February Photo a Day: A stranger

Let’s just get something out there: it’s really hard to take a picture on your phone in the city without feeling like a tourist or some sort of creep. And when you’re trying to take a picture of a stranger, that creep factor is amplified.

I nonchalantly snapped this photo of several strangers on the Merchandise Mart brown line platform on my way home from work last Thursday.

My rendition of “nonchalantly” means looking around furtively and quietly humming to myself. Which may not seem all that discreet to you, but public transportation is rampant with weirdos, so I blended right in.

I know it’s blurry, but I amped up the saturation a little, and it kind of looks a little like a painting, no?

February Photo a Day: Words

So the inspiration for today is “words?”

Oh, I GOT this one. Words are my job. I make words my b!tch! (You know, because I’m an editor/copywriter. And sorry if you’re offended by my censored language. Being this bad-ass makes me a little uncomfortable. Now I feel the need to end this post with a smiley face.)


Read about the February Photo a Day challenge here.

February Photo a Day challenge: My view today

So I’ve decided to mix it up a little this month (buckle your seatbelts!) and participate in fat mum slim’s daily photo challenge:

Basically, I’ll be posting a photo every day in February using this list as inspiration. Oh what fun! And don’t worry, I’ll also try to keep up with normal posts too, in case you’re the type who doesn’t enjoy looking at photos. (Does that type of person actually exist? If so, I bet they’re also the type of person who still hasn’t joined Facebook.)

Today’s photo is supposed to be “your view today.” So here it is!

Happy Flip-Your-Calendar-to-a-New-Month Day, by the way! It’s February! And as you may know, changing my calendar to a new month is always a thrill for me.

This is the calendar I have hanging next to my desk at work. I think it features work by different artists each month (I don’t really know, I got it for free).

This month appears to be a cool image of Tina Fey. Who I happen to love! I have no problem with facing her skeptical stare for the next 28 days.  If that image of her could talk, I imagine it would be saying, “Really? You really felt the need for another Starbucks chocolate chip cookie? If you can twist logic enough to convince yourself that you deserve all those unnecessary calories, I bet you’ve also convinced yourself that watching the Real Housewives is purely an educational experience and an excellent way to learn about other cultures! I mean, really.”

Or something like that.

It’s Friday. My brain is tired.

So now you get two random thoughts.

1. In a perfect world, the job title of Puppy Hugger would exist. You would get paid for hugging puppies. Because puppies need hugs. And somebody’s got to do it.

2. I feel like we could all use more excuses to “shimmy” in life. These days, there seems to be a severe lack of shimmying going on. I’m going to a birthday party this weekend. Perhaps I will shimmy there.*

*This is not a promise.

And to to distract you from realizing what a lame post this was, here are two adorable tiny pigs I found on Pinterest!

Okay, after getting a better look at that first one, I’m pretty sure it’s fake… and now it’s creeping me out a little.

Top two images from here and here.

Being a #2 is just a load of crap

I had an interesting thought on the way home from work yesterday.

I commute every day, 30 minutes each way. These 30 minutes, whether in the morning or evening, can be summed up as follows:

  1. Get in the car (this step is key).
  2. Adjust seat and mirrors. Due to my OCD tendencies, I’m always searching for the perfect seat angle/height/distance-from-wheel combination. I’ve never found it and I’m pretty much always uncomfortable until I just start driving and forget about it.
  3. Put on seat belt. The ordering of steps 2 and 3 is essential and very intentional, as I’ve discovered that adjusting my seat with the seat belt on does not work well. Having your esophagus and bladder simultaneously squished by a tightening strap of thick nylon is unpleasant to say the least.
  4. Turn car on and hope it doesn’t make that unnerving squealing sound. My car is getting old, and apparently very irritable as well. If it could talk and own property, it would be yelling at all the neighborhood kids to get off its lawn.
  5. Put the car in drive and, well, drive.
  6. Merge onto highway.
  7. Decide that the semi in the lane next to me is drifting and getting a little too close. Start panicking. See my life flash before my eyes. Ok, this reaction may seem a little extreme to you, but in the back of my mind I see all trucks as evil Carlie-killing machines. I’m pretty sure this stems from an unfortunate incident (or fortunate since everyone in my family is still alive) involving an evil, drifting semi-truck, my family in a small rental car, and spinning across 4 lanes of traffic on the Washington DC beltway at rush hour. So yeah, thanks for making me re-live that moment. Moving on.
  8. Realize that my ears are bleeding because a Nickelback song is playing on the radio (AGAIN).
  9. Curse myself for living in St. Louis for 5 years and still not changing the Chicago stations on my radio buttons. Hey “seek” button – you annoy me.
  10. FINALLY come across a song worth listening to. I bless the rains down in Aaaaaafricaaaaa…. (no, I’m not kidding)

And then I feel it – the urge to sing! And why not? I’m completely alone in my car, my tone deaf screeching audible to no one but me. So I go for it. GONNA TAKE SOME TIME TO DO THE THINGS WE NEVER HAAA-AAA-AAA-AAAVE! OOOHOOOH. Yeah Toto. You rock. And so do I. So ready for this next verse. I can belt it out at the top of my lungs because no one can hear me! No one can see me…except that middle-aged bald guy I’m passing on my right. Did he just make eye contact with me? Crap. Did he see me singing? Ehhh….

Thus brings me to the aforementioned interesting thought I had. You’ll be glad you stuck with me because this will blow your mind.

My theory is that there are three different kinds of people in life:

  1. Those who unabashedly sing along to the radio in their car no matter who can hear or see them.
  2. Those who start singing but become self-conscious and worried that they will attract the stares of fellow drivers, so they tone it down a little and sing between clenched teeth giving the outward impression that they are in fact not singing at all like some sort of idiotic, paranoid ventriloquist. (I fall into this category.)
  3. Those who do not sing ever, no matter what.

I think your car singing habits or lack thereof say a lot about you as a person. The #1’s are confident free spirits, enjoying life and just being themselves. The #2’s want to be like the #1’s but care a little too much about what other people think of them. And the #3’s are just no fun at all. I think if we all lived like #1’s, the world would be a much happier place.

So on your way home from work today, sing along to the radio like you’re freaking Pavarotti – I dare you. And if the person driving next to you starts staring, motion to them to sing along! And, if that thought alone isn’t making you smile, here are a few pictures of some super cute baby meerkats because this is my blog and I want it to make people happy.

You’re welcome.