August 24, 2009 0

WTJ : Lose This Page

By in Main, Pictures

Still working my way through Wreck This Journal:


IMG_4029 IMG_4030

The liberation continues!! This one was fun, because I got to just tear out this page and leave it at Red Robin for whoever bussed our table last night. More to come!

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August 22, 2009 6

Super No-Longer-Secret Project

By in Main, Writing

I’ve been really busy lately with a fun project, one that I’ve been revising and fiddling around with for close to a decade. I’ve been seriously working on it for a few months now, and it is ready to be revealed…

I’m publishing a book of poetry.

I have a collection of poems that I’ve compiled into a cohesive collection, all centered around relationships, love, heartbreak, and the journey we take to find “the one.” I’ve added poems over the years, cut poems over the years, and I finally have the nerve to take the collection and share it with the world, because really… why the hell not?

Stephanie Smanto jumped on board with some amazing graphic design talents that have only made these poems look better. She typeset the inside and designed the cover, which I am truly in love with. I’m endlessly grateful to her for her patience and her creative eye. The book wouldn’t be what it is without her role in the publishing process.

I feel confident enough that this last proof is the final proof that I’ve released the book for pre-order on the website. Check out the site, which has a description of the collection and a page for pre-ordering Columbus Groove. It will also have ongoing news, such as book signings in the Ohio area and announcements when the book is available on sites like and There will be a digital format available for purchase as well (stay tuned on the book’s site for info on getting that for free if you purchase the hard copy).

I’ve really been hesitant to talk much about the book, because I’ve let silly insecurities get the best of me up until a week or so ago. Telling people you’re self-publishing can open you up for a long of ignorant and hurtful criticism, usually by fellow writers who want to accuse you of cutting corners or simply not writing anything good enough to be published traditionally. I’ve been lucky enough not to field those comments since announcing this project to writing friends, but I’ve heard the comments all too often before becoming a self-publisher myself.

The truth is, I haven’t submitted this collection to a single publisher, and the process I’ve gone through has not been easy. In choosing to have ownership over every part of this process, I have been completely responsible for the product I’m releasing, including editing, obtaining and approving the best quality design, choosing an appropriate price, submitting the work to the copyright office, and figuring out how and where to sell this baby.

This is much more than just the content of the book for me. I’m releasing a product, complete with packaging that has taken months to perfect, fonts that were painstakingly chosen and approved, page ordering and author bios that were redone a million times, and a game plan that I’ve had to finalize largely on my own, with zero help from a big publisher or an agent.

I’m finally done with the insecurity and I’m really proud of that. I’m proud of the collection, I’m thrilled with the whole package, I’m grateful for the support I’ve received, and regardless of the reception from this point out, it took guts to get this project off the ground. I hope you’ll enjoy the celebration with me. :)

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July 29, 2009 0

Family Vacation: Put-In Bay

By in Family, Main, Pictures

Here are the pictures from the second big day of the family vacation! :) We went to South Bass island in the Put-In Bay area, rode bikes, had great pizza, drank really good wine and got a few family shots that I’m really happy to have. The pictures of me on the ferry back from South Bass were taken by Jeff, who was playing around with my camera. He took a great shot of the sun setting (the portrait shots of the sun setting over water).

Watch above or click here.

Stay tuned for more vacation pics! It was a great week and I’m just now getting back into laptop mode, so I’ll be catching up on the photo blogging and hopefully edit some of the video this weekend. :)

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July 24, 2009 5

Family Vacation: Toledo Zoo

By in Main, Pictures

I had an amazing time taking photos at the zoo! The lens I rented from was amazing. This is the first full day of the family vacation, and it was a great start to a great week!

Or click HERE.

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July 23, 2009 1

Pics: Driving to Toledo

By in Main, Pictures

Took some shots of the beautiful sky we had while driving all the way to Toledo on Saturday… great view, and it was a great start to the family vacation. :)

Or click:

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July 18, 2009 4

Vacation Time!

