February 2015 - The Dainty Squid

project 365 // days 52 - 58

Saturday, February 28, 2015

52 : 365 All finished up! I'm pretty pumped about how this piece turned out.
 53 : 365 So much sass in one little cat.
 54 : 365 Three in one picture again... even if one is hiding in the shadows.
 55 : 365 This tiny little corner of my office was driving me nuts. It wasn't incredible messy but let me tell you, it looks a million times nicer now. It's so satisfying to me to get even one small area organized.
56 : 365 Caught this creeper snooping in my purse.
 57 : 365 Monthly photobooth picture, and new gum. I kind of have a gum thing where I have to buy any new flavor or brand I've never seen before. I found these in World Market. Both are kiiind of strange, especially the birthday cake. I've never actually had gum that literally tasted like cake, and this one does.
58 : 365 Apartment, sweet apartment.


Abandoned Motel

Thursday, February 26, 2015

While the first day of mine and Jeff's little escape was fun, the second day of the trip was the real highlight. We drove the back roads from Norfolk, Virginia to Baltimore, Maryland, and even dipped into Delaware just so we could add another state to the list of them that we've been together. (Sitting pretty at 17 right now, can't wait to add more!) We were stumbling upon incredible looking abandoned places left and right but sadly, due to the weather, we couldn't stop. There was no where to park. Places that would be perfect to pull the car off the road were covered in enough snow that getting stuck was a real risk and not one we were willing to take.
Somewhere in Delaware, we stumbled upon this motel. We both saw it at the same time and looked at each with pure excitement. Luckily it was near a few other businesses that were still in use so we were able to whip around and park across the street in one of their parking lots. We trudged through the snow and snooped around this truly spooky site.
I'm obviously unsure of any back story on this place, and it's hard to tell how long any place been abandoned. This place was so far gone. The inside was absolutely trashed and clearly, the outside is a wreck. I love colors but honestly, I think my favorite part might be that sign! It's so creepy looking. I would love to see it in the spring, the vines covering it with leaves on them. I bet it's lovely!

Rushing around like we did at the motel reminds me of when Jeff and I were out west last summer and we stopped at a ghost town called Two Guns*. I found it on Roadside America and it ended up being right on the way to where we were heading except we were majorly crunched for time. We had reservations, and had to check into our wigwam before the front office closed for the night. But Two Guns!!!! It looked amazing. We had to stop, there was no two ways about it. We agreed we'd only spend ten minutes there so we both got out of the car and literally ran from building to building snapping photos like crazy. The ten minutes was up in no time at all. We got back to the car gasping for breath and full of adrenaline. My pictures weren't that great, and I'd love to reshoot it but it's honestly one of my favorite memories from the whole trip. Now we've started referring to times that we rush around an abandoned property due to any kind of time restraint as "going Two Guns"

This motel was totally awesome but I think my favorite part will always be the adventure of it. It was wide open and not a challenge to get to at all but running across a divided highway and dashing around in the freezing cold was so much fun. We definitely went Two Guns on that place!

*Some of my Two Guns photos can be found in this post.


book review : Destination Truth

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Although I'm reading a lot less than I used to, not that you'd be able to tell these last few weeks, but I still want to blog about what I'm reading. The thing is by the time I get around to blogging about them I've forgotten exactly how they made me feel. From here on out I'll be posting about books in a slightly different format. I'll be posting about one book at a time, sharing the summary, a review, the bottom line, and suggestions for similar books if I have any. So here we go...
Destination Truth by Josh Gates

/// Summary
"Truth is stranger than legend . . . and your journey into both begins here.

World adventurer and international monster hunter Josh Gates has careened through nearly 100 countries, investigating frightening myths, chilling cryptozoological legends, and terrifying paranormal phenomena. Now, he invites fans to get a behind-the-scenes look at these breathtaking expeditions.

Follow Gates from the inception of the groundbreaking hit show (at the summit of Kilimanjaro) to his hair-raising encounters with dangerous creatures in the most treacherous locations on earth. Among his many adventures, he unearths the flesh-crawling reality of the Mongolian Death Worm, challenges an ancient curse by spending the night in King Tut’s tomb, descends into a centuries-old mine to search for an alien entity in subterranean darkness, pursues ghosts in the radioactive shadow of Chernobyl, and explores sightings of Bigfoot from the leech-infested rain forests of Malaysia to the dizzying heights of the Himalayas.

Part journey into the unexplained, part hilarious travelogue, part fascinating look at the making of a reality-based TV show—and featuring never-before-published photographs— this Destination Truth companion takes readers on the supernatural expedition of a lifetime"  - Summary from Amazon description

/// Review
It was Jeff that made me start watching the show Destination Truth. I wasn't too interested at first. Despite my love of cryptozoology, watching a show about someone searching for these creatures didn't sound like my cup of tea. It only took a few episodes before I was sold. The host, Josh Gates, is hilariously snarky, and just absolutely makes the show worth watching. It's hard not to love him. Of course I had to read his book!

