Monday, February 28, 2011
Today I decided to take a personal day off so that I could recharge after having such an active (OK, active for me!) social calendar this past weekend. On Saturday, I took photos of Avery's birthday party, ran errands and watched the final movie of the list of ten best picture nominated films. On Sunday, I met Liz, Brian and their daughter Vivian at the Children's Museum, ran errands, at at Kafe 421, took photos of Amy's nieces, Sophia and Julia and then watched the Oscars returning home around 11:00 PM.
Today, I wanted to start the day in a way that I am unable during the work week. I took my buddy, Stewie and we hit the trails at Lake Harriet. It was quite cold until the sun started beaming down on us. So, I wanted to capture the competing sensations of the cold air temperature and warmth from being in the direct sunlight. I recently read on Erin's blog that if you set the aperture at f/22, it creates the sun rays. I think this photo perfectly captures the cold and warmth in one photo which is basically how I start feeling in the late winter/early spring.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Knowing that I am trying to improve my photography, Amy and her sister, Kari invited me to take photos of Kari's daughters, Sophia (right) and Julia (left). It was a fun afternoon and the girls are too cute. I learned that my favorite style of photography for people is candid shots. I have thought this for awhile but attempting to take a "portrait style" shot, I've accepted it's just not for me. I probably don't have the skill-set, personality or patience to make it work. Although this photo isn't exactly candid since Julie certainly didn't get in the ottoman herself (getting inside is Sophia's idea!), I like that they aren't looking directly at the camera and their facial expressions seem genuine and not forced.
I chose this photo as the photo of the day because of my love of the sister relationship. I have a younger sister whom I love dearly and miss a great deal since she lives in DC. Anytime I see sisters together I am compelled to take a photo. This "photo shoot" was a double sister whammy since Amy and Kari are sisters!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
It was great fun to be included in my cousin, Erika's daughter's fifth birthday party. Avery is on the left in the photo and she had 7 friends over to her house for a whirlwind of fun. They started by making mini pizzas, listened to stories, ate ice cream cake, had balloon animals made, opened presents (it was a group activity) and ended the day with a scavenger hunt for treats that the guests took home. Erika and John did a fantastic job of keeping these active children entertained. I had to take a nap afterward and all I did was observe and press my finger on the shutter button.
Happy birthday Avery!
Friday, February 25, 2011
Fact: My husband, Scott, has on two occasions cared for squirrels as pets. Peanut and Buddy. Peanut was special needs and lived with him for a year before passing. Buddy was a baby and was let go after three months.
Fact: This happened before 2003 when I met him.
Fact: The last time we found squirrels in need, we called a woman who devotes herself to caring for orphaned squirrels whom I insensitively call the "Crazy Squirrel Lady."
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Earlier in the week, I noticed that construction had started on the skyway golf course. I went to http://www.skywayopen.org to get the details and marked my calendar for a midday mini photo walk. Over lunch, Erin and I took photos of the hole in the IDS/Macy's skyway that features Grainbelt Beer but after I left work in the afternoon I found my favorite design by far. "Dozens of curious onlookers stopped for a look as they passed hole #6 in City Center. Designed by Ellerbe Becket and built by Kraus-Anderson, the hole featured putter heads connected to beer taps. A well struck ball navigated through a bar filled with empty beer bottles from local brewers.
'What we have here is retro drinko. It gives us a different element to express our creativity. Then you have the bonus of it going to a great cause like the Boys & Girls Club,' Ellerbe Becket designer Steve Gamache said."
Source: Kare11 Putting through: The Boys & Girls Club 'Skyway Open' tees off
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I have a serious backlog of books on my reading list. I fault my new photography hobby for this stack:
* The Mental Floss History of the United States by Erik Sass
* Sleepwalk With Me by Mike Birbiglia
* Half Empty by David Rakoff
* My Year of Flops by Nathan Rabin
* The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
* Designing Media by Bill Moggridge
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
This is my second iPhone photo of this project. I don't think that's too bad considering this is day 53! I actually took photos with my DSLR, but this photo captures my day the best, so it wins.
Distractions from work spilled over into my kitchen tonight. After a day full of on the edge of my seat anticipation about pending layoffs, I wanted to make myself a meal that would satisfy. Quesadillas seemed to fit the bill and unlike other foods I was craving, I had the ingredients on hand. I prefer to crisp tortillas under the broiler before adding the cheese, beans, and veggies.
After I put the tortilla under the broiler, I shut the oven door and talked with Scott while he was waiting for his ride to Cedar Rapids for a conference (Yes...just like the movie...except hopefully not). Apparently I missed the early warning signs that the tortilla was past crisp. When I finally realized I should focus back on my dinner preparation, the tortilla was on fire! After yelling a few choice words, I blew out the flames and prevented a kitchen fire. The room immediately filled with smoke and Scott and I ran around trying to fan out the place. What a day! Thankfully I had another tortilla and the second time around left the oven door open a crack to keep a closer eye on the situation.
In all seriousness, I was saddened today to learn of specific people with whom I will no longer be collaborating with seeing in the hallway. My department does not know anything official yet but this will all be over by Thursday. My supervisor, Amy and our director, Jen have been extremely supportive through all of this and for that I will always be grateful. My thoughts are with those who have been personally impacted by the layoffs and the people who had to deliver the unfortunate news.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Last night at around 9 PM, we found out our flight had been canceled. Since I am iPhone dependent, I assumed I could easily assess the situation and take the necessary steps for rebooking on the Delta app. WRONG. It took me far too long to realize I could just go to Delta's website on Alisa's computer. Once I did that, it was easy peasy. Almost too easy, in fact. When I clicked on "view alternate flights" a 7:00 AM flight came up which was two hours earlier than our canceled flight. I booked it just in case but talked to a Delta representative about an hour and a half later to ask why the flight would be earlier. Apparently when there is bad weather they "thin out" their schedule.
So, we trusted that we'd get out of Denver on time and as such left for the airport at 4:45 AM. Isn't it insane how far away the airport is from the city? Bonkers.
Our flight was smooth sailing except for the major ear drum congestion I experienced. I can't really blame that on Delta though.
We realized we were back in winter wonderland the moment we landed. Pure white!
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Scott and I spent the afternoon walking around Denver while Kevin, Alisa and Zoe went home to nap. Alisa has been battling sinus infections and Zoe is getting some new teeth in so they needed the rest! It was great being able to spend our last afternoon in Denver enjoying the outdoors.
Denver is similar to Minneapolis in that it does a great job of keeping green space accessible to its citizens and visitors. This shot was taken along the Platte River on a walking trail that spans the length of the city.
Scott and I couldn't believe how much it looks like autumn in Denver. I guess it is because they don't get that much snow and when they do it melts right away.
I loved how the sun cast a golden hue on everything while we were there. I found the lighting in Denver to be challenging for taking photographs but it sure was great to be outside in the warm sun for three days!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
After a relaxing morning, we all headed to the Pearl Street/Washington Park areas of Denver. At Washington Park, there is a big playground and it was packed due to the warm temps. Zoe was having fun exploring so Kevin had to stay close behind. I loved watching her vacillate between wanting independence and wanting the comfort of mom and dad nearby. Kevin and Alisa are great parents and it is a joy to have them in my life.
I attempted my first 365 photo project in 2011. I made it to Day 246.
The Nivens Family