Saturday, October 31, 2009

October in photos

I started working with Hospice this month, photographing patients and their families who want to preserve memories of these last few days, weeks, months with pictures.

Right now I'm working with a 96-year-old woman from rural North Dakota who is about as cool as they get. She has tried to keep journals everyday for her whole life. It's less and less now, but she says they have been the best thing for remembering dates, birthdays, holidays.

I have taken a quick snapshot of myself every day this month just in Photobooth. The photos aren't great. In fact, most of them are pretty poor quality. But even as I created this little calendar it brought back memories.

How do you remember?

Friday, October 30, 2009


I found this note in a copy of the "Post Secret" book at Zandbroz in downtown Fargo.

Good luck, whomever you are.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Birthday recap

We went out Monday for my birthday to the Silver Moon in Fargo. It was our first time there, and none of us were very impressed. It's a little pretentious just for the sake of being pretentious. The menu was pretty good and our sweet potato cheese cake with chipotle marshmallow was beyond great.

Afterward we headed over to Monte's for a much more relaxed atmosphere and a drink and met up with Kasi.

I got some fun gifts. My friends and family know me well. Best of all, Cristen got me the sharky mittens from ModCloth without me ever mentioning them to her.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

MakeAListSaturday: Birthday

My birthday is tomorrow, so let's hear it for a little self-indulgent online browsing of stuff I probably won't ever get, and if I do it won't be until Christmas.

My mom and grandparents came and took Troy and me out for dinner on Thursday, and it's nice to know that I'm still not too old for them to throw me a little party.

I have to work on my actual birthday, but Cristen, Phil, Troy and I are going out for a fancy dinner on Monday night.

Birthdays don't feel as special as they used to, but even back then I would go through the JCPenny catalog a circle all of the stuff I wanted. Even back then it was mostly clothing. Some things never change I guess.

So to my wishlist:

I've been complaining for months that I need a lamp on my desk. The only open spot is where my real cat regularly sits hoping for the chance to spill my coffee on my keyboard. Maybe it's time for a replacement cat ... like one that doesn't move and serves a purpose. Maybe like a cat lamp?

I don't know if I just have lighting options on the brain or if this is just really awesome. The awesomest part? It's less than $30.

Now let's move on to the next thing I have on my brain, now and always. I love this necklace and should just get it because I admire it about twice a week.

Diana minis. Woot. I have wanted a Diana for a long time, but it's hard to find a place to develop 120mm film. Enter the Diana mini. It shoots half-frame photos on 35mm. I really hope someone caught on to my heavy hinting about this item.

Holga. 1950s grit. On 120mm. Want it.

In case you didn't catch it. 1950s grit captured on 120mm film.
I found this browsing for books today. I don't know that I actually want it, but considering my documentary photography project was once titled "What I wore today" and consisted of photos very similar to this, it proved that most ideas are no longer unique.

This is probably just a staple I should have.

I live for shark week, and at one time in my life, was able to identify species of sharks better than any marine biologist the Discovery Channel could hire.

I even bought Jimmy the Cat because I thought he had markings like a Great White shark. His incessant biting doesn't help either. So long story not so short, I would die for the mittens.

Anyone who hasn't read these Jane Austen adaptations is a loser. They're entertaining, plus it's a good refresher on the classics most of us haven't read since they were required by an English teacher.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I've been taking photos like a crazy woman lately. Sometimes when my subjects tire of me in their face, I turn the lens on my own. These are nothing spectacular, but someday I'll look back at them and be happy I took them because I can remember "Oh yeah. This was in 2009 and ... "

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A little 'Self' satisfaction

The November issue of "Self" magazine arrive yesterday. And like most years, they counted down the top ten healthiest places to live.

And guess what? Fargo was No. 10, thanks in part to both the clean air and short commutes.

As a proud Fargoan (Ahem, Self, it's Fargoan not Fargoite) I was pretty excited, especially since I've been on a self help health kick lately.

So thanks Self.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Molly Monday

So this is little Molita. She spent the summer in Spain, and she just got back from Mexico last week — and has some fabulous freckles to show for it. I caught up with her at a downtown coffee shop after not seeing her in months.

Pint-sized Molly served as our fantastically cute translator in Costa Rica last March, and I will miss her when she goes to the next Spanish-speaking location on her list.

