...that's all.

Not really. This is Bounday Waters. Boundary Waters is the best place. It is my favorite place, at least. This is not my favorite Boundary Waters picture (and my scanner is apparently very dusty), but I would feel weird posting my favorite one because it has people in it who may one day stumble upon themselves in a picture on the internet, and having done that before myself, I can tell you it is weird and slightly uncomfortable.

I had wanted to go back here sometime this summer, but now it is on fire and they (the mighty Forest Service, who, bless them, really are trying) don't think they'll be able to put it out until sometime this fall.


Do you know how much burning can happen between May and FALL? A lot of burning! Quite possibly too much burning! Such a shame.

So instead I'm going to Ohio.

Not quite the same, but at least it isn't aflame.

(I like adding "a" to the front of words. Aswarm, alight, abed, aghast... If only "ghast" were a word by itself.

...it isn't, is it?



I got a Nikon camera

Aha, a new low-end digital camera. For several reasons, I went camera shopping yesterday and remembered how much fun it is trying to get someone to help you at Best Buy.

Maybe not You, but Me.

I stood next to the camera I thought I wanted for 25 minutes while other people around me came and went as salespeople approached them and offered assistance. Nobody offered me any assistance, even when I started haphazardly waving around the thousand-dollar SLR cameras on the other side of the table. And I thought I was so approachable, alas. Something I need to work on.

Eventually I bribed someone to unlock the cabinet with cookies so I could buy the camera, which worked, but the coupon I'd brought with me did not work because the camera was apparently on secret-sale. I asked if they had any cameras that weren't on sale because they all had what was evidently a "sale" tag, and was immediately offered six dollars off the camera I was buying.

Was I haggling? My question was really out of pure curiosity, "Oh... I don't get it, are all your cameras on sale? They all have those yellow tags," and all of a sudden I'm feeling like a haggler. $6 is probably worth the wait. It certainly didn't ruin my life, or even my morning.

That's it, I'm clearly a natural haggler. I'm ready for Marrakech.

It seems like a nice camera. It's a point-and-shoot Nikon and it doesn't have a rechargeable battery or a viewfinder (grrrarhrhghrtrgrah! You can't get a camera for under $200 with a viewfinder - how hard would it be to stick a little window on top? Apparently $80 worth of hard.) but it takes nice enough pictures of statues from behind. This is Solomon Juneau's bum.



I think Germany got it right when they invented the beer stein. Martini glasses? Might be cool, but only if you are a skinny blonde woman or James Bond (while I enjoy martinis, I am neither and thus probably look silly). Margarita glasses are similar, and those goofy tropical drink glasses they stick umbrellas in with big pieces of fruit and those plastic flamingos all over the rim are even worse. However, everybody knows someone drinking out of a stein is not messing around.

Of course, this is not a real stein. This is actually a lamp. I mean, maybe it was a stein at some point and has fallen from grace far enough that it's now just a lamp, but it sure is trying. I think it's doing all right.


Attention: I am removing all bananas from the kitchen.

I very much enjoy The Office. I enjoy both the British and the American versions. For about a year and a half I refused to watch the American version, because the British version is so fabulous. However, I finally consented, watched it, and wouldn't you know? It's fabulous, too.

And with that, here is some foliage.


I do not sell sea shells by the sea shore - because you can pick them up yourself right over there.

I like nature. I also like taking pictures that have been taken by 65,264,715 people already.

This is The Picture Of Seagulls With Driftwood on the Shore of Lake Michigan, One of Which Is Fleeing In Terror of the Approaching Picnickers - The Seagulls, Not the Driftwood. I myself have taken this same picture many times.

Today I went to The State Park. It was the nicest day I've had in a while, and not just because there were key lime cookies involved. I also got very sunburned and I think I'll be finding sand in places I didn't know I had for at least three weeks. There is sand in my bikini and I didn't even wear it.

And that is what counts as a good day in my book. And I'm not even being silly.


Looks pretty from here.

Madison didn't really agree with me while I was living there, but that might be because I didn't live anywhere near downtown, or anywhere near anything except the designated anime branch of the public library (which, granted, was awesome, but not enough to make up for the fact that other than watching lots of anime, there wasn't much to do). It's a nice place with many nice features, I was just too far away to easily take advantage of many of them.

However, if I had lived downtown and had a view similar to this one, I might not be in grad school right now. Ergo, I think it's probably a good thing I lived where I did. Thank you, Madison. Best idea ever.


