Yesterday I went outside to take this picture:
I heard something behind me and turned around to find this:
Not the picture I expected to get, but I <3 it.
I spend a ridiculous amount of time staring at a computer for one reason or another, be it work or play. We, as a family, play a lot of video games. Jo and I are addicted to World of Warcraft, and Dani plays a little bit but prefers her DS. With that in mind I make a special effort to make sure we do stuff that involves family face time.
This weekend we went to the grounds of the Alberta Legislature, or, the Leg for short (pronounced ledge). It’s a lovely public space that I really enjoy…so long as it’s not Canada day when it becomes ridiculously overcrowded. I digress.
I took my camera with me and I’d like to share a few of my favorite shots from the afternoon.
Before we left to go to the Leg Jo said to my sister (on World of Warcraft LOL) that we were going to take pictures. When she asked of what he answered “Given Rhonda’s predilections of late, birds and flowers.” Part of me resents having things I typically take pictures of, but the other part kind of likes it. Plus, these flowers are pretty.
I have been struggling lately. You may have noticed, it’s been a recurring theme for the past couple years and it just keeps getting worse. I have the attention span of a gnat nowadays. I look back at the things I used to accomplish in a day and that list has been getting smaller and smaller for the past 4 years or so. Unacceptable.
I have the attention span of a gnat.
This needs to change.
After a lot of consideration and discussions with friends who find themselves in similar positions as well as those who don’t, I have a theory. I think I have trained myself to be unfocused. This was obviously unintentional, but I think it’s what happened.
A few years ago when I was building websites and such for a living I had a livejournal and an ICQ account. I would check LJ once a day and keep ICQ up and running while I worked. That meant I could communicate with people if I needed or wanted to, but I wasn’t leaving the window or webpage I was on to do it. Fast forward to now and I have a LiveJournal, a Facebook account, a couple blogs and a twitter account. Discounting the blogs because they don’t fall into the same category — I have a lot more distractions. Firstly, Facebook and twitter update a lot more often than LJ. My twitter feed changes every couple minutes, that means I’m refreshing that page every couple minutes and in order to do that, I’m leaving the window I’m currently working in. Add to that the ability to get sidetracked following links or playing games on Facebook and really, it’s no wonder my brain is so fragmented and frazzled.
This hasn’t just affected my work, by the way. Look at my World of Warcraft account as another example. I play on two servers (one less than the other). On each of those servers I have 10 characters. 10. That’s the maximum. Why? Because I don’t seem to be able to focused on any one toon for very long.
The good news is I figure if I trained myself to be unfocused, unproductive and to have a short attention span, I can untrain myself too. (Is untrain a word?). Starting immediately during work hours I am only going to allow myself to check Facebook and Twitter once a day. That’s it. Just once. The same goes for Livejournal. During my off-hours I’ll ease up on myself a little bit. I will continue to check Twitter while I’m taking a long flight in WoW for example, but I need to force myself to focus when I should be working and maybe actually get something done now and then. The way things are right now is ridiculous.
Wish me luck, I might need it.
This morning I had the following conversation with Danica:
Me: What do you want to do this afternoon? I’d like to do something together because pretty soon you’re not going to want to hang out with me anymore.
Danica: Aw Mom, I will always love you.
Me: I know, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always want to hang out with me.
Danica: Of course I will, silly.
This afternoon I had this conversation with her:
Me: Danica, want to go out for lunch?
Danica: No thank you, I’m playing Warcraft with my new friends
Sometimes it sucks to be right :-p
In other news, I have a newsletter done and sent out. It spills the beans about two of my pseudo-secret projects. If you’re not subscribed you’ll have to wait until they become a bit more official to find out about them. If you want to subscribe so you don’t miss out next time, click here 🙂
Now I’m going to go wrestle Danica off the computer and make her come walk the dog with me. Sunlight and fresh air are good things.
I fail at keeping my personal and professional lives separate. Some people can do it, and I envy them, I really do, but I haven’t the skill. Perhaps I’m an exhibitionist at heart (I don’t think so LOL but you never know). I think the two biggest issues are that the lines between personal and professional tend to get blurry…and I’m lazy.
Once upon a time this blog was meant to be my ‘professional’ blog. My ‘official’ website and presence on the web. For personal stuff and friends I had my Livejournal. That lasted for a little while, then I realised this blog was boring. Worse than boring it was just a listing of publication credits…so it was a strange sort of ego trip AND it was boring. Yikes. Not only that but people were coming from here and going to the live journal. Hmm…there wasn’t much separation there anymore LOL
My reaction was to privatize the old LJ entries, change the name of the journal to my real name and try to infuse some personality, some of who I am, into this blog. Well, it worked, but then I kept finding myself sitting in front of the computer trying to figure out on which blog to put any given entry. That didn’t work so well so now I cross-post. Everything that goes up on my blog goes on my LJ, so much for keeping personal and private separate.
That’s not too surprising, I suppose, because connections (for lack of a better word) also blur lines of professional and personal. As more and more work-related contacts become friends or at least friendly acquaintances it became impossible to keep work and ‘life’ separate.
I worry though, about the content on my blog, twitter or facebook. If it’s too diverse is it going to drive people away from reading my stuff? That would be counter productive…but um…focus? Not my strong suit. What do you think? Do you have trouble staying focused in your blog entries? How about keeping your professional and your non-professional lives separate?
