29 December 2009

The Decade List or How I Remember the '00's

Photo copyright MyrtleArt Photography

Jenni over at Absent Minded had the fabulous idea of making a list of memorable moments in the last decade being that it's the first decade of the new millennium. Thinking this was a great way to spend a Monday night, I decided to play. 

The Decade List:

  • I graduated from high school.
  • I graduated from college.
  • I lived in Bremen, OH; Detroit, MI; Warszawa, Poland; Alexandria, VA; Farmington Hills, MI; and Dearborn, MI
  • I met the other half of my soul
  • I married him.
  • I became the proud parent of a turtle named Sir Rupert Sheldon
  • I adopted Mr. Reilly Patrick - my fave pound puppy!
  • I worked about a million jobs.
  • I was laid off...twice.
  • I changed my name.
  • I had two passports issued to me due to said name change.
  • I lost a grandparent.
  • I lost a good friend to stupidity and a shotgun.
  • I laughed.
  • I cried.
  • I was the shoulder for others to cry on.
  • I watched the WTC fall in the middle of campus with about 100 others.
  • I joined a sorority.
  • I hung out with fraternity boys that I now consider some of my very best friends.
  • I watched so many friends get married and have babies.
  • I watched a good friend get divorced.
  • I made friends for life.
  • I lost friends due to no fault of my own.
  • I voted in historic elections.
  • I watched my country go to war while living in a country that was violently opposing the war.
  • I contributed to the saved lives of countless greyhounds.
  • I learned more about myself than in the previous decade.
  • I maintained a 19 year friendship with my Best Friend even though we haven't lived in the same city for more than 4 months in the past 10 years.
  • I met my hero, Steve Yzerman, more than once.
  • I have shaken hands with past and current sports figures, including Mr. Hockey.
  • I watched the Stanley Cup Banner raise to the rafters in Joe Louis Arena.
  • I watched #19 retired to the rafters in Joe Louis Arena
  • I was in attendance at Superbowl XL in Detroit; the 2006 World Series in Detroit; the past four Preakness Horse Races at Pimlico; and countless other sporting events.
  • I've traveled around the US, Poland, France, Germany, Luxumbourg, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, Turks and Caicos, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas
  • Most of all, I've lived, I've loved and I've laughed.
What's your list?

Here's to a spectacular next decade!

Photo copyright MyrtleArt Photography

25 December 2009

Hark, Hear the Bells...

Merry Christmas! I'm sitting in a hotel room in Grand Rapids, MI typing as the icicles drip and form pools of icy patches on the sidewalk - in other words, winter on the West Side. We are 2/3 into our annual "criss-crossing the Mitten Christmas adventure" wherein we take two days (one for each side) and do a whirlwind visit to the family. It's a duet of family gossip, lots of ham, random and sometimes thoughtful gifts, hugs, eggnog and cookies. I love it  but also love that it's only once a year and it only lasts two days.

Photo copyright MyrtleArt Photography

So here's to family, food and fun. Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukah/Merry Festivus/Happy Kwanzaa!

21 December 2009

That's What Christmas Means to Me:

Former Red Wing, Igor Larionov's daughters are not only gorgeous, they can actually sing too! This year they teamed up with the Hockey Fights Cancer Foundation to record a holiday song and music video to benefit the organization.

I'm LOVING the video that features fans and NHL players holding signs that show what Christmas means to them. The song is also available on iTunes as a download but I've embedded the video here for some holiday cheer. Enjoy!

10 November 2009

Detroit Red Wings 2009-2010 Season Opening Video

Anyone who knows me but at all will tell you that I've been a Detroit Red Wings fan since birth, literally! My parents watched the Wings on tv and listened to games on WJR before I was born and throughout my lifetime. When we moved to Ohio, we would all gather around my dad's ancient AM radio where we could just barely get the WJR signal and listen to games...my friends in hockey-less Central Ohio could never understand why I couldn't come out and play during hockey season! Steve Yzerman has been my hero since he was drafted - he was the first person outside of my family that I could identify (at 3 yrs old, mind you) by sight. Now that I'm a "grown-up," I have season tickets to the Wings and live in Detroit. You could say my obsession knows no bounds.

