2013 Thus Far

I’m going to be blunt here.

2013 can go fuck itself.

I’m about to head back to the homeland to go to the funeral of an uncle.  Really?  George’s dad, then my dad, and now my uncle?  And there’s been other stuff that’s sucked, though none of it compares to the loss of such important members of my family.  If I develop mysterious sores, I’m going to wonder when I was nominated to be the next Job.  Though lots of friends have suffered tragic losses this year, so…on the behalf of everyone I know who’s had a shitty go of things, 2013…I think I’ve made it clear how I feel about you.  You’ve got some ‘splaining to do.  And really, it’s not me, it’s all you.  I own none of it.

Agggh.  The next few days are gonna suck.

I miss hearing from you all, I’ll be back soon.

Until then, here are a few pictures I’ve taken within the calendar year 2013, in an effort to remind myself and others that maybe 2013 doesn’t deserve to be completely wiped from our memories.  I don’t want to put up gloomy pics, because I’m trying to angle for instant karma points.  Oh, look (says an otherwise cruel and unfeeling universe), she put up a picture of a lacy butterfly!  Let’s not kill any more of her loved ones until, at the very least, the end of the year.

So. With no further ado and in no particular order…

Black swallowtail butterfly, my back yard. (Did you think I was kidding about posting a butterfly pic?)

Black swallowtail butterfly, my back yard. (Did you think I was kidding about posting a butterfly pic?)  My back yard, summer 2013.

A day spent at Knoebel's with my brother, sis-in-law and the kiddos. July 2013.

A day spent at Knoebel’s with my brother, sis-in-law and the kiddos.
July 2013.

Railroad tracks in autumn.  Sigh.

Railroad tracks in autumn. Sigh.
Lewisburg, September 2013.

This guy.

This guy.
Artscape, Baltimore, July 2013.

John & Molly's wedding. Lutsen, MN, July 2013.

John & Molly’s wedding.
Lutsen, MN, July 2013

And for good measure, here’s a video of an otter juggling a rock.  I didn’t take the video, but I love it all the same.

I (sincerely, truly) hope your year is better than mine.  Enjoy!

A Word a Week Challenge: Mistake

Over at A Word in Your Ear, Skinnywench opened her magical dictionary of word indexification and came up with the Word a Day theme this week.

Mistake!  Bzzzzt, thanks for playing, please try again.  Oh!  Wait!  You mean, things that you have in a photograph that are considered a mistake, for one reason or another?

*cough cough cough*  My bad.  Though that would be a rum joke there, ey wot?

Anyway.  Before I carry myself away on bad jokes (wouldn’t be the first time), Imma get down to it.  These things, in my photographs, in one way or another, represent in one way or another all sorts of mistakery..

First, I hope this serves as a gentle reminder that while a human editor should indeed give the final approval on all written material…please, people, turn on your spellcheck and let that be your first line of defense against casual mistakes.



I challenge you to spell this sign correctly.

So one time, not all that long ago, I was in a store.  And that store had products; it was just jammed with things.  And some of those things?  Were these shoes, which are an example of how a mistake can multiply.  They were a failure from concept through execution, and the fact that they were given the green light along the way only tells me that once a mistaken OK is given, then the whole world can easily fall in on itself in a blundering series of misguided crystal pleats.  And I had them on my feet.  The things I do for this blog.

It's one large series of purple mistakes.

It’s one large series of purple mistakes.

Seriously, people.  Just say no.

One night, cooking, I cut my finger.  By definition that was a mistake but the bigger one, which I did not make, was that I did not try and continue prepping my food with only one band-aid between me and *yuck oh ewww blech*.  Especially when George had to eat what I was cooking, too.  Because ewww.

Middle finger, you can see the owie.

Middle finger, you can see the owie.

Yes, I keep rubber gloves in my house at all times.  I’m accident prone and dinner guests, you’re welcome.

When we were in Baltimore this past summer for ArtScape, I noticed in their street-camo-helicopter installment, one helicopter…ummm…would have had limited success flying, unless it was manned by the most skilled of pilots.  And remember, display artists: considering that there were several helicopters strung throughout this display, all right side up…several upended helicopters is an artistic statement.  One lone upended helicopter on display?  Is a derp.

Black Hawk Upsy-Daisy just doesn't have the same zazz, you know?


