Category Archives: Cell Phone

A Trip Back East Means…

(mouse over to see)

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Spontaneous Exploration, or, What I Did with My Daylight Savings

Waking up early and realizing that you have an extra hour in the day is either a recipe for productivity or a chance to roll back over and catch up on sleep.  The recent fall back definitely meant productivity for me.

In between cleaning the bathroom (bathtub and everything!), doing all the piled-up dishes, washing the floor, doing laundry, and cooking up a storm (I made apple pudding for breakfast, roasted butternut squash risotto and black eyed peas & leeks for dinner, and then applesauce and two pumpkin pies just for kicks), I somehow managed to find the time to go adventuring with Joe and Dave.  We biked around Crestwood and spent some time wandering in the now (semi-)abandoned Crestwood Plaza mall.  Here are some photos from the expedition.

Click in.

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Technology Prevails

So this is my first post produced entirely using my cell phone. Nothing you see here was created or processed through my laptop like usual. In fact, I am writing now from the passenger seat of our rental car as Joe and Robert and I make the drive from San Francisco to San Jose for Elicia and Sam’s wedding (which is happening this evening!).

We spent last night staying with a friend in San Francisco who works for the WordPress OpenSource project, and e gave me a lesson in the wonderful world of iPhone apps.

More details later, since I am, after all, typing on a little baby keyboard and that becomes tiresome quickly. For now, I’ll just put up a few snapshots of the trip so far.

Just because I can.

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We got a parking ticket. Silly street cleaning!

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Daryl’s apartment is awesome, and full of interesting little details like this cute little round window. Better, however, are the twin cherubs guarding over his bedroom windows.

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Joe picturesquely enjoying his chicken soup.

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Spiderwebs in the sky.

So there you go. Instant reporting, live from Highway 17!

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A Study in Why I Love St. Louis in the Summer*

We went to CAM Night at the Contemporary Art Museum for the food truck, the dollar beers, and the 90s playlist but ended up drifting out back, away from the noise and towards the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts next door. After all, Joe hadn’t yet seen Joe (Richard Serra’s large-scale steel sculpture, built in 2000).

Joe in Joe.

In the Pulitzer, there was wine and a gorgeous semi-enclosed courtyard looking out on an infinity pool.

There was also a grassy roof, perfect for watching the sun set.

Then there was the bike ride from the Cookie Tree Mansion to the Schlafly Tap Room for the Belgian Beer & Mussels festival.

The ride was full of wonderful details, but one was worth stopping for.

Peat Wollaeger’s work can be found all over the city. It’s not only worth a look, but it’s usually looking right back at you.

*Hint: It’s not the 100+ degree humid heat

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A Real Job

Mi manca Bologna.

The view from my window.

I appear to have somehow ended up with what is commonly referred to as a “real job.”  The kind that requires you to wake up at 6am and put on a pencil skirt.

In the past month, I have battled with my alarm clock repeatedly, stocked up on pencil skirts, and moved in to my little corner of the office (now complete with dinosaur).

Can you find the dino? He’s shy.

Here are a few things I have learned while being a so-called adult:

  1. Snacks are a newly hugely important part of my life.  They not only fill the hungry void in my stomach caused by my inability to eat a filling breakfast a) right after I wake up, especially if that’s at 6:30 in the morning, and b) quickly enough that I have time to both do the dishes and catch the Metro.
  2. It is very hard to find remotely healthy snacks that you can keep in a desk that won’t go bad.  Right now I’m operating primarily with dried apricots and wasabi peas.  Loooots of wasabi peas.
  3. School pictures are back!  I guess they’re not called school pictures anymore, but the concept is the same: take a few minutes out of your day to line up and smile before heading back to the daily routine.  I’m just waiting for the company yearbook.
  4. American ideas about air conditioning don’t make any sense.  For the past few weeks it has been pushing 100 degrees (sometimes from above) outside, but being inside for an extended period of time requires a sweater.  Or a parka.  At least a snuggie.
  5. Oh yeah, my work gave all the employees company logo-embroidered blue snuggies during the company-bonding week that happened right after I started.  The snuggies themselves are awesome, but the ability to wear a snuggie a) in public and b) in a business meeting in front of your boss’s boss is even more awesome.
  6. I have begun to say, “Have a Great Day!” compulsively, even when I’m not at work, which is a horribly insincere habit (once the line between polite and automatic has been crossed).

