Archive for the 'Bloggitys' Category


It has been a while!

I apologize in regards to the lack of communication on this blog as most of my energies has been spent on my jewel of the Nile, Over Yonderlust, a travel blog chronicling the preparations and adventures of Shaun and I in regards to our *hopefully* one year backpacking trip through Central/South America.

I have been taking on a few projects to further my photography career. I am about to kick it into high gear as we go careening into the holidays.

Here are a few peeks of some pictures I have taken over the past few months:


And I did an amazing fundraiser for the Elgin Humane Society:

I’m covering the Book People holiday party tomorrow evening – that should be a blast!

I’ll try to keep up a bit more. ❤


Bloggity 2010-01-16

Heading out to Jackalope tonight after work. Hopefully someone will meet me there. ❤

I have to say, one of the most awesome things about working in the video game industry is the awesome links that come your way. Thought I would share my favorite of the day:

Amazing One Dollar Art

No Martha Stewart tonight – I only really have one recipe to go anyway. 🙂


Bloggity 2010-01-11

I’m up due to jet lag and I might as well do something productive… I guess blogging is productive in someone’s world. My world, specifically.

I really haven’t felt up to blogging much since we got back due to some traveling blues and uber jet lag so I’ll try and catch up to the best of my ability.

When we left Madrid on the 7th, the city appeared to be getting ready for snow. I was glad we made it out of the aiport before it got too terrible, but getting out of the airport was a whole different story.

I understand that international flights going into the U.S. have stepped up their security due to the douchebag that decided to light his undies on fire in Detroit. Sure, I can see that. However, doing a full pat down on every single person, along with checking every single pocket of their carry on bag that they got past security in the first place is stupid. I obviously passed every other check. Move your fail security to the first check, not an additional one before I get onto the damn plane. The female guard made me take off my hat, my sweater, and my jacket and proceeded to get more play on all the femal passengers than she has probabaly gotten in her entire life. You stick out your arms like you are a prisoner and they have a full on ass grabbing. They then feel down your entire body, in your bra, and most embarassingly, stick two fingers down your pants around the inside part of the elastic of your panties and do a full circle front to back. I have never felt so violated in my entire life.

Seriously – if they want to bomb the damn plane, they’ll figure out how to do it regardless of these faux security measures. I’m willing to take that risk obviously as I travel frequently. You still have a higher chance of dying in a car wreck than being bombed by a terrorist.

After that debacle, as we wait to board our long and tedious 9 hour flight to Chicago, we look around in horror to find that every international traveler has decided to bring their spawn with them. And by spawn, there were 5 children sitting around us. Two were screaming, two were running up and down the aisles and I guess one was passed out in a Benadryl induced coma. No clue why all of them had to be on my flight, however it did assist with keeping us awake on the way home.

This is how I feel about children (sorry parents):

Chicago was a dream too. 420 something flights had been canceled that day due to the crazy, freakishly cold winter we have been having this year. 8 inches of snow were expected to fall that day. All I wanted to do was to sleep in my bed that night. Luckily I had on my lucky travel socks (on the right feet this time!) and our plane was not canceled – just an hour and a half late but I was willing to make that sacrifice.

Over the past few days I have been trying to get back on to my old sleeping schedule and have miserably failed every night. At this rate it will be a month before I can sleep a full night without getting up at 8am.

A few New Years Resolutions (since I didn’t post them while in Madrid):
1.) Answer my phone more often.
*This has been rectified seeing as I just joined the hordes of people owning iPhones. WEE!
2.) Find an awesome place to live this year.
*I deserve a hip, trendy, place to live damn it.
3.) Grow my herb garden.
4.) Not kill my plants for another year.
5.) Travel to at least another country this year.
*We have Costa Rica slated in soon.
6.) Get more tattoos.
7.) Walk more.
*Its embarrassing huffing and puffing everywhere you go in other countries.
8.) Continue my 365 days project with as much gusto as I have had so far.
9.) Search actively for my dream job.
*I can’t bitch if I’m not looking right?

And… I’m spent. Lots to write about, but to avoid a “wall of text”, I’ll leave it for next time around.



159/365, originally uploaded by Piratepenpen.

So so so so so so tired.

Went to work today while still a bit jet lagged. We got out at 10:30pm and my body told me I worked through the night and Madrid time was 5:30am.

Just trying something new for this picture. Must get to sleep – I do have to say I feel a bit… *har har* drained.

Going to work on more Spain pictures this weekend. So far they have been turning out GREAT!

View On White


Bloggity 2010-01-05

We got up early to head to Toledo. And by early I mean like 9am. We just needed enough time to hang around Toledo for a while and be home by 7:30pm for a dinner party that Lindsay was putting together. It was also the first day that we were able to see the sun for more than a few minutes.

We headed to Atocha station and after a very detailed tour of the station by Lindsay, we were set and ready to go. I´m just glad that I can read Spanish and fumble my way through if need be.

We got to Toledo and when Lindsay said the city was up on a hill, I didn´t expect what was there when we arrived. It was a REALLY BIG hill in which we would have to climb to get to the top. So Shaun and I started making the hike up. We climbed some twisty streets and as we were halfway up I noticed a footpath leading pretty much to the top so we headed up this awesomely steep mud path and bypassed multiple streets. Later in the day we found that there were escalators to the top of the city and we were shmucks for hiking our asses to the top.

