Vegas, baby!

I had a fabulous breakfast at Hell’s Kitchen this morning, and I learned a lot about Lightroom 4 at the seminar. But, even if I hadn’t, it would have been so worth it! They have seminar surveys they have you fill out & then they do door prize drawings at the very end of the day. OMFG! They picked my name for the big prize! Free registration for Photoshop World!

So awesome! Photoshop World is THE Photoshop conference. The prize doesn’t include airfare or hotel or anything, just the PSW registration, but that’s ok! Since even NAPP member early bird registration is $499 I’ve never been able to even consider going before. Heck, I can manage airfare, room & food for less than that! Actually attending PSW is the part I’ve never been able to afford.

I am so excited! I’ve always wanted to attend a PSW, but didn’t think it would happen unless I got a job at a company that loved to send their employees to conventions. PSW is going to be September 5-7 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. I can’t wait! I was just thinking the other day how much I’d like to go to Vegas again.

They still have the schedule up from the last PSW in Washington DC, but the Vegas one should be up soon. The classes will probably be similar.  I am such a Photoshop geek. The idea of sitting through 3 days of Photoshop classes sounds like fun!

And it’s in Vegas, so hopefully Rick can come out too and we can have a mini vacation. The convention dates are a Wed-Fri so Rick could even come out on Friday and we’d just enjoy Vegas for the weekend.

Day off!

I’m taking the day off work tomorrow. People ask if I’m going to be doing something fun with my day off, and I am. At least it’s fun for me. :-)

I’m going to attend a full day seminar on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4! The seminar is sponsored by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) and put on by Kelby Training. To me, spending a day learning more about Photoshop or Lightroom is fun!

I’ve essentially just upgraded from LR1 to LR4, so there are a lot of changes & improvements for me to learn about. I actually tried to upgrade to LR3, but I was lucky enough to buy it a week after the date that qualified for a free upgrade to LR4.

Since the seminar is at the Convention Center and it always sucks to park there I’m going to have Rick just drop me off. Of course, he’ll be dropping me off before 8:00 and registration isn’t until 9:00 so I just have to have breakfast somewhere nearby first. And hey, Hell’s Kitchen is only about 4 blocks away! I know where I’m having Rick drop me off. Om nom nom!

Right-side up

This post is actually 2 days later than it should be, because my memory was wrong. I was thinking that it was exactly 1 year ago today, but it was actually 1 year ago on Monday that Rick & I were in a car accident.

This was taken on April 16, 2011:
Yes, that was our car, and yes it was as abso-fucking-lutely terrifying as you imagine. There was light snow, getting heavier as we headed north, and it was fairly windy. Our best guess is that a gust of wind hit us right as we were on a super slick patch, and once we started skidding the momentum kept us going. We slid through the ditch, flipped up into the air upside down, and scraped along the trees until we hit one which stopped us and dropped us onto the ground.

I think it all happened in about a millisecond. I never even saw the trees from my side of the car. I just saw the road we had left, and the sign we didn’t hit. I distinctly remember thinking “Oh good, we missed the sign. The metal pole would have really messed up the car.” and that was my last thought before we abruptly stopped. Then my next thought was “OMG, we stopped. OMG, I’m upside down. OMG, we must have hit something. OMG, I’m upside down.” I think I was asking Rick if he was ok at pretty much the same time he was asking me.

Yes, we both had our seatbelts on, and I’m about 120% sure that we would both be dead if we hadn’t. We both walked away from that car with just our upper chests bruised, and Rick had some minor cuts on his head from the broken glass of the sunroof. He didn’t actually hit his head. He’s just so tall that when we were hanging upside-down his head was resting in the glass.

I still can’t look at the pictures & not wonder how the hell we weren’t seriously hurt. You can bet your sweet ass that I will NEVER ride in a car without a seatbelt again! I always wore one when I was in the front seat, and I knew that wearing a seatbelt meant you wouldn’t be hurt as bad as without. But jesus, our seatbelts weren’t the difference between hurt a little and hurt a lot. They were the difference between just a little sore, and freaking DEAD.

A year later it’s still unreal to look at the picture and think that I was in the car when it happened. My left shoulder was hurt in the accident when the impact of landing made my arm whip forward. It still has an ache that comes & goes, but these days it’s more goes than comes.


