today

Today, since it was the last day of the quarter, was all about the law job -- I stayed very close to my e-mail, ready to leap to attention in the event I was needed to close a last-minute deal.  

Today was also the day that panic truly began to set in about leaving my nice, safe corporate gig.  I found myself scouring CNN.com, searching for any hopeful news that the nightmare that is the stock market was truly just a bad dream.  Today was the day I started to question whether I was making the right decision about quitting, as my sad little 401K continues to tank.

But you know what?  Today was also the day that I had an bit of a brainstorm of how to launch my new business, and had the opportunity to speak to some of my tribe and receive their honest validation.  Today was also the day that I learned that a risk I took with my new business, despite the fact that I was nervous about doing so, may have actually paid off. 

Today was the day that I started to really, truly believe that old John Burroughs quote:  "Leap, and the net will appear."

In short, I'm feeling more and more excited about where things are going for me, despite it all.  And today's the day that I feel like saying to all of you:  if you're at the brink of something -- a decision, a choice, a new journey or path -- and you know, in your heart of hearts, that this is something you need to do or experience, even if logically you're not entirely sure why your soul cries out to make this happen, even if practically-speaking, on paper, it doesn't make complete sense -- just do it.  Trust your instincts:  there is something here for you to learn, for you to be. 

Leap, and your net will appear.

Song78 Stone Wobble by Gomez

time on my hands

I took the picture above at the request of beachbumjen from yesterday's post;  these are most, but not all, of my Swatches, purchased (or gratefully received as presents) over the years.  My favourite is the sparkly one in the middle:  my dear friend Jessica gave it to me as a gift on my wedding day.  I used to wear it all the time, but I've never been able to find it anywhere else, so I don't wear it as often as I'd like to, for fear of wearing it out:  I only wear it to weddings and on anniversaries.

* * * * * * *

As I start counting down to my last day at my law job (with great and somewhat inappropriate anticipation), I've been thinking about how I'll use this blog going forward:  obviously, the photographs will continue, but  should I use it more as a journal, and start writing more of my thoughts, observations, and that sort of thing?  Should I try to post more than one photograph a day?  Maybe (and admittedly, somewhat inspired by Kathya's "On my little white table" Flickr set), I should do a daily "in my studio" photograph, and post it here, and as part of an ever-growing project?

Lots to think about.

SongHella Good by No Doubt

through the viewfinder monday: hindsight

One of my guilty pleasures is Vanity Fair Magazine.  I tend to buy it for the beautiful photographs (my photography idol, Annie Leibovitz, is a regular contributor), but I admit that I'm addicted to its often provocative articles as well.  My subscription recently expired -- I suppose I should add this to my every-growing to-do list in preparation of my new life...

... anyway.

Sunday night, I was looking at the VanityFair.com, and came across this video clip describing many personal papers and other effects recently found and previously owned by Marilyn Monroe.  Writer Sam Kashner discusses how much these items tell us about "the real Marilyn Monroe" -- things like meticulously kept bookstore receipts and perfume purchases are analyzed in detail to describe the life of Marilyn.

I thought about this, and what my possessions might say about me 50 years after my death.  The person who discovered my things would almost certainly fail to discover any receipts:  a childhood of moving around every two years because of my father's job pretty much eliminated any packrat tendencies I might have otherwise had, and I tend to clear out clutter with abandon.  Still, there are some items I own which I think are most certainly telling -- although, exactly what they tell, I'm not entirely sure.  They include:

- my cameras and computers (obviously)

- a startlingly large collection of cross pendants

- about 20 Swatch watches

- many journals, all only about 1/4 filled

- law school textbooks, books on becoming a writer, books on photography, books on art, books on art history, novels

- far too many clothes, shoes and bags, yet the vast majority of them generic or cheap brands

- my very full passport.

How about you?  What are some of the things you own that you think are pretty iconic representations of who you are?

Song:  After party, as performed by Ozomatli

sherryl

Last night, our friends Sherryl and John came over for an impromptu dinner.  First, because the light was so beautiful when they arrived, I took the portraits of Sherryl, above.  Then, as is always the case when we get together, there were high-spirited discussions about the economy, fervent rants about the upcoming election, and certainly some nostalgia and wistfulness about Sherryl's and my homeland, Trinidad & Tobago.

But I do believe the highlight of the evening was when we tried the wasabi peanuts that Marcus brought home as an experiment.  I'm a huge fan of wasabi peas, but the wasabi peanuts looked a bit odd, and I was hesitant to try them.  Eventually we all did, and Marcus announced, "they taste like Brussel sprouts."

