off trekking

...trekking through the last few weeks of this semester, that is. I've been buried alive in deadlines, papers and other time suckers so I apologize for my lack in activity on this blog lately. My normal posting will resume soon  eventually. Meanwhile, enjoy the scenery and think of me as I attempt to use one, if not all, of these excuses.

On another note: you can look forward to a monday mix next week soon of all of my favorite 90s hits (or most, at least... there are so many!) Also I have another weekly blog post up my sleeves called Midnight Sessions, so check in again soon!

photo source


I Believe I Can Fly: flight of the frenchies

  1. The quality of this film [in regards to color and angle execution] is simply, stunning.
  2. These guys are crazy. This documentary follows a group of (mostly) French guys in their recreational activity of "skylining" (which combines base jumping, tightrope walking, and slacklining). My heart was racing just in the few short minutes of this trailer as I watch these guys just casually do flips off cliffs that are hundreds of feet up (my limit is 30ft), tightrope-walk across buildings and said cliffs, or y'know, just hang by their toes with just a parachute to catch them when they (inevitably) fall...
  3. I can't wait to watch the rest.


music for your ears: video and links

No mix this week. Unfortunately, time escaped me this weekend. On the bright side, this video by Jarbas Agnelli is incredibly interesting. Having taken a photograph of birds perched atop wires, he wondered what 'sound' they would make if they were instead notes on staff paper (the kind of paper you write music on). Without digitally altering any of the birds, he produced a melody to the photograph.

Agnelli said, "I knew it wasn't the most original idea in the universe. I was just curious to hear what melody the birds were creating." Well, I disagree. I think it was incredibly original and fascinating to watch. And it was a sweet melody, too, that will likely pop in my head now whenever I look up and see birds scattered along the wires.

Other musical links from around the webosphere:

spent: a challenge

Want to play a game? The challenge is: Can you make it through the month? This "game," released in February 2011, is created by Urban Ministries of Durham (a non-religious based organization in North Carolina) who provides food, clothing, shelter and other services to its surrounding communities.

Their concept is simple. As the player you learn that you have lost your job and are already low on cash (because, really, how many of us are able to maintain a large savings account?) and you're then asked the basic question: "Can you make it through the month?" The two first options you are confronted with are A) find a job or B) exit the game. By accepting the "challenge" you then enter a heart thumping series of choices and confrontations each with their own consequences (that come from real statistics.)

I barely made it through the month (which sounds similar to my own reality), but overall this idea is an engaging way to educate those who don't quite understand what it's like to live on a low-income salary. So I triple dog dare you. Play the game and see how you do: Spent.


aubade - philip larkin

I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
- The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused - nor wretchedly because 
an only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true

visual trickery: fredo

This young (& extremely talented) artist, Fredo, is giving the late M. C. Escher a run for his money with these amazing 3-D illustrations. A few of these required me to take a second, and third, glance just to separate what's real and what's not. These are making me nostalgic for my M.C. Escher pop up book I had growing up as a kid...

Source and Fredo's website.



  • (Above) This music video created for the song "Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn" - by Evelyn Evelyn is mesmerizing. source or on Vimeo.
  • Have you heard of the pickle-back? Honestly, I only skimmed the article, but it's about something that is truly delicious (if you also like whiskey). My roommate and I always have pickles in our refrigerator, and it's not just because we like the crunch.
  • Not only did I hear about the amazing film The Future through Kate Miss's blog (For Me For You), but she's already gotten me excited about Miranda July's new book, It Chooses You. Can't wait for winter break reading...
  • Inwardly did a Stephanie Tanner 'yesss' when Hoop Dreams was named all-time best documentary by Current TV (and covered by the New York Times). Have you seen it? Stop reading and go watch it now.
  • Another good piece on Thought Catalog - "The Intimacies of The Urban." Definitely rings a bell having lived in a few different cities.
  • Every week I look forward to the new Modern Love column in the Times, but this one is still my very favorite laugh-out-loud story.


music for your ears: monday mix

It's been a lot of work, work, work around here this week. Semester is halfway over which equals lots of looming deadlines. Also, with two jobs in the hospitality industry, things always seem to peak a little around the holidays before its inevitable crash and temporary fade in January.

