the superior, Lake Superior

I was fortunate enough to get a few days off work last week, and headed up north (wayyyy up there..) to the upper peninsula of Michigan. Say yah to the UP! I haven’t been since I was a kid, so it was very cool to see some stuff I remembered, and some new stuff! It’s so serene and peaceful, a beautiful view at every turn! And best of all – no cell service! You’re really roughing it when you can’t get a signal – which was nice to be out of touch for a few days! Just the cure for some much needed r & r! My friend and I luckily got the last campsite at Lake Superior State  campground (which was amazing) and set up for our mini vacation. Our site was right off the lake, and we spent the long weekend getting lost among the county roads (literally, those roads were not even on the maps) hiking trails, collecting rocks, relaxing, having some cocktails, and sleeping under the stars (aside from the night I thought a bear was visiting us – I was HARDLY sleeping – even when it turned out to be raccoons).  We had GREAT weather most of the weekend – it was fantastic to wear a sweatshirt at night, and be able to sit outside without melting. It did rain the last evening we were there, but made for some great shots as the storm came rolling in! It was the perfect location for some rustic camping (my hair looked AWESOME by day 4) and although way too short, a great getaway! Can’t wait to head back UP there and check out the west side!


August 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm 1 comment

that time of the year…

July 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm 3 comments

quick notes


I was in a cab the other day and I heard this song. It  drove me crazy because it was so familiar, and I found myself humming it but had no idea what it was. The Lumineers! I downloaded it (and everything else I could find by them) and now I can’t stop listening! Can’t stop! Turns out it was from a bing commercial, but they have a pretty unique sound I can’t get enough of.. shouting back vocals, a kick drum banging, and  a sort of talk and echo that sometimes sounds almost gospel. Do yourself a favor and check these guys out! I assume this song will be everywhere soon enough, it’s so catchy with just the right hooks! The songs Stubborn Love and Flapper Girl are must listens… (Click on Never go Back)

I’m still not sure I LOVE this new album, The Lion The Beast and The Beat. It’s got some good tracks, but I’d be lying if i didn’t say I was the teensiest bit dissapointed in Grace’s new album. I am used to them knocking my socks off every time, so maybe my expectations were too high, but it’s not my favorite. Weather it’s been blues, folk, rock, or pop, I’ve been so impressed. They always sound out of this world, Grace has a voice I think I could listen to all day, everyday. Perhaps I just don’t love the 70’s dance vibe, but I can appreiciate they’ve taken on yet another genre. I like that they’re all over the board, and kind of unpredictable, but this time it didn’t translate. I may just need a few more listens to connect, after all, they’re one of my favorite bands and I can’t have that kind of letdown looming over me! Check out the song Runaway as well, it’s growing on me…

June 19, 2012 at 4:07 am Leave a comment

it’s the season!

Ahhhh! I can’t believe I haven’t blogged in 2 months! I feel very out of touch with the blogosphere! I honestly haven’t had time to think about it, I took a trip to out to Arizona and  San Fran in April, and May has been a wild blur of wedding chaos. I have a few friends getting married this year, and a few projects for others on the table! Ah! I also joined a kickball team and will soon be starting tennis camp for the little ones! Going to be a great summer (if I survive kickball!) Just wanted to share a few vacation pics! More work to come soon!

If you haven’t been to Arizona in the spring, I insist you do it! It’s usually not too hot, and EVERYTHING is in bloom! I think I fall more in love with the desert every time I go out there! There were an awful lot of cacti in bloom in April, and I just couldn’t take my eyes of these amazing yellow flowers on the purple prickly pears. Sigh.

