Friday, September 28, 2012

Short Challenge

My shorts are complete (thanks once again to Sara at The Sewing Studio and her patient instruction). All I have to do is sew the bottom seam and neckline of my shirt, which will complete my outfit, take an artsy picture of myself and call challenge no. 28 a day.




Thursday, September 27, 2012

şut kitap

Latest Smash Book additions (for challenge no. 26), most of which are from my trip to Turkey.

If you'd like to see my pictures from said trip (so far, as I haven't downloaded images from the last few days of the trip), click here.

 I try and keep a business card from every restaurant and shop I visit.

 Thick-stock postcard from an artsy shop.

 All of my tickets and passes to various attractions.

My talented cousin's discarded sketch for a work-related project.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ten Months In: Progress Report

I have 60-ish days to finish my short film, perform my Japanese tea ceremony, print my photo series into a book, write a sad story, do a self-portrait of me in my homemade outfit, outline the rest of my novel and submit it to a publisher.

So...yeah. Don't call me. I probably won't be available.

The challenges in blue are the ones I'm actively working on. The challenges in green are the ones that are completed. The challenges in purple are the ones that I haven't started but are "in the works" or being planned out.
  1. Do yoga three days a week.
  2. Give a stranger $100. Film it and post it on YouTube.
  3. Eat 29 cupcakes in 29 days and write a review of each. 
  4. Research and identify 10 procedural reforms that would help move congress and the executive office back to being a government of the people and for the people. Print these 10 reforms on handout cards and distribute to anyone and everyone you know. Post them on your Facebook page and website. 
  5. Travel overseas, ride trains only, and put together a collection of photos titled "Window Seat."
  6. Sit in silence and stillness each morning for 15 minutes before you start your day.
  7. Write and direct your own short film and submit it to a film festival.
  8. Spend one night in a women's shelter, make a connection and offer to take family portraits.
  9. Make and bottle your own wine. Save it for a future birthday.
  10. Lie down on your back in a NYC street and pretend to be a dead bug. 
  11. Write a sad story about a girl who gets the things she always wanted -- on your typewriter.  
  12. Make a conceptual photo series, preferably a book. 
  13. Your 27th and 28th years were characterized by massive life changes that included a move and job change; my challenge is make one more life change. I'm not going to define it, but some suggestions would be: take another step with Austin, get a friend for Dagmar, get involved with something you care about in an incredibly inconvenient capacity.
  14. Take flying lessons.
  15. Do 200 crunches and three 1-minute planks every other day. And assist your scared, almost-grad cousin in finding a job in Atlanta New York. 
  16. End every day by writing down one positive thing that happened in the previous 24 hours.
  17. Learn how to perform an authentic Japanese tea ceremony.
  18. Get a photo (or photos) into a gallery/showing AND/OR sell one of your photos.
  19. A year-long water challenge: Drink 1 liter of water per day, wade across a stream, swim across a pool, row across a lake or pond, and fly across an ocean.
  20. Make and bring your lunch 2 out of 5 days a week.
  21. Manifest yourself in an act of humanitarianism that permanently and positively enriches the life of a child. The act may not be accomplished with direct financial, but must involve sacrifice of your time and attention.
  22. Research your Jewish heritage going back at least four generations. 
  23. Pay one compliment to a different person every day.
  24. Raise a basil plant and name it Kyle.
  25. Take an art class and create an original painting.
  26. Keep a Smash Book (scrapbook) for the year.
  27. Write words (the grouping of letters that hints of story and promise), even if it's only one line or thought or idea, in a momentary embrace of lapse of reason, everyday, and incorporate these words into a future novel.
  28. Learn to sew, design an outfit, make it, do a self-portrait in it.
  29. Attend 10 religious services. Record your impression of each. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

McBride Invasion

This is a picture of my cousin, Kaleigh, at her desk at work. In NYC. At an ad agency. At work. Where she is working.

I may have had something to do with this. And so, challenge no. 15 (well, part of it), I bid you farewell.

Congrats, Kaleigh!

To view Kaleigh's portfolio for full-time graphic design/art direction position, visit

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Accidental Photo Series

I know I already had challenge no. 12 (create a conceptual photo series) figured out, but this just happened. Presenting the cats of Istanbul:









Friday, September 14, 2012

Istanbul Bound

Tomorrow I depart for the glorious city of Istanbul, where I will dabble in some Turkish bathing, rug haggling, and Bosphorus cruising.

Blogging shall resume on Tuesday the 25th.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Reform Wrap-up

Here is the printed version (front and back) of my ten government procedural reforms per challenge no. 4. I've been handing these out to coworkers, strangers, food truck workers, airport agents, dog walkers, fellow bikers, that one guy at FedEx who printed them for me, and kindergarteners (their tiny minds are easily influenced).

Also, there is a certain challenge issuer who will be receiving one in the mail...

(Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sew Close

I've started making the shirt that will go with my shorts for challenge no. 28 (learn to sew, design an outfit, make it, do a self portrait in it). This endeavor was much more simple and sane than the bottom half of the outfit, mostly because I could just cut out two pieces and sew them together. In fact, I'm nearly done.

Once again I enlisted the help of Sara from The Sewing Studio in NYC. I told her what I had in mind, and she helped me create/cut out my very own pattern and then get to work. I learned how to finish sleeves and measure a bust and create the neckline I wanted. This is definitely something I'm confident I could do again and again. A priceless skill to have. I just feel sorry for my future children who will be forced to wear the same shirt for the first 18 years of their lives.

Here is a little sneak peek:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kale Salad, Battersby Style

Earlier this year my Uncle Richard and I dined at Battersby in Brooklyn, per his keen pulse on the NYC restaurant scene. Not only did it meet our expectations, but the kale salad in particular blew us away. So my excitement was palpable when he informed me that this month's Bon Appetit magazine featured the recipe, as the "dish of the year" no less. Perfect lunch recipe for challenge no. 20:

I collected the majority of my ingredients at the Union Square Green Market and then went to work:

 Crispy Tuscan kale.

 Dressing of lime juice, red Thai chili, minced garlic, fish sauce and sugar.

Finished product!

Obviously it wasn't as perfect as the original, but it was one of the better/more interesting salads I've ever made at home. The dressing has that perfect sweet/hot balance, and the crispy kale brings a delightful texture to an otherwise "regular" salad. I kept all of the ingredients separate so that I could build it at work today for lunch.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Smashing Books, Records

A peek into my Smash Book (challenge no. 26) as of late:

 Good writing. One of my favorite claps.

 Cool illustration.


 Chicago Half Marathon. New personal best.

A few of my favorite things: Ace Hotel, healthy food find.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


No, that's not a typo. Here are four photos to add to my photo series (challenge no. 12), which I haven't officially developed a name for yet (although I have grown fond of "Discarted"). In this series I take pictures of paper towels used (and eventually discarded) in art projects. They are not the things that are meant to be beautiful or meant to be showcased afterward. But they can be beautiful and I wanted to see if I could capture that. The larger they are, the more striking they become, so I urge you to click on each image.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Standard Shipping from Japan

I have almost purchased everything I need to perform my authentic(ish) Japanese tea ceremony (challenge no 17). Here is my latest haul, courtesy of the Internet. The ceremony will take place some time in October.

 Fukusa (square silk cloth)

 Kakemono (hanging scroll). On it is a drawing of the poet Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) and a poem that translates into: "An old pond, a splashing sound of a frog jumping in."

Futa-oki (ladle rest)

Kensui (water basin)

Mizusashi (cold water container)