Monday, December 17, 2007

Wow, my photos are going places!

For those of you who read my blog (all three of you, you know who you are and I love you dearly), I apologize for not updating. Especially since despite the craziness of this past semester, my photos have been included in a few places, which tickles me to no end.

To start, I received the following flickr mail on December 1:

From: Emma J. Williams

Subject: Schmap Detroit Fourth Edition: Photo Inclusion

Hi Liza,

I am delighted to let you know that your three submitted photos have been selected for inclusion in the newly released fourth edition of our Schmap Detroit Guide:

Michigan State Fairgrounds & Exposition Center

Detroit Historical Museum

Roma Cafe

If you like the guide and have a website, blog or personal page, then please also check out our schmapplets - customizable widgetized versions of our Schmap Detroit Guide, complete with your published photos:

Thanks so much for letting us include your photos - please enjoy the guide!

Best regards,

Emma Williams,
Managing Editor, Schmap Guides

I had been informed earlier by Ms. Williams that my photos were under consideration, and I don't get paid for them, but that doesn't bother me at all. I'm strictly an amateur, which is why my photos are available under Creative Commons.

Back in October/November, Geoffrey and I were in Colorado to visit family (his side) and attend a conference (my side). While we were there, I stumbled upon (literally, my feet were killing me, darn new shoes) Leela European Cafe. I took a few pictures, sent it to their MySpace page, and received this message:

Hi Liza,
Thanks for the collection of photos and the great comments. I am glad that you enjoyed Leela's. I will be sure to post some of them here on myspace.
Happy Holidays,

And sure enough, you can find the pics on their page under!

Remember, "you must be logged in to that", though, meaning, to see the page, click on Pics and then "Photos from Kodamakitty."

And lastly for now,
Waaaaaay back in November, I received this lovely surprise in my e-mailbox and meant to share it with every one I know.

Then everything else got in the way:

Hey, Liza! - - - - -
I'm giving a shout-out to Liza Lagman Sperl, a true Buzz fan (Buzz-ard? Buzz-tone?) who shared some lovely pics she took of her jewelry purchase - check out the homepage! I love to get your photos, letters, emails, etc. In fact they get pinned on the wall over my desk for inspiration (awwww). If anyone else would like to pass along a Buzz photo, commentary, ode, etc, I'd like to post them on my website. Don't be shy!

Til next time...
Buzz Buzz Designs

Pretty spiffy, I must say. Which leads me to thank Geoffrey for being so patient with my hobby/obsession (it's a very fine line), my flickr friends for providing such great feedback. And an honorable mention to Frank for referring to me as "one of John Hodgman's favorite photographers." I wish!

I know there there are a few other places I've been linked to, and I'll try to post them later on (which will probably be next year). These three though, were very memorable in my book and I wanted to share them with you!


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

Yay! Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes :)

It's not that I never thought I would be 33, or that I even thought 33 was old. Most of the time I feel OLDER than 33! Today was a pretty good day, even though the weather is damp and cold and Geoffrey isn't feeling well and I have received 76 new messages since yesterday from an e-mail that went out at work, and we leave for Colorado on Sunday and nothing's really done and and and...

At the end of the day, I have a family I love, friends I enjoy, a job that is challenging and interesting, and a husband and companion who loves me. Life is good - I am having my cake and eating it!


Actually, the one in this photo has already been eaten - it was amazing, thanks Sonia!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It's official, summer is over

I know, the first day of fall isn't until the end of September. But the start of classes always means the end of summer to me, who has never really left academia. And a song like this, Sean Lennon's "Parachutes" seems like such a perfect end of summer love song. I don't know if I LOVE the video, but the song haunts me.

It makes me think of cooler weather, sweaters, hot cider, and changing leaves...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What Color Crayon Am I?

I pretty much figured it would be blue - what color are you?

You Are a Blue Crayon

Your world is colored in calm, understated, deep colors.
You are a loyal person, and the truest friend anyone could hope to find.
On the inside, you tend to be emotional and even a bit moody.
However, you know that people depend on you. So you put on a strong front.