By in Family, Main

I’m going on VACATION! I took a full paid week off of work (something I’ve never had enough vacation given to me to do at any other job… very new and exciting for me), we have family coming in from Minnesota (my aunt/uncle and their five kids) and my family (10 people including parents, 5 kids, spouses, and my little nephew) and we’re all going to the following awesome locations:

Sunday: Toledo Zoo, where I will be using the hot lens I rented, the Canon 70-200 f/4L IS, to take hopefully halfway decent photos.

Monday: Cabin in Sandusky near Put-In Bay and Kelleys Island. Jim and I are taking some bikes to ride and we’re just all going to run around the Put-In Bay area having unscheduled fun. I haven’t been on a bike in at least 5-7 years, so that should be interesting. I am less than incredibly coordinated.

Tuesday: Cedar Point, where I will spend some time taking photos and then riding awesome roller coasters and eating unhealthy food and getting a sunburn if I don’t already have one by then.

Wednesday – Sunday: Family time back at home, including at least one bonfire, cookout at my grandmother’s, and general hanging out with family.

I don’t know how often I’ll be posting via blog or Twitter because I’ll mostly be concentrating on REALLY enjoying time off work. I’m sure there will be occasional pictures, but I can’t promise how much you’ll be seeing of me, and don’t expect immediate replies to email. Let the party begin!

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July 12, 2009 4

Review: Bob Dylan Concert

By in Main

Yesterday, Jim and I went to Classic Park up in Eastlake, Ohio to see The Bob Dylan Show (Bob Dylan in live in concert with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp opening). My mom got us tickets a month or so ago, knowing that I have always really wanted to see Bob Dylan live before I die (or he does, which was likely to come first).

Willie Nelson played first, and he wasn’t bad. I think Jim was most excited to see Willie play, but even he admitted that it wasn’t a stellar performance. I think Willie’s getting old and his live stuff just isn’t as good as it used to be. Still enjoyable though, and Willie’s son (who was playing with Willie) is pretty darn good.


John Mellencamp played second, and he wasn’t bad (good energy, good musicians playing with him), but my one big turn off with Mellencamp is that a vast majority of his later work all sounds the same, and this was very evident in everything he played, including a brand new song he played that he had just recorded (I found myself able to sing one of his other songs along with the chord structure of the new one). He’s not someone I would go see as a headliner, but I still enjoyed his performance, and MAN oh man were there a lot of middle-aged women going totally crazy over him… it was almost disturbing. Lol.


And finally, Dylan performed. The first thing you should know prior to seeing Dylan live is that he primarily plays his newer work and it will NOT sound like the album version. This tends to really tick off Dylan fans who aren’t prepared for it, so steer clear of live performances if you want “All Along the Watchtower” to sound like any of his recorded versions. He also tends to play completely different sets each night, so you could see him on this same tour and we will probably won’t have heard a lot of the same songs if we compared notes.

I thought it was a solid performance, and I was really just thrilled to be seeing Dylan live. He played several of my favorites from his last few albums (“Jolene,” “Ain’t Talking,” and “Things Have Changed”), and Jim really enjoyed “Senor.” Here are a few of my clips (the first clip has three different song bits included):



One important thing to remember if you go to see this show while these three fellas are on tour: they don’t play together, or at least they didn’t at this particular show. Jim kept insisting they were surely all going to come out on stage together and play at the end, but it was a no go. Just a heads up.

Overall: Great show, glad we went, thanks so much to my mom for tickets and to my dad for a lifelong exposure to Dylan and a heads up about what to expect when seeing him live. This was definitely a check-off on my bucket list. :)

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July 11, 2009 2

Review: Mental on FOX

By in Main, Mental Health

I have a few things to say about Mental, a fairly new show on FOX that stars a:

“radically unorthodox psychiatrist who becomes Director of Mental Health Services at a Los Angeles hospital where he takes on patients battling unknown, misunderstood and often misdiagnosed psychiatric conditions.” (from show description)

My husband enjoyed watching me watch the show this past weekend, and eventually even said, “Umm… why are you watching this? It just seems to be agitating you.”

