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Archive for June, 2010

Weekly Winners (June 20 – 26)

June 27th, 2010 24 comments

No big write up this week. No theme. Just photos taken through the week! For more weekly winners participants, head over to our hostess Lotus! (Uhm, after you are done here, kay? hehe)

UV Blue Vodka

Hubby brought this bottle of Raspberry Vodka home off the road... SO YUMMY! The alcohol level was lower than some vodkas, but the taste was fantastic. This mixed with a little Sprite? Fabulous summer drink. *

Thoughts at the lake

I love black and white photography, but I so rarely dabble in it. So one afternoon when we took a picnic to the lake, I took the chance to take a couple shots. I got this one of my husband looking out over the lake... seemingly deep in thought.

Splash

Splashes! I dangled my feet in the lake... it was the temperature of bath water.

Geese

Geese... they wouldn't let me get close, darn it. (Picked up by Nashvillest this last week!)

Limb lost

Did somebody lose a limb?

Pine Cone

When I see pine cones, I think Fall, not Summer. But this one recreation area by the lake was covered with pine cones! (That red spot at the top of the photo is my husband ahead of me... he was wearing red shorts, and didn't know I'd stopped to take a picture. That or he knew I'd be along eventually. LOL!)

Drive-in theatre

Stardust Drive-in Theatre in Watertown, TN *

Drive-in theatre

Popcorn always makes a movie better! The drive-in always does a double feature... we saw "Toy Story 3" and "Prince of Persia." Such a gorgeous night! Fireflies and shooting stars. Clear skies. Upper 70s. Hubby. Popcorn. Movie. YAY!

Keeping watch

What do you see?? Hubby and Bailey looking out the window. *

♥ ♥ ♥

Most photos taken using a Nikon Coolpix L20.
Photos marked with an asterisk (*) taken with my cell phone, HTC Droid Incredible.

All of my photos available on my Flickr stream.

Categories: photos, weekly-winners Tags:

Desktop revelations

June 26th, 2010 2 comments

This afternoon, I sat in a chair across my office from my desk, and I caught myself staring at all the random items on my desk. I was immediately struck by how much my desk screamed about me. (And similarly, in hindsight, what my husband’s desk says about him. But that’s neither here nor there for this entry.) So much stuff haphazardly strewn here and there, all laid in one big, detailed description of ME.

My desk: a mirror of me.

As I skimmed over my desk, I saw a stack of books for Adobe Illustrator: my constant attempt to improve my skills.  My iPod charging on my laptop showing music love. Desktop screen showing a photo of Nashville — my city. Howdy sign, Aggie desktop calendar, Aggie birdhouse, Reveille stuffed doll, and other random Aggie items across the desk show my love of my school. (Across the room my diploma is displayed, too.) Family photos. Friend photos. These are all people who are important to me and rooting me on…

A Diet Dr. Pepper. Shot glass collection. UIL medals and an award for column writing. A glitter lava lamp, and a lamp that was my grandpa’s. A black and white photo of Printers Alley. Heck, even the lint roller to get cat hair off my shirt! These are all inherently me.

I’ve read many blog posts around the Internet about what your desk and workspace can convey to your boss and co-workers. Working from home, you wouldn’t think that would matter so much. But for me, it still does, because my working environment can directly impact my work.

059: Hard at workMy husband has picked at me a little about how cluttered my desk tends to get. I have ALWAYS been someone who can find things in a clutter much faster than when its all neat and filed away. This is not an excuse. This is simply fact. But I am trying to curb that a bit.

I think back to when I had a job at a newspaper. I was always careful to end every single day by clearing off my desk. I’d put everything in its place, so I could come back with a clean slate the next day. Some days I’d walk in the office and find my boss had left something for me to handle that day, and what was nice was that it I (nor she!) never had to worry about an assignment getting lost on my desk that way.

Of course some days I wished I could accidentally lose an assignment. (hehehe!) But I think everyone feels that way at some point at work. Heck, some days I wish NOW that I could accidentally lose an email, but I can’t. I didn’t lose assignments then. I won’t lose emails now. (Uhm, short of hotmail eating it, of course. Technology DOES have its bugs sometimes, which we’ve all unfortunately fallen victim of at some point.)

