Things that are making me happy


• big mugs of vegetable bouillion.

• bringing my bike into my bedroom when it storms. I feel like a farmer bringing the animals into the barn.

• care packages—both making and receiving them.

• that I mended the hole in my best winter stockings and it doesn't even show much.

• how clever and talented my little bloggy sister is.

• campy nineties TV shows, and the word campy itself.

• the smell of birch bark.

hashtags.

• shared memories.

• phone conversations with my real little sister, and realizing what a good person she's turned out to be.

• you.

Found love letter

There is a reading room in the student center at my college which, due to its one circular glass wall, is known as the Fishbowl. It is mainly used as a very quiet study room, but it does have a sizeable collection of reading material, all schmancy dollhouse-looking leather-and-gilt editions of classic books.

Anyways, I recently borrowed a volume of several of the French fairy tales for tea time/bedtime reading...and I found a love letter in the end papers!










The really magical thing? This is the second letter I've found from this couple's correspondence. Last semester I borrowed another book of fairy tales from the Fishbowl, illustrated by Dulac, same as this one, and found a letter in it from the same girl to the same boy. I'm thinking they were using their mutual favorite books as a sort of secret mail system. Have you ever run across a piece of a correspondence before? I hadn't until these.

Kathryn again


I am quite in like with that diffuse light that comes through lowered shades during the day. Kathryn at the beach house.

Skyped with my sister, brother-in-law, and their bebe again. Celebrated Thanksgiving with some lovely family-of-friend in an Ohio farmhouse. (I don't think I'd ever been in a farmhouse before.) I'm still there—in Ohio, that is—and it is so good to get somewhere new, get out of my routine and see new things.

Things that are making me happy



teaching my fellow copy editor how to wear a scarf. he's an MK from West Africa. should be fun to see how he likes the first snow.

new tea in my stash: tangerine orange. I don't usually care much for fruit teas, but I needed more nighttime-suitable choices.

Netflix instant streaming.

hearing intermittent howling and cries of "STRAGGLER!" coming from outside, seeing loners walking around with Nerf guns behind their backs. Zombies vs. Humans has just been organized as an intramural sport. beautiful.

L.M. Montgomery.

going off coffee for a while to bring the caffeine tolerance back down. I don't drink it regularly enough to be addicted, but a tolerance definitely builds up over the course of the semester, and I do not support that.

the promise of more black-and-white shooting.

encouragement.

falling asleep in a bed made with freshly washed sheets.

how having the option of not doing doing something makes it easier to do.

Two Bicycles. like the casting of a spell under unfamiliar trees. "The Holy Forest/Forever" and "Run" are my favorites.

when professors go away to conferences. especially when they happen to teach your only morning class.

How I spent my Halloween





















So in love with...all this doing. The fulfillment of the waiting between the picture and the negatives returning to my mailbox. It's going to make my heart burst. I need more black and white, I need more of this fast film. More dreaming walks all the winter long, with my thoughts in my feet and my viewfinder. Everywhere.

And that is why gentrification is bad.

When I was home in October, my mom was showing me the scar from her recent abdominal surgery and it made me recollect how when I was little and we would all be chilling on the big bed after dinner, I would examine her stomach and she would tell me the different stories that go along with its various scars.

Untitled

Untitled

The stories are these:

Having been stabbed at a bus stop back before the Mission got gentrified (+1 scar),
she was rushed to the hospital and fixed up with some more incisions and tubes (+2 scars).
A few years later, she bore Big Sister, then me, then Little Sister (+stretching).
Then this year she had a little bit of cancer removed (+3 scar),
which they would not have found out about until too late if it were not for the fact that she had gotten stabbed some thirty years previously and had some scar tissue from that that was acting up.

Linkage

Stars in the Bahamas.

Antidepressants are tested on mice, but how on earth do you measure depression in a mouse? Aww...

A BBC introduction to street photography. some really interesting quotes.

"Between thin and fat: dichotomies, binaries, and the unacknowledged spectrum."

A blog of daily outfit posts, but! no photos, only drawings, and by a different artist each day.

Relax, it's not the real eighties.

Underwater art installations that become artifical reefs. So cool.

Part pep talk, part verbal hug, from the duchess of cupcake-lickers herself.

Have you ever heard of the pangolin? (Now you have! Hurrah new animals.)

A look at the new film adaptation of Jane Eyre. 

Two Firefox tools you should know about: Readability and Read Later.

Wayne Levin's underwater photography. A tranquil black-and-white otherworld. The rays are my favorite.

Copyright Embedding Tool for the Ultra-Paranoid Photographer (ha).

On winterizing yourself. Some ideas for staying sane and healthy in the coming season, for those of us in Places That Get Cold.

Confessions of an Introverted Traveler.

"Running is a privilege." A good reminder.

And on a more serious note...
Sofia's insurance won't pay for treatment for her eating disorder anymore (a common problem, unfortunately), so she's taken to the internets with her story and is raising money for her treatment through donations. Lots of small gifts are already making a big difference together. I gave $5 and was like, hey, it's meaningless on its own, but it helps nothing for individuals to think like that. If you're not able to give, won't you think about passing on the link on your own blog/Twitter/Facebook?

