WELL, there went an entire month. Yeesh! And my brain meats are all kinds of crazy today, so this will likely be super-random and disjointed, heh.

Had a pretty huge month income-wise, and landed a couple of big projects. Enough so that I may get the new laptop that I've been wanting for a while. Of course, there's another part of my brain that's saying, "maybe you should save up for the wedding, dummy." But, the wedding is not a business expense (heh), and my laptop is getting increasingly old and slow, so eh, we'll see. Advice has been to wait for the next Macbook Pro update to be released, so I'll likely sit on the decision for at least a bit longer, anyway. :)

Speaking of wedding, September 2017 is the target zone for that. Yes, it's a ways off, but you know who has two thumbs and is not in a hurry? THIS GIRL. My goals are Simple, Fun, and Low-Stress, and having a longer timeline will be good for that on all fronts. Saving up is a big thing, because I've been very intentional about keeping my personal debts down, and I have *zero* business debt, and I am certainly NOT going to change any of that for this ridiculous wedding thing. I do currently have enough saved up to go dress shopping at some point, but I suppose that'd also involve things like deciding who my bridesmaid(s) will be. And I am having THE WORST time with that, largely because I hesitate to saddle any of my friends with the obligation, heh. I am ridiculous. How do people decide these things, anyway?

I've been going to the gym a lot, and now The Joe will be able to join me--he just finished the Foundations course, so we're going to go together today for his first normal class. It's possible that I'll lift heavier weights than he does, but I've also had a year-or-so head start on barbell stuff, and did bodyweight strength training for years prior to that, so that seems fair. ;) But, he also actually enjoys distance running, while I merely tolerate it. Basically, he's the cardio hamster, and I'm the 'squatch who likes to throw boulders around, heh.

Related: it's pretty great to be with a dude who feels proud of my physical prowess strength, rather than intimidated or threatened by it. :)

Derby-wise, I have both a TT Alumni bout and tournament this month, which is exciting, but also rather inconvenient, because I've been trying to rest my body from skating more than usual. I have a knot of muscles in my back that refuses to loosen up, and it's gotten to be pretty disconcerting. I've been reading up on things and talking about it with some of my sports-doing compatriots, and it sounds like it might be due to my glute medius not firing consistently, which definitely tracks with how my hips are structured. BUT, for now, I get to wait for a doctor's appointment next week to get some answers and/or referrals.

Summer traditions are pleasant and plentiful, thus far. 4th of July was full of flames, food, and friendship. Did my annual Oregon Brewfest lady-date with [livejournal.com profile] marykae and tried some very good beers and also some really weird ones. (much to my surprise, Mint beer was the Meh experience, while Pesto beer was actually pretty good?!) Gourmet-Q looms on the horizon, and I have no idea what to make, but it's always a fun afternoon regardless.

And, new things: veggie gardening has been decently successful, aside from a few stupid cabbage worms. Strawberries are thriving, I got to harvest a few poblano and sweet peppers and string beans, bell peppers are coming along, the basil is practically exploding, and the first round of grape tomatoes is crazy-delicious. Not bad, for somebody whose gardening knowledge lives entirely on Google, heh.

The new Ghostbusters movie was really fun. Folks who said it was "written by checklist" weren't exactly wrong, but the cast and chemistry was great, and the movie was genuinely funny. The new Star Trek made me very happy, and it actually managed to be all action-packed for the newbies, while still feeling like it had some of the soul of the original series. They could've done more with Idris Elba, but overall it made me pretty hopeful about the new TV series in 2017.

Anyhoo, that's all that's coming out of the brain meats at the moment, so it's back to the grind.
By some weird twist of fate (namely, an all-day workshop I was supposed to attend getting postponed due to the presenter being sick), I wound up having Saturday completely and totally off. I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. I didn't go to a workshop, or to the studio, or to the Hangar, or to any previously-agreed social obligation. WEIRD.

Joe was leading a walking tour of the food carts, so I spontaneously decided that this would be the day that I finally went on the danged food cart tour, which I've been wanting to do for a while. So, I tagged along and got to try food from a lovely array of food carts West of the river that I'd heard about, but never visited. One had Chinese dumplings that actually reminded me of childhood, and that is most definitely not an easy task.

There were also other, different dumplings, which were not Chinese, but were also notably delicious. And, some of the best falafel I've ever eaten. Oh, and I'd be remiss in my duties if I failed to mention the deep-fried Mars bars! Even 1/3rd of one was enough to last a while, heh.




