May 14, 2004

New Orleans, May 2004

As I mentioned a few posts back, my wife and I spent the last few days vacationing in New Orleans. In the past, I had always wondered what people did when they went on vacation and ended up getting rained on for much of their trip. Well, now I know the answer: they make do and try to enjoy themselves anyway.

Yep, we were caught out in the rain more than a few times while in the Big Easy (and enjoyed overcast skies for much of the remainder of our vacation). Nevertheless, we still had an absolute blast. We walked the French Quarter diagonally and then from side to side, toured the Garden District, rode the St. Charles Streetcar, visited an above-ground cemetary, got accosted by street performers, loitered around on Bourbon Street, and ate some delicious cajun cuisine. Sure, the rain forced us indoors a few times, but we made the most of it by catching a 3D IMAX movie and a showing of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (great flick, by the way). All in all, it turned out to be a restful and fun trip -- despite the rainy weather.

Several photos from our trip are included in the extended entry. Hover over the images for a description and click to embiggen.

A festive Mardi Gras statue standing in front of the Louisiana State Museum. Some lovely shuttered doors in the French Quarter. Two birds splashing around in a fountain in Jackson Square.

A Bourbon Street sign -- just just around the corner from our hotel. A creepy Mardi Gras something or another. Yet another in a long line of flower close-ups -- this one taken, appropriately enough, in the Garden District.

A Jackson Square lamppost during an evening rainshower. A secluded alley in the French Market. French Quarter architecture at the corner of St. Philip and something.

An old timey bicycle, somewhere in the French Quarter. St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square.

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May 13, 2004

Jackson Square at Night

I was just downloading photos from our camera before hitting the sack and couldn't resist posting this shot that Kourtney took of Jackson Square during a rain shower last night. For what it's worth, we didn't do any Photoshopping whatsoever (click the image for a larger view):


I'll have a few more tomorrow...

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April 25, 2004

Yoke for a roguish cow

An antiquity spotted while visiting a museum/gift shop at Cade's Cove this weekend:

Yoke for a roguish cow.

When I hear the word "roguish," names like Rhett Butler and Han Solo typically spring to mind. As it stands, I can't say that I've ever encountered any livestock that I would describe as pleasantly mischievous. Then again, I haven't spend much time around livestock.

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April 10, 2004

The Bridges of Madison (and Oglethorpe) County (Georgia)

You know, springtime in Georgia almost makes it worth suffering through the unbearably hot summers and bleak winters. Almost. Anyway, here are some shots that my wife and I took while visiting Watson Mill Bridge and Howard's Bridge this afternoon. Click the thumbnails for a larger view.

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While we were out and about, Kourtney and I began to wonder why covered bridges were built in the first place. Surely the builders wouldn't have gone to all the trouble and expense of covering a bridge unless it served some purpose beyond attracting tourists a century down the road, right? Our best guess was that they were built to protect the bridge from the elements, but that doesn't seem like too serious of a concern here in Georgia. Fortunately, this page sheds a bit more light on the subject.

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March 14, 2004


Naptime at Casa de Jess:

Jess y El Perro Notorio

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March 11, 2004

Since you can never have too many...

One of these days, I'll get around to posting something other than flower photos, but for now, here are a couple of shots from our trip to the state botanical garden on Wednesday (click to enlarge):

0310purple.jpg 0310pink.jpg

Speaking of aesthetics (and awkward segues), I'm finally taking the time to catch up with the rest of the Internet and learn CSS. That could mean a redesign for Apropos of Something at some point in the not-so-distant future. We'll see...

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March 08, 2004

Spring has sprung

Strolling around campus this afternoon...

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Click on the thumbnails for a larger view.

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February 29, 2004

A Day in the Life: Leap Day

After stumbling across it at Mac's, I've decided to participate in the A Day in the Life: Leap Day project. That being said, I'll be adding new photos to this entry hourly (or thereabouts) throughout the day. You can click on the images for a larger view and hover over them for descriptions.

And that, my friends, was Leap Day 2004.

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I just found out that Kara has joined in on the Day in the Life fun. Oddly enough, one of Kara's photos shows her viewing this site. To add an extra layer of hand-drawing-a-hand trippiness to the whole affair, here's a photo of me viewing Kara's photo of her viewing my photos:

I think I have a headache now.

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February 25, 2004

...and the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain.

The third and final installment of the "Jess Takes Photos of Toys Because He Can't Think of Anything to Write" series:


"Spidey, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
"Gee, I think so, Brain, but if I can stick to walls, why don't I get stuck to my own costume?"

