Wednesday, January 27, 2010

All In I Guess...

I've come to the conclusion lately that jobs are a lot like boys. Either you're smack in the middle of the dry spell to end all dry spells or everyone who see you is interested. There's never any middle ground.

So here's the deal - I got laid off last year on February 11th. I can't tell you the actual total number of resumes I set out over the next ten months but I can tell you that between August 1 and December 1 I sent out more than 300. In that time I had two interviews: one for a job I was sure I didn't even want, and one for a job that would have been cool. In the end I didn't get either. I was one in a pool of more than 300 applicants for each. In December I started temping at my old company while a former co-worker was out on short term disability. At the end of the week before last I had an interview for a position in a suburb of the Twin Cities - it's pretty exciting in as much as it's a job. Last Friday I heard that they had liked me a lot and the job was mine if I wanted it. I told the recruiter to give me the weekend to think it over and everything, went back to my desk, worked some more, and roughly half an hour later got invited to interview for a permanent position with my old company. It effin figures. So here's the deal - I really like my old company: the people are awesome, the atmosphere is great, hours are pretty flexible, etc. There's a trend of working WAY TOO MUCH but other than that, it's a great place to work. The job I've been doing for the last too months is excellent. I find it interesting and challenging, and I'm really, really good at it. The permanent position that was open is not doing the same job, but staying in the company would sure make it easier to transition back, should something open up. In the end it was going to take my old company several weeks to make a decision and I couldn't keep the new place waiting that long. So I'll be starting work in the suburbs next week. Huzzah. (Somehow I doubt working there isn't going to make me want to move there any more.)

So I know I promised no more pictures of the old courthouse, but I'll only be working downtown for a few more days, and I'm trying to soak it in. This is a close up of some of the stonework. (In morning light! It actually happened today!) I love the texture and the detail that it adds to the building. I also have a great big soft spot for arches above windows.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You Say It's Your Birthday (dun dun dadada da)

It's my birthday too!

Today is - indeed - my golden birthday. Ohhh, shiny. So I remember when I around around eleven or twelve and I though it was this really big deal to have your golden birthday and I was bummed because mine was, like, never going to come. Now I pretty much think I'm turning 26 and that blows pretty hard.

I have very little interest in being 26. Boo.

Anyway, my b-day has gone pretty well I suppose. Steve made a very tasty dinner, I opened some really cool presents, watched a slightly weird movie, and ate a seriously awesome $6 birthday cake from Target. There are further festivities on Saturday in celebration of me, so that's pretty cool.

I don't have a birthday themed photo today. Basically I was going to take a picture of my cake... but then I got way too interested in eating my cake and I kind of forgot. Whoops. Seriously that was some really awesome cake.

So this is actually a close up of one of the speakers on our record player. See Steve and I thrive on being really giant nerds and snobs all at the same time. Our collective snobbery/nerdery ranges from chocolate and beer (those two are just me really) to video games, music, movies, books, and computers. While back we took the music nerd/snob gig to a whole new level - we got a record player and started collecting LPs. Yup, we're those people. To be fair I've met people who a WAY BIGGER record snobs than us. I think we just genuinely like the way LPs sound and so on and so forth. Anyway, I enjoy the pattern the cloth over the speakers makes, especially when it's offset by the wood of the case.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Bonus Post!

As I said - I loves me some baseball. And I live in Minnesota, and Justin Morneau and Matt Guerrier play for Minnesota, so I really loves me some Twins baseball. They're my boys and I love them. And today everybody is all a twitter because there's talks about the Twins courting Jim Thome for next year. I have mixed feelings about this. Most because I really hate Jim Thome. But I'm aware of the fact that that hate is mostly seated in the fact that he has historically hit off the Twins, like, A LOT, and that's very annoying. So mostly I hate him for being a good hitter who doesn't play for the twins. So that helps his odd of me liking him, should he come and play for us. Also I've heard him compared to Corey Koskie more than a couple times as far as clubhouse demeanor and such, so that also bodes well for him.

