Friday, August 31, 2007

welcome to thirty

It finally happened; I broke at the gym.

I was doing this twist thing with both arms and some weights and felt something go SPROING in my back. So here I sit at the computer as predicted, only with a heating pad wedged behind me and Motrin in my gut.

No excuse not to do picture prep, says the universe. NO EXCUSE. (We could tell you were going to weasel out of it somehow, so this is our backup plan.)


On what I'm doing

I submitted another 20 photos to the stock photo site, for a total of 50.

I'm not doing much besides working, prepping photos, occasionally feeding a cat or two, reading (attention divided between a book on selling stock photos and the Night's Dawn Trilogy), or listening to the new They Might Be Giants album. Sometimes these activities are combined.

I need to do another test, but it looks like all my transparencies are off limits for submission. I can't get the quality high enough on my slide scanner to meet the requirements. Back when I bought the scanner for $300, the good ones were selling for $1200. These days I have no idea what to expect, but it would probably be bad news -- although I hold out a tiny bit of hope I can make a sale or two and buy some equipment. At the very least I would like a graduated neutral density filter. And maybe a Sekonic light meter. Or a spiffy lens... or the software to make my own HDR images. A girl can dream.

It's a 3-day weekend and my plans are more of the same. I'm almost out of pre-posted images for my photo blog, so I need to root around for some more. If you want me, I'll be camped out in front of my computer, squinting and attacking dust particles with a rubber stamp... for the forseeable future.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rubber Stamp makes it better

If you're interested, you can view the photos Alamy has accepted here.

Only 4 so far, but I submitted 10 yesterday and 16 more tonight. Slowly but surely...

I screwed myself a little by not getting model releases from subjects while I was in photography school, so there's a few that won't be eligible to submit. Also, I'm limited in how I submit certain objects because I don't have property releases. So there's that.

Oh well, some of it I can get around by marking it for editorial use only. The rest, I'll just pretend they were practice shots. Okay. My brain is fried now from all that rubber stamping and upsizing.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A whole new market

I am pretty excited because my first images made it past the quality control stage at a stock photo agency (not microstock), and as of tomorrow my photos will be available for sale to the whole entire world. At least, for sale to the world beyond my personal photo store... and available for non-exclusive licensing!

It is a minor step in the overall process, but one which took me awhile to accomplish and for that I am happy. And grateful. And I can't wait to go home and prepare some more images for submission (after I feed my friend's cats).

It takes about five weeks to approve each batch and my goal is to post at least 500 images over the next year. To be taken seriously I should post a lot more than 500, but hey, I have to start somewhere.

Good times!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Warning: Girl Sign

I've got a really awesome evening planned. First, I tried on all my shoes! And then decided to get rid of 6 pairs -- 4 pair in the donation box, 2 pair in the trash -- so I wouldn't feel terrible about buying these ECCO Clogs in Bordeaux.

Then it hits me. I'm home, alone on Friday night. And I just bought clogs.

But it gets better, because then I spent 20 minutes of my life strutting up and down the hallway in my highest of heels (Vaneli's), trying to walk naturally. All this work on the Bosu ball must be paying off. I can balance!

And when did I fall in love, like utterly and completely, with Kenneth Cole's Reaction brand? I mean, seriously! Maybe I'm a pod person? One minute there was no Kenneth Cole in my life. The next? I own a wool coat and a pair of shoes, and I want more.

Luckily or unluckily, if I spend any more money on Kenneth Cole I will be unable to eat for the rest of the week. Or maybe I will live on brown rice and the smell of leather uppers instead.

Totally worth it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


One day I was waiting for the water taxi and I looked at the water and saw this:

What creatures do you share your commute with?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

tequila is for all the time

It's a good Sunday. Jer made margaritas and I heated up chili and spaghetti. (Goes great together.) We've spent most of the day on the couch watching Anthony Bourdain and "What Not to Wear," and tormenting the cats with the Furminator.

While watching "No Reservations," Jer and I discussed where we'd like to go on a honeymoon. Some of the places we talked about were Ireland, Guam, Costa Rica, and Puerto Vallarta. Our choices revolved around what sorts of beverages we were craving at the time. And also snack foods.

Now we're watching Stacy and Clinton dress a tomboy. Here's a window into my world: I just said, "It's true. I always try to accessorize my vagina."

I think it's time for more tequila!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

more like 37 winks

I spent my birthday money on an index fund. I think maybe I'm a sucker.

