered why we do the things we do? maybe you and me individually, maybe our entire culture today? why are we like this?
can we - individually or as a whole culture - develop independently of and differently than those who have lived before us?

i've come to be convinced that the understanding of current times, at least in a very large way, lies in the past. the study of history illuminates today with a clarity and wonder that cannot be otherwise imagined. the more history i learn, the more i understand about today, my culture, myself. i make no exaggerations. then was another time, another place, another culture. but we would not be who we are without the ideas, expectations and behaviors set in place by those very long ago. we are who they were.

many of us believe we are independent thinkers (which, ironically, is an idea given to us by some who lived before we did). but, how we think is in a very large way determined by the history of older civilizations. the way of thinking in thirteenth-century French romances has bled into your mind whether you've ever read Lancelot stories, and the influence of ancient sages like Plato - removed from us by miles and millenia - permeates our schools, churches, families, and deepest perceptions. ever read any Shakespeare? even if you hadn't, you've used the words and phrases and metaphors he invented. the very language we speak, our tool of fundamental communication, is a product of stone-age nomads, Roman military maneuvers and road-builders, and rosters of warriors, crusaders, emperors, despots. the way our classrooms are set up - the very concepts of teachers, students and exams - is a result of decisions and controversies made by pompous theologians and traveling humanists during the renaissance and the reformation. and the ideals of freedom we hold so dear, often as dear as our faith? they showed up in the sixteenth century, in books by bands of enlightened rebels usurping the Christian conviction that God raises and removes kings.

my friends, we - you, me, our culture, many cultures - are a conglomeration of them - the ancients, the rebels, the teachers and the poets.

yes, you and i carry the marks of poets and writers in our minds indelibly stamped in our very cores. and if there is one thing i've learned in my literature and history studies, it's that those who write are the tools of radical change throughout history. the written word has the potential to become immortal.

since the lives and texts of ancient times affect us so strongly, so also will our lives and ideas affect those far after us. the postmodernist culture is the forerunner for another kind of culture, whether or not they will know about how postmodernism worked. those who write the books today will be history that is studied and embedded in peoples' worldviews. the way our churches work, what our priorities are and how we influence our surroundings, will be the mark left on future christians and pagans - even if they didn't learn history about us. whether or not they will know about us (perhaps they, too, will be mad with the idea that they are independent), they will be patchworks of all that have come and gone - of our culture, of you and me, who are ourselves blends of ancient expressions.

it's something to think about.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


So this week's post will be a shameless plug for the calendars I've created and which are currently for sale. I have more coming soon (so check back), but all the art on RedBubble has free shipping this week (type 100000masterpieces in the promo-code box)! Woohoo! :) So take a look at them if you need a cool gift for someone, maybe for Christmas...? I've created four already, all priced at $25. I can also customize them with any of my photos you've seen here, on Facebook, or on my photo web site. Thanks for taking a wee looksie! :)

See all my calendars here

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

a collage of wisdom

you might be tempted to be angry with me for not posting for so long, but the reason is that i have been out, in the world, collecting quotes from my varied travels to share with you. my backpack is full of scraps of paper with jumbled words on them, just waiting to be immortalized in...nonphysical electronic text. anyways, in all their glory, the unedited wisdom of the mass of humanity around me.

in class

"My interpretation of this text is that whenever we see a reference to a genie, we should immediately think of Allah." -student in English class

"The only way people can fly is by growing angel wings." -same student

"What's the cube root of four sixteenths?" -student in response to the question "Do you have any questions?"

"How our human conversations evolve from the tooth fairy to serial killers." -English professor

"That chair is the color tan. Yucky tan." -Computer Science professor

"If you want to see a real master at work, just watch Steve Jobs at a press conference." -Computer Science professor

"The opening ceremonies of the Olympics kind of frightened me. If 2000 men can drum in synchronization, they can take over the world." -Renaissance History professor

During an exam review for Computer Science class:
Student: "Can you define a string again, please?"
Professor: "Let me show you. 'Hi, I'm a cow.' That's a string."


