Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy Blogiversary

Two years ago I entered the blogisphere with trepidation. Wasn't it too late to jump on the trendy band wagon, and too cliche to admit to friends I was blogging? More importantly, what would I write about every day? I committed to it anyway, and here I am 730 days later. This is what I've observed:

1. I like a little structure. I have no desire to go back to my over scheduled life, but I like the daily task of blogging. I'm very aware if a day has passed and I haven't posted a picture or shared an opinion. Keeping up with it has never been a chore.  I enjoy it immensely, and it's become a part of my routine.

2. I'm a magazine junkie, or at least I was when magazines were a thriving business. In fact, when I graduated from college I coveted an entry level job in the industry. Although I interviewed at GQ, it was a gig at Barneys that became the first professional experience on my resume. So my blog scratches that old editorial itch. Every day is a new opportunity to curate the world through my eyes.

3. When I used to have a written day planner (tan leather, Coach circa 1992 that an ex's cat peed on in 2005) I liked to flip through the pages filled with the sum of my life penciled in hour by hour blocks. The blog is a much more satisfying documentation of my life, a daily souvenir with visuals commemorating an event, a thought, or a moment.

4. In the age of digital photography I no longer have printed snapshots in piles on my desk or displayed on my refrigerator.   My blog has become an unexpected repository for my images. I love having them organized in one place, easy to access, and forever stamped with time and place.

5.  My blog motivates me to take photos, and the photos motivate me to blog. A perfect relationship.

6. Travel, photography and blogging. Ideal combination. Blog as travelogue is a brilliant way to remember and document the details. I love to post when I'm away.

7. Other people read my blog. I know, it shouldn't be such a surprise, but it gets me every time when someone tells me they do so. It makes me feel vulnerable, and joyful. I may not spill every truth about myself in these pages, it is public after all, but everything I write is the truth.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day




Sunday, May 27, 2012

The New Yorker

I love the covers as much as the content.  One image succinctly sums up the week.  Always witty, always topical, always brilliant.  These are some of my favorites featuring the Obama White House.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement…
get up in the morning and look at the world
 in a way that takes nothing for granted. 
 Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible;
 never treat life casually.
 To be spiritual is to be amazed.
-Abraham Joshua Heschel

Friday, May 25, 2012


A noiseless, patient spider,
I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them—ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,—seeking the spheres, to connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form’d—till the ductile anchor hold;
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.

                                                                                                     Walt Whitman

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gaga for these GIRLS

God bless Lena Dunham for coming along with her spectacularly, singular point of view, and for fashioning a contemporary and witty series about female friendship.  I'm no longer 20something living in NYC, but I can relate to GIRLS from both the experiences I had then, and the ones I continue to have with the women who know me to the core, who I trust with my secrets, who love me, and who make me laugh.  Some of them have been in my life for decades, some much more recent, but they have all made my life impossibly richer.  Lena's uninhibited storytelling is honest, raw and hilarious.  Her direction exudes a confidence so rare among young women.  She is a breath of fresh air, and I hope she gets to execute her vision for many, many more seasons.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mad for these Men

I savor ever line, every look, every needle drop.  When it comes to MAD MEN my viewing habits are frozen in the 80s.  I have an appointment every Sunday night, no desire to wait 24 hours and view it a day later.  However, I admittedly record the east coast feed so I don't have to watch commercials.  I know, the irony, it's a show about advertising.  Anyway, I'm already grieving, in three weeks the penultimate season of MAD MEN will be over.  Don and Megan's marriage has been a trove of wonderful material and character exploration.  A spectacular, unexpected surprise.  Days after I view, the brilliant dialogue does cartwheels in my mind.  I delight in every witty, loaded sentence, packed with innuendo and insight, shining high beams on future plot. Here's a sampling from this season

Joan: "You and me in mid-town — you with that look on your face?"
Don: "What look, baby?"
Joan: "God, you're irresistible."
Don: "You know what this woman said to me once? 'I like being bad and going home and being good.'"

Roger: "They make wines for Jews and now they're making one they want to sell to normal people."

Mona: "I thought you married Jane because I had gotten old and then I realized it was because you had."

Roger: "It's very interesting but a lot of times you think people are looking at you, but they're not — their mind's elsewhere."
Don: "Lots of people that haven't taken LSD already know that, Roger."