You know, the show is not really all bad and the doctors are all vaguely interesting as people, but here are some of the things that bug me about the show:

1. Why are psychiatrists the only people who seem to be working with these patients and their families?

Seriously… where are the social workers, the nurses, the aides, the occupational therapists, recreational therapists, and other various people who generally work on an inpatient psychiatric unit? More than one episode shows the main character finding family members and engaging in counseling and doing about a dozen different things that are NOT realistically carried out by the psychiatrist in a typical inpatient setting. It’s a team effort, and it’s really irritating to see my role often completely overlooked or completely misrepresented as something a doctor would do.

Psychiatrists do very important work and I work with many who are very dedicated and mindful and more than competent at what they do, but sometimes (a LOT of the time) it’s a social worker who’s rolling up sleeves and diving into a messy family situation and providing individual or family/couples therapy while the patient is on the psych unit. Did every single important character on the show have to be a doctor? *sigh*

2. Why are all of these patients diagnosed with things or experiencing things in a way that most mental health professionals NEVER see on a daily basis?

I understand the intrigue of rare disorders, but a majority of the public could greatly benefit from better exposure to more common mental illness diagnoses and the difficulties that come with those diagnoses. I would really like more typical psychiatric patients and the struggles that they have to deal with, not to mention the complicated struggles their families deal with as well.

You don’t have to go way into left field to find some really intriguing stories about mental health patients and their loved ones. My work day is completely different every day, and I almost always finish a work week with at least one story that no one would believe if they haven’t been exposed to inpatient or community mental health, so why does the show have to focus so much on rare diagnoses and exceptions to the rule? Try showing the public a more realistic and helpful look at the type of illnesses their family and friends could be struggling with on a daily basis, and there is a valuable, interesting show that people could relate to.

3. Sleeping with a patient’s immediate family member is unethical.

ESPECIALLY when you’ve interacted with that family member during the course of treatment. Enough said.

Overall, I don’t hate the show, and I’ve continued to watch it (I think I’m on the fifth episode), but it doesn’t do a very good job of accurately portraying an inpatient psychiatric unit and all of the hardworking people that spend their days working with patients and their families. They really could have done better with this show.

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July 8, 2009 5

Photography and Changing Perspectives

By in Main, Pictures

I don’t know if this is common for other people when they start out in dabbling with photography, but I’ve noticed lately that I notice more… colors, shapes, plants, the sky (I am constantly noticing how absolutely amazing the sky looks), a baby, animals… it just all suddenly seems like an opportunity for a cool photo or a short pause even if I don’t have my Canon with me.

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What I love about it is that I find colors and shapes and angles to love in just about anything, and I see a picture in a lot of things I’ve never really looked at closely before. Even if I don’t take a picture at the time, I pause and I take a lot more time to enjoy the images around me.

IMG_7404 Light in the woods

Whether you capture them in a photograph or not, individual moments in the world around you can be surprisingly worthy of observation and reflection. I’m grateful to photography for reminding me of that, and I look forward to improving my ability to capture those individual moments for enjoying later and sharing with others. I’m really just having a blast with my camera, and surprised at how much more aware I am of the world around me. :)

Does photography do that for you? Does something else you’ve started recently open your eyes in the same way? What are you doing these days that challenges you to see the world in a new or more exciting way?

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July 7, 2009 1

One Step Four, Two Heavy Steps Back…

By in Main

WOW… did I ever fall of the wagon.

Yesterday, I dragged myself to Curves after work, because I hadn’t been there to work out in so long that they sent me a postcard. (Ouch.)

I knew that getting back on that circuit of machines was going to be bitch after several weeks (probably almost two months) away, but what I hadn’t really prepared myself for was the weigh-in and measurement.

The overview: From January to April-ish, I lost 15 pounds. Since the time I stopped going to Curves and fell off the healthy eating bandwagon, I have gained 20 pounds.