Plastic sun

From a disposable camera. I peeled the paper off the outside, you know, that had the instructions on it, and inside were more instructions with a different brand-name on it. Hmm. The lens had a much wider angle than I expected. It was nice to have such a small camera, with absolutely no settings to fiddle with before a shot. I've got two more of them, and I haven't decided if I'll use them myself or try this idea I had, of giving them to two friends and asking them to pass them on after they take one or two pictures, and so on, and sticking a label on them with my campus mailbox number, saying, return it to here when the roll is finished, and I would get it developed and see what all these strangers had seen.
















Afternoon prescribes stillness

drink a toast to the sun, to the things that never come



do you have any rolls of film lying around your house from your or your parents' pre-digital days? (or just some spare dollahs? haha.) I'm running low on film and money is on the tight side, so I thought I'd ask. if you do, I'd be delighted to give you an address to mail them to. /psa

in the meantime

in the meanwhile? in the middle and the waiting? in the hopes
between the loss and the coming of the new thing,
faith will be our food
don't forget what you have imagined, hope depends on the imagination
and waiting also is holy,
the in-between is sacred too,
the empty spaces will not always be so.
all will come to fruition. all is coming to fruition.

peace and faith to you tonight,
Holly

Read in October 2010

Stick Figure, by Lori Gottlieb
As far as I can tell, it's difficult to write a memoir about anorexia nervosa without getting monotonously, aimlessly grim. This one is saved by the personality of the author's eleven-year-old self: a very sharp and insightful young person with some biting commentary on her own family, food/body/gender, and middle school social life. The text is based on her own diaries; I'd be very interested to hear how they were changed and added to to make this book. A short but thought-provoking read. Made me very glad that I did my growing up in the nineties and noughties rather than the seventies and eighties.

The Secret of the Old Clock, by Carolyn Keene
I was nuts for Nancy Drew when I was about eight (any of you in that club?), so this wasn't my first time reading through it. The used bookstall at the Saturday market had a shelf of first-edition Nancy Drews which were calling out to me so sweetly that I decided to (re)buy myself one a few weeks ago as a mid-semester bedtime treat. It was kind of fluffy and Nancy was slightly too perfect, of course—and there were some funny vintage-isms like:

"In spite of the expensive clothes she wore, she was anything but attractive, for she was tall and slender to the point of being termed 'skinny.'"
There's also a rather disturbingly stereotyped "Negro" character in one scene. (Childishly lazy and irresponsible, comically clueless, speaks in minstrel, has drinking problem.) Totally did not remember that part. Yikes. Weird to run into that on an otherwise nice read down memory lane.

Bow wave

On the shore of Lake Michigan with my Chicago girl.




The waves were enormous that day; they were regularly washing over the path that lines the shore.

With the magic of double exposure (I took a picture of a wave on top of a picture of her), it looks kinda like she and the lens are being drenched by a bow wave. A happy analogue accident.




Oh, and these were the shoes I mentioned, the ones we had to hunt down so I could be taller than her.

"It sends itself fewer flowers;/it stops preserving its tears in amber."









Curiouser



Excuse me, sir and madams
you're not the only ones who've got cameras.


The advance on a Diana makes this plasticky, ratchety sound. When I was advancing the film after this shot, the two cousins next to me turned to look at it with these hilarious amazed expressions. Eighteen-year-old says, "What is that?!"

Kathryn over the sea in Diana's eye





K. again. I love her in these; she looks sturdy and ferocious about life, which she is. A firmly-set-chin sort of girl. I don't want anything to ever ever lessen that.

I got a roll of 120 back just today so I have a few older Diana shots to be sharing over the next couple days.

Unrelated snatches

"The ex-suicide opens his front door, sits down on the steps, and laughs. Since he has the option of being dead, he has nothing to lose by being alive. It is good to be alive. He goes to work because he doesn’t have to."
-Walker Percy
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Cholera outbreak in Haiti, if you haven't heard—I tell you on account of our girl being there. It's a disease of poverty, because if drinking water is clean it's not a problem. This outbreak has been related back to the January earthquake: being left homeless -> having to drink unclean water. So you see what a difference simple things like better construction practices and clean drinking water can make. So you see how easy it is to make a difference by caring about problems like these.
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Therapy does not often feel therapeutic, at least in the sense of meditation and bubble baths and soothing scented candles. Sometimes it feels like having your bones rebroken.
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Have you (ahem) "liked" this page yet? Do. It is an exciting organization to partner with, and worth even just keeping in touch with in that simple way.
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Disclosure that I promised someone a while ago to make: I'm twenty-one and have never had a boyfriend. This is one of those things that is, as a general rule, supposed to be a big deal/distressing, but guess what (and this is one of my favorite realizations of growing up)? I get to decide what does and doesn't matter to me. Yay.
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I celebrated Halloween by going on a nighttime shooting outing with my tripod. It was a good idea. I still have my exposure cheat sheet on the back of my left hand. It is nice that Sharpie comes off of skin so easily, because I also accidentally smeared it all over the left side of my face. This is an indirect result of becoming paranoid about getting zits from languishing my face all over my palms all the day long, and switching to using the backs of my hands since they don't get so oily.
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This playlist is increds, so maybe you should go download it and start enjoying it now.

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