Still... I can't help but sneer a little bit when I hear his name.

All I can say is this, if he does come to Minnesota

Probably will look a whole lot cuter in this:
Weirder things have happened. I wouldn't have ever guess that I'd be a Joe Crede fan. Yet here I am, incredibly respectful of the Crede power. I swear, that jersey has magic powers.

What a Guy.

It's been a long time since Steve's had as much occasion to laugh at me so much in one night as last night. So here's the thing: Steve is not big on football. He's a hockey guy. Me? I'm a football girl. Actually, no. That's not true. I'm a baseball girl. I effin loves me some baseball. But I'm pretty big on football too. My grandpa was a high school football coach so to say I grew up with it would be a pretty fair assessment. It was also a good way to hang out with my dad and brother while I was growing up, so I got pretty into it.

I also tend to be a... loud football fan. I yell at the TV a lot when I watch football. Especially when they play badly. And especially when it's the Vikings. Because - let's be serious. The Vikings are about the meanest team in the NFL. Every freaking year they break the hearts of every single one of their fans. The bastards. And I knew last night was going to happen too. I just knew it. Because it wouldn't have been enough to lose to Dallas. No, no. They had to get as close to getting to the Super Bowl as possible AND THEN lose. That's much more dramatic; much more heartbreaking. Indeed I had the opportunity last night to send this text message: "I really, really, really hate to say I told you so... but I did."

So if you watched the game last night it's probably pretty obvious that I did A LOT of yelling at the TV last night. Lots of TWO HANDS WHILE YOU CARRY THE FOOTBALL. And in general just a lot of cursing and gasping and such. And Steve likes to make fun of me for such reactions. Never mind that when he watches hockey I can hear him cheering down the hall, through the bedroom door, and over the TV; that doesn't seem to factor into the situation.

In the end though, he's quite a guy. Because he sat there and teased me for hours on end. But then, when I turned off the TV and said "Well, I'm going to bed" he let me open a birthday present early. And what did I get but a really gorgeous necklace:

I love it. Stars are among my favorite shapes, and this adds a slightly feminine, grown up feeling to a star shape. As I've talked like ten times in the last 25 days about other times I like light shining through things, it should come as no surprise that I like the cut-out aspect of this necklace as well. I think the stone in the middle is just a crystal of some kind, but the color is reminiscent of garnet, which is my birthstone, which I love. So all and all - excellent birthday gift. Really pretty choice, hun, but damn is it hard to take a decent picture of it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I'd Rather Have Snow...

The Twin Cities have been experiencing the always overwhelming joy of freezing rain, rain, and/or frizzle (as one weatherman donned freezing drizzle the other day) on and off since, oh, Thursday or so. As someone has to... you know... go outside this is about as annoying as possible. Snow is a hassle, that is true, and on occasion it makes roads slippery and dangerous and that sucks. In Minnesota that does, however, require a goodly amount of snow. We are not an area that goes into crisis mode over an inch of snow. Most people I know turn their noses up at "winter weather advisories" that only predict three inches of snow.

Any amount of rain in January, though, is something to get all stressed out about. Basically it ensures that every surface - be it road, sidewalk, parking lot, or snow - will be an ice rink for the rest of the winter. In short it sucks.

One interesting this I did learn this week about freezing rain is that it sounds really cool. I guess I've never really been outside while it's been freezing rain... freezing raining? freeze raining? Hmmm. A few mornings ago we were experiencing some freezing rain while I was on my way to the bus stop. It was like being in the middle of a hail storm only the hail was about sand sized. We had already had a little bit of rain that had frozen over night and every drop/crystal made these tiny "ting" noises as they laded. It was a seriously surreal experience walking around in this rain that was... hard but sounded like a distant wind chime. So weird. Did you ever make "rain sticks" as a kid? When I made them we pounded nails into the sides of a cardboard tube and then filled it part-way with little rocks and when turned it, it sounded like rain? Mine never sounded like rain because it never sounded particularly wet, that it was almost metallic. That's kind of what this sounded like.

