Monday, January 31, 2011

Bleary-eyed. (31/365)

In the little hallway,
late at night,
Trying to catch the wi-fi.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Jiffy Pop. (28/365)

Tonight my (other) roommate and I marveled over Jiffy Pop.   It's Friday night, and she has a cold, so Jiffy Pop was a cheerful and easy dinner.  We both had wide-eyes as she shook the pan over the burner.  The dome exploded out and up, at first with a flat top and sloping sides, like a flan, then round.  The silver creation felt so space-age, so retro-futuristic.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Favorites (25/365)

My hallway provides me with a convergence of my photographic obsessions: shadows, bicycles, and the color yellow.  To think I still have 340 days and I can't use this picture again! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sharing Cookie (23/365)

One of the best things about moving to the City of Blinding Lights is that two of my dearest and oldest friends, who are twins, already live here. Back in high school, we spent countless rainy or chilly afternoons baking in between pencilling out statistics problems or reviewing the AP test reading list.  The giant honey out cookies and chocolate bread pudding were legendary, as is the time that Mitt, one sister's cat, stepped in the pizza that was left waiting on the counter as the oven preheated.  During our college years, visits back home often involved baking, or at least reminiscing about said chocolate bread pudding.

Today I took the train downtown to the younger twin's apartment, where we pored over recipe books and checked the chocolate chip supply in her cabinets.  It wasn't too long before her sister was there, and we were all laughing in happy anticipation of the sweet delights.  I couldn't resist a recipe called "Almond-Cornmeal-Cherry Sharing Cookie," and was totally enchanted by the idea of baking one giant cookie that the recipe instructed us to crumble into 15 pieces for sharing among guests.

15 pieces, ha ha ha ha ha!  We made swift work of our sharing cookie!  And what joy it was to share it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Farm Fresh (21/365)

My roommates and I have volunteered our apartment to be a pick-up point for an organic, local food share.   One of my roommates organized everything, gathering orders from our neighbors in the building and on the block.  

A truck came in this morning, in the gently drifting snow, to bring the produce from a farmers' coop across the state line.  There were gallons of cider, and sweet potatoes called Garnet, gem-shaped and fat. There were pale fingerling potatoes, and perfect carrots, with soft, bright skins.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cozy (20/365)

Too many sweaters, too many scarves?  When I moved to Shrimp Town two years ago, I kept all my winter woolens, as I knew I'd be back home some day.  Besides, all of these things remind me of someone.  There's the brown alpaca hat my friend R brought me from Peru, where he was seeing his family, and the musk ox headband my parents got for me on a trip to Alaska to see my brother.  Then there's the red and purple scarf that I found in my mailbox at my internship during grad school, made by one of the friars.  There's the variegated scarf and orange hat knitted by two sisters, were members of the youth group at the church where I volunteered after college.  And there's the scarf my aunt made for me, with its blue and purple loops sticking out from the black threads like jewels.  And of course, there're all the projects my mom has made for me: the autumn-leaves scarf, thick and heavy, the dusty mauve feather-and-fan scarf, the bright green mittens.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Self-portrait II (19/365)

One of my favorite things about the self-portraits we studied in art history were the symbolic elements the artists chose to include to tell the viewer something more about their subjects.  They could indicate something about their character or values, or illustrate the subjects' occupation or passion.  I remember palm leaves and lilies, canaries and lap dogs, books and models of  churches built.  So this is my object: my portrait will tell you about something that I love, but no assumptions should be made about anything I'm good at.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Holiday (17/365)

nothing better

for a holiday,

than a walk in the snow,

by the water.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Selections (16/365)

Um, so this happened.

Last night I heard a pop and a hiss while my batteries charged, but I assumed it was my radiator.  When I was running out the door this afternoon, I dashed over to the power strip to grab these guys and pop them in my camera when I discovered their demise.  There wasn't time to figure out if the charger was salvageable and charge new batteries, so I left the camera at home.  

