I have scoured the land for this week’s 5 links.

Behold, friends, some Internet fineries:

^ I just discovered the work of outsider artist JJ Cromer. I am besotted.

^ I also just discovered Linda Tegg’s work. My favorite series is the one with dogs (of course).

The Sororitea Sisters is #4 on the Top 100 Tea Blogs & Websites for Tea Enthusiasts! I’m a proud Sister, and I’m so psyched about this. My posts are here.

In praise of soda: an article I fully support, even though I’m trying to drink less of the fizzy delight myself.

^ Figurines based on Heironymous Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights (and other works) are available. I want every one of them. Will you help me convince my husband they’re in line with our décor?

Did you find anything you really dug this week?



Photo of the week: Beagle Hug!

New feature: Photo of the Week!

If you’d like me to explain this feature, please see me after class.


The story behind this photo:

My dog, Willie, spent the weekend being chased by a friend’s 2-year-old.

The toddler doesn’t say much, but he can definitely say “I love you, Willie.”

My ovaries hurt.

I may need assistance, actually.

Learning to Take Photos Again

Confession: I don’t think I’m a good photographer any more.

I once considered myself hot shit. I had a digital camera while my friends were still rocking disposable cameras. I sort of knew how to use Photoshop. I knew how to select one color, and then make everything else black and white (like this, which emphasizes the red). That technique impressed the living hell out of everyone.

Now I think I’m sort of terrible.


A lot of this has to do with the limitations of my DSLR camera.

It’s old, and not very sensitive to light. There are newer ones that are faster, which means more light absorption and less trying to stand still in low-light conditions.

The auto-focus is broken. I have to manually focus everything. Which sometimes results in gorgeous surprises — but often means important photos are slightly out-of-focus because I’m not fast enough with my hands to focus and snap at the same time. 


But most of my shitty photos are, honestly, my fault.

I stopped taking photography seriously. I just snapped photos on my phone while I was out. My phone camera shots are pretty shitty, quality-wise, because I didn’t take them seriously.


More importantly, I got out of the habit of carrying my good camera around. Consequently, I am now slow to flick between the settings of my good camera. I forget to turn off the “indoor white balance” when I’m outside or in sunny rooms, making everything blue. I fucked up the photos I was taking of my friends’ daughter’s first birthday. (You can see the blue there that I tried — and failed, to reduce in Photoshop.)


People are like “come! Take photos of my event!” and my heart wells in dread. I might get the perfect photo, or I might fail utterly.

When I show up, I take as many photos as possible.

My sweaty fingers are crossed when I load the photos onto my computer. I hope just posting a few photos makes me look selective, not incompetent.

I guess the answer is just… practice, practice, practice. Boring solution. But practical.

Fat Legs, Vicious Lovebirds, and Drowning Mermaids: 8 True Facts About My Youth

I am not making any of this up.


“When I grow up, I want to be a cheerleader,” a girl in my kindergarten said.

“Me, too!” I chimed.

“With those legs?” she asked.


When I was little, I’d put my legs together to form a “fin” and practice “swimming like a mermaid” across the pool. It wasn’t an efficient water traversing method.


My aunt & uncle left the electric fence around their sheep enclosure on when we were visiting. I climbed on it. I later asked why the fence “felt funny” and everyone panicked.