I've done a bit more wandering around with my camera than usual over the past few weeks, but it was especially nice to be doing so on a gorgeous day like this one. Usually, when I'm shooting a lot for clients, I don't so much feel like shooting outside of a work/portfolio building context, and it was nice to still have the itch when I had some time to myself. Moments are important, even the little ones.

In other news, I went to my first "pre-tryouts" practice for travel team last week, and holy smokes, standards are high. But, they don't seem unattainable. It's a little strange to realize that the group of people whom I perceive to be better skaters than I am is actually getting smaller. There are still people on the A-team who intimidate the bejeezus out of me, but eh, I'll get over it eventually. I learned a ton from that one practice, so regardless of how tryouts actually go, I'm going to come out the other end as a bolder and better skater.

Oh, and this morning? TOTALLY WENT TAP-DANCING. It's been over a decade since I last did that, but I still have my shoes from college, and I found a class through parks and rec that actually fits my schedule. It's a beginner-type class for adults, and I think I might be picking things up a little faster than most--it's amazing how much your body remembers even after that much time--but I had fun, regardless.

And finally, I think I just made myself throw up in my own mouth a little looking at the below, heh. It's good to have talented friends who will coax me out from behind the camera every so often. :) WUV.


Hello, 2014

Jan. 1st, 2014 10:53 pm

I wrote a year-in-review for my business blog (of course). I don't think I have enough sleep under my belt to do one for my personal life, but maybe soon? I have some gnarly deadlines to kill these next few days, so I guess we'll see if time cooperates. ;)

Christmas was strange, because it didn't involve my annual pilgrimage to California to see my folks--long story short, no plans came together, and my dad also got stuck with the holiday duty shift this year, when he usually has that time off. Throw in a big photoshoot and a few large projects with aggressive timelines on my end, and everything basically converged in a way that made this Not A Good Year To Travel For The Holiday.

On the plus side, I did at least get a visit from my parents over Thanksgiving, which hasn't happened in a few years. AND, I got to spend the entire Christmas day with my sweetie, which we hadn't ever done before. His folks welcomed me over for Christmas dinner, and everything was pretty chill, overall. As much of a bummer as it was to hear that my family wasn't all getting together this year, at least I got to hug my Joe in-person, instead of texting him a "Merry Christmas" from 1000-or-so miles away. <3

The New Year came in as it tends to: with friends, drinks, and conversation. Last night, I had our partygoers write down things they wanted to leave behind in 2013, and then burn them in our backyard fire pit. I actually had to think pretty hard about what to write down for myself, which honestly puts things in perspective for me. Last year was challenging as all-get-out, but I can't say that it was BAD in any way. Certainly not in ways that weren't solvable.

So, the things I killed with fire last night and will leave behind in 2013:

  • struggling for money

  • getting in the way of my own success

  • not seeing enough of the people I care about

  • basic bitches -- as in, people who try to tear down others who choose a path that's different from their common, standard norm.

I suppose that begs the question: What AM I going to do in 2014?

  • Well, I'm going to make hella money doing good work for awesome people. (yes, I actually said "hella money." Come at me!)

  • I'm going to say Yes to more of the right things. (especially time with people who matter)

  • I'm going to say No to more things that don't serve me emotionally, financially, or creatively. (I've already quit a board position that was an aggravating time suck. Woo!)

  • I'm going to take good care of myself and my health, so I can be more awesome both for myself, and for the people around me.

  • I've already been spending more time reading for fun, as of recent, and am definitely going to keep guarding that bit of Me Time.

  • I'm going to try out for (gulp) Travel Team. I don't expect to make it, but in the unlikely event that I do make it, I reserve the right to scale it back or quit, if it's driving me crazy.

  • I'm going to make a home just for myself and Joe, because y'know? It's time. I love him even more after living together for a year. It's only going to get better from here.

  • I'm going to take photos of amazing people who love their bodies for what they can do. (y'know, instead of sad sacks with 2% body fat who think the only point of exercise is to look good in a bikini)

  • I'm going to keep growing, learning, and making the things I do better. I think I can keep doing that. ;)

And, in conclusion: THIS GUY RIGHT HERE. I couldn't ask for a more delightful intrepid journalist to have along on my quasi-heroic ride. He's more than capable of rescuing himself from a bad situation, granted, but he certainly has the better legs, out of the two of us. ;)


batskeets: (yan!)
Skip to 32:22 on THIS:

I did some cool blocker things, too, but OH MAN, jamming was the most fun. I was completely not expecting to, because we have a strong jammer rotation, they knew that I had been sick, and I was still coughing a bit on the day-of. Even though there were only 2 opposing blockers and it wasn't even that hard, it was SO EXCITING.

