Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sister Challenge Week 2

Installment 2 of the Sister Photography Challenge.  This is getting good!

Day 7. Words

From one of my favorite books by Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree.  The simplicity of the prose, yet the emotional impact from the plot gets me every time.  If you haven't read it you're missing out.

Day 8.  Something You Hate

I have no love for condiments.  It is even hard for me to touch a jar of mayonnaise to pass to the filthy wretch who enjoys it.  You can only imagine how difficult it was for me to wrangle these up, but the bottles being bound and discarded outside symbolizes my complete disdain for all things gooey.

Day 9.  Water

Rushing, bubbling streams and rivers. Who knows what the water will give me. (Note the Florence and the Machine reference).

Day 10.  Romance

The poet Merrit Malloy has a keen perspective on love, including both the romantic and tragic.  Her poetry invites you into her life and relates to your own experiences. 

Day 11.  Mirrors

Mirrors cast a reflection of who someone really is or how they see themselves.  This is how I see myself at my best.

Day 12.  Happiness

"Happiness is a warm Gun"
- The Beatles

Day 13.  Technology

A bouquet representing the growth of technology and the constant use of devices which are now a sight as familiar as flowers in a garden. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Just the Two of Us - October Sister Photography Challenge

Here is the first installation of the photography challenge that my sister, Brandie Pahl, and I are doing for the month of October.  The idea is to separately photograph a different theme everyday and then compare our different perspectives on that theme.  I can't wait to see what she comes up with! I'm pretty sure we will have some pretty similar ideas, after all she is my sister.Make sure to check hers out too.

Day 1. Selfie 

 Due to an unfortunate and pretty painful eye infection, I thought to spare you all the utter horror of my face today. This self portrait represents me just as well, my current obsession with nail art and love for tattoos. This is me.

 Day 2. Red

 This emphasizes my love for books.  All are black and white or some variation of, but one stands out.  Not only is it my favorite color, red, but it's also by my favorite author, A.A. Milne and his famous adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  Notice I also included The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. How clever!

Day 3. Favorite Things

 I have always been fascinated by shiny objects; gems, baubles, what have you.  I can't resist the gemstone network which drives anyone watching tv with me crazy.  I do find it quite amusing that my nine year old nephew shares my fascination and shows me every shiny object he has collected from marbles to shiny rocks.

Day 4. Rings

 Department store jewelry can be irresistible.  Too bad my skin only tolerates expensive Tiffany and the like.

Day 5. Beauty

 My beautiful niece and sister practicing what we love to do. Future photographer? I think so.

Day 6. Art

A picture paints a thousand words.  In whatever form of art, everything starts with a blank canvas, whether it is a thought, concept, or a literal medium.  I find that all of life's ambitions start with that canvas. How would you paint yours?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Bizzare Incidents

My sister and I love watching the learning channel for their bone-chilling stories about the diseases and parasites that people can catch around the world.  One of our favorites is the show "Monsters Inside Me".  In our resulting paranoia we have adopted some key rules: When traveling be careful of where you go, what you eat, and especially where you pee.  We may go a little too far in putting the fear of God into everyone we encounter with our warnings, but these are intense! Be warned, this isn't for the faint of heart!

Where you go - Here, there, everywhere, watch out!

St. James Davis survived a horrific chimpanzee attack at a California wildlife rescue center in March 2005 - but not before his nose and mouth were ripped off, an eye was gouged out, his left foot was mangled and most of his fingers and buttocks were devoured.  He was in a medically induced coma for months. He's undergone more than 60 surgeries since. "I remember every bite, one at a time. I remember when I went to touch my face, my fingers looked really scary," Davis, told the Daily News. He nearly bled to death three times as two hospitals denied him entry before a trauma center agreed to take him, he said. "I remember hearing someone say, 'Might as well just take him to the coroner's office'".

What You Eat - I'm not saying don't eat, but I'd opt for cooked foods.

Snails are a delicacy in some countries, cooked of course. Raw, they pose an unexpected threat. Cases of ingesting the rat lungworm parasite have risen over the past few years, most prevalent in Hawaii. Snails carry this disease and when ingested, they cause human and animal abdominal angiostrongylisasis, which affects the digestive track and bowels.  Students on vacation in the Caribbean suffered from this devastating parasite after eating salad with a snail that had crawled in unnoticed and was cut up and dispersed. Unfortunately there were 6 casualties and many hospital stays.


Where You Pee - This one goes without saying. Just don't do it!

