New Camera & Zoo! (Pictures)

Sunday at the Lincoln Park Zoo Today, Aidan, Adam, and I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo so I could see giraffes AND play with the new camera. Let me tell you, it was an adventure getting there. First, we hopped on one bus, then we got off to transfer to another bus, only the other bus only runs on weekdays. THEN Aidan had to potty, so we had to backtrack a lot to get to McDonald’s so Aidan could use the bathroom. (I had to go too, so it was fine.) Then we waited FOREVER for the Clark Street bus, and it just got more and more crowded. But there were some really good-natured people on the bus, and I had a lot of fun. Aidan yelled at me three times for laughing in his ear. :O

We ended up getting off a few stops before because the bus was just getting out of control with the number of people on it. It was nice out (at the time), so the walk was pleasant. The Zoo is free (except for parking [$12], which is why we decided to take the CTA instead of drive), and it wasn’t too crowded. Both cameras got quite a workout.

These are from my new camera:

Sunday at the Lincoln Park Zoo
Ostriches!

Sunday at the Lincoln Park Zoo
Deer

Sunday at the Lincoln Park Zoo
Flowers (with the macro setting)

Sunday at the Lincoln Park Zoo
Lion

Sunday at the Lincoln Park Zoo
Lion again

Sunday at the Lincoln Park Zoo
Aidan and me with the giraffes, ostriches, and a gazelle.

There are these pictures too, taken with the SLR:

Sunday at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Sunday at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Sunday at the Lincoln Park Zoo

More here.

The Sony camera has this vivid color setting which I love, and a mode which automatically detects if a person smiles. You go into this mode, push the shutter down, and the camera waits for the person to smile before taking the picture. This one was taken with the smile detector last night:

Smile!

Pretty neat, huh?

I also took this one last night of Aidan and Crookshanks:

Aidan & Crookshanks: Booknerds in Training

I’m enjoying the camera. It’s a cool little machine and will be great to carry around with me when I don’t want to deal with the big SLR. Now, here’s the question. What do I do to get that kind of rich color in the photos I take with the SLR? When I first got it, I was getting AMAZING pictures with beautiful color. I typically don’t retouch any of my pictures, but now I’m having desperate urges to, just to get the saturation up. Now, I can’t seem to get anything that doesn’t look washed out, whether I’m inside or outside. Any tips?

That’s all for now. See ya! :)

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

Sunday (Pictures)

Tomorrow is my first day at my new job. *Gulp* Seems like, with all the changes I’ve been through in the past few years, I should be used to this, but I’m not. I haven’t worked full-time in months, so getting used to getting up early, having most of my day belong to someone else, and coming home late in the evening (on a crowded bus!) is… nervous-making (heehee, I just read EXTRAS by Scott Westerfeld). I have a Red Bull in the fridge that has my name on it for getting through tomorrow.

The hunt for work clothes is done for now. I went to Kohl’s last night, and found REALLY cute pants in the junior section…but the dang things are too long for me. I bought them anyway, because my friend Jonathon told me that I can get pants tailored at the cleaners. I never knew this. For someone who NEVER seems to fit the inexpensive nice dress pants, this is welcome news. Anyway, I got some really cute dressy clothes, and I’m excited to wear a new outfit tomorrow.

I *think* I’m starting to come to terms with Little Lucy… it’s nice not to have to worry about her anymore. I still get sad when I think about her, but I know that she’d have just gotten sicker and sicker.

Here are a couple of pictures from when I first got her in September of 2001:

She was so tiny and adorable. That first night, I took her home and gave her a bath, and we sat in the bathroom, her sitting on my chest, for hours. The next morning, she was done with the cuddling and wanted to get out and explore. She was a great little kitty. Not afraid at all of the two older cats who lived there. She often stole their food and started fights with them. But she was painfully shy, only coming out to meet people when she got a bit older. Otherwise, she was always hiding. Many guest never saw her in person. But as soon as the guest left, she’d be all over me. My very own little lap kitty.

She was a great little kitty, and she’ll always be in my heart.

Yesterday at Best Buy, I saw a cute little Sony digital camera. It’s pink, 7.3 megapixels, and great quality. See it here. It’s also just the right size to fit in my bag. I love my Canon, but it’s huge and heavy, and I’d like a smaller camera to carry with me ALL THE TIME. I’m going to be working in downtown Chicago, a mere few blocks from the lake. I would hate to miss something cool. So, I think I’ll get it when I get paid. I have obligations to take care of first.

Speaking of obligations, yesterday I took care of stuff. I opened a new bank account at the place where I’d been wanting since I moved here. Got a pair of noise-cancelling headphones in the process! :) Then I went to State Farm to talk about getting my insurance switched over. Turns out it’ll be better if I wait until July to do so because then my rate goes down. YAY for that. I’m covered anyway so there really is no rush. Adam put a new battery in my car, so my car is running again. Just in time, the street cleaners are coming tomorrow. We have to do some big grocery shopping this week. gotta stock stuff that a five-year old would love to eat.

This is a big week for me. I start my new job tomorrow, and Thursday, Chris brings Aidan to stay with me for the summer. In addition, my mom is coming along, so it’ll be her first time in Chicago. Work is already aware of this, and I have Thursday and Friday off to prepare. Adam and I have to clean out the guestroom so it looks more like a bedroom and less like a storage area, and we have to do some normal cleaning because the parentals will be here. Adam’s parents will be passing through as well. It should be an interesting day, and I’m very excited to show my mom Chicago.

