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Dreaming and Scheming

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Happy Friday! I’m having one, at least. VSCO, which I’ve been coveting for a long time, offered some free presets this week and I’m in the middle of a trial run of Adobe Lightroom CC so I was like “Hell yeah.” I use a few of the filters on photos I took at Lake Harriet last week when I first got my camera. And I am so, so pleased.
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I love the soft analog feel some of these have. You might be thinking “But wait, why did you just spend $2000 on camera equipment only to have your photos look like they were taken with grainy film?” And to that I say “Shut your goddamn mouth.”

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The new camera can take multiple exposures too, so it really is like film in many regards. It makes me a little regretful though, as I’ve laid out a bunch of cash over the last couple years on actual analog photography. The cost and unreliability of it sort of soured me though. Not that I will get rid of my cameras, but it’s likely they’ll be used less often.

If YOU have Lightroom, and want to have some fun, I definitely recommend downloading the free starter pack.


Another reason I’m so excited about this new development (hahahahahaha) is because Alan and I are going to Atlanta in a couple weeks (my birthday weekend ;-*) for the Shaky Knees Festival. This will be the first time for either of us to be going to multiple days in a music festival. There have definitely been many where we just hit up one day, like Riot Fest a couple years back, or our own Rock the Garden, I went to Lollapalooza once for one day, etc… Anyway, the lineup is pretty exciting.

Except for Sunday, which I’m not so much about. Alan suggested we try to find some museums or state parks around the area instead, because let’s be honest, we might never go to Georgia again. After a little research, and to my great joy, I discovered the Appalachian Trail begins in Georgia, a couple hours outside of Atlanta. I’ve expressed a desire many times in the last year that I want to get into the outdoors more, and see more parks and forests, and I can’t imagine a better opportunity on this trip than to do some hiking in the Appalachians. Of course, the trail we’d actually be on is the AT Approach Trail. But, we’ll reach the Southern Terminus of the trail, and it’s like 8 miles to get there, so like… That would just be a ton of walking. It sounds super hard, and this opens this whole can of worms where I know I’ll want my camera there (and, this actually necessitated the purchase of the Klettersack), and we need to train some.

Still, this was, for the longest time, a trip to a city we had little interest in to do a 3 day music fest, and now has turned into a music festival, plus an exciting hike on a legendary trail. Shit!

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Photos of my cat snuggling a shoe

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We noticed something odd recently. Arya seems to have a bizarre and/or romantic fascination with a pair of my shoes. I don’t wear this shoes, and I’ve been considering getting rid of them but now I don’t think I can.

You might’ve seen this too-cute-to-handle article about a kitty cat in Poland snuggling with sick animals to make them better. Awwwww. This is really similar to that, except it’s our cat, and it’s a shoe. These photos are all taken on separate occasions.

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I had to tell her that she can’t be in a relationship with a shoe.

“You can’t be married to a shoe. You are a cat.”

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Bags, bags, bags!

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It always feels like you’ve got TOOOO many bags! But they don’t make a bag hutch for tech bags. I’ve become a bit oversaturated with bags lately, because you gotta carry stuff… right? I’ve had that Jansport bag since college, when I rightly made the switch from messenger bag (because seriously, so annoying). Then, I got the laptop bag one year because I thought I might be doing more freelance work and therefore it would be practical to have a nice carrying case for my expensive computer. Camera bag 1 was a last minute purchase before our London trip a few years ago, and Camera bag 2 was a purchase before our Lutsen trip in December. Too much baggage (ha ha ha).

I recently took on a second job. It’s contract work, and it’s good stuff, but it involves me carrying around my stuff a lot more than before. This company is located on a particularly huge campus so I’m carrying that damn laptop bag around a TON, and it’s the worst. It’s hard to walk quickly and with purpose when there’s a computer hitting your hip every 2 seconds. I also have to park a lot further from my other, more main job, and it involves walking through some Downtown streets, where I’d prefer not to have to carry a bunch of stuff if I have to (like, a backpack, my purse, a tote bag containing lunch, etc). Ideally there exists a bag for all these needs. For my computer, my camera, my iPad? And whatever other small things I desire to carry, which is my right as a human.
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one, two, three, four, five.

These are all some fine looking backpacks. #4 was listed by Outside magazine as a great laptop backpack for hiking. That sounds up my alley, but also I wonder about the practicality of taking a laptop on a hike. #2 has got some street cred, being a Duluth Pack and all. #1 is super slick looking, but I think it comes down to 3&5. This company, Hex, seems to got it down. And if I was going to choose, I’d go with the Convoy Convertible (#5). It’s essentially the urban companion to the Klettersack (#4). It’s got the kind of heritage-y, vintage vibe, plus versatility, and best of all, utility. I could see stuffing my laptop, camera and my ipad in there. It’s got weather coating too, which is handy, since I live in this place called Minnesota. I may regret it someday when it turns out I DO want to hike with my laptop, though.

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Oh you pretty thing

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I probably don’t deserve this beauty, but she’s mine anyway. Months and months of research were put into finding the right camera body for me, and a solid, versatile lens that was right for the type of photography I get into. So I present: My Canon 70D (High ISO, large sensor, high standard for video recording, ~*A flip out LCD screen*~, and extreme intuitiveness) and the Sigma Art 18-35mm f/1.8, which is a thing of beauty in itself. It’s so incredibly solid, but at the same time delicate like a porcelain statue. Together they’ve already allowed me to enjoy photography 100 times more. The lens is slightly wider angle than I’ve had, and the 1.8 aperture is ideal (I’ve spared no words in expressing my happiness with the “Nifty Fifty“) for low light and extreme macro. The wide angle is good for landscape photography, which as it’s been documented, is my jam. So anyway, I of course had to test this out as soon as I possibly could, so I documented the environment of my workplace’s new digs (The Star Tribune moved buildings a few weeks ago to Downtown Proper).
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IMG_5228It was like baby’s first day out. This is a gorgeous piece of equipment but I’m also terrified of what could happen to it. The Sigma lens seems incredibly fragile to me. Maybe that’s because I’ve only ever had plastic lenses. But rest assured that this will be the best summer ever and *even more* photos of trees will come.

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Let’s Get Some Shoes (Part II)

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I was disappointed to find I’d already used “Let’s Get Some Shoes” in a post from 2 years ago. It was a dated reference then and it’s even more dated now.  But it’s apt!!

Let’s start over…

Hey. I have lots of shoes but so many of them were ill-advised purchases. I bought some cute D’orsay Flats from Sole Society last spring, for example, and I assumed I’d fit a size 11, because occasionally, I do. The shoes were too big and I didn’t even really get that they were too big until we were past the point of no return (literally). I bought some strappy sandals on Sole Society too, but they’re like, WAY too strappy, and totally not my style at all. I think my style of shoe is something utilitarian, classic and comfortable (although, that doesn’t explain why I bought these boots a few weeks ago. I mean, they’re so incredibly rad)

It’s like I had forgotten about Birkenstocks. To be fair, don’t they have a reputation of being kind of square? Perhaps, if you wear them with floodwater khakis and a magenta v-neck. What about faded black skinny jeans and a boxy white t-shirt (maybe even a cable knit sweater if it was brisk)? Classically casual. Boom.

As I stated just above, I bought a pair of Docs only a few weeks ago, and I love them a TON, but as I’ve found, they’re not always practical footwear, like say, at work. I don’t care that they’re flashy and over the top, but their applications seem limited. They’re totally cool for going out at night. For something a little more minimal though, I think a pair of totally timeless Dr. Martens would be right up my street. I don’t have to go wild on these until the fall when I start wearing boots again. Spring and summer are for sneakers and sandals. And speaking of sneakers….

I discovered these Nikes when I was looking for actual real running shoes to wear since I’ve got a standing desk now and I do a lot of standing and walking. These are way cooler. I bet they’re not really ergonomic, but a trend in footwear I gravitate towards seems to be styled out of the 80s. High top sneakers are cool, what can I say?  Look at Marty McFly and Kanye West. They know what’s up. I wouldn’t actually mind getting some new tennis shoes because my Chuck Taylors squeak when I walk, and it’s very annoying and makes me feel self-conscious when I’m walking through the newsroom at work. Plus they look shabby. But I desire comfort over all, so these Nikes are the ticket.

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Smart watch

CRW_8834Every so often I like to “treat myself” for no reason. I used to wear a Nixon watch (this one) every day. It was part of my uniform. Now I have no idea where it is. I like having a uniform. It dramatically lowers the stress of figuring out what to wear in the morning. I’m currently in the process of thinking about cleaning out my wardrobe and narrowing it down to a handful of staple items. But anyway, I liked wearing a watch. I like to accessorize, but not much. It’s about having a personal brand, and you could probably guess from reading this blog and I am all about having a brand.
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When the Apple Watch was announced, I was very tempted. Not only an intuitive and elegantly designed device, but useful and jam packed with utilities. Plus, I could even have a Braun-inspired watch face. But did I want to jump on that bandwagon? Nah. The most intriguing feature of the Apple Watch is the health component, which would track your daily exercise and tell you how many calories you’re burning and how long you sat down. Essentially, a very expensive fitbit.

I just wanted a watch. Something that tells the time. Because I don’t like to rely on my phone for that. Plus, it’s all the way in my pocket. I need to know the time right now. So I had a payday on Friday and decided to treat myself and get a nice leather watch, like I’ve been wanting for a while. I’m not quite fancy enough yet to get a genuine Braun watch, but I was pleased to see Nixon had something somewhat minimalist and classic and relatively affordable. I’ve always worn white watches, but I also wear a shit ton of black, and they didn’t stay white for long. In addition to the Kensington Leather watch, I got a Small Time Teller P, because they’re water proof, and living in Minnesota, you go swimming in lakes sometimes. Plus, I dunno, the gym?

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I am obviously incredibly vain when it comes to my “things.” Everything must be chosen carefully.

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