I’ve been to San Francisco a few times, my friends live out there now (sigh) so I took a little trip to see them again, and seriously consider moving there every time I visit. It’s. Just. So. Cool. There are so many fun things to do, I don’t think I’d ever get sick of it. I know I wouldn’t get sick of 60’s in January, thats for sure! I flew in and right away we went to the Fillmore. I had been dying to go there, my inner hippie had to see the magical place, and luckily, we got to see M. Ward perform! He only played for a short time, but he was great! LOVED seeing the photos of Janis Joplin and Jerry Garcia, and all the greats that have performed there, too cool! (Jess cooperated for me as I geeked out on all that!)
Next we headed up to Sonoma. Oh. My. God. It’s crazy pretty there! We had a rainy cold day, but it was still perfect. Soooo many vineyards. I am no wine expert, but everything we had was delish! I didn’t retain most of the things I learned, after 5 wineries we were ‘forgetful’ but if you’re ever out there, you must take Terrific Tours (ask for Dan) because it was so nice. I loved the people there, they are truly out there because they enjoy every minute of it! That makes for such a great experience! We were so impressed, we tried to figure out how exactly, we could run our own vineyard. I’ll let you know when we figure it out.

Here we are at the Korbel Cellars, which was also a really beautiful place. They  have this fantastic deli inside, and if you’re in Sonoma, you have got to go! I don’t know if it was all the wine I had, but I wanted to eat everything! We stayed in Healdsburg, only a few minutes outside of Sonoma, but I totally recommend it! The tour picked us up and dropped us off, and couldn’t have been more convenient. The downtown area was very cute, lots of shops and restaurants (try SCOPA, soooooo good) and just a very artsy little place. We didn’t want to leave. It was a great trip! My last pic is with a (badass) Instagram filter of the last vineyard we went to, Dry Creek Cellars. It was a fantastic couple of days, and I can’t wait to head back to Sonoma!

June 1, 2012 at 3:45 am Leave a comment

radiant ranunculus

I took a walk through Lincoln Park this weekend, and since it’s too early for the outside gardens, I popped into the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Although there were many beautiful flowers in the show room, they had SO many gorgeous ranunculus flowers. There is something so perfect and delicate about these, they have become my new favorite! They were far too stunning not to share!

March 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

“I’d rather be a pirate than join the navy.”

While reading this, I came across many quotes I wanted to use as my title. I decided upon this one, mostly because, it seemed to describe him so well. I could have used a Dylan quote, (something he’d have done) or part of the infamous speech he gave at Stanford that keeps appearing all over the place. But, simply put, like the products he created, he was a rebel and would not play by anyone’s rules but his own. 

So after a few tears, many laughs, and lots of appreciation, I’ve finally finished the gigantic biography (literally and physically) of Steve Jobs. Every pound and page was worth it.

Being quite an apple geek myself, this book seemed almost mandatory, but the story is good even if you’ve used a PC your whole life (which, If you have, REALLY???) While I was super excited to read about the guy who I’ve been admiring for so long, I will admit, some of the brutally honest parts were hard to read. Nobody wants to read their hero was an asshole. But, as much as the truth hurts sometimes, I think Isaacson did a great job of portraying Jobs’s life. One major success and failure at a time. I think he importantly stresses that life isn’t always a pretty picture, and that there are things to be learned from your mistakes, equally as much as your triumphs.

The complicated personality of Jobs was the most interesting part, how his bizarre behavior was really what shaped some of the greatest changes in technology of our time. The book quotes him, “If you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much.” Or my favorite: “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.” His inspired but neurotic personality is really what forced the fantastic products we now use every day. They were “endowed in his DNA” as Issacson puts it, something that came right from his imagination. The perfection he desired almost always came at a price, but for each life-changing product, the pay out was always something greater. You can’t put a price on progression, and you certainly can’t put a price on imagination.

This got me thinking back to all the apple products I’ve  ever used. My first memory being the Mac color classic (circa 95′). That thing was AWESOME. I’d spend endless hours in that paint program (my early days of graphic design) or chatting up my friends on AOL with that loud as ever dial up modem. I remember my brother and I fighting over that computer like it was going out of style. Hardly!