This is the pre-game video for the 2009-2010 season. I think it's the best I've ever seen. Maybe I'm a nut that everytime I watch it I get chills and tear up. No? Good.


09 November 2009

The Find Your Great Work Movie - by Michael Bungay Stanier

The Find Your Great Work Movie - by Michael Bungay Stanier

Thought provoking and some great choices - Where/How will you find YOUR Great Work?

07 November 2009

A "Formidable Opponent"

Al Gore and Stephen Colbert recently debated the cost and impact of global warming with Al Gore and Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report. Hilarious!

The Colbert Report
Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Formidable Opponent - Global Warming With Al Gore
Colbert Report Full Episodes
Political Humor
U.S. Speedskating

02 November 2009

Supermodels For Climate Change? Indeed!

I love this and I love that people are FINALLY waking up and speaking out in their own way.

Skateistan opens Afghanistans' first indoor skate park

Finally some good news from a region desperately in need of a positive change! My hat's off to Skateistan, Architecture for Humanity, Nike and all those involved for working so hard to give these kids something to be happy about!
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

28 October 2009

Raising Malawi: Will You Join Me?


As a long time fan of both your music, I applaud you for utilizing your celebrity for a higher cause. Your dedication to this country and to these children is beyond admirable. I would, however, like to take the chance to second Cameron Sinclair's comments. The essence of architecture is to create a structure that ultimately improves the lives of those experiencing it while being mindful of the environment in which that structure is built. Think of how many MORE lives you could improve if a model was created that could be replicated throughout not only Malawi or Sub-Saharan Africa but the World? Please continue to use your influence for the good of the World's children.


A fan (and architecture major) in Detroit
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

15 October 2009

Blog Action Day 2009 | Climate Change

Climate Change.

These days those two little words can cause a myriad of reactions, a multitude of emotions. Whether you believe in global warming or you think former Vice President Al Gore is full of it, no one can argue that our climate IS changing.

For the past two days, I struggled with what to write about for my Blog Action Day 2009 post. Maybe it was the 8+ hour drive through the Allegheny foothills and mountains of Ohio and Pennsylvania in the rain or perhaps the visit today to the National Aquarium in Baltimore; whatever it was, through the rain this afternoon I came up with an idea for my blog: the effect of climate change on our oceans.

Jellyfish are an indicator of global warming and the effects are becoming disastrous. In previous ecological cycles, fish eggs were laid and would hatch prior to the warm season which would allow the baby fish ample time to hatch and grow before the jellyfish moved in to feed. With the indisputable warming of the Earth's oceans, the jellyfish have been moving into fish hatching grounds earlier and earlier which means that the fish don't have the chance to hatch and grow before they are eaten by the jellies. Big deal? Well, if you like seafood, YES!

Approximately 75% of the Earth is water and yet only 1% of that is potable or drinkable. This, in and of itself, is a staggering statistic. When you factor in the rate at which the human race is destroying the biodiversity of our oceans and impeding the cycle by which water is created, it's a sobering thought. The more CO2 we release into the atmosphere, the more contaminated the rain that falls and feeds the Earth's freshwater sources. We are quickly running out of water as our populations swell.

So what can we do? Think, for one. It's amazing to me that change can come with such a small effort and most people are unaware and/or unwilling to make a change. What can you do?

1. Buy less Plastic. Every molecule of plastic ever created is still in existence and much of is is floating in our oceans and waterways. For every plastic bag you turn down, every pop bottle you recycle, every metal water bottle you carry rather than buy bottled water, a sea creature is saved.

2. Carry your own shopping bags. This goes along with #1 but is worth repeating.

3. Buy and eat sustainably fished seafood. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch website to download handy pocket guides to sustainable seafood - hell, download them for your friends! You can even visit them via your blackberry or iPhone at mobile.seafoodwatch.org to have a pocket guide wherever you go!

4. BE INFORMED. Knowledge is power and the more you know, the more you can do. Pay attention and think before you act. Remember, one person CAN change the world. All it takes is the first step!

Note: pictures to go along with this post soon - sorry!

12 October 2009

Road Trip!

