Putting pen to paper is essential for me, even if it’s a list of bullet points on a napkin. I like to send Birthday cards and Thank You notes, too – they feed my obsession with letterpress, but that’s about it when it comes to my handwriting these days.
A few weeks ago, some friends and I made vision boards. We spent a silly afternoon surrounded by glue sticks, piles of old magazines, scissors, snacks and beer. The idea was to flip through the magazines to find images that could represent our aspirations for the upcoming year. No handwriting required.
There’s a sassy women holding a megaphone near the words “talk” and “broadcast”. That symbolizes the objective of standing up for myself, and owning my decisions.
There’s an elegant woman in black. She nourishes my mysteriousness and the goal to be more graceful in life.
There are cities and places glued, a means to get there – a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. La Mer – the Sea. A tiny Greek island. A big fat LONDON. San Francisco, Los Angeles. New York City. I live here, but the need to explore it more persists.
There’s a gramophone – listen to more music outside of my headphones. There’s a watch with a crocodile band. Bring back the analog!
There is love, of course – to “the ends of the earth”, I hope.
And lastly, a resolution of mine for 2015 is to write more, not only on the white screen, but in the form of “letters” and “postcards”. On the vision board these words are glued below the glamorous Margaret adorned in black.
On the first Saturday in January, I decided to start creatively. Slowly. I would stamp “Happy New Year” or “Thank You” and write around my template. Thumbing through my stationary collection, I found what I would need – a set of alphabet stamps in a basic font – Times New Roman, and an Eames Design stamp kit – Eames chairs accompanied by their iconic bird. I wrote a handwritten list of who was to receive a card or postcard. While drafting a few notes, I realized my penmanship was less to be desired, so I blamed the pen. I chose a different pen, and found the same results. It dawned on me. My hand is, in fact, atrocious. Now, there’s an addendum to the vision board – to improve my handwriting. It will never be like that of one of my dearest friends – Stephanie – who is a professional calligrapher, but I can dream, can’t I? Visions of a better me.
Watch out for your letters, my friends!
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My hand written journals have been replaced by single phrases on Twitter, edited photos on Instagram, and inspirational photos I’ve posted to Pinterest. If I want to see what I did in 2014, what I was thinking, what inspired me, or how I was daydreaming, I can flip through these ‘albums’ and bring them to mind.
I moved to Brooklyn. I discovered Beach 97 in the Rockaways. I turned 33. I met and made some inspiring new friends, and reconnected with old ones (this includes people, music, art and the written word). A few good friends got married, and some are now expecting, or had babies. One of my friends beat Cancer. My nephew was Christened and turned 1. I discovered that cello bridges can be 3d printed, and not carved from balsa wood. I learned how to shuck an oyster. I auditioned for and got into a prestigious choral group in Manhattan. I worked harder than I ever thought I could push myself to, and produced some amazing audio features. I made some more connections in the NYC floral design community. Oh, and I bought a brand new, sleek bike.
In 2015, there is so much to look forward to and to accomplish. Speaking up and defending my decisions is essential. Traveling in and around NY, Philadelphia, and DC is expected, but I plan to go back to London and Rotterdam, and hopefully, San Fransisco, LA and Seattle, as well. At work, there are some amazing things brewing – a big project that I’ve been working on for several months. And, floral design will play a bigger role in my life again this year. I am determined.
No sad stories, just a positive outlook on life, continually having faith knowing that if I work hard, good things will happen.
Happy New Year!
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“Even in our century, the waltz still captivates. The waltz never quite goes out of fashion. It’s always around the corner, and every now and then, it returns with a bang. The popular dances that come and go are too gross to be very dangerous to civilized human beings. Those other dances suggest beer out of buckets. The most elemental good taste is proof enough against them. Ah, but the waltz. Oh, the waltz. Indeed, it is sneaking, insidious, disarming, lovely. It does its work not like a college yell, or an explosion in a munitions plant, but like the rustles of trees, and the murmur of the sea, the sweet gurgle of a pretty girl. The waltz is magnificently improper. The art of tone turned lubricious.” – H.L. Mencken
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This graffiti-art stenciled onto a plywood wall gives me hope for existence. I found it near the North Laine in Brighton. It’s beautifully rendered for one. The placement on the knotty pine, spectacular. The play on words, using the title of french author, Michel de Certau’s novel The Practice of Everyday Life, demonstrates intellect. According to Certeau, everyday life is distinctive from other practices of daily existence because it is repetitive and unconscious. In this context, Certeau’s study of life is neither the study of “popular culture”, nor is it necessarily the study of everyday resistances to regimes of power. Instead, Certeau attempts to outline the way individuals unconsciously navigate everything from city streets to literary texts.
And we’re not talking about drone music. Or male worker bees. The generic, uncreative and oppressively rectangular skyline sits underneath the robotic plane. It signifies our carelessness in involvement, our selfishness and self-absorbed nature to never bother noticing that we are robotically killing people.
And yet, it speaks to the truth that drones might become part of our daily lives. United States drone strike policies cause considerable and under-accounted-for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury.
But many might walk right past this work of activism in their humdrum existence, forgetting to stop and smell the roses. Proving that drones of everyday life can continue to exist because we don’t care to look at our surroundings.
This draft was composed nearly 3 months ago, and needs to be edited, and re-written. Pardon me.
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Traveling to and from The Netherlands from London is simple. Flying from Rotterdam Airport is the way to go if you want a fantastically beautiful home base with an easy in and out. The plane ride from Heathrow is a quick 40 minute hop – it’s far enough for a healthy detachment from reality without having to pull too many plugs from the socket.
Like many major cities, options for travel in The Netherlands are limitless, but biking reigns supreme. If you’re a good city biker already, you won’t have any trouble getting around on two wheels. Renting a bike is easy and cheap for daily rates.
Cyclists in Holland are privileged. There are separate lanes from cars (some with concrete curbs) colored in red pavement. There are special traffic lights and sounds for crossings; pedestrians and vehicles are taught to be constantly aware. Cyclists have the right of way.
Businessmen and women bike, students bike, families bike together, couples bike side by side linked with hands or arms around waists, teens bike talking on their cell phones, and mothers bike with several children in tow while carrying groceries in baskets. It’s romantic yet utilitarian.
There are no helmets, just wind in your hair. Your voice, bells, reflectors and night lights, as well as wheel locks and chains are just as important. Bikes can be decorated with flowers. Frames can be spray painted loud colors. A bike is an extension of your personality.
Seats can be elongated for a friend to hop on the back. Wheelbarrow tubs can be attached to the front for shepherding heavy cargo. Fixies seemed to be the most prevalent form, and step-throughs are ridden by both men and women. Bikers look healthier, and seem happier from the exercise.
Bicycles might be the answer to world peace, in my humble opinion.
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