Category Archives: Misc


This blog has been cancelled today due to the fact that it’s too freakin’ cold to do anything vaguely resembling organizing thoughts in a coherent fashion and typing them out in an organized manner.  Yeah, I grew up in Ohio and rah-rah winter, but I was a Virginia girl for almost 20 years; my blood’s gotten thin!  Also, I feel everyone is entitled to whine about a -32 wind chill factor.

(* I did make it to the gym tonight, so yay me!)


Back in the Game

After three years, I am returning to the land of the employed.  I don’t even know exactly what it is that I’ll be doing, but I know that I’ll be reporting to an office for 40 hours a week and in turn, they will give me money.   Tomorrow I head to my five-hour orientation session; after that I should have a better idea of what’s going on.

Since we decided I couldn’t exactly take my grandmother’s car every day, she very generously decided to help me out with one of my very own!

chloeWhen I was living in Fayetteville, I often drove my friend’s Mazda, so I’m familiar with the zoom-zoom.  She’s zippy and fun and I think once I get used to her quirks, I’m going to love this car.   Honestly, my first choice was a Subaru Forester, but I decided to go with gas mileage over all-wheel drive.  Hopefully, I don’t regret that decision; it’s been a long time since I’ve had to drive regularly in an Ohio winter.  By “long time,” I mean never.  I got my driver’s license three days before I left Ohio for Virginia 20 years ago, so this should be an adventure.  Next stop, my Ohio license!  I can’t believe I have to re-take the written test – UGH!


Casa Sweet Casa

I’ll do a real blog thing where I organize pictures and try to utilize some sort of narrative, but it’s going to have to wait until tomorrow.  As usual, I had a fantastic time in Chicago, although once again I didn’t get to do everything I wanted to do (e.g. nighttime photos, Navy Pier, water taxi).  I really didn’t take nearly as many photos as I really wanted to – mostly because I didn’t want to drive my friend Dave insane with my constant stopping and sitting and focusing and fidgeting.

wrigleyDespite the best laid plans, I didn’t get to go to two Cubs games this weekend.  SO glad I waited out the rain delay and went on Friday because Saturday wasn’t meant to be.  The lost to the Astros 4-3 so I wouldn’t have gotten to sing again anyway.  Apparently they slaughtered Houston today, 14-6, so apparently they weren’t all that broken up about me leaving town.



Who Needs Blockbuster?

It’s been Depressing Movie Night here at Chez Hodgepodge.  It’s my own fault – I knew my library movies were due tomorrow and waited until the last minute to watch them.  One really shouldn’t watch Zero Dark Thirty and Les Misérables back to back.  Surprisingly, I preferred the former to the latter.

ublThe very beginning of Zero was difficult to listen to but it definitely set the tone.  The acting was incredible and the story…well, we know the story.  It’s a bit of a misnomer to say that I enjoyed this movie, but I would definitely recommend it to others.

Knowing the story was perhaps the problem I had with Les Mis – well, maybe not the story but the music.  I’ve seen the stage production just once but I have the original London soundtrack (which I’ve listened to ad nauseum), so the adaptations kept throwing me off.  I’m still processing how I felt about the movie as a whole, but right now it’s only warranting a solid “Meh”.  I may need to watch it again before I can judge it for sure.

I Would Walk 500 Miles

aawwActually, I only walked three.  This morning was the African-American Wellness Walk in downtown Dayton.  Hundreds of African-Americans walked to promote awareness of…I dunno, our lack of overall wellness, I suppose.  The trail started at RiverScape Metropark and wound along the Great Miami River Recreational Trail for an out-and-back.  Running was strongly discouraged, and would’ve been difficult at any rate.  I mostly strolled with my cousin and his younger son so it was really great to catch up with him.


After the walk, I went back to the main pavilion and strolled among the information tables and decided to bite the bullet and get my blood pressure checked.  The last time I saw a medical professional, they told me to keep an eye on it and I promptly ignored them.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  It turns out, I was afraid for nothing.

aaww3She was impressed that my blood pressure was so good, especially after having just walked three miles.  Have to keep up the good work  (or get started on the good work).  Although I didn’t socialize much, I’m glad I went and at least got a good stroll in this morning.  The weather was fantastic and I got a snazzy new water bottle out of the deal.  Of course, HRG claimed it as hers the second I walked in the door.  Ah well, you win some – you lose some.




I’m supposed to partake in a fitness walk tomorrow morning.  I let myself get swept up in my cousin’s enthusiasm and signed up a couple of weeks ago.  It’s strictly a walk – no chance of running for me – and begins at 9:00 tomorrow morning.

Unfortunately, that’s all the information I have.  The website is, for lack of a better word, abysmal.  It provides the date, but that’s it – no start time, no location.  After digging around a little bit on a few different sites, I’ve managed to get some ballpark facts, but I’m still flying a little blind.  I don’t mind donating to the cause but there are certain critical bits of information that should be front and center, especially if I’m crawling out of bed at 7:00 a.m. to go participate.

Not sure that my body is up for the roughly three miles of pavement pounding but I’m going to go try.