That second pass when I squeaked by on the inside was a little scary. I felt my wheels come up against the rope on the boundary line, but not actually go over it, so I ran on through because I was still in-bounds. I halfway expected to be wrong about that and get a cut penalty, but then the refs just gave me my points and nothing bad happened. Even if I never jam in a game again, I'm glad I got to do it once, and that it went well.

Joe came down to hug me right after and I think he was as excited as I was. AND he had glitter in his beard to go with our green and gold colors. He is so freakin' adorable. :D

I'm also doubly-grateful for him today, after talking with the client who came in for a headshot earlier. She basically told me that she was late getting to the studio because of drama relating to her divorce from her controlling and awful soon-to-be-ex-husband, and that she was trying not to look like she had been crying. She mentioned that she was referred by a personal stylist I know, and that she wasn't even sure what clothes she liked, because her ex always made those decisions.

It was sad to hear about, and also sort of a relief because at least she's gotten away from that situation. I wasn't even quite sure what to say to a lot of it. But, yeah, I feel lucky.
batskeets: (yan!)
SO. As I briefly mentioned the other day, Joe and I have been looking at apartments. Not as many as we'd have liked, but as many as our respective insane work schedules allowed for. And, as I alluded to, it was a really annoying process. Most of the places we looked at ranged from Just Okay to Completely Underwhelming. A couple of places were nice, but not nice enough for what they were charging--especially after we heard that one of those really-nice remodeled places was in a very sketchy neighborhood. As in, bullet-hole-through-your-window sketchy. And the hallway also smelled funny. They want $1400/mo for that? Uhhhh, no.

One place was actually fairly terrific--really spacious, pretty close-in, located in a decent, quiet neighborhood, and very affordable. But, we got talked out of that one by the owner and the property manager, who were both asking questions that got invasive to the point of being fairly creepy. And they flat-out said that they would rather rent to a couple than to a pair of friends, which, HAY GUYZ, that's against discrimination laws in Oregon.

AND, the manager also ASKED ME IF I WAS PREGNANT. She blamed it on the fact that I was wearing my big winter coat and a long, poofy scarf, but come ON. When is "are you pregnant?" ever, EVER an okay question to ask a person you've just met? In this context, it was just even more weird, invasive, and unsettling.

Anyhoo, when we came down to it, we didn't see any places that we liked that much--we liked some of them well enough, but not as much as the Castle. I've certainly enjoyed living at the Castle, and it's a ridiculous-cheap deal for the quality of the space. It's also reasonably close to the Hangar, which a NoPo place wouldn't be. And, the vibe transitions seamlessly when Joe is over, and [livejournal.com profile] dakania and [livejournal.com profile] daemonwise are both home, too. It's like Joe has always been there--and, granted, he's around a lot, but it's like he's supposed to be part of the gang. IT IS FATED.

The only real issue Joe or I have with the place is the commute, but not having to commute between deep-SE and NoPo in order to see each other would certainly make both our lives easier. And, well, the schmoopy reasons of wanting to have a place of our own. Still, looking at the pros and cons, and crunching the numbers, him moving in at The Castle seems like the most responsible option. Responsible is generally far from romantic, but you know what? I'll be happy to be sharing my home with him, no matter where that ends up being. (well, maybe not in a studio apartment, heh. DEFINITELY not a studio apartment.)

So, we're going to make good with the fact that I live in a pretty sweet house that doesn't cost very much, even if it is a bit further away from downtown than we'd like. If we find a place for just-us later, that's great, but right now, this is good.

He'll be moving in on March 1st. And, in true Castle Coronary tradition, we're already batting around plans for a tempura and sushi party to celebrate. Mohohoho. ;)
Well, 2013 has hit like a ton of bricks. I mean, things are pretty good, but right now? Aaaaggghhh, so overwhelmed. It'll pass.

Anyhoo, resolutions are really not my jam, because I'm not always realistic with goal-setting, which usually means aiming way too high, and setting myself up for failure and/or a marked loss of sanity. So I'm blatantly ignoring SMART goal-setting parameters, and just rattling off some general things I'd like to work on in 2013.