"Nikki, can I interest you in a big cup of shut up?" -Dad

"Looks like you need to have a better coefficient of friction." - Justin, when the stack of books was too heavy for the small bookend

"Looks like the eye of the hurricane is right over Jamaica. Well, I bet they are good at evacuating, because there are a lot of really good runners there." -Mary (during the Olympics)

Mom: "Mary, you need to need to listen to what I'm saying."
Mary: "I'm trying, but you just keep blabbing, on and on and on..."

"I think this jacket makes me look really sisticated." -Mary

Mom: Wait until I'm done on the computer, then we can turn on the debate."
Mary: "I think this presidential election is just a little more important than our entertainment!"

"If I ever get acne, I am DEFINITELY using Proactiv because it is so effective even on tough acne." - Mary after seeing countless Proactiv commercials

While Mom was scrambling around to get everyone ready to go somewhere, Mary called from upstairs and called down to Mom: "Mom, I've never understood what lips were for."

"Russia's way more powerful now that they took over Atlanta." -Mary


"Barbers always know everything about who people are going to vote for. They're the best pollsters. Who needs a $25,000 poll when you can get one for $15, and a shave too?" -NPR

"A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away." - Barry Goldwater

"There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers." - Richard Feynman, physicist


"Justin Timberlake is bringing verb conjugations back." - overheard on campus

"I am the queen of nonchalant bluffing" - girl on the bus

"You're kissing him right now, aren't you?" - a guy talking on his cell phone

Saturday, September 27, 2008

two years later, and no different

i'm publishing this again because it's one of my favorite posts ever. i keep trying to write something like this lately, but i keep coming back to this one...and it says everything i wanted to. i realize it's a little sad-sounding, and that's okay but unintended (at least for this year). i think i was generally more melancholy back then than i am now. anyways, here it is, just over two years after i first published it......

here are these midwestern fall-transition days again. you know....the ones that aren't quite autumn yet and only feel like fall in the evenings. but there are wisps of smoky, spicy fall air blowing around in the wind every so often. and part of you is stuck in what you love about summer, and's just time to move on.

to me, summer is so much of, simply, what i love about being alive. driving with my windows down and my sunglasses on is one of the greatest pleasures i have in life, and i don't mean that in a depressing way. no matter how the day is going, pulling out those aviators and cranking up some tunes and flying down Normal Avenue is about the highlight of my day. it embodies what i love about summer...which means "carefree" and warm and different every day and fun and laid-back. people aren't worried about school. you play volleyball and hang out late into the evenings because it's light outside. you worry less about responsibility and more about being alive and free because you only have a few summers of your life to feel like that.

but then those evenings get a little shorter, just to remind you that they're not there forever. then labor day comes, and football starts, and before you know it, school is back, and downtown is crawling with hoodie-clad students. and even if it hasn't gotten real chilly yet, you know the dead icy winter is inevitable. like any good parent, mother nature likes to give us a bit of warning before playtime is totally over.

then the evenings are dark at 7pm and you feel tired even when you have no reason to feel tired except that it's dark. then you leave places early because you have homework. then you realize...fall is here.

fall is melancholy for me. i'm sure part of it is all those fall colors...all the colors that mean emotion in my mind, like deep orange, goldenrod, and crimson. but i think one of the reasons i tend to get so pensive each fall season is because it makes me aware of time. time passing so tediously but so fast i can almost hear it. summer is when time stops and all is light and exciting. but fall means winter, and winter means another new year, which just makes me think about how i am 21 years old already, and why i still feel sixteen, and how i still have to accomplish so much, and how i feel like time is moving around me while i remain standing in the middle of a river, grabbing frantically at experiences and events as they surge by but wondering what i'm missing when my back's turned and knowing most things won't ever come along again.