It's one, two, three...

Sports are fun. I was never into team sports in school because I really hated all the pressure that went along with it (this is, incidentally, also why I really hate group projects), but I do like to watch. I was on the tennis team, which is techically a team sport, but if I mess up, it is unlikely that my poor play will effect anyone else too badly. My real sport was gymnastics, though. Still technically a team sport, but nobody cares about the team comptetition. They care about the person who manages not to fall on her head during her vault.

I always liked vault.

Back to team sports, though. I like watching them. Soccer is good, football is good, baseball is good - I'm not a fan of cricket or polo, but that's mostly because I don't understand the rules and usually have no idea what's going on - like when they're actually playing as opposed to milling around on the field. Last weekend was a very baseball-riffic weekend, as I went to two games in as many days.

Baseball is nice. Man throws ball, game is on. Man is standing holding the ball doing nothing, one is free to not pay attention. It gets slow sometimes because of this, but that's why they sell so many different food families in little plastic hats. There's always a new one you can go try when the game is boring.

I also enjoyed ye olde Sausage Race, watching the Italian sausage defeat the bratwurst again, only to have the brat rally and triumph the following night! Victory for brats everywhere!

Oh, and the team won that second night, too. Huzzah!


He... just... nevermind.

My sister recently visited China and brought this back with her. Apparently it's called a pee-baby, and when you put him in water the appropriate temperature for tea, he pees.

Unfortunately, I couldn't convince him to do so, even though I did make some very delicious, perfectly-temperatured tea. Maybe he's shy.

Also, I never had much desire to visit China (Japan, on the other hand...) until I found out how much she loved it. Hmm. We shall see. With South Africa out of the picture, there are so many more doors opening. They're just opening about a year from now, instead of in August.


I won't miss the rains down in Africa... because I'm not going there.

Well, I thought I was safe in celebrating my South Africa acceptance and, consequently, upcoming trip to South Africa. Evidently this was a foolish thought as the trip has since been cancelled.

Imagine this is a photograph of how disappointing it is to be able to smell the wild giraffe poo and then have it yanked away almost immediately. (Also, imagine you actually want to smell the wild giraffe poo. I did! I really did!)

Terribly disappointing. I'll be over here, planning a new trip. I'm open to suggestions, but I don't think I'll be going to anywhere named _______stan, as it would give my mother a heart attack and we can't have that. Maybe I could go to Hawaiistan. I hear it's nice.



So, I had a baby this morning. She's really adorable, but doesn't seem to like normal baby food much, so I gave her some shoes to eat. I'm pretty sure she's an alien baby from another planet because I can't figure out how else she would've gotten here.

See? So cute. Please ignore the fact that everything in this picture looks slightly 80s. I swear it isn't April 1st and I just took this picture this morning.

She's growing remarkably fast. Now she's starting kindergarten. I expect she will have graduated from high school by lunch.


"Do you like my stripe-ed jacket?"

High carved tree trunk Yankee bayonet a sweetheart left behind...

I'm excited because The Decemberists are one of my favorite slightly morbid slightly indie pop bands. I'm going to see them next week, and it promises to be a lovely, lovely time.

Also, I am going to South Africa this summer. (!) I'm much more excited about that, but since I don't have any pictures of South Africa (as I have never been there), this picture of Colin Meloy will have to serve. Colin is not South African. I'm pretty sure he's from Washington. Or maybe Oregon. I'm sure people out there mess up Wisconsin and Minnesota and Michigan and "all those states in the middle," so I don't feel to badly. I do know that Oregon is the one on the bottom, which is a start. Right?

So anyway, pretend this picture of Colin Meloy is actually a picture of how exciting it is to go to South Africa.

...I know, isn't it?


Oh, my London girl...

I'm in a ridiculously good mood considering I have an impossible midterm due this afternoon. It's 70 degrees outside, I have all my windows open, and my entire place smells like garlic bread because of the slightly shady pizza place next door. Fan-tastic.

This is not a picture from today. It's from about a gazillion years ago (okay, three) on my spring break road trip to New Orleans. This was also an excellent day.


It wronged me in another life, let's say that.