With all the running around, I've relied on music to keep me mellow. Here are just a few of the songs on this week's rotations. Enjoy.
  1. Love is All - The Tallest Man On Earth
  2. Fade Into You - Mazzy Star
  3. Tomorrow Is A Long Time - Bob Dylan
  4. Somebody That I Used To Know - Gotye ft. Kimbra
  5. Jungle - Emma Louise
  6. Bittersweet Melodies - Feist
  7. Round Here - Counting Crows
  8. Existentialism On Prom Night - Straylight Run
  9. Walk In The Park - Beach House
  10. Gone - Vacationer
you can download the mix here: Gone
Please: If you enjoy the music, seek out and support the artist (ie: buy music).


in where i wish i could sing

this seems like a nice way to pass the time with friends

had never heard of this Swedish girl group, Erato - but I like!


nothing is new under the sun?

I came across this music video through the blog Yes and Yes the other day. Visually, the video is stunning and I especially loved the thought that went behind in producing the mock record albums. As the video played its course, however, I had a nagging feeling that I had seen something like this before. After going to the Vimeo page of Cãoceito + Burdman, I could see clearer the idea behind their project:

      Repositories of stories and its enriching emotions, the covers, that accomodate the existing panoply of musical genres, are the motto for this exibition. The focus is made on album covers that often conquer our memory even when music slightly reached our ears." 

I think that Cãoceito + Burdman presented their idea beautifully but the execution, again, was eerily similar to... Bob Dylan's* video of Subterranean Homesick Blues! See here:

Of course, perhaps the similiarity was on purpose - that images (whether still on a record cover or moving in a music video) stick with us, even when it becomes difficult to place them. And also, of course, this doesn't mean that these guys (Cãoceito + Burdman) are copycats, because in fact their idea is still authentic! This connection I made pleased me because it almost proves a theory by Jim Jarmusch that "Nothing is original... Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent." He, of course, within his quote steals a line from Jean-Luc Godard, "It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to." Frankly, that's what my blog is about. I am merely a vehicle of expressing things I see, hear, and read around me and sharing them on my blog. 

*Also - when watching Cãoceito + Burdman's "I Need Nothing Video," Dylan is there. The mock album says the lyrics "I'm Not" and is a re-imagining of the poster for the biographical film based on Bob Dylan's life, "I'm Not There." Clever, clever.


bookmarked: have a great weekend


fake english

Have you ever said a word so many times that you become disconnected to it? Try it. Just a repeat a word, for example, "Toast," and repeat it as many times as possible until it's empty of its meaning. toast.toast.toast.toast.toast.toast. Eventually you start to hear just the sounds... just a combination of noises your voice makes. Language is funny that way. The actual concept of language as merely a series of repeated noises is only noticeable, really, when listening to an unfamiliar language. It's difficult, however, to see this about one's own native-language. This video, shared by Cup of Jo, is a hilarious illustration of what English (my first language) probably sounds like to non-native English speakers. 



Ira Glass, again

The other day, I posted this quote from Ira Glass on the topic of creative work. I really value what he's saying here and though it is mostly along the lines of 'if at first you don't succeed...' it still rings true and honest. I'm trying to be okay with the gap I'm currently in, and though I'm not a writer, a painter, a photographer, etc, I still consider myself a 'creative' person. I'm in this place in my life trying to bridge the divide of what I'm inspired by and enjoy doing (which spans a lot of niches) to focusing my interests on a clearer direction. So though this quote from Glass isn't directly related to my current situation, I like what he's saying. And, in thinking about it, I also came across this video:

