The Weekly 7: October 19

by Jackie D on October 19, 2014

Thanks to my job and this blog I spend a lot of time on the Internet every week. The Weekly 7 is a list of some of the things I’m currently loving, articles I’ve read, awesome things I’ve found on Pinterest, etc, during the week. Sometimes I’ll throw in a photo or two of things I did during the 5 seconds I wasn’t actually on the Internet. Sometimes.10744769_10103063856668503_1104267160_n1. Found out I get to go to Montreal & Toronto in November for work. I will literally be in each city for like 24 hours so I am planning a precise route through each using Pinterest and a calculator. Suggestions welcome.
2. New favorite tumblr is called “Drunk J Crew.” Pretty mad I didn’t think of it first.
3. “Obsessions are the only things that matter.”Patricia Highsmith
4. I donated to Kickstarter for the first time! I’m supporting Vela as they support female writers. They rule, go check them out.
5. I’ve gone through 5 books in the past few weeks, yikes. A sampling: #Girlboss, Where’d You Go Bernadette, and book 2 of this super nerdy but great graphic novel series I adore — Y: The Last Man (it’s about all men on earth dying mysteriously at the same exact time. It’s a comedy.)
6. Trying to get anyone at Staples to make a massive engineer print of the French Riviera for me so that I can jazz it up like this but they keep refusing to do it. Long story. No happy ending.
7. Today I had my first lazy Sunday in months — went to a sample sale with my roommate and then watched a large amount of Netflix in bed. Usually I have no shame when it comes to Netflix, but I’m actually a bit ashamed to tell you how much I’ve watched today. In my defense, a large part of it involved Nora Ephron.

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How to Decide Where To Go Next: Finland

by Jackie D on October 15, 2014

map of finlandUsually my next travel destination comes to me through something I’ve read. Mexico was on my mind after reading Martha Gellhorn’s biography, and a few months after finishing the book I visited Mexico twice. I forget where I read something about Colorado Springs – I think it was someone else’s blog – but one mention of the Garden of the Gods later, I was convinced, and I booked the plane ticket.

My plan to visit my sister in Africa in 2015 was thwarted by Ebola (as was my sister’s entire five-year plan, pretty much) so now I’m not sure what to do with my 2015. Selfishly I’m glad that my sister is back home in LA now (sans Ebola), but it still would have been incredible to explore a new part of the world with her.

I already know what I’m doing for year 2065, at least – I’m going to Antarctica. I recently finished Where’d You Go, Bernadette (hilarious read), and it made Antarctica seem even better than I always imagined it could be, so I’ve started a coin jar in the hopes I can save the $20,000 in 50 years. That’s a little more than a dollar a day, right? Math? Dad: help.

The current forerunner for 2015 is Finland to see the Northern Lights. When I first started working at as a travel consultant in Chicago a few years ago, I used any spare moment to scan the website’s little travel guides about the European countries I knew so little about – the Balkans region and Scandinavia were of particular interest to me. Finland especially seemed so weird and far away — I imagined it being covered in snow no matter the time of year, but with an eternal sunny glow rather than the gloomy darkness typical of a Finnish winter. It’s the “home” of Santa Claus, you can actually eat reindeer over a bonfire in the forest, and there is a train called the Tolstoy that travels from Helsinki over to St. Petersburg in Russia. How is Finland a real place?

Recently I was reminded of Finland and its bizarre, fabulous quirks when I was looking for a link to add to a blog post and I came across a Pinterest photo of these little hotels shaped like igloos with glass ceilings. I saw it and I was actually pretty upset because immediately I knew: Well crap, now I have to go see what this is about.

Currently I am trying to negotiate the handful of problems with this plan: snow (read: is the snow portion something I can opt out of?); getting to the igloos (they are located way up in the middle of nowhere in Finland, which really says something, because Finland itself is the middle of nowhere); and the cost of the igloos (I am willing to invest in a once in a lifetime experience, but I also need to invest in rent).

This is the problem with reading too much — you discover all the weird, wonderful things that are out there just beyond your reach. I guess the moral of the blog post today is that we should all stop reading things immediately and completely. Stop reading everything. Reading leads to wanting things. Reading is evil. Down with reading.

…. this took a bewildering turn.

(Here’s where that awesome map comes from!)

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Snapshots at Night Around the World

by Jackie D on October 7, 2014

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“The night is not a time — it’s a place.” – Graffiti artist Andre Saraiva

Somehow I am equal parts night-owl and daylight-savings-time advocate. I prefer staying up late to waking up early, but I absolutely hate how quickly the light changes around this time of year — it’s already getting so dark so early in the evening. So basically — I like being awake at night, but I don’t like too much night. It’s the Gemini in me, as usual — just can’t pick a side.

In Chicago this was particularly difficult for me — not only did it start to get dark around 4:30pm in the wintertime, but it was also freezing cold on top of that. I also lived in a basement apartment that was essentially a cement cave during my first year in the city, so — darkness all around, basically. That’s why my blog posts were so melodramatic.

Now that I’m finally getting settled into life in New York after about four months of living here, I’m ready to go out and explore more of my neighborhood and the city in general. Naturally, this is just in time for everything to get dark and cold. Timing has never been my strong point.

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I’m trying to remind myself that there are still things I enjoy about being out and about at night: the energy of the city, the skyscrapers all lit up, cold beers on a warm couch with my roommates, commiserating with friendly strangers at a bar on nights when the weather is particularly miserable. There are things.

I like being awake at night by myself, to be alone with my computer or a book long after I know everyone else is asleep — I imagine this is actually something (perhaps the only thing) I have in common with morning people: enjoying the quiet and peacefulness of being the only person awake, the only one listening to those typical late night/early morning sounds.

I have certain friends who are night owls too, and often that’s when we have the best talks, probably because everyone else is asleep and so we’re each other’s only company by default. I remember the long walks I’ve taken with friends at two in the morning on the way home from a bar or someone’s house; the night photography excursions I attended with the photography studio I was working for last year; staying up to watch the blood moon on the beach this past spring; writing pages and pages of stories and (I ADMIT IT) the occasional super nerdy fanfiction when I was in high school — in fact, I was awake so often at night in high school that I have absolutely no idea how I was ever awake enough during class to even learn anything.

40252_955253976243_7244364_nFor me, the quote at the top of the this post is absolutely true. The night is not a time for me; it’s always been a place: the place I write, play, talk, listen, take some super bad photos — and as it continues to get colder and darker in New York I just have to keep reminding myself of all these things I love about the night, all the things I find beautiful and calming about it. I’ve only got so much resentment in me, after all, and I need to save absolutely all of that for the snow.

Photos:
Night in New York from the Top of the Rock, 2014
Midnight in the south of France, 2009
Evening in Prague, 2010

More ‘Snapshots From’
Snapshots from The Cliffs of Moher
Snapshots from Garden of the Gods

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