Monkey Tuesday on Sundays now!

I have no idea how I missed hearing about it for so long but Penn Jillette & Michael Goudeau are doing a regular live show again!

Back in 2006 they were doing a live radio show that I would listen to while working. They’re in Vegas but the radio station put out a live stream online. That hour listening to the two of them was seriously my favorite hour of the day. I could never call in becuase I was working a data entry job & didn’t have a phone on my desk, but they also had an email account they’d monitor during the show. They read emails I sent and responded or commented several times. I was so bummed when they stopped doing the show.

Two years after the show ended I saw Penn comment on a mutual friend’s Facebook so I sent him a message telling him I was the Sharon who used to email his show and asking how he knew her. This is the exchange that followed:

Facebook message









More proof that I’m a little bit off. I think getting a message from Penn Jillette asking me why I didn’t fuck Bob Sagat is awesome!

Anyway, I just learned that Penn & Goudeau are doing a new weekly show called Penn’s Sunday School! Here’s the info:

Join us as Penn Jillette, Michael Goudeau, and YOU discuss the news of the week.
We’ll examine religious news, talk about monkeys, and anything else that seems funny or makes us mad. We’ll also take your suggestions for things you feel like talking about.

In addition, until he gets chucked off, we’ll spend a few minutes talking about Penn’s adventures on CELEBRITY APPRENTICE.

We will be running a live video feed from the Vintage Nudes Studio for people with the time and inclination to watch people sitting and talking. The live show will start at noon Vegas time most Sundays and will be available for download by about 7 PM Sunday evening.

It just started in February and it is weekly, so there are only 9 episodes for me to catch up on. I can’t wait!

Cabin in the Woods

So, did y’all go see Cabin in the Woods this weekend?

Cabin in the Woods is a movie that just opened and if you haven’t gone to see it yet YOU HAVE TO! It is the best movie I’ve seen so far this year. It was written by Joss Whedon, and directed by Drew Goddard and Joss.

I’ve actually already seen it twice. It was one of the movies we saw last December at the 24 hour Butt-Numb-A-Thon in Austin, TX. It was the favorite movie of the weekend for most people, and even if we wanted to talk about it we couldn’t. We weren’t even allowed to tweet the title of the movie. Then I saw it again on March 28th when there was a special preview screening here in Minneapolis with Drew Goddard doing a Q&A afterwards. There aren’t a lot of movies that you can say are just as good or better the second time you watch them, but this is one of them!

It is a horror movie, but it’s not just blood & gore. You will laugh a lot. One of the stars is Chris Hemsworth, who filmed this before his breakout role as Thor. And that is all I’m going to tell you.

Seriously. The less you know of the twists before going into this movie the more you’ll like it.

So, if you didn’t go see it this weekend, make sure you put it on your to do list!

“3:00? I’ll be drunk by then.”

I work in the photo processing lab of a camera store. This post is a true story of a customer I really had.

Nov. 2nd, 2010:
Just had one of my oddest customers ever.
He was tall and had long hair & a beard & mustache. It was one of those icky mustaches that hangs down over the lip. Bleah. And he had that stale smell of a person who smokes and drinks a lot. Kind of like the way my mom smells, but even more so.
He had a disposable camera. When I asked if he wanted prints, scans or just developing he just stood there and looked at me. Then he shook his head. “Whoa, whoa. You just blew my mind with all that. I just want pictures.”
OK, just basic prints then. I ask if he likes matte paper or glossy while showing him the samples of both. He looks at them & says “I don’t know. I just want pictures.”
Alright, no more questions. I’ll just print them on whichever paper is in and we’ll be good.
Then I needed his name and phone number for the bag. I swear, he had to think about what his name was!! No phone number. His phone was dead and he didn’t have a charger. OK then. Then dude asked what time they’d be ready. We’re not a 1 hour lab but I decided to quote about 3 hours rather than the standard next day because I wasn’t sure he’d even remember the next day.
“I can have them ready for you at 3:00, sir.”
His response? “3:00? I’ll be drunk by then.” I think that was a little optimistic on his part because I’m pretty sure he was already most of the way there!
Well, I’ve got almost nothing to do anyway so I tell him I’ll have them in an hour. He wants to pay now because he isn’t sure he’ll have the money in an hour. 0.o. That whole drunk by three thing, i guess.
We don’t ring up rolls of film before processing because the price is based on how many prints you do, but he insisted he needed to pay now so I rang it in for the full number of possible prints.
Then he left.
Or tried to…
I looked up and saw him standing in front of the double doors of our entrance waving to try to get the sensor to open the automatic doors. Too bad we don’t have automatic doors…
LOL. It just amazes me that people can function in life like that.

