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.

List of things to do when I’m bored

I was bored one night so I came up with this short* list:

  • make a collage
  • crochet
  • make a blog post
  • clean something
  • photograph something
  • take a walk
  • call a friend/family
  • go for a run
  • bake/cook something
  • re-arrange furniture
  • write a letter
  • learn to knit
  • learn embroidery
  • visit a museum
  • paint something
  • make a 5 or 1 minute quick drawing
  • watch a movie and review it
  • belly dance
  • rock out
  • go for a bike ride
  • make jewelry
  • clean out my purse
  • read a book
  • play the wii
  • cuddle with my honey
  • look up local events and attend something

Lots of other things can be added.   Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

*This is what fit in my journal and it took 5 minutes.

Peeling poster of a stuffy old man

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.)

Busy Weekend

The past few weeks I’ve felt like I’ve been running nonstop.  This weekend was no exception.  Saturday I was in lovely Doylestown, PA to see the Fonthill Castle, the Mercer Museum (both are very eclectic and full of surprises, I highly recommend) and the Mitchner Art Museum (wonderful Ellis Island photographs displayed while I was there, and also costumes from Hollywood) .  All in one afternoon! Some pictures for you…

Fonthill Castle

The Mercer Museum

Sunday, Mr.EG and I went to Baltimore via the Megabus to see his sister, Mom, and Step-dad. We stopped in to pass some time/get out of the drizzle at the Walters Art Museum. And then…

The Original Washington Monument

Go This Way

We looked at a couple of apartments.  Yes, we’re moving to Bawlmer (a local name for Baltimore, no idea how they got this nickname).  Assuming we find a suitable apartment, we’ll be moving the end of September or beginning of October.

Mr. EG’s job moved there.  I’m still looking for one.  If anyone knows of an open position for an administrative assistant please let me know.  Also, we’re engaged.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

My sister and her fiancée visited this past weekend. Lucky for us the Philadelphia Museum of Art  had its First Sunday of the month Pay what you wish admission.  We visited the Perelman Building first and had a wonderful surprise! First up was the display Kantha: The Embroidered Quilts of Bengal from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz and the Stella Kramrisch Collections.  So Cool!

So if you have a chance go see the exhibit.  If you’re able to get there before June 13th (three days from now) also go see the Marcel Wanders Daydreams exhibit in the Perelman.  This made me SO HAPPY! There was a crochet chair and crochet “Topiary Sid” (two of them). These were all crochet doilies joined together and epoxied into shape. I’ve liked the way doilies look, but never had any use for them myself until now.  This made me want to grab my hook and just go make a bunch.  Talk about making my day.  My family thought I was crazy for being so excited. I just smiled and said whatever.  🙂

With visitors in town we were eating out everyday.  In Philadelphia we always try to narrow our food choices by nationality first and then chose between resturants.  The wide variety of food is something I Love about Philly.  I’ll really miss that when I move.  So we had Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern, and bar food (while watching the Fliers).  Saturday we had some other visitors join us for dinner at King of Tandoor, Mr. EG’s mom and stepdad.  So nice to see them if only for a few hours.  The first time eating Indian turned out very well for two of our visitors and thankfully they’re willing to eat it again. Yum Yum.