Things I want in the new year:
  • More money. I'm on my way with that, and things are definitely looking busy in the coming weeks--to the extent that I wish there were more of me to go around--but yeah, more cash please.
  • Self-care. I do so well at everything when I take care of myself. But, sometimes, I still fall off the wagon on this, and I want that to happen less. I think the big piece I'm missing is asking for and accepting help when I need it. Which, agh. We'll see.
  • More structure. Self-employment has led to kind of a weird existence without a great deal of regularity to it. Sometimes, I'm up early and in the office all day, other times (like today) I'll sleep in until 10am, putter around til Noon, and then find myself working again late at night. I hope that living with Joe will help with some of that, because splitting time between two places isn't doing me many favors.
  • To be more present. I think this has always been a problem for me, but interestingly, scrimmage has made me more aware of it. When my life gets stressful and overly busy, then 70% (or less) of my brain  is where my body is, because my mind is zooming around elsewhere. I don't want to miss out on 30+% of the wonderful things that are happening in the Here and Now.
  • To better express myself. I'm lucky to have Joe and a few friends in my life who make it easier for me to talk about what I'm thinking and how I feel. I'd love to be able to cast that net wider, though, and actually say what I'm thinking in general, rather than just overthinking it and letting it go unsaid
  • Skating faster, stronger, and smarter. I want to be the best damned High Roller I can be, and make my teammates proud, and have a really fun time doing it. And I'm going to work my ass off to get there. OF COURSE.
Things that I did pretty darned well in 2012:
  • Got noticeably better at saying No. I wasn't so sure about this at first, but there actually were fewer days when I ran around to eleventy-billion different places, because I thought I could do All The Things. If I didn't feel up to doing something, I gave my apologies and didn't dwell on it. I'll keep working at this.
  • Pushed some boundaries, and found respect for others. With a lot of thinking, and the support of people around me, I found some beliefs that were kind of stupid and not very constructive for me. But, I also figured out that some of the boundaries I have exist for a reason. I've pushed myself really hard this year, and found that I can expand beyond my old boundaries, if I do it intelligently.
  • Built a business that doesn't suck! It's actually going pretty well, even. I have a new work space now, and I did have to downsize a bit on square footage, but I love everything else about it. I'm doing work that I believe in, and that I'm excited about, and although I'm not raking in riches, I can eke out a simple existence. This year will be all about being more efficient, more networked, and more awesome.
  • Got drafted to a roller derby team. And not just any team, but the best team EVER. I now skate alongside people on travel team who used to intimidate the crap out of me. I now skate with my old Wreckers coach, who is still robably the most positive influence I've ever had in derby. It's an honor to skate with them, and it feels good to work at something and have it really, truly pay off.
  • Maintained a really awesome relationship. We communicate well, we support each other, we have fun together. Discussions that were horrible in past relationships were shockingly easy with Joe. A lot of my past relationships took a huge downturn by the 2-year mark (whether I wanted to admit it to myself or not), but Joe and I have made it past 2 years, and I still get kicky feet when I see him. Teehee. :D
  • Kept in awesome shape year-round. Even harder than losing weight is maintaining a loss, and I feel like this was easier in 2012 than it's been previously. Also, I usually gain 10-15 pounds during the holidays, but this year, I made a pact with myself to keep any gain at 5 pounds or less. And wouldn't you know? I actually succeeded. Woo!
Hey, guys! I'm not dead! Did catch a nasty round of the Plague, but then again, pretty much everyone I know did, so it was only a matter of time. I feel like I've been trying to write a post for ages, but nothing seems to come out. Ooof. I have to admit to feeling overwhelmed, and that certainly makes it hard to focus on any one thing long enough to post about it.

WORK. Things are going pretty okay. I recently started freelancing for a marketing firm, and they're pretty thrilled with me so far, so I'm feeling a lot better about having more regular work coming in from them. I'm still in a place where I feel like there's not enough of me to go around, so I haven't been seeking out new work as aggressively as I'd like, but I'm getting enough work to not starve, so that's good. I need a longer-term plan, though, and I have a couple of thoughts bouncing around in my head about potentially expanding the company.

There's another part of my brain that wonders if I should just freelance, and not have to worry so much about marketing my company. I'm also considering the occasional part-time job, but I'm being picky about those for as long as I can afford to be. I have, at times, even thought about what kind of full-time job I'd want to get, if I went back to that world. The nice thing is, even if I didn't keep my company forever, I've spent a solid year building a portfolio that I feel much prouder of. It's a portfolio that could actually get me a job I'd like, rather than another boring, soul-sucking "web development" gig, so this definitely hasn't been wasted time.