Friday, September 12, 2008


this post is dedicated to rainy weather, humidity and thunderstorms.

this week, it rained. the humidity peaked at 97%. the sky was mute and colorless and it matched the gum-spackled cement. on days like this, i long for a drop or two of color.

i wished i could have had a more aerial view of the streets, maybe from the top of a parking garage, to take photos of the bright umbrellas floating along down the sidewalks, like watching leaves trickle down a stream. they would have looked really good against the dismal grey...

i am a sunny summer girl, through and through. i live and breathe for summer, for flip flops and putting my hair in messy braids, for the glorious long evenings and warm nights when you can frolick outside at midnight without getting cold. i usually don't like anything that obscures the sun and/or its warmth; and because so much of my thoughts and feelings are made of colors, the slushy grey months can be depressing. but this week i made my treks across campus and gleefully trampled through clear puddles, and somewhere in all of that, i realized that i was actually - thoroughly - enjoying the rainy days. could be that my enjoyment has to do with my gleeful rain boots - grey with bright cheery umbrellas on them. they remind me of my mind-photo of the umbrella rainbow, which is looking and sounding better and better each time i mentally revisit it. another delight of rainy walks is hearing the thwit-thwit of the raindrops on my umbrella - a bright green color, might i add.

so i guess if everything were bright, sunny, colorful...then the really great colors of my umbrella and boots wouldn't stand out. there isn't any reason to appreciate colors except for the possibility of less color. i think the reason today's raininess was so satisfying is that i have been under the sun for months, and hardly noticed the colors anymore. the brightness of summer doesn't feel as bright after four months of it. and suddenly, the smallest scrap of color, the tiniest molecule of heat, is a greater delight than all the millions that preceded it.

and today, as i stepped out the back door of my wonderful new workplace, i noticed with new vigor the brilliant bright sky, the pillowy clouds and the way the sunlight gets trapped in them and finds its way out again, and felt the warmth on my skin as i discarded my work jacket. life is good. :)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

one month later, she lives

i guess it's been one month exactly (almost) since i posted last. well, that means nothing except a lame introductory sentence to a milestone blog post. which is only a milestone because of...never mind.

i am writing this late night to tell you about my car mileage experiments. i like experiments a lot, especially the kinds that last for months and yield unbelievable results. this one isn't quite unbelievable, but it is significant enough for me to share it with you at 2am.

i drive a 6-cylinder car, automatic transmission, something like 3.6 litre engine. the gas mileage usually attained from my nice little car is not wonderful...usually somewhere around 230 miles to the E-point on my tank (i hardly ever figure out how many miles per gallon i get - nothing in this post will refer to MPG, but instead to Miles Per Tank). my last two or three MPT were not 230, but 280. that's right, i got an extra 50 miles out of my $50 tank of gas. and a good thing too.

here's a side note. i have been taking the bus a lot, which significantly increases my own personal miles per gallon. by going to school via the bus every day (or almost every day), i get around 12 free daily miles that don't ever come out of my own tank. this makes my own MPG around 50. but this is just a side note, since i said i wouldn't talk about MPG. i just wanted to mention that my personal MPG is way higher than my car's MPG. i think it's a good thing if you can get a better mileage rating than your car, especially if you can do it and not have to pay for parking either. double bonus.

anyways, here are some of the ways i have been significantly increasing my tank mileage.

