Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I shouldn't work for the weather channel.

On a couple occasions in the last few weeks, I've been accused of misleading others with regards to the weather. Apparently my definition of "lovely outside today" is different than my friends. One Sunday a couple weeks ago I texted a friend, "Brunch? It's LOVELY out today!" And so we met at Orange and stood outside in the sunshiney, blue-skied morning waiting for a table to open up. Me: bundled up in my coat with a scarf and gloves, and my toasty Uggs. Her: coat, no gloves or scarf, and a pair of ballet flats without socks. As she stood shivering she said, "I thought you said it was lovely outside!?"

To me, lovely = beautiful blue skies with fluffy clouds. It does not guarantee warmth.

(Sorry for misleading you Lisa!)

So when it was again a "lovely" (but cold; low-20's) Sunday and I knew I'd be spending most of the day inside at work, I took my camera and an early train to the South Loop neighborhood to wander around.


Monday, February 23, 2009


A practicum interview out in the suburbs today gave me the excuse to drive and run errands more easily accomplished by car than bus or train. It was fate when leaving the interview I passed a Trader Joe's! Oh, TJ's, how I've missed you. I felt giddy walking in; so much so that a woman near the entrance gave me a strange look as if I question my sanity.

I restrained myself and picked up only the true necessities:

  • 2 kinds of trail mix (Oh My! Omega Trek Mix and Nuts About Raspberries & Chocolate Trek Mix)
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Butter
  • A BBQ Chicken Pizza
  • A box of clementines (of which I've already eaten 5...or 7)

    and these tasty morsels...

What are you favorite TJ's treats?

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Search for the Best Cupcake in Chicago is Over

Carrie's Campfire ~ Molly's Cupcakes
(And they didn't care if I took pictures.)

Winter in Chicago


Thursday, February 19, 2009


I see a big white blank area in the middle of my blog.

What do you see?

UPDATE: Now that I've posted this, I can see everything again. Just in case, I'm leaving this up. Blogger is so strange sometimes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Comfort the Sick

What small comforts or treats make being sick a little more bearable for you? Right now these two are helping.
Along with a little online TV watching.

Too much Vitamin C?

For all you homeopaths out there, can I ingest too much Vitamin C? What will happen if I do? If so, what is too much?

Trying to kick a cold by drugging it up with cold medicine and double-doses of vitamin C (2000 mg/day) + drinking OJ. Is taking Vitamin C after you get a cold like shutting the barn doors after the horse has already escaped?

Monday, February 16, 2009


I have a teeny-tiny laptop and I love it. Twelve inches, just over 3lbs, it's great for taking with me to school and on trips. The down side is hard-drive space, which was pretty much filled up within the first 6 months. I've had an 80GB external hard drive that I've been using for working files, while archiving other things on DVD's but I don't really like that solution, as it makes accessing different files & folders at once a pain in the butt. So a trip to Best Buy for a new external hard drive was in order, where a very helpful man suggested I buy a larger non-portable external hard drive for daily storage/use and keep my 80GB portable drive for taking with me on trips. That works for me!

Let's see how many RAW image files it takes to fill up this 500GB hard drive.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Promontory Point

Every time I go to work I pass Promontory Point. I had this vision to photograph the area covered in a blanket of snow, but with the recent warm temps melting all the snow away I grew impatient and decided to explore the area yesterday afternoon before work. The day was grey and a little hazy with occasional patches of blue skies so I helped the photos along with a little creative editing (dodging & burning - a selective darkening/lightening technique) to up the drama factor. While I don't ever want to rely on Photoshop to improve my technical skills, it's fun to add a little umph & drama to what might otherwise have been a boring photo.

For fun, here are some before & afters.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


There are many people back in LA, almost too numerous to count, that I love and adore and miss. Another thing I miss: frequent trips to Trader Joes. Yes, we have them here but it's not the most convenient and I have yet to go. I miss my good nuts and trail mixes the most. And so in honor of missing TJ's, here's a fun little video for my fellow fans.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I've never been a snacker.

That is, until I started grad school.

I've always been the type to prefer to save my calories for 3 decent-sized meals rather than snacking in between. I find snacking lessens the appetite to the degree that it makes the actual meal less enjoyable. And that's a shame! I want to really enjoy that sandwich or chicken teriyaki or (the occasional) salad. With hours of class to sit through with 10 minute breaks here and there, I found that bringing a selection of snacks helps to keep me focused and in a state of learning. It had been forever since I'd been to the grocery store but a recent trip to Jewel (the Albertson's of the Midwest) stocked me up so now I can just grab a few snacks to stash in my backpack for later.
Stocked in the bowl: 100-Calorie Sandies (bits of delightful vanilla-crunchyness!), Fiber One Peanut Butter Bars (YUM!), 100-Calorie Snack Mix (the perfect salty pick-me-up!), Honey Oat Crispy Granola Bars (oh, the crispy, honey goodness!), Peanut Butter Crackers (so cheap but so good!), and for a real treat, Snickerdoodles (oh the soft cinnamon & sugar!). I like these snacks. In the fridge you'll find cups of natural applesauce, grapes, tangerines and carrots.

I didn't use to be a snacker. Past tense.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Walk with Carol

Carol and I met for lunch yesterday and an impromptu photowalk around the neighborhoods of Old Town and River West, both really cool neighborhoods with unique styles. One classic elegance, the other industrial/urban. Both areas sparked my interest for future photo shoots.

Lunch at Corner Bakery fortified us for our walk.


The cool thing about walking with other photographers is realizing how different we see the things around us.
While taking pictures on a bridge we met a budding photographer who we talked cameras, lenses & ISO with for a while. These are always fun and educational chats.
We passed so many cool doors and windows. I tried several angles and distances trying to capture this particular doorway, but to no avail. So Carol gave it a try.
You Try
While waiting for the bus, I played with capturing bokeh from the lights of the oncoming traffic.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

City by cellphone

What did the world do before cell phones with cameras, I ask you? Apparently I use mine more than I realized. Bored on the bus the other day I began to go back through my phone's album and had fun seeing the randomness of so many of the photos. From breakfast at work or at school while studying for a test, to intriguing bus passengers, a row of Ugg-wearing students, artwork on the walls at work, my view out a window, on the street or in class, or a self-portrait, here's a slice of my life.

Enjoying the 55F sunshine on my face yesterday.

Most of all, I love how photography has opened my eyes to see the world around me in new and unique ways.