a failure of massive proportions

Both mine, and my hard-drive's.

365 and blog are officially on hiatus for the foreseeable future.

...Not that that'll make much difference in the frequency of my updates.


postcard to dublin

a title thingy and a nature walk

(^^Click for bigger. This one looks better bigger. I promise.)

Saturday's nature walk was productive in many, many ways.



skype solutions and a birthday


Hello 4th year of bloggery! Happy birthday, neglected blogchild.

The Boy*links to above image*
Me: Back in the drawer, duh. If they're dirty enough that they'll dirty the clean stuff, you shouldn't be wearing them again.
Me: .... 
Me: I solved the internet!
The Boy: lol, grats honey
Me: thanks babe
Me: I'll be sure to take you with me when they move me into the palace


hair: i haz it

that is all.


sooops, sooooooooops

Part 1:
1 carton (low sodium, preferably) chicken broth
2  small or 1 huge tomato, roughly chopped into approx. 1" pieces
1 small or half of a huge red onion, roughly chopped into approx. 1" pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced (trust me. do it.)
1 hefty squirt of sriracha a.k.a. rooster sauce (do this according to your own heat tolerance, but I can handle a fair bit and I'm a wuss with spicy foods)
4 very generous dashes of dried basil
1 can cannellini beans or whatever canned beans you have on hand. (Don't rinse them, and add everything from the can into the pot.)
1 splash (1.5 tablespoons..ish) of veggie oil/olive oil/peanut oil/glistening baby sweat

combine all ingredients in pot,
put heat on high,
achieve boil
cover pot
maintain gentle boil for 30 minutes, 20 if you cut your onion/tomato into a teeny tiny dice


Part 2:
2 boneless chicken thighs

rinse thighs, chop into 2cm chunks (about 3/4ths of an inch),
(nothing about this recipe requires precision, so don't sweat it, just try to keep them roughly the same size)
add to soup, cook uncovered for additional 20 minutes.

taste broth
add salt if needed
taste broth
if not slightly spicy with delicious flavors, add more sriracha and simmer another 10 minutes
taste broth
then job well done.

a light sprinkle of parmesan or goat cheese (or nutritional yeast, as I did in the photo above) on top  would not be a bad thing.

gone in 60 seconds

So.  Papers are papered, finals are finalized, klasses are kaput, and I'm *officially* headed back to Brown in the fall but possible also in the summer.

Time to take a breath? Ha.

Before and After 2

the world economy, in summary


*also representative of the more personally relevant tiffconomy, as well.



And by that I mean the Philadelphia Museum of Art. of course.
(remember all photos are clickable for increased size, girth, and performance)

Upon arriving, I spotting some premium reflection on the top of a glass case full of ... things that were clearly less interesting than the reflection.

This lil statue was cool. If only it were unattended and my bag weren't full.

I liked this shiny too, but it was definitely too big to fit into my bag. Unguarded, though. Damn the luck. 

Yeahh.. you know you'd want jade rings and gold leaf all over your cloisonne-enameled 
doggy-boudoir too, if you could. Nice job spoiling Fido, ancient China. 

But the Nepal-Tibet room. Oooooh, that's the room that stole my heart. Small shiny things, beautifully displayed.
This statue was supremely cool. Very creepy once you actually started to study what the elephant dude was doing to the upside down dude. What has been seen cannae be unseen, and all that. 
My museum companion took photos of things too. And I took photos of her taking photos of things. Then we fell into a loop in space/time and haven't been seen since. 


Halfway through the museum I took a brief intermission to photograph the pretty things outside the museum as well. 
This last shot was seriously a pain in the rump to get, as there was a clear walkway behind me, but the few people nearby (including my companion) decided to not just walk in front of me, but to actually STAND directly in front of me as well. Yeah, I'm just holding this heavy camera to my face because it matches my earrings. 

~Intermission over~

So back we are to the other side of the museum, where even the art was trying to run away from the art. 
The statue seems to be saying "No, nooooo, don't let the terrible drab flowers of blobby awfulness get meeeeee! Nooooooooooo."

Or maybe that was me. Whatever.

I really liked this ballerina statue in the next room, even though I kind of hated ballet itself. Or was it tap? I think it was tap-dance classes actually. The shoes were slippery and the floor was hard to land on. :( 
Anyway, this ballerina had managed to run away from the godawful painting in the previous room, and was actually pretty cool. Very odd skirt thing, it looked like bronzed fabric, I'm not sure what it really was, and there were too many museum people around for me to attempt to fondle knowledge out of it.

