Sunday, April 24, 2011

friday photos

Yesterday was what I hope all of May is. We enjoyed the afternoon with a plum picnic in the park.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

hello world

I'd like to start off this post by reprimanding all of my readers for not commenting on last Friday's photo (okay, Sunday's photo - why, oh why, did I tie myself to a day of the week with that ongoing title?) of Genghis with the umbrella. Don't you realize this is a very unique photo? Here's a Venn Diagram to explain.

In case looking at Venn Diagrams makes you break out in a cold sweat as you imagine yourself sitting in 7th grade pre-Algebra, here's the gist. I take a lot of photos of Genghis. He is usually blurry. He sometimes smiles. He rarely smiles and is not blurry.

Hooray, Umbrella Photo!

Okay, a confession before you read any farther. I really don't have much to say in this post. I am writing now to remind myself that I am human.

I have spent most of my baby-free hours this last week trying to create a dynamic website using Drupal, a content management system. Even though using Drupal means I don't have to write a line of actual computer code, it still leaves me feeling like an automaton.

To overcome that feeling, here's a list of some human-like things I've done recently:
- Devoured Red Velvet Cake
- Cleaned up spaghetti after an 8-month old "ate" it
- Felt the sunlight warm my cheeks and arms while driving in my car
- Squinted through a rainstorm while driving in my car
- Made several jokes about wondering whether we were human or dancer with my husband, who does even more computer coding than me, making the answer to this question even more vital
- Hit "snooze" on my alarm clock
- Put on my glasses to read
- Did a Yoga workout
- Tried (unsuccessfully) to remember to pay a bill

What makes you feel human? Or better yet, what makes you feel dancer?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

friday photos

Random happenings. Genghis likes umbrellas.

And feather dusters.

A trip to Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum. Tucked away behind a strip mall, filled with old arcade games (think 1890s to 1980s) and decorated with show bills and creepy carnival statues. I spared you the video of the coin-operated pipe organ orchestra attempting Bohemian Rhapsody. It featured accordion on melody and sounded like the middle school band, site reading.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

task avoidance, and why this $10 organic free range chicken better taste delicious

For the last few months, my good friend Kristin and I have been exploring a business idea for online meal planning. Our vision was delicious meets netflix meets the dinner table - an easy recipe bookmarking site that takes your uploaded recipes and gives you recommendations for what to make for dinner that week.

Last Friday, we found a website that basically does that already. We knew the market for online meal planning was crowded, but we had thought our approach was unique. Our venture disbanded that afternoon and I signed up for a free 30-day trial with this other website. Since we're no longer in competition with them, I'll tell you the name: So far it looks pretty good. I'll be using it for the next month and I'll give you a full report at the end.

With one business venture at a close, I now find myself coming back to an earlier work plan that I titled in my Google Docs as "Library Evaluation Master Plan". Dum dum dummmm! Except that "Library" and "Evaluation" are less sinister than they are quiet, unassuming, and maybe a little dull. The Master Plan, at a high level*, is a plan for creating an online tool for librarians to be paired with evaluation mentors to evaluate their programs and services so they can understand outcomes, impacts, and areas for improvement.

I'm really excited about the project, and think it has a lot of potential. But every time I come around to working on it (read: every time Genghis takes a nap), I find myself doing anything other than. (Erin's thoughts: Gee, that calendar needs to be updated. Don't we need to turn our mattress on a regular basis? And when was the last time someone mopped this floor?)

One of my more successful procrastination techniques this week has been couponing. I have been attempting couponing for several weeks in an effort to cut our grocery bill by about 30%. I organized a coupon box, checked out online coupon strategy resources, made meal plans based on sale/coupon combinations, and only used coupons for items I actually purchase. The result? Well, at a high level, it has been a complete failure. At any level, really, it has been a complete failure. I've probably saved a total of $10 for putting in 5 hours of my time. And that $10 I saved just got sunk into an organic free range chicken I bought yesterday because I thought it was on clearance for $2.15. That was actually the savings price - the chicken cost $10, originally $12.15. I didn't have a coupon for it, but I wouldn't have bought it if I hadn't been in super-frugal money saving mode.

And now that I've procrastinated another 45 minutes, I think it's time to get to work (don't say that out loud, or Genghis will wake up).

P.S. Does anyone know how to cook a chicken?

*I have found the phrase "at a high level" invaluable for skirting questions and feigning knowledge. Example: "Erin, can you use your vast wisdom about everything to enlighten me on the current debate about the national budget?" "Well, at a high level, it really comes down to balancing fiscal responsibility and government services, with both sides reaching across the aisle."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

friday photos

Genghis takes on Chicago! The day after we got home from our weekend trip to Chicago, Genghis slept in until 10am.

Monday, April 4, 2011

friday photos

Neglecting my photo duty. Excuses: bad cold, out of town.

Genghis took me out to lunch for my birthday, to the Northside Grill, where they give you a totally free breakfast or lunch, just because it's your birthday. He was happier than the photo shows. But I like this picture because he kind of looks like the guy behind him, plus the woman in the back was also celebrating her birthday that day, and her name was Erin. (Note, Genghis is wearing an "I love Daddy" bib on my birthday...)

After a whole week visiting my parents, I realized I hadn't taken any photos, so I snapped a couple the night before we left. I'm not sure how Dad is smiling here; I'm pretty sure Genghis is pinching his cheek. He doesn't hold back on the nails.

Mom and Genghis enjoying some laughs.

Note the pink sock (we can it his "fuzzy") which Genghis has recently become attached to. Unfortunately, we lost it the next day at the Shedd Aquarium. Fortunately, socks come in pairs. Unfortunately, I was hoping to have my awesome pink sock monkey-embroidered socks back some day.