That’s right. I’m five pounds heavier than when I started on this journey around New Year’s. SHAME. ON. ME. Not only shame on me, but I’ve also developed some health issues that I believe are very likely the direct result of my shitty eating and absurdly low physical activity level. I’m honestly afraid I’ve thrown myself into Type II Diabetes or something along those lines (I’ll hopefully be finding out next week at the doctor).

Two things have prompted immediately self-intervention:

1. That weigh-in was a kick in the gut, plus I’ve gained 1/2 – 1 inch on each of my body measurements. FUCK.

2. Hearing myself explain to Dianah that I hid from my husband in the bathroom the other morning to eat mint chocolate chip ice cream for breakfast was a bit eye-opening. WTF.


Shit shit shit. Excuse my language, but seriously… shit. I am trying to get back on track as of this week. Please just slap me in my gluttonous face if you catch me (in person or on any social sites, etc.) eating bad things or skipping workouts. I will NOT finish this year off heavier than when I started when my ONLY goal this year was to get myself in better shape physically. Enough is enough.

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July 5, 2009 0

4th of July = Great Weekend

By in Main, Pictures

Things accomplished during this very, VERY relaxing three day weekend:

1. I read all Friday morning while Jim slept until an obscenely late hour, and finally finished Ender in Exile.

2. Jim and I met up with Matt and we went downtown for what was my very first ever First Friday, Canton’s monthly festival in the downtown arts district. This month was called “Chalk the Walk” and featured some cool art work by professional chalk artists and other local artists (on the right, Matt poses coyly by a cool superhero pic):

739 & Union Ave SW, Canton, OH 44707, United States 739 & Union Ave SW, Canton, OH 44707, United States

3. The same fancy trio had dinner at Napoli’s, which will never happen again if I can help it (the dinner took about two and a half to three hours total… it was a customer service nightmare). We all traded iPhones and tried out new games and played Flight Control on multiplayer for most of the dinner. Major geekage:

Napoli Italian Eatery

4. Saturday, Jim and I stayed in all day, and Jim did a mini-cookout just for the two of us, complete with hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, coleslaw, cherries, beer, and watermelon. It was a veritable feast, and then we caught some fireworks on tv after the Indians game.

Brandice Land

5. And TODAY, I spent much of the day reading and then having a long bit of mother-in-law time at Starbucks, where the sky was absolutely beautiful today. I leave you with a shot of the very lovely sky and hopes that your 4th of July weekend was equally lovely. :)

Starbucks Coffee

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July 5, 2009 0

Reading: Ender in Exile

By in Main

Ender in Exile (Ender) Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card

My review

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Finally finished this volume from the Enderverse, and I have to say that I struggled to stick with it. This book was very disjointed, wandered all over the place, and some of the storylines just really didn’t interest me. The second half was definitely better than the first in that I became even more interested in the formics/buggers than I was when I finished Ender’s Game. I think I’ll be moving on to Speaker for the Dead next, because I really want to read more about the formics and their reasoning, history, and maybe their future?

I won’t be reading this one again, but it had some good moments in it that make it worth the effort. The writing is not great, the characters are not always well-developed (especially the women… Card does not seem to understand women in the slightest), but there are some good nuggets in there, and I’m glad I caught those along the way.

View all my reviews.

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July 3, 2009 2

One World Connects – Wanna trade?

By in Main

Hey! Want to get a new trinket and trade trinkets for a good cause?

Check out One World Connects and buy a meridian, which you can inscribe with a word of your choosing and then send all over the world to other participants. These little trinkets can be worn on a necklace or attached to just about anything.

I’ve been in possession of three meridians so far; one that I ordered, one was sent to give away to get a friend started, and I just traded with Aron, so I’m currently carrying his original meridian on my keychain:

Each meridian is $20 and the money goes to a charity of the month, which users get to vote, from what I can tell from the beta site. The only drawback to this project is that the website is pretty awful at this point (highly confusing and non-intuitive in design/organization), but I can confirm that ordering meridians works just fine, and that tracking their travel works well also.