  • by doing a LOT of coasting. you would be stunned how far you can actually get without pushing the pedal at all. sometimes it means *gasp* going under the speed limit. but if i'm not around any cars, i don't worry about that. you might see me crawling at 20mph down 70th Street as i approach the turn-in to my neighborhood. i can also go for about a half-mile on 70th street without ever hitting the gas pedal OR going much under the speed limit.
  • not allowing my tachometer to (hardly) ever go above 2000 RPMs (actually it should be said RsPM). now, this is a kind of arbitrary number that i chose after a lot of observation and experimentation, and i'm sure every car's different, but it's been working for me. basically keep your tach as low as possible...or, let it shift into a lower gear before you ask it to do more. this means very slow acceleration, especially on hills. you might have to wait to pull out into traffic until there aren't going to be cars on your tail. that will let you accomplish this little trick without getting a lot of honks (or birds) from other drivers.
  • not running my A/C unless absolutely necessary. it helps that my car only blows air on Maximum - so it's easy to leave it off at risk of being flattened into my seat by the vents' force.
  • trying to brake as little as possible. this sounds bad, but what it means is let gravity slow you down instead of making your car do the work artificially. if there's a hill coming up, just use that. this will mean timing the stop lights a lot more carefully. you want to do as little start-stop as possible. one way you can do this is by slowing down way before a red light so that, when it turns green, you can get back up to speed without ever having had to stop. i am no expert, but i am convinced that this is better for your engine that stopping it and then getting it going again. mostly, just try and keep the tach at a stable place, and don't let it fling itself up and down.
  • making myself stay in the slower lane so i'm not required to quickly speed up to keep other drivers happy.
  • not using E-10 fuel (seriously).
  • timing stop lights correctly. i already mentioned this but it's important. whenever you can, time your arrivals to intersections so that you have to slow down and speed up as little as possible. this takes practice and a lot of attention to the road. just be aware of other drivers, please. :)
  • doing these things not just sometimes, but ALL the time. i'm trying now to see if i can get my MPT to 300. i don't think i can, but i keep getting closer.
  • keeping my windshield free of insects and bird poop, to reduce wind resistance.
  • installing a pair of wings so i can glide instead of drive, when possible.
ok, now that my tiredness is catching up with me, i will cease and desist from making any more list items. hopefully these little things (which are really intrinsic and don't need a lot of technical know-how) can inspire you to get a better MPT. most people i know realize that they are getting poor mileage out of their tank, but they continue to drive the way they are used to driving. gas doesn't have to be quite as much of a tyrant as you think. i am just showing you the proof that a few changes in habit can make some real differences in how much money you end up spending at that wretched Pump.

i will end with the hopefully obvious and unnecessary disclaimer that when using any or all of these methods, you need to be really careful of other drivers and how you drive. don't make people mad! to be a good MPT driver, and also not make people mad at the same time, requires brain usage while driving. beware!! (i HATE bad drivers.) i think, though, that these few little changes potentially have the effect of making you a better, more aware driver. you have to be constantly on the lookout for stop lights, traffic patterns, and intersections...more so than if you were not also paying attention to your tachometer. :)

so that's it....i'm off to bed...let me know if you end up using any of these ideas, and if they help!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Of Oceans And Such

It wasn't as I expected it to be. It was loud and roaring, instead of soothing and calm. I don't know what I really thought it would be, but my conception of The Ocean was NOT at all what I discovered it to be.

Maybe it's all the time I spent at lakes and creeks and rivers. I thought The Ocean would be a kind of calmly lapping entity, lulling nearby vacationers into light naps and tranquil memories. Mostly I just imagined a soft rhythm.

I can't believe that, in all my travels in my life, I missed it. I've traveled to lots of countries and most states. But somehow it slipped by. Sure, I've seen it before from airplanes and from distant seaside cliffs in Maine and Lima, Peru. But I've never been to it, in it.

Never did I expect what quickly became clear: The Ocean had it out for me. ME, an innocent first-time observer. I didn't expect The Ocean to do its best to knock me off my feet, use its swirling foam to make me dizzy and weak-kneed, or viciously pull me at breakneck speeds through sand-swirled tides. I fully anticipated to be afraid of what was inside The Ocean: jellyfish, sharks, or other unknown terrors...but I was betrayed. The Ocean itself hated me and wanted me dead. How many times I tumbled through the waves, dragged by my bodyboard, while I could feel The Ocean mocking me with every crashing wave. How many times I expelled salt water from my lungs and surreptitiously attempted to pick sand out of my more personal areas, even as I knew T.O. would have Round Two waiting for me when I ventured back in. And How. Many. Times. I jumped back on my bodyboard and pretended to know the right way to jump on top of the insidious waves and, still helpless but not sputtering, allow the moon's gravity to pull me to the sandy beach, while I knew at any time the wave could, quite literally, turn on me and render me a limp rag just waiting to reach shore so I could emerge coughing and half-sneezing salt and pieces of dead fish out of my mouth and nose.