Baltimore Inner Harbour (copyright MyrtleArt Photography)

We're out of here on Wednesday! Mini-vacay/Road Trip/Fun here we come. We're driving down to Baltimore to visit friends and go to the National Aquarium then it's off to Washington D.C. to visit the family, and visit the requisite museums.
National Building Museum (copyright MyrtleArt Photography)

We have a member preview tour of the new "House of Cars: Innovation and the Parking Garage" at the National Building Museum on Friday. Sunday the husband is working the Redskins game and I think I'm going to check out the new Man Ray photography exhibit at The Phillips Collection. Sunday evening we're heading back north towards Pennsylvania. Monday we'll make a pilgrimage to Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater!

Tian Tian @ National Zoo (copyright MyrtleArt Photography)

In honor of the trip, I've dug out some of my favorite Baltimore/Washington D.C. photos to get me in the mood. Enjoy!

(L to R) National Cathedral, U.S. Capital Building, D.C. Neighborhood (copyright MyrtleArt Photography)

02 October 2009

2016 Olympics Vote: Chicago Dumped In First Round Shocker

I'm shocked and saddened - the Olympics would have been a huge boost for the Midwest.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

01 October 2009

Paper Airplanes over Grand Rapids

This is amazingly beautiful - the joy in peoples faces as thousands upon thousands of paper airplanes fly over Monroe Street is pure happiness. If this doesn't win the Art Prize, it should at least get an honorable mention!

29 September 2009

Ideal Bite | Chop(stick) Shop

Some amazing ideas - love the recycled chopsticks accessories!

Ideal Bite | Chop(stick) Shop

Shared via AddThis

28 September 2009

The Girl Effect

It has been a while since I've watched this video but the effect it has is the same. Chills.
Just imagine what can happen when you empower a girl. Imagine the impact a single ray of hope can have on a person. On a community. On a country. On the WORLD.

23 September 2009

The Security Implications of Climate Change

Even saying "we NEED to do SOMETHING" feels cliche when faced with the facts. One would hope that those in positions of power would cease to point fingers and begin a contingency plan. The time when we could point the finger of blame at one group or instance is past - NOW is the time for solutions. NOW is the time to put aside petty differences regarding race, religion and creed and come together as a species to save ourselves.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

21 September 2009

Social Media Revolution

Social media is a revolution. More and more, we are getting our news from the internet rather than the newspaper or a magazine. Application such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc are changing the way we interact with the world. Take, for example the fact that the Huffington Post is now connected with Facebook. Look at how anything you read or watch on the internet can be shared with anywhere from 3 to 30 social media applications. Case in point is this video on YouTube:

16 September 2009

Michael Pollan Says Healthcare Reform Will Fail Unless We Change The Way We Eat

The food system in this country is so far off base it's no surprise that our health care system is also a mess. What boggles the mind is that while there is a tremendous uproar over health care reform, there is barely a peep in mainstream media regarding food production and food security in America. Even if we provide everyone with access to health care (and let's be straightforward, I'm a fan of this idea) if we do not address the causes of increased need for health care, we're simply entering into a viscious cycle that can't be broken. Pollan hits the nail on the head here with the seeminly simple concepts that we 1) are what we eat and 2) all the health care in the world cannot help the man/woman/child who doesn't have access to proper nutrition or even food! It's time we stood up and took control of our futures and it all begins with food.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

15 September 2009

Dying To Work: Human Trafficking and the Construction Industry

I think the sentence that most sticks out for me is this "What good is building a zero energy, carbon neutral complex if unethical labor practices are jeopardizing the lives of those who build this architectural wonder?"

A building fulfills the basic human need of "shelter." But what good is a shelter if it causes harm over good? We have a responsibility to design and construct structures that not only shelter a community but nurture that community. As a society we need to have a more holistic outlook - there will always be a take for every give. What matters is how you balance that give and take in order to give more than you take. Net zero footprint should mean more than energy efficiency.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

08 September 2009

When You Educate A Girl, Everything Changes

Great article and perfect timing with the Architecture for Humanity announcement today regarding education. Education of girls has, sadly, been constantly on the back burner if existant at all on the world stage. Fortunately, wonderful organizations such as Camfed, Oxfam, Pathfinders International, etc have taken this cause and launched it up to a level of consciousness in our society where we must take notice. When you educate a child, when you educate a girl, you change the world.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Architects Go Back to School and Design the Classroom of the Future