The dryer is buzzing. It wants me to fold things. Between you and me, I would rather sit on the floor here and watch "Top Chef."

So far this week I've neglected my photo site, but maybe that'll change tomorrow. After I get weighed in and measured, maybe I'll kick back with a nice bottle of something strong. Or maybe I'll just take a nap.

That saying, "take a nap," always makes me wonder, where would I take it? And don't get me started on forty-winks. Have you ever tried to wink 40 times in a row? I usually lose count around 17. A product of my terrible attention span, no doubt.

Can you tell I haven't spoken much to other human beings today? Just me and the keyboard mostly. I'm glad we could share this quality time together. You complete me.

P.S. I received another rejection for a play yesterday. At least it was polite. But since I am possibly changing my name anyway, maybe I will also change my first name to Playwright, since that is how my collection of rejections are generally addressed. Kill two birds, as it were. By now I almost expect the snide but subtle commentary of seeing them enshroud the word in air quotes, such as Dear "Playwright." Thanks so much for your "submission."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

non-existent traffic and the power of a name

It's started again. My work day overlaps with Jer's work day by one hour for the next few weeks, which means I'll see him next Saturday. As a result, last night I managed to be fairly productive. I went to the gym and jogged in place for awhile, took the water taxi home, cleaned up cat vomit, replaced a light bulb in the hallway, and made spaghetti. So glamorous!

I meant to work on my photo site and also find some books to sell on, but I'll do that another night. Or I'll sit on the couch, rub my belly, and teach myself to belch the national anthem. You know, whatever.

Yesterday I bought airplane tickets for our holiday visit with the families. It occurs to me that if I'm going to change my name, now I can't do it until after we return. I don't want to bother with worrying about getting all the paperwork changed in time, and then trying to have the name changed on my ticket.

It seems like I should be absolutely sure whether or not I'm going to change my name, that I should have strong opinions, but I don't. The new name would be simple, but would make me sound like a cheerleader. The current name is impossible to spell and pronounce but easy to find via a search engine. I'm leaning toward changing it because how nice would it be to have a simple name? Do you have any idea how much of my life is wasted saying v as in victor, blah blah, n as in nancy, f as in frank, blah blah, s as in sam? A lot, I say. And it's not even our original family name, it was butchered at some border crossing somewhere, presumably Ellis Island, so ties to tradition don't hold a lot of weight. The only thing I'd really lose is the conversation aspect, when the person stumbles over my name and asks if it's Greek, and I say yes. Again, not a huge loss. It's not like my name has ever gotten me a free gyro at the Greek festival or anything.

In other fronts, if you're not watching Seattle news, you probably don't know the I-5 freeway is closed off and on between Spokane Street and I-90 for the next two weeks, and how some folks call it Freeway Fright '07. So far it hasn't been particularly frightful, which is good. I've been riding the next earlier bus from my normal one, and haven't experienced any problems. Knock on wood that it stays that way. It's the main reason Jer switched his hours to night-time, to avoid the mess. Part of me almost hopes we see some fright soon though, so the inconvenience feels worth it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

On the other hand

Jer and I took a vacation day and ran some errands. I got up early, took out the trash, did laundry, had the emissions output tested on my vehicle, ran and emptied the dishwasher, made breakfast -- you know, domestic-y type stuff. Then we went to the ring store because we figured I should make sure there wasn't another ring I liked better - there wasn't - and also it was next to the place I wanted to buy an armband for my iPod.

While we were at the ring store, I picked out a wedding band to go with my engagement ring, and Jer chose his own wedding band. They'll be ready in 4-6 weeks. So I guess once we get through to Jer's Dad - he's on a freighter somewhere in the ocean for another few weeks - and our rings come in, we're cleared to do the paperwork.

Neither of us want a big wedding, or really any kind of wedding. We'll either go to the courthouse or see if a friend can do it, and then I'll try to convince Jer we need a party. I feel strongly that we need to get our families together, so we'll have to do that, and maybe I can convince Jer to do a small thing locally... but that's about it. And that's completely fine with me.

I guess it's funny. For someone who loves to be the center of attention, you'd think I'd want a big fancy wedding, but no. The whole idea makes me very uncomfortable. I'd much rather get some people together and have fun. But then again, we haven't sorted out any details yet. The only thing I know for sure is that the rings are very pretty.

