My Nikon: A Love Story

Nikon Self-Portrait

All right, I won't keep you waiting until I get to my Sunday and Monday ALA notes and finish up the ALA-blogging process. Here's the skinny on my newest gadget: the Nikon D40X.

Monday evening, my flight was delayed, then canceled, then apparently not canceled, then definitely canceled and I was on a flight for Tuesday--anyway, I finally got on a different flight, two hours later than I was supposed to, but I was just glad I didn't have to spend the night in the DCA airport. I like Reagan a lot, but I didn't particularly want to sleep there.

I disembarked at DFW sometime after 11pm, got my luggage, greeted my best friend warmly and thankfully, and we got back to the house sometime after midnight.

Back at the house, we unceremoniously dumped all my luggage to be dealt with later, and I plopped onto the couch. Alex told me he had a surprise for me, and I obediently closed my eyes and waited, assuming it was the nice normal sort of surprise he likes to provide--a new movie, or a chocolate-chip cookie.

I opened my eyes, and there was a gorgeous new backpack (similar to this)! More specifically, a laptop backpack--one with shorter straps than my current monstrosity (that I lugged all over DC), and which fit my laptop more snuggly. And which--oh joy of joys!--has a camera compartment in the bottom, just the perfect size for a SLR, a few extra lenses, a charger, and some memory cards. Perfect.

Well, except that my camera isn't a SLR, even though I tend to borrow them from the UNT Libraries Digital Lab fairly often. But I had plans to get one in a year or so.

Then he had me close my eyes again--and you'd think the next thing would be fairly obvious, right? But keep in mind that I was really, really tired, and my brain wasn't fully in Texas yet.

So yes, he had my close my eyes again, and there sitting on my lap was a Nikon box and a new 2Gb SD card.

I was more than a little flabbergasted. We've been saving for a specific goal, and it's seemed that everything is moving toward that goal, hence the reason I wasn't looking to purchase a SLR in the near future. We'd come into a small pocket of money that I'd assumed we would just push toward that goal, but apparently my very-generous and thoughtful husband had other ideas.

So, you see, although I very much enjoy my new Nikon and the glorious freedom of always having a spectacular (and light!) camera on-hand to capture the moment... the true love story of this post is my best friend. I loved him before the camera, I'm touched by his gift of the camera, and I'll try to prove worthy of his gift by not posting too many photos of him on flickr.


Yes, I'm On YouTube Now

And I've even got four videos posted. Three of them are from the 2005 Star Wars Line-Up, and one is from the ALA Book Cart Drill Team competition last Sunday. (I've discovered that my point-and-shoot Kodak is perhaps better at taking short videos than it is taking stills.)

Also, we've got a nice little video camera, so we're going to attempt to record the awesomeness of our fireworks show... this is, of course presuming that it doesn't rain more/still. I heard this morning that Lake Lewisville is at 90% capacity, and the Corps of Engineers plans to drain it soon into the Trinity River (which, being at 39 feet deep and apparently not reaching a problem point for flooding until 62 feet, has plenty of room for the extra H20).


A Taste of What is to Come...

The beginning of a new era: the Nikon D40X.

What's this, you say? I'll tell details later. For now, enjoy the lusciousness.


The Bryce Has Landed

(Well, that's what we'll be saying in 6 hours, anyway.)
Yes, people, it's getting to be that time--time for the semi-annual HSU alum fireworks extravaganza at the Hoffman place!

Ah, the Joy of Siblings


Grrr, Arg

(Those are zombie noises, btw--I got very little sleep last night.)

This is just a quickie to say that I'm currently going through scads of work email, but I'll post stories about Sunday/Monday as soon as possible, along with the rest of the trip photos.

'Twas fun, but it's good to be home again.


DC Day Three

ALA is intense. Or perhaps it's just all that walking, combined with the 15 lbs of laptop/backpack I'm lugging around that makes it seem that way. Every time I get back to the Tabard Inn, I just crash with exhaustion.

I'm not going to be at the Facebook party that starts in fifteen minutes--even if I wasn't dead-tired, I have a GODORT thing to interview for at 8:15am tomorrow. Isn't that a spectacularly cruel time to schedule an interview?

