03 September 2013

Getting the fun stuff done first

In thinking about how to work on creative projects:

“Some people will disagree, but for me if I’ve written a meaty, delightful, wonderful bunch of scenes and now I have to do the hard, connective, dog’s body work of writing, when I finish the dog’s body work, I’ll have a screenplay that I already love.   I used to write chronologically when I started, from beginning to end.  Eventually I went, That’s absurd; my heart is in this one scene, therefore I must follow it. Obviously, if you know you have a bunch of stuff to do, I have to lay out this, all this dull stuff, and I feel very uncreative but the clock is ticking. Then you do that and you choose to do that. But I always believe in just have as much fun as you can so that when you’re in the part that you hate there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, that you’re close to finished.”

19 August 2013

Rainbows on our plates

Rainbow carrots were a mystery basket ingredient in a recent episode of the Food Network's Chopped.  Shortly afterward, on our weekly grocery hunt-down at Whole Foods, we discovered these colorful beauties in the produce section.  How could we resist?  (But true, when peeled they look both more jewel-like and somewhat worm-like.  But their taste was more of the former.)

They went into a delicious beef stew, but next time we might just braise or roast them so that we can appreciate their color longer.

But my current favorite ingredient is quinoa, the wonder seed!

Any recent grocery store discoveries for you?

14 August 2013

Humble thyself

Although I usually don't believe in these "n-step" programs (5 ways to improve your health, 10 steps to freedom, etc.), I found the excerpt below on humility to make me stop and think about my worst habits and how to not be so me-centric:

"The best recipe for humility I know of was put together by a dear friend whom I deeply respect. … It suggests that besides waiting for God to act in our lives, we need to commit ourselves to stop doing three things:
  1. We need to stop pretending to be what we know we are not. At some point in our growing-up years we make the powerful discovery that we can manipulate the truth about ourselves in order to look good. … If we feel inadequate, we can pretend to be self-sufficient. If we are sad, we can put on a happy face. If life is falling apart, we can look as if we have everything together. Giving up these attempts at pretending puts our feet firmly on the path toward a truer humility. 
  2. We need to stop presuming that we are more important than other people. One way in which we can do this is by disciplining ourselves to serve others quietly, without applause. … 
  3. We need to stop pushing our will onto others. In Step Three we looked at our deep-seated instinct to be controlling and to play the part of God ourselves. We often tend to do this in our close relationships. Think of how we try to straighten out others, fix them with our solutions, or get them to do what we want them to do. It can be quite humbling to realize that only God actually knows what is best for those around us. The best that we can do, most of the time, is just to be there for them, to listen to what they are going through, and perhaps to ask some questions that could help them know what to do next."
// Trevor Hudson, from One Day at a Time

05 August 2013

An Emily(ie) by any other name

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have grown up in another country?  This thought came to mind after discovering this website, "60 ans de prenoms en France" (60 years of first names in France), that dynamically graphs and compares the popularity of names from 1950 through 2010.

Just for fun, I compared my name plus other renditions of "Emily," then the closest I could find to Marcus (I guess "Marcus" is just too Roman for even the French).  I already had known that my name was quite popular in the States around the time I was born in the 80's, but it looks like it was a more global - or at least, European - phenomenon.

And if any of you is looking to see if your (or your kid's or future kid's) names will work out well in French, well, now you have a way to figure that out!  If you are more of an Anglophile, though, check out this site, which has a similar kind of live graphing of names in England and Wales (but only runs as far back as 1996, so I'm a bit old for it ...).

Thanks to Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini for pointing her readers to this fun little site.


02 August 2013

Preview / A wedding in the forest

Festive garlands hang in the midst of a redwood forest greeted us at Vidya + Krishna's wedding this past June.  It was also a time to practice my DSLR skills, but the quality of the photos speak more to the beauty of the place rather than my abilities as an amateur photographer.  It was a perfect day.

More to come.


01 August 2013

A pint of summer

Hello August --

Today I discovered this pint of ruby and garnet beauties when I wandered through the Kendall Square Farmer's Market.  The market is held every Thursday during the summer and early fall, but I have just never bothered being in the area around that time -- until today, that is.

The number of vendors here is small, but I was mostly excited to see the two with produce, especially since the Tall Man and I have been thoroughly investigating organic and locally-grown foods in recent months.  (I know this last phrase makes us sound like crunchy yuppies on the organic bandwagon, but I'll explain more about our food exploration later.)

These strawberries came from Lanni Orchards up in Lunenberg, MA and had the shiniest skin I've seen on berries.  And when briefly checking their website, I discovered they have strawberry picking.  Might have to make a trip out there before the month end!

Oh and yes, hello again to this sorely neglected blog and anyone who happens to still read it.  I'm hoping to be slightly more regular now, but no promises yet.  This is, at least, a start, and you might also see some design changes here and there as I make updates.  If you have suggestions, let me know!

Kendall Square Farmer's Market
Thursdays, June to October
11am to 2pm
On Kendall Street off of Third Street


01 April 2013

"I,Steve" on creativity

"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.

Steve Jobs, in Wired magazine, February, 1996

Originally quoted in Brain Pickings

22 March 2013

What you know when traveling

"In Beijing, the joke among hacks is that, after the drive in from the airport, you are ready to write a column; after a month, you feel the stirrings of an idea-book; but after a year, you struggle to write anything at all, because you’ve finally discovered just how much you don’t know."

From "On Slow Journalism" by Evan Osnos in the New Yorker