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Watching the World Cup

Watching the World Cup

Did ya’ll know that I played soccer for 12 years??  I was into it big time back in the day.

World Cup is great because it has brought the excitement of soccer to the USA.  I mean, let’s face it.  Soccer is not nearly as popular here as American Football, Baseball or other professional sports.  Many of these world cup games have been pretty exciting too, I have watched quite a few.

So speaking of World Cup, Last Saturday afternoon I met up at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch USA vs Ghana with some of the cool people I have met through my summer job.  We had a fun time! It got pretty packed in there with so many people wanting to watch the game.  Sad that we lost but it was fun while the USA run lasted!

Me with Linda (Austin), Kiyana (North Carolina), and Erik (Miami).

Game Grub

Massive Attack @ House of Blues Boston

Massive Attack @ House of Blues Boston

Massive Attack is a group from the U.K. and according to Wikipedia, ” Massive Attack are a collaborative British music production duo from Bristol. Working alongside co-producers, various favoured session musicians and guest vocalists, they make records and tour live. The duo are considered to be progenitors of the trip hop genre.”

Check out Massive Attack’s custom channel on Youtube
Here is a video of the song “Teardrop” from the 1998 album Mezzanine

You may not have heard of Massive Attack but chances are pretty good that you have heard their music before in various commercials and movie soundtracks.  We have been listening to their stuff for at least a decade now but never had a chance to see them Live until they decided to come to the USA for a quick, 3-city tour (NYC, Boston, and San Fran).  We had talked for several weeks about seeing them in Boston but were only able to make it work once I traded in my car for a newer one.  Despite the long drive and getting lost countless times in Boston, the show was absolutely AMAZING!!

The show was at the House of Blues in Boston so I did my research and got driving directions from our hotel.  Stupid Google directions and stupid Boston streets!!!  Of course the directions sucked and I got lost once again.  After driving further away from where I needed to be and not having any idea where I needed to go, I asked a cabbie for directions.  He took pity on me and told me to follow him, and then  led us right to House of Blues.  There is no way we would’ve found it without him, we were several miles (and like a million mis-matched streets ) away in the wrong direction.

The House of Blues is a pretty cool venue.  You can take a virtual tour here.  We had box seats and thoroughly enjoyed the show immensely.  All of the following photos were taken from the Massive Attack Website.  Although I had called ahead and was told I was allowed to use a camera as long as I did not use flash, once I got there they made me “check” my camera because they do not allow cameras with detachable lenses. Blasphemy! (I have not yet even once been able to take photos at a concert with my Nikon D5000. Boo Hoo)

I am so glad we decided to go ahead and make the trip to Boston to see these guys.  It was worth every one of the 3,000 miles!!

It has been a LONG, crazy week!

It has been a LONG, crazy week!

I am just popping in for a sec……

I have a million things to post about but it looks like it will have to wait until next week sometime.  My Macbook Pro crashed today and after having zero-success with Apple Care over the phone, I had to bring it to the Apple Store.  They determined that I have major hardware that needs to be replace  Good thing I have the performance plan because the tech said it was likely to be $1300+.  Yikes!

Hope everyone has a good weekend and if I can “borrow” a computer somewhere this weekend, I will be back with more…..

First Practice Portraits with a Live (Human) Model!!

First Practice Portraits with a Live (Human) Model!!

I may have mentioned that I broke down and bought a 50mm f/1.4 Nikon lens about a month ago.  It is great! The lens, along with taking a  great photography class taught by Michelle, has really improved the quality of the photos I take.  Or at least I am working on it!  One of my assignments for the class was to photograph (and position) a live subject in front of a window to experiment with different lighting conditions.   We were supposed to aim for “catchlights”, which I have learned is the beautiful reflection of a window or a sky that is “caught” in a subject’s eye.  My cats cooperated somewhat, but I was really anxious to practice on a real person so when I had the opportunity to practice on this cute little guy who is 14-months-old, I went for it!  All that movement was quite a challenge for a amateur, but he was so cute I did get some decent shots:

DJ-14 months DJ-14 months DJ-14 months DJ-14 months DJ-14 months DJ-14 months DJ-14 months DJ-14 months DJ-14 months DJ-14 months

I am not an aspiring portrait photographer or anything, but it is fun to change it up from the non-people photos I usually take!

Sunday Night Check-In

Sunday Night Check-In

I meant to use this weekend to catch up on my blogging, but here we are late Sunday night and I just didn't get to it.  I have been very busy working and will be back soon with updates.  In the mean time I will leave you with a beautiful sunrise I caught one day last week on my way to work.


Vote for your Favorite Photos ~ Photo Hunt #4

Vote for your Favorite Photos ~ Photo Hunt #4

I know I mentioned it before, but it is VOTING TIME over at Photo Hunt Challenges.  All of the categories from Ph#4 have a special post with all my favorite photos from that category and a poll to vote for your favorite.  Click on any of the links below to see them 🙂 This voting is open to anyone, the more the merrier.  I just request that you vote for your favorite photo rather than for a particular person.

