Tuesday, December 23, 2008

[off]line and no[line]


i love classic movies......around this time of year, i love classic christmas movies.

while watching these little holiday gems, i'll admit, part of me wishes i could spend christmas in an old vermont inn, or the town of bedford falls. everyone and everything is so genuine and honest in these films. you never see the characters arguing over parking spots at the mall, or fighting to grab the last "must-have" gift of the season.

taking note of this, and needing another blog post for this month, i set out to create my own little norman rockwell christmas. it seems in most every christmas movie the people travel in and out of stores along a snowy sidewalk. that's what i'd do! no computers or malls for me this year!

i decided not to buy anything on-line or venture into any of the national"big-box" stores. this year i spent weekends discovering new stores and shops i never knew existed. i traded the craziness of the mall parking lot for the slow meandering of walking down a sidewalk. instead of dealing with endless lines of cashiers, and spent time talking with shop owners. these smaller stores almost always offered me something to drink with one in particular offering me a mimosa's while i shopped!

i was able to get most of my gifts, as well as supplies to wrap everything up, at local, out of the way stores. i did venture into one large retail store to get a gift, but it's only because i had a coupon i wanted to use up. to be honest, that hour was by far the most stressful of the season, and one hour isn't that bad.

i know it's not possible to create the perfect "hallmark" christmas, but that's not really what i was going for. i just wanted to re-create a shopping season before malls, cars, and the internet. all things invented to make our life easier.....for some reason cause of a lot of stress this time of year. wondering in and out of these small stores and chatting with random people, really put me in the holiday mood this year.

the only thing left to do is spend time with friends and family. the people you love the most.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

lost in [translation]


so, we had our first snow of the season today. bundling up to head off to work today, i was reminded of a story i thought would be appropriate for this weather.

it was my first year of college, and winter had set in. living on campus, i walked everywhere. it only took one long walk to history class and some incredibly frozen ears to realize my winter coat was not keeping every part of my body warm. i needed a "dootsy cap".

on my way back to the dorms i stopped at "the derb" to grab lunch. seeing one of my friends, carl, at a table, i sat down next to him. after discussing the food offering that day, we both remarked how terribly cold it was.

"speaking of that" i said, "do you know where in town i could find a 'dootsy cap'"?


[dumbfounded look on carl's face, followed by silence]


"a what?" he finally asked.

"a dootsy cap" i again stated

"i don't have a clue about what you're talking about!"

"you know...like a little knitted hat...you put on your head...to cover your ears!" i explained,

"do you mean, a stocking cap?"

"yeah, i guess you could call it that" i said

after finally getting on the same page, carl told me to check the mall for my "dootsy cap".

later that day, i made the trek to the mall, and eventually found what i was looking for, all the while wondering why i had thrown carl for such a loop.

trying to figure this all out, that night, i called my parents to clear up this little vernacular mishap. all my life, during the winter months, i was told to put on my "dootsie cap". it's what my parents had called it, so that's what i had called it. after laughing at me for just a bit, my parents explained it was a term passed down from my german heritage. my great grandparents and grandparents come from a very strong german community in kansas. after a few generations living in this area, the geman language had been modified, changed, shortened, and broken down, untill it had become it's own sort of german-american slang. one word that still found it's way into my own daily use was "dootsie kopf" which roughly translates as a stocking cap with a "poofy knit ball" on top, to wear on your head. hearing this as a kid, i myself changed it to "dootsy cap". i had no reason to ever question this word, as i had apparently had never used it in public before. i mean really, how often are stocking caps the center of conversation?

after some slight embarrassment, i was sort of proud that this "slang" word had made it down to my generation without question. a little bit of volga german pride came out that day. although in most conversations now, i'll refer to it as a "stocking cap", in my head, it'll always be a "dootsy cap".

so this winter, stay bundled up,...and don't forget your "dootsy caps".