And now I'm going to take a nap because I looked at far too many diamonds today, and the whole thing made me exceedingly sleepy.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Who doesn't love a carousel?

Tonight I learned: Utopia is a Dallas mall in the '70s.

Nothing quite like watching "Logan's Run" on your 30th birthday weekend. Sanctuary!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Ring

I've never worn a ring before and it takes some getting used to. I'm afraid I'll damage it every time I wash my hands, but then I'm afraid I'll lose it if I take it off. I'm probably overthinking it like usual. Anyway, here's a couple of photos of my hand:

Seven years, four months

Since the poem thing was so successful, I wrote one more:

Yesterday I had a boyfriend
Today I have a fiancee
Holy crap!

So yesterday was a pretty good day. I worked a half day, which involved winning a gift certificate to one of my most favorite restaurants, Tap House Grill, and also enjoyed a catered lunch from Buca di Beppo. I left about 12:30pm to meet Jer, and go watch the movie, "Stardust," which was very entertaining and you should go.

We stopped at a restaurant called Mexico for a beer, then went to Aaron Brothers to look at picture frames, then went home. I opened presents from my friend Lily -- thank you! -- and a card from my parents. Then we went out for sushi - Jer had the chicken katsu, I had a spyder and an Alaska roll -- we bought cupcakes, a few used CDs, and then... I knew Jer had my birthday present in the trunk since I'd seen him wrap it in his jacket. I'd asked for an iPod and figured that was it.

Driving back to our place we saw a pretty sunset. Jer stopped at a park with a nice lookout point and we got out of the car. He grabbed the box from the trunk and we went and stood in the grass at the top of a very big hill. I opened the box and saw my iPod, which was sitting on something. At first I thought it was an AC Adapter for the iPod, but it was black? And a box? Like... a ring box?

It was a ring box.

Jer said some things, I said some things, mostly I cried and laughed and scared some of the other people enjoying the sunset. Jer put the ring on my finger and his jacket around my shoulders and we went home and drank the complimentary bottle of champagne that the jewelers gave him.

And we're engaged.

Holy crap!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hi and Hello!

I wrote you a poem:

Today I'm 30
Yesterday I wasn't
Bring me cake!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

What's *your* special corner theme?

After a tasty dinner at the Elliott Bay Brew Pub, I forced Jer to peruse vintage photographs at Northwest Art & Frame. I decided on two: the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsing with the silhouette of a man running in the foreground, and a beautiful shot of smoke and ash above an erupting Mount St. Helens volcano.

As we were rung up for two mattes, a frame, and the prints, the clerks shook their heads. "Hm," said one, "I haven't seen this one before. It's creepy." The other affirmed its creepiness.

Strictly because I felt the need to defend my newly purchased art, I said, "Don't you just love the contrast in these? They'll go great in my natural disaster corner."

"Your what?" they said.

"My natural disaster corner. It's where I keep all my photos of famous natural disasters."

Speechless, is the word that describes their reaction best.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

"Never trust a robot"

This video contains a valuable life lesson:

Also, it is funny because it is true.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Botulism and cats

Yesterday I learned: cats are relatively resistant to botulism.

So I have this thing about dented cans. In weaker moments I've been known to shout, "Dented cans will kill you!" and let loose my botulism rant. It's one of the only things I remember from my brief stint in junior high food science; I lasted 1 day.

And then yesterday I went and fed my cats from a dented can. Now what would possess me to do something so completely out of character and potentially life-threatening? Well, we only had 1 can left, the liquid in it didn't look cloudy or smell weird, last week I'd seen dented cat food cans on discount at the pet store and figured they wouldn't sell them if it wasn't okay, and... it was very early and the cats had woken me up by jumping on my face.

Even with all my fabulously logical reasons, I was still pretty sure I'd just killed them.

When I explained the situation to Jer, he did a quick Google search and we learned that botulism toxicity is rare and has not been reported in cats. So phew. I could stop staring at them then, willing each one to live another day.

Not that I wouldn't do that anyway, but now it was official. Google told me so.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Ship It

I'm prouder of myself than I have a right to be because all I did was walk to the post office and mail an envelope, but that envelope represented 2 months of procrastination and second guessing. In that tiny yellow bubble-lined envelope was a CD, and on that CD images I hemmed and hawed over for two months. Are these the right 4? Do I see any dust? Any blown out sections? Are they technically correct?