If you DO order a meridian, let me know if you want to swap!

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July 1, 2009 0

Vid: Harley Ride (July 7, 2008)

By in Main, Videos

Jim and I rode the Harley last summer to meet Matt for some ice cream and then took an evening ride to the bar. I’ve been waiting to edit a lot of motorcycle footage until iMovie updated to 09 and allowed me to speed up clips, so expect more motorcycle videos in the upcoming days! :)

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June 30, 2009 0

Prompt: Am I successful yet?

By in Main, Mental Health

Journal prompt:

What do you need to feel successful?

I know the question is about what I need in order to feel successful, but when I began to think about my answer to that question, I was more interested in whether I actually feel successful right now, and if I do, what is it that does or doesn’t make me feel that way…

I think in my personal life, I feel successful in the area of family because Jim and I have made it through our first year of marriage, and while I’ve struggled over the years to find a healthy place for my immediate family in my life, I have recently been very successful in building positive relationships with them, while not feeling like I’ve given up anything important to do so. My sister and I, in particular, have both grown and evolved to a point where we are actually sisters now, which is new as of the past year. I think that my family efforts in the past year or so have been successful and will continue to be.

When it comes to friends, things seem to ebb and flow. I’m often frustrated that the people I seem to have the most in common with are only accessible via the internet due to geographic distance, and that the friends I have more locally are the type that float in and out of things and each one of them only meets a portion of the criteria for what I would really like to have in a kindred spirit. Have I been successful in building friendships? I would say that recently my success has been more in recognizing what I want in a friendship and eliminating relationships that don’t provide enough (or any) of those things, so that my energy is best spent on those who reciprocate that energy.

As a professional, I have succeeded by finding work right out of grad school and in excelling at that work, but I think that in order to feel an ongoing sense of success I will need to continue to learn and grow as a therapist, and I will need to eventually incorporate more clinical work (counseling/therapy) into what I do later on as a mental health professional. I have a picture of where I’d like to be professionally when I’m “settled,” and I’m not quite there yet.

Are you a success? Why or why not? What does it really mean to be “successful”?

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June 28, 2009 0

Reading: The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

By in Main


The Reader The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

My review

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

1. When did you understand the significance of the title?

I think I vaguely understood the title within Part 1, with the meaning becoming more and more clear throughout Part 2. The Reader, or main character, was actually my least favorite element of the book. I didn’t like him at all.

2. Do you think The Reader is a love story? How would you describe Michael and Hanna’s relationship?

I think The Reader could have been a love story, but was too riddled with the sometimes annoying angst of Michael, and I’m not sure the two ever felt real love for each other because they were so entrenched in their own struggles. Michael, regardless of what happened with Hanna, was overly invested in a lifelong process of self-loathing and avoidance of finding himself in any way that would have been separate from Hanna, and I hated that… our happiness is not contingent on any one person, and his inability to see that throughout his entire life was sad. I don’t think that Hanna was ever capable of a healthy and true love, not because she was an inherently bad person, but because she lacked the capacity.

3. Did you sympathize with Hanna?

No. I may understand, I may empathize on some small level, and I may be saddened by the situation and everyone’s involvement, but I do not sympathize with Hanna. Her situation was extreme and probably deadly had she chosen to act different under the Nazi regime, but she had choices. Her reasons for making those choices are clear and understandable, but they don’t elicit sympathy from me.

4. Do you agree with Michael that Hanna was sympathetic with the prisoners she chose to read to her, and that she chose them so that their final month of life would be better?

I don’t think we ever knew Hanna well enough to be sure of that. I really don’t feel that we ever knew Hanna very well in this book, whether that was intentionally done to allow the reader to create what we wanted of her, or because who she really was wasn’t important to the premise of the story. I’m not sure *Hanna* knew herself very well.

5. When the judge confronts Hanna about not unlocking the church, she does not seem to understand what she did wrong. She is completely consumed with her responsibility to keep order. Was this shocking to you? What is lacking in her moral sense?