So it seems like a good day to participate in Frogpondsrock's cool meme, "Sunday Selections."  Her idea is to give a second chance at the spotlight to photos that didn't quite fit in previous posts.  I think it's a great idea, so here are some of my favorites from earlier this year.

I'm such a sucker for shadows and patches of light.  I love the way they're almost structural.

Walking to work through a snowstorm

The fruits and vegetables seem to be giving off an inviting glow.

Again with the shadows.

I set the camera on top of my dad's car with a crazy shutter speed.  It took the picture for what seemed like a minute, and the street looked floodlit.  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Crabitat (15/365)

My little hermit crabs have been living in a 2.5 gallon plastic tub over the course of my move from Shrimp Town to the City of Blinding Lights.   I put them in the smaller tank because I knew that, over the course of my road trip, I'd need to sneak them into restaurants or cart them easily from my motel rooms to my car.  As fun as having contraband-ready crabs is, I wanted to get them back into their 10-gallon, glass-sided tank as quickly as I could once I was settled.   Today I finally got the requisite items from a variety of stores around my block.  They set out exploring and climbing as soon as I moved them back into their tank, which I affectionately call Ritz-Crableton, or Crabdorf Astoria.

Can you spot the crab in the picture above?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Heading Out (14/365)

My boss set us free a couple of hours early today, which meant I walked home in the golden sunlight.  It was wrapping the shoulders of the buildings like a scarf for a few more minutes.  There were more people on the street at 4:00, or at least I saw them better, and there was a little bit of golden-hued excitement in the air, too, in the first moments of the weekend.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In Case of Emergency (12/365)

Chocolate is good for all kinds of emergencies.  There are the "I had a bad day" emergencies, the "I don't have time for breakfast emergencies," and then the "It's 11:42 and I didn't take a photo yet" emergencies.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Breath (10/365)

It was bitter cold when I walked to work this morning.  I pulled my scarf out from under my collar and held it up against my nose.  When my fingertips grew cold I pushed my mittened hand into the pocket of my coat.    Before I ventured out this evening, I pulled my headband down and wrapped my pashmina twice across my face so that only my eyes showed.   I breathed cold air in through my scarf and warm air out.  But the only problem was that I was wearing my glasses today, which steamed up when I breathed out.

I walked carefully along the sidewalk.  Halos hung in the sky, their centers pierced by streetlights and headlamps.  Figures appeared before me like ghosts from miasma: a shadow and a suggestion of legs.  When I was almost home, I stopped beneath the bridge.  Five or six boys were skateboarding in t-shirts and bare arms.   I stood and listened to them shout to each other, listened to the slapping of the wheels against the asphalt.  A fire engine and a police car pushed past, their sirens a call-and-response in the night.  Ensconced in my wool and qiviut and pashmina, I watched them as if through glass.  The light changed, and I walked across the street.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pine, Frankincense and Myrrh (9/365)

My roommate is so cool - she bakes her own bread, and makes hand-made gifts (carvings or drawings) and, in general, approaches new endeavors with joy.  She decided to make incense, and today several of her friends came over to help.  We sat around our living room grinding frankincense and myrrh, and stripping needles off Christmas tree branches, which we had furtively snapped off on the sidewalk.  It was quite demanding, actually, so it was a good thing we could also relax with tea and pastries from the bakery downstairs.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

MJ (8/365)

Big Snow, Little Snow; Little Snow, Big Snow (7/135)

"The snowflakes are HUGE!" we used to say, noses pressed against the windows, "so no school tomorrow!"  But "big snow, little snow; little snow, big snow," my dad would answer.  He was usually right. Juicy clumps of snowflakes never amounted to much, but it was the mites of snow like pinpoints that really fell to the ground with fury.  Today was no different.  I watched the clumps of snow sink to the ground and repeated my dad's maxim.  The snow just coated the world like powdered sugar on pfeffernüsse.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

No Good Night's Sleep (6/365)

There's clattering and clanging in the pipes in my new place.  It's not the gentle knocking one expects from a radiator, though: it's the slamming of a crazed miniature lunatic spinning about with heavy garden shears.  That's what I imagine when the sound feels like it's piercing my ear drums.  It only seems to happen at 10:00 pm and 4:30 am, so I haven't quite slept well since I moved, except for the times I was at my parents' house. I was in a stupor on Monday night when the terrifying, hideous, and appalling noise woke me up and I vowed that something would be done.