Two months of doubt, swiftly handed over to a kind clerk at the post office in a 2-minute exchange. And now they're gone and it's the waiting time. Another two months of waiting, maybe sooner but probably not, and then I find out if I'm accepted. I don't mean to make this into a big ordeal, and I don't plan to mention it again, but it will be constantly in the back of my mind and tugging until I learn the outcome. If I get a yes on my first try, then I get to submit more. If I hear a no, then the process starts again. I'll let you know either way.

In the mean time, I'll keep building my library of raw images and upsizing using the bucubic smoother, because really, isn't that what dreams are all about?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Best Mac 'n' Cheese Ever

I had a hard time getting started this morning. When the Blue Angels flew especially close to the apartment and the cat raced under the bed, I decided to go to the grocery store and buy milk for Macaroni and Cheese. I used this recipe from Epicurious, which I've made before and really like. I only set my pot holder on fire a little.

I don't have anything against the Blue Angels, it's just not really my thing. And if we're laying all the cards on the table, I'm also not fond of parades. They make me twitch. But don't worry. I like apple pie, capitalism, and I support our troops so you can call off the hounds. Well, in truth, it's hard NOT to support the troops since my sister is over there...

Yesterday I picked a few shots to send to a stock agency for quality control. I mail them far far away and wait many many days before I find out if I'm accepted or not. Another day, another limb.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Photofriday: Wet

I just posted a new photo on my photoblog, On Focus Photo Blog, for the challenge: Wet.

Here's my entry:

I update the photoblog at least three times per week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please consider subscribing to its RSS feed because it's vitally important you never miss an update. The fate of the world depends on your blogroll.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, August 03, 2007

KOMO-TV blogger meetup

Last night there was a local blogger meetup sponsored by KOMO-TV, and it was fantastic. I'm still not entirely sure why they did it, but I'm glad they did. I met some very nice people and had some strange conversations and enjoyed a fair amount of free booze (probably should've eaten something.) I arrived about 6:30pm, went through the metal detector, and was taken upstairs in a large elevator to a large room. Food and drinks were provided. I grabbed a glass of red wine and introduced myself to a woman standing at a table. I found out she posts at, and we chatted for awhile. She's had an online presence since 1994, so she beats me by a year. Then another woman came up and we talked about her site, Her site deals with the topic of challenging children.

Next I met the woman who writes This Pile I'm Standing In and another woman who writes I, Asshole. She had great style, but I didn't get to speak to her much. The group was getting a little large at that point and I'd spotted CRo and Beard Boy across the room, of She Likes It, so I sneaked off for a beer. CRo introduced me to some of her Metroblogging Seattle cohorts and then we were all whisked to the next room for a group photo. I'm in the back.

After that, things get fuzzier. I spent a long time speaking with the woman who handled the party details. She'd also relocated here recently from southern California, so we had that in common. I also met a guy who writes at, and funny enough he'd also relocated here recently. Then I talked to the proprietor of, and listened to him give tips and suggestions on improving my site's page rank in search engines.

I didn't get a chance to meet the guy who organized the event, but here's his site too:

All in all, it was a pretty interesting evening. Thanks, Chris and KOMO-TV!

Edited to Add: I forgot to mention I also met the proprietor of, the site of a professional tree surgeon. He was a hoot to chat with, should've mentioned the site earlier!

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Jer and I had an impromptu date night, predicated on the knowledge "Sunshine" would only play at the fancy theatre for another two days. Our hands were forced by the god of scheduling (I think it's a Norse god?), and so it came about that we were sitting in a movie theatre on a Wednesday night, surrounded by like minded freaks and geeks.

I enjoyed the film, but I did not expect to be so emotionally caught up in the drama/action. I never see thrillers in the theatre because I tend to fold in on myself, until my knees are at my chin and my fingers are clawing at my cheeks with eyes squeezed half-shut. It's a good look. I knew very little about the plot, only the premise, and since I'm reading "The Reality Dysfunction" series it was a good fit. However. I was ill prepared for how tense it made me. I kept looking at my watch, not because I really wanted it to end, but I needed to know how many more twists could they possibly have left? Not that there were twists exactly, just complications...

When I left the theatre I turned to Jer and said, "I really hope people don't Netflix 'Little Miss Sunshine' and accidently get this instead. They'd spend half the movie going, 'When's the little miss part happen?'"

That right there? That's the sort of thing I think is hilarious.