I don’t think her behavior at the trial implies a lack of moral sense at all. I think she was baffled in some ways at trying to understand what she could say in the face of what was done during the Holocaust, and her role was horrible, but also self-preserving. I felt like she wanted everyone to somehow acknowledge or at least understand that she was among many people who made a horrible choice of self preservation over possible death, and living that way for so long conditioned a lot of common sense or decency out of her at the time, and conditioned her (admittedly, with her own permission) to respond as a Nazi rather than as a reasonable person. I understand the outrage toward her, but also her response, however horrible it may have been.

6. Do you think there is a connection between literacy and morality? Do you think Schlink is suggesting such a connection?

As in, are illiterate people immoral? That’s absurd, and I would hope that’s not what Schlink was suggesting.

7. Michael feels guilt over a variety of things. In what ways, if any, is Michael guilty? Does loving someone who has committed such a horrible crime implicate him?

How could it possible implicate him? I really don’t get WHY he feels such guilt throughout the book, and it really left me feeling irritated at him throughout most of it. To let one person color and essentially taint your entire life is absurd and profoundly pathetic, and I don’t say that lightly or naively. Being someone who have overcome a lot of things and worked through some very horrible situations and come out of it still a whole and healthy person, I found myself feeling physically angry at Michael’s self-pitying float through life. He felt guilty because he was comfortable in his misery and in wanting to be miserable without (or even with) Hanna. I feel disappointment in Hanna, but I understand her, while I just feel complete disgust with Michael through most of the book. He is a coward, through and through.

8. What did you think of Michael’s decision to send Hanna the tapes?

It seemed like throwing a dog half of a bone… it was a taste of what Hanna wanted from him, and I might have understood how he kept himself at arm’s length if he had done it to punish her, but I felt that he did it because of his cowardice, which disgusted me.

9. Why do you think Hanna killed herself? Do you think she ever came to terms with her guilt as a Nazi? What about her guilt toward Michael?

I don’t think that Hanna had guilt toward Michael. I think she killed herself because she didn’t fit anywhere, and she finally realized that she didn’t even fit with Michael because of how he still kept her at arm’s length. I think if he hadn’t strung her along with the tapes, she might have killed herself long before.

10. Schlink has been criticized for The Reader. Some say it is wrong of him to try to get people to sympathize with Hanna. Others say he is trying to downplay the culpability of the educated class. Still others think he is blaming Hanna’s guilt on illiteracy rather than holding her accountable. Do you agree with any of these criticisms?

I don’t think that what Schlink wanted was for us to feel sympathy for Hanna. I think he wanted us to *understand* her. Not forgive, not excuse, not sympathize, but to understand her, because I would imagine her story isn’t unique to her, and even if we don’t forgive or sympathize with that story, shouldn’t we understand it? I understand wanting us to read a story like this one, because it’s important to understand what we can become as people if we adhere to something like the Nazi regime, even if out of self preservation. I think the “love” story was much less important than the thought provoked by Hanna’s crimes and the implications her behavior has for the human race in a time of mass genocide.

11. Rate The Reader on a scale of 1 to 5.

I’m giving the book at 3. I like some of the questions it raised for me, and the premise is interesting, but the book is flat at times, too weighed down with the cowardice of Michael and too devoid of any character that the reader can truly relate to. I’m interested enough in the story to pursue watching the film version, which I’ve heard is much better than the book, but the book itself was simply mediocre as a whole.

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June 28, 2009 0

Review: Regina Spektor – Far

By in Main

Has anyone checked out the new Regina Spektor album, Far since it’s release last week? I am absolutely loving it.

I’ve been a pretty big fan of Regina’s since Begin to Hope, and I was honestly pretty leery about her new album, simply because Begin to Hope is such a seriously solid album. As it turns out in this case, a seriously solid album can be followed by an equally solid album (I wouldn’t say it’s better than the last, but definitely stands up to the quality of it and is just as innovative).

