Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Simpsons fans will understand...

We often refer to Bart by that "name. "

Monday, November 29, 2010


From a ride home on the 42 bus.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The rare update

My DSLR is on its last legs, so I've been playing with "real" cameras less and less. (Well, that's not entirely true. My point-and-shoot has been getting daily use at work: The Cat Doctor's Facebook Page.) I've found myself using the camera on my phone constantly, though. I can't seem to stop myself from taking photographs.

Candles in a dark room

I rediscovered yoga recently. It feels really good to practice again. My body feels more flexible and my mind feels clear; it's so much better than therapy. I'm hoping to incorporate it into my daily routine and find a class I can attend weekly. Once the floor is installed on the 3rd floor, the front room will probably be a really good space to unroll my mat. I can't wait.

Lemmy woke up and yawned right as I hit the shutter. Awesome timing; interesting effects.

Things here are about to get more chaotic; the floor project starts today. Lou just rented a U-Haul van (go ahead, make the obligatory U-Haul joke, you know you want to...) and headed off to Home Depot to get the supplies needed for installation. 4,800 pounds of bamboo flooring have been sitting in our house adjusting the the environment for a few weeks. I'm at home keeping the dogs company, as the next few weeks are going to involve them being crated a lot. It's going to be stressful for everyone.

Earlier this week the car and the foster kitty started their new life. My brother and his girlfriend adopted the Subway Kitty and bought the car. Subway made herself right at home and has already rid herself of the evil collar they attempted to put on her. She's badass. (Go Subway!)

Life without a car will probably be slightly more challenging (I'm going to have to bike or bus into Center City or Fairmount twice a day most weekends and we'll have to plan a bit more for big grocery trips and the like), but all told, not much is going to change. (Updates to Carfreephilly will likely become more frequent as we adjust.)

I'm likely going to regret it, but I'm off to take the dogs for a walk. 115 pounds of pure muscle versus me: I'll maintain control, but it won't be easy.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I'm going to start updating again. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Four photos

The clematis came back like mad this year.

I love this sedum. It's so... juicy.

spring garden bridge mural
One of my favorite stretches of road on my commute.

spring garden bridge mural
R.I.P., mural. I'll miss you, except for the creepy baby.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dogs, gardens, and bicycles...

Things have really ben busy the last two weeks. I now have dogs to walk (besides mine) four days a week. Walking other peoples' dogs is interesting. You walk in different neighborhoods and see new things. You get to watch dogs other than your own do... whatever it is they do. I'm becoming more forgiving of my monsters' quirks and triggers. Consequently, I've been taking them for longer walks and doing things I wouldn't ordinarily do - walking past a place where I know a dog lives, say - and allowing them to freak out, investigate, and calm down. We went to the park today, just me the dogs. I don't think I'd have tried that without Lou a month ago.

Sir Bart
Sir Bart, King of Everything

Lou had a long clean-up session and chat with a neighbor on the adjacent block. It turns out, the lot across the street will be available to be gardened by any neighbor who's willing to put in the work and take care of it. Sweet! Community Garden I can see from my window. We're going to be out there leveling at 9:00 AM SAturday. I'm really giddily excited.

the lot!!!
The lot

I am getting another bike to tool around on. A vintage folding bike called a Raleigh Twenty. I don't have it yet, but I'll take some pictures when I do. I'm pretty excited to be able to take some train rides out and about with Lou and her Brompton. It's way heavier than a modern folder and I'm not really certain I'll be able to pull off bringing it on a SEPTA bus, but you can bet I'll try. And it looks really classy.

I really feel like I'm cheating on my other bike. I still love it. I ride it every day unless I need to haul really bulky things. I'm planning on getting it painted and replacing out some parts soon so it can be all shiny and new-looking.