So, this morning, I awoke with great hopes of trying a different breakfast at the Tabard--maybe bagels this time, or granola with homemade yogurt. Only--they serve breakfast at 7am on weekdays... and 8am on weekends. I only had time to frown with sadness, then rushed off to my first session, ERT's Digital Natives. The presentation wasn't really anything I hadn't heard already, but there was an interesting, lively discussion afterward, and the room was jam-packed with people. (The link above also provides some notes taken on the discussion, if you're interested.)

Dreanna Belden from UNT went with me to that, so we then got some much-needed coffee and a delish cranberry-orange muffin from the obligatory 'Bucks kiosk, and sat down for some good chat about life, the universe, and everything.

Then I had to run off to the GODORT Update at the Renaissance Washington, where I pulled up a chair and my laptop to Julie Linden's corner (near an outlet, thank goodness). I briefly got to chat with Kris Kasianovitz, who I met in Oakland through NDIIPP, and then met Amy Stewart-Mailhiot F2F for the first time--she's been generously donating some govdocs for some digitization projects of ours.

I met Dreanna in the hotel lobby, and we wandered off to Chinatown, eventually settling on the "Wok and Roll" where Dreanna had some gorgeous-looking sushi, and I settled for an uncharacteristically less-adventurous beef lo mein. I took some fun, colorful photos as we left Chinatown, and we got the giggles as we passed a tableaux at Hooter's. Four orange-clad buxom gals were outside, taunting a slightly-inebriated male librarian with, "Well, we never went to library school." He was amazed that they knew he was a librarian--until they pointed out that he was still wearing his enormous ALA badge. Sigh.

I went back to the Renaissance for GODORT Leg. II. It's not that I'm a glutton for attending meetings for committees I'm not on, but they were discussing a response to the recent CRS report legislation being considered, and of course that's particularly relevant to my work archiving those reports. It was an interesting meeting, and I learned that editing resolutions isn't nearly as boring as it sounds--or else that's the old English major in me, but I found it fascinating.

And afterward, I wandered in the general direction of the LITA Meet n' Greet, but along the way... I met Meredith Farkas in-person! (And sorry, but you'll have to read that link for the story.)

The LITA Meet n' Greet was... well, not as lively as I was hoping. I was mildly interested in the interest groups on Digital Library Technologies and Distance Learning... but if I become more involved in GODORT like I hope to and only increase my courseload in the future... I don't need one more committment. Unless I find a compelling reason, I probably won't renew my LITA membership next year--I can read their articles, blog, and attend their sessions without being a member, after all.

Coming out of the hotel, I ran into Valerie, Kevin, and Brooke--whom I met for the first time, having of course heard glowing things from Val. Which all turned out to be completely true, as Val went back to her hotel to write a CRS letter for Leg., and Brooke and I whisked through the Exhibits Hall for an hour. During which, I witnessed an amazing performance of female flirting that on her the coveted, swag-filled and quality-stitched Oxford UP tote bag. Clever girl, that.

We parted at 7th and L, and I headed once again toward the Metro and the Tabard. I lugged my technological burden upstairs, changed out of professional and sweaty clothing, and briefly hopped out again to traipse up and down the block with the Digi-Lab camera, capturing the gorgeous architecture.

I came back to have some more of the Tabard's lite fare--this time a mozarella-and-roast-pepper salad that really was lite, but had enough protein to keep me going. I dragged myself back upstairs at the ridiculous-for-one-under-30 hour of 6:45, and promptly spent a few hours in blissfully decadent, useless novel-reading and a half hour nap (finished Deboarh Crombie's Dreaming of the Bones). Suzanne Sears called and we arranged to share a cab tomorrow to Cathy's party, and then we sent awhile chatting and giggling.

I called Alex, but he and Jared were watching "Invincible," so I started being productive, and then chatted with him when he called back awhile later. He and Jared watched the last SG-1 today--completely with my full knowledge and permission before-hand--and said there's a possible second spin-off series in the works, as well as some TV movies. Well, there's hope, then! And, of course, I only let Alex watch the episodes without me under the strict understanding that he has to watch them with me Tuesday night, as well.

And now I'm here, having fully intended to go to bed an hour ago, but being sucked into that novel and my blog/wiki/flickr/Facebook ate up several hours of my life. Ah, well. Thus is the life of a digital semi-native.

Now, I think I'll spend a little more time ignoring my headache, uploading some photos, and looking at the GODORT website in preparation for tomorrow morning. And then to bed, to bed.


