2012 Goals, A Start

I’ve culled away the vast majority of this Day Zero Project and created this small list of things I would like to do this year.
As noble as it was to try and do 101 things across 3.5 years, there was just no way I would be able to come up with 101 things, much less be able to do them all across 1001 days. I think this smaller list is much more manageable.
Over time, I might add a few more items to this list, but I certainly don’t think it’s going to be an expansive tome of idealistic goals that I will feel bad for not completing later. But these are things that I really want to get done, and there is no time like the present to do them.
  1. Take a ballroom dance class.
  2. Donate blood.
  3. Organize an Operation Happy Sock initiative.
  4. Finish my 4th of July quilt by the 4th of July.
  5. Save $5,000.
  6. Learn to drive stick shift.
  7. Get my concealed carry license.
  8. Get my passport.
  9. Go to Niagara Falls.
  10. Go whitewater rafting.
  11. Take more photographs.
  12. Read 25 books (fiction, non-fiction, memoir, whatever).
  13. Have 170 blog entries for 2012.

NaBloPoMo’10: My Computer Crashed Every Time I Tried to Post a Picture Post, So This is What You Get

Today is brought to you by “bleggh.”

Woke up late.

Cleaned my mother’s inbox from the tens of mailing lists she’d managed to get subscribed to.  Ran items to the recycling center, sheets to the Geauga Rescue Village, and dropped off libarary books. Picked up two tomatoes and a ball of mozarella.  I used the items to make a margherita panini: tomatoes, mozarella, and pesto.

I ate a sandwich and a half.

Sat on the couch and watched all of my back episodes of “Law and Order, UK.”  Which I am totally digging, by the way, and I’m sad I went through them all.

Which brings me here.  Now.  With you. I wish I could say it was more productive, but it wasn’t.

I crave a schedule for my days off.  But sometimes, I need to go where the wind blows me.


On Saturday afternoon, I landed back in Cleveland (well, Akron/Canton, really) after spending five days in Dallas for the 2010 Sapphire MK Seminar.  Short of opening a door into my toe and having to spend the rest of the conference in flats, I had a very nice time.

2010-07-20 21.30.06

I navigated myself through three airports without a travel partner.  K says she prefers to fly by herself because it’s a lot calmer, and I concur to some degree.  But when it’s the final leg of your trip home, you’re excited to see your greeting party, and you’re so tired from two hours sleep the night before and they announce there’s a delay on your flight because the co-pilot hasn’t arrived yet, all you want in that moment is for someone you know to tell you you’re going to make it home come hell or high water.  Either that or to choke the life out of someone, but they take you to jail for those shenanigans.

As I am normally a gigantic spazz when things don’t work out how I pictured them in my head, I think I did remarkably well.  Besides the horrific jimmy-leg I got, which I’m sure made my seatmate extremely thrilled to be crammed into a chair next to me…

The solar system, between tramways at ATL Int'l Airport.

I talked earlier about feeling like once I get through certain events in my near future, I feel like I can “get back to normal”.  Well, I guess that time is now…

Short of a mini-vacation that The Boy and I will be taking one weekend in the middle of August to Marietta, I don’t have any additional commitments for the rest of the summer.  I did just get an email from CSU, letting me know that I can pay my fall tuition if I’m ready, and that the deadline for tuition deferral is August 27.  Much like The Boy, I am beginning to hear the death-rattle of summer, and rushing to fill its remaining days with relaxing and getting personal projects finished that I won’t have time to in the future.

Speaking of which, have you checked to see how my quilt is coming along, yet?

Oh, and please forgive my crappy pictures.  I’ve been in-between cameras for a while, and the most portable of them has been my BlackBerry, which I traded in for a Droid.  I’ve already had a better experience with the Droid camera.  The pics will get better, promise.

Light Tents and Things

I originally wanted to photograph my shot glasses as more of an exercise is photographic tech than in having a pictorial of them (although, if I can get this project off the ground, it would be nice to use Blurb to make a book of my shot glasses for posterity).

This idea meant that I would need to make a light tent.  I found a nifty set of instructions on the Digital Photography School as to how to make one:

It isn’t too bad.  But this is v2.0 of Operation Light Tent (the first one was destroyed in an unfortunate finger-poking accident – but hey: a lesson in the Buddhist practice of impermanence!).

I built the light tent, created a set up, and photographed my whole collection.

The results are “meh” at best.

In addition to some work with setting up a light tent correctly, I’m sure that the prop setup could be improved, as well as some tweaking in Photoshop.

But, it’s a start.

Ben’s a much more talented photographer than I, so I’ve expanded my “take photographs of my shot collection” and “set up a studio for my art” to be more focused.  He and I are planning on building our own mini photographic/light studio.

I’m hoping that this will be both a studio for our light tent, and also a portrait-shooting zone.  The one I took of myself for my pseudo-business portrait is okay, but it’s not great.

Some links I ran into while researching this article:

  1. The Party Bouncer is Back in Business (Card) use a 3×5 card to soften a flash that is built into the camera.
  2. DIY, Poor Mans Ring Flash use an empty milk jug to build a flash diffuser that fits around your lens.  Thrifty and green!
  3. Putting Together a DIY Budget Light Room with a lot of ingenuity and a little cash, you can build a lightroom


Image via Nooks

Do I have anything on my 101 list about being greenthumby?  33. Grow an herb garden. Okay, sort of.

I don’t have herbs going yet, but I do have my eye on this greenhouse from Harbor Freight…

Anyway, the herb garden really segues into my post now:

For Mother’s Day, my aunt bought my mother a Phalaenopsis Orchid from Carter & Holmes.  My mom doesn’t really know how to take care of an orchid, and would rather be taking care of outdoor plants, not indoor plants.

In college, The Boy fronted me cash for no less than three orchids, all of which I completely destroyed, because I didn’t have the foresight to think that orchids are a little more tempermental than cacti.  Go figure.

I have taken this plant under my wing, and I am determined to make this thing thrive.  I read up on the care of a Phalaenopsis orchid, bought the correct fertilizer, and have Parminder (I named it) sitting in the living room, soaking up the (indirect) sunlight.

Keep your fingers crossed.  If I can get this plant to live, I might actually tackle that whole greenhouse thing.