It is no secret to people who know me in Real Life that I really, really don't like UW-Madison very much. I'm not even going to start in on why, because I just did in my head and it went on for many, many sentences nobody would read. However, the fact that I dislike the school does not mean that the town doesn't rock a fair amount. These are the "famous" sunburst chairs and tables outside at the union. (Shame it's got to be part of the school, though. ;) ) They make me think of summer and lakes and pitchers of beer and mediocre local bands, which is always a pretty good time.


Scalable Vector Graphics?

I am taking a class online right now, and I have an assignment due next weekend. I've been a little concerned about this one because I hadn't checked out the assignment yet. This morning my power went out and my cell phones and such being re-connected to the power once it came back up woke me up at 7:30. On a Saturday. Unheard of! However, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and get a bit of a jump on this assignment. Do you know what the assignment has turned out to be? Cake! It's cake! I'm doing it now and then going back to bed. Maybe I'll realize I'm tired by then.

I like globes, and was looking at this globe and contemplating something. Is it just because this globe was made in the United States, or do all globes show outlines of all the states? That seems awfully ethno-centric if they are. Why should people in Gambia have to look at a globe upon which it looks like the United States is made up of fifty little countires? Are they ever going to need to find out where Idaho is? Okay, they might. Props to Idaho, I hear it's cool. I just think it's odd that no other country has it's states or provinces outlined. I never noticed that before, but now that I'm posting about it I realize it's probably been like that my entire life.

Hmmm... I wonder which province Ottawa is in. I sure wish I had a globe with Canadian provinces on it!


It's 54 degrees today, and the first day of spring was yesterday. HUZZAH!


We've got to save Ginny Weasley, from the basilisk! We've got to save the school again!

This week might hate me a little bit, which is a shame because I thought we were hitting it off. I was in a (totally unserious!) car accident yesterday on my lunch break which, no matter how minor, will still shake a person up and make things difficult until totally resolved. Today I was sternly reprimanded at work for something we later discovered I didn't actually do wrong. I'm thrilled that the accident wasn't worse and that my work boo-boo was not nearly as large as originally supposed, but...

...I'd still rather be here, doing this.

Of course, it's freezing in Maine right now, so nobody is canoeing unless they are crazy or some kind of badass wilderness mountain man (or mountain woman) person. I am not a badass wilderness mountain woman person, so I will instead celebrate the things that could've happened but didn't by making myself some stir-fry and starting The Great Six-Book Harry Potter Re-Read of 2007. Mmm, I feel an improved week coming on.


My goodness!

I'm told it's good for you. Mmm, iron!


Sleeve Leeg?

These are the highest sea-cliffs in Europe, called Slieve League. I didn't find them as impressive as the Cliffs of Moher, but few things are. And it was quite pretty anyway.


We're gonna fish and get fat.

Fishing boats! I live on a lake at the moment, and none of the boats at the marina are nearly as pretty as these ones. Americans don't like brightly-colored boats as much as Galway fishermen, I guess.

I like them.


Beware! Bewwaaaaaare!

Ides of March, huzzah!

And we're back in Glenn Colm Cille! This was up on Glenn Head (taken in February of 2002, and if for getting-your-bearings sake, we're standing on top of the cliffs across the bay in the picture posted yesterday), on a very foggy day when we decided to hike up there and see what the watchtower was all about. As previously mentioned, it seems to be about teenagers carting Heineken up there and drinking themselves silly. Sure is pretty though. Prettier when it's not foggy.


Pi Day...

...and still Saint Patrick's Day Week!

Gleann Colm Cille is one of my favorite places in the whole world, ever. And I've been almost everywhere (LIES) so you know it's got to be superduper if I say so (LIES!). It's very small and down in this little valley on the west coast, in County Donegal. This is a view of the beach looking north toward Glenn Head as I went a-wandering one afternoon up the cliffs.

Across the way, there, on the next cliff-like outcropping, there is a watchtower you can't see due to a combination of the fact that my camera was not so great, and I let the film sit for two years after I got back before having it developed (it's expensive!). It's really there. The idea was that the Irish would build these watchtowers up and down the entire West coast of the island, and when Napoleon came to invade, the watchtowers could light their grail-shaped beacons. Thus, the signal that Napoleon was coming would travel up the coast a'la Return of the King. I think my favorite thing about this story is that the Irish absolutely knew Napoleon was going to invade, so they actually built some of these things. (Though, if I were Napoleon and decided to invade Ireland, I think I would've invaded England first and come from the East. That's why I'm not an emperor, though.) Anyway, they never actually used them for that, though from the look of it, local teenagers have been climbing inside for several hundred years to get drunk.