Holy Crud

I just tried to charge the camera batteries--for the awesome Canon Rebel SLR I'm borrowing from UNT's Digital Lab--and I've got the wrong charger, or else I'm completely mentally deficient. They... don't... fit. I have three days left in DC at my first ALA conference--and the awesome camera may have a limited power lifespan.

So pardon my French, but Holy Crap!!!

Update: Photos for the day are here: http://flickr.com/photos/geekyartistlibrarian/tags/20070622/

DC: Day Two

I might be more exhausted than last night, but it's hard to tell. Oh, how I love, love, love this city.

I had planned to get up early and take the Metro in and just wander about a bit taking photos... but instead, I stayed at the Tabard until past 11am. I slept much later than my original plans--6am on a non-morning session day? What was I thinking?!--and then headed down to some of the Tabard Inn's delicious complimentary breakfast. Homemade cranberry scones with some delicious jewel of a jelly--some dark berry with orange that was delightful--and enormous slabs of honeydew melon that I sadly could not finish. The two cups of coffee was probably more than I needed, but was so nice. I wandered about the Tabard a little taking photos, then headed back upstairs to become engrossed in the wifi and photo editing.

I finally realized it was past time to meet Val, so I hopped out into the sunshine. I took the Metro to the WCC and met Val outside, then we walked to the Austin Grill. We had a great time chatting, and I enjoyed a wonderful chile-rubbed tuna sandwich--the tuna steak was an inch and a half thick and covered in avacado slices.... sooooo good.

After our lunch and gossip, Val and I ran into Cathy Hartman, Larry Romans, and Amy West at the ALA registration area, and they all went on to GODORT-y sessions, while I headed back to the Metro for GODORT's tour of the Senate Library.

I was happy to have the opportunity to pass through Union Station again, and snapped photos as I went down Delaware to the Russell Senate Building. I didn't realize the Senate Library was right next to CRS--tempts a nerdy girl to run in there and make off with a bunch of reports. The tour was fantastic--lots of gorgeous, interesting documents and a pristine Serial Set--I know, this stuff should be on my professional blog, but I'll just link it here. I love that the clocks in the entire Senate building, including the restaurants, have lights and buzzers that are all code for different things--five minutes to a vote, a quorum call, etc. So anyone in the Senate buildings always know what's going on, no matter where they are. And for any librarians needing hard-to-locate government information, the Senate Library not only has a fantastic collection, but they're happy to provide reference assistance to librarians (they don't have a public mission, so they don't serve patrons directly). And they have quite a few CRS reports from the 1970's through the 1990's... hmmm.

I ran into Julie Linden on the second tour, then left the Senate building and walked back to Union in that gorgeous sun--although it was a bit warmer than I was expecting, Texas having been so rainy and cool for the past... how long has it been raining constantly? Since February?

When I got back to the WCC, I got all my ALA gear and officially donned my conference badge--not wanting to look like a likely target, I wasn't wearing it outside the WCC. Then it was time for GODORT Legislation I, so I went up to 209 and turned on my laptop--it was worth all the pain of lugging it around all day just to have it there for instant notes on my wiki, let me tell you. I also met Jennie Burroughs, who's a Facebook friend of mine, and Kristin Clark, who apparently reads my (other) blog--I just love the internet! Cathy was in the session, as was Jesse Silva, who after the meeting showed me the awesome things they're doing at Berkeley with their wiki. He's mashing up pmwiki, Camtasia, and the LexisNexis interface so that the wiki plays the tutorial (in flash), then at certain parts the patron scrolls down to Lexis and actually acts out the tutorial--genius! They've also got related RSS feeds in the right-hand column.

Leg. I was pretty interesting--Jesse's set up a wiki for them, and there was some discussion about having some members participate only online, and what roles they might take. Then I took a few minutes to check email and IM, and then joined the GODORT Happy Hour at the Embassy Suites bar. I met quite a few more people and got the GODORT ribbon for my badge, then left with Cathy and her posse to go find dinner.

We walked down 10th--there was a gorgeous crushed glass mosiac walkway that I photographed--and went to a funky little French bistro across the street from the Ford Theater. Yes, that Ford Theater, girls and boys, the one where Lincoln was shot, and the house where he died was right next to the restaurant. But the real treat was the food--I had some kind of salad I don't think I can even pronounce--Chevre Chaud?--with huge slabs of warm goat cheese that was to die for, and afterward a crepe suzette that was about the best thing involving an orange that I've ever tasted. They finally kicked us out after 9:30--we were the last ones there--and we had a gloriously fun, chatty walk back to the Metro, exited at Dupont Circle, and I wearily pulled myself into the room a bit after 10pm.

