love and eloquence

perhaps inspired by approaching valentine's day, who knows, i decided on a whim tonight to photograph some favorite portions of my illustrated copy of pride and prejudice. if this makes me a freak, so be it. i had fun.




So I'm crazy about my new church. Pretty much everything about it. But particularly the sermons given by the senior pastor, who is just incredibly intelligent, educated, and well spoken. My two biggest pet peeves in sermons are 1) when pastors choose a very tired theme and find every verse they can on that theme and 2) when they beat a point to death (I'm often left thinking "yes, I got your point about half an hour ago; let's move on). But this pastor's sermons are fascinating and delve into theory and history and all sorts of interesting concepts. Basically, he treats his congregation like intelligent human beings who want to learn more and grow rather than just be pacified. I'm a huge fan of that.

This last Sunday I almost didn't go to church. It was freezing out, I was tired, and I had a party to go to later on the opposite end of town. But I went anyway for some unknown reason. Anyway, for the reasons mentioned earlier, I'm very glad I did. Various things stuck with me, but I particularly remember the pastor emphasizing the word "upomeno," which essentially means endurance and steadfastness in difficult times. I've decided it needs to be my mantra for a while. Although I'm finding myself pretty overwhelmed these days - new and old jobs to juggle, a career to somehow create from scratch, a few disappointing and/or frustrating relationships and encounters, aggressive student loan folks - I also have so much to be grateful for and hopeful for. And I know I simply need to stick it out. There's much to aspire to and work toward and believe in.

My other favorite from Sunday: "Never forget in the dark what you saw in the light."


so sweet

Troy and I were just watching Antiques Roadshow, and he was telling me about this one. I got all choked up watching it. I just want to give this man a hug.


I adore waking up to snow.
a couple of snapshots out our front window:

morning / a self portrait

was inspired by the morning light through our windows the other day.
was going for a play on color vs. shades of grayscale.
wasn't intending to appear quite so naked.


buona notte.

i should be sleeping right now.
and i wonder why i'm not a morning person.


yet another fetching bit of music

this time my beloved mr. bird. singing spare-ohs. the violin at the beginning. the whistling. i swoon.

"dance poor people, dance and drown"

st. vincent singing paris is burning. she's so gorgeous it kills me.

one of the many awesome take away shows.


rent this movie:

Given the subject matter, you'll need about 3 boxes of kleenex and end up all red and puffy around the eyes, but oh well. There certainly is no shortage of movies on Alzheimer's, but this one is phenomenal. It gorgeously portrays the side of love that is the least sexy and yet the most beautiful. I found myself both pitying and envying the characters.

"I think all we can aspire to in this situation is a little bit of grace."

"I've been listening to my gut since I was 14 years old, and frankly speaking, I've come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains."

- Rob, in High Fidelity

This came to mind today as I was realizing, oh so belatedly, that I really need to stop listening to my first instincts. Because they're crap.


ricotta pancakes with blueberry anise compote

one of a small number of things that made my 13+ hr workday bearable.

there was also a midday nap on freshly laundered sheets. that was pretty fabulous too.

ooh, and quite possibly the best moment of the day was when one of our dinner guests let me know he was ready for his check, saying, "I need to get home. The Golden Girls are on." we bonded over that.


i want, i want, i want

about 5 lifetimes.
less stuff.
stories to tell on my way out.
someone to lie next to.
ideas and a voice.
a do-over from time to time.
more time to play and daydream and pine.
that which i cannot have.
a break from my own inertia.
your good opinion.
bravery, pluck, spirit.
an endless stream of melody, rhythm, and harmony.
a weekend in the woods.
the words when i need them.
a child's capacity for abandon.
foresight over hindsight.
clarity, and yet not.
things worth surrender.
things worth the battle.


blissful exhaustion

I went into today knowing it was going to be long. And it was. And now I'm sleepy.

But it was a good day. I now have a part-time job with a photographer, John Granen (see his portfolio here via his rep's site). He's an incredibly nice guy with lots of experience and a lovely studio loft space in Capitol Hill across from a yummy coffee shop - not sure what more I could ask for. Plus, this, combined with a tutoring job I'm hoping to get, should mean I'll be able to dump the crappy bookkeeping gig with the leering coworker. And, to top it off, restaurant business has started picking up again this week. So, all in all, a week of stress and prayers seems to be ending with some degree of peace of mind.

Ooh, and I came home tonight to find some mock-ups of my DiningOut cover in my inbox. I'll post whenever I'm allowed.

Good night, sleep tight, etc.


fear and faith

It feels more and more lately like an endless battle between the two. Which is why I scrounged up some good old "Jack" Lewis insight:

"God, who forsaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain."

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird; it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."