The studio lease is coming up in in December, too, which is daunting. I have some reasons to move to another space (not being in the basement, getting trapped by stupid-long freight trains), and others reasons to stay (moving would be a pain, liking the neighborhood). I haven't been looking very hard for a new space yet, but the idea of signing a 2-year lease at this place makes me a little teeth-grindy.

RELATIONSHIPPING. Speaking of home, the "let's get a place together!" conversation has happened, so that's another looming thing to plan for. Not looming because I'm nervous--I'm actually looking forward to J and I being in the same space, and think it'll be totally agreeable--but because looking for a place to live is never, ever fun.

I wish the studio lease and J's apartment lease were coming up in the reverse order, because I also want a workspace that's reasonably close to my home and the Hangar, but it's hard to choose that when I'm not sure where home is going to be. J and I haven't really figured out any details beyond expressing the desire to not live on complete opposite ends of town from each other, so things are very up-in-the-air, which is anxiety-inducing.

Other than that, I can't really complain about the state of things. We're good at talking openly and honestly about things. He remains thoughtful and generally adorable. I've grown in some positive and occasionally unexpected ways because he's made it easy and non-intimidating to do so. I continue to appreciate the fact that we act like grown-ups, and don't engage each other with the melodramatic, passive-aggressive garbage that eats away at so many interpersonal relationships.


Anyhoo, yeah. Things are going along. My only complaint is that I'd like to be less tired and overwhelmed.
I was going to do one of those lengthy Year-In-Review survey thingers, but I wound up spending far less time on the Intertubes than I anticipated, while I was in California and on vacation. But, this year deserves a proper sendoff, SO:
  • Full-time self-employment in 2011? It actually happened. Granted, it happened sort of by accident, but I've met my first benchmark profit goal and it's not even 2012 yet. I'm not 100% there yet, but I'd say I'm doing pretty well for someone who's only been doing this full-time for 3 or 4 months.
  • My health is improving by leaps and bounds, and I'm back into running again, which is *awesome*. I've only been going every couple of days, for a little over a week, but it's a relief and a massive emotional boost to be able to do that again.
  • I have an incredibly nifty boyfriend, and I realized while I was visiting the folks that, hey, I actually would like them to meet him, and the prospect doesn't make me nervous, because he's pretty great. (that said, being asked, "is he marriage material?" is still a weird, weird question to answer)
  • I am much less stressed out by many a thing than I was one year ago today. There are a lot of sad-making things that are no longer an issue.
  • I STILL have really excellent people in my life. Really, really excellent. 
  • I'm going to get drafted in 2012, and no power in the 'verse can stop me.
2011, you've been kinder than years past. Here's hoping 2012 follows the same trend!
batskeets: (yan!)
Heh, so yesterday wasn't entirely dissimilar to how it was a year prior. On that day in 2010, I went on my first date with Joe, which involved doing karaoke with some folks while wearing a fairly hideous Christmas-themed sweater. Last night, we ended it doing the same thing, albeit at a different place.

What's adorable is that last night Joe signed up to sing Amish Paradise, and then got me up there to team-sing it with him, which he'd also done on our first date. He told me on our way home from the Ugly Sweater Party last night that he'd remembered team-singing that song, and he also remembered what song was being caterwauled off-key in the background during our first kiss ("I Ran"), and that he actually sort-of-likes A Flock of Seagulls now because of that.

Last night was different (and better), though, because we also got to hang out and have good laughs with dear friends of mine, and dear friends of his, over the course of the evening. It's affirming and generally awesome that we mesh with each others' friend groups so well. And, at the end of the night, we fell asleep together, feeling lucky to have had each other in our lives for the past year, and enthusiastic about the year to come.

So, yeah, it's been a pretty good year. We're fortunate to have found each other, and to have such fantastic people around us.
batskeets: (yan!)
Better late than never, right?

The circumstances under which I'm doing this are sometimes terrifying, but I am, finally, working for myself full-time, and doing things that I believe in and am passionate about. I'm helping the local economy, I'm helping people do amazing things, and the future looks pretty bright.

I have great friends. Every so often, some combination of mood, circumstance, and a "just because," get-together reminds me that, no matter what happens, they'll be there, and they always feel like home.

Fate or whatever else conspired to have Joe and I cross paths. We went on our first date almost a year ago (whoof) and he is hilarious, enthusiastic, considerate, driven, thoughtful, and generally awesome in a billion other ways.