I've just got off the phone with Alex, who is waiting for Jared to come over and they'll be make firework preparations this weekend. Now I should be consulting my schedule for tomorrow and sleeping--as I have a tremendous headache and am exhausted--but I'd rather read my frivolous novel, edit and upload photos to flickr, and generally glutton myself with technology instead of being responsible. Sigh.

Today was much less lonely than yesterday, and it was just amazingly fun to be out and about in DC. I am always a grumpy, shy wreck the first day of any trip, and the farther away the place is, the worse I get. The first day in Italy in 1997, I hardly spoke to anyone--even my American travel-mates--but the day afterward I was up for wild adventures like I never am at home. Travel does odd things to people.

I succeeded, I think, in creating a great travelouge of my day in photos, but I wonder how long it will take me to get them up. I think I may forget editing them for now, and just upload as-is, willy-nilly, so that anyone who's interested can follow along my trip.

Oh, and that laptop--it's so worth it, but I think I need to hire a... oh I'm too tired to think of the name. The guys who carry your luggage up the mountain. Yeah. That's world-class blogging right there folks: "It was the thing, with that stuff, remember?" Yeah... Ah, well.

DC: Day One


Right now, I am snug in bed at the wondrously funky Tabard Inn (my grateful thanks to Cathy Hartman for her recommendation!), checking Facebook, Gmail, and uploading part of today's photos to flickr.

This morning, I rode in to Alex's place of work in Plano, and bummed around on the internet until lunchtime. After a quick bite, we hopped over to DFW Airport--that would be my third time so far this year, folks! After a lot of goodbye hugs, I left Alex (gulp) and got my extremely-too-large suitcase checked. Yes, the gal who tends to share a tiny suitcase with her husband is taking a gigantic one for her tiny self. I think this reveals both my lack of time to make apparel decisions, and my slight insecurity about my first ALA attendance--everything I had any thought of wearing, I threw into that suitcase.

I had no trouble at all finding my gate, for once, and thus had a lovely hour and a half to take photos and edit them on my trusty (but battery-power-deficient) laptop. Then, wonder of wonders, I bumped into Doina, another UNT librarian who happened to be on the same flight. We boarded together, and then proceeded to wait on the tarmac twenty minutes behind seven planes.

The turbulence we went through until we got through the now-ubiquitous rainclouds over Dallas was unpleasant--but you can endure half an hour of almost anything.

I worked on my ALA schedule, looked out the window a lot, took completely unnecessary and probably uninteresting photos, and read a completely frivolous book. In fact, I had no intention of reading it, had never heard of it or the author, but found it in the paperback swap section of our library's cafe, and thought I might as well give it a try. It's actually pretty enjoyable thus far: Dreaming of the Bones, by Deborah Crombie. I'm not a huge mystery person, but it's very British and that feels very "summery reading" to me.

When we got to DC, those rainclouds had apparently followed me. Dark grey was the sky, except for a thin band on intense red that reflected gorgeously on the Potomac. And there was good old DCA, right where I left it with its horrifyingly-short runway.

We landed, and I completely scrapped my original plan of eating at the airport in favor of locating my luggage as quickly as possible. I lugged that huge suitcase up to the Metro station, where I found Doina again, and we took to Yellow Line. I happily proceeded to identify myself as an annoying tourist by snapping photos on the metro, and got a happy lump in my throat when I could see the Washington monument through the window.

Doina and I parted where I switched lines, and then I exited at Dupont Circle. This is when I became fully aware that my suitcase was not suited to: 1) airports 2) metro systems 3) escalators, or 4) street-walking. I walked three blocks south before realizing that I was alone, lost, and nearly unable to lug my suitcase any further. Being a huge nerd, I took a photo to document this.

I then went back another block north, called Alex in frustration, and then realized I was where I needed to be, and walked a half block east to my hotel. I also then took several photos of triumph. Because of my extreme nerdiness.