Another interesting thing about the rain/freezing rain is that it sort of crystallizes the top layer of snow. Suddenly the smooth surfaces of snow drifts have a lot more texture, which really makes it way more interesting.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I miss you, buddy.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Beauty on the Bus (ha!)

Today's picture is entirely random. I was actually just messing around with my camera while I was on the bus; trying to find out what the light would be like if I did take some pictures. (Because there is light inside the bus and it is still dark out while I'm on the bus the windows become highly reflective when I try to take pictures of the passing skyline. It's very annoying.)

Right anyway. As I said I was just messing around, zooming in and out and just taking some random photos around the bus. I came away with this kind of super cool picture of the metal bottom edge of the window panes. I like the lines here and the motion they create. Then the impression of movement becomes kind of cool when you consider it's on a bus, while it's moving... I think that's kind of cool anyway. There's also something about the tone of the metal that makes it feel almost warm while also being industrial (and therefore sort of cold and detached.)

Also it looks shockingly clean for being on the bus.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I've been really in love with lace lately. I used to hate it. It's so itchy after all. But lately... I don't know. It just seems kind of romantic to me; very girly in a very good way.

One of the things I like about it is its sort of translucency. I like how it can either be just decoration or a pattern depending on how much of it shows and what you wear beneath it. And the way light goes through it is amazing. That's one thing I've always loved about lace. I remember my mom used to have lace curtains on a couple windows in our house and I loved the patterns that would get thrown across the floor from the lace.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

As Far As I Know An Alien Could Pop Out at Any Moment

As I discussed yesterday, it is still quite dark in the morning for the entirety of my commute.

There's a car wash across the street from out apartment that I pass on the way to the corner bus stop every day. Several months ago they put up some blue LED Christmas lights up, which were promptly covered in many feet of snow. They were so completely covered, actually, that I forgot they were there for quite a while.

Some of the snow has melted in the last couple of weeks (it's been remarkably warm for Minnesota for several days in a row) and the lights, while still completely covered, are starting to glow through the crust.

I really love how it looks, it's just a little bit whimsical but it also looks almost like something out of a sci-fi movie. I just think it's neat.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This week has been very refreshing.

We've been gaining two minutes of daylight every day and it has finally gotten to the point where I see slight amounts of daylight during my commute. In the morning it only ends up amounting to a little bit of light in the east as I get off of the bus. But in the evening almost my whole walk to the bus is in actual light. Sure the whole ride is still in the dark, but still - I see some actual light. Every single day! It's very exciting!

It also means as I cross the skyway between the downtown commons and Block E, I can actually see out the windows. As in this example, I can actually see the Grain Belt Beer sign that's by the Hennepin Ave. bridge.

Ah daylight. Very encouraging.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Watercolors in the Sky

One of the coolest things about skyscrapers with mirrored exteriors is how they reflect off of one another when it's sunny. They start to look like watercolor paintings on each other's sides. It's so cool. I caught a good shot of this one this afternoon from one of the print rooms in the office. I like how the building itself is so geometrical and the reflection gets all warped and watery. It makes downtown look almost dreamy.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Sunday Look Back at the Good Old Days

This is a view I used to see all the time. It's a sculpture that's on top of a building directly behind my old bosses' office. So I used to see this for at least 4 or 5 hours a week. Now that I'm back in the office, I still see it from time to time. But I work in a different area now so it's more of a glancing pass now. I happened to catch it the other day when the light was really cool. It almost makes nostalgic for endless meetings.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

And Many More...

Today is my brother's birthday. My brother's about the coolest guy I know and I'm spending much of my day today hoping he has a good birthday and a really, really good year. My brother needs a good year, so I have my fingers crossed for him. I sincerely doubt he reads this but if he is: I love ya, big brother. Have a good one. And here's hoping that one lasts a long time.