To the left of the ballerina was this. It was epically large, and awesome, and looked like Peter Jackson was just off screen, directing the painter. 

Henri-Joseph Harpignies, directly descended from the Harfoots of Brandybuck. 

The Modern Art room was.... modern. And also had a bonus creepy Frenchman that delighted in following veerrrry close behind me in an otherwise spacious and fairly empty room. He was invading my personal space so much that I finally fled into the next room though I wasn't done exploring the current one. But he immediately followed me into the next room, actually breaking into a jog to keep up with my sudden change of direction. Fortunately for me, his friends were sitting on a bench near the next exhibit and called him off the chase. He looked disappointed to lose the opportunity to  lure me into a back room, chloroform me, and then feed me my own enucleated eyeballs.  

This was the last exhibit in the modern art section, and was even creepier than the French dude. From the front, an eye. From behind, reflections of highly eerie faces.

I really liked this little adorable statue couple thing. It definitely would have come home with me and gone in my dream garden as the world's best garden gnome replacement EVAR!!1!...  except that my companion refused to strap it under her shirt and pretend to be hunchbacked long enough for us to sneak out. Hmmph.

At the end of our wanderings we stopped by the fountain above, just past the random fireplace hallway. While sitting, I looked up and saw the guard. She was almost a piece of art herself; perfectly composed in her space.

Annnd this is the outside of the museum, taken when we got out at approximately itsfrickincold'o'clock. 

Okay. The end.  Get out. 

But before you go.... 

I leave you with this piece. 

Enigmatically titled: 




Before and After 1

lizzzards of fate

tiff: omg! Universe, did you just give me tendinitis?
tiff: i haets you so bad.


We had a spat the day before his grandfather died. He didn't do anything wrong, he just did something I didn't like and I had a right proper sulk about it at the time. Towards the end of the next day, during a moment of quiet, I apologized. He shushed me, tried to say it was all his fault, and when I called him on it, told me to shush because he was trying to make me feel better.  Even then, when everything's gone pear-shaped, he's still trying to make me feel better.

Fast forward a few days to last night, when a family member of mine (whose fucked up opinions still have the power to affect me negatively despite my knowledge of their fucked-upness) decided to go through most of my 365 photos thus far and systematically tell me:

A. why none of them were as good as they could have been,

B. how for several of the days, I'd taken a better shot (more accurately:  a less bad shot) than the one I'd chosen to upload and that I should've chosen better, and

C. how I was a cold and unfeeling person for uploading a shot that my father happens to be standing in. Not a shot of my father, but a shot where he walked into the frame when I only had time for one take. I knew he wouldn't mind, and in light of this family member's sanctimonious bitching concern, I showed him the photo today and he shrugged and said "You can't see my face anyway, so who cares?"  (Later, I mentioned this to said family member and she proceeded to say lots of charming things like "but you can see his shape *here she makes a hand gesture indicating fatness* and his saggy old man clothes!" Yeah. And she thinks I'm being mean to him by uploading a photo where he's standing 40 feet away from the camera? I dun think so.

But anyway, the conclusions were that  I'm a bad person. And I have no eye for composition, and know nothing about art and have no artistic vision or imagination. And the few details she did like in my photos? She compliments the greatness of my camera. Pointing out that she couldn't get those results with my camera only got me a huffy reply that it's clearly the camera + knowing how to operate the controls that's the key to getting photos equal to or better than mine.


It was rough. Really rough. And frustrating because, even though I know she has pretty crap knowledge/taste in photographs, I still feel raked over the coals when I want so desperately just to not care.  After she left I stared at my 365 like it was a tainted thing. It felt defiled. I felt defiled. The joy of the project was, at least at that moment, completely gone.

About 5 minutes after that, Oisin gets home (7:45am his time) after 4 hours of travel, and immediately logs onto skype. Without me saying a word other than a somewhat glum "hi," he's already checking flickr to see what photo I'd uploaded for the previous day. It'd been the last photo to be dissected for its flaws (and they were legion) less than 10 minutes earlier.

 [012/365] Crunchy Ice Coating with Chilled Leaf Filling

With him, if he doesn't like something, he'll let me know clearly and pretty quickly. But he immediately starts telling me how interesting it is, and how much he likes it, and I can hear the truth of it in his voice.

