Thursday, December 30, 2010

How to Cook Everything

How to Cook Everything is my new favorite app and I haven't even made anything with it yet! Mark Bittman from the New York Times had one of the top rated cookbooks (printed) this year and then he went and had an app made for $5 with all of the recipes, hints, lists, and illustrations! It's amazing. I'm all for printed cookbooks, but this one is definitely more transportable and about $25 cheaper!

It's got essential recipes for all the basics and covers food from a variety of cultures including France, India, and Africa.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Year in Pictures: Weeks 3-5

I've still been doing my daily photos (although I must confess that I missed one day by a few minutes and quickly took a photo in guilt and shame). There's quite a potpourri this time around of friends, Shanghai, and proof of my domesticity.
Dec 1: Christmas tree decorating with my roommates...they don't know about this picture.
Dec 2: What's more humiliating than wearing a Sponge Bob Square Pants outfit on Shanghai's 5th Ave? Having someone take a picture of you.
Dec 3: He looks calm now but those little fingers move faster than greased lightning.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I've been listening to my 350 Christmas songs since Thanksgiving (that's nearly one day's worth of music, by the way) and I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite albums because 'tis the season for lists!
  1. A Charlie Brown Christmas: I hope you all have this. It's classic. There's no Christmas for me without Charlie Brown and the Vince Guraldi Trio.
  2. Seabird–Over the Hills and Everywhere: A new one I just picked up on Google music after hearing a bit on the Relevant podcast. Their version of "Go Tell It On the Mountain" is worshipful in the kind of way that makes you want to get out of your seat. What's not great about this line- "He made me a watchman upon the city wall and if I am a Christian, I am the least of all." Got to remember that. Have a listen:

  3. Brothers Figaro–Old Time Christmas: 1930's Gypsy Christmas music that sounds like it's being played on a gramophone. It's great, unusual, and a bit melancholy. Good to mix with other music.
  4. James Brown: You at least need "Soulful Christmas". It's just so funny.
  5. Elf Soundtrack: Pretty much one of the best Christmas mixes (with "Pennies from Heaven" thrown in) ever. I love it and it triggers the funniest moments of the movie. "Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?"
  6. Chris Tomlin–Glory in the Highest: Mr. Tomlin is not always my favorite, but this is a great, worshipful, upbeat Christmas album, especially My Soul Magnifies the Lord.
  7. Harry Connick, Jr.– Harry for the Holidays: It's Harry. It's good..although you can definitely tell the songs he penned himself.
  8. Sufjan Stevens–Songs for Christmas Vol I-V. Nice and low key, especially love his version of O Come, O Come Emmanuel.
  9. All Crooner Christmas songs: Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra. You just need it. No one does Christmas like them.

Here's wishing you a restful week where friends and family are valued and the Savior is worshiped.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

First Pictures with the Box Camera

I got back the photos from my first roll using my box camera. I was kind of scared that after all this, there was some leak of light or a broken mechanism of some sort that meant it doesn't actually take pictures as all.

Thankfully, I got a couple of good shots, which is great since it only takes 12 and there is nothing that indicates how far to turn the film so I actually only took 7.

There is definitely a different quality to these shots. I think I'm in love!

 My friend Arlene took this one so then...

...I took a picture of her. We're trying to look classic since it's an old camera. Also she's gorgeous and so photogenic. Admit it.

 This one is my favorite! I double exposed it. There are so many interesting things that resulted from it, I think–the tree trunk is clearly magic and there's a mysterious figure in the bottom right hand corner.

 My stairwell.

 And some shots from a moving vehicle. Very vague, but also kind of cool or is it just my infatuation with the camera that I can't see any of its faults?

Next I'm going to try my hand at some black and white film.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We're Funny: Anne Taintor-esque photos

For my friend Tati's birthday, I had this great idea (I don't mind saying so cause it was a rare light bulb moment)--to do Anne Taintor-esque photos (vintagey with witty quips) with pictures of her friends. You have to understand how much Tati loves her Anne Taintor. During our college years I dragged her away from countless Taintor displays (and historic cemeteries--that's another unrelated story) and last summer during our 5th year reunion weekend, I caught her again carefully reading each magnet, card, and mug of her favorite gift brand.

So, several of us emailed around photos with our hilarious Ivy league wit and I made her some cards (and possibly a Christmas gift...) with them. Here are some of my favorites. Hopefully Anne Taintor will think we're as funny as we think we are and won't try to get me for copyright infringement...

 This one made you laugh, right?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Engagement Photos: JR & Annette

Just before Thanksgiving I had the pleasure of taking engagement photos of my friend JR and his new blushing fiancee (it hadn't even been 24 hours since he'd proposed!). This was my second engagement photo shoot, and I have to say that Shanghai is such a beautiful background for photos. I'm still getting the hang of taking people's photos (I tend to take pictures of a lot of inanimate objects, if you haven't noticed), but Jr & Annette were great and I got them to smooch lots! Woot woot!

Here are some, er, quite a few of my favorite shots from the day.

This one might be my favorite.
I muted the colors on this one. Don't you just love old doors, especially ones that match your sweater?

We took some photos on Moganshan Lu, one of the best places in town for graffiti or is it street art?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Year in Pictures: Week 2

I think I'm changing this to "Year in Pictures" instead of "Year of Pictures" or maybe not. Wait til next week to see, I guess.

Over the past week, I've had lots o' opportunities to take pictures both with my big hearken camera and my new box camera (which my friend David showed me how to work!)...On Saturday I took about one million photos of some yellow gingko trees...I'll be showing those later...

Side note--I love Christmas, don't you? but I'm also not quite ready to let go of fall. It's been an unusually autumnal fall here (if you've ever lived in Shanghai, you'll catch my drift) and it's my favorite season. Long bike rides, yellow leaves, light jackets, pumpkins, apples, crisp (weather and apple)'s too much to let go of...

  November 24: While on an engagement photo shoot (I say that like it's a regular thing I do) at Yu Garden, I took a picture of the voracious koi(s). Give those suckers some bread or your finger...
 Thanksgiving I: Isn't he the cutest little boy? Love him...taken at our annual Thanksgiving football game.