Thursday, July 28, 2011

Things 248-251

I keep finding clothes that I no longer wear, but hold on to for silly reasons.

From 365 things

For example, the jeans above used to be my skinny pants. I gained a bit of weight when I lived in Syracuse, and these jeans got too tight. When I moved to Chicago and started walking everywhere, they finally fit again.

I remember the first time I was able to fit into them again. I wore them out to a club when Katie was in town visiting. They were my "skinny" jeans. I rejoiced.

Then, I started getting serious about getting back on track. I started running, eating better, trained for a triathlon, etc. And now these jeans are too big. They're also all frayed at the bottom and getting washed out. And when it comes to fat pants, I have other jeans that are in better shape. So it's time to get rid of the skinny fat pants.

The white shirt above is one I'll always remember wearing to the Taste of Randolph in 2002. I was home for the summer and Chris and I had just started dating. He came up to visit and we went to the festival with Laura and Eric (he was working on Randolph at the time.) Laura took a cute picture of me and Chris, and I brought it with me to London that fall, looking at it all the time because I missed Chris so much.

A few years later, I wore that shirt to the 3rd of July fireworks. Chris and I rode our bikes downtown, and it had just rained. I got mud splatters all over the back of the shirt. After the fireworks, we biked home, and the city shut down part of Lake Shore Drive, so we got to ride down Lake Shore at night, and it was beautiful.

I was never able to get the mud splatters out of the back of the shirt. So I never wore it again. I've saved it, though, for the past few years, solely for sentimental reasons. But I suppose I don't need the shirt. I already got Chris. And I still have the pic:

From 365 things

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peed to Meet You

Let's just get something out of the way: I'm weird.

I have a weird sense of humor. I laugh at strange times. You know Dr. Hibbert? That's me.

So it's with that caveat that I introduce my latest project — one I've been planning for years, and I personally think is funny. You, on the other hand, might just think I'm weird.

The plan started nine years ago when I was about to leave for a semester in London. I knew that I'd do a lot of traveling during my three months there, and I wanted to be able to document all the places I'd been. (This was before the days of Facebook and FourSquare).

But simply taking pictures of buildings and landscapes was beyond cliche. Plus, a picture of, say, a cathedral, doesn't mean anything. Sure, the architecture is beautiful and the stained glass is exquisite. But that's doesn't express how well you got to know a place. I wanted to know everything about the places I visited — the interior and exterior, the blend of old world charm and modern conveniences, the beauty captured by tourists' cameras, and the reality those tourists experienced.

In other words, I wanted to document the bathrooms. Or more specifically, the toilets.

You see, these structures from centuries past had to be retrofitted to accommodate modern toilets. You walk out of the naturally lit beauty of a sanctuary, barely touched in 500 years, and into fluorescent-lit bathrooms with automatic-flush toilets. You have to love the contradiction.

Or so I thought.

In reality, many old world toilets haven't seen much updating. Some are beautifully decorated and provide a seamless transition. Some are nothing more than a hole in the ground. Many don't have toilet paper.

So the project evolved. And now the plan is this: Document my travels by toilet, then frame the pictures, along with their locations, and display them in our bathroom. It's a sort of traveling "George Washington Slept Here" idea, except I'm George Washington, and I, hopefully, haven't been sleeping on the toilet.

So here's the first entry, taken in Tangier, Morocco, in 2006, on my honeymoon:

Tangier, Morocco, September 2006

Just check out that tiling. Gorgeous, huh? And not one, but THREE, rolls of toilet paper.

So there you have my newest project. It's weird, yes. But at least I'm amused.

And if you've see me walking into a bathroom with a camera, now you know why.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nerd alert

Maya's really into books. So much so, that she brings them to bed with her every night, and often reads (or pretends to read) to her stuffed animals. She's also really into trains (or "choo-choos") and buses.

And in case it weren't already obvious that she'd follow in her parents' nerdy footsteps, she's now really into glasses, too.

While on vacation a few weeks ago, Maya got a new pair of sunglasses. For whatever reason, she popped the lenses out and has been obsessed with just wearing the frames.

Behold, my little poindexter:

From ReporterStone

From ReporterStone

From ReporterStone

Friday, July 22, 2011

Catching up

Well hello there.

It's been a while. I've been busy, as always. Traveling a ton. Nothing new there. I've also been slowly picking away at this 365 project. Sorting through things, getting rid of stuff, taking pictures. Doing everything involved in the project, except blogging.

And you know what? I really need to blog. Not just to keep up with this project or track my progress, but to get shit out there. I need to write and share and get advice on everything from music recommendations to parenting help to recipe ideas.

Figuring out where to start up again is the hardest part. Do I attempt to recap all the milestones of the past few months? Just pick up again like I never stopped?

In my job, I sometimes help companies structure a blogging strategy. So I suppose I should know how to do this. If I were doing this for a client, I'd tell them to start with a schedule. You don't have to stick with the schedule forever, or even in the short term, but a regular schedule will help you get up and running.

Personally, I'll let alliteration guide my schedule:

Maya Mondays
Toilet Tuesdays (I'll explain more later)
Things Thursdays
Free-for-all Fridays

So there. Let's see how it goes.