*PS- I have spent a lot of time working on the Photo Challenges Blog and would love for you to head over there to check out the changes I have made even if you don't feel like voting (but why wouldn't you love to look at pretty pictures?!)

Favorite ~ Fall Activity

Favorites ~  A Fall Treat

Favorites ~  A Harvest

Favorites ~ Leaves

Favorites ~ Fall Colors

Favorites ~ Something Orange

Favorites ~ Something Spooky

Favorites ~ A Cemetery

Favorites ~ A Costume

Favorites ~ A Black & White Photo

Favorites ~ A Critter

Favorites ~  Symmetry

Favorites ~ Contrast

Favorites ~ Texture

Favorites ~ A Logo/ Mascot

Favorites ~ Something Neon

Favorites ~ Something Inspiring

Favorites ~ Something Entertaining

Favorites ~ Something Fast

Favorites ~ Something Slow

All I want for Christmas is……..

All I want for Christmas is……..

A CAMERA!!!!!!

It's been over three months now that I have been without a camera.  After months of researching, I am pretty sure that I have decided the Nikon D5000 is the camera I want to buy. This will be my first-ever SLR camera, my first-ever Nikon.


Does anyone else have this beauty? Any thoughts on Nikon Vs Canon? I have been a longtime Canon user and I am seriously considering this big switch…… (Hopefully I can save enough money to buy it sometime next year)

I am curious to know what camera everyone else uses around here, so please enlighten me by sharing in the comments.  Thanks!

Timberwolves Game…..

Timberwolves Game…..

A few weeks ago I blogged about how the MN Timberwolves organization remodeled our school library.  They also gave us several hundred free tickets so that students and their families could go see the Timberwolves play.  I was lucky enough to have my boss give me a handful of tickets to the game as well, so a group of friends and I went down to the Target Center on Friday night to see our young team play some ball vs. Milwaukee Bucks.



The game was kind of boring and we ended up losing, but it was still nice to be able to go to the game! My friends and I had fun 🙂


The Day it DIDN’T Rain…..

The Day it DIDN’T Rain…..

I've mentioned before that the weather around where I live has been really crummy this season.  It seems like it has been either rainy or just dreary every day for the past month.  We actually had a semi-decent day this Saturday with temps around 50' and no rain so  I took advantage of the nicer weather and went on a short walk at Tamarack.  The colors are past peak but some of them still looked pretty.  You can see some of my Tamarack photos here.


Mr Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun……..

Please Shine Down on Me!!!

Birthday Shout-Out to Michelle on her Milestone Birthday!

Birthday Shout-Out to Michelle on her Milestone Birthday!

I wanted to wish a very Happy 30th Birthday today to my beautiful sister-in-law, Michelle.  (Photo courtesy of Gruman Photography)


She is the wife of my brother Brian and the wonderful mother of my nieces Annika & Bianca and nephew Bennett.  She has been a part of our family now for 13 years!

Hope you have a great birthday Michelle! Looking forward to celebrating with you on Friday night 🙂

Photo Hunt Challenge #4 ~ October 2009

Photo Hunt Challenge #4 ~ October 2009

Details are now posted on the Photo Hunt Challenges blog about the October 2009 Photo Hunt Challenge #4.  Click the badge below to take you to the details where you can sign-up.  This is open to anyone, so feel free to post the info or pass it along….


Here is the list of items to photograph (all subject to
photographer’s interpretation).

1.  A Fall Activity

2.  A Fall Treat

3.  A Harvest

4. Leaves

5. Fall Colors

6.  Something Orange

7. Something Spooky

8. A Cemetery

9.  A Costume

10. A Black & White Photo

11. A Critter

12. Symmetry

13. Contrast

14. Texture

15. A Logo/ Mascot

16. Something Neon

17. Something Inspiring

18. Something Entertaining

19. Something Fast

20. Something Slow

Speaking of Hope for Sight….

Speaking of Hope for Sight….

Look at how adorable Jake is in his new glasses! (Stolen from his mama's Facebook page).  So cute I had to share!

Jakeglasses The girls and I spent last Friday night over at Mary's house, taking inventory of the benefit donations and putting baskets together for the silent auction.  Everyone has worked so hard putting it all together! A special thanks to Lanee, Sonja, Mary, and Daria for all the countless hours they have put into planning this event and seeking out donations.  These girls are the best BFFs you could ever ask for and I know Kim appreciates it more than ever.  All that hard work is going to make for a successful benefit.

Anyway, here are some photos from Friday night, taken from Lanee's camera….