I checked in with a friendly woman I was so happy to see that I could have hugged her, and proceeded up to Room #5. By "proceed," I mean that I banged, pushed, and pulled my ginor-mo suitcase up a flight of stairs more narrow than it is (no, there isn't an elevator). But it's so homey, elegant, funky that I am extremely happy I'm not in a regular hotel. This is more relaxing, as well as cooler.

I went down to the restaurant and discovered that while entrees started in the $20's, their "lite fare" was more than appetizers and was in the more reasonable $ 8-10 range. I ordered a smoked pork quesadilla and water, and it was almost too much food--but gloriously tasty, and a wonderful treat to eat in the parlor with my book during cocktail hour, while a group apparently from Baylor discussed teacher benefits. I charged it to my room--oh, glorious luxury!--and snapped a few more photos of the room itself.

Since then, I've been in bed with the laptop, spreading my online presence and uploading about half of the photos I took today--I plan on getting the rest up tomorrow morning-ish. I read Alex to sleep over the phone--I think that might have been our sixth phone conversation today. (But then, that's not abnormal at home, really.)

I'll have to post more about thoughts and the Tabard and all tomorrow--I'm having lunch with Valerie, and then it's off to make my ALA debut, baby!

Note to self: stop wearing geeky-phrase t-shirts when you're traveling. You get tired of all those strangers staring at your chest, remember?

And to Alex: good night, my love--I miss you sorely.



Check out my new, improved, no-longer-just-my-Portfolio website, aka your Portal to all things Geeky Artist Librarian.

And, um, yeah I still need to add in my previous positions under Experience, etc etc, but I'm just happy that I finally made the portal page I'd dreamed of for the past year.

Now, if I can only get my snazzydecor.com domain to point to it...

Is It Just Me...

...Or has AOL totally ripped off Nintendo Wii's "Mii" concept?
The AOL avator: the Wee-Mee.

On the Quick

So, the past week since I've posted has been a big ol' blur of...
  • the Spurs winning (woohoo!)
  • Kat's baby shower
  • ALA preparation
  • work
  • more ALA preparation
  • cleaning house for the party--oh right, which is the weekend after ALA.
In short, I will blog, I will post more Flickr photos, but it will be a little while. I'm hoping to catch up on some of this at ALA--but to be honest, it might all be work blogging and work-related travel photos, instead of catching up on the California trip, several weddings, and uploading the few photos I took at Kat's shower last Saturday.


In the meantime, enjoy these completely-random photos I took at a used-car place down the road from where I live in McKinney. Yes, folks, I am now to the point of stopping the darned truck to take photos of old, rusted vehicles. I am proud that I managed to take these nice shots on our very-consumer-grade, point-and-shoot Kodak Easy Shot that's a couple of years old and something like 4 megapixels.


Random Afternoon

  • Sputtr: an interesting new search tool. (No, hit "enter" after typing your search--just click on the button below for the interface you'd like to search. And thanks, Mark!)
  • 70 * 7: neat concept for a t-shirt store. Limited-edition shirts (70 made) for $30/each; when the stock is all sold, $1050 goes to a charity of the artist's choice, and $70 goes to someone in need in the artist's community. Oh, and they're also gorgeous shirts. (Thanks, Tihleigh!)
  • Go, Spurs, go! They're doing well, and one of our GovDocs student employees, a fellow San Antonian, got to see last night's game. Bully for her!!
  • Wow. I have a heck-ton of photo sets on my Flickr account. Guess that pro account really is worth it, after all.

Near-Perfect Weekend

This weekend was a great blend of getting things accomplished and finding time to relax--Alex and I both had the best at-home weekend we've enjoyed in ages. The only thing that was lacking to finish off the summery-goodness would have been dining on grilled steaks (but I've got two marinading in the fridge for tonight).

Saturday, our plans went awry in the morning. I had grand plans to make blueberry pancakes from scratch, having recently been inspired by a great episode of Good Eats, but trying to cook them on my skillet for the umpteenth time resulted in disaster. That took up so much time I didn't have time for my scheduled run, and we had to hurry out the door to make an appointment. But after that, things started looking up.

We were all dressed in our "grubby" clothes to get some work done in the building, when rain and hail struck with immediacy and force. We were a bit frustrated that our good intentions were ruined, but it turned out to be a pleasant, relaxing afternoon of doing very little. Joel and Kali called to ask if we'd like to come over that evening, and when the rain stopped, we went out to run a few errands.