music for your ears: monday mix

I went through my iTunes library the other day and browsed the songs that are written around the topic of love, just because. It's not really surprising that in my very quick five minute search I accumulated fifty songs (and I know there's more there) - some pro-love, some not-so-much. And, when making this mix, I kinda-sorta created this compilation to resemble the course of some (but, not all) love affairs. Yep, I got that crazy with it. Enjoy.
  1. Too Afraid to Love You - The Black Keys
  2. Heart Skipped a Beat - The XX
  3. Abducted - Cults
  4. Heart to Tell - The Love Language
  5. Beat of My Heart - Noisettes
  6. How Deep Is Your Love? - The Rapture
  7. Give Me Love - Lucky Soul
  8. Say No to Love - The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
  9. Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin' - Mayer Hawthorne
  10. Fools In Love - Inara George
  11. It Ain't Me, Babe - Bob Dylan
  12. Love and Leave - Scattered Trees
you can download the mix here: something like fluttering
Please: If you enjoy the music, seek and out and support the artist (ie: buy music).


nobody tells this to beginners


  • If only I was a better skilled artist, I would take to my walls a sharpie and forget about hanging stuff like this guy did. (photo credit)
  • I loved this collection of musings shared by a teacher of her students. Children are way more insightful then most give them credit for.
  • I will never forget being in Paris and a young Frenchman came up to me and touched my tree of life tattoo on my back and shouted excitedly, "Speederman! Speederman!" (Spiderman). I was more amused than bothered, but having other tattoo-touching scenarios less pleasant, I can agree with this Thought Catalog piece on Why We Don't Touch Tattoos.
  • Appreciated this article on needing a Plan C. (I have plans a - z)
  • Admittedly, I rarely need an excuse to waste time... but this list is pretty rad if you do need one.
  • Just love the stuff that yum&yuk shares on her blog, including this poem.


music for your ears: monday mix

This week's playlist is a selection of my favorite songs from a very mellow, relaxed mix I've had on repeat all week. All of the tracks are sweet and slow and the perfect background music as I absorb myself in studying and paper-writing. They're also great tunes when listened to while cooking - trust me, I just made a lasgna and the overall experience was very cathartic. Enjoy.

1. Don't Think Twice It's Alright - Bob Dylan
2. Atlas Hands - Benjamin Francis Leftwich
3. Between The Bars - Elliot Smith
4. Blood Bank - Bon Iver
5. Mr. Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan
6. Thinking About You - Big Scary
7. The Sound of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel
8. Fair - Remy Zero
9. Crosses - Jose Gonzalez
10. Skinny Love - Bon Iver

you can download the mix here: sound of silence
Please: If you enjoy the music, seek and out and support the artist (ie: buy music).

photo credit: me


oxford comma humor

Helpful grammar lesson.

original source unknown
(saw this on a friend's Facebook status)


music for your ears: links

The Avett Brothers

I've had no time to come up with a mix this week, wompwomp. On the other hand, the bookmarks tab on my computer is overwhelmed with music related links. So waste some time and lose yourself in some randoms I thought to be interesting...

On another note: I did see the Avett Brothers this past Friday at the Aragon Ballroom here in Chicago and it was really outstanding. They played a great set and combined with the beauty of The Aragon Ballroom itself (built in 1926, the interior looks like a little Spanish village) made for an incredibly fun night. I suppose the beers helped, too. On to the links:

                         "You know, the Scarecrow needed a brain, the Tin Man needed a heart, and the other dude needed courage. I need love, you feel me?" - Ghostface Killah, 2009

couldn't find a source for the photo
if anyone knows, please contact me so I can give credit where credit's due.


"the body's blossoming face flower"

I was incredibly lucky to see this performed live. These guys were dead-on. The amount of laugh-crying I experienced left me in physical pain. Really, I felt muscles in my stomach the next morning that I forgot I had.

*update: Changed the video to footage of when I was actually there. You can view the previous video I had up here.



amy shackleton

These paintings by Amy Shackleton are incredible.