I’ve created an Inbox for daily mail, etc. I’m slowly trying to shred old documents and work towards a filing system. I have to admit, having a clear work space makes it much easier to take notes when on the phone or when I just need to “think out loud.”  I re-write my to do list every couple of days and keep it in front of me. Oftentimes it doesn’t change any, but it helps me go back over it thoroughly.

I’m proud of my workspace! Its functional, but its also so ME. These days, I spend a vast majority of my days in my office at my desk. I’m glad to say I legitimately ENJOY being in there! (My desk chair stinks, but a pillow seems to help with that a bit. Some day I’ll get a new one.) My husband teases me on occasion that I will spend 12 – 18 hours in the office without realizing it. Its simply because I enjoy it. I love what I am doing. I have my goals and dreams right in front of me. And I have a space in which to do it all that I like.

Gotta love it.

(Amusingly… I wrote this blog on my laptop curled up on my couch. HA!)

Categories: random musings Tags:

I’ve got my hash tags

June 23rd, 2010 2 comments

Hash tags — Short messages on services such as Twitter may be tagged by including one or more hash tags: words or phrases prefixed with a hash symbol (#)… such as #beer… Then, a person can search for the term #beer and this tagged word will appear in the search engine results. (From Wikipedia)

That’s a pretty lame definition, but it works. The most general point of hash tags is still lost on me, considering that you can search for anything with or without the pound sign hash symbol.

Granted, if you get a little more technical and picky, they have their purpose. For example, in cases such as a TV show or a sporting event, the hash tag is indeed useful to group posts into one big discussion.

The first time I used a hash tag was to dish about the CMA Awards. It opened up my posts to other viewers, and in no time my following/follower count tripled with like-minded people. I had to admit, the hash tags rocked in that case. I’ve used it seriously in cases such as discussing things relating to Texas A&M (#tamu or #gigem) and then of course the Nashville flood last month. So, haven’t I seen the point behind the hash tag? Yes. Is it handy in some cases? Yes.

In general twittering, though, if I use a hash tag, its for my own amusement. Hence why I say, the general point of a hash tag is lost on me, and I tend to poke more fun at it than use it properly. For example, #imjustsayin or #ihavenopoint or #stoplookingatmelikethat. I have plenty of people on Twitter who treat hash tags the same.

One of my favorite ones to use is #marriedbutnotdead if I’m going to make a comment about some guy other than my husband looking good.  I’ve also recently started using #musicianswidow when I post something relating to life married to a music man. So,  again, I suppose even in my good fun, I have found a use for them.

I’ve created one that I wish I could get more people to use: #creativeexercise — when you do something more physical than normal, everyday life, but its not what a trainer would necessarily call “exercise”. I’ve used it when I went out to help mow the grass, or last week when I hand washed our truck. Both things out of the ordinary for me, and also things that are more physically challenging than sitting in front of the computer typing!

So here’s my question… does anyone else have their own favorite hash tag? How important and useful are they to you?

Categories: twitter Tags:

Journaling vs. Blogging

June 21st, 2010 No comments

I started a personal journal in 2001 over at the LiveJournal site (I even purchased a permanent account.), and in the pages of that journal, my college years were documented. My meeting my husband, and the progression of our relationship lies on those pages.

I still occasionally post in my journal over there. It’s a private space to put my thoughts without fear of being “misunderstood.” However, most days it simply becomes a place to house my twitter posts, and I put my writing energy (and time!) into this blog instead.

That said, the other day I found myself chewing on the difference between what I did with my journal versus what I do with this blog. (Ironically, moments later my husband asked me the difference himself! One of those, “Get out of my head!” moments we have regularly.) The two venues are completely different for me, even as the idea is the same: putting my thoughts “on paper.”

journal(1:) an account of day-to-day events (2:) a record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept regularly for private use

blog – a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer

The definitions for journal and blog really don’t go deep enough, for me, to understand the difference, because, for me, they are distinctly different.

Journaling
For me, journaling is a distinctly private thing to do. My journal over at LiveJournal gave me a relatively private venue to post recaps of my days or a place to vent. LiveJournal allows me to select people to see entries if I wanted feedback, or it allows me to keep entries completely private. Entries are more and more private versus “friends-only” these days.

For me, personally, journal = diary. It’s just that journal sounds a little more “grown up.”

