Random Blathering

Time for another episode of Random Blathering. Come for the insanity, stay for the cookies.

_______________________________________________________________________

Ever have dreams so completely messed up that even your subconscious self gives you the side-eye and mutters “what the hell is wrong with you”? I can’t remember the dreams except I remember thinking while sleeping that they were very strange. It’s probably for the bet that I don’t remember them this morning.

_______________________________________________________________________

My vacation is long over and while I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped, I did get some projects done and some others started. Back to work I go, or rather, went. I love my job, but there are days when I just need to not be there, y’know? Sadly those days are becoming more frequent lately, but these things happen in cycles. Maybe the coming Winter is just making everyone cranky.

_______________________________________________________________________

Every once in a while I think I ought to write a book about working in a library. I’ve been there so long I’ve got stories. STORIES I tell ye. I’d have to publish it anonymously though. Check out Librarian Problems for a laugh.

_______________________________________________________________________

We’ve been on a health kick over here. We’ve been counting calories and joined a gym. It’s only been a few weeks so lets see how this goes. Perhaps this will be a permanent change for the better.

_______________________________________________________________________

We have new skylights! This was one of the things that got done last week and they are lovely. They cost as much as a trip would have, sigh, but they needed to be replaced before we get any snow. Thank the gods we don’t live in Buffalo right now.

_______________________________________________________________________

I should be editing photos, doing laundry, or doing something constructive this morning. I am up early on a day off and therefore should be productive, right? Whatever. It’s a day off. Time to relax and re-evaluate, revitalize and renew. But first let’s go see what’s going on over on Pinterest.

 

 

 

Halfway Done!

They say a job once begun is half done. I am halfway through this vacation and I’ve done a lot. I’ve been getting up early and that is a huge boost for my productivity. Don’t worry, I’m relaxing as well, but it feels good to get things done. But it’s a bit early to pat myself on the back just yet… I’ve still got more to do!

I’ve made a major dent in packing away Summer clothes, I made a fabulous birthday present for a two year old boy I know which I can’t post photos of until I after I give it to him, we’ve been to the gym (really!), I’ve started backing up files onto a new hard drive, I am in the process of cleaning my desk, we had new skylights installed, and we’ve been eating healthy, which is kind of amazing. Not too bad if you ask me.

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day and this is one of the days of the year when a chain of local thrift stores has it’s half off everything in the store sale. Carol and I did our our yearly bargain hunt and I found a ton of stuff that I not only like, it was all in very good condition and it fit me. Carol spied a little black dress from The Limited that fit me perfectly that looked like its never been worn. At half off it was only five bucks. SCORE! Some of it was summer stuff and all of it is now all laundered and put away. We had a fabulous and healthy lunch as well.

The timer on our dryer died and my clever husband figured out the problem, ordered a part online and fixed it. I am now caught up on all my laundry, plus all the new to me stuff I bought yesterday.

Alrighty, enough writing! Off to get more done!

 

VACATION!!!!

Day off today, on tomorrow, then off for a week. Time to get things done around the house and maybe accomplish one or two personal projects. I tend to blog more when I’m off from work. Perhaps it’s because I try really hard not to write about work in a public forum and don’t have much else to say until I have a day off? Who knows.

It’s also National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo for those in the know. It’s a spinoff of National Novel Writing Month and I have participated in the past, but I am obviously not doing it this year. It’s good because it forces you to do something each day, and daily projects really work for me. Frankly, I forgot all about it, and I’m not missing it this year. This year it’s a NaBloPoMoNoGo for me.

I always plan way to much during this sojourns off from work, but if I don’t I won’t get anything done. I am chronic list maker. If I find myself sitting in front of the computer, like right now, ahem, I can just look at the list to remind myself that I have shit to do. If I manage to accomplish anything particularly noteworthy I am sure I’ll write about it here. Even if it isn’t noteworthy, I’m sure I’ll note it anyway. Note, note, note.

Random Blathering

Today’s’ episode of Random Blathering is brought to you by a cup of tea. Basically, I am killing a little time while finishing my tea before running out to vote.

________________________________________________________________________

I try to do something every day that will make my life a little better or easier. Over the weekend we joined a gym. Yup, you read that right. Now I realize, there’s a vast difference between joining a gym and going to the gym, but joining is the first step. Here’s to many more steps! And laps! And reps!

________________________________________________________________________

I’ve also started counting my calories again. My darling husband started doing this a month ago and has lost nearly 20 pounds and has inspired me. It’s day two of this and I really just want a cheeseburger right now.

