Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Cross-Country Connections: Projects In Waiting

February 6, 2012

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in very different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Projects In Waiting.

From Erin in Bellingham, Washington:

My bedroom wall… My husband and I have been meaning to decorate this wallspace for so long but we’re waiting until we’re the same apartment/house for longer than a year.  That hasn’t happened since 2007. 

From Mom in Carbondale, Illinois:

Oh yes.  Unfinished…untouched since December 2010 – yes indeedy.  But the nice thing about this challenge?  I might actually pick them back up.

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

There always more books to be read than time! When I was working at Barnes & Noble I picked up a ton of books for very little money, and I’ve slowly been catching up since I left in 2010. Of course I’m always getting more books from holidays, paperbackswap.com, Half-Price Books, and then there’s whatever new book du jour is on my Must Read Now list.

Cross-Country Connections: Downtown

January 30, 2012

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in very different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Downtown.

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

Downtown Minneapolis from the beautiful Martin Olav Sabo bike bridge in south Minneapolis.

From Erin in Bellingham, Washington:

Ah, the power of neon lights to make any surroundings look much more exciting and busy than they ever actually are. Bellingham Herald building in downtown Bellingham.

From Mom in Carbondale, Illinois:

For Bellingham and Minneapolis when one says downtown, a picture immediately comes to the resident.  Downtown is not usually associated with The City of Carbondale, especially when one looks to the OED for a proper definition:  in or towards the centre of a city, especially its main business area.  That said, in this block of “The Strip”  one can find a (albeit struggling) entertainment venue, the “hub” of mass transportation (3 trains daily!) 2 bike shops and a dive bar.  And since the next block holds City Hall – I guess we have us a downtown.

Most. Depressing. Birthday. Evar.

January 25, 2012

This is why the Hubby usually doesn’t get to plan our outings.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was Hubby’s 38th birthday. Hehehe – my old man! Last week I asked what he was thinking about doing for his birthday, and I was pleasantly surprised when he told me that he was toying with the idea of going to an indoor paintball range or an indoor waterpark. I LOVE that kind of stuff, but he’s usually not into the running around and being goofy like I am. But it’s January so maybe there’s some cabin fever going on.

I should have known it was too good to be true. On Monday he changed his mind and told me he wanted to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo over at the West End Icon Theater VIP Lounge. Normally this would have been cool, ‘cuz I like movies and swanky, overpriced movie theaters, but I had no desire to see TGWTDT. I had heard that while it was very good, it was also very dark, that there was a graphic rape scene and that it was a pretty depressing movie all around. I tend to skip movies like this because I don’t like the way they make me feel. My take on most horror and a certain subsection of suspense/thrillers is that I know there’s heinous, offensive, horrifying shit out here in the world; I don’t need to watch it for entertainment. That’s just me, and I don’t begrudge or think less of people who enjoy dark movies. But my $10, my three hours…this isn’t how I usually want to spend them.

But it was the hubby’s birthday, so I put on a smile and went along. Please know it wasn’t traumatizing for me to watch the movie, I just wasn’t looking forward to it. *sighs* And I was right. I was in a funky, depressed mood afterwards. Here’s my facebook writeup:

It’s certainly not the first time I’ve been introduced by media to the concepts of evil, cruelty, revenge, abuse of power, rape, incest, familial battery, serial murder, sadism, mafia business dealings, corporate greed (to name a few of the story’s highlights) but I was angered, offended, depressed, horrified, revolted, saddened and wearied during and slightly after the movie. It was a well-made dark movie that evokes dark emotions.

But…it was Hubby’s birthday, so I shook it off.

Afterward we went to Pizza Luce for dinner, which was ridiculous because we were stuffed on salty, buttery popcorn and Raisinets. We had a rousing discussion on politics, including a comparison of  liberal and conservative philosophies. That meandered its way to a discussion of the corporation city of Shenzhen, China, which he posed as an example of what no-government rule over corporate interests looks like. Which got us talking about corporate greed, consumer responsibility, and a shared disbelief that companies would so callously act like…ya know, companies…all of which ended up being horribly depressing.

I finally put the kibosh on the whole depressing trend by jokingly telling the Hubby that this was the most depressing birthday party I had ever attended, what with the cat killing and unsolvable problem of slave working conditions in China. I was going for “Hahaha – what a night, amiright?”, but some of my down mood must have really come across, which made the Hubby depressed and upset because he was having a good time and didn’t know that I was depressed. Plus, by the time we were done with popcorn-raisinets-gallons of soda-pizza there was simply no room for ice cream, which usually makes things all better.

But you know what did make things better? Presents. I got the Hubby a couple of things he had been wanting (tattoo magazines, a gift certificate for range time at Bill’s Gun Shop in Robbinsdale), but at the last minute I had also picked up this silly gorilla holding a cheesy red heart, which I had debated throwing in for the very nature of its intense cheesiness.

And would you know it – that silly damned gorilla broke the mood. Who can think depressing thoughts with this guy around?

But seriously…next year I have veto power on the Hubby’s birthday. No I don’t. Dammit!

Cross-Country Connections: Mess

January 23, 2012

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in very different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Mess.