My journal over at LiveJournal started out a public forum. Somehow I had these crazy designs that people would be extremely interested in my mundane day-to-day life. yeah, not so much. I did meet the woman who was my maid-of-honor  in my wedding at LiveJournal doing  this, though! However, when I think of that journal, I also think of the ways it hurt me and others through its public forum back then. Lesson learned: some things are just better left PRIVATE.

In the last few years, though, my journaling has gotten to be less and less. Mostly, I’ve put most of my writing energy elsewhere (ie here), and I’ve not felt the NEED to journal as much. I blame that partly on Twitter, since my journal was so often just a recap of my day. Now I do that throughout the day in quick 140-character updates.

The need for my journal remains, though, deep down. Some days, I need to get something off my chest, and the only place I can do it is in the privacy of my journal. It has its place. It will always have its place. But its totally different from blogging.

Blogging
It’s still personal thoughts, personal opinions. Some bloggers simply recap their days, much like I used to do in my journal. Others use it as a social commentary.  Others straddle the line between those two. I suppose you could say I fall in that last group.

When I worked at a newspaper, I had a weekly column. It was the highlight and the stress of my week. I loved the free form nature of my column. It allowed me to stretch my legs, writing-wise.

My column was equal parts thoughts about my personal life, and thoughts on news events — both local and national. That’s where my stress came from: choosing a topic that I felt comfortable writing about for my audience to read.

Today, I don’t stress about topics as much, but my blog is without a doubt the same idea as my column. I straddle that line, writing about whatever happens to be on my mind at the time. Be it personal events, social commentary, news events or just something I think people might like to know. Hence the tagline, “the wife of a touring musicians tells it like she sees it.”

What I love about blogging is that it truly is from a unique standpoint. We all come from different walks of life. We all have a different place in society. However, there are certain events or experiences that encompass us all. We just all view it from our unique perspective. Its that perspective that I think a blog centers its existence. Taking that perspective and putting it down on paper. It’s equal part editorial and news. Fact mingled with opinion, out there for a public audience to read, learn from and debate.

So when someone asks me if my blog is my diary, I can definitely say it is not. Yes, it chronicles my thoughts at a given time, but its not my private thoughts and rants. Its written specifically with a public audience in mind.

Journal vs. blog. Private vs. public.

Its truly, for me, that simple.

Categories: point of view Tags:

Weekly Winners (June 13 – 19)

June 20th, 2010 27 comments

This week, I had over 100 photos to choose from to narrow down for Weekly Winners. Adhering to my self-imposed 9 photo limit… here ya go! The first 8 photos are actually from last Sunday when my husband and I went to poke around CMA Fest, and then just went for a drive by Percy Priest lake. More details on the photos in the captions!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the Dad’s out there!

Now, when you are done here, go check out Lotus (she’s HAWT) for more Weekly Winner participants!

Nashville Skyline

Downtown Nashville Cumberland River panoramic. If the left side wasn't so dark, you'd be able to see the hundreds of people sitting at the Riverfront Stages for CMA Fest. Also of note, I did not use my panoramic setting on my camera for this. I freehanded it, and then had a program sew the photos together for me.

CMA Fest 2010

I really love this shot. The batman building and the sign for The District and a Live Music Venue photo. If I could somehow have magically gotten the Ryman Auditorium in here, too, I'd have gotten the perfect downtown Nashville shot. But, alas, geography had that going against me. (Note: Straight out of camera image.)

CMA Fest 2010

In general, I don't like street performers in downtown. Most of the time they aren't that great, and they are horning in on tips the bands (read: my husband at times) in the bars are working their butts off to get. So there's a little dislike there for me. But these guys? These guys were REALLY good and had a GREAT gimmick. I could so appreciate them and what they were doing. If more street performers were like these two, I'd never grumble!! (SOOC)

CMA Fest 2010

This was one of those shots that I was in the right place at the right time to get. This shot was used on"Nashvillest" this past week. (SOOC)

Airplane

So my husband and I are strolling around on the Shelby Street footbridge when he strikes up a conversation with a guy wearing his college's baseball cap. So I wandered off unattended. I heard a plane going over downtown, looked up, snapped the shot and moved on... it wasn't until I downloaded my images that I realized it actually ended up being a REALLY cool shot, in my opinion. A happy accident! (SOOC)

