27 October 2010

The Weekly Austin - 10.27.2010

This One's A Keeper - 10.17.2010

19 July 2010

14 July 2010

The Weekly Austin - 7.14.10

Ice Cream Sammich - 5.31.2010

12 July 2010

07 July 2010

06 July 2010

Pugtastic Tuesday - 7.6.10

Sharing is Caring - 3.10.2010

05 July 2010

30 June 2010

The Weekly Austin - 6.30.10

Workin' at the Car Wash - 6.27.2010

29 June 2010

Pugtastic Tuesday - 6.29.10

Hiding from the Hose (Bama) - 6.27.2010

28 June 2010

21 June 2010


This blog is slowly but surely becoming a wordless gallery of images. I'm fine with that, and I hope you are, too. Because starting this week, this blog is going to be strictly for photos. I'm finding that I just don't have enough words for two blogs, so 3DiO will be my photo blog, and I'll do my writing over at Foodie vs. Fattie. Cool? Cool.

15 June 2010

19 May 2010

The Weekly Austin - 5.19.10

The Glamour of Toddlerhood - 4.6.2010

18 May 2010

13 April 2010

Pugtastic Tuesday - 4.13.10

Twice Their Size

My friends' dog Diesel came and stayed with us for a few days. He's the sweetest monster dog EVER!

09 April 2010

Friday Night Vans

Shock Top, steak, and conversation, followed by Miami Vice and snuggles. Excellent Friday night.

07 April 2010

06 April 2010

Pugtastic Tuesday - 4.6.10

Waiting for Daddy - 4.6.2010

19 March 2010


Gardening Season - 3.19.2010

17 March 2010

The Weekly Austin - 3.17.10

Chocolate Chips - 3.16.2010

16 March 2010

Pugtastic Tuesday - 3.16.10

Cookie Hound - 3.16.2010

Pugly, shown here, usually avoids Austin like the plague. The exception is when Austin is eating any kind of food. Today, it was cookies. Austin ran and ran and ran around the yard, chomping on a cookie, and Pugly was right behind him the whole way.

(Also, check out how Pugly is "stacking" like a show dog. WTF?!)

11 March 2010

The Weekly Austin - A Day Late

Yesterday was an absolute CLUSTER. Hence, the lack of blogging. My sincerest apologies, gentle reader! Here is your Weekly Austin, one day late.

Supervision - 3.10.2010

09 March 2010

03 March 2010

The Weekly Austin - 3.3.2010

Mr. Mischief - 2.26.2010

Those EYES. Those eyes are going to get that boy in so much trouble. An over-the-shoulder look is going to melt someone's heart. I know, because it melts mine.

02 March 2010

Pugtastic Tuesday - 3.2.10

Ladylike - 2.26.2010

Bama (my littler pug) has a funny way of sitting. She sticks her back legs forward, and then puts her front legs on either side. It's one of my favorite things about her.

Also, can I just say how much I love that today's date is 3-2-10?! I keep repeating it to myself, "Three! Two! One! ZERO!" Yes, I am nerdy. And also slightly insane.

26 February 2010

Les Vans

These here? These're my VANS. I love them so much. I missed them so much when I was heavier; when they finally fit again, I rejoiced. I wore Vans like these for the majority of my childhood -- growing up at the beach, 80's surfer chic was what we all wore. Corduroy shorts by Op (that's Ocean Pacific), slip-on Vans, and a t-shirt from either my dad's car dealership or Pete Smith's surf shop.

I have a weird urge to take pictures of these shoes on a regular basis. So, since this blog is turning into a mostly-photo blog anyway, and because I'm inspired by my friends Tucker and Brittany and their Pear 365 project, I'm going to take a picture of Ye Olde Vans every Friday for the next year. I can't promise exotic locales, supermodels, or fancy lighting, but I can promise you'll see these red and black monsters every Friday from now on. Footwear Friday! Woo!

24 February 2010

The Weekly Austin - 2.24.2010

Doin' The T. Rex Boogie - 12.25.2009

23 February 2010

Pugtastic Tuesday - 2.23.10

A Pug and Her Boy - 2.15.2010

Austin's new chore is walking the dogs. He loves it; they need it (desperately). It's a win-win.

18 February 2010

Weird Dreams

I woke up the other night and had to write down a dream. It was the strangest, oddest, most vivid dream I've had in a long time. I wish I could blame this on the Percocet I'm taking, but I have odd dreams on a pretty regular basis. And I almost always remember them in the morning.

Anyway, in this particular episode of weirdness, there were strange, contorted people -- mutants -- who were for some reason warehoused in these clean, sunny rooms. The people were literally folded up and stacked against each other, their bodies the shape of Rit-Dye bottles. They were in some sort of wrapper, almost like a silicone sleeve. They were blind (I think) and couldn't speak. In the dream, these weird Rit people were being threatened by something outside, I want to say vampires but that doesn't sound right. Something outside wanted to come in and get them.

