Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur

8/24/2004

The Fall of The Wall Street Journal

Filed under: Art and Photography,Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

The Wall Street JournalSometimes it all smacks me in the head like a sledgehammer. Friday night, Mike and I were walking to the Farmer’s Market in Sugarhouse and it hit me. The vision of it was so striking that I couldn’t speak. Mike was talking, but I didn’t hear him. There they were, piled up and forgotten by Lifestyles 2000. There was a pile of unread and yellowing Wall Street Journals, forgotten and ignored.

I immediately stopped walking. I handed Mike my purse while I fished out my camera. I needed a picture of it. Mike panicked, imagining the brawny and the buff inhabitants of the gym protesting at his wife turned paparazzi. When he saw me bend down to the ground, he quieted. I wasn’t pointing the camera at the exercising minions. I was taking a picture of garbage.

Not just any garbage, mind you. This was weeks’ worth of a newspaper subscription that was never read. The hope and inspiration of the open market was yellowing and untouched in front of the local gym. The vision of it said it all to me.

I remember. I remember when the Dot Com industry was skyrocketing. We placed our bets and hoped the big slot machine back east would pay off. We watched CNN religiously and checked the market on the Internet until 3pm every day. We thought we were investing, but we were gambling. That’s what the stock market is: gambling. Anyone who tells you any differently is lying, even if it’s The Wall Street Journal.

I was only twenty-five years old. Vegas and Wendover held no power over me, but Wall Street struck a core in my bones. I was investing in America and just like our great country, my investments would pay off. Gambling can look like investing if you’re young or a little stupid and I fell for it. I fell right off the cliff for it.

When the Dot Bomb happened, we not only lost our investments, Mike’s income was severely changed for the worse. I worshipped at the great altar of the Computer Industry and I found that my offerings were never eaten. They just rotted and attracted flies and maggots.

A funny thing happened when I stopped worshipping The Wall Street Journal. Things picked up for us. Mike found other avenues for revenue. Web advertising started to pick up again. I started publishing my writing every day without a thought about how much money it would make me. I could be silent no more. It didn’t matter to me whether it was profitable. I had sacrificed to the God of Profitable only to find myself selling my house and using the funds to pay off the IRS. I was finished with Profitable and all I wanted was to tell the world that I survived.

The minute I stopped hoarding my writing, my writing flowed far easier than it had for years. Sure, I’ve had days when I was tired. Sure, there are times when I feel empty. Sure, there are times when I shun the keyboard and the notebook for the video game and sci-fi. On the whole, however, I have been far more productive over this last year than I have in my entire life. I owe it all to abandoning The Wall Street Journal.

Seeing those papers on the sidewalk, yellowed and forgotten by their owner said it all to me. Come here! See the spectacle! See The Fall of The Wall Street Journal! Follow me and enjoy the bliss that I have encountered for the last year! That’s why I had to stop. That’s why I had to pull out my camera like a proud mother or starving paparazzi. I had to share the vision with you.

1/21/2005

Michelob Light Billboard

Filed under: Art and Photography,General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

My Bud Light billboard has changed over to Michelob Light. It’s the first beer billboard that has made sense to me beyond a guttural “Maybe I could have sex with that guy” reaction. The billboard says, “It’s not a resolution. It’s a lifestyle.” It shows a man jogging in the background.

Michelob Light

There’s a girl version of this ad on I-15, which made me think, “God, I want abs like hers.”

Their website is useless, by the way, don’t even bother visiting it. You won’t be able to see the ad. I just took a picture of it instead. First good beer ad I’ve ever seen and they didn’t put it on their website…

2/12/2005

Can’t Write

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Can't Write

2/13/2005

Can’t Write

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Can't Write

2/14/2005

Can’t Write

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Can't Write

2/15/2005

Can’t Write

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Can't Write

2/16/2005

Resting

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Synchronized Napping

2/18/2005

Winter at the Park

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Winter at the Park

2/20/2005

Coming and Going

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Coming and Going

3/3/2005

Practice

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Practice

3/25/2005

Illustration Friday: Bloom

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 11:44 am

Spring in Utah

Spring in Utah – Laura Moncur – 03-25-05

4/1/2005

Illustration Friday: Crowded

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Many Footsteps

Many Footsteps – Laura Moncur – 03-27-05

4/8/2005

Illustration Friday: Travel

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Lake Mead, NV Lake Mead, Nevada 04-01-05

4/14/2005

Computer Drawing

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Drawing pictures with a mouse on the computer is a foreign experience to me. Every time I try it, I end up with uncomfortable squiggly lines. I just haven’t taught my hand to draw with a mouse like I have with a pencil or pen.

I usually just end up drawing the picture on paper and scanning it into the computer. That’s how a lot of artists who post their work online do it. Others have those tablet things that let you draw on them like you would on paper and it inputs right into the computer. They even come in shocking white to match your Mac (not a good idea for me considering how much food I eat by my computer).

Braidwood has been teaching herself how to draw on the computer with a mouse and I am so pleased with how quickly she is progressing. Every picture she posts is substantially better than the previous one. I saw this entry a couple days before my birthday and it made me so happy:

Yes, please! – Birthday Wish – by Braidwood

I imagined that sweet pink frosting was mine and there was someone willing to light that many candles for me. There is a warm glow from the fire and I need to suck up all my breath to get them out in one blow.

4/15/2005

Illustration Friday: Alone

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Alone

Alone – 04-12-05 – Laura Moncur

Thought I’d try my hand at drawing with the computer. I prefer paper.