Sunday, November 23, 2008

some like [to blog]

i've been blogging for three and a half years now. what started out as simply a way to keep in touch with friends and family, has now turned into a full fledged hobby. i've never considered my self a "writer". i loathed any reading or writing class i was forced to take in school, and it's a wonder i was able to pass any of them.

since this little hobby has grown, i find myself being more "in-tune" with any situation i my find myself in while out in the real world, i'm constantly thinking to myself, "hmmmm, could this be a blog entry? is this entertaining? are there any lessons to be learned here? any underlying themes to be applied to other areas of my life? is anyone wearing argyle socks?" this blog not only has made me appreciate the art of writing, but more importantly, those who write.

that being said, i was surprised recently when i discovered the website [douglas and main]. an entire blog devoted to grouping and bringing local bloggers together, a place to appreciate local ideas and writing. i've perused the website, and found there are some wonderful stories out there, taking place in my own backyard.


recently, i was [tagged] by one of these local bloggers adelamaide.

so i'll take part.

the rules:

-link to the person who tagged you.
-post the rules on your blog.
-write 6 random things about yourself.
-tag 6 people at the end of your post.
-let each person know he/she has been tagged.
-let the tagger know when your entry is up.


[1] i hate cinnamon flavored anything! however growing up, "big red" was the only gum kept in the house. so that's what i'd chew. to this day, when i buy gum, it's always cinnamon flavored. as much as i hate it, nothing else makes my breath feel clean. this is also the reason i buy crest cinnamon rush toothpaste, with whitening expressions!

[2] none of my clocks are synchronized, see previous post. apparently this is weird.

[3] i once read a list put out by the american film institute that stated "some like it hot" to be the all time, number 1, best comedy. not having seen it, i couldn't believe that a film released in 1959 could hold that title. not long after, i rented it and watch it. not only has it become one of my favorite movies, i agree completely with the ranking.

[4] i spent seven years in college earning my undergrad. this wasn't because of bad grades, but because i spent three years in one program before switching majors and starting over. at the time, another four years before graduation, felt like an eternity. however, looking back, i know it was the thing to do, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions i ever made.

[5] i believe dr. pepper is the best drink ever invented.

[6] i love blurring the lines between a hobby, and a job. i also love keeping them separate.




alright, i have no idea if they'll play along, but to fulfill this post i [tag] the following bloggers:

life of nickle
the thing about trains
holding out for that teenage feeling
life's a journey
ericamay photography blog: thought studio
scorch

Monday, November 17, 2008

[time]ing


i received a wonderful wall clock from family friends as a graduation gift. upon moving into my apartment, i placed a battery in the back and hung it on the wall. i was terribly pleased with where i located it, placed at the intersection of the only two circulation paths in my tiny apartment. this allowed it to be seen from any angle. after waking up in the morning and stepping out of my bedroom, i methodically look down the hallway to see the time. it has become my "main" clock.

not long after the time change, the battery died. i guess the adjustment was just too much for it's little hands to take. it stopped around 5:44 in the morning. it's been frozen at that time for several weeks now, as i have yet to pick up a double a battery for it. although i'm perfectly aware of this fact, i continually find myself checking the time, looking for it's guidance, maybe an answer to where i am in life, or at the very least, how much time i have to get there. habit's are funny that way.

i was planning on writing a long post trying to intertwine thoughts of change and habits, when it occurred to me, i have much larger timing issues in my life. this one, chronologically challenged clock was just the tip of my timing iceberg.

let me explain:

-my alarm clock is set 18 minutes fast, allowing me to hit the snooze button twice, and still wake up on time.

-shuffling between bedroom and bathroom every morning, i watch my "main" clock which is set 9 minutes fast. this is to encourage me to hurry up as i try to get out the door.

-the stove clock, right by the front door, is set 3 minutes fast, allowing me walking and or driving time to the office.

-the car clock is set 36 minutes fast. this breaks down the pattern of "getting ever closer to the exact time as i get closer to the office", however this clock is set for long distance driving, hoping it'll allow me to be 30 minutes early to any distant appointment.

however, what i've learned is, none of this grand and complex timing scheme gets me to work any earlier. i sometimes wonder what chaos may or may not ensue, if they were all to be magically synchronized. in fact, this little rambling observation does me absolutely no good, except for the fact when i ask myself every night, "where did the evening go?"

i now know there's about eighteen minutes lost somewhere between the kitchen and bedroom.


it's probably in the laundry room, next to my missing sock.....time's funny that way.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

bloggin' bout my [generation]


one thing i don't want to do on this blog, is get political. mainly because i've learned certain subjects, when brought up, automatically create divisions between people, making any chance for a meaningful conversation hopeless. in my own life, i've learned these topics include, but are not limited to, politics, religion, kansas colleges and sports, and contemporary vs. traditional architecture. i feel however this election deserves some commentary.

