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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

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Photos by Jenny Rogers.

Midwest Love

1 Jul

Image via.

I had really mixed feeling about Pinterest when I initially signed up. “Another way for us to curate fake, digital lives… yay” was pretty much exactly what I thought. Slash said aloud to anyone that would listen, as I have a tendency to do.

But then this weird thing happened, and Pinterest grew on me – I began to view it less as a channel for showing off my “great taste” (the quotes make that a joke, for anyone quick to judge… that’s what quotes do, OK?) and more of a way to find inspiration for everyday life.

From outfit styling to recipes, I really have found a lot of useful… stuff… on the old pin-board site. And because HJR, if nothing else, is a venue for me to share neat “stuff,” I give you A Few Of My Favorite Pins – a weekly column through which I’ll share what I think are some of the week’s most interesting, inspiring, and straight-up-genius things I’ve found on the Big P. Any maybe, occasionally, because I am Jenny… a good-looking fella. We’ll see.

The Mid-West T pictured above is basically perfect. And I need it, basically now. And it’s less than $20! T-shirt steal. Always a good thing. Pinned from Joanna Goodard’s brilliant Pinterest/blog, and available here.

These candlesticks, available at Urban Outfiitters, are to die for. And, because I’m me, I actually have a tub full of candles just looking for the right candlestick. Don’t ask why.

This white eyelet romper from Zimmermann is exactly what I picture when I think “perfect summer outfit for JR.” Available at Barneys. And therefore out of my price range, natch.

I almost had to catch the drool when I saw these map-tastic walls. Man… I really love maps. I guess photographer Joakim Blockström’s portfolio includes even more images of these walls, but his site’s down. Ah, well.

This is the kind of photo that just stops me in. my. tracks. Can’t even deal with the cool. No idea who took the image because the Tumblr it was found on didn’t source (tsk, tsk) but I plan to find out…

Of course my pal Erin Rudy would have pinned these Jack and Coke slushies, which you can find at Victory Sandwich Bar in Atlanta, GA. Or, you know, make yourself, with a blender. Yum. And cheers!

This fridge, initially via the blog Home and Décor. The color! It’s so dreamy.

These windows at the Columbus Anthropologie store are breathtaking… naturally dyed paper flowers, people!

Now this is camping. Hocking Hills crew… sure we don’t want to do this instead? OK but are you really sure?