Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Far from Normal"

It's been several months since I tweeted about completing yet another video, and most people didn't understand what I was really working on. I meant to share Wayne State College's centennial website for some time now since we launched it in September. Since that time, I have posted all the videos I have made from interviews taking place over the last several years. I've also compiled numerous photo galleries for every decade.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ho-Ho-Hoping put a gift under the tree

The repetitive holiday songs and festive newspaper ads tell me it's nearly Christmas. Oy.
The season somehow snuck up on me this year. Maybe it's because my family didn't celebrate Christmas at all last year because of the 15 simultaneous blizzards. That's proving to be a good thing because everyone still has last year's gifts to give, which means saving money. I'm a fan of that.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Murphy is a monster

Last week Murphy wreaked havoc on my health, work and life.

We live by Murphy's Law at the newspaper, because everything that can go wrong in one day usually does.

Last Monday was like any other Monday: just crappy. Our lovely Great Plains carrier was having problems once again, so email, Internet and phone service was sporadic. And Monday is when most of our newspaper content arrives...via email. Super.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Winner winner, chicken dinner

Many people have that one dish that gets them through a stressful event during the work week or a mid-life crisis. It can be a heaping plate of pasta, a bowl of hearty chicken soup or a whole bucket of ice cream. With chocolate syrup. And a cherry. Oh, what the heck. Throw a few sprinkles and some nuts on top just because you can.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Entering the 'Danger Zone' armed with a camera, mini DV tape and a wheelchair

The 4th floor of Humanities is where I spent the majority of my college career, often for nearly 24 hours at a time. I did about everything at the newspaper for five years and did radio for four. When began to dabble in video production, I experienced a whole new realm of 4th floor antics.

The Cat will soon be back on the mat

I don't mind watching a football, baseball or basketball game. A tennis match is good occasionally. And cycling? How'd I get drawn into that? Hmm...

Even though I had sports shoved down my throat growing up (apparently tall = talent...whatever), I enjoy athletics in moderation. One sport I could never get into was wrestling. We'd have basketball practice in high school, and the guys would be running through the gym, up and down the stairs all afternoon, dressed in their sweats. I bet we didn't do half as much running during a scrimmage, and we got to eat regularly. That must have sucked for them.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is it Lent already?

I feel like I've been missing something lately, besides the whole making-time-to-write-a-blog thing. Not being able to get out of bed when my alarm goes off is a horrible habit, but worse yet, my cat is failing at her back-up alarm duties.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wine tasting

Devin and I are hosting a wine tasting the weekend of Aug. 20. We’re thinking Aug. 20 or 22, and we’d like your input on both date and time. If you’re interested and able to attend, please let us know. If it’s split, well, why not have two tastings?

Friday, July 16, 2010

What's on the menu? Nothing?!

Sometimes when I make DVDs for people, usually work-related, I attempt to make a menu so it’s more, well, DVD-like. I usually have this great idea, design it and then go through the painful process of setting chapters and linking buttons.

Why so painful? Because it’s a normal, doable process for anyone but me. I have consulted and followed the Pinnacle Help Center explanation for how to set up menus within a DVD, but, like I found out when I returned to work this morning, my efforts failed once again.

Bottom line: the technology gods have shunned me. Forever.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sniffing out some shots

I really don’t get along well with any season. In the spring, the budding plants make me sneeze. In summer it’s usually hot and buggy…and the extreme grass mowing activities make me sneeze. Autumn is by far the worst because, well, falling leaves irritate my little nose. And after this year, don’t even get me started on the weather and the host of health issues I experience in winter, mostly because of real Christmas trees brought indoors.

In an attempt to make peace with the inevitable, I take photos of the seasonal sights. It’s part of my job to photograph the college’s grounds and buildings throughout the seasons for brochures, posters, online use and historical purposes, and I consider that my favorite part.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Empire strikes

Often when I get home from work I’m still working, either editing photos or continuing to compile more Wayne State history for a time line over the past 119 years. I’ll take all the extra hours I can get. But I don’t mind it as much because I get to be with Empire the Taddy Put.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Student driver. Enough said.

The past few weeks I’ve seen STUDENT DRIVER plastered on the back of a minivan creeping down our street, and I think, “Oh, the joy of Driver’s Ed.” It’s then that I recall my own hilarious, temporarily traumatic experience, not behind the wheel, but as a passenger.
(Some names have been changed to protect the innocent…and the guilty.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

The dream of a lifetime: Becoming a history buff?

Right after math, history was one of my least favorite subjects in school. It was the same thing year after year, and of course it never changed: This person did this in this year…this event happened on this date…ZZZ…

The past year, however, has been an adventure through Wayne State College’s past, from 1891 to the present, as we celebrate its centennial this year.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nothing like Missouri applesauce

My grandpa is originally from Argyle, a small town in central Missouri. The past few years, we have gone back often to visit his brothers and sisters in the area where they grew up, not far from where my great-grandparents raised them.