i'd like to talk a little less about the candidates and a little more about the people voting for them. more specifically those people between the ages of 18 and 30. although it's not an exact date, most of these voters find themselves in "generation y" or the "millennial" generation. i feel that people my age have finally "woken" up and are ready for action. we care. we have ideas. we want to be heard! we want that defining moment that every generation has! our grandparents fought in a world war! our parents rebelled, listened to rock music and brought civil rights to the forefront. what have we done? nothing...yet.

but it's about to change. i feel this is the "millennials" election. it's the first time we have collectively had enough people to flex our political muscle. we have become a demographic. the tools and technology that are second nature to us, have helped us be more informed and more active in politics then past generations! we can debate and share ideas through a multitude of social networking sites, text messages and blogs. even facebook is telling us to vote and can be used to find polling locations! not only has this transfer of information been digital, but it fuels conversations in the real world. i've had more insightful, and spirited political discussions with my peers in the last few months, then guys six to eight years older then me. grown men who have straight out told me they just "don't care" about politics. this is not a democratic/republican issue, it's an attitude! whatever platform an individual in this generation decides to take, they educate themselves, and stand firm in their beliefs. i feel we have become more active than our "gen x" and "baby boomer" predecessors.

in a way this election feels to me like a generational "coming out" party, but it won't be what defines us. i believe that after the election, we face our first big test as a generation. a looming economical crisis. being incredibly stereotypical, our generation, since birth, has been told how wonderful it was. our parents and teachers took great strides to give us anything and everything we ever wanted as we made our way through school. everything was designed to be easier for us. however that all changes in the work place. all the praises, high accomplishments and participation trophies don't amount to much when you're the newest member of an office and someone needs to be cut.

our test has begun.

now as i get off my soapbox, i see that i have several different ideas interacting and intersecting with each other. one idea is the youth vote and how powerful in could be in this election. secondly, the ideas and beliefs that define the millennial generation. following are two sources that do a much better job explaining these two issues.

first, an article written about the youth vote in this election by jonathan darmn of newsweek, who happens to be my age. in the article he states this energy and excitement that has been produced, can't stop on november 4th, but needs to continue for the next four years.

secondly a video of william strauss explaining this new and emerging "millennial" generation. it's an overview of the ideals and beliefs of the millennial generation, and why they came to be. he also begins to discuss how this may change the political landscape in the future. very informative, but an hour long.

although i find myself pessimistic about the future, i'm also very optimistic about the potential our generation holds to solve the problems that will face us.

for now....just VOTE!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

weekend[columbo]

so, the other week, i received a rather large package in the mail. it had no name attached to it, only an overland park address. no big deal, i knew a few people in the o.p. so i opened it. hidden amongst the brown paper and bubble wrap was a large brown envelope. opening this up, i found a beautiful "decemberits" poster. this sparked my curiosity. digging further into the box i found an equally beautiful card. opening it up, i found a "cut-out" style letter stating, "thought you might like this". no name.
i went from curious to freaked out really fast. not to worry though, i had some friends with the sense of humor to pull something like this with me. i spent the weekend looking and deciphering the facts.

1. there was on overland park address on the box, as well as proof that it had gone through the shawnee mission post office on october 14. they must live in the greater k.c. area, or have at least visited recently. this narrowed the field a bit.

2. they spelled my name correctly,the field narrowed even further.

3. the poster was mailed in a "bed, bath, and beyond" box, this meant the suspect must have had a bed, bath, or even some beyond, that they had shopped for at some point. this narrowed the field once again.

4. both poster and card had been made by hammerpress, meaning said person had visited the crossroads district of kansas city. this meant that 'said' person must have some appreciation for nice design.

5. they knew i liked "the decemberists". this fact actually didn't help, because i think just about everyone in the free world knows that.

6. the poster was from a gig in chicago. hmmmm, there must be a chicago connection. this broadened the field of suspects slightly.