So I was looking around the house today for something that might be slightly related to birthdays. What did I come up with? Candles! I got these at Target last year and I think they're the coolest. They look like logs on the outside, only glittery. I love the contrast of the gold with the darker brown/bronze and the way they catch the light.

Friday, January 15, 2010

From Cars to Jewelry

So here's the thing - or rather one of many things: I don't have a car. I used to drive a little red station wagon that I hated with the fire of a thousand suns. Okay not that much. But for the last year or so that car was more hassle than it was worth. Ugh. It was terrible. Basically by the time I did actually get rid of it I was more than happy to just have it towed away for free, that's how big a pain it had become.

The point of all that is, basically, when Steve's at work or doing his own thing I'm pretty much stuck at home. And that basically means I'm pretty much stuck at home a lot on the weekends. So I've been trying to find inspiration around the house more.

This is a part of a necklace my mom gave me a few years ago. It's actually quite large and it can be a challenge to find things to wear it with, but it's really awesome and does make a great statement. It's very simple - it's just light blue beading, but it ends up looking very complex. I like how this photo brings out the variation in the beading and I really like the contrast against the black.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reminders of MoRay

One of my favorite people in the whole wide world is Maureen. I met her on my first day of college and six weeks later we moved in together, as both our original roommates were terrible. We spent all four years of college living together. She's this amazing person. She's hilarious, smart, gorgeous, and just little buzzing ball of energy. To this day I think if there's ever a time when I really, truly need a laugh, or a kind word, or someone who just absolutely gets me I know I can turn to Maureen. In short - she's the bomb.

One thing that really sucks is that she lives far away now and I don't get to see her very much. (I need to start thinking up reasons to go to Iowa more often...) Thankfully, I have several small reminders of her around the house. Sometimes the reminders are little things. I've never had any personalized things because my name is spelled weirdly. Once and awhile I come across a Caitlin (with the second i, which is not how I spell my name) but that's as close as I get. It must have been two months or so into our freshman year that Maureen went off the the Mall of America to go on a scavenger hunt (looking back on it, that really is a great place for a scavenger hunt). I couldn't go for reasons I'd rather not discuss (because he really was such a tremendous tool) and Maureen came back with a little, tiny bag (I think it was supposed to be for candy or something) that said Caitlin on it. She has taken a sharpie and crossed out the i and written a y in for me. That still makes me laugh.

Maureen and I used to collect our quotes. It started the night we moved in together and, while sitting on the floor unpacking something, she asked me "what's that song, by that girl, with the music?" I swear to god, she's not a ditz at all. She almost immediately laughed at herself and said something to the effect of "I could vague that up for you a little if that would make it easier." Over the summer my parents sent me home with a box full of my, for lack of a better word, crap because they were tired of it taking up room in their house and wanted it to take up room in my apartment instead. It really was an entirely random box of stuff ranging from 9th grade to my senior year of college; very little of which actually meant anything to me and most of it ended up taking up space in the garbage and recycling. Alas. However, on the back of a postcard of a sculpture that's in the permanent collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts was a post-it. It read "Alright! Let's pit ya & stick ya with a pimento!" Maureen has an olive complexion that almost always looks lovely. Except for when she wears varying shades of green. This particular quote came from describing a green sweater she had tried on while shopping that day. I'm not even joking - finding that post-it made my week. It's probably made two of my weeks, but that sounds weird... anyway. I kept that post-it and put it on my bookshelf so I see it every so often on my to and from bed and every time it catches my eye, I laugh a little bit. Because that's how freaking awesome Maureen is.

Sometimes the reminders are a bit bigger. That's another really great thing about Maureen (and a really kind of shallow thing about me): she gives great gifts. She always really understood my style and could root out these super cool things that I absolutely love.

