33

 

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I’m 33 today. Never imagined I would be living in Australia and be warm enough to wear a skirt on my birthday. Usually I’m bundled up in at least 3 layers.  I’m enjoying the hot weather (Summer for XMas!) and the lightening show tonight.

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It’s like Christmas!

Our stuff has arrived! Super happy to have our possessions in our possession again. Yesterday around 12:30 we received 13 boxes of stuff. Actually 1 mattress, and 12 boxes.

There has been one causality so far.

Poor little bowl. We’ll try to glue it back together.

Kitchen stuff and decorative items!

Pretty sure customs checked out out camping and hiking gear. (There’s no way we would have left the bags open.)

This is the frame and artwork box. No glass was harmed in the shipment of this box! Some Most of these frames have been filled with the same photographs since we lived in Philadelphia. I’m already considering which photos to change.

Lately, when people ask me what I do they get the response, “I make messes”. Eventually they get cleaned up. Which is something I’m off to do right now.

Changes around here.

This year has brought a couple changes to my life.  After 9 years together, Mr. EG and I were married in May.

Yes, I wore a red dress.

Another change? Well, after 7 years of being car-less, we’ve bought a 2007 Prius.

Mr. EG and our “new” car. (Or, “Why are you making me be in this photo?”)

I was told by a co-worker that I had to take one of these photos. Apparently it’s a “thing” to have a photo where the owner is jumping (from happiness?) with their Prius.

This change has probably been the bigger of the two. I mean, we can actually buy more food than we can carry on the bus or in a backpack (or in a bag over my shoulder while riding my bike). I can actually be home for dinner with Mr. EG (3pm to midnight is a weird shift to work). We can take mini road trips along the coast! Or go camping in one of the many parks out here! The only drawback (besides now having a car payment each month) is that I haven’t ridden my bike since buying the car. And I think that’s why my knees are now sore. So bike riding will be thought of as cross training for this race that we signed up for in September.  Should be fun. And we now have a way to get there.

Exciting birthday gift!

I returned home from work about 30 minutes ago to see a package on my coffee table. A birthday gift from my mom. This:

A Gift! Two Gifts!

So what are they? The gifts are a kit from photojojo.com (really cool stuff, check them out!) and are a pinhole camera kit and sunprint kit (aka cyanotype for the photographic name).  I haven’t done either of these processes since May of 2003.  I’m so excited to get these and can’t wait until I have the time and energy to try these out. I’m actually  sitting here rubbing my hands together with glee with a big smile on my face.

Sadly, It might be a few weeks until I can give them proper use.  It’s 4:30 am here in Santa Cruz as I write this and I haven’t gone to bed yet.  I’m currently working at a retail/service related company and we’re super swamped with xmas business.  Until after the holidays I’ll be working, working, working (getting those overtime hours in hence the late night). So for now it’s work, sleep, eat, run 3x week, repeat. Work will slow down soon enough.

Anyhow… Mom, I love the gift, thanks!

Off to bed.

PS. Birthday yes? My thirtieth!  I think I’m one of the few women who are actually glad to be getting out of their twenties.

Me on my 30th Bday. Taken by Mr. EG.

What I’ve been up to these last few weeks…

Lighting Ceremony  at the Washington Monument:

Baltimore Washington Monument With Fireworks

More Fireworks!

I love fireworks.  They’re just so festive And loud. And pretty.

Next, the Tuba Christmas at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater:

That's a lot of brass.

These guys showed up as well.

What’s this I see?

It's a Santa Crossing!

Aw, that's so nice of you Mr. Grinch.

Scottish Santa wearing a kilt.

Who doesn’t love seeing a guy wearing a kilt?  Kilts should be worn more often, they’re so manly.

I turned 29 this year.

This is me at 29.

And I visited Philly to hang with some friends.

Hanging out.

Philly Xmas tree at City Hall.

Christmas Market at City Hall in Philadelphia.

They even have a carousel.

There are lots of art schools in Philly.  This is a display window of one of them.

This is a strange display.

Other half of the strange display.

Then on to South Street to wander around.  Including a walk past Philadelphia’s Magic Garden.

Part of the Philadelphia Magic Gardens.

Wars End in the Philadelphia Magic Garden.