I have also learned what it means to do the same thing all day, every day (well, if we’re really being specific, for eight hours a day five days a week…but after a while it starts to feel like all day every day).  I am claiming no credit to an original discovery here, as I’m sure nearly every working adult has felt similarly.  It’s not called the daily grind for nothing!  But wearing it certainly is.  I miss the constant and varied stimulation inherent to college life, and, more broadly, I miss constantly using and stretching my brain.  Here, there is always a niggling fear that if I’m not careful, the creative and analytical capabilities of my brain will atrophy, even as my typing fingers and wrists gain new strength.  I am secretly a little bit afraid of becoming some sort of squishy automaton who forgets to take vacations if I stay at a desk job for an extended period of time.

I slightly more afraid of leaving the (only moderately!) reckless fun and late hours of my college years behind and becoming A Responsible Adult.

I find that I need to continually remind myself that while it may be more difficult for me to go out at night now, I have much more time to read books of my choosing and cook more elaborate meals (I’ve even seen a few movies!).  I’m trying to read books in Italian and German and bike as much as possible to keep my brain and my body in shape.  After all, it’s not so much that I have less time than I did in college (let’s be real—when I was in school I was always complaining about having too much to do) as it is that I am being slowly nudged towards patterning my life differently.  While I may not be able to go out all night anymore, I can now afford to go out for dinner more frequently.  So really, all that remains for me to do is take the time to find a sense of balance in my current routine, while still remembering not to settle in completely and forget about where I want to go next.

Have a Great Day!

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Cell Phone Photography: An Exposé

I have lately become interested in cell phone photography.  Cell phone cameras have become astonishingly good, and it is now quite possible to make some amazing and professional work with just your phone.  Like this.  Or this.  Or this.

In fact, when my DSLR was stolen when my apartment in Bologna was broken into, my iPhone became my primary camera for a while, including during the long weekend I spent road tripping through Belgium.  The results were surprisingly impressive.

In Bruges

St Bernardus sign in Watou

Watou

Amy Beach in Blankenberge

That type of work is not what this post is about.  Cell phone photography primarily interests me because in this day and age of (relatively) affordable DSLRs, cell phone photography seems to be the new medium for the quintessential snapshot.  Almost everyone in this country has a cell phone now.  Almost all of the cell phones have cameras, and many of those cameras are fairly good.  Many of the people I know use their cell phone cameras fairly regularly and casually.  Additionally, while phone cameras are not cameras intended for serious image-making, they are intended for serious photo sharing.  Cell phone photography is incredibly social (and even has an official social network of its own with Instagram, which remains as yet uncharted territory for me [for an interesting article about Instagram’s impact on “serious” photography, look here]).

With that in mind, I have made a study of the photographs stored on my own cell phone.  There were photos snapped casually to record something I wanted to remember, to share with a friend or family member, or that I wanted accessible at any time—to reference in conversations or look back upon myself in a modern twist on traditional wallet photos.  Here are a few of the best and most revealing photographs always in my pocket.

Cherokee Street, St. Louis

Construction Site, Washington University

Whispers Café, Washington University

Benji and Claude

Wanna Banana?

Tattoo

In a Grocery Store in Göttingen, Germany

The Gator

Pi Pie

Karate + Guns + Tanning = America

I still haven’t come to appreciate iPad photography however.  There’s just no way to make a picture with an iPad without looking extremely foolish.

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