Peggy's mom: "You know what your aunt used to say? 'You're lonely, get a cat. They live 13 years, then you get another one and another one after that. Then you're done."

Glen: "How's the city?"
Sally: "Dirty."

Megan: "I feel like I abandoned the team."
Don: "You feel bad because you got to take off and they had to work? I don't. There has to be some advantage to being my wife."

Harry: "They're projections. They're derived from reality, but they're hopes and dreams."

Joan: "My mother raised me to be admired."

Monday, May 21, 2012


Photos from around the globe of yesterday's solar eclipse. Heavenly!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Robert Sturman

"As an artist, there is nothing more liberating than allowing a vision from the depths of the soul to fluidly emerge like a river from the unknown to the known."  - Robert Sturman

In 2003, photographer Robert Sturman began practicing yoga and stumbled upon an unexpected muse for his art.  Of import, the woman in the third photograph is 93!
Yoga offered me an opportunity to change my life, but it was also something that was so beautiful to study, the poetry of asana. It started growing from being able to photograph people on the beach to being invited to a penitentiary with yoga programs to do yoga asana imagery there.
 Two beautiful artforms -- yoga and photography -- each elevated by the other.   And yes, I did another back bend in class today!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ken Burns: On Story

I spend many hours of every day thinking about story, so I was particularly delighted by this find.   In this poetic short documentary filmmakers Sarah Klein and Tom Mason set out to explore the mysterious nature of storytelling.  Ken Burns shares insights into the craft and reveals his highly personal quest to "wake the dead."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Chatting with a music supervisor whose job it is to supply movies with a soundtrack of up and coming artists, I asked her the most memorable performance she saw in the last six months.  Without hesitation she replied, "LP".   I tucked the information away until later when I could type the initials into Google.  LP is a wisp of woman, unconventional in every way.  She is a rock artist and pop songwriter who caused a stir at SXSW in 2006.  Ironically, it was the placement of her song in a recent Citibank commercial that gave her national attention.  My search revealed she was playing downtown at the Grammy Museum, a venue I didn't know existed.   Her performance in this tiny intimate theater proceeded by a 45 minute Q and A was mesmerizing and powerful.  She whistled, played the ukele, and hit impossibly high notes.  She stood still on the stage, blasting away, in full command of the audience with her haunting talent.  I had goosebumps, a performance and evening to remember. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I spoke to my parents yesterday for the requisite happy birthday phone call.  Before I could even finish the second syllable in hello, my mother exuberantly pointed out, "You're not born yet."  Subtext for I don't know why we're making such a big fuss, 48 years ago you were still in my womb. 48 years ago you were still entirely mine.

My father, who was never the most eloquent orator has gotten harder to decode as age plays tricks with his motor skills.  What started out as a version of"Thank you for coming." became truncated when he  realized I hadn't visited, and quickly morphed into "Thank you for letting us have you."  His misfiring neurons created poetry.  I responded with a heart felt, "You're welcome."

Monday, May 14, 2012

Birthday Self Portrait

Sweaty and flushed after a hike in the canyon with Sticks, I took this self portrait.  Almost a year since I completed my 365 days project, and sometimes I wonder what I look like.  Such easy flow between work and leisure. The life I always wanted, the life I created.  Started the day with a yoga class, third in a row.  Out of the blue, my life long aversion to back bends is dissipating.  Well, my adult life long aversion.  In my youth I flipped forwards and backwards constantly.  Although back walkovers were never my favorite, standing back bends and front walkovers were accomplished with relative ease.  Found myself randomly thinking about them, back bends, today, wanting to do them again.   I change in the most surprising ways. 

Birthdays result in reflection.  I'm most certain more than half of my life is accumulated in the past, already-lived column.  At times this thought frightens me.  What could possible lie ahead that will be as exciting as my past?  Years of not knowing who I would become, or what doors would open as I tried to shoo innocence, and inexperience away propelled me to have amazing experiences.   As I've come into focus, my path has gotten narrower and easier to identify.   I love excitement, but not if it's going to deprive me of tranquility.  I'm still driven, in fact, my work aspirations are currently in over drive, but I don't push.  I accept, and court patience every day, especially when it comes to closing deals at Sony.  When I was an adolescent exploring New York City through young adult eyes, and soaking up culture as fast as I could, I asked my Grandmother why she didn't travel into the city more often from her home in Long Island.  "Don't you want to see this new play, exhibit or restaurant?  "Dear, I've already done that."  Her response has remained in my memory for decades.  A benign, throw away exchange, but I knew, although I couldn't crack the code, she had given me a nugget of wisdom.  What I couldn't comprehend or appreciate then,  I can now see through the lens of time. The understanding is bittersweet.  It could have only come with age, knowledge, and years of living.  There are many things that no longer appeal to me because I've "been there, done that".  I do hope life continues to offer many surprises and contentment doesn't lead to complacency.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