7. the letters had been individually cut out and pasted on the card, this would have taken some time. this fact eliminated every male friend i had in kansas city.

after looking at all these clues and facts, i had a list of five people it could have been. there was also the possibility it was mailed by a fan of the you tube sensation, "exposed", but i considered that unlikely.

i sent out five incredibly vague e-mails to these individuals asking if they had mailed me a package. a couple of days ago, i found the answer here.

it turns out that it was indeed people on my list. it was my wonderful friends erica and jeff! most of the clues were correct. the overland park area, visiting hammerpress, and graphic skills, as is apparent in her amazing photography! they would also know how to spell my name correctly and are familiar with my musical taste.

the chicago connection turned out to be just a coincidence,

thank you both for the beautiful poster, and giving me a weekend with something to do!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

[context]

we only had a few submissions this round, but we finished a full year of trying to put out a quarterly magazine! hope you all enjoy!


please click the photo to open the pdf

Saturday, October 04, 2008

acl = austin city [love]


it's amazing how easy it is to conform to an easier way of life.....

last week i ventured down to austin to attend the "austin city limits music festival". my first three day music festival. for a few days i traded my desk chair for a lawn chair, door schedules for concert schedules, and my itunes for live tunes.

after spending thursday driving down, we enjoyed a little bit of the austin night life with our austin friends, watching the famous bats depart from under the bridge, and enjoying some amazing mexican food. that night we planned. our itinerary was light on the details and heavy on the music. the only "for sure" event would be crashing at the house of our friends, boyfriends, parents, who just happened to live close to the festival, and who also ended up being incredibly gracious hosts.

with so many bands and so different taste in music, it was almost impossible to stay as a group. we would meet up to hit the bands we all enjoyed, but then would spit off to take in a band that full filled our own personal liking. my own personal play list for the festival seemed to be a mix of indie folk, "beard rock", electropop, and 90's alternative

day 1:
what made milwaukee famous
vampire weekend
jamie lidell
m. ward
mates of state
hot chip
jenny lewis
thes swell season
the mars volta

day 2:
fleet foxes
jose gonzalez
back door slam
css
erykah badu
spiritualized
john fogerty
iron & wine
beck

day 3:
octopus project
flyleaf
stars
neko case
okkervil river
gnarls barkley
band of horses
foo fighters.

as with anything there were a few disappointments, but also a few surprises. some performances that stand out in my mind were jenny lewis, the swell season, mars volta, css, iron and wine, and the foo fighters. also running, into an old friend from college, out of 75,000 people and eight stages was a pleasant surprise.

there was however an event that trumped all other experiences at the concert. in my program i read neko case would be signing autographs at 6 p.m. on sunday! this time was constantly in the back of my mind. about 1 pm on suday i decided it would be wise to pick up a cd at the festival store, giving me something to have her sign. at the store i found her "autograph time" had been moved up to 2! wow! how easily i could have missed it. the time came, i took my turn in line, which gave me time to think about what i might say! something like,

"thank you for providing the soundtrack to my life!"

.... nope too weird. how about..

"your music makes me want to sell my car and ride a horse!"

...nope weird, and not true. or i could ask if she remembered the moment we shared back in april of 2007 when she played lawrence! written about here. nope, too weird, and a little "stalker-ish".

with all these thoughts in my head! i felt a little like ralphie in a "christmas story" on his way to see santa! before i knew it, i was at the front. my mind froze. somehow i managed to sit down, hand her the cd, and utter the words, " i love your music". she smiled and signed the cover. before i could even think, it was done. walking away i looked at what she had wrote, and smiled, i think she remembered lawrence. (see cover below). later that afternoon neko performed. it ended up being the only concert where i left the comfort of my folding chair and fought my way to the front of the stage to enjoy it.

the whole festival was amazing. the music was enjoyable, but the real real treat was being able to take some time off work to spend with friends!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

[gin blossoms] and [applesauce]


several small things have happened in the last few weeks that stirred up memories in my mind that all remind me of fall. some of them are purely seasonal, but some seem to have been brought up from deep in the storage vaults of my subconscious.

a few of the more standard memories are fairly easy to place. the cooler mornings forced me to bring my plethora of jackets our from the summer hiding places to find a more accessible location on my coat rack. i've also been enjoying riding my bike to work, reminding me of the days before i had a car, or living near campus. i also recently took a revit class. having to follow along in a text book, only to be quizzed at the end of chapters was eerily similar to my grade school days. the couple with an 8 am to 4 pm schedule, and i felt like i was in home room again. two memories, however, took a little more time to figure out their connection to the season.