I also felt T.O. to be full of contradictions. A thousand times yes, it is beautiful, without doubt. In a way, it is peaceful. It is also deadly and cruel. Untold numbers of sailors, passengers, and explorers have met their end at the hands of T.O. and all its more native inhabitants? T.O. is also one of the great rhythms of the universe. The earth's seasons warm and cool, the sun rises and sets, people live and die, and the ocean swells and recedes. It is constant as history; and yet it is unpredictable. Ocean science is absolutely foreign to me, but I know very learned people are fooled, stumped and deceived about T.O.'s behavior and effects. We are still learning about it and dying by it, even when the ancients wrote the same things we write about its infinite constancy.

All of this can be misleading to you. Don't misunderstand me - T.O. was wonderful. I loved being in it, hearing it, feeling its power - even when that power accomplished nothing for me except permanently impaling every seam of my swimsuit with millions of grains of sand. I am SO glad that I spent so much time in it and beside it. It made me feel very small and insignificant, and led me to marvel at the power of a God who could - and WOULD - create such majesty. How could it be that such a God would so love us, when we are so finite? We die, and the ocean keeps on rolling and thundering. It's outlasted everyone, and will continue to be older than every person on earth, until the end of time. And it is humanity which is the peak of God's creation and the object of his fullest love.

What do you think?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Salad Of Thoughts

isn't this a beautiful salad? i don't normally like salads unless they are covered with things to make them taste less like salad. but since it has been so long since i posted and i can't decide on just one thing to write about, i decided to create a salad of thoughts for you to read as you like. it ain't a melting pot - they all don't blend together and the ingredients remain separate.

i am a waitress now. it is a strange transition from government administrative work to food service. actually i have been able to put into practice a lot of the skills i learned at my last job. the main one is being nice to people who are not pleasant people, and being a good cog in the giant machine. i guess that's what a job is, when they all come down to it. one difference between the two jobs is that i did not wear a kimono when i worked for the government. another is that most of the people in my former job spoke english as a first language. and no one put raw fish into my mouth despite my objections at the Capitol, either.

so if i could be the voice of all waitresses for a minute, i would ask you to please realize that MANY things can go wrong with your food that are not our fault. the cooks can lose your ticket, the pop machine can be broken, the bartender might have accidentally used vodka instead of tequila in your margarita, the owner might have turned the air conditioner to full blast to compensate for the hot grills. none of these things should logically result in low tips, but they do. can't you realize that? also, if you come to our place and are annoyed that we seat you with other people, just deal with it and don't come back if you don't want to, but that shouldn't result in 0% tip.

i have more to say! if you are a jerk to a waitress, they will all remember you next time as the guy or girl who was a #$!*%. will probably get great service. see, we remember your face, how much you tipped or didn't tip, how you drank too much and flirted with us in front of your wife and family, and ordered tons of food you didn't eat and had to be thrown away...but we will grit our teeth and serve you with friendly smiles. we hate you, but we will be your slave anyways because it is a contest to see if we can be the one to make the #$!*% finally leave at least 10% gratuity. (you should also know that if you leave a poor tip AND got great service, we will probably all know it by the time you hear us say "goodbye, thanks for coming in." and if you cannot afford to leave a tip, perhaps you should quit eating at pricy restaurants. times are tough, eh? then stay home.)

waitressing is actually a very easy thing to do. or should i say, it is 10,000 very easy things to do, and could you do them all at once please? and in the right order, don't forget. and if you are really good, you COULD do items 7004-9934 all together, but don't confuse them with items 4007-3994. and item #1? don't even think about doing it second or eighth, because that will create an additional 1,000 tasks interspersed with all 10,000 of the original ones. and for every party of ten that divides the check after telling me it was all together, you can just tack on an additional 15,000 tasks. and you probably expect me to be quick with those checks because you didn't ask for them until you had to leave immediately. i hate you.