I initially thought the album was a bit over-produced, but by the second listen-through, I was totally hooked and already catching myself humming a few of the tracks under my breath throughout the day. I love Regina’s voice, and the more I listen to the lyrics, the more I simply love this new album, which is exactly how I fell in love with her last album… a little unsure at first, but totally captivated by the second listen.

There just isn’t anyone else out there I’ve listened to who is able to really alter their sound and their voice and use the vocal effects that she does and still produce such a beautiful, strange sound. If you’ve enjoyed her past albums, you should definitely be checking this one out. :)

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June 27, 2009 2

Podcamp Ohio 2

By in Main, Pictures

Last weekend, I attended and volunteered at the second Podcamp Ohio in Columbus. I had a total blast taking pictures and heading up registration, and it was so great to finally meet Aron Pobursky, Jacob Burke, and Drew Griffin for the first time.

Thanks to all the presenters, all the volunteers who helped with registration, all the organizers (notably @AngeloMandato, @DoctorAnonymous, @MerryCricket)and everyone else who made the weekend such a total blast! There are just too many people to list, but I met a lot of great new people and I saw a lot of people I built friendships with last year at Podcamp Ohio.

I took a lot of photos, so I’ll leave you with the slideshow, and you can see several recorded session here (they are gradually being added as Coefficient Media goes through all the footage). Thanks to DG Hollums of The Guys Podcast, who helped me with camera settings and was generally very spiffy, per usual. Note in the photos that Doctor Anonymous is completely incapable of smiling in a photograph unless you catch him unaware… what a ham! ;)

Can’t wait until next year!

Click here if you can’t see the slideshow.

Also a big thanks to the sponsors, who deserve some major love (especially loved the caffeinated water Avitae throughout the event!): The Ohio State University Center For The Study And Teaching Of Writing,, Doctor Anonymous Podcast, Circle Of Seven Productions Book Trailers and Marketing,,, TechSmith, SpaceBlue, Blue Microphones and Avitae.

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June 21, 2009 0

Pics: Sam’s Birthday Weekend

By in Family, Main, Pictures

Took some fun shots last weekend while my sister Sam was in town. Snapped shots of my nephew, my little brothers, the house, and anything else I could point my DSLR at. :) Getting together with family is almost always a great opportunity to take a few shots with the camera, eh?

I also finally found the option for embedding Flickr slideshows, so here’s what is hopefully an easy way to peruse the Flickr set:

You can view the full set on Flickr here as well.

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June 21, 2009 2

Pics: Tee Ball Game

By in Family, Main, Pictures

A couple of weekends ago, I went to one of my brothers’ tee ball games for the first time. It’s amazing how funny tee ball is… no score, very few kids on the team paying real attention to the game, my brothers remaining completely oblivious to where the ball was at any given moment… it was really cute.

I really need a telephoto lens for stuff like this, but I did manage to get a few cute shots (click on bobble head Ben for the full set):

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June 18, 2009 0

Kiva – Akossiwa Kouwonou

By in Main

This is my latest Kiva loan:

Mrs. Akossiwa Kouwonou was born in 1981 in Nyigbé in the south of Togo. She is married and the mother of 6 children. She works at agriculture to help her husband, who is also a farmer. She grows maize. To expand her arable land and increase her yield, she is asking for a loan to pay for plowing and buy fertilizer for her soil. The income that this will bring her will permit her to improve living conditions for her family.

Have you joined Kiva yet?? :)

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June 10, 2009 6

Project: Wreck This Journal

By in Main, Pictures

So, Laura and I decided to do the Wreck This Journal adventure together after recently talking about how we’d both like to do more creative and cathartic journaling. The book isn’t your typical journal and involves actively pushing you to do things to a journal that you wouldn’t instinctively do, like dump coffee on it or scribble on it or even light certain pages on fire.

One of the first (if you go through the book in order) tasks is the crack the spine:

Yikes… I’ve never done that intentionally to a book, but there you go.