A few inches over from the post-it is my favorite candle holder. Maureen gave it to me for Christmas one year, though I don't remember which one. It's deep purple and has a leafy pattern created by the difference between regular and frosted glass. It's doubly good because I dig it whether there's a candle lit in it or not. In fact, since we weren't allowed to have candles in on-campus housing this started out being the holder for my bottle caps, which then developed into the giant jar that now exists.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Awhile back I started keeping all of my bottle caps.

I found a fairly nice glass jar for them and keep them on display in our dining room. I like it. I feel it's like a toast to all the good beers (and root beers, and sodas, etc.) that I've had over the years. Plus I just think it looks cool with all the different colors and logos mixed in together - it's just plain neat. It's another thing in my apartment that's on display all year round that I love.

This is the view from the top of the jar. I love the contrast of colors and logos here. I also just noticed that there's apparently a pin in my jar...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's All So Bare Now

It's a sad, sad day here.

Steve has taken down all of the Christmas decorations.

I miss them.

I want them back. Right now.

Our whole apartment looks empty now. It's desolate, there's only the Master Chief helmet for whimsy. (Long story) It's very sad.

So today seems like as good a day as any to look around for things that are in my apartment all year 'round that I love.

These little guys were one of my favorite Christmas gifts ever. They're five little nesting penguins that sit on a shelf in our dining room. Steve gave them to me last year. They're absolutely adorable and one of my favorite decorations ever. The littlest one is possibly the cutest thing I've ever seen. So at least there's one thing around here that will make me forget my beautiful tree is gone.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Because I'm Not Yet a Big Enough Nerd

I am a nerd. A great big one. There's no getting around it. I can quote Buffy and tell you the name of the episode and which season it's from at a moment's notice. I loves me some Battlestar Galactica. I am apt to totally geek out at any given moment about a movie, a tv show, a song, and/or a book. I have varying amounts of video game nerd in me, but it's pretty limited. I was on the math team in high school as well, so I'm fairly likely to bust out some random algebra skills or something random like that. The jist: I'm a nerd. I know it.

Oh yeah.

I also knit.

I know right? I should really be careful lest the crazy life just sweeps me up and spits me out.

But I love it, so it's another thing that it's okay to be geeky about. I've made myself some really nice scarves and some really nice blankets so that's pretty cool.

This is some yarn my mom gave me for Christmas. I really like the colors involved; they look like the beach to me. I like how they all look together.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Big Hug

My grandma on my dad's side used to make quilts. They're seriously the best quilts ever. They're the perfect weight so that you can get nice and cuddled underneath one, but they're super warm and great.

Unfortunately there aren't too many of them left. So a few years ago my dad made some quilts. One for each of my nieces and one for me. It is a fantastic blanket; very lightweight but very warm. it's also absolutely beautiful: one side is a deep magenta and gold brocade and the other is patchwork of blue, red and gold. It's a hug in blanket form.

This picture was actually pretty terrible to start out with. The color was all wrong and the whole thing was just pretty hard to look at. I played around with some filters for a bit to begin with but that wasn't really giving me the result I wanted either. I tried desaturating the whole image at first, but that made the whole thing look pretty boring. Then I just took down the saturation of the reds and magentas; leaving the yellows as they were. I really like the effect. It looks almost like gold laid into stone or something and it really captures the luminosity the gold in the blanket has.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Yeah, I Really Don't...

Setting: Late Afternoon - My co-worker Joy and I are leaving the office together.

Joy: So what have you been working on?
Me: I've been QAing a test in Chinese
Joy: Oh, I didn't know you spoke Chinese.
Me: Yeah, I don't. At all.
Joy: (Laughing) How's that going then?
Me: Slowly. Very Slowly.