I got ear plugs at the drug store that day, although my dad was worried that I wouldn't be able to hear the fire alarm if it went off.  But this is where the story begins to get interesting.

The ear plugs, little spongey fleshy masses, gross me out, to be honest.  But I was willing to overlook that if they helped me to have a restful night's sleep.  I placed them in my ears and they stuck out a bit.  I looked like a Martian.  I padded down to the bathroom and I couldn't hear my feet, but I could feel my footsteps vibrate against the floorboards and back up.  I could hear the whooshing of cars on the street; when I lay on my pillow the earplugs pressed against the insides of my ears.  All night, though I slept, I was vaguely conscious of the plugs and of wondering if they were working, and of listening for the clattering of the pipes.  

I woke up in the morning, in the sunlight, and began to orient myself, and then realized I was hearing the tiniest of bip ... bip ... bips from my alarm, which had been going off for ten minutes.

Last night I put the ear plugs farther in my ears.  They expanded inside like so much sinus congestion, and I laid back on my pillow.  I rubbed my cheek and heard the sound through the bones of my face, more loudly and more resonant than I expected.  I heard brakes whining on the street, and thought they weren't working at all.  I pulled out the left ear plug, and I was greeted by a blast of reggaetón and animated shouting over the same whining of the brakes.

I couldn't get the left ear plug back in right, and I was sleepy, so I gave up.  I pressed my left ear against my pillow, comfortably.   In a moment I started awake, confused at a rumbling and dragging noise under my bed, and realized that the sound of the cars was coming in only one ear; without both working in stereo, I was unable to orient myself to the noise and its location. I lay on my pillow for a moment, fascinated by my experiment in hearing.  I decided that the experiment kept me awake longer than the clanging, and I pulled out the right ear plug, and went to sleep.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Temporary Christmas Lights (5/365)

The subway lights always glow green,
a green beacon,
but right now they look especially festive.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Aunt (4/365)

When I was very small, my mother used to tell me that I looked just like my aunt, her older sister.  I think she liked being reminded of someone who she loved so much but was far away from us.  I saw my aunt each summer when we went back to my mom's hometown.  My aunt loved Junior Mints, and in my child's way I associated the black and white candies with her, with her fair, smooth skin and dark, soft hair.   She died when I was in elementary school; as I grew up I began to look like my dad's sister and mother instead.

The mirror in the bathroom at my new office is really terrible - it's old and beginning to lose its silver, and the weak light above the sink isn't helpful.  I wanted to see if my blush was too bright and so I took an awkward picture of myself.   I looked at the way my dark hair waved around my pale, soft cheek, and I saw my aunt's face.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Holdouts (2/365)

There's one family on my block who still have their Christmas lights up - and boy do they have them up. The trees and reindeer still crowd inside the candy cane border, and only one of the candy canes has succumbed to the soft earth, the post-snow mud.  This burst of bright light pushes against the darkness of  the street, refusing to believe that Christmas ends before Three Kings' Day, no matter what anyone else might think.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Toast (1/365)

This January, there are lots of new things in my life:  a new job and a new place in a new, exciting, and gigantic city.  With all these new experiences, I'm looking to refresh my blog and even (gulp) give the ol' Photo 365 project a try again.  I found that I really missed it, and I'm excited about lots of new photos!

So Happy New Year!
And hope for peace in our world and in our hearts!