I sat down with my file of photos to post the other day and realised this would be less of a Friday Photo Post than a 2013 Photo Post, given I aparently haven't posted since April.

But I do have some photos of the year to share! They are behind the cut. It is, of course...image heavy. :D

Selected Photos of 2013. )


Chicago, Picasso, and comedy behind the cut. )

Come with me on a journey. A journey that ends...in shoelaces.
So! I am taking off tomorrow and gone for the weekend. I'll be around off and on, but more off than on I suspect.

There's no Reccs this week, though there will still be RFM as scheduled. But because I get on a train early tomorrow, I thought I'd make a Photo Post tonight.

There's a lot of food in this photo post. I like food, guys.

In 2006, the ephemera of my life got a little overwhelming.

The proper definition of ephemera is not simply paper; it's a piece of paper that signifies an intangible, like a ticket to a film or a receipt from a meal. I had a lot of them and they weren't in any order and I was beginning to forget why I'd kept some of them in the first place. I'd pasted some stuff into albums, but they were both clunky and starting to fall apart. So I hit upon the idea to scan everything in and make a photobook, which would mean it was all digital imagery and would lie very flat. And I thought I should put my digital photographs in as well, and then I could add text with explanations.

Since then I've done one every year, until now I have it down to a science. Every Friday, when I have to scan documents for work anyway, I take all the "stuff" from the week -- meal receipts, tickets, programs from shows, letters from friends and family -- and I scan it in. I put the scans and digital photographs from the week into a file labeled "January" "February" and so on.

In December I go through all my images, make sure everything is cleaned up and edited, and put them month-by-month into the photo book program online. Some years I used the photobook program from Walgreens; lately I use Mixbook because it's slightly more expensive but gives much greater flexibility in terms of where you can put the pictures and what you can do with them. I have a row of yearbooks on my shelf, one for each year, each book only about a quarter of an inch thick. Though they have been getting slightly thicker each year.

I was telling a friend about this and ended up loaning her one of my photobooks because she wanted to see how it was done; it's been a big year for her, finishing grad school, getting married, and getting a new job, so she wanted to do a yearbook for herself as well. I thought you guys might like to see how it looks, too.

I've blurred some pages for privacy reasons -- you can totally tell which pages are my family photos -- but you get the general gist. There's my trip to the Chinatown New Year's parade in the first row, third column; that big Captain America shield below it is my ode to C2E2. My trip to Vegas with Mum has several pages, mostly in the third row. In the fifth row, first column is "exceptional (or exceptionally bad) food I ate this year" and in the third column of that row is all the letters I kept. I save text messages by "screencapping" my iPhone, and those have a spread in the third row, fourth column. Usually whatever novel I've published gets at least a few pictures, but I haven't added in Dead Isle yet.

This year's book runs to forty pages. Along with the other stuff I've mentioned, there's an entire page on "office life" (my cube, my colleagues, the first budget I ever did), two pages of letters, three that are simply "Beautiful pictures of Chicago", and one of photos I took at Mama Tickey's funeral.

The books help me remember what I was doing when, and they mean I don't need to save every little scrap of paper. They let me evaluate the year; how I did, what I did, what life changes took place for me. They're a weird, receipt-peppered documentation of my existence.

They're a lot of fun, too. :)
THURSDAY PHOTO POST. Well, they were all ready.

But first, some icons! Just random stuff. Credit is nice but not required; feel free to alter as you please.


And now pictures! Mostly of Chicago. And some food. And some bragging. Just a little!

Welcome to my city! )

[Name Redacted] fell asleep to the Lord Jesus Christ on [date redacted].

Is that not the most bizarre way to say "she died" you've ever heard? SHE FELL ASLEEP TO JESUS.

I spent most of the morning reading obituaries. Don't even ask.

But now it is time for a Friday Photo Post! If you follow me on Tumblr or Instagram some of these may be reruns, but I promise new content as well. And really, can you spend too much time looking at cinnamon-bun waffles?

Houston, Chicago's streets, strange cooking, and stranger advertising. )
I wanted to do a Friday Photo Post yesterday, but then yesterday happened.

So it's the Friday Photo Post On Saturday!

Icons behind the cut. Using photobucket to host them is weird and difficult, but fuck LJ Scrapbooks, for real. Anyway, feel free to use or alter; credit is nice but I'm not picky.

Iconses! )

And now photos! Many photos. Mostly involving me learning how to work The Instant Gram.

