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Park Photos DigiScrap Page

September 28, 2010

ravinephotospenelope, originally uploaded by marandacarvell.

Last week I posted some pictures I took as “therapy” at the park down the street. Getting behind the lens is truly therapeutic for me; it gives me – quite literally – a new perspective on the world. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and I ended up with some fabulous shots of my ever-smiling Penelope. Over the last couple of days I worked them into a digital scrapbooking layout that is really fun and whimsical. It was one of those creative experiences where I started with one idea but the project took on a life of it’s own, and it ended up being something completely different than what I planned… however I’m really happy with the end result!

I haven’t had a lot of time or energy for scrapbooking lately, but I did two pages this week (and it’s only Tuesday!) and it felt really good. I need to make time to do this more often.


My camera makes me happy

September 20, 2010

Had quite a crummy week last week, but loved the chance to take some pictures of the kids at the park near my house on a very very sunshiney day.  Too good not to share!

Longest week ever

September 14, 2010

Hey loyal readers [all four of you, hah] sorry I’ve been MIA, but it’s been a crazy week.  I got home from PAX last Monday, after a red eye flight – on the most uncomfortable planes of all time, no more US Air for this girl – and then it was back to work, back to school, and all the chaos that ensues.  Then two nights later I spent the evening in the ER for what the doctors think was a gallbladder attack.  I’m feeling a bit better, although it still hurts… not entirely sure the medication they gave me is working, but we’ll see how it goes.  At any rate it was a completely exhausting week.

As you may already know, I have been dealing with chronic health problems for over a year now, and the wait times for tests and specialists in Ontario is atrocious.  I waited from last fall until April to see a neurologist, and then from April on to see a rheumatologist (yes, that’s over a year for two appointments).  I was supposed to get in sometime around December, but was squeezed in last Monday on short notice.  I think my family doctor had something to do with it, I must thank him.  So, yesterday I had a long and completely exhausting appointment that left me with some answers and lots more questions… I’m still processing everything and will share that at another time.

So, the point of it is I have half a FanExpo post and half a PAX post written for you, but nothing finished… I feel like a  blogging failure.  The frustrating part is that I have so much I want to say after experiencing PAX again, it’s so inspirational, so engaging, so exciting to be there… I hope to get some time to get my thoughts down to share with everyone.

Thanks to all my ‘real’ friends and twitterfriends for the encouragement and support, and to Jeff for running the ship when I’m physically or emotionally MIA.  You guys are the best!

PAX Day 2 Mini Update

September 5, 2010

On Saturday we spent some time on the showroom floor, attending a live taping of The Totally Rad Show and The Bonus Round, saw Wil Wheaton’s panel and hung out with some amazing tweeps.

Can’t wait to hit the showroom floor for Day 3 and get some hands on time with Dragon Age, as well as checking out a few more panels. Can’t believe the show is almost done and on twelve hours we’ll be on an airplane. It’s been a great show so far, and so amazing to connect with everyone. We are among friends.

PAX2010 Days 0-1

September 4, 2010

Jeff and I are here at PAX and having an amazing time.  We came a little bit early this year, and had a chance to adjust to the time change and hang around downtown Seattle a bit on Thursday.  We found an awesome place for tacos with Justin, had some Starbucks and made our game plan for the convention.  It was so nice to relax and be schedule free for a day before the craziness of PAX starts; what an awesome way to decompress and get into vacation mode.

The Pach

Michel Pachter and Me!

Day one of the con was crazy, there is just so much to see and do.  We elected to skip the keynote this year – we’ll catch it on DVD later – and started the day with a live taping of Pach Attack.  Pachter was greeting everyone as they came in, so we had the chance to meet him and he is super charming and very down to earth.  The panel was Q&A style and as always Pachter was on his game, pulling statistics and analytics out of thin air.  It’s amazing to me that people like him can store such huge amounts of data and easily recall numbers when I struggle just to remember my postal code.  Afterwards industry legend and tv personality Geoff Keighley was hanging around the room.  He is so approachable and down-to-earth, it’s just incredible.  I pulled off the truly incredible feat of not going completely fangirl when he actually remembered meeting me two years ago.  At PAX2008 we saw him at a panel with Hal Halpin and met him afterwards; Jeff took a picture of me with Geoff and it was all blurry, which I have never let him live down.  Geoff kindly posed for about six photos with me this time to make sure we got a good one.  I’m a huge fan of his work and it was a real thrill to see him again.  Looking forward to the live taping of the Bonus Round later on today!

