Where have I been?

3eb41d60f0ddbccc76660c20f79949e8Well since you asked, I’ve been taking a winter-long hiatus from the blogosphere in order to focus on travel, photography, and my current work in cross-cultural communication. As this is not a travel blog, I decided not to post stories from my adventures throughout the winter. To sum it up, they involved immersion into the European psy trance scene, homestays in a rural Turkish village with poke-down (not flush, not outdoor!) toilets, seaside villas, and much communication through charades in various awkward and fantastic situations.

I am back in the soon-to-be-greener state of Vermont, so you can expect my usual transmissions of somewhat useless information, photography, and craft projects.

I am currently in the process of editing a massive stack of new images for my photography site, so stay tuned!

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Dream Jar

Post image for DIY Dream Jar For The New Year

As this year draws to a close I, like many people, just remembered “hey, I’m supposed to come up with a list of ways to make myself feel better next time this part of the year rolls around!” I’ve never been that into the whole New Year Resolution thing, despite being a sporadic list-maker. For some reason, I tend to do that sort of thing on my birthday because that’s when my new year starts. How self-centered of me!

That’s why I kind of like this idea of a pretty jar filled with objects that act as visual reminders of what you’d like to accomplish in 2013. Little things, like a fork to remind you to eat healthier. A pen to urge you to write. Maybe a picture of place you’d like to go.

dream jar for new year's resolutions

What’s in your dream jar?

{images via free people}

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

Awww…I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by My Pen and Me at http://mypenandme.wordpress.com/. I really appreciate being honored with this award from a fellow blogger so thank you!

The rules state that I must share 7 things about myself:

1. I get stressed out when people ask me to name my favorite things. It seems so pedantic to narrow the world into favorites. I love different things at different times!

2. I can never get sick of eating sushi (especially raw tuna) mmmm….

3. As a child, I used to allow myself to read the last sentence (and the last sentence only)  of a book before starting it. I was very disciplined about this.

4. Sometimes I get trapped in the shower. It is a wondrous land of steam and closed eyes and nice smells and I find it very difficult to shut it off and enter the cold harsh world every day.

5. I always feel like babies and drunk people can see into the depths of my very soul. This does not make me uncomfortable at all; I like it when the layers are removed. I am aware that this perception is completely inaccurate, as both are in possession of brains that are actually quite foggy.

6. If I could have any superpower, it would be time travel.

7. My favorite time of day is when dawn is just breaking. However, I am very lazy in the morning so I rarely get to see this now that I’m no longer a crazy night owl twenty-something.

* Oh, wait…that’s a favorite. Apparently I’m full of contradictions, too.

I will add some blogs that I’d like to nominate later…

The Right Regrets

Not regretting anything in particular today, just finding myself in a reflective mood. Maybe it’s the leaves fluttering to the ground and signaling the coming chill, or perhaps it’s just the sense that seasonal change marches on whether we want it to or not.

Fall is usually my favorite season, but today it feels rather bleak. Maybe it’s time to get outside and crunch some leaves in the afternoon sun, pick the last autumn apples at a nearby farm, or buy a pumpkin or two.

How does the changing of the seasons make you feel?

The Science of Procrastination

Did I mention that I’m now a grad student? this video is particularly relevant to me at the moment (in fact, I’m posting this in class…hah!)

And solutions? One is the Pomodoro technique, a time-management method similar to timeboxing that uses timed intervals of work and reward.

“Human motivation is highly influenced by how imminent the reward is perceived to be — meaning, the further away the reward is, the more you discount its value. This is often referred to as Present bias, or Hyperbolic discounting.”

Also check out The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination

{via Brain Pickings}

Savoring Summer’s End

As summer breathes its last golden gasp over southern Vermont, I’ve been reflecting on the strange paths that this year has taken.

If you’ve noticed an absence lately, it’s because I’ve just begun a grad school program and my time of late has been utterly consumed by first moving to a strange new town, meeting a lot of strange new people, and figuring out APA Style.

I’ve often lamented that this was The Year of Nothing, but now I’m realizing that this year may have been one of the most important so far, full of twists and turns of my own creation that led to many closed doors until I found the right one.

For too long, I looked to others as authors of my happiness, but this year I learned that it’s always been in the backyard of my heart.

Is the end of summer a time of reflection for you, too?

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*If you’re interested in reading an academic study of happiness, try browsing through the online version of The Elements of Happiness, a beautiful book by designer, Laura Javier.

It’s based off the The Harvard Study of Adult Development, where 824 people were followed for 72 years in order to understand the concept of happiness. In her book, Laura visually represents 10 particular cases, drawing her own conclusions on what makes people happy.

Thought you’d enjoy it as well!

ElementsOfHappiness3

ElementsOfHappiness2

ElementsOfHappiness4

ElementsOfHappiness

{Images via Miss Moss}

{Images via Bee Lovely Vintage by Herring & Herring}

The Burning House: What Would You Take?