My life in weirdly filtered pictures. )
I wish we could do echo effects in text. If we could, every time I did a Friday Photo Post, it would be a FRIDAYYYYY PHOTOOOOO POOOOOOOST.

As it is, have some pictures. Some of them you may have seen before on Instagram or Wonton Sluts, but I figure mostly people read me here. It's pretty image heavy but entirely work safe (unless your boss has something against grilled cheese sandwiches) behind the cut! )


Although this first one is not. )
I spent this whole week only going to work because every single day I had important meetings. Today was my day to catch up on actual work, and I thought about taking tomorrow off, but oh look: new important meeting! Because why be kind when I'm coughing up a lung.

Between work and Dead Isle starting posting tomorrow, I decided to break with tradition and do my FRIDAY PHOTO POST...on Thursday. I know, you feel special, right?

Icons first. Teasers out here, full post behind the cut. Mostly comics this time around; all are free to take, alter, or use as you please. Credit is nice, but not required.

Captain America, Iron Man, and other miscellaneous hilarity. )

AND NOW...a photo post!

C2E2, hamburger speakeasies, and a car with bunny ears. )
Guys, you remember when we had that discussion about how to "define" the 90's as a cultural decade? Maybe not, it was in comments, but anyway BUZZFEED HAS DONE IT. With photos!

Which is a nice lead into this week's PHOTO POST.

Imageheavy behind the cut! )

Beware, imageheavy!

No icons this week, but lots of dragons and one meat grinder Behind the cut! )
Friday photo post!

This is the photo post of Grate Foodness. But first, icons!

Icons behind the cut! )

And now photos! Behind the cut are many embedded photos, so low-bandwith users beware!

Food and Pictionary. )
Well! Embedded photos seem to be where it's at, so we'll keep on as we've begun.

Today's Friday Photo post is a bit one-note, but what a note it is.

On Wednesday, I took the day off to go downtown and take the Rookery Lobby and Burnham Library Tour. The Rookery is an old historic building in Chicago, and the tour guide informed us that it is "The oldest high-rise still standing" though she could not, when I asked, tell me whether that was in Chicago or in the country. It was designed and built by Burnham & Root, a pair of famous architects (Root did most of the legwork), and renovated by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905 -- or 07, depending on whether you like the placards or the tour guide better.

The Rookery also employs the revolutionary-for-the-time "grillage" system of foundation, which allows high-rise buildings to "float" in the soft, swampy soil that most of Chicago is built on. Without a grillage foundation, most buildings would sink up to eight inches after being built, and in the early days grillage foundations weren't quite perfected yet -- there are parts of the Rookery where the ground floor seems to undulate because the grillage beams sank unevenly.

This is the Rookery. )
It's time for a FRIDAY! PHOTO! POST!

Icons first, though. Behind the cut you can find steampunk dogs, antarctic photographers, cartoons, and cafes!


As for the photos, I'm trying something a little different this time -- instead of links I'm going to embed the photos. So behind the cut it's pretty photo heavy; you tell me whether you like it more.


I have no icons for you this week, but I kept failing to link to some that girlpearl made that I think you will enjoy!

These random-ass Blackhawks ice sculptures were all over town at the start of hockey season. I don't really get it, but how often do you see random ice sculptures melting in the middle of the sidewalk?

When I went to the MSI for the conference earlier this month, I was walking around northeast of the museum when I found this strange little construction in the park. I have no idea where it came from -- I assume it's another relic of the World's Fair -- but it's pretty cool to photograph.

And here's the MSI, as viewed through a program on my iPhone that filters photos to make them look old-timey.

Remember when I told you guys that Giant Marilyn Monroe needs her feet washed? This is why. I shot that this week -- guess she's due for another pedicure...

This is a shot looking down a crane shaft of the Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago. Those silver boxes are archival boxes full of books, stretching down five storeys underground. The robot cranes fetch the requested box when someone needs a book and brings the box up the shelf for the librarian to get the book from.

Here's the reading room at Mansueto -- and the version I snagged with my pinhole camera.

I got quite a few interesting, if not overly awesome, shots with the pinhole camera. One of my favourites is this tree, somewhere on the northwest corner of campus.

This is a pinhole photo of an enlarged printer's mark on display in, for lack of a better word, the gangway to the Mansueto Library. I think it looks like some kind of strange idol.

The courtyard where I ate lunch, a random ivy covered wall, and an arched gothic doorway, all pinhole. If nothing else I'm reasonably pleased with my aim.

I think this is my favourite though -- the Lamassu at the Oriental Institute. Eerie, huh?