Ophtal..Opthal…Eye Doctor

eyesAnother day, another errand.  Today, HRG went to get our hairs done and tomorrow I’m heading back to the ophthalmologist for another contact consultation.  Apparently my astigmatism is now bad enough to warrant special contacts so I’ve been testing new brands for a few weeks.  Not a fun process.  Not at all.  I have it narrowed down to a couple of brands but I’ll need to talk to the doc before I make any decisions for good.

Starting to get excited about next week’s trip to Chicago.  Unfortunately, my friend Tam is going through a bit of a rough patch, but hopefully we’ll be able to get together for a couple of days, and I can help distract her during this tough time.  We’re trying to work out a trip to a Cubs game which, for this longitme fan, would be AWESOME!  I SO want to go to Wrigley!


Stormy Weather

One of the things I categorically did NOT miss about the Midwest was the weather – specifically tornadoes.   My lifelong phobia has been tempered somewhat by distance from the heartland, but since I’ve been back, my semi-irrational fear is kicking back into gear.  My fears were not even slightly assuaged by my parents, who – in the event of a tornado warning – wouldn’t proceed to the basement in a hurried fashion but would often go outside, look around see what was going on, then usually hang out in the living room.  In these instances, I could be found with one of my three stuffed dogs (all named “Sam”) and my book du jour, curled up on the orange sofa in the basement and waiting for the “all clear.”

radarHRG and I are situated well south of the heart of the storm, thank goodness.  I expect the thunder will wake me up at 2:30 or so, if the radar is to be believed.

Then again, the way Game 1 is going in the Stanley Cup Finals, I may still be awake!

Go Blackhawks!

Saturday’s Experiment

It’s strange – I’ve been unemployed for years and I still think in terms of work days and weekends.  I wonder why that is?

In a slightly different turn of events, I spent yesterday afternoon photographing a meeting that my cousin was hosting.  She feels her faith very strongly and decided to organize a group of like-minded women to get together and discuss issues of faith, gender and life in general.

As I sat in a room with these women who are incredibly passionate about their beliefs, I felt decidedly out of place.  To say that I am not a particularly religious person would be an understatement.  I was not raised in a church-going home; my parents were different denominations and attending church regularly simply wasn’t something we did.  A part of me wishes I had that unshakable faith that there is a master plan for me, that if I believe enough then life would all make sense.  I don’t know if I’m too old or too cynical or just too…me, but I have difficulty embracing that mentality.  Maybe I’m not there yet; perhaps I never will be.

Anyway – TANGENT!  While I roamed the room ensnared in my own existential, ecumenical crisis, I realized once again that I’m either just terrible at taking photos of people or I just don’t like doing it.  Part of it I know has to do with my own issues – I love snapping photos but I despise shoving my camera into someone’s face in order to do so.  At a glance, I’m disappointed in the photos I took yesterday.  My kit lens kept limited the zoom I could get on some of the women’s faces during the discussion, and frankly, a dozen women sitting around a table talking didn’t make for terribly dynamic photos.  What’s more likely is that I didn’t have the skill to create interesting photos given my subject matter.

Intellectually, I understand that the only way that I’ll get better at photographing people is to make a point of doing it with more frequency but I really prefer inanimate objects.  I think this is likely because I can take photos of things over and over again until I get a shot that I like; whereas with people, you pretty much get one opportunity to get it right (unless you’re dealing with models, I suppose).


It Unifies, It Never Dies

“It has NOT been 20 years!  There’s no WAY it’s been two decades!!”  This was the popular refrain last weekend at my *gulp* 20th college reunion.

0525Shouldn’t we be registering in the KC?

I was largely flying under the radar, as I wasn’t sure I was even going to be able to attend until the day before.  Despite my best intentions to just zip up for the day and visit people, the legion of bad influences I ran into convinced me to spend the night.  Well, that and the abundance of white wine consumed at the class dinner.

In case I haven’t gushed about it lately, I LOVED my alma mater.  Kenyon College, nestled in the middle of nowhere about an hour northeast of Columbus, OH was the perfect place for me to attend college.  Close enough to home that I felt secure, far enough away that my folks didn’t plan many surprise visits.  Small enough to feel cozy and comforting, friendly enough for me to find myself.  Despite the fact that I’m HORRIBLE about keeping in touch with people, the friendships I made during that time of my life continue to be some of my most cherished.  That’s probably why it was so hard for me to tear myself away when it was time to go home.

Plus it’s gorgeous.

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I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I should have/wanted to.  My point-and-shoot has been on the fritz and I didn’t feel like lugging my DSLR around everywhere I went.  Consequently, I have ZERO photos of the friends I went back to see this weekend.  The whole weekend is kind of a blur, frankly.  There were a lot of friendly faces and only a handful that I had trouble placing.  There was one humiliating, white-wine-fueled fangirl moment where I slurred on some poor guy that I barely knew when we were in school together, but I’m fairly certain he’s already forgotten all about it.  Please let him have already forgotten about it.

okYeah, I lived in the same dorm as Paul Newman.  No big.

I fully intended to write this post earlier in the week, preparing to mark June as my own blog-posting month.  We see how that went.  It’s not that I don’t INTEND to post; it’s that I think about it, then I forget about it, then it’s a week later and I’m all ‘oh crap’.  I’ll try to make a plan and see what happens.  I wouldn’t recommend that anyone hold their breath though.

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