For the curious, yes, he did indeed remember to come back for the pictures. He was there an hour later almost to the minute.
As for what the pictures were, it was just a group of about 5 or 6 people hanging out at a dive bar. He wasn’t even in any of them. I really was afraid of what I was going to see in them but they were quite boring.

Since then if I’m having a bad day I’ll just randomly say to myself “3:00? I’ll be drunk by then!”

Addictive music

I have been so completely hooked on Chantal Claret’s The Pleasure Seeker – EP

Fun bouncy pop music about murder and stuff. I just wish it was a full album instead of just a 4 song EP. It looks like she used to be in a group called Morningwood so I’m going to have to go check them out now.

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To have a little fun
Jill’s got even cause Jack’s been cheatin’
And Jill she had a gun
She said, trigger, trigger, 22,
My single action set on you.
Bullet, bullet, what’s the plan?
It takes a girl to kill a man.

And there’s a video for Pop Pop Bang Bang that you can watch here.

Canada is cool

I’ve only been to Canada two times, but I liked it. Today though, they skyrocketed up my awesomeness meter.

3 words.

Glow-in-the-dark Dinosaur Quarter!

(ok. Even with the hyphens it is technically six words. Bite me. Glow-in-the-dark Dinosaur Quarter!)

Check it out:
The article about it is at

This is what America needs. Quarters with dinosaurs. Quarters that glow in the dark. Heck, if we did that we could even replace the “In God We Trust” which has no place on government currency with “In Science We Trust.”

Stuff I Love: Minnesota Zoo

Stuff I Love: My favorite products, music, movies, geek obsessions and more. I think these things are awesome and you should too!

The Minnesota Zoo

Here in Minnesota we have what some longtime residents still refer to as “The New Zoo.” It’s not so new any more – it opened in 1978 – but it is a lot newer than the other Twin Cities Zoo (Como Zoo, which opened in 1897).

One of the things I love so much about the Minnesota Zoo is one of the things that visitors often complain about. The outdoor exhibits are large & natural, and the animals have plenty of room to move around. I take a lot of photos of the animals at the zoo and I hate it when there’s no way to get an image that doesn’t have a fence or enclosure in it. Even though I’m obviously not taking my pictures of tigers out in the wild, I want them to at least look as natural as possible.

For a while, due to lack of funding and interest, the zoo had very little change. Then, in 2000, they hired Lee Ehmke away from New York’s Bronx Zoo to be the new director.  Under Mr. Ehmke’s leadership the Minnesota Zoo has gone from being a good zoo to being a great world-class zoo. He’s gotten old exhibits such as the Minnesota Trail spruced up and rebuilt as well as bringing in entirely new exhibits with new animals such as the new Penguin exhibit and the Russia’s Grizzly Coast exhibit.

I’ve been a member of the MNZoo for over a decade now and I am consistently impressed by each new exhibit they build. They always hold member’s nights for the new stuff so that Zoo members can get the first look at it. Another awesome feature they’ve added to member’s previews in just the last few years is an 18+ preview night. Zoos are great for kids, and kids love them. But, if you don’t have kids and aren’t at the zoo with kids it is sooooo nice to be viewing the exhibits with only adults. My membership is just an individual adult one so I take advantage of the quieter preview.

I have taken hundreds if not thousands of pictures at the Minnesota Zoo. Here are just a few of them:


Amur Tigers, October 2005


Amur Leopard, September 2008

Mexican Grey Wolf

Mexican Grey Wolf, December 2005

Red Panda

Red Panda, February 2007


Flamingo, February 2007


Ring-Tailed Lemur, February 2007

Gray Wolf

Gray Wolf, March 2008