Posts filed under Photography

My Hobbies, A Partial List

The Hobbyist

The Hobbyist

Every winter I get the doldrums and itch to do, make, learn something. It's particularly urgent when I'm idle--I get a lot done during the weeks of Christmas and New Year's when I typically don't have to work. This year, I had unlimited free time for three months.

Sometimes I meet people who have zero hobbies or interests outside of their work, or television programs, or favorite adult beverages. I cannot fathom this.

In grade school, I was often along on my working mom's errands after work (for me, after school). Two places I loved to go to, and she eventually had to avoid because I would want all the things: the art supply store and the bookstore.

This still holds pretty true today.

So here it is, things I like to spend time doing:

  1. Knitting. I've made lots of things from baby blankets to chunky cowls to gloves and socks. I even applied for a paid-by-the-piece position with a hip knitwear company during funemployment.
  2. Painting. I slowly accumulated a collection of acrylic paint for one-off gigs I was doing with TOMS painting shoes at special events. The last thing I painted that wasn't a shoe was a cardboard cutout of a T. Rex for a party I threw in March. I decided this month, I want to get back into oil painting. I haven't used oils in 9 years.
  3. Sewing. I've never been the kind of girl that would see something, think, "I could make that," and actually do it. But I've made wearable dresses, bags, quilts, and once a cape for a Red Riding Hood costume. I lost an essential part of my machine that makes it functional a few years ago. I haven't replaced it.
  4. Photography. I fought my way into the photography program at my high school--the requirements were three previous years of training, an understanding of drawing, painting, light, and color. I still have all the cameras I've shot with since I was 18. I graduated to a DSLR from a point-and-shoot when I was interviewed in a local print magazine about my fashion blog. I bought a leather bag for my camera, that cost more than most of my handbags. I rented a lens that was worth more than I made in a month for my Iceland trip (it didn't break or freeze; I was relieved). Next level hobbyist, but nowhere near pro.
  5. Calligraphy and handlettering. The newest and gladly, the least expensive of all my creative endeavors. I've always had relatively neat handwriting and have journaled, pen to paper, for as long as I can remember. So while part of my brain wants to leverage this craft I'm learning into a cash cow (wedding invites, heyyooo!), I'm privately (now public!) excited about prettier penmanship. Since I've always got at least one notebook on me, I can practice anywhere.

Well what does all this ladder up to? I don't know quite yet, but so far I've gotten to use a lot of my unrelated skills and interests to woo the best people into my life. Let's make/do/see/eat/buy all the things.

Posted on January 14, 2015 and filed under Fashion, Photography.

That Time I Killed A Bird With My Car

"What kind of ungodly creature shits white?"

- Keiko Green

It was snowing, hard. Having grown up in the Deep South, driving through a snowstorm in pitch blackness was never a situation I had ever encountered, much less planned for.

I was worlds away from home. I was in almost-Europe with my best friend and world travel partner-in-crime. It was our second full day in Iceland, and the natural wonders did not cease to disappoint. Like the sun setting at 5 p.m., and a bright clear day transforming into the inside of a snow globe.

As we were both well-traveled and turned our noses up at group tourism, we were on a self-guided choose your own adventure tour of the country. That day, we drove halfway around the island to see a lake. The drive was long, but far from boring. The landscape glimmered and shifted in the distance, transforming every few minutes. 

Endless wonder is exhausting, sometimes.

Hours later, we arrived.

Jökulsárlón: a lake filled with glacial icebergs

But a quick looksee and hot chocolate later, we were done. Which meant we had to go back the way we came. An hour later, the sun went down.

For hours, we drove back through winding roads with no lights. Just little dots of reflectors guiding the way. And then it started snowing. Hailing. Times-Square-pillow-fight-proportions-of-down snowstorming.

So we were driving blindly, slowly, not knowing if the dark outside of the reflector strips was a vast plain with frozen cattle or a steep cliff leading to certain death.

Then it came out of nowhere--a gull-sized bird tried to stream across the road and slammed into the windshield.

And that's when it spilled out of my mouth.

"I hate birds."

Startled by the thwap, my copilot was already bewildered.

"...what?! What the fuck?"

"I hate birds," I said again, slowly, calmly.


"They shit white. And their bones are hollow. If you see one run over on the road, they're COMPLETELY FLAT. What is this witchcraft? And they look like dinosaurs. I just don't like them."

We kept driving, finally cutting through the storm into our lodging for the night.

Every now and then, she laughs, out of context, "I still can't believe you hate birds."

Posted on January 13, 2015 and filed under Culture, Travel, Photography.

The Week in Photos: 1/20 - 1/26

I tried my hardest to have a quiet weekend at home. Get a lot of reading in, write some articles I've been meaning to pitch, avoid encountering the Winter Lonelies.

As usual, that didn't happen. My friends like me too much. I like them too much. Can I really complain about being kidnapped for hours in the name of love? I don't think I can.

Posted on January 26, 2014 and filed under Photography.

