Wednesday, January 30, 2008


One of our Florida sales reps Becky sent out a note to remind us all that it is Ross's birthday today. She is now 25 years old.

Apparently, she was trying to keep it hush hush. So I thought I would quietly post it on my blog here.

Since I can't actually be with you to celebrate today Ross, I thought I would post a commemorative picture for you. The ultimate 25th birthday celebration comes in the form of the My Little Pony 25th Birthday Celebration Retro Ponies™

I hope you enjoy this very special day, when the act of parental horizontal mambo led to the world being graced with your presence.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Creativity Lacking

Ho hum. I am in a rut of some consideration. I've got a brand spankin' new camera (a Canon 40D which is ace), a fancy new lens (Canon 17-40 f/4.0 ultra wide zoom), and absolutely zero skill or motivation to go shoot anything. I've been thumbing through my Flickr contacts and am once again humbled by the amazing talent that lies within amateur photographers who do astonishing things with equipment that isn't as 'fancy' as what I've just upgraded myself to.

Today, I picked up another basket that I started before New Year's that I affectionately dubbed 'The Thing'. I didn't have a plan in mind for it, nor did I really know what it was going to be. It began with some scraps that were leftover from my other basket project. I figured it would decide for itself what it would be. At this point it's looking like a pen holder, or something.

I've always had this fascination with things that are artsy, or colorful, or creative. I was not blessed in the creativity department. It oozes from the pores of my sister and my niece. My sister can take a piece of jewelry made with wires and beads and replicate it in about oh, 15 minutes. The things my niece has been able to do since before she hit puberty are mind blowing. I looked at this book that she had assembled from her art class this year and it is beautiful in both it's simplicity and it's skill.

Meanwhile, I sit around and try and force something cool out of things I see. It's to the point now where I can't even tell what would make a nice composition anymore. It all feels so forced and contrived. I know I should just go out and shoot things. I guess I just feel that I can only shoot so many trees in the woods or patchworks of snow with winding rivers. It's not that there isn't a shedload of beauty around me, I just can't seem to find a way to capture it that's worth looking at right now.

Perhaps this is the photographic equivalent of writer's block. The notion that I might snap out of it doesn't really relieve the larger problem of having no skills, GOSH!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

One Thousand Six Hundred and Seventy-One




Two hours of sleep total.

North Platte, Nebraska to Henniker, New Hampshire.

Sort of by accident, see.

I didn't set out to drive all night. The circumstances were such that it just sort of happened that way. Let me back up. After a frenzy of packing and loading the trailer on Tuesday afternoon, following one last round of recycling and Salvation Armying, I left Boulder (insert dramatic music here) FOREVER at 4pm. Ok, so not really forever. I'm sure I'll find my way back there at some point.

Anyhoo...I had it in mind that I would drive a ways just to start cutting into the big trip. As Simon pointed out, 10% of the trip now is 10% less tomorrow. I figured North Platte would be a good destination. It was a reasonable distance away, and had plenty of amenities. My mom asked if I shed any tears when I left. The answer is no. I had zero emotional attachment to Boulder. That is what bums me out about it. It's such an aesthetically beautiful place that is unfortunately filled with very shallow people. Perhaps I just never met the right crowd. I'll never know and now, I don't really care. I will miss my ace housemate Allison, though. She really did make it bearable.

Mother Nature gave me quite a sendoff as well. I woke on Tuesday morning to rafter shaking winds which wanted to blow me off the highway all the way across the State line. I should have seen it as a sign of things to come. After waking in North Platte to overcast skies I set off along the road that would be keeping me company through many states, Interstate 80.

About oh, 10 miles into the trip I hit a little snow squall. Nothing significant, save for the fact that it didn't stop until about 500 MILES LATER! Yes, all the way across the rest of Nebraska and all the way across Iowa it was snowing. At one point I hit a patch of black ice that started the trailer fishtailing. A 16 foot trailer that might be ever so slightly overloaded is a lot of weight for the little Touareg to handle. I don't know how I managed to hold it together and keep it on the road. I was convinced that I was going to head off, but good kharma was with me and I righted my direction and stayed on the tarmac.

My nerves were shot to hell. I started questioning my choice to make the trip. I scolded myself for letting my overwhelming desire to be here take over my better judgement. I had Laura Bontrager's voice ringing in my head telling me to 'Make Good Choices', and thought that this time I probably hadn't. I was mad at the weather. I was mad at the road. I was mad at myself. I was mad at January and trailers and people who do stupid things like moving in the winter with trailers that don't like anything other than perfectly dry pavement.

My sister took the brunt of this frustration. I needed to know what was ahead of me. She's my weather guide and had to deal with me being short and blunt trying to figure out how much longer I was going to have to deal with this storm. I wanted to know exactly when it was going to stop. Exactly when I was going to have some relief. I wanted dry pavement. Never in my life have I wanted dry pavement so badly. Why didn't I stop?