The following day included a quick walk in Rittenhouse Square.

View towards Center City.

This fountain is drained for the winter.

Officer catching up on some paperwork.

I devoured ate some Chinese food in Chinatown and made my way back to Baltimore.  Where I promptly got on the right bus going in the wrong direction. That got sorted out and I made it back via a little bit of walking and a transfer to the light rail.

This week I’m sending out my resume, making plans to visit family, and crocheting more gifts.

Baltimore Stop of the Art of Non-Conformity Book Tour

The Art of Non-Conformity and cookies!

Last night I attended Chris Guillebeau’s book tour. For those that don’t know about Chris, he’s the author of both the site and the book The Art of Non-Conformity.  His 97 day, 50 state, 10 Canadian province book tour is self funded.  When he’s not touring North America he’s traveling the world.   Chris’ goal is to visit all 192 countries by April 2013 when he turns 35. Why is he doing this? He’s living a remarkable life and encouraging others to live a remarkable life on their own terms as well.

This stop was a little bit different as it was hosted in a classroom at the University of Baltimore (afterward a small group adjoined to The Brewers Art, a local bar).  Thursday Bram helped to set this up and it was while talking to her that I realized just how much  I never want to work retail again.  So much so that I got really worked up and started crying.

I used to work for a national camera retail chain.  Like most retail stores that meant working weekends and certain holidays.  I was required to work Black Friday (in the US this it the day following Thanksgiving in November) which is a huge shopping day of madness with crazy sales. Employees were also required to work Christmas Eve, by which time I had always lost my voice from talking so much. Due to my required work schedule I was unable to see my family during the holidays for several years.  It was worse the year I worked as a manager. I became so stressed out I wasn’t sleeping well and I was not a nice person. When the chance came to work a 9-5 job I grabbed it with both hands.

My new job was a breath of fresh air.  Vacation between Xmas and New Years?  Not a problem, my bosses weren’t going to be in that week anyway. I was able to see my family, an 8 hour car drive away. Finally, I was able to make plans for dates more than two weeks in advance.  Weekends were mine to do whatever struck my fancy.The last two years working in an office has allowed me to mellow out again.  It also involved enough free time to explore the internet and find people like Chris.

Since college I have flirted with the idea of starting my own photography business.  Fear and insecurity has always gotten in my way. Last night I was introduced to several people, followers of Chris’ blog, who are living life on their own terms.  Doing work that they love. I met Jill Fellman, who provided cookies and water, who is a fitness instructor and has started her own company selling organic cookies that she bakes. I also met Liz and Ryan from elizabethryanphotography.com . What some amazing, generous people. And Happy.  The happiness was radiating from the 1,000,000 watt smiles on both Liz and Ryan. These are people who love what they do and where they are in life. Liz, Ryan, and Jill were kind enough to answer my questions about starting a business and the other various concerns I’ve had for a while.

Coincidentally, someone I knew from college showed up at the bar last night, just as things were winding down with the AONC group. A mutual friend had told me that this guy worked in town and I should look him up.  Well surprise! It turns out that he’s a lawyer in Baltimore.  He also volunteers with a local artist support group (can’t remember the name right now, will update later) by providing free legal advice to struggling artists.  Upon mentioning that I’m an artist, he asked me what do I need to know?!  Hello!  Big sign from the universe here!

Last night I couldn’t sleep.  Too many thoughts were going through my head, keeping me awake.  I finally fell asleep this morning, and while I’ve been in a fog for most of the day, the fear that I previously experienced when thinking about starting a business has all but disappeared.  There is still a little bit of fear.  But there is more excitement.

Thank you Chris, Thursday, Jill, Ryan, Liz, and all the others that showed up last night. (Jeff, I didn’t have a chance to talk to you last night, but you said some stuff that resonated with me.  Thanks for getting up there and sharing your story with us.)

Better late then never…

I was meaning to post photos from 4th of July celebrations here in Philly.  Uh, so that didn’t get done right away, but here they are now!  These were taken at Penn’s Landing on July 3rd (all handheld so please disregard excess blurriness, click on them to see larger).

More posts to follow soon as I went on vacation last week to Maine.  Will show the lovely yarn that was bought!