From Mom in Carbondale, Illinois:

My garage is even messier than it looks. I was planning on going out to Bellingham for a long weekend but now I’m wondering if I should just spend the money and bring Erin out here to help clean vist with me.

From Erin in Bellingham, Washington:

It snowed about 5 inches out here on the west coast on Monday. Since it snows about once a year, the city of Bellingham doesn’t have real snow plows but just 4 plow attachments to hook up to a regular pickup truck. Plus, we’re environmentally safe so they also don’t use any salt. I live on hill with a 20% grade, so that was fun. Thankfully, it warmed up to 40 degrees and rained all day and night Friday, so our mess is all washed away. That’s about enough winter for us out here!

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

Slush: What happens when pristine, white, downy snow gets muddy and half-melted into yuck. Although for this time of year and this part of the country, this is not nearly as messy as it could be!

Cross-Country Connections: Sharp

January 16, 2012

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in very different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Sharp.

From Erin in Bellingham, Washington:

I risked life, limb and yarn for this one. Kill the yarn!

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

Nooooo!!!

From Mom in Carbondale, Illinois:

Two Sharp Cookies – Erin and Brianne

Hubby on the Road: Coming Home

January 15, 2012

The Hubby made it home safely on Saturday! His road trip from Connecticut to Minneapolis was a little more snowy than the ride out.

I stopped at this rest stop in Ohio twice. The shot on your left is on the way out, the shot on the right is on the way back home.

Nightly sight at rest stops and diesel gas stations.

 

Hubby on the Road: At Work

January 12, 2012

The Hubby wrapped up his job in Connecticut yesterday, and he should be starting back home today unless the site calls for a last-minute look at anything. While he was on-site he wasn’t able to take photos of the really cool, confidential-type stuff that he was working with, but he did manage to take a few shots outside of the camera-restricted areas. Here are the Hubby’s photos from work:

Caution: I may drop something on you.

Outside eyewash and safety shower in case I spill bad stuff on myself.

Connecticut license plate – it’s the little things are different.

Hubby On The Road

January 10, 2012

The Hubby is an environmental testing technologist. His company tests air, water and soil for contaminants and composition. He is in the air division, which means he spends a lot of time outdoors climbing those huge stacks that you see rising up from large plants and factories, or working on hot tar roofs, or sitting in company vehicles waiting for data collection. He uses a number of cool instruments to do analyses like GC/mass spec (gas chromatography mass spectrometry) and FTIR (Fourier transform spectroscopy), which are ways of separating samples into their various components and identifying those components.

Every once in a while out-of-the area companies will contract the Hubby’s company to do air testing for them. In these cases one or more of the technologists in the Hubby’s group will have to fly or drive out to location. The Hubby has recently been sent out to Connecticut, and he’s driving because there is a trailer full of equipment that needs to go along. Connecticut – how fun! I wish I could have tagged along for the drive, but it’s pretty busy at work, so that wasn’t going to happen. Instead I asked the Hubby to take photos along his drive and send them back to me so I could share the road trip.

These are from the Hubby’s road trip to Connecticut. I hope to have new photos every day or two.

Sunday:

Driving Through Chicago – Sears Tower spotting!

The Hubby with his rig at dusk in Indiana

Monday:

A farm in Pennsylvania. The Hubby also hit New York and Connecticut today.

Cross-Country Connections: Blue

January 3, 2012

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in very different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Blue.

From Mom in Carbondale, Illinois: 

When I think of Mexico – I think of Blue.  Even in winter, even the sky is so blue.

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota: 

“Jay’s Eye” – Makeup by C.

From Erin in Bellingham, Washington: 

The last bit of Christmas in our house.  That’s coming down on 1/6.  Happy New Year!

Cross-Country Connections: Together

December 29, 2011

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in very different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Together.

This week is a little bit different. First – it’s late. Last Friday the Hubby and I left on holiday and didn’t get home until Tuesday. I started editting photos yesterday, and finally have my #$%@ together for CCC today.

This year we drove down to Woodstock, Illinois for the third annual Christmas Gathering At Aunt Leigh’s House. Aunt Leigh has a beautiful house with lots of rooms – enough to put up 14 of us on our busiest night!

Second, Mom, Erin and I didn’t take photos. Instead, we had the Hubby take a group photo of the three of us. We brought the CCC gang to one living room in a completely new location.

From Mom, me and Erin in Woodstock, Illinois:

Mom, me and Erin in front of the Christmas tree in Aunt Leigh’s living room.

And one more bonus shot. I was pleased to have remembered my tripod (I’d be more pleased if I hadn’t forgotten it in Woodstock when we came home to Minneapolis). We were able to take a group shot of everyone who made it to Christmas this year.

First Row: Aunt Leigh, Cousin Haley, Uncle-in-Law Greg, Cousin Sidney, Aunt Diane, Grandma Betty, Mom
Second Row: Me, the Hubby Aaron, Brother-in-Law Ralph, Sister Erin

Leigh, Haley and Greg live in Woodstock. Sidney and Diane came up from Springfield, Illinois. Grandma Betty is from Vienna, Illinois. Mom is from Carbondale, Illinois. Me and the Hubby are from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ralph and Erin are from Bellingham, Washington.

Hooray for family, and for making these Cross-Country Connections in person.

Happy Holidays.