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February 24, 2004



"Ladies and gentlemen, m-hey, I'd like to introduce my latest breakthrough: the hyper-embigulated mutant rhino beetle -- with the legs and the tusk and the chitin!"

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February 23, 2004

"Wh-who are you?" "I'm Batman."

Feel free to provide your own caption.


Thank goodness we own a digital camera.

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February 17, 2004

Resisting the urge to glue silk flowers to the walls

As part of our ongoing quest to transform our house into a bit more livable space, my wife and I spent the better part of Isolation Day weekend painting and redecorating our bathroom. First up is the cool rug we scored at Target:


Meanwhile, here's the view of the bathroom coming in from the hallway:


For what it's worth, the shower curtain also repeats a "colored circles" pattern not entirely dissimilar from the aforementioned rug. Here's another view of the room:


We found some great junky plates (also at Target) that matched the color scheme we were going for, and that's what you see above the towel rack (two smaller plates were flanking the mirror in the previous image). Meanwhile, the framed piece is just some wrapping paper that happened to match the overall design scheme -- an idea that we more or less stole from an episode of Trading Spaces.

Finally, since he's just too cute in this photo, here's the Notorious K.I.P.:


He loves that cheeseburger. Loves it.

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January 22, 2004

Around the house

Just a few random photos from around the house...


You know you're a dork when you're a 26-year-old who listens to Prairie Home Companion, but you're taking it to a whole 'nuther level when you actually own PHC merchandise like the Guy Noir bobblehead pictured above.

Meanwhile, my wife and I continued our ongoing home improvement efforts over the weekend by transforming our kitchen into the bluest room ever.


Speaking of home improvement and decorating, we've also started printing and framing some of our better digital photos in recent weeks.


Finally, here's a black-and-white shot of me -- looking somewhat maniacal -- and my favorite little boy, Dexter (a.k.a. Dexy, a.k.a. D-Bear, a.k.a. D-Bot, a.k.a. Dumptruck, a.k.a. Lowercase D).


We received some really bad news from the vet about Dexter yesterday, but this picture suggests that his cuddling and posing abilities clearly aren't impaired in any way.

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January 05, 2004

Oh, deer!

Not everyone can welcome a possum into his or her life, but I had an up-close-and-personal wildlife encounter of my own over the holidays. While visiting my parents in Southwest Virginia, we took a day trip to Breaks Interstate Park, the "Grand Canyon of the South" (really--it says so on their website). While we were checking out the view from a scenic overlook, we heard something rustling in the brush a little ways up the trail. We went to investigate and found two young deer foraging for food. By the point, we were within ten feet of the animals and, while one seemed a bit wary of us and kept its distance, the other actually began to approach my family. Here's a photo of the friendlier deer (click the thumbnail for a larger view):


After making sure that we weren't going to make any sudden moves, the deer walked right up to us. We cautiously petted her, and she seemed to enjoy it. Then, she began nosing around to see if we might have any food with us. All we had was a starlight mint or two, but Kourtney assured us that they were perfectly safe for deer consumption (apparently, they go over that kind of thing in vet school). So, we unwrapped a mint or two and offered them to our woodland friend, who gladly gobbled them up and continued to let us pet her.

It was then, however, that the deer attacked.


Well, she didn't so much attack as walk right up and lick the lens of our digital camera as we were trying to take a picture of her. After we finally got all the smudges off the lens (the instruction manual was surprisingly vague in terms of offering tips on how to deal with deer saliva), we got this final shot of our friend sticking her tongue out at us before she returned to the woods.


What did I learn from this experience? First, deer--even in the wild--have much softer fur than you might imagine. Second, they seem to really enjoy starlight mints. And, finally, they aren't particularly ashamed to mug for the camera if the opportunity presents itself.

Posted by Jess at 01:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 02, 2004

Tell 'em, Steve-Dave!

As I mentioned a few entries ago, my trip to New Jersey included a brief stop in Red Bank to visit Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, the comic book shop owned by writer/director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Jersey Girl).


I swore off visiting comic shops years ago, but the Secret Stash is the home to several one-of-a-kind props, costumes, and other memorabilia from Kevin's films, and I'm a sucker for memorabilia (just point me toward a Hard Rock Cafe, and I'm there). For instance, here's a shot of the original Bluntmobile--complete with Bluntman and Chronic mannequins--from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.


That's not the important part of the trip, though. While I was at the Secret Stash, I met one of the "stars" from Kevin's films.

