Archives for February 2016
I’ve decided to revive my “365 Day: Highlight of the Day” Project once again. After searching through my old Flickr photos to post on this site, I wondered why I stopped taking picture in 2013. I suppose I was busy with freelance projects, work, or maybe even finding work, but that’s no excuse to take a single goddamn photo and put it up. I enjoyed taking photos each day, as it brought me that little comfort of focusing on a single subject on a single day and writing about it.
If you want to know why I started the project all the way back in 2008, let me give you a quick primer: photographer Jamie Livingston took a Polaroid every single day, from 1979 to 1997 — until his death. He pretty much encapsulated his life with these daily photographs, and as he was on his deathbed suffering from cancer, he still took photos. It was a testament to his devotion to his project. Back in 2008, I also noticed that a lot of photographers on Flickr were participating in something called the “365 Day Project,” where they’d post a photo each day (sometimes there was a theme, sometimes it was just a self-portrait), for a year. I thought to myself, “why not try this and see how long I can do this?”
So there you have it. I’m resuming the project; not only is a great way to reflect each day, but now I have a utilitarian purpose to use Flickr again. Furthermore, not only do Smartphones take decent photos nowadays, they’re so ubiquitous in our lives, it doesn’t make sense not to always have them around. Snap and shoot, upload easily, done.
Check out the project from 2008 to 2013, and now 2016, here.
For Super Bowl Sunday, I hastily put together some recipes for the strictly “Dip Party” that my roommates had suggested. I thought about creating a dessert dip a few days prior, and during my morning commute one day I thought of a brilliant idea:
7-Layer Espresso Bean Dip.
I didn’t want to create a mound of sugar, so I tried to focus on more of an Italian-esque flavor by using coffee liquor, chocolate-covered espresso beans, and hazelnut. The final product ended up more like a super tiramisu or a coffee-style trifle, and it was a success amongst my friends.
To create this clusterfuck, you’ll need:
- 4 cups of chocolate pudding
- 3 tablespoons of Nutella
- 1 cup of shredded white chocolate
- 1 package of fresh raspberries
- 1.5 cups of chocolate-covered espresso beans
- Half a loaf of plain pound cake
- 2 cups of Kahlua or coffee liquor
- 1 tub of Cool Whip
- 1 frozen pie crust: empty, baked, and crushed into 1-inch pieces
Combine the Nutella with the chocolate pudding until smooth. Fold in 1/4 of the tub of cool whip and set aside. Line the bottom of a large casserole dish with sliced pieces of pound cake (about half-an-inch each slice). Drizzle the coffee liquor over the pound cake. Next, with a rubber spatula, evenly spread the pudding mixture over the pound cake base. Using the rest of the Cool Whip, evenly spread on top of the pudding layer. Sprinkle the pie crust pieces over the whipped cream, then sprinkle about 2/3 of the shredded white chocolate. Evenly place the chocolate-covered espresso beans and fresh raspberries over, and then top with the rest of the white chocolate. Refrigerate for an hour and serve in bowls or dip with Italian-style cookies (or, like we did, we used Java-chip cookies and Piroutte cookies).
Yesterday, I visited Alex and Michael in Elmhurst, Queens. Nearly anyone who lives in Brooklyn can agree that getting to the eastern part of Queens (namely any of the major post office facilities to pick up missed packages or LaGuardia Airport) know it’s a trek to get there, and it took me a bus ride and two trains to either get to or from Alex and Michael’s apartment. Still, I call it an adventure. My primary agenda in Queens was to talk to Alex about redesigning her video portfolio site, take shots of their dogs for an upcoming Nico video, and talk about their wedding plans (I’m in charge of organizing and designing the decorations for their wedding venue — I guess I can add wedding planner/interior designer to my resume).
We first ate lunch at a local Dim Sum restaurant, which the three of us would agree that it was pretty shitty compared to the hundreds of other Chinese restaurants in the area. Michael, Alex, and I then shopped around the Asian-centric shops of Elmhurst, where I happened to get some Filipino soy sauce (Datu Puti), stainless steel chopsticks, and metal ramen spoons — all for under 10 dollars. For under 20 dollars, I even managed to get a bottle of Kahlua for a dessert I’m planning to make. At that point, I have to honestly conclude that Queens is a hell of a lot cheaper than anywhere in Brooklyn or Manhattan. I keep thinking of where to be after my current apartment’s lease expires in two years, and if I choose to stay in New York, maybe Queens is the best option. Hell, I can probably even get a massive 1-and-a-half bedroom for about the same price I pay now for a small, 3-bedroom railroad apartment I share with Brian and Morgan.
I ended the day with some Matcha Bubble Tea, corralling Alex’s Tibetan Terriers to stand still in front of a green screen, and then searching for affordable wedding decorations off of Amazon and Oriental Trading Company.
As per usual, here are some photos:
I’ve been doing a lot of writing on my subway commute to and from work: I usually just whip out my phone and start typing feverishly on Notepad. When I return home, I send the note to my laptop and do the majority of the editing and posting there.
What I find great about writing in the subway is that I’m doing something. Instead of spacing out and listening to music, or simply reading a book or checking my email on my cellphone, I’m actively thinking and rationalizing as I write — what’s the right word to use? Does that make sense? Does that sentence convey the sentiments I want to convey? I’m definitely giving my prefrontal cortex, frontal lobe, and temporal lobe an exercise, which is more than I give my physical body.
I feel writing on the downest of downtimes properly manages my time. Sure, I want to be creative and have that greatest feeling of “whatever-you-make-you’re-proud-of-accomplishing-something”, but with the combination of work and home responsibilities, it’s hard to find that time to indulge in that productive introspection and, ultimately, narcissism. A long subway ride allows me to both relax and tune out any outside distraction; it’s a perfect time to write.
So in summation: I feel fulfilled putting my words out there and not letting them hibernate inside my head, especially while I’m on the train. Plus, I feel satisfied that I’m using my time constructively.