Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Huli Huli Chicken

I'm popping in from my latest Hawaiian vacation to share my favorite photo so far. People probably think I'm strange chasing the wild chickens around with my camera. I think to the locals, they're as common as squirrels are to those of us from Philly.

For the next week or so, CPM and I will be absorbing as much sunshine as we can. Too soon, we will be returning to the dreary northeastern winter.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Artsy Fartsy

CPM and I have lived in our house for ten years. Only recently have we begun to actually put things on the walls. Mostly, we are displaying vacation photos that I've blown up and framed.

We have a few prints of original art. One is by the talented Horsebites. Two others I purchased for CPM from an artist named Nik Scarlett.

We've now added another two pieces, purchased at an art show held at the Toothless Cat gallery in Philly. The artist is Leila Marvel. We got prints of two pieces from this collection. There were other creepy prints that we liked by other artists at the show, but the two that we bought were the only ones that we could agree didn't creep us out so much that we'd be afraid to pass them as they hung on the walls.

Here's one of them. The other isn't showing on the Leila's flickr page, but we plan on framing them and hanging them side by side.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Vacation's Afoot!

Internet, do you know what can happen to you when you get old? You might develop foot problems (possibly due to years of walking the city streets in whatever unsupportive footwear suited your fancy). You might get a podiatrist. You might spend a fortune on custom orthotics that are not covered by your insurance company because they are considered "cosmetic." (Note to insurers: cosmetic? Really? My feet are still ugly. But my sciatic pain is gone. And I've postponed surgery to correct the pain and deformities in my feet for years by wearing them. Idiots.)

Note that custom orthotics only fit in certain shoes, like sneakers, where you can remove the foot bed. Also note that sneakers are not my idea of fashionable tropical vacation footwear. Yes, I'm vain. I don't want to accessorize my sundresses with my New Balance. Sue me. Rather, don't sue me, because I will be spending all of my money looking for the "perfect" tropical vacation footwear.

The last time we went on a long trip to Hawaii where I knew that I would be walking a lot, I kind of ignored the needs of my feet. I traipsed all over Waikiki in a pair of Havianas flip flops. And I almost broke my left foot. Literally. One more day of doing miles in my flip flops, and my post vacation home time would have found me in an air cast, healing a stress fracture or two. Nice. I can not afford to be that stupid again.

So, I'm trying a different approach: a Merrell sandal that is a teensy bit supportive (hence, kind of fugly). In photos, it looks a little heinous. See...

I tried one on in the store, though, and it wasn't so bad looking. The reviews on Zappos are good. I'm giving it a shot. I'm also trying a pair of Skechers as my "evening wear" walking shoe. I think I might be able to squeeze my Powerstep inserts into these babies if necessary. Woohoo, sexy!

I have issues.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Maybe I'm Just Hopped Up on Caffeine.

I don't drink caffeine, for the record. I cut it out cold turkey a few years back when I was having mysterious pains in my side that were thought to be kidney related and turned out to be...nothing. That took a lot of expensive, invasive medical tests and many, many copays to discover. (Side note: acupuncture, you work, yay!)

If you want to cause some suffering in your life, cut out caffeine cold turkey. Day 1 is fine, you're just a little sleepy. On Day 2, you realize that maybe you should have gone the "half caf/half decaf" weaning route, because the withdrawal headache and accompanying soul crushing fatigue feels worse than any flu. By Day 3, you are starting to come out of the trenches, and on day 4, liberation! If you're going cold turkey, do it over a long holiday weekend, when you have only your family to make miserable with you.

I do drink decaf (not everyday), because I like the taste of coffee. Some weeks (like this one), an iced Dunkin Decaf (cream, 3 Truvia), is what I need to convince myself going to work is a good idea. I only get one on the ride in.

Anyhoo, none of that is related to this post.

I'm excited! I bought myself my birthday present from CPM yesterday. Yes, my birthday is still 44 days away. But my vacation is 9 days away. And my present will come in handy...I upgraded my DSLR!

I'm sticking with Olympus. After four days of research, including the creation of an actual spreadsheet, I've decided that I like my Olympus E500 (last year's present) enough to simply upgrade to the E620.

I also got a new lens. I'm adding the Olympus 18-180 mm lens to my arsenal of glass. The kit lenses that come with the camera are great, but I learned a valuable DSLR lesson on a previous trip...when I'm on vacation, I do not feel like lugging my camera bag around with me on walks so that I can change lenses. I want to toss my camera in my purse and go. Having any Olympus makes this pretty easy, since their four-thirds system means that their cameras are a bit smaller than those made by Canon/Nikon.

I'm no professional. I'm just an amateur who wants to occasionally print out one of my shots, or take shots that are blog-worthy. Over the past year, I've taken one or two photos that make me really happy. Unfortunately, most times I treat the DSLR like a big point and shoot, giving no serious thought to composition, lighting, etc. I stick to aperture-priority shooting most of the time (as if I know what I'm doing), and mostly, I use the 50mm lens that I bought several months back. I'll never be a pro, and I'm okay with that. I just don't have the time in my life. I'm okay with photographic mediocrity. Once in a while, I get "the" shot.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oh, it's a new year or something?

Bloggers all over the internet entertained me with their Best of 2009 lists and their 2010 Resolution lists. Did I make a "Best of" list? No. Do I do resolutions? No. Well, maybe, sort of. But do you really want to hear about my resolve to be more selfish this year? I didn't think so.

Here's what's going on in the Broomcakes universe...

Jaime and I started a new blog. We're going to make dinner for each other, eat dinner together, and write about it. It will be fun, delicious, and will threaten my weight loss goals. Here's a sample of a dish I made for our first dinner, stuffed mushrooms. (I go to The Pioneer Woman a lot when I need "party food.")

Dinner with Friends

My husband has been getting tattooed. A lot. So much tattooing has occurred that he can now tell you how exactly to get your tattoo to heal perfectly. (Coat it in antibiotic ointment and wrap it in plastic wrap for the first three nights before bed, then apply lotion by the gallon for a week or so.) Yes, I have a roll of plastic wrap in the bedroom now.


I've been sewing stuff, mostly wasting time by making clothes that I will never wear. I either need to start making some knit wear, or become a quilter. I'm on the fence right now about what direction to take my sewing into...

Upcoming madness in my life: thank you to the Days Until app on my iPhone for this information...

I am 11 days away from another trip to Hawaii. Aloha, bitches. You can take this 29 degree weather and shove it somewhere. I'm going to where it's 80 degrees every day, and mai tais are mandatory lunch accompaniments. (Dear internet robbers, my house will be occupied by three large black dogs, one ornery cat, and their human care providers. Sorry, you just can't have my collection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs.)

I am 36 days from my tattoo appointment. I'm actually looking forward to the pain. That's sick.

I am 46 days from turning 33. I like being in my thirties.