Here's what I drew and wrote in my sketchbook as soon as I woke up:

My notes say:

"They can't run. Their legs have been folded up so long. And they have horrible faces and can't speak -- just wails of fear and groans. Contorted people. Mutants. Legs folded in some kind of impossible lotus. They lean against each other in stacks/piles in secure rooms full of sunshine. I don't know how they're alive. There is something menacing outside. Windows are locked and but they let in sunshine. The windows are covered in cotton batting."

I tell Charlie about my dreams, and he always gives me the "You are CRAAAAAAZY" face. He hardly ever remembers his dreams, and finds it funny that there's so much detail in mine. I think dreams are so interesting -- not so much because I think you can find meaning or hidden messages, but because they're basically the trash dump of your subconscious. Whatever random junk your brain decides to put together, that becomes the story for the night.

17 February 2010

16 February 2010

Pugtastic Tuesday - 2.16.10

Threshold - 2.15.2010

Until I purchased my newest Mac, I generally avoided iPhoto because of how it manages image files. I'm still not a fan of that aspect of the program, but I'm really enjoying the basic editing tools it includes.

For the most part I don't do a whole lot of image editing or enhancement; I try to get the image I want in the camera. I learned photography the old-fashioned way, with a 35mm film camera and a darkroom. You could fix a lot of things in the darkroom, but it was always better to have a good negative to begin with. So, when I shoot digital, I try to get the image exactly right, or as close to right as possible, before it ever makes it to my computer. I use editing tools to make the final image match my memory of the shot -- the "feeling" of the picture.

What does that have to do with Pugtastic Tuesday? Well, nothing really. I get asked pretty frequently about how and what I shoot, and why, so I thought I'd share. I tweaked the pug portrait above using the simple iPhoto editing tools, and I'm happy with the result. In the coming weeks (months?) I'll be posting more images and writing not just about the content but my photographic process. Photography is my long lost love, and I'm going back to her as a hobby to keep myself happy.

03 February 2010

The Weekly Austin - 2.3.2010

Snow Monkey - 1.30.2010

We rarely get snow in this part of Virginia, so Austin's never been able to play in it. This past weekend's horrible weather gave him his first chance for an adventure in actual snow, and he loved it. As Charlie shoveled the driveway, Austin helped by taking two handfuls of snow at a time to the pile Charlie made. He also threw snow at the dogs, at me, and just right up into the air. So much fun!

02 February 2010

27 January 2010

26 January 2010

21 January 2010

Change of Plans

I sat down at my desk today with a plan to write about this past weekend. One of my dear friends had her baby, and it was a really amazing experience. I had all sorts of feelings and revelations (REVELATIONS! Like the MORMONS!) that I wanted to share.

Instead, I'm sitting here at my desk wondering why, after 32 years, I still can't seem to do anything right. So far today, I have:

1. Overslept by almost two hours, causing my boss to have to come in early, my store to open late, and many, many people getting to work late (sorry, April!).
2. Spilled coffee all over my Jeep.
3. Unknowingly allowed a friend to become more upset over something I thought was resolved.
4. Forgot to deposit the cash in my wallet, the cash that had to be deposited to cover what I spent on Tuesday.

So yeah, it's been a FANTASTIC day so far. *sigh* I'm trying to stay on track, stay upbeat, and get stuff done. That was working pretty well until about an hour ago. Now? Now I need some hugs.

20 January 2010

The Weekly Austin - 1.20.10

Nappin' With Daddy - 1.13.2010

19 January 2010

Pugtastic Tuesday - 1.19.10

Black and White Means It's ART - 12.1.2009

14 January 2010

Birfday Wrapup

Yesterday was my 32nd birthday. Wow.

It started out like any other day -- a four-hour opening shift with Felicia, then back to the house. Charlie took the day off so we could spend some time together, and so I could go to my surgical consult. Charlie and Austin drove me to my appointment, and we stopped at Michael's beforehand. I picked out some awesome bits and bobs to make a present for my friend Lauren (since the painting I was working on for her baby's room turned into a sucktastic mess).

And what did Doc have to say? My gall bladder has to come out. Wah wahhhh. My surgery is scheduled for Valentine's weekend. Because, you know, nothing says LOVE like a weekend at the hospital. He's also going to take a peek at my "mystery bulge" and fix whatever it is, if necessary.

Oh! I also met with a plastic surgeon on Tuesday, and he's going to take out my face bump (actually a sebaceous cyst) on Monday. Woo hoo!

Anyhow, after my appointment, we met up with one of my favorite peeps, the famous LINH! We ate lunch at Pho 79 and then hit up Four Seasons Oriental Grocery. If you've never been to an Oriental grocery, I highly recommend it. Not only do they have good produce (like delicious bok choi) but there's random meat products (CHICKEN FEET!), canned goods (PICKLED MANGO!), and Japanese candy (TINY CHOCOLATE MUSHROOM COOKIES THAT LOOK LIKE...well, you know!). And they have all the gear you need for Chinese New Year, which falls on Valentine's Day this year according to Linh.

Linh also convinced me to try aloe vera juice. The taste was okay, but the chunks...I was not prepared for a "chewable" beverage. Don't think I'll be drinking that again any time soon.

As if that weren't enough, I also got a can of my favorite thing ever: HELLO BOSS ICED COFFEE!

Now, I don't know why in the hell this stuff is called "Hello Boss," but it is HELLO DELICIOUS. It tastes like the iced coffee you get at a Thai or Vietnamese restaurant.

When we got back to the house, I was in dire need of a nap. So, I headed upstairs and promptly zonked out. A couple of hours later, I came downstairs and found Charlie and Austin on the couch, both fast asleep. (Apparently pho makes you sleepy, because Linh told me later that she took a post-lunch nap too!)

Charlie's mom came over to watch Austin for the evening, and Charlie took me to my favorite restaurant for dinner -- No Frill Grill! We had a great meal, and managed to make it home in time to get Austin to bed ourselves.

All in all, this was the BEST birthday I've ever had. I'm so glad that I got to spend time with all the people I love. I'm really loving my life right now!

13 January 2010

12 January 2010

Pugtastic Tuesday - 1.12.10

"I Love You, Pugly!"

11 January 2010


I spent most of today getting back to normal after what was a crazy and fun-filled weekend full of pre-birthday treats. On Saturday, I went to the super-fabulous Best Body Company for a massage, haircut, and make-up application after getting my nails done by one of my favorite ladies in the world (Ms. Carrie of Chambord Nails, aka THE NAIL DOCTAH!). Aside from the general fantasticness of spa pampering, it was also a great day because my massage therapist turned out to be somebody who a) went to my high school, b) loves all the same music I do, and c) is also converting to Judaism. We both really enjoyed talking through my whole massage; it was like hanging out with someone I'd known for years. Oh, and did I mention that she worked at the shop where I bought my very first pair of Doc Marten's boots? IT IS PUNK ROCK KISMET, I TELL YOU!

On my way home from the salon, I texted Charlie (who I thought was at work) to let him know I was all done. I had planned to go home, have a glass o' wine, and fall dead asleep. He replied with a request -- go buy laundry detergent, and buy it NOW. I was really not happy about this, so I called him. He explained that the big jug of Gain I'd just bought slipped off the top of the washer, crashed onto the floor, and spilled soap all over the place. I was beyond pissed. Not only because I had seriously JUST BOUGHT that detergent, but because he was asking me to turn around and head back out to the shops (I was almost home). I got a little pissy on the phone, explaining that no, I was NOT going to buy detergent tonight, and demanding to know why he, comfortably ensconced in his office, felt such an urgent need for me to make this purchase.

Well, as I rounded the corner onto our street, I saw Charlie's truck in the driveway, and I immediately knew exactly why he wanted to keep me out of the house. He had planned a surprise birthday party for me, and I wasn't supposed to be there yet. No guests had arrived aside from my pal Cody. I felt so, so bad. Charlie was, to say the least, upset. "The one time, ONE TIME I need you to be an obedient wife, and you don't do it!" he laughed.

It all worked out just fine in the end. All my friends showed up, and I even got to see The Hong (haven't seen her in way too long!) and my dear Jason Hanasik (in from SanFran and looking amazing!) and Pegg0rs (she wore hooker boots for me!). There were presents, cocktails, an amazing birthday cake from JoAnna, food, silliness, and a dinosaur with a party hat. It was such a blast!

The only part that sucked was that I had to open on Sunday morning. That means I had to be at work at 5:45AM. WOO! What a fun shift that was...blargh. Poor Sarah and Tara! They had to put up with my tired, cranky butt all day.

I got home from work and crashed. Charlie was out helping my mom with her home entertainment gear. He brought Austin home in the afternoon, and we spent the rest of the day just relaxing and enjoying each other.

I fell asleep last night thinking about how lucky I am, and how grateful I am, to have such amazing friends and family. I love, love, LOVE all of you!

06 January 2010

The Weekly Austin - 1.6.10

"Dude. I'm totally tweeting what you just said."

05 January 2010

Pugtastic Tuesday - 1.5.10

Bama Kisses! - 5.30.2007

I love this picture for a number of reasons: my hair is long, I look very happy, my grass is green. And I just realized this is also right about when I got pregnant with Austin. Wow!

01 January 2010

Thoughts on 2009

I'm trying my hand at the New Year's quiz done by two of my favorite bloggers, Linda and Mona. I know I'm getting it in just under the wire here, but hey, I've been in a Percocet haze for the last 48 hours or so.