There are some times, usually when I am eating with good friends, and the weather is sunny and mild, that I feel OK here. It’s still taking some getting used to. Like Richard said, it’s going to be a while before I can call Chicago home.

Still, I am excited. It’s summer in Chicago, and the only thing better than that is Disney World with Aidan. Everything is going to be OK.

‘Til next time….

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

Sunday (Picture)

Sunday Evening

Last lazy Sunday for a long time.

Today, I slept in until noon, watched The O.C. on DVD, ate some of my wings and taters from Pizza Slut Hut, and baked some brownies. I also made a pitcher of Cool Splashers, which is Disney’s version of powdered drink mix (aka Kool-Aid). The Cool Splashers are a lot cheaper and OMG is the black cherry flavor addicting!

Now I am fresh out of the bath, and I have a pretty full calendar the next several days. That means I need to get to bed early so I won’t be exhausted and UNmovitated! Too much to do for me to be crashing right after work, yo.

I want spaghetti. I think I shall have some.

See ya.

Random Stream of Consciousness Kinda Sorta

Friday night, I craved Buffalo Wild Wings (aka b-dubs) so much that I went out, at 9:30pm, to get some.

I ordered the 12 mild wings and a side of buffalo chips. Friday night, I ate 6 wings and some of the chips. Yesterday I ate 4 wings and the rest of the chips, and marveled that I had 4 wings left. Apparently, I was given extra, which was fine because I had waited AGES for my food to be ready.

Today, about three hours ago, I ate the last four, along with some Crispy Crowns (insert registered trademark symbol here).

(On a random sidenote, did you know that Tater Tots is a registered trademark? I just found out about that late last year.)

I am craving more mild buffalo wings from b-dubs RIGHT NOW. It may be because the smell from heating up the earlier leftovers is lingering and tempting. Or it may be because I haven’t eaten a whole lot this weekend and they sound really good right now. Or, they’re just so freakin’ good that I can’t help craving them.

Do you know how hard it is not to head out RIGHT NOW?

Mmm, wings.

I didn’t go to the grocery store. I climbed into bed with a book instead. I plan to go tomorrow after work. MUST HAVE BACON.

I wonder if I should buy a bottle of the b-dubs mild sauce to have on hand. Then I can make my own dang wings.

I have to go to the library, too. I have a bunch of things due, and I have some reserves to pick up. Tomorrow is the last day for one of the reserves. So. grocery store, library. Right, then.

I post at the Wisebread forums quite a bit, especially recently, and someone suggested a Web site where one can get free meditation and relaxation music. Go here to check it out. Some of the music is really great. I love that New Age stuff.

The other night, just for shits & giggles, I went to eBay to see if they had the following things:
– a Holly Hobbie oven
– Dolly Pops

They had them both. When I saw the Holly Hobbie oven, I got choked up. You see, they had high demand toys in the 1970s too. And Holly Hobbie ovens were it. I wanted one so badly, but my mother could never find one for me. I think I’ll save the picture of it to my hard drive and look at it from time to time. Obviously, I don’t need a Holly Hobbie oven now, but to see one that I could actually own if I was willing to drop $65 or so is kind of nice.

They had the Dolly Pops fashion show toy I had when I was younger. Dolly Pops were like paper dolls, only plastic. I can’t even describe them except to say they kicked ass. I looked at the pictures of the “outfits” and giggled at the roller skating outfit; I totally had that.

Tonight, I see the Baby Skates doll I used to have. I had one of each–the black one and the white one. Yes, I was a spoiled little girl. The thing is, they weren’t put together well, and the leg always broke off. But she was still an awesome doll, and perfect for me, as I was really into roller skating back then (and I’d gotten roller skates that Christmas, too). I am also looking at some old Barbies. I have most of my old ones, but I lost my Tropical Miko, and there is the Barbie and the Rockers Diva doll I always wanted but never got. (I kind of have a thing for redhead dolls.)

Diva is expensive. I have a feeling she was hard to find then, and she is not that easy to find now.

Oh God. How tempting, to buy the toys I never had. Or toys I had but no longer do. But then that’d be more stuff to pack and move and then pack away in a box. OK, I would play with both of them, I know I would. But still. *trying to behave*

(I just got hit with an incredible urge to play Barbies.)

Speaking of nostalgia and vintage toys…. I want to see if anyone remembers this game. It was one of those games similar to Perfection or Superfection (which no one remembers! It was white, and you had to put pieces together before you could put them on the board!). You had to put a bunch of numbers in order before the thing popped and put them all over the place. The game board was black, the pegs with the numbers on them were green. I can see the game clearly in my mind, but I can’t remember the name of it. Anyone have any ideas?

And does anyone remember when Mr. Mouth had a big yellow face, not that green froggy face?

This is what I hear right now. The upstairs television BLARING. >.< People stomping around in the halls and uptairs. Doors slamming. ARGH. Annoying. Ah, TV just turned down. GOOD. But now there is a random baseline coming from somewhere, but I'm hoping it's quiet in my room. Sundays are so bittersweet. On the one hand, it's still a weekend day, but the evening m eans that Monday is here that much sooner. And twelve hours from now, I'm going to be cranky because it'll only be 9am but it will seem like I've been there for 7 hours. *sigh* C’est la vie.

Signing off, craving b-dubs more than ever now. Maybe I’ll get some for dinner tomorrow. Sike. Not after buying groceries!

Night.

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