skating down the mountain, skyline in our rear view mirror.


why saturday was superb

^My beautiful girly-friends, Lacy and Laura, who I convinced a few folks were my sisters, and Ty (photographer), took a trip to the SouthSide!
on lacy: target tee, target skirt; on laura: american eagle dress, h&m belt; on christen: velvet shirt dress, anthropologie necklace, kookai belt and mossimo belt, modcloth shoes
^And we even matched! Coincidence? I think not. Corny? Wouldn't have it any other way.
^We went to the Chili Cook-off together (like, soup chili - don't be fooled by these blow up chillies. And hey, might as well throw it in there that the weather was anything but chilly). We got to walk around and try a bunch of samples, then vote for who we thought had the most delicious chili. 
^We were thrilled to find an I Made It! Market in an empty store by the festival. Ty got a clay dino and a children's-book-turned-sketchbook (we were all drooling over their coolness and cleverness of this), and I got a rock with a bird painted on it. Don't ask why, I just couldn't leave without it (thanks, Lace, for the 50 cents!)
^As if the chili wasn't filling enough, we cruised over to Hofbrauhaus and got Bier cheese fries. Seriously, go there. Get these. You will strongly consider a second order, and I can't honestly discourage you from doing so.
^We took cues from all the little kids and took a run through the fountain for a nice cool-off.
^...and then did some hardcore loungin' (and sketchin' in Ty's new book!). We figured if the world was going to end any moment, we might as well get comfy. Thankfully, we survived that prediction ;)
^Look what we saw before we left! The world's most insane looking dog (in a good way, but also sort of a terrifying way). The only thing missing from the best Saturday ever was Shane!



a new take on an old classic

In the never ending debate over whether Pop Tarts or Toaster Strudels are tastier (is this a nationwide debate, or are my friends and I stuck in junior high?), I'm finding more and more that Pop Tarts fall in the sorry second. So yesterday, Lacy and I decided to give them a chance for a comeback by making our own, inspired by this recipe from Smitten Kitchen!
And yes, kids, definitely try this at home. We filled ours with cinnamon sugar & brown sugar, strawberry jelly (a crowd favorite), and Nutella. The only thing we wished we would have added is a little icing on top, but they were healthier without it anyways :) They aren't difficult to make at all, are ultra delicious, and are much more filling than your average store bought Pop Tart! In fact, they were so filling that we sort of...
...zonked afterwards ;) (isn't she adorable?!) The next homemade snack from the past we want to make are whole wheat goldfish crackers. Can any of you recommend a recipe for homemade versions of old favorites?



baseball banquet food chain

I'm lucky enough to still play a sport in college, and our end of year banquets are always a trip. Players are late, still in bed, dressed in clothes reeking of beer, and/or at the wrong location to begin with.  We're in college and therefore allowed to mess up, am I right?  But a few times a year, I'm given the precious invite to one of my younger brother's many sports banquets.
Now, I don't easily forget a banquet experience, so I know when and what type of food is served, where the ordeal takes place and exactly how long the ceremonies last. Needless to say, I plan accordingly and drive separate when necessary. Last night's banquet lacked neither raucous high school banter nor delicious food and gave me a reason to dress in something other than my monotonous jeans and t-shirt work outfit. When the buffet line opened I stocked up on buttery corn, thick mashed potatoes and succulent roast beef, but what really got me laughing was the banter between players and the surprising ease of acceptance into the gang as I bellied up next to my brother and co. ousting many other late comers and teammates for seats at the round table. As the awards ceremony began I slyly snuck out the back and vanished with a full stomach and a memory full of laughter. I snapped some pics by this historic cabin and drove my 3-cylinder Jetta (normally a 4-cylinder but technical difficulties had her only firing on 3) home in a torrential downpour, then slipped into a food coma and the rest is forgotten history.
perry ellis glasses, royal blue h&m button up, steel blue bullhead jeans, sperry loafers
calvin klein belt
Overall, it was a night of hilarious, never-ending commentary and a priceless view back into my own beloved high school sports team moments.


creatures (for a while)