Having determined that my pancake efforts were unsuccessful due to not possessing the right tools, we trekked to Bed, Bath and Beyond. We bought a stovetop griddle, a mixing bowl that doesn't hurt my hand, two new (and therefore un-melted) spatulas, a ladle with measurements marked on the inside, and a set of grilling implements for Alex.

Our purchases done, we headed over to Joel and Kali's and met their six-week-old son, who is cute as a button and a very merry lad. Kali made some fantastic cake-cookies, we all had a good long chat, and then Joel helped us break in our Mario Party 8 on his Wii (short review--fantastic game with many different kinds of gameplay, which makes it a good buy compared to other games). Alex and I groggily drove home at 11:30, feeling like it was 3am for some reason.

Sunday, I got up and remedied the lack of running the previous day, and had a chat with Amy A. Having the proper tools for the pancakes was marvelous, and they were full of fluffy goodness. Then we quickly got to work on what we'd missed the day before, and got a lot of things taken from the building and returned to Home Depot. Alex mowed the lawn while I washed dishes, we watched the last episode of Dancing with the Stars (Hooray, Apolo!!), and we went to bed early.

Quick Media Diet Update:
  • Catch and Release: the main story was fine, but the real reason to watch this movie is the hilarity of secondary-character Kevin Smith. Man, he is hilarious in anything.
  • And I know we watched some awesome movie in the past two weeks that we actually talked about buying... can't for the life of me remember what it was. Hmph; will post later. Ah-ha! It was Bruce Almighty, which we hadn't watched when it came out because we naturally assumed Hollywood would slant a story about God to be blasphemous, crass, or just plain stupid. Instead, we were not only entertained but impressed, and several times paused the movie, looked at each other, and asked if this really was a Hollywood production starring Jim Carey.
  • Regarding the Stardust TV spot, which I saw last night, I totally had the same reaction that Neil Gaiman did--"I mean, I appreciate that Charlie Cox isn't famous, but he is the hero and the person who the film is about and the person who's on screen all the time."

Unrelated Banter

Blueberry Goodness

"Instant" Pancake Mix
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
See this recipe on air Monday Jun. 11 at 7:00 PM ET/PT.
Show: Good Eats
Episode: Flap Jack Do It Again
The Mix
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (check expiration date first)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugarCombine all of the ingredients in a lidded container. Shake to mix.

Use the mix within 3 months.

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups "Instant" Pancake Mix, recipe above
  • 1 stick butter, for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups fresh fruit such as blueberries, if desired

Heat an electric griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees F. Heat oven to 200 degrees F.

Whisk together the egg whites and the buttermilk in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the melted butter.

Combine the buttermilk mixture with the egg yolk mixture in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the pancake mix. Using a whisk, mix the batter just enough to bring it together. Don't try to work all the lumps out.

Check to see that the griddle is hot by placing a few drops of water onto to the griddle. The griddle is ready if the water dances across the surface.

Lightly butter the griddle. Wipe off thoroughly with a paper towel. (No butter should be visible.)

Gently ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle and sprinkle on fruit if desired. When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake and the griddle-side of the cake is golden, gently flip the pancakes. Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is set.

Serve immediately or remove to a towel-lined baking sheet and cover with a towel. Hold in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.

Yield: 12 pancakes



...I'm perhaps half done migrating and updating my ePortfolio, as my web server's been down for several months and shows no sign of resurfacing. Stay posted for completion.

Tennis Elbow or Wii-itis?

Remember how that doc diagnosed you with "Nintendinitis" back in the 1990's? Well, now he's got another fun "itis" for you. Yep, the Wii is actually so great that you can get a sports-like injury from it.

Personally, I see this as another great Wii selling-point; if it can provide the injuries of non-virtual athletics, it can also provide the physical benefits of non-virtual athletics. Heck, there have already been a number of stories on exercise benefits of the Wii.
Great quote on this: "A lot of husky kids just got some powerful ammunition in convincing mom to buy them a Wii."

A Quiet Pursuit

With TV done for the summer--the sole exception being Eureka, which starts again soon--my media diet will likely be turning back toward movies and printed matter. Here's what I read recently:
  • Little Women (audiobook; re-read for the umpteenth time)
    • Kate Reading is a fantastic reader, whether she's reading this classic or one of Robert Jordan's gigantic fantasy epics. And if her name isn't a stage name for her audiobooks... that's just some ridiculous Fate, there.