i have stopped taking the bus so much because since they changed the routes, my bus is ALWAYS late. i like using the bus, and i like how they pretty much buy my gas going to and from campus - a good 15-mile roundtrip every day for me. (if you pretend to care about the environment, you'd better be using the bus whenever you can before you come whining to me to boycott plastic bags.) it is strange that taking the bus makes me feel independent, like i don't even need a car to get around. it is actually the opposite - i am subject to the schedule and weather. but it makes me feel like i did when i was in other countries.

i hope this doesn't sound snooty, but i also like how the bus has given me more awareness of the people in society's margins. the people with low incomes who ride the bus not because they are lazy students but because they probably don't have cars. i have learned when to ignore people and when to make friendly eye contact. i have seen some very scary people and some very adorable old men and women. there is a woman who carries a large crucifix in front of her and refers to herself as "we." there are people my age lost in iPods, wearing drab colors and not picking up their feet when they walk. there are tired mothers with dirty babies and there are snippy bus drivers. i suppose i sound like rich white people who like to have cultural experiences to write about so they can come across as more understanding.

the other day i actually told someone i was a photographer. i have never said those words before, because in my head it sounds presumptuous. when i said it - it was an artist in a gallery who asked me whether i was an artist myself - i felt strangely different, like my love of photography had instantly and officially changed from a hobby, something i like and something i do, someone that i AM. how weird is that? i have a long way to go before i really start applying that identity to myself. but it was a surreal moment, an unforeseen corner i'd suddenly rounded in life, when usually all i observe are straight roads stretching to the flat intersection of sky and earth.

so, speaking of photography, i have had some exciting things happen. i got an infrared filter for my birthday, and while i have yet to take any very good pictures with it, i have plenty of ideas in my head that i can't wait to explore. i had one of my photos selected to be in a photography book, which is on sale now. i have sold several prints online, for marginal profit but increased confidence in my work. AND i was contacted through RedBubble by a woman who found my images to be full of meaning relating to her family, and is buying a large number of prints to use to decorate her home. each photo represents one person in her family and a few characteristics which are unique to that individual. this project has been a challenge for me - most photos are being reworked in Photoshop so they will form a cohesive single work of art - and it has also been wonderful to communicate with this woman and discuss our families and lives. she has looked through thousands of images and suddenly found all the right photos in my single gallery - she believes she was led to my work. how exciting is that?? oh, and Justin is going to get me a custom made book for my work - but i feel like i should wait for the summer to be over, so i can include colorado and north carolina (and the rest of summer in Nebraska) in the book. i cannot wait to get it done! it'll be great to have something to show people when i talk about my art.

the music i have been hearing lately:
some of the songs from robbie seay band's new album
a few select songs by creedence clearwater revival
the 1812 overture
anything by Mew
some random choral stuff - a few Requiem tracks, Veni Veni Immanual, Carmina Burana

two weeks from today, i am leaving for North Carolina's Outer Banks. i am so excited about this trip - it's about a week and a half long - and the chance it will give me to see where Justin and his family have so many memories. it's an honor to be included this year, and i can't wait to see a part of the country i haven't before. from what i hear, our itinerary will include a lot of sleeping in, sunning, eating, swimming and for me, photography. then the week we return, we'll leave for a family reunion (my family, not Justin's) in Colorado. another few days there and we will be in nebraska for a month or so before we go camping with the onefaith group right before school starts. it is quite the agenda - but i am so travel-itchy and i can't wait to see and photograph everything i can.

hope this made up for all the time i left you blogless. :) next time i think i will write about why i photograph and how it thrills me, and about the intersection of art and photography - how they are the same and not the same. if i feel so ambitious. thank you so much for reading and sticking with me. i would love to hear your comments about any of the above.

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