I somehow feel like this bike is jealous

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Busy bee

Wow, it's been a busy week. I have had stuff to do after work every day, and work itself has been pretty insane as well. Oddly, I'm feeling calm. I've been enjoying the weather and taking photos. I've been walking dogs and visiting cats. Our dogs are now manageable together for me for over 1.5 miles. (As long as we follow one of two very specific routes and do not deviate. At all. For any reason. If any change occurs, they act like foaming rabid beasts on a rampage.)

It's been a good week, though. I feel like the amount of work has been balanced by fresh air, bike rides, walks, and goodness.

Oh yeah, pictures!

Ben, a kitty I'm watching

Sharon eating my head

Cool old building
Cool apartment building

This week has come with a new goal: to be capable of doing just about any repair one could imagine on a bicycle by the end of this summer. Not just installing brake pads and changing tires. Going to acquire a project bike in the near future.

Oh, other goal: finish keg setup and brew an IPA, STAT! This will occur in the next week.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Random brunch photo

Random cell-phone photo

I don't remember why Jacqie D & Jesse are high-fiving, but this photo is amusing. Needless to say, brunch was loads of fun. Perhaps more from that and some other photos from the last few days later.

Right now: Netflix streaming to my TV via the Wii! No more computer-screen TV watching! 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Motivation, among other things.

The last few weeks, I've been becoming more productive, bit by bit. I've been biking daily, walking dogs (other peoples' and my own), and generally spending more time outdoors. I've helped plan and even started a de-cluttering campaign around our house, and have actually managed to get ride of 27 books (gasp!) so far. I know this is barely a dent, but still... it's a start. I'm proud that I've been productive and busy.

Tiny ant on windowsill
Worker ant on a windowsill.

Somehow, this extra productivity has made me feel better at the end of every day. More tired, but happier somehow. And actually able to sleep. It's also cause the serial streaming of TV shows to end. I've probably watched three hours' TV this week at most. That's pretty rad. (Instead, I've been editing/posting photos and working on two blogs, as well as planning projects/excursions/other things with L. All good stuff.)

And now, two random photos:

Two pens (playing with new camera again, of course.)

Mural @ 32nd and Spring Garden
Chainlink and Tuscan Mural. 32nd and Spring Garden.

Actually, that second photo isn't all that random. I pass that mural every day on my way to work. It's part of the Philly I don't know that I'd pay much attention to if I didn't bike.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I promise I'll stop...

But it's just so nice to see flowers and blossoms and green everywhere after the nasty Winter we had.


cracks in the sidewalk
Green popping up in the cracks

Today, I'll try to vary my subject matter a little bit. Even I'm getting tired of my posts. I can't promise there won't be a flower or two, though.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


A few photos from Easter dinner at my parents' house.

Matt and Owen

Jolie in her new Easter hat

Annie and Owen (who is obsessed with ceiling fans)

Jolie mugging for the camera

It was an interesting afternoon. Jolie is having some serious terrible twos and had multiple random tantrums. She's quite mercurial these days; one minute, she's giggling and hugging everyone, the next she's screaming for no reason and completely miserable. Anne and Matt are awesome at dealing with the insanity. I don't think I'd be quite as calm. Maybe? I don't have any faith in my ability to parent. Sometimes I think owning dogs is too much responsibility for me.

I feel bad that I don't have good photos of my grandmoms or my parents--the kiddos kind of take center stage when they're around. This is not to say that I don't have pictures of other people, I'm just not sure they're pictures they'd want posted all over teh interwebs. Actually, I do have a sort of cute picture of my dad:

Contemplating a third serving of ham, perhaps?

Ok, I'm off for the night. Time to prepare myself for another week. Planning de-cluttering, car-sale preparation, and a new batch of beer. It's going to be a busy week.

Three snapshots, no writing.

Keely being ridiculous.

Our baby cactii, currently being trampled by football-playing jerks next door.

Tulip with pollen.

All from a walkabout with the tiny camera this morning.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Stopped to snap this yesterday on my way in to work. Liking the new camera a lot.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

New camera!

I got a tiny little portable camera today (my DSLR is suffering from a broken autofocus and tons of artifact on the sensor from being toted around in a messenger bag for years). I got to test it out while waiting for my haircut. A few random shots:


The fabric on one of the benches in the waiting area of The Beehive.