Argyle, MO, is full of Brunnerts. We even have Brunnert’s Pub named after our family. I always cherished spending that quality time with my g-pa, even when he made me drive through rush hour traffic in both Kansas City and Jefferson City. I’d go fishing with great uncle Ed, make applesauce with great aunt Katie, and at night, over one of Grandpa and his brother Joe's infamous highballs, I would listen to the many stories that they would tell of how the kids made it through the war and all the work they did.

Yesterday, June 20, I lost my great uncle Joe.

It still hasn’t sunk in that I’m never going to see him again. He was over 90 years old and incredibly still independent. He had been suffering for many weeks, and I chose not to go down to Missouri and see him in such a fragile state. I also have chosen not to attend the funeral because I just don’t do well with those situations anymore. It makes me think about my grandpas and how I’m going to fall apart when they die. I’m Grandpa Charlie’s girl, and I’m my Grandpa Marlon’s only grandchild.

To replace the sad with the happy, I decided to go back into my files and find some photos and video I took on my own and on a trip when Devin went with us to Argyle. I also wrote a poem about Joe and his wife Katie a few years ago for my poetry class, and it was a big hit with the class.

Looking for Them Yeller Ones Among the Green Ones

Well it’s like this here…
That’s the boomin’ wake-up call
comin’ from the kitchen
just after 5:30,
but I expected it.
Uncle Joe and Aunt Katie are early risers.

Sizzlin’ bacon and bread
waft down the hall,
but I heard them talkin’
‘bout what I’ve been waitin’ for.
And it’s still hangin’ on the tree.

We’ll go fill them buckets later, Joe says.
Well gosh dang, I’ll bet
they’s gonna be plumb full.

Droolin’ eyes watch out the window
as Grandpa and Uncle Joe climb the tree,
reachin’ as far up as possible,
pickin’ even the green ones
‘fore the worms take over.
Buckets later we gather ‘round the table
for the peelin’ and slicin’ ceremony.

Well, it’s like this, Joe says,
I thought a while ago
I’s sposed to take the green ones out
to give ‘em to ya.
That’s the kinda hint
I got from ya anyways.

No, Katie says, I said the yeller ones.
The green ones make it bitter.

Well, she gives me a kinda hint, Joe says,
and I don’t always hear her.

Every apple slice
that ploops into the water
reminds me of that perfect
Missouri applesauce.
It must be in the technique,
in the second beer
Uncle Joe just opened.

Josey, Katie says, can you pick me out
them yeller apples? as Joe takes down
a swaller.
Ya know, he says,
the best ones we got outta there already.

I know that, sir, she says.
He sifts through the bucket,
picks out another.

Right great, ma’am. I’m just tryin’
to help out a lil’ bit.
Oh, there’s yeller ones in here, lady,
if you want some of ‘em.

Ok, she chuckles, I want the yeller ones, yes.

Katie even chops them apples up fine.
No chunks, just smooth,
slide-down-yer-throat sauce.
I watch her stir in cup after cup
of pure sugar. She smooshes an ant or two
that already try to sneak a taste
of the treat from across the counter.

Boy, she says, them little buggers
ain’t gettin’ this. Soon as I opened
that sugar, they came a runnin’,
as if to say, “Well, we want some too.”

Gotta lick the sides after finishin’
the fifth bowl of Missouri applesauce.
Don’t worry, Katie says,
there’s still more for tomorrow.
I even got some in the freezer
you kids didn’t finish off last year.

The flavor I taste only once a year
has been savored, and I listen
as Uncle Joe cracks another beer
and tells that story of them kilns
and how it was damn good work.

I'll drink a highball to you, uncle Joe. *Cheers*

Inability to focus

"There will be times when you will be in the field without a camera. And, you will see the most glorious sunset or the most beautiful scene that you have ever witnessed. Don't be bitter because you can't record it. Sit down, drink it in, and enjoy it for what it is!" -DeGriff

Something happened to me this weekend: I forgot something. Sadly, momentary memory failures are pretty typical for me, but I never imagined I would forget my camera…


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shutter Happiness

Back home I have a file cabinet, tubs and several photo albums full of pictures. On my external hard drive, thousands. Yes, my name is Lois, and I’m shutter happy.

I’ve only had my lovely Canon 40D DSLR for a couple years, but in that time I’ve taken advantage of all the storage a memory card has to offer, versus a 35mm roll of film. I still remember my first really great camera. My uncle splurged and gave me a snazzy Olympus film camera for Christmas/my birthday one year, and that’s when I started to take the view through the lens seriously.