This book is a quick, easy read that's made all the most interesting by the fact that you basically read it in his voice if you've seen the show. He's just as funny and enjoyable in this format. I may have laughed out loud more than once. I loved that most of the time I remembered the episode he was writing about. It's kind of like a fun behind the scenes peek. I'm not 100% sure how this book would be to someone who hasn't seen the show.

My only real complaint is that I wish it were longer! The summary from amazon makes it seem as though you'll be hearing lots about each of his adventures but in reality each chapter is fairly short, and his adventures almost seem glossed over. I just wanted more, which I guess isn't necessarily a bad thing. Always leave them wanting more...
///  Bottom line
Watch the show, then read the book. You won't be disappointed but be warned, you're going to want to travel after you're finished.


Brite Winter 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I think it's safe to say that just about everyone in Cleveland is feeling a bit stir crazy this time of the year which is why Brite Winter couldn't be a more perfect event. Brite Winter is an annual outdoor, winter art and music festival that happens right in the heart of my new neighborhood. The festival, founded in 2010, is a free event that is made possible through donations, community grants and partnerships. This year's festival had more then 60 musical acts (including Maps & Atlases) on a total of eight different stages located around the neighborhood, some outside and some indoors. There were games including bowling, giant skee-ball, and an angry birds version of cornhole. Best of all, the streets were lined with food trucks! Mmmm, tacos! The festival is the perfect excuse to get outside, no matter the weather, eat, mingle with your neighbors, and drink - if that's your thing.
Not too long ago an event with this many people would have been completely overwhelming for me but I seriously had such a blast. Something clicked and all of sudden I'm standing there rooting on strangers while they bowl, and giggling at their "that's what she said" jokes. By the end of the night my cheeks hurt from smiling. It's impossible to be in a bad mood when surrounded by so many other happy people. It was amazing to watch my neighborhood come alive. There was no where else in the world I would have rather been.

Photographing this sort of thing isn't exactly my forte, and taking photos in a crowd is still a little nerve-wracking for me even though I'm well aware it's not actually a big deal but about halfway through my time there I was like "I haaaave to take pictures!" I'm proud to live in such an awesome place. One of my goals this year was to share more about why I love Cleveland so much on the blog, well here is a prime example. I love this place!

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It's the little things...

Monday, February 23, 2015

At the beginning of last week Jeff text me about how he was so sick of the winter and was dying to go shoot photos. I replied "ditto! let's get out" assuming that would I mean I would have to grudgingly bundle up and head out into the negative temperatures for a few hours. His response was "let's go on a trip!" Two days later we're in the car heading down to Virginia, he had booked us a hotel in Norfolk.

It was supposed to be an escape from the cold but the day previous to our arrival Norfolk had been hit with a pretty intense snow storm. They apparently weren't too prepared, and the roads were kind of awful so after finding macarons and eating a burger we retired to our hotel room fairly early. As cold as it was there it was still an improvement and we were both excited to escape our city for a bit. While Cleveland was experiencing temperatures as low as -25, Norfolk was around 20 degrees.
The next morning we woke up before the sun so we could hurry down to the beach and watch it rise over the ocean. It was absolutely freezing but well worth it for the sight. This is one of those times where I'm not super pumped about my photos but once I get over the initial "I could have shot that better" I know I'll be really happy I have them. Watching the sun rise and set with Jeff is one of my all time favorite things. It never fails to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Funny story - For our first date I suggested we watch the sun rise together. We agreed upon a place, time, and date. I woke up super early that morning to make sure I looked extra cute, bundled up and headed to the beach. Nearly a half hour after the sun rose I realized this butthead wasn't going to show up. I played it cool and texted him something along the lines of "Hey, you didn't show! Hope you're okay and nothing happened!" He text me back almost instantly. He had overslept and my text woke him up. We finally met up later that day but I'm probably never going to let him live that down.
I was pretty excited to find coral on the beach. Lake Erie doesn't really have many interesting things that wash up on the beach, I mean if you exclude giant water bugs and trash, so even frozen coral is intriguing to me. I'm also a fan of sea foam. It was killing me that it was so cold there, I wanted to stick my hands in it so badly.
Back in Ohio, I'm still hating winter just as much as before we left for our quick trip but it was a great escape, even if it wasn't a warm one.

Two posts into my "the little things" series and both include Jeff and a sun setting or rising on the beach. Whoops!