The most interesting art at The Barnsdall Municiple Art Gallery fundraiser was immediately outside the gallery.  Three enormous, balloon-like women reminiscent of inflatable holiday lawn ornaments gracefully slumped forward and swelled again until they were erect.  Sewn from white parachute-like material they performed all evening, dancing and swaying in the night.  I'd give credit to the artist if any information had been provided.  Overall, the art in the gallery was mediocre, and all of it was unidentified.  No credit, no insight, no nothing.  I promised myself I wouldn't turn this into a rant on the state of art in LA, so I will continue to refrain, but boy is it mind-boggling.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Diane Keaton

Enjoyed Diane Keaton's delightful memoir THEN AGAIN, culled from her mother's 85 journals, and interwoven with her personal story.  Quirky, witty, revealing, and tender.  As Diane tries to process her mother's death from Alzheimer's several years ago, she evaluates their lives as mother and daughter, and compares their chosen paths.
"At 54 Dorothy was put out to pasture with 32 more years of living staring her in the face.  At 63, I’m doing what Dorothy did when she was 24."
Fascinating.  By all accounts adopting two children in her 50s is keeping Diane active, vibrant and blissful, and provided her with most her most defining role.
“The state of being a woman in between two loves - one as a daughter, the other as a mother - has changed me.”
In the memoir, Diane wrestles with understanding the shadow of her mother's deferred dreams, and the midlife depression that plagued her.
“I’m trying, Mom, but it goes against every instinct I possess. I promise you one thing though. I promise to unleash Duke and Dexter from the stranglehold of my need before it’s too late. I promise to give them their freedom no matter how much I want them to hang on. I promise to let go of you too, the you I created for the benefit of me…

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Eric Klinenberg's new book "Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone" explores a phenomenon I know very well.  Growing up, I didn't encounter many adults who lived alone. There was my grandmother, but she only lived on her own after my grandfather died.  Widowed in her 60s, his death gave her the freedom to finally get a driver's license, a car and move to the country.  She left Manhattan for a big, new house on Long Island and spread her wings.  Her sister moved in with her, but several years later she died, and my grandmother lived alone, happily, for decades.  I remember how tranquil her life seemed when I visited.  She easily filled the hours painting, reading, watching PBS, having cocktails with friends, traveling to exotic cities like Cairo or St. Petersburg, entertaining, winning at canasta, or gardening.  In her 90s, she confided in me that she wouldn't have lived as long if she had been with my grandfather all these years.  I believed her.  Although I didn't know them as a couple, from the stories, they had an exciting, good life.  But he wasn't easy, a strong willed Italian barber from Naples who demanded lots of attention.  He dominated their household, and her life.  I'm most certain the quality of my grandmother's life increased when she was on her own, thus spiking her longevity.  During my visits, our day would end with a lovely dinner, she was an inspired gourmet cook, served with china and linen napkins and punctuated by intellectual conversation.  When the dishes were washed and the kitchen reassembled to perfection she would unapologetically say goodnight, and retire to her bedroom to read her latest book from the library or the day's New York Times.  She would brush out her long auburn curls which rested in a loose bun on the crown of her head and place her emeralds and pearls in china bowls on her vanity.  I would follow suit, climbing into bed in the guest room with a book or magazine and read for hours, a habit started from those visits and embraced ever since.  In countless ways, my grandmother was a trendsetter.  I think of her as I read statistics from Klinenberg's book, and realize I'm just part of the trend.
Until recently, most of us married young and parted only at death. If death came early, we remarried quickly; if late, we moved in with family, or they with us. Now we marry later. We divorce, and stay single for years or decades. We survive our spouses, and do whatever we can to avoid moving in with others — even, perhaps especially, our children. We cycle in and out of different living arrangements: alone, together, together alone […] [T]oday, for the first time in centuries, the majority of all American adults are single. The typical American will spend more of his or her adult life unmarried than married, and for much of this time he or she will live alone.
In 1950, 22 percent of American adults were single. Four million lived alone, and they accounted for 9 percent of all households […] Today, more than 50 percent of American adults are single, and 31 million — roughly one out of every seven adults — live alone. 
People who live alone make up 28 percent of all U.S. households, which means that they are now tied with childless couples as the most prominent residential type — more common than the nuclear family, the multigenerational family, the roommate or group home.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Julia Kozerski

