Monday, December 26, 2011

Vendor

Delicious, delicious street-side sweet potatoes that would be perfect - warm, sweet, comforting - for a cold, winter day!

September 2004 - Lanzhou, China

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mama Bear

Happy Winter Solstice (or shabe yalda)!

February 2006 - JHU, Baltimore, MD
Taken during my very first Baltimore winter.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Adventurous Living

When I think about days I've wasted and I think about the precious few ones left, my heart is tugged away in different directions that swirl and sink and I'm left wondering whether I've been focusing on the most important things in life.

There are plenty of bloggers out there who write about how they grew tired of working for the Man so they quit their jobs and spend their days doing yoga and talking to strangers in coffeeshops while they let their blogs amass money for them on auto-pilot or some such nonsense that never made much sense to me. I literally subscribe to a handful or so of those blogs in my google reader under the tag: "Blogs of People Who Bum Around and Spew BlahBlah."

Eloquent, no?
But in all seriousness, I'm both envious and skeptical of such individuals because what they're preaching is freedom to use every minute and every day to do ANYTHING.

Here is a video of people who spend their time jumping off mountains in beautiful places...

Last Walk Around Mirror Lake - Boom Bip (Boards of Canada Remix) from FroschYankee on Vimeo.

I will watch a video like that and think about how in my current life path, I will probably never, ever jump off a mountain. Or out of a plane. Or into a boiling pit of lava. Experiencing almost ANY completely random, far-fetched place, dream, or activity is what they are offering.

Which I guess is what this post is really about... Getting the most out of life.

It is no secret that I am a chronic maximizer, "seeking only the best option and not settling for anything less."
"In other words, maximizing involves spending more resources to find a better option than the best one found so far. The opposite end of the continuum, satisficing, involves settling for “good enough” options. Maximizing, therefore, involves a trade-off between spending resources and achieving a more optimal solution."
from Are maximizers really unhappy? (Journal of Judgment and Decision Making).

In that pursuit - maximizing life experiences - it is about endless, fearless dreaming.

In elementary school, we had an assignment to write down 20 things we wanted to do before the age of 20. Most of the things on that list, I can no longer remember, but here are a few: 1. Visit Iran; 2. Compete in figure skating at the Winter Olympics; 3. Publish 2 books; 4. Have 3 of my paintings exhibited in a museum. The theme of that list was a fearless determination and a willingness to set impractical, limitless goals. When I try to think about the rest of my life, I struggle with all the "I can't"s and constantly prevent myself from reaching as high and far as I truly want to.

As I sit here, contemplating the years and years (presumably) that I have ahead of me, I am at a loss - am unable - to open my mind and heart and think broadly about all the possibility of that time and willingness and energy. If one can do anything with her life, why slog through day after day doing the same activities over and over and over?

Maybe I don't have to overhaul my entire life right now, but I can start saying yes to the scary and the impossible and the unheard of. One by one. Maybe you will, too.

June 2010 - Sawyer Glacier, Alaska

Saturday, December 17, 2011

North Lawn

Yesterday, I took a walk, ended up at the White House, and returned with good luck.

December 2011 - Washington, DC

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sivian Askayo: Laundry

How creative!


This series of laundry photos by Sivian Askayo were featured on Design*Sponge last week (so old news, but I don't care).




You can shoot something that a million other people have, but doing it completely different is what makes it photography. It's all about perspective. Jillian Leiboff recently posted:
I consider what I'm shooting/why I'm shooting that scene and how best to shoot it. I then try to put my own spin on it. I don't want my images to look like every-one else's. 
 She includes a lovely photo of Sacre Coeur in Paris from the back of the building.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Downtown Dusk

A few shots of Chicago with my phone during ~20 minutes of perfect lighting.

November 2011 - Chicago, IL

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hues

Deep rubies and amethysts like those beautiful furs from earlier today.

November 2011 - Dallas, TX

Vogue: Colorful Fur

Quick fashion post with photography coming a little later in the day... because oh. man. I loved this!

Coco+Kelley featured a Vogue Spain editorial on brightly colored fur and it is simply gorgeous and feminine:


So fabulous! Which reminded me that I saw this vibrant fox fur at Saks last week:


Great statement pieces.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Feets

November 2011 - Chicago, IL
I usually hate these kinds of pictures... but oh well!