I hope to see anyone who can make it to the Benefit on Friday night.  It is going to be a lot of fun! $5 at the door ~ includes an entry into the Raffle Drawing

One Full Moon to the Next…..

One Full Moon to the Next…..

Although I think tonight is officially the full moon, it sure looked big and bright last night! This photo was taken from my deck with my dad's Canon G10 (I am going to be so sad to have to return it to him this weekend but very thankful I was able to borrow it the past two weeks!)

IMG_8765  Makes me think about how fast the past month has gone since the last full moon, at the end of my stay in Colorado…

IMG_3178 Oh no! I never made it through blogging about Colorado.  One of these days I'll get to it.  I am feeling kind of guilty and overwhelmed with how far behind I am in blogging, but when you maintain 4 blogs, something has got to give.  Besides being very behind on this blog,

So maybe I'll get around to working on some of these blogs this weekend, but then again, maybe not.  I go through streaks with blogging and this summer I was somewhat on a hiatus.  We'll see when the mood strikes me again 😉

Photo Hunt Challenge #3 ~ My Results

Photo Hunt Challenge #3 ~ My Results

Would you believe I accidentally dropped my camera in such a way that the darn thing is irreparable? That happened on August 2nd while on vacation in the mountains of Colorado.  Talk about a major bummer, not to mention bad timing at the start of a new Photo Hunt Challenge! Anyway, I was able to briefly borrow my dad's camera to try to complete the Challenge, but I am also supplementing the list with a few photos I took at the end of July that inspired some of the items I include in this challenge.  Hope that isn't a problem, but what else can I do without a camera?! Here are my photos, but please don't forget to check out the other Participant Entries!!!

  1. A fountain (University of Texas Campus)


    2. A Road or Pathway (near Colorado River in Austin, TX)


    3. A Fence (outside Texas State Capitol in Austin, TX)


    4. A symbol (Texas Lone Star)


    5. A Black & White Photo (Breckenridge, CO)


    6. A clunker car


A cool car- Photo Coming ASAP!

A Portrait (my bff Kim and her son Jake)


Amusement (creating optical illusions while hiking in the Colorado Rockies)


   10. Back to School (the neighbor-girl's school supplies!)


Urban/ City (Austin, TX)


   12. Suburban (Breckenridge, CO)

IMG_3370 copy

   13. Country/Rural (Pine Tree Apple Orchard, MN)


Something Domestic (House in Breckenridge, CO)


Something Wild (Cute little squirrel in Austin, TX)


Something Silver (Tops of Vodka Bottles @ Minus 5' Ice Lounge ~ Stillwater, MN)

IMG_8549 copy

Something Gold (Fool's Gold – Boulder, CO)


   18. Something Shiny (Glazed Sun, MN State Fair)


Something Miniature (Miniature stuffed kitty with my cat Isis for size reference 😉


   20. Something Delicious (Turtle Cheesecake at Freight House ~ Stillwater, MN)


Please go to the Photo Hunt Challenges blog to check out all the Participant Entries

Minus 5° Ice Lounge in Stillwater

Minus 5° Ice Lounge in Stillwater

Last weekend some friends and I went to Stillwater, MN to check out the new Minus 5 Ice Lounge and to have a late lunch at the Freight House.  The Ice Lounge is very COOL, the temperature is kept at -5' C or 29' F.  Brrr! The entire thing is made of ice, even the glasses they serve the drinks in.  They gave us giant parkas and gloves to keep warm inside….






There are only a handful of these Ice Lounges around the World so if you ever get the chance, I suggest you check it out! The one in Stillwater is temporary and will only be around for a limited amount of time.

Picnic & a Walk down Pearl Street

Picnic & a Walk down Pearl Street

Colorado already seems like so long ago, so I feel like I better blog about the rest of my trip before I forget it all! lol.

So I mentioned before that I was in Boulder to celebrate my cousin Katie's marriage to E.Z. The two of them were married Aug 1st 2008 but waited to hold a reception until their 1st anniversary.  Since there were quite a few family members who came in from out-of-state, Katie and EZ hosted a picnic lunch at Boulder Park on Saturday afternoon.  We hung out for a couple of hours, eating and watching the kids play on the playground and swings.



Me and Katie.  She was one of my roommates when I went to school at SCSU


This is my uncle Mike and cousin TheresaIMG_8566

A view of the Boulder Mountains

After the picnic we went to Pearl Street to scope out a place for dinner and to do a little shopping.


Amanda and I had fun trying on these hats


IMG_2872 IMG_8288

Jeff, uncle John and my dad


 My aunt Joan, my mom and me


A cool glass gallery I had to check out.  Ended up getting myself a pretty new dichroic glass pendant (I am wearing it in the pic above!)


After walking around Pearl Street we stopped for a short while at University of Colorado-Boulder campus




After a full afternoon we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and the dessert reception.  Another post on that coming soon!