We meandered our way through the streets without a map (everyone else was basically screaming tourist as they stopped to check their maps) until we found a restaurant that suited our tastes for the day. I am always about the Menu of the Day items like roasted chicken, salads, paella, etc. Shaun got a pizza. 🙂 I fumbled my way through that whole ordeal and happily walked out of the restaurant with my tummy full of yummy goodness. And of course, more coffee.

The streets are absolutely stunning. They have these awesomely close houses with plants and beautiful windows. It was everything I wished it could be. Super Spanish and super awesome. Somehow, even in this wonderland of culture, as we walked toward the awesome gothic cathedral, the stupid ass Beyonce and Lady Gaga song was blaring from a ice rink nearby.  I can´t escape! lol

We ended up making our way back down the giant hill and took the correct way this time. Took about 1/4 of the time it took to get up and headed to the station to go back to Madrid. We had a dinner to attend. Lindsay was cooking some American fare for her friends – macaroni and cheese and ribs. *nom nom nom*

We had a wine filled night of political discussion and general joking. Half of the conversations were in English and the other half in Spanish. We were quite the group of people and we had an amazing time meeting different people that call Madrid their home. We had Shaun, me, Lindsay (who has lived in Madrid for some time now), Javi from Venezuela (but is Spanish), John (who is a British model), Tristana (who is from Massachusetts but is Spanish as well), and Edu (from Spain). It was amazing to meet these people and I am saddened to know that I won´t be able to enjoy dinner with them again for quite some time.


I think Shaun and I have decided we need a vacation with a beach. We haven´t had a super relaxing trip since our honeymoon in Barbados. Its been trying to explore countries at a breakneck pace every time we leave the states. I just want some pina coladas in a hammock on the beach.

We´re missing home a bit. Shaun misses driving his car. I miss tacos. And good beer.


Here is the awesome GPS tracker and pictures from our time in Toledo.


Bloggity 2010-01-04

The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plains.


It has been raining practically non-stop since we have arrived. There is a major “pro” – all of the tourists stay home.

We woke up at 10am to head out to Segovia. We have had some very serious issues sleeping. We wake up multiple times throughout the night but at least I know when its after 6am – the Metro runs underneath the house and makes a nice clicky noise. After some coffee and cereal we were ready to go.

Of course it was raining. We made our way through the Metro to the bus station to head to Segovia. There was like 10 people on the entire bus heading out. Rain Rain Rain. Fog Fog Fog. We couldn´t even see the country side and most of the snowcapped mountains were covered by clouds. Most of my time was spent trying to cover my camera lens from getting drops on it.

Overall Segovia was beautiful. The Roman aqueduct, the Cathedral (No cameras were allowed or I would have taken a million!), and the castle. 2€ and I got to haul my fat ass 154 stairs almost straight up in a super “Sleeping Beauty” style spiral staircase. All stone. Huge steps. Super steep. I nearly coughed up my lung as we made it to the top but the view from up there was phenomenal… even if it was raining on us.

Here is the AMAZING GPS tracker for today. What a ride!


Bloggity 2010-01-03

Okay so I´m back on top and energetic to boot.

A few things I have eaten here in Madrid:
1.) Vino: The red wine here isn´t so bad. I´ve only been able to try it once since my company mainly does not drink.
2.) Tapas: Rule my world. Had some fishy goodness.
3.) Manchego cheese: nom nom nom
4.) Jamon: Like cured bacon. Chewy, salty, yummy.
5.) Cafe con Crema: The best damn coffee on the face of the planet.

Thank goodness we have Lindsay to show us around and to suggest awesome places to go and things to eat. She is way understanding and was super cool about vegging around the house when we were terribly sick.

A few things I´ve noticed about Madrid:
1.) Most of the buildings besides the center are square and quite depressing. You city still wears the opression of Franco on most of its current architecture. Please note that the center is beautiful.
2.) The milk and eggs are not sold refrigerated.
3.) People here are not courteous when walking by you. They slam into you and then say “Perdon.”.
4.) They play one of the songs from the Vicki Cristina Barcelona Soundtrack over and over in the marketplace. Its kinda creepy. Its like the time that we heard the Lost in Translation soundtrack in Japan. WTF.
5.) The children are impeccibly dressed. Always nice. Very cute dresses on the girls.
6.) Kneehigh boots are in. Every girl owns a pair. And now do I.

We have been having a blast while we´ve been here. Even if we don´t party every night. I´m now officially scared that we´ll end up in a coma again like after the snowboarding.

Today we rolled out of bed at about 10am, ate a wonderful homemade breakfast that Lindsay made and then headed out to La Latina. I ended up spending waaaaay too much money on doodads and some other things, however I now have some presents for my friends. The market was AWESOME. Ended up with two hats, a dress, some presents (teehee), a pair of boots and some AWESOME brooches for my sweaters.

We ended up going to this awesome vegetarian buffet (NOM NOM) and had a nice dessert at this quaint shop next door. I really have to say that I´m loving the coffee here. Somehow it is way better. More delicious.

Lindsay even bought some awesome items (even if she hadn´t planned on spending money). Like any girl, she welcomed them to her wardrobe (waaay cute) and we went through our loot for the day when we came home.

We ended up coming home and getting some Chinese take out and here I am. We making it a semi early night as we are spending the day in Segovia.

So here is the GPS for the day with pictures to go.



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