Your color wheel opposite is orange. Orange people may be opinionated, but you feel they lack the depth to truly understand what they're saying.


Sunday, August 12, 2007


Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

Guaranteed, this is probably what I will look like at the end of the week; tired, a little worried, and in need of help supporting my own head.

I have a few major reports due at work, the upcoming semester is going to be crazy, for some reason I think I can squeeze in a photography class, and I probably won't see more than a day or two of vacation between now and the middle of November. FUN!

It is times like this that deep breaths are good, quick phone calls to friends are good, and remembering that I am loved is very good.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Hey! an understated Michael Bublé song!

I've been listening to one of three Canadian stations that are programmed on my stereo and I tend to stay with this one the most because it's selection is so quirky. 96.7 WCHR has an eclectic format like Doug FM, but has radio DJ's who actually announce the song titles. 96.7b also tends seems to bridge a longer time span than 93.9 or 89.9. The playlist on 96.7 can go from Fergie to ELO to Heart and back again in the span of 30 minutes or less. Being a child of Adult Contemporary radio, it's a great station that generally doesn't require a lot of flipping around on my part. So I was sitting here obstensibly getting ahead with some work (it's just not happening tonight, *sigh*), when a song comes over the radio with lyrics like, "You're a carousel/you're a wishing well..."

I've heard the song before and thought the lyrics were kinda catchy, but I couldn't place the voice, so it's TO THE GOOGLE SEARCH BAR! and there it is: "Everything" by Michael Bublé.

Geoffrey and I first heard Michael Bublé when he made a guest appearance on the Barenaked Ladies Holiday album, "Barenaked for the Holidays." He was the non-Steve and non-Ed voice on "Elf's Lament," which once it gets stuck in your head, will rattle around in there, even when it isn't the Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Solstice season. It's a fun romp and he kinda sounds like Rory Bremner, who is a massive UK personality, but probably best known for being on BBCA reruns of Whose Line is It Anyway? Come think of it, he kinda looks like him too. But I digress...

Given how much I like swing and how much I enjoyed Harry Connick, Jr.'s soundtrack to When Harry Met Sally, and really got into Big Band and Swing music, I was kinda surprised to find myself not totally enamored with Bublé's full album releases. A song or two of his would show up on a wedding CD or on the radio and I would just sort of go, "Hunh." I do understand his appeal - he's cute and young (I will admit he does have a nice smile) and he's dating an actress (Emily Blunt) and he's been well-received all over the world. But somehow, his singles just haven't really done it for me. The songs themselves are usually not to blame, but the arrangements seem overblown. It's almost like he's trying too hard - and not having the fun he did being smarmy and lounge-lizard-like on "Elf's Lament."

"Everything" is still not the Michael Bublé from "Elf's Lament" - to me he kinda sounds like a more upbeat and pop-y Maroon 5/Stevie Wonder blue-eyed soul singer. I don't know if Bublé is the man to bring swing back to popular music, and maybe he's not even really trying. I am sure he would say that he is simply trying to share the music he loves with the world. Harry Connick, Jr. was also supposed to do herald the second coming of big band and swing, but he seemed to have lost favor with the radio stations once he got engaged to a Victoria's Secret model and women everywhere could no longer feel as though he was singing just to them (which incidentally coincides with the last big Harry Connick, Jr. single I really dug, which was '"I Just Whisper Your Name"). I guess it's one of the reasons I used to collect 45's and then Cassingles and now iTune's downloads - I don't have to like an artist's entire oeuvre.

Ultimately, I think this song is very sweet and I fully expect it to be a Hallmark "Cards with Sound" just in time for Valentine's Day or as an anniversary card. If this was still 1997, I would still expect this song to be part of the "Mad About You" soundtrack. Given that Bublé is about the same age as I am, I am not surprised that this song, which is one of the songs he's written or co-written on his latest album, has that sort of vibe to it. Here's the video, which is also sweet and funny:


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The happy family

The happy family
Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

My usually erratic posting schedule will probably be a little more so now that my brother and his wife Kara have delivered their wonderful baby. Miss Lucia Olivia was born on Friday, July 27 at 4:50 pm. She's adorable, has the longest toes, and makes the funniest squeaky noises.