If your house was on fire, what would you grab?

This is precisely the question that Foster Huntington asked himself, first photographing the belongings that he would take, and then asking a few friends to do the same. His experiment soon turned into a blog called The Burning House, and later became a book after he traveled around the country collecting submissions from as many diverse sources as possible.

“Today, developed countries are consuming more than ever before. This culture of consumption is often fueled by people’s desire to define themselves by the

possessions they amass. The Burning House: What Would You Take? takes a different approach to personal

definition. By removing easily replaceable objects and instead focusing on things unique to them, people are able to capture their personalities in a photograph.”

From the introduction to the book

Name: Miguel

Age: 36

Location: Porto

Occupation: Bike shop owner

List:

The picture you gave me and the leather box we found together.

Mom and dads old camera and mom and dads old leather bag.

The shoes I can’t live without.

Your smell #1 and your smell #2.

The notebook where I draw while you laugh.

My iPod to listen to beautiful tunes while thinking in our next home.

Name: Brody

Age: 6

Location: New Hampshire

Occupation: A kid

List:

Wedgehead

Garfeild cup

Lego helicopter

Bumblebee Transformer

Chip

yellow belt

piggybank

wallet

weaving

(not pictured) Lego Camera used to take photo

Name: Kate Molins

Age: 26

Location: London, UK

Occupation: Clapper / Loader

List:

Buster Kitten – 2 yr old cat

My mum’s ashes

Photo album / scrap book

iPhone

Grandmother’s watch

Dad’s watch

My watch – 16th birthday present from my mum

Macbook

Passport

8mm Camera – 24th birthday present from all my friends

Dad’s “I Love Tits” Mug – in small print, “from the British Ornithological Society”

Limited edition GONZO, Hunter S. Thompson photo book – 21st birthday present from my mum

Lemmy, Buster Kitten’s brother

My uncle’s old Leica CL

Diary & notebook of VALUABLE ideas & info from the past year

Portable hard drive with millions of photos and other important things

Name: Joshua Lee Bacon

Age: 20

Location: Boone, Iowa

Occupation: Student

List:

Favorite pants.

Favorite underwear.

iPhone.

Box full of all my prints and negatives.

Buffalo box full of treasures and special snapshots.

Passport.

Chinese cigars.

Some cash.

Photo of my grandparents.

Photo of a friend.

Field notes and pens.

Vivitar and telephoto lens.

I would want to take more records, but the first one I would grab would be this Envy Corps 7 inch.

Some old letters.

Wallet.

Name: Brenda Bell

Age: 60

Location: Pinetop, Arizona White Mountains (wild fire country May/June)

Occupation: Homemaker

List:

My dog, Baby Val and treats for him

My husband Larry and treats for him

Peanut butter and crackers, peanuts, candy and gum

Bumblebee Transformer

A spork (spoon/fork)

Hand warmers

Wool hat

Lots of money (small dimensions) and change

Emergency first aid kit and zip lock bags

Matches

Name: Kristi Dahlstrom

Age: 27

Location: Germany

Occupation: Literature Teacher

List:

Great Aunt’s Violin (& Bow)

US Passport

Photograph of Siblings

2 Letters

Journal

New American Standard Bible

Rilke’s Book of Hours

T.S. Elliot Collected Poems

MacBook Pro

Black Flipflops

Name: Luca

Age: 42

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Occupation: Pricing analyst

List:

My collected writings

My Field Notes still to be used

My current notebook

the Midori Travellers Notebook On Writing by Stephen King

From Hell by Alan Moore

Important photographs

The stove moka I had for the past 10 years (because nothing looks as bad after a proper coffee)

The belt my dad had when he was in the army

The beret I had when I was in the army

Fountain pen and pencil, with my favourite brown ink

My grandad’s petrol lighter

Opinel knife Bookbinding tools

Reading glasses and sunglasses

iPhone 4S (used to take the picture)

Name: Alejandro Sosa

Age: 36

Location: Venezuela

Occupation: Technology consultant

List:

Everything is recoverable, except my daughter

weaving

(not pictured) Lego Camera used to take photo

7 Simple Rules to Follow When You’re Lost: Lessons on Life From the US Forest Service

What To Do When You’re Lost in the Woods: Literal and Figurative Life Advice From The US Forest Service

“A clear head will find itself”

The 1946 U.S. Forest Service safety flyer “What To Do When Lost In The Woods,” originally made for hikers and campers, contains quite a few kernels of wisdom that might be heeded by those who have lost their way in a more figurative or creative sense as well.

This pamphlet was found in a Colorado cabin by Jen Christiansen at Scientific American, who tweeted about it. You can read the full text here.

And remember

6. “A thinking man is never lost for long. He knows that, surviving a night in the forest, he may awake to a clear dawn”

7. “Keep the old brain in commission and the chances are you will come out of the woods on your own two feet.”

Thanks, Forest Service. I feel better already.

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