Some of the other pages/tasks I’ve done so far:

Owner page Number the pages

Looking forward to wrecking the rest of the journal! Almost everyone I’ve shown the book to has gone out and purchased one… the wreckage is contagious. There’s a group on Flickr too, so I’ll be adding all my pictures to that group in addition to the album I started as well.

Let the wreckage begin! :)

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June 9, 2009 1

Review – Up (2009, Pixar)

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UpUp (2009)

Going to see this in 3-D was one of the best times I’ve had in a movie theater in a long time. My hubby and I went to see this on a whim while we were out of town for our anniversary and it turned out to accidentally be the perfect movie to see that weekend. I cried a lot, I laughed a lot, and I had a lot of choked up moments, where the unbearable sweetness of this movie just grabbed my cynical little heart and demanded that it melt.

Highly recommended, whether you have kids or not. (I don’t have any and I loved it, 3-D glasses and all!)


- If you can tolerate 3-D movies, definitely go see it in 3-D!
- Take a tissue or two, and if you don’t cry or at least choke up… well, you’re a bastard.
- Remember that it’s a kid’s movie, so there will be potentially obnoxious young persons on the premises. Deal with it.

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June 9, 2009 0

Anniversary Weekend Recap

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So, this past weekend with Jim was an amazing one.  I shut off the outside world for 48 hours, and we headed north to an inexpensive jacuzzi suite in Macedonia near the Cuyahoga Valley State Park.  I’m amazed at how little I missed the web and my iPhone (I never even charged and only used it a couple of times in airplane mode to check the time).

Here are the highlights:

-          Delicious dinners were had at Qdoba (didn’t know there was one so close to home!) and Outback Steakhouse.

-          Jacuzzis are awesome, especially when full of bubbles and surrounded by yummy-smelling candles.

-          Homemade icecream at a little shop inside the state park = butterpecanliscious.

-          Took photos at two waterfalls, which was fun, but the water was really low. We’ll go back sometime.

-          The movie Up (which we saw in 3-D) was absolutely AMAZING, and surprisingly perfect for an anniversary weekend date. Jim wore the 3-D glasses for the rest of the evening. HOT.

-          The morning of our anniversary consisted of champagne we saved from our wedding mixed into mimosas and sipped in the Jacuzzi before checking out.  Delicious use of champagne + sentimental value = perfect. :)

-          Sunday marathon of the entire first season of Big Bang Theory, which Jim gave me on Friday, w00t.

Stay tuned for pictures… I had a lot of fun with the camera and Jim even played around with the Canon too.  It was a *great* weekend!

Posted via email from brandice’s posterous

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June 7, 2009 9

Our First Anniversary

By in Main, Videos

Engagement TripToday is our first wedding anniversary. :) Jim and I made it through our first year of marriage, and our sixth year together as a couple. I’m still amazed that I found someone so completely perfect for me, that I turned out to be perfect for him, AND that we’re able to put up with each other on a daily basis. ;)

We are incredibly lucky. I am incredibly lucky.

I’m writing this a few days before the anniversary, because we’re whisking ourselves away to a jacuzzi suite near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Depending on when you read this, we’re either wrapping up our stay at the hotel or we’re already somewhere on a trail, Wedding Phototaking pictures and just enjoying the quiet. We haven’t seen much of each other over the past several weeks, so it seemed like the perfect way to spend the weekend.

We decided to shut off the outside world this weekend (no cell phones, no internet), but I made sure to pack my laptop so that we can watch the wedding. Even a full year later, that is the best time I have ever had in my entire life. I don’t honestly remember a single moment of anger or pain or discomfort that day… there are too many amazing (and several funny) memories that completely drown anything else out. It was a perfect day that started what has so far been an amazing life as husband and wife.

Today we’ll spend at least these twelve minutes below remembering the ceremony that started everything. :) If you’d like to remember it (or see it for the first time), you can watch too:

Our wedding/family site has all the posts, videos, and other happy tidbits that went in to the entire experience of creating our brand new family together. You can see details from our engagement trip, wedding planning, the wedding itself, and our honeymoon. Keep an eye on that Schnabel blog for future events as well!

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