Congrats to my brother and his growing family!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

BNL + Tenacious D + Prince = Flight of the Conchords

Just to warn you - you may need headphones to listen to this at work. You may also wish to practice not laughing out loud if you are at work as well. As a final precaution, I don't recommend drinking milk or other substances while watching this video.

Consider yourself precautioned:


Monday, July 23, 2007

So odd, it's almost cute

So odd, it's almost cute
Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

My Kroger has some of the oddest stuff - here's a plush Andrew Jackson next to Scully from Monster's Inc. and a teddy bear. I am not kidding - go to my Flickr set to see the full picture of Andrew in the machine.

I am trying to decide if I am sad or relieved that I didn't try to win him.


Kitty Deluxe

Kitty Deluxe
Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

I got to spend a few minutes on Friday and Sunday taking photos of the cool handmade jewelry and fun stuff at Kitty Deluxe. The shop is this cute little house on Harper Ave., and there are lots of windows to let in plenty of natural lighting. Since jewelry doesn't move a whole lot, and the colors of the beads were so bright and lovely, it was a total blast to walk around and capture the funky cool displays for Cat and Jennifer's wonderful craft work.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Pop Culture Convergence

Dennis Miller (before he completely lost his mind) once said,
"Stop me before I sub-reference...again."

Here's an example of the convergence of pop culture references that someone in my age group (it's my 33rd birthday this year) would just barely manage to get - Daria, iPod, the original Hall and Oates song, and the Nelly referral:

I love it!
(thanks Geoffrey, by way of Clark, by way of the wonders of You Tube)


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sauce packet wisdom

Sauce packet wisdom
Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

Oh, I hear you, little sauce packet. I hear you.


Friday, June 08, 2007

New Jonathan Coulton Song, "Octopus"

As most people know by now, Jonathan Coulton is one of my major geek crushes. Thankfully the hubby is okay with that (you will always be my #1 geek crush, sweetie). Coulton, (or JoCo, for short) produced a song every week for an entire year (to get caught up, check out the "Listening Suggestions" on What started as a way to explore the creative process and maybe amuse a few friends and reassure concerned family members that really, there were more than three songs in him (and he just wrote the third), became an internet phenomenon. The songs, while not all bright and shiny winners, are consistently listenable and re-listenable. It's one hell of a sophomore album (the first full album was the 2003 "Smoking Monkey"). And it's not just one album, it's four!

Thing a Week ended in September 2006 and Coulton hit the road, accompanying John Hodgman on his book tour for "The Areas of My Expertise." He also started to combine tour stops with concerts and eventually began to tour on his own and with the dynamic duo, Paul and Storm. The fans wished him well, thanked him for the music, and bought tickets and t-shirts and box sets and tried to find other ways to get their fix through video footage from cel phones and tapings at live concerts. A happy collaboration with Ze Frank in March 2007 (you can hear "I Knows Me Some Ugly" in the NY Times Video "Jonathan Coulton: Internet Superstar" ) and a recent cover of Alanis Morisette's "You Oughta Know" helped keep the addiction fresh.

In a very un-Superstar Divo manner, JoCo has managed to post at least once a week if not more often than that, even while on the road. It's the sort of thing that "they" say can't be done, but JoCo is not one to leave his fans behind and rest on his laurels. So you can imagine the fans' excitement when JoCo announced that rather than requiring a bucket of chicken or a can of soda to watch him twiddle with knobs and sing into a microphone, he was going to allow us to be proverbial flies on the wall. Coulton set up a web cam across from his computer and for a few days streamed an hour or so via To see for yourself, go here.