 She uses no paintbrushes, just allows the paint to drip slowly as she paints.
...Did I say incredible?


music for your ears: monday mix

This week has zoomed by. School stuff, work stuff, friends stuff. I'm not complaining. I like it busy. When my life is duller and I have less going on I get bored. It is, however, mind boggling how quickly a few days can pass. It's like dreaming while awake. Days become fused together in a time lapse haze. Yesterday already seems days ago. Tomorrow will be here before I know it. But before I go into my default rambling mode, let's just skip to the goods: this week's playlist. Enjoy.

1. Replicate - Fanfarlo
2. Tired Eyes - Young Man
3. Engine - Neutral Milk Hotel
4. Television - You Won't 
5. Decisions (feat. Yuksel Arslan) - How to Dress Well
6. Coming Down - Dum Dum Girls
7. Won't Let You Leave - Jenny O
8. Ripchord - Rilo Kiley
9. Roman Candles - Suckers
10. Definite Darkness - Cymbals Eat Guitars

You can download the mix here: dreaming while awake
Please: If you enjoy the music, seek and out and support the artist (ie: buy music).

original image source



still love her. her voice. her style.

second Florence + The Machine track released...

Florence + The Machine - Shake it Out by Artur Cunha

and also - 

this gives me goosebumps.

source & source





photo credit (rad shot!)


music for your ears: monday mix, but on tuesday

The end of summer not only marks a season for change, but a season where I literally need to pinch myself not to lag a little. Having only returned to school last year, I still have to remind myself how quickly work piles up. Autumn is always the opening scene of my juggling act: studies, jobs that pay my bills, and sleep. 
I love Autumn, however. I love the change in the light, the way the air smells almost crisp, and especially the colors. Nothing beats walking to work, or school, with my ipod playing my favorite songs, watching the sky, and breathing in deeply. I almost (almost) feel it's an equal trade. Nature's way of saying "Yeah, I know life is going to be a bitch for a few months again, but here, take this. It'll sweeten the deal." (And in my head Nature sounds a bit like a cross between Julie Andrews and Whoopi Goldberg... weird? Maybe.)

Unfortunately last weeks mix was skipped (I forgot to pinch myself), but I hope this one makes up for it. Enjoy.

1. Well Ok Honey - Jenny O
2. Battery Kinzie - Fleet Foxes
3. Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise - The Avett Brothers
4. Addicted to Love - Florence + The Machine
5. You Made A Believer Out Of Me - Ruby Andrews
6. I Might - Wilco
7. Chapel Song - We Are Augustines
8. Two Cousins - Slow Club
9. Bad Kids - Black Lips
10. Little Talks - Of Monsters & Men

you can download the mix: here
Please: If you enjoy the music, seek out and support the artist (ie: buy music)


heart-ripper & bittersweet remembrance: 9.11

John and Joe - StoryCorps 9/11 animation from Rauch Brothers on Vimeo.

"I don't have any coulda, shoulda, or woulda's... I wouldn've have changed anything. There's not many people that the last words they say to their son or daughter is I love you and the last words they heard was I love you, so, that makes me sleep at night." - John Vigiano Sr.

go here and here for other extraordinary 9/11 Storycorps animations.


music for your ears: monday mix (& some comedy gold)

I really enjoyed the list that NPR's All Songs Considered put together of "Songs That Make You Feel Good." (A follow up to their list of "Songs That Make You Weep," which frankly would have been too long a list for me.)

There have always been some go-to songs for me when I need a little jump start into feeling good. Though I could have made a larger list than the one below, these are probably my top eight songs that make me feel good... and I hope they do the same for you. Enjoy.

