Saturday, June 03, 2006

No title, no sun, just rain

fotograf by imran 2006

This is (was, I wrote this June 3 but finishing it on August 2) my weekend to surf photoblogs. It's incredibly inspirational. I visit ddoi almost daily found some new ones today. I like the work this guy, imran, is doing. I know he's Photoshop'ing to some extent but I'm now sure how. Dodging and burning? LAB corrections? Some of it is pretty real. And disturbing.

Anyway, that was a month ago. Since then, amazing, wonderful people have given me insightful advice and shared their own tragic stories, and few words express how much I appreciate all the support and friendship you've given me. I'm sure this is just the beginning of a new journey with my adult sons who are so different from one another and who are, in many ways, a lot like me.

Patrick graduates this week, plays for two weeks, then is off to basic training at Fort Eustis, up the road about 20 miles. Nick has a job interview on Monday (!!) and I'm going to spring for some decent slacks and nice shirt so he doesn't turn them off with his surfer shorts and oversize t-shirt. This much I'll do. I'm thankful we don't have drugs to deal with. He has a very supportive friend in Jason, who I consider our "other" son, and who I think helps keep him on the (mostly) straight path.

Work. A week or so ago I finally broke through my funk and am kicking ass and taking names. The national manager position was posted, Friday, for our team (I'm a regional manager). It's been filled on an interim basis for six months by one of the other regional managers. The first week of January the previous nat'l manager unexpectedly terminated. So, I may go for this. I don't have anything against the current guy, and I wasn't, and am still not, disappointed that he was picked to take that role. Six months ago I don't know that I was ready for it. But it's more strategic, less day-to-day ops, and I can actually look forward to doing a Six Sigma Green Belt project. This would finally get me on the six sigma-related process path I REALLY want to be on. I'd miss working with my database and metrics, but at that level I can actually define those things, instead of implement them. The recruiter was on vacation, but I need to find out if they already have someone slotted for the spot (the interim guy, for instance) or if it's really, competitively open. If so, I can nail this. If not, then I have Plan B: keep scouring the postings for something in the Q&P organization, and (Plan C) if there is someone who transitioned over from MBNA, then impress the hell out of the new guy. The other thing about moving into the nat'l manager spot is IF we outsource the move/add/change work I'd help define how that will be implemented. Kind of a lesson's learned from outsourcing some of the other technology outsourcing implementations. I've been engaged in some kind of outsourcer management for eight years so it's not like this is new territory. In the current environment it's a very real possibility. Do more with less and less.

Big long paragraph. Yes, I'm excited.

Let's see, what else...I've lost 15 pounds on purpose so that's been a very nice achievement. It's so nice to notice that some of my mainstay shirts a a little looser around the hips, that my jeans need to be replaced because they are, officially, too big.

I'm obsessed with the geometric patterns created by a group of five shipyard cranes across the Elizabeth River. I noticed them a few weeks ago during a meeting in the river-facing conference room. Beautiful blue sky with cotton-ball clouds, and these five cranes. I figured out one way to shoot them but I'm looking around for alternatives. There's a parking garage on the river and I took some images from the top deck but it wasn't the right angle.

Anyway, here are some images of mine, and some I've run across recently, including THE DaVinci Manure shot across from Rosslyn Chapel.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

What I did on my Memorial Day Weekend

Curtains. We sewed more curtains. We're designing with fabric! We (and this really is a Kent & Erin joint venture, not just a "we, a.k.a. Erin") were prompted in our actions by new neighbors.

Thelma lived in the house on the east side of ours, so for five (?) years we've been here and she's been spending 50% of her time at her place in Nags Head. Great gal, that Thelma, older than dirt, a little 5'0" crotchety thing but generous to those who were kind to her, very plain spoken, and drove a big 2002 F150. I'd seen her drive and it was a scary thing. Really incongruous to see her and that truck, though. Anyhow, Thelma passed away a few months ago. That was very sad for all of us on the block because we liked her. The family had an estate sale and I couldn't bear to go over there with all the other vultures and pick through her things for the best second-hand value. I don't have that problem with other estate sales, so it must be because we knew her.

The house sat on the market for six or seven months until Kelly & Al bought it at the beginning of May. They've been renovating like crazy, which frankly has us inspired. More than that, though, is that they stay home! And they use all their rooms! And some of those rooms on their second floor look into the bathrooms on our second floor! Eek! Except for our bedroom because there's even more exposure, none of the windows on the east side of our house has window coverings, and except the kitchen none of the windows on the west side of their house has window coverings either. We're pretty exposed to one another on both first and second floors.

We dug out our drapery plans. I picked up "frosted" window film for the bathrooms and then picked out sample fabrics for the windows in the living room. I'd been down this curtain-construction road before so I feel pretty comfortable nowadays. And, this is Memorial Day Weekend, which means EVERYTHING IS ON SALE, including decorator fabric.
Seven one-yard swatches later, we decided on a lovely burgundy with embroidered-gold twining flowers in polyester that looks a lot like Dupioni silk, which I love but can't afford. This is for the living room and looks amazing with the gold-toned walls, especially if we use it unlined with shears behind. We had a 12-yd bolt of a great looking flower pattern on yellow damask that went well in the dining room. Back to the fabric store for drapery lining, a full twelve yards of the burgundy ("merlot"), thread, and weights. We found fabric for the shears, too, a pale gold with similar self-color twining flower pattern. Over to Lowes for rings and rods, then home to measure, cut, and sew. Saturday was all about acquiring the implements of destruction. Sunday I finished the first of four yellow panels for the dining room.

Sunday night was a bonfire/cookout in Chesapeake with the cast of the Durang one-acts that Kent is doing (Kent acting, opens June 9). Getting to this place in Chesapeake from Norfolk is like from Bremerton to Horseshoe Lake using half highway and half back roads. It doesn't look like much on the map but dang it's way out there, just a mile or so from the NC border. Terrific small get together, theatrically typical.