No, no--it wasn't Ben Affleck (sigh). It was Walter Flanagan, part time actor and Kevin's longtime friend. You might remember him as the Egg Man or one of the offended customers ("Cute cat. What's his name?") in Clerks, or from his slightly more prominent recurring role as Walt the Fanboy in Mallrats, Dogma, and Jay and Silent Bob. When he's not busy doing bit parts in Kevin's films, Walter works behind the counter at the Secret Stash, slinging comics, posters, and t-shirts.

Seeing him there working in the store, however, raised a rather perplexing question: what is the proper reaction to meeting a D-list celebrity?

I've often seen teenage girls on TRL squealing when meeting someone like Justin Timberlake or grown men and women inexplicably crying like babies when coming face to face with Michael Jackson (of course, that could be chalked up to fear), but what do you do when you encounter a quasi-celebrity like Walter Flanagan? Tell him how much you enjoy his work? His entire filmography amounts to about three minutes of screentime. Take a picture? Over 99 percent of the population isn't going to recognize him. Ask for an autograph? "Hi, Walt! Since you're marginally more famous than I am, would you mind signing this?" Eventually, I settled for just saying "pardon me" and moving out of the way when I was standing in front of some merchandise that he needed to bring up to the counter. Somehow, that seemed like enough.

Besides, he wasn't the only celebrity there. The infamous Buddy Christ statue was in the house, too (dig that groovy lens flare).


On an unrelated note, the Secret Stash also sells action figures of Walter's fanboy character. How weird would it be to sell someone an action figure of yourself, knowing that they're going to take it home to (best case scenario) display it or (worst case scenario) play with it? Creepy.

Posted by Jess at 04:03 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

December 30, 2003

Jess goes to Jersey

I've been promising photos from my holiday travels, and the first set is here! These shots were all taken in and around Princeton, New Jersey--some by me and some by my wife. First up is this shot taken at a fresh fruit market in downtown Princeton (click the thumbnail for a larger image).


We liked that one so much that we already have a copy framed and hanging on the wall here in our house.

Next up is another picture from downtown Princeton, this time of a beautiful old barber pole. If you look closely at the full-size image, you can see our reflections in the metal dome on the bottom of the pole.


Finally, here's one the zillions of photos we snapped of beautiful architecture on Princeton University's campus. Sure, it's no football gargoyle, but what is?


If all goes according to plan, I should have some photos and a story or two from my visit to Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash in Red Bank posted tomorrow.

Posted by Jess at 09:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 16, 2003

Behold the Football Gargoyle

Kourtney is spending the week visiting her parents in New Jersey, and she just emailed me a few photos she took earlier today. First up is a shot she snapped in Princeton of, believe it or not, a football-playing gargoyle (click the thumbnail for a larger view):


I guess it's not any stranger than the Darth Vader gargoyle that perches atop the National Cathedral in Washington.

What's that you say? The gargoyle is pretty cool and all, but what you really want to see is a photo of a cabbage?


No problem!

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December 07, 2003

Bees, horses, and vermouth

Kourtney and I took the digital camera out for a spin today and came back with what I think are some pretty good photos. For instance, here's a shot that we took on campus (click the thumbnail for a larger image):


But, wait--there's more!

Here's a photo of a locally-famous sculpture that's located just outside of Athens:


Abbott Pattison sculpted the two-ton "Iron Horse" in 1954, and it was placed in a prominent spot on the University of Georgia campus. Students didn't exactly take a shine to the abstract sculpture, scribbling on it with paint, shoving hay into its mouth, scattering manure on the ground behind it, and finally placing a mattress under it and setting it on fire. Amidst student protests, the "Iron Horse" was eventually moved to its current location in a remote field 18 miles outside of Athens.

Finally, here's a random and somewhat creepy photo of a poster that's in our living room:


Something tells me that I need to just take the plunge and launch a photoblog.

Posted by Jess at 07:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 02, 2003

Wintertime in Georgia

Not to turn the site into a photoblog or anything, but I thought I'd share this shot that I snapped on campus earlier today with our new camera. Clicking the thumbnail will produce a larger image.


Flowers in December--you've gotta love Georgia.

Posted by Jess at 10:18 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 01, 2003

All dogs go to heaven

Here's one of the better snapshots from the first set of pictures taken with our new digital camera (click the thumbnail for a larger image):


Thanks to everyone who offered their insight on choosing the right camera. In case anyone else out there is shopping for a digitial camera, we ordered through and had a terrific shopping experience.

Posted by Jess at 07:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack