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Perspective

26 May

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And a year later, I’m back.

Hello (five or six) followers out there: major apologies for my extreme absence. A lot’s happened in the last year, and though it may not make sense to anyone but me, posting to HJR just couldn’t (or wouldn’t, I suppose) be a priority.

I visited Chicago this long weekend to spend time with a friend. This morning, before packing up and hitting the road, I wandered around Lake Shore Drive and up and down Division Street, snapping some shots in an attempt to regain what was, years ago, the potential for a mediocre-slash-decent photography hobby. The shot above is the one I’m most happy with from my morning excursion. The sky was just a bit too hazy today.

In any case, shortly after I took that photo I sat down at a bench—with a croissant and a cup of black coffee, because who needs a diet, amirite?—and an older gentleman and his little pup came over and plopped down beside me. We talked for nearly 40 minutes about his dog, his career (menswear designer, Chicago via Providence, Rhode Island), my career (within a dying industry … his words, not mine), regret, living life to its fullest, trying new things, traveling. Oh, and the best route back to Columbus. It was one of the more unusual and pleasant conversations I’ve had in some time, and when I eventually got up to leave I did so feeling a little lighter, a little happier and definitely inspired.

I mention this now, I guess, because it seemed like such a classic “everyone comes into your life for a reason” scenario. I almost went to Starbucks like a lazy slob, but instead walked the few additional blocks to check out the corner bakery. Then, I contemplated eating there, indoors, but decided to have a seat in the park instead. Maybe I’m looking for drama—for serendipity—where there isn’t any. But regardless, it was an encounter that, later in the day, felt totally necessary. I’m happy I bumped into that old man and his little dog Gracie. I’m happy he happened to be one of those “talk to anyone” open-book types that seemed genuinely interested in both sharing his story and hearing mine.

It’s been a wonderful yet difficult, almost surreal, year. And lately has been the most difficult. And while this blog isn’t intended to be personal—but instead an away-from-work creativity outlet—it seems important to share this, if for no other reason than simple context. My lesson these past couple weeks has been that each of us, especially those of us who feel a need to create and to share, should do our best not to lose that sense of self. It’s astonishingly easy to do, it seems. But hold on to your opinions and your ideas and your dreams for dear life. Because what else is there, really?

Ultimately, like the gentleman (whose name I didn’t even catch, incredibly) said to me this morning: There’s no point in regrets, and no point in thinking you’ll ever have it all figured out. So here’s to moving forward—for all of you reading, because god knows we’re all dealing with something. And here’s to some consistent HJR posting. Because while most of you probably don’t need it, I certainly do!

Thanks for your patience, pals. I’ll have so much more for you very soon.

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(Things Are) Looking Up

30 Jan

Don’t forget to look up, too. DSC_0080

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Photos by Jenny Rogers.

All Pets Allowed

28 Jan

A super talented fella with a pretty good eye for fab design recently sent me a link to Desire to Inspire, and I’m lov-ing it. First things first: the concept of this blog is just so cool! Kim and Jo — the site’s masterminds/co-curators — have never once met. And yet! They’ve managed to pull together some pretty stellar content from across the world (Ottawa & Brisbane, respectively).

The blog is full of inspirational shots of out-of-this-world interiors, but one of the features I like best is Mondays pets on furniture. Fairly self-explanatory, but charming nonetheless. Folks from around the globe send Jo & Kim pictures of their furry loved ones hanging out on, well, the furniture. And it’s adorable.

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The above is my favorite: Obi “sitting on his favorite vintage chair.” You just know that dog is a straight-up gentleman.

Enjoy browsing! I know I am.

Straight-Up Dotty

27 Dec

confetti walls

In keeping with my NYE theme… what about this simple-meets-fanciful confetti photo backdrop!? And when I say simple… I mean… this is seriously simple. You’ll need: scissors, colorful paper, the ability to cut circles and of course, a blank wall. As always… more is more, party people.

Brick by Brick

25 Sep

What I would do for an exposed brick.

These photos are of a Melbourne, AU, cafe called Tomboy, taken by photographer Lilli Waters. I’d definitely stop in for a cup of joe. And some serious gawking.

Mumford, Maps & Myriad Links

17 Aug

This week was a doozy, folks. Busy, busy, busy both at and away from work. Sorry about the lack of posts… I keep telling myself that the fall will give me more time for things like HJR, but I think that may be a silly thing to think.

So, as for my week, the highlight was definitely the Mumford & Sons show on Tuesday night (and as for the song at the link… I can’t even). The LC really did us a favor with the festival setup out back, and Mumford, Dawes and Apache Relay all put on a fantastic, raucous show.

Also exciting was the arrival, this afternoon, of the above. I ordered this from one of those bargain sites (specifically, Touch of Modern), last week, and I’m super excited to have it hanging on my walls. My love of London (and maps) really knows no bounds, and this baby’s a map of all of London’s streets – complete with cycle routes! The map’s from a UK-based company called The Future Mapping Company, and if you’re as into cartography as I am, check ’em out!

Although this week didn’t allow me much time to post a whole heck of a lot, I certainly happened upon a number of things that I found worth sharing.

And Then Some … an assortment of things that grabbed my interest this week:

The Short List came up with, well, a list of the 30 most stylish film characters. I’d have to agree with the Dude. No one holds a candle!

David Rakoff was a great storyteller. This clip is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

When I lived in Cleveland, I volunteered each weekend at the Cleveland Animal Protective League (APL). They shared today the story of Wyatt, a pup who was left in a pretty crummy situation and missing a back paw. This video tells a bit about Wyatt’s story so far, and by clicking here you can donate to his recovery and the creation of his prosthetic!

God, how out of touch is Paul Ryan? Rage? Really? Does he not underst..nevermind. Mind melt. (Also, one time Stef, Mar and I saw Zack de la Rocha on the street in Chicago – with his mom – and he seemed like a total dork. Which was cool).

More from the Gawker universe: Donald Trump is such a blowhardI’m sorry… I mean loser.

Ugh to Putin, but also Ugh to Reuters. How, again, is a short skirt  relavent to this story?

These sculptures are incredible!

Loving this gift-wrap idea.

I’m convinced that the universe is trying to get me to go into an American Eagle again. This is just more proof.

One of the most important things you will click on this year. Trust me.

Big Meals, Big Moments & The Death of Creativity

10 Aug

The meal of an Olympic male figure skater, via photographer Michael Bodiam.

The Internet is full of so much garbage. But also some pretty great stuff. You just have to do some sifting to find the real gems, like photographer Michael Bodiam’s take on an Olympic meal infographic. I’m not sure where he got his information – I’m assuming he did some digging to find out what these athletes munch on when they’re off the courts, out of the pools, etc. – but I’m super impressed nonetheless.

It’s just so charming!

And Then Some … an assortment of things that grabbed my interest this week:

Mohawk guy, obviously.

The Olympics end on Sunday, and it’s been a pretty fun ride. This moment was one of my favorites.

Indie rock meets MLB trade deadline… I know nothing about baseball, but got a chuckle out of this anyway.

More fun stuff from Paste… Avett cover art! Animated no less. Getting very, very excited for Sept. 11.

Misogyny so nice, they did it twice.

Looking forward to a new alb. from these crazy kids.

Something new to covet… Plomo shoes.

Digging this Lolla photo, taken by my pal Ryka. Wish I had seen the shows, but not sad I missed the evac. Yikes!

You guys! It’s really happening!