Monday Mix
1. Send Me On My Way - Rusted Root
2. Feeling Good - Nina Simone
3. Good Vibrations (mono version) - The Beach Boys
4. Don't Stop Me Now - Queen
5. Sunlight - Harlem Shakes
6. Punching In A Dream - The Naked and Famous
7. Dog Days Are Over - Florence and the Machine
8. Walking On Sunshine - Katrina and the Waves

you can download the mix here: feel good songs
Please: If you enjoy the music, seek and out and support the artist (ie: buy music).

photo credit

And in the very rare cases when music can't completely get me feeling good, comedy is always my second solution. So check these out too. Bookmark them. Use them when needed.


ZACH GALIFIANAKIS  -  (jump to 2:50 for my favorite character)



ski lift

I came across Ski Lift from Elsie's blog A Beautiful Mess (specifically from her Red Velvet Shop lookbook video... very cute, I recommend watching).

Elsie recently mentioned them again and shared a link for two free downloads (the rest of their EP is now for sale on Bandcamp). Click here for the downloads and the EP.

Here's a listen of two great tracks available for free:


from my latest etsy wishlist:
clockwise from top-left-corner:
1. Vintage Venice Map decoupaged bangle braclet
2. Vintage world traveler map - necklace
3. 1935 Colliers Vintage Map drawer pulls or handles
4. London map chair
5. Typography USA map
6. Set of eight antique Randy McNally 1903 pull down maps
7. "Actual Temperatures in January" circa 1940s antique school map
8. Embroidered "heart strings" map pillow
9. Silkscreen silhouette world map
10. Chalkboard topographical map of the USA


you could

map art by Amy Rice Art

nicely done

Tim Keen (triumphantly) dissects Bon Iver's "Perth" 


...And while we're on great covers, here's Bon Iver's stunning cover of Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." So. Good.



food for thought


This post from Kate at For Me, For You makes me want to give up my late-night tendencies
(and she takes such beautiful photos, like this:)
Love the rewardrobe at Miss Moss. Surely, it's necessary to purchase some new goods for fall?
These made me laugh:


it's (almost) time

The Muppets are baaaaack. Well, in November to be exact. To satisfy any of you Muppet nuts out there one of my favorite bands from high school (ah, 2002...) and one of my favorite crews of my childhood have teamed up for this fun video. With Ok Go's history of clever music videos and the ever expected antics of the Muppets, this is sure to entertain:


its the words

"It's the words that sing, they roar and descend...I bow to them...I love them, I cling to them, I run them down, I bite into them, I melt them down...I love words so much...The unexpected ones...The ones I wait for greedily or stalk until, suddenly, they drop...Vowels I love...They glitter like colored stones, they leap like silver fish, they are foam, thread, metal, dew...I run after certain words...They are so beautiful that I want to fit them all into my poem...I catch them in midflight, as they buzz past, I trap them, clean them, peel them, I set myself in front of them of the dish, they have a cristalline texture to me, vibrant, ivory, vegetable, oily, like fruit, like algae, like agates, like olives...And then I stir them, I garnish them, I let them go...I leave them in my poem like stalactites, like slivers of polished wood, like coals, pickings from a shipwreck, gifts from the waves...Everything exists in the world."

-Pablo Neruda

via this is water (an amazing blog concentrated on poetry and literary awesomeness)

photo credit


love and travel

This excerpt is from a book review written by Jeff Turrentine of 'L'America' (by Martha McPhee) in the New York Times, June, 2006. It has stuck with me ever since:

"Surely by now some clever scientist has studied the similarities between the human brain in the throes of new love and the human brain while vacationing in a picturesque foreign country. Doesn't it seem likely that whatever chemical causing the rapture we feel after that first, fantastic kiss is the same one making us swear we've never tasted an espresso as good as the one in this little Roman cafe? The sequence is the same, whether we've fallen hard for a place or a person: astonishment (I've never felt this way before); followed by euphoria (everything looks, tastes, smells and sounds so much better than it did yesterday); followed, typically, by a kind of naïve determinism (this was simply meant to be, and it would be wrong, cosmically wrong, not to rearrange my life to make this a major part of it)."

photo credit