So - yeah - I started giving the Chinese characters names in my head as I was checking to make sure they were the same ones used in a different files. That was really the only way I could figure to actually ensure they were the same; rather than just seeing squiggly lines everywhere. So here's my list of character names I used most frequently:
House on a Triangle
Up Arrow (indeed, an arrow pointing upward)
Wonky 7 (as if someone tried to bend it out of shape)
Double Pitchfork (one on top of the other)
Ladder (skinny and fat varieties)
4-Square (As in the schoolyard game)
Box inside a Box
Messed up E
Fancy M
Mirrored F (and Mirrored Upside Down F)
Hangman (as in the classroom game)
Two Snakes Dancing
Ski Lift (one of the fancy enclosed ones that probably only exist in, like, James Bond movies)
Squiggly (closely related to Squishy and Swoopy)
Shuttle Launch (because it looks like a NASA launch)
Telephone Pole
Shiny 3 (it's a special one as, you are no doubt aware, it's hard for a character to be "shiny")
Jet Plane
Cross Stitching
Pyramid Scheme
Feather Duster (this could have also been a bug with lots of legs but I went with the less gross option)
Warrior 1 (as in the yoga pose)
Birthday Cake (with candle)
Man in a Box (like if a mime actually was trapped)
Imperial Palace
Roasted Marshmallow
Flow Chart (similar to Pyramid Scheme, only more symmetrical)
Skirt & Legs
Man in Hat
Squished Robot
Vitruvian Man
X in a Box
Squid Guy
Optimus Prime

That really doesn't have any thing to do with the picture I'm posting - I just wanted to share my ignorance. Any day now Steve is going to make me take down the Christmas decorations and I'm going to be very sad. If it were up to me, we'd keep them up all year long. I love them, especially the lights. But Steve's a "traditionalist" or something so he insists we take them down well before my birthday rolls around at the end of the month. Crazy, that boy. Anyway, last year we got a new topper for our tree that is really pretty awesome. It has little stars punched into it with a little light inside that throws these little bursts of light onto the ceiling and, uh, I just love it. I stare at it constantly, I can't get enough of it. I just think it's so cool.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ice Skating

Temperatures in the Twin Cities today only just barely managed to climb into positive digits - not including wind chills. So what did Steve and decide to do? Go ice skating of course.

Because what's more fun that skidding around a giant slab of ice when it's a balmy one degree outside?

I'm exaggerating of course. First of all this wasn't an off the cuff, heat (ha!) of the moment decision based on the weather. It's not like Steve looked at the weather, gave me a call and said "Hey, how about we go freeze our asses off tonight!" or anything. We'd actually planned on going ice skating last night but a bit of a snow storm came through and made the roads extra nasty so we decided to delay a day. Secondly, and probably more importantly, we had absolutely no intention of skating outdoors. I work about three blocks from one of the best places to ice skate in the country - at the Depot in Minneapolis (

It really is a beautiful place to go skating - indeed some friends of ours got engaged there a little over a year ago - with great views of the Minneapolis skyline and just in general very nice atmosphere.

The rink itself is an old train shed. It's a definite plus as it is indoors, they have a nice little concession stand there with some food and hot cocoa, coffee and other drinks. They have skate rentals for those who don't have their own. All in all it offers a great night. It's very romantic (all that hand holding and whatnot) but also a lot of fun and a little silly. And for being an old shed the building is pretty cool:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

They Might be Bankers, but They Have a Nice Buidling

I bank with Wells Fargo, which basically means I don't really like them that much in general.

I like my banker a lot. His name is Ryan and he looks like my brother, which makes me trust him a pretty easily. He's like three years younger than me, though, so that freaks me out a little bit. Other than that though - Wells Fargo are not my favorite people. I'm sure this would be true of my bank no matter who I banked with because I'm just the kind of person who never especially enjoys authority figures like banks and such.

Regardless of all that, I walk through Wells Fargo Center everyday on my way to and from work. One thing I will say for downtown Minneapolis - those skyways are brilliant. I happen to live on right on a bus line that runs from downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis that I catch about halfway in between. The only bad part is that the bus drops me off - oh - 10 blocks or so from the office. Which does make for a bit of a hike twice a day.