The feedback and practice from touring, being able to harmonize and collaborate with Paul and Storm, and just generally being a really talented singer/songwriter has resulted in a new song. It's well worth the wait. "Octopus" has all that we have come to expet and love about a JoCo song - catchy hooks and smart lyrics with tight harmonies. This isn't a bone being thrown to hungry fans to distract them with fluff. It certainly bodes well for the longevity and persistence of one of my favorite artists.

And here's the conclusion, to be delivered in end-of-an-NPR-feature style: Based on the celebration in the comments section, I don't think JoCo's career will be on the endangered species list any time in the near future.


As an added treat and in record time, Len Peralta from Jawbone Radio posted one of his amazing "Monsters by Mail" videos to commorate the new song:

Monday, June 04, 2007

Amazing Design

I've blogged about this on my facebook page, but this design was too good to require a login:
Revenge of Sushi - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Honestly, if you are looking for great (and sometimes odd) designs in limited editions, this is one of those sites.

Now, if I only looked a little better in their XL girly tee....


Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

As far as I know, being the one of the first in my family to be born in the US, no one in my family has served in the US military. Since my extended family is so large, I don't know if any of my relatives have served in the military in the Philippines, either. Growing up, I didn't know what Labor Day, or Memorial Day, or Veterans Day were about. That makes this post a little difficult, since I don't really have a good frame of reference other than the internet. And we all know how impartial and balanced the information is on the 'net, right? Right.

So in doing a bit of very casual research, I found it interesting that there has been some discussion about the fact that Memorial Day is actually May 30, but that in 1971 the observance was moved to the last Monday in May, so as to give us all a three day weekend. I am sure there were more noble reasons than that, but then, we live in a day and age where tourism can dictate the first day of school, so what do I know?

Leading the charge is a distinguished serviceman who looks an awful lot like my late dad or at the very least an uncle of some sort, US Senator Inouye (HI). He's introduced a bill to change Memorial Day back to it's original date. According to, Mr. Inouye has re-introduced the bill every two years since 1989 and more often than not, the bill has faded away without co-sponsorship. What impresses me is that Mr. Inouye is himself a veteran, who lost his right arm in WWII. He was the first American of Japenese descent to serve in either House of Congress. As far as credibility is concerned, I would trust this man to represent how veterans would want their lives commorated by the nation they serve.

I am actually surprised that there isn't more momentum behind this, just in terms of getting another day off. I assume that businesses and schools don't want to deal with the extra time off, but wouldn't that translate in more money being spent somewhere else? My guess is that as a nation, we don't seem to be very comfortable with the idea of death. And the notions of death and sacrifice are even more unsettling. How do you pay your respects to that? What would a national day of mourning like without it being a specific person, like a past president? Look at what happens now with Martin Luther King, Jr. day - it's a day off but that doesn't mean that everyone knows or appreciates why it's a holiday.

I confess to enjoying days off, no matter what the reason. I would like to think of Memorial Day as a sort of Thanksgiving, where the hardships endured by many brave men and women helped shape our country. I may not like the reasons or politics behind why a person would join the military or how their time, talent or effort is utilized, but I can certainly try to honor their memory and to remember their sacrifice as well as the sacrifice made by their family and loved ones.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

RIP, Fuji Finepix Z1

*sigh* I am all for shiny brand new toys and I am not always able to resist the allure of being an early adopter, but I must say, I really did enjoy using my Fuji Finepix Z1, now a technologically ancient 2 years old. I have a fourth gen version on order at Best Buy since they hadn't managed to fix my "zoom error." When we purchased the Z1 back in 2005, we also paid an extra $50 for what the sales person assured us would protect my hefty investment (~ $350) from droppage, plagues of locusts, etc. After the first bump, I immediately took it in and fudged the facts a bit once the Geek Squad person dryly informed me that the Product Service Policy (PSP) did no such thing - it was merely an extension of the manufacturer's warranty, which incidentally, does not cover droppage or other natural occurances.

