Illinois: You'll do, miss. You'll do.

I get asked sometimes about the kind of people I meet when I travel. Mostly because I always seem to come back with stories of the people that I didn't intend to meet, but somehow managed to bump into, anyway.

When I travel alone, I ask a lot of questions. Telling perfect strangers that you're a writer is almost tantamount to asking them for the story of their life; stand there quietly, perhaps with a pen and a piece of paper, and the world opens up to you. The next thing you know, you're sitting on a park bench with someone who formerly looked like everyone else (but who now is suddenly very interesting), and they're telling you the story of their life, their loves, and why they live where they live.

It's fascinating, and it's very, very addicting.While in Illinois, I took two day trips to Springfield. The first I devoted mostly to Lincoln-related sightseeing.

The monument dwarfs individual humans.  I am at the center of the photo, and can barely be seen.Amy, Lincoln Memorial

Pictorial memoir: Illinois

I confess. I was a bad, bad girl while I was on my trip. I didn't take any pictures. But—for those of you who just can't live without having this sort of thing, I did save strange and random bits of things to put together into a collage.

A collage of bits and pieces from my trip to Illinois in 2001.  Mouse over the notes to find out what each item was, or see the entry that originally accompanied this photo.2001 Illinois trip collage

[see full-sized version on flickr]

Here's what you'll find in the picture:

  1. The all-important packing list, taken from my visor. Can't forget the cell phone, or beer for the host.
  2. My alarm clock, with the 'alarm' pointer still signifying my four a.m. wakeup time.
  3. Chicago Transit Authority bus pass.
  4. Pass to the Dana-Thomas house, which I toured in the rain.
  5. Movie ticket from Innocence. I cried.
  6. 'Cashier was USCAN'? Aaron and I both boggled over that one. Quite funny, we thought.

Pictures: New Orleans trip, dragon*con, and Club Todder

Kat finally found her roll of film from our trip to New Orleans earlier this year. It contains some pictures that I referenced in a previous entry, The Jester of Jackson Square. They’re linked in that entry now, if you’re curious to see photos of the balloon artist (Checkers) I was describing.

There are also a few other pictures from that trip which don’t fit in with the theme of that entry. Full photoset here.

BirthdayBash2001 part 1: Tales of the Silly Hat

So John shows up with this absolutely adorable technicolor dinosaur hat. I squeal over it. He brings it to the bowling alley. At this point he's only met Kat and Geof, but he's not terrified yet. Good sign. He is squealed over and generally adored (it is the wondergeek way) but the hat…

Historical preservation: news site screenshots

Yesterday, after an hour's worth of staring at the TV in shock and horror, my instinct for historical preservation kicked in. In the past, we have been able to glean a lot of information from newspapers. But this tragedy was different—the news was updated incrementally as the day went on. Unlike news of yesteryear, when the majority of news was written for a single daily deadline and published, yesterday's news was continually rewritten as the events continued to unfold.

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