Reposting from Aline Smithson's blog LENSCRATCH about Julia Kozerski's poweful self portraits chronicling her epic weight loss and evolving relationship with her self image.  Raw, honest and BEAUTIFUL!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Sky

You are the sky.  Everything else - it's just the weather.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


My body is sore from a week of physical activity -- days on the reformer, hiking and trail running, and two days of intense yoga classes. It feels good to feel my muscles get stronger, but I do feel spent. Glad to relax with lots of reading material by my side. I yearn to age gracefully, not giving into atrophying muscles or inflexibility. I yearn to have stamina, strength and kindness towards my aching body. Would like to unwind tonight with a Thai massage, or bath of Epsom's salts before savoring every second of Girls and Mad Men.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Last week I started to receive a daily spiritual email. I didn't sign up for it, I don't recognize the senders's name, nor does a google search provide any information as to who is behind the uplifting messages. At any rate, I'm enjoying the philosophical musings flooding my in box. I particularly like this one, a philosophy I wholeheartedly embrace.

There are many challenges to acceptance in a single day. When I accept that other people have different rhythms than I do, I learn to let everything just be! When I try to become a fixer of others I communicate disrespect to them for who they are. To stop interfering with others' journeys unless invited is to offer respect. Today let me step back, slow down my thoughts and learn the art of acceptance.

Friday, May 4, 2012


I love technology, and the ease it grants to communicate, seek information, compile photos and music, but when you live under a dark cloud of technological problems, like I have, technology equals frustration. Since I switched to Uverse a year ago I've had clicking on my phone line, and sluggish internet service. Two months ago, the problems escalated when I couldn't complete a ten minute call without being dropped. This is on my land line, the only service I get in the hills, making it difficult and frustrating to conduct business or personal calls. Some days I'd drive down the hill just to have a conversation on my cell phone. Several technicians came out to survey the problem, each had a different evaluation, but all concluded they weren't the one to handle the job. An incredibly tall technician finally committed to the task, untangled the messy wires and put in a surge protector, (if my heat was on while I was online, the power circuit blew). He seemed to have remedied my phone issues, but I still need to reboot the computer from the power source, my TV still pixelates, and the circuit still blows. Truthfully, I'm elated to be able to complete an entire phone call. One tech problem sort of solved, two to go.

I've also been dealing with an extremely slugglish computer. I pinpointed the problem to an old operating system. After several visits to the genius bar it was recommended I upgrade to Snow Leopard. I ordered the disk, but it crashed my computer during the install. Back to the geniuses I went, and this time the recommendation was a new hard drive. Thankfully I backed up my hard drive before the install. My computer is working, but still seems a bit slow and any photo taken during the month of June did not upload. Bizarre.

Lastly, to push me over the edge, last week, my wide angle lens stopped communicating with my camera. Thankfully, this didn't happen when i was i Africa. The repairman at Samys said this was a common problem with this specific popular lens. "Wasn't built well. Send lots of 'em back to Cannon." After the fact, pertinent knowledge that does me no good. I'd like for this back cloud of technological problems to move on. I've encountered enough frustration from these glitches, and a hefty price tag to fix them. Here's to brighter skies, and technological ease.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Outside My Window -Zanzibar



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Outside My Window - Dar Es Salaam

Had an idea for a photography series during my first few hours in Tanzania. After arriving in Dar Es Salaam at 2 am, I checked into a motel miles from the airport, a place to pass the hours before my noon flight to Zanzibar. The ceiling fan shifted the muggy air overhead as I tried to sleep on the bed, a sheet pulled over a lumpy cushion. It was 2 pm the previous day in Los Angeles, so although dazed from travel I was too restless to sleep. I acknowledged the passing hours by the subtle changes outside my window. And then, the morning light filtered through the orange curtains like an ethereal beam through a stain glass window. Of course, I reached for my camera and within minutes I had to know what life was stirring outside my window. This is what I saw.