My bus stop is about two blocks past the Wells Fargo Center and right as I walk out of the skyways and on the street this is what I see:

I love that the building gives off enough light that the sky around it is blue instead of black. Every single (work) day I look up at that view and think to myself "wow, that looks amazing." I think that's pretty cool.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Once More, With Feeling!

Alright, I promise I'll stop posting pictures of this building after today.

It doesn't help that I do see it roughly 70 thousand times a day, five days a week.

and that I just totally dig the way it looks.

Today we finally had a little bit of sun in the Twin Cities (don't worry it went away after about a half hour so we didn't get a chance to get used to it or anything) and the natural light really brought out the orange in the building behind it (I don't know what that is, but it sure looks cool doesn't it?) which then really stood out against the green of the courthouse roof. I thought it looked really cool, especially mixed in with all the snowy drifts along the rooftops and the mist coming out of the vents and everything. I just really like it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hennepin Ave. Bridge

So the company I'm currently temping for is the same company I used to work for. Before I was laid off I worked there for two years; 11 months as a temp (yeah, I know) and then a little over a year in a permanent position. After my car finally went kaput at the end of 2007 I spent about a year taking the bus to work every day, as I do now. Thus I go over the Hennepin Ave. Bridge about 10 times a week. This is actually completely cool by me, as I love that bridge. It has a great view down the river. As you cross over you can see the Gold Metal Flour sign, the Pillsbury Flour sign, the new Guthrie, the Stone Arch bridge, the Riverside sign ahead of you, and all of downtown behind you. What's even better (in my opinion) is just as you get on the bridge (heading East anyway) you go right past the giant Grain Belt Beer sign, which is the coolest billboard ever.

Anyway, I clearly really dig this bridge. Which is why I think it's super cool that I can see it (way off in the distance anyway) out the window that's behind my cube. I don't know there's just something reassuring about it somehow - like I look out the window and go "hey, I was there just a couple hours ago." I especially enjoy the fact that this photo actually captures my bus going across the bridge. That's a sort of "hey, I'll be there in just a few hours, going home. Yey." kind of a feeling.

The green-roofed building in the foreground is the old courthouse I wrote about yesterday. The green roof is a lot of the reason I love that building so much, but there's also (somewhat obviously) a lot of cool towers and stonework to like too. It is just a seriously cool building.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Downtown Minneapolis

My current temp job is completely hourly and, obviously, doesn't include holiday pay. So over Christmas and New Years I put in some crazy amounts of hours to try to milk as much pay from this assignment as possible. A couple of nights I was at the office until 8 or later. The nice thing is this city is beautiful at night. There's an empty office right behind my cube that has a great view of the old Minneapolis courthouse. The Pillsbury building/sign and the Hennepin Ave. bridge (which I cross to get to and from work everyday) can also be seen further in the distance.

The old courthouse is one of my favorite buildings of all time. It's just so beautiful and I love having this great view of it everyday. And like I said, the city just gets that much prettier at night.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Keeping the Good Things In Mind

I bitch and moan a lot about various parts of my life that I feel put out by. I was completely and utterly unemployed for 10 months and it was, put entirely too simply, depressing. It's degrading you know? Not having a job and trying your hardest to get one and not getting anywhere - there's no other word for it but sucks. And that depression frequently bleeds into other parts of my life and I get depressed about everything, not just my employment status.

There are a great many things in my life that are very, very good you see. The most stellar example of these things is my boyfriend. I'm in love with the most wonderful man who's hilarious, smart, sweet, and so, so good to me.

We don't really have too many traditions just yet but one of the few is making Christmas cookies each year. And each year Steve frosts a cookie to look like the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. I find it incredibly adorable for some reason. I think it has to do with the soft spot I have for Charlie Brown in general, I'm not sure. But I think it's one of damn cutest things in the world.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Isn't a fit night out for man nor beast!