After a couple minutes' conversation, I tell him about what had just happened, and -even though he'd been up since 3am, even though he'd traveled several hours, even though he'd just come home from a funeral-  he decided that right that moment was a fine time to go through every single photo I'd uploaded and give me proper, in depth feedback on each one. And in the process he he reclaimed my project for me, purged it of all the negativity and harsh criticism, unfair attacks, and resentment that'd been heaped upon it.

No, he doesn't love every photo I take, but neither do I. And when I love a photo he doesn't, he marks it down to different taste, not to my inferiority as an individual or as an "artist". And I didn't choose her, but I get to chose him. And I choose him again every day.

And I am very, very lucky.

and now for our home viewers

Clicking the photos to see them in a larger size will make you a better person. And a  Nigerian prince will send you a miracle check guaranteed to increase your size and firmness. True story, the internets told me so.

[003/365] Tower of Learning

[004/365] backyards are mysterious places

[007/365] Hoom Hah

[009/365] In memorium.

And tomorrow, if you're really, really lucky, I will not give you details of today's conversation that re-confirmed that I'm dating the most ridiculously amazing male creature. But let's face it, you're probably not anywhere close to being that lucky.

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

sidenote: don't spoiler yourself.  Seeing the punch coming makes it hurt all the more.

Not only is it a really well-made documentary, it's the saddest thing I have ever watched. Previous contenders were The House of Sand and Fog. which was then replaced by Hotel Rwanda and Sometimes in April, which are both about the Rwandan genocide. Scripted tragedy like Sand and Fog doesn't really stand up to the power of real heartbreak.

And then Dear Zachary came along, and it is beyond real. It is... well, "heartbreaking" is so overused a word now, so trite that I don't quite think you'd get that watching it felt like something inside me was breaking too. That twisting, wrenching sensation in the chest/stomach that you get when you know things are going wrong in a terrible way, when life all of a sudden stops making sense, in the most tragic ways possible.

I was not a crier before this film, and I certainly won't be after, because my tear ducts have now officially quit.

Just right there, I was going to make a joke, was going to say they were filing a restraining order against me, but just thinking about that in context of the documentary made my stomach go a little cold. Maybe today is not the day for jokes. Maybe today is the day you hug those you love tightly. Today is the day you maybe cry a little at the senselessness of the world and the outdated, slow, and impotent legal system that every first-world country possesses. And today is the day you think that sometimes citizens might have the right to meet out justice when their government fails them, fails the ones they love, and fails everyone else in the process. Today is the day that the most staunch liberals consider, even just briefly, the idea that owning a gun might just come in handy. The day that athiests desperately wish there was an alm that could give protection, a tithe to be made, a candle to be lit that could ensure such tragedy would never touch their own lives.

But owning a gun won't help. Saying a prayer won't help. Because if there were things that could be done to prevent such senseless tragedy, it wouldn't be senseless, and it wouldn't be tragedy.

I don't know, I don't think I can speak eloquently about this movie right now, my entire body feels like a thousand pulsing raw nerves. I am not a crier. And maybe you aren't a documentary watcher. Maybe you don't like things that don't have that classical American-style happy ending. Maybe it's just not your thing. But maybe today just isn't like every other day, maybe today shouldn't be like every other day. Maybe today you'll watch it. And maybe you won't.

But today, if nothing else, say "I love you" just a little more often. Hug just a little tighter, have just thirty seconds more patience with the frustrations of loved ones, and laugh just a little more, a little louder, and with a little more joy.

a new year's 12.3 megapixel resolution

I'm going to do a 365 project. Which isn't any nonsense involving cycles of the sun/earth/astrophysics things, as your foolish teachers have taught you to believe. It is, in fact, an online project to take a (decent) photo-a-day for an entire year, and to post them to flickr every day, the day that you take them. It's a photographic challenge, a challenge to artistic persistence and perseverance, a challenge to fight apathy and procrastination. Or possibly just boredom.

I don't do well with long-term projects, I'm more of a sprinter- a short burst of energy then I'm onto the next thing. So this will be challenging in many ways, but I've wanted to do this project for so long, and this is my first new year's (the traditional starting day) with a decent enough camera. So here we go. To my future 365-self, I say goodluck, and get off your lazy ass.

I probably won't post much about the project here, but each day's photo will have its own page on my flickr. They will also appear in my lil flicker widget thingy on the side of this blog as well. That way --->>> 

But because I like you, you get today's photo on the house. ^_~