I have family that cares about each other, and cares about me. Even if the latter can sometimes manifest in crazy-making ways, it still comes from the right places, and I'm fortunate to have that.

I'm thankful every time I see someone I care about and respect have the good things that they deserve come to them. It doesn't happen anywhere near often enough, but when it does, I'm immensely happy to see it.

I'm thankful for derby, because it came along at just the right time, and it continues to be the fun kind of challenge. I can't wait to attack this beast again after my ankle sprain heals. I'm also equally thankful that I'm strong and fit, and that my injuries have been minor, and that I have the know-how to help myself heal.

That's all I can think of, but hey, it's the important stuff. In the meantime, I have a splitting headache, and HOLY JEEBUS it's cold outside.
At least some of my sweat and tears this past weekend yielded good things and cash money: J (as writer) and I (as photographer) covered the roller derby championships on Saturday, and the Portland Pride Parade on Sunday.

Aside from the mildly annoying request from the editors for more photos of random idiots mugging for the camera at future events, it all went well. J had vague concern about us working together and potentially affecting our personal relationship, but the gigs are sporadic enough, and our roles are discrete enough, that I'm not concerned. He's responsible, self-motivated, and good at what he does, and he's unfailingly respectful towards my work. As in, enough so to say he's honored that I'd trust him to write good and appropriate content to go with my photos. D'awww.

Anyhoo, if anyone's going to be an irritation with these assignments, going forward, it'll be the higher-ups, not us. We're both unified on our feelings with regard to their marketing goals vs. what the Portland market would actually find appealing, so hey, go Team Us. :)

I actually got some pretty excellent action shots at the bout--the lighting at the Expo beats the hell out of what's at the Hangar, and the overall atmosphere was more dramatic and exciting than that of the Coliseum--but I keep coming back to this shot as my favorite. I won't lie, I was rooting for High Rollers, but the Betties played a serious-business game, and I think they surprised and impressed everyone there. Nice work, ladies. :)


And here's one from Pride, because their t-shirts made me giggle:

I Can't Even March Straight
Open Scrimmage was pretty excellent. Joe came to watch me, and it was also my first open scrimmage since returning from my injury, so it was a little nerve-wracking, but it went fine. I didn't think I did particularly well--my head wasn't in the game and my legs were oddly tired--but people said I looked good out there, so I'm just going to assume they're right and stop being hard on myself.

I also took a pretty spectacular spill during the co-ed hour: the thing about skating with dudes is that, well, they're kind of tall, so one of them threw a shoulder check right at my head-level. I was already tired at that point, so I fell and rolled, and I'm sure it was an exciting sight for anyone watching.

It wasn't particularly painful, though, so I got up and started to skate again, only to realize that my face was bleeding! Heh. It was just a scrape on my upper-lip, but I had to stop after the jam ended to clean it up. Then, I grabbed a mini-band-aid from the first-aid kit, and rocked a band-aid mustache for the rest of the co-ed hour. ;)

I wound up taking on a merch shift at the 11th hour for the bout on Saturday night, but the merch table was apparently unusually slow, so I got to stand there and watch for most of it, and the Heathers rocked it. <3 After that, I got to see [livejournal.com profile] twilite_embrace's new digs, and have good chow and drinks with her, Neal, and [livejournal.com profile] katlyn. It was really nice to just sit back and unwind after a long day.

After doing some boring chore-type things around the house on Sunday morning, a gaggle of us got together to watch Season 4 Buffy and Season 1 Angel, and it was fantastic. Joss' dialogue is so giggle-inducing and clever on those shows, hee. Also: Oz! And Doyle! Bawwww.

Endurance practice afterwards was the most wonderful of beatings, and then I headed to dinner at Joe's sister's place. We'd already made plans in advance to do dinner with her and her husband, and I'd met her before, and she was nice and she apparently liked me quite a bit, so that was no big deal. However, a day-of change in plans came from Sister, in the form of, "hey, let's have a BBQ at my place! And I'll also invite Dad!"

Needless to say, J and I both felt kind of ambushed by that, and it caused more than a little stress, but I'm pretty good at being all polite and non-offensive around parents, so I was less worried about it than he was. I was late getting there due to practice, but there were two other couples there, too, so things stayed fairly relaxed-and-groovy. I don't know that I made much of an impression, seeing as Father didn't get much chance to talk directly to me, but Joe and Sister thought it all went fine, so good on me, I guess!

Anyhoo, it's Monday, and I'm back to working away on things. I'm hoping to get a big chunk of stuff done before Hood Canal. Holy crap, Hood Canal is next weekend. Hot damn!

