Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On Thanksgiving

Can I be perfectly honest? This Thanksgiving was both weird and wonderful. Weird because I wasn't with family like I have been for every other Thanksgiving of my life (save one where I had mono in Boston), but wonderful because I was with two of the most wonderful people a person could ever possibly have in their life.

Additionally, the three of us managed to concoct such a beautiful meal. We spent all day from 10am - 6pm doing so, in Mary's comfy and aesthetically pleasing Charlottesville apartment. It was pretty much what I imagine an adult Thanksgiving to be. We lounged, we sipped scotch, we baked, we cooked, we talked and eventually we ate ourselves silly.

Here's a quick rundown of the menu:
Fiery Sweet Potatoes with curry and coconut milk
Quinoa salad with radishes, pumpkin seeds, dried blueberries and pear
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans
Corn with mint
Lemon Meringue Pie
Blueberry/Blackberry pie

It was a feast! So much food is such a good reminder of the plenty that exists in my life. I am indeed thankful.

I mean, what more could I ask for? I'm the most thankful guy on the planet and I've got the pictures to prove it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

On Charlottesville, VA

Hey all!

Sorry for the absence the last few days, but I've been out of town for the holiday visiting my dearest friend in the whole wide world, Mary. Scott and I took off on Wednesday in the very very early AM, flew to Washington D.C. and drove our rental car through the Virginia hills to find the charming town that is Charlottesville. Based on Mary's explanations I had an idea of what Cville was going to be like, but to say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement.

I think I'll break the trip up into a couple of posts and first just give you a glimpse of the locale. Mary lives on "the Mall." A sweet little downtown pedestrian walkway with a bevy of independent shops and restaurants. We were able to take in a farmers market, have delicious dinner and brunch and just generally toodle around.

Oh, and remember how I mentioned brunch?

She is also in short driving distance of the Blue Ridge mountain range, so we were able to take "Black Friday" and make the Blue Ridge our own. Honestly, I think we saw just two other cars during our drive through the mountains.

So, obviously, it was awesome. That is a little about the place, but soon I'll share some more about the people and the food.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On Robins outside my Office Window

I have a window that sits directly behind me at work. Clearly this would be a lot more fun if my desk pointed in the direction of the window, but I won't complain because I know many don't have the privilege of natural light throughout their days.

This time of year, in the morning when the sun shines a bit to my back I start to see the shadow of birds flying around and eating berries from the tree outside the window. Most often, this time of year these are Robins. They are big and fat and getting ready to leave the Midwest for a warmer place.

Monday, November 22, 2010

On Rest Stop Sunglasses

Truth be told I'm a $10 sunglasses kind of guy. The bottom line is, I lose them. Inevitably and as hard as I try not to, I lose sunglasses, so the investment is not worth it to me.

Also, as a general rule I am a tortoise shell wayfarer kind of guy. I was relieved when wayfarers came back because they fit the structure of my face well and don't make my shnoz look so big like many other glasses do. So, for the most part I've been wearing exactly that for the last three years or so.

Recently, on my trip to visit my brother in Iowa I lost my most recent pair of $10 tortoise shell wayfarer's. Ugh. It was sunny out and the drive was long, so I decided to stop at the DeKalb Oasis and see what I could come up with. After minimal shopping and frankly, quite little care, I happened across these fellows.

My new $10 replacement aviators. Now aviators would generally fall into that category of glasses that make my shnoz look big, but for these are built in such a way that they don't. (Maybe you disagree?) I'm also kind of obsessed with the cross bar over the bridge of my nose. It is so bad and Midwestern dad, yet so kind of classic and cool as well.

So maybe it just took a stop at the DeKalb rest stop to get me out of my wayfarer rut?

On Inspiration Friday (Monday!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

On Take me There

I'd totally be happy there right now.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Planning - There is no Plan

A while back Mary turned me on to an author name Daniel Pink. Now, some would call him a self-help guru of sorts, but I think he is stronger thinker than the stereotype you have in mind when I use that label. I was pretty obsessed for a while with his book a Whole New Mind as I felt like a lot of the attributes I had identified in myself were validated through his writing. They also seemed to give me some hope about my future as a creative person.

I also happened to do a quick read through his edition of "The Adventures of Johnny Bunko." A seeming comic book but also career guide. Silly, right? I still liked it. I thought it was totally useful and gave me good insights into how to consider what I do with my future. Career or not, we are all decision making beings who hold great influence over what we fill out time with... much of this is work, so what kind of work?

One of Mr. Pink's points in Johnny Bunko is "There is no plan." He asks the reader to consider each time in their lives when they have made a plan. Then consider what happened to that plan. Inevitably, if you are like me, the results looked very little like the plan itself. So, why do we spend so much time planning? Why do we worry so much if the results don't look like we anticipated. Isn't that the beauty and the magic. In the Christian household I grew up in, I often heard the now trite catch phrase "Let go and Let God." However silly it may be, it still comes to mind when I'm in a state like I am right now. Feeling disappointed by faulty planning.

So, I ask myself why? What is it that I have lost in the results of my planning? What expectations? Why did I bring those to the table and am I hindered by the results not being as I had imagined? This is a fact of life and one we must come to terms with if we do not wish to live in disappointment... we just have to let go.

That is my commitment for today because there is no plan. There are many ideas that point me in different directions, but undoubtedly, the surprises that are around the corner will trump my many ideas with something much more influential and powerful for my future.

On a Terrarium

Look what I made?

I won't say a lot more about it because I'm going to be writing about the whole experience over at Alternative Apparel, but Scott and I took a class last night and made ourselves some pretty sweet terrariums. I'm excited by the result.

Saturday, November 13, 2010