I also vividly remember when I got my own computer before going away to  college. My dad took me to the computer store to pick one out, since apple stores weren’t around yet (lucky for him). Being the sensable banker he is, he forced me to look at all my options even though he knew darn well he’d be getting me the shiny new IMac G4 I’d been raving about. I don’t think I left my room for two days after I brought it home, I was hell bent on being the new master of that machine. I loved every inch of it! The bubble hard drive, the flat retractable screen, those little detachable speakers! I still remember my roommate sitting down at it telling me how futuristic it was, I was the envy of the dorm room. I still have it today, to pull up old pictures or grab old music, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to part with it. It still makes me happy when I turn it on, partly because It  was the machine that really opened the doors for what I wanted to do with my life, and partly because, it’s just so darn pretty.

The ipod mini was my next apple toy, and oh, how I loved that thing. When Ipods first came out they were super expensive, and being a broke college kid, that wasn’t a necessity. In fact, I asked for one for every birthday since they appeared on the market, and my parents said no, there were other products out there that were just as nice, that would do the same thing. I wound up getting some non-memorable device that was so confusing and not worth the stress. Oh, how I argued with my dad about this one! I think about about it now, and shake my head and just have to laugh, Dad if you’re reading this, I hate to say it, but I told you so! When the mini came out, it was a little cheaper and he eventually caved. The heavens were opening! I waited by the door everyday for that little pink toy, and when it finally came in it’s pristine box, I could tell that this was really something BIG. It flawlessly hooked up to my machine, and it “had an ease of use that came from being an integrated end-to-end system” It came with me to class, to the gym, and pretty much wherever I could show it off. For graduation a few years later, I bought myself a nano, a color model, with album art and pictures! This was just the beginning.

I could keep going, but it seems silly to describe my first iphone, or my new imac, or apple tv… or any of the other products so many people use in their every day lives now. Before it gets repetitious (or more repetitious) I’ll just say this: I remember all of them, each and every one. An aspect Jobs made it his goal to achieve. Even the boxes of these products will probably disintegrate in my storage room before I’ll ever throw them away. As Isaacson rightfully said, the Jobs-inspired products are bold and simple, in nature, “arts and creativity intersecting with technology.”

I find it amusing that my parents still have a Dell, which I’m often called over to ‘take a look at’ or ‘figure out what’s going on,’ as if I’m some computer whiz or something. I sit down at that dreaded laptop looking like a monkey scratching it’s head. I can’t find where anything is, and when I do, I’m all pissed off at how long it took me to find it. I guess that’s the beauty of apple, stuff is easy to find, and you don’t really have to be much of a whiz at anything. Stuff. Just. Works. Granted, my parents are people who are still confused by digital cameras and USB cords (and if connecting the two turns out to be the problem one more time i might lose it) I have to keep reminding myself it’s a generation thing. Their generation looks for an instruction manual and mine sits down and plays with the machine first. They each have iphones, and now an ipad, and are starting to see the virtue of it all, the seamless way their toys will work. I can’t wait for the day I come over and I’m not asked to ‘figure something out.’ Not because I don’t love to help them, but because it’ll be pretty satisfying to see the products I’ve been pushing for so long catching up to the old geezers. Slowly but surely. And Again, Dad, if you’re reading this (sorry for calling you a geezer) I told you so!

I was in Cupertino last August, at the apple campus. A friend of mine recently started working for apple, and I was really dying to go there. Obviously. After being told more than once I was not allowed to ‘go where the magic happens,’ and before I got yelled at for taking pictures, I remember sitting in the quad thinking, how badass it would be if Steve Jobs walked by, barefoot with a sly smile. How cool it would have been to meet him. Although that obviously didn’t happen (or this blog may have been titled OMG OMG OMG I MET STEVE JOBS) It’s  nice to think of him there, alive, enjoying the empire he created.

For a guy who set out to perfect every detail of his life, I don’t know why it  surprised me that Jobs himself commissioned his own biography. Although he had nothing to do with what was put into it, it’s presentation was delivered flawlessly. It was great based on subject matter alone, but the book was extremely well written. I knew I would love it, but I never expected to love it so much. I had to learn everything I could from it, flipping those pages like a mystery novel. I was left with a little sadness, a little fear, but ultimately a great appreciation for the legacy that lives.

February 9, 2012 at 4:24 am Leave a comment

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