Thankfully, it was fixed for free, and then it suffered a small fall from my pocket again (on my birthday, no less!) So we took it in again and it got repaired again. Now normally, I would feel guily about supposedly duping Best Buy, but the truth is, the sales person duped me first. The policy never covered what he said it would (he's no longer at that store, by the way, I spoke with a manager who said that he would love to bop the folks who were using that tactic to sell PSPs). At this point, I was trying to use as much of the PSP to my advantage (under a spiffy "No Lemon" clause, if they couldn't fix my camera after three attempts and they deem it unrepairable, a PSP camera may be exchanged for one with comparable features and quality, though not necessarily price), since I am quite certain that I am still paying interest on it or something else that I charged in order to pay for it, somewhere (ah, the credit card/cash/food shell game! But that's another post...)

By the by, I waffle between feeling resentful and sorry for the Geek Squad folks at Best Buy - there are never enough of them, they have to wear what must be a somewhat uncomfortable outfit that I am sure is 50% + polyesther for durability, and clearly they are denied any sort of happiness. It just seems like the epitome of a soul-sucking job. And they have deal with some of the more computer clueless people in this world who know just enough to be not quite dangerous but think they do. On the other hand, there is a certain level of condescension and lack of creative thinking that seems to translate into mediocre customer service. Especially since there is usually no shortage of the blue-shirted Best Buy folk, who clearly have been threatened with having to wear a button down and tie if they so much as greet a person waiting for one of the Geek Squad folk.

Needless to say, Best Buy now has two levels of PSPs, one of which covers routine clumsiness. Good thing too, since the motor for the zoom sits in the same corner as the lens, which means that gravity naturally seems to pull that corner to the ground when it falls. Hence, the constant "Zoom Error." If that baby is even a tiny bit out of whack and not seated properly, the zoom won't go. I spent a good six months or so having to close and reopen the lens cover to get the error to reset and to somehow, magically, coax the lens or whatever, to take a seat and behave. Clearly, when I drop my camera I should either strap a cat or some buttered toast to it so that it drops flat. Now that I've paid extra for the added protection, I am bound not to drop this puppy - ever.

After playing with all of the floor models, the Fuji Finepix Z5 won out. It's got a nice heft, thanks to the all-metal body. As far as cameras go, it's not breaking new ground, as some of the reviews will attest, and it doesn't have the largest number of pixels. However, as I learned with the Z1, it's not just the pixel count, but how it gets used. Many of the shots I have taken on the Z1 were really good and have withstood being cropped or blown up to larger sizes. Geoffrey's been very sweet to encourage me to get my own DSLR (the job allows me to rather freely play with a great Canon Rebel XT), but I wanted something that could be chucked in a bag or used discretely without having to lug out a larger camera.

However, I wasn't going with the in-stock bright pink, no matter how many Hello Kitty totchkes I may own. One of the big reasons I had not replaced my Z1 (other than cost) was because it was the only iteration (one of my favorite words, it just has a satisfying crunch to it, don't you think? iteration) that came in black. Sexy, shiny, spying-for-some-secret-organization, black. I also couldn't bear going with the "Mocha Brown" version. Brown and Pink might be hot now, but what will I wear with it next year? (that's actually a joke, I don't consider myself that fashionable, though the amount I spend yearly on clothes might contradict that).

Best Buy has a great in-store display devoted to the Z5, though oddly enough it's not something that has caught on here in the States as much as it seems to have elsewhere. Perhaps it's because only the pink version is in stock. For all of the other cameras, the pink or red versions are special order only. According to many of the reviews I read, which were primarily from the UK, it's quite the little fashion accessory, and it's low light settings make it perfect for clubbing.

Thankfully, somewhere between the Z1 and Z5 the need for an additional dock was eliminated and a traditional tripod mount can be used on the underside of the camera. Since the Z1 didn't really lock into the dock, the thought of balancing a shallow tray with my camera onto a tripod just seemed silly. This means I can now get one of those Gorilla Pods. I am hoping that many of the things I loved about my Z1 have been carried forward in the Z5 though I am sure with the perverse nature of consumerism being what it is, a black version is just around the corner.