________________________________________________________________________

I have a vacation coming up so that’s good. I’m not going anywhere so I should be able to get a lot done around the house. So many things I want to do around the house. Time to prepare for Winter, do a little holiday shopping, and generally get ahead of things.

________________________________________________________________________

Oh yeah, Holiday shopping. UGH. I really don’t enjoy Christmas… not one bit. My dislike of Christmas is almost legendary. Here’s to getting as much done as possible before December 1st-ish. I don’t know what it is about the holidays. Is it the pressure to find the perfect gift for each person? The money? The shorter, colder, darker days? The unrealistic expectations? The crappy music? Fruitcake? Maybe all of the above. I just know I don’t enjoy this time of year.

________________________________________________________________________

However, I do like parties. Just sayin’.

________________________________________________________________________

Well, my tea is done so it’s time to go vote and run an errand. Have a great day y’all!

Victory Theater – Holyoke, Massachusetts

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about attending a photography workshop in an old, abandoned theater where we accidentally got our dates wrong. Since then we have attended the actual workshop hosted by Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America. It was tons of fun exploring this site and I can’t wait to attend another one of these workshops. My only complaint is that it was only four hours. Click HERE to see the rest of these images.

KMcElman_140928_0018_BW

Moldy Seats

KMcElman_140928_0069

KMcElman_140928_0243

Part of the Projection Room

KMcElman_140928_0335

Backstage Area

KMcElman_140928_0371_TTV

Freezer in Concession Stand Area

KMcElman_140928_0350_BW

Scary Bathroom

Stage

Stage

Gooseberry Island

KMcElman_140926_3182_BW

I must visit the ocean every once in a while or I start to feel a little crazy. Okay, but not crazy, but I certainly feel off kilter and irritable. A friend recommended I visit Horseneck Beach in Westport and while looking it up on a map I noticed a small island nearby. This seemed to me to be the seaside adventure I needed.

KMcElman_140926_3462_BW

The island is called Gooseberry Island. At first I was reluctant to share the name and location because I kind of wanted this to be my secret island. I will definitely be going back there.

KMcElman_140926_3388_BW

These images are part of my efforts to start shooting photos with something other than my phone again. It’s time to get to know my equipment again and work on some personal projects. You can view my whole set of photos from this day HERE.

KMcElman_140926_3394_BW

Holyoke, Or the Workshop that Wasn’t… Yet.

KMcElman_140921_3145_BW

Victory Theater – Holyoke, Mass.

Ron and I signed up for a fantastic sounding workshop hosted by Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America. Despite my camera woes of the previous weeks I was determined to make the most of this workshop so I rented a camera from LensProToGo. (I highly recommend them if you need equipment or want to play with something new.) We got up way to damn early on a Sunday and hauled our asses out to Western Massachusetts, about an hour and a half away. After much fretting over equipment, not getting enough sleep, what to wear, how to get there, and frantically looking for a McDonald’s or similar establishment so I could empty my itsy-bitsy bladder, we arrived at our destination, The Victory Theater in Holyoke.

We seemed to be the first to arrive. We parked the car and waited for a little bit. then it occurred to me to double check the confirmation email to verify that we had the right location. We both whip out our phones (thank the gods for smartphones) and realized that we got our dates wrong and were a there week early for the workshop. After some hysterical laughter and tears of frustration we decided to make the most of it and get our moneys worth out of the rental camera. We walked around the rather sketchy neighborhood to get the lay of the land and see what there was to see.

As it turns out, there isn’t much to see, or depending on your view of things, LOTS to see. Holyoke was once a thriving industrial community and now it’s just sad. The drizzle and fog only enhanced the air of desperation about the area. If you like abandoned buildings and desolate urban landscapes, Holyoke is a goldmine. Me? I’m a sucker for bleak and dreary places and thought it was a photographers dream location. If I were to film a horror movie or post apocalyptic sci-fi drama, this would be a great place to do it.

I will say that Holyoke is ripe for a revival. It is close enough to Northampton and UMass Amherst to be a great place for artists to convert abandoned factories into artist studios. There is quite a lot of potential here and the fact that the theater we were here to photograph is going to be restored is a good start in reviving this area. In fact, the workshop we signed up for is part of the fundraising efforts towards the restoration.

If you would like to see more photos from our impromptu walk around the neighborhood surround the Victory Theater, click HERE. I have the annoying tendency to edit photos in the order I took them, as well as write in the order things happened so stay tuned for images from the ACTUAL workshop. I am catching up and will post them soon. It just so happens that I have shot more in the last two weeks than I have in the last year so bear with me. Thanks for  your patience!

KMcElman_140921_3088_BW