I couldn't resist taking photos of these two ads at the Sheridan El stop:
I mean, do these peppers look evil to anyone else?
GrubHub ads are the sexiest ads.

That's my Chicago this month: sexy ads, dirty feet, library robots, and pinhole cameras :D
And now a proper good morning to everyone, because it's time for the Friday Photo Post!

I have made some icons! They are free for use and free to be altered as your hearts desire. Teasers:

More under the cut! )


So I was in Texas last week, where due to the drought they've turned off all public fountains. This one I think looks almost better with no water.

We were in the area of Whole Foods and West Elm when we went Cow Hunting, and it's a rich hunting ground. There are cows with gold udders, Cows apparently celebrating Dia de los Muertos, discows, and the infamous grinning Stupid Tourist Cow.

There's also this cow, which I couldn't get a close-up of though that hardly matters. It's just such a typically Austin photograph: a Starbucks, an art cow, an electric car, and two people in sandals.

This is my El Stop, and my sky.

I don't know what the deal is with this polar bear made from plastic soda bottle caps, but a quick peek around seems to indicate it's some kind of vague, formless Coke ad.

En route to the Art Institute yesterday, I looked up above the storefront of a bank I've passed probably thousands of times, and noticed there was the ghost of a sign etched into it -- you can see it at the top of the photo. I guess there was once a suit and shirt maker at the location...

I did not take a picture of the Spider Web Silk Textile, because it's on loan so it's not allowed, but I did take a picture of this awesome African headdress and that fantastic Incan beaker.

One of the apps I downloaded for my new phone was "Retro Camera", a free app that basically pre-filters your photos so that they look like they were taken on pinhole or polaroid or other older-model cameras. It's pretty neat -- I took a photo of my mug at work and really like how it came out.

I've fallen down a bit on origami this week, though I don't really think you can blame me. Still, I did do one other fold, a heart-with-birds that I'd link you to except I got it out of a pdf ebook. I used this special "indigo" origami paper, which is gorgeous but doesn't hold a crease very well -- it'll be excellent for more sculptural folding.

I will have more photos after today, but I think this is quite enough to be going on with for now. I do have icons to post too but can't be bothered to code them. So let's get straight to photos!

Supposedly, Chicago has been under a single storm system for a week, just swirling around and around. It does make for beautiful skies around the Wrigley Building.

POUTINE. Kind of. My secret? "Gravy a la French's".

Texas: it's pretty brown these days.

Welcome to our Food Trailer mini-tour: Lulu B's, where we sat behind a douchebag (pictured); Hey Cupcake, and the rest of the Trailer Park on Congress (second douchebag also pictured, this one pestered us while we were buying cupcakes); and finally the Trailer Park on First, including Holy Cacao, where Mum got a cake ball.

DID YOU THINK I FORGOT TO SHOW YOU THE CUPCAKES? I DID NOT. That's three chocolate-chocolate cupcakes, two vanilla-vanilla cupcakes, and a carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting.

The thing about Giddings, Texas is that there's no reason to think it's creepy. It's a largish bedroom community outside Austin, and it's no different from a dozen other towns in Texas. But there's something subtly wrong about it that pings my "maybe cannibals live here" sensor. I admit, it takes some time to see it. It takes some time to realise creepy shit like this is only ever displayed in public in film adaptations of Stephen King novels.

You thought I was kidding about going antiquing at the Big Red Barn, didn't you? (The barn itself is behind me in this picture, and I am behind the camera, so.)

You didn't think I was kidding about the longhorn chairs, did you? They even had what I can only describe as a longhorn car seat. But that was nothing, nothing compared to the drawer pulls made out of taxidermied deer feet.

I am so sad this picture came out blurry, because it looks like a shop, but I swear the bust of Caesar you see is actually that large.

I coveted this flamingo. I desired it. I could in no sense afford it, but I could covertly photograph it.

I also coveted this post office counter that was ripped whole out of an antique post office and put up for sale. I'm starting a savings account now.

Okay, this was the mystery of yesterday. It's a velvet case full of what are clearly Masonic symbols. None of them are sharp; the star has pegs on the other side as if it's meant to be used as some kind of trivet. Does anyone have a clue as to what this set is actually used for? The dealer didn't know, and neither did Lucky or my Mum, both of whom had parents in the Masonic Order and Eastern Star. We didn't buy it, because I didn't want to own it, I just want to know what the all hell it's used for.

On the way home we stopped in Elgin for food, and happened to spot Meyers, a famous BBQ joint in the area. I just like the sign.

And that's *tickertape noise* this week in photographs.


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