^_^ Liza

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Chicago Trip

IMG 0219
Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

I dragged Geoffrey to Chicago last weekend to see Jonathan Coulton with Paul and Storm at Schubas, near Wrigley Park. Parking was a nightmare, but the show was a lot of fun. I've posted pictures on my flickr page. Paul and Storm mentioned me in their blog. The geek crush list keeps growing - I have a soft spot for men who can harmonize intentionally.

But ultmately, my geek love goes to Geoffrey for driving me out there, dealing with vague and mysterious Google maps (that I-41 is odd), not to mention the exhorbitant cost of lodging, gas and meals. In exchange for being my personal chauffeur, I agreed to not bring my laptop - it was truly an almost four day vacation from the internets, with the exception of a short trip to the Miracle Mile Apple Store.

We did manage to spend a day in and around Chicago and it was nice. It makes me believe that Detroit will get back to that someday. I know it sounds naive and there was many many forces against such as thing, but I've just gotta believe, you know?

^_^ Liza

Friday, May 25, 2007

Oh yeah, summer's just around the corner

Hello all;

Here's a little something to get you chair dancing: the new Maroon 5 single, "Makes me wonder." I had heard it on the radio and it took a few times of trying to catch the artist before the connection came through. I don't even really care about the words - it's catchy and very much reminds me of growing up in a house that always seemed to have a radio on. My dad really loved pop radio, so I grew up with whatever was current during the 80's and very early 90's. It reminiscent of so many songs, but most importantly, it's that infectious pop song that you know will be playing all summer long. It just makes me want to dance (which means that it should be a good one for you, Darling24/7!)


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Some of my best work

Marie and Jerry
Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

I don't really call myself a photographer. Not yet, anyway - I *think* I am getting there. What I do know is that I love taking pictures, and I am constantly amazed at what turns out and how well.

(By the way, I happen to think of my liking taking photos as a great example of sublimation - my mom would designate me as our family's photographer with the admonition that I had to take at least one shot of each person, preferably solo, and specifically in landscape or portrait, depending on which way the openings went in her album that year. It was very much a "love it or leave it," scenario. After a while, like 10 years or so, it just became a matter of course.)

As some of you may know from Geoffrey's blog, his grandfather, Jerry, is in the nursing home under hospice for liver cancer. Jerry is 87 and by most accounts he's had a good life and has cheated death at least three or four times. He's also infamous for being a tiny bit curmudgeonly and a lot stubborn. So it's no surprise that he's getting through each day, but for his family it's hard to watch him fade away.

Which brings me to this picture. Taken in July of 2006, it's the quintessential Jerry and Marie photo and a rare one where they are both smiling. Marie had cracked up that I had decided to have an indoor picnic, which is where the red and white checkered tablecloth came from, along with a big wicker basket. Given the family's Italian/Irish/European mix, it all just seems so, well, them. Even the wood paneling and the knick knack shelf seem just right.

I gave everyone copies of this photo for Christmas and Geoff's mom lent hers to Jerry to keep at his bedside. I do believe in prayers and providence and a huge helping of luck as well as at the very least, I can make people laugh when I take their picture. Whatever you may call any great big good thing at play in the universe, it's hard to deny that I was blessed to be in the right place, at the right time, with the just right amount of lighting and that I didn't cast a huge shadow (my back is to a large sliding door).

This is how I will always remember Marie and Jerry.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

LAGQ Pachelbel's 'Loose' Canon

It's a grey and kinda icky day here in Detroit. There's a lot of crazy stressful pressure at work - but I know it could worse just as easily as it could be better. Spring is always the most complicated season in my mind - the discomfort of growing and change, the heavy burden of potential. But that's another post. I heard this on the radio the other day and I was so tickled by it, I was thrilled that the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet had a video posted on YouTube. So here, to cheer me and hopefully you, is the LAGQ's version of the Canon in D (forever known to many people as the "GE Soft White Lightbulb commercial song"). They refer to it as Pachelbel's 'Loose' Canon.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Wedding, Alex and Kara!

Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

Just wanted to spread the online congratulations (and a spiffy photo, natch!)

^_^ Liza

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fun with Tulips

This one's my favorite!
Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

I don't have a long blog post in me at the moment, but I wanted to share this photo because I am so pleased with how it turned out. I was holding the camera in one hand and a light bulb with a metal collar in the other. I don't know if I could reproduce the shot if I tried, but hey, that's why I am signed up for a photography class in the fall.

If you click on the photo, it will take you to all of the tulip shots I took that day/evening.

Enjoy! ^_^

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hello Spring

Hello Spring
Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

Today is a little on the chilly side, but the sun is out and Spring is well and truly here. I was a little concerned there, what with an inch of snow one day and 70 degree weather the next.

I finally brought my little fuji finepix Z1 in for servicing and got it back earlier this week. It's a great digital camera, even better now that the zoom is working properly. I am pretty sure it's taking better pics now that when I was just dealing with the zoom error. I would get an error the first time I turned on the camera and then it would go away.

I took this pretty photo in our front yard. There's a bunch of leaf debris that still needs to be cleared away, but with both of Geoffrey's grandparents in the hospital (Grandma) and nursing home (Grandpa), cleaning has only been something I do in manic spurts.

Today is not a manic day. In fact, I'm struggling to push my fingers along, so I'm off to grab a cup of coffee and contemplate my day.

Happy Spring, everyone!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Jonathan Coulton Soft Rock Infomercial

Ok, after the last two posts, I needed a bit of a laugh, and here is this gem of a soft rock mock infomercial. And for the record, yes, I am an Air Supply fan.

^_^ Liza

Monday, March 12, 2007

Farewell, Platypus Man

Richard Jeni
Originally uploaded by crissy0244.

I was saddened, though not necessarily shocked to hear that Richard Jeni had died of an apparent suicide on Saturday, March 10. He was apparently found by his girlfriend, fatally shot in the face.

The news is apparently such that you can still buy tickets for some of his scheduled shows and there's aren't a huge number of articles about his passing out there yet. Maybe there won't be a huge amount of media coverage, which will only fuel the speculation that Jeni was perhaps despondant about his lack of fame. I guess that would be a part of it, but I am guessing too that there were deeper and darker forces at work. At least some of the comments on the two postings I found (Elayne Boosler on The Huffington Post and Joel Keller on seemed to indicate that Jeni struggled with depression and possibly other serious health issues.

When I was growing up and we finally got cable (which would be sometime in high school, circa 1992), stand-up comedy was everywhere. Every other show on Comedy Central, all over the place on HBO, Comic Relief every year, and so on. Richard Jeni was easily one of my favorites. He was cute, intelligent, and so much fun to watch. I used to repeatedly watch a VHS recording I had of "Platypus Man," his first HBO Comedy Special (he had four altogether). He was that lovable geek before geeks were considred lovable. The male counterpart to being a bridesmaid but never the bride, Richard Jeni had a one season sitcom (also called, "Platypus Man") that never saw the success of "Home Improvement" or "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Of course, the show was probably doomed from the get go. The show aired in 1995 (when people were starting to OD on stand-up, or at least the networks were starting to pull back) and the show was on the brand-new and untested UPN. Richard was not playing himself, but a chef with a "cooking show for guys." It was probably not a true reflection of himself and didn't ring true with his fans. According to Aaron Greenhouse, who has a pretty impressive episode guide for the show, the last episode in 1995 was pre-empted a few times by "Legend" and "Star Trek: Voyager."

I, myself, am guilty of not being as rabid of a fan as I could have been. After "Platypus Man" (the HBO special), I didn't really pay too much attention to what was going on with Richard's career. I'd experience a little thrill when I saw him in a cameo or wonder why meteorologists watch the weather and not meteors. To this day, I still use the National Geographic theme whenever odd phenomena occur that really should be documented by an adventurous and winsome tv personality brandishing a microphone and leading a film crew - "So join us, won't you?"

