a week in pictures

musings, travel blog & musings

This was the week around the Christmas holiday, December 2012. You didn’t think I was actually talking about this week, did you?

Per my usual style, I’m not telling you where I was, you must guess. Somewhat cryptic captions accompany the images to assist what I’m sure is your MAD search to find out where these pics were taken.


1) Mother, brother, Stephansdom, bunny ears



2) The city center, alight. Which city? Well, I’ve been here a few times before and am not yet tired of sitting in the cafes, drinking cafe melange, and people watching.DSC_2416


3) One of the great parts of the holiday season in this city: Maroni und kartoffelpuffer street vendors.DSC_2639


4) Christmas dinner at my brother’s place: traditional American turkey, and a traditional holiday dish of the area—fried carp. In case you’re wondering, fried carp is bland and greasy. In the glass, a typical wine of the region, gewurtztraminer.



5) View of a Christmas market bei nacht and the Kunsthistorisches museum across the plaza, taken from the roof of the Naturhistorisches museum. DSC_2582


6) The Venus of Willendorf: dimly lit, in its own little room. If you’re trying to get a good image of this, may I suggest bringing a tripod and a professional-level camera.DSC_2569


7) It’s me and a coelacanth! Me and a coelacanth! A coelacanth! Coelacanth!  (my rather unexcited expression here is more a result of the again dim lighting and tricky photography situation than the actual excitement of the moment for me. I really was shouting ‘There’s a coelacanth here??? Get me to the coelacanth! Coelacanth!’ while running through the halls. Really. June 1988 edition of National Geographic, I blame you.) DSC_2554


8) The home of Swarovski has a wall of hanging octagonal mirrors that move with every slight air disturbance. Fun to attempt self portraits in.



9) Fairly typical street scene for this city, believe it or not. Beer, bakery, and street harpist.



10) Bike share!



11) For all of your Klimt needs. Yes, Klimt is a big deal in this city. As are Munch & Schiele. Love the art museums here!



12) Ok, you caught me, this is a different town. We took a road trip to the south, to a town where the Esterházy family ruled for hundreds of years. Had we visited this area before WW1, we would have been in Hungary. But not now! This trip, we were just in uncomfortable sleety rainy slushiness. In a country other than Hungary.DSC_2459


13) The road trip also stopped at the Zotter chocolate factory. People, if you want a hell of a lot of chocolate in a short time, take a tour of this place. It’s delightful. And if I may recommend something else, the tequila with salt and lime hand-scooped chocolate bars are  so so very good.DSC_2426


14) Inside Stephansdom for Christmas eve mass. Something to behold, and the sheer amount of people packed sardine-like into this huge cathedral almost triggered my flight response. I’m not catholic, nor am I particularly christian, but the building is beautiful and I do like incense. I’ve also never seen a European cathedral full of people, especially not people who are there for the actual service.



Now, you get to guess: where was I?



it’s been a while!

travel blog & musings

I have no reasons or excuses, just a statement. A couple of incredible vacations, a job role change, some freelance bits, and planning for a few future large events have kept me away from the blog for a bit. And may again in the future. But here I am for now to report on one of said incredible vacations. A place I’ve wanted to visit since I can remember (and I can remember things from about the age of 4) so this was a special trip for me. And if you think there are a lot of photos here, just be thankful I narrowed it down this much.

I can’t tell you how much I loved this trip. Not telling you where I went straight out, but hints accompany the pictures:


1) A national park with three very different ecosystems, this is one



2) me in my element



3) the element I am in, and the second ecosystem



4) tidepools are awesome, that is all.
(If it must be said… the sparkly vampires of pseudo-legend would not be allowed in this tidepool area)



5) third of the three ecosystems



6) Humpback tail! Here in the Sound I learned the continuous shooting function on my camera is very helpful in some circumstances. I also learned that a boat-full of people chanting “tail, tail, tail” is a bit disturbing.



7) not so much a hint as just a thought: I was afraid for this little inflatable whale-watching boat. The whales were MUCH MUCH larger than it.



8) humor in Belltown



9) how DOES he conform hot glass into such fantastic shapes?



10) Second of the three places I can remember tears welling up in my eyes for when seeing in person for the first time. No matter how much of a tourist trap.
(#1 was Busch Stadium in STL in ’93, #3 will be revealed in a later blog post)
(to be fair, anything in Montana does not count in this list)



11) one of the only times I’ve been on edge in a public-use space with lots of books. And I liked it.



12) Another long-awaited place to visit. I was much more fascinated by the outside than the inside being that I was more of a prog-metal snob than a grunge fan in the early ’90s… thanks for killing that musical movement, certain band whom I will not name.