I’m in the awkward position of having “big news” but it’s not official yet…and my psuedo-secret project is sort of connected to it (sort of) so I can’t talk about it yet either. Soon, I hope, but not yet. So that leaves me with pictures. I have lots of vacation pictures so I’m going to share a few more. I appreciate that you’d likely enjoy more writing and less photos, but I’m bound by superstition and pragmatism from discussing the exciting things in my writing career right now. Please, bear with me.
I think it was our third day in San Francisco that we had lunch with S.G. Browne and then walked by the Palace of Fine Arts on our way to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a longish walk, and I ended up with a sunburn, but still a lovely way to spend the day.
Plus, I got cool shots. Like these two of the Palace of Fine Arts:
This one of the Golden Gate Bridge:
I have more pictures. Are you tired of pictures? I hope not because there are loads more where these came from.
These are all bird pictures I took at Pier 39. After we’d finished walking around and such we stopped to have soft pretzels (I think it may have been my first big pretzel ever in life…which is weird since I love pretzels) on the grass. Let me tell you about this grass, it was the springiest grass I’ve ever felt in my life. It felt so good under my sore feet, and my butt. There were loads of birds all around us…most of which we didn’t bribe over with food.
I know some people hate pigeons, but I love them. When I was a kid we lived on a farm and had pigs, chickens, turkeys and geese. One day a pigeon came to live with them. He was totally tame and would hang out on us kids’ heads and shoulders, and is famous for sitting on my mom’s head and pulling her hairs out one by one. We loved him and named him Coo. Ever since then I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for these rats with wings 🙂
I don’t know what most of these birds are, actually. Mostly they are just little feathered beings that I think are intriguing, beautiful and pretty darn smart.
There is just no way I’m going to be able to get my newsletter done today. I have two clients who need rush work done and I had to take my daughter to the orthodontist, that means my time is at an even bigger premium than it usually is today. However, I snuck some time in between jobs to pick some of my favorite pictures from our second day in San Francisco and resize the pics to share here. I hope that makes up for it — I mean really, I have sea lions. Sea lions rock!
This is Alcatraz as seen from Pier 39, which is where we went on day two in San Francisco. Looking at it now, I think I should have adjusted the colors on it before sharing but then we run into that lack of time thing again LOL
I don’t think it would be inaccurate to say that the sea lions where the highlight of the trip for me. I <3 them. I’ve seen them in the zoo, of course, and at West Edmonton Mall, but seeing them ‘in the wild’ was incredible. I don’t know what exactly it is about them that I adore so much. I love their noise, their cute little faces, the way they pile on one another, how obviously intelligent they are. How they bend their heads all the way back, how they fight and play. I just love them. Thus…there were a lot of sea lion pictures taken that day 🙂
If other people’s vacation photos bore you, you may want to skip this entry…and the next couple that follow it 🙂
We had a fabulous time in San Francisco. The highlights included a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Alcatraz, Pier 39 and the Golden Gate Bridge. Now we begin the task of settling back into the routine at home and, if you’re me, getting back to work (Jo and Dani still have some time off). In the meantime, I’m going to cling to my vacation a little longer by sharing some of my favorite pictures with you guys over the next few days. Don’t hate me.
I love birds. I also love photographing birds, so you’ll see a lot of bird pictures LOL. This seagull was sitting atop the waterfall that you walked under to see the Martin Luther King memorial in Yerba Buena park (at least, I think that’s the name of the park).
This bird is too. I really like his reflection in this picture 🙂 Continue reading Vacation Photos
Mondays I meet with Cindy and BD and we critique each other’s work. It’s awesome. Anyway, this Monday once the meeting was pretty much over and we were just packing up and getting ready to go I glanced down at my ipod and caught the date staring up at me from it.
“Oh crap!” I said.
BD started laughing right away but Cindy looked a bit puzzled.
“How’d it get to be the 15th already?” I asked, dumbfounded.
“Got a newsletter you need to do?” BD asked, still laughing.
“Erm, that is…” I muttered before pointing out the window. “Look! Sparkly!”
Okay…I just made up the ‘Look sparkly’ part, but the rest was true. Here are a couple more pictures to distract you while I attempt to write a newsletter before it gets any more overdue.
I <3 my camera. For now, back to work on the newsletter…
I’ve wanted to get a decent camera for a very long time now. I finally did it. I bought a Nikon d60 this weekend. I’m told it’s a pretty good camera for a photography newbie, and I definitely fall into that category since I haven’t used an SLR camera since photo class in junior high. I picked up an extra lens for it (haven’t started playing with it yet) and also an inexpensive digital camera for Danica to use. We’d been talking about getting her a camera for a while now so we could stop buying disposable ones for all the times we wanted her to be able to take pictures and hearing Jay Lake mention an urban photo safari with his daughter spurred me to action.
It was kinda yucky out today so Dani and I had to change our planned expedition to a neighbourhood park and just hang out in the backyard. It worked out pretty well though, we each got to get to know our cameras a bit better and take a few shots. I’m very, very pleased with my camera and I have a few shots to share.
The obligatory dog picture. I was going to start with a shot I took of Dani, but I figured a good ‘Wow! Dog!’ response would grab your attention and hold it while I showed off my beautiful little girl and a bit of our backyard. So this is Atreyu, my dog. We call him Tre. I love him.
Danica, who I also love. Even more than I love Tre, but don’t tell him that. It would make him sad. Dani’s eleven. Maybe it’s just my parental fear talking but she looks older than eleven to me in this picture…and, quite often, just in general.