Thanks for the laughs, Richard Jeni.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Goodbye, Winter

Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

The snow is finally starting to thaw around here and the air seems fresh and promising. I am really beginning to appreciate the idea of spring cleaning. I want to throw open all of the windows and wipe down all of the dust and grime from the lazyness of last summer through the tedium of a cold gray winter.

I tend to think of Winter as a selfish season. It's a great reason to cocoon away from the rest of the world and to be introspective and sleepy. The cold is numbing and things move more slowly. Spring is still a little selfish in that I tend to focus on trying to get things in order - using the tax return to clean up the bills, using the better weather to clean up the house before it gets muggy and impossible, hoping that this time I'll be able to establish better habits to make life healthier and less stressful.

Many people make their resolutions in January. I tend to make mine in the spring - it seems like a point where my intentions can match my actions. Spring is more about renewal and the change is more pronounced, more profound.

So here's to soon being able to put away the mufflers and boots and to new beginnings. Take a breath of fresh air and smile at the promise of spring.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Cold snap

Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

Brrrrr! It's chilly in these here parts. It's supposed to stay in the very low single digits with blistering wind chill until at least Sunday. I know "blistering" and "wind chill" seem contradictory, but the wind here cuts and burns as much as if it were an open flame.

On the upside, it's at least sunny and the sky is blue. I took this photo on the driveway of our house. It's a bunch of Barberry bush berries. I didn't place it there, it just happened to fall that way.

I wish you unexpected beauty in mundane places and a warm place to sleep at night.


Sunday, January 21, 2007


Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

Just a quick post on how much I love my dog. She's the sweetest cuddle bunny (when she's not chewing on something she shouldn't or mooing because no one is paying attention to her). I really do like Bailey, but he's much more Geoffrey's dog. She's a big 'ol friendly girl and I love her to pieces. I thought I was more of a cat person until Zookie found me.

I hope everyone has a friend or pet to share unconditional love with. I am multiply blessed!


Monday, January 15, 2007

Time Capsule: Distant Sun

Ahhhh - another one of those songs that I have been known to include on every mix tape or play with the "repeat" button on: 1993's "Distant Sun" by Crowded House. I do love "Don't Dream It's Over," but for some reason, this one sticks with me more. Here's the video:

In 1993 I was a second semester freshman working in the WSU Student Council office. I found pages from a jounal I was keeping around that time and it always surprises me how much I wish I knew then what I know now and how much more of my life was ahead of me. And yet, I still wouldn't change anything. I needed to be bored, rejected, desired, sleepy, angsty, happy, whatever, in order to be who I am today. If I had known then what I know now I would have either been an arrogant wench or a blase and jaded moper. I was still getting used to who I was and relishing not being the oldest one or the smartest one or even the oddest one.

I hope that wherever you were 14 years ago (yikes) that you are just as happy, if not more so, now.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Itsy bitsy teenie weenie...

Itsy bitsy teenie weenie...
Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

Happy New Year, one and all!

Christmas was a low-key but fairly decent affair. I can't remember the last time the holidays spanned a Monday to Monday, but it just doesn't feel like we get as many days off. I know, I know, many people have to work the week between Christmas and New Year, so I can quit my whining, but beyond the work hours, the holidays just seemed to sneak up out of the blue. More so than usual.

At any rate, the big surprise of the holiday was a beauteous second generation iPod shuffle from Geoffrey (you may remember over the summer when I said I wanted one, apparently he did too!). I was looking for accessories for this and couldn't really find a good case. The iPod has the clip for your jacket or belt, but that doesn't mean I always want to carry it around that way. I am surprised that someone hasn't come out with a keychain or carabiner type holder.

But thanks to this nifty little change purse (thank goodness for a mom who sells Avon/Mark), I have a home for my new toy.

I hope you had an enjoyable holiday, whoever and wherever you are.


PS - This is my 69th post - yeah, baby!