Geoff Keighley from GameTrailers TV (World exclusive pic!)

We went to the amazing impromptu 1Up reunion panel and saw an absolute all star cast of video game journalists and podcast personalities.  Afterwards we met the gang from Co-Op and I was totally flattered that the guys ‘know’ me from twitter AND that they all know the video of Oliver singing the 1Up Show theme song.  Jeff bought one of their shirts (if you’re here, see Matt and get one) and I left them some of the bags of Canadian candy I brought with me.  These guys are so nice and so real… which is why I love their work.  Can’t wait to see what they’ll be doing with the new EGM, and I’m so stoked to hear that Patrick Klepek and many other great talents are on board.  I’ve always loved EMG and was so sad when it was cancelled; I’ll definitely be subscribing again.  I asked Patrick about an iPad format after the show, and he said it’s in the works.  And thanks guys for the copy of the August issue!

We wrapped up the night at the Seattle Aquarium with some of the Xbox crew and XBLA partners.  I had a chance to thank some of the Monday Night Combat team for their awesome game, which has turned out to be a great community game for the Xbox Canada crew.  It’s a super fun shooter and I find it such a great social game too.  It was also great to see some of my US tweeps in person and meet a few new people too.  We had intended on going to the 1Up meet up afterwards, but the line to get in was incredible and my tired tootsies just weren’t feeling it.  But hey, congrats guys on the awesome turn out.

I haven’t had a chance to check out tons of the showroom floor, but the Back to Future game has a freakin’ DELOREAN TIME MACHINE in the lobby and it can only go up from there.  Hoping to get hands on with Guild Wars 2 and maybe Duke Nukem if I can tolerate the line.  But first up on my list of things to see today is the Wizards of the Coast booth, which I’m sure will be nerdtastic.   Unfortunately the con doesn’t have wifi this year, but I’ll be doing the best I can to microblog the show if you want to follow along [courtesy of Starbucks, haha].

Lazy Days of Summer

August 27, 2010

Yesterday was our “lazy day” of holidays, a day to lounge around in our pyjamas and hang out around the house on no particular schedule.  Since I’m usually up and ready by 7, this is an enormous indulgence.  I took the opportunity to pull out my mom’s sewing machine that I have on long term loan (and haven’t touched) and work on some new items for Poppy’s.  This is a prototype of the new mitten clips I will be doing for fall and winter, and I have to say I think they turned out great.

mitten clips for

taken on my iphone

And I finally got around to making the “Kitty” clips I’ve been wanting to do.  I have a bunch of ribbon from a new supplier, and it is so thick and nice to work with, I just love it.

kitty head clips for

taken on my iphone

It was so nice to have a day to not-rush everyone to get dressed and ready to go, we so rarely have a day like that…  I tend to spend any time off work trying to do as much housework and kidstuff as possible.  It was good to take one day (out of the year? yikes) to decompress and do some fun stuff.  Even if my definition of “fun” is a sewing machine, pyjama pants and lots of coffee :)

X10 Toronto Impressions

August 26, 2010

Microsoft’s annual “X” event was held in Toronto last week, and although I was unable to go this year (boo!) Jeff made it for the day and checked out some of the upcoming Xbox releases including the new Kinect peripheral.  I stayed at home and kept in touch via Twitter and Skype, and although I was disappointed not to make it this year  I know I’ll get a chance to check out all the games and more at PAX next week.

You can read Jeff’s impressions on all things Kinect – including Dance Central, w00t! – DJ Hero2 and Mortal Kombat here and Fable III, CoD Black Ops and Halo Reach here.

I’ll be catching up with some of the community and Toronto tweeps this weekend at FanExpo which I am most excited about.  If you’re attending and we haven’t already been DMing, leave me a reply in the comments and let me know.  I’ll only be at the show on Saturday, but I’m hoping to meet up with as many people as possible.  And if you’re not attending, look for the highlights here next week.  Anything in particular you want me to check out for you?