Fire escape

First off, I have this weird obsession with this building and its fire escape. It's like I feel like there are some really cool shots to be taken there. Second, if you have a Droid phone, download FxCamera. I seriously love this app, and that's how I got this shot. I feel like I finally got a glimpse at the possibilities in photographing this building. (HTC Droid Incredible using FxCamera setting Toy Camera)

Percy Priest

Percy Priest lake as the sun began to set. I actually liked the exact same shot I got with my phone a LITTLE better. But I like the dimensions of the shot I got with my camera better. So I went with the camera shot. (SOOC)

Percy Priest

Percy Priest Lake. Sunset. Ducks. This is my desktop wallpaper. LOVE. (SOOC)

Wedding Rings

You'll probably recognize this from my new blog header. Lots of color editing done here. But. I still love this shot. A lot.

♥ ♥ ♥

Most photos taken using a Nikon Coolpix L20 unless otherwise noted.

All of my photos available on my Flickr stream.

Categories: photos, weekly-winners Tags:

Survival of the CMA Fest

June 18th, 2010 2 comments

CMA Fest wrapped up three four days ago, and I think everyone has recovered. Or at least close to recovered. Nashville got a much needed shot in the arm economically, and country music fans got a much needed chance to meet their favorite stars. It was a win/win week.

Well. Except for the heat. And the lack of parking. But otherwise, it was great!

Music fans enjoy free shows at the Riverfront Stages

For me, this was the first year since moving to Nashville that I didn’t have to be down at CMA Fest, either to work or to see my husband play. So, while every day I intended to go downtown, every day something more pressing came up close to home. However, Sunday, I made it a priority to go see what this year’s CMA Fest had to offer.

I had heard the nightmare stories about parking being non-existent from friends, but by Sunday things had died down some. Parking was no problem, much to my delight. However, the heat was just as bad as I had heard it was.

I was born and raised in Texas. I can “take” the heat. However, despite drinking plenty of water and wearing a loose sundress, the heat did start to get to me after awhile. It made me shorten my time at CMA Fest dramatically, in fact.

This guy wanted to save souls. All he did was get on nerves.

However, here’s the thing I love about CMA Fest: people watching. Mostly, its watching the families that are out doing this big event together. On one corner, a man had a microphone preaching about how everyone there was going to go to hell, and how everyone there is a sinner for even being there! I briefly wanted to ask the man what he thought was so bad about families going out to an event together and enjoying an afternoon together? I could see no harm in it whatsoever! It was amazing to me to see so many teens and kids NOT buried in a video game.

My husband and I both mused, though, at one point after he had walked along the Riverfront, down Broadway to Bridgestone Arena, and then over to Shelby Street Bridge: for once it was pure country coming out of all the bars on Broadway… and on the big stages was… well… “Rockin’ Country” I guess you’d call it. In other words, music that was only called country because they brought a fiddle or a steel player along. Not because it was actually what we would define as country. But, hey, I learned a long time ago… the music business is my life. It doesn’t mean I can always make sense of it!

That being said, there is one thing I do understand: music fans love their music. And that was what it was all about, no matter what. A love of music and a chance to experience a very cool festival that happens only once a year.

Me and George Strait! haha!!

My husband and I went to one of our favorite “watering holes” to cool down after walking around for awhile. We’ve become regulars there, so we stopped to visit with the bartender for awhile. I asked him how the week had been, and he said simply, “Amazing.” He couldn’t get over how incredibly nice everyone had been all week, and they had definitely had a good week sales-wise!

“You hear horror stories all year about CMA Fest,” he said. “But I don’t know what that was all about. Everyone who came in this place was great. They all have great stories, and they’re all just so happy to be here. I’ve loved it!”

I love it, too, and I’m sorry I didn’t make it down for more of the events this year. A friend is talking about coming to CMA Fest next year, and I hope she does! It’ll give me an excellent excuse to go, too.

Yes it was incredibly hot. Like I briefly said, I cut my time downtown short due to the heat getting to me. And parking downtown is a pain even on a quiet weekend. But at the end of it all… CMA Fest is just a cool thing country music and Nashville does for its fans. I love that fact. I love this city. So, you know, I’m already looking forward to next year!

Categories: Fan Fair, fans, music community, nashville Tags: