Tuesday, December 28, 2010

26 Excuses NOT to Blog

For some reason, the ever-increasing time gap between my last post and a potential new one has been making me nervous. I have a vague belief that my readers will expect the quality of the post to drastically improve when there is a large gap of empty time before it. As if the new post must take a really, really long time because THAT explains why I haven't been posting in such a long time.

Now, I know most of you read Brian's blog, so combined with the vague-yet-certain-expectation-of-greatness, you may also be disappointed to see another blog about not blogging.

Well, I say: too bad all ye naysayers! I must break the ice somehow! So enjoy this cliche ABC list of things to do instead of blog.

Ask Brian and Tess why they aren't blogging instead.
JennaRose, you are obviously not included because you blog all the time! Marina and Rau, you never blog so I am losing faith.

Bug my mom or dog or something.

[showcasing her love for preschool, as usual]

[not very photogenic]

Culvers: one could spend 3 hours there with some friends from high school.

Drawing suburban homes has become too time-consuming.
And painting them with watercolor, of course.

Eating is more delicious than blogging.

Forgot. Sorry.
"Typical Christie answer." some would say.

Grinches have stolen my computer, I think.

Hungry again.
My mom is a preschool teacher so all the kids still give her presents for Christmas. This means there is lots of chocolate around the house.

Ice has developed outside and I must slide on it.
After all, it will only be winter for like 2, 3, or 4 more months!

June is coming soon--then I'll blog about spring.

Kinnect for Xbox is too fun.

Liking things on Facebook is so much easier.
Just kidding, I don't really go on Facebook that often. What, don't believe me?

This was written after only a few measly comments on my part. So ha!

My back is killing me--perhaps a visit to the chiropractor is in order.
Didn't really help though, I think I should go back.

Narnia! The books and the movies, if you were wondering.
I have plowed through the first five (of seven) and they are so short I can read one in a day or two! However, this is because I spend ridiculous amounts of time on the couch reading.

Ox! I think I just saw one.

 [looks mischievous too]

Pow! That ox just punched me! I can't write for at least a week (he punched me in the hands, of 
Note the brilliant foreshadowing on the last picture's caption.

Queer... I think it must have been a magic ox. Still hurts a week later.

Only magic boxes would show up when I searched Google for a "magic ox."

Rushing it would only produce bad work. I must wait for the ox's magic to sink in before creativity can strike.

Shopping for Christmas is obviously more pressing.

Christmas picture, anyone? I was too lazy to go find my mom's camera and load pictures so I stole one from Facebook :).

Teasing my readers with a short post is not worth it, I should wait to think of a nice meaty one.

Ugly girls blog--pretty girls go shopping! My new motto.
OMGeez! Totes.

Veto. I have all the time in the world.

Well... first I have to read all the others' posts I've missed.
Did it. It took hours.

X-ray! (that and "xylophone" seem to be the only words that start with X)

YOU think of something to blog about!

Zombies have murdered the zoo animals and I must go save them.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Boyfriend is Having an Affair...

... with CHRISTMAS.

You heard me. I know it's only  October 25th, that's how I know it's an affair! Follow along, people!

Anyway, Brian has always loved Christmas.

[exhibit A... and B]
It's just that this year he has started a little bit early...

[look at him sweating in that Christmas outfit!]

I mean, it's not like the guy doesn't have good reasons for loving Christmas. His choir puts on a fantastic concert, for one thing. Oh, and his family has CRAZY (but awesome) traditions, most notably Cookie Baking Weekend. 

Cookie Baking Weekend is exactly how it sounds. The whole family gets together and bakes hundreds, possibly even thousands, of Christmas cookies. This includes wearing matching aprons, antler headbands, and listening to a constant mix of Christmas tunes.

The first time I joined, Brian asked me if I had any suggestions for the Christmas playlist. I hesitated, then said, "Silent Night?"
This became a joke with the family because they probably had five different versions of Silent Night on the playlist already. What they were looking for was suggestions of songs from specific Christmas albums. Whoops. 
The only Christmas album I know is Harry Connick Jr! It's my mom's favorite.

Anyway, there are many types of cookies made--some I had never even heard of before. Like rossettes, these crispy, fried things shaped like flowers. Spritz is another kind, shaped like 3D trees and wreaths that you get to shoot out of a pump (compare it to a Play-Doh toy, that's what it reminds me of at least).

I suppose the best part is decorating sugar cookies. (Note that each cookie must be decorated in a special way, according to tradition.) We get to draw on hundreds of them with different colors of frosting and sprinkles. And because it's Christmas, there is no ugly pile, just a to-eat pile. 

By now you may have discovered something. I like Christmas too. 

[caught in the act]

We practically share a name, for crying out loud! 
(When I was 8 or 9, I tried to make my friend a Christmas card. I accidentally wrote "Merry Christie!" on the front. She gave it back saying, "I don't want to marry you, Christie!")

Now where was I?
Oh yes, Brian is slipping away! He is thinking about ornaments and snow and how my family always sings Christmas carols before we open presents. I mean...


You see, Brian is cheating. He can't be excited for Christmas before Halloween! Just because Christmas is only 2 months away, just because Christmas means desserts and sparkly lights, just because it's going to be
and pine/cinnamon-scented...

doesn't mean he can break the rules! 


Actually... I think Brian wins on this one. I'm (SORT OF--IN A HEALTHY AMOUNT) excited for Christmas now.

Congratulations, champ.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Things I've Been Making

Here are my past two sculpture projects!

I was going to show you some great posters Brian and I collaborated on for his musical, but they are saved in a format that doesn't work on my computer.
Don't be so angry, okay? I will show you them later. Also, if there is anything you want me to blog about, please let me know. I have been uninspired as far as the blogging arena goes.

The first sculpture came about when I decided to purchase the cheapest thing at Axman Surplus. Nuts were 72 cents a pound. (The ribbon was from Michael's though, don't tell anyone.)

[closssse up.]

In case you couldn't tell, I made it squiggle all across the pedestal. 

[squigg squigg squigg]

Then we have my second project. We were supposed to do the opposite of a well-known artist. I attempted to do the opposite of Andy Goldsworthy.
He goes outside and uses only the things he finds there to make interesting art, so I went inside and did the same.

[can't find what you wanted to read now, sucker.]

[if you stare at it long enough, you will understand.]

Squiggles somehow became a theme...

[one post-it pack]

 [five post-it packs]

[I'd say you can see the difference.]

[should have put this up earlier... not my fave.]

[let me know if this one is easy to see or not.]

[love the awkwardness of this picture]

[here it is without the distraction]

These were all fun to make, except the large rainbow bookshelf took a tad longer than I'd hoped. You should probably click on it to see it large to appreciate my hard work. Also, I am now in the process of putting the books back (they are sorted by subject) and it is HORRIBLE. Books fall down all the time, space is running out in certain categories, and the overly cheerful/patronizing teacher whose office shares this wall always makes stupid comments about it. 

Lucky you, our next project is metal casting!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Leaving (A Pun*)

I've been trying to think of something to blog about for a LONG time. Today, it seemed like I had to think of something, because I have been borrowing a fancy camera from school for a sculpture project. (Maybe I will show you later.)
The fancy camera did not give me any fancy ideas, but it did made me want to take pictures.

So I took pictures while raking. Yeah, I know.

I'm hoping you'll be forget how cheesy this post idea is when I tell you that we have massive mobs of leaves in our yard.

(Lots of trees. That's where leaves come from.)

[I hope comparing it to a human scale will help you fathom the size of this leaf pile.]

Technically we were bagging already-raked leaves, but you get the point. I found the perfect opportunity to take a break when I decided to get a picture of Fraser trying to find his ball in the leaf-pile. 

Hopefully all of you are just as PSYCHED about this as I was. Imagine you love this dog, it is a fantastically warm fall day, and you are holding a (borrowed) $1,000 camera. 
Now are you psyched?

[so... he was moving, but check out the detail in the leaves.]

[the word "frolicking" may just be appropriate here]

[two butts, no faces]

Eventually he found it somewhere in the center. 

You may not have known, but I am an exquisite dog-photographer. (At least with this camera I am.)

Don't worry, it may seem like my brother

and mom

were doing all the work, but I can assure you I helped after this. (It still counts as helping if they told me I was a bad leaf-scooper.) 

(Oh, and it still counts if Kevin was a better leaf-packer than me. So there.)

Will this picturesque autumn scene hold your attention?

Or do I have to give you a preview of my sculpture project instead?

[make that two previews.]

*Raking leaves and the fact that I left campus for the weekend are what make this title such a brilliant pun. You're very welcome, people who just don't understand. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Greenish Surprise

Before a bike ride, I found this fellow hanging out near the wheel. I love tree frogs.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Grotesque Dog Kennel Stories

WARNING: IF YOU DO NOT LIKE TO LOOK AT LOTS OF LITTLE THINGS IN ONE PLACE, YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ ANY FURTHER. I have put a non-offensive opening picture, just in case you want to turn back.

[My cute yet un-photogenic pup, Fraser made it on the wall paper at work. Not fair that he's next to that slutty Lassie model-dog though.]

Before I get to the real meat of this post, let me add this:

Before we got Fraser, all we had was a print-out of a picture my aunt and uncle emailed us of him. My sister and I weren't very excited, because we thought he look ugly. 
Luckily, our shallow hearts were stilled when we learned how cute he is in person (or should I say in canine?).


During the last few weeks of work, box elders invaded. 
And I really mean invaded. They were everywhere, crawling, creeping; their very existence was both disgusting and offensive. Especially when you see a big bundle of eggs, bright red baby bugs, and adults swarming on each other in a big clump of horrible.

Little did we know it was just beginning. 
Lauren and I took some down time to research them on Wikipedia. 
We learned they are attracted to the box elder tree. They feed on it. 

[Of course, we have one right by the office. What did you expect?]

[Are you as repulsed as I am by these pictures?]

After relaying to us that the bugs burrow behind siding over the winter, Wikipedia finally offered a small ray of hope:

"These insects can be killed with a dilute mixture of soap and water."

Ah, what a glorious utterance!

Lauren and I took out the garden hose and some dish detergent and went crazy--warrior style-- on the red beasts.
Now, you can't tell in pictures how dead they are, but just imagine the mass of red going from a chaotic movement to a moist stillness.

[again: gross.]

We killed millions that day (or at least hundreds) but our victorious battle did not end the war.

A week or so later, after we had been suspiciously out of dish soap for days, Lauren used her lunch break to buy four brand new bottles (two green apple and two orange, if you were wondering). 

It was a wonderful killing once again. Our soap soldiers got three times the kills, and we even had leftover dishsoap to donate to the ol' dog kennel. 

[Of course... they are still out there... biding their time.]

I must say that killing infestations of bugs is a very satisfying way to spend one's afternoon.

Anyway, here is a tranquil picture to calm your nerves after this horror story.

It was taken in Cannon Falls this summer with Brian:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pups from the "Dog Days of Summer"

Some dogs at the ol' boarding kennel summer job were barkers and/or scratchers and/or fighters. Most of them were adorable. There were even a select few I loved enough to photograph with my phone!


Picture a really ugly dog. Brutus is probably uglier. First of all, something is wrong with the shape of his head... his cranium forms a sort of inverted triangle or pyramid (very strange to pet). His eyes are uncomfortably reddish, he has bad breath, dandruff, and greasy hair.

The thing is, he is the happiest dog EVER.

When the dogs are in their kennels for a meal or bed, even looking at him will cause him to start hopping with uncontrollable excitement. (Please take the term hopping seriously; he is not jumping like a regular dog would.)

When you play fetch with lots of dogs, he is the only one who willingly brings it back right away. And if you aren't in the mood for playing fetch, instead of freaking out or following you like a zombie, Brutus will cheerfully lay down and chew on the ball for a bit.

Also, if you play fetch with an apple (there is a ripe tree on the side of the yard), he tries to give the apple to you for throwing but instead eats it. Except somehow Brutus doesn't know he has eaten the apple and stares at you longingly, waiting for you to throw it again.

[my poor attempt to show the shape of his head]

[Brutus when he is happy.]


Buddy is old, deaf, slow and fat. Yet he is so endearing. 

He's just a gentle little guy, whose favorite thing is you petting him.

The first picture shows just how bad of a pet photographer I really am. 

[can't even take a decent picture of a slow, old dog!]

As for the second two, I'm hoping they will suffice. 

[He's not that blurry in real life.]

Before my mom does it for me, I will have to point out that I used to own a dog named Buddy. My siblings and I wanted to name him Happy but my mom was too embarrassed. So Happy was his middle name. Yeah, that's right, our dogs have middle names. 

Buddy Happy Roberts. 

Our Buddy didn't live to be as old as dog kennel Buddy, because he jumped off the top of my bunk bed and broke his back.

He was also a tan cockapoo (cocker spaniel + poodle). Maybe I am a bit biased. 


Do I only like dogs with disabilities? The answer is no. Simpson was young and tall with soft, long fur. He was too nervous to do anything at first, but eventually that changed. 
At one point Simpson was doing that thing that dogs do... you know, when they roll in the grass for no apparent reason other than Pure Joy.

[I hope you know what I'm talking about.]


Here is a picture of that famous Doggie Pool from an earlier post

[Sometimes, they are as happy as you think.]

Don't steal that picture, because I'm probably going to market it as a photo mouse pad.

Here is a picture of my current dog Fraser looking vicious when his mouth is being blown by the wind.