13) A different music genre to alleviate the tension of #12: Banjo at a famous market, down the street from a famous coffee shop where I did not stand in line for coffee.



14) public art + sunset + mountains + bay, the components of this city are almost unfair to other cities. Granted, I was there during an incredibly odd & rare stretch of sunny weather.



15) ah… (and p.s., the butterfly is actually a kite)



16) (make your own picture for this caption) the seafood was amazing, and so were Tom Douglas & Co’s tomatoes. Seriously. I visited this area at just the perfect time, it seems. And can’t wait to go back.

road trips and photography

musings, travel blog & musings

Remember back when I said I had a new camera and was still learning how to use it? Well, I’m still learning of course (when do you ever stop learning) but I do have a better grasp on how to work things now. A recent road trip was a great opportunity to try out some things I’d learned in a recent camera class. Here are some pictures that happened along the way.

Guess where I went.

(By the way, if anyone wants to buy me a birthday present, either this or this would work just fine!)

amazing things that i saw in september

musings, travel blog & musings

Again I promised, again I delivered. Vacation pictures are here. Not strictly design related I know, but this kind of thing is what recharges creative batteries and inspires.

Here are the places in the pictures, and you get to guess which is which. Because why be straightforward when it’s more fun this way? That’s right, my design blog is full of fun guessing games. In order of visit, but not necessarily the order of pictures:
1. Theodore Roosevelt in North Dakota (2pics)
2. The Beartooth pass in Montana/Wyoming
3. Yellowstone mostly in Wyoming (2pics) (we avoided the grizzlies)
4. Grand Teton in Wyoming
5. Zion in Utah (2pics) (and no, I didn’t do Angel’s Landing. Next time. This time was just Hidden Canyon.)
6. Bryce Canyon in Utah (cloud to ground lightning here…be careful)
7. The drive on I70 from Bryce Canyon to Moab in Utah
8. Arches in Utah (2pics)
9. Canyonlands in Utah
10. New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado (employees here get a paid trip to Belgium for their 5th work year anniversary)
11. Rocky Mountain in Colorado (2pics)
12. The Badlands in South Dakota

Have fun matching up park and picture!

my latest (stunning) work of design:

travel blog & musings

A poster on my kitchen cabinet.

In the midst of trying to be all relaxed about leaving town for a while, I inevitably start to get anxious about loose ends and realization dawns that I just can’t be THAT relaxed. Then I go overboard and do things like leaving this poster for my wonderful catwatcher friends detailing things that probably do not need it. Like where the extra silverware is. There are three drawers in my kitchen. I imagine Alison & Laura could somehow, just somehow, find the extra silverware if they needed to.

New to the poster this time: the handy overkill reference chart about pill amounts. One and a half or three halves. (I admit, I really just wanted to make a tiny chart. And also leave no stone unturned, can’t be careful enough, heavy guilt about leaving the 15-year-old cat alone for two weeks, etc.)

Something else that I spent way too much time pondering: whether to bring the narrow ace bandage or the wide. Guess how that one ended up.

If you can’t tell by my stick figure self in the pictures on the right, I am excited about this trip. A road trip with a dear friend through 5 to 8 national parks. Yay! Pictures will no doubt make it onto this blog at some point.

’till then!

you know what else is fun?

graphic design blog, musings, travel blog & musings

The Bean, in Chicago.

Says my brother when we were walking up to the Bean: “Hey, that’s really reflective. It’d be interesting to go up close and take some pictures of your warped reflection.” Says me “Yep, you’re the first person to think of that… or maybe the millionth or so…” Brother seemed disappointed he wasn’t the first to think of this (as we walked up closer to the bean and the couple hundred people taking pictures of themselves in the reflection at that particular moment in time). This conversation quickly devolved into a Whovian discussion of how we really were the first and will travel back in time in the future to tell all of this fabulous idea, and so pleasant Carnito equilibrium was restored. Discussion stopped and photography started.

(To be fair to my brother, he’s not that oblivious. He lives in Europe and hasn’t been to downtown Chicago since the Bean made its appearance.)

The Bean really is a fun dream of photo composition play for a designer. However, with all of the people around, it’s hard to get a clean photo! There’s always another person or a bag or a shoe in there somewhere. You can only ask so many people to get out of your way…

And now you know what I look like, what my brother looks like, and that my hair isn’t the kind that does all that well in humid weather.

ADDENDUM 2.19.2012:

Brother apparently would like for it to be known that he really is that oblivious.
(but I still don’t really think he is)