The Week in Photos: 1/13 - 1/19

This week was all about discovering how good life is. Each consecutive day continues to be the best day of my life. Despite anything sad that happens, I can't help but think there is more good to come. So far, I have yet to be disappointed. Being happy every day isn't a challenge, it's a gut feeling.

Posted on January 20, 2014 and filed under Photography.

The Week in Photos: 1/6-1/12

This week was interrupted by a cold snap and being disconnected from the Internet at home. That didn't really stop me from having more than the usual number of adventures.

So much for a quiet weekend at home with a book and some movies!

Unrelated, but I had a conversation with my friend who is my Single Person Spirit Guide this week. I was asking him, "How do I tell if any interaction on social media is flirting? Does a like mean he LIKE likes me?"

To which he responded, "Man, it's so confusing these days. I wish there was a secret way you could let people know that you like them. Like a code. What if we decide it is that you have to go to their Instagram feed, and scroll all the way back to their very first post, and like it? That's the code."

I think that's the code. 

Posted on January 12, 2014 and filed under Photography.

The Week in Photos: 12/30-1/5

I've been on the longest staycation I have taken in my adult life. Which has been a struggle, as I don't believe in having much downtime--I'd rather be where the people are, always doing something.

Posted on January 5, 2014 and filed under Photography.

2013: Amazing Experiences, Incredible People

To all the haters that always say every year, "This year sucked, next one has to be better," I have to disagree. Even a traditionally horrible experience in hindsight, is at the very least interesting, if not totally amazing after the fact. I personally thought 2013 was the best year ever, and life is only getting better all the time.

Top moments of the year, in no specific order:

Getting caught in a torrential downpour in Chicago. There were people streaming down the streets. At the time, it felt like the worst. But if you watch the video, we're all smiling hard.

Hogsmeade at Twilight.

A cheap but effective high: casually wandering Harry Potter World during my birthday, and being escorted to the front of the line for every ride. Because birthday! I haven’t celebrated very hard in years, so being rewarded for being born was so nice! It's an unexpected but always welcome surprise to have strangers try to make your day.

Obviously my second favorite moment.

Watching my sister transform into a beautiful bride, supernaturally calm and unfettered leading up to her special day. Favorite moment, while getting ready: "Can you go steal me some bacon?" She calmly eats several pieces of thick-sliced maple-flavored bacon in her perfect hair and makeup, somehow not mussing either or her dress.

Finding myself at a happy hour with coworkers I’d never spent time with outside of the office before. Immediately becoming great friends, filling my workdays and social calendar with the most brilliant SnapChats, non-sequitous IMs, and obscure games. 

Seeing Belle & Sebastian again after 7 years, standing in a crush of people against the barricade, in a light drizzle, alone, swooning.

He wasn't really so glum.

Staying at the office until midnight, eating a burrito and drinking beers. While talking to my long-distance crush via headset. While wrapping every piece of furniture in my favorite EVP’s office with tin foil. Favorite favorite: making a giant crane out of foil as the pièce de résistance.

I always win. In this case, my prize was a new favorite friend.

Going to the arcade with a new friend, and running around like hyperactive children. It was just like being on a first date, where we told our friends afterward, "I had the most amazing time! I want to see him again." That night sealed it: he’s now my work husband and greatest confidant.

Wandering down the rabbit hole, staying out till all hours. Following the adventure storyline to the end of each night has led to secret after-hours bars, tours of beautiful homes, all the chicken sausage I could ever consume, Bagel Bites and Wii tournaments in vacant apartments, dogs petted and cats held, in-depth conversations with Uber drivers about the intricacies of the service, and often waking up with my hair in a tangle.

Zooming down the street I live on, super fast on my bike, because all the streets were closed. Feeling confident enough to ride through parts of town I’d never attempted before. Eventually landing on a patio and eating endless pizza and drinking beers with an unlikely, but incredible grouping of my favorite people.

Bi-Rite + Tartine = <3

Walking down 18th St in San Francisco with my younger sister, immediately following a successful half marathon run, eating artisanal ice cream and carrying a tres leches cake she had special ordered for my birthday.

Approached a complete stranger at the best party at SXSW. We danced, we raised our eyebrows at each other when we spotted a girl who had literally lost her shirt, we climbed on stage and danced some more. I never expected to see him again, it was a perfect night. Now we talk every single day.

Running together.

Running alone.

Although I’d been running for several months, with a few races peppered throughout the year, I hit my first runner’s high in September. It coincided with the period of time I was talking to someone new for the first time since being single. I felt like I was floating.


Following a dumbfounding breakup from my then-boyfriend of nearly five years: being swallowed up not by infinite sadness, but engulfed completely by the nuances of all my previously neglected friendships. This year I grew closer than ever to my best friends, reconnected with the most treasured people in my life, and charmed many new ones.

May 2014 bring just as many memories, just as much magic, even more moments to celebrate.

Posted on January 2, 2014 and filed under Dating, Photography, Travel.