"You're right," said John, munching away.  "They taste like the farty part of Brussel sprouts."

You heard it here first, folks.

Song:  Jean & Dinah, by the Mighty Sparrow.  You can read about this classic Trinidadian calypso from the 1950's here, and here Sparrow talk about it and sing parts of it here.  Despite the many, many fabulous calypsos that have been written, sung and performed since 1956 when this first hit the airways, this song remains one of my absolute favourites, for the memories of watching my mom and dad dancing to it at house parties when I was a child.  A true Trini classic.

thoughts while on the brink of moving from one life to another

I find myself maintaining two calendars:  one crammed with the list of daily appointments and tasks to wind up things at my law job, and the other filled with to-dos to have my new, creative life up and running and a viable business by my first day of work, October 16th.

I find my mind splitting its personality during the day: one moment deep in concentration crafting indemnifications and limitations of liabilities; the other trying to figure out ways to market my images and words and digital storytelling skills.

I find myself fighting a deep urge to go through my closet and remove any clothing that represents my lawyer life:  the suits, the high heels, the sensible jackets.  I'd keep only those clothes that feel the most "me," the clothes I tend to wear on weekends, the blue jeans, the funky beads, the headbands.  I may not fight this urge much longer.

I find myself really, really, really wanting to exercise.  I haven't in a few months, and I don't feel very good -- but working from 6 a.m. to late evenings makes it difficult to do so.  Once I leave my law job, I will flat refuse to compromise:  the only way I'll skip working out is because I don't feel like it, not because I can't find the time.

I find myself surprised that I'm not more worried about this huge leap I'm taking.  I mean, all logic says I should be:  the economy is tanking, and I should likely keep my corporate job.  And yet, something deep inside of me tells me that I have no choice but to follow this path and see where it leads.

Although I'm not a huge coffee drinker -- only three or four cups a week -- I find myself wanting to cut coffee out entirely, and return to drinking only tea.  I tend to drink coffee if that's what's available (read: in an office, that's what's available).  Soon, it won't be as accessible -- and, it turns out, I like tea better anyway.

I find myself wanting to tie everything up in a nice bow at my office, so that whoever my successor is knows instinctively where to pick up; yet I'm overwhelmed with all that has to be done before I leave in three weeks

I find myself exhilarated, invigorated and nervous about the future.  But it's all good.

Song:  Lisboa Kuya by Sara Tavares


heaven: chocolate chocolate chip cake

I took a break today to have a quick slice of Marcus' birthday cake.  Sweet mother of Gumby, how I love this cake.  I found this recipe when I was searching for a good chocolate cake to make for Alex's first birthday, and it has now become tradition for me to make this cake for each of our birthdays.  I posted the recipe on my old site almost 4 years ago, but the recipe is so ridiculously easy, and the cake just so damned delicious, I thought I'd repost it here for those who may have missed it the first time.

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE

1 18.25-oz package chocolate cake mix (I tend to find cake mixes with the words "triple" and "fudge" and "supermoist" on the box work best)
1 3.9-oz package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like the Ghirardelli ones)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celcius). Grease and flour a bundt pan.

2. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, eggs, hot water, sour cream and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into bundt pan.

3. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then invert cake onto wire rack and let cool completely.

And then, for the glaze, I do this:

DARK CHOCOLATE GLAZE

4 oz semi-sweet dark chocolate (again, I like Ghirardelli's)
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla

In small, heavy saucepan or microwave oven on medium, melt broken chocolate with butter. Stir frequently until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in milk, syrup and vanilla. When glaze is cool, pour onto cake. Let glaze run down sides. Chill about 10 minutes to set glaze.

Dude, you are welcome.  Once you make and taste this, you will want to die from ecstasy.  I am so not kidding.

 

symmetry

Today is Marcus' thirty-ninth birthday.  I love him madly, even though he will spend the entire day chuckling about the fact that even given this day, he's "still in his thirties," while I'm "well into my forties."  (I'm forty-one.)

Happy birthday, love.

SongWhen I'm 64, by The Beatles

through the viewfinder monday: more purple flowers

Monday morning, and the start of an intense week at work.  Here's wishing all of us a good, productive week.

Song:  Had a bad day, by Daniel Powter.  I've wanted to feature this song for a while because I love it, but the lyrics aren't particularly happy, so I haven't.  Yesterday, however, I found the music video for this song on YouTube, and I love the message of hope it sends, because it's exactly how I think the song feels, despite its lyrics.  Plus, again, it sort of mirrors my vibe these days.  Enjoy.