Here in the Twin Cities we're very used to snow. It comes every year, it beats the ever living crap out of us for several months in a row, and then it melts, we have a lovely summer and forget about it until winter comes 'round again. It's a pattern that is, if not comforting, at least familiar.

This year we had an exceptionally mild fall and our winter, though cold, lacked snow for much longer than normal. Two days before Christmas it started snowing. And it didn't stop until two days after Christmas.

It has since been varying degrees of yuck outside and it's been heavy hunker down mode for some time.

But here's one thing that most Minnesotans won't tell you:
Snow is pretty. Don't get me wrong - it's horrible. It's a pain in the ass, it's a hassle, it's cold and not fun and guh. It's tiring. Mixed with the ice, wind, cold and total lack of sunlight snow and winter are terrible. But the snow itself? It's pretty. It covers everything in this lovely blanket of marshmallowy goodness. Everything looks quiet and peaceful and sweet. It sucks to live with, but damn is it nice to look at.

This is taken out my parents' patio window on Christmas Eve night. That is straight snow nearly up to the seat of those chairs: it's not drifted or wind blown snow, that's just how it fell. It was ridiculous. I do love the reflection of the Christmas lights in the window, I think it adds a certain whimsy to the scene.

Friday, January 1, 2010

What Is All This Nonsense Then?

What is this all about?

Valid question.

What this is all about is primarily (more or less, that is) primarily about me having a goal. It's also about me wanting to hold on to my hobbies; to not lose the things that keep me happy again.

See the last year (and honestly, much longer than that) has not been entirely good to me. I was laid off in February in what amounted to one of the worst weeks of my life. Roughly three weeks ago I started a temporary gig, but this is the first employment I've had. As I'm sure you well know the economy sucks right now. There aren't many jobs out there and there are LOADS of people trying to find jobs. I only have a couple years of experience and an obscure degree in art history to stand on. This doesn't put me at the top most employers' lists. Being laid off was one of the worst experiences I've ever had. Going almost ten months, busting my butt to find a job - any job, without ANY results has only added to the degrading, dehumanizing feeling created that day. There are a many positive aspects to having no means of gainful employment though.

Okay there are a some.

Well... a few any way.

A couple.

Alright there are two.

1) You have plenty of time to watch TV (if you can afford TV) and read (if you can afford books.)
2) You also have plenty of time to evaluate your life.

The bad part about that, however, is you sometimes come to the conclusion that you're 25, you've been killing yourself to prove yourself at work for two years only to get unceremoniously dumped, and you can't remember a single thing you used to do to make yourself happy.

In other words, while I was trying to carve a place for myself in the corporate world, I completely lost touch with my hobbies.

Awhile back I remembered that I used to love photography. I was kind of good at it too. Once and awhile hit the nail on the head and came up with something neat, or pretty, or interesting.

I intend for this blog to serve as a way for me to keep in touch with my hobby. To remember, on a daily basis, that I love photography. I love finding things that interest me. And I love taking the time to find some beauty in my surroundings.

Likewise I truly love the idea that we are always surrounded by beautiful things - If we bother to look around and notice. Most of the things you'll see on this blog will probably be very average, everyday things. I like taking the time to appreciate the beauty in what surrounds me every day. And I love the idea of having a daily reminder - a daily responsibility - to do just that.

I'm doing this for me. If you're reading; that's awesome. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to comment, email the blog, or lurk - whatever you like. My name is Cait - it's nice to meet you.

Today's photo was taken in Rice Park in downtown St. Paul, MN. The Winter Carnival doesn't begin until later this month but the holiday decorations that go up every year are absolutely lovely. They make Rice Park look like magic; like it could be a corner of Never Never Land or something, rather than a half-block square block of grass in the middle of the city. I have several photos of the lights in the park, but I particularly like this one because of the slightly weird angle and how the lights in the trees almost look like fireworks hanging in the sky. There's also something I really like about the contrast between the sort of serenity of the christmas lights and the sort of old-timey streetlamp next to the SUV and building.