(I particularly like the last one because he uses the phrase "jolly sight")

snowy snowy night

this one doesn't really show the snow, but I like the truck in the background:

i am a giant dork, yes

i looked outside earlier and saw that it was snowing, so i ran out in my pajamas (sadly, i was in my pajamas by 6:30) and took some photos. and, of course, i needed a photo of myself freezing in the snow. clearly, i was too cold to actually focus the camera. details.


I feel like a bit of a traitor

I've always claimed that winter is my most favorite season, and it is - really, truly - and yet, I'm finding myself longing for a 75-degree sunny blue sky day - to wear a flowy, pretty skirt and sandals, to lie in the grass and close my eyes and feel nothing but warmth and quiet breeze.

"although perhaps we were meant to be together, he was too stupid."

- indiana caba, photographer

this brilliant quote makes me want to laugh like crazy. in a sad sort of way, that is. it rings true, let's just say. anyhow, i came across it via this awesome website, on which i'm now hooked and by which i'm rather inspired. (thanks, ali, for recommending it.)

a couple other quotes i love from that site:

"oh, it's hard to choose your loves, but then, then there's that red headed preacher's daughter running wild through my mind at sunrise, and i told her, see, see beth, elizabeth raiguel, fox to fox, i think you're a species above and beyond the average straight haired masses." - ian aleksander adams

"she's very good at drawing and making tea and it's nice to watch her busy hands doing such things; it can bring a pleasant calm to a person." - tobias jones


forgive me

I've spent much too much time indoors the past few days. I'm going a little batty.


lovely cello boy will have to wait...

because i have the stupid flu.


but, on the bright side, i just found out that PBS is going to do a jane austen movie series all month, starting this sunday.

are you freaking kidding me?!

Apparently, the Seattle Symphony's principal cellist is only 23 years old. And tonight he's going to play at Town Hall, the second half of his program being a medley of Radiohead songs, with him accompanied only by a clarinetist, a pianist, a violinist, and a vocalist.

cello + clarinet + piano + violin + voice + radiohead. I so can't wait.

For a more eloquent description of the program, go here. For his website, go here.

(a photo from his website)


a favorite new spot: bench in kinnear park


went for a walk yesterday

I live in a beautiful, beautiful place.


a perfect sunday

slept in.
read a little.
about 3 cups of coffee.
going through boxes of books my mom sent up.
kenny rogers on the radio (brilliant).
blueberry-banana smoothie from lovely new blender.
gonna try out a new church tonight.
gloomy out and warm inside.

= contentment.

p.s. this might be the coolest website ever.



5 favorites at the moment (each with a link to a favorite article or video related to the artist). it was difficult choosing only five, but i'm trying to learn to edit down and such.

"press on me; we are restless things." - joanna newsom, only skin

"that means no, where i come from. i am cold out waiting for the day to come." - joanna newsom, clam, crab, cockle, cowrie

"do his hands in your hair feel a lot like a thing you believe in" - iron & wine, bird stealing bread

"and then the sound of a bell could sound like angels crying, or sunlight multiplying through virgin mary in stained glass." - m. ward, lullaby & exile

"sing me back home, the song my mama sang. make my old memories come alive." - merle haggard, sing me back home



Every year I make resolutions related to all the different aspects of my life that I want to change. A laundry list of everything that is wrong with or lacking in my life, followed by corresponding step-by-step solutions.

This year, I've decided, my only resolution is to care more. Because, honestly, I think this is the basis of everything that matters. When I genuinely care about something, I make the extra effort. I sacrifice. I commit. I pray.

Here are the areas of my life that require more care:

- my faith
- my relationships with those I love
- my creativity
- my health
- my respect for myself
- my social responsibilities
- my career as a photographer (only because this is something that I love, not because one's career should necessarily be deemed important)

My hope with this is also that, in caring more about these things, there will be less time to care about the worthless things I've so often allowed to occupy my thoughts.

The other beauty of it is that it's not a success/failure-based resolution; caring about something doesn't mean automatically being able to tend to it perfectly. It's more an issue of priorities. Focusing my attention where it needs to be. Cutting out the excess, the wasteful, the meaningless. Caring about the things that can actually bring joy and a sense of purpose.

one last quote, i swear (for now)

"It eluded us then, but that's no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further... And one fine morning -

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

- from The Great Gatsby

This has always been one of my favorite book endings. And it just seemed fitting around the start of a new year.



"Above all else,

it is about leaving a mark that I existed:

I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated.

I was happy. I was sad. I was in love.

I was afraid. I was hopeful.

I had an idea, and I had a good purpose,

and that's why I made works of art."

- Felix Gonzalez-Torres

I came across this today, and it stuck with me. I think I've tended to lift artists to this god-like state. Some unattainable level. When, in reality, while art and artists should be appreciated, they shouldn't be worshipped. Rather, they should be connected to. Because creating art, in whatever form, is a completely human, vulnerable endeavor.


day one

"Hope is a very unruly emotion." - Gloria Steinem

And I like it that way.

- happy new year -