Monthly Archives: November 2014

Room Tour: The Hare’s Den

Chicago - Interiors - Photography

Spaces and interiors have been a fascination since I was little. I made paper doll ‘houses’ with old JC Penny catalogs. Set up ‘houses’ for my stuffed toys with items found around the house and I got a drafting set when I was kid and drew dozens of spaces that probably had no viability engineering wise, but they certainly had an abundance of towers and windows. I like to look at a space and see how I can transform it. My favorite assignment during my 2009 internship with Big Shoulders Digital Media in Chicago was the design and home shows. My favorite part of Halloween when I was a kid? Getting to peek behind the adult to look into their living room.

Thus, I redid the den recently. Relatively recently. One roommate moved out, another moved in and I took the opportunity to make the den over. I resisted for a while. I didn’t want to spend any money. But it became too much to bear and any of you who like a nice space will see why. The before and after is a transformation I’m proud of, on a shoe string budget, and something I enjoy doing when the opportunity presents itself.

I liked that I could decorate the room, and none of my roommates would care. Being guys, it only mattered that there was a couch and TV. So I combed Craigslist, communicated with sellers, rented cars through Enterprise Car Share, and transformed the space, all by myself. It was a huge task. Each time I rented a car it was a bus trip to the car, a drive to the item, and drive back home to drop off the item, a drive to drop off the car, and a bus back to the apartment. I repeated this process 3 times. At one point I was carrying a bright red Crate and Barrel wool rug on the bus. I was damned if I was going to get in a cab, especially after what I was going to spend on a couch and possibly on other items. Finally I had the room decorated to my liking. No there’s nothing on the walls yet, and perhaps the space needs a floor lamp but on the whole it’s inviting and not too cluttered.

A clean and simple space resulted and it looks good. I can take pride that it’s a project I did entirely on my own, though I will thank my roommate for helping me carry the couch down a flight of spiral stairs. Oy.

You never know what you can find when you get things second hand, and I made it to Bucktown, South Loop, West Town, and Lincoln Park in the space of two days to complete my den. Enjoy the room tour!

Mini-Post Monday: Weekend Up North in Michigan

Photography - Travel

This year I decided to take a bit more initiative and do what I love best on my birthday weekend: travel. It wasn’t far, but it was to a well-loved spot in Northern Michigan where our family has a house. I could be mostly alone, cozy-ed up on the couch, and enjoy the last of the fall leaves before they all fell. Now they are under a good amount of snow, but I’m remembering my 26th as fun, relaxing, and just what I needed.

I made this decision in part because it was a teensy bit disappointing the year before and I didn’t want that to happen again. 24 was not much better. 23 either come to think of it… I sat at the kitchen table with a single cupcake, by myself. I even stuck a little candle in it so I could make a wish. But this year was not about being sorry for myself. I called my Aunt and arranged a mini family weekend during my favorite season in Northern Michigan. I did all of my favorite things. Read. Eat good food. Go to a book store. There was even a bonus boat ride. I didn’t want to set myself up to be disappointed this year; I’m not the kind of person that holds a big party any way. So I made the decision that life really is what you make it, cheesy as that sounds.

 

What Do You Want to Be Known For?

Chicago

What do you want to be known for?

The question is posed as if it’s a simple one with a simple answer. All I have to do is type a ‘career’ or ‘hobby’ in the search box and that’s what I’ll be known for. I’m not sure if I can type two things, or if I type one thing and hit enter that that one thing will be it. I’ll have made my decision and be known for that one thing online forever and ever and there is no going back.

Because isn’t the internet forever? A surprisingly fluid medium, the internet, not like a lock box, a safe or a file cabinet. It’s a cloud, it’s the airwaves, it’s ethereal but so, so, so permanent. Taking something off the internet is useless. It’s there, and whatever decision you make about what you write, post, or how you conduct yourself, it’s there for good, NSA scrubbing notwithstanding.

Let me back up and say that what prompted this question, and my subsequent puzzlement over the answer. It is this new blog, my ‘personal brand’, where I want it to go, and what my ‘social presence’– connected to my blog and thereby my brand, is and will be.

I’m on Klout. Trying to figure out my social media ‘stuff’. They’ve posed this question, and I don’t know how to answer it. I don’t think I will. It’s too big of a decision to make online. I keep track of my score anecdotally (still new remember) and it’s interesting to watch what happens when I try something new, when I work to consistently be engaged, or use just the right amount of hashtags on the right sites.

It’s fun to see the score go up, it’s fun to see any score go up. The very fact that it’s a score and not something else calls to mind a game, a contest. But the answer to the question ‘what do I want to be known for’ doesn’t really seem something I should answer lightly. Maybe I’m taking it too seriously, over thinking it a bit. But I’m going to think it over and maybe as far as social media is concerned I can come up with a good answer. As far as my life is concerned (they are not the same thing, are they…) I’ll take as long as I need to find the answer.