I got a little carried away and printed more plotter prints for my etsy shop. The image above is what is currently above my bed. I love these vintage styled ladies looking perfectly elegant in horrible snowy weather. I’ve yet to figure how to be this classify in the winter.
A while back, I wrote about a photo exhibition I saw called Hungry Planet, where Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio visits 30 families in 24 different countries and captures what exactly each family eats in a week. Now they’re back with a new book called What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets. This time they capture what different kinds of people around the world consume in one day. They don’t necessarily just choose an average weight citizen in a certain country but also pick people with extreme professions or in serious health conditions. They track the consumption of a super model in New York, a sumo wrestler in Japan, and a Chinese acrobat to name a few. It’s fascinating to see exactly what people around the world consume and even more interesting to see how much they consume in accordance to their weight. Take the picture above for instance, this Ecuadorian mountain farmer takes in almost 4000 calories a day but weighs only 119 pounds. It’s a visual portrait of how some people really need to use food as fuel while others over consume for pleasure. You can see more photos from their book here.
Candidate for Obesity: weighs 468 pounds and needs to consume only 1600 calories to lose weight.
Himba Tribeswoman: weighs 168 pounds and consumes 1500 calories per day.
The Shepherd: weighs 154 pounds and consumes 3800 calories per day.
A Rice Farmer: weights 110 pounds and consumes 2500 calories per day.
I usually paint by looking at an object or a picture but lately I’ve been bored with the results. So I thought I’d try out painting from my brain. Here are the results. Also it’s my first time trying out gouache paint. I think I want dive deeper into this more abstract style and see what else my subconscious is thinking about.
My favorite Japanese film is called Departures. It was playing on the airplane on a trip back from Japan and I started bawling out of control throughout the duration of the film. I tend to that on airplanes, apparently I’m not alone with this problem. The film is about a professional musician who loses his job in Tokyo and ends up moving home to the country and getting a job preparing the dead for funerals. I was crying because it was so emotionally moving, not because it was Schindler’s List tragic. The trailer doesn’t really do it justice but seriously it’s an amazing film!
I often wish I could ask my Texan grandma for life advice, especially now that I’m an adult. Fortunately, I learned a lot from her growing up but unfortunately, I haven’t yet figured out how to talk to ghosts.
But luckily, we have documented footage of this amazing 101 year-old Texan cowgirl giving life advice. She died at age 101 after being thrown off her horse Dr.Pepper. Basically, Connie Reeves was a badass.
Her secret to Longevity: “Well Honey, you just don’t let that rocking chair take over…you get up and go even if you don’t want to.”
Life advice: “Saddle your own horse and know which direction you’re going.”
I heading off to the wonderful magical land called Italy today. Where pastas are fresh, olive oil is abundant, and espressos will keep me whacked out and amped up at all hours of the day. I love Italy. To prepare for this trip, I’ve been religiously watching a cooking/travel show on the BBC called Two Greedy Italians. They are chefs who have been living abroad for decades and have now come back to Italy to hug their mamas and rediscover the Italian cuisine. These guys crack me up, they have no shame in their complete obsession with food. They preach to sophisticated young Italian ladies about getting back in the kitchen, drive around the countryside and steal expensive fermented grapes for their tasting, and nearly orgasm on camera when tasting ham in Bologna.
In each episode, they show you how to cook various dishes from within the region. I tried making the Ricotta Dumplings last night. It only took twenty minutes and it was delicious. I’m going to try out the warm chocolate and amaretto pudding next. Doesn’t your mouth water just reading that title? I guess it doesn’t make much sense to cook a bunch of Italian food right before I leave for a week of eating in Italy, but really, is there such thing as too much Italian food? I’m starting to sound like Eat Pray Love so this is where I’ll check out.
Whenever I’m in Manhattan, I often imagine the perfectly grid lined flat streets filled with thousands of bicycles instead of trucks and yellow cabs. Now that would be my ideal city. My intense infatuation with Amsterdam began first with the bike culture, then everything else. Having spent the last decade of my life cruising the highways of Texas, I couldn’t imagine a city where the bike ruled first. Where bike paths and bike traffic lights were ubiquitous, and the size and urban layout of the city seemed to be perfectly structured to cater the cyclists.
Of course after three years of biking through rain and snow, I now fantasize about getting in my car with a heater and and all my awesome podcasts and just drive (like a normal Texan would) to a restaurant. Also my trips to IKEA would not involve me balancing chairs and bonsai trees in a subway. But really when it comes down to it, I wish I can just transplant this culture to America. If Austin would just build canals and get bikes, or Amsterdam would just be sunny all the time with endless tacos…ok I won’t get into this conversation.
On the upside, I have been seeing more bikers back home in Texas and New York seems to be aware of my fantasy and is slowly getting more and more bike friendly. A nice project called Downtown From Behind is documenting back shots of various New Yorkers biking through the streets of the city. I love the juxtaposition of the lone biker(s) in the middle of the big city. Could my dream slowly be turning into a reality?
I’m seriously appreciating my houseboat now that sun has (finally) arrived. It’s non-stop bbqs, feeding of baby swans and geese, and enjoying many drinks on the deck. The only thing that was missing in this houseboat experience was a real moving boat docked to our immobile houseboat. Well I took a lazy summer nap yesterday and woke up an hour later to find Arun and neighbors adopting abandoned boats on our canal! It’s run down and motorless but it floats! Now we just have to fix it up and paddle on over to the Windmill Brewery to celebrate.