at the store the other week, i had a mad craving for applesauce, but not just any applesauce, cinnamon applesauce. now this is not standard on my shopping list, so my craving struck me as a little odd. i however brought a pack home and dug in. i was enjoying my first couple of spoon fulls, when i thought to myself, " this feels life fall". upon saying that a rush of memories came back to me. years ago, me and a group of friends would head out into the country, one of their grandparents farms. on this farm were a cluster of apple trees. we would spend the day up in the branches picking apples and dropping them down to our mothers, waiting on the ground. by the end of the day, we would have bags and bags of fresh apples! our mothers wouldn't then spend the next couple of days making batches of cinnamon applesauce and canning it into jars. the rest of the school year, a staple item in the paper bags of our lunches was cinnamon applesauce. although we enjoyed it year round, it was in the fall that it was really enjoyed. i came close to satisfying my craving with the store bought sauce, but nothing beats the homemade stuff i enjoyed as a child.

the other memory took a little longer to figure out. while at work on day, the "gin blossoms" found their way through my speakers. once again, i thought, "this is perfect fall music!" however i couldn't figure out why i thought that. why were the "gin blossoms" fall music? i pondered this for several days.

whenever i hear the gin blossoms, i'm reminded of my middle school years, right around 93 or 94. it was about that time that girls went from being people you wanted nothing to do with, to suddenly being somewhat of an interest. i remember specifically thinking that thought the first day of seventh grade. all of a sudden there were girls in my class, and they were kind of cute! that fall semester, the conversations between my friends quickly switched from discussing the latest episode of the teenage mutant ninja turtles, to something like the following:

"whoa, she's hot, do you think she'd 'go with me'?"

"i don't know dude, i think she likes someone else"

"really? you don't think she'd go for a guy like me?"

"i don't know dude, she's in volleyball, and you're in the marching band."

"true"

simultaneously, this was also about this time that i really started paying attention to and appreciating music, mostly because it seemed like it started to relate to my life. a very popular band at this time was the "gin blossoms". you can play just about any song from their catalog and see why this was the perfect soundtrack for this time in my youth. i'd like to think that i've learned a lot since then and relationships have become easier, but i don't' think that's the case.

i also think just about everyone feels this way too.

so zip up your jacket, turn up the "gin blossoms", enjoy your applesauce, or anything else you can think of to put you in a "autumn" mood, and sit back and enjoy the season.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

blogging [old school]

i have no idea why this cracked me up so much tonight...

i was catching up on some news, when i came across this article stating that a diary found in england, mentions the game of baseball 50 years before it was ever referenced in the united states. now, when and where baseball was "first" mentioned, didn't' crack me up, what got me rolling was the actual diary entry!

here's the excerpt:

a mr. william bray writes:

“Easter Monday 31 March 1755"

“Went to Stoke Ch. This morning. After Dinner Went to Miss Jeale’s to play at Base Ball with her, the 3 Miss Whiteheads, Miss Billinghurst, Miss Molly Flutter, Mr. Chandler, Mr. Ford & H. Parsons & Jelly. Drank Tea and stayed till 8.”

now is it just me, or could that be a blog entry! i know that isn't much of a stretch, since blogs are basically on-line diary's, but for some reason, while reading it, i pictured a very well dressed man, in a wool suite, white wig, and buckle shoes, sitting in front of a macbook writing this entry out.

i think it's the "tea" and the "stayed till 8" that really get me! william and his friends had some crazy night! also the names are epic! "miss billinghurst", "miss molly flutter"! they sound like names right out of a jane austen novel! also, am i reading this right? does william have a friend name "jelly"?

if you haven't read it in an english accent yet, please do. it makes it so much better!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

[off] the interstate


a few weeks ago, i took a weekend trip to the lake to meet up with some friends of mine. being that i had never traveled to this lake before, i was sent directions. google maps quickly and graphically showed me that i would not be taking the interstate there, instead it had me driving down ol' highway 54 the whole way there. i was less then thrilled. five hours of highway driving did not sound that relaxing to me, but alas, it did look to be the quickest way there. i packed some clothes, got in the car and headed out. immediately getting onto highway 54.