Also, this weather? SO AWESOME. Tank tops, come to me now.
I think I'm actually relieved to be sitting at a computer today, because that was the most exhausting weekend in recent memory.

I wound up playing board games on Friday night, instead of shooting the bout, given the massive pile of editing I have to do this week, I think that was a wise decision. We played an amusing Balderdash-like game called Wise and Otherwise, and then I went home and passed out early.

Passing out early was wise, because I was up at 7am on Saturday morning (yeesh) to meet up for homemade crepe brunch, and then Joe, a couple of his visiting friends, and I rolled out towards Cannon Beach at 10am. The wedding was actually on the beach, which was very pretty and also rain-free, but we couldn't hear much of anything that was said during the ceremony. The reception involved metric tons of carbs, but some of those carbs came in the form of cupcakes topped with bacon, and frosting in the shape of a fried egg, so that was pretty excellent. Afterwards, the lot of us non-family attendees hit up a nearby pub to unwind, before heading back to Portland.

I passed out around 12:30, and was awake AGAIN during the 7am hour to load up and prepare to run my booth for GeekPortraitsPDX at Wonder Northwest. This was an idea that I hastily scribbled down a month or two ago, and then promptly forgot about until I heard about the WonderNW convention. The idea of promoting there seemed perfect, so booth plans, web site, cards, etc. all materialized in, oh, the last week-and-a-half? How I got it done with so much else on my plate, I'll never know.

I got a fair amount of interest in the booth, and threw around a not-small number of my hastily-assembled-at-the-last-minute business cards, but I think I was too tired and short on extroversion to market it as aggressively as I could have. I did connect with a couple of useful folks from Dark Horse and PDX Browncoats about doing some kind of booth setup for a big fancy benefit in August, though, so that could prove to be useful.

I'm not sure how the geek portraits thing will pan out, or even if it will at all, but I've become strangely well-networked in a very short time for marketing to that niche, and I've gotten a positive response from everyone who's talked with me about it thus far. I definitely have surer bets for making the buck$, but when time allows, I can nudge that concept along and see if it amounts to anything.

After the convention, it was an hour of ass-kicking endurance practice, and it felt GREAT. I think derby practice may have been the only point in the entire weekend when I felt completely awake and present. I felt as though I could really push myself for the first time in weeks, and I even occasionally passed people during the pushing and sprint drills, heh. This is an auspicious sign, for sure.

After practice, I cleaned myself and went to the geek burlesque show, which I'd foolishly agreed to photograph weeks ago. (i.e. before any of this wedding or photobooth stuff materialized, and before I had any clue as to whether or not I'd have skate-able legs again) The show itself was a lot of fun, although after everything else, I think I'd have been happier to just sit back and watch, rather than shoot. Isn't planning things in advance supposed to make life more manageable? Heh.

And then? A new Game of Thrones episode, which included a much-anticipated-by-fangirls scene involving Loras and Renly, that may have been the most wonderfully gay thing I have EVER seen on television. And this is coming from a person who's watched Queer As Folk in its entirety, people. XD Still, all gayness aside, I'm really loving the fact that we have a group viewing every week, and the show itself is so, so well-played. I can't think of a better way to wind down after a weekend.

So, yes. I AM EXHAUSTED. And I have a lot of editing to do.

I'm also intensely grateful for those who made the weekend (particularly Sunday) bearable: [livejournal.com profile] theamazingjosh as my ever-patient shepherd into the world of Nikon, the Continuum interns who brought me lunch and helped with booth teardown on short notice, all my derby girls for their bonding and supportive hollering during practice, and Joe for going out of his way to support me and make me smile, even while he was bound up with wrangling/providing for his out-of-town friends. I'm beyond fortunate.
I think I spent all of my extroversion on senior shoots last week; by the time the last one wrapped on Saturday, my brain felt like jello. I did have enough brainpower left to watch Thor and grab a late bite at Hopworks with [livejournal.com profile] katlyn and some other folks, though.

The Great Yard cleanup was, indeed, great. I'm continually amazed when I go into my yard and see actual grass and dirt! Having roommates who are actually able and willing to pitch in was incredibly motivating, and a conveniently scheduled Neighborhood Cleanup saved us about a billion trips to the dump. Next step is to destroy all of the weeds in the front yard, so my crazy rockscaping ideas can finally begin to take shape.