My eyeball. Heh.

Lou and I have started a blog about living car-free, trying to move closer to a sustainable lifestyle, and essentially, creating less of a footprint. Feel free to check it out.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Loch Ness Agnes

So, L woke me up this morning in a very cute way. She rolled over, held me close, and then proceeded to tell me about the weirdest fucking dream ever.

It was Winter. Or maybe it was Summer. (The time of year is not important, just keep in mind EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS and you'll have the general idea.)

I come to L and I tell her it's time to let Cap'n Agnes (our three-toed, gimpy, overweight cat) go. Where, you ask? Oh, to a pond somewhere, obviously, where she can swim with the other pond cats and live a life of feline aquatic freedom. Naturally.

For the record, Aggs looks like an angry Wilford Brimley. It's not uncommon for us to refer to her as "Fatty" or "The Fatness," or simply say "DY-UH-BEE-TUSS" at her (in an affectionate way, of course.) Oh, we also call her The Whalerus. Get it? Like a whale and a walrus? Yeah, we're mean. So what?

She can't make it all the way up a flight of stairs; she generally flops on her side halfway up to catch her breath. She walks with a limp. She's the boss of the other kitties in the house, but not by force. Agnes uses sheer willpower (and scary, dilated-pupil stare-downs) to control the masses. She's slightly evil, but extremely cuddly and squishable. As long as you have two legs, she's a pretty awesome whalerus.

scary Aggie.
Cap'n Agnes Greasepalms, the lumbering oaf in question.

Apparently, L was very worried about letting Fatness go during the Summer/Winter/Extreme Weather Situation, but I was totally nonchalant. Cats should be free to swim for a season every year. Swimming is what they do. Duh.

Compounding L's concern was the other, larger cat swimming around said cat-pond. There was some general anxiety regarding Fatty's ability to fend for herself against this brutish marine kitty. I was very firm that Aggs would be better off this way, you know, in the cat pond. (In the cat pond, yeah. I'll do my little turn in the cat pond?)

That's pretty much all of it.

Most amazing dream ever. I'm so glad she remembered and shared it with me. I wish it had been my dream.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Letting go...

The decision to go carless has gotten me thinking about de-cluttering our lives, paring things down, saving resources and energy, and ultimately, saving money. Well, really what got me thinking about it is a thread on a bicycle forum in which people were discussing how simply they live. Some people were pretty extreme (one guy admitted he'd been wearing the same pair of pants for over a year!) but others were just very conscious of trying to live and consume wisely.

Last month we cut cable. It was a monthly expense we didn't need, and frankly, having cable television meant we'd watch way more TV than was healthy. Since then, we've been streaming TV on Netflix and other websites, but generally watching less. (The trade-off is that I think we're both wasting more time on the internet, but I'm going to work on that as well.) Being removed from the constant barrage of ads is really nice! Both L and I have noticed that we're no longer "in" on the discussion about commercials and new products.

I'd like to get rid of all the clutter in our basement and closets, all the clothes that don't fit, the random odds and ends in every piece of furniture that has a drawer or a lid. L and I have a ton of stuff we don't need or use crammed into every conceivable crevice in our five-bedroom house. It's a bit ridiculous.

First step: sell car. That's a very big first step. We plan on getting it washed and cleaning the inside this coming weekend, then listing it for sale on Craigslist. Frankly, I'm a little anxious about not having a car, but this is a good thing. We'll save a lot of money, we'll be forced to exercise more, and we'll be forced to plan more carefully before shopping trips and outings. (Oh, and we'll both probably lose a few pounds, too.)

And now, gratuitous cat and random springtime photos:


Groovy is not cute. Oh, no. (Taken while house-bound with horrid flu of great awfulness.)


Vivid flowers a few weeks ago; the first flower I saw this Spring.



Some cool, curly grasslike thing growing on Kingsessing near Clark Park.