  • New Spring by Robert Jordan (audiobook; re-listened for the second time)
    • See above for the excellent reader; one of RJ's best novels.

  • I, Coriander
    • Read by Juliet Stevenson (aka the annoying Mrs. Eliot in 1996's Emma, and Kiera Knightley's mom in Bend it Like Beckham), who does so fantastically. A great fairy tale set in Olivery Cromwell's England.

  • American Born Chinese by Gene Yang (graphic novel)
    • I read this because I'd heard it was simply fantastic, and I saw some of Gene Yang's original art while in San Francisco. But nothing prepared me for the complete amazing-ness of this book or its gorgeously simple art. It ties together three seemingly disparate stories into a genius whole in a way that reminds me (in its genius execution, not in content) of the final sequences of Moore's Watchmen, where the art and the words tie together into this exquisitely-planned whole. Definitely on my need-to-own list now.

  • Kristy's Great Idea (graphic novel)
    • Yes, I read a Babysitter's Club graphic novel. Sorry, I'm not ashamed--I loved this series in middle school, and though I roll me eyes at them now, the graphic novel version is simply charming. The script has been slightly updated--but not annoyingly so--and the art is, like Gene Yang's, very clean and simple, and immensely appealing. I wouldn't mind owning it, and I plan on reading the next one when it comes out (even though I learned The Truth About Stacey fifteen years ago).

  • To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel
    • Yes, it's been a month for girl-y comics--well, I am a girl, after all. This one's gorgeous and poetic, and brought back the decade I spent in ballet classes. It also gave me a strong desire to re-watch The Company, a similarly poetic movie about a ballet company.


Happy Birthday, Dad!

  • He's 57 today. Forgetful gal that I am, I fully appreciate the fact that since my father was born in 1950, this makes his current age extremely easy to calculate. Which is the sole reason that Alex and I chose to get married before 2000 ended; it makes remembering how long we've been married a breeze. (Not really the sole reason, I guess, but it was a darned practical one.)
  • Go, Spurs, Go!
  • I got up at 6:10 and ran around the block today. Er, that is, I jogged, then rapidly degenerated into a brisk walk and then a wheezing crawl, during which I felt all of my nearly-29-years. But I managed to finish the mile in twenty minutes, and I've got a new schedule to "run" on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
  • The plus is that I was completely woken up by the time I got back to the house, and had a ton of energy by the time I got to work (I would have appreciated that energy during my run, but oh well). And I made it up the three flights of stairs at work without being completely winded, somehow.
  • UNT's Faculty/Staff picnic for lunch today; ate with the Digital Projects crew.


So, About That Trip...

Arrival at DFW

We're back.
It was fantastic.
I'll finish uploading photos and typing up the hard-copy blog entries... soon-ish.

A HUGE THANKS goes out from Alex and me to the Phillips clan for sharing their home, their Bay Area cuisine, their vehicle/gas, and their company with us this week. We had a splendid time and appreciate what fantastically gracious hosts they are.

And dude, Chris--thanks for hooking me up with the Adobe Illustrator tips! I'm dazzled by your genius!

Unrelated Banter:
Wildly Unconfirmed Rumor: Neil Gaiman set to direct Death: the High Cost of Living!!!


Incomplete and Incoherent

It's past midnight CA-time, which means my body believes it's closer to 2am, but I'll try to get down a few thoughts from today before I hit the air mattress:
  • Quote of the day: "it's only another half a mile."
  • Hilltop views in San Jose are neat... when the fog doesn't totally obstruct the view.
  • Walking a lot... hurts. Especially when you're not 21 anymore.
  • Cartoon Art Museum rocked my world; I was so thrilled to be able to see the Worlds of Wonder exhibit, and there was a bonus exhibit with a lot of animation art, including some vintage Disney.
  • We had a blast at the AT&T ballpark tour--except for not being able to see the dugouts.
  • Alex and Bryce gleefully enjoyed the Coke bottle slides (also at the ballpark).
  • Spotted another R2 mailbox!
  • Camera snafus suck. (Thank goodness for backup cameras!)
  • Never, ever, ever leave your wallet on top of the vehicle.
  • Ever.
  • When your feet are dead, you have an annual report to submit, and you just found your friend's wallet in the middle of the street several miles away (see items above)--you really need a nice dose of caffeine from a local establishment.