TDS makes

project 365 // days 45 - 51

Saturday, February 21, 2015

45: 365 Jeff kept saying he didn't know what our plans were for Valentine's Day so I wasn't expecting too much. When we woke up that morning he asked what time it was. 8:30, I responded. "Good because we have breakfast reservations at La Petite Triangle at 10" That's my favorite little spot, they have the most delectable lemon curd crepe so I was pretty giddy. When we arrived there were flowers on our table waiting for me that he had went and dropped off the night before. D'awww! I might have cried a little bit about how sweet that was. It was a wonderful morning. La Petite Triangle is a super cozy cafe and coupled with the snow falling outside, it was absolutely lovely!
When we got back home I found these two being absolutely ridiculous. Running around like crazy, pouncing on each other, and tunneling under the drop cloth. When I got out the camera they stopped, and acted like "What?! We weren't doing anything!"
46 : 365 Current work in progress.
 47 : 365 Sleepy little dude. See the cute little birthmark on his tongue? I love it.
 48 : 365 Packing to take a quick trip with Jeff. I just realized I kind of have a habit of photographing my cameras before trips.  
See here, here, + here.
49 : 365 Our first stop was a scenic overview in Frederick, Maryland. I approached the ledge first, when I looked over I spotted a herd of deer. There were at least ten or so of them. I kiiind of scared them off before Jeff could come look by saying "AWWWWW!" really loud. Sorry again.
50 : 365 A few of Thursday's stops; an abandoned house, cactus outside someone's house, and a giant viking statue.
51 : 365 Instant photo from the day previous.
You can read more about this camera here.

daily life

listening, playing, watching

Thursday, February 19, 2015

On my 2015 blog reader survey at the beginning of the year I asked for specific post ideas that you guys would be interested in seeing.* I actually had few people express interest in a series of posts similar to my "what I've been reading" posts except with television, movies, and video games. Definitely a fun idea so here we go!
In my monthly recap posts you probably might have noticed that I get stuck in musical loops. I will listen to a band over and over and over until I can't stand it anymore. That's actually pretty common with me and anything - when I discover something I like, I am obsessed. When I realized I liked iced chai, I drank it like my life depended on it. Orange chicken? I've been to the mall more in the last few months, just to get chicken, than I've been there in the past few years combined. Music is the same way.

Lately I've just been listening to LOTS of Aesop Rock, and even more Tim Kasher. It's kind of funny because I always say I hate sad music, and Tim Kasher's lyrics are gut-wrenching but it's all so catchy! I just can't stop. I've always liked Cursive but only recently gotten into his solo stuff. LOVE IT.

Aesop rock is always in my rotation of music. Definitely one of my all time favorites, standing beside Man Man and Why?. The last few weeks though I've been obsessed with Labor Days. Something clicked and even though I've heard it a hundred times before I was like "THIS IS THE BEST ALBUM EVER" I'm gonna need it on vinyl, asap.

We actually got to see Aesop Rock last week, along side Rob Sonic and DJ Abilities. It was nothing short of amazing. I'd been checking his website on an almost weekly basis for SO long waiting for tour dates to show up and shortly before Christmas a Cleveland date showed up. Looks like he's on tour for about another month. You should probably try to go...

Homeboy Sandman is also touring with them. This was my first time hearing him and I wasn't sold. It was almost like every other song was something that might be able to grow on me and the others I didn't like...at all. When I came home I looked him up on Spotify to give his music another chance.  I basically still feel the same way but I might be obsessed with this song. According to last.fm I've listened to it, uh, 30 times in the last seven days. Haha.
Since Christmas I've been playing Hyrule Warrior. I wasn't actually too excited about it. I normally buy new LoZ games as soon as they come out but I was perfectly happy just waiting for Santa to bring this one. It might not have been marketed as the next big Zelda game for WiiU but it's probably my favorite since Majora's Mask. This game rules, there's just so much to do. The fact that I've been playing since Christmas should be some indication of that. You can play in a few different modes, as different characters, and you get to collect items and upgrade weapons. Since most of the levels are fairly short (less than twenty minutes) you can sit down, play a level and not ruin your whole day sucked into a game. Seriously, such a blast!
Jeff and I just finished watching the fourth season of American Horror Story. I got an apple TV not too long ago and never really did anything with it other than watch Netflix. We just discovered we could log into Jeff's cable and watch all those channels too so we can finally watch AHS. When we realized we could do this and that it would actually play we paused it and both looked at each other. He said something like "Can we just talk about how exciting this is!?" It was a really cute moment.  Anyway, this season was definitely better than last. It had it's moments when I was just like "no! what?!" but it was enjoyable.  Now that we've finished that I'm not sure what we'll start. Any TV series recommendations? Curling up in bed with Jeff, and all the animals (Yes, you heard that right! All the animals!) to watch it is always one of my favorite parts of the day.

And that's what I've been listening to, playing and watching! What about you?

*Although the survey is now closed, if you have a post suggestion feel free to contact me!

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