Off to go hang out with Sneaky Pie, the world's cutest Felv+ kitten.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Change afoot

Last weekend, L and I biked up to the West side of Fairmount Park to watch the U.S. Brompton Championships. Let me translate that: We biked to a park to watch 60 or so people wearing business attire racing on folding bikes. The best part of the race is the start -- people fold their bikes all the way down and leave them in rows, then line up behind a start tape.

The start.

When the start is announced, the suits race to their tiny folding bikes, unfold them, run to the road and hop on, starting the actual race. (This is the part where L and I ate a picnic lunch and lazed about in the sunshine.) The race itself was just another bike race, although the attire and the fact that there were other, much speedier races going on at the same time made it really comical. L is going to ride next year. I can't wait to see what she wears.

After the race, we rode home together. It was a lovely day.

Well, that part of the day was lovely. Later on, I discovered that someone had pried our sideview mirror off with a crowbar and shoved it down into the windshield like a parking ticket. This discovery was followed by by much fuming. The end result? Today we went out and bought a cargo bicycle. We're selling the car (which costs us more in maintenance and insurance in two months than the bike cost total) and using bikes, public transit, and carshare from here on out. The senseless vandalism and multiple hit and run damages to the car are far too costly for a vehicle we use once a week. It's just not worth it.

The minivan of bicycles, which we will be picking up at the end of the week.

So, being carless should be interesting. Philly's public transit system is fairly unreliable, and carshare is really only going to be used when absolutely necessary. We test-rode the bike today, and the thing is a land-yacht! It's nothing like my lightweight commuter bike. You can't feel bumps! It's so weird... I can't wait to take it out for some longer rides. It will definitely work as a grocery-getter and pet-supply transport wagon. I might even ride it to work on days when I have errands to run or just want a more laid-back ride.

Yeah. I'm pretty excited about picking up the yacht.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

another falling off the face of the Earth to explain...

Ok. Yes. I admit it. I'm a horrible, terrible, negligent blogger. I suck at blogging. So much.

That being said, Spring is almost here. It's gorgeous out. There are going to be runs and long bike rides. There are going to be batches of beer coming. There's a CSA and a new preserving habit to be fostered. There are things to document and photograph.

I'm going to be brushing up on my photography, fine-tuning my Flickr account, and working with L to get a website up. I'm working on a bit of an overhaul, life-wise. This involves photography skills, so I'll try to get into the habit of posting my favorite shots of the day (or at least few days) as I'm editing.

Last month, I had the opportunity to go to the Westminster Kennel Club dog show as a credentialed press photographer. It was surreal. I felt really out of place for many reasons: I do animal rescue, and spay/neuter/adopt is practically a mantra for me. I'm a bit of a catlady (though I love dogs too--cats are just my main animal obsession). I am not a professional photographer (the people I was working around had telephoto lenses longer than my arm). That being said, it was fun. When I finally relaxed and let myself do what I do, I got some really great shots. Oh, and had a bit of fun. Ok, a lot of fun. (So many dogs to meet! So many totally obsessed dog people! So cool to be able to mingle with them, go behind the scenes and ringside! Whoa!)

Zorro, the dog I became totally obsessed with. He was a cartoon character come to life. I'm now obsessed with rescuing a Staffordshire Bull Terrier someday...

What else? Oh! L and I joined another CSA this year. This one is supposed to be far better than last year's choice. In anticipation of a vegetable windfall and just because L loves kitchen projects, I collaborated with my some friends and family and got her canning supplies and books for her birthday. A few weekends ago, she decided to give it a go, so we (ok, my hand in this was really very minimal, but I was there) made salsa. Very, very spicy salsa. It will be fit for consumption in a week or two. I'm ridiculously excited.


Canning project #1. Salsa of Burny Death. Yum.

First beer project of Spring to kick off in perhaps two weeks. And I'll be kegging this one. Cannot wait.

That's the very abbreviated report of my last few months. More to follow very soon. Really. (It's ok if you don't believe me.)