Candiru, is a type of fish located in the Amazon, and is also known as a toothpick fish, or a vampire fish.  They are attracted to the ammonia in urine and once they detect someone urinating in the warm waters, they have a tendency to quickly swim up the stream and directly into the urethra (mostly male genetalia, Ew!)  I can't say I haven't peed in the ocean before. Oops. So apparently they use their teeth to bite their way through into the bladder, up through the body, and feed on internal organs. Surgery to pull them out is the best way to eradicate this pest from one's body.  William S. Burroughs, the famous beatnik poet even wrote about these creatures and their habits in "Naked Lunch", describing them as "small eel-like rivers of ill-repute". Watch out! 

*Extra! - Also, make sure you chew your food thoroughly. You don't want a half inch french fry tearing your esophagus and putting you in the hospital for 3 months. (true story).

Thursday, September 5, 2013

New Vacation Hot Spots

I'm feeling the vacation itch this time of year. I have been looking at new places to go that are unique. I'd like something different from the usual places we Americans consider travel spots such as Cancun, Paris or Manhattan.
While perusing the information on current popular places, I found quite a few unknown, but spectacular places to go whether you want r&r (rest and relaxation), beautiful scenery, or a bustling nightlife.

1. Piran, Slovenia

Piran, located on the Adriatic sea, is a quaint town with winding streets and beautiful architecture. Tourists have begun to flock here to visit the shops on the narrow streets, lounge on the beach and immerse themselves in the friendly culture of this little-known city. Be sure to visit the Ljubljanski castle for its wonderful views over the capital city.

2. American Samoa

Unbeknownst to me, American Samoa is apparently the new "it" place to vacation. Being very close to Hawaii, adventurous travelers visiting there have gone off of the beaten path and put this place on the map. Lush tropical views, hiking trails and kayaking provide the right amount of activity and tranquility.  Travel to Tula to see and experience the culture of a traditional Samoan/Polynesian Village.

3. Branson, Missouri

And finally, an unexpected gem. Branson, Missouri is known as the "Live Music Show Capital of the World". It is a great family vacation destination, offering entertainment, plenty of shops and boutiques, and delectable dining. The must-see attraction here is the Branson Landing for live music while you shop and sample confections from the candy emporium. And don't miss the fountains!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Best Things Happen When You're Dancing

Dancing is a form of adventure. I dance all the time just for fun, but I wish I was as graceful as these people. However, sometimes you just gotta dance and lose yourself in the beauty of it.
 This totally reminds me of my sister and I, feeling free and easy

“It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance. It is the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance. It is the one who won't be taken who cannot seem to give. And the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.”

- Bette Midler

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Adventures of childhood simplicity

This is my beautiful niece Layla. I wish I was still as carefree as she is.
Even brooding, I'm sure she's traveling to far away places in her imagination.
I admire the pictures a young mind can paint.

"Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little 
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up 
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple 
I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart 
And no one will desert you 
Just try to never grow up"

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Little Nonsense Now and Then is Relished by The Wisest of Men

I am a big fan of Gene Wilder's sarcasm in his portrayal of Willy Wonka in the musical classic "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", as you can see by the title of this post.  I love the end scene where they fly out of the building through the glass elevator and travel over the whole city. The element of the journey of your dreams combined with the song aspect is a great combination. I have often felt that life should be set to a soundtrack. 

As Mr. Wonka quoted:

"We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems."
          -Arthur O'Shaughnessy

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Window Travelers of All Kinds

I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;

Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.

The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.

And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.       

"A Minor Bird"- Robert Frost

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fly Like an Eagle

As you may have noticed by my last post, I am on a positive kick.  If you don't live in reality and dream in the clouds, you're not really living. You must combine the two.

I am currently watching the animated film Ratatouille, about the rat chef that could, and am feeling adventurous.  Rats obviously can't cook (weird plot), but the little rodent left home, adventured afar, followed his dreams and accomplished them. The idea we take from this though was that he embarked on a journey in search of his passion.

In my travels I have been many places that are also far away from my Michigan home.  From the Caribbean to Italy, Africa and more, I have had many rich encounters with the people, animals and the environment in general.  Next up on my list are Ireland and Brazil and I cant wait for the new experiences to come and the spaces and ways in which I will soar.

I don't know what's next, but because travel is MY passion, I will pursue it to no end.

"Fly like an eagle to the sea, fly like and eagle let my spirit carry me. I want to fly like and eagle till I'm free" - Steve Miller Band

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Life as we know it... Or as I know it so far

So, I'm back again with words of wisdom for all. Well, maybe just me, but you're going to hear it anyway. I find that life is always a continuation, not for one creature alone, but a circle (like the Lion King). What I have found in my short time on earth is that it can be a struggle, But it is a blessing with many wonderful and fulfilling moments. The hard times seem to last for ever and the good times so fleeting, But when you look back you know every moment made you who you are. I, for one, am compassionate, hopeful, and constantly amused by this world around me. And I think that's just fine :)