"well, five hours on this road and then turn right" i thought to myself.

it didn't take long before i had ventured farther on highway 54 then i ever had before. it was just about the time i stared thinking that to myself that i began noticing something i had over looked. i was now traveling down an old highway, a popular path during post war america, and what was used during that time to attract fun-loving fifties-era families out of their ford fair lanes and forgo faring any farther? non other then GOOGIE motel signs!

they were everywhere! every small town forcing me to slow down, greeted itself with some form on space aged sign directing me to a motel. towns that may have felt slighted not being graced by the interstate system, now little jewels of americana, uncluttered by the commercial development that seems to grow well at off-ramps. watching and waiting to see what the next town had in store made the trip very extremely enjoyable.

after spending a very relaxing couple of days at the lake, i headed home, camera in the passenger seat. stopping in a number of small towns, i photographed these road side relics.

their atomic forms, standing there, on the side of the the road, faded by decades of sunlight, as a reminder to a simpler time of life. a time where the journey meant just as much as the destination.

something i think we all say we'd like to do....but something very few of us achieve...






Thursday, August 28, 2008

film noir[ed]

earlier this year, i auditioned for a small movie fellow blogger, the thing about trains, was working on. i auditioned for the part of jack, who was an eccentric photographer. a part i knew i would have to scour the depths of my inner soul in order to play, but none the less one i thought i could portray.

i few days later, i found out that i had received the part. after being fitted for a wardrobe, the shoot date came. after spending a few hours getting into character, i was ready. on the set, i had to keep asking myself,

"what's my motivation?"

"why so i want to take so many pictures?"

"what am i searching for?"

"can someone get me a coffee!"

the shoot lasted all day and the other actors and crew were some of the best that i've ever had the pleasure of working with. lets just see what the academy thinks.


alright....i'm being very facetious.... the truth is, i know now why they say a movie is made great in the editing room. the crew did an amazing job! the music, the color, the shots! all great! it was great being a part of it.

to veiw it, please click here

Monday, August 25, 2008

a night in [85]

alright, so looking back on the posts this year, it's obvious that i have several themes that i tend to repeat. well, this one's going to combine just about all of them. that's right, my love of bikes, enjoying movies at the orpheum theater, wichita's urban life, the movie "back to the future", and the topic of time travel in general. how could i possibly fit all of these together you may ask? lets see!

let the story begin....



about a month ago, it was decided that august 21st would be 20" bike night! i was thrilled! i had recently rediscovered my old bmx bike in my parents garage and wanted an excuse to fix it up! last week, i dragged it out the garage and with a little help, started getting it road worthy. i wasn't able to get it completely fixed, but i still brought it into town, giving myself a little project to tinker with after work.

i didn't however plan on last week being as busy as it ended up. i had to work late most of the week, giving myself only minimal time to work on the bike. however sitting at work on thursday the only thing getting me through the day was knowing that i would be tearing up the streets of "ta" town on my sweet bmx that night!

wait, what did i just say?

"thursday!"

how could i have been so careless! as it turns out that thusrday night the orpheum was planning on showing the absolute best movie ever. BACK TO THE FUTURE!

this was quite the dilemma.

thinking fast, i planned it all out. i figured i could make the 7 o'clock movie, watch it, jump on the bike, and make most of the ride!

as it would turn out, that plan would create one of the most enjoyable thursday nights of the summer. i was able to sit and watch my favorite movie on the largest screen these eyes had ever witnessed this epic film on. i was also able to enjoy it in the company of other fans who really got into the movie. i then jumped on my old bike and cruised downtown to meet up with the rest of the bikers, where we all got to enjoy everyone else's vintage childhood cruiser.

for all i knew it could have been a night right out of 1985. a time before i had entered school. a time where all i did was ride bikes, ate bologna sandwiches, and played with legos. a time before clients, deadlines , and stress had entered into my life. a time that was a lot simpler...

for a moment.... it was like being a kid again.

Monday, August 11, 2008

i [can't] ride my bike with no handlebars

i like to keep this blog somewhat diverse, trying not to repeat myself too often. however i wanted to follow up the last post with a few pictures and links.

the bike is rapidly becoming my favorite form of transportation. i've been slowly increasing how much i use it every week, waiting for the day i roll up to a job site, "messenger-style" with the drawings in a tube on my back......we'll see.

it's not just me. i've been seeing more and more bikes on the streets of wichita, giving our downtown much need human activity.

maybe it's the gas prices, maybe it's the health aspects....either way, biking seems to be in the air. the art of the bicycle show was a huge hit last month, easily being the "hot-spot" to be on wichita's gallery crawl list.

here are a few pics:





other various links to check out...

wichita's conference bike here.
news article about wichita bikes here. (be sure to click the video link)
pictures from the "art of the bicycle" show here.
bicycles at the "rumble in delano" here.
interesting article from the new york times here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