4/22/2005

Illustration Friday: Reinvent

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Growing My Legs Back

5/20/2005

Illustration Friday: Nourishment

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Nourishment

5/27/2005

Illustration Friday: Aquatic

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Aquatic

6/17/2005

Illustration Friday: Summer

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Summer

6/24/2005

Illustration Friday: Black and White

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Black and White

7/1/2005

Illustration Friday: Heroes

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Heroes

7/8/2005

Illustration Friday: Sport

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:36 am

Sport

7/15/2005

Illustration Friday: Metropolitan

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Metropolitan

If you look carefully, you can see me, Mike, Stacey and Dan in the reflection. I’m holding the camera. Mike is to my left, blocking out some of the sun. Stacey is to his left. Dan is holding the shopping bag on the far left.

We were picking up supplies for camping at a tiny grocery store / strip mall in Highland, Utah. This scooter was beaming at us as we walked past.

7/23/2005

Sugarhouse Art Deco

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 6:25 am

Sugarhouse Art Deco

Mike and I went to the Farmer’s Market in Sugarhouse last night. It’s early in the season, so there was little there to entice us. I’m thinking I should have bought the apricots, even though they looked a little bruised. They were probably really sweet. They looked like they had just fallen from the tree.

I had to stand uncomfortably close to a man sleeping on a bench in order to take this picture. He wasn’t really sleeping because he was talking with his eyes closed in Spanish to the taco vendor. He was probably saying, “Damn paparazzi…”

7/29/2005

Illustration Friday: Tranquility

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Tranquility

8/1/2005

Grocery Store Roses

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Grocery Store Roses

We were at Smith’s Foods and they had the most beautiful roses smiling at us when we walked in. I didn’t want to take any home to watch them die a horrible death. I just wanted to take pictures of them.

8/2/2005

National Garage

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

National Garage

We went to Park City for dinner on Sunday. We sat on the patio at Butcher’s and overlooked this building. My Canon had a run in with a banana in my purse, so it hasn’t been feeling well, yet we were able to get this lovely picture.

This building won an award…

Park City Preservation Award

Who knew they gave out awards for being old and unchanged?

8/3/2005

Ghost Sign

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Ghost Sign

More historical preservation in Park City.

8/5/2005

Illustration Friday: Aging

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Aging

Inside every tree is a sapling.

8/9/2005

Why I Still Live in Utah

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

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They’ve all moved away. They’re in San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and Eugene. They all come home to visit their families and when we see them, they nod. “Still here in Utah, huh?” I smile. Sometimes I feel left out because I’m not going off to seek my fortune. Not last Sunday. We took a drive up to Snowbird and remembered why we still live in Utah.

8/12/2005

Illustration Friday: Empty

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

“I don’t have an entry for tomorrow.”

“Which one?”

“Pick Me! It’s Illustration Friday and the word is ‘Empty.’”

“Empty?”

“Yeah… I can’t think of anything.”

“If you can’t think of anything for ‘Empty’ then you’re thinking too hard.”

Empty

8/16/2005

Weekend in Camelot

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

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We spent last weekend at a privately owned campsite in Duchesne (pronounced Du-shane with the accent on the shane). It was called Camelot and it’s easily the best campsite we’ve ever stayed in. The bathrooms and showers were immaculate. The grounds were well kept. I didn’t even take pictures of the most beautiful parts of their campsite. I was busy looking for broken, dirty and dead things to take pictures of. You can see the beautiful aspects of their campgrounds at their website: Utah Camelot Resort & Pinnacle Lodge.

8/22/2005

Weekend in Park City

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

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It was our anniversary last weekend, so we stayed in Park City. Here are the best of the pictures that I took. Stay tuned for one on Friday that had an unexpected result.

8/26/2005

Illustration Friday: Reflection

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Reflection

Accidental self portrait in the reflection of this door…

8/29/2005

Broken Things

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Rusty Propane

I went to a wedding over the weekend. The only subjects that would stay still enough for pictures in the low light were the broken things, forgotten in the corners of the property.

9/2/2005

Illustration Friday: Dreams

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Discarded Childhood Dreams

Discarded Childhood Dreams

9/4/2005

Dusty’s Wedding

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

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I wish the light had been better that evening. If the reception had started at five or six in the evening instead of seven, I might have gotten better pictures. As it was, I should have brought my tripod and turned up the ISO settings because I couldn’t get a perfectly clean photo. I didn’t even get one of the bride. I hope the photographer they hired faired better.

9/5/2005

Flowers and Bees

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

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The flowers were swarmed by bees of all shapes and sizes. I was only able to catch one. At least the flowers were pretty. I’ll just have to remember the butterflys and bumble bees…

9/6/2005

Weekend in Vegas

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

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We spent a relaxing weekend in Las Vegas with Stacey and Dan. They drove the Hummer and we enjoyed riding in the back seat. Paying for the gasoline on the way down was the perfect way to remind me why I drive a Volkswagen Beetle. Here are the obligatory blurry pictures from the strip. I was standing up in the Hummer taking pictures out of the sun roof. I looked like a bloody tourist…

Tomorrow, I’ll post the really good pictures that we nearly got shot taking.

9/7/2005

Eats

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

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This abandoned area has a huge fence around it screaming “No Tresspassing.” We stayed outside the fence, but it was only Stacey, Dan and Mike that kept me there. I figure if all I’m doing is taking pictures, I can’t be damaging too much.

Right next to this place, there are trailer homes in a sad state of disrepair. The people living there watched us not trespass. I didn’t see them. If I had, I would have walked up to them and asked if it was alright if I could go behind the fence and take some pictures. Dan said that they looked like the kind of people who looked for an excuse to shoot tresspassers. Mike said that the people looked so scary that trying to talk to them would have been a stupid thing to do, but I don’t think so. Even scary people respond well when you ask politely…

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