She was dressed for fall before it turned into this mostly winterific October. Thanks for modeling, Molly.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

MakeAListSaturday: Books!

After a long 13-hour day of running around town and worrying about getting everything done, I need a way to unwind. My goal is to ready a book a week for the whole year. I started in August and so far I'm on track.

I'm halfway through both "Nine Stories" and "A Heartbreak Work of Staggering Genius." The former I've read before, but it's so great to just pick up and read a 20-page story and move on.

"Staggering Genius" is my first attempt at an entire work by Dave Eggers. To be honest, I'm having a hard time getting through it. I know it's what he was going for, but it's so full of self-obsession that it's almost painful to read at times.

"The Beck Diet Solution" is the first diet book I've ever read, but blogger Nic at The Last Twenty suggested it to her readers. So far, it's really great. I need to make more time to implement the steps, but with my schedule right now, it's really difficult.

"The Magicians" was recommended to me by a friend who (like me) loves "Harry Potter." I'm not even 100 pages in yet, but so far I hate it. It's basically just a ripoff of the HP series. It's like Harry Potter goes to college and JK Rowling decides she's going to get really drunk before writing and make it clunky and full of expletives. I have a feeling I might not even finish this book.

As a diehard Sedaris fan, I feel a bit bad that I haven't had time to get to his now-in-paperback book "When You are Engulfed in Flames." I went through a lot of essayist short stories this past year and have just not been in the mood. It is the very next on my list to start though.

Louise Erdrich is one of those authors that I should have already read. a) She's a North Dakota girl like me. b) She's a fantastic writer, and c) People are constantly telling me I would love her writing style. So "A Plague of Doves" is officially going on my Christmas list.

It seems this fall is full of new releases from my favorite authors.

Barbara Kingsolver won my heart with "Poisonwood Bible" back in high school. And last year she stole it again with "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," a nonfiction tale of Kingsolver and her family living on locally-grown/raised food for a whole year. "The Lacuna" is on order from Barnes and Noble.

Audrey Niffenegger spent the summer having her breakout novel "The Time Travelers Wife" butchered in a Nicholas Sparks-like treatment of a movie. Honestly, that was such a cleverly written, well-researched work that I feel truly sorry for it. "Her Fearful Symmetry" is sitting on my shelf waiting for me to finish up with a few of the other books I'm struggling to get through.

And Jeanette Walls, how I cannot say enough good things about thee. "The Glass Castle" was one of those books I read in 24 hours, foregoing sleep on my flight from the Virgin Islands and the car ride home to Fargo from Minneapolis. A journalist, turned bestselling author, she has a wonderful voice for telling stories. Again, I cannot wait for "Half Broke Horses."

All photos courtesy of Barnes and Noble, where along with several Member's Card coupons, I bought these books at about half the list price.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fargo fashion Friday

Meet Jeanette. She's a broadcast journalism major who is seeking a spot on the upcoming season of "Big Brother." Though, I've never seen the show, her audition tape is the buzz around campus after it was posted on Facebook yesterday.

Jeanette's unique confidence shows in her clothes.

Oh Pioneers

Because I'm a sucker for stuff like this new Levi's Go Forth campaign, it's hard to resist going out and capturing the adventures of me and my 501s. Whoever they hired to do their marketing did something right on this one because I want to go out and buy a new pair.

Particularly these:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Calm down, calm down

I have really tried to get myself back into posting on this blog. Here's the problem: I'm interested in way too many things.

This last semester at school is proving to be a lot more work than I imagined. On top of that, I was fortunate enough to find a job in my field, which right now is not such an easy field to get into. I'm really trying to focus on school and work the most, but I really need to prioritize to even fit it all in.

I'm also training for a 5k and 10k, as well as really trying to make over my eating habits. This is something I struggle to make time for, but I must include.

After graduation, I hope to have more time for hobbies. Between photography, writing, cooking, books, sewing, knitting, crafties and fashion, I'm always at odds with myself over what I should be doing.

That's why this blog is from here out is going to be designed to help me find a balance between all of my interests. I will post once a week on one of the aforementioned topics. I named eight topics, but I'm going to try to fit them into seven neat little packages so that each day of the week is designated for just one of those hobbies.