Saturday, December 24, 2011

All That Jazz

Here are some photos from Wednesday night when I saw a performance by my friend Myles Boothroyd at a cafe in Traverse City, Michigan. He was great! He performed with a man who mostly played keyboard, but also busted out the sax for a bit of a face-off, and a female singer.

Then I got a little creepy and took some pictures outside through the windows.
And I grabbed this adorable picture of my cousin Tanya when she least expected it. It's one of my favorites of the night.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Flowers Just Because

 "Common sense means living in the world as it is today; but creative people are people who don't want the world as it is today but want to make another world." -Abraham Maslow

I just ran into this quote on Sarah Rhoads Photographers' blog in a post that was coincidentally written on my birthday via Emmadime. It struck me because about 80% of the time I'm dreaming up a world where I get to be creative for a living and all the things I would do and see what it would be like. The other 20% I spend thinking that if I had any common sense a good job and a decent living would more than suffice and I could focus on spending my spare time wisely and creatively. This quote really captures the insatiable creative desire to change and make things. Not just to live in a world, but to manipulate it with your own hands. Creativity is one restless beast.

As for the photos, I think most people would probably walk past these dried up flowers a far cry from the bright yellow they were just a few short months ago, but I decided to spend a few minutes with them instead.

Monday, December 12, 2011

'Tis the Season...

to sit at my desk panicking over my Christmas present checklist that doesn't have nearly enough check marks. I felt like I made a dent on Saturday and Sunday but I am really cutting it close as I leave a week from tomorrow! Panic has landed and I'm not stoked on it.

Oh, yeah. The photo was taken at the shopping center in Emeryville. I think their Christmas tree really summed up the Christmas spirit: Shiny and/or sparkly things, shopping carts and insanity.

Friday, December 9, 2011

All The Lights

Friday is here again. Things have been busy and I don't think it's going to let up. This weekend will be filled with brainstorming, which will hopefully lead to some shopping because so far I have nothing and I only have two more weekends to get things done before I leave for Michigan. Though I am pretty sure I'm going to freeze my California butt off, I'm actually excited to see some snow. I'm not sure how long that will last when I get there, but at least it will make for some great photos that I definitely would not be able to capture here. I'm also really excited to have some time off work during a time I have always felt to be unreasonably stressful.

On the photos, I took these on Tuesday night right as we were leaving Stephen's parents house after dinner with his uncle. I noticed their neighbor's sparkly little tree when I pulled up and knew I wanted to photograph it. I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Leaves and Things

Hello, again. I hope you're having a good Thursday. If not, it's almost Friday! Here are some pictures I took on a walk near work on Tuesday. A couple people and I usually take a walk in the afternoon to take our eyes off the computer and shake off the afternoon grogginess. It also helps remind me that there is a whole world going on outside while I'm inside working the day away. A lot of colorful leaves have been catching my eye lately, especially when driving. One day when I was visiting my sister in Berkeley I realized the reason they were jumping out at me is because there are no trees that turn colors in my neighborhood. The few trees we do have in the Sunset are always green, with the exception of some feeble, young blossoms I see every once in a while propped up by wooden posts. The leaves were mostly red, green and crispy brown. To my dismay there were no vibrant yellow leaves. I'll keep my eyes peeled.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Brooklyn The Rockstar

Hello! I know I have been a bit of a stranger around here, I have been super busy. And not in the getting a lot done way, but more in the chicken with my head cut off type of way. November was filled with birthdays, two Thanksgiving celebrations and premature sunsets. I walk out of work and it's completely dark as if the day ended before I even got a chance.

Well, this weekend I did something I have not done for a while: I followed a little one around with my camera. This is Brooklyn. Why do I call her a rock star? Because she likes to stay up all night dancing, playing with toys and otherwise destroying clean rooms-- true story. It was nerve wracking a first because I have been shooting a lot of food, which does not move. And kids, that's pretty much all they do. It's a completely different mind set. With food you can futz around with the light, the angle, the composition until everything is just right. But with people, you have to go with the flow. You have to keep thinking and moving and give direction. You have to anticipate, keep the camera up and ready.

Sometimes you have to run across a field paparazzi-style when the kid sees a dog.

And sometimes, you have to get all up in someone's face. But I'm cool with that.

And sometimes, you even have to resort to bribery; which I'm also cool with. Totally worth it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Apple Cake

I tagged this apple cake recipe from Tartelette when it came up in my blog reader and decided to make it this weekend. To be honest, I choose this over others because it required less ingredients and preparation than most of the other recipes I had bookmarked. It was pretty easy to make. I added more apples than I saw in the picture because I couldn't find dainty looking lady apples and I figured it couldn't hurt anything.

The cake was very tasty, however, I would like to propose a crumbly mixture of butter and brown sugar to top this thing off right. Yeah, I said it. I would like to top this mostly guilt-free cake with butter and more sugar. Don't judge me.

P.S. It my birthday eve!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Broccoli, Basil & Squash Pasta

Happy Monday to ya! If you are as unprepared for another week of work as I am, raise your hand. Or better yet, have some pasta. This recipe from Heidi's 101 Cookbooks turned out to be more unusual than I gave it credit for. I just thought, mac and cheese: done. But really, this pasta has very little to do with what most people would consider "mac and cheese." Not just because sophisticated cheeses Gruyere and aged cheddar take the place of a traditionally yellow combination of whatever you prefer, but because it incorporates vegetables in an unusual way. The broccoli, which some people like to add to the sauce to trick their kids into eating vegetables, is incorporated into the breadcrumbs-- with basil. On top of that, you add oven roasted squash. This is does not come in a blue box, people.

I used an acorn squash and the one draw back was that it took to peel and chop that thing. I'm no pro and it usually takes some time to prepare things, but I feel like I was at the cutting board working on the same thing for way too long.

Overall, I did like the recipe. The top was crunchy and the cheese combination was a thumbs up. It was slightly sweet to me for pasta, but the addition of sea salt helped. I'm trying to think of another way to use the chopped oven roasted squash bits, they had a really nice taste and texture.

That's all folks. Hope you had a bearable Monday!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Flying Pumpkin Bars!

If you like all things pumpkin, I'm about to blow your mind. These things are good. I mean real good. I may substitute them for birthday cake next week. My grandma makes them by request-- usually mine (see description line in the picture of my family cookbook below). And speaking of my grandma, it was her birthday yesterday! I wish I had this post up a day earlier, but life happens. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY GMA!!

I decided to share the wealth and make them for a Halloween potluck at work and, luckily, I set a few aside for myself because they were gone.

The frosting is made using what I suspect is my family's favorite ingredient: butter. I made Thanksgiving dinner myself for the first time last year and used almost a box of butter. And it was delicious. As for the frosting, butter + cream cheese + powdered sugar = butter cream frosting. This is why math is so important, people.

I also learned a very valuable lesson in shooting the bars: Do not use a three year old as a hand model because they may accidentally throw your plate of food over their head. They are not terribly coordinated-- true story. See below.