When we hit the soft dirt trail yesterday at Tuquan Glen Nature Preserve, our feet had not a clue of the magic that awaited their eager tread.  We softly slid over trees with root systems whose organic growth patterns outmatched even London's beautiful, flowing street grid.
Moss bedded springs met us at every turn and the stream reflected only the purest shades of green and sunlight.
Some things never seem more real and yet so far distant from our normal everyday surroundings. This place was the definition of such a dreamy contradiction and all the more stunning because of it. Nearing the end of our hike to the Susquehanna River we rocked-hopped right past the smallest, intriguing creature we've ever laid eyes upon. As we swept baby turtle off his tiny clawed feet our hearts turned to jelly and our mouths instantly curved into massive smiles.
I must admit young turtle attempted multiple escapes to the river by hurdling himself off rock faces and flipping as far as possible but he undoubtedly enjoyed his travels at human height and added yet another charming experience into our cosmic voyage into the woods. We returned the little bugger near his place of abduction and hope he lives a long prosperous life. So venture to the edge, dive deep inside and dance with the fluidity of timestretched organic material. Return with everlasting enjoyment and appreciation for our earthen brethren.
Trek on my friends


if only skeleton boys could B-reel

I have this really cool friend.  He's full of really cool ideas--some for the money, some for the exposure and others just for the sheer challenge.  A few weeks ago I had my own idea about this idea-making machine.
I call it Art O.D.  Somewhere in the midst of discussing B-reel (roll) filming plans, pinpointing the countless photo shoot spots around town and how we can all team up to work for our own collective hiphopphotographyfilmwriting crew I had the genius idea to make a show for the tele called Art O.D.  The basic gist of the show would be a raucous idea-creator spitting out ideas like there's no tomorrow.  Meanwhile, myself and the crew are frantically trying to coordinate all the projects and get them done in a timely fashion.  As you might have guessed we simply can't keep up and drown ourselves in the images, paint, paper and various supplies of half-assed attempts at coherent art, hence the overdose in the title.  Would any of you watch it?  Why not, right?  If it's on TV someone will most definitely watch it.  All this overdosing on art ideas and projects didn't end right then.  My next question was WHAT IS B-REEL FOOTAGE!?  Currently, between Christen and I only a few feasible ideas have come to mind--stock footage of animals/scenic views of the natural and built environment and anything not involving people who would have to be specific actors.  I encourage any readers to shout out a good idea or two and maybe you can be on the pilot episode of Art O.D. when it all comes to a crashing halt before we get started on the next insane project!  This sideshow film footage stuff could be my calling.
Friendly Fires-Skeleton Boy
By now you might ask where all these negative-Ned brain waves are sprouting from and I'll tell you.  Not a day goes by that I don't see or hear some type of artistic endeavor that fails to absolutely blow my mind.  Be it painstakingly animated music videos or lyrics to a song that sincerely sound as if they were written with myself in mind I get caught in this funk of flatlined feelings.  Does the massive wheel of ingenuity of the world ever stop, sit down and truly enjoy the absurd amount of delicious candy it creates?  I guess this is my message to you--take a deep breath of your favorite flavored air some night, dim the lights and go hunt down something off the main grid of web-born mediastreams.  Keep clicking and searching, and delving deeper into artspace until you find something that trips you back into so much nostalgic bliss you'll be left to ponder why we ever move forward and why we can't move behind.  Posted above is a recent treasure found during a walk down my own path of intermeddling and a personally shot pic (see below) that I feel displays the cosmic oceans of exceptional art that awaits your arrival.
Happy trails my friends.


diy death by ray gun

We weren't attempting to track the movement of our factory workers to simplify tasks and increase efficiency like Frank Gilbreth and his wife Lillian were doing but believe it or not, through the same process, we captured what might appear to be a cosmic assassination of our very own Christen.

Pretty cool, huh?
Now before you write it off as some fantastic, time consuming process of hyper-real photography, take a second and ponder....I'll let you in on a little nugget: it's possible for even you and your generic digital or film camera! Don't get all crazy legs on me just yet. If your camera doesn't have an ounce of shutter speed adjustment your best bet is to simply revel over the day when you come across someone with said camera. If you're lucky enough to have any type of shutter speed range, it's your gosh-darned lucky day. So snatch up a flashlight, glowstick, sparkler, keychain light or anything else emitting a glow. Put your camera on something sturdy and set the shutter speed to stay open as long as possible. Depending on the time of day/amount of light coming in you'll need to adjust the aperture appropriately to compensate for the longer shutter speed, (usually they have an inverse relationship-longer shutter speed=smaller aperture (higher number)).
Now comes the real fun. Set the self-timer to give you enough time to get in the frame, don't forget your light source and start waving that thing like you're directing Snoop Dog's Pimp Plane into your backyard. For ideal results you can pre-map an image to draw, check it out in review mode and try again! It takes time, it takes patience and a creative hand but with plenty of practice you'll be pumping out
Picasso-esque light art before you know it!