The trouble with stopping in the middle of this mess was that I would just have to wake up to it again and keep slogging through. I wanted to get ahead of the storm and clear into what I had seen as a window of nice weather before the next storm hit New England. I finally got a break around Davenport, Iowa. By then I had resolved that if I made it that far, I was just going to continue on through Chicago.

I am not a fan of Chicago (a whole other story). The thing that annoys me the most about it is the deplorable state of driving there. And rush hour. I knew that if I stopped before Chicago that I would be fighting traffic all the way through Indiana. The best time to get around there is later at night, so I kept going.

When I was through Gary, Indiana I wasn't sleepy. When I was through South Bend I was wide awake. My motivation had returned, and I didn't stop until Toledo. Finally at 3am, I pulled into a highway services and slept for an hour and a half. at 4:30 I was awake again and the anxiousness was back. I set off and drove for a while before stopping for another half hour of sleep. The GyPSy said I was due to arrive at 6:30 and I only had 300 miles to go. That thing must not be working.

Blah blah blah, driving more miles, blahdey this odometer even MOVING!?!...blah blah...I swear this is the longest 10 miles of MY LIFE!...blah blah oh my gosh this is a very twisty little two lane road in Vermont drivedrivedrive I am never taking the trailer on this road AGAIN! Phone call to sister, text messages I can't reply to, when is the next storm supposed to start? Midnight? I should be ok...drivedrivedrive What do you mean they've moved up the time that the storm is supposed to start!?! Please, please can I just make it safely...blah blah blah Damnit if that stupid GPS wasn't right in the end. How did it KNOW that it would take so long on Vermont route 7??

And I made it. Then:
1) I backed into the driveway at my sister's house
2) Got out of the car
3) Burst into tears

My body still hasn't recovered. But, I'm here and I'm safe and happy. I am not anxious to ever repeat such a feat of driving madness.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tit dirt!

As I sit here drinking a nice BBB after a frenzy of packing for my move, I'm having an email exchange with my coworker Ross about a table cloth that I thought I remembered sending to her. This stream of consciousness was her response:

"You didn't send it anywhere. I stole it. From Sherie's desk.

I'm gonna FedEx it. I mean seriously, have you really ever tried sending a package at the post office? First of all, good luck finding the godforsaken place. Then you get to stand in line a lot. And then when you get to the front the lady with the poofy red hair won't even look you in the eye and she makes you feel like you're wasting her time even though you're only asking her to DO WHAT MY TAX DOLLARS ARE PAYING HER TO DO. Fuckin' post office. Besides, I can FedEx it when I go to Kinkos to do my expense reports this week. Plus, the friendly faces, well-organized efficient store layout, and user-friendly machines at FedEx Kinkos are a welcome contrast to the US Mail. I think the fact that they have an endangered species as their mascot is a harbinger of doom for the Postal Service."

That was worth posting.

In other news, a man 'miraculously' regained his vision after a trip to the chiropractor. This, is headline news.

So I'm going to have my last day of snowboarding in Colorado tomorrow. Not entirely sure how I feel about that. For the most part, there's not much here I'm going to miss, but every once in a while I get this pang of a reminder about something I'm not going to get to do for a while. I have to keep reminding myself that this isn't the last time I'm going to be here. I am so incredibly anxious to get out of here that only the request of my very good friend Full-hair was enough to get me to give up one day of move preparation for some turns on the slopes. He's a good friend though, and definitely one of those 'things' I'm going to miss. Plus he helped me move some stuff around today, and for that it's worth delaying my departure to spend some time with him.

But, later this week I'll be back on the road and streaking towards my new destination. Woop!

No sheep spotting today, although I did bubble wrap and pack the ace sheep figurine that Dan gave me.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A New Year of Underwater Basket Weaving

Head shown for size reference. Please refrain from suggestions that I have a large noggin.

Yeah, that's right. I know how to weave baskets. You gotta problem with that??

My sister has been doing it for a while and a few years ago she started teaching me how. I've kept it quiet, but now I'm ready to come out of the craft closet and let the world know that I CAN MAKE SOMETHING WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS (and the two hands that belong to my sister, the expert). I am not ashamed. Say what you will. It's actually quite enjoyable and I like the idea of being able to make something functional. So there.

So the one up there is the one that we started the other day. It will hold my wooly hats and gloves once I'm settled in the Northeast.

I'm now in Buffalo, NY on my way to Madison for a few days of meetings. I drove through snow storms all day long. This might have been the toughest day of driving I've ever done.

And this concludes my 'completely unrelated to the New Year' post.

Best of luck to everyone in 2008.