I also feel compelled to note that I really love how my relationship is developing. I find myself continually amazed at the fact that I've found such a considerate, caring, expressive, intelligent, and utterly hilarious individual to be with. We can share so many things, we retain our individuality, we care for ourselves and for each other. Our core values align ridiculously well, our differences in tastes complement each other. He always seems to know what I want from him, without my saying a word.

He wondered idly a couple nights ago what our first fight would be about--because, well, no relationship exists without the occasional disagreement--and I have no idea what the hell we'd argue about. Fiscal policy? I don't know. I'll take it as a good sign that we couldn't really think of anything we disagree on, though.

Anyhoo, here's another senior session photo, because I can:

I'm going to talk about things that do not suck!

1337 Design: one of my awesome design mockups for Western Regionals is being turned into a fully-functioning site RIGHT THIS MINUTE. My Wordpress customization project for [livejournal.com profile] littlebluedog is nearing completion. I rolled out a swanky new look for the senior portrait site. I had a meeting on Monday with PGC3 about making *their* web site pretty.

In short, my portfolio is freshening up rather nicely, and I may be getting nicely networked for future designthings. This is something that I nearly gave up on, as a source of income. I told myself that The Job hamstrung me by giving me such unchallenging work, that my skillset was becoming more and more outdated, that nobody would hire me for another job with such an outdated portfolio, but you know what? I'm effin' good at this, and anything I don't already know how to do is something I can learn. I am, frankly, kind of pissed at The Job for making me think that web design wasn't something I could pursue anymore.

Random Happenings: I had brunch with Alyson and Carolyn on Sunday, and it was nice to chat about random things and about future shoots. Carolyn's been out of the country for work, so it was good just to even see her. Joe and I did Geek Trivia on Tuesday, and then went roller skating--and by his request, no less. He's actually really jazzed about getting better at skating, and although he's still in the, "oh, hey, I'm doing physical activity that is not bicycling!" stage, it's very cool to have him asking ME when we're going skating again next, rather than the other way around. We wound up doing dinner with some friends of his and playing a game known as Scribblish last night, which was hilarious and amusing.

In the land of house things, I picked up two berry plants that I'm hoping to pot and grow on the upstairs deck--likely the only full-sun area we have in the yard--and I almost picked up a basil plant, but decided to save that for later. I'm also researching landscaping ideas for the front yard that don't involve a stupid-and-high-maintenance lawn. I also filed my taxes; I'm usually done with it much sooner than this, so it's nice to have it all finished at last.

Photography: I've gotten some helpful advice in the past day or so, for getting things resolved. The new Seniors site is just one part of an exciting plan to do truly kick-ass senior portrait photography, and of course make many Real American Dollars in the process.  We interviewed some interns and found people who feel like just the right ones to help us get things done. And, as previously mentioned, I got to shoot at the derby bout last weekend, and it was pretty excellent.

This magical phrase was sent to me by my awesome boyfriend yesterday afternoon: "After that I could make you dinner." If that's not swoon-worthy, I don't know what is. ;)

Fred's threw a monkey wrench into his original plan for dinner, because they'd closed up their fish counter by the time I got up there post-derby, so no salmon for us. Still, he threw down some respectable asparagus, mushrooms, and chicken instead. It was fresh, healthy, and simple, and my tired-and-congested self was highly appreciative. It was also a nice reminder that not every meal needs to be a wild and crazy production in order to be damned tasty.

Speaking of derby, I really shouldn't judge myself based on my first practice after being sick, but uuuuggghh. Lots of falling all over the place last night, and I felt like a complete and utter trainwreck. The kicker? There was also a draft, so after practice, I watched as several girls celebrated getting picked for teams. I'm absolutely happy for them, but my ego didn't exactly deal with it well, especially seeing as one of the drafted girls is even newer to derby/RCR than I am. I think that's the first time I've felt anything other than excitement on behalf of my derby comrades, and I don't like feeling that way at all. Still, I'd really like to stop being a crappy skater, preferably while I'm still young. :p

ANYWAY, I also threw down MOAR BACON COOKIES yesterday afternoon, and mucked with the formula again. The cookies didn't spread as much, but I think the texture is finally exactly what I want it to be. I also documented the process this time, so I'll be blogging the hell out of this recipe very, very soon. Until then, we'll see what tonight's round of taste testers think!

And, because I have food on the brain, here's a pizza I photographed a couple of weeks ago. I got to take it home afterwards and eat some, and share the rest with the housemates. I really should consider chasing down paid gigs for food photography, because I could definitely get used to the perks.


March 2017

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