The beach looks fake. I promise it really looks like that, only prettier. And with more sheep.


(Not) the broad majestic Shannon.

It's still Saint Patrick's Day week!

This was taken in a town called Gweedore (pronounced gee-door) of my friend Joe attempting to walk into the wind at the beach. It didn't work very well because it was that sort of wind that, when you jumped straight into the air, would blow you twelve inches inland. Really!

We spent a weekend in Gweedore, and I think we were supposed to be learning Gaelic, but what I remember most about the weekend is the fact that there was a bachelorette party at the hotel where we were staying, and they were really, really excited. About everything.

Incidentally, Enya is from Gweedore. We didn't see her there, though. My guess is she was probably off in fairyland.


Where streams of whiskey were flowing.

It's Saint Patrick's Day week!! I'm a little sad that I didn't have a terribly decent camera (or a digital one) when I was in Ireland, but I wasn't paying much attention to how my pictures turned out back then, anyway. I guess that just means I'll have to go back with the Nikon. Soon. What a shame!

This was taken in April of 2002 on Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. The islands are off the west coast, near Galway. This is a very ancienty fort on the cliffs called Dun Aonghasa. Local farmers were grazing their cattle behind me. Nice of them to let the cows have a view.


What are you DOING?

I haven't had a single issue with my Mac since I got it about a year ago, until yesterday. This picture was originally in color, and the steam coming off the top of the building was this awesome sort of pink-around-the-edges color. Then while I was uploading yesterday iPhoto decided it would be better in black and white. I don't know why it did this and I'm pretty sure I don't agree, but it's still sort of interesting.

And if that's the only issue I have with my computer, I'm happy as a clam.


Drip drip drop little April showers... it's still March.

...it's a flower. Because it's almost spring.

There have been a series of armed robbery-muggings around campus the last couple weeks, which doesn't scare me as much as it annoys me severely. It's going to start getting really nice out, and you want me to quit walking to class because some jerkface wants to steal my iPod? Not on!

So I walked to class today with my iPod, my class notes, and three dollars. If someone is going to mug me for an extremely obsolete iPod and three dollars, they almost deserve it for the effort.


If there were people, it would look like they were walking on water.

I like the art museum. Clearly. There weren't very many people there today, which was both nice in that it was quiet and sort of sad in that nobody really felt particularly cultural today. Culture = good.

Ooh, blue and reflecty!



So... one goose is not a gaggle. Good thing there are several dozen others just out of the frame that you can't see. You will just have to trust me when I say they were there.

Geese are obnoxious, though. They're sort of cute, but they are very messy and loud and twenty of them will walk over to you when you're just minding your own business, trying to go around town and get some exercise, because they think you have food. Why would I bring my snack on my brisk fresh-air walk when I could just as easily have eaten it in my cozy, goose-free apartment, hmm? Mister Goose?

Anyway, he's sort of cute.


Grainy! Art! Museum!

I have to post this because I'm peeing myself over how it turned out. Mmm, art museum.

("Peeing myself" above is purely... not true... and is used for emphasis of excitement only.)


On Prospect

I've been absolutely terrible about updating. I shall be making a conscious effort to better keep up in the future.

This is a picture I took the other morning while driving to work (naughty). This was the first time in a couple weeks I've seen the sun during a sunrise (not that I haven't been awake - I have, it's just been depressing and gray out lately) and all the light bouncing off the lake was too good to pass up. It's crooked (and you can tell my car window is covered in salt and other road grossness), but I did take it with one hand over my shoulder in the car. I just like how the yellow of the sun changes so quickly into the blue of the sky, and the trees are silhouetted against both. And I like it better crooked than I think I would if I straightened it out.

[Disclaimer] However, taking pictures in the car is a bad idea if you are the driver. No matter how neat and glowly it might be. [End disclaimer]


All flowers in time bend towards the sun.

It's only the second time in my life I've gotten flowers on Valentine's Day from someone who didn't give birth to me. And these ones are much prettier than last time. Hooray!


...stormy weather...

It's storming outside right now. This picture is from this summer, because if I were to take a picture of what is outside right now, it would be a big, whiteish-gray blur, and nobody is particularly interested in seeing that.

This one, however, I think is kind of neat.