[add]iction

so....it's official.

i'm addicted.

since i've started hanging out with the bike guys, i've had an itching to get another bike. i love my current bike, but i wanted something a little older, and a little nicer. i wasn't taking it too serious, just occasionally checking craiglist, and newspapers. however last spring, my schwinn started having troubles braking, which i've learned is an important part. i took it to a shop, where it would eventually sit for two months while they tried to find a part for it. during these two months i sat in my apartment, thursday after thursday, not being able to ride, while bikes cruised past me down douglas.


then a craiglist posting was sent to me about an old bike, a 1948 monark! a real "fat tire" bike! checking it out, i was thrilled, it was exactly what i had been looking for. i called a minute later and said i'd be by to check it out.

once at the house, i recognized the owner as a fellow bike club member! we chatted a bit, looked over the bike, bartered a bit, and finally struck a deal. however before i left i got a personal tour of his collection. i was blown away! it was like a bike museum! he had three garages filled with restored, customized, original, and parted out bikes! there must have been close to 100! i was in awe. here i was giddy over my second bike, and this guy had a small army of coasters! he was a serious addict, probably doing this since the 60's, and now he was dealing to me.

i loaded up my new wheels and anxiously awaited thursday night! seven o'clock came and i headed out. however i didn't make it far, a few blocks from my house my tire disintegrated and the balloon tube came out! a little disappointed but not out, i waked over to a gas station, bought a roll of duct tape and patched it up. this allowed me to ride one more block, before the whole tube popped, and deflated my dreams of riding that night. i walked my bike over to a spot where i knew the club would stop and waited.

when they arrived, the duct tapped tire spurred questions and apologies were sent my way. after conversing a bit, i figured it was time to walk home, grab the truck, and pick it up, when another member spoke up and insisted that i keep riding! he could fix it! not really knowing what he meant, i explained that it was alright, i'd catch them next week. to which he said,

"nope, we're going to get some tools!"

i hoped into a car with him and headed to his shop, however during the process of finding the right tools, he thought,

"why fix it! just borrow another one of mine!"

...another addict,

i was now borrowing bikes, to continue to ride...

we loaded up the bike and headed out to meet the rest of the group. it ended up being an amazing night with over 70 bikes cruising the streets and sidewalks of wichita. also later that week, the new bike, eventually got new tires!

but now to the point. with gas prices approaching 4 dollars it's no surprise that bikes seem to be getting more and more popular. even in car-happy wichita, i'm seeing more and more bikes on the road, which is exciting. i'm finding that riding around thursday nights with a bunch of bike bums and addicts is quickly turning into a highlight of the summer.

so...now to the point.

if you happen to find yourself in downtown wichita this friday, and you'd like to get a peek into this weird and wonderful show, the go away garage is hosting the "art of the bicycle"! a show celebrating bikes and bike related art! see poster here!

Friday, July 18, 2008

[moving] on up

i've been a little nomadic the past two years.

not so much globally or nationally, but within the border lines of a territory known as "the office"

when i first started working there, two years ago, my boss graciously gave up his desk, so that i could feel at home. it was great! i had a huge plot of land, with nothing fill it, except the occasional stack of red-lines handed to me to. i started to fill it with a collection of pens and pencil's and even brought in a plant. i was at this location for about 8 months, what i like to call the "honeymoon" period.



when someone else was hired and i was shifted. i moved to a very small table in the conference room. it took some time to get use to it, but i eventually fell in love with this situation. i was crammed in there with two other guys, luckily, we all got along. we all preferred to work with just our desk lamps on instead of the overhead fluorescents on. with great music playing it was almost reminiscent of studio.

being behind a wall of glass, right off of the reception room, i like to call this period of time, the "fish bowl". this lasted about 8 months.

then work began on our "new" office. we had been holding conference meetings in the raw space, but with construction starting we needed the conference room back. this required me to move to a counter top, right next to my boss. a time i refer to as the "lap dog" period.

i try to make the best of every situation, but it was tough in this location. not only was i in a main traffic way, but i was sitting nearly on top of my boss. also, by this time i was getting more and more work, and had very little room to place anything. i did however, learn all of our carpet reps by name as they chatted with me while placing new catalogs. knowing that it would last long kept my spirits up. i was promised that it would only be temporary, we'd be in the new space after the first of the year.....then it was, maybe by february...then by march......possibly by april......for sure by the end of may.....

to make a very long and very boring story short, we finished up the new space last week, and moved in. i'm thrilled. it's probably the best week i've had at the office! after two years, i finally feel settled.

of course, the only foreseeable problem that may arise, is the fact that i moved into the one desk that will have to be demo-ed when "phase 2 " happens.....

here are some pictures of the new space.


