It’s Neeeil Haaaamburger!

neil1Have you heard of Neil Hamburger? Triple points go to you if you have. Brian and I went to see him a few weeks ago at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis and had a blast. Neil Hamburger is the dryest of dry comedians and he’s definitely an acquired taste. Here are some photos from the evening. neil2neil4 neil3neilandme neilandbrianAnd as an added bonus, we were blessed by an appearance by Tim Heidecker, of Adult Swim’s Tim and Eric, as well. tim1tim2timDo you have a favorite comedian?

Feeling Uninspired? Try this.

blogyeeeeHey there. We all get those days, weeks, maybe even months, where the inspiration just does not come. I’ve put together a handy little list of tips and tricks to get that inspiration back and into action.

  1. Change your surroundings. Get up and get moving. Go for a walk, take a trip to the grocery store, or even go on a mini vacation. Wherever you go, look around you, you’ll never know what might inspire you.
  2. Try something new. Always wanted to try your hand at ceramics, cooking, or Kung Fu? Whatever you’re curious about, take a class. Learning something new is inspiring in itself.
  3. Get the blood pumping. Go for a run or a bike ride to get your blood pumping and those endorphins flowing.
  4. Spend some time with nature. Go for a swim, lay in the sand or grass, or go for a hike. Breathe deep and take in the smells and sounds of nature.
  5. Get coffee or a drink with a friend. Talk to your friend. He or she may have some good advice for you or they may be going through the exact same thing.
  6. Doodle. Sketching is good for your brain and it helps you formulate ideas and work out problems. Your doodles don’t have to be masterpieces, just have fun.
  7. Focus on the good. Think about the good things in your life and shut out the bad. Draw inspiration from something good in your life.
  8. Organize your work space. Take a moment to tidy up the space in which you work. Take out the trash can, put your papers in a neat pile, and put away unnecessary distractions.
  9. Take a shower. I’m a firm believer that everyone does their best thinking in the shower.
  10. Take a nap. It may sound like a weird thing but while you take a nap your brain is still working. You just may wake feeling refreshed and inspired.

What do you do when you are feeling uninspired?

Howdy, Chattanooga

*This is part three in a series. You can access Atlanta here and Asheville Day One and Day Two here.*

The final leg of our trip was Chattanooga. Of the three cities, Brian and I knew the least about Chattanooga. When we booked the trip, we knew we wanted to visit at least three cities and Chattanooga seemed like an interesting place. Plus, by visiting Chattanooga we were visiting three different states as well. chattanoogaDriving to Chattanooga from Asheville is gorgeous for about the first hour. You cut back and forth through the majestic Smoky Mountains and the eye candy is great. If you get car sick at all I recommend popping a dramamine for this drive. Once you leave the mountains, the drive is a little less scenic.hotelAfter about a four hour drive we arrived in Chattanooga and checked into the Read House, a beautiful hotel located right downtown. From there we decided to explore downtown and get a bite to eat. flyngsquirrelOur first stop was the Flying Squirrel bar for a beer and a bloody mary. They had an impressive bar with a menu to match. Unfortunately most Chattanooga businesses are either closed or close early on Sundays. We made it to the Flying Squirrel forty minutes before they closed up shop and luckily were able to get a few recommendations on where to eat from the bartender. bridgeWe decided to explore a bit more before eating dinner and walked the entire strip of downtown and over the Tennessee river.ChalkalleyOn the other side of the river is a cute little neighborhood with some record shops, book stores and vintage stores. Additionally there is Chalk Alley with this awesome Where the Wild Things Are mural. bridge2After doing a little shopping, we walked back over the bridge to downtown to find something to eat. stairsIf Chattanoogans aren’t cooling off in the Tennessee River, then they are definitely cooling off at the Tennessee Aquarium. Right outside of it is a super neat stair waterfall installation. statueRecommended to us by the bartender at the Flying Squirrel, we trekked to The Bitter Alibi for some sandwiches. We ordered the Italiano and Seouful sandwiches along with some broccoli. Everything was delicious. muralRight outside The Bitter Alibi was someone working on the above mural. (I can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like.) After dinner, we wandered around a bit more, but the trip began to catch up with us and we decided to call it an early night and head back to the hotel where we relaxed on crisp white linen sheets. foodThe next morning we had a couple hours to make it back to Atlanta before our flight so we went out for breakfast at Maple Street Biscuit Company before leaving town. Oh my goodness, this was one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in a long time. If you find yourself in Chattanooga this is a must stop. And of course I had to have grits on the side. Yum!

Vacations are great, and this one was no exception. Each city we visited was unique and exciting in its own way. As I type this post, I’m planning the next vacation because, hey, that’s what life’s all about right? Travel.

Where are you going on your next vacation?

Clients from Hell #44

This one time, my mom’s friend wanted a website so she could post pictures of her sewing work. As what she wanted was very simple, I made her site and just charged $20 for it.

She loved it. Everything was fine. But then a week later I received a call.

Client: Hello. I wanted to ask you something, but it’s a bit awkward.

Me: What is it?

Client: Could you give me a refund? I found a site with free templates I can use

I’ve stopped doing favors for family friends.

Read more stories on the Clients from Hell website.

Clients from Hell #43

In this case, my parents are the clients. I work for my parents’ company creating ads, flyers, brochures, doing web maintenance, etc. Needless to say, it’s stressful and full of guilt trips. This is just one example of the conversations we have had.

The client sent me a blank template (basically just a rectangular border) for a small, text based newspaper ad.

Client: Can you create an ad for us? I need it by tomorrow evening.

Me: Okay. What does it need to say?

Client: I don’t know, we’ll figure that out after. Just do something with it for now.

Thanks, mom.

Read more funny stories on the website here.