I had grand plans most of the weekend and this week to get up very early and take pictures of the sun rising over Lake Michigan. As luck would have it, it's been cloudy every morning for about a week. Somebody must be telling me to sleep in.


Oh-woah, domino.

My family was never into cards when I was a kid, and I blame this for the fact that I don't understand a single card game outside Go Fish. I'm not sure if it's a midwestern thing or a Wisconsin thing, but around here lots of people play Euchre (a game I can't wrap my head around no matter how many times I am taught) or Sheepshead (which is, I'm told, a more complicated version of the aforementioned game - oh the humanity!). Half a dozen people have attempted to teach me Euchre since starting college, each one proclaiming him or herself "the best teacher in the world." Unfortunately, even the best teacher in the world will struggle with a pupil who has no knowledge base of cards on which to build the rules of Euchre.

I wouldn't mind, but it makes me feel a little culturally stupid to be the only person I know who is completely unable to play a relatively simple card game.

That's why I'm thrilled to have friends who like to play dominoes instead, a game which requires no partner, no trump, and little or no skill. It also invites much trash-talk with no base in fact, which is the only part of Euchre I'm any good at - and let's face it, most of the time table talk is frowned upon in cards anyway. How can playing cards be a social activity when talking is likely to get you thrown in the stocks?

Choo-choo, Alfred! Fetch my dominoes!


I'm glad I hitched my apple wagon to your star.

It's been quiiiiite a while since I posted something, but I can explain. My semester started the day before I posted the previous post, and since then has gotten a little out of hand. Suffice to say I've felt a little more inspired to worry about writing papers on data organization schemes than take my camera outside (where, I might add, it is three whole degrees right now) and capture pretty things.

This picture was taken this fall before things got too dangerous for cameras outside, and now that I look at it, reminds me vaguely of the cover of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I don't mind, as it is a fine, fine album. I slightly mind the fact that Yankee Hotel Foxtrot has a much better picture of the city forest condos on the lakefront. Alas!

Also - HARRY POTTER. That's all I have to say. Interpret as you will.


Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor...

I mentioned some time ago that I'd hit the friend lottery and was going to Disney World in January. I returned this evening without luggage but otherwise unscathed.

Sunset at EPCOT before Illuminations, the nightly fireworks show. It's pretty neat.


I turn my camera on...

This afternoon I purchased a new camera to replace the one I dropped on the floor, and promptly took the as-yet unnamed New Camera to the art museum (Macs like for everything you plug into them to have a name. Right now the new camera pops up as "No Name" which is depressing, so I'm working on something better). New Camera is slightly less low-end than my previous camera but is the lowest-end camera of its type I could find, and as such I am not changing my title. Eat that. My point is, new camera. And look what you can do! You can play with the shutter speed! It's far too much fun for Saturday night.

And that is my new camera. It has many functions I haven't quite figured out yet, but it is only a matter of time.

Jimmy Jazz, Jazz... Jazz... Jazz...

Winter has finally stopped giving Wisconsin the silent treatment. Of course, I have no pictures of the two of us kissing and making up, so here, instead, is a picture of sometime last November when there was some nice sunset light at the marina.

The light outside right now is crap. I almost liked it better when winter was still off somewhere in Canada.


Drip drip drop little April showers!

...is it Spring yet? I love how green the grass can be and how blue the sky is. As opposed to brown and gray, respectively. So Spring?

Right. No.


But I am leaving for Disney World in just over a week. It's hard to top that.


On the perils of Ebay

I had a hankering at one point during college. A hankering I couldn't shake for three whole hours. Thus, I turned to Ebay. Oh Ebay. You devil, you.

One hundred dollars and five weeks later (once I'd forgotten all about the hankering), a large triangular package showed up at my dorm room door. Inside was the object of all the hankering.

The Banjo.

Do I play the banjo? Not exactly. Do I play any string instruments? No, but I do play the saxophone. Is it a beautiful, hoedown-worthy Gibson banjo? No, it's a Korean thing with a high string that won't stay tuned even when offered cookies (which is probably okay considering my answer to the next question). Have I learned to play the banjo in the four years I've owned one?

Certainly not.

I can play the first four or perhaps eight bars of 'Dueling Banjos,' and that's enough to go sit out in the woods and scare the dickens out of innocent campers. What else do you really need a banjo for?


Dance dance dance!

After six hours of school, I've had enough of the day. I hit the radio dial, and turn it up all the way, I gotta daaaaaaance! Right on the floor!