What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
I finished a 5K "fun run" with my dear friend, Peggy. I never thought I'd be able to run comfortably in public again, let alone for 3.2 miles. But I did it -- I finished.

I also shot a handgun (under supervision, at a shooting range). It was more enjoyable than I thought it would be, and I was pretty good at it. I couldn't get past the fact that the thing in my hand was specifically designed to end a life, though. *shudder*

Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I think the only resolution I made last year was to take better care of my teeth. I did that, for the most part -- still working on the flossing.

This year, I'm setting specific, measurable goals with deadlines. One of them? To take the damn NCE and be done with my massage certification once and for all. Another is to resolve all of my seemingly never-ending medical issues (hernia, knee, facial cyst, and now gall bladder). I'll probably write more about these in a separate post.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not this year, but there's a very special baby scheduled to appear in the next couple of weeks!

Did anyone close to you die?
Not this year, thank goodness.

What countries did you visit?
I'm a regular in Lala Land.

What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
I'd like to have a little more patience, and make more time for friends. Also, five or ten extra mortgage payments would be nice.

What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
It's been a fairly uneventful year, to be honest. If I had to pick, I'd say Austin's first birthday, my 5K, and DC Pride.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I think, other than my 5K, I'm most proud of my vegetable garden. 2009 was the first year I had a full-blown vegetable patch, and actually managed to keep the plants alive AND generate edible produce.

What was your biggest failure?
I didn't take my NCE. I wanted to get it done in 2009, and I didn't.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! Oh man...this has definitely been the year of body-fail for me. Incisional hernia, stomach viruses, suspected repeat hernia which turned out to be nothing despite excruciating pain, blown knee, and now (dun dun DAHHH) a faulty gall bladder.

What was the best thing you bought?
A brand-spankin' new kitchen. BEST. INVESTMENT. EVER.

Whose behavior merited celebration?
I vote for my friend Peggy. Like every year that I've known her, in 2009, she was selfless, generous, caring, and essentially the kind of person I aspire to be.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I have a couple of family members who hurt me very badly this year, and whose behavior not only puzzles me but deeply, deeply disturbs me. 'Nuff said.

Where did most of your money go?
Debt, debt, and more debt. *sigh*

What did you get really excited about?
Traveling to DC with my friends, the TikiHulaLuau Fest (aka Felicia's birthday party), concerts at the amphitheater, Lauren's pregnancy, the success of my friends Jason H (amazing fine art photographer) and Jason J (amazing wedding photographer), the Hubs's decision to pursue a nursing degree after completing his MBA.

Compared to this time last year, are you...

...happier or sadder? Happier, fo' shizzle.
...thinner or fatter? Thinner, I'm pretty sure.
...richer or poorer? Poor in money, but rich in love & friendship.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish I'd done more writing. Less talking, more listening.

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Eating. Spending. CONSUMING.

How did you spend Christmas?
I was surrounded by friends and family, cooked a ton of food, ate bunches, and enjoyed every minute of it.

Did you fall in love in 2009?
I'm very much in love with my little guy (not so little anymore!). And like every year, I found new reasons to love my Charlie (even when he was driving me batshit crazy).

What was your favorite television program?
LOST, with Heroes coming in a close second.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't hate anyone, period. Life's too short to waste emotional energy on hate.

What was the best book you read?
I dug out my Madeline L'Engle books -- A Wrinkle In Time, A Wind In The Door, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet -- and re-read them. They're just as amazing as they were when I was 12.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
I rediscovered the Beach Boys, "Pet Sounds" in particular. So good, so very, very good. Thank you, Brian Wilson.

What did you want and get?
A Blackberry! And now I never put it down...bwahahahaha.

What did you want and not get?
I really wanted Austin to start talking, and he hasn't yet.

What was your favorite film of this year?
I know it didn't come out this year, but I watched "The Departed" about six thousand times. It's just the best.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen with my mom, went out for Indian food with the hubs, and had a smallish party at my house. I was 31.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
An honest-to-goodness vacation, to someplace tropical.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
"I hope these still fit." See also: Old Navy clearance rack.

What kept you sane?
Writing. Running. Friends. My mom. My kiddo.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Ohhhhh...Matty MacFadyen, fo' reals. Hot MI-5 agent, Mr. Darcy, WHATEVER. Just give me some of that British hotness.

What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay marriage. To steal Mona's line, "Let them marry, bish!"

Who did you miss?
I miss my father-in-law. Chuck, if you're watching, I used extra butter just for you.

Who was the best new person you met?
Well, technically I met them in 2008, but Lauren and Jack are my two favorite peeps of '09.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
You can make your own family. And family is what you make of it.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"I feel so broke up, I wanna go home." (Beach Boys, "Sloop John B")