Black Hawk Upsy-Daisy just doesn’t have the same zazz, you know?

And finally…


I never should have trusted that Chris wouldn’t have a camera as he joked me into making this face.  My mistake.  I swear, I don’t know how my face ended up looking like this.  Even my nose looks flatter.

Who brings the shmexy?

Who brings the shmexy?

Yes, I blurred out my friends’ faces to protect their identities.  If I were my parents I’d consider disowning me.  But you know, when I make a mistake, I don’t hold back.  Go big or go home, you know?

Enjoy the rest of the “mistake” photos!

Travel Theme: Distance

Ailsa’s travel theme this week at Where’s My Backpack? asks us to look at distance, into the distance, from a distance.  For the record, the word “distance” literally means “standing apart”, from the Latin “dis” (apart) and “stare” (stand, of course).

See, kids?  Latin is fun!



This first shot was taken this spring at Milton State Park, which is probably about three miles away from my home.  If you walk down toward the southern tip of the park, which juts out into the Susquehanna River, you’ll soon find yourself…well, still in the park and on the other side of the river, but directly facing the smokestacks of the plant one Ettore “Hector” Boiardi opened in 1938 in support of his canned pasta business.

The Chef's plant, looming in the distance.

The Chef’s plant, looming in the distance.

Yes, Chef Boyardee was a real man and no, he wasn’t just some fabrication of ConAgra, which now owns the plant.  I haven’t eaten canned ravioli in years but nevertheless, I’m delighted his iconic smokestack remains.

Next we go to Little River in beautiful South Carolina.  My brother has a boat docked there, but I’m pretty sure he’s selling it (or possibly has sold it by now), so I don’t know if what once was his boat is still there.  Anyway.  I digress.  This photo was taken while looking out toward the bow of the boat (and beyond, natch!) from the hatch that opens out from the cabin.  That thin line of land is the spit that separates the Little River Inlet from the big ol’ Atlantic Ocean.

Ahoy!  Shiver me timbers! Avast, ye scurvy dogs!

Ahoy! Shiver me timbers! Avast, ye scurvy dogs!  And other piratey things to say, as well!

Next, we go to my beloved Boston and the gorgeous Park Plaza Hotel.  Often, when I stay in hotels, I will choose to take back stairways instead of the elevator.  I’ve always had a penchant for wandering the halls of any hotel I stay in (which can sound a little creepy but I swear, I don’t peek where I ought not) because I like to go where most people ignore.  And most people?  Don’t take the stairs and see this, spinning upwards into infinity.

Here's looking up yer old staircase.

Here’s looking up yer old staircase.

And now we head to Baltimore.  This picture was taken this summer at Artscape, a mega-art-music-comedy-groovy jewelry outdoor feast for the eyes, ears and wallet.  It stretches for blocks and blocks.  I could have spent a ton of money there (especially in some of the jewelry stands; I’ll take one of everything, please) but kept it under control.  I did, however, take a trillion pictures.  This was near a railroad crossing.  It was a beautiful, bright, sunny day and all of Baltimore (including the iconic Howard Street bridge) stretched out before us.

Presenting: Baltimore.

Presenting: Baltimore.

Please note that there’s a mirror in the photo–almost dead center–so you can see what’s in the distance behind.  Kind of a yin-yang of Baltimore industrial architectural photography.  Dig it.

And finally, we end today’s blog in Italy, because Italy, that’s why.  This picture was taken while visiting a church on one of the hills overlooking Florence, just across the Arno River.  The Ponte Vecchio–which literally means “old bridge”–is that crazy, awesome structure in the middle of the shot.  This bridge, and the shops that are built hanging off the sides, has survived floods, Nazis, and nearly 700 years worth of weather (it would be nearly 800 years worth of weather, but it did have to be rebuilt in 1345).


Distance: physical, temporal, historical.  Achieved.

Distance: physical, temporal, historical. Achieved.

I mean…I’m happy if I get a DVD player that lasts more than a few years, you know?  I hate that we’ve come to accept planned obsolescence.


Again, I digress.

Enjoy Ailsa’s theme!  Maybe you could find a little somethin’ somethin’ to post and play along yourself.  😉  Please enjoy some Dixie Chicks for your listening pleasure.

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