Education IS a basic human right and no child should be told they cannot learn due to sub-par facilities. It is our job as designers and as human beings to create spaces that are functional, beautiful and affordable for the communities they serve so that no child will grow up without an education. The only way we will life communities and countries out of poverty is through education. It's such an easy thing to do and Architecture for Humanity and the Open Architecture Challenge are doing it - Bravo Ladies and Gentlemen. Bravo and Thank you from my children's children.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

02 September 2009

Greening the U.S. Open

This is fantastic! When major entertainment venues make a significant policy change that in turn forces their vendors to also make the same or similar policy change, it proves that we, as socially/ethically conscious consumers, are making a difference. Every small act inspires another small act and around we go until corporate giants such as the USTA and Levy Restaurants are forced to stand up and take notice. Way to go USTA!
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

27 August 2009

Meditations on Future Endeavors

I've been thinking lately about going back to school - question is, MBA or Master's of Project Management or maybe UDM's Master's of Community Development? How do you choose what you want to be when you grow up? I feel like I should know by now - aren't you supposed to have this all figured out by the time you turn 28? Maybe it's 30? There are so many things I want to do before I turn 30 - I only have two years! Ahh! But then, am I really worried? It's not like the world ends at 30...or that life ends at 30...maybe 30 IS the new 20...hmmmm.

Off to ponder life's lessons whilst watching Project Runway - maybe it will inspire something creative...

Image courtesy of MyrtleArt Photography

02 August 2009


I notice that it's been an obscene amount of time since I have blogged in this space. I'm not really sure why that is - except that I kind of do know...and it's silly.

I psyche myself out about blogging.

Silly, right? I read so many amazing blogs from people whose lives seem so incredibly more interesting than my own that I feel inadequate. Even though I know that I'm the only one reading this blog, I feel that every post needs to contain some significant pearl of wisdom or witty story so when I am unable to think of a topic that fits this "requirement" I feel it's not worthy of time in the blog and thus I do not write. Like I said, silly. This so goes against the very idea of a blog. And yet, I cannot seem to rid myself of this delusion.

I have started Twittering. A lot. I find it to be quite addictive. I also think that maybe Twitter will work as a sort of antibiotic for my blogging insecurities. If I can Tweet several lines of text per day perhaps I can build up to a blog post every few days? Or am I kidding myself?

Why do I find my life so uninteresting? I'm not dissatisfied with my life, per se. Of course there are things that I wish I did or could do, but who doesn't? I don't hate my life - I'm pretty content most of the time. Sure I wish I could just travel around the world for a living. Sure I wish I could just take pictures and eat and drink with the locals and get paid to do this full time. But I do enjoy my job most of the time. I love my dog and my turtle which I couldn't have if I lived out of a suitcase. I like my house although I sometimes wish I lived in some modern loft (or Mies townhouse in Lafayette Park, sigh) with a fabulous view of a skyline. I think I just have the grass is greener syndrome - we all want what someone else has...that's life. I have a good thing going here, I really do.

I just need to work on this blogging thing. Maybe if I actually wrote about what's going on in my life, I would find it's not that boring. Or maybe it is but at least I'd be doing something!

Mid-year Resolution: Blog, damn it!

Riverwalk (c) MyrtleArt Photography

26 April 2009

Dearborn by Bicycle

Magnolia Blossoms outside the Dearborn Library
Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

Being that Saturday was such a lovely, sunny, gorgeous day, it seemed a shame not to take the Schwinn out for a spin. Of course the camera came as well and this is the result - a tour de force of Dearborn on a sunny, pre-summer day:

Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

Ford Historic Homes District | Nona Street
Images copyright MyrtleArt Photography

Ford Historic Home
Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

Ford Historic Homes
Images copyright MyrtleArt Photography

Dearborn Public Library | Bryant Branch
Image copyright MyrtleArt Photography

19 April 2009

A Tiskit, A Tasket, a Bicycle Basket!

Bicycle as art...or spring has sprung! In honor of the weather finally warming up (albeit in fits and starts), I brought the Schwinn out for a little photo shoot. I really think she needs a name...hmmm...

New Tires, New Basket, Ready to Ride!

Made in Chicago but she's all Detroit Class now!

The bell is from Oldenburg, Germany where biking is a way of life

Photos copyright MyrtleArt Photography