Monday, June 30, 2008

[re]milled

as i wrote in the last post, i was unable to learn the history of the oxford mill during my little pilgrimage the other week. there were no old men at the gas station to relate the story of how it came to be or what may have happened to it.

however, due to the amazing and wonderful invention we all know as the internet, i've had some information related back to me about this roadside attraction. a few days after posting, i received this comment from deb hamm.

"Last year, the Oxford School District began leasing the Old Oxford Mill for an entrepreneurship center for our high school students. The community has done a great deal to support this endeavor from volunteering to cleanup the grounds surrounding the mill to recreating a nature trail (probably where you encountered the many mosquitoes!). The high school students sponsor community dining events and private parties in the Old Oxford Mill. I hope you will come again and see the inside of the Old Oxford Mill. It is quite remarkable. Please contact Deb Hamm, Superintendent, at 455-2227 for more information or check out our website at www.usd358.com."

i have no idea how deb found my blog, but hey...isn't that the wonderful magic of sending these little musing into the endless void of the world wide web?

following the www.usd358.com link mentioned above, i found a very nice website devoted to the oxford mill that can be found here, and if you have the time, i recommend visiting it, as they have some very wonderful pictures...as well as a blog!

i think it's a great project for the school district to partake in, and i'm glad to see that this wonderful building has found another use.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

tourist [dis]tractions


maybe it was the solstice, maybe it was the weekend, or maybe it was the need to escape the commotion of the down town metropolis of wichita, but i had an itch to do something "touristy" the other day.

one downfall of returning to work in a city where you grew up, is the feeling that you've seen and done it all. well, last weekend i wanted to change that mindset, and prove to my fellow wichitan's there was indeed "something-to-do-in-this-town".

I had heard of an elusive mill in a small town down south, and i wanted to check it out. i got in my truck, rolled the windows down, turned the old time country station up and headed to oxford. i didn't really have an idea where the old mill was, but surely it couldn't be that hard to find.

i drove and drove and drove....and eventually made it to town. i puttered around the two block downtown, but deciding to mingle with the local folk a bit, i thought i'd stop into the gas station and ask directions. who knows...maybe even get a chance to chat it up with an old man that would relate to me the entire history of the mill and how it had helped oxford out of the great depression!

opening the door, and before i had a chance to look around, i asked,

"hey, do you know where i can find the old mill?"

the teen-aged, slightly emo girl, behind the counter said,

"ummm.................no"

not only was i a little disappointed that my hopes of chatting it up with a bunch of good ol boys had disappeared, but i was astonished that she didn't know where the old mill was! surely this had to be the best thing in the whole county!

"ummmmmmmmm.........i think jake might know........let me get him.........HEY JAKE!!!!!" she yelled towards the back storage room.

jake, looking a lot like kip from napoleon dynamite, came from around the corner....

i asked, "do you know where i can find the old mill?"

"ummmmmmm..........yeah.....i think" jake said hesitantly,

great! I had a glimmer of hope! jake, gave me directions as best as he could. i thanked him, got in the truck and continued my quest.

sure enough, jake got me there. hidden amongst the trees, down a long path, there she was....the old mill. i got my camera out and started walking. enjoying the view, i started looking for the best shot. finding one, i knelt down, but before taking the picture, i felt a buzzing in my ear, swatting at my head, and looking at my arm, i found the most mosquito's i had ever seen on my arm...on my arm! freaking out a little, i did the little "there's and insect on me and i want it off dance" everyone does when trying to rid their bodies of bugs.

after my little mosquito mambo, they came right back for more. realizing this was hopeless, i snap a few pictures, and ran for the truck. a little disappointed, but not wanting to get bit, i decided to head back.

during the drive, i passed a wheat field being harvested. i slowed down, and eventually stopped. watching this post-card in motion, i realized that i had found my tourist destination. it wasn't a spot on a map, or an address you could google, it was something better. something real, something honest, something truly kansas.

and best of all, there were no mosquito's!

....however my allergies did start acting up.