Why Blogs are like Tamagotchis

When I was in the 8 or 9-ish, I was tasked with the exciting responsibility of hatching a small Tamagotchi egg into a yittle-bity virtual baby.  This little baby needed to be fed, played with, and tended to (ie excrement cleared) in order to develop into a full-grown (but still small) digital creature (and not one of any genus I recognized from science class).  20 whole pixels of cuteness to call my very own.

Seriously. What is that?

Seriously. What is that?

 Eventually, I lost interest.  

 Probably because I was busy stealing gathering supplies to build half a brick playhouse.  And killing a big patch of my nana’s grass.

Then, when I was 24 or 25ish…. I had a blog.  The very thing you’re reading now!  I also had some pretty big aspirations for the kind of content I wanted to produce for this blog.  It was a crazy year — I was slowly growing as a photographer, and even more slowly trying to get comfortable with the idea of publishing my creative projects on the interwebs.  Oh.  And I had also just moved (by myself) to the other corner of the planet.

I wrote and snapped and wrote… I fell behind my strict posting schedule, but I had a living to make and temptations of offline activities to lure me away from the glow of my laptop. Throughout that year my content evolved with me as I experienced new things.  Lived a little.

Caboose view via Rithy

Caboose view via Rithy

In hindsight, I’ll say my year of travels was about taking the time to learn more about myself and figure out WHAT it is I loved to do… which turned out to be – creating all kinds of stuff, all the time.  And now to continue doing just that: working out the kinks of starting your own bidniz and creating stuff just because.  In efforts to turn this evolution thing into a tradition, I’m now going to start using this blog as a way to share a hodge-podge of creations – sewing, DIY, photography, design, etc.

For now, at least.

To kick it off, I’ll leave you with the easiest DIY that made my summer uniform:


Thanks for the action shot Law Dog!

Riveting, right?  This outfit could also prove to be a solid choice when counseling summer camps or preventing forrest fires.  Me?  I just wear it to the coffee shop or when I walk-hike the Greenbelt.  Turning old jeans into cutoffs isn’t exactly groundbreaking in the way of ideas, but you better believe I can get down with anything that expands my wardrobe without spending any pesos. Yew!

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Land Lubbar

Does it scare you when time feels like it is whizzing past you? It scares me. Since my last post (three months, seriously?), I’ve bid farewell to the ocean and wonderful Australia to return to my inland home in the great state of Texas. Towards the end of my time abroad, I postponed all self-reflection in an effort to live in and enjoy every last moment (hence my extended blogging absence).  I may be playing a little catch-up now, but it worked.

The funny thing about coming home after living abroad is experiencing culture shock in reverse. When I moved back to Sydney after spending two months in Southeast Asia, this experience first came with the loud honk of an accelerating vehicle. As my reflexes compensated for my judgment, I remembered I was no longer in a place where oncoming traffic just flows around me when I walk in front of it.

Upon returning to the States, my reverse culture shock occurred (not surprisingly) on my first visit back to a Wal-Mart.


No, no, no… I was paying $3 or more for ONE bottle of water in Australia. They are practically giving away the inventory and every isle is laced an enticement that tops the last(already good) deal.  Without regard for other shoppers, I kept yelling back to my mother, “Three for one? America is on sale, Mom – America is on SALE!” (Bless that woman for humoring me while I embarrassed her.)  After settling down, I managed to reshelve the items I threw into our buggy in the heat of the moment. I didn’t need nor want a pair of Texas flag potholders any more than the “King Ranch” edition box of taco seasoning.

In college I accompanied some of my international friends on their first trips to big-box stores – mostly, because the intensity of their reactions was hysterical. Here I was behaving in the exact same manner.  But, I get it now. The beautiful thing about leaving places you’ve grown accustom to is being able to return with new perspective.

At least a few times a week I am reminded of an article I read a few months ago called ‘The Busy Trap’. The author says, “It’s hard to find anything to say about life without immersing yourself in the world, but it’s also just about impossible to figure out what it might be, or how best to say it, without getting the hell out of it again.”

I’ve immersed myself in so many new experiences over the past year that I often struggle to describe it, simply because there has been so much change that everything seems connected.  Worrying about kids I don’t even know — going on my own into the unknown — meeting new people, family, and friends — learning new languages – struggling — falling in love — living like a nomad — letting go – finally getting that second stamp on my passport — and third, and fourth, and fifth… What a year it has been!

It would be so much easier to say I did “nothing” this past year.  It is much, much more difficult to summarize all the things I did, without downplaying the profound effects of each event.  Connected or not – I am most certain that this past August was the first birthday of my life where I truly felt older than the year before.  Older, still youthful, but confident I “lived” every last drop out of year 24.

So, what now? I’m lucky to admit – right now, I am taking a little time to hide out. Enjoying some time with family. Figuring out what it is I have to say.  Staying occupied with purpose, not compulsive busyness.  Reflecting on the past and planning the next step(s) in my future.  After all, if you must dwell somewhere other than the present moment, is there anywhere better to do so than a place as timeless as home?

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They (eventually) Came in 2’s

You know your backburner to-do list?  It is the one the is filled with tasks you’d like to complete, but won’t die if you don’t.  The usual suspects included on said list are a motley crew, coming from opposite poles of the spectrum of human interests, not excluding some certain “self-betterment” tasks.  Things you know you should do, but dread anyways.  Things you want to do for fun, but don’t have the time.  Things you don’t know how to do, but haven’t had the patience to learn.

For what its constituents lack in time sensitivity, the backburner to-do list compensates for in nagging.  In a way that makes you suspect everyone else has these sort of things under control… but noooooo, not yeeeeeew.

nag.  nag.  naaaaaaaaaag.

When I had a hankerin’ to tick off a few of these items on the list, like a woman possessed, I found myself trying to squeeze every second of productivity out of this feeling before it fades.  So, again, I sat down to go through the thousands of photos I took while I was traveling earlier this year.  When I was inevitably slowed down by the reminiscing, I tried to gain some momentum by getting creative with my photo pairing.  This probably slowed my pace even more.  Fact.

I have been looking to some of the pros (here & here) to try and deduce if there is a science to pairing one’s photographs.  No conclusions have been reached yet.  When done right, the composition/subjects/colors tell a story – one you aren’t always conscience you are following.  In this case, when I got stuck I went with my intuition thus consider my stories “open to interpretation”.  Please share if you have any feedback or tips on photo pairing – I’d love to hear them! (first question: does the action I am describing to have a less literal term?)

Now that I have worked on this for two days straight, I am much, much less humored by the task at hand.  I knew it would happen.  *shrugs*  I can read me like a book.  So… until the 3rd wind blows in, please enjoy the following!

UPDATE – I just learned these